Yesterday, Walmart announced that they will discontinue the sale of all Amazon Kindle tablets and eReaders. The superstore chain is hardly the first to discontinue Amazon’s products (earlier this spring Target announced they will discontinue the popular tablet and eReaders), but certainly wont be the last.
Amazon’s vast online sales combined with the slim profit margin on the budget-priced android device isn’t as retailer friendly as other tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Apple iPad. Even though retail access to the budget priced tablet behemoth has been cut slightly, don’t expect the sales numbers of the latest series of android tablets to be anything short of its predecessors blockbuster numbers.
Our friends at Phone Arena received the latest Verizon roadmap and it shows some interesting stuff. Now we already know about the upcoming HTC phone sporting a 5-inch display and rocking a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, but this roadmap reveals how they will market it. It looks like it will be called the DROID Incredible X as opposed the the HTC One X 5. According to the map, it will launch in November, just about one year after the Rezound. The model number is ADR6435LVW
Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Stack Exchange and Google announced a new joint effort to try to bring an end to overbroad and ridiculous patents before they can be used by patent trolls to cause harm to companies. A change in U.S. patent laws went into effect this month that permits the USPTO to accept comments and evidence regarding prior art and obviousness from third parties when evaluating a patent application. Prior to this change in the law, the USPTO could not accept third party information.
It looks like the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is finally getting some Jelly Bean love. Not only has Verizon posted the changelog on their site, but we received a few emails from readers saying they already got the update. The build is JR003O and has a file size of 146.6MB. We actually saw this build last month, but we weren’t sure if it was going to be the final build at that time.
Once the update takes place, you will be able to enjoy Google Now, Google’s new enhanced Voice Search, new Notification panel actions, and a smarter keyboard.
So far it’s not available to me, but I need to check again when I get back to a WiFi connection. To manually check to see if it’s available to you, just go to Settings/About Phone/System Updates. Please let us know if you were able to grab the update in the comments below.
Hit the break for additional changelog information
Back in 2007, Steve Jobs said that they can’t be everything and that they need to partner with people (Google) who are good at stuff. Unfortunately things changed, and five years later, Apple decided to go after Google with a new maps app as part of iOS 6. If you follow tech news, there’s no question you have stumbled upon an article or tweet about how lousy Apple’s new maps app is.
It’s surprising to see such a bad first attempt from Apple as they don’t normally operate this way. I’m sure they will get it right at some point, but for now we can just laugh at some of these examples, which are courtesy of Google + user Michael Salinger.
The first one (at the top) shows the Olympic Plaza in Calgary an entire block away and there’s a plaza train station that hasn’t existed in years. Hit the break for eight more fails.
Benchmarking is one of those tech subjects these days that gets a lot of people worked up. From fan-boys of certain devices or carriers to the family guy a few cubicles down from you at work, you’ve no doubt been approached by someone either in person or online flaunting their latest benchmark scores. But admit it, there’s something about running those tests that we just gravitate to. It’s just in our blood.
Enter Vellamo’s updated benchmarking app from Qualcomm. Vellamo has completely revamped the UI, which is gorgeous by the way, and now features everything from CPU performance to networking capabilities via simulated 3G/4G/WiFi, HTLM5, and web browsing all while comparing your results to other devices. We all know these benchmarks do not mean much in the real world with each and every phone literally being set up differently once it’s in users’ hands. However, Vellamo makes it very appealing to run their app with the latest update, if only to view the gorgeous interface – and maybe grab a glance of how your device still stacks up compared to that new device that just launched. Check it out and let us know what you think of it.
Play Store Download Link
International Data Corporation (IDC) just upped their overall tablet sales forecast for 2012 and moving forward, but sees Android with no gains, and in fact showing a small decline into 2016. Originally IDC estimated that overall tablets would hit 107.4 million units worldwide in 2012, but now that has been increased to 117.1 million. They also revised their 2012 forecast to 165.9 million from 142.8 million. In 2016, shipments could hit 261.4 million.
With all this growth how can Android not show some success? Well in terms of actual units, Android will gain, but when it comes to market share things don’t look good. For 2012, IDC expects Android to have a 35.3% market share, which is down from 38.9% in 2011. By 2016, IDC is expecting a more dismal 30.5%. On the flip side, Apple will drop a little as well. They will go from 60% this year to 58% in 2016. The rest of the market share will be made up from Microsoft’s Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets. For 2012, they will hit 4% and eventually grow to 11% by 2016. It will be interesting to see if their numbers hold because I’m expecting bigger things from Microsoft when it comes to tablets.
Those of you lucky individuals who own the HTC One X smartphone can now have something to look forward to. While you still may not know of Jelly Bean’s exact arrival, at least HTC is giving the owners an idea of when the update is due to arrive. The manufacturer has confirmed the update will be pushed to the unlocked Tegra 3 models by October, followed by the carrier-branded models (i.e. the One XL or Snapdragon-powered One X models) receiving the update hopefully by roughly Christmas if all goes well.
