Running multiple applications at the same time is one of the Samsung Galaxy S3’s and S4’s biggest advantages over Apple devices, and it’s a fact that Samsung certainly harps on constantly in their well-targeted commercials.
Plus, there’s the whole widgets thing. There are zero widgets available for the iPhone, but thousands of them in Google Play for Android users. If you have a ton of really useful widgets on your GS3 like I do, why not multitask like a pro and have access to them anytime, anywhere?
How to Float Widgets on Your GS3
Nelson over at the Galaxy Note 2 softModder recently… more
A vertically integrated South Korean conglomerate with an extensive supplier relationship with Apple has ambitious hopes in the smartphone market. The company will aggressively imitate the products of rivals in the pursuit of success, and also further integrate additional key components, such as investing more heavily in its own mobile processors.
Time’s up Pencil’s down. The correct answer? LG Electronics.
That’s right; LG is in the process of doing to Samsung what Samsung did to Apple. LG has just unveiled a new “Value Pack” of software upgrades for its Optimus G Pro, and some of the features that the company is adding are straight out of Samsung’s playbook.
LG‘s Smart Video pauses videos when the user looks away, an obvious carbon copy of Samsung’s Smart Pause. There’s also the Dual Camera feature, which simultaneously takes pictures using both sensors, and is exactly like Samsung’s Dual Shot. This is all for a device that already looks identical to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 (except without the stylus).
Galaxy Note 2 (left) vs. Optimus G Pro (right). Sources: Samsung and LG.
The Optimus G Pro was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February, so it technically predates the Galaxy S4 that it also resembles. The 5.5-inch phablet isn’t expected to launch in the U.S. until May, though, which comes after the Galaxy S4.
The bad news for Samsung is that there’s little stopping LG from successfully using its own strategy against it. One of the benefits of enormous marketing budgets, however, is that Samsung has been able to build its Galaxy brand.
Another big marketing spender While smaller rivals like HTC simply can’t keep up with Samsung’s marketing budget (even if HTC offers higher-quality products), larger competitors such as LG have more of a chance. Last year, LG spent $1.1 billion on advertising. When you add in other below-the-line marketing expenses like promotions ($652 million) and commissions ($1.6 billion), we’re talking about more than $3.3 billion in marketing.
That’s more than the $1 billion that Apple spent in fiscal 2012 (but less than Samsung) on advertising ,and Apple doesn’t really use below-the-line marketing as much. The Mac maker doesn’t typically offer very many promotions, and most of its sales are conducted through its online store or retail stores, where sales reps aren’t compensated with commissions.
Android loyalty isn’t Samsung loyalty Android consumers have shown their fickleness before. It seems like just yesterday that HTC was the Android champion, but that was 2010. Even for users loyal to the platform, they’re normally not loyal to the OEM brand. It’s quite conceivable that another Android vendor could supplant Samsung in exactly the same way that Samsung displaced HTC.
Maybe it won’t be LG; maybe it’ll be Chinese vendors like ZTE or Huawei, both of which showed up on the global top-five radar last year. This may be more likely, since
Samsung Electronics continues is astonishing launch program this week, as it introduces the Galaxy Note 8.0 into the US (tomorrow, April 11th), having quietly launched in the UK last week. But is the Korean company stretching itself too far, too fast? …read more
Samsung’s latest tablet computer, the 8 inch screened Galaxy Note, is ready to go on sale across the US. A number of reviewers have got their hands on the mid-way house between the seven inch and ten inch tablet markets. Has Samsung found a niche, or is this simply sitting undecided in no mans land, satisfying nobody? Let’s find out. …read more
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves — dreaming of larger smarpthones and even fabled phablets — let’s frame this note appropriately. White has been known to dream big and wake up empty.
White turned heads last April when he slapped a price target of $1,001 on the stock. Two months later he suggested that the ballyhooed Apple HDTVs could hit the marketin time for the 2012 holiday season. Neither vision materialized. A year later, Apple stock is trading at less than half of his price target. Anyone asking Santa for an iTV last year had to settle for an iPad Mini and a bag of coal.
