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A report reveals that the Nexus experience Galaxy S4 model will only be available in the USA, at least at first.
The handset was unveiled during the lengthy software-centric Google I/O 2013 keynote last week, although Google only revealed a few details about it. The device will cost 9 – it’s carrier unlocked and comes with an unlocked bootloader – and will start selling via the Google Play Store on June 26.
At the time of the announcement, Google did not mention what markets will get the Nexus experience Galaxy S4, and it seemed logical to assume that the device would be launched in various countries that have access to Play Store hardware purchases.
However, that turns out not to be the case, as SlashGear tells us pointing to a CNET UK report that has flown under the radar so far. It looks like Google has confirmed to the publication that the handset will only be sold in the USA, at least at the beginning. At this time, it’s not clear whether the handset will be launched in other markets or not, and we don’t know why Google would choose not to expand the launch to more markets right from the beginning.
Despite its high price, especially when compared with the six-month old Nexus 4, the Galaxy S4 “Nexus” may be an interesting choice for plenty of buyers that do not want to buy the regular TouchWiz version of the handset and/or don’t want to ink a new two-year contract with a carrier. But potential international buyers will have to wait for the handset to reach their markets, or somehow get their hands on one directly from the U.S.
Before you ask, the Play Store seems to be the only place that will stock this special edition Samsung smartphone, unlike the Nexus 4 which is available in international markets from plenty of third-party retailers. However, the Galaxy S4 Google Edition is not a true Nexus device, just a handset that would offer buyers a Nexus user experience – Google did not mention its product name during the keynote – so we wouldn’t expect Google to try to push it through as many channels as possible.
We’re certainly looking forward to find out more details about the Nexus experience Galaxy S4 launch plans, and we expect Google and Samsung to share more information once we get closer to June 26.
A report from a South Korean investment firm reveals that the third-generation Galaxy Note would pack a 6-inch AMOLED display, but that it won’t be a flexible one as certain rumors have recently said.
In a detailed note to investors (see PDF file at the second Source link), Korea Investment & Securities Co. reveals that Samsung’s “first-ever” 6-inch flagship handset is more likely to sport a 6-inch AMOLED display than an LCD one. OLED displays are seen as a “pillar” of Samsung’s brand image by the firm, and therefore a logical choice for a flagship handset like the Galaxy Note 3.
It’s worth noting that both the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 feature AMOLED displays, with the former packing a 5.3-inch AMOLED PenTile screen with 1280 x 800 resolution and the later featuring a 5.5-inch AMOLED non-PenTile display with 1280 x 720 resolution. Previous rumors have said that the Galaxy Note 3 would feature a 5.99-inch display.
More interestingly, the report claims that said display would not be a flexible one, as some reports have suggested. Apparently Samsung would not be able to mass-produce the appropriate number of flexible 6-inch AMOLED screens to meet demand for such a potentially popular handset as the Galaxy Note 3:
Although equipment for most processes has been delivered and the supply of remaining equipment (only for a specific process) should be finalized in 1H13, we cannot say [Samsung Display] is ready to mass-produce flexible OLED panels. Production technology still seems incomplete, and even assuming the start of production in 2H13, shipments that can be supplied to finished products would be minimal. As such, we believe chances are slim for [Samsung Electronics] to adopt flexible OLED panels for its Galaxy Note 3 (slated for release in 2H13). [Samsung Electronics] will likely choose flexible OLED for its smartphones as a differentiating design feature but would need more time to adopt it for the major models.
LG, which previously confirmed that it will have a smartphone with flexible display in stores by the end of the year, seems to have issues mass-producing such panels also, and may delay the launch of such a product.
Without going into too many details about flexible display technology, the report reveals that Samsung and LG use two different technologies. Samsung relies on thin-film encapsulation while LG is developing face-sealing encapsulation technology. In either case, the object is to prevent water and/or oxygen to reach the inside of the device. The report says that Samsung “is still far away from securing product reliability that guarantees mass-production” and LG’s technology “has not yet been tried for mass-production.”
The Galaxy Note 3 is expected to be unveiled at some point in Q3 2013, most likely at IFA 2013 in Berlin, Germany, according to other rumors. The report also mentions that Samsung’s “6-inch display smartphone model [is] scheduled for release in 2H13.”