The HTC Jelly Bean news doesn’t stop there either. You remember how we told you about that supercharged HTC One X+ that’s on the way? Well that device along with the special One XL arriving on EE’s brand-spankin’ new 4G LTE network will come with Jelly Bean shipped out of the box. And before you ask— there’s no news of when One S owners will get Jelly Bean, but if or when we hear news, we’ll be sure to share it with you.
Apple claims that both Samsung and Motorola infringed on their touch event model patent (EP2098948), but the Mannheim Regional Court just came down with a decision in favor of Samsung and Motorola. The touch event model patent shouldn’t be mistaken for multitouch. This one is a fairly broad patent (not like all the others aren’t) that covers the way the operating system reports or disregards touch events to applications. This could have been a mess for both Samsung and Motorola because if Apple had won, the result would be a need to rewrite, recompile, and reinstall a lot of apps since numerous applications rely on the operating system functionality.
The defense was based on the fact that Android does not store a multi-touch flag in association with each “view”, and this same argument was already successful in the UK and the Netherlands. I’m sure Apple will appeal this ruling just like they did with those.
So now that Intel-powered Android devices are about to take over the world, it’s only fitting that other entities are hell bent on preventing that from happening. And so here comes famed chipset maker Qualcomm out to show that it has the best processing chips in all the land— not Intel. Qualcomm took some time to highlight some of the major shortcomings found in the in the Intel-line of chips, with some impressive results. Running a series of tests against an unnamed Intel smartphone (presumably an Orange San Diego), Qualcomm highlighted how even older devices such as an unknown censored device (presumably a Sony Xperia Arc) which features older processors (yes— you read that right) can outperform current Intel-powered devices. While the battery of tests seem painfully subjective— you’ll find the Qualcomm-based device is able to do things like load the GPS and Navigation function or operate a game at a faster level than the Intel-based smartphone.
The overall point Qualcomm is trying to make is that it has set the standard of creating impressive processors for years now— and Intel certainly has some catching up to do. It will be curious to see how Intel responds to Qualcomm’s clever attack. We’re sure you’re all itching to see the tests in video, so be sure to jump past the break to see everything in full detail.
During a Goldman Sachs investor conference today, Verizon’s chief financial officer Fran Shammo shared some information about Verizon’s “Share Everything” plans and their impact on unlimited data plans. Shammo indicated Verizon was seeing many more people switching to “Share Everything” plans than had been originally projected. Verizon is also seeing customers buying more devices to tie to these “Share Everything” plans, a result the plans were intended to produce. What may be surprising to some is that many of the customers switching to “Share Everything” are coming off of unlimited data plans.
Earlier today we reported on Dyzplastic’s plans to start taking orders for their Series 3 Android collectibles starting on September 24th and shipping slated to commence on the 26th. With that announcement, Dyzplastic also showed the 7th figurine in the series. Since then they have updated their blog with yet another figurine bringing the count up to eight. This one goes by the name Professor Skully McRivethead and is graced with a design by artist Huck Gee, famous for his Skullhead designs.
If you are looking for a little bling to decorate your desk space, you may want to get ready to place your order.
Usually when we bring up cheap, knock-off Chinese tablets, readers begin cringing with fear. However, a new slate from the land of the sleeping giant could potentially change our unyielding distrust. The Cube U9GTV is an Android 4.1-powered slate, fueled by a dual-core 1.6GHz Cortex A9 processor and 1GB of RAM. Because that wasn’t enough to separate it from the pack, the manufacturer has included a 9.7-inch display with an eye-soothing 2048 x 1536 pixels, equating to about 264 ppi — the same as Apple’s newest iPad.
Availability is slated for next month, and rumor has it that the tablet will launch for under €200, or about $260 in the US. Without having seen the device for ourselves, there’s no way to vouch for the screen quality, though it does have our undivided attention. To get a better feel for the tablet, we’ve included a set of comparison images and videos after the break.
In February of 2012, ASUS showed off the original Phone/Tablet hybrid, the Padfone, which was released in April of the same year. Now, only six months later, they will unveil the next iteration of their 2011 hype-machine on October 16th. As someone who was very excited when the original Padfone was unveiled, I’ll be anxiously awaiting for the 16th to arrive.
The original Padfone was somewhat overhyped. The original was preceded by a swath of “leaked” benchmarks and specification sheets, only to be released with mainstream specs and a severely underwhelming display. Now, complete with its own set of leaks and promises, the successor is in the same position. Fans and followers of the original are now anxiously awaiting for October 16th to see if ASUS can release the groundbreaking device that was promised with the original.