Audio-only streaming device also claimed as being developed
A report claims that Amazon is creating a number of devices, including two smartphones and an audio-only device said to be designed for streaming. Though there are little in the way of details for the gadgets, one of the two phones is said to use a screen capable of showing 3D images without the need to wear special glasses.
Samsung fighting back with staggering advertising budget
A parts supplier with a good track record of providing advance information on smartphones is now saying that it has heard that Apple is planning more than just a single model of the so-called "low-cost" iPhone. The rumored phone, which has been speculated on for over a year, is said to be aimed at developing markets where pre-paid phones and plans dominate and is thought to be largely plastic-based, but have most of the same functionality as current iPhone models -- but cost around $330-$400, as much as 50 percent less than the off-contract price of a current iPhone.
Giants take 100 percent of all smartphone profits between them
Samsung is steadily improving its profitability in the smartphone area, but Apple continues to be the dominant player when it comes to making money on smartphones sales according to the latest report from Canaccord Genuity. Apple's lower profit margin on smartphones in the first calendar quarter of the year led to a significant drop in its share of smartphone profits but was enough to allow the iPhone maker to claim 57 percent of the entire industry's profits, with Samsung taking the remaining 43 percent.
Android, BlackBerry losing share months after iPhone 5 debut
Though the combined sales of Android smartphones continues to best Apple as a platform, Google's mobile OS continued to lose marketshare in the US in the latest quarterly comScore survey, as Apple solidified its position as market leader despite the lack of any new iPhone model in since before the holidays. Apple's share of the US smartphone market is now 39 percent, up 2.7 percent since December. Though Samsung was able to increase its US share slightly, the other three major Android vendors all lost ground in the most recent quarter.
Chinese market growing rapidly; ZTE, Huawei displace Nokia, BlackBerry
The first calendar quarter of the year has seen a sea change in the cellphone industry: for the first time worldwide, smartphones made up the majority of phones sold. While the definition of "smartphone" varies -- particularly at lower price points -- the general definition is a device that can run an operating system giving it computer-like abilities beyond what a "feature phone" is capable of. According to industry analyst IDC, a total of 419 million smartphones were sold in the first three months of the year, 51.6 percent of which were smartphones.
Retains most of design from predecessor Liquid E1
Acer has unveiled a follow-up to the Liquid E1 smartphone, revealed earlier this year. The Liquid E2 retains the same general appearance of its predecessor, though its 4.5-inch screen is a qHD IPS display, its processor is bumped upwards from a dual-core 1GHz processor to a 1.2GHz quad-core version, but keeps the same 1GB of RAM.
Overall iPlayer use equals 272M January record
Usage of tablets to view BBC content on its streaming service has beaten that of smartphones for the first time. Information published by the BBC saw 200,000 more iPlayer requests from tablets than mobile phones, with the combined usage of mobile devices making up 30-percent of all requests, namely 81 million requests for March alone.
In the US, Android use has levelled off over past two years
An analysis by London-based tech and telco analyst Benedict Evans has compiled statistics for US smartphone sales from the two largest carriers -- AT&T and Verizon -- and concluded that all new growth in the past two years from both carriers has come as a result of the iPhone. By comparison, Android sales have remained basically flat since at least 2011, with an actual drop in the most recent quarter. The analysis reinforces the notion that Android and iOS customers are entirely different groups, and should be marketed to differently.
Optimus smartphones to extend LTE-capable catalog of carriers
A pair of LG Optimus smartphones with LTE connectivity appear to be heading to US carriers in the coming months. The Optimus G Pro is rumored to land on AT&T at some point in May, while the Optimus F7 will apparently become Boost Mobile's third LTE-capable device, and has already appeared in an image in its carrier-branded form.
Top 200 device brands studied for share and usage
Mobile marketing analyst Flurry have unveiled their latest study, which draws samples from around one billion smartphones and some 2,000 unique device models worldwide. The study looked at both the distribution and usage by end-users of the top 200 device models, and found that "medium phones" with 3.5- to 4.9-inch screens were far and away the dominant choice in both areas. Phones with smaller screens were steadily declining in usage as buyers upgrade, and smaller tablets and "phablet" phones have yet to make much end-user headway.
Actual-use studies show lopsided iOS influence
Yet another real-world usage study has emerged that would seem to contradict data based on shipments of smartphones. In a report issued by web video network provider Ooyala, iOS users account for two-thirds (67 percent) of mobile traffic for watching videos on smartphones, with Android devices making up only one-third (33 percent). This comes in seeming defiance of statistics from IDC that say Android devices have 68 percent share of smartphone shipments, with iOS only 19 percent of the market.
