More and more information is continuing to leak out regarding Apple's rumored iPad mini. It seems like Apple just can't keep a secret in the post-Jobs era. The Wall Street Journal is reporting "some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of the smaller tablets in the fourth quarter."
That's a pretty big deal. To put that number in some perspective, Amazon only placed roughly half as many orders for its popular Kindle Fire tablets in the same quarter. This means Apple believes the iPad mini is going to be a hit, and so does nearly everyone else. The only outstanding question is pricing, and this is what will control how big of a hit the iPad mini truly is.
"It makes sense for market leader Apple to extend its dominance in tablets with a smaller tablet,"said Capital Securities analyst Diana Wu. "iPad mini will be a big hit if Apple prices it below $300," said RBS analyst Wanli Wang. The iPad mini will have to compete with the $199 Kindle Fire HD and Google's Nexus 7, also priced at $199.
Lightning to 30-pin adapters begin shipping, enables iPhone5, iPod touch, iPod nano use with old accessories
The new Lightning connector on the iPhone 5 is sleek. It's smaller, thinner, and faster than the old 30-Pin connector that Apple has utilized for years. Even cooler is its ability to be inserted either direction as the port is reversible. There is one downside, however, and that is that your shiny new iPhone or iPod can no longer be used with old accessories.
That's why Apple has created an adapter that converts the old 30-Pin accessories to the new Lightning connector. Unfortunately, Apple missed shipping the new connectors out with the iPhone 5, but they appear to have now managed to get them out the door before the new iPods ship out.
The new adapter is pretty expensive, though this isn't unexpected as it is an Apple product. The cable itself has an authenticator chip which should keep third-party cables from being manufactured, and it wouldn't surprise me if this adapter featured something similar. Once someone gets one in-hand and tears it open, we will know if third-party ones will be able to be made.
The new iPhone 5 really has the human race split - you either passionately love it, or you don't. If you don't love it, you don't need to hate it - you just don't think it's worthy of titles such as 'the best smartphone ever'.
Well, Consumer Reports has come in and said that the iPhone 5 isn't just one of the best smartphones they've ever reviewed, but have called it "the best iPhone yet". I find it hard to disagree, but isn't that the job of Apple? To release a better product? Wouldn't it be just a little strange to see "the best iPhone up until iPhone 4S, where last year's version was better". Uh, yeah.
Consumer Reports' love of the iPhone 5 includes its "larger, 4-inch display", and its "thinner and lighter profile" as well as its "4G LTE access", and that the Cupertino-based company adding "a host of innovative features" make the new iPhone 5 one of the best phones out, and 'the best iPhone yet'.
If you haven't read our review on it, which wasn't so gushing with love, check it out here.
The XDA Developers forums are a godsend to those running Android, with news that some of the members have posted a leaked Jelly Bean ROM for some variants of HTC's One X smartphone.
The leaked ROM is based on the software that will come pre-baked into the company's upcoming HTC One X+, which is Android 4.1.1 with Sense 4+. The leaked ROM is only capable of going on a few phones, which are those running NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC with the following CIDs:
- cidnum: HTC__001
- cidnum: HTC__E11
- cidnum: HTC__203
- cidnum: HTC__102
- cidnum: HTC__405
- cidnum: HTC__Y13
- cidnum: HTC__A07
- cidnum: HTC__304
- cidnum: HTC__M27
- cidnum: HTC__032
- cidnum: HTC__016
- cidnum: HTC__J15
If your device sports one of the above CIDs, you might want to hit it up - Jelly Bean is delicious.
We've been hearing more and more about Google wanting a new Nexus smartphone, and it looks as though LG will be the one making it. CNET are reporting this time that the new Nexus phone will indeed be released by LG, and that it'll be announced by the end of this month.
The new LG Nexus smartphone will run with some of the same innards of LG's recently-launched Optimus G smartphone, but modified to comply with the Nexus program. CNET reports that there's no name for it, but we did hear a few hours ago that it'll be known as the Optimus G Nexus. I would prefer 'Optimus Nexus'.
We should expect LG's Nexus smartphone to sport Qualcomm's Snapdragon quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1280x720 True-HD IPS display, an 8-megapixel rear-snapper, a non-removeable (boo!) battery, and a choice between 8GB and 16GB of on-board storage, with no expandable microSD options (boo!).
The new iPhone 5 is far from perfect, but there have been some issues with the camera on this model. If you've used an iPhone 5, read our review, or read many of the other reviews out there, you'd have seen that the iPhone 5 has an issue when snapping photos.
The iPhone 5, when held at the right angle and near the right light source, will give off a purple haze on the photo. It's not a deal breaker, but it's something worth noting when buying (or reviewing) a device like this. Apple have come out over the weekend, posting a support notice for it, stating:
A purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot is imaged from out-of-scene bright light sources during still image or video capture.
Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources. This can happen when a light source is positioned at an angle (usually just outside the field of view) so that it causes a reflection off the surfaces inside the camera module and onto the camera sensor. Moving the camera slightly to change the position at which the bright light is entering the lens, or shielding the lens with your hand, should minimize or eliminate the effect.
It was only a few days ago that reports were landing that Google wanted a repeat of the Nexus 7's success, but in smartphone form, and now there's some hands-on reports of LG's Optimus G Nexus.
Android and Me are reporting from multiple sources that have told them that LG are working on a Nexus phone, with some hands-on information to go with it. Their source claims that he's not an employee of Google, but has access to one of the Nexus devices that were handed out last week for testing:
I can confirm the next nexus is LG Optimus based. The phone looks surprisingly like the Galaxy Nexus and does not have sharp corners like the LG Optimus we already know. It has a silver'ring like the iPhone 3G around the outer edge of the screen which seemed to be similar to the Galaxy Nexus in size but was much better in brightness.
I couldn't have said if it was larger in the few minutes that I had the phone. Also, it has Nexus written on the back like the Nexus 7 except there is a color element to it. The 'X' is in four colors. There was also the LG logo on the back.
Boot to Gecko device made by ZTE based on V788D Android smartphone reportedly in hands of developers
Mozilla is working on a new mobile operating system to compete with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8, among others. The new OS is developed using HTML5 as the basis and reportedly uses quite a bit less power than its competitors. It would appear that devices have already been distributed to developers.
The device that has reportedly been distributed is a device based upon ZTE's V788D Android smartphone. The only change is the important part: the OS. The specifications of the device include a 3.5-inch 800x480 screen, 512MB RAM, 5 megapixel camera, and a 1.5GHz SoC. Not a high spec phone by any comparison.
However, by taking an existing phone and changing the operating system, Mozilla is able to produce a device with the new mobile operating system quickly which allows it to get into the hands of developers sooner. This allows the OS to be developed quickly so that it isn't left completely behind by iOS and Android.
Samsung should be extremely happy with the results that have just come in from the 2012 Mobile Choice Awards in London. The Korean electronics giant's Galaxy S III took Best Smartphone of 2012, which is quite the flattering result. To achieve this award, it had to beat out the iPhone 4S, and HTC One X.
Due to the timing of the awards, some new models, such as the iPhone 5, were left out of the running. Had the iPhone 5 been in the running, the Galaxy S III might not have done as well as it did. Or, it could have had an easier time, considering all of the issues users have been having with the new device.
Also at the awards, Samsung's Galaxy Note took the Most Innovative Device award, while the Apple iPad (third generation) took first for best tablet with the Google Nexus 7 coming in second place for that award. The awards were passed around nicely, with Nokia's Lumia 800 taking Best Design and the Sony Xperia U taking Best Value.
Razer's gaming tablet surprised the world when it was teased at CES earlier this year, dubbed Project Fiona. Project Fiona is a 10.1-inch, Windows-based gaming tablet which sports an Intel Core i7 processor.
Where it steers away from other tablets, is that it features two joystick handles which both sport dual analog sticks and a normal controller-style layout. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan teased the world through Facebook, where he asked his followers for 10,000 likes in 7 days - which happened.
Tan then confirmed via Twitter that the production of the gaming tablet is happening, and thus makes a 2012 launch of Project Fiona that much more real. Final design and hardware specifications are not yet set in stone, with various ARM- and Intel-based processors that could be baked inside of the tablet.
The cheap $199 Nexus 7 tablet from ASUS and Google was a huge success - I rated it very well and still use it as my everyday tablet. But it looks like Google wants to hit the homerun again, but with a smartphone this time.
Sources have told DigiTimes that Google are working with manufacturers "to launch smartphones based on its Nexus 7 platform". DigiTimes reports that Google are letting OEMs have more free rein on design and hardware specifications as long as they "are based on its latest native Android system".
