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.
Google posts advice for tablet app developers
Google is looking to improve the app ecosystem for tablets running its Android operating system, and the company has posted a checklist to help developers make tablet-optimized apps. In a post today on the Android Developers Blog, Google linked to a checklist laying out best practices for developing Android tablet apps. Google will also continue to highlight notable tablet apps in an effort to increase downloads and revenues for developers making those apps.
Amazon opts for ad-supported model for new Kindle Fire range
All of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablets will include lockscreens with ads, the company has now revealed. Owners of the new Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablets will be the recipients of special offers and sponsored lock screens. According to Amazon, the ads will also appear on the lower left hand corner of the home screen at all times, with no apparent way to opt out of the service.
Device may replace the iPad 2, lack Retina display
A pair of recent leaks regarding the iPad mini Apple has allegedly been working on bring the device in clearer focus. Bloomberg says it has identified the suppliers of the display portion of the device, and that it will not sport the distinctive Retina-quality display that Apple has touted in recent products. Meanwhile, Instapaper developer Marco Arment has identified a previously-unknown iPad model in the visitor logs of his website.
First phone to run Microsoft's latest mobile OS
Although Samsung primarily focused on its Android-based Galaxy Note II at IFA today in Germany, the company also took time to highlight the Windows Phone 8-equipped Ativ S and the Windows RT-powered Ativ Tab. The S variant is one of the first smartphones to run the latest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, which expands support for improved hardware such as a dual-core 1.5GHz processor.
Survey does not yet account for Google's Nexus 7 tablet
Research firm IHS iSuppli has released a report on marketshare in tablets by volume shipped that shows Apple up significantly once again in the tablet market, reaching 70 percent share in Q2 -- the highest level in more than a year. Shipping volumes do not necessarily have a direct correlation with sales, as Samsung demonstrated in the current Apple patent trial when it was forced to reveal that despite shipping millions of tablets, it actually sold only a small percentage.
Various sizes said to include 10'' model
Adding to the rumors surrounding an expanded Kindle lineup, a Staples executive suggests Amazon is preparing to launch five to six new tablets. In an interview with Reuters, Staples' US retail president, Demos Parneros, claims the upcoming offerings will include several different sizes, including a 10-inch variant.
Unusual penalty in rare Apple loss sparks controversy
The same UK judge that offered a backhanded compliment in the form of a rare win for Samsung over Apple -- by declaring that the South Korean company didn't infringe on Apple's iPad design with its Galaxy 10.1 because the latter wasn't "cool enough" to be confused with the former -- saw his unusual penalty for Apple losing the case slapped with a challenge. The case will now be heard in a UK court of appeals.
4G Amazon tablet said to accompany larger version
Amazon may soon refreshing its tablet lineup later this year with not one but at least three new models of the Kindle Fire. An analyst from market research company NPD tells CNet that he believes the online retailer will be rolling out new versions of its tablet with different screen resolution, capability, and connectivity options. The models are expected to start production late this summer.
Two models have slight, but significant differences
Today's unveiling of the new Microsoft Surface tablets focused heavily on the aesthetics and functionality of the devices. Microsoft noted in its presentation, though, that a good deal of work went into the hardware design underlying the Surface family. Following the Surface reveal, the software giant provided a look at the technologies powering its new tablets.
Android tablet sales effort begins at GameStop chain
Friday, May 25 marked the first day of Android tablets available for sale at 1600 GameStop stores. The Samsing Galaxy Tab 10.1, Asus Transformer and Transformer Prime, and the Acer Iconia line are available bundled with "a hand-picked selection of free games, like Sonic CD and Riptide, the Kongregate Arcade gaming app and a free issue of Game Informer Digital." Prices range from $230 to $500.
New Toshiba tablets range from 7.7 to 13.3 inches
Toshiba has launched its Regza tablet line for the Japanese market, releasing four tablets ranging between 7.7 and 13.3 inches. All four offerings will launch running Android 4.0, and come with 1GB RAM, a two-megapixel front camera, and a five-megapixel rear camera. All models will also have Wi-Fi capability, Bluetooth compatibility, USB2, and an SD card reader.