Phone for emerging markets to cost 15 euros at launch
Nokia used its press conference at Mobile World Congress to show off four new handsets. Both the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 smartphones continue the company line of Windows Phone devices, while the Nokia 105 and Nokia 301 are budget-aimed devices with limited functionality, but offer a good value to potential customers in emerging markets.
Study shows iPhone 5 alone sells nearly double Galaxy S III figures
Apple's dramatic uptick in iPhone sales in the final calendar quarter of 2012 put its two leading iPhone models -- the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S -- at the top of the heap as the current most popular smartphone models in the world, according to handset industry monitoring firm Strategy Analytics. Together, the two iPhone models sold over 44.8 million units in Q4, handily surpassing its nearest rival, Samsung's Galaxy S III (which shipped 15.4 million units, a sizeable decline from the prior quarter).
Budget offering includes dual-SIM, camera options
Acer has released details relating to the European rollout of two smartphones. The mid-range Liquid E1, launched last month, and the entry-level Liquid Z2 will both be made available in Europe at the same time, with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Ukraine being the first to receive it, followed by the UK, Italy, and Russia.
Mobile devices will be associated with letter V, L, F, and G
LG has teased that it could be showing off as many as four new smartphones at Mobile World Congress next week. A teaser video on YouTube shows a number of references to the word "Tag", as well as highlighting specific letters in words: The V in "The View," the L in "The Style," the F in "The Freedom", and the G in "The Greatness."
Stylistic S01 includes simplified menus, call assists
Fujitsu and Orange have agreed to offer Fujitsu smartphones to customers in France, with initial handsets being targeted at senior users. The first offering will be the Stylistic S01, a mid-ranged 4-inch Android 4.0 smartphone based heavily on the Fujitsu Raku Raku, one that is focused on helping elderly users communicate.
HTC, Motorola lose ground; Apple ticks upward slightly
As smartphones finally become the majority of the cell phones used by Americans, most of the options -- and all of the profit -- come down to mostly two companies: Apple and Samsung. In the latest comScore report on the US smartphone market, the company's MobiLens found that 54 percent of all US cell phones were now smartphones, representing 125.9 million customers. The latest numbers show that USconsumers are continuing to consolidate the market.
Existing 3G-service customers to access 4G LTE when rolled out
British carrier Three is planning to offer 4G service without requiring any changes to existing contracts, including those with an unlimited data allowance. Customers will be able to access the 4G signal on current 3G contracts without needing to pay a premium or lose any of their existing data allowance, so long as they are using smartphones capable of connecting to it, and are in an area covered by the signal.
Final design unveiled
After much anticipation, BlackBerry has finally unveiled its new Z10 and Q10 smartphones. Electronista stopped by the company's Toronto launch event to take a closer look at both devices, the first to take advantage of the new BlackBerry 10 OS and of critical importance to the company's survival in the smartphone arena.
700M sold; smartphone growth high, feature phones fading
Once again, Apple and Samsung dominated the entire smartphone industry, selling just over half of the 700 million units sold in 2012 and pocketing all of the industry's profits. Samsung beat Apple in terms of shipped smartphones, with 30 percent share representing 213 million units. Apple had 19 percent of the market with 135.8 million units, but unlike other companies Apple confirms that this number reflects units sold to customers, not just shipped to retailers.
First devices using HTML5-based apps for native app functions
Mozilla has shown off two "developer preview" smartphones running its mobile Firefox OS. Named the Keon and Peak, the pair of unlocked mobile phones have been make in partnership with Geeksphone of Spain, and are designed to give developers a platform to create and test apps for the new mobile operating system.
Android phone for elderly users to boost Fujitsu exports
Fujitsu is planning to bring its line of easy-to-use Android smartphones designed for the elderly to the US and Europe. Aimed at seniors and the infirm, the Raku Raku range has seen success in Japan, thanks to its simplified interface and various pre-installed applications designed to make communicating easier.
Multi-core chips to aid in multitasking, mobile power consumption
Researchers from Intel are working on processors for mobile devices which will use high numbers of cores. The lab hopes to put a 48-core chip into a smartphone or tablet, dwarfing the dual and quad-core processors currently used, and suggest such a technology could hit the market within the next five to ten years.
RIM replaces Nokia in top 5 for global sales
Third-quarter figures from IDC suggest that Samsung and Apple account for almost half of smartphones shipped. While HTC and ZTE continue to appear in the top five smartphone vendors worldwide, Nokia has dropped from the rankings and been replaced by Research in Motion.
