Oh HTC. You’ve produced one of the finest Android smartphones ever (seriously, just look at all these reviews), but you’ve faced more than your share of challenges when it came to actually pumping your top-tier One smartphone. As it happens, that may all soon change.
FocusTaiwan reported earlier today that HTC is preparing to pump out more of its wonderful Ones in short order — Jack Tong, the company’s North Asia president, noted that this month’s production capacity for the flagship device is twice that of April, and that surge will only continue into June.
Sounds pretty yawn-worthy, right? Normally I would spend too much time dwelling on the finer points of production capacity, but here’s a device that was launched to widespread praise by an underdog smartphone company some people have written off, and HTC has basically been getting screwed thanks to part shortages for the One’s Ultrapixel camera and a brief injunction due to the HDR microphone it uses. It’s like a perfect storm of headaches for a company that really, really doesn’t need it — one look at its Q1 financials and it’s clear that HTC needed this launch to go as smoothly as possible. It didn’t.
For what it’s worth, HTC hasn’t disclosed how many Ones it’s shipped since it launched earlier this year. Meanwhile, rival Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has become the Korean electronics giant’s fastest moving smartphone — Samsung shipped 6 million units in just over two weeks, and it hopes to cross the 10 million unit threshold by the end of this month. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that Google’s Hugo Barra showed off a version of the S4 at the company’s I/O developer conference that runs a version of Android that’s unfettered by the software bloat that many a reviewer took umbrage at. Company representatives were careful not to call it a Nexus — even though it seems to harbor many of the advantages inherent to the Nexus line like a clean Android build and access to frequent software updates.
As I noted towards the end of my HTC One review, the wireless industry isn’t a meritocracy — the well-executed device doesn’t always wind up saving the day. Hopefully now that some of these production woes have been ironed out we’ll see HTC live to fight another day, but that’s still far from a given.
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It’s been almost a year since the ridiculously expensive SCH-W999 launched on China Telecom, so it’s about time for Samsung to come up with yet another dual-screen flip phone to lure folks with too much money. Launched in conjunction with a big charity concert (again) earlier today is the SCH-W2013, a 1.4GHz quad-core (likely an Exynos 4412) device with Android 4.0 and dual-3.7-inch 800 x 480 Super AMOLED touchscreens. On top of that there’s 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD expansion of up to 64GB, 1,850mAh of battery juice, an eight-megapixel main imager plus a whopping 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. As with many flagship devices on China Telecom, the W2013 comes with dual-SIM support: one for CDMA2000 800/1900 and the other for GSM 900/1800/1900. The damage? Well, there’s nothing official yet, but it’s believed to be somewhere between ¥18,000 ($ 2,900) and ¥20,000 ($ 3,210). After all, it ain’t cheap to hire Jackie Chan (and he was also given a W2013 at the concert).
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Regardless of how you feel about the concept, Samsung’s Android 4.1-powered Galaxy Camera is finally making its way to the United States. AT&T has just announced it will it launch the curious camera on November 16 (i.e. this Friday), and that it will cost Google-devoted photographers $ 499 — that’s with or without a data plan.
In case you haven’t yet heard of the Galaxy Camera, think of it as a standard point-and-shoot camera with a neat twist — it sports a large 4.8-inch 720p LCD touchscreen that allows users not only frame shots, but also fire up Android apps (ahoy there, Instagram!) and browse the web over Wi-Fi or a wireless data connection.
It’s about time that AT&T came forward with availability — the Galaxy Camera made its first appearance last August at IFA in Berlin, and AT&T announced that it would carry the device early last month. At the time, the carrier found it prudent to keep quiet when it came to price and launch timing, though I have to wonder how many people were actually waiting on the edge of their seats for this thing to hit store shelves.
Nothing truly says “I’m sorry” like a large sum of cash, and Apple will have to open up its wallet to Samsung thanks to “false and misleading” information it published in a court-ordered statement. A UK high court ordered Cupertino to post an apology on its British website stating that the Galaxy Tab didn’t copy the iPad, which it did. However, according to a new judgement by the the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, it also added statements “calculated to produce confusion,” like references to other unrelated judgements. Though Apple issued a second apology, the court is taking the unusual step of forcing it to pay all of Samsung’s legal fees for the entire case on an “indemnity basis” — in other words, to compensate the Korean maker for losses suffered due to the original statement. If you’d like to parse the legalese for yourself, hit the source.
