For the five official Apple stores in China, there are currently big queues in anticipation for tomorrow's launch of the iPhone 4S. The two stores in Beijing, and three in Shanghai, are already experiencing line-ups of over several hundred meters, with reports of hundreds of queuers at each store.
Most stores have a ticketing system which stops queue-jumpers, but it won't stop people from purchasing an iPhone 4S handset and scalping it for profit. Steven Millward received an SMS this morning from China Unicom, who is Apple's official partner for the iPhone in China, which reminded him that the iPhone 4S goes on sale online on Unicom's own site at 12:01am on Friday morning.
Outside queueing will be quite harsh, 3-degrees celcius outside tonight in Shanghai, and most likely less in Beijing. Those who are lining up most likely want Apple's unlocked device (16GB model for 4988 RMB; 32GB for 5888; and 64GB is 6788) and might not want to be weighed down with one-, two-, or three-year contracts with Unicom. Last week, China Unicom offered the iPhone 4S for free on two-, and three-year contracts.
CES 2012 - For any respectable company to overlook the potential of the iPad and iPhone market, it's just silly, as there are literally tons of users out there. Cooler Master jumped on board and is offering various stands for both notebooks and tablets. In this image you will see the ARC holding the MAC notebook, the JAS and L Stand behind it, and an un-named simpler design in the back. These aluminum units will only be available in silver to go along with the Apple products and offer grey rubber padding to keep from damaging your devices.
Next in line is the Wave Stand which is geared for iPads. This is a fold able unit that allows for easy stashing in a bag while on the go. Once you are at a table or any flat surface, you pull out the Wave, and unfold the middle of it to allow you to rest the iPad on it for easier use of the device. Again this unit is all aluminum, but has grip with the large black rubber pas that support the iPad on the legs as well as the pad that rests against the back of the device. The nice feature with this device is that it isn't solely intended to the Apple crowd, but will work with any tablet on the market...
CES 2012 - There once was a day when phones shipped with a wall charger that was USB with a plug on the end, and car chargers were all sold separately, and were specific for each device. Here CM is offering a single USB and dual USB charging solution that derives it power from the cigarette lighter of any vehicle. Just plug in either of the Car chargers while you are traveling and keep those batteries topped off so you don't kill the battery at the worst time possible.
Also on the table is a pair of Power Fort chargers for mobile devices. Both the 5600mA and the 6600mA on the go chargers are themselves charge up via USB. Once the unit it at a full change you can simply unplug it and throw it in your backpack, laptop bag, or for the ladies, in your purse. These are designed to be used out and about when you mobile device is losing its charge. If I remember the numbers correctly, with the 6600mA version, when fully charged it will recharge up to three tablets or five phones.
This is a great companion for those constantly on the go, or even offers a few days worth of charges for those who may be in a primitive environment with no available power, such as camping, or at tens of thousands of feet over the earth.
Macotakara, a Japanese blog, reports that Apple's contract manufacturers, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron Technology, have both been issued orders to start assembly of next-generation iPads, set for an early-March launch. This comes after reports from an iLounge story where editor Jeremy Horwitz said he had hands-on experience with a next-gen iPad prototype.
The new iPad's body is so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1mm increase will barely be perceptible to users. We've heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2's back. [...] Switch, button, speaker, and other elements located on the side edges are all the same, as are the headphone and Dock Connector ports. In other words, last year's accessories should generally work properly with the new model, which is great.
CES 2012: Dell have plans to launch their first consumer tablet late this year, where it will face not only strong competition, but will go head-to-head with releases between now and then, too. With Apple and Samsung playing the David and Goliath battle in the consumer tablet market, how can Dell do something different to make customers not just want, but need their tablet.
Dell have had a successful lead in the boxed PC/notebook build-to-order market, but even now, they face slim profits and a market that doesn't quite want desktops or notebooks, as much, anymore. The enterprise-focused Streak tablet from Dell was just a test, and now they want some of that consumer tablet pie.
Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Felice, said at CES this week:
We have been taking our time. The general failure of everyone that's tried to introduce a tablet outside of Apple. You will see us enter this market in a bigger way toward the end of the year. So we are not really deemphasizing it, we are really being very careful how we enter it. When you are talking about PC, people are more focused on the hardware itself. When you are talking about the tablet or the smartphone, people are interested in the overall environment its operating in. As we have matured in this, we are spending a lot more time in the overall ecosystem.
CES 2012: Intel and mobiles have never really gone together like... peanut butter and jelly (for you Americans) and vegemite on toast (for you Australians), but this year, marks a very big change for the chip developer. During Intel's keynote presentation at CES, Liu Jun, president of Lenovo's mobile Internet division, announced the Lenovo K800 smartphone built on Intel's "Medfield" Atom platform.
