Big Cyber Monday deals found from TigerDirect, Best Buy
Cyber Monday has finally arrived, and online shoppers can take advantage of big sales this holiday season. We've gathered up some great deals on a variety of electronics, including TVs, smartphones, e-readers, tablets and hard drives.
Google adds Designed for Tablets section to Play Store
The Google Play Store has been updated to showcase apps "Designed for tablets," something Google announced it would do last month. Tablet users will see the tablet-aimed apps as the default view in Google Play, according to an Android Developers Google+ post, with apps that do not meet specific criteria to be "Designed for tablets" to be marked as "Designed for phones" instead.
Excite 7 smaller version to earlier 10-inch Toshiba tablets
Toshiba has launched a new seven-inch Android tablet, one that briefly surfaced as a leak in July. The Excite 7 is a smaller companion to the 10-inch Excite Pure, Pro, and Write tablets revealed earlier this year, and though it shares the same external design language as its larger stablemates, it opts for a smaller seven-inch display with a lower 1024x600 resolution.
Streaming to TV and second-screen functionality added in Fire OS update
Amazon has released the latest version of its Android implementation, Kindle Fire OS 3.1. The free update for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets adds a number of updates, with the integration of Goodreads adding book rating and quote sharing through the community, friend update feeds, and the option to import both print and digital books bought from Amazon into the Goodreads account.
Figures from prior to new iPad introduction, still dominant by brand and profit
Market analysis firm IDC is reporting that despite sales of 14.1 million iPads in the calendar third quarter of 2013, Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market dropped 11 percent in the face of increased shipments from others, particularly Samsung. As reported earlier, the iPad remains the clear leader in tablets by individual brand, but the combined total of shipped Android-based tablets is rising, and there was no new iPad product announced during the quarter.
New device has familiar form factor, resembling Apple keyboard
Lenovo has unveiled its new Android-based "Yoga" tablets reportedly co-designed by Ashton Kutcher, devices that the company calls the "world's thinnest tablet." The device has an unconventional form factor, with a thick rounded edge containing most of the electronics and battery, tapering all the way to the edge of the tablet.
Chip executive hints at holiday pricing
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has reportedly hinted that the company's OEM partners are preparing to embrace aggressive pricing strategies ahead of the holiday shopping season. Speaking during a conference related to the company's quarterly earnings disclosure, the executive is said to have referenced Intel-powered tablets for as little as $99, Haswell notebooks starting at $299, and convertible hybrid tablets with prices as low as $349.
Latest devices to ship this month
Archos has fully detailed its latest tablets that will be arriving later this month, including the 80b Platinum, 97b Platinum HD and 101 Platinum. All three Android tablets will be powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor running at 1.6GHz, with up to 2GB of RAM and IPS displays ranging from 8.0 to 10.1 inches.
Android offerings sold alongside Windows 8.1 devices
Dell has made a surprise return to the Android platform with its latest tablet introductions, the Venue 7 and Venue 8. Not to be confused with the Venue "Pro" variants, which run Windows 8.1, the basic Venue tablets are powered by Intel's latest Atom processors and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Angular design of new Amazon tablets, added Mayday support button
Amazon has revealed its refreshed Kindle Fire tablet lines, including a revised Kindle Fire HD, and new lines with HD displays. The seven-inch Kindle Fire HDX uses a 1920x1200-resolution display while the 8.9-inch version will have a 2560x1600 version, with both models also having the chiseled and unique design with rear-mounted buttons revealed earlier in leaks.
Claimed to have similar performance of flash memory in tablets
Seagate has announced a way for manufacturers of Android devices to dramatically increase the storage of future devices, using a similar hard drive to the ones it launched in June. The Ultra Mobile is a 2.5-inch hard drive measuring just 5mm (0.2-inches) thick and weighing 3.3 ounces, allowing it to fit inside the tight confines of typical Android tablets, while also offering up to 500GB of storage capacity.
