Sunday, June 26, 2011

Consumers Choose the iPad Over Other Tablets

According to a survey that was conducted by Bernstein Research, it seems as though half of the consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom want an iPad if they decide to purchase a tablet. The other half of the consumer population that didn’t choose the iPad said that they wanted a tablet that looks and feels just like the iPad.

Well, this survey only seems to confirm the fact that Apple is certainly the brand that is dominating the tablet industry. The iPad and the iPad 2 are the front running tablets, despite the many other tablets that seek to sneak past the Apple tablets. The Bernstein Research survey caused All Things D to state Monday, “Consumers don’t want tablets, they want iPads.”

Fifty percent of the consumers polled in both the U.S. and the U.K. chose the Apple iPad, so that left the other fifty percent choosing either Research in Motion, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, Dell, Hewlett-Packard or “no preference” as their tablet choice.

All Things D is comparing Apple’s dominance in the tablet industry to the company’s iPod’s supremacy among the MP3 player industry. Right now, that seems like a pretty good comparison. According to industry researcher Gartner, Apple is expected to stay ahead of the other tablets at least until 2015. That would be pretty sad if no one else could come up with something that would challenge the iPad until then. We always need a little healthy competition.

Bernstein’s survey also showed that other tablet manufacturers better not attempt to deviate from the standards that Apple has set down with its iPad.

"We find that consumers are not interested in form factors that deviate from the benchmark set by Apple," the Bernstein Research report stated. "Few consumers, less than 15 percent, prefer the 7-inch screen size versus the 10-inch screen of the iPad."

"Over 50 percent of respondents are firmly in favor of the 10-inch screen, which leads us to conclude that the 7-inch tablet models recently launched, like the BlackBerry PlayBook, are destined for failure. Consumers' preference for the 10-inch form factor explains the lukewarm response to Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy tablet and the rapid introduction of larger screen models in that series."

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Friday, June 24, 2011 Snaps Photo of Credit Card for Online Payments

card.ioIn recent mobile news, two former executives from AdMob have just launched a seemingly novel mobile commerce platform that scans your credit card via your phone's camera. Known as, this app targets developers by giving them the SDK to drop into their codes. For example, this could very easily complement a location-based coupon service or movie ticket app.

Whenever it is time to make a payment in your app, activates your phone's camera and displays a green frame on screen. You then place your credit card into the frame, take a picture of it, and's proprietary technology will scan the card in order to receive the desired information. The transactions themselves are performed by third-party payment processors used by the merchant. After that, your credit card information is deleted immediately from your phone for security.

Mike Mettler, a co-founder of the app and pre-Google developer at AdMob, said that the company was betting that in the long run, software will win out over hardware-dependent mobile payment solutions like the ones developed by Isis and Google Wallet. Unlike those two, Mettler is not concerned about being able to use your phone to buy anything a credit card can buy. "I'm never going to buy a mortgage on my phone," he stated.

Mettler went on to say that, "One of the biggest lessons I learned at AdMob is that mobile consumer behavior is different, it's not just about taking Web payments and cramming it into a smaller screen. Mobile payments are good for time-sensitive payments, like hotel reservations or Groupon Now, an instant activation feature." is currently in talks with a "Craigslist competitor" about implementing a secure mobile payment solution that would not require buyers to meet up with a stranger holding a load of cash. What do you think? Is this app a good idea? Or is the thought of having sensitive credit card information streamed through your phone a little to invasive or risk-inducing?

Source: PC Mag - Former AdMob Execs Tackle Mobile Payments, Photograph Credit Cards

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Friday, June 17, 2011

SakTel First Carrier in North America to Confirm Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung Galaxy S IISaskTel, the Saskatchewan-based cellular carrier, will soon be the first North American carrier to confirm plans to release the new Galaxy S II smartphone from Samsung. The timing of the announcement suggests that the device may be on track for a wider launch via multiple North American carriers sometime in July.

The phone, which will be running on the Android OS platform, recently broke an internal record for Samsung by selling more than 1 million units in Korea within 30 days. US carriers are expected to acquire the smartphone with some slight differences. Recent reports are pointing to the label Attain for the model from AT&T.

