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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Moshi for iPad
  • Global roaming on Verizon phones
    Posted on May 28, 2012 by Pure Mobile

    By Aldo Panessidi


    Global roaming on Verizon phones


    Verizon’s Motorola DROID 4, DROID RAZR, DROID RAXR MAXX and the HTC Rezound will receive software updates that enable global GSM roaming. It’s surprising how long it’s taken Verizon to enable global roaming, since these handsets were built with radio units already capable of GSM and CDMA connectivity.


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    The next big questions are what Verizon will charge for the phones and their roaming rates. Global connectivity has never been a bargain, so most people use an inexpensive, temporary GSM phone with a local carrier's SIM while roaming. Maybe Verizon knows something the rest of us don’t.


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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    While RIM wrestles with marrying its BlackBerry Playbook with Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS, one Dutch developer (named “Gamer109X”) decided to find out if a third option would work. He installed Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS onto RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.


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    Surprisingly, the result is a tablet that seems pretty responsive. For those curious to know what a Windows Phone tablet might look like, watch  the following  video of the developer’s PlayBook running Microsoft’s Window Phone OS. Gamer109X said he plans to release his own Windows Phone build for the PlayBook to the public in the coming months.



     


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    If you believe Microsoft’s last position on the tablets, they have no interest in bringing Windows Phone to tablets. That position might be irrelevant once Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform is released. If you think about it, there is no reason to put Windows Phone on a tablet, but Windows 8...




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    One of the biggest problems users have with choosing an Android phone over another platform is figuring out which OS is going to give the best performance with which type of phone. A number of companies, including OpenSignalMaps, have been trying to quantify the problem by analyzing the amount of fragmentation in the market.


    Android Fragmentation Issues Can you name the 4,000 devices that run on Android?


    Using data from 681,900 devices that downloaded OpenSignalMaps software over the past six months, they found 3,997 distinct Android devices running its app. This is a great chart showing the spread:


    Each rectangle represents a unique Android device. The big green rectangle in the upper left is the Samsung Galaxy S II - by far the most popular Android   phone in the study.


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    This shows an incredible number of Android version/display resolution combinations. Analysts at OpenSignalMaps predict that number will continue to grow.  Their report states:  “Android has shown commitment to make it easier to target multiple screen sizes – by introducing the (perhaps ironically named) fragments APIs in 2011 which makes it easier to turn view elements into modules.”


    OpenSignalMaps also took a look at the version of Android each device was running:


    Android Fragmentation Issues Can you name the 4,000 devices that run on Android?


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    More than half of all Android phones are still running version 2.3 Gingerbread, and Gingerbread is all of 18 months old. The newest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, barely shows on the chart.


    Since Google’s Android is free and open for use by any hardware manufacturer, there are thousands of different devices running the OS. “Android fragmentation” is the term given to the spread of different versions of the Android OS across all devices.


    So what does this mean? It’s a really good situation if you want more choice in your hardware. But it's really bad if you want timely software updates or a guarantee the latest and greatest apps will work on your device.


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    The OpenSignalMaps report concluded that the benefits of building apps for Android far outweigh the drawbacks. ”One of the joys of developing for Android is you have no idea who’ll end up using your app. With many devices under $100 unsubsidized, Android phones and tablets are able to reach a market that can’t afford netbooks. For the majority of the world’s population smartphones (and not computers) will be the must-have devices.”


    In case you were wondering where Apple fits in, they don’t have this problem. iOS only runs on one phone, the iPhone, and the latest version still supports the three-year-old iPhone 3GS. Microsoft is following the Apple model somewhat. They require Windows Phone manufacturers meet strict requirements to guarantee that updates go through to all devices in a timely fashion.


    Developer Michael DeGusta created the visualization of what he called Android’s fragmented update history. He wrote, “Ever since the iPhone turned every smartphone into a blank slate, the value of a phone is largely derived from the software it can run and how well the phone can run it. When you’re making a 2 year commitment to a device, it’d be nice to have some way to tell if the software was going to be remotely current in a year or, heck, even a month.”




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Back in January of this year, market research firm Deloitte estimated that 2012 will see entry-level smartphones become more popular with the number of sub-$100 smartphones in use globally will surpass 500 million this year, and by the end of 2012 there will be 200 million NFC-equipped devices in the hands of consumers.  Moreover, it also maintained that it sees apps continuing to play a huge role in the mobile market, with the number of available apps set to top 2 million later this year.


