Good news for those of you reading this from across the pond. Samsung has let it be known that its new flagship handset, the Galaxy S II, will be available in the United Kingdom on May 1st. The company confirms that the S II — which will be knighted with the model number GT-I9100 — will indeed have its processor upgraded to 1.2GHz as rumored last week. Other specifications include a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 21Mbps HSPA+ radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p video recording, front-facing camera, and the Gingerbread operating system (Android 2.3). Price was not specified, but Samsung noted that the handset would “be available in the UK across all major networks and retailers.” The official press release is after the break. More →
eBay has revealed sales figures for the iPad 2 during its first two weeks on the market. The online auction house created a chart that shows just under 12,000 iPad 2 units were sold during the two week period that it was exclusively available in the United States. The graphic notes that 35% of iPad 2 units sold during that 2 week period were to international customers looking to get an early taste — that figure is down from the 65% of international customers who purchased the original iPad on eBay. Canada and Russia were the two largest importers, each purchasing about 500 iPad 2 tablets. Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom each bought about 350. Australia purchased 317 iPads last year, but only purchased 110 iPad 2 devices in 2010. The 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 was the most popular, as it represented 30% of all iPad 2 sales. Apple has yet to release its official iPad 2 sales figures. More →
If Amazon U.K.’s pre-orders are any indication of what’s to come, the Nintendo 3DS could be as big of a hit as it was in Japan when it launched in February of 2010. On its Twitter account Thursday, Amazon UK said that the Nintendo DS has become the most pre-ordered console ever. U.K. residents interested in buying the device can purchase it for £187 ($381 USD). The Nintendo 3DS will launch in the United States on March 27th for $249.99. As its name suggests, the 3DS offers a 3D display, and games are backward-compatible with previous Nintendo DS and DSi titles. More →
For a very brief moment, PC World UK was displaying a pre-order advert for the Wi-Fi Motorola XOOM — complete with pricing — on its website. What’s the bottom line, you ask? £449.99 (that’s around $730USD at today’s exchange rate); the XOOM being hawked by Verizon Wireless currently retails at $799. The Wi-Fi only XOOM has the same specs as the tablet currently being sold here in the States, sans a cellular radio. Hopefully, when this second XOOM leaps across the pond, it will be priced for slightly less than $730. What do you think an appropriate price for the Wi-Fi XOOM is? More →
UK-based online retailer Clove has posted some interesting information concerning the availability of Samsung’s Galaxy S II. Via a brief blog post, the company writes, “we’ve had word today that the first stock of the Samsung Galaxy S II i9100, both the 16GB & 32GB versions, will be landing mid to late March.” The March timeline predates Samsung’s target release, which has been communicated as Q2. The Gally S II — which boasts a dual-core 1GHz processor, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GB of RAM, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 2.3 — is available for pre-order from Clove; £510 for the 16GB model and £590 for the 32GB model. The retailer does caution that “release dates are always subject to change,” but it’s nice to hear rumors of an early (as opposed to late) release by a manufacturer. Still no word on when/if the Galaxy S II will make its way to the States. Fingers crossed. More →
Remember that time Apple decided to make a cell phone, and called it the iPhone? Remember how Cisco already owned that name and Apple settled a lawsuit out of court to license the rights to that name? Well, if Apple decides — as rumors say they may — to rename their Apple TV product to iTV, things might not be quite so easy. Mike Large, director of communications at ITV in the U.K. told Pocket-link that it would “vigorously defend” the company’s intellectual property; including its namesake. ITV is one of the U.K.’s oldest commercial television networks, and began broadcasting in 1955.
The company did not specifically say that they would go after the U.S. electronics maker should they change their set-top box’s product name, but they did say that ITV was “highly valued” and that they felt licensing the name to Apple would just “muddy the waters.”
Now, Apple could obviously name the product iTV in the U.S. and leave it as Apple TV in the U.K. where ITV’s trademarks are filed, but this is something that the Cupertino company has yet to do.
It’s all rumors and hearsay at this point, but it would appear as though ITV is ready to rumble. More →
It looks like RIM is going to be sending the BlackBerry Torch 9800 up north and across the pond. The Globe and Mail is reporting that Canada’s three largest wireless carriers — Bell, Rogers, and Telus — all will be carrying RIM’s latest creation in the not-so-distant future. Rogers has officially confirmed the Globe’s report with a press release saying they will have the 9800 in the “coming weeks,” and Virgin Mobile — in true hipster fashion — tweeted about it. Vodafone U.K. also has a splash page up for the new BlackBerry touch-screen slider device. Anyone north of the border or across the pond have plans to pick one of these bad boys up? More →
Pocket-lint was sent an image that appears to detail exactly what T-Mobile U.K. customers will have to pay for a shiny new iPhone 4. T-Mo users over the pond can pick up an iP4 for somewhere between £349 ($530) and free, depending on which iPhone model and monthly plan you select (although not shown, Pocket-lint is reporting that a £60 monthly plan will get you a 16 GB iPhone 4 for free). The carrier will also be offering the iPhone 3GS 8 GB model for £149, £79, or free — again, depending on which monthly data plan is selected. Well, £60 ($91) gets you unlimited talk minutes, 500 texts (free incoming), and 1 GB of data. What do you think U.S. iPhone users? Is that a good deal? What does your monthly iPhone bill look like from AT&T? More →
Looks like the Palm Pre will be making another GSM appearance this month, this time in Spain on Telefonica’s HSDPA network starting October 14th. O2 has already announced a release around the same time in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The Official Palm blog announcement:
“Telefonica today announced the availability of Palm Pre on its HSDPA mobile network in Spain on 14 October. New Telefonica customers can receive the phone at no cost, depending on their service plan commitment. Telefonica is also the exclusive initial carrier for Palm Pre in United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany. The phone can be purchased at Telefonica outlets in Spain and online at http://www.telefonica.es. More information about Palm Pre is available at http://www.palm.com/es-pre-notify.”
Our pals across the pond are going to be facing some changes in the coming months as Deutsch Telekom and France Telecom are planning a massive merger in the UK. The companies are reportedly preparing to combine T-Mobile UK and Orange to form what will become the largest telco on the island, assuming the joint venture is approved by antitrust regulators. The deal is expected to be inked toward the end of October, giving the parties involved plenty of time to iron out details in the interim. The bright side for consumers, we suppose, is expanded network coverage — the downside of course being the fact that the two carriers will no longer be competing for business. So, what do our UK friends think?
Thanks, Roger A!
The Isle of Man, a small self-governing subsidiary of the United Kingdom with perhaps the coolest flag ever (see above), is proposing a new law that would allow its residents immunity from prosecution for illegal downloading of copyrighted material. Each citizen would be forced to pay a monthly 1 Pound (roughly $1.40) fee into a communal fund that would be redistributed to copyright holders by a centralized government office. Both publishers and labels would benefit, and the residents of the Isle could breathe more easily knowing that their Torrent habits won’t land them a stint in some horrifying Isle of Man jailhouse. The downside, of course, is that the amount of compensation on the copyright holder’s side would be pretty nominal, leading us to believe that it’s going to be a hard sell. Then again, the concept has been batted around since the formative days of Napster, so there must be some appeal to such a business model. It’s certainly innovative, and some cash is better than nothing, so it will be interesting to see if regulators and government officials manage to pull this one off.
In a move that should delight and amaze the Apple faithful in the United Kingdom and Canada, the company has announced that the iTunes Movie Store are now available in both countries. Both stores are launching with relatively anemic collections of titles, with the UK store debuting with 700 titles and the Canadian iteration launching with just over 1,200 moving pictures. Outright purchases will run you 10.99 Pounds in England and $19.99 Canadian for new releases,with library titles slotting in at 3.99 Pounds and $9.99 Canadian respectively. Rentals are also available for a 48 hour period in both countries, with Canadian leases running $4.99/$3.99 Canadian and UK rentals slotting in at 3.49 Pounds/2.49 Pounds. Great news but we all know that in the mighty world of online media sales, content is king. Will Apple have enough titles available to appeal to our friends to the North and East?