Samsung phones Stories October 18, 2011

We’re but a day away from Google’s and Samsung’s major Hong Kong event meant to serve as a launchpad for the Nexus Prime, the first handset to feature Android 4.0 nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Guardian reports that the handset is “expected to be released in the UK within the next four weeks, in time for Christmas”, without naming a source for their claim. Meanwhile, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo wrote on Twitter that the Nexus Prime will land in Japan around November, boasting about it being “among the fastest” devices on the market.

An unlocked version of the phone is already showing up at third-party resellers, priced at about $750. The features allegedly include a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor, native 720p display, eight-megapixel camera on the back with 1080p video capture, support for NFC and more.

Google pushed back the Nexus Prime launch originally scheduled for Monday last week out of respect for Steve Jobs. Coincidentally, the new October 19 date collides with a celebration of Steve Jobs’ life due tomorrow in the outdoor amphitheater of Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. Apple will even close its brick-and-mortar stores for an hour so employees can watch the ceremony.

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Samsung phones Stories October 17, 2011

The iPhone 4’s design was heavily criticized over the use of chemically strengthened glass for its enclosure. The pundits typically highlight a zero percent probability of the device landing on the “right” side in an unfortunate event of slipping out of your sweaty hands onto the pavement. Whichever way you look at it, both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S have questionable droppability compared to other handsets using chassis engineered around the usual metal + plastic combo.

The folks over at SquareTrade took an iPhone 4S for a spin and pitted it against Samsung’s Galaxy S II to see which one survives a waist high and shoulder high drop. As you can see in the above clip, Apple’s latest and greatest handset was pretty badly damaged from the outside, just like its predecessor. It did, however, fare pretty well landing on its stainless steel band. Dropped face down, however, the iPhone 4S’s screen completely shattered. Samsung’s device didn’t suffer nearly as much damage (note that being light weight is probably a factor).

In addition, the plastic back on the Samsung device has gotta be more prone to surviving the shock of a sudden impact compared to glass. By the way, if you’re concerned about your iPhone’s droppability, head over to 9to5Toys and get yourself a great case. SquareTrade is an independent warranty provider cover nearly everything – excluding, of course, intentional damage shown in the clip. Hop over to their web site for more information.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber summed up nicely the problem with the iPhone 4’s easily breakable all-glass design. For those who don’t recall Gruber’s comment, here’s a thought he shared shortly after the device had gone on sale in the summer of 2010:

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Samsung’s Galaxy-branded smartphones are poised to become the fastest-selling alternative to the Apple’s iPhone family of devices. The latest Galaxy S II had gotten off to a great start, shipping three million units in the first 55 days of availability and five million units in 85 days. It shipped a total of ten million units in the first five months on the marketplace, beating the company-imposed end-of-2011 target by a significant margin. Today, Samsung announced (via Cellular-news.com) that the Galaxy S and Galaxy SII smartphones have achieved a combined total of 30 million global sales. The publication quoted president and head of Samsung’s mobile communications business JK Shin:

Since its launch only five months ago, Galaxy SII has seen tremendous sales success and garnered enthusiastic reviews from consumers and mobile industry watchers across the globe. This is in addition to the continued sales momentum behind Galaxy S, which we launched at Mobile World Congress 2010 as continues to be a run-away success with consumers

It is important to remember that these aren’t your bargain basement Androids, but really nice high-end devices comparable to Apple’s iPhone with their advanced features, the pleasing and slim design and price points. Considering the aforementioned 10 million Galaxy S II milestone was made public September 25, after which the handset hit the U.S. shores, it’s safe to assume that the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II shipped roughly 15 million units each to this date. In addition to positively impacting Samsung’s bottom line (even though they no longer detail sales of phones and tablets in quarterly earnings reports), the Android patent protection Samsung signed with Microsoft could bring the Windows maker a cool $300 million in licensing revenues on the combined sales of 30 million Galaxy S and S II phones.

