Samsung Tops in US Phones
Samsung today surprised the cellphone business by claiming the lead in US phone sales for the summer based on a Strategy Analytics report [membership required]. The company edged out Motorola, the long-time holder of the position, by earning 22.4 percent of the American market versus US-native Motorola's 21.1 percent. LG followed close behind and now threatens to overtake either of the two leaders with 20.5 percent of sales following steady increases in recent months.
Samsung Epix Leak
The third generation of Samsung's BlackJack line for AT&T should get a new name along with a substantially new design, a promo leak to BGR shows. Now called the Epix, the internally named i780 will keep the QWERTY keyboard of the earlier phones but switch to a much more advanced design that includes a mini-touchpad in place of the directional pad as well as direct touchscreen interface for Windows Mobile 6.1; 3G over AT&T's HSPA network and real GPS are also understood to be givens for the design.
Samsung Q2 2008 Thrives
Samsung today said it prospered in the spring quarter based primarily on its cellphone and LCD businesses. The Korean company says it sold 45.7 million phones between April and June, a 22 percent boost over spring 2007. Many of these phones were also mid-range or premium models, with over one million Soul 5-megapixel cameraphones being sold; sales of pricier 3G phones jumped 41 percent, the electronics creator says.
Samsung smartphone updates
Samsung announced on Monday changes to two of its smartphones, the BlackJack II for AT&T and SCH-i760 for Verizon. The former is now available in blue and pink while its price with new contracts has dropped. The i760 in the meantime gets a software update that includes Windows Mobile 6.1. The new OS brings with it threaded SMS, Domain Enrollment for office servers and an updated Vista 32-bit look that includes a more advanced home screen.
Qik Public Beta
Qik today said its live video streaming service has now entered a public beta and will let anyone sign up. The service allows users of supporting mobile phones to broadcast content directly from a 3G or Wi-Fi link either to the Qik website or to new places added with the public launch, including an embeddable player for any page or a Facebook app built into a user's profile. The new version also has lower lead times and has just 0.5 to three seconds' lead time, allowing show hosts a near-live connection that isn't always possible with other services.
Samsung BlackJack WM6
Samsung today gave owners of the original AT&T-branded BlackJack smartphone a Windows Mobile 6 upgrade. The patch brings the phone up to the same Windows Mobile 6 Standard base OS as the more recent BlackJack II, supplying it with an improved web browser, "push" Exchange e-mail with HTML support, and Office Mobile for basic editing on the road. The update also provides AT&T-specific features previously locked out of the device; one-way Video Share calls on the carrier's 3G cell network are now possible.
Samsung Access and Ace
Both AT&T and Sprint are set to receive unique 3G phones from Samsung in the near future, according to a pair of leaks. The Access for AT&T (pictured) would adopt a candybar shape reminiscent of the UpStage but drop the dual-sided design in favor of a larger screen and directional pad. It will have only a 1.3-megapixel camera but will also support HSPA broadband for AT&T's streaming music and video services. Other specifications are uncertain but are likely to include Bluetooth and a microSD slot for storage. Its release date is uncertain but anticipated for the near future.