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Nov 22, 2013 - 3:13 PM - by dgstorm
A couple of days ago our very own Garemlin brought us the sad news that LG was potentially shifting away from the smartphone business and refocusing their R&D budget toward their TV business. Luckily, it turns out the report from the Korean news publication which originally reported this intel was reporting unfounded and completely incorrect information. Since that news report, LG themselves have come forward refuting the news story completely. Here's a quote with more of the details,
We have to admit, here at HQ we were skeptical from the beginning regarding this story, but we appreciate Garemlin for sharing it because it could have been true and would have been a pretty big shakeup in the mobile industry. Overall though, it wouldn't have made sense for LG to suddenly dump their smartphone business. It was actually their handset business that posted a decent profit last quarter while they have been struggling in the TV business. Additionally, they have been finding great success with the G2 and the new Nexus 5.
LG responded to a report by Korean publication ET News that it was shifting its resources away from the mobile business and towards televisions, dismissing it as "completely untrue."
"We are more committed than ever in making the LG brand a major player in the mobile space," an LG representative said on Friday. "And we think our products this year speak for themselves."
Furthermore, LG said the report was based on "non-credible sources and uninformed speculation." ~ CNET
Regardless, we feel like we dodged a bullet with this one because the tech industry is really good at surprising us once in a while!
Nov 22, 2013 - 2:16 PM - by dgstorm
Here's a pleasant surprise for Samsung Galaxy S3 owners on Sprint. The Sprint version of this device just started receiving the OTA update of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. This version is (L710VPMJ9). This update brings the usual goodies from Android 4.3, but also includes the ability to pair these devices with Galaxy Gear smartwatches. It also includes Samsung KNOX.
Nov 22, 2013 - 1:21 PM - by dgstorm
Since there is no additional corroboration for this leak we are labeling it a rumor for now. Regardless, it looks like a feasible time-frame so it could be legit. The above pic is supposedly the leaked schedule from Samsung for their rollout for Android 4.4 KitKat on several of their devices. The most notable parts of this list show the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 getting the KitKat update in January of 2014. If, so that would practically be a record time to get the newest version of Android onto new flagship devices after its initial launch.
The schedule above also denotes the Galaxy S3 and the GNote2 getting the update sometime between March and April of 2014. We will keep you updated with more details.
Nov 21, 2013 - 4:51 PM - by dgstorm
About a week ago we reminded you guys that the 100 Year war between Apple and Samsung was still going on. This phase of the fight is the damages retrial. It just concluded and the resulting verdict came down in Apple's favor again to the tune of $290 Million. This means the total damages that Samsung will owe Apple have skyrocketed back up to around $900 Million.
- The original damage award was $1+Billion dollars.
- Judge Koh later found that some of the damage numbers were erroneously calculated by the jury.
- She reduced the award by about $450 Million, resulting in an award of about $600+ Million.
- This new damages retrial started up about a week ago. Apple was asking for another $380 Million, but Samsung argued it only owed an additional $52 Million.
- This trial now concluded and the Jury awarded Apple an additional $290 Million.
As a reminder, this is not the appeal trial for the final verdict. That trial is set to occur in March 2014. We will keep you apprised at that time. This war seems to keep bouncing back and forth. I stopped liking roller-coasters when I was a kid...
Nov 21, 2013 - 4:37 PM - by dgstorm
Developers and modding enthusiasts can do a happy dance today. Motorola just had a couple of big policy reversals on their Developer Edition products. Now, it will no longer void the factory warranty if you unlock your bootloader on a Motorola Developer Edition device. That's not all. Motorola will also be hosting the Factory images for these devices on their website for you to download.
Before this, Moto's policy was extremely strict and voided a warranty if you simply unlocked the bootloader. Now, the warranty will only be voided if you do some tinkering after the bootloader unlocking which ends up as the root cause of any issues with the device. A good example of this is if you overclock your device and fry your chip, then it obviously won't be covered under warranty. Here's a quote from their announcement page with the full details,
We have too things to say regarding this. One, how very "Googley" of them. Two, it's about time.
You Asked, We Listened: Announcing Changes to Our Developer Edition Program
At Motorola, we’re focused on delivering the best Android experiences and the best of Google services. Over this past year, we’ve worked very hard to create ways for users to express themselves using their mobile devices. Customers who purchase Developer Edition devices want the flexibility to take this even further and tinker with the operating system. This may include creating and flashing a custom build of Android or porting one from an enthusiast community. Up until now, when a customer requested a bootloader unlock code we would void the warranty for that Developer Edition device.
We are excited to support the developer and enthusiast communities by making two key changes to the Developer Edition program:
- Requesting an unlock code will no longer void the device’s warranty
- We will start posting return-to-factory software images
For customers who have previously purchased a 2012 or 2013 Developer Edition device directly from Motorola and who have requested a bootloader unlock code, we will reinstate the warranty effective from the date of original purchase. (You’ll recognize these models because they come with a printed “Developer Edition” across the back and include the Moto X DE (for GSM networks), Moto X DE (for Verizon), and Droid Maxx DE (Verizon).)
