Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Sony planning a Tablet S refresh!

   Mobiflip has today outed a new Sony Xperia Tablet. The picture above shows that the device is essentially a Tablet S refresh; sporting exactly the same iconic wedge design of the Tablet S. 

Looks like Microsoft's Surface tablets has a bit of an influence too!
   This time, however, the tablet is set to be slimline and splashproof, complete with Tegra 3 and a 9.4-inch 1280 x 800 display. The new tablet will be 11.85mm at its thickest point according to mobiFlip‘s premature documentation. This would overall add up to a 42-percent trim down, Sony claims, and this one will be made of aluminum rather than plastic!

   On the camera front there's an 8-megapixel main camera which is paired with a 1-megapixel front facing camera, and there’s also a docking stand with three USB ports and an HDMI connection. Sony also throws in a clever Guest Mode, which allows for a separate interface – with limited access to apps and other data – for visitor use of the tablet, while keeping full Ice Cream Sandwich functionality locked away.

   Interestingly the presentation also includes projected pricing; $449.99 for the 16GB model, rising to $549.99 for the $32GB, and $649.99 for the 64GB. The carrying cover will be $59.99 ($20 more for the leather version) and the keyboard cover will be $99.99.

   As for docks, the Dock Speaker will be $119.99, the Docking Stand $99.99, and the Cradle $39.99. A Simple Stand – propping the tablet up at a choice of three angles – will be $24.99. The HDMI cable will be $29.99 and the USB Host cable $19.99.

   When this device launches we'll see if it's possible to get a review to compare with the Tablet S and see if it's a worthy successor!

Sony's update saga.

   Sony, Sony, Sony... What're we going to do with you eyy? 

  Today we've been told not to rule out Jelly Bean updates coming to any of their current devices. This news has come after they said their 2011 line up, which includes the Arc S and Mini Pro, would not be getting the update! Apparently we shouldn't rule out the possibility of these devices getting Jelly Bean just yet; the company said;

“We are actively investigating Android OS upgrades for all devices, but in the meantime, our Ice Cream Sandwich rollout for Xperia S and 2011 Xperia smartphones continues as planned.”
   So there we have it. Don't give up hope just yet! The only thing we know for certain at the moment is that Sony don't know what they're doing just yet! The company is still in the midst of their ICS rollout so you can't blame them for not being entirely sure yet! We do expect their most recent crop of NXT devices will be getting updates, but probably early next year!

In other news:
  • Nintendo needed their 3DS XL to do a good job on the sales front. Initial tips look good with the device reportedly shipping 200,000 units in the first 24 hours after it's launch!
  • RIM are reportedly cutting 3000 jobs on August 13th, sorry guys, the company just can't stop the rot.
  • Microsoft has integrated Facebook tagging into Bing search results.
  • Samsung is reportedly working on a new 11.8″ 2560×1600 tablet.
  • Samsung‘s product lead has lashed out at Apple‘s design patent case, describing the jury trial as “fighting over rectangles” and "defying common sense" and to be honest we have to agree!
And finally, Microsoft has launched Outlook.com as a Gmail competitor! It looks eerily familiar!

Monday, 30 July 2012

What phone would really get you excited?

   I was laying in bed a few weeks ago thinking about what phone would really get me excited. Earlier in that evening I'd written a post about the ZTE Kis, a low-end phone that was insanely cheap. For whatever reason the ZTE was the first phone that had excited me in a long time.

   It's cheap, it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and it just seems crazy to me that it only costs £50. Now don't get me wrong I know my upcoming comparison isn't fair, but if I want toreplace my Galaxy S2 it'll set me back £340 on Amazon! Which got me thinking how much difference can there really be for the extra £290?

   On the face of it not much, the two devices both run Android (Kis 2.3 and SGS2 4.0.3, although the Kis is slated to get ICS!), they both take pictures, both browse, call and text and most importantly, they both play Angry Birds!

   So ZTE have left me feeling slightly guilty, I feel I've wasted money, but I'm also astonished. Assuming the ZTE Kis is actually functionable as a daily driver I'll be impressed with just how far smartphones have come. The original Galaxy S was my first smartphone and if the ZTE Kis can get close to that experience then they have a real winner!

