Latest Nokia Normandy leak reveals more specs before being pulled

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For a short while today Vietnamese web site thegioididong.com had the Nokia Normandy listed in their catalog along with some specs. The device is shown with a 4.0-inch display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, dual-sim support, and a 5.0 MP camera. The retailer listed the Nokia Normandy with Android 4.4 KitKat for the operating system. Previous leaks indicated the Normandy will have a Windows-style user interface, so the KitKat bits may be hidden in the background.

The thegioididong.com ad copy indicated Nokia designed the Normandy “in an eye-catching style.” Based on the specs, it appears the device is targeted at emerging markets. If it ever makes it to the shores of a more mature mature market, it will likely be targeted at the bottom of the market.

The ad has been pulled from the thegioididong.com site.

source: thegioididong.com
via: Mobile Syrup

HTC appears to have brightly colored mid-range octa-core phone in the works

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According to Chinese web site ePrice, HTC appears to have jumped on the brightly colored smartphone bandwagon based on several leaked photos. The images show a device, believed to be a new version of the HTC Desire, in yellow, orange, red and a teal color. In addition to the bright new colors, HTC is supposedly set to equip the device with a MediaTek eight-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM. The device will supposedly come with a 5-inch 720p capable screen. Running on this hardware will be HTC’s Sense 5.5 UI layered on top of Android 4.3.

Latest market share figures from Kantar show Android dominating but Samsung is feeling the pressure

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Kantar Worldpanel ComTech just released their smartphone market share figures for the 4th quarter 2013, and Android not only dominated again, it continued to increase its overall market share. In looking at the U.S., most surveys already had Android as the largest market share, but according to Kantar, Android just surpassed Apple late last year.

Android came in with a 50.6% share, up from 46.2% for the 4th quarter in the previous year, while Apple’s iOS came in at 43.9%, down from 49.7% for the 4th quarter in the previous year. In Europe, things aren’t any different. Android now has a 68.6% share (up from 62.9%), while second place Apple came in with 18.5% (down from 23.7%).

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 could debut as soon as March/April with a flexible display

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Shortly after the Galaxy Gear was introduced, the speculation was that Samsung would release a Galaxy Gear 2 sooner rather than later since the reviews we so bad. The latest rumor out of Korea is that the Galaxy Gear 2 will be unveiled in a London event in March or April. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read between the lines to figure out that they are implying that it will be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S 5. It’s also expected to be a lot more fashionable and will likely feature a flexible display.

February launch in sight for LG G Pro 2

LG G Pro 2

An official announcement from LG tonight let us all know that the LG G Pro’s successor, the G Pro 2, will be released in February. It’ll feature a pretty large and high-quality screen, just as its predecessor, but information on exact specs, pricing, and availability is not yet available. Expect the unveiling to come at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from Feb. 24-27.

Via: Android Central
Source: Social.LGE

Samsung and Google announce 10-year global patent license agreement

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Samsung and Google have announced a new, long-term partnership to cross-license patents “covering a broad range of technologies and business areas.” The agreement covers both existing patents as well as any new patents filed during the next 10 years. Although Samsung and Google in general are not antagonistic toward each other, outside of the occasional small spat, they did take the opportunity to dig at other companies using litigation-based strategies with regard to their competition.

Samsung’s intellectual property lead, Dr. Seungho Ahn, stated the agreement shows “the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.” Meanwhile, Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents with Google noted that, “by working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”

source: Samsung Tomorrow Blog

Corning announces antimicrobial Gorilla Glass

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Smartphone, tablet and other touch device users are in a constant battle to keep their screens clean. This usually involves wiping off the buildup of fingerprints and oils from our fingers, along with assorted liquids that may have splashed on the screen. Corning has been working on some technology to help keep screens clean at a more basic level with the introduction of antimicrobial Gorilla Glass. 

Oppo Find 7 could be revealed at MWC next month, cost $594

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The Oppo Find 7 has seen its fair share of leaks. So it is no surprise that it may be announced very soon. It is now being reported that the Find 7 will be officially announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month. Also, its price is said to be $594.

The specifications end of this report says that it will have a 5.5-inch QHD display (2560×1440). Inside is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz with 2GB of RAM. A microSD card slot compliments 16GB of internal storage.

