A new report by market research firm, IDC, has thrown some interesting numbers with respect to the worldwide tablet and eReader market. According to their latest study, the Apple iPad currently constitutes over 87.4% of all “media tablets” shipped during the third quarter of 2010. That is 4.2 million units sold out of the total 4.8 million tablets sold worldwide during this period.
IDC however points out that it has set some criteria to differentiate tablet computers from eReaders which means Windows tablets and Amazon bestsellers like Kindle were not considered “tablets” and hence were not part of the study. IDC says, only electronic devices that measured between 5-14 inches and were equipped with color displays and lightweight operating systems were included in the study.
Despite this, iPad still owns a major share of the market. IDC notes that putting the tablets and eReaders under one umbrella will still keep the iPad on top at 79.5% market share.
Although 2010 was considered the year of the tablets, it is in 2011 that we will be seeing most of the competition. With devices like Motorola Xoom and Blackberry PlayBook on the pipeline, it will be interesting to see how the iPad market share stands one year down the line.
Is Samsung working on a new Vibrant 4G model that it could launch on the T-Mobile network? According to rumors, it is. Sources close to Samsung have revealed that the new Samsung Vibrant 4G with a 4″ Super-AMOLED display would run on T-Mobile’s 21Mbps HSPA+ network that will offer 4G-like wireless internet speeds.
But what’s most interesting is that the source claims the Vibrant 4G to come installed with the new Android 2.3. A screenshot of Samsung Vibrant 4G with stock Gingerbread has been leaked although there are doubts over the veracity of these leaks. Some eagle-eyed observers point out that the demonstrated Android 2.3 lock page is slightly different from the native look.
In any case, the source points out that Samsung is working on a new TouchWiz UI that will be compatible with Android 2.3. We could be seeing this interface on the Vibrant 4G whenever it is launched in the markets.
Has Apple finally managed to work out the kinks that it had been facing with the white iPhone 4? Last month we wrote about an obscure footer message on Apple Store posters that hinted at a possible spring launch for the white iPhone 4. It now looks like these speculations could turn out right.
A Vodafone Germany employee has now leaked a screenshot of a back-end inventory system that contains listings for the 16GB and 32GB variants of a weiß (white) iPhone 4. No more information is available. But considering that the Verizon iPhone 4 is soon on its way, we expect a CDMA iPhone variant to make its way into other parts of the world by spring – with high chances for Apple to launch both a CDMA and a white iPhone model at the same time.
What this means is that we might also expect Apple to bring the white iPhone 4 to its primary market in the United States earlier than that. Can we expect a February launch of the white iPhone in the US? We will have to wait and watch.
If you have been following the iOS jailbreak scene, you will be aware that Apple had recently released a beta version of its iOS 4.3 firmware that among other things brings personal mobile hotspot to GSM variants of the iPhone. Now, if you are a developer who has signed up to the iPhone Developer Standard/Enterprise programs, you may already have access to this upcoming iOS firmware in beta variant that you can install on your iPhone.
Now a new custom PwnageTool bundle that can jailbreak this beta version of iOS 4.3 is now out for those of you interested. Do note that the procedure is extremely complicated and do not proceed unless you are an advanced user (if you have access to the Developer Standard program, you probably are already one!). The creators have pointed out that you will need a Mac for the process. Also, the PwnageTool bundle for iOS 4.3 beta requires users to create their own ramdisk and will not upgrade baseband during the jailbreak process. Also, it is a semi-tethered jailbreak and you can find the downloadable here.
In any case, this is a complicated procedure and do not proceed unless you are well aware of the potential consequences.
Over the weekend, a number of Notion Ink customers who had pre-ordered an Adam begain raising concerns about the possible disparity between the advertised and real nature of the display. A member of the NotionAddicts forum wrote about a response from the Notion Ink support team that read,
“The Device would come with a Screen Protector which is Matted and scratch Resistant.
The Bare Screen is glossy but is not scratch resistant”
This response gave way to a lot of concerns that Adam, unlike advertised, may not carry a matte display and could instead come simply with an optional screen protector that would offer a matte finish.
If you are one of those concerned about this specification, Rohan Shravan from Notion Ink has offered his clarification on the blog. He writes,
“Adam comes with 2 layers of Matte Surfaces, one on the LCD screen, other through the Matte Screen protector on the outside Glass. Inside layer cuts the gloss on the LCD layer and colors are not washed out. For the outside glass we are using specially designed matte covers which users at their end can decide to use or not. It is finger stain resistant (oil component) and has same matte properties as on the LCD. The glass in itself is further scratch resistant.”
