Sprint is currently the number 3 wireless carrier in the US and to try and turn this around, they've ordered an astonishing $20 billion worth of next-gen iPhones. Sprint are hoping that the next-gen iPhone is that good, as this is a matter of do-or-die. Currently, Sprint have 52 million subscribers who are mostly pre-paid, but with $20 billion worth of next-gen iPhones, I'd be willing to wager that they want to get those customers off pre-paid and onto contracts.
This move allows Sprint to subsidize the $500 cost of each handset and should give Sprint a running start. 30 million-plus iPhones sure is a lot of iPhones...
Nokia's low-end phones account for 47 percent of the company's device-and-services earnings in the second quarter, so it would make sense that they'd design their own OS for the low-end phone market. The OS codenamed "Meltemi" is meant to cement Nokia's top dog status in emerging markets, where feature phones still remain king. Nokia of course still hopes that Windows Phone will round out a "three-horse race" against Apple with iOS and Google with Android.
Meltemi is a Linux-based operating system, with Meltemi the Greek word for "dry summer winds that blow across the Aegean Sea from the north".
Apple seem to change their mind quicker than most companies, and this news is no different. It looks as though Apple might be working on its own GPU technology which would see an Apple-based GPU that would power more than just desktop systems, but quite possibly any future iteration of their iOS-based devices. It might seem like a stretch, but the smartphone and tablet industry is moving more and more away from CPU-based designs to GPU-based designs.
As we see the industry move away and we have companies like NVIDIA making strides in the market, Apple will obviously want a piece of this pie. Apple would obviously not want to create its own CPU as that is quite the engineering effort, and it would be a copy cat design of another company like Intel, AMD or Arm. Graphics allows innovation in new and unusual ways - plus production can be offloaded to places like TSMC.
We have NVIDIA and AMD fighting in the DirectX corner, but an open graphics platform allows for much more flexibility - if you can be certain of what kind of hardware you're targeting. With Apple, there is no option, so it would be a very fixed/stable environment - this is perfect for introducing a slew of new and unusual features and methodologies in a GPU. It would be very different to anything else on the market, because of Apple's very tight grip of its environment.
Samsung has expanded its Galaxy Tab range with the introduction of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. From the name, you would obviously guess its a 7-inch tablet, but it sports a PLS (Super Plane to Line Switching) display with a 1024 x 600 pixel display, running Android 3.2 Honeycomb and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which is looking to be the Exynos 4120. Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus also sports quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support and tri-band 3G with 21Mbps HSPA as well as two cameras.
First up there's a 2-megapixel, front-facing camera and a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera capable of taking 720p video. We also see 1GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery that is standard on all models. Honeycomb gets Samsung's splash of TouchWiz UI wonder, and size wise we get options of either 16 or 32GB. Both include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS and Bluetooth. The 7-inch tablet is quite small, measuring in at 192.65 x 122.37 x 9.96 mm and weighs in at only 0.76 pounds, or just 12.16 ounces.
JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business chimes in with:
Samsung pioneered the seven-inch tablet market with the launch of the GALAXY Tab, marking an innovation milestone in the mobile industry. Building on the success of the GALAXY Tab, we're now delighted to introduce the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus reloaded with enhanced portability, productivity and a richer multimedia experience.
Amazon has finally unveiled their Android-based tablet, which is now known as the Kindle Fire. The 7-inch, 1024x600 device will feature a heavily customized interface tailored around Amazon's services and starting at a surprisingly low price of just $200. In order to get to the sub $200 price point, Amazon have had to cull a few features from the Kindle Fire such as 3G access, a microphone and front/back cameras. Kindle Fire does however include Wi-Fi and a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which is normally $79 per year.
What that means is, you'll get a taste of Amazon's collection of streaming video content and free or discounted shipping for your purchases at Amazon.com. Not only that, but you'll also gain access to the Android Appstore, Kindle books, magazines, and more - all stored for free through the Amazon Cloud Storage and synced between devices invisibly in the background. Whispersync now works with video content, so you can pick up where you left off in a movie or TV show even after switching devices.
Our Deal of the Day today is the woot.com - Motorola Xoom 32GB Tablet for $349.99 with $5 Shipping.
Offer: Factory refurbished, get one for just $349! While supplies last so hurry while it's still available.
MeeGo lives on! It breathes another day thanks to the Linux Foundation with their announcement that it'll be replaced with Tizen, a Linux-based, open-source OS. Samsung and Intel are collaborating to lead the development of the platform, with the LiMo Foundation - a consortium of companies including Panasonic Mobile Communications, NTT DoCoMo and SK Telecom among others. Tizen is said to support HTML5 and WAC-based apps and will be designed to run across a wide spectrum of devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-car infotainment systems.