The second-generation Galaxy S will offer a 4.3-inch screen that capitalizes on Samsung's improved Super AMOLED Plus technology. In addition to that, the profile has been reduced to 8.9mm with other features including a revamped TouchWiz interface and support for 21Mbps 3G networks.

The current Samsung Galaxy S has been one of the hottest selling smartphones on the market and, if the U.S. is anything like Korea, the Samsung Galaxy II will be just as hot, if not more so. Unfortunately, Samsung has yet to announce specific launch plans for North America.

Source: Electronista - SaskTel first North American carrier to confirm Galaxy S II

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Touchscreen Problems Arising for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9While the new super slim tablet PC from Samsung, otherwise known as the Galaxy Tab 8.9, looks great and is getting a lot of people excited, Samsung Electronics is finding itself in a little bit of a pickle with the device that was, in all fairness, a little rushed in order to compete with Apple's iPad 2.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 was able to succeed in becoming the world's thinnest tablet coming in at 8.6mm. This was all due to the touch screen being integrated with the tempered glass known as G1F. The iPad 2 comes in at 8.8mm thick. Despite that achievement, however, Samsung is having a little difficulty putting the device out on the market due to the low process yield ratios of some key components.

This is very troubling for the company because if this problem continues, then Samsung's goal of selling 10 million units this year may be affected as well. The Galaxy Tab 8.9 incorporates both G1F and the GFF technologies. Samsung was originally planning on selecting two local panel makers and starting the new manufacturing of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 later this month. However, this yield problem popped its ugly little head up resulting in the shortage of some components.

Samsung was forced to take drastic measures and brought in two GFF panel manufacturers in addition to the ones they already had. To simplify, the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 takes two different types of touchscreens. A GFF touch panel is roughly 30% to 40% thicker than its G1F counterpart. In addition to that, the GFF's light transmittance is lower than the G1F which makes the display's overall performance poorer. According to Samsung, "There is nothing certain about the specifications of the 8.9-inch version of the product with the 10.1-inch model having yet to hit the market."

Source: Etnews - Samsung Electronics Applies Two Different Touch Screens to Galaxy Tab 8.9

Friday, June 10, 2011

HP TouchPad Available in July

On Thursday, June 9 HP announced that it will be releasing its TouchPad tablet in The United States on Friday, July 1. The TouchPad was first revealed to the public back in February. The 9/7-inch device will come complete with a 1,024 x 768 capacitive screen, a 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1.3 megapixel webcam, Beats Audio technology, stereo speakers, and video calling support. The device weighs 1.6 pounds and is 13.77mm thick. It will also include Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and fun features like a gyroscope, accelerometer and compass. Basically, it’s got plenty of things to keep you occupied for quite some time!

HP feels that the webOS operating system that is found in the TouchPad will set this device apart from its competitors like the Apple iPad 2, the Motorola Xoom and the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook.

"What makes HP TouchPad a compelling alternative to competing products is webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president and general manager, Palm Global Business Unit, HP. “The platform’s unmatched features and flexibility will continue to differentiate HP products from the rest of the market for both personal and professional use. This is only the beginning of what HP’s scale can do with webOS.”

According to HP, retailers will be stocking the Wi-Fi version of the device. Customers will have the option of the 16GB tablet for $499.99 or the 32GB tablet for $599.99. If you don’t want a Wi-Fi version of the TouchPad, HP has said that AT&T will offer a 3G version of the tablet a little later in the summer, so you could wait for that.

HP said that they will begin taking preorders for the U.S. and Europe starting Sunday, June 19, and the TouchPad will be arrive in the U.K., France, Ireland and Germany just a few days after it hits the U.S. It will also go to Canada in mid-July and Italy, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore sometime later this year.

There are a variety of stores that are expected to stock the HP tablet in the U.S. including: Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, OfficeMax,, Fry’s, Microcenter and HP’s online store.

"The iPad, which has single-handedly dominated the tablet business since its introduction last year, will account for the bulk of the DRAM demand in the market in 2011 and the following years," IHS principal DRAM and memory analyst Mike Howard noted in an email. "However, competition to the iPad is seeping into the market, driving further DRAM demand."

