Intel’s next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will be the first to feature a “3D Tri-Gate transistor,” The BBC reported on Sunday. The company plans to initially release 13 quad-core processors for desktop computers that it promises will offer more computational power while using less energy. Intel hopes its new transistors, which have been in development for 11 years, will help it challenge ARM’s reputation for energy efficiency. “This is the world’s first 22 nanometre product and we’ll be delivering about 20% more processor performance using 20% less average power,” the company said, adding that dual-core processors aimed at ultrabooks will be announced “later this spring.” Intel promises that “there will be 50% more supply than we had early in the product cycle of our last generation, Sandy Bridge, a year ago. And we’re still constrained based on the amount of demand we’re seeing in the marketplace.” Digitimes on Monday reported that shipments of the company’s latest processors will still be lower than expected, however, and it will not be able to satisfy the strong demand anticipated from PC vendors. More →
Samsung’s iCloud competitor, dubbed S-Cloud, may be unveiled at next month’s Galaxy S III announcement in London on May 3rd, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday. The service is similar to Apple’s offering but without any limitations on the type of content users can upload. The service is also expected to have access to popular TV shows, movies and music with free and paid content that will be available across a range of Samsung devices. The amount of storage allotted to users is rumored to be “more than 5GB,” although it isn’t clear if that will be free or is there is an associated charge. Earlier rumors suggested Samsung would delay the service after having trouble developing a suitable infrastructure for the global market. According to Maeil Business, however, the company has partnered with Microsoft to support its S-Cloud service. More →
The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest poll indicates that one in five adults in the United States still doesn’t use the Internet. “Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have Internet access,” Pew Internet said. Almost half of those adults who don’t use the Internet found the technology irrelevant to them, with most having never used it before. About one in five adults claimed they didn’t know enough about technology to start using the Internet on their own, and only 10% were interested in using the Internet or email in the future. Overall Internet adoption rates have leveled off, however adults already online are using the Web more often than ever before. Pew’s study also showed that 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an eReader, 19% have a tablet and 63% access the Internet wirelessly with one of these devices. More →
Mobile World Congress has been a roller coaster ride so far this year. The week kicked off with a bang on Sunday with both Sony and HTC unveiling their latest and greatest smartphones, and the HTC One X was definitely the star of the show. Things were up and down on Monday and Tuesday however, and the show actually got pretty slow for a while there. Our time in Barcelona isn’t up just yet, however, and Microsoft chose today to unveil the latest version of its next-generation operating system, Windows 8. The technology giant released a preview version of Windows 8 last September, but we’re sure plenty has changed over the past five months. And beyond checking out all the new features Microsoft has undoubtedly baked into its new OS, we might finally get a better idea of when devices carrying the platform will finally launch. Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern / 6:00 a.m. Pacific (3:00 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the break for our live coverage of the event!
UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out our full review of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is now live! More →
Smartphone shipments overtook client PC shipments for the first time in 2011, according to new data from market research firm Canalys. Vendors shipped a total of 158.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, representing a 57% increase compared to the 101.2 million units shipped in the same quarter a year earlier. Shipments for the full year of 2011 rose 63% to 487.7 million units, up from 299.7 million shipped in 2010. The PC market only grew 15% to 414.6 million units in 2011, which included an astonishing 274% increase in tablet shipments — tablets accounted for 15% of all PC shipments last year according to Canalys. The firm expects growth in the smartphone market to slow in 2012, with vendors putting more focus on profitability. Canalys’s press release follows below.
Acer chairman JT Wang on Thursday reaffirmed the company’s dedication to the new “ultrabook” market, further distancing his company from the low-margin netbooks that have dominated its PC lineup in the past. Following the success of Acer’s first-generation ultrabook — the Aspire S3 reportedly shipped between 250,000 and 300,000 units during its first quarter of availability — Acer plans to launch new ultrabook models in both the second and third quarters this year. According to DigiTimes, Wang estimates that Windows and Intel-powered ultrabooks will account for between 25% and 35% of the company’s PC sales in 2012. Wang expects notebook shipment volume to slide between 10% and 15% sequentially in the first quarter, however he expects full-year shipments to grow 10% compared to 2011. While sales in the U.S. and Europe are likely to remain relatively slow according to Acer, the company projects strong sales in Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand and other Southeast Asia markets. More →
We saw a few new Samsung phones revealed during AT&T’s press conference Monday morning. Coming soon to AT&T’s smartphone lineup are the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD, but the South Korea-based vendor has much more in store for us at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Smartphones, tablets, computers, HDTVs and more will debut from Samsung this week at CES, and Monday’s press conference is where we’ll get our first live taste of what’s in store. The event is scheduled to kick off at 5:00 p.m. Eastern / 2:00 p.m. Pacific, so hit the break for all the action as it unfolds. More →
