Samsung’s ad budget exploded past Apple and the rest of the field in 2012

Apple-vs-Samsung-advertising-ad-budget-2012We have been hearing much about Samsung’s advertising efforts in recent months including its efforts crafting the now well-known ad campaign mocking iPhone line sitters, to some of the companies recent marketing tactics used to target iPhone users. Last night The Wall Street Journal published a new piece outlining Samsung’s increasingly aggressive advertising thanks to new data from research firm Kantar Media. According to the report, Samsung passed Apple in 2012 for ad spending by around $68M in the US:

Outspent by rival Apple Inc. more than three to one in advertising for mobile phones in the U.S. in 2011, Samsung responded with a marketing blitz on TV, billboards, the Internet and print media that moved the Korean company into the pole position last year… In 2012, Samsung spent $401 million advertising its phones in the U.S. to Apple’s $333 million, according to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media.

Apple spent more than three times Samsung on marketing its mobile devices in 2011. If a slew of recent media reports is any indication, including one from Apple’s own former ad man Ken Segall, many seem to think Apple is losing its advertising momentum to Samsung.

The Wall Street Journal added that executives at carriers said Samsung “also spends more on “below the line” marketing than any device maker. Those funds help pay for in-store advertising, promotions and training for carrier sales representatives that help close the sale.”

To put the spending in perspective for the global smartphone market, Tech/telco analyst Benedict Evans noted the figures above account for around 10% of Samsung global ad budget compared to 1/3 of Apple’s, which also somewhat reflects sales proportions.

HTC One launch delayed until April, pre-orders ship late March

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HTC’s newest flagship phone, the HTC One, is being hit with positive reviews all around the web, but that’s not the only thing. According to a statement received by SlashGear, the HTC One is facing some shipping delays and the device’s original rumored March 15 release is no longer a target. The statement from HTC reads:

“We will start fulfilling pre-orders by end March in certain markets and will roll out to more markets as we approach April.” – HTC

At the moment, it’s unconfirmed whether the United States will be affected by this delay. An original rumor started this morning stated the delay would only affect orders in the United Kingdom and other markets. As we get more information on the details of the delay, we’ll be sure to update you.

Acer unveils slightly upgraded C7 Chromebook with 4GB RAM and 6 hour battery

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If the Pixel sparked your interest in investing in a Chromebook, but its absurd price turned you off, then the Acer C7 Chromebook may be what you’re looking for. Announced via press release this afternoon, the new-and-improved Chromebook C7 from Acer boasts a number of useful performance boosts.

First and foremost comes a much-needed battery update. The original C7 Chromebook’s battery capped out at 3.5 hours, today’s C7 update pushes that up to 6 hours. The update today also doubled the RAM from the original model to a more reasonable 4GB. The processor remains the same at 1.1GHz.

The Acer Chromebook C7 is available and will ship today from Amazon and other retailers for $279.99.

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Google confirms prescription frames & lenses in the works for Google Glass, shows off prototype

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There have been many people who wear prescription glasses wondering whether they too would be able to wear Google Glass with prescription frames. Today, Google confirmed that the Glass’ modular design will indeed allow users to add frames and lenses that match their prescription. Google also showed off one of the prototypes currently in testing. The image above is of Glass team member +Greg Priest-Dorman sporting prescription frames with Google Glass.

One of the questions we hear the most is whether there will be a prescription solution for Glass. The short answer is: yes! The Glass design is modular, so you will be able to add frames and lenses that match your prescription. We understand how important this is and we’ve been working hard on it

Unfortunately, the ability to wear prescription frames and lenses won’t be available to those lucky enough to get their hands on the Explorer Edition when it’s eventually released. Google said you could expect to see the frames for Glass later this year.

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Galaxy S IV captured on video, touts new and improved TouchWiz with Galaxy S III design

The cat’s out of the bag, or in this case, the Galaxy S IV is out of Jeremy’s box. A YouTube video, posted on the account “iStevencom“, reveals what seems to be a Galaxy S IV booting up (along with the phone and settings apps).

The device, if it proves to be real, looks almost identical to the Galaxy S III, with the exception of a thinner bezel and the camera flash is placed below the camera. In the video, we also get a glimpse of the future of TouchWiz. No longer will TouchWiz’s general theme be black and blue but rather a more modern white and blue. We also see the device’s home screen that looks almost identical to the TouchWiz home screen now found on the Galaxy S III.

