Samsung’s popular Galaxy S II smartphone and its supersized Galaxy Note handset are both scheduled to get official Android 4.0 updates in the first quarter of 2012. Samsung on Tuesday announced that the pair of smartphones would be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich within the next three months, and it listed a number of other devices that will be updated at some point thereafter. Android 4.0 upgradable devices include the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Note, Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. The South Korea-based vendor said it will announce Ice Cream Sandwich update details for those devices as it works out the particulars with various carrier partners. More →
For all the trouble Apple’s aggressive litigation strategy has caused Samsung, the South Korea-based electronics giant has finally found a way to make the pricey patent war work to its advantage. Samsung’s devices are gaining huge exposure as a result of Apple’s ongoing lawsuits, positioning Samsung’s Galaxy range of Android tablets and smartphones as the underdog alternative to Apple’s iOS lineup. More →
BGR has learned from a trusted source that Samsung is set to launch an 11.6-inch tablet running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich next year, and it will most likely be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February. Even though the tablet features a larger display than Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, we’re told that the tablet is “barely larger” due to the fact the slate will have a thinner bezel with a whopping 2560 x 1600 resolution, 11.6-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The tablet will use a dual-core Exynos 5250 CPU clocked at 2GHz. We have also heard that Apple’s new A6 CPU will be very similar to the Samsung CPU, which is a dual-core Cortex A15 chip. Samsung’s tablet will also feature Android Beam for easy syncing of media with a Galaxy Nexus, and a special wireless docking mode for gaming on HDTVs that will help Samsung compete with Apple TV, AirPlay and more. Samsung had no comment.
Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung on Monday said that his company is ramping up its defense against Apple in 2012. Speaking to The Korea Times, Samsung’s chief executive confirmed the creation of a $200 million war chest that the South Korea-based vendor will use to fight Apple’s patent-related advances moving forward. Apple has of course launched attacks against Samsung in a number of regions across the world, alleging that Samsung tablets and smartphones copy its designs and infringe on various Apple-owned patents. Samsung recently scored a small victory in the United States when a federal judge refused to ban sales of Samsung’s Galaxy devices. “If we win in Paris as well, that’s truly a big blow to Apple,” an anonymous Samsung executive told The Korea Times. “We are ready to aggressively sell the Tabs.” Samsung has said in the past that it plans to fight Apple more aggressively, and the creation of a $200 million fund suggests that the vendor intends to make good on its promise. More →
End user pricing on media tablets is set to drop substantially in 2012 as competition further increases among vendors. A new report from analyst James Wang of DigiTimes on Thursday suggests that the average price of 10-inch tablets will drop to between $299 and $399 next year, and 7-inch models will average between $199 and $249. Wang further speculations that Amazon may lower the end user cost of its Kindle Fire tablet to $149 in order to maintain its pricing advantage. Regarding eReaders, the analyst sees shipment volume growing 31.4% in 2012 to 28.9 million units, and he believes the U.S. will continue to account for the bulk of eReader sales. EReader pricing is expected to drop as well next year, and Wang says Amazon’s Kindle could be sold for as little as $49 as eBook readers from other vendors like Barnes & Noble reach the $99 price point. More →
Samsung recently filed lawsuits in Japan and Australia in an attempt to prevent Apple from selling the iPhone 4S. In addition, Samsung is seeking to block the sale of the iPad 2 and the original iPhone 4 in Japan, Bloomberg said Monday. In September, the South Korea-based phone maker also filed motions to ban the iPhone 4S in France and Italy. “Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said. “We will no longer stand idly by and will steadfastly protect our intellectual property.” Apple filed similar lawsuits against Samsung in the United States, Australia, Japan, France and the Netherlands. The iPhone maker successfully prevented Samsung’s local subsidiaries from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and the Galaxy S, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy S II in the Netherlands. Samsung recently announced that it will tweak its the aforementioned smartphones in an effort to dodge the European sales ban. More →
Verizon Wireless has decided to back Samsung in its ongoing legal battles with Apple, Reuters reported on Monday. “The requested injunction of certain Samsung products will harm Verizon Wireless and U.S. consumers,” Verizon Wireless argued. “It also has the possibility of slowing the deployment of next-generation networks — such as Verizon Wireless’s — contrary to the stated goals of the U.S. government.” Apple has successfully blocked Samsung’s local subsidiaries from selling its GALAXY Tab 10.1 tablet in Germany and from selling the GALAXY S and GALAXY S II handsets in the Netherlands. In addition, the iPhone maker has sought to block sales of the GALAXY Tab, GALAXY S and the GALAXY S II in Japan, and has delayed sales of the GALAXY Tab 10.1 in Australia pending a decision in an ongoing lawsuit. More →
Apple’s wildly popular iPad 2 will have “free run” in the tablet market this holiday season according to market research firm Gartner. As many Apple competitors continue to spin their wheels, Gartner says global tablet sales are on pace to total 63.6 million units in 2011. Only 17.6 million consumer tablets were sold in 2010, and Apple accounted for the overwhelming majority of sales. The firm anticipates that Apple will account for 73.4% of tablets sold in 2011 — a figure that coincides with earlier estimates — and Gartner says Android will be a distant second in the tablet space this year. “We expect Apple to maintain a market share lead throughout our forecast period by commanding more than 50 percent of the market until 2014,” said Gartner VP Carolina Milanesi in a statement. “This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software and services. Unless competitors can respond with a similar approach, challenges to Apple’s position will be minimal.” Gartner’s full press release follows below.
