A few days ago Samsung representatives indicated the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 would introduce a “new form factor” to the market. Rumors immediately surfaced indicating Samsung was planning to incorporate a Youm flexible display in the device, similar to a prototype Samsung released last year. Now a new patent application has surfaced that may reveal some more about this new form factor and how Samsung could utilize the flexible display technology. » Read the rest
News from Chinese sources indicate Meizu is working on accelerating the release of the successor to the Meizu MX3 to August of this year. The Meizu MX4 will reportedly be produced in two different configurations with one of them possibly selling for as little as 2,000 yuan ($320 USD). Even at that price point, it appears Meizu still plans to produce a high-end smartphone running a 5.5-inch screen at 1920 x 1080 resolution. The other variant of the MX4, tentatively dubbed the “Pro” version, will supposedly come with an even better 2560 x 1536 resolution 5.5-inch screen producing 543ppi. » Read the rest
New indications from Asian news source DigiTimes suggest Google is working on a 2014 Nexus device, the rumored Nexus 8, that will come with an 8.9-inch screen. The last two versions of the Nexus tablet from Google, in 2012 and 2013, have both been 7-inch devices. They have proven to be very popular, albeit sales of the 2013 version have been a bit disappointing, and helped drive the tablet market to the 7-inch class size. Meanwhile, larger tablets have lagged a bit, accounting for only 30% of the tablet market. Apparently Google thinks this move will help entice manufacturers to move to larger devices, even at the lower end of the range, as opposed to extremely large tablets. This move could also help differentiate tablets from phones as the line between them, at least based on size, continues to blur as phones get larger.
Earlier this year Samsung released several tablets in the large tablet category, including the recently released 12.2-inch Note Pro and Tab Pro devices. However, other manufacturers who had been looking at the extremely large tablet market have started to back off. Supposedly Apple was considering a 12.85-inch tablet, but that has now been scrapped. Meanwhile, Asus has delayed a 13.3-inch tablet. All these signs point to interest in extremely large tablets not being as large as expected.
Do you think 8.9-inches is a good choice for Google for their next Nexus tablet or should they have gone for some other size?
A new image has surfaced showing a new device from Huawei which indicates they are not content to stop at 6.1 inches for the size of a smartphone. The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 was announced last month at CES 2014 with a massive 6.1-inch screen. The new device supposedly has a 7-inch screen that will run at 1920×1200 resolution. Other hardware reportedly included in the device includes a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Sources also report that Huawei considers the device, despite its size, a smartphone and not a tablet. Early pricing rumors suggest the device will sell for 1,200 yuan ($198 USD).
If this were to ever find its way outside of the Asian markets, is it something you would be interested in buying?
While the Nexus 7 has been a big hit, customers hoping to use the device on Verizon’s wireless network have been left out in the cold. It all started last fall when it was discovered Verizon would not allow activations of the device on their network followed by a hasty explanation involving their certification process. That process was then delayed when “issues” were identified and a decision was made to wait until Android 4.4 KitKat could be installed on Verizon units. According to a tweet from @evleaks, the Nexus 7 is finally ready to join the Verizon portfolio.
Keep in mind @evleaks tweeted essentially the same message back at the beginning of November. Similar to that tweet, this latest tip includes no indication of timing unless you consider “about to be” such a qualifier. The latest rumor does add that the devices will have no Verizon branding, which would be an odd move.
Are you a Verizon customer interested in a Nexus 7 capable of running on their network?
According to a news report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes, a squeeze on fingerprint modules for smartphones is expected to occur during the first half of 2014. At least part of the reason for this is the expectation that Samsung is moving forward with plans to adopt fingerprint scanners from manufacturer Validity for their upcoming high-end models. This could potentially start with the Samsung Galaxy S5 expected to be released in the next few months. Given Samsung’s market success, the addition of fingerprint scanners to their devices will consume much of the supply chain given how many devices they produce and sell. Validity is the same manufacturer that supplied HTC with modules for the HTC One Max introduced last year.
Samsung is not the only company cited by DigiTimes as working on the inclusion of fingerprint scanners. LG is reported to be working on a similar strategy for their high-end phones, possibly the LG G3. LG appears to be sourcing their modules from FingerPrint Cards out of Sweden. Several Chinese manufacturers are also working on adding similar features to their phones, further putting the squeeze on module manufacturers. Outside of Android-based devices, Apple acquired AuthenTec which would appear to have taken then out of the supply loop.
For Taiwan-based companies, this does represent an opportunity though if they can ramp up to meet some of the expected demand.
With both 2014 and then CES 2014 ready to take over our calendars, rumors about flagship devices from major Android device manufacturers are starting to fly around like confetti over Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The latest news comes from Chinese site Digi-Wo which claims to have information about a couple potential flagship devices from Sony. The two devices are codenamed “Sirius” and “Canopus” and appear to be ready to be announced during the first half of 2014. » Read the rest
A couple days ago T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted about Uncarrier 4, the next “release” planned as part of the company’s Uncarrier strategy that has slowly been unfolding before us. Although Legere used a few characters to take a shot at AT&T, he did nothing to give us any hint as to what T-Mobile might have planned for their next step in disrupting the mobile carrier landscape. One unidentified source claims Uncarrier 4 is an initiative called “houdini” that involves payoffs of early termination fees and hardware credits. » Read the rest
LG is not exactly sure what may be going on over at the Korea Times, but they do know their latest report hinting at an LG partnership with Huawei is nothing but hot air. In a statement released today, LG says “there is no discussion now or in the past with Huawei on any aspects of LG Electronics’ business.” This terse statement came in response to a report in the Korea Times suggesting LG and Huawei may be working on a partnership with at least one of the goals being to help “revive” LG’s smartphone business.
While LG has generally been receiving positive reviews for the devices it released in 2013 like the LG G2 or the Nexus 5, it has continued to struggle in the market to gain share. During the past year LG saw Huawei overtake it in global shipments. However, that lack of market share is attributed to LG’s weakness in the entry-level and lower ends of the market. Coincidentally, that is also the part of the market where Huawei primarily targets their devices. Apparently the analyst cited by the Korea Times thinks LG is feeling the heat and described their smartphone business as “fragile.”
source: The Verge
Remember Samsung’s watered down devices such as the Galaxy Note 3 Lite and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite? A new report from ET News in Korea claims that the Galaxy Note 3 Lite has already entered production. Apparently Samsung is slated to produce 500,000 units in January and about 1.5 million in February. This would allow Samsung to announce the Note 3 Lite at Mobile World Congress in February and a release in March or April.
It is rumored that Samsung had started production last month but decided to push back the release since the device would be close to the Note 3 release and change the perception of the Note brand as premium. Sources are even saying that Samsung expects this device to consume 30% of Note 3 sales. The Note 3 Lite is rumored to have a 5.49 or 5.68-inch LCD, not AMOLED to keep costs down, display. Being that it is a low-end device, a 1080p display is not expected alongside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor.