Have an iPhone 4? Want some of that hawt NFC action? If your bank provides smaller credit cards with NFC chips, you can add one to your iPhone 4 right now. All you have to do is remove the back cover of your iPhone 4, position the card behind the battery and you're all systems go. The glass backer is said to be thin enough for credit card terminals and the source says that they've had success scanning it with thick cases.
So if you'd like to get your NFC on (why is it when I type NFC, I automatically type KFC and have to re-type it... nicely played, NFC) then do so at your own peril. If you do the NFC upgrade, please let me know how you went!
On Friday, Google confirmed its plans and optimized its search page for tablets. Both iPads and Android-based tablets will now see a much more streamlined, simpler results page with larger, more touch-friendly interface elements. The tweaked search page brings larger, faster-loading images as well as continuous scroll to take advantage of the tablet format.
The new tablet-optimized search will work in both landscape and portrait modes, available to 36 languages and should roll out over the next couple of days. Right now every iPad user will see it, but Android support requires Android 3.1 or later and will lock out 3.0 users as well as early Android 2.x tablets.
Fancy the super popular Samsung Galaxy S II in all white attire? Latest word has it that it's scheduled for launch on August 15 in Europe, with several stores there already having listed it at around £499 ($816'ish USD).
The white Galaxy S II is otherwise identical with its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus (800x480) screen, 1.2GHz dual-core ARM processor, 1GB of RAM and rear 8MP camera.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is yet to even see the Galaxy S II but it's finally looking like it will be coming very soon.
Dell's biggest tablet yet, the 10-inch Streak 10 Pro is almost ready for shipping with it initally running through channels in China. A Chinese website has managed to get their hands on a sample to confirm the specs and get a nice happy snap of it sitting next to its smaller 7 and 5-inch brothers.
The Streak 10 Pro, like the Streak 7 runs Android Honeycomb while its 10-inch display has a resolution of 1280x800 and uses highly durable Gorilla Glass. Packed inside is a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC (System on a Chip), 1GB of DDR2 memory, the option for 16, 32 or 64GB of flash storage, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 as well as two webcams; a 5MP rear-facing and 2MP frontal.
To give us an idea on pricing, as the Streak 10 Pro has been officially launched in China, it starts at 2,999 yuan (around $465 USD).
It is said that Dell's new 10-inch tablet might not make it to the U.S. until next year.
Acer's 7-inch Honeycomb tablet has been talked about for a while now, but there's finally light at the end of the tunnel for the 7-inch tablet. According to an email sent out to Acer retail parters today, the Iconia Tab A100 should find its way to store shelves in early August for a suggested price tag of just $300. The Tegra 2-powered 7-inch tablet should be a great edition to the Honeycomb tablet market when it launches as its one of the first 7-inch Honeycomb-based tablets out when the rest like the Iconia, Transformer and Galaxy Tab are all 10.1-inch models.
Samsung should be quite proud to be the strongest competition in the smartphone market against the fruit-logo juggernaut, Apple. Samsung have a goal of 10 million Galaxy S II sales before years end and at the rate they're going they should surpass this without a problem. It was only 7 weeks ago that I reported they had sold an impressive three million in 55 days.
President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business, JK Shin, has said:
In just a few months the Galaxy S II has led the way in driving Samsung's unmatched performance in the smartphone industry. Since being launched into the retail market in late April, the Galaxy S II has seen tremendous growth. This reflects the strong support from carrier partners globally, who in choosing the Galaxy S II as their flagship device have reaffirmed the device's status as a premium, market-defining Smartphone.
In a surprise move, Pegatron has been awarded a new contract to build Apple's upcoming next-generation iPad, Taiwan Economic News reports. According to the report, Pegatron underbid Hon Hai for a new contract to manufacture the iPad 3 which is touted to be available some time near the Thanksgiving holiday according to earlier reports. Hon Hai, owner of infamous Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, currently manufacturers Apple's current-gen iPad 2 as well as other Apple-related products.