    Almost three-quarters of consumers spend nothing on apps


    More recently, a survey conducted by ABI Research reported that more than 70% of app users spend little to nothing on apps, while the highest 3% of all spenders account for nearly 20% of the total amount spent.


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    While nearly two-thirds of consumers in the United States have spent money on mobile applications on at least one occasion, the total amount being spent isn’t much.  ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen stated, “The median amount among the consumers who spend money on apps is much lower than the average, just $7.50 per month. This reflects the disproportionate role of big spenders as a revenue source.”


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    ABI also found that the most successful money-making apps are utility apps used for business purposes and iOS games that utilize in-app purchases. In each case, purchases are made by a very small number of customers.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    It looks like Apple is making some adjustments to its current product inventories in preparation for the upcoming launch of the 6thgeneration iPhone.


    Apple adjusting iPhone inventory in preparation  For new product launch
    According to Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu in a note to investors, Apple has reduced iPhone orders by between 20% to 25% from the 35.1 million units the company shipped in the first quarter of this year. Wu now expects shipments of between 26 million and 28 million. With the estimated 8.6 million iPhones already in the pipeline, Apple will have an iPhone supply of between four and six weeks in inventory.


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    According to Wu, “From our understanding, the reason for the reduction is not demand related but rather due to the upcoming 6th generation iPhone refresh likely in the September-October timeframe. It appears that APPLE is opting to be conservative with its suppliers to factor in a potential 2-quarter pause ahead of the refresh and also to manage inventory. We believe this helps explain why its June quarter guidance was somewhat more conservative.”


    Apple adjusting iPhone inventory in preparation  For new product launch


    Wu also explained developments on the iPad front. He reported that Apple is finally increasing their new iPad build plans. Shipments of the device were previously held back due to the supply of its new Retina Display, and the situation has been “greatly improved with an additional supplier.” Wu believes that this will help Apple to better meet strong demand for its iPad3.


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    For the June quarter, Wu reduced his iPhone forecast from 28 million units to 27 million, and raised iPad shipment expectations from 14 million to 15 million units. Due to improved iPad profitability, Wu increased his gross margin assumption from 42.5% to 43.5% and forecasted $36.1 billion in revenue and $10.16 in EPS. He’s keeping his Buy rating on shares of Apple stock, as well as his $780 price target.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Verizon’s U.S. customers apparently will be getting a dual-core Snapdragon S4 powering their Galaxy S3 devices and not the quad-core Exynos variant that was expected.


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    Verizon’s Galaxy S 3 Will Settle for the Dual-Core Snapdragon S4


    This news is confirmed by early NenaMark2 benchmarks, which show a Galaxy S3 (SCH-I535) with a 1.5GHz dual-core S4. It looks like the reason for the hardware exchange is the LTE capability, which the Exynos 4 Quad chipset doesn't have.


    The benchmark also shows the Adreno 225 GPU in the Snapdragon S4 beats the Mali-400MP in the Exynos Quad by a couple of frames. This could be attributed to the pre-release software or inconsistency in the NenaMark2 benchmark. The Galaxy S3 screen is capped at 60FPS, so results close to that point may not be spot on.


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  • By Aldo Panessid


    During the Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung announced that the company was working on merging its Bada mobile operating system with the open-source Tizen operating system.


    Android Apps Backed by Tizen OS Run on Samsung


    Samsung is currently the second-largest cellphone maker in the world, with devices powered by four major operating systems. By focusing on its own operating system, Samsung has more control over its devices and a greater opportunity to differentiate its products from its competitors. By merging the two operating systems, Samsung is hoping that existing Bada developers will transition to Tizen.


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    While still in development, the Tizen operating system is open-source and backed by Intel and the Linux Foundation. When the Bada integration is complete, Tizen will support programs written with Samsung’s Bada SDK, including both new and previously published apps.


    Tizen, according to reports, features a program called Application Compatibility Layer (ACL), which enables the device to run applications built using different code. ACL is similar to RIM’s Android player for its BlackBerry PlayBook.


    A new video has been released that demonstrates the Samsung/Intel-backed Tizen OS running Android apps.



    While Samsung has carved a reputation as a leader in mobile technology and devices , it is also gained notoriety for being pretty slow with bringing cell phone accessories and tablet accessories to the market. Industry leading manufacturers continue to provide the greatest selection of top brand accessories from Bags and Sleeves, Batteries, Bluetooth Headsets and Bluetooth Car Kits, Car Holders, Cases and Skins, Data Cables, Earbuds and Headsets, Keyboard and Protectors, Memory Cards, Screen Protectors, Speakers and Docks as well as Stylus and Pens


    Open Mobile, the company behind ACL, claims Android apps will be able to run on a Tizen-powered device with 100% compatibility, and stated that ACL features the same level of responsiveness users would expect on a device that runs on Android OS. The company would also like to make sure that the ACL will be integrated into smartphones and tablets by vendors and not end users.