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Samsung phones Stories October 11, 2011

As 9to5Google reported this summer, Apple and Google are battling it out in several categories in Gadget Awards 2011, an annual gadget awards ceremony organized by British monthly Tomorrow’s Technology Today, better known as T3. The smartphone category pitted Apple’s iPhone 4, HTC’s Incredible S and Sensation, Motorola’s laptop-killing Atrix, Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc and Samsung’s Galaxy S II against each other. Samsung’s phone, which shipped ten million units in five months, has beatten Apple’s sixteen months old iPhone 4 and took home the prestigious Phone of the Year 2011 award. Per the official Gadget Awards web site, Britons this year voted Samsung’s phone as their #1 choice, the first time in three years that neither Apple nor HTC had won the award:

Samsung smashed it into the roof of the net with its top-of-the-range Android blower. A gorgeous looking phone with slick operation, the S II also features the best camera on any smartphone to date, great integration with Samsung’s TVs and other kit and a screen that matches the iPhone 4’s, without aping it, thanks to the unfathomable power of Super AMOLED.

Samsung should launch the Galaxy Prime (alternatively named the Nexus Prime) soon, perhaps November 3. Nexus Prime will be the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device built in partnership with Google. It should boast the original Android experience (meaning no skins). Hardware-wise, the device is expected to sport a big, native 720p display, an eight-megapixel camera that captures full HD video, a speedy dual-core 1.5GHz processor and other treats. The phone should have already debuted, but Samsung and Google decided to delay the launch out of respect for Steve Jobs.

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Samsung phones Stories September 14, 2011

By all accounts, Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone family has risen to become the most serious challenger to Apple’s iPhone. Sales are picking up and Samsung now has the momentum to ship some ten million Galaxy S II units by the end of this year. This came from the mouth of Andy Tu, Samsung Taiwan’s president of mobile communications unit. Tu told DigiTimes, an Asian trade publication:

Global sales of the Galaxy S II are expected to top six million units by the end of September 2011 and 10 million units by the end of the year.

Considering the Galaxy S II hasn’t yet hit the U.S. with full force, ten million units is a pretty impressive number. That Samsung is aiming for four million units in the holiday quarter is especially telling in the face of sales blockade imposed in some countries as a result of Apple’s patent and design complaints.

Samsung sold three million Galaxy S II pre-orders worldwide early May and about 120,000 units in the first few days of availability in South Korea. It took the company 85 days to ship five million units in late July. Strong phone sales are seen as a boon to Samsung’s declining television and semiconductor operations which are blamed on a 26 percent drop in the June quarter profits.

Samsung today launched the Galaxy R in Taiwan, basically a rehashed Galaxy S version running Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip instead of Samsung’s own speedy Exynos 4210 processor. The device is coming to North & Eastern Europe, South East & West Asia, Middle East Asia and China soon.

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Samsung phones Stories September 13, 2011

If a third-generation Nexus phone (dubbed Nexus Prime) even remotely resembles the above concept render, we’re sold. The awesome image arrived courtesy of designer Federico Ciccarese who is also credited with the iPhone Air mockup. As you may recall, rumored Nexus Prime specs include a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD display with a native 720p pixel resolution and possibly Texas Instrument’s OMAP4460 processor. The phone is allegedly to be manufactured by Samsung. Two more gorgeous renders included after the break.

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This is a Samsung-branded Windows 8 tablet Microsoft is giving away to BUILD attendees today. Wanna take bets on possible actions from Apple? Go past the break for unboxing clips. Image courtesy of MobileTechWorld

The latest in the ongoing patent saga involving Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung includes an unexpected twist as Samsung goes after iPhone and iPad with a complaint filed before a Paris district court in July. The filing alleges infringement of Samsung’s three technology patents, reports AFP. The first hearing is expected in December of this year.

Meanwhile, patent expert Florian Müller notes on his blog FOSSPatents that Apple has filed motions to temporarily halt two Motorola lawsuits until Google completes its $12.5 billion acquisition, which shook the technology world last month. Put simply, Apple argues Motorola waived its rights to sue when it transferred patents to Google. Apple wrote:

To further its pending acquisition by Google, Motorola has surrendered critical rights in the patents-in-suit, such that Motorola no longer has prudential standing to pursue this action. According to the publicly-filed Merger Agreement, Motorola has ceded control of the most basic rights regarding the patents-in-suit

As you know, Google has transferred some of the Motorola patents to HTC, in addition to the ones acquired from Palm and Openwave Systems. HTC then used those patents to counter-sue Apple. Back to Apple vs. Samsung…

Financial Times today opined that Samsung needs to hit the reset button, predicting a licensing agreement of sorts provided Apple succeeds in blocking Galaxy products in the U.S. next month. Contrary to the reports, the publication thinks “Apple is restricted from taking its chip business to Samsung’s rivals in Taiwan because Samsung offers a complete package of components that other firms cannot match”. However, there are indications that Apple’s been lowering Samsung orders for some time and it’s widely believed the company is eager to take its silicon business to TSMC beginning next year.