The K800 sports a 4.5-inch 720p screen, HSPA+ support, runs Android 4.0 and will be available in China in Q2 of 2012. Inside, the processor is the Intel Atom Z2460 with 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity on the China Unicom network from Intel's XMM 6260 chipset. Lenovo also showed off its IdeaPad K2110, a 10-inch Android 4.0-based tablet, powered again, by Intel's Medfield.
The Medfield goodness didn't stop though, Motorola Mobility CEO, Sanjay Jha announced that Motorola and Intel had entered into a "multiyear, multidevice strategic partnership," with Motorola's first Atom-powered phones to ship in the second half of this year.
CES 2012: America's first 16-megapixel cameraphone is here, folks. HTC's Titan II is a heavyweight against other phones, sporting a 4.7-inch screen and 1.5GHz processor. The 16-megapixel camera is capable of taking 4640x3840 (!) photos, as well as built-in support for AT&T's 4G LTE network.
It measures in at 5.2 x 2.7 x 0.4-inches, is a little shorter, and wider, than Samsung's Galaxy Nexus. The downside to this phone is its somewhat low resolution screen: just 800x480. Titan II sports Microsoft's Windows Phone Mango OS, and processor wise, while it may be a 1.5GHz chip, it's only a single-core. The chip is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S2.
It seems all of the work went into its camera, and LTE capabilities. PC Mag had some hands-on time with the Titan II and said while the phone has a 16-megapixel camera, it doesn't mean the pictures are all high quality. Filling out the specs is HSPA+ back up to its LTE connection, the standard Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, 16GB storage (no memory card slot!), and a 1730 mAh battery. AT&T and HTC did not announce a price or release date for the 16-megapixel-packing Titan II.
ASUS are rolling out their eagerly-awaited Transformer Prime update, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). This is actually 48 hours earlier than previously known, with a few sites and people already updated to the new OS, the first impressions of it seem to be that the Prime is vastly-improved with ICS, especially with web browsing.
Sites that usually took 10-20 seconds, now reportedly take around 6 seconds. A very nice, and free, improvement. Another nice UI update that comes with ICS is the Roboto font scheme Google have introduced. Swipe-to-dismiss notifications are now baked in, which is much better than trying to squeeze your finger down to a smaller pin size to hit that 'x' next to the notification you want to dismiss.
But, it feels like a bit of a sour update. Considering ASUS teased the super-Transformer yesterday in the form of the TF700T Transformer Prime that sports the 1920x1200 display and is overall, much better - the OTA update feels... stale. But, you can't complain about getting something for free. If you've got a Transformer Prime and haven't updated to ICS, you should really do so. Once you're done, let us know how you go. I'm interested on your thoughts between Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, which one tastes better?
CES 2012: Not only has AT&T announced multiple 4G LTE devices in the form of the Sony Xperia ion, Samsung Galaxy Note and budget-friendly Pantech Burst and Pantech Element, but the diamond in the rough there is the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD.
The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD is a follow-up to the current AT&T Galaxy S II variant, but instead of sporting the 4.52-inch display, it'll rock along with a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with a 1280x720 resolution. It'll be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and have Android 2.3 baked in.
A removable battery is included, as well as LTE support all stuffed into a 9.27mm thin chassis. No more details are available on the device, but the specs announced are sure enough to get people talking. I can't wait to see how that 4.65-inch display looks, personally. As usual, pricing and launch dates are not yet available.
CES 2012: Razer are a hardware PC gaming orientated company and are constantly living life on the edge by releasing new product after new product. At CES, they unveiled Project Fiona. It is handheld PC gaming, made by Razer. The possibly future of portable PC gaming.
Project Fiona is a proof-of-concept design shown off at CES as part of Razer's strategy to stand out from the crowd of been-there-seen-that smartphones and tablets. Last year they unveiled the Razer Switchblade and now, Project Fiona. Switchblade never really made it to the market, but elements of the technology were baked into Razer's Blade gaming laptop.
Razer's Project Fiona may just be a proof-of-concept, but Razer CEO and creative director, Min-Liang Tan has said that they plan on shipping an actual project by the end of the year, and what will be sold as an actual product, will differ to just shipping a tablet PC with handlebars. Min-Liang Tan said to Kotaku, "I love my iPad," as he explained Project Fiona to them. He went on to say:
It's great for Words with Friends or Plants Vs. Zombies, but it's pretty much only good for casual gaming. You get a high score, you blast it out to your friends and say 'Hey, can you beat my Bejeweled score?' That's tablet gaming.
