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Samsung Confirms Galaxy Gear Rumors

Published on August 29, 2013 by in Apple, News, Rumors

Samsung Confirms Galaxy Gear Rumors

All the rumors swirling around Samsung’s anticipated Galaxy Gear device appear to have had their basis in fact.  September 4th will see Samsung’s Unpacked Episode 2 and the definite unveiling of the company’s latest foray into the smart watch market.

According to The Korea Times, Samsung’s executive vice president of its mobile business, Lee Young-hee confirmed the existence of the wearable computing device dubbed Galaxy Gear.  The Korea Times reported that he referred to the Galaxy Gear as a “concept device,” meaning that it is likely not ready for release to the public at large.  It was also revealed that the display on the device will not be flexible.  Previously, it had been speculated that the device could possibly incorporate a flexible screen.

Unpacked Episode 2 will take place at the IFA consumer electronics show.  The show will happen in Berlin next week and is expected to showcase some of the most cutting-edge products in the consumer electronics industry.  Samsung plays a big part with the unveiling of the new Galaxy Gear smart watch device, as well as the anticipated introduction of the Galaxy Note 3.  It is the latest addition to Samsung’s family of large smartphones.

In comments to The Korea Time, Samsung’s Lee stated that the new Galaxy Gear device would “enhance and enrich” users’ experiences with existing smart mobile technology.  The company seems to be confident in the impact that its new device will have on the mobile industry.

The Galaxy Gear represents a third attempt at entry into the smart watch field for the electronics giant, Samsung.  Two previous incarnations of a wearable smart watch-type device met with defeat.  This third stab at smart watch technology, Lee says, will “add meaningful momentum” in the mobile technology arena.

It’s important to note that Samsung has applied for a U.S. trademark for the Galaxy Gear name.  Though it looks like we won’t be seeing a mass release for the device on September 4th, we can rest assured that it’s not too far over the horizon.  With the new Galaxy Gear, the limits of mobile technology just expanded past what we see in today’s smart phones.






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RIM Re-Brands as “BlackBerry”, Rolls Out Z10 Handset

Published on February 4, 2013 by in Apple, iPhone, News

If you’re anything like me, you’re not a sports-obsessed muscle head, but you watch the Superbowl anyway.  I mean, football is a pretty rudimentary sort of game to follow once a year, and hello commercials!  Apple fans in particular have a soft spot for Superbowl ads – after all, the ‘1984’ ad during Superbowl XVIII introduced the Macintosh to the American public for the first time.  It was so groundbreaking, it only ever ran twice and is still regarded as one of the most iconic commercials of all time.

This year there was no shortage of neato/funny/weird/amazing ads to watch in between all the gridiron action, and one of the ads was for BlackBerry’s newest handset, the Z10. It appears to have been based on The Fantastic Four comic book heroes, showing all the different super powers that the Z10 can’t give the user. Apparently the idea is that it would take too long to list all the things this new BlackBerry can do, so it’s just easier to show what fantastical things it can’t do.  You’ll also notice that I’m not referring to RIM (Research In Motion) as the maker of the handset; that’s because the company has now rebranded itself as simply “BlackBerry”.

The Z10 isn’t available in the US yet, and likely won’t be until early spring, but it appears to be doing well in its native Canada and elsewhere.  AllThingsD is reporting that demand is strong in the UK, with lines outside some retailers selling the phone, and actual sell-outs of the white Z10.  There are plenty of ‘CrackBerry’ addicts and business users in this country who will doubtless be thrilled to see new hardware and a revamped BlackBerry OS.  RIM will be competing with Nokia for third place in mobile internet use, as Apple and Samsung have taken 1st and 2nd place respectively.  It also bears noting that the info in the charts only counts iPhone usage, rather than all iOS devices.

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Mophie creates a battery case for the Samsung Galaxy S III

Published on November 2, 2012 by in Apple, Culture, News

Mophie juice pack for Samsung

Mophie has announced it will now be offering Samsung Galaxy S III users some extra power, via a protective case with a built-in 2300mAh battery.   It seems that, if Mophie is now producing these battery cases for the Galaxy S III, Samsung must have marketed the Galaxy S III well, and sold enough to attract Mophie’s attention.

We all know that the Samsung Galaxy S III is not the smallest phone out there, and compared to the iPhone 5, you can there is an obvious size difference. Will the Mophie case make the Galaxy S III too big to carry?

Pondering other questions, should Apple see this as a sign that Samsung is becoming more of a threat?

In the past I know that Apple had a standard, so many manufacturers are able to create aftermarket products for iPhones and iPads. But, other smartphones haven’t had a standard (or didn’t sell enough), so you couldn’t find as much in terms of a true dock, a battery case, and so on.

Without the sales volume of a product like the iPhone 5 or iPad, many manufacturers see it as a limited market, which is why there are very limited options for the Samsung users.

Is it possible that sales volumes are now at the point that accessory manufacturers will start to design and produce different accessories gear directly towards Samsung phones?




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Google’s Stupidity: Releases Nexus 4 with No 4G LTE

Published on October 29, 2012 by in Commentary, News

News of one of the greatest missteps in the history of smartphones (exaggeration mine) has spread throughout the Web as most tech journalists have weighed in on Google’s latest attempt to sell a worthwhile communications device.