Lower profit despite high sales, more subscribers
AT&T has sold over six million smartphones, 4.7 million of which are iPhones, according to its newly released quarterly results. The company received a net increase of 678,000 customers in the quarter, with the contract smartphone customer base now sitting at 44.5 million, up 1.4 million from the last quarter.
Stacked sensor capable of HDR video recording
Sony has formally unveiled it stacked CMOS sensor for smartphones. Last seen in January, the Exmor RS camera modules boast a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor which stacks the pixel layer over the signal ship, shrinking the module's size. The two layers being independent of each other, combined with the pixel layer and analog logic chip not having to compete for space, promises improved image quality compared to previous methods.
New Xperia handsets include dual-sim option
Sony has unveilled two new smartphones, the Xperia miro and Xperia tipo. Both Android 4.0 handsets are said by Sony to be for two different target markets; the miro, with an emphasis on sound, is aimed towards social media users, while the tipo is geared for first-time smartphone users and provides options for both single- and dual-SIM configurations.
Says location and timing of testing is 'just coincidental'
By a 'coincidence' according to the company, T-Mobile will be upgrading network coverage inside the Moscone Center in San Francisco to test a 1900MHz HSPA+ "4G" network during the time that Apple's WWDC convention will be there, thus making it possible for unlocked iPhones and other smartphones to utilize the service. While T-Mobile does not officially carry the iPhone, it has been aggressive in seeking iPhone customers, and sells microSIMs and plans tailored to iPhone users.
Obama order forces agencies to make two public apps each
President Barack Obama has ordered all major federal agencies to make more services available on mobile devices in the next year. The administration wants to increase governmental technology use, with agencies ordered to make services available for public access within 12 months. The news comes at the same time as reports that the US Navy will add LTE capabilities to three of its ships, allowing Android smartphones to be used out at sea.
Pico projector technology enables physical object control
Researchers at the German institution Technische Universitat Darmstadt have published a paper demonstrating a technology that could eventually bring complex, physical object-based control to pico projectors. Were the technology, dubbed LightBeam, to be integrated with smartphones, it could engender a much wider array of interactions and methods of navigating data.
Now third-largest mobile maker
Data from research analysis firm Gartner has revealed that Apple has managed to capture almost eight percent of the global market for mobile phones of all types -- both feature phones and smartphones combined, The Mac Observer reports. This makes the company the third-largest mobile phone maker in the world, behind Nokia and Samsung. Apple has doubled its share of the global cell phone market in only a year.
NTT DoCoMo brings Galaxy S III to their network
Japan's NTT DoCoMo has revealed its summer lineup of releases including 16 Android 4.0 smartphones, a tablet, a mobile phone for children and a mobile Wi-Fi router. The announcement comes at the same time as plans for the company's Dmarket content to be expanded to offer anime videos and music on a flat-rate basis for smartphones and tablets.
Based on similar service in the UK
Riders in Boston and surrounding areas will soon be able to both purchase and display rail tickets on their smartphones, thanks to a system being put into place this fall by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The service is modelled on a similar system used in the UK by London-based Masabi, and uses QR codes displayed on smartphone screens and readers used by conductors to replace paper tickets, which can be easily lost.
But not before trying to get personal data
Anti-virus and security software maker Symantec decided to conduct an experiment to see if lost smartphones would be returned, and discovered a few surprising facts and common-sense tips along the way. While the chances of retrieving a deliberately-stolen smartphone are slim (but improved with the iPhone's "Find My iPhone" app), lost phones had a better return rate, as nearly half of the phones lost by Symantec were returned.
Live or recorded content streamed to four devices
TiVo, which just announced better-than-expected earnings earlier today, has also announced a forthcoming model that offers "four-stream transcoding" and the ability to send those streams over the internet to up to four devices, both for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets for either pre-recorded material or live TV. The future product, modelled after last year's TiVo Preview, may also offer Netflix and other online video services.
Tech eliminates the need for bulky cases
When Motorola introduced the Droid Razr, the handset's internal water-resistant coating appeared to be a unique feature in the smartphone market. Electronista spoke with a separate company, HzO, that has taken the technology much further, enabling smartphones to be completely submerged underwater without the need for an external case.
User-downloadable upgrade at Ford Sync website
Ford has released a free software update for its SYNC in-car system. Version G1 V3.2.2 will give more SYNC users the ability to have text messages read aloud to them while driving through the emerging Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP). Last year, Ford praised RIM for embracing the standard, and called on other manufacturers and OS developers to do so. HTC, Samsung and LG have all only recently been certified for the MAP protocol.