CES 2012: Nokia have just announced the first Nokia smartphone specifically for the U.S. features LTE, a large display and exclusive applications. Nokia and AT&T both announced the Nokia Lumia 900, which is the first Nokia Windows Phone-based smartphone that sports high-speed LTE connectivity.
The Lumia 900 features a very nice 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack Display for "rich, bright images both indoor and out", faster connection speeds thanks to 4G LTE technology, and a long-lasting 1830 mAh battery. Lumia 900 sports Nokia's exclusive Carl Zeiss optics, featuring a large aperture (F2.2) and wide-angle focal length (28mm) for high-quality, uncropped images, even in low-light conditions.
Chris Weber, president of Nokia Americas said:
The introduction of the Nokia Lumia 900 with AT&T is another significant milestone in the ongoing rollout of Nokia's global smartphone strategy. The Nokia Lumia 900 is designed specifically with the US in mind and the announcement of this collaboration with AT&T, in addition to other recent announcements, signifies a new dawn for Nokia in the US.
CES 2012: The original ASUS Transformer Prime has barely gotten into the hands of many users, and if you were still in the market for one, this news will make you want to wait. ASUS showed off a brand new Prime, with some drool-worthy specs.
Transformer Prime (TF700T) is the model, and it still sports the usual NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip (1.3GHz quad-core Cortex A9), a 10.1-inch display with an insane 1920x1200 resolution, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing cam, support for 1080p playback, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a micro-HDMI port, microSD card reader, a 25WHr Lithium-Polymer battery and weighs in at just over one pound.
It'll rock some of that sweet Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.1) instead of being released with Honeycomb ala original Transformer Prime and will be compatible with the same keyboard dock that the current Prime uses. ASUS is aiming at retail pricing of $599 and $699 for the 32 and 64GB models, respectively.
CES 2012: Just when we thought NVIDIA's Tegra 3 was all fleshed out and even after a conference call with the company, so did I. But, NVIDIA have just unveiled at CES, "DirectTouch". DirectTouch is a Tegra 3-exclusive technology that uses the fifth companion core to improve touch detection.
What does NVIDIA's DirectTouch do exactly? Well, apps that use DirectTouch will be able to have much higher touch responsiveness, and a more streamlined experience on the Tegra 3-based devices. What I find weird is that only NVIDIA are doing this.
What does this mean for non NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered devices? Well, they'll still have a little bit of lag. I think the DirectTouch technology is something we'd need to have a hands-on and not just an eyes-on, although a video demo will be nice.
CES 2012 - This is something that is sure to brush up some feathers over at the Apple camp, where NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and ASUS Chairman Jerry Shen took the stage of CES at the same time and teased a 7-inch ASUS tablet.
It was powered by NVIDIA's SoC, Tegra 3, and sported Google's latest Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). But, that's not the best bit. The best part of the tease is it will be sold for just $249. That is an insane price for what you'd be getting in this tablet.
This is the same price as the much less-specced Nook Tablet, which is a great starting point. It's an ASUS-branded product, powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3, 7-inch screen and sports Android 4.0, oh and it's $249. That's enough to get excited about, for sure. From what Engadget were able to see, it seems to be the Eee Pad MeMO ME370T.
On top of those specs, it will be a WiFi-only model, and sports an 8-megapixel camera.
CES 2012: Intel did warn us of next-gen netbooks, and well, here we are. CES is a great time to launch products and every man, and his dog knows this. Gigabyte, too. Gigabyte haven't given too many details on their two new 10-inch slates, which both sport unspecified variants of Intel's Cedar Trail. Not only were specs hush-hush, but so too were launch dates and pricing.
Details that are known are the T1006M is a convertible tablet that features a 1366x768 resolution display, a USB 3.0 port, and what looks like a 3.5G modem. The S1081 on the other hand, is a normal Windows 7 business slate, and includes the choice between HDD and SSD storage, an optical trackpad for extra "precision", USB 3.0, VGA and HDMI outputs, plus the same optional multimedia dock.
These puppies should hit the CES floor and will be judged over and over. Also heading to the U.S. market that were announced by Gigabyte are the Booktop T1132, Booktop M2432 and P2532 gaming notebook.
CES 2012: In a world of NVIDIA Tegra 3, Transformer Prime and quad-core tablet goodness, Lenovo have steered away from that and unveiled a new 10-inch tablet based on Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) OS.
