If claims by Phone House, a Spanish mobile phone retailer are to be believed, it would appear that Google is subsidizing the new Nexus 4 on the Google Play store. Phone House has claimed that LG are selling the devices for a much higher price than that being offered by Google on the Google Play store.
This leaves us two options. Either Google is subsidizing the devices, a not unheard of option, or LG is trying to get a lot more money out of the device by selling to carriers. On the Google Play store, the Nexus 4 is available for $300 dollars, a cheap option to get a contract-free device that can be used with many different carriers.
However, Phone House is saying that LG has offered up the device with a MSRP of $770. LG could by trying to make a massive profit, or Google could be subsidizing. I'm going to guess that it's the latter. Google has a habit of doing things like this in the past, and I see no reason why they would stop now.
Apple's new fourth-generation iPad is already back in stock on the Apple website and this means one of two things. Either Apple produced massive quantities of the device ahead of launch or the fourth-generation iPad isn't selling very well. I'd like to think its the former, but I am forced to lean towards the latter.
The simple fact is that Apple always has supply issues for several weeks after launch and the lack of these shortages for the new iPad don't bode well. Apple announced that over the launch weekend 3 million iPads were sold, but they didn't specify which quantities of those were iPad minis and which were the new iPad fourth generation.
The iPad mini is still in short supply, with the web store offering up that it will be available to ship in roughly two weeks. Apple will have trouble, it seems, catching up with demand for the holiday season. It's not clear why the fourth generation iPad seems to be selling so poorly, but if you're looking to pick one up, it's probably a good thing.
AT&T has announced the pricing for the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. The Nokia Lumia 920 will only set you back a mere $100, though it remains to be seen if the bargain pricing will help boost sales on a platform that has hardly any awareness. The Lumia 920 looks to be a slick device, there's no two-ways about it.
It features wireless charging, a 4.5-inch HD touchscreen, and an 8.7-megapixel camera. AT&T is throwing in the wireless charging plate for free for a limited time. The Lumia 820 will only set you back $50, which is $50 cheaper than T-Mobile and Verizon's versions, which makes it quite the steal.
The Lumia devices will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow and will be available for purchase on November 9. The HTC 8X, another Windows Phone 8 device, will set you back $200 on contract. An 8GB version of the 8X will be available for $100, though it's important to remember that there is no expansion slot.
Mobile gaming is bigger than its ever been these days, but there are gamers out there who still have a tough time with on-screen controls due to their fingers being too large or relying on the feel of a dedicated gaming controller all their lives. Nyko introduced its PlayPad controller back at E3 and it's launching across GameStop retailers starting today.
Nyko's PlayPad can be purchased through its website, but the PlayPad Pro can only be purchased at GameStop at this time, although it will be available on Amazon starting on Feb 1, 2013. Both the PlayPad and PlayPad Pro are available for $39.99.
Apple iPhone 5 unlocked units to start from $649, will arrive once supply constraint issues are fixed
If you're after a carrier-specific iPhone 5, the US Apple Store's online site says that you should wait three-to-four weeks from now, but a quick search on Apple's website may have accidentally unveiled a bunch of pricing on factory unlocked iPhone 5s.
It was tripped up by AppleInsider reader Dhaval Dinani, confirmed independently, and is now making the news rounds. The units are definitely not official, and could just be placeholders in Apple's database. But, the prices are consistent with identical models being sold in Canada, where all iPhones are unlocked.
We should expect the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB unlocked iPhones to have prices of $649, $749 and $849, respectively. AppleInsider expects the new unlocked iPhone 5s to be sold when the supply constraints begin to improve.
I had a very weird dream about Surface last night, that it was some huge 20-inch-or-so tablet, and that I truly loved it. But, even in my dream, I couldn't do much with it apart from show people the desktop (Metro/Windows style UI wasn't in my dream), and run a web browser.
Anyway, Microsoft have revealed the the exact storage a consumer would receive with the Surface tablet once its in your hands. This accounts for binary conversion, recovery partition, and the software itself. The 32GB Surface will have 16GB of free space, while the 64GB model will have 46GB of free space on-board.
But, you can use microSD cards and USB storage for your external storage needs, which helps in magnitudes you could only iWish on the iPad.
Regardless if the majority of people were less than impressed with the new iPad mini and 4th generation iPad, the rule of thumb has always been if there's an Apple logo on it, it'll sell millions. That's exactly what happened this weekend as Apple has announced it has sold 3 million iPads this past weekend.