Filed under: Tablets
Just hours after Samsung’s Korean arm remarked on the sales of its Galaxy Note II, Samsung Poland jumped into the act confirming the Galaxy S III has moved 30 million units. We don’t know if the celebration included taking a victory lap going the wrong way, but the figure is the highest announced for a phone in the series, after the original Galaxy S topped 10 million in 2011, and the Galaxy S II breached 20 million earlier this year. The line has even spawned spinoffs like the aforementioned Note and upcoming Galaxy S III mini, all while showing no sign of slowing any time soon — lawsuit or not.
Samsung is taking the wraps off its 13-inch Series 5 Ultra Touch Windows 8 ultrabook today, and at a starting price of $ 809.99 for the Core i3 version, it’s one of the more reasonably-priced machines we’ve seen so far. An extra $ 50 will buy you a Core i5 processor upgrade, but otherwise, both models will have the same 1366×768 display, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive with 24GB of ExpressCache — Samsung’s term for high-speed solid state storage directly on the logic board. The Series 5 Ultra Touch isn’t breaking any records with its 3.83-pound weight, but it’s not bad for a machine with a spinning hard drive.
The company also took a minute to touch on its renamed Ativ Smart PC 500T and 700T Windows 8 tablets, which will be…
Samsung and T-Mobile today announced that the Samsung Galaxy Note II will be arriving on T-Mobile’s network this fall, though specific dates and pricing wasn’t yet revealed. An earlier leaked report says that it’ll hit on October 24, however. T-Mobile is calling Samsung’s latest phablet its “most powerful device,” which seems to indicate this will be a key flagship offering for the U.S. provider.
THe 5.5-inch, quad-core 1.6-GHz Exynos powered smartphone ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and offers improved S Pen capabilities, and HSPA+ “4G” connectivity, though not LTE. Color options available through T-Mobile include Titanium Gray and Marble White, and T-Mobile says it’ll come to retail stores, online and through authorized T-Mobile dealers sometime “in the coming weeks.”
T-Mobile clearly needs a big splashy phone launch in the wake of not offering the iPhone 5. The company could significantly improve its LTE standings and capabilities if the merger with MetroPCS goes through. But for now, shopping the Galaxy Note II without LTE could be a hard sell against other US carriers like AT&T who are offering true next-gen connectivity.Related Posts:
Holy cow AT&T, another announcement? While most of the other national wireless carriers have opted to save some news for later on, AT&T keeps pushing out releases like it’s going out of style.
Anyway, in addition to heavily pushing Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 handsets, the carrier has also announced that it will carry a pair of Windows 8 tablets — the Asus VivoTab RT and Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC — in time for the holiday rush.
Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC is the more familiar of the two since the Korean company made a point of showing it off at its big London press event earlier this year, but here’s a quick recap in case you missed Samsung’s spectacle. The ATIV sports a 11.6-inch HD display, while a 1.5GHz Intel Clover Trail processor and 64GB of internal storage help keep things ticking along. Interestingly, AT&T doesn’t specify whether or not the ATIV is set up for LTE, though it does play the availability of a keyboard-toting docking system to please those productivity fiends among you.
That said, AT&T is quick to crown Asus’ VivoTab the “first quad-core Windows RT 4G LTE tablet,” and it’s (perhaps obviously) the less hefty of the two. Smaller though it may be, the VivoTab (ugh, really?) runs with a more standard 10.1-inch Super IPS display, only 32 GB of storage, and one of NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipsets.
As usual, there’s no word yet on pricing, but AT&T stopped subsidizing its tablets back in August so don’t expect to be able to sign a contract and walk out with the cheap tablet. AT&T is playing the availability card close to its chest as well, but the smart money is on seeing them sooner rather than later.Related Posts:
We’ve already asked around to let you know that British phablet fans can get their Galaxy Note II fix on ThreeUK, O2 and Vodafone, and now we know the date, too. Anxious S-pen lovers will be able to grab the new device from October 1st from the carriers, or pick ‘em up at the Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U — in either Marble White or Titanium Grey. If you’d like to read the words “whole new level of innovation,” then head on past the break for the company line.