ASUS Transformer Prime bootloader unlocking tool now available

By on February 22, 2012 at 8:30 PM.

ASUS Transformer Prime bootloader unlocking tool now available

As promised, ASUS has released a bootloader unlocking tool for the Transformer Prime. The tool is packaged in an APK that can be downloaded from the company’s website. Once downloaded and installed, the Transformer Prime will have the ability to run custom ROMS, however ASUS warns that unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty. “Once you activate the [unlock app] you will not be able to recover your ASUS product (“Original Product”) back to original locked conditions,” ASUS stated. “You also acknowledge ASUS does not guarantee service satisfaction to any Revised Product, including events involving paid service requested by you to be performed to the Revised Product.” More →

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Samsung partners with Blockbuster for streaming movie service

By on February 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

Samsung partners with Blockbuster for streaming movie service

Samsung has partnered with Blockbuster to stream thousands of movies to the company’s smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks, laptops, smart TVs and Blu-ray players, reports Smarthouse. The service will reportedly be rolled out in the United States and Europe in the first half of 2012, with an Australian scheduled to take place by early September. Samsung is also rumored to be developing a new global billing system that will allow users to easily log-in and pay for media content right from their devices. Blockbuster is the largest provider of rental movies in Australia, although in recent years the company has lost ground to both Netflix and Redbox. The deal is considered a win-win “for both Samsung, Blockbuster and Australian movie watchers,” according to Paul Uniacke the CEO of the Franchise Entertainment Group who has the rights to the Blockbuster brand in Australia. More →

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Barnes & Noble takes on Kindle Fire with new $199 Nook Tablet; Nook Color drops to $169

By on February 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM.

Barnes & Noble takes on Kindle Fire with new $199 Nook Tablet; Nook Color drops to $169

Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its popular Nook Tablet to compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Lining up with earlier reports, the new Barnes & Noble slate features the same specs as the earlier Nook Tablet, however the device’s internal storage has been halved to 8GB. “For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said in a statement. “NOOK Tablet is the highest-rated wireless media tablet in the 7-inch class, ultra-portable at under a pound, offers our exclusive VividView screen technology, and since its introduction this holiday has received rave reviews from customers about all its great features. We’re pleased to now offer customers the ability to experience NOOK Tablet’s unmatched content experience for only $199.” Barnes & Noble also stated that its previous-generation Android tablet, the Nook Color, will drop to $169, undercutting the Kindle Fire by $30. The company’s full press release follows below. More →

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ASUS Transformer TF300T specs revealed ahead of MWC launch

By on February 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM.

ASUS Transformer TF300T specs revealed ahead of MWC launch

Earlier this month, images of the next-generation ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet leaked onto the Internet. The slate’s “TF300T” code name was in line with the original naming convention used on the Transformer (TF101) and the Transformer Prime (TF201), indicating it was next in line in the Transformer family. According to a purported screenshot of the tablet’s spec sheet obtained by Polish site Tabletowo, the TF300T is will feature a 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with a 10.1-inch 1200 x 800-pixel IPS display and 1GB of RAM. The slate will also come equipped with 16GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera (no flash), a 1.2-megapixel front facing, a microSD slot and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Oddly enough, the device is both heavier and thicker than the Transformer Prime, measuring 9.9 millimeters and weighing 640 grams. The Polish site’s leaked document also indicates that the new high-resolution Prime will be equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060A processor clocked at 1.5GHz, rather than the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3. ASUS is expected to reveal its new Transformer tablet at this month’s Mobile World Congress trade show. Tabletowo’s screenshot follows below.

More →

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German court clears Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N for sale

By on February 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM.

German court clears Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N for sale

A German court affirmed a preliminary ruling on Thursday that determined Samsung’s reworked tablet does not look so much like the iPad that it should be banned. The ruling comes as another blow to Apple, which is in the midst of several other lawsuits with rival smartphone and tablet makers over intellectual property. The court said that there were “clear differences” between the Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the iPad, reports Reuters. Apple and Samsung have been tangled in what seems like an endless patent battle in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Japan and Korea. Thus far, courts in several countries including the Netherlands, the United States and Australia have decided to allow Samsung to continue selling its Galaxy smartphones and tablets despite Apple’s continued efforts. More →

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Sales of smartphones, tablets and notebooks expected to grow 25.7% annually through 2015

By on February 3, 2012 at 7:15 AM.

Sales of smartphones, tablets and notebooks expected to grow 25.7% annually through 2015

NPD In-Stat recently issued a report in which the firm said it expects smartphones, tablets and notebooks — which are all included in its “mobile magnet platforms” category — to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of of 25.7% through 2015. The company also said it expects the overall mobile market to grow 8.7%. “The technology driver of all these smart devices is the mobile technology, because it represents the largest and fastest growing segment of the entire electronics market,” Jim McGregor, Chief Technology Strategist for NPD said. “The innovation of the mobile market is being driven by four key factors: richer content, network access for communications and content, increased bandwidth to enable this access, and new technologies. These four factors form a self-sustaining circle of innovation that feeds from and enables each factor.” The market research firm also expects that smartphones to grow from under 20% of all phones  sold in 2010 to 43% of all handsets sold by 2015. NPD’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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Images of ASUS’s next-generation ASUS Eee Pad ‘TF300T’ leak

By on February 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM.

