The Nielsen Company on Tuesday released the findings of its latest smartphone survey, which asked respondents planning to purchase new smartphones which platform they intended to patronize. When asked that question between June and September last year, 33% named iOS, 26% said Android and 13% said they planned to purchase a BlackBerry smartphone. When a new group was asked the same question between January and March of 2011, Android slipped past Apple’s iOS platform to become the most wanted smartphone platform according to Nielsen; 31% planned to purchase an Android phone, 30% planned to buy an iPhone and 11% were eyeing BlackBerry devices. Interestingly, indecision also grew between the two surveys — 18% of respondents were undecided when asked between June and September survey while 20% were undecided between January and March. More →
Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry on Monday became the latest analyst to take a shot at Motorola’s XOOM tablet, though Chowdry’s figures appear a bit suspect. The analyst claims Motorola Mobility manufactured between 500,000 and 800,000 XOOM tablets thus far, and he estimates that the company has only sold between 5% and 15% of those tablets. Chowdry thinks that Motorola may have sold as few as 25,000 units or as many as 120,000 XOOM tablets to date. Yes, a range that large is absurd — some might even call it an egregious disservice to Global Equities’ clients — but if Chowdry’s numbers are at all accurate, this could spell trouble for Motorola. While we argued that recent XOOM sales estimates didn’t render the XOOM a flop, if Motorola did in fact build nearly a million tablets and sell less than 100,000 units, “flop” might become an accurate descriptor. Of course if the XOOM was in fact selling at such a slow rate, Motorola would have likely cut its orders and slowed production, again leading us again to wonder if Chowdry spilled coffee on his notes before typing up these recent estimates. We should know more on Thursday when Motorola Mobility reports its earnings for the last quarter, though we’re not sure the company will disclose a breakdown of device sales. More →
Sony on Tuesday finally unveiled its first two tablet devices, which have been rumored for several months. For the time being, the tablets are known as the “S1″ and “S2,” though these are codenames and not launch names. Sony’s S1 is a 9.4-inch tablet that features an “off-center of gravity design,” and the S2 sports a folding form factor with dual 5.5-inch displays. Both tablets will feature Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) along with custom Sony software that focuses on media and entertainment. Gaming will be a core element of Sony’s tablet strategy, as it will be with Sony Ericsson’s smartphone strategy, and the S1 and S2 will both feature PlayStation integration and PlayStation Network compatibility… if PSN is back up by then. Sony’s Qriocity music services will be featured as well, and eBooks will be readily available through Sony’s Reader Store. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Amazon is said to be prepping a new tablet device that may launch as early as this summer. According to a report from gadget site gdgt, Amazon has chosen Samsung to help design and build the tablet, which may run Honeycomb or even a custom operating system based on Google’s Android platform. Rumors of an Amazon tablet have been around for quite some time, and Android was always expected to be Amazon’s OS of choice. News that the company may be building its own OS on top of Android suggests it may forgo some of Google’s core Android services, possibly including the Android Marketplace, and instead use the device to foster adoption of the Amazon Appstore, Cloud Drive and other Amazon services. Of course eBooks — specifically, Amazon’s Kindle platform — are expected to be a major focus of the tablet as well, and Amazon will also likely use the new device to push its music and movie services. Given the added weight and drastically reduced battery life of tablets compared to dedicated eBook readers like the Kindle, it is likely that Amazon’s forthcoming tablet will compliment the Kindle eReader rather than replace it. More →
T-Mobile’s G-Slate, the first tablet to pack a 4G radio out-of-the-box, is now available from T-Mobile. The G-Slate has an 8.9-inch 3D display, runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), can record 3D video, and sports a NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1GHz. We found the Android user interface to be a bit sluggish during our review, but we hope that T-Mobile fixes that snafu with future software updates. Android enthusiasts should still find a lot to love in the G-Slate, which is available online and in T-Mobile stores for $529.99 with a new two-year contract. More →
T-Mobile introduced the world to its first Android 3.0-powered tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. Unfortunately for T-Mobile, however, the G-Slate was announced amid a flurry of similar announcements — remember, over 100 tablets were introduced at CES this year — so the LG-built tablet got a bit lost in the fray. What’s more, Motorola’s XOOM tablet was the star of the show, thus positioning the G-Slate as a second-class citizen at CES. Later this week, however, T-Mobile will finally embark on its virgin Honeycomb as it pushes the device out to market. It looks as though the launch will be a quiet one compared to the XOOM, but that doesn’t necessarily mean LG’s tablet is unworthy of some attention. I’ve spent a few days putting the device through its paces and while I must admit my expectations weren’t terribly high to begin with, T-Mobile’s tablet definitely managed to surprise me in a few areas. Does that mean you should consider stepping off one of those iPad 2 lines still forming outside retailers and consider the G-Slate instead? Read on for my full review.