However, he may be on to something this time.
White is trekking through Asia, visiting Chinese and Taiwanese suppliers that Apple and other consumer tech giants rely on for prototypes and eventual production runs. If a source in Apple’s supply chain is pointing to two — and possibly even three — different screen sizes for this summer’s inevitable iPhone 5S rollout, it’s a better wager than an analyst at home engaging in wishful thinking.
Go big or go home The market initially applauded Apple’s decision to bump up the size of the iPhone 5. Going from 3.5-inch screens to 4-inch screens gave the stock a boost. Apple shares peaked the day that the iPhone 5 hit the market.
However, with Samsung and HTC embracing larger standards at 5 and 4.7 inches, respectively — and Google‘s Android continuing to run away with the market — Apple can’t ignore the call for wireless devices with larger screens.
The iPad recognized the market demand for smaller tablets by rolling out the wildly successful iPad Mini. Now it’s time to realize that the even the bigger iPhone 5 may not be big enough.
Analysts have been disappointed to see iPhone buyers flock to the older iPhone 4 and 4S models, but wireless customers aren’t going that route because they want smaller screens. They’re merely being won over by the notion of saving $100 or $200 on their phones.
BlackBerry‘s Z10 is off to a slow start this year, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the smartphone pioneer suffer another sequential dip in subscribers this quarter. Nokia flooded the market with Lumia phones, and even Microsoft‘s marketing muscle to push the Windows Phone-fueled devices failed to slow Android’s momentum.
Against this backdrop we have Samsung’s 5-inch Galaxy S4 coming out later this month, and there’s plenty of chatter of Samsung introducing devices with 5.5-inch and 6.3-inch screens later this year. This would naturally be phablet territory, and Samsung has already fared well there with the Galaxy Note line. If Apple is going to go bigger than the iPhone’s 4-inch screen — and if it is introducing …read more
Always one to give just about anything a shot, smartphone heavyweight Samsung may be preparing to go even bigger with its “next big thing.” The South Korean conglomerate was rumored to be launching a smartphone with a 5.8-inch display, calling it a “Fonblet” instead of the phablet term that’s become unavoidable these days.
A recent round of rumors out of SamMobile now suggests that Samsung has realized how terrible a name “Fonblet” is, and instead has decided to rebrand its upcoming jumbo models under the Galaxy Mega moniker. The pair of Google Android devices will carry 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch displays and will be called Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3, respectively.
Samsung’s current flagship phablet is the Galaxy Note 2, which sports a 5.5-inch display, showing that Samsung is intent to continue experimenting with every imaginable form factor and everything in between. That’s the exact opposite strategy that primary rival Apple has employed, as the iPhone maker has historically released only one new model per year and has changed the display size a total of once in its lifetime.
In a recent Bloomberg Businessweek profile describing Samsung’s ascent to the top of the smartphone market, analyst Benedict Evans is quoted as saying: “Samsung makes every kind of handset in every market in every size at every price. They’re not stopping to think. They’re just making more phones.” On the other hand, Apple says it thinks long and hard at any changes to the iPhone.
Still, evidence is mounting that the phablet rise is mostly a niche phenomenon. Flurry Analytics found that only 7% of all Android devices fall into the phablet category (5-inch to 6.9-inch), which would include both of these rumored Mega models. The mainstream market still highly prefers smartphones in the medium-size category (3.5-inch to 4.9-inch).
Don’t expect Galaxy Mega to dominate the mainstream anytime soon.
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Facebook fans who were expecting the social network to unveil its own proprietary smartphone Thursday have a long wait ahead of them, seeing the as company isn’t building a phone or an operating system.
Rather, explained CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a press conference at the company’s headquarters, Facebook (FB) is introducing a mobile experience it’s calling “Home,” which makes the social network the hub of any smartphone that runs Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android operating system.