Discount of $40 for tablet suggests refreshed line for anniversary of launch
Amazon has dropped the price of its seven-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet in the United States. The sudden drop in price of $40 for the tablet is a possible sign that the retailer is trying to reduce stock in the device ahead of an expected launch of a rumored device range refresh in September, the anniversary of the HD version's launch.
Possibility Android 4.3 will pull share from other Jelly Bean versions
Android Jelly Bean, the most recent version of the mobile operating system, has surpassed the 40-percent install base milestone. Android version 4.1 makes up 34 percent of the Android device share, with version 4.2 reaching 6.5 percent, an improvement from the last report when Jelly Bean became the dominant version, with 4.1 and 4.2 scoring 32.3 percent and 5.6 percent respectively.
Higher resolutions accompany revised casing, moved buttons
Amazon will be updating its range of Kindle Fire tablets before the end of this year, with a report claiming that at least three new models will be added to the tablet range. The new devices would have a few external changes, such as altered button placements, but the main change will be an increase in resolution of the tablet displays.
Galaxy Tab 3 range appear in stores, Amazon, after pre-order period
Samsung has put its portfolio of Galaxy Tab 3 tablets on sale in the United States. The previously-announced Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, and Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 are all available to buy in stores, as well as through Amazon and Samsung itself, with both white and 'golden brown' color options popping up in retailer listings.
First iPhone, then iPad continues to rank high in customer satisfaction
Following on from an earlier report that found the iPhone beating both Samsung and other Android-based smartphones in Samsung's home court of South Korea, the National Consumer Satisfaction Index has also revealed that the iPad has also beaten Korean companies Samsung and LG in customer satisfaction for the third year running. The tablet survey was drawn from a sample of only 278 people rather than the more than 40,000 from the smartphone sample, and reflects Korea's small --but slowly growing -- tablet market.
Pre-orders for new Samsung tablet range start now
Samsung has revealed it will be bringing the updated Galaxy Tab 3 range of devices to the United States on July 7th. The three tablets, available in 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10.1-inch versions, will be available to pre-order from tomorrow onwards, and provide some slight revisions to previous Galaxy Tab iterations, including the addition of an IR transmitter for use as a TV remote control.
Samsung boasts thinnest Windows 8 tablet
Following Samsung's Ativ-themed launch event in New York City, the company invited press to try out the new Ativ Tab 3 tablet. The device is promoted as the thinnest Windows 8 tablet set to arrive on the market, with a 10.1-inch display that places it in direct competition with the iPad and a slew of Android-powered alternatives. Electronista spent some hands-on time with the new device ahead of its public release.
Two seven-inch Lenovo tablets include 16GB storage, 3,500mAh battery
Lenovo has put up a pair of Android tablets from its IdeaTab range up for pre-order in the United States. The IdeaTab A1000 and IdeaTab A3000 both offer 7-inch 1024x600 displays, run on Android Jelly Bean, and have relatively similar specifications, the A3000 adds to the 0.3MP front webcam by having a 5-megapixel counterpart on the rear.
Foxconn manufacturing five devices for unnamed OEM
Foxconn has signed a deal with Mozilla to put the Firefox OS mobile operating system onto a number of mobile devices. The smartphones, to be manufactured by Foxconn on behalf of an unnamed OEM, are also accompanied by the companies showing off a prototype tablet, one that was hinted at in a report last week.
Ten-inch MeMo Pad FHD 10 includes 1920x1200-resolution display
At the same time as unveiling its Transformer tablet notebooks, Asus has revealed high definition versions of its affordable tablet line. The MeMo Pad HD 7 increases the display resolution of its existing seven-inch tablet from 1024x600 to 1280x800, and the MeMo Pad FHD 10 adds in a ten-inch screen and a 1920x1200 resolution.
Iconia W3 first tablet to use relaxed Microsoft Windows 8 requirements
Acer has used Computex to reveal a new Windows 8 tablet and an Android smartphone. The previously leaked Iconia W3 is the first in the world to take advantage of Microsoft's relaxed Windows 8 tablet requirements by using an 8.1-inch display, while the Liquid S1 continues the Liquid range of mobile phones and is the first "phablet" from the company.