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Samsung phones Stories September 12, 2011

Anandtech has published some interesting findings based on their extensive Samsung Galaxy S II review. It’s the first smartphone to use the graphics processing unit based on the Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. In fact, Samsung has engineered and manufactured its own system-on-a-chip solution for the handset.

They call it the Exynos 4210 and it combines a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core and the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU sporting four cores. The resulting performance, says Anandtech, is comparable to Texas Instruments OMAP 4 chip that incorporates Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX540 GPU core. However, the quad-core 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 probably won’t hold a candle to iPhone 5, which will likely carry the same dual-core processor-GPU combo as the iPad 2’s 1GHz A5 chip:

Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above. Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.

Interestingly, and per the GL Benchmark seen in the above image, the Exynos 4210 is more than twice as fast compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chi. It’s also nearly four times speedier than iPhone 4’s 800 MHz A4 chip which has the PowerVT SGX535 GPU core. However, the 4210 falls short in the triangle throughput department.

The publication this this could be a big disadvantage over the iPad 2’s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip. Triangle throughput is important in graphics-intensive games and will become key in “future games that may scale along that vector rather than simply increasing pixel shader complexity”. The video of Anandtech’s Samsung Galaxy S II review is right after the break.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

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Samsung phones Stories August 25, 2011

This is my next has learned that Samsung has a few interesting announcements up its sleeve ready for the IFA trade show which is scheduled to run September 2-7, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Hints inside the code of Samsung’s Android app contain references to an unreleased 7.7-inch tablet conveniently referred to as the Galaxy Tab 7.7. The code also makes mention of Wave 3, most likely a new version of the Wave series of feature phones powered by the company’s own operating system dubbed Bada.

Finally, the publication discovered references to Galaxy Note, a mysterious device most likely to be a tablet of sorts. The fact that Samsung is telling users to updated said app September 1 indicates with a high degree of certainty plans to unveil new products on that day. In addition to this “leak”, 9to5Google informed you yesterday of the specs supposedly belonging to an array of new Samsung smartphones to be marketed under the Galaxy M, Galaxy W, Galaxy Y and Galaxy R monikers.

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Samsung phones Stories August 24, 2011

Samsung is introducing seven new monikers to their smartphone branding so people can “simply identify the device designed to deliver the perfect experience for them”

The Inquirer reports that Samsung confirmed they will be adding four new smartphone sub-categories to the venerable Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets at the IFA 2011 show in Germany, nine days from today. Expanding on the successful Galaxy S series, the company will roll out new models that will be distinguished with the following suffixes: “R” for Royal/Refined, “W” for Wonder, “M” for Magical and “Y” for Young. As for the Galaxy S, the “S” stands for Super Smart, the South Korean company explained.

In addition, each model may be offered in three flavors, which will be denoted by adding “Pro”, “Plus” and “LTE” to their brand names. What are those about? Well, “Pro” means a physical QWERTY keyboard, “Plus” is for upgraded devices and “LTE”, as the name tells, means the device supports the fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution radio technology. Go past the fold for a quick list of the upcoming new phones.

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Samsung phones Stories August 18, 2011

Telefonino.net today leaked (via BGR) a bunch of upcoming Samsung devices. The mega-leak includes seven Android-driven phones and two tablets and three phones powered by Samsung’s own Bada operating system. Heck, the company is even working on their inaugural Windows Phone ‘Mango’ handset.

Starting off with tablets, the P6200 looks like the original Galaxy Tab successor. This seven-inch Honeycomb slate boasts a 1024-by-600 pixel Super AMOLED display plus front and back cameras for capturing video and conducting video calls. It will come in both WiFi-only and 3G HSDPA version.

As for the phones, Samsung appears to be going all out on the hardware front. Take the I9220, for example. This Gingerbreak phone runs a 1.4GHz processor, has an eight-megapixel camera and packs in a spacious, juicy 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display sporting a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution display, meaning it can render HD 720p video natively, without rescaling.