Samsung is considering an exit from the low-margin netbook business as soon as next year according to a recent report. French CNET blog Blogeee claims to have obtained an email sent by the South Korea-based electronics giant to several of its partners. “Following the introduction of our new strategy in 2012, we stop the product range in 10.1” (Netbook) in Q1 2012 for the benefit of Ultraportables products (11.6 and 12 inches) and ultrabooks to be launched in 2012,” the email reportedly stated (machine-translated). The matter could be one of semantics, however — Samsung’s “ultraportable” class may include low-cost notebooks driven by inexpensive ATOM processors. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment. More →
Sales of notebook computers during the back-to-school rush this year beat expectations, new data from market research firm NPD Group found. While sales of Windows laptops continued to slide compared to last year, the decline was significantly less severe than in the first half of the year according to NPD. Windows notebook sales between July and August dipped 4% compared to the same period in 2010, while sales in the first half of 2011 were down 12% year-over-year. “The sequential results from NPD’s back-to-school point-of-sale (POS) data indicates that after a shortfall early in the year that was mostly related to the difficult comparisons to the binge of buying after the release of Windows 7, the Windows notebook market remains solid,” said NPD vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker in a statement. “The last two weeks of August are the most important period for back to school buying, and those weeks saw more than an 8 percent increase over last year in retail sales.” NPD’s full press release follows below. More →
During Microsoft’s BUILD conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft execs took the stage and showed off a number of new tablets, notebooks and desktop computers running its latest Windows 8 operating system with the new Metro-style user interface. Steve Sinofsky demoed the operating system running on ARM-powered devices, Qualcomm powered devices and even one tablet running NVIDIA’s upcoming quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. One desktop computer, the HP Phoenix, is expected to be unveiled later this week, although full specs on the system have still not been announced. We’re impressed at the versatility of the new operating system and love that it can run anything from a small netbook with 1GB of RAM to a gaming rig running multiple graphics cards in SLI. Microsoft will also be giving out a “Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC” to 5,000 developers at the BUILD conference. It’s equipped with 4GB of RAM, a 64GB SD card, a microSD card slot, HDMI-out, NFC support, Ethernet and more. AT&T will also provide owners of the tablet with one year of free data service with 2GB of data per month. Be sure to check out the gallery below for shots of all the great hardware Microsoft showed off at BUILD.
Acer founder Stan Shih on Friday said that tablets like Apple’s iPad and ultrabooks like those in the works from numerous Intel partners — including Acer — are a “short-term phenomena.” Speaking with DigiTimes, Shih urged companies to continue focusing on notebook computers and innovative value-added products. Shih commended Apple for thinking outside the box when bringing the iPad to market, but said personal computers will continue to be requisites for businesses and consumers. When asked if Shih believed Acer’s upcoming low-cost 7-inch tablet would be a success, he noted that consumers indeed want low-cost options. Shih founded Acer, then called Multitech, in 1976 along with his wife. He ran the company until his retirement in 2004. More →
Market research firms Gartner and IDC have both released preliminary data for global PC sales in the second quarter of 2011, and the reports paint a much improved picture compared to the first quarter of the year. Lenovo was the biggest winner globally in terms of growth according to Gartner, having shipped 10.23 million PCs for a 12% share of the market. The China-based vendor’s PC market share grew a whopping 22.5% compared to the same quarter a year prior, and Lenovo now finds itself in the No. 3 spot globally. HP was still the top vendor with shipments totaling 14.89 million units, and Dell remained in the No. 2 spot with 10.62 million units shipped. Acer and ASUS rounded out the top-5 with 9.30 million units and 4.47 million units, respectively. Though Apple’s operating system share continued to climb last month, the firm still doesn’t sell enough units to bump it from the “Others” category on Gartner’s global table. In the U.S., however, Apple showed the biggest market share gains last quarter with 8.5% growth over the same quarter last year. While IDC’s numbers vary compared to Gartner’s, the end results are the same. IDC has Lenovo’s global growth pegged at 22.9% over the second quarter last year, and it shows that Apple grew even faster than Gartner estimates with 14.7% growth in the U.S. compared to the same quarter a year prior. The two firms agree that Acer was the biggest loser globally. Acer’s share of the worldwide PC market was down 20.4% from the second quarter of 2010 according to Gartner, and down a less alarming 10.1% according to IDC. Taiwan-based Acer was the biggest loser in the U.S. as well, as its share was down 22.6% year-over-year according to Gartner and 25.4% according to IDC. Full press releases from both firms follow below. More →
During his Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference keynote on Monday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the company has now sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses to date. Microsoft’s current operating system was first launched in October 2009, and it was welcomed with open arms as customers were eager to dump Vista following its troubled introduction. Despite an impressive 20 months for Windows 7, it is still far from being the world’s most used operating system. Windows XP’s share was near double Windows 7’s in June, though Microsoft did confirm on Monday that it would stop supporting the operating system 1,000 days from now. According to Net Applications, Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was used on 27.13% of the world’s personal computing devices as of June 2011. Windows XP still ranked No. 1 with 51.13% and Vista occupied the No. 3 spot with 9.52%.