With Microsoft making the decision to make their own hardware may have upset other OEMs, Samsung are still going full steam ahead on releasing a smart device based on Windows RT and it will be released in October.
The Windows RT-based tablet from Samsung will sport an ARM-based processor, and has now opened up a new avenue of business for the company, since they're now supporting Windows 8 and Windows RT-based devices. The move is sure to help Samsung have more devices on offer, with multiple OSs to choose from, to combat their main competitor, Apple.
Windows RT is set to become the first mainstream OS from Microsoft built for touch-screen devices that works on energy-efficient chips that are usually bound for smartphones. Most traditional desktop and notebook PCs run x86-based processors.
Amazon's first-generation Kindle Fire started off with a bang, but sales of the tablet are dropping off, which means we're headed toward next-generation territory. Sources close to AllThingsD have said that Amazon are looking to unleash the next-gen Kindle Fire in Q3, and are talking to developers about hardware already.
The next-gen Fire is meant to be both thinner and lighter than the original Fire, sporting a built-in camera and much-improved display. Developers have also been told to build their apps for a display with a 1280x800 pixel display, different to the 1024x600 display of the current Fire.
This makes the next Kindle Fire's screen to look better, as well as featuring a new aspect ratio, meaning the display has an entirely new width-to-height ratio. DisplayMate President Raymond Soneira told AllThingsD:
The really interesting thing here is that the screen shape is changing slightly: From an aspect ratio of 1.71 (tall and narrow in its standard Portrait mode) to an aspect ratio of 1.60. That's a 67 percent increase in total pixels, and it is visually significant. It gives the display a PPI (pixels per inch) of 216.
Google's $199 Nexus 7 tablet arrives in the next week or so, and we've previously reported that Google and ASUS were selling them for around cost price, $199. But, research firm UBM TechInsights believes that it costs Google $184 per Nexus 7 tablet to be manufactured, leaving $15 in profits.
Compared to Amazon where they make around $46 per Kindle Fire sold, and Apple make around $170 for each and every iPad sold. So the question asked is why would Google even bother with making a tablet if there's hardly any profit margin?
Well, first off, it gets their tablet into more hands than if it were more expensive, and Google getting their Nexus 7 into as many hands as possible is good for generating revenue elsewhere. From their Google Play store, the use of Gmail, Maps, YouTube and more.
Motorola have just outed their next Atrix phone, known as the Atrix HD. The listed specs show the Atrix HD will sport a 4.5-inch HD Colorboost display with a resolution of 1,280x720, a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and the swish look of the Droid RAZR.
Filling out the sepc we find a 1,780 mAh battery, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and measures in at just 8.4mm thick. Motorola make it "business ready" as the Atrix HD features Gorilla Glass and Kevlar fused together, so it should be tough as nails.
There's no news on when the Atrix HD will hit stores, but if you want to find out more about it and sign up for updates, check out this link.
The rumor of an iPad mini from Apple have been around for quite a while now, even as far back as October last year. We've reported on them many times, and it is the perfect path for Apple to take to combat the impending Google Nexus 7 tablet, as well as the Amazon Kindle Fire, and upcoming next-gen Fire.
The latest reports are coming in from the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg, both claiming anonymous sources with "knowledge of the plans" confirming a screen between 7- and 8-inch in diameter, and the component suppliers in Asia are preparing for a mass production of this new product in September.
Research in Motion may have hurt BlackBerry lovers last week, announcing the delay of the BlackBerry 10 OS until 2013, but between now and then, there's sure to be tonnes of news to keep us happy. A leaked hardware roadmap has been leaked, and gives us a good idea of what to expect from BlackBerry 10-based devices in 2013.
But, before 2013, we should see a release of the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G which should be launched in Q4 of this year, perfect timing for the holiday season. This device does pre-date the BB 10 launch, so there shouldn't be much to do hardware-wise with the PlayBook 4G.
Q1 2013 is where the fun begins for RIM, with the launch of BB10 and the first full-touchscreen BlackBerry device, which is the BlackBerry London/L-series device. After the London/L-series device launches, we should see the BlackBerry Nevada/N-series, sporting a full QWERTY pad.
A new tablet is to be expected, dubbed "Blackforest ". Blackforest is expected in Q3 2013, but there are no details of the tablet itself. Considering it has '128' in its name, this would leave me to believe we should expect 128 to represent the amount of flash storage the tablet will sport.
Google's $199 Nexus 7 tablet is barely even available and the team at iFixit have torn one apart and looked around inside the tablet. Nexus 7 is just a millimeter thicker than Apple's iPad, but that 1mm can make a huge difference when it comes to repairability according to iFixit, who gave the Nexus 7 a score of 7 out of 10.
To compare this against other popular tablets, Apple's iPad scores a repairability score of two out of 10, Amazon's Kindle Fire scores an eight, and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet takes home a six out of ten. iFixit said in their report:
That's the difference between being able to open a device and service all of its internals, and not. That's the negligible difference between extending the life of your device through repair, as opposed to tossing it in a landfill. And most of all, nobody will complain about that one millimeter difference in day-to-day use, but the user-serviceability it brings will make all the difference when the device breaks.
Android Mobile New Zealand donned their detective cap and reported that New Zealand will be getting the Nexus 7 tablet from Google, even though Google themselves haven't confirmed that NZ would be getting the 7-inch slate.
The 16GB version of the Nexus 7 will be made available from mid-July, with the 8GB model being an exclusive to the Google Play Store. The biggest news I find from this is the $439 NZD price, considering Google launched it for $199 in the U.S.
But, with high import costs, a local purchase might make more sense, so would the local warranty. If you're based in NZ, this should be great news for you.
We've heard the rumors of a budget, smaller iPad that is meant to be around 7-inches in size, but the rumors are growing stronger thanks to the latest investment report from Pacific Crest, where analysts predict that Apple will launch a 7.85-inch iPad mini this October, priced at around $299.
The report states:
Based on our supply checks, we expect Apple to launch a 7.85" iPad in October. We anticipate an entry-level 7.85" iPad with 8GB of NAND capacity to price at $299.
But, would it be good enough to combat the $199-priced Nexus 7 tablet from Google? It looks like the mid-range, 7-inch tablet market is about to get a serious injection of two hot new members.
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).