Country seeks bids on 10.6 million tablets for students
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been touring Silicon Valley companies this week, on the heels of a similar tour by Turkish President Abdullah Gül last month. Both men received VIP tours of facilities at Microsoft and Google, and met privately with officials from Apple. All three companies are hoping to land a contract to supply the country with at least 10.6 million tablets for the country's students.
Larger version of Samsung tablet appears weeks after 7-inch version launched
An eight-inch version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 has apparently surfaced, with rendered images accompanying a list of specifications. The alleged leaked details come after the company revealed the third generation of its popular line of tablets, though that uses a more conventional 7-inch display and smaller form factor than what has now appeared.
Trend predicted by Apple CEOs Jobs, Cook: tablets up 188 percent from Q1 2012
A report from market analysts IDC looking at market conditions in the United Kingdom says that in the first quarter of 2013, tablet shipments outpaced the combined desktop and notebook PC for the first time. A total of 2.8 million tablets were shipped in Q1, outpacing the 2.3 million PC units (which include Macs alongside Windows desktops and laptops) by a half-million units -- a rise of 188 percent year-over-year. While the report is limited to the UK, the results likely foreshadow future trends elsewhere.
Discounted Dell tablet likely due to low Windows RT hardware sales
Dell has lowered the price of its Windows RT tablet from $449 to $299. The drop in price of the XPS 10 slate, possibly due to the underwhelming sales of Windows RT-based tablets across the industry, is accompanied by discounted additions to the tablet, including the keyboard dock and doubling the internal storage.
Survey includes notebooks, tablets, phones, excludes actual sales
In its latest report, industry research firm Canalys is reporting on what it calls "worldwide smart mobile device shipments" for the first quarter of the year -- a term that includes smartphones, notebooks and tablets. Of the 308.7 million devices that fall under one of those categories that shipping in Q1, around 60 percent were said to be Android devices, reflecting the platform's strength in smartphones -- the fastest-growing area of mobile electronics. Apple's iOS placed second again, despite a dominant presence in tablets.
Pressure-sensitive stylus and digital ruler still in development
Adobe showed off a hardware project for drawing it has been working on at its MAX Conference. Project Mighty is a pressure-sensitive stylus for tablets that is connected to the Adobe Creative Cloud, while Napoleon is an accompanying ruler that effectively works as a protractor for Project Mighty to work with in the tablet app.
Earnings rise for seventh time in a row, eighth unlikely
Asus managed to sell 3 million tablets in the first quarter, offsetting a drop in sales of notebooks and computer parts, according to the company's latest quarterly results. Overall, the company managed to earn $3.5 billion in revenues for the quarter, with its $202 million quarterly profit an improvement compared to both year-on-year and the previous quarter by 5.8-percent.
Barnes & Noble discount Nook HD, HD+ for Mother's Day
Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets as part of a Mother's Day promotion. For the next week, the retailer will be selling the 7-inch Nook HD from $149 for the 8GB and $179 for the 16GB models, while the 9-inch Nook HD+ is priced at $179 for 16GB of storage and $209 for 32GB. The discounts, varying between $50 and $90 depending on model, will apply until May 12th.
Google addition to Nook HD leaves Kindle Fire as last closed Android system
Barnes & Noble is boosting the number of apps available for its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets, by adding the Google Play store. The software update will add Play alongside the company's own app store, boosting the number of apps available to its users by over 700,000, along with the millions of songs found on Google Play Music, and other Google-supplied content.
Apple still tops all usage studies, suggesting stronger actual sales
Research firm IDC has posted the results of a questionable study on tablet "market share" that makes the claim -- not supported by sales evidence -- that Android has outgunned Apple in the tablet market, with 56.5 percent share in the first calendar quarter of the year, leaving Apple with barely 40 percent. The study also claims that Asus, not Amazon, is the third-largest tablet vendor with 5.5 percent of the market, having seen 350 percent growth year-over-year. The numbers seem unbelievable -- until one notices that IDC is estimating shipments, not sales.