Leak corroborates earlier reports
HTC's unannounced Runnymede handset has resurfaced, with a fresh leak showing the handset from several angles. The press rendering, which was posted by ePrice China, follows HTC's typical style for other smartphones, enabling viewers to take a look at the facade, backside, and a profile view that shows a relatively thin build.
Companies collaborating on smartphone components
Samsung is reportedly building new partnerships with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and several other companies to develop chips that will be used in upcoming smartphones. According to a Nikkei report (sub. required), the South Korean company is attempting to decrease its dependence on components produced by competing chip maker Qualcomm.
Most will be deactivated, nearly worthless
Smartphones stolen during the recent rioting in London and elsewhere in the UK will be turned into tools to help police locate looters, or blocked from being used in the UK, MacWorld UK reports. The stolen handsets all contain hardwired IMEI numbers that can be reported to a Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) that all major networks have access to. Once a phone is reported, it can be blocked in as little as 24 hours.
Both smartphones expected to launch August 16
A leak reportedly details the launch time-frame for RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 smartphones through the Canadian carrier Bell. Screenshots allegedly showing the carrier's internal documents, which were posted by CrackBerry, suggest both the Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 will be available at Bell on August 16.
Portable keyboard for iPhone, Touch, iPad, more
MacNN has reviewed the Verbatim Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, a re-branded version of the Freedom i-Connex bluetooth keyboard that features a folding design, media keys to control iTunes, a tucked-away stand for the iPhone or iPod Touch and other controls aimed at iOS device users -- but which can also be used with other smartphones and tablets. Our review reveals a few surprising touches, along with a few portability compromises -- read the full review for more.
New devices based on WP7, Android platforms
Several of Dell's upcoming smartphones and tablets have reportedly surfaced in alleged internal roadmaps for the company's 2011 plans. The handset document, which was posted on WP Central, shows an improved version of the current Venue Pro, named the 'MLK' version, along with a similar device paired with the code-name Wrigley.
Tech built by RIM acquisition QNX
QNX, a company recently acquired by RIM, has previewed a RealVNC system that connects smartphones, such as BlackBerries, to touchscreen interfaces found in many vehicles. The software is said to be one of the first to integrate Nokia's Terminal Mode technology, which replicates the smartphone interface on the dashboard. Drivers can then control their smartphones using the touchscreen or steering wheel controls.
Devices headed to Russia and Europe
Samsung has introduced three new phones in its Wave series of low-cost smartphones. The Wave525, Wave533 and Wave575 are each based on Samsung's own Bada platform, which utilizes the TouchWiz interface. The devices are built with 3.2-inch WQVGA touchscreens, Wi-Fi radios, GPS receivers and 3.2-megapixel cameras.
Monthly pricing competitive with yearly contracts
Until recently, most prepaid carriers have lacked smartphone options and appropriate plans for heavy data usage. Boost Mobile is one of the first companies to accommodate prepaid customers who want to upgrade their hardware and take advantage of the same level of service typically tied to yearly contracts. Electronista has taken a closer look at Boost Mobile’s latest smartphones, including the Blackberry Curve and Motorola i1. We were surprised to learn that both devices can be linked to formidable smartphone plans, with lower monthly fees than most of the leading carriers charge for similar monthly service on a two-year contract.
Company claims sales exceeded expectations
Nokia reportedly sold less than 100,000 N900 smartphones in the five months since it has been available on the market, according to research firm Gartner. After launching the device in November, the company sold 50,000 in 2009 before sales began to drop off in the first quarter of 2010.
Backs goal of tripling smartphone sales from '09
Choi Jee-sung, Samsung's chief executive officer, told reporters at Mobile World Congress that the company's investment for mobile device software would exceed last year's total of $113 million. The world's second largest mobile phone manufacturer plans to gain market share in the smartphone segment with a revised marketing strategy
that emphasizes content, apps and services.
The company expects to bring its app store to 50 countries this year and has released a software development kit for its quasi-open source Bada operating system.
Device integrates 1GHz Snapdragon CPU
Samsung's upcoming Galaxy 2 smartphone has been spotted, with a press image surfacing on AndroPhones. Like the Nexus One and several other high-end smartphones, the Galaxy 2 reportedly integrates a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen. Other features include a 5MP camera and 32GB of internal memory, along with the standard smartphone specs such as GPS and Wi-Fi.
Exec forecasts future "smart homes"
Intel CEO Paul Otellini, speaking at a CES keynote, addressed a variety of current and upcoming trends such as 3D video, smartphones, apps, and the company's new Wireless Display Technology. The executive predicts that 3D -- the dominating topic this year at CES -- is the next big thing that will gain popularity in consumers' homes.