Friday was the official release date of both the iPad mini and 4th generation iPad around the world and marks the first time Apple has launched two new products on the same day, not counting new releases made available through the Apple Store.
Teardown treatments give me two feelings, the first of which is joy - at looking at the innards of the device on the operating table. Secondly, a feeling of sickness - because I couldn't imagine busting my $500+ device open.
Microsoft's first foray into the tablet world, Surface, has been torn down to find it's Build of Materials (BOM) is $271 for the base 32GB model without the cover.
The main components baked into the Surface is NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the display and memory chips, both of which come from Samsung. IHS analyst and head of the teardown team, Andrew Rassweiler, said that Microsoft are using the low-priced ($499) 32GB Surface slate as a base, hoping to reel in consumers to buy the high-end models with the Touch Cover and higher internal storage models.
Nokia's high-end Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone, the Lumia 920, will be $150 on-contract with AT&T. Nokia's mobile page for the Lumia 920 has confirmed this.
Previously, the Lumia 920 was priced at $150 in pre-sales at Best Buy and eBay, but the Finnish phone maker have now confirmed it themselves. The page which has now been altered, showed Windows Phone 8's tiled interface, with the top tile sporting a $150 price tag for the Lumia 920.
The Lumia 920 is set to launch later this year on-contract with AT&T for $150, and off-contract for $600. It should ship with a free charge pad, taking advantage of the Lumia's wireless charging feature.
Google's Nexus 4 is nearly here, their new powerhouse smartphone co-developed with LG. The pricing on the Nexus 4 has really made the hairs on most people stand up at just $299/$349 for the 8GB and 16GB versions in the US. It's only a tad more overseas, too, at 299/349 in Europe and £239/£279 in the U.K. with international availability at launch.
The Nexus 4 will launch on November 13 on Google's Play store, with shipping availability at launch in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia.
Android Central are reporting that pricing at retailers will be much higher, with retailers in Italy, Austria and Denmark reporting LG's direct MSRP (suggested pricing) will be somewhere in the 549 to 599 range.
LG's pricing of the Nexus 4 is pretty much out of Google's control, as LG are the ones selling the smartphones direct to retailers. Google selling their Nexus 4 devices direct to the consumer requires a bunch of regulatory approval and certification that might not be possible in certain countries just yet.
We already have a super cheap $199 slate from Google, the amazing Nexus 7 tablet, but it looks like they're about to set that price bar a fair bit lower, again.
DigiTimes is reporting that the Mountain View-based company is working on an "entry-level Nexus tablet that has not yet been announced". Nothing more from this is known, but that is quite the tease.
What could we see? A $99 tablet? $149 maybe? What could Google do to reduce the pricing? We're already getting a quad-core tablet with a 7-inch 1280x800-pixel display running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for just $199. They could knock it down to 5-inch, a dual-core processor and keep Jelly Bean, while knocking $50-$100 off the price. That would surely shake the market up, a lot.
Apple's new iPad mini is here, and as usual, we have a new teardown pricing report from IHS. Their teardown report states that Apple's new iPad mini Wi-Fi-only 16GB model costs just $188 to build.
The model may cost $188 to build, but it hits shelves for $329 - bumping up the memory to 32GB and 64GB adds $90 and $162, respectively. LG Display and AU Optronics supply the display for the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, with parts associated with the display costing around $80, or roughly 43% of the total Bill of Materials (BOM).
The screen uses a new technology which is known as GF2, which allows the overall display to be thinner than previous iPads. IHS analyst, Andrew Rassweiler, also head of the company's teardown team, says that the new technology is proving to be difficult to manufacture, and for the time being, increasing the costs of the display. Once these issues are resolved, the price on the iPad mini will also drop.
Ask the Experts: I'm having problems using the Facebook video calling feature on my Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, with May Ann in the US who is having issues with Facebook's video calling ability on her Galaxy Note smartphone.
Q: Just bought my tablet a week ago ,actually a Samsung Galaxy Note.. and I'm really getting a hard time on how to use the Facebook video calling.. is it really gonna work in here..? Help..
A: You can view the answer to May Ann's question right here.
Android 4.2 has, until now, only been talked about for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 devices that were announced last week - but in the UK, it seems that the 32GB Nexus 7 variant will come "with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean".
UK retailer HMV, has been advertising in newspaper ads of the tablet sporting the latest Android OS, but with Android 4.2 not yet finalized or open-sourced, it shouldn't be baked into any tablets sitting on store shelves just yet.
