Saturday, 18 August 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note II image leaks: Looks Convincing

As we fast approach the much anticipated Samsung Pre-IFA event on 29th August, we have ourselves a couple of image leaks showing the 5.5" beast from Samsung. The first leak was reported by a Know Your Mobile tipster (left). Unlike previous ones, this is not a rendering but an actual photo of a device claimed to be Note II. Though the tipster hasn't provided us with any additional details regarding the device, we more-or-less have an idea what to expect from the Korean Giant. 

It definitely seems a lot like the device we are expecting, and also bears a certain resemblance with Note 10.1. There's also semblance of a slightly more curvy design (compared to it's predecessor). Samsung has previously mentioned that Note II will borrow from the design of the blockbuster Galaxy S III.

The pic also looks to be the same device as the one leaked by a Mr. Danny Uy yesterday on Twitter.

August 29th just can't come fast enough !!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Nokia AIR Cloud Service Promo leaks, Symbian Concept Devices also on display

Nokia AIR promo

Cloud storage and Sync solutions are increasing in their popularity as people move towards mobile computing. Symbiantweet managed to unearth an interesting video showing "Nokia AIR" in all its grandeur. It seems like a promo video and has Nokia's "company confidential" watermark.

Going by the video, and earlier leaks, Nokia AIR will allow users to sync applications, media, file and contacts across Nokia tablets and smartphones for instant access anytime and anywhere. There are also some really cool concept devices such as a slider, smartphone and tablet running Symbian OS that we haven't seen before. Looking forward to Nokia to deliver AIR as Nokia World rolls out this fall.

Check out the promo below and let us know what you think about Nokia AIR.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Microsoft Announces 'Surface' tablet - Powered by Windows 8

Microsoft Windows 8 Based 'Surface' tablet - Should Apple be worried ?

Microsoft's event in Los Angeles held the promise of a 'big' announcement. Enter 'Surface', Microsoft's foray into the world of tablet computers, that promises to offer the best of tablets and ultra-books. The device has a trick or two up it's sleeve to take on the stiff competition (read 'Apple'). Microsoft 'Surface' will be a Windows 8 device that'll hold great appeal for hardened PC users enabling them to make a smoother transition from desktops to a tablet. Design-wise, it's a fairly simplistic slate with a 10.6" inch display and a compact build.

Surface will be offered in two flavors, a entry level slate that'll run Windows RT designed for ARM based chips. It'll be only 9.3mm thin and will weigh 676 grams. Storage comes in the form of either  32 GB or 64GB of built-in memory and the connectivity suite will offer microSD, USB 2.0, 2X2 MIMO antennae.

The more powerful variant of Microsoft 'Surface' will be running Windows 8 pro that'll also offer full HD capabilities. It's much thicker at 13.5 mm and weighs 903 grams. It'll also be packed with bigger built-in memory storage of 64GB or 128GB. The connectivity suite will include microSDXC, 2×2 MIMO antennae, USB 3.0, and Mini DisplayPort Video. It'll basically be competing with ultra-books rather than tablets and will be priced accordingly. Sadly, it'll be launched roughly 3 months after the Windows RT based slate.

There are some very interesting design touches (see video below to really get a feel of them). Both Windows RT based and Windows 8 pro based Microsoft 'Surface' tablets will come with a built-in kickstand that'll pop out of their vapor-deposited (PVD) magnesium case. The Surface Pro will also support Pen Input with Palm Block. But the coolest feature has got to be the Touch Cover that seems like a simple tablet cover sleeve at first glance. However, as you flip it open, it'll surprise you with a complete tocu sensitive QWERTY keyboard, coupled with a touch-pad as well (could we have asked for more!).

Microsoft hasn't done great with it's adventures in the hardware arena (with the obvious exception of XBOX), but Microsoft 'Surface' seems just too impressive at first sight and may well be the 'winner' Microsoft has been searching for.

Apple iPhone 4S supremacy over Android in US markets debunked: Enders Analysis

Apple iPhone 4S vs Android
Apple's iPhone accounts for roughly half of smartphone sales in the US through carriers, but is getting thumped by Android by a humbling ratio of 2 to 1 overseas. You are likely to get as many varied reasons for the interesting stats as the number of people you ask. Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis has presented his conclusion in an interesting blog post published yesterday. Evans uses a combination of basic informative stats around TCO (total cost of ownership) when buying a smartphone through a carrier. As per stats used by Evens, the 1st qtr of 2012 saw 18 million smartphones sold through carriers in US of which the majority were existing smartphone owners. Of these, 9m were iPhone and 9m were other smartphones.

Enders-Analysis - Apple iPhone 4S Pricing and US Marketshare

As per Evans - 

"Relative to most other developed markets, the US mobile market is structured around significantly higher usage, higher monthly bills and much less competition on handset subsidy". 

