Amazon has updated their tablet-specific app with a few useful new features. Users will now be able to access Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service through the app, which is awesome if you live in an area where that’s supported. Unfortunately, a vast majority of users won’t be affected by that addition, but Amazon has added enough other new features to make the update worthwhile.
You’ll now be able to pin items in search results to the bottom of the app, done by dragging and dropping an item in the search view, which makes comparison shopping extremely easy. Think something similar to YouTube’s pinned video functionality. There’s also a new pop-up filter in the search results, which makes narrowing down items much easier than it was before.
Lenovo has announced four new tablets that will be released during the second quarter of 2014. Employing a strategy similar to Samsung, Lenovo’s tablets will come in a variety of sizes ranging from 7-inch devices up to 10-inch devices. Although all of them will come equipped with quad-core processors, Lenovo is trying to make each version slightly different in an attempt to appeal to different consumer demographics. Lenovo VP and head of the mobile business unit, Shao Tao, says the new “tablet family is designed to meet the demands of today’s young, active users who are always on the go, and have lifestyle requirements that are as diverse as their own personalities.” The tablets include:
- A7-30, a 7-inch tablet packed with Dolby-enhanced dual-front speakers designed for music and multimedia enjoyment
- A7-50, another 7-inch tablet, but aimed more at readers with an HD display providing a sharper viewing experience, it will also come with 3G connectivity as an option, prices will start at £99.99 ($167 USD)
- A8-50, an 8-inch tablet with an HD display and Dolby audio, this model will come in a range of bold colors, though Lenovo has not specified what they will be, prices will start at £139.99 ($233 USD)
- A10-70, a 10.1-inch tablet with an HD display, especially suited for those who enjoy watching movies on their tablet, prices will start at £169.99 ($283 USD).
Lenovo says the devices will be available worldwide during the second quarter of 2014. Hit the break to read the press release from Lenovo.
Echoing earlier research, Gartner announced today that worldwide sales of tablets in 2013 totaled 195.4 million units with Android laying claim to 62% of the market. The big beneficiary of Android’s growth, driven by users snapping up smaller, lower-end devices, was Samsung who sold just over 37 million units. Meanwhile, Samsung’s biggest rival, Apple, saw their market share slide from almost 53% to only 36% despite selling 9 million more units compared to the prior year. The silver lining for Apple was that they continue to retain the title of largest tablet manufacturer. Although Samsung is closing the gap quickly, Apple still sold about twice as many tablets as Samsung.
Meanwhile, Asus, Amazon and Lenovo rounded out the top five manufacturers. Of those three, Lenovo saw unit sales increase by 198% to 6.5 million units. Microsoft managed to increase their tablet shipments from 1.2 million to 4 million units during 2013, continuing to hold 2.1% of the market.
The past month has been an up and down month for the relationship between Google and Samsung with much of the consternation being centered on Samsung’s new Magazine UX that was revealed during CES 2014. At the event, when Samsung announced several new tablet devices, they came loaded with a new interface dubbed Magazine by Samsung. The interface is quite a departure from the stock Android interface and appears much more closely aligned with a Windows Metro-style interface with hints of Flipboard present. Despite this issue, late in January the two giants in the Android space announced a 10-year patent licensing agreement amidst proclamations about the importance of collaboration and cooperation. Yesterday’s announcement of the U.S. release of the new Samsung tablets has once again stirred up the Magazine flap between the two companies.
New data released by Strategy Analytics today show the global tablet market continues to grow at a healthy pace with Samsung being one of the primary beneficiaries of that growth. Android continued to dominate claiming 62 percent of the market, although Apple’s iOS reversed a recent trend and managed to experience some growth as well during the last quarter of the year. Just during the fourth quarter, global tablet shipments hit 76.8 million units, an increase of 20 percent compared to the same period in 2012. For the entire year, shipments reached 227 million units, a year over year increase of 33 percent.
According to reports from Korean web site ET News, Samsung is ready to ramp up production of AMOLED displays in the 8- to 10-inch size for use in tablet devices. The technology, used primarily by Samsung and LG, has found its way into small devices like smartphones and large devices like televisions. However, the cost to produce the screens apparently made it prohibitive to produce them for tablet devices. With the tablet market growing by leaps and bounds and projected to continue and Samsung focusing on tablets during the coming year, it makes sense that the company is finally ready to crank up production of AMOLED displays for their tablets. ET News also notes that TV sales have been sagging a bit, so the addition of tablet production will help Samsung optimize utilization of the production lines in what may be some fortuitous timing.
source: ET News
Acer is ready to release refreshed Iconia tablet devices at CES 2014 next week. This year’s models include the 7.9-inch Acer Iconia A1-830 and the 7-inch Acer Iconia B1-720. The Iconia A1-830 is the higher end unit of the two with an aluminum back, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with an option to expand via microSD, and a screen running at 1024×768 resolution. The Iconia B1-720 comes with a 1.3 GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM. Both devices will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The Iconia A1-830 will hit the market for $149 while the smaller Iconia B1-720 will sell for $130.
E FUN is ready to bring some new tablets to the market during 2014 and at least two of them will be on display next week at CES 2014. The new devices are both quad-core powered tablets running Android 4.2 and will come in 8-inch and 10-inch sizes. The Nextbook 8 and Nextbook 10 will be on display during the event and E FUN indicates they will be available during the first quarter of 2014 for $129.99 and $149.99 respectively. Although not ready to make the journey to the event, E FUN also indicates they will be coming out with a 7-inch Nextbook 7 which will sell for $99.99 when it is released during Q1.
After indicating a desire to focus more on the tablet market in 2014, Korean sources are reporting that Samsung did reach an internal goal of selling 40 million tablet devices during 2013. This sets them up for 2014 when they hope to sell 100 million tablets. If Samsung succeeds in selling that many devices, it may help make their name synonymous with tablets instead of Apple.
Samsung appears to be ready to release at least four new tablets during the first quarter of 2014 as it continues its march toward mobile device domination. One of these devices is anticipated to be the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite (SM-T11) potentially being released the second week of January. The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is expected to be a low-end tablet which a price tag to match, although we do not have any specs yet to gauge where Samsung things the low-end of the market is. Another tablet that may be close to release is the possible Galaxy Tab 4 with a model number SM-T331. Whatever this mystery tablet is, it is expected to come with an AMOLED display instead of LCD as part of Samsung’s initiative to switch over to AMOLED.
Rumors are also floating around that Samsung is interested in producing a Note series device with a 12.2-inch screen that could possibly trigger the merger of tablets and laptops as a viable category for most buyers. There is also some rumbling about a possible Android/Windows dual-boot device with a more traditional laptop size screen of 13.3-inches.