I really hope we see this happen, and I have no doubt that we will. I expect a launch in early-2013 of the next iteration of Android, which should be Android 4.2 Key Lime Pie, on a Nexus handset. Bring it on.
Sony have had to remove their Xperia Tablet S from sale, after the Japanese company found a waterproofing defect in their tablet. The problem refers to the water resistant properties of the tablet, which hit Japanese shelves on September 15.
The company are offering inspections and repairs all free of charge of course, with some of the affected slates making their way overseas, you need not worry - Sony will replace those, too.
This isn't good news for Sony, as they're really struggling in the smart device market, as well as having various issues with pretty much every other market they have products in. This lead to the company announcing back in April that they would be culling 10,000 employees.
Have you got an Xperia Tablet S? If so, how does this news affect you? Will you want it replaced, or are you the kind of person who wouldn't worry too much about water resistance?
The Acer Iconia W700 is the latest Windows 8 tablet that has broken cover. Acer has released the details on this slick Windows 8 device, including pricing and launch plans. The device, with an 11.6-inch 1080p IPS display, will be retailing for a base price of $800, with two different upgrade options available.
The base model comes with the aforementioned 11.6-inch 1080p IPS screen, a 1.8GHz Intel Core i3-3217u processor, Intel HD4000 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid state drive. The frills of the base model include a 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1 megapixel front-facing camera, a microSD card slot, one USB 3.0 port, a micro HDMI port, headphone jack, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth.
For an extra $100, you can get all of the above with an upgraded i5 processor. For only $200 more, or $999, you can get the base model with an upgraded i5 processor and a 128GB solid state drive. Battery life is said to be 8+ hours for the base model. The tablet weighs in at 2.3 pounds, which puts it a bit heavier than competitors and the device will not be available with mobile broadband.
The upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices by Nokia will be heading to AT&T exclusively in the United States when they launch in November. This seems like a bad plan for Nokia as they need to expand their customer base so that they can return to profitability and relevance in today's smartphone market.
Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of Devices and Developer Services at AT&T Mobility said, "Exclusive to our customers and featuring unique innovations in imaging technology, wireless charging and a bright, sensitive display - all on the nation's largest 4G network - the Lumia 920 will be one of the hottest phones for the holidays."
AT&T will also be carrying the HTC 8X, another Windows Phone 8 device. They appear to want to continue their dominance as the top Windows Phone carrier as they reminded everyone that they have sold more Windows Phones than any other carrier to date. I don't think that Windows Phone 8 is enough to make users switch carriers, though.
Even with the Lumia 920's and 820's cool features, such as Nokia's City Lens AR overlay, it's going to be hard to convince users to switch to AT&T for the device. There is still no word on pricing or release date. November is the best guess that is currently available for when the devices will be available.
Target has announced that starting Sunday, October 14, they will be crafting a special in-store area with popular toys. Now, this isn't that big of a deal by itself, but Target isn't stopping there. These popular toys will feature QR codes that can be scanned with a shopper's smartphone. The QR code will then direct them to order the toy online.
The idea behind doing this is that shoppers (more like mom and dad) can do their shopping away from prying eyes. You do have to install an app produced by Target, but they allow you to opt-in for free shipping, which is an added bonus. This way the kids can come with you shopping and still not know what you're getting them for Christmas.
It's a cool use of the QR codes that are becoming ever-more popular. Coincidentally, the bar-code celebrated its birthday yesterday. As smartphones become more and more prevalent, expect to see more cool and unique uses of QR codes. This is just the start of what can be done with them.
LG's Optimus G may be looking like a powerhouse of a smartphone, but until now, no US carrier had stepped forward offering the smartphone. LG's Optimus G is LTE-capable, will include 2GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage.
At launch, Optimus G will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and filling out the G's specs, we find a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.7-inch IPS-based 1280x768-pixel display, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with zero shutter lag, NFC capabilities, and a 2,100mAh battery.
LG have baked in some other goodies, such as "Live Shot", which will let you capture a video and photo simultaneously - something great if you have kids, for example. LG have also included some battery saving options which they call "Eco Mode", which will disable two of the phone's four cores when it isn't using them. On top of this, Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 processor includes Asysnchronous Symmetric Multiprocessing which will allow each core to power up and down independently, which will both increase performance when you need it most, as well as save battery life.