Company takes another shot at ICS tablet market
Although most hardware makers have focused on new cellphones and related accessories at the CTIA expo this week, ZTE also brought its new V96 tablet. The 10.1-inch device brings a standard set of Ice Cream Sandwich tablet features, along with multi-band radios for GSM and LTE networks.
Apple tablet still dominates web usage
Advertising network purveyor Chitkia has mined advertising impression data and discovered Apple's iPad to have the highest portion of web-use share over any other tablet by a long shot. Over 94 percent of the metered Internet traffic from all tablets comes from the iPad. The next closest competitor is the Samsung Galaxy, achieving a mere 1.22 percent.
Both models focus on budget market
Coby has begun shipping several of its Android 4.0 tablets that were first introduced earlier this year at CES. The two models that will arrive this month include the seven-inch Kyros MID7042-4 and the 9.7-inch Kyros MID9742-B, both focused on the entry-level tablet market.
Live or recorded content streamed to four devices
TiVo, which just announced better-than-expected earnings earlier today, has also announced a forthcoming model that offers "four-stream transcoding" and the ability to send those streams over the internet to up to four devices, both for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets for either pre-recorded material or live TV. The future product, modelled after last year's TiVo Preview, may also offer Netflix and other online video services.
Attach iPads to front or back seats
Minnesota-based Bracketron and California's Scosche Industries have both recently released new iPad accessories aimed at letting users mount their iPads inside their automobiles. Bracketron is offering both a cup-holder-based mount as well as a headrest mount that is compatible with a wide variety of tablets and e-readers, while Scosche has unveiled an iPad 2-based sequel, the Backstage Pro II mount.
Classpad offers new lower-cost tablet in India
Dehli-based company Classteacher Learning Systems has launched the Android 2.2 touting Classpad, a range of lower-cost tablet set to take on DataWind's Aakash, a $35 7-inch Android 2.2 tablet. While it will be priced above the Aakash, the new tablets are up to 1GHz faster at 1.3GHz than the cheaper tablet and will have options for 4GB and 8GB of storage. The Classpad tablets will also come in a range of sizes including 7-, 8- and 10-inch variations.
Global launch plans remain unclear
Although Toshiba has yet to announce US launch plans for its Excite tablet, the company has confirmed that it will be arriving in Canada early in 2012. The 10.1 inch tablet, which was first officially unveiled earlier this year at the IFA expo, will serve as the successor to the company's Thrive tablet, bringing a wide range of improvements.
Deals available on Thanksgiving
Starting today BestBuy.com is offering online discounts on tablet computers like the 7-inch Coby Kyros Tablet with 4GB of memory, it was $129.99, but is now $79.99. For even less is the 7-inch Pandigital Novel E-Reader with 2GB of storage, Wi-Fi and Android operating system, now $69.99 after a $50 price break. And it's still possible to save on select iPads, like the 9.7-inch iPad 2 with 32GB of storage, Wi-Fi and 3G on sale now for $684.99 after a $45 price break.
32GB variant sells for $500
ASUS has finally started to take pre-orders for its Transformer Prime tablet, which is expected to be the first on the market to be outfitted with NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. Customers in the US and Canada can place an early order for the 32GB variant in several different colors, though the optional notebook dock and 64GB edition have yet to surface.
Samsung fills tablet size gap
Samsung has continued to expand its Tab series of tablets, offering the original seven-inch model, the Tab 10.1 to compete with the iPad, and now the Tab 8.9 to fill the gap. The midsize tablet offers many of the same features as its larger counterpart, except for a smaller display and compact build. In our full review, we compare the Tab 8.9 to Samsung's other tablets and competitors from other manufacturers.
Energy Sistem launches trio of Android 2.3 tabs
Energy Sistem has launched a low-cost tablet range for the budget conscious. Although only running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), the devices give the appearance of running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) thanks to a skin that the company has custom developed for the trio. To of the three tablets, the i828 HD and the i824, use 8-inch displays with the HD model high-res. The i724 uses a 7-inch display.