That said, we’ll remind you to take everything with a grain of salt when looking at such reports, as, after all, both Samsung and LG are yet to announce commercial products sporting flexible displays.
A new rumor says that Samsung’s rugged Galaxy S4 version will hit AT&T stores in the future alongside another new Samsung smartphone reportedly called “Zest.”
The information comes from @evleaks, a Twitter account known for the various details and images provided about mobile devices ahead of their launch. While the source has been rather accurate in the past, we’ll still remind you that nothing is confirmed just yet, so take everything with the appropriate grain of salt.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
An image of the Galaxy S4 Active is not provided at this time, as we’re only told given AT&T’s model number for the device, SGH-I537. The current AT&T Galaxy S4 version has model number SGH-I337, which is very similar to Active’s rumored number:
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active coming to AT&T under model number SGH-I537
— @evleaks (@evleaks) May 9, 2013
An user agent profile for the SGH-I537 seems to reveal that we’re looking at a Samsung device that would feature a 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) display, which is what we’d expect from the Active in the first place.
The Galaxy S4 Active has been the star of various reports in the past – only yesterday we’ve seen a different report saying the handset will hit Europe at some point in July – with Samsung already confirming that a rugged Galaxy S4 is in the works. However, the company never confirmed the “Active” name for the device.
While the Galaxy S4 Active is expected to be a high-end handset – it’s logical to assume that the handset would be a regular Galaxy S4 version with rugged capabilities on top – this rumored Zest is said to be an entry-level device:
Entry-level, WVGA Samsung ‘Zest’ also to AT&T, as SGH-I217
— @evleaks (@evleaks) May 9, 2013
Specs and features are not available for the handset, but a user profile for it reveals that it will feature a display with 800 x 480 resolution.
We’ll be back with more details about these new AT&T handsets once they’re available.
BlackBerry CEO supposedly says dumb things about the future of tablets, but what are the smart things?0
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins was quoted today as saying tablets didn’t have much of a future, product or market-wise. Given the huge, and still growing success of the iPad, even the idea sounds ridiculous. Here’s what Bloomberg posted:
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said in an interview yesterday at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
I love a good CEO-snap story as much as the next blogger. Almost every time Ballmer or Schmidt open their mouths, it’s gold for everyone in our industry. Hell, the previous leadership at BlackBerry, co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, said amongst the dumbest things in the recent history of mobile. To see such affluent, powerful people come off as utterly out of touch with reality is about as great a shot of schadenfreude as it gets. So to think the only man currently responsible for a purely mobile computing company on the planet — BlackBerry carries no legacy desktop or services business — doesn’t think there’s a future in the most computer-like form of mobile technology today is… stupefying.
Granted, he wasn’t talking about today, but about 5 years from now — and the velocity of mobile makes it difficult if not impossible to predict the market even a couple of years out, never mind five — but I’d put good money on the tablet having a bigger future than the desktop for most people, most of the time. That’s why Steve Jobs reportedly said the iPad was the most important product of his life.
BlackBerry’s version of the tablet, the PlayBook, hasn’t been anywhere nearly as successful to date. I’ve gone on record as saying the PlayBook was probably an ill-advised distraction that led to BlackBerry being even further behind in the phone business than they might otherwise have been, and for BlackBerry it certainly doesn’t seem to have been a good business model.
Here’s BlackBerry PR’s response:
The comments that Thorsten made yesterday are in line with previous comments he has made about the future of mobile computing overall, and the possibilities that come with a platform like BlackBerry 10. We continue to evaluate our tablet strategy, but we are not making any shifts in that strategy in the short term. When we do have information about our PlayBook strategy, we will share it.
And Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry sums it up this way:
What he did say is that the mobile device in your pocket.. aka. your smartphone… is getting to the point where it has enough computing power in it that it can perform processing tasks akin to a computer. Especially when hooked up to the cloud. And also considering you can connect it up to peripherals like a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It’s not that hard to picture a use case where at your home and office are your big screens, and you just walk in and drop your phone down and your work environment is setup off your phone.
The futurist in me wants to take that a step further, to where the computing is decoupled from device, and the “brains” are a constant thing we always have with us, hooked in everywhere, capable of being expressed as a phone or tablet or laptop or desktop or holodeck for that matter. All my stuff, existing everywhere, accessible everywhere, through any hardware interface available.
