This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Last year, Google I/O tickets didn’t last very long, and this year they went just as fast. If you didn’t manage to snatch your $900 ticket up in under an hour, you were just out of luck. While it didn’t break the record for 23 minutes last year, it’s still pretty impressive. Did any of you manage to get a ticket? Let us know in the comments.
Samsung is the top manufacturer of Android devices and to maintain its dominance in the marketplace, outspent Apple by $68 million in 2012. According to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media, Samsung spent $401 million advertising its devices in the U.S. last year while Apple spent $333 million. Prior to that, Apple spent three times more on advertising in 2011 than Samsung. The increase in advertising is definitely noticed with the South Korean company investing millions in Super Bowl Ads, having a big presence at Mobile World Congress, and even consuming commercial time during the Oscars.
The HTC One will be available for Verizon customers after all. All Things D, citing an unnamed source, is reporting Verizon will carry the One about a month or so after it launches on the other three major US carriers. We had originally reported a March launch for AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint but had not heard a word about Verizon.
Fans of Beats Audio and Sense (there are some Sense fans, right?) on Verizon are not the only winners here. Finally getting the same flagship phone on all the big carriers is a huge win for struggling HTC. This will allow HTC to focus its ad campaign on a single device and maybe start taking some mind share back from Samsung.
Andy Rubin has been instrumental in getting Android to where it is today and is leaving the Android team. In an official blog post from Google CEO Larry Page, Andy is handing over the position to Sundar Pichai to “start a new chapter at Google”. Sundar has worked on Chrome, Google Apps, and Android since 2004. From the blog post:
“Sundar has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use—and he loves a big bet. Take Chrome, for example. In 2008, people asked whether the world really needed another browser. Today Chrome has hundreds of millions of happy users and is growing fast thanks to its speed, simplicity and security. So while Andy’s a really hard act to follow, I know Sundar will do a tremendous job doubling down on Android as we work to push the ecosystem forward.”
Larry also talked about the growth of Android with partnerships of over 60 manufacturers, 750 million devices activated globally, and 25 billion apps downloaded from Google Play.
As we watch newer, faster smartphones come to market, many of us may gloss over one of the original uses of the devices – phone calls. Manufacturers and carriers have not forgotten though and as they have been working to rollout 4G LTE services, they have realized they could shift voice traffic over to the LTE network, but not without some challenges. To address the situation, some carriers have been looking at moving voice traffic onto the LTE network using technology referred to as VoLTE, Voice over LTE. The problem is that LTE was designed to move data not voice. In addition, LTE currently does not carry SMS traffic which accounts for a large portion of the revenue stream. To make voice calls over LTE means the use of some type of VOIP technology to convert the voice call into data, which means more computing overhead and thus, more demands on a smartphone’s battery. This concept was found to be true in testing in late 2012. MetroPCS and LG have been working to improve this situation as revealed in the results of recent tests.
Acer hinted at developing its first ever phablet during Mobile World Congress, and it now appears the phablet will be unveiled in June at Computex, the world’s second largest computer trade show that takes place June 4-8 in Taipei, Taiwan. Acer Corporate President Jim Wong shared the news with Focus Taiwan and said it will have special features, including another phablet with “big upgrades” that will launch either at the end of this year or early next year. Details are still scarce and Jim hinted at a competitive price point which is on par with the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Ouya has announced a thank you party for backers of their Kickstarter project that will take place on March 28th in San Francisco. It is also expected that Ouya will distribute the first generation of its consoles at the same event to backers of the project. Those who haven’t backed the project, but want to get their hands on the console, will have to wait until June when it becomes available to the public and sold at select retail stores for $99.99. It’s been less than a year since Ouya went live with its Kickstarter campaign, and with over $8 million collected, it’s safe to say they have seen tremendous success so far.
Apple was late to launch a smaller version of its iPad and with a price tag much higher than more powerful Android equivalents, it’s lead many to question the value. Of course that all depends on your preference of mobile ecosystem. SamMobile has laid out six reasons why you should buy the Galaxy Note 8.0 instead which includes a full comparison chart.
We’re a little over 24 hours away from what should be the most anticipated announcement of the year and Samsung is giving us yet more reasons to be truly excited. As seen in the clip below, you’ll see that there are tourists soaking in all the lights and the surreal atmosphere in Times Square, when suddenly they are greeted by some well-dressed individuals that are clearly up to some shenanigans. When the shape of a box telling the audience to “Be Ready 4 the next Galaxy” is fully formed, the audience is then treated to an all-out flash mob dance, complete with some snazzy music and some pretty hip moves.
