According to analyst Thompson Wu of Credit Suisse, ASUS are using the close partnership with Google and their recently-announced Nexus 7 tablet to enhance their brand rather than just the desire to make money.
Production cost is said to be roughly $200, and the Nexus 7 sell for $199.99, meaning ASUS are breaking even on every tablet sold. Usual OEM business methodology would be vastly different, but ASUS are looking to build their brand in a system where OEM's "have limited opportunities to differentiate" from the brands ASUS are making hardware for.
We believe Asustek realizes that in a market where OEMs have limited opportunity to differentiate without content and operating systems, it's demonstrating its edge via research and development and innovation, while building upon its brand value.
Sprint lovers unite! Sprint has just announced that Samsung's flagship GALAXY S III smartphone is now available, just over a week from its original launch date of June 21.
Sprint customers can now order the GALAXY S III in the 16GB Marble White, or Pebble Blue with a new two-year contract. If a new two-year contract is taken out, the 32GB model is also available for just $50 more.
Samsung have recently said they expect to sell 10 million GALAXY S III smartphones before the end of this month, making it one of the most popular phones of 2012. Worldwide demand for Samsung's latest smartphone have outstripped Samsung's capacity to manufacture units and have led to multiple delays.
If you thought battery technology was already good enough to power these new quad-core smart devices with big screens and high-resolution Retina displays, you ain't seen nothing yet.
A research time at Rice University, Texas have demonstrated lithium-ion batteries created using a spray painting technique. This new tech would be perfect for creating batteries within areas that it might be difficult to fit a standard power cell.
This would open up an entire world of possibilities, where batteries could even become part of the structure of the device itself, or be spray-painted onto a car for example. The technology could also go hand-in-hand with solar cells, which sport larger surface areas meaning there's an opportunity to paint a larger battery in a layer beneath them.
We saw that Google's Nexus 7 tablet was unveiled yesterday, where we found out ASUS was the hardware partner in the deal. But ASUS' chairman, Jonney Shih, along with Google's head of Android, Andy Rubin, have revealed at the $199 Nexus 7 tablet is sold at cost.
They also revealed that the Nexus 7 was designed and manufactured in just four months, Shih says to AllThingsD "our engineers told me it is like torture". ASUS was told that they needed to get the Nexus tablet ready in just four months, it had to be high-end, and should not cost over $200.
Shih also said that his team learnt a lot from working so closely with Google's engineers, and in order to get it ready in four months, Shih sent people to work at various locations, including Silicon Valley. This put his workers closer to Google, and also allowed his engineering team to have a 24-hour development cycle.
The latest rumors about the next-gen iPhone is that one supplier to Apple is having some pretty serious issues providing batteries for the new iPhone, according to a Sina.com report quoted by Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White.
The site is claiming that just 30-percent of the batteries produced by the Apple supplier are meeting Apple's standards. There's a big problem here, is that there's only a few months to fix the issue, as Apple are expected to launch the phone in the coming months ahead.
Reports have stated that Apple will launch the new iPhone sometime in September, with other reports suggesting late-August, or even October. If Apple can fix these battery production issues, it will launch it in good time, there's no need to rush as sales of the iPhone 4S are still strong.
Google unveiled Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" at their Google I/O conference yesterday, and now news that Samsung had prepared ahead for their flagship GALAXY S III smartphone is floating onto the surface of the Internet.
The Verge has heard that Samsung baked extra RAM into the S III specifically to make sure that it would be capable of handling Google's latest mobile OS. By making this move, Samsung hoped to "future-proof" the smartphone, and to ensure that it would remain comparably fast and powerful no matter what shifts occurred in the OS landscape.
At the time of design and manufacturing, the final specifications for Android 4.1 weren't set in stone. So, in order to be "100-percent sure" that the GALAXY S III would be capable of handling Google's next-gen OS, Samsung's engineers bumped the S III's internal RAM to 2GB.
Google I/O 2012 - Google have finally unveiled their cheap 7-inch tablet, which has been confirmed to be manufactured in partnership with ASUS. Nexus 7 sports a 7-inch 1280x800 display and NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC.
Nexus 7 weighs just 340 grams, thanks to its small 7-inch screen, it will reportedly last for up to 9 hours of HD video playback. Connections on the Nexus 7 aren't that bad, where we see Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, but no mention of 3G/4G connectivity. A front-facing camera makes an appearance on the Nexus 7, too.
Nexus 7 will ship with the recently-unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, and Google pitches Nexus 7 as the ideal tablet for music, movies, books, magazines, apps, and games. The best bit about Nexus 7 is probably going to be its price, slated at just $199 this 7-inch bad boy is going to be very, very popular.
We already know there's two variants of Samsung's flagship smartphone, the GALAXY S III available. Firstly we have the quad-core Exynos 4 Quad, and the US-bound dual-core Qualcomm S4 variant. But, Samsung have released a third variant of the S III for the South Korean market.
This latest variant sports Samsung's own quad-core ARM-based SoC, and LTE baseband chip. The 'CMC221S' LTE baseband chip was developed in collaboration with AP, and will allow network subscribers of local telcos SK Telecom and KT to connect users up to high-speed connections. The chip supports 2G, GSM, 3G, WCDMA, 4G, and LTE, which makes it capable of working in virtually every country on Earth.
