The rumor mill likes to spit out whispers of cheaper Google Nexus 7 tablets every now and then. This time the word comes from a member of the supply chain. O-Film Tech, an Asia-based display component maker, has said that it has began shipping parts for the cheaper Google tablets.
Glass-Glass Film, the companies touch screen technology is said to be featured on the cheaper Nexus 7's. This equates to lower production cost and a thinner device which could retail for $99, but not at first.
Speculation is for the tablet to retail initially somewhere in the $129 to $149 range. Rumors that 500,000-600,000 of these cheaper Nexus 7's could ship within the first 3 months are also being overheard. ASUS which manufacturers the Nexus 7 for google, is also rumored to be developing an afordable tablet as well which might make an appearance at CES.
Information Week are reporting that the new energy-efficient, Intel-powered, Windows 8-based tablets have been delayed into 2013. PC makers are reportedly have issues building drivers for Intel's dual-core Clover Trail Atom Z2760 processor.
The new Clover Trail-based processor is set to enter the tablet battlefield against the iPad and high-end Android tablets, where it will compete on both performance and battery life. The delays are pushing multiple companies' tablets back, such as Dell's Latitude 10, HP's Envy x2, ASUS' VivoTab Smart and Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2.
The only Atom Z2760-based tablets hitting the market at the moment is Samsung's ATIV Smart PC and Acer's Iconia W510. Cindy Shaw, from research firm DISCERN, have said that this could really hurt PC makers, especially those in enterprise sales, where she continues:
HP and Dell are conceding they've given up on the consumer, so missing the holiday season is not that big of a deal. They're not missing that magical time of the year,"� the analysts said. "But the longer it takes for businesses to get their hands on evaluation units, the longer it's going to take to translate into enterprise sales.
Nokia and Microsoft have pushed out an over-the-air (OTA) update to AT&T Lumia 920s and 820s. The new update is a pretty important OTA update, with the companies saying that it will help Bluetooth reliability and connectivity, bolster Nokia Messaging, improve start-up performance, and update battery management.
Currently, you'll have to be on AT&T or Canadian's Rogers to get the update, though Nokia insists that they are "working with our operator partners in all regions to ensure the highest quality experience in every market." They add that they are "working closely with Microsoft...to deliver these updates to other markets in early February 2013."
So, if you have a Lumia 920 or 820 on another carrier, you have another 2 months, or so, to wait until you get these same improvements. Of course, you're highly encouraged to download the OTA update if you can as the fixes and updates are pretty significant.
The iPad Mini was met with great fanfare when it released back in November, and consumers flocked to the stores to secure one for themselves. One major disappointment was the lack of a retina display being featured on the Mini.
The new device is speculated to feature a Retina display but a release date more than likely not on the near horizon as Apple has not yet completed it's world wide roll-out of the iPad Mini.
Let's play the devil's advocate here and speculate that the next iPad Mini with Retina display will launch in March, would you purchase one even though your first gen Mini is less than six months old? Let us know in the comments.
Nokia aren't doing huge things in the market these days, and while they've launched their latest Lumia devices, they aren't touching the sales of the iPhone or Galaxy devices. This latest rumor is sparking some interest, where the talk is that the company have entered into an agreement with ODM Compal, Microsoft and Qualcomm for a 10-inch tablet.
This 10-inch slate would run Windows RT and would be exposed to the world at Mobile World Congress in February next year. The above image shows off a mockup that Nokia Lumia Tabs showed off in 2011, and there have been reports from DigiTimes that Nokia wanted to release a 10-inch tablet this year, but had to push these plans into 2013 because of Microsoft's Surface RT slate.
With Qualcomm being involved, we should expect the Snapdragon S4 Pro to be the SoC of choice in the Nokia 10-inch tablet, which should give it some powerhouse performance. If Nokia can make it look great, perform well, and most of all - price it very, very competitively, Nokia could be back in the game in no time. If Nokia were to release it at, let's say, $399, it would be a huge contendor to the iPad and Nexus 10.
Samsung have just unveiled their Galaxy Grand smartphone, which sports a 5-inch WVGA 480x800 resolution screen and 186ppi pixel density. Not the highest of resolutions, but it does stick to the nice design of the Galaxy S III, with a removable cover so that you can access the battery.
The rest of the specs aren't too bad, but they're toned down from the S III, so we have a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage which is expandable through a microSD card slot. An 8-megapixel rear-facing camera offering 1080p video recording an a 2-megapixel front-facing camera are both on offer. Connectivity wise, we have Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), Wi-Fi HT40, Bluetooth 4.0 + LE, A-GPS, Glonass and DLNA.
Out of the box the Galaxy Grand has Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and will come in two variants - a single-SIM model, the GT-I9080 and a dual-SIM model, the GT-I9082. The dual-SIM model has the ability of receiving calls on either number, at the same time, and even simultaneously. No details on pricing or availability just yet.