   The one thing I want to know now is; can the ZTE Kis actually become a replacement for the Samsung Galaxy S2 or even a Galaxy S3, whilst also being less than a 6th of the price?!

   Continuing along the same lines I've also found myself becoming slightly disillusioned with big phone announcements; it's all much the same. Every high-end device comes out, lands at £500 or £30 a month on contract and is exactly the same as the phone launched the week before by another company. So what I want to know is what excites you? For me it's becoming the unbelievable value of the low-end phones and the freshness of the smaller operating systems such as WebOS, Meego and Firefox OS.

   But, what I realy want to know is what are you excited for? The new iPhone? The next Nexus? Or something really fresh, new and exciting like Jolla and their plans? Let me know in the comments below!


Android updates: LG, Sony and Acer's hands.

   Android updates; the bane of many geeks lives! Some companies have good records in updates; Samsung, Acer and HTC are considered 'good' with updates. Other companies are slightly lacking with their track records.

   Today some of these ideas have been reinforced. The first company, Sony, we did cover briefly last week when they announced that they would not be providing Jelly Bean updates to their 2011 phones, like the Arc S and the Mini Pro. Sorry guys.

   But, rest assured you're not alone! LG is just as bad as Sony, if not worse. LG's Canadian arm stated that versions of the Optimus 2X (the world's first dual-core phone!) and the Optimus Black would not receive an update to Android 4.0 ICS. This news coming in spite of a universal statement from LG promising the arrival of an update! There's no news on whether this will be the case for all international versions of these phones, but a precedent has now been set!

   The good news here though is that Acer has publicly said that some of their Iconia range of tablets will get Jelly Bean. Yes they said 'some' and so a few tabs will miss out, but some is better than none!!! When the company outs a full list of updates, you guys will be first to know!

In other news:

  • T-Mobile USA's Galaxy Note is available starting August 8th for $249 on a two-year contract.
  • Intel has promised that $699 ultrabooks are on the way!
  • Mountain Lion becomes OS X's most successful version yet with 3 million downloads so far.
  • Microsoft's Surface tablets have been slated to arrive on October 28th at the same time as Windows 8 is officially released.
  • Apple has been placed on China's Consumer Association “company integrity” blacklist, we're not sure what this will mean, but it's an interesting reflection of the world we live in!
  • Apple's supposed Twitter investment has apparently fallen through!
  • And finally, RIM's upcoming Playbook 10"er has supposedly been snapped and the leaked picture is below!

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Motorola reveal the Photon Q.

   Today Motorola has revealed a brand new handset complete with QWERTY keyboard!!!

   In terms of specs there's everything you have come to expect with a mid-range device. You've got a 4.3-inch 540 x 960 TFT LCD screen, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.5GHz processor. Obviously there's that QWERTY keyboard, and a group of cool features which include; NFC, environmental performance assurance from ULE, and corporate email access with MS Exchange ActiveSync.

   On the software front there's Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with enterprise security too, although we don't know what exactly this will include. But, at least you'll have those great LTE speeds for your browsing!

On the plus side this phone is an international device, for you traveling types and there's 8GB of memory to store the maps on! And just in case that isn't enough there's a MicroSD card which can take up to 32GBs of extra storage. Or if you have got some spare room there's an 8MP shooter and a front-facing 'HD capable' camera. And the whole package is rounded out with Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, a 1785 mAh non-removable battery and for longevity the whole device has been certified for environmentally rough situations! 

   If you live in the states and this tickles your fancy then keep an eye on your mobile providers website, it'll pop up on all compatible networks soon!

Sony's new flagship leaks? Brings 'Mint'-y fresh looks!

   The device above is the much rumoured Sony LT30p, aka the Sony Mint and is widely expected to be Sony's flagship device for the foreseeable future.

   The phone has a good set of specs; there's a 4.3-inch screen with a 720p resolution, a 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD card slot, microUSB capable of MHL output, microSIM slot, NFC, and a sealed internal battery. The the headliner though, is the 13-megapixel camera, which should be capable of 1080p video recording. A front-facing camera capable of 720p is thrown in too! Mobile-Review, who leaked the device, said the phone has a screen of 4.3-inches, but as you can see to the right, it’s not far off the 4.8-inch Galaxy S III, so perhaps it's slightly larger than that! Ohhh and at the moment it's running ICS, and given Sony's update record we don't expect any update coming for a while!