Overall iPlayer use equals 272M January record
Usage of tablets to view BBC content on its streaming service has beaten that of smartphones for the first time. Information published by the BBC saw 200,000 more iPlayer requests from tablets than mobile phones, with the combined usage of mobile devices making up 30-percent of all requests, namely 81 million requests for March alone.
Top 200 device brands studied for share and usage
Mobile marketing analyst Flurry have unveiled their latest study, which draws samples from around one billion smartphones and some 2,000 unique device models worldwide. The study looked at both the distribution and usage by end-users of the top 200 device models, and found that "medium phones" with 3.5- to 4.9-inch screens were far and away the dominant choice in both areas. Phones with smaller screens were steadily declining in usage as buyers upgrade, and smaller tablets and "phablet" phones have yet to make much end-user headway.
Tablets slightly more popular than smartphones for paid Internet service
GoGo Inflight, which offers paid Internet service on various airlines serving North America has reported that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets now make up 67 percent of the devices being used to connect to its service, with tablets just edging out laptops and smartphones. Like other actual-usage surveys we have reported on recently, GoGo found that around 84 percent of mobile devices accessing their network across 2012 were using iOS, with 16 percent using Android -- though the Android percentage is growing slowly but steadily.
Android losing ground with business, but inching up in tablets
Two new studies -- one focusing on enterprise usage of mobile devices, the other looking at tablets -- have shored up conventional wisdom on the distribution of platforms, relegating everything but iOS and Android offerings to "other," but providing some new insights and a hint of changing trends. Advertising network and mobile analyst firm Chitika finds that the iPad continues its overwhelming dominance, but shows Android tablets finally inching up in usage, while Egnyte's study finds Android falling in corporate influence.
Repair firm compares various tablets, finds most not easily fixable
Repair and how-to guide site iFixit has compiled their teardown and repair-guide results on the top tablets into one comprehensive report, and ranks Apple's iPad lineup (with the exception of the original iPad) very poorly for repairability, though it is Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet that gets the lowest possible mark. The Windows 8-based Dell XPS 10 gets the highest marks for being easy to disassemble, but is dinged (like most tablets) for having the LCD fused to the protective glass layer. Offsetting this, a number of studies have shown the iPads to be by far the most reliable tablet.
Asus intros Atom-powered phone/tablet hybrid
Confirming recent rumors, Asus has unveiled a new seven-inch tablet, the Fonepad, that is powered by Intel's Lexington Atom processor. Consistent with its name, the Fonepad is a tablet but doubles as a smartphone with 3G voice-calling functionality. We met with Asus at Mobile World Congress to check out the hybrid device and see how it performs as a tablet and as a phone.
Moves to WebKit as core, will debut at Mobile World Congress
After 19 years, the alternative browser known as Opera has capitulated and will move to the WebKit core used by most other browsers for their latest mobile offering, known as "Ice." The new browser, which will likely debut for iOS and Android at the upcoming Mobile World Congress next month, features an overhauled design that emphasizes simplicity and gestures over buttons. The Norwegian company will continue to offer its Opera Mini for Android and feature phones, but needed to "up its game" in mobile, reports Pocket-lint.
Apple increases US-based shipments year-on-year
Shipments of personal computers have continued to decline, according to market analyst firm Gartner. Sales have declined in the fourth quarter in 2012 by 4.9-percent compared to the same period in 2011, with a combination of the weak global economy and the availability of cheap and accessible tablets reportedly to blame.
Tablets -- mostly iPads -- to surpass notebook sales this year
NDP DisplaySearch has announced that it expects worldwide combined tablet sales, lead by Apple's iPad, to outsell combined notebook sales in 2013 for the first time ever. It also says that smaller tablets -- again led by the iPad mini -- will become the dominant size this year, a fairly obvious conclusion given sales over the holidays. The company says 7-to-8-inch tablets should account for about 45 percent of all tablet shipments, while the 9.7-inch full-size iPad and its competitors will slip to 41 percent of shipments. Overall, tablets will sell about 240 million units compared to notebooks' 207 million, a rise of about 64 percent year-over-year.