Source: cnBeta

LlabTooFer leaks upcoming release schedule for HTC software updates, confirms Sense 6.0

HTC release schedule

LlabTooFer has done everyone the service of letting us know when HTC plans on updating their devices to Android KitKat (and letting us know which devices have has support dropped completely). HTC has tried to be pretty transparent about updating their 2013 flagship, the HTC One, to KitKat, but they’ve been pretty quiet about other devices in their current lineup. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from HTC this year.

Both the One Max and the One Mini are slated to receive the KitKat + Sense 5.5 update in late January to mid-February. That’s roughly the same time as the HTC One, so it’s good to see HTC keeping everything in sync. Both the Butterfly S and the Butterfly are in testing for KitKat and are expected to see the update later in the year, just a few months behind the One lineup. Now, the tricky part is looking at where Verizon’s Droid DNA falls in this chart. According to the chart, it says the Android 4.3 update has been cancelled for the DNA, but it looks like it may still be on track to get the KitKat update with the non-carrier Butterfly. It wouldn’t be the first time an OEM has skipped versions of Android, (Samsung has done it) but it’s rare nonetheless.

South Korean Ministry of Science rules against bloatware of devices

Bloatware

Not only does Asia have access to some of the best mobile technology available on the market, but customers will soon be able to purchase bloatware-free devices as a standard.

A recent ruling in South Korea determined that OEMs can preload bloatware on its devices, but the apps must be able to be uninstalled. The new industry guidelines will begin in April of this year.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said this in a press release:

“The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players.”

There are also some major advantages that users will experience from the decision. Improved battery life and increased data storage are just a few of the many benefits.

Source: ZDNet

Leaked Samsung memo has product slated for Valentine’s Day, Galaxy Pro tablet launch?

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Still waiting for Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro line (hands on here) or Galaxy NotePro 12.2 (hands on here) to launch? So are we. But it seems like we may have found a release date — Valentine’s Day weekend. According to a leaked internal memo, Samsung is asking for “all hands on deck” from February 14-16. They need everyone on deck so much so that they will not grant anyone time away from the company for those dates.

We understand that most corporate offices are closed on weekends; therefore, this memo likely applies to employees at retail stores like Best Buy, who have small Samsung shops setup. Of course, this could be for something else but launching a major product line like the Galaxy Pro tablets would be fitting to take place over the course of a weekend.

Hit the break for the full leaked memo.

Friends with Moto rewards program gives discounts on Moto X and Moto G

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If you’re thinking about going and buying a new Moto X, you might want to try your luck with Motorola’s new rewards program. “Friends with Moto” could give you $50 off the Moto X, and $40 off the Moto G. All you have to do is head to Motorola’s website and enter your name, email address, and phone number, which will then be sent to a Motorola employee who has to approve the discount.

The program may have been set up just for Motorola employees, but people all over the internet have been reporting that the promo is working for themselves. A Moto X off-contract normally costs $400, but with a coupon you can get it for $350. The 8GB Moto G is $170, $150 with a coupon.

Source: GSM Arena

 

Samsung will lower their mobile marketing budget this year

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If you watch any TV whatsoever, then you know Samsung spends A LOT of money on advertising. Well it looks like they are going to cut back a tad this year. Samsung just had their quarterly conference call, and Samsung Senior Vice President Kim Hyunjoon said they will try to “raise the efficiency of our marketing spend and lower our overall mobile marketing budget to revenue this year compared with last year.” They will of course still spend a few bucks on sporting events such as the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, but no word on a Super Bowl commercial for this year.

source: Reuters

Samsung will offer more big-screen smartphones this year

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I remember when the DROID X was introduced with a 4.3-inch display, and everyone thought it was a little too big. Now 5-inches seems to be the sweet spot, but the envelope continues to get pushed with phones over 6-inches. Samsung created the phablet market with the original Galaxy Note. It sported a 5.3-inch display, which again, many people thought was way too big, and today’s Note 3 sports a 5.7-incher.

During yesterday’s quarterly conference call, Samsung Executive Director, Kim Hyunjoon, said to expect more big-screened phones from Samsung this year. Samsung already added a little more to the mix with the Galaxy Mega line last year, which topped out at 6.3-inches.