Pegatron it seems, is working hard to increase its production share of Apple devices, but the luck doesn't stop with just the iPad 3 contract. Pegatron have also won an order from Apple to manufacture a total of 15 million iPhone 5 handsets. Apple may be changing things around with manufacturers for their devices, but component suppliers are staying the same. TPK Holdings will still supply touch panels, Simplo Technology and Dynapack International Technology supply batteries, Largan Precision will supply camera lenses and finally Foxconn Technology will throw in some outer casings.
The latest iteration of Microsoft's Windows Phone update 'Mango' has reached the hands of developers in the form of a beta and includes the highly anticipated Twitter integration. The integration if present in the me tile, picture and browser sharing and the people hub. The notification section in the me tile has changed and now shows you alerts when you get a mention on Twitter or an @ reply to you.
The people hub has a fresh coat of paint, with Twitter feeds and the @ replies will be visible directly from the people hub. Microsoft have also built in a filter to the People Hub that allows people to filter out feeds from Facebook, Windows Live and Twitter. The setup process for Twitter in Windows Phone Mango is reported to be simple and quick. Microsoft presents the user with a Twitter page to allow users to simply authorize Windows Live to interact with your Twitter account.
After that, Tweeted messages appear "Via WindowsLive" which links to windowsphone.com and images are uploaded and shared via Microsoft's SkyDrive site.
Following repeated rumours recently that point towards an early September release date for Apple's iPhone 5, another has popped up this week that reiterates the period of launch, specifically indicating the second week of September.
This ties in with another rumour that Apple has a late August event planned ahead of the launch itself, giving the company about two weeks lead time to ensure all goes smoothly.
A seperate tip mentioned in the China Times claims that the iPad 3 is still on track for launch sometime this fall, but has been pushed back to Thanksgiving in November due to a parts shortage. But it's hard to put much trust in this when looking at recent launch patterns (Apple usually avoids launches later than October in a given year) and also since Steve Jobs has pushed the point already of 2011 being the "year of the iPad 2" when it was launched.
It's been said that Apple is apparently producing four million iPhone 5 units in its first batch to support the initial launch in what is now looking to be more and more like early to mid September.
Smartphones are set to hit 420 million units sold this year, with a big chunk of the increased market share estimates going to players like Samsung and HTC with big increases, with Apple only expected to see a 20-percent increase in market share. IMSResearch says:
Of the traditional handset manufacturers, Samsung has demonstrated the best results in recent years. Capitalizing on its diverse portfolio - which includes devices using the company's own bada operating system along with Android and Windows Mobile - as well as its highly popular Galaxy series, Samsung smartphone market share increased from about three percent in 1Q 2010 to over 13 percent in 1Q 2011. At the same time smaller, dedicated smartphone vendors such as HTC have seen their position rise dramatically.
As you can see from the above chart, Nokia are dropping from a whopping 40-percent down to a paltry 24-percent, Apple only increase from 16 to 19-percent, where Samsung have climbed up the ladder considerably from 3-percent up to an amazing 13-percent. LG have done well, increasing from 1 to 4-percent.
ASUS posted on their Twitter account that their super-sexy ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will receive Android Honeycomb 3.2 tomorrow, July 28. The new update will bring several features such as more customization options, zooming within apps and media syncing with an SD card. This will be the second update to the Transformer in 30 days. This is the last update before we see Ice Cream Sandwich arrive.
Kingston's funky Wi-Drive wireless portable SSD has started hitting stores in good quantities this week, including the likes of Amazon, Newegg, Fry's and J&R. It is available in two sizes; 16 and 32GB, costing around $130 and $175, respectively.
If you missed previous news on this unique, handy storage device which we first spotted and got some hands-on time with at Computex last month, it's designed to give your Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch more storage space in a nice compact footprint (measurements of 121.5 x 61.8 x 9.8mm).