Microsoft believes 88 percent of users like Windows Phone more than their current phones after being shown a device
It looks like one of Microsoft's marketing campaigns may have paid off. Much like their "Smoked by Windows Phone" challenges, their new "Meet your Match" challenge has been designed to increase awareness about Microsoft's underdog mobile operating system. Apparently, it has worked as Microsoft is touting some impressive numbers.
According to Microsoft, 88 percent of more than 75,000 people who competed in the Meet Your Match campaign across the US, UK, France, and Germany felt that the Windows Phone was better than than their current phone. Microsoft says the challenge shows consumers why Windows Phone is "more fun, more useful and more personal than what they're currently using."
I've actually heard from many people that Windows Phone 8 is a pretty great operating system, and that the Live Tiles are really useful. Whether or not the operating system catches on, no matter how good it is, remains to be seen. Can it overtake the behemoth that is Android? Only time will tell.
It has been my experience that ladies love red things on Valentines day. Red roses, red wine, red heart shaped candy,the list goes on and on. The folks at Samsung must know this as well because this coming Valentines Day Samsung will release 3 of it's popular tables in red.
As the old saying goes: "Flowers and candy are temporary, Galaxy Tablets are forever" At least I think that is right... The day before Valentines Day Samsung will release the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Galaxy Tab Note in Red.
While this may sound like the perfect gift for the techie lady in your life the red color scheme will only be available for the 3G/Wi-Fi models (GT-P3100, GT-P5100 and GT-N8000, respectively).
Google's Nexus 4 smartphone is one of the best smartphones on the market, and if you're lucky enough to get one, you treasure it. But, stock has been so up and down lately, and it looks like Google just can't get enough of them into consumers' hands.
Google UK and Ireland Managing Director Dan Cobley took to his Google+ page to explain what has been happening, where he blamed LG on their "scarce and erratic" supplies to Google, admitting that their communication had been flawed. Cobley took it a step further personally offering "an unreserved apology" to Nexus 4 buyers, calling the delays "unacceptable", and he has promised to work "through the nights and weekends" to resolve the issue.
HTC is working on gaining marketshare back after losing most of it to Apple and Samsung. Rumor says that the new Android handset will be released at the upcoming Mobile World Congress, and while it won't come with quite the upgrade the One X did, it will be one of the first 4.7-inch devices with a full HD screen.
The M7, as it is codenamed, will feature a pixel density of 468PPI, which is 40 percent higher than the iPhone 5. It is said to feature a second-gen quad-core Qualcomm processor, clocked at 1.7GHz. 2GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage complement the full HD screen and powerful processor.
The M7 is reported to be coming with a 13MP camera and f/2.0 lens. There are lots of other improvements rumored in the device, and should arrive at Verizon and Sprint.
Another report has come out saying that Amazon is working on a smartphone and is planning its debut for sometime in 2013. The report cites Foxconn as the manufacturer for the new device and says it will be launched between the second and third quarter of 2013. The price per handset is said to be between $100-200.
The report says that 5 million devices could be shipped next year. It's easy to see why the company could ship so many devices, especially if they continue to follow their low-priced hardware marketing ploy. It's not clear what operating system the new device will be running, though I'd place money on Android, if I were a betting man.
Amazon is also said to be developing a new version of the Kindle Fire, which will be released in the third quarter of 2013.
Apple's Siri is an impressive feature and something that used by millions daily, it's integration into Apple Maps was the most impressive feature for me, but when I heard that Siri did not work with Google Maps, I was a bit miffed.
Fortunately the guys over at Jailbreak Nation have found a loophole that allows Siri users to still use Google Maps. The video above lays out the instructions on how to accomplish this once impossible feat.
iPhone users are accustomed to saying "Take me to the nearest Starbucks," and Siri would load up an apple map and proceed to navigate you to the nearest Starbucks. To accomplish the same thing using Google Maps you simply add the words "via transit" on to the end. So you would say "Take me to the nearest Starbucks via transit" which displays transit apps. Simply click the Google Maps button and your route will be displayed.
Apple are finally letting some sale numbers out from China, where the iPhone 5 just launched. Apple's latest smartphone sold two millions units in the first weekend of being on sale.
Apple's Chinese division have reached this number by selling the iPhone 5 through various channels, which CEO Tim Cook says is "setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China". The original iPhone 5 opening weekend saw five million units sold across nine countries, so we can see the Chinese market is definitely one to look to in the future.
But considering just how many more people live in China compared to other countries, is two million all that much? Sure, it has set a new record for the best first weekend in China, but the previous number would've been much smaller so it's not a hard record to break now, is it?
A rumor had shown up a little bit ago saying that Microsoft would be extending its distribution for the Surface line of tablets to third-party retailers. Well, Staples has officially confirmed that they are carrying the Surface RT for $499 with an e-mail advertisement saying so.