In that world, interface becomes commoditized. Panels, even beautiful ones, would be utterly interchangeable and transfigurable. In that future, what would an iPhone or iPad look like? What would an iTV or iWatch look like? Manifestations?
Yes, Heins’ comment came off sounding ludicrous in the context in which it was presented, and if that’s how it was given, he deserved the headlines he got this morning. But funny blog headlines only last a few hours or days. In the greater context, and in the way BlackBerry has been positioning themselves, and in the way Apple has been building out iOS, and in the way Microsoft could figure out 3 screens and the cloud, and in the way Google could take Android or ChromeOS, given some time and coherent thought, the idea of ultra-personal computing 5 years in the future is fascinating.
Feel free to lay into the CEO of BlackBerry in the comments if that’s your thing, but also let me know — where do you see the future of tablets and of computing in five years?
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The highly anticipated Galaxy S4 will be available in limited supply at launch, according to an official statement released by Samsung:
Earlier today, T-Mobile announced online orders are delayed until April 29, while Sprint had to cancel its launch date of April 27 due to “unexpected inventory challenges.” Moreover, Galaxy S4 pre-orders have exceeded expectations, with carriers such as Sprint completely selling out its pre-order stock ahead of the official release.
For Verizon customers looking to get their hands on the Galaxy S4, pre-orders begin April 25, but the handset won’t be launched until May 30. Like with the launch of the Galaxy S3, Samsung has maintained a multiple carrier approach. More of its devices on more carriers, means increased revenue. However, launching such a buzzed-about device on many top carriers around the same time, can clearly have a downside.
Getting a headstart on the Galaxy S4, the HTC One is already available in the U.S. from multiple carriers and retailers, including the unlocked and Developer versions. While this delay could be potentially good news for HTC, Samsung is expecting to ship 10 million Galaxy S4 units in the first month after its international release.
In comparison, HTC is said to have shipped 300,000 One units in March, will ship 1.2 million this month, and two million in May.
The mobile industry is an interesting ecosystem, in that there are various mechanisms and trends at work. On one hand, you have volume and scale, which Android currently leads, having the biggest share of the market today. However, there are also other factors that come to play, such as engagement, monetization and revenue.
We have discussed engagement before, and have previously encountered the so-called Android engagement paradox. While Android is the leading platform in numbers, its main competitor, iOS, still leads in other metrics, including engagement and revenue. This is further validated by Opera’s latest State of Mobile Advertising report, in which iOS came out on top, in terms of both traffic and revenue share.
To illustrate, during the first quarter of 2013, Android got a traffic share of 31.26%, with a revenue share of 26.72%. Meanwhile, iOS got 44.53% traffic share and received 49.23% of the revenue.
A few other notable observations:
The study was done across Opera’s advertising platforms, which includes AdMarvel, Mobile Theory, 4th Screen Advertising and Opera Mediaworks Performance, which serve more than 50 billion ad impressions per month through 12,000 mobile websites and applications.
Again, this does not mean that Android is worse off than iOS, per se. Opera’s study simply indicates that iOS users are more likely to engage in visual ads, which in return lets publishers earn more from ad revenue. Given this scenario, though, publishers are more likely to optimize for iOS, given the higher revenue potential.
T-Mobile testing its LTE network with Samsung’s Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 in eight major U.S. cities, says OpenSignal data0
In a few short days, T-Mobile will switch on its 4G LTE network. Thanks to OpenSignal, an app that uses crowdsourced data to pinpoint ideal wireless coverage areas, has found T-Mobile’s LTE signal running in eight major U.S. cities.
T-Mobile has already said that it plans to bring 4G LTE service to Las Vegas and Kansas City, but the list provided by OpenSignal shows New York, Seattle, Denver, New Orleans, San Diego and San Jose, including bay area cities as well.
OpenSignal says preliminary figures they tested are showing 25MBp/s download and 8MBp/s for upload. Keep in mind that those figures are without the network being under heavy use. No doubt the speeds will decrease when T-Mobile‘s LTE officially launches and people begin actively using it. Moreover, OpenSignal data also reveals that it was being tested on the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4 alongside the Galaxy Note 2 with its recent update.
