Even before the release of the first Android tablet and the Honeycomb operating system, Google predicted its partners would sell more than 10 million tablets a year beginning in 2011 and capture up to one-third of the market by 2012, The Verge reported. The information comes from Google’s testimony in an ongoing trial with Oracle. Android Senior Vice President Andy Rubin made the prediction based on tablet market data from Morgan Stanley, which estimated a total of 46 million tablets would be sold by 2012. The Mountain View-based company’s expectations have fallen short, however, and Apple has dominated the tablet market with more than 67 million iPads sold thus far. The Internet giant also expected Android tablets to generate up to $110 million in search revenue in 2011 and $220 million in 2012. More →
Fragmentation is a recurring issue that haunts the Android ecosystem in many ways. While Google’s latest version of the Android platform was intended in large part to address the issue — which many believe to have peaked when the software giant launched Android 3.0 Honeycomb and maintained two entirely separate versions of Android for smartphones and tablets — Ice Cream Sandwich has not yet done its job. Four-and-a-half months since its debut, only 1% of Android devices currently run the unified Android 4.0 operating system according to Google’s own data. To compound matters, a recent report suggested Google may launch Android 5.0 Jelly Bean as soon as this summer. There is no question that fragmentation is a real issue for the Android platform, but is it really as big a deal as some make it out to be? More →
Netflix subscribers can finally stream movies to their Android tablets without worrying about installing third-party .apks files or attempting annoying work-arounds. The company announced on Wednesday that its application now supports tablets running Android 3.x (Honeycomb). In addition, the Netflix app supports users in Canada and Latin America now. Netflix for Honeycomb is free, provided you already subscribe to the company’s “Watch Instantly” streaming service, and it is available in the Android Market now. More →
Motorola is rumored to be working on a new tablet with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich a 4:3 aspect ratio like Apple’s iPad. Fusible did a bit of digging on Friday and found that the upcoming slate could be dubbed the “Motorola KORE.” Motorola Trademark Holdings on Wednesday register five new domains: MotorolaKore.com, KoreMotorola.com, Moto–kore.com, MotoKore.com and Motorola-Kore.com. Fusible speculates that these domains are being held for the launch of Motorola Mobility’s second Android-powered tablet. Earlier rumors suggested the slate would be dubbed the XOOM 2, but following a tepid reception, it is entirely possible that Motorola could dump the brand for the slightly edgier “KORE” moniker. Also of note, Motorola’s next tablet could be one of the first slates to ship with NVIDIA’s quad-core Kal-El processor, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Moto intended to make those four “kores” the main focus of its marketing campaign. Motorola released its XOOM tablet in the U.S. this past March and while sales haven’t been stellar, the slate has fared relatively well compared to other Android tablets on the market with 250,000 units shipped in the first quarter. More →
A new page on T-Mobile USA’s website makes some fairly bold claims about the carrier’s premier Honeycomb tablet, the LG G-Slate. In comparing the sleek device to its steepest competition at AT&T and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile says the G-Slate is “more than two times faster than the Apple iPad 2 on AT&T and Verizon, and three times faster than the Motorola XOOM on Verizon — and it’s less expensive, too!” At $399.99 with a 2-year data contract or $599.99 off contract, there is no question that the G-Slate is cheaper. Apple’s 3G iPad 2 is $729 with the same 32GB of storage and the Motorola XOOM is $599.99 on contract or $799.99 contract-free. Regarding the speed-related claims, some questions have been raised as to how T-Mobile came to those conclusions. “An independent third party conducted testing to compare T-Mobile’s G-Slate, AT&T’s iPad 2 and Verizon Wireless’ Motorola XOOM,” a T-Mobile spokesperson told BGR in an email. “The testing was conducted in two cities – New York and Seattle – across 30 locations and at least five repetitions with each device per location per market. The total sample size was 300 tests encompassing at least 70 percent of a market.” T-Mobile has once again pitted its 4G HSPA+ service against comparable networks from its two largest competitors, and according to this third-party study, the nation’s No. 4 carrier has again come out on top. BGR reviewed T-Mobile’s G-Slate tablet this past April and found that the hardware was best-in-class, though we were not impressed with Google’s initial build of Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
AT&T on Wednesday announced that it will be the exclusive provider of Sony’s new S2 tablet in the United States. Sony took the wraps off of the S2 in April, and said it offers a unique folding form factor with dual 5.5-inch 1024 x 480 displays and a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. The device is powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb and will launch with support for AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network. It also runs Sony’s PlayStation Network for gaming and video services. AT&T didn’t reveal the pricing or an exact launch date, but Sony originally said the S2 would hit the market this fall. Hit the jump for the full press release.