   When the phone lands at IFA, in Berlin at the end of August we'll probably have another few devices to report too!

In other news:

  • Google Talk, Twitter and Microsoft's cloud computing system 'Azure' both suffered downtime today!
  • Google Fiber has launched in Kansas today, bringing with it a group of subscription options too.
  • Android and Nokia NFC exploits have been shown at the Black Hat security/hacking conference.
  • Nokia has officially cancelled Meltemi as a way of saving the precious pennies.
  • Zynga reports $23m social gaming loss as Facebook worries mount.
  • The international Galaxy S3 wasn't meant to lose it's local search abilities. Sammy's bad, and it'll be back soon!
  • Nokia is slated to reveal it's first batch of Windows Phone 8 devices on September 8th, so not long to wait!
  • In Apple and Samsung's ongoing disputes, the former has dug up some of Google's comments about Samsung's Galaxy S. El Goog reportedly said that Sammy's flagship was too similar in design to the iPhone and should be redesigned!
  • HTC and Facebook are reportedly planning another device with a little Facebook button for later this year or 2013. So if you have to have instant access to your social networks, keep locked to TTF for all the latest!
  • And finally, Sony has confirmed that their 2011 handsets won't be upgraded to Jelly Bean, which is unfortunate, but at least there's custom roms to turn to!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Samsung strikes back at Apple by offering some 2006 prototypes.

   Now this patent battle has had no small amount of twists and turns! But, yesterday Apple demanding $2.5billion dollars for Samsung's 'infringement'. Samsung struck back with vigour today saying that Apple “could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung‘s patented technology.”

   Samsung has pointed to more than two decades of cellphone research, the WSJ reports, and accuses Apple of hypocrisy and more controversially copying design concepts from Sony. Samsung also offered up a bunch of new evidence from 2006, dismissing any suggestions that the original iPhone marked a departure from Sammy's old design approach.

   The company has said “Apple seeks to exclude Samsung from the market, based on its complaints that Samsung has used the very same public domain design concepts that Apple borrowed from other competitors, including Sony, to develop the iPhone” Samsung’s filing argues. In fact, the company insists, Apple itself originally made clear that it had taken its iPhone inspiration – in part at least – from ideas out of Sony’s labs:

    “Apple‘s own internal documents show this. In February 2006, before the claimed iPhone design was conceived of, Apple executive Tony Fadell circulated a news article that contained an interview of a Sony designer to Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and others. In the article, the Sony designer discussed Sony portable electronic device designs that lacked “excessive ornamentation” such as buttons, fit in the hand, were “square with a screen” and had “corners [which] have been rounded out.””

   Unsurprisingly Samsung has something to say about Apple's image they released via AllThingsD, (below). “Prior to the iPhone’s announcement  in January 2007, Samsung was already developing numerous products and models with the same design features that Apple now claims were copied from the iPhone”

   “In the summer of 2006, Samsung began designing its next generation of mobile phones, based on the market trend of ever-increasing screen size” Samsung continues. “At that time, Samsung‘s designers envisioned a basic design: a simple, rounded rectangular body dominated by a display screen with a single physical button on the face … [as] documents confirm, Samsung independently developed the allegedly copied  design features months before Apple had even announced the iPhone. It did not switch its design direction because of the iPhone.”

   Samsung offered up the image below which shows a bunch of 2006 concept devices it had planned, one of which went on to be the Samsung F700 and the subject of a Korean design registration application in December 2006:

   Even more interesting, Samsung says it was working on a grid-icon GUI back in the summer and fall of 2006. Sammy said; “Contrary to Apple‘s cherry-picked “pre” and “post” iPhone choices of Samsung‘s phones, Samsung designed and developed large screen smartphones before the iPhone as well as bar type phones, sliders, and folder phones”.