Zuckerberg said the goal is put “people before apps.” To achieve that, Home replaces users’ home screen on their phones and includes a suite of applications, or apps. As Engadget explains:
It’s not just a new user-interface for launching apps, however. It replaces the “lockscreen” with cover feed and prioritizes updates from people instead of apps. There is a standard paginated launcher that is always just a swipe away. But the focus is on the full-screen images that are your new welcome screen.
“What Facebook wants is to put itself at the front of the Android user experience for as many Facebook users as possible and make Facebook more elemental to their customers’ experience,” Forrester analyst Charles Golvin told The Associated Press.
As Fortune notes, Home is a way for Facebook to supplant Google by pushing the search-engine giant’s prized services, including search maps and Gmail, into the background on Android phones, pushing users to use Facebook’s offerings instead.
Home will be limited to phones running the Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean versions of Android — i.e., 4.0 and later. That covers phones made or updated during the past year or so.
Initially, the app will be limited to specific Android models — about a half-dozen of them, including Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2. It will also work on the upcoming Galaxy S IV. In addition, HTC‘s upcoming First phone will come with Home.
But the move could also help boost mobile advertising, a fast-growing field — thanks largely to Facebook and Twitter. Research firm eMarketer expects U.S. mobile ad spending to grow 77 percent this year to $7.29 billion, from $4.11 billion last year.
Showing more mobile ads to users poses challenges for Facebook, however, since the promotional ads may annoy or alienate Facebook users.
For the past few months, Best Buy‘s stock has jumped and fallen based largely on who was thinking about buying the company or who was being hired. Now, the company has some news about something it’s going to actually do: Best Buy is going to capitalize on the strong mobile phone business that it’s built up, and open Samsung stores within its stores.
The mini-store The concept is going to be set up in both traditional Best Buy stores and in the smaller Best Buy Mobile locations. The program was trialed in Texas, and the success made for a nationwide rollout, which should see the stores in 1,400 locations, with up to 900 open by the end of May.
The stores are going to be staffed by Samsung-trained employees, who will act as the company’s only U.S. retail face. Unlike Apple , Samsung currently does not operate any retail locations, and so has no direct access to U.S. customers. The phone manufacturer is hoping that the new arrangement will allow it to better promote its products, including the iPad rival Galaxy Note tablet.
The Best Buy mobile plan Best Buy has seen its mobile business expand over the last year, and has said that it will be spending more time focusing on the venture. Last quarter, computing and mobile comparable-store sales grew 13.4%, almost — but not quite — pushing total store comparable sales into the black. On the earnings call, CEO Hubert Joly said that the company would be giving more space over to mobile in 2013, due in part to its strong margins.
For Samsung’s part, its mobile division has been lagging behind slightly compared to its other product divisions. That growth is going to be difficult without this sort of deal, as Samsung sees the demand for smartphones beginning to slow in 2013. The tie-in with Best Buy should help the company expand its U.S. sales, and give the brand a stronger hold on customers, many of whom may not know the variety of phones and tablets Samsung offers.
The bottom line This isn’t going to put a major dent in Apple’s income, but it should give a boost to both Best Buy and Samsung. Of the two, Best Buy is in a position to gain more, as sales are slowly righting at the big-box chain. Samsung pulled down $53 billion in revenue last quarter, so it’s doubtful that any increase through Best Buy is going to make a noticeable impact on the company’s earnings.
I’d be looking closely at Best Buy, if I needed more retail in my portfolio. The company is up 14% as of this writing, so the jump on this announcement is behind us, but the horizon looks increasingly good. There’s still a chance Best Buy is really going to turn its business around.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 boasts a bigger screen, better camera and faster processor than its predecessor Galaxy S phones; it also ships with a whole bunch of new features, too many to list in our primary wrap-up about the S4 launch, which happened Thursday evening in New York. Here is your unabridged and alphabetized version of every new feature — or, at least, the really important ones — you’ll get with Samsung’s latest volley in the smartphone wars:
Air Gestures: Refers to hand movements made above the phone’s display, without coming into contact with the display, that controls the phone. Common gestures include waving your hand over the display to skip a track or waving left and right to switch between open web pages in the browser. These gestures only work with specific Samsung apps.