In case you haven’t heard, Android is kind of a big deal. Some research firms say it’s already the world’s top smartphone operating system, having recently passed Symbian’s quarterly sales pace for the first time, and just about every firm on the planet is predicting that Android’s market share will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. And it’s not just hot air — Google on Thursday during its first-quarter earnings call revealed that daily Android activations have surpassed the 350,000 mark. That adds up to nearly 2.5 million Android activations each week and about 10.5 million activations each month. Google said in December of last year that it was activating 300,000 Android devices each day, and if it can maintain its current pace there’s no question it will achieve global market dominance for years to come.
Back in December of last year, Motorola boss Sanjay Jha made it known that the company planned to take the tablet market very seriously. With its first tablet offering pulling in an estimated $50 million or more each month, it’s certainly likely that Motorola is planning an all-out assault on the market. During a keynote speech at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, Jha revealed that Motorola intends to target enterprise markets with a variety of tablet devices. Jha mentioned the retail market specifically during his speech, but it looks like Motorola is preparing a rugged 7-inch tablet as well. Spec highlights include a dual-core 1GHz processor, Android 2.3, a 7-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and a ruggedized case. No name or release details are available for the time being. More →
The Motorola XOOM is a flop, several blogs proclaimed today on news that Deutsche Bank analysts estimate that Motorola Mobility has only sold 100,000 XOOM tablets so far. Only? In an unproven market that is barely a year old, we’re looking at a brand new device that is selling at a rate of 75,000 units per month. We’re looking at a brand new device with a brand new operating system that is the first version of Android to address the tablet market. We’re looking at a brand new device that has likely pulled in more that $70 million in hardware sales. We’re looking at a brand new device that will also be responsible for millions of dollars each month in revenue for carriers and developers. But it’s a flop? More →
What do we have here? It looks like our friend, the HTC EVO View 4G, is being marketed with Google’s tablet-specific, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) operating system on Sprint’s official web site. Prior to this discovery, or snafu, the 7-inch tablet was expected to ship with Gingerbread — HTC’s site still lists the device as having “Android 2.3 with HTC Sense for tablet.” While the inclusion of Honeycomb would be great, we’re not sure how much sense (pun intended) it makes. HTC has gone to great lengths to customize the View 4G to take advantage of its Scribe pen technology, and — judging by how much was left to do on the EVO View’s Android 2.3 bundle when we saw it at MWC and CTIA — we’re not sure the Taiwanese company would have had enough time for a 3.0 Sense port. We’ve reached out to Sprint for clarification and will update this post with any relevant information provided.
UPDATE: Sprint has issued BGR the following statement via email: “HTC EVO View 4G is in development with Gingerbread. Our plan is to offer Honeycomb. If we receive the software in time, we hope to launch with Honeycomb. If not, we will launch with Gingerbread and upgrade to Honeycomb as soon as we can.” More →
Motorola Mobility has sold 100,000 Motorola XOOM units through the tablet’s first two months of availability, Deutsche Bank analysts claim. The firm arrived at the 100,000 figure by using the Android developer site to see how many people are currently using the Honeycomb OS. Dow Jones’ Shara Tibken notes in her wire report that Apple’s original iPad sold 300,000 units on its first day of availability alone, rendering sales of the XOOM less than impressive. Comparing XOOM sales to iPad sales makes for good chatter of course, but a sell rate of 50,000 units per month is certainly respectable for the Honeycomb tablet. Deutsche Bank states that the current estimated sales pace is in line with its estimates of 50,000 units in the first quarter and 150,000 in the second quarter of 2011. Motorola has not revealed official sales figures for the XOOM.
Sprint and Verizon Wireless have both dropped the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android 2.2 (Froyo) tablet with a 7-inch display, to $199.99 with a new two-year contract. Sprint originally launched the Galaxy Tab for $399.99, before dropping the price by $100 in January, and Verizon Wireless’ Galaxy Tab made its debut at $499.99 without a contract. Samsung yet to say whether or not the Galaxy Tab will ever be updated to Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), but we’re guessing that’s probably not going to happen. We’re not surprised by the price drops either, given Samsung’s recent Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 announcements. If you’ve been waiting for a 3G tablet to drop down into the smartphone price range, now’s the time to attack. More →
The debate surrounding Android fragmentation continues to draw attention, and the issue resurfaced on Monday following the results of a recent survey. According to Baird analyst William Powers, roughly 87% of Android developers believe that fragmentation is a problem for the Android platform. 57% feel Android’s fragmentation problem is either “huge” or “meaningful,” and about 30% agree that it is a problem to a lesser degree. Google said this past November that the overwhelming majority of Android devices — 77% — run Android 2.1 or Android 2.2, but developers apparently still feel that the existence of multiple Android versions in the market at the same time is less than ideal. What’s more, the company’s recent decision to provide limited early access to upcoming Android builds for partners whose plans for the software are approved by Google suggests that the company views fragmentation as more of a problem than it might convey publicly. More →