Magnetic keyboard kit option available for tablets
Gigabyte has revealed a pair of tablets at CES, both running Windows 8 instead of Windows RT. The S1185 is an 11.6-inch slate with a Full HD resolution IPS display, while the 10.1-inch S1082 tablet is aimed more at the business market rather than consumers, with its focus on energy efficiency and higher-capacities of storage.
Chitika sees iPad share dropping 7.14 percent over holidays
Apple's iPad and iPad mini may have been a top-selling item over the holiday period, but entries from competitors sold strongly enough to slightly loosen Cupertino's stranglehold on the tablet sector. This according to new figures out from Chitika Insights, which looked at hundreds of millions of smartphone and tablet ad impressions from December 1 to December 27, 2012 in Canada and the United States. Chitika found that tablets from Amazon, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft gained a combined total of 5.5 percent market share over that period, while Apple's iPad lost 7.14 percent share.
Up more than 4x over daily December average, 2.5x over last Xmas
Christmas Day 2012 saw some 2.5 times the number of Android and iOS devices activated compared to the same day last year, analytics firm Flurry reports, with a staggering 332 percent increase in the number of activations on that day compared to the usual average daily activations for the rest of December. Compared to some 6.8 million mobile devices activated last year on Christmas Day, Tuesday's total was over 17.4 million units.
Various full-size iPad models, range of Android options
In a surprise move perhaps inspired by iPad discounts at various other retailers, cellular provider AT&T has announced an online and in-store tablet sale, taking $100 off a selection of 7-inch and larger Android tablets as well as various iPad models, including the iPad mini. The deal is contingent on signing a two-year data plan, but does include a rare price break on the current-model LTE Retina iPad and LTE iPad mini at all size options.
Apple's customized battery tech excels at Wi-Fi surfing test
A UK-based electronics testing and recommendation magazine and website, Which, has rated the tablet battery life of various sized tablets -- and found that the iPad and iPad mini ran away with the competition, besting its rivals by very significant scores. While scores were closer between the iPad 2 and the better 10-inch tablets, the Retina fourth-gen iPad model's score was well over 50 percent better than the combined average of the competitor tablets, with all screens set at equal brightness.
iPad grabs 71.4 percent of Chinese tablets
According to a new report from Analysys International, Chinese consumers purchased 2.6 million tablets in the third quarter of 2012, of which more than seven in ten were iPads. The firm's analysis shows Apple with a commanding lead in a Chinese tablet market that grew 62.5 percent year-over-year. Despite its considerable lead, Apple's share of the tablet market actually dropped slightly from the second quarter of this year.
'We would never make' them for a variety of reasons
During the conference call with analysts earlier on Thursday, Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer and CEO Tim Cook talked in more detail about both the pricing of the new iPad mini as well as what distinguishes it from its competitors. Near the end of the call, Cook elegantly bridged the seeming disparity of former CEO Steve Jobs' disparaging comments about 7-inch tablets and Apple's current view, both by pointing out that the iPad mini isn't really in that class (it is 7.9 inches, significantly larger than most others) and that it is a no-compromises product.
New tablet said to increase battery life due to lower-power display
Sharp has announced its intention to launch the Aquos Pad -- a 7-inch tablet with its IGZO display in early December. The tablet has a 1280x800 display, and other technologies which the company says stretches the life of the 2,040mAh battery out to 2.5 times greater than existing tablets. The IGZO technology could also be used to power the display for Apple's rumored iPad mini, which may debut at the company's scheduled October 23 press event.
Analyst finds far less enthusiasm for Android
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has again surveyed 7,700 US teenagers and has found that iPhone and iPad ownership among the teen demographic is growing rapidly, with iPhone owners nearly doubling over the last year. The survey had plenty of good news for Apple, as iOS devices remained heavily dominant in the buying plans for those who expected to acquire a new tablet or smartphone in the next six months. The survey showed strong interest in the iPhone and even stronger interest in the iPad, despite the fact that no new model is expected soon.