The MeeGo project, seems to be on-board with the initiative, promising to "make sure that users of MeeGo can easily transition to Tizen", while assisting Meego developers as well. Tizen is expected in Q1 2012, with the first Tizen-powered devices set to hit the market in the middle of 2012.
Samsung is holding an event on October 11 that could be used as the unveiling for Google's Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS. Not only will Samsung executives be attending, but AllThingsD are reporting that Android chief himself, Andy Rubin, could be making an appearance at the event. The event is taking place in San Diego and features Samsung Mobile's standard "unpacked" name, but notes that it is the "Google Edition".
The obvious conclusion from this would be that we'll see the new version of Android shown off, and with Samsung doing the best in the market out of all Android smartphone makers, this would just make perfect sense. Ice Cream Sandwich is set to unify the phone and tablet versions of Android into a super-powerful, take-on-the-world mobile OS.
Samsung are set to launch their 8.9-inch, Honeycomb-powered tablet on October 2. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is skinnier than the iPad 2 and weighs in at just 470g. It sports an 8.9-inch Gorilla Glass screen, powered with a 1280x800 WXGA display. It also packs an NVIDIA Tegra 250 1GHz dual-core processor, a 3-megapixel front-facing camera, 2-megapixel rear-facing camera and plays back 1080p video while recording in 720p.
Connectivity wise, it has USB, Wi-Fi, HSPA+ (21Mbps) and Bluetooth 3.0. Storage we have 16, 32 or 64GB as well as sporting a microSD slot if you want some extra space. The versions hitting the shelves next week will be the Wi-Fi-only models, $469 and $569 for the 16 and 32GB models respectively. No word on a UK release as of yet, with the US leading the way.
Apple has sent out invitations to the media to attend the iPhone 5 introduction on October 4. All it says is "Let's Talk iPhone", it shows app icons that reflect the date, the 10AM Pacific start time, its location at Apple's 1 Infinite Loop headquarters, and the phone focus. It's presumed, although not official, that the permanent CEO Tim Cook will lead the event. The iPhone 5's design could still go two ways, a total redesign with a larger screen and a thinner body, or the conservative route with an "iPhone 4S"-type model.
But, we should still see a dual-core A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and quite possibly, 64GB of storage and a dual-mode CDMA/GSM chip. We should also see finished version of iOS 5 at the show, with Android-like notification bar and improved lock screen, true independence from a computer and cloud syncing through iCloud and iTunes Match. On top of this, Twitter integration, reminders and an improved camera app.
Windows Phone 7.5 aka Mango has began rolling out to phones across the world. This is just the start and the ramp up of delivery will increase gradually, with Microsoft hoping to make the update to most customers within 4 weeks. Today Microsoft roll Windows Phone 7.5 out to more than 98 percent of existing Windows Phone customers. This is a simultaneous, coordinated, global update that cuts across carriers, phone models and countries.
Mango won't make it to everyone right away and Microsoft are doing this to contain quality issues. Microsoft aren't just delivering a new operating system, but also new software supplied by individual handset makers. This "firmware" is necessary so your phone and apps work with all Mango features. So the update is not just a one-size-fits-all, but a tweaked update to each and every phone.
It's about time. Facebook for iPad is set to launch on October 4 at the iPhone 5 launch event according to Mashable. In addition, Facebook is also expected to launch a revamped version of its iPhone app that may unveil an HTML5-based mobile app marketplace. The Facebook iPad app has been the source of many news bits across the world this year and caused that much stir that even former Facebook engineer Jeff Verkoeyen left Facebook to work at Google partially because Facebook had been sitting on the completed app since May.
Why the delay? This stems from a combination of timing and a strained relationship with Apple. It is no secret that the two companies have been at each others necks previously, with examples such as Facebook pulling the plug on Facebook Connect in Ping because Apple didn't give Facebook any warning about the feature, which took a chunk out of bandwidth on Facebook's side.
The 7.7-inch, Android-powered tablet from Samsung, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 has hit the FCC for approval goodness. It's named the GT-P6810, and has shown off its sexy little tablet behind at the FCC. The version shown below seems to be the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model as there are no mentions of wireless bands. What shores it'll be washing up on is the question, and whether the Apple lawsuits will stop sales of this thing is another worry. But, it's a 7.7-inch tablet, so that should [hopefully] not be an issue.
The Samsung Galaxy S II launched in April and since then have sold 10 million units. It's not near the iPhone numbers which are sitting at 20 million units (oh btw, thats in Q2 alone!) but impressive nonetheless. Five million Galaxy S II units have been sold since July, which is impressive in itself. This means that in eight weeks the Galaxy S II sales have doubled. Keep in mind that the sales haven't even made a dent in the US.