   Unusually, Samsung also makes reference to the tricky balance between being a key Apple component supplier and being a rival in the smartphone marketplace. “Apple relied heavily on Samsung’s technology to enter the telecommunications space” it points out. “Samsung supplies the flash memory, main memory, and application processor for the iPhone.” However, it also reiterates earlier complaints that Apple infringes on Samsung patented technology:

“Apple also uses patented Samsung technology that it has not paid for. This includes standards-essential technology required for Apple‘s products to interact with products from other manufacturers, and several device features that Samsung developed for use in its products” 

   Samsung isn’t impressed either by Apple’s suggestions that it tried to engage in patent licensing – “despite the fact that virtually every other major industry participant was willing to take a license from Samsung for use of the standards-essential patents in this suit, Apple claimed that Samsung‘s patents are unenforceable” – or the patents the Cupertino company holds and is alleging that Samsung infringes. Far from being the innovative and distinctive interface technology that makes the iPhone and iPad so appealing, Samsung argues that Apple merely snatched up existing systems and then hurriedly patented them:

“Apple‘s utility patents relate to ancillary features that allow users to perform trivial touch screen functions, even though these technologies were developed and in widespread use well before Apple entered the mobile device market in 2007. Samsung does not infringe any of Apple‘s patents and has located dead-on prior art that invalidates them” Samsung

“Samsung does not need or want to copy” the company says indignantly. The full court filing is below.

   Great response Sammy, we expect that will sway some opinions! Maybe not in the States though!

In other news:

  • The latest thing banned from the London Olympics is your mobiles Wireless hotspot feature. We're not sure why, but just don't do it on the Olympic site!
  • Pebble smartwatches won't be shipping out until 'after September', sorry Kickstarters!
  • ARM's Q2 profits jumped up 23%!
  • Ouya, the Android games console, will be the about the size of a Rubix cube when it ships! Perfectly designed for backpacks and anything else really. We can see a lot of these going to schools and on holidays!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Has MobileFun outed the design for the next iPhone.

   It really is that time of year again folks; iPhone rumours are front and centre of every tech website at the moment. And today MobileFun have helped add a bit of fuel to the fire, with their 'leak', from secret sources, of the new cases for the forthcoming iPhone.

   The changes that the new cases show are; a taller version of the current iPhone but keeping exactly the same width, a new connector port and the headphone jack moved to the bottom of the phone.

   And the main thing, it's a case for a 4 inch phone! So finally Apple will be joining in with the big boys with a bit of luck!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 banned throughout Europe.

   Samsung got a little bit of respite last week in the British courts after the judge ruled that Apple would have to apologise and publicly state that Samsung didn't copy the iPad with the 10.1" Galaxy Tab.

   But, it seems that as far as the wins for Samsung have gone, with German courts today ruling that the 7.7 did copy the iPad. But, as you can see there's a slight conflict here; British courts have ruled that there was no infringement, whereas European courts went a different way. Today's sales injunction is in direct conflict with a UK court ruling earlier in July. 

   This seems to be so confusing for all parties; not even Samsung knows where they stand at the moment! We don't think this will impact Samsung too badly even if the ban does stand because the Tab 7.7 has such a high price and low demand. The company has said to Slashgear today that they would like to point customers in the direction of the Galaxy Tab 2 (the 7incher) because of the lower price point and more support! Win Win!

In other news:

  • Samsung's court dates with Apple may cost the North Koreans $2.5 billion if the South Korean's are found guilty of wilful IP infringement!
  • Apple has claimed that the design of the iPhone and iPad is worth an extra $24 per device! An interesting claim but that's what's been filed with the Californian courts.
  • And to conclude the Apple news; the company is reported to be working on some revamped designs for the companies iPod touches and nanos!
  • Android is supposedly lacking in developer interest by 16% when compared to iOS according to IDC.
  • RIM has promised a sneak peak at BB10 for their most loyal and dedicated customers.
  • The LTE packing BlackBerry PlayBook is due on July 31st for $550!
  • Talking of LTE, the UK rollout has been pushed back again! OFCOM has announced the auction of spectrum won't begin until 'early 2013'! Talk about holding us back for no apparent reason!

Monday, 23 July 2012


Staples confirms numerous new Kindle tablets incoming!

   Staples President, president Demos Parneros, has today told Reuters that Amazon are preparing '5 or 6 new SKU's' of Kindle tablets. Which in normal words means that Amazon are preparing 5 or 6 new tablet variants. 

   Now this could mean 2 new tablets and then 16, 32 and 64GB version of each tablet, but we're really hoping for 7", 8.9" and 10.1" tablets.There's also the possibility that one SKU could be dedicated to a 3G/4G capable version of the tablets.