The IdeaTab S2 sports a 10-inch screen, Android 4.0, a Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core 8X60A or 8960, 1280x800 LED-backlit IPS display, 3G with call support, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, SSD of up to 64GB, HDMI Micro connection, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing cam, 5-megapixel with auto-focus rear-facing camera all weighing in at just 1.27-pounds (580 grams) and at 0.34-inch (8.69mm) thick.
Battery life on the IdeaTab S2 can hit up to 9 hours, and using the keyboard dock provides another 9 hours as well as two USB 2.0 ports, a multitouch trackpad and an SDHC card reader. At the moment, as with most things announced at CES, no word on pricing or availability yet.
This is something new for me, I've never heard of it before and wow does it sound interesting. Tobii, have introduced eye-tracking technology called "Gaze", where you can control Windows 8 with your... eyes. Yes, the eyes you're reading this text with, can control the next-generation OS from Microsoft. The project is a result of research conducted in 2001 at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology.
Gizmodo tried it out and they seem to have nothing but great words to say about it, and it makes me just as excited to read about it and imagine the possibilities. Gaze's eye control device, which is said to look like a "horizontal rectangle glass obelisk attached to the hinge of a laptop", is incredibly accurate.
Just like smartphones, Gaze requires some personal calibration before you can use it and some unique finger movements. Gaze is said to be very accurate, never missing the target by more than a "few pixels". On top of the eye tracking, swipe gestures are also available through Windows 8 and Gaze. Included at the demo was an Asteroids-like game with Tobii's Gaze and everything that was impressive about Tobii before, was just as impressive in Asteroids, according to Gizmodo.
CES 2012: Parrot have just flown into CES 2012 with an upgraded AR.Drone 2.0 and while flying around the Las Vegas Convention Center, they've let out some information and specs on their next-gen AR.Drone.
AR.Drone 2.0 features an upgraded 720p HD video-recording camera, a revamped app with updated flight controls and features, as well as revised hardware and reinforced hulls. The smartphone-controlled UAV is definitely flying into next-gen territory and I want one, quite bad. Parrot have also included some other tweaks to the AR.Drone 2.0.
Included new features allow easier control, on top of its usual sensors, AR.Drone 2.0 sports a 3D magnetometer which allows it to auto-orient based on its front camera and the position of the smartphone you're using. Additionally, Parrot have added a "pressure sensor" which allows the unit to fly higher than the previous models, up to six meters. Even though Parrot have baked in these new features into the AR.Drone 2.0, it is said to maintain the same flying time as its older brother.
AR.Drone 2.0 flies into your hands in "Q2 of this year" and should hit the same $300 price point, too.
Samsung in the last few days have launched a new smartphone, touted as an "affordable" handset, the Galaxy M Style. The Samsung Galaxy M Style is a mid-range smartphone featuring a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and a slim form factor of just 9.9mm.
The Galaxy M Style sports Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1GHz single-core processor, 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB) and sports dual cameras, with a VGA front-facing camera and a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera. It also supports HD (720p) video recording.
The Galaxy M Style is only going to splash onto South Korean shores and will launch in three colors: Platinum Silver, Blue Black, and Lavender Pink. Samsung haven't confirmed whether Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) will come to the handset. Galaxy M Style is priced at just $500, which is significantly less than their flagship ICS-powered Galaxy Nexus handset.
Gorilla Glass is featured on a bunch of smartphones and tablets, and keeps us protected from the harsh environments such as our pockets, the ground, keys, and more. The created of Gorilla Glass have announced that they will be displaying Gorilla Glass 2 technology at CES next week.
Senior vice president of Corning, James Steiner says:
Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs. Corning's latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration.
Full product details will be revealed in an announcement tomorrow and Corning will have live demonstrations of the technology in their booth, as well as an example of Gorilla Glass applied to an 82-inch multitouch LCD, and more. Corning are set to deliver Gorilla Glass to thinner panels, which enable smartphones and other devices to continue to shrink.
DigiTimes have a fresh rumor that we should see the iPad 3 in March, and a fourth-generation iPad 4 in October. DigiTimes still maintains that the iPad 3 will sport the 2048x1536 display and that it should also include longer battery life and otherwise "no... so amazing" specifications.
The iPad 2 could see a price drop to $399 once the iPad 3 arrives and not the $299 which was rumored a few days ago. The iPad 4 is rumored to coincide with the arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets. It should sport a 9.7-inch display, the same as the iPad 2, but should sport "much upgraded hardware specifications and integrated applications."
Apple's iPad is going to get slapped with competition this year, with the Android 4.0-based tablets, Kindle Fire and Windows 8-powered tablets, Apple have never had this much competition before. You know what I think? Bring it on.