In late March 2012, the tide seemed as though it was about to turn for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone platform. After a year and a half of struggling, the “first real Windows Phone” was about to launch in early April and change the smartphone landscape forever. People got excited. I got excited. After waiting so long for a true third player to emerge, this was it. The surprisingly affordable Lumia 900 flagship phone was released by AT&T (T) on April 8th and it was initially free for new subscribers or $99 for AT&T customers. What a deal! The phone was gorgeous, unique, fast and fresh, presenting a genuine alternative in an industry dominated by two behemoths. But no one cared. More →
According to recent estimates Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley provided to clients in a recent research note, Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) combined to capture 106% of smartphone industry profits in the third quarter this year. That’s not a typo. Big-brand smartphone vendors are still struggling to find a way to stop losing money while Apple pulled in 59% of industry profits according to Walkley’s figures, and Samsung accounted for 47%. But Samsung actually wasn’t the only global Android vendor that managed to turn a profit last quarter. More →
If ever there was a smartphone that screams “underdog,” the HTC Windows Phone 8X is that phone. In a handset market dominated by Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930), HTC (2498) stumbled badly in late 2011 and has yet to regain it footing. And in a platform war dominated by Google (GOOG) and Apple, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone now enters its third year on the market with little to show for it. This perpetually emerging mobile OS has received critical acclaim since its debut in 2010, but recent figures from market research firm IDC suggest Windows Phone hasn’t even captured 5% of the global smartphone market. More →
Following a special report on 60 Minutes, Huawei went from being a relatively unknown Chinese company to public enemy number one. It was alleged that the telecom equipment giant was in cahoots with the Chinese government and posed as a potential security risk to the United States. Shortly after the report was made public, however, a White House-ordered review found no evidence that the company was spying. Huawei has a large task at hand, along with attempting to fight Samsung (005930), Apple (AAPL) and others for smartphone market share: The company must now recover from a sea of bad press. After a short delay in production, Huawei is finally ready to unleash “the world’s fastest quad-core smartphone” to the world. Read on to see if the Ascend D Quad XL lives up to its name. More →
Almost exactly eight months ago, I reviewed Samsung’s Galaxy Note “phablet” and called it the smartphone that “Samsunged” Samsung (005930). I very much enjoyed certain aspects of Samsung’s debut tablet-smartphone hybrid and I thought the company’s implementation of the S Pen stylus was unique and intriguing, but I wrote that the complete package was far too monstrous to be usable. I went even further to call the device “an answer without a question” and hoped aloud that it would mark a turning point where smartphones like the Galaxy Note might begin to shrink back down to more manageable sizes. Then Samsung sold more than 10 million of them and it ended up being the smartphone that Samsunged BGR. More →
Some time ago, top executives at Microsoft (MSFT) realized the company needed to make some major strategic changes to adapt in a marketplace that was in the early days of a huge shift. Many would argue that the decision came later than it should have, and they could present some solid arguments. Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space and re-entry into the smartphone arena indeed came late, and the company has paid the price for its mistakes thus far. From the look of things, however, this giant has legs. More →
Record-breaking preorders. Anticipation. Lines that begin forming a week in advance. Excitement. Launch-day lines that extend for blocks. Chaos. Supply shortages. Heartbreak. Preorder delays. Panic. Record-breaking opening weekend sales. Doubt. Problems that begin to arise. Scandals. Troubles continue to mount. Apologies. Heavy demand persists… These are the makings of an Apple (AAPL) device launch. More →
Steve Jobs once said that touchscreen Macs wouldn’t make any sense because your arm would quickly become fatigued from holding it up in the air to poke the screen. So when Chinese company TMDTouch revealed its Zorro Macsk (that’s not a typo) that claimed to be capable of adding multitouch gestures to an iMac with mere plug and play functionality, my interest was piqued. Rather than add a touchscreen panel on top of the iMac, the Zorro Macsk uses infrared technology to track finger input. But does the $199 USB-powered accessory give the iMac a new lease on life? Read on for my full review.
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is practically the same phone as before! It’s just a little thinner and a little faster, no big deal! Right? Well, maybe. But in true Apple fashion, the real story is the way these refinements play into the bigger picture of the iPhone itself, and how the best smartphone in the world just got even better. Thinner, faster, stronger, lighter — the iPhone 5 is better than the iPhone 4S in almost every way. Instead of doing a review based on ridiculous scoring systems or specification checklists, here’s a real review of the iPhone 5 from a real iPhone 4S user.
Like OS X Mountain Lion is to Lion, iOS 6 is a refinement of a mobile operating system that Apple (AAPL) had in place in iOS 5, with a few new changes that might raise your brow. Available for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, new iPad (third-generation) and iPod touch (fourth-generation), the changes Apple made in iOS 6 are subtle, but add to Apple’s endless pursuit of iOS perfection. It’s an update chock-full of features, as has been the case with every other major iOS update, and best of all: it’s free for all devices.
Years from now when people reflect on Android and its meteoric rise to the top, Google’s (GOOG) Motorola Mobility will absolutely be among the companies credited with pushing the Android platform to the next level during its early days. HTC (TPE:2498) lays claim to the first Android smartphone — the T-Mobile G1, or the HTC Dream as it was known internationally — but Motorola and Verizon Wireless (VZ) had the first Android-powered smash hit when they launched the Motorola DROID ahead of the holidays in 2009.
HTC’s $300 million investment in Beats Electronics last summer was one of the more questionable moves the struggling vendor has made in recent history. News of the deal came in August 2011, and HTC was a few weeks away from reporting its fifth consecutive month of record revenue. That run would extend to a sixth month in September before coming to a screeching halt in October as Apple launched the iPhone 4S. Things have been rocky for HTC since then — the company’s profit declined 70% in the first quarter and 58% in the second quarter as Apple and Samsung continued to dominate the smartphone industry.
Huawei isn’t a well known brand when it comes to the U.S. smartphone market. The Chinese manufacturer is looking to change that, however, and plans to push forward with more advertising in the U.S. and a slew of new smartphones. The Ascend P1 was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics show in January, and over the past few months it has been slowly rolling out in various markets. Huawei is betting big on its Android-powered smartphones, but in a world of Samsung Galaxy S IIIs and HTC One Xs, is the company’s latest effort enough to attract consumers and increase its share of the extremely competitive smartphone market? Read on to find out.