Samsung and Apple can’t reach agreement in mediation, will head back to court next month

Apple vs Samsung

According to reports out of Korea, Samsung CEO J.K. Shin met with Apple CEO Tim Cook last week. The subject matter was of course their ongoing intellectual property dispute. Reportedly nothing came out of the meeting and the companies will be heading right back to court in March.

Should anyone be surprised by this outcome? Not really. Both companies want to and will hold their ground while waiting for the other to budge. And as we have seen before, that just does not happen. Mediation yields almost nothing positive, thus relying upon the court system. In the meantime, have a look at what Tim Cook had to say about Google and Android last week.

Source: ZDNet Korea
Via: The Verge

Smartphone shipments passed the 1 billion mark in 2013, Android smartphones accounted for almost 800 million

IDC 2013 Q4

IDC’s latest numbers are in, and 2013 was a pretty big year for smartphones. For the first time ever, smartphone shipments passed 1 billion total phones, which is an incredible achievement. Android smartphones accounted for just shy of 800 million devices. Android and iOS were (obviously) the two major forces behind driving this growth, as both operating systems accounted for 93.8% of smartphone shipments total last year.

For the fourth quarter, we saw some pretty positive growth, too. Android shipments grew 40.3% year-over year, second only to Windows Phone. However, in terms of pure numbers, Android shipping an incredible 226.1 million devices compared to Windows Phone’s 8.8 million. iOS actually saw some pretty slow growth year-over-year, coming in at around 6.7%. Read more

Most iPhone users admit “blind loyalty” to Apple when upgrading devices and won’t consider other options


Brand loyalty isn’t a concept unique to smartphones; it’s something pretty much all manufacturers of any consumer product work hard to get from their customers. A recent survey studied iPhone users and asked them if they would consider switching to any other device when it was time to upgrade, and a majority of those users said they were going to stick with Apple’s new iPhone regardless of other phones on the market.

About 78 percent of over 2000 people asked responded that they couldn’t imagine having any other type of phone, and about 52 percent said their reasoning was that they were just very impressed with their current or previous iPhone. 54 percent had previously owned an iPhone. Read more

Latest SquareTrade study puts Apple, Samsung, Google devices in top 10 for breakability


When new smartphones are released, we are inevitably hit with videos from folks trying to show how well they survive drops and hits, usually in comparison to other leading devices. Although interesting to those who enjoy watching devices get trashed and fanboys or fangirls who like to find any little thing to claim superiority for their favored device, the results of these videos are really just a single data point. For some folks, like SquareTrade which supplies insurance to consumers who buy electronic devices, the breakability of different devices is important for their rate setting and more extensive, controlled testing is required. The company recently completed another round of testing of popular devices and released the top 10 results. Leading the way as the most breakable device was Apple’s iPad Mini, but other Apple devices along with those from Samsung and Google fill out the top 10. Read more

LG G2 leads the way in screen-bezel ratio, iPhones sit far behind


A recent graphic tweeted out by @somospostpc shows the screen-bezel ratio of a number of different phones— the LG G2 leads the way with a 75.7% ratio. (The percentage indicates the amount of the phone that is actually screen and not bezel.)

The iPhones (4S, 4, and 3GS) came in last, with the 3GS being the worst— its percentage was 50.8%. The 5S and 5 sat around 60%.

I mean, just look at the photo above and tell me that the iPhone’s forehead isn’t the biggest thing you’ve seen in your life!

It definitely surprised me to see these numbers, but at second glance, the area above and below the the iPhone’s screen, combined with the side bezels, can easily make up about half of the front of the device. Rumors suggest that the next iPhone will be bezel-free, mostly because there will be no home button. We’ll have to see whether or not Apple stays true to the rumors, but my guess is that they’ll find a way.

Check out the full graphic of bezel percentages after the break.

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Huawei to unveil smartwatch and smartphone at Mobile World Congress later this month


We thought Huawei would be unveiling the successor to the Ascend P6, the Ascend P7, later this month at Mobile World Congress— instead, they’ll be launching another phone, alongside a brand new smartwatch.

Details aren’t yet available on either device, and we’d expect that most would be more interested in the smartwatch of the two. It looks as though Huawei, Apple’s main Asian competitor, will be beating Apple to the wearable market, at least in Asia.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted on all of this, especially because, as always, leaked specs and photos should be coming relatively soon.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Judge denies Samsung’s motion for a retrial in ongoing patent lawsuit


Yep, more Samsung/Apple patent news. Judge Lucy Koh, who has been the judge over this enormous patent lawsuit since the very beginning, has denied Samsung’s motion for a retrial based on some particularly unsavory comments made by one of Apple’s lawyers. Apple tried to argue that letting Korean-based Samsung continue to “infringe patents” owned by American companies would destroy American companies’ ability to make quality products. Read more

Tim Cook calls out Google on Motorola and Android’s “crappy” tablet experience


Apple CEO Tim Cook typically has nothing nice to say about Android. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s head honcho gave his opinion on Google letting go of Motorola. He calls the deal “a logical transaction” because Google was not “committed to” doing anything with Motorola. Cook then said “it’s really hard to do hardware, software and services” as a single company; however, he claims this is “what makes Apple so special.” Cook fails to mention products like the Chromebook Pixel or Google Chromecast. And I’m quite sure Google has a decent amount of influence on the design of Nexus devices.

Then came the harshest of Cook’s comments. On the subject of the Android experience on tablets, Cook feels it “is so crappy because the app is nothing more than a stretched out smartphone app.” Had Tim Cook said this a few years ago, he would be right. But now with devices like the Nexus 7 (2013) becoming more mainstream and accessible, developers have definitely noticed Android tablets.

So there you have it. Tim Cook throwing some more fire at Google and Android. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

Source: The Wall Street Journal Digits

Justice Department closes investigation of Samsung patent activity

A man walks out of Samsung Electronics' headquarters in Seoul

Samsung was being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department because of suspicions that the company was using a special class of patents to attack rivals— the investigation will now come to a close, the the Department will continue to monitor the company in terms of patent regulation.

The news comes in the midst of a series of patent infringement complaints filed by both Apple and Samsung, with the most recent filed against Apple— Samsung won, and some older iPhone and iPad models were banned from being sold in the US.

Legal issues were determined to not require any kind of investigation, so the Justice Department has stopped looking into the matter.

Source: Reuters

Samsung wants iPhones banned at the Winter Olympics

Apple vs Samsung

Samsung is a major sponsor of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and they’re reportedly wanting a ban on iPhones and other competing devices during the games. Specifically, Samsung has requested that all athletes cover Apple and other logos during the opening ceremony while using devices to record video and take photos. This news has also been confirmed by the Swiss delegation.

Samsung has also been offering athletes free products such as the Galaxy Note 3, which is likely to be heavily advertised during the games.

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