With the Nexus 7 being a Nexus device, Google should get Android 4.2 out to it as quick as possible, but I'm guessing we'll see the release of the latest iteration of Android closer to the release of the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 tablets next week on November 13.
Samsung aren't just smiling for their Galaxy Note II smartphone which smashed through 3 million units sold in just 37 days, but their other flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, has reached the 30 million units sold mark, which is quite the achievement.
The 30 million number includes the i9300, as well as the carrier-specific versions offered up by telcos in specific markets such as the US, Japan and Korea.
Samsung have reached this number in just five months, and with the holiday season ramping up quick, these numbers should swell even more. Everyone that I know who has picked up the Galaxy S III has been more than impressed with it, which is the feeling of most S III owners. Good work, Samsung!
Word on the street is that Microsoft is working with component suppliers in Asia to test their very own smartphone design, at least if the Wall Street Journal's sources are to be believed. There has been a rumor circulating that this was the case ever since Microsoft unveiled their new Surface tablets.
Of course, Microsoft has refused to comment on the rumor, neither confirming nor denying the smartphone's existence. Microsoft's parts suppliers say that there is a current device being tested, though its not clear that the device will go into mass production or not. The screen is reportedly between 4 and 5 inches, slotting in between the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S III.
"We're quite happy this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC," said Mr. Ballmer. "Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn't have a plan I wouldn't comment in any dimension."
Nokia's chief executive has welcomed a Microsoft-made smartphone as he believes that it would increase sales for all companies producing Windows Phone 8 devices. He also believes Nokia can stand out from competing devices. This is a different take than the computer manufacturers who were upset when Microsoft announced the Surface tablet.
With every new mobile device launch, somebody inevitably decides its a good idea to drop it from various heights onto hard surfaces. The launch of the iPad mini today is no different as drop test videos have already appeared online. SquareTrade, a company that deals in extended warranties is the perpetrator of the following video that compares the iPad 3, iPad mini, and Nexus 7:
In the video, the iPad mini performs well when dropped from 4 feet on its corner. The Nexus 7 cracks in the corner ever so slightly, and the iPad 3's screen is destroyed. The folks at SquareTrade then dropped the tablets on their faces. The iPad mini's screen cracked everywhere and would need to be replaced. The iPad 3's screen also cracked quite a bit and the Nexus 7's screen did the best.
The tablets were then placed in water for 10 seconds to see how they would survive an accidental dunking. The iPad mini performed the best out of the three and seemed to be fully functional. The iPad 3 seemed to have a couple of bugs from the water, and the Nexus 7 was unresponsive, likely due to resetting from going into the water.
All said and done, the three tablets are all fragile and care should be taken to not drop them.
It's no secret anything Oprah touches instantly turns to gold, even though her daytime television show ended last year. The only thing she can't seem to get her millions of fans to turn to gold is her television channel, but that hasn't stopped Oprah from waving her magic wand over a select few products to deem them her "favorite things."
On Oprah's website, Oprah writes the following regarding the Microsoft Surface:
I personally never understood the allure of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as it has always been a device that I could never comfortably carry around with me due to its size and emphasis on use of its S-Pen, but it looks like I'm certainly in the minority as Samsung has announced some impressive sales figures for its latest smartphone / tablet hybrid.
With only being on sale for 37 days, Samsung has announced its Galaxy Note 2 has sold 3 million units worldwide. For it being a device that many critics said was something nobody really wanted, that's certainly a huge step in the right direction for the company. It should also be noted the Samsung Galaxy Note took over 3 months in order to sell just one million units.
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, with Sanjay in Nigeria who wants to know if he should buy the fourth-gen iPad, or the Galaxy Note 10.1.
Q: I want to buy either apple iPad 4 or Galaxy Note 10.1. I do not know which one is better, please guide.
A: You can view the answer to Sanjay's question right here.
Acer have announced that they are delaying the launch of their Windows RT-based products until Q2 2013. Acer President, Jim Wong, told Reuters that Microsoft's Surface tablet is a threat, that "because of Surface... we are much more cautious".
The hardware maker did state earlier this year that Surface would hurt the industry, going as far as considering alternative partners. With Acer now pushing their Windows RT devices back, this might be more of a reality now.
Wong has said that he wants to see how Surface does in the market, how its received by customers, and how aggressive the Redmond-based company are at pushing Surface. But with a reported $1 billion in marketing money to play with, aggressive would be quite the understatement.