A new independent study by security experts at Symantec attempted to measure how secure Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform are, and also to determine how these mobile platforms stack up against desktop operating systems. Symantec claims that these mobile platforms are much more secure than today’s popular desktop operating systems, though the firm does note that the key variable, as always, is the human element. “Today’s mobile devices are a mixed bag when it comes to security,” said Carey Nachenberg, Symantec Fellow and Chief Architect, in a statement. “While more secure than traditional PCs, these platforms are still vulnerable to many traditional attacks. Moreover, enterprise employees are increasingly using unmanaged, personal devices to access sensitive enterprise resources, and then connecting these devices to 3rd-party services outside of the governance of the enterprise, potentially exposing key assets to attackers.” While Symantec neglects to reach a firm conclusion regarding which mobile OS is the most secure, the firm definitely seems to favor iOS more often than not. It says iOS’ app screening procedure plays a big role in the operating system’s security, and it also says the platform’s architecture makes it better at resisting malware attacks and data integrity attacks. It also says iOS offers better encryption and more secure access control for apps. Symantec’s full press release follows below.
Google’s share of the U.S. smartphone market dipped for the first time since 2009 according to Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf. Needham says Android’s share slid from 52.4% to 49.5% in the first quarter, its first sequential market share loss in any region since the second quarter of 2009. Wolf attributes the dip to the launch of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4; Apple’s U.S. market share ballooned more than 12 points to 29.5% in the first quarter. Wolf believes Android’s market share in the U.S. will rebound in the June and September quarters, though it will see a “material decline” in the fourth quarter of 2011 following the launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone. “This is just the beginning of Android’s share loss in the U.S.,” Wolf wrote in a note to investors. “The migration of subscribers to the iPhone on the Verizon network should accelerate this fall when Apple coordinates the launch of iPhone 5 on the GSM and CDMA networks. The iPhone could also launch on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.” Hit the break for a graphical representation of U.S. smartphone market share from IDC. More →
More than 100 tablets were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, but only a few of them really caught our attention. Among those select few were the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer — a tablet that saw high demand at launch, though it may now be waning — and the ASUS Eee Pad Slider. When the slider was announced back in January, ASUS said it would launch in May and we expected it to cost between $499 and $799. While exact pricing remains a mystery, May has come and gone, and the month was decidedly Slider-less. A launch in some regions may be fast approaching, however, as Amazon’s German website now displays the Eee Pad Slider alongside an option to be emailed once the slate becomes available. ASUS already covered most of the specs when the convertible tablet was announced, though Amazon.de does indicate that it will sport a new 1.2GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, known previously as the Tegra 2 3D. More →
Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that it will carry a 4G LTE version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android Honeycomb tablet. The device — currently the thinnest tablet on the market — will be available in two capacities, 16GB and 32GB, and will launch in two color schemes: “metallica gray” and “glossy white.” Save for its 4G LTE radio and updated operating system, the tablet is nearly identical to the special edition that we reviewed earlier this month: it offers a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a 1280 x 800 resolution display, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, and a 3-megapixel rear camera. Pre-orders begin on June 8th, and you can pick up the 16GB version for $529.99 or the 32GB model for $629.99 with a new two-year contract. Verizon Wireless also said that it will offer a range of accessories for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, including a full keyboard. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
During the Computex trade show in Taipei on Monday, ViewSonic officially took the wraps off of its ViewPad 7x Android tablet. We had heard mumblings of the device earlier this month, but now we know all of the ins and outs of the tablet: it runs Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb, is powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, has HSPA+ connectivity, an HDMI-out port, rear and front facing cameras, and a 7-inch LED display with a 1024 x 600 resolution. We hope ViewSonic has plans to update the 7x to Google’s newer Android 3.1 operating system once it launches, but it’s not clear if that’s in the works right now. ViewSonic has not yet announced details on pricing or revealed a launch date, either. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
HTC’s a company that normally is first in the industry. Not so with the HTC Flyer. It’s HTC’s first Android tablet, but plenty of others, including Asus, LG, Motorola, Samsung, beat it to the market. The HTC Flyer just landed exclusively in Best Buy stores on May 22nd for $499. Sure, it’s packed with HTC’s Sense UI, a 1.5GHz processor, and can be purchased with a stylus accessory that allows you to use the Flyer as a notebook, but can it hold its own against more powerful Android Honeycomb tablets? I spent the last few days with HTC’s 7-inch tablet, and the full review is after the break.More →
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, originally announced with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on board, will now ship with the updated Android 3.1 operating system. Samsung has updated its Galaxy Tab 10.1 product page to reflect the update, and a representative for Samsung Mobile confirmed in a comment on the firm’s official Facebook page that “the original had 3.0 but now it will [ship] with Android 3.1.” The new operating system should include support for Google’s Android movie rental service, Adobe Flash Player 10.2 support, USB-connected peripherals, resizable home screen widgets, and more. More →