Air View: Like the stylus on the Galaxy Note 2, you can hover over the display with your finger to view information about certain pieces of content. For example, hovering your finger over an email shows you a longer preview without opening the message; hovering your finger over a date on the calendar shows you a quick view of what to expect on that day.
In the course of 2012, shares of Apple rocketed from a little above $400 to a peak just above $700 in September. The stock price has proceeded to fall even faster, plunging to a new trading range in the low $400s recently.
In trying to keep up with the latest moves in Apple’s stock price, analysts have had to make some rather embarrassing changes to their price targets. Long-term investors should more or less ignore these frequent price target revisions. There are plenty of reasons to believe that Apple is still a long-term winner, and that the hiccups that have caused Apple’s 40% fall are just a bump in the road.
How much has really changed? Peter Misek of Jefferies cut his Apple price target to $420 this week, citing numerous challenges for the company. These include: 1. the mythical “iTV” being delayed to 2014, 2. the iPhone 5S being pushed back until later in 2013, and 3. a shift in consumer preferences toward larger screen sizes, particularly “phablets”. Misek’s recent bearishness is all the more odd because as recently as December he had a $900 price target on the stock. Since then he has cut his price target to $800, then $500, and now $420, as he has become more progressively more bearish.
What really seems to be happening is that Misek — like many other Wall Street analysts — is chasing the Apple price chart, which is ultimately a measure of current investor sentiment. It is very reasonable for Apple investors to be worried about Samsung, and other Google Android smartphone vendors. However, the outlook has not changed that much over the past year (let alone the past three months). There is no plausible long-term logic to back up the significant drops in Wall Street price targets recently.
The bigger picture To better understand the problem with Wall Street‘s short-term mentality, let’s take a look at Misek’s phablet thesis. He has argued on several recent occasions that “Apple is losing the screen-size war.” There are at least two major flaws in that statement. First, true phablets like the Galaxy Note are still niche products compared to the iPhone. It took two months for Galaxy Note II sales to hit 5 million, something that the iPhone 5 accomplished in less than a week. Moreover, Samsung has estimated the Galaxy Note II’s lifetime sales at around 20 million, less than half of the number of iPhones sold last quarter! Clearly, the Galaxy Note is not popular enough (at least for now) to be a major drag on iPhone sales.
Second, while some users clearly want a larger phone, whether it is a full-blown phablet or a phone with a 4.7-inch to 5-inch screen, there is no moat protecting the producers of these phones. If Tim Cook and his team decide that they are losing sales by not having a larger phone, you can be sure that …read more Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance
Last August, Samsung debuted the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. But beyond plenty of interesting features, the 10.1-inch device was WiFi-only, leaving those hoping for a cellular version out in the cold. Thankfully, Samsung has announced a 4G LTE Note 10.1 model launch for March 7.
There are two things that Apple needs to do in order to satisfy investors craving continued iPhone growth: launch a mid-range iPhone as well as a larger iPhone. The company has waited much longer to expand the iPhone into a broader product family than it has with other devices like the iPod and iPad, and this expansion is now overdue.
Numerous reports have now speculated that while Apple is indeed planning to launch a more affordable model this year, the larger one may not see the light of day until next year. Can Apple afford to wait?
Wait for it Yesterday, Japanese blog Macotakara reported that the mid-range iPhone made out of polycarbonate is still on track for a 2013 launch, and will retail for $330 — the same starting price point as the iPad Mini. The polycarbonate model will likely be thicker to increase durability and save costs.
Following that report, Chinese site EMSOne separately speculated that the more affordable iPhone would launch in August alongside the iPhone 5S that will feature incremental upgrades in line with the tick-tock strategy that Apple repurposed fromIntel. Only the flagship iPhone 5S is said to include compatibility with China Mobile‘s unique network and the mid-range model will not be supported on the largest wireless carrier in the world. There’s notably no mention of a larger iPhone.