 Enders-Analysis_mobile_price_comparisions - Benedict Evans

As a result, the way the carriers set up contracts makes the iconic iPhone barely more expensive that other smartphones. In US, iPhone 4S costs $200 with a $80 monthly 2 yr contract making the TCO of iPhone in US $2,120. In comparison, the TCO of other free handsets is roughly $1,920, or a difference of only 10%. Meanwhile in U.K., iPhone 4S's TCO is $988 whereas the cheapest smartphone's TCO is only $384, about $600 more than iPhone 4S. So it's hardly any surprise why Androids are so much more popular overseas compared to Apple's iPhone 4S.

As per figures from Jan to March, the installed base of smartphone users (those who already have one) grew to 106m from 97.9 m at the end of Dec'2011 (an addition of 8.6 m users), whereas the total number stands at 234m. This indicates that roughly half of the sales were due to new owners. This poses a challenge as well as a great opportunity for handset makers to capture the users who are still using feature-phones.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Apple and Samsung Claim 55% smartphone shipments, 90% profits in Q1' 2012 - ABI Research

As per ABI Research's Smartphone Market Data, smartphone shipments grew at an astonishing 41% YoY to 144.6 million, as of the quarter ending Mar'12. But it's not good news for all the manufacturers as the market leaders Samsung and Apple seem to be reaping most of the benefits of the rapid growth. Together, Samsung and Apple claimed 55% of global shipments in the 1st quarter of 2012 and more impressively, 90% of the profits in the market. 

Of all the major handset manufacturers, only Samsung and Sony could boast of sequential growth in exports over Q4'2011. Nokia and Blackberry were the worst performers suffering sequential declines of 40% and 20% respectively.

The developed markets in North America and Western Europe have already passed 50% penetration, so the real growth will now be coming from major developing markets such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. China, the most promising of the lot showed an extremely strong shipment growth of over 80%. However, competition from local vendors such as Huawei and ZTE with cost structures optimized to deliver smartphones at lucrative price points is a major challenge for the biggies.

Source: ABI Research

The Dark Knight Rises - Gameloft's mobile game to hit Android and iOS this Summer

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer: Gameloft

The Dark Knight Rises is undoubtedly the most anticipated movie this summer (and probably this year). As has been the trend with most major releases, there will be a video game accompanying the must awaited release of the film. Gameloft, Paris based computer and video game developer, will be publishing the mobile game that'll share the same title as the movie. To leverage the hype surrounding the release of the film,  "The Dark Knight Rises" mobile game will be hitting the Android and iOS devices when the movie hits the theaters.

The Dark Knight Rises: Mobile Game for Android and iOS

There are no details yet of the pricing or whether the game will follow the same storyline as the film, but we do know that this will not be a 'old-school' platformer or a top down city-building game. Going by the trailer, the graphics seems impressive (by mobile gaming standards) and game-play closer to console offerings than a mobile game.

You can check out the trailer and let us know what you think.

Source: Gameloft via IGN

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sony to Announce "fun and colorful" Xperia handset soon

Sony Xperia NXT - Facebook
Sony took leaf out of Samsung's book and decided to get it's fans excited for a launch rather than simply announcing and launching a new handset. Samsung fueled everyone's anticipation with the mysterious and gimmicky site that promised to give us more details about a new galaxy device. It didn't, but it definitely got everyone's attention. Sony promised us a 'surprise' announcement at 11:00 AM GMT through it's Facebook and Twitter pages. The Facebook page got inundated with comments and suggestions about what they anticipated the announcement to be for.

When the moment arrived, the "surprise" announcement was that there will be an announcement on June 22nd about a new "fun and colorful" Xperia Smartphone. But it offers us a way to preopne the announcement. All we need to do is hit fast forward on the creative Sony Mobile page that shows a clock ticking away with the tag "Bring the next Xperia Smartphone closer to you". As more people click fast-forward, the earlier the announcement will be. As of this writing, the preponed announcement date stands at 18th June. It'll be interesting to see if there's still enough excitement left to eat away another 3-4 days. I surely hope so.
Sony Xperia Surprise announcement on Facebook
Regarding the surprise itself, it'll be safe to predict that it might not be the premium Xperia flagship handsets such as the hugely anticipated Xperia GX, or the already delayed Xperia ION, or the most expensive device in Xperia line up for the year, codenamed Mint. After all, you wouldn't be expecting these flagship Xperia handsets to be referred to by Sony as "fun and colorful". Powerful, elgant, sophisticated seem more apt. The surprise is most likely to be a mainstream handset that is reasonably powerful yet affordable. I would wager on either Xperia go, or Xperia SX (which comes in interesting colors and was anounced for the japanese markets by NTT Docomo) or maybe the Acro S.

Source: Sony Xperia on Facebook
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