If OpenSignal’s list proves to be accurate, launching in New York is an ambitious task considering other carriers have opted to launch in smaller markets before tackling major hubs like New York and Las Vegas. On the other hand, Verizon did launch its 4G LTE network in 38 major markets at once, so eight isn’t that bad in comparison.
We’ll no doubt hear more official plans regarding LTE deployment at T-Mobile’s event in New York next week along with the operators “uncarrier” strategy.
The rumor mill is firing up again. Only a day after hearing details about a Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Tab 3, Sam Mobile is reporting that they have information on a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus with a Super AMOLED Full HD display.
Samsung has seen a positive response regarding its AMOLED panels, which is why the company is getting ready to produce them on a larger scale. According to the publication, Samsung wants to make a high-end tablet that can compete with Apple’s and Sony’s premium tablets, the iPad and Xperia Tablet Z, respectively. While an exact screen size could not be confirmed, the insider suggests that the screen could be 10.1- or 11.6-inches in size.
Apparently, Samsung is hard at work developing the display and there are high chances of the Galaxy Note 3 Plus being unveiled at IFA in Berlin, Germany, along with the Galaxy Note 3.
Additionally, the insider confirmed that Samsung will be using an Exynos 5 generation chip in its upcoming premium line of tablets, which means that there are also high chances of the chip making its way into the Galaxy Note 3.
The Galaxy Tab 3 Plus makes a lot of sense considering that the only tablet Samsung really has competing at the premium level is the Nexus 10. The popularity of Samsung’s AMOLED displays has been immense, but I can’t help but wonder what happened to those flexible displays that we were supposed to see this year, although, Corning claims that flexible displays are at least three years out.
Keep in mind that these are just rumors and that they should be taken with a grain of salt. Hopefully we’ll be back with an update confirming their legitimacy soon though!
The post Samsung hard at work on 10.1- and 11.6-inch Full HD AMOLED display, says rumor appeared first on Android Authority.
Google Now for iOS in Apple court, hints Eric Schmidt; Apple says it doesn’t have it in the App Store app approval queue0
Google’s former CEO and current Chairman Eric Schmidt on Thursday said during a Q&A session at the Google Big Tent Summit in India that the Google Now app for iPhone and iPad is essentially in Apple’s court, hinting that the app could be stuck somewhere in Apple’s App Store app approval queue.
Without expressly confirming that Google Now for iOS is waiting approval from Apple, Schmidt did say the following when moderator Alan Rusbridger asked him about the app:
But Schmidt didn’t deny the app or Google’s interest in bringing Google Now to iOS or other mobile operating systems either.
We’ll remind you that it was only a few days ago that a Google Now app for iPhone and iPad app was revealed by a video posted on YouTube, and then pulled, which looked very much like the real deal. At the time, we wondered whether the app will soon be available in the App Store, but Google didn’t announce anything officially.
Google already has a bunch of apps available to iOS users, including Google Voice, YouTube and Google Maps, so it would make plenty of sense to see Google Now also launched for iPhone and iPad, especially since the app could help Google bring in more ad-based cash to Google’s coffers.
But it turns out that the app has not been submitted to the App Store, according to an Apple representative that talked to The Verge. Apparently there are no Google apps in the review process at the moment:
That certainly goes against what Schmidt said just a few hours before Apple clarified the matter, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this one.
Do you think that Google Now should be an Android-only feature or should Google also expand to other OSes, iOS included?
According to unnamed sources speaking with the Digitimes, Google’s Chromebook sales have reportedly been worse than Surface sales coming in at 500,000 units, which gives Chrome OS a little less than a grueling 1% share of the notebook market.
The unnamed source said that Chromebooks could struggle gaining any ground against Windows-based notebooks for at least two years because Google “will still need some time to integrate” Chrome and Android in order to broaden the Chromebooks’ appeal for customers.
These are rumors and could possibly change after Google’s I/O event in May where the search giant usually unveils its big plans for the year. With the Chromebook Pixel being “for what’s next”, Chrome OS could have a big part to play in Google’s I/O announcements.
The post Chromebooks are selling worse than the Surface with a mere 500,000 units, rumor says appeared first on Android Authority.