miércoles, 29 de febrero de 2012

iPad 3 vs. Android Tablets at Mobile World Congress

After the 2012 Mobile World Congress wraps up in Barcelona, Spain, this week, the mobile world’s attention will turn to San Francisco, where Apple is likely to announce the iPad 3 March 7. While the iPad 3 isn’t really a product yet, at least in theory, it’s clear that the rest of the tablet industry is already trying to scramble out of the way so that their devices don’t get crushed in the onslaught.

Although Apple isn’t even at MWC, it’s still the 1,000-pound gorilla in the room.

This means that tablet manufacturers have been looking desperately for some way to appear to be different from the iPad.

Asus is an excellent example.

Instead of slugging it out with Apple in an ill-conceived struggle that it’ll never win, Asus has come up with the Padfone. This is a tablet with an embedded smartphone. The 4.3-inch phone acts as the tablet’s brains, while the tablet is really just a docking station and display for the phone. Both devices run Android 4.0—or Ice Cream Sandwich—and there’s a Bluetooth accessory that lets you answer the phone while it’s inside the tablet.

But that’s not all that’s happening at Asus. The company has also launched new models of its Transformer Pad, which lets you convert a tablet into a laptop. This is similar to what Hewlett-Packard started doing a decade ago with a series of Microsoft Windows-based tablet computers that in various configurations had either a foldaway keyboard or a removable keyboard that allowed the tablet to operate independently. The biggest difference between then and now is that the new Asus tablets use Android rather than Windows, and it reflects current practice in tablet design.

HP, meanwhile, still makes those tablets, along with a similar Slate Tablet.

Adding to the mix is something called the “super phone,” or “phablet.”

Appearing at first to be a mild-mannered Samsung Galaxy, the illusion vanishes as you approach it. This phone has a 5.3-inch screen, and recognizing its size takes away from its usefulness as a phone, Samsung has decided to call it the Galaxy Note. The big screen lends itself to note taking (thus, the name) and in a back-to-the-future change, the Galaxy Note includes an active stylus, something that other tablet makers, such as HTC, are also starting to use with their smaller tablets.

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domingo, 26 de febrero de 2012

Huawei Expects to Triple Smartphones Sales This Year to 60 Million Units

Huawei Technologies Co., China ’s largest maker of phone equipment, aims to triple the number of smartphones it delivers to 60 million this year as it takes aim at Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and new handsets by Nokia Oyj. (NOK1V)

About 30 percent to 40 percent of this year’s shipments will probably go to China, Richard Yu, chairman of the company’s devices unit, said at the Mobile World Congress  in Barcelona. Huawei today unveiled the Ascend D quad handset, calling it “the world’s fastest smartphone.” The device will cost 15 percent to 20 percent less than “comparable phones.”

Huawei, based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, forecast in April last year that it plans to boost revenue to $100 billion over five to 10 years. The company, which was founded in 1987, is also adding areas like cloud computing and small-business networks to its traditional network-equipment business, where it competes with companies including Ericsson AB and Nokia Siemens Networks.

“We want to be the top brand in the industry,” Yu said. “Our phone brand isn’t that famous, but our products should be the best ones.”

The Ascend D quad will be sold in all major markets starting next quarter. A version that works on networks based on the the faster long-term evolution technology will be available in the second half of 2012, the company said.

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jueves, 23 de febrero de 2012

Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is Android@Home

This year Google has been tipped to be releasing two separate software environments that very well may be one in the same service when push comes to shove: Android@Home and Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. The data we’ve got suggests that Android@Home will be coming to fruition in one way or another this spring or early summer, while it appears that the rumor mills are continuing to run hot with the idea that Android’s next version, version 5.0 as it may end up being, will be coming out this spring as well. Will the two releases coincide, or are they straight up one in the same? Let’s have a peek at the clues.

The first we heard of the idea that the next version of Android after Ice Cream Sandwich, aka Android 4.0, would be Jelly Bean, it was all the way back in September of 2011 and the news was sparse. So sparse, in fact, that there were no details at all, this leading us to believe that perhaps the whole thing was a guess based on the idea that each big version upgrade of Android has a tasty treat associated with it – Honeycomb, FroYo, and the like, with “J” coming up next with, what else, Jelly Bean.

Next, and much more recently, there was a tip that this so-called upgrade to the next level of Android would again still be called Jelly Bean, would be Android 5.0, and would be released in the second quarter of 2012. Right on top of this tip came word that Android 5.0 Jelly Bean would have a service not unlike what Motorola has had for over a year now: desktop mode. This leads us to believe that there’s something more to this upgrade than just a bunch of bug fixes and some multitasking bumps. Fast forward to today and there’s a slightly less likely reality in the mix with Ubuntu coming to the basic build of Android – more likely is the idea that just a few carriers or manufacturers will try it out for their own desktop mode for docking Android.

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