Then there is the I9210, another Gingerbread phone with a slightly larger 4.5-inch SuperAMOLED display, 4G connectivity and an eight-megapixel camera with LED flash. The sickest of them all has to be the I9250 superphone. Probably your next handset, it rocks a monstrous 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED display with native 720p resolution (1280-by-720 pixels), the obligatory five megapixel camera (what, no eight-megapixels?) and Android Ice Cream, the latest and greatest version of Android due for release in the fourth quarter of 2011. But wait, that’s not all – six more phones after the break. expand full story

Samsung phones Stories July 28, 2011

Research firm Nielsen chimed in today with a survey that puts Apple as the leading handset maker in the United States whilst Android is portrayed as the top mobile operating system in the country. Those findings follow a recent analysis which had Apple overtaking Nokia to become the world’s leading smartphone vendor in July, also corroborated  by IDC figures. According to Nielsen’s June data, Google’s Android remains the nation’s top phone platform with a 39 percent of the country’s consumer smartphone market. Apple’s iOS follows with 28 percent and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion continues to bleed share, down to 20 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Windows Mobile and Windows Phone combined grabbed nine percent, webOS and Palm OS were barely a blip with two percent, as was Nokia’s dying Symbian OS.

Apple on the other hand is the top smartphone maker in the United States that controls 28 percent of the market (excluding iPods and iPads). That’s partly “because Apple is the only company manufacturing smartphones with the iOS operating system”, Nielsen argues. HTC shares second spot with Research In Motion with a fourteen percent share of Android devices and six percent of Windows Phones for a total of 20 percent share of the whole market, same as the BlackBerry maker. HTC is also the nation’s leading Android and Windows Phone vendor with 14 percent and six percent share, respectively. No wonder Apple is suing HTC and seeking to ban import of their phones into the US…

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Samsung phones Stories July 27, 2011

Korean news agency, Yonhap News, reported on Wednesday (via Boy Genius Report) that Samsung shipped five million units of its top-of-the-line Galaxy S II smartphone, a successor to the wildly successful Galaxy S phone. Samsung achieved the milestone in 85 days, which means an average sales rate of nearly 60,000 units a day. The previous milestone had Samsung sell three million units in 55 days, amounting to some 55,000 units a day, so sales of the latest smartphone from the Galaxy S series are steadily accelerating. The device reached the milestone 40 days earlier than its predecessor, the Galaxy S, which shipped five million units in 125 days, and is the top-selling phones in ten European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Samsung is the world’s second-largest mobile phone maker, but it could soon overtake Apple and become #1. The company launched the Galaxy S II in South Korea on April 29 and the device went on to grab a surprising 56 percent smartphone market share in the country as of last month. The handset later rolled out in Japan and some European countries and is due to hit the US shores next month. Meamwhile, Engadget uncovered an FCC filing revealing CDMA and WiMAX radios for the US version of the handset. Paired with a recent leak of AT&T’s flagship slider phone purported to be the Galaxy S II, Samsung could be looking to bring its handset to AT&T’s 3G GSM network, Verizon Wireless’s 3G CDMA network and Sprint’s WiMAX.

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Samsung phones Stories June 13, 2011

With an IDC-estimated 10.8 million units shipped during the first quarter of this year, Samsung files as the world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor, behind Nokia, Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. However, the rising popularity of Samsung’s feature phones and dumb handsets powered by their own operating system called Bada has helped the Korean phone maker capture the #2 slot in terms of all handset units shipped globally.

Samsung was outdone only by Nokia in the first quarter. According to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, Samsung shipped 70 million handset units during the first quarter of this year versus the 108.5 million Nokia phones. With 18.7 million iPhones Apple came in fourth, behind LG Electronics which shipped 24.5 million handsets. That was last quarter…

The global handset landscape is going to alter rapidly by the June quarter’s end, predicts Japanese research firm Nomura. Their analyst was quoted as saying that “Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown (in unit terms) to Samsung and Apple”. This means, their analyst argues, that Nokia will be #3, with Samsung and Apple taking the #1 and #2 slots, respectively. Mind you, Nokia has been the world’s top handset maker since 1996…

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