Google’s misstep was not adding 4G LTE capabilities to the Nexus 4. Which, if it were two years ago, or even one year ago (I’m looking at you iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) might have been understandable, though certainly when the iPhone 4S was released, LTE was pretty much ready to go. But now? In 2012? When your biggest competitor and the industry leader in profit and mind share (Apple) has LTE on its flagship product?


But wait, there IS an excuse! Google gets a pat on the butt from The Verge, that, for some reason, decided to run with the subtitle, “Sometimes the only winning move is not to play”. So, forfeiting on account of stupidity equals winning? The Verge continues it’s Google-y eyed reporting by trying to make the decision fit into a sly and sort of creepy sentence:

It is a disappointing omission, driven by both Google’s complex philosophical desire to build open devices as well as the fairly simple economics of building a halo product for a small niche of early adopters.

In other words, Google is trying to sell us a turd, telling people its like a yam, then telling us we can’t make candied yams out of it, because it’s actually a turd. In other, other words, Google has ruined my Thanksgiving.

First, Google devices are not “open”. Being carrier unlocked at the outset is a slight convenience for a few nerds and not many others. Unlocked does not equal open. Second, the philosophical desires of Google have nothing to do with openness or the user in general. What does Google care about? Squeezing dimes.

And when you squeeze dimes, you lose dollars.

Next up, in the sentence of over-used tech jargon, “halo product”. Fairly simple economics, as The Verge points out, is about creating a halo product for a small niche of… You know what? Lame. THIS IS THE NEXUS 4! As in, there are three previous models, right? Why would Google decide that its fourth generation flagship product should be the worst smartphone on the market?

I’ll give you some “simple economics” on this — if you make the worst product on the market, you lose. Simple.

Andy Rubin has an excuse answer for that:

Android head Andy Rubin calls the lack of LTE a “tactical issue,” and cites cost and battery life as major concerns with devices that have to support multiple radios. “A lot of the networks that have deployed LTE haven’t scaled completely yet — they’re hybrid networks […] which means the devices need both radios built into them,” he said. “When we did the Galaxy Nexus with LTE we had to do just that, and it just wasn’t a great user experience.”

Yes, not a great user experience. So Apple, famous for user experience, is not doing it right because it did included 4G LTE in the iPhone 5? Because it has multiple antennas, right? And what’s the battery life comparison of the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 5, I wonder? And how is Apple selling millions of these iPhone 5 units with LTE all over the world? It’s like, people actually want LTE!

If Rubin is so concerned about “tactical issues” shouldn’t he understand that Apple and Samsung are completely running away with the worldwide smartphone market? Shouldn’t he know that 4G LTE compatibility is now a deciding factor for smartphone buyers?

I hate writing so many questions in articles, but this is so incredibly perplexing. Every network is boasting about their LTE speeds and coverage. Any ad for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or even T-Mobile is 4G LTE-driven. But Rubin has decided that LTE hasn’t scaled completely yet. There’s a saying in hockey — skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.

If Rubin’s strategy is to wait for LTE to be totally rolled out before the Nexus supports it, Google will never get a phone worth a damn on the market. I have an iPhone 5 on AT&T and the user experience is incredible. The data speeds I have seen (some greater than local Wi-Fi hotspots) have been tremendous, transforming the way I use my phone. I hear the same thing from other 4G smartphone owners (Apple, Samsung, or otherwise).

The fact of the matter is, Apple is crushing the top-end of the smartphone market. Samsung is mopping up the middle, and a bunch of companies are collecting the scraps at the bottom (Nokia, HTC, maybe a Blackberry or two). Google, is skating full-speed into the smartphone market of 2009.

Not only that, it seems to be intentional. It’s like Andy Rubin was sitting in his office and said to himself, “I need some advice on the mobile space. Let’s see, I could call my buddy Tim Cook over at Apple. No. I could shell out for an international call and hook up with Kwon Oh Hyun at Samsung. No.” Then he went for a walk, saw some guy pop a cassette tape into a Walkman, stopped, and asked him for advice.

Is the Nexus 4 even remotely worth considering as a smartphone purchase? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Google and Samsung Team Up In Effort to Definitely Not Copy Apple

Published on October 18, 2012 by in Apple, Commentary, iPad, Mac, News

Google and Samsung today announced the release of their new Chromebook, a $249 laptop made to run Chrome and nothing else. While the new Chromebook looks suspiciously like a Macbook Air, it is slightly thicker and slightly heavier (see specs).

Where the Chromebook does have the Macbook Air beat is that it boasts a 6.5 hour battery life, compared to the Macbook Air’s 5 hour battery life (11″ model). It also comes with a host of ports that the Air does not offer, which I know will make PC fans drool and Mac fans yawn.

But…the Chromebook really only runs one piece of software. Google Chrome. Of course it runs any and all of the great web apps you can access through Google Chrome. But is that really interesting to anyone?

I’m trying to imagine  my Macbook Air if it only had access to a web browser. Granted, I mostly only use my Air for web browsing, but I also edit photos and video on it. Without those features, would I spend $249 to buy it? I don’t see why I would need it at that point, because I also have an iPad.

But the Chromebook is considerably cheaper than any iPad models (currently). While the Chromebook won’t have access to all of the great iOS apps I use and love, there are plenty of comparable web apps out there. So is the Chromebook by Google and Samsung more interesting to prospective buyers than an iPad? And will next week’s Apple announcement make all of this irrelevant?

What do you think?

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