Oh and in case you were wondering— the audience was completely entertained by the performance. But don’t take our word for it— check it out for yourself in the video below.
There are many boxing games out there and Real Boxing delivers great looking graphics to devices running NVIDIA’s Tegra 3, for just under $5. Powered by Unreal Engine 3, it features more realistic movement thanks to motion capture from real boxers. Fights take place in six different arenas and several mini games such as skipping rope, mini bag, or heavy bag, help train your boxer. Career Mode features over 30 fights and three belt titles to grab. You can also customize your fighter’s appearance and unlock extras such as new opponents, equipment, or clothing.
As the continued hype machine builds for the Samsung Galaxy S IV, analysts are concerned with over-hype. Right now they are projecting that Samsung will move 10 million units during the first month, but they are also concerned that we could see a repeat from last year’s supply issues. Last year, there was a manufacturing defect in handset cases that resulted in a loss of 2 million units of the Galaxy S III during the first month of release.
“There could be, again, a supply bottleneck due to tight supply of components… but I think any such disruption will be very brief, as Samsung is making a bigger bet on the S IV than on its predecessor with a backup plan to avoid such disruption,” said Greg Noh, an analyst at HMC Investment and Securities.
Of course you don’t expect that Samsung would sit back and allow it to happen again do you? Well you can never guarantee anything, but it looks like one analyst feels Samsung has done everything they can to make sure we don’t see any delays.
Yesterday we found out the UK release of the HTC One would be delayed by two weeks. Of course when it rains it pours so everyone is wondering if: 1) there will be further delay and 2) will it effect the U.S. market? Well I’m not sure we can give you an answer on any further delays just yet, but HTC did say the UK delays have nothing to do with the U.S.
“The statement doesn’t apply to US models. The US carriers are on a separate timeline”
Unfortunately this doesn’t tell us that the U.S. market won’t have a separate delay at some point. It is our understanding that these delays are due to component shortages regarding the UltraPixel camera. We can only hope that things will get rectified soon, and we won’t see any more delays. We are expecting to see the HTC One hit U.S. carriers by early April. It’s a lot like the weather in that it’s beyond our control and we will just have to wait and see.
As we see more and more 8-inch or under tablets produced for all sorts of demographics, the overall demand for those tablets will grow in the coming years. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the 2013 forecast for the worldwide tablet market has increased to 190.9 million units, which is up from its previous 172.4 million units. In fact, research analyst Jitesh Ubrani believes that “one in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond” .
Naturally Android manufacturers were quick to realize the unique niche market and are currently leading the way in terms of overall market share compared to competitors. The IDC believes that Android-based tablets will reach a peak market share of 48.8% for 2013, followed by Apple at 46% and Windows RT-based tablets after that. Of course as the years go by, both Android and Apple-based tablets will see their market shares drop slightly to 46% and 43.5% in 2017, respectively; while Windows-based tablets are expected to grow to 7.4% in 2017 which is significant and all– but probably not going to worry too many people very much.
Those of you with a U.S. zip code will be able to buy the HTC One Developer Edition around the same time the standard HTC One is released in the U.S. The Developer Edition features an unlocked SIM and bootloader right out of the box, but everything else is the same. As far as radio frequencies, you get HSPA/WCDMA: 850/1900/2100 MHz, GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, and LTE: 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz (US). Unfortunately you won’t be able to grab this one on contract as it will run you $649 and quantities will be limited.
Is Google starting to truly exert its influence into upcoming Motorola devices? It sure appears to be the case as a new mystery phone has surfaced for our viewing pleasure. With specs that clearly identify it as a potential high-end phone, the mysterious XT912A features some goodies including a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 2 gigs of RAM and a solid 2,200mAh battery. Seeing that this device looks like it has a lightly-customized build of Android, it’s no surprise that most folks are expecting the XT912A smartphone to be the rumored “X” phone that we’ve been hearing about more and more lately— but you may want to calm your expectations down a bit, and for good reason. The XT912A seen above seems to feature what is a 4.7-inch 720p display, while the “X” phone is expected to have anything from a 4.7-inch screen to a 5-inch display, but with a full 1080p display.
Regardless of if this is truly the rumored “X” phone or not, it appears that Google is certainly intent on making some noise in the smartphone wars— and for good reason too.