    As usual, there probably will be a few bugs to be worked out in the field, but all indicators are that Tizen is a well-designed and truly open source alternative to Google's Android.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    HTC and Apple are battling it out in a patent dispute.   As a result, shipments of the HTC EVO 4G LTE and HTC One X smartphones have been held up by United States Customs as part of an International Trade Commission investigation.


    Apple vs HTC Battle


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    This action has caused Sprint to delay the launch of their EVO 4G LTE device indefinitely. AT&T is reporting that its supply of HTC One X will be taxed due to the ongoing fight between HTC and Apple. Before the phones can clear U.S. Customs, the ITC will need to determine if HTC’s latest handsets are in compliance with an earlier ruling.


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    While HTC has carved a reputation as a leader in mobile technology and devices , it is also gained notoriety for being pretty slow with bringing cell phone accessories and tablet accessories to the market. Industry leading manufacturers continue to provide the greatest selection of top brand accessories from Bags and Sleeves, Batteries, Bluetooth Headsets and Bluetooth Car Kits, Car Holders, Cases and Skins, Data Cables, Earbuds and Headsets, Keyboard and Protectors, Memory Cards, Screen Protectors, Speakers and Docks as well as Stylus and Pens


    A spokesman from HTC said, “The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.”


    Sprint had planned a May 18th launch of the EVO 4G LTE, a customized version of the One X. It was going to be available for $199.99 on contract. AT&T launched their version of the One X earlier this month. The device now shows as out of stock on the AT&T website.



    This post was posted in Apple, HTC, Politics, Smartphones and was tagged with htc evo 4g lte, htc one x, Sprint, HTC accessories, AT&T, Smartphones, HTC, Apple

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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    The buzz is everywhere about Fort Lee, the town in New Jersey that banned texting while walking. The Associated Press originally reported the story as a law that would impose a $54 fine on someone who was texting while walking.


    Texting while walking Fort Lee
    (REAL sign posted in Fort Lee, New Jersey)


    This follows an incident in China that made international headlines... when a woman texting on her phone while walking fell through an open manhole and had to be rescued.  It turned out both the woman and cell phone were unscathed.


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    As the Atlantic Wire corrected the story, “the official fineable offense is in Fort Lee, N.J., is jaywalking, which can include but is not limited to texting while walking.  While it is true that you can get a ticket while you are texting and walking, you can only get fined if the texting turns you into a distracted jaywalker who creates a dangerous traffic situation.”


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    The town passed the law because more than 20 pedestrians have been hit while jaywalking in the town this past year, including three people who were killed. “It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” said Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department. Police handed out pamphlets during a short grace period in March before they began aggressively going after “dangerous walkers.” The New Jersey Record reported that more than 117 tickets have been issued since then.


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    In a study on walking and texting conducted by two professors at Stony Brook University in New York, they found texters are 60 percent more likely to veer off their paths than non-texters. “We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting,” Eric Lamberg, co-author of the study, told Long Island Business News. “Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking.”


    New York State Senator Carl Kruger wants a similar ban to in New York. It would also prohibit talking on the phone or using iPods while walking or running.




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  • By Aldo Panessidi


    Two new benchmark results appearing in Geekbench's database are sparking rumors of new Apple MacBook Pro and iMac products.   A number of leaked preliminary specification from these unreleased products which have been dubbed as the  MacBook Pro 9.1 and iMac 13.2 have been posted on MacRumors.


    Apple MacBook Pro


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    Identified as Apple’s next laptop and all-in-one desktop computer versions MacBook Pro 9.1 and iMac 13.2,  have long been expected to feature new Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. The Geekbench results do show a quad-core 2.7 GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3820QM processor in the MacBook Pro and a 3.4GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 quad-core processor in the iMac. Geekbench’s database is maintained by benchmark testing software provider Primate Labs.


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    Everyone is hoping that details on the new devices will be shared with the world during the keynote address at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference which is coming up on June 11th. All we have right now is a lot of guessing. It’s even unclear if the laptop model referenced in the benchmark results is the new ultra-thin 15-inch MacBook Pro model due out this summer.



    This post was posted in Apple, New Releases and was tagged with imac 13.2, macbook pro 9.1, iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook, Apple

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