Nice work Samsung, I love the Galaxy S II. It's a beautiful phone.
Word came out just yesterday that Amazon is preparing to hold a press event in New York City on the 28th of September for an unveiling of sorts.
The event will take place at 9am on said date, but it can only be speculated at this time as to what little trick, or tricks they have up their sleeve. The most likely purpose of the unveiling however is to officially introduce its long-awaited "Kindle" (name yet to be confirmed) Android running tablet.
There's been a number of rumours floating around about it for several months now, but we were recently given more of an idea on what to expect when TechCrunch said it managed to get hands on with it. It was said in this report that it will hit shelves in late November at $250US.
Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 8.9 is said to become available sometime today over at Best Buy, but Netbooknews has already managed to get its hands on one in Taiwan for an unboxing video and lookover.
This is the tablet Samsung is claiming to be one of the thinest in the world, measuring only 0.34-inches thick. It runs Android 3.1 Honeycomb, but is set back a bit by a rather disappointing TouchWiz interface that is said to slow down the system quite noticably.
As for the rest of the specs, it uses an 8.9-inch WXGA 1280 x 800 display, dual core 1GHz processor and has 16GB internal storage. There's a 2MP front facing camera, and 3MP autofocus rear facing camera with flash on the rear. 1080p HD video playback is said to be supported with no issues, and the other usual forms of connectivity are in place including 802.11b/g/n WiFi, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 3.0.
Microsoft has announced that Mango, or Windows Phone 7.5 will roll out in the next week or two. Microsoft have said that Mango has been "painstakingly tuned" for every device from every manufacturer so that the update and all the new features work as planned once its pushed out to everyone. Microsoft have not given an exact date of when people can expect to receive Mango, but they will refresh the "Where's My Phone Update?" page to reflect the worldwide rollout status.
The only downside is that Mango won't be pushed to your phone over-the-air, so download the latest version of Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, or if you're on a Windows-based machine, Zune. Mango will also need proper firmware on the device to function as designed, so Microsoft have warned users against installing unofficial or leaked copies of Windows Phone software.
The Kal-El-powered second-generation ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer has not been shy from the news lately and now the benchmarks for the "ASUS Transformer TF201" have floated up from the depths of the unknown and onto the Internet. The results have been taken down, but the magic involved in Google's cache have bought them back to life and they paint a glorious picture. When benched against the Acer Iconia Tab A500, which sports a Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip, the Transformer 2 scores 40.6 fps versus the 17 fps of the A500 in the "Egypt Standard" test in the GLBenchmark site.
Not only that, the "Offscreen 720p test" saw the Transformer 2 score 65 fps versus 21 fps which is not too bad at all. Considering that Kal-El's power consumption is meant to be lower than the Tegra 2, it offers much more performance as well as better battery life.
Kal-El has had a lot of news since it was first announced, but now NVIDIA have said it will not only arrive sometime in Q4, but it will sport a fifth core which is a "companion" core. This is built using a "special low-power silicone process" which works on tasks at a low frequency. NVIDIA calls this approach "variable symmetric multiprocessing" and it basically allows it to use this extra core for handling low overhead tasks such as e-mail syncs, social media syncs, etc.
Each core is an ARM Cortex A9 CPU that is individually enabled and disabled based on the workload or task, but all five can't run at once. The low-power 'companion' core runs at a lower voltage than the other four cores and is only used when the performance state requested by the OS/apps isn't higher than a predetermined threshold. Once the threshold is reached, the low-power core is disabled and the high-performance A9 cores take over, enabling between 1 and 4 cores as needed.
Chinese smartphone maker Meizu is set to launch its most impressive Android phone yet before the month is out which it dubs the MX.
The MX will enter the Chinese market in two versions; a dual-core and a quad-core processor model. The dual-core will include 16GB of built-in storage, whilst the quad-core will have 32GB.
Both models otherwise share the same characteristics with measurements of 121 x 63 x 10 mm and use a 4-inch (960 x 640) touchscreen. Converted pricing comes in at about $469 for the dual-core MX, and $626 for the quad-core.
Google have offered some technical help for those who are looking to get ready for the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich release, which is due later this year. Google's Scott Main has said in a blog post:
Ice Cream Sandwich is coming, and with it, handsets will be able to install apps built on Honeycomb.
Main did not that although Google haven't released the software development kit for the new Android OS, developers can take steps now to help make sure that their Honeycomb apps work on smaller screens. Ice Cream Sandwich is something to get excited about, as it will be a singular OS for both smartphones, tablets, and "everything in-between" with Main being quoted:
Although Honeycomb remains tablets-only, the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) release will support big screens, small screens, and everything in between. This is the way Android will stay from now on: the same version runs on all screen sizes.