In addition, recovery images (as shipped from the factory) will be posted here. A developer or enthusiast can use this image to restore their device to run with its original factory software.
We hope that you like these changes. Keep telling us what you think (you can use the comments section below or participate in one of the many G+ forums such as Moto X).
We strongly believe in the developer and enthusiast communities and intend to keep making changes to better support them.
Posted by Punit Soni, Software Product Management
Nov 21, 2013 - 12:14 PM - by dgstorm
If you were looking to pick up one of the best values in an Android tablet this holiday season, then you probably want to check out this offer on Newegg. The EVGA Tegra Note 7 is the first (and currently only) Tegra 4 powered Android tablet available. At a price of just $199.99, the power and features of this little tablet might shock you.
Here's a recap:
- NVIDIA's Tegra 4 SoC, (This is the same ultra-fast processor and GPU combo found in the NVIDIA Shield)
- 7-Inch 720p Display
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB of storage
- MicroSD card slot
- 5MP rear camera
- 1.3MP front-facing cam
- Android 4.2.2 at launch
- An integrated stylus
- Dual front-facing speakers
- MicroHDMI port
While the amount of RAM is a bit low, and the display isn't true HD like many of the newer tabs, the graphics prowess of the Tegra 4 could rival some desktop PCs. This tab is obviously built with gamers in mind, but at this price point it should attract more than just gamers.
Here's a link to check out this offer: Newegg.com - EVGA TEGRA NOTE 7 Tablet ? 16GB Flash, 1GB RAM Quad Core Nvidia Tegra 4
Nov 21, 2013 - 11:35 AM - by dgstorm
It certainly looks like the Android 4.4 KitKat will be on most versions of the Moto X very soon. AT&T just had a KitKat soak test start for their version of the Moto X. It's ironic that Verizon actually beat AT&T to the punch on getting a soak test going for the Android 4.4 update on their version of the Moto X. More than likely, this bodes well for a rapid launch of Android 4.4 KitKat for all versions of the Moto X.
What's even more ironic is that there are a ton of folks out there with Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets who still haven't received their Android 4.4 KitKat updates. If they don't speed up the rollout, we could actually see a non-Nexus device get its official rollout of the newest version of Android before some Nexus devices!
Well it was fun while it lasted. It looks like the flagship G2, Flex and the Nexus 5 will be the last we see of LG in the smartphone arena. For a while anyway. What does this mean for the Nexus line??? Back to Samsung??? Or maybe we will finally see a Motorola Nexus. A 5" version of the Motorola X in Nexus form would be a sweet phone for sure.
Here is the bad news.:
A preemptive move to reduce risks
Struggling in the smartphone business, LG Electronics is shifting its focus to TV. As the financial circles began to put pressure on the chaebol conglomerates using funds as their weapon, LG Electronics is believed to have started to make adjustments to send a positive signal to the market. With the year-end reshuffling just in the offing, a massive shake-up of the MC Division (smartphone) and the HE Division (TV) is forecast.
According to the industry on November 19, LG Electronics recently began to make advance adjustments for the manpower restructuring of the MC Division. Currently, the management is known to be trying to choose between a shock treatment focused on reduction in labor force and gradual downsizing. During the year-end season of personnel realignment, it will be possible to sense the general direction of the restructuring of LG Electronics. Transfer of personnel between the MC Division and the HE Division at the top and middle level of managers is likely to be brisker.
LG Electronics is more likely than not to maintain the current level in the R&D sector of the MC Division, but greatly reduce the support organization. Some forecast that LGE would reduce 10% of the entire manpower of the MC Division. LG Electronics has been restructuring the manpower intermittently over the years, e.g. receiving job-change applications from some of the employees of the MC Division. The focus of the restructuring was placed on some support departments like marketing and purchasing. However, it seems that not only the MC Division, but also the entire company will undergo large-scale personnel realignment.
“Recently vice-chairman Koo Bon-joon is often mentioning the smartphone business risk,” a core insider of LG. “In the long run the smartphone business is important, but he is trying to concentrate on the TV business, something that LGE can do well in.”
Although LG Electronics recently released its strategic smartphone G2, its global smartphone market share fell to No. 5 in Q3. LGE was overtaken by Chinese companies Huawei and Lenovo as they rapidly increased smartphone shipments. Its market share fell from 5%-ish to 4.7%.
The pressure from the financial circles, e.g. the main creditor banks, seems to have played a big role. Recently financial institutions seem to be paying much attention to managing the risks of chaebol groups in the wake of the STX and Tongyang crises. The Dongbu Group succumbed to the pressure from financial institutions, and gave up the semiconductor business. It is believed that LG Electronics cannot ignore the concerns in the financial circles over the smartphone business. LGE will reinforce its competency in the smartphone business in the long run, but concentrate its resources on TV to overcome the crisis it faces.
“With the premium market slowing down and Chinese companies charging forward in the sluggish mid-to low-priced... [Read More]
Nov 20, 2013 - 4:51 PM - by dgstorm
Owners of the previous Nexus flagship phone from Google and LG, the Nexus 4, will be pleased to hear this. Despite the Moto X actually getting the Android 4.4 KitKat rollout before the Nexus 4, it was only by a matter of hours. The rollout for the Nexus 4 has already started and will be pushing out in waves. The update is build KRT16S and clocks in at 238.9 MB. This is the exact same build which is rolling out in chunks to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.