The full video is available above with a photo gallery below.
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‘Jash’ YouTube channel launches with Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Reggie Watts, and others

As we mentioned in October: A new YouTube channel created by Daniel Kellison (who co-created “The Man Show”, was the original producer of “Jimmy Kimmel Live’, and a producer of “Late Night With David Letterman” and “The Late Show With David Letterman”). Called “Jash”, the channel will feature separate channels with stars Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and Reggie Watts.

Looking forward to some funny videos here like the below:

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New York Times, Evernote, Gmail, Skitch, and Path apps for Google Glass revealed today at SXSW

We’re waiting for some better videos, but Google revealed some third-party (and first-party if you include Gmail) apps for Google Glass at SXSW today. As you can see in the demos, the companies have really thought about the apps people will use on their head and Google has been thoughtful about the way they are going to interact.

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Galaxy S IV teased on Samsung’s Facebook/Twitter with Galaxy S III-esque design

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If you weren’t a fan of the Galaxy S III’s design, then the Galaxy S IV may not be to much of your liking. Provided that a teaser picture that Samsung just posted on its Facebook (and Twitter) page is to be believed, then the Galaxy S IV will sport a very similar design.

The Galaxy S IV is scheduled to be released in New York City on March 14.

Google’s shopping delivery service gets a little more official and a little more hush hush at the same time

Google is taking on Amazon Prime with a shopping service later this year. You know this. TechCrunch is filling in some of the blanks today with more details like pricing (free for Googlers, $4.99 for beta testers, and a final target a little below Amazon’s) and some more beta stores like BabysRUs, Targét, and Nob Hill Foods. Also, don’t tell anyone about it because it’s a total secret! Google HR e-mail below:

Hi,

As you may have seen, there was a leak last night about Google Shopping Express, including several very specific product details. Our PR team is working to quiet this down, but we need your help — please don’t add fuel to the fire by discussing or even confirming Google Shopping Express. If you are contacted by a member of the press, please follow normal procedures and refer them to press@google.com.

But wait, you asked me to ship to my home to help you test … so what about spouses and roommates? We trust your judgement. If your roommate writes a tech blog or works for a company in this space, please don’t ship it home. But if you feel it’s safe, then by all means, we still really need your help dogfooding this.

Get free same day delivery with Google Shopping Express

After weeks of testing, we’re now excited to open Google Shopping Express to every Googler in the bay area including temps, vendors and contractors.

Save yourself a trip to the store and stock up at places like Target, Nob Hill Foods, Babies “R” Us and more. Googlers who sign up early for a free membership will receive free same day delivery for one year! Non-members pay $4.99 per delivery per store.

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Google updates Gmail web app with new UI inspired by iOS apps, improved search & Calendar integration

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Google announced today that it updated the mobile web app for Gmail and the Gmail Offline Chrome app with a refreshed UI and new features similar to recent enhancements to its iOS apps. On top of the redesigned visuals, Google also included improvements to search and Google Calendar integration:

Today we’re rolling out a similar refreshed look to the Gmail mobile web app as well as Gmail Offline (http://goo.gl/0f1ae) that includes many of these same changes. Try it out at gmail.com in the browser of your Android, iOS, Blackberry or Kindle Fire device.

Google noted it decided to implement a design for its web apps similar to its iOS offerings after receiving positive feedback since first launching the new iOS design in December.

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First reviews of the HTC one come in: Amazing hardware build quality, Sense hinders, camera/battery mediocre

The Verge is the first out the gate with its HTC One review. I found this passage in its conclusion prescient, which mirrors my initial reaction when trying it last month.

In my quest to find the perfect Android phone, I’m still left wanting. I want the One’s hardware, but I want the Nexus 4’s software and promise of timely updates — I’ve said for a year that HTC should offer stock Android phones, and I’m still convinced the company could save itself with the One plus pure Android. I also want a better camera — the One isn’t bad, it’s just mediocre, and I’ve seen better from Android phones. For now, the list of Android phones worth buying is two items long: the Nexus 4 and the One. Personally, I’d buy the One if I had to choose right now, but with the Galaxy S 4 coming in just a few days, I’m pretty lucky I don’t have to choose right now.

The reviews here aren’t retail units. We have a review of one of these on AT&T (for better or worse) coming soon. That means battery life results (we’re not sure how accurate a test they gave it with 2 days) and other variables might change.

As for the 4Mega‘ultra-pixel’ camera, it seems to be a risky tradeoff. Great low-light performance in exchange for the crispness of those extra pixels.

My question to HTC is: Will you ride Sense into obscurity/bankruptcy or give your users the option to use a recent unadulterated Android OS? With the S4 and Google I/O looming, the decision to put so much effort into features that users don’t want is puzzling.

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