Shravan’s clarification should put any doubts about the nature of the display to rest. We however wonder if customer support – accused by many as inconsistent – will continue to remain Notion Ink’s Achilles heel. With the first batch of devices expected to be shipped starting later this week, we hope Notion Ink sorts out this problem before the company opens up for the next set of pre-orders.
Until now, all iPhones in the United States were on just one carrier which meant there was nothing much to choose from as far as data plans were concerned. That has changed now with the imminent launch of a Verizon iPhone. Now, American iPhone customers have two carriers and an equal number of alternatives to pick from. So here is a comparison of offers from AT&T and Verizon.
Web access is one of the primary tasks of smartphones and Verizon has priced their data plans quite aggressively. Users can avail 150MB of data at a monthly price of $15. Additional data can be purchased in packets of 150MB – each costing $15. Alternately, users can also choose to go with unlimited data plans at $30 a month.
In comparison, while AT&T’s basic plan – 200MB at $15 (with additional 200MB for $15) – looks attractive, the carrier however does not have an unlimited data option. Instead, users have to pay $25 for a 2GB data plan and also pay $10 for every additional GB of data consumed.
Tethering is cheaper on Verizon. Users get 5GB worth data tethering at a price of $30. AT&T users on the other hand get 2GB of data tethering at $45. Do note that the $45 is just for enabling the tethering option and does not come with any extra data.
What plan are you going for?
Case Mate is among the most popular third party accessory manufacturer for the iPhone. Following the announcements yesterday from Verizon, Case Mate has announced a new line of iPhone cases that will be sold to Verizon iPhone 4 customers when the device goes on sale next month. The accessory manufacturer has come with a number of unique and bizarre designs – named Monsta, Waddler, Egg, Gelli and Vroom.
On the product page, Case Mate points out that AT&T iPhone customers may not find these covers suitable for their phones since they have been “specially created for this device“. The cases are not out on pre-order yet. However, if you are one of those looking to purchase a Case Mate accessory, be sure to sign up on the product page to get notified when the case becomes available for order.
Have you ever felt the need to ask for directions in a foreign country where nobody speaks in your tongue? Google has just introduced an interesting new ‘Conversation Mode‘ on their Translate app for Android that will make such conversations simple.
Using the conversation mode, users can speak in their native tongue that will then be translated and read out aloud in the chosen language. The app will further take voice inputs from the person you are speaking with and translate it back in your native tongue.
The feature is still in the alpha mode and only available with English-Spanish mode for the moment. However, expect all the bugs and the number of supported languages to increase soon enough.
Apart from being used as an ‘interpreter‘, this feature also has several other use-cases. Writes one commenter on the Google blog,
“This could be an awesome tool for deaf people. As someone who is deaf and speaks/lipreads, I’ve long dreamed of having a handheld device that would convert all spoken conversations around me into text.
I just tried this in English to English mode with one person, and it worked! The only issue is that it’s not continuous; you have to keep hitting the “reply” button to keep the conversation going.”
With Verizon having announced the availability of the mobile hotspot feature on their upcoming iPhone, there has been considerable speculation over whether this functionality shall also be available on GSM carriers like AT&T. According to a Netherlands based iPhone blog, a reliable insider has revealed that Apple is working towards releasing a new iOS update before February 10 – the proposed launch day for the CDMA variant. This iOS 4.3 update will also bring the mobile hotspot feature to GSM iPhones.
But here is the catch – the feature would have to be activated by the individual carriers. This is similar to the USB tethering feature that was initially made available with iOS but was however kept disabled by AT&T for a long time. This time though, chances for a similar eventuality are less considering the significant mileage that Verizon may derive out of such a move from AT&T.
We will wait for an official statement from AT&T and Apple in this regard.
A new bug on the Android operating system seems to be affecting a number of Google Nexus S users. According to complaints posted on the Google support forum, the bug on Nexus S causes the phone to reboot randomly while making a phone call. Some users have been experiencing this every other time while others have been facing the issue only once in a while.
Fortunately though, unlike the Android random SMS recipient bug, Google seems to have rounded upon the possible root-causes early enough and have reported that they are now trying to reproduce the bug and consequently find a fix for the same. Samsung is noted to be working with Google on this issue.
We will let you know when a fix is released. Have you experienced similar issues on your Nexus S? Tell us in the comments.