Not much is known about the chip, but it's assumed its manufactured on a 40nm process. Samsung Electronics' CEO of IT and IM, Jong-Kyun Shin has said that the company plans to have more designs with its own baseband chip and that the Korean GALAXY S III LTE demonstrates "Korea has the fastest LTE" and "we are already considering moving on to VoLTE".
According to "a credible source" of CNET's, it looks as though Amazon is set to unleash their second-generation Kindle Fire tablet on July 31, just over a month from now.
This would set Amazon up to combat Apple's iPad even more than they are now, launching the Kindle Fire 2 less than a year after the original Kindle Fire launched. The Kindle Fire sold quite well thanks to its cheap price of just $199.
DigiTimes has also reported that Amazon would launch a similarly-priced 7-inch Kindle tablet with a higher resolution screen of 1280x800, but the release date DigiTimes had was in Q3. DigiTimes has also mentioned that Amazon could drop the price of the current Fire to just $149, making it even more of a temptation for customers.
Considering it costs Amazon a reported $201.70 in production costs for each Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire 2 would either represent more loses for Amazon, or they're building the tablets cheaper, let's hope for Amazon's sake its the latter.
Google I/O 2012: Google didn't just talk software, or Google Glass, the company also revealed a new media streaming device dubbed Nexus Q. Google describes this product as the first social streaming media player, and is uniquely shaped like an orb and is able to stream music.
Nexus Q is controlled by your Android-powered device be it smartphone or tablet, but content is yanked directly from the cloud. Google thinks music is best enjoyed with friends, so in order to differentiate themselves from similar products on the market, Google infused Nexus Q with social capabilities. Google describes it as a cloud-connected jukebox, where everyone brings their own music to the party.
The social side of Nexus Q allows friends to create a single playlist that everyone has access to. Anyone in that group can move songs up or down on the queue, or even play a new track instantly before the previous tune has finished. Hardware-wise, we're looking at Nexus Q sporting a dual-core OMAP4460 processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 16GB of onboard storage.
Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, seems to have hinted that the company is looking to throw their PureView camera technology into future Windows Phone 8 models. PureView is the technology behind the 808 Pureview smartphone, which sported a 41-megapixel camera.
Elop was responding to questions on video that were asked by visitors to Nokia's booth at Microsoft's TechEd in Orlando. Elop did note that consumer interest in when PureView might make its way to Windows Phone 8. Elop says in the video (above):
Now, we haven't announced any other smartphones with PureView, but I can say that you will see this technology in devices to come.
9to5Mac have done some digging through the previously-obtained hardware code dump for Apple's next-gen iPhone prototypes and have discovered a very juicy detail in the code that references hardware components supporting near field communication (NFC) capabilities:
We've previously been able to pull data from PreEVT iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2 prototypes codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2), which leads us to believe that the new iPhone will have a bigger 1136×640 display. We also detailed a lot of the hardware here but forgot one very important little bit. Further investigation into this hardware code dump leads us to believe that these iPhones also have Near Field Communication (NFC) controllers directly connected to the power management unit (PMU).
If for some reason you actually needed more convincing that the new (well, sort of) Galaxy S III phone was one of the most hyped and popular phones of the day, Samsung has your back. It's actually important that Samsung do what it did in order to keep the hype around the latest and greatest gadget going/
That's why Samsung has announced that they will have sold 10 million Galaxy S III phones before the end of July. Samsung took a page out of Apple's book in order to create some of this hype and it has apparently worked. The specification and design was closely guarded before the launch event and it went on sale just a couple of weeks after the event.
However, it only just went on sale in the US last week and there are plenty of customers there who want to get their hands on this device. But, it is nearing the rumored time for the iPhone release, the device thought to be the only challenger to the Galaxy S III. While Samsung may have the head start, it's going to be quite the battle for the top mobile spot.
Gizmodo Australia have what they believe in their hands, the training material for the upcoming Google Nexus tablet. They think it'll be a 7-inch beast built by ASUS and should debut at this week's Google I/O conference. The specs:
- 7-inch 1280×800 IPS Display
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (not confirmed to be 5.0 just yet)
- 1.3GHz Quad-Core Tegra 3 CPU
- NVIDIA GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB / 16GB Internal Storage
- 1.2MP Front Camera
- 8 Hours Battery Life
- Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
The material does say that the tablet will arrive in Australia next month, so if the rumors are true, we should expect it to launch in the very, very near future across the world. I'd like to know if there's going to be a 10-inch model to compete with Apple's iPad, or do Google think there's more sales in the 7-inch model?
It was only back at CES 2012 in January that Sony were talking about Google TV-powered hardware jumping the pond to Europe and making their splash on the market and we're already here and now it's official.
Partnering up with Google, we see the companies announcing pre-orders for the $200/£200/$199 NSZ-GS7, which is an internet-streaming set-top box that will arrive in the US and UK with a current shipping date of July 9, but should hit shores on July 22 according to Sony. Later this year the same unit will launch in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico and the Netherlands.
