It looks like September 9th is going to be the release date, and of course the rumor mill goes full speed. Apple seems to be able to spin up endless amounts of hype like this. Anyway, the reports are a bigger phone 5.5 inch screen, sapphire screen to resist scratches and cracking, aluminum chassis, and of course the new iOS8. Some are suggesting a wearable like an iWatch or similar type product, but it’s not shown one way or another. There is also the possibility that there will be a smaller and larger version of the phone, to try to satisfy customers who prefer smaller to larger. Also on the rumor table is a 13 mega pixel camera. Read more here
I have to admit this is pretty cool. Nvidia has come out with a new tablet that is aimed right at the gaming market, right down to having a full sized gaming style controller to play on! With an8 inch native HD display (1920×1200), Tegra K1 Keppler graphics, and low lag Wi-fi interface, this is a powerful tablet / note pad / slate based on Android and running some impressive performance numbeers. This is desktop gaming in a portable package, and a pretty impressive on at that!
Google’s Android phone OS has had an amazingly good run. From zero to the most dominant player in the mobile OS field, they have skipped by and run over pretty much everyone else except Apple’s Ios. But that success has come with some caveats, including the issue of so many versions, so few updated devices, and the problems of trying to support such a diverse device base. Android is on everything from the smallest smart phones to tablets and even video playback devices, and has a future in automotive applications as well. So with that in mind, Google set about to create the next big version of Android, called Android L.
There is plenty here for everyone. The goals appear to be a more unified experience on all Android devices, and significantly better battery life. Initial tests have shown upwards to 35% longer battery life when compared to KitKat (version 4.4) on some phones.
There is a pretty decent write up here at Tech Radar that summarizes all of the good things coming to Android L.
Adding more to the story from yesterday’s CNN Money post comes this story from Techcrunch. it’s called Samsung’s Race to the Bottom and it points out of many of the issues that they are facing. One of the key areas of discussion of course is that smart phones are reaching commodity level, and that many people are not upgrading. But there are also the issues of having a lot of competition in the Android market, and the current availability of all the good parts for all of the competitors means that Samsung’s offering perhaps aren’t as unique and as special as they once were. So they are forced to compete on price, which can certainly hurt.
Interesting story I found added on today’s Techcrunch article list, featuring some news about some patent applications from Apple. It seems they are working on tougher Sapphire displays that are somewhat flexible in nature, using lasers and other techniques for tempering certain areas and not others. They are also claiming patents on ways to have illuminated buttons. It’s an interesting read, you can check it out here.
Samsung today pushed the panic button on their financial outlook, “The South Korean electronics giant issued a second quarter earnings warning Tuesday, claiming that its profit could fall as much as 26% from the year earlier. “. This story from CNN Money is an eye opener for some, but really it’s something that anyone can see coming.
Smart phones have more or less hit the wall in technology terms. The current crop of phones are not that much better than the ones before them, the last real big innovation was perhaps LTE, and that was perhaps the final reason for most people to upgrade in the last few years. However, quad core processors and HD quality screens up to nearly 6 inches released since 2011 or so have pretty much come to dominate the marketplace – and they are great. The results are that fewer people are buying upgrade phones, and are instead sticking with the already great phone they are using. It may also be an indication that people are not obtaining new phones when the renew their service contracts, which may push the demand for new phones 2 years down the road at a least.
So the rumor mill is starting to crank up around Apple again, they still don’t have the Steve Jobs mystery thing worked out however. This story from Expert Reviews suggests that Apple has a full slate of new products on line, from the Iphone6 (or whatever it may be called) to new cheaper IMacs and such. The topper in all of this is the long predicted IWatch. I have posted up an image that seems to be around in a lot of places, which is based in part off of some patents Apple obtained. However, this all comes at a time where Apple is still being shaken to it’s core by staffing changes, including the “retirement” of Greg Christie, a vice president and engineer who was responsible for much of the Iphone interface that not only made the Iphone a great product, but may have defined mobile phones as we know it. Christie has been a big part of the lawsuit with Samsung, it’s not known if this change of status might also change Apple’s approach in the lawsuit.
The times they are a-changing, and if you are in the business of making desktop computers or their parts, then you are probably hurting in a very big way. People are buying as much as they did before, if not more, but now more and more are buying portable devices and leaving the desktop behind. This report that I found over at Techcrunch shows a nearly 5% increase in phone sales, and a near perfect matching 6.6% decline in PC sales.
It could be said that this is the long goodbye for the PC as we know it. The PC world is getting it from all sides, from quadcore phones and tablets to online cloud services that make home storage seem as up to date as floppy disks. There is plenty of action in phones, tablets, phablets, and a fast growing market is the clamshell devices, which fold open to reveal a laptop like screen and keyboard combo, albeit in a smaller package.
Certainly a big part of the market is because mobile and portable computing is still a young industry, expanding rapidly and evolving at full speed, with many playing catchup to the current 4G standards. There is also the basic concept that the PC market hasn’t moved forward much in the last few year, the last big leap for most people was onto Windows 7, as most seem to have avoided windows 8 variants where possible. For many, there aren’t enough new features or benefits to justify a costly upgrade. However, it’s apparently easier to justify a nice sized chunk of change for the latest iphone or Samsung device, and the tablet world is expanding rapidly and the devices are impressive pieces with great graphics, screens, and processing power.
The PC will always have a place, but it appears that for many, the PC is’t the first choice anymore
The hot rumor of the last couple of days is that Apple and Comcast are in talks regarding a streaming TV service. There are stories on the Hollywood Reporter and Techcrunch that show how this might all pan out. What is interesting here is that they are apparently avoiding a net neutrality issue (at least for the moment) by negotiating to have the service provided on the “TV” part of the bandwidth, and not on the internet side of the IP tv delivery method. This would essentially create a service that would sew up the last mile, and at the same time perhaps show a new future business model for cable and internet companies, selling access to the last mile without actually using the internet. Net neutrality supporters are probably woofing their cookies thinking about this one, as it entirely sidesteps the who deal and leaves them out in the cold.
Reviews are coming in for the Samsung S5, and so far it seems like this is another home run for this prolific company. Samsung has really turned into a market dominating force with it’s Note II, Note 3, and S series phones, plus a whole host of most budget minded options. The S5 is pretty much a top of the line phone with everything you could want – 2.5GHz Quad core application processor, Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat), and a 16Mega Pixel camera. This is one very complete and very impressive piece of technology, a phone that everyone seems to want!