The rumor said that Microsoft is expanding the places that the Surface RT is sold because of poor demand for the device. Some estimates say that they have in excess of 2 million tablets still in stock, though Microsoft has not confirmed this. By expanding availability, more people can check out the device, and Microsoft can hopefully move more product.
I have a feeling more stores than just Staples will be carrying the device, though I haven't caught word of which those will be. Meanwhile, if your local Staples is one of the select stores where the Surface RT is available, you can head on down and check it out. Check Staples' website to see in-store availability.
The smartphone industry is huge, but it is dominated by only a few of the top players - Dell, isn't one of them. Dell's head of Consumer Business, Jeff Clarke, has said that the company has no plans to re-enter the smartphone business anytime soon.
Clarke told Forbes during the week at the Dell World conference:
It needs a lot of investments to really be successful.
Clarke also said that Dell are finished with Android for now, and will be moving forward on the Windows 8 front. Clarke added:
It's a content play with Android. Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search. So far we couldn't find a way to build a business on Android.
Rumor is that the next iPad mini will feature a Retina display. DigiTimes is reporting that the next iPad mini update will be mainly focused on increasing its screen resolution. They cite the source as Taiwan-based backlighting industry sources. These same sources also say that the next 9.7-inch iPad will use one LED bar instead of two for the backlighting.
If the iPad mini moves to a Retina display, it would likely feature a 2058 x 1536 screen, which would put it at 326ppi. It will likely see the application of Apple's current Retina display technology as that would be the cheapest for Apple to implement.
The sources also note that the 9.7-inch iPad will be switching to a single LED light bar for backlighting, with the overall effect of the change being a lighter device.
Fans of over-sized phones will be happy to hear that Samsung's Galaxy Note III will come with a huge 6.3" screen. That is almost an entire inch larger than its predecessor, and over an inch larger than the original Galaxy Note.
For comparison, a Nexus 7 tablet is only 0.7 inches larger and the new iPad Mini a mere 1.25 inches larger. Samsung has not released any other specification on the Galaxy Note III but we know that it will sport an Organic Light-Emiting Diode (OLED) display. Moving to an OLED will cut power consumption, improve pixel density, and color vibrancy will be much better.
Full-time employees of Microsoft will have grins on their faces this year, as they have either, or will shortly receive a free Surface tablet. Employees in twelve countries will receive the free tablets.
These countries include France, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Ireland, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Germany and of course, the United States. Microsoft's goal, according to ZDNet, is to get Surface into the hands of their employees before Christmas.
Considering Microsoft's Surface tablet isn't doing so well out in the wild, this won't do much to help them. But, it will give, in the near future, 94,000-or-so employees a chance to show off their Surface tablets at home, at the coffee shop, or at their local train station.
The whole world is waiting on the Galaxy S IV, which should really put a few more dents in the not-so-invincible iPhone 5. We're hearing about bendable, unbreakable screens - but it looks like "flexible screens are still a while off" according to The Verge's sources.
Something else The Verge found out was that the Galaxy S IV won't be unveiled early next year at CES in Las Vegas, nor will it be unveiled at MWC 2013, either. The Galaxy S IV will be unveiled in May with its own event, like the Galaxy S III did this past May.
The Galaxy S IV will be Samsung's biggest release yet, and with all eyes on Apple's biggest competitor - it really does deserve its own launch event for the Galaxy S IV. Could this be why Apple are shaking in their boots and preparing an iPhone 5S, which would break their twelve-month release cycle for the first time ever? Smiles all around here, peeps.
A poll shows that nearly no one wants to buy Microsoft's Windows 8 RT tablet known as the Surface RT. Not only is the pricing too high, by some people's opinions, consumers aren't nearly as educated on the product and its capabilities. A poll conducted by Ipsos for Thomson Reuters last week has the hard numbers.
Only 4 percent of US people interested in buying a tablet were even considering a Surface RT. Compared with 42 percent who were interested in an iPad mini and 16 percent who were looking at a Kindle Fire, you can really see the problem that Microsoft has on its hands. 14 percent were interested in a Samsung Galaxy tablet.
So, if you're interested in a new tablet this holiday season, are you considering the Surface RT or the soon-to-be released Surface Pro? Let us know!
The line between tablet and phone grows ever blurrier as a new rumor emerges that the Samsung Galaxy Note III will come with a massive 6.3-inch OLED screen. The current Note II features a 5.5-inch screen, which was enlarged from the original Note's 5.3-inch screen. Meanwhile, tablet screens have been shrinking, with the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini releases.
The rumor is reportedly from Samsung's suppliers, who cite Samsung's reduction in LCD funding and increase in OLED funding. "With money saved from LCD restructuring, the firm plans to spend more on OLED and flexible displays," said an executive of one of Samsung's suppliers.
The device is rumored to make its debut at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in February, as opposed to making a CES debut as some rumors and teaser videos had suggested. Is 6.3-inch too big? What are your thoughts?