The second product Sony have is the NSZ-GP9 which sports a built-in Blu-ray player and will drop in October at a price of £280/€300/$299. Those based in the UK can expect some localised content for the unit, and we should hear more at this week's Google I/O conference.
It only takes one incident, but that one incident is bad enough, so Samsung are investigating the case of the GALAXY S III that exploded in a user's car, with fears over a potential overheating problem. The user was baed in Dublin, Ireland, where he was driving and noticed a white flame and sparks coming from the S III before it exploded on the dashboard of his car.
The user posted on popular Irish forum Boards.ie, where he said:
The phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to the phone. The phone kept working but without any signal.
After their initial investigation with the handset, Samsung have reported that they found no issue, but will continue to conduct further investigations. The user admits that the fault may have stemmed from the combination of the car mount and the car's heating system. The pictures that the user provided show scorch marks at the bottom of the phone, with the battery seemingly untouched, which may point toward that not being the issue.
Big words have come from Terry Gou, CEO of Foxconn, where he told Focus Taiwan that the upcoming next-generation iPhone will put the Samsung 'GALAXY S III to shame'. He told customers thinking of grabbing the S III to wait for the launch of Apple's new iPhone, but wouldn't go into any details as to what made it worth waiting for.
Gou also used the opportunity to brag about Foxconn's partnership with Sharp for display development and also indicated that he is keep to help Sharp take on Samsung in displays. Foxconn have had a great 2012 so far, where in late-March they had become the largest single shareholder in Sharp, with an investment of $800 million.
Foxconn also invested an additional $800 million in Sharp's new tenth-generation LCD plant that's based in Japan, which is said to be the only plant in the world capable of producing 60- and 80-inch LCD panels. They've also secured an exclusive deal with Corning on the use of the company's Gorilla Glass in the production of the new LCD panels.
We've all seen the leaked iPhone 5 shots, and I'm willing to put money on the fact that we won't know the actual, final design until days before it officially launches. The latest shots show off white-colored rendered images based on the latest leaks and rumors of the iPhone 5.
It does look nice, but remember these are rendered images and nothing concrete. The other thing is, is the new iPhone design (even as a render) enough to pull in the huge numbers Apple need to continue staying [nearly] on top?
I do like the look of these rendered images, but I think the old iPhone look needs a change. Let's hope the next iPhone is as revolutionary as the first-generation iPhone was, we need something truly exciting from Apple this time around.
HTC is pulling out of Brazil completely and stopping all sales of phones in the country. This is bad news if you are an Android fan and live in Brazil. The spokesperson for HTC said that the company is "completely shutting down their operations in Brazil." They have promised to continue supporting current customers.
"After analyzing the sales numbers, we have decided to pull out of the Brazillian market," said an HTC public representative in Brazil to AndroidPIT. It's not exactly clear why the decision was made as Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world and has recently passed Germany and France in the number of smartphone owners.
It's possible that the country's high tariffs on technology imports are the cause of this. After all, Apple managed to convince Foxconn to build a factory in Brazil so that they could continue to sell iPhones and iPads at a reasonable price in Brazil. It could also be a result of the competition with Samsung and Apple.
Owners of the Droid RAZR and RAZR Maxx on the big red Verizon network could possibly be waking up to a treat tomorrow, if they didn't today. The reason? There phone will have downloaded an update to Android 4.0. As with all roll-outs, it will gradually work its way to more and more phones bringing the same kind of happiness someone gets when eating actual ice cream.
The update brings with it a lot more than just Android 4.0. Verizon details what some of those features are:
Ice Cream Sandwich features upgraded functionality and new features, such as Face Unlock. By looking directly at the screen, the smartphone recognizes its owner and automatically unlocks the device. It also includes Direct Access Lock Screen, which allows you to easily open camera, text messages, and dialer from the lock screen.
Furthermore, the update will allow the Droid to get international data and voice services, when subscribed to an international plan. Verizon has also updated some of its apps and is providing those with the update. These apps include Backup Assistant Plus, SMARTACTIONS, Newer versions of Google Mobile Services Applications with Enhanced Features, Video Calling Portal, and Verizon Apps Store.
Looking for a new tablet to compete with the iPad's Retina display? Well, this may be just the thing for you. Finally, Android tablets with higher DPI are starting to show up from companies around the world. Today, we see that the new Acer Iconia Tab A700 is now available and on sale for only $449.99.
The new (updated?) tablet spreads a resolution of 1920x1080 across a 10.1" panel. While that's not quite as good as the iPad at 2048x1536 across a 9.7" panel, it certainly is much closer than the previous competition. At this higher DPI, text should be sharper and graphics should be better looking and free from jagged edges.
The Iconia tablet is almost identical to the cheaper A500 tablet, save for the screen. The tablet features a 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 32GB of SSD, Bluetooth, dual cameras (with 1- and 5-megapixel resolutions, front, rear), and several ports, including Micro-USB 2.0, Micro HDMI, and 3.5-mm audio jacks. The tablet weighs in at 1.47 lbs and measures 0.43" thick, making it a bit thicker than the iPad, but essentially the same weight.
It is listed for sale in Acer's own online store.