   Interestingly, Parneros did explicitly say that a 10inch version is in the pipeline, something which will go head to head with Apple's iPad, but Amazon's offering is expected to have a much lower price point! We are also expecting a refreshed 7" Kindle Fire, something perfectly tailored to compete with Google's insanely popular, new Nexus 7.

   This might be a cheeky ploy to take some of Google's momentum away while Amazon's tablets are finished or Amazon might be slightly annoyed with Staples for revealing their plans prematurely. Either way Amazon declined to comment on the stories today!

   Keep it locked for all the latest news on Amazon's tablets!

Samsung splits from Qualcomm licensing deal to spite Apple.

   About 18 years ago, Samsung and Qualcomm made a little gentlemen's agreement, promising not to use 3G patents to Samsung's advantage, new documents have confirmed. Samsung promised not to sue Qualcomm or any of its customers for using these patents. It's been confirmed that Samsung saw it fit to dissolve these agreement in April 2011, so that the IP could be used to combat Apple's aggressive law department.

   Qualcomm was notified that the deal was ended as soon as Apple first filed against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab slate in the US, ZDNet claimed. ”There was an agreement between Samsung and Qualcomm. That agreement was not a licence agreement” Samsung’s counsel confirmed. “It contains a contractual provision that Samsung would not sue Qualcomm or customers of Qualcomm who apply [the 3G patents].”

   According to Australian court documents Apple sought independent licensing with Samsung, but Sammy claims that its FRAND-term “commercial rate” for use of the technology was rejected, and that Apple failed to continue taking part in negotiations. “Apple has refused to enter negotiations for the UMTS patent”.

   This is quite an interesting revelation and we'll see exactly what happened when we see some judgements coming in from the courts!

In other news:

  • The ratings agency, Moody's, has downgraded Nokia again, the company now stands at a 'junk' rating. But, the company is still confident things will turn around with the release of WP8.
  • The creators of the Android app 'Dead Trigger' have revealed their reasoning for making their quality game free recently. Apparently Android piracy is so rampant that the devs saw it as the best option to simply offer the game for free. At the moment they're considering in-app purchasing and ads as a way to earn some money from the game!
  • Samsung has officially announced that they've shipped 10million Galaxy S3's in 2 months!
  • LG's ICS update for the Spectrum is 'very close' to completion and is Verizon's hands for testing.

Finally, google has released their first advert for the Nexus 7 and it looks something like this...!!!

Friday, 20 July 2012


Asus and HTC offer a relatively comprehensive update list!

   Asus has announced there will be a good amount of updates rolling out to their tablets. Owners who're definitely going to be getting some Jelly Bean action are owners any of the following; the ASUS Transformer Pad, the ASUS Transformer Pad Prime and the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity.

   But... That's not the end of the story because Asus has expressly said:

“We are still investigating Jelly Bean updates for other devices, but we are not in a position to confirm whether any other products will be eligible for an update at the moment.”
   So don't give up faith just yet, we still think there's a chance of other tablets being updated and we expect the OG Transformer will get some Jelly Bean because of how popular the device was!

   On the HTC front it seems we misreported the news yesterday. The company has confirmed 
there will be updates for the very top end of their One series. It's only the varients of the HTC One X and One S that have been confirmed so far. So for clarity that's the; HTC One X, One S and One XL, as they're known on different networks. Unfortunately the Sensation XL which was one of last years flagships has no word on whether there will be an update for that and the same is true for all the other Sensations from last years!

In other news:
  • Lenovo's CEO has decided to reward his employees for their recent progress and the employees will be getting a little cut of his yearly bonus! Nice guy!
  • Google has bought out the popular email solution, Sparrow. The company has done some great work for iOS and Mac devices and the personnel have gone straight into Google's Gmail division.
  • Nokia's beautiful little N9 has been given a working port of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
  • Talking of Jelly Bean; the update has been delayed Down Under because of the strict nature of Emergency calls over in Aus. Vodafone Australia has postponed the update while they make sure everything conforms!
  • The London Eye will be a special treat during the London 2012 Olympics. Twitter comments about London 2012 will dictate the colour the landmark will glow at night. If the comments are good we'll get one colour, if they're bad then it's another colour and if they're anything else then well, you guessed, it another colour!
  • SkyGo is now available on your Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3!
  • Google's ad business pulled in $12billion in Q2, which is very, very good going!


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