Images of ASUS’s next-generation ASUS Eee Pad ‘TF300T’ leak

Images of a possible next-generation ASUS Eee Pad tablet have leaked onto the Internet through Taiwanese website NCCC. The mysterious 10.1-inch slate could be a followup to the Transformer Prime — with its “TF300T” code name, the device’s pre-release moniker is somewhat in line with the original naming convention used on the Transformer (TF101) and the Transformer Prime (TF201). Aside from a couple of blurry photos, there are no specs or other details to report at this time. Hit the break for a second image of the device. More →

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Demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire begins to cool off, study suggests

By on February 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM.

Demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire begins to cool off, study suggests

Demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has started to cool off according to one study. ChangeWave published results of a survey on Thursday, which found that just 2% of customers in January were “very likely” to buy a Kindle Fire, down from 4% in December. Respondents who were “somewhat likely” to buy the tablet fell as well, from 13% in December to 10% in January, though demand following the holidays is expected to slow. Amazon’s tablet has better satisfaction ratings than several other tablets, however. ChangeWave’s survey found that 54% were “very satisfied” with the Kindle Fire, compared to 49% of those surveyed who were “very satisfied” with other tablets and 74% who were “very satisfied” with the iPad. Read on for more. More →

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German court denies Apple’s request to ban Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1N

By on February 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM.

German court denies Apple’s request to ban Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1N

The Munich Regional Court in Germany on Wednesday rejected Apple’s request to ban Samsung’s local subsidiaries from selling the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet. “Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection,” Judge Andreas Mueller said. In September, Samsung’s local retailer arm was banned from selling the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet but the South Korea-based company skirted the ban by released a tweaked device called the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. Apple felt the new tablet  still infringed its patents, however, and asked the court to ban that device as well in November. In late December the presiding judge over the case said Apple was unlikely to win a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1N and a Dutch court rejected a similar request from Apple on January 24th. More →

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Amazon reports $17.4B in revenue, sales up 35% but misses Street estimates

By on January 31, 2012 at 4:15 PM.

Amazon reports $17.4B in revenue, sales up 35% but misses Street estimates

Amazon on Tuesday reported its earnings for the fourth quarter, during which it took in $17.4 billion in revenue. While its net sales were up 35% from the $12.95 billion reported during the fourth quarter last year, the company missed analyst estimates of $18.26 billion in revenue for the quarter. Amazon’s net income decreased 58% to $177 million during the quarter, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared with the net income of $416 million it reported during the same quarter last year. Net sales for the year jumped 41% to $48.08 billion, up from the $34.20 billion the company reported in 2010. Amazon said its Kindle Fire tablet has been the #1 best-selling, most wished-for and most gifted product on its website for the past 17 weeks. In addition, the company said the nine-week holiday period ended December 31st, 2011 resulted in a 177% increase in Kindle unit sales, which includes the Kindle Fire. Amazon expects net sales to fall between $12 billion and $13.4 billion during the first quarter of this year, up between 22% and 36% from the first quarter last year. Amazon’s full press release follows after the break.  More →

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ASUS rumored to unveil a redesigned PadFone next month

By on January 31, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

ASUS rumored to unveil a redesigned PadFone next month

ASUS has confirmed that the company is planning to announce a tweaked version of its tablet-smartphone hybrid at Mobile World Congress on February 27th in Barcelona, Spain, according to Modaco. The Padfone — which combines a smartphone, tablet and netbook all in one — was first unveiled at the Computex trade show in Taiwan last year by ASUS chairman Jonney Shih. The innovative device is expected to feature Ice Cream Sandwich and Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon S4 processor. The PadFone consists of a 4.3-inch handset that has the ability dock inside a 10.1-inch tablet, which in turn can be docked into the Transformer’s (or possibly Transformer Prime’s) keyboard. When the device debuts next month, it is rumored to be redesigned with a slimmer form factor, and the the physical buttons seen on a PadFone prototype have reportedly been removed in favor of Ice Cream Sandwich’s on-screen controls. More →

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Canalys: Apple blazes past HP to dominate global PC market in Q4

By on January 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM.

Canalys: Apple blazes past HP to dominate global PC market in Q4

Apple pulled ahead of HP in the fourth quarter to become the largest player in the client PC market, a new report suggested Monday. The Cupertino-based company shipped more than 15 million iPads and 5 million Mac computers last quarter, and those figures represented 17% of all PCs shipped around the world during the fourth quarter. The report, which comes from market research firm Canalys, said PC shipments grew 16% annually to reach 120 million during the quarter, and the firm’s categorization of “PC” includes desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets in its figures. Tablets drove PC growth, however, and Canalys said the market would have declined by 0.4% without taking tablets into consideration. Read on for more. More →

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Kindle Fire ‘defined and dominated’ low-end tablet market with 6 million units sold

By on January 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM.

Kindle Fire ‘defined and dominated’ low-end tablet market with 6 million units sold

When it comes to tablets there is no denying the iPad’s dominance, selling more than 15 million units last quarter alone. Not everyone can afford nor do they want a high-end device, however, and that is where Amazon’s Kindle Fire comes into play. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan said on Monday that fourth-quarter Kindle Fire shipments likely reached 6 million units, placing the tablet on par with the original iPad. Rohan says it was “quite impressive” that the online retailer used “distribution prowess to define and dominate the low end of the device ecosystem” even with stiff competition from Apple and a number of other Android manufacturers. Read on for more. More →

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