While Apple couldn't even get close to analysts' estimates on first-week iPhone 5 sales of 8-10 million, falling short and only reaching 5 million, Samsung's Galaxy S III is doing very, very well. Analytics firm Localytics says that demand for the S III hasn't slowed down, even during the $1 billion loss of the patent trial to Apple, and the release of the iPhone 5.
The analytics firm tracks what kind of smartphones access thousands of mobile apps using their mobile analytics platform, where they say that they've seen a 9% average increase of new Galaxy S III devices since the first week of August. New Galaxy S III sales grew by 16% during the week of Apple's victory in the patent trial, and grew another 15% during the week the Cupertino-based company announced their iPhone 5.
Localytics also thinks that Apple did Samsung a favor by suing them since "the deluge of post-litigation press coverage both drove general attention to Samsung and suggested that Samsung devices were similar enough to iPhones to be an option for many consumers."
For those of you based in the European Union, you should be glad to hear that Microsoft should be selling their Surface RT tablet later this year. The company has referenced the Surface on their Italian, French, German and UK websites.
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet is set to go on sale with the launch of Windows 8 on October 26, but we still don't have any pricing or other important information on the iPad competitor just yet. We're closer than we've ever been to a true MS tablet, but it still feels so far away.
There's no confirmation that Microsoft listing Surface tablets on some of their EU-based websites translates into the Surface RT tablet hitting those countries on launch - but MS should be coming out with more details on the new tablet soon, hopefully.
A touchscreen-based MacBook Pro is here, modded and ready to be pre-ordered. Modbook announced the preorders for their Modbook Pro, hitting a huge price of $3,500. What makes the Modbook Pro so special? Well, it's a touchscreen 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, with a stylus pen to boot.
It's also fully customizable, where you can option it to come with either OS X Mountain Lion, OS X Mountain Lion with Windows 7 on Boot Camp, or just Windows 7. It's a wonderful thing to have all of that choice. Hardware-wise, you can configure the Modbook Pro with a 2.5GHz Core i5 processor, or upgrade it right up to a 2.9GHz-clocked Core i7 chip. Memory can be ramped right up to 16GB and storage can kick it up to a 480GB SSD drive.
Modbook Pro brings the best of both words, infusing the hardware of Apple's 13.3-inch MBP, with a Wacom Penabled pen tablet digitizer, all on an etched paper-emulating ForceGlass screen. If you want to order one of these bad boys, you'll need a $500 deposit with each order. The Modbook Pro's come with a 12-month warranty.
Apple rumor fans, here's another one for you. Sources have told the Wall Street Journal that the new rumored iPad mini has gone into mass production, just two weeks ahead of when Apple is expected to hold the launch event in San Francisco. They missed the original mark of announcing the device at the iPhone 5 event, but this actually makes sense.
You see, that event was already jam-packed, so it didn't make sense to try and squeeze in another product launch. Some of the details would get lost as the press would already be overloaded with things to report on. People would stop paying attention after a while, so spreading the launch out makes entirely too much sense.
The new rumor places the launch event on October 17, with press invitations going out of October 10. The device is said to feature a 7.85-inch screen made by LG and AU Optronics. Unfortunately, the new device won't feature the high-resolution Retina display that the iPad and iPhone both feature.
Apple's new Lightning connector for the new iPhone 5 will be hard to imitate, thanks to its security chip
Apple's new iPhone 5 sports a new charging cable, which the company have dubbed "Lightning". Apple's new Lightning cable is an 8-pin charging cable, which has some built-in measures that won't make it easy for cheap imitation cables - something Apple are sure to make millions from.
Apple's former 30-pin cable was a pretty simple design, where it was based on millions upon millions of cables, accessories, docks, and so forth - cheap imitations were created from its simple design, but it looks like the same game won't be played this time around. Apple are currently charging $30 for a new Lightning cable, which is ridiculous considering the cable would cost next to nothing to manufacture.
CNN have an unnamed source "with knowledge of Apple's manufacturing" who has said that the new Lightning cable comes with new measures which will make imitation that much harder - as they contain a new authentication chip. It won't be impossible for Chinese manufacturers to imitate this new $30 cable, with the source stating:
Chinese manufacturers are currently working to clone this new connector, but they cannot do it with the same ease and low cost as before, I don't think.