The rate at which several different devices are moving toward Android 4.4 KitKat is far faster than any Android update we have seen before. Perhaps there were not enough changes between Android 4.3 and 4.4 such that a great deal of testing was required. We'll keep you apprised as we find out more. Sound off in the thread if you start to get your 4.4 KitKat update!
Nov 20, 2013 - 4:38 PM - by dgstorm
As fast as the current crop of smartphones is, the inevitable march of technological evolution must carry on. Qualcomm is doing their part at advancing the agenda of our silicon overlords by creating a new chipset for next year. This morning they just officially announced their newest advanced Snapdragon chipset. It's called the Snapdragon 805 and its CPU comes with a quad-core Krait 450 CPU clocking in at a whopping 2.5GHz. Additionally, along with this bleeding edge new CPU comes a more powerful GPU as well: the Adreno 420.
Both of these advanced chips coupled together will boast support for 4K resolution displays, inciting Qualcomm to assert they will have “the first end-to-end Ultra HD solution.” Here's a quote with more of the details,
Supposedly, Qualcomm has already started shipping samples of this product to OEMs for testing and integration.
Blazing fast apps and web browsing and outstanding performance: Krait 450 quad-core CPU, the first mobile CPU to run at speeds of up to 2.5 GHz per core, plus superior memory bandwidth support of up to 25.6 GB/second that is designed to provide unprecedented multimedia and web browsing performance.
- Smooth, sharp user interface and games support Ultra HD resolution: The mobile industry’s first end-to-end Ultra HD solution with on-device display concurrent with output to HDTV; features Qualcomm Technologies’ new Adreno 420 GPU, which introduces support for hardware tessellation and geometry shaders, for advanced 4K rendering, with even more realistic scenes and objects, visually stunning user interface, graphics and mobile gaming experiences at lower power.
- Fast, seamless connected mobile experiences: Custom, efficient integration with either the Qualcomm® Gobi™ MDM9x25 or the Gobi MDM9x35 modem, powering superior seamless connected mobile experiences. The Gobi MDM9x25 chipset announced in February 2013 has seen significant adoption as the first embedded, mobile computing solution to support LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with superior peak data rates of up to 150Mbps. Additionally, Qualcomm’s most advanced Wi-Fi for mobile, 2-stream dual-band Qualcomm® VIVE™ 802.11ac, enables wireless 4K video streaming and other media-intensive applications. With a low-power PCIe interface to the QCA6174, tablets and high-end smartphones can take advantage of faster mobile Wi-Fi performance (over 600 Mbps), extended operating range and concurrent Bluetooth connections, with minimal impact on battery life.
- Ability to stream more video content at higher quality using less power: Support for Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) for video post processing, first to introduce hardware 4K HEVC (H.265) decode for mobile for extremely low-power HD video playback.
- Sharper, higher resolution photos in low light and advanced post-processing features: First Gpixel/s throughput camera support in a mobile processor designed for a significant increase in camera speed and imaging quality. Sensor processing with gyro integration enables image stabilization for sharper, crisper photos. Qualcomm Technologies is the first to announce a mobile processor with advanced, low-power, integrated sensor processing, enabled by its custom DSP, designed to deliver a wide range of sensor-enabled mobile experiences.
Source: ... [Read More]
Nov 20, 2013 - 12:00 PM - by dgstorm
It certainly seems like the OEMs for Android smartphones are working faster than ever to get the newest version of Android ready for their smartphones (or at least their flagship devices). HTC just announced that Android 4.4 KitKat will be ready for their HTC One by the end of January. Not only that, but it looks like the Droid DNA will be getting it not too long after that... sometime in Q1 2014. Just recently, HTC announced they sent the Android 4.4 KitKat code for the Google Play Edition version of the HTC One to Google. It has yet to start filtering onto that device, but we should expect it shortly.
Ironically, for owners of the Verizon version of the HTC One, the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update has been delayed, but HTC still claims they are on track for a December launch of 4.4/KitKat for that same device. Of course, it's entirely possible that Verizon will delay that update and Big Red customers won't see KitKat on their HTC One until sometime next year. We will keep you apprised as things shake out.
Source: HTC USA
Nov 19, 2013 - 11:49 AM - by dgstorm
If you are looking to jump ship to AT&T, now might be a good time. The carrier is offering a 50% off deal on several amazing phones for a limited time. Here's a quick breakdown:
- LG G2 for only $49.99
- Samsung Galaxy S4 is only $99.99 for the 16GB model (and the tougher Galaxy S4 Active is the same price)
- HTC One is $74.99 for the 32GB model
- The Moto X is just $49.99
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is just $99.99
- Samsung Galaxy Mega for $74.99
- Samsung Galaxy Note II for $99.99
There are no specifics given on the timeframe for this promotion, so it might run out quickly. Shipping for these devices is free. It also looks like these are web only exclusives and require a new contract with AT&T. Here's a link below to check out this offer.
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