Samsung reportedly set to introduce Galaxy Gear smartwatch at upcoming Unpacked event

Samsung Gear Patent Filing

Samsung Gear Patent Filing

According to a new report from fansite SamMobile, Samsung will introduce its Galaxy Gear smartwatch during the Unpacked Episode 2 event on September 4th. The Galaxy Gear will reportedly carry the SM-V700 model number and act as a companion device for Samsung’s other Galaxy smartphones. Other details are sparse at this point, though several patent filings have given us a hint as to what we may see in terms of design. Samsung is also excepted to announce its Galaxy Note III flagship during the Unpacked event next month.

Samsung’s foray into the smartphone market comes on the heels of the Pebble being available in retail stores across the country. Many people also expect Apple to enter the smartwatch market sometime soon, as well.

No matter what Samsung announces next month, we’ll be sure to bring you all the details.  Read more

New photos show Xperia i1 “Honami” in white ahead of Sony’s Sept. 4 event

A leaked image earlier this month hinted that Sony had plans to introduce its rumored Xperia i1, codenamed “Honami,” at an event scheduled for September 4th during IFA in Berlin. Today, Xperiablog points us to another set of photos posted on Digi-Wo showing what is reportedly the Honami handset in white. You get a sense of its size in some comparison shots next to the iPhone 5. The device is rumored to include a 5-inch 1080p display, 20-megapixel rear camera, and Snapdragon 800 processor as one of Sony’s new flagship devices.

Nothing is official at this point, but we’ll likely be finding out more early next month at Sony’s event. Perhaps we’ll even get a look at the rumored Carl Zeiss lens camera attachmentRead more

Chinese site claims LG, not Motorola, will make G2-based Nexus 5

Photo: phandroid.com

Photo: phandroid.com

Chinese site MyDrivers (comical Google Translate warning) is citing Korean sources suggesting that the Nexus 5, next year’s replacement for the Nexus 4, will be made by LG and based on the G2. An earlier rumor suggested that the handset would be made by Motorola.

It has already been rumored that LG would be making next year’s Nexus 7 …  Read more

Smart finally beats dumb, smartphones hitting 51.8 percent of global sales in Q2

Image: gawkerassets.com

Image: gawkerassets.com

In the circles most of us hang out, it might seem incredible that featurephones – aka dumb phones – were still outselling smartphones until recently, but that was indeed the case right up to the first quarter of this year. The latest Gartner figures show that smartphones finally broke ahead in Q2, achieving 51.8 percent of worldwide phone sales.

Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions …

There was good news for both Samsung and Google in the figures …  Read more

Samsung sued for $110M in Brazil after Ministry of Labor finds labor rights violations

samsung-brazil

According to a report from ReporterBrasil, an organization and news agency reporting on labor rights issues in Brazil, prosecutors in the country have filed a lawsuit against Samsung related to poor working conditions in one of the company’s factories. According to the report, the lawsuit was filed after the Ministry of Labor (MPT) found labor rights violations in a Samsung plant located in Zona Franca de Manaus that’s used to assemble some of the company’s smartphones supplied to Latin America:

The lawsuit filed by prosecutors is based on the assessment notices by registered auditors of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MTE) after two inspections made at the factory in Manaus – one in May 2011 and another in May this year. Through technical analysis, they found that the employees of South Korean company come to hold three times more strokes per minute than the limit considered safe for ergonomic studies.

Some of the infractions mentioned in the translated report include workers spending in excess of 10-15 hours a day on foot without a break for up to 27 workdays in a row, and around 2,018 requests by employees to be removed due to health problems. The plant is said to employ around 5,600 employees total: Read more

New Nexus 7 now available in Canada through Google Play

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 2.39.44 PM

Google announced today that its recently launched Nexus 7 is now available to purchase in Canada through Google Play. The availability comes as the device launches in Staples, Best Buy, Future Shop and other retailers today in both the US and Canada, while the device has already been available to customers in the US through Google Play.

The refreshed Nexus 7 is available for $229 for the 16GB WiFi model and $269 for the 32GB model with both models listed as shipping in 1-2 business days. An LTE version of the new Nexus 7 is expected in the weeks to come but Google hasn’t provided an official launch date.

Google also started selling a new Nexus 7 sleeve on the Google Play today for $29.99 in both the US and Canada.

Still smarting from Java suit loss, Larry Ellison calls Google CEO Larry Page evil

Photo: dailymail.co.uk

Photo: dailymail.co.uk

Larry Ellison is apparently still smarting from the court battle he lost back in May of last year when he accused Google of copyright infringement over its use of Java in Android, lost and ended up paying Google’s $4M court costs.

Oracle bought Java from Sun Microsystems, and claimed ownership of some of the code used by Google. Google argued that the small amount of replicated code was ‘fair use’ and that the rest of it was coded from scratch simply using similar approaches to Java. Oracle lost.

In an interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose, transcribed in Business Insider, Ellison accuses Page of violating Google’s company slogan, Don’t be evil. Transcript below the fold …  Read more

Report: Amazon set to launch Android-based gaming console by end of year

ouya
According to a new report from GameInformer, sources have informed the publication that Amazon is working on a new Android-based gaming console that could land as early as the end of this year. There’s not much to go on other than the fact that the console is said to have its own dedicated hardware controller and take advantage of content already available through the Amazon Appstore. The news follows a report from Bloomberg in April that claimed Amazon is planning to release a set-top-box to compete with Apple and Google.

According to those we spoke with who have knowledge of the in-development hardware, Amazon will be leveraging the titles already available on its platform. Each day, the company offers one productivity or game app for free and stocks a healthy library for its own devices, like the Kindle Fire. The console will also have its own, dedicated controller.

Amazon-Game-Studios-logoThe two reports could very well be describing the same product, and VentureBeat adds that it has heard similar rumors but nothing solid enough to post prior to the GameInformer story. It’s also worth noting that Amazon has continued to hire game developers for its recently launched Amazon Game Studios, which published its first mobile title on iOS and Android last year.

Of course an Android console from Amazon makes us think of the $99 OUYA and the upcoming GamePop consoles, but whether it will be a full-fledged Apple/Google TV competitor or a dedicated gaming system is still unclear. GameInformer says the Amazon Android console will launch “most likely by Black Friday.”  Read more

Report: Motorola to produce new Nexus device, will be released in Q4

Moto-X-White-ATT-01

According to a new Google+ post from Taylor Wimberly, who was spot on with his Moto X Phone leaks, Motorola and Google are planning to team up on the next Nexus device. Wimberly says the device will be released in Q4 of this year and will not be a Google-ified version of the Moto X, but rather a new device altogether. No other details are offered, unfortunately.

With the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, Google started a trend of Nexus devices being affordable and sold unlocked via the Play Store. Many people expected this to be the case with the X Phone, but that turned out to be false. Is it possible that the more affordable X Phone model rumored for so long was actually a Motorola Nexus device?

Read more

Textbooks rolling out to Google Play Books in the US

Google-Play-Textbooks

Google announced back in July during its Google I/O keynote that it would be rolling out textbooks to Google Play Books sometime in August and today the AndroidPolice notes listings for textbooks have arrived in the store. The textbooks get their own section in the Google Play Books store, and are currently only available to users in the US.

Google’s new textbooks are available to purchase, but some titles will offer a rental option that allows users to rent the book for a lower-cost over a six month period. Google is also providing free samples for the new textbooks. The service is currently available through the Google Play Books apps on Android, iOS, and on the web.

Google is also piloting a new Google Play for Education service and accepting app submissions ahead of a full roll out.