Samsung has released two teaser videos that promise “something big” is coming during the IFA trade show in Berlin, which kicks off on September 1st. The videos are vague: one shows scenes by an ocean and the second has a number of people walking around with glowing objects in their hands. It is possible the clips are hinting at Samsung’s rumored Android Honeycomb Galaxy Tab device, which packs a 7-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution, a 3-megapixel camera and a 2-megapixel camera for video chats. Samsung unveiled the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab last year, so it’s entirely possible that an update will be announced on September 1st. But, some of the users are also holding the glowing objects up to their heads, which means a phone announcement is also likely in store. Thankfully we only have just over two weeks to find out what’s in store. Hit the jump for both videos. More →
Sixteen months following Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Palm and just two months after launching the first webOS tablet, HP is giving up. The decision to axe webOS certainly wasn’t made lightly, and numerous factors undoubtedly contributed to the tech giant’s ultimate decision to put an end to its efforts with the TouchPad and other webOS hardware. Near the top of HP’s list, however, was likely the tablet’s sell-through rate. A report from earlier this week claimed that Best Buy, the nation’s top consumer electronics retailer, couldn’t even sell 10% of its TouchPad inventory despite a huge advertising campaign and a $100 price drop. But did HP jump the gun? A new Best Buy promotion might reveal what could have been a great way to move that TouchPad inventory: give it away. Beginning Saturday, customers who purchase a $1,500 Samsung 3D HDTV, model UN46D6900W, will get a free Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet with their purchase. Coincidentally, Best Buy also carries a $1,500 HP ENVY 2070nr Core i7 laptop, and what better way to boost those sell-through numbers than to hand TouchPads out with purchases like ketchup packets at a ballpark? Best Buy’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal will run for one week, ending on the 27th.
Several of Samsung’s forthcoming Android, Windows Phone and bada devices have been leaked by telefonino.net. If the leak is indeed legitimate, Samsung will surely have some big announcements during the Berlin-based IFA trade show in early September and probably at CTIA Fall 2011 in October as well. Starting things off, the P6200 is said to be a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet with a 1024 x 600-pixel Super AMOLED display, an HSDPA radio, a 3-megapixel camera and a 2-megapixel forward-facing camera for video chats. Also on deck is the Samsung I9250, which is apparently equipped with a 4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD display, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Samsung’s first Windows Phone Mango device could be the Samsung i8350 Omnia W, which offers a 3.7-inch WVGA display, a 1GHz processor and a 5-megapixel camera. It’s expected to launch in October according to the report, which is on a par with Microsoft’s leaked Mango launch plans. Read on for more details on Samsung’s Android and bada handsets. More →
While Apple’s iPad continues on its warpath, other tablet makers are not finding it quite as easy to offload their Android and Windows slates — which is understandable, considering they’re doing it wrong. While Apple managed to ship 9.25 million iPads last quarter and some retailers are still having trouble keeping inventory in stock, other consumer tablet vendors are reportedly having a difficult time pushing their wares past retail channels and into the hands of end users. Even the success stories among tablet vendors are exhibiting less-than-stellar sell-through, with companies like ASUS, creator of the popular Eee Pad Transformer, said to have left nearly 30% of the 700,000 tablets it shipped between May and July on store shelves. As a result, tablet vendors like Samsung, Motorola and HP will be forced to lower their prices in an effort to bolster weak sales, DigiTimes reports. HP has already offered two limited-time sales on its TouchPad tablet since it launched just last month, and now the company has permanently shaved $100 from its tablet’s price tag. Motorola also recently lowered the price of its XOOM tablet, leaving the 32GB model priced evenly with Apple’s 16GB iPad. DigiTimes says its sources are anticipating two more waves of tablet price cuts this year, one in September and another approaching the holiday season. More →
Apple has managed to block sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and in the European Union, but new evidence from Computerworld’s Dutch sister site Webwereld.nl suggests the iPad maker may be tampering with evidence. According to the report, Apple is using an image of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that is purposely distorted to look more like the iPad. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.36 (the proportions of the device itself, not the display) while the iPad is shown with a 1.30 aspect ratio. However, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet itself actually has a 1.46 aspect ratio. “This is a blunder,” Klos Morel Vos & Schaap lawyer Arnout Groen told Webwereld.nl. “That such a ‘mistake’ is made in a case about design rights can scarcely be a coincidence. The aspect ratio of the alleged Galaxy Tab is clearly distorted to match the iPad more closely. Inasmuch as this faux pas will have consequences for the case is of course up to the judge. But at least a reprimand by the German court seems to be in order,” he added. Samsung is set to appeal the European Union ban on August 25th. Read on for a comparison image of the alleged doctored Galaxy Tab 10.1 next to the real one. More →