These rumblings corroborate with the 2013 product roadmap that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo laid out in January. The analyst adds that the flagship should see the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor to increase security and leverage Apple’s $356 million acquisition of AuthenTec last year. Kuo has a solid track record with accuracy, so his predictions carry more weight than others’.
It just so happens that Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also released a research note in February saying that Apple has been running into manufacturing challenges in scaling up its display size from 4-inch to 4.8-inch. This is because Apple recently adopted the relatively new in-cell touch technology in its displays that integrates the touch sensors directly into the LCD panel in order to make the iPhone so thin.
Yields on the larger in-cell panels are proving to be low and Apple has extremely high quality standards. The difficulties are compounded since Apple also has very high volume requirements due to the popularity of its devices. An alternative would be to switch back to on-cell displays or other technologies with better yields. Either way, Misek similarly thinks the larger iPhone is being pushed out to 2014.
Long live the Phablet King The phablet trend is getting stronger with no signs of abating, at least among OEMs. Not one to be shown up, Samsung’s latest attempt at overcompensation is the Galaxy Note 8.0 that features an 8-inch display.
Though it feels like we’ve been talking about the Samsung Galaxy S IV for ages – and we have been – Samsung has only just confirmed that the device will have its official debut on March 14th, a day off from what was previously reported. The event will take place in New York City though few additional details are known at this time.
Samsung is currently making waves at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with its 8-inch Galaxy Note phone/tablet hybrid but the company evidently wants the Galaxy S IV handset to have a special day all its own. The forthcoming smartphone has been hotly anticipated since rumors of its specs began floating around and all eyes are sure to be on the launch next month to see if the device lives up to the hype.
Determined to extend its Note line to all mobile form factors, Samsung has introduced the new 8-inch Galaxy Note 8.0, which falls alongside its 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II smartphone and 10-inch Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.
Introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this weekend, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is an Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean-based tablet with an 8-inch 1280 x 800 display, delivering a pixel density of 189ppi — slightly higher than the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch 163ppi display. Under the hood, it’s powered by Samsung’s 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, and comes with 32GB or 64GB of storage. While LTE variants are in the works, the Galaxy Note 8.0 will initially offer cellular connectivity via HSPA+ — supplemented, of course, by Wi-Fi.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Samsung Electronics is beefing up its tablet range with a competitor to Apple’s iPad Mini that sports a pen for writing on the screen.
The Korean company announced on Sunday in B’arcelona that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will have an 8-inch screen, putting it very close in size to the Apple’s tablet, which launched in November with a 7.9-inch screen. It’s not the first time Samsung has made a tablet that’s in the Mini’s size range: it’s very first iPad competitor had a 7-inch screen, and it still makes a tablet of that size, but without a pen.
Samsung will start selling the new tablet in the April to June period, at an as yet undetermined price. It made the announcement ahead of Mobile World Congress, the wireless industry’s annual trade show, which starts Monday in Barcelona, Spain.
By Ewan Spence, Contributor News from Samsung, there’s going to be another Android tablet/smartphone hybrid from the South Korean manufacturer. To be officially announced at Mobile World Congress in February, CEO JK Shin told iNews24 that the next variant of the Galaxy Note will come with an 8 inch screen. Industry watchers expect the device to sport the familiar dimensions of 1280×800 for the screen, and I’d expect to see a quad core processor in there, probably running at 1.6 GHz. Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest
The update is for the Wi-Fi versions of the devices and finally brings Samsung’s tablets current with Jelly Bean, after the company slowly rolled out Android 4.1 to its phones in the fall. Android 4.2 has already begun appearing on some Nexus tablets.
The more intriguing features, however, come from the Samsung Premium Suite, with special attention to the capabilities of the stylus.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 was the first in the company’s line to support a multiwindows feature so you can run two apps side by side on screen. The feature later trickled through to the Note smartphones and Galaxy S III phone. Now, Samsung has updated this feature for the Note 10.1 with a cascade view, which lets you freely resize, move, and pin selected apps in multiple views, running simultaneously.