It will be very interesting to see how the TouchPad does when it hits the shelves. The tablet market is the place to be right now, so hopefully HP will hit a homerun with this new device.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Windows 8 to Have Mobile Capabilities

Windows 8Windows 8 is one of the hot button topics in the tech world right now. Windows 7 was an immaculate improvement on the lackluster Windows Vista and people cannot wait to get their hands on Windows 8. Microsoft has been teasing some details here and there about Windows 8 but what is probably one of the coolest new things to come out about the new OS is that fact that Windows 8 is going to attempt to elevate a mobile OS to the desktop.

That's right, the newest buzz around Windows 8, which may or may not be the official title, is that the next-generation OS is expected to be touch-friendly and seamlessly work on tablet devices, desktops and laptops. Microsoft just recently gave an early demonstration of Windows 8's new look as well as the capability of Windows 8 at the D9 conference.

The development platform is based on HTML 5 as well as JavaScript. Any and all applications created for a touch interface will also work with a mouse and keyboard as well which is another nice feature. In addition to that, there is also an option for a split virtual keyboard for typing on a tablet.

The good news about Windows 8 is that the system requirements for running Windows 8 will not be more than what is required to run Windows 7. In addition to that, Windows 8 will also run on Intel, AMD processors and ARM chips. Stay tuned here for all the new information on Windows 8's mobile platform capabilities as they are released.

Source: CNET - Windows 8 to go mobile

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Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.

Friday, June 3, 2011

64GB MicroSD Card Announced by Kingmax

In a press release that came out on Tuesday, May 24, a Chinese semiconductor company called Kingmax announced its new 64GB microSD card and released all of the details about it.

Right now, the largest microSD card on the market is 32GB, so a card that could hold double that amount of stuff would be something great for individuals who have enormous amounts of MP3s and videos bogging down their phones and tablets. They would no longer need to feel restrained by the 32GB microSD cards and could simply switch out their current card for the massive 64GB one.

The original microSD card was introduced to the world by SanDisk, and it was also SanDisk that brought us the current maximum capacity microSD card, so I can’t help but be a little surprised that it is not SanDisk that is making this gigantic leap in the microSD world. When we were first introduced to the 32GB microSD card, it was priced at $199.99, but now you can find it on websites like Amazon for around $60. Mobile technology is becoming much more refined, but as file sizes expand for much more data-intensive formats, including FLAC and HD video, a card with a much bigger capacity is really in demand. Now, of course, Apple users get lucky. Due to all of the internal storage found on Apple devices, users should have no need to up their microSD card capacity.

The press release that Kingmax released gave plenty of details about the 64GB microSD card but did not indicate when they will be releasing the product. They also did not mention any type of price range. Taking into consideration what SanDisk first charged for their original 32GB card, Kingmax’s new product could be hundreds of dollars. Another issue that I didn’t immediately think of is that not all phones would be able to support a 64GB card. Verizon’s LG Revolution, with a 16GB card, and its Droid Charge, with a 32GB card, both can only support up to a 32GB card. It looks like the phone technology will need to catch up to Kingmax.

When you think about it, there really aren’t a ton of devices that are compatible with a card that is 64GB. I mean the card’s capacity is on par with the top, most expensive versions of the iPad and the iPod Touch. I’m sure that technology will quickly be catching up to Kingmax’s capabilities though, and while the company waits for technology to catch up, I’m sure that there are plenty of other storage companies that will be working to get out their own 64GB microSD card as well.

Here are the features listed in the press release on Kingmax’s website:
Product Features:
‧High compatibility & reliability
‧Ultra fast transfer rate
‧plug and play

Product specifications:
‧Dimension:15 mm x11 mm x1.0mm
‧Wear leveling algorithm to maximize product lifetime
‧Built-in Error Correction Code that auto corrects data
‧Energy efficient, extends mobile devices’ battery lifetime

Want to know more? Check out the actual press release at Kingmax’s website: KINGMAX Unveils World's Largest Capacity 64GB Micro SDXC Card.