Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, said Google is closing its once open ecosystem as Android faces increased fragmentation. Elop was discussing the company’s 4th quarter earnings at a press conference when the topic turned to Google. Elop said, “The situation that Android is facing, where the amount of fragmentation that you’re seeing is increasing as people take it in different directions, is of course offset by Google’s efforts to turn an open ecosystem into something that’s quite a bit more closed as you’ve seen quite recently.”
Elop is not alone in his critique of Google’s recent “openness” decisions. Earlier this month Google blocked Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps via the browser but later restored access. Google has also announced it will drop support for Exchange ActiveSync which Microsoft uses to offer push email for Gmail users on Windows Phone. iOS devices also use ActiveSync but they’ll still be able to get push email via Google’s Gmail app for iOS. Google released Maps for iOS but has said it will not develop apps for Windows 8. It’s unclear whether Google is actually moving toward a closed ecosystem but there is little doubt they are playing hardball when it comes to Microsoft and, by extension, Nokia.
Source: The Verge
Italian mobile Insider Flavio (@flapic) tweeted what he is calling an exclusive regarding the upcoming release of the HTC M7 . He predicts it will be released in London on February 19th and not at Mobile World Congress as many of us have expected. He did not disclose a source but later said he has established connections from “many years in the field” and his sources are “reliable and credible.” So he’s legit, if you don’t believe him just ask him and he’ll tell you. All kidding aside, this guy has been around for a while and might be on to something.
Excitement for HTC’s next flagship definitely feels like it’s growing. The M7 will feature a 4.7-inch 1080p display, new Sense 5.0, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 32GB of internal storage, 2300mAh (likely internal) battery and LTE connectivity. Whether it launches at its own event in London or at MWC in Barcelona at the end of February, we won’t have long to wait.
Via: Unwired View
DigiTImes is citing unnamed industry sources as saying Samsung will incorporate new pixel layouts with increased resolution for AMOLED panels. The new design layout uses a hexagon and diamond-shaped pixel layout allowing for resolutions above 440 pixels per inch. The iPhone 5’s Retina Display is 326PPI. The same sources said the new panels would be used in Samsung’s Galaxy S IV. Although we’re excited to see Sammi’s new flagship sport a top of the line display, we should point out the HTC Droid DNA already has a 440PPI display so it’s not exactly an industry first.
Quick recap of recent Galaxy S IV rumors: It could be unveiled in March, with an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 5-inch 1080p display and an S Pen! I’d like to say to take these rumors with a grain of salt but I’m too damn excited and not-so-secretly wishing for them to all be true!
ASUS just introduced a low priced ($149) Jelly Bean tablet, the MeMo Pad 7. And now a German tech site, TechHive, has uncovered a YouTube video showing a pretty snappy 10-inch version. The video refers to the tablet as the ASUS MeMo Pad 10 Smart. It doesn’t show much in terms of specs but it seems to be running a skinned version of Jelly Bean. If this video is legit, we’ll more than likely see ASUS present it next month at Mobile World Congress.
Check out the video after the break
Samsung announced it will release a Galaxy S III Mini with NFC in the UK. And it will do so soon. Samsung said it will be available this month so our Brit buds will get their chance at the S III Mini within the next ten days. I guess Sammi figured the Mini should probably have S Beam capabilities after it had featured the easy-sharing capability in so many of its ads.
The S III Mini is a sort-of shrunk down version of the Galaxy S III, however, the specs were reduced along with the screen size. The Mini has a 4-inch SuperAMOLED display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1 single GB of RAM and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This can’t really be considered an update since the specs are identical to the Mini without NFC. The device is a decent option for those looking for a smaller mid-tier phone but the “S III” name is a bit misleading.
Press Release after the break
The Sony Xperia Z looks to be one step closer to going on sale stateside. The posted FCC documents appear to indicate Sony’s sleek and water resistant Android handset has passed inspection and deemed safe for the American market. The inspection process also gave us a chance to take a peek inside this guy. A few European sites have begun pre-sales, in the UK and Slovakia, but US consumers still have a couple months to go. Hit the source for the full gallery of Xperia Z dissection photos.
The Nexus 4 has been pretty hard to come by and, if LG is to be believed, Google’s terribly inaccurate sales predictions are the biggest reason. According to Cathy Robin, head of mobile communications for LG France, demand has been 10 times higher than what Google expected. LG and Google have played a blame game of sorts but it’s hard to fault LG too much if Google did, in fact, give drastically lower sales estimates. Robin said the estimate was based on sales numbers for previous Nexus phones.
It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback and point to things like price and an enhanced consumer awareness of Android as factors that differentiate the Nexus 4 from its predecessors, but to miss the mark by so much is almost unGoogle. This phone came off the heels of Samsung’s Galaxy S III‘s great success. In the minds of many consumers, this was the next big Android phone. It launched at about half the price of other top tier phones. Yeah, I think there’s going to be a bit of a demand. If the Nexus 4 doesn’t make it back to the Play Store, at least we have Qualcomm’s X phone to look forward to.
Speaking at Born Mobile in China, Qualcomm CEO, Paul Jacobs, presented an argument against the escalating core wars mobile manufacturers are engaged in. He called the eight cores in Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa a meaningless number intended as a publicity stunt. Jacobs argued the increased number of cores could lead to diminished returns due to a more complex management of the cores from an energy and thermal standpoint. He said he did not believe the numbers game would continue for long as the focus would inevitably shift toward the end user experience. He cited things like speedy downloads, smooth interface, performance and precise positioning as areas of focus that would yield better results.
Can I argue with him? No, not really. Would I choose eight-core over quad? Without a doubt.
Via: Phone Arena
SamMobile is saying they’ve confirmed specs for Samsung’s next Note device, the GT-N5100. The un-cited report offers very specific information, including a name change to the Galaxy Note 8.0. As the name implies, it’s an 8-inch tablet to compete with the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire and iPad Mini. It would fill the stylus gap between the Note II and Note 10.1 for those hooked on the S-Pen.
The Note 8.0 will run Android 4.2, feature a 1280×800 TFT (Super Clear LCD) display, front and rear-facing cameras (5 MP rear, 1.3 MP front), 4600 mAh battery, 2 GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 16 & 32 GB of internal storage and a lovely MicroSD slot. The tablet, measuring 211.3×136.3×7.95 mm, will be offered in a WiFi only (GT-N5110) and GSM version (GT-N5100). Samsung’s official announcement is expected in just over a month at Mobile World Congress.
A report from Japan’s largest business daily newspaper shows the Nexus 7 has surpassed the iPad in market share. The Nexus 7 had 44.4 percent of the market compared to 40.1 percent for the iPad. The survey for Nikkei was conducted by market research firm BCN who collected information from 2,400 consumer electronics stores in December 2012.
The report cited price as one of the biggest factors for why it was chosen over an iPad. The Nexus 7 is $100 less than the cheapest Apple alternative, the iPad Mini. Keep in mind, Nikkei also reported a huge iPad Mini shortage at the time of the survey. While this report does not represent a resounding market victory for Android, it does verify that more and more people are looking at Android as viable alternative.