The Wi-Drive has a mini USB connector along with built-in 802.11g/n WiFi support. Its battery life is said to be up to four hours and it can stream to multiple iDevices simultaneously.
An update by Terry Myerson over at the Windows Blog today lets us know that Microsoft's latest version of the Windows Phone operating system, "Mango", has reached RTM (release to manufacturing) status.
With the RTM build now provided to handset and mobile operator partners, the Windows Phone development team is now working on the Mango update process for current Windows Phone handsets, which is said to be ready sometime this fall. All new Windows phones as of that time will of course come pre-installed with Mango.
Verizon Wireless announced on Tuesday that it is set to offer Samsung's 4G LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Thursday, July 28th. The new 4G LTE model will come in both 16GB and 32GB models and will have pricing of $529 and $629, respectively. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 hardware remains unchanged, sporting a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi, a 10.1-inch 1280x800 resolution display, 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera which can be used for video chat.
Customers will have the option of various Verizon data plans starting at $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10GB. For the full press release, check out the source.
ASUS missed their May ship date obviously, but we now know that the upcoming QWERTY-sporting ASUS Eee Pad Slider has made its way through the FCC. ASUS have confirmed an August availability date for the UK but it is unknown if it'll get an August release anywhere else in the world just yet. The delay might help stock levels and it may also help the issues ASUS had with supplying hungry customers with the taste of new technology if they can build up enough stock between now and launch.
Apple are active with iOS updates recently with another one just hitting iTunes for iPhone, iPad and iPod's.
As you can see from the details in the update below, this is just a small update which patches a security vulnerability with certificate validation.
iOS 4.3.5 Software Update
Fixes a security vulnerability with certificate validation.
Products compatible with this software update:
iPhone 4 (GSM model)
iPod touch (4th generation)
iPod touch (3rd generation)
Plug in your iDevice and get updating now!
There are already a few Android 3D-enabled smartphones on the market such as HTC EVO 3D and the Optimus 3D, but Samsung could be looking at being the new kid on the block with a 4.3-inch, glasses-free 3D smartphone in the form of the Samsung Galaxy 3D. It would sport a glasses-free 3D LCD (not Super AMOLED Plus), 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor, dual 8-megapixel camera for 3D and 3D image as well as video capture, HDMI-out and will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
This puts it in line with the current powerhouse smartphone from Samsung, the Galaxy S II, but with a naked-eye 3D display. If this is true, it would truly be the king of phones.
Hitachi has made available details of a new mobile device display its been working on which could pave way for some very impressively spec'd smart phones in the future to come.
The display is an IPS LCD panel, 4.5-inch in size and features a native 720p (1280x720) resolution. The coolest feature of the display, however, is the incorporation of a new 'stacked lens' system that allows for high brightness glasses-free 3D viewing.
The panel has a brightness of 400 cd/m2 in 2D mode and is capable of an impressive 470 cd/m2 with 3D content which should give it the edge in producing a better 3D experience in the mobile phone space over what else is currently available on the market.
There is no word yet as to which products/companies Hitachi is working with to incorporate the new display.
Viber launched on the iPhone quite a while ago now and now Android users are getting the sweet taste of free calls and text messages to anyone, anywhere in the world. It uses your existing contact list and can tell you who is on Viber already which allows free Viber-to-Viber calls as well as text messaging. Viber does not require a PIN, username or any sign-up apart from the installation of the app on your phone itself.
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Apple have just posted their third quarter results, giving them an all-time record revenue and earnings. Apple saw a quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion and record quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion or $7.79 per diluted share. To compare to the same quarter of last year, revenue was at $15.70 billion, net quarterly profits say at $3.25 billion or $3.51 per diluted share. International sales make up 62-percent of the quarter's revenue.
Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter which is a 142-percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. iPads flew out the doors with 9.25 million sold during the quarter resulting in a 183-percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. 3.95 million Macs were sold which was a 14-percent increase over last year and 7.54 million iPods were sold which actually resulted in a 20-percent decline from the year-ago quarter.