Cult of Android will soon be on its way to Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress — which kicks off Sunday, February 24 — where we’re expecting a whole host of announcements regarding new smartphones, tablets, apps, and accessories. More than 65,000 people will attend the event, and they’re all there for one thing: to see what’s on the horizon in the world of mobile for 2013.
We’re expecting new devices from Samsung, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Nokia, Asus, and more — and you can follow all of our coverage from here. In the meantime, here’s what you can look forward to.
Walk into any Starbucks and be cast by the glowing eye-con of a thousand MacBooks, staring at you, poor PC laptop user, with a piercing gaze of recrimination and scorn. “You are not one of us,” they murmur. “You are not of the seraphim.”
If you’re stuck with owning a Windows laptop but want to fit in with the Starbucks set, maybe consider an ASUS Taichi 21? It’s a cool piece of hardware in its own right, featuring a touchscreen display on the back, and you can make it do cool, obfuscating things… like, say, flash a glowing Apple symbol even bigger and brighter than the most expensive Mac.
Android tablets have grabbed 14 percent of tablet market share, according to new research. While Apple’s iPad is still king, with up to 55 percent of third-quarter tablet shipments, tablets running the Google Android system are gaining ground, and fast.
ABI Research found data that shows the iPad losing more of its dominant position to Android competitors, as reported on CNET today. The iPad is showing a decline of 14 percent, the lowest its been since the iPad was introduced two years ago. Samsung, Amazon, and Asus tablets were among the tablet manufacturers that account for that Android increase, with the Google operating system powering over 44 percent of all tablets shipped.
When you just look at the money Apple made in 2012 it’s pretty incredible. But when you provide some context to those earnings and put Apple’s profits next to the competition’s profits, Apple’s performance is absolutely mindboggling.
From October 2011 to September 2012 Apple made more money than Microsoft, Ebay, Google, Yahoo! Facebook and Amazon combined. In that same period, Dell, Asus, Intel, Acer, IBM, Lenovo, and HP (basically the entire PC industry) only made $19.3 billion in profit, which is less than half of Apple’s profit.
The Kindle Fire/Fire HD and Nexus 7 have given birth to a small, yet powerful, sub-category of affordable 7-inch tablets. One that has been slowly eating away at a market that has been dominated by the much larger Apple iPad. To battle this growing trend, Apple decided to break down — after vowing to never to make a 7-inch tablet — and create a smaller version of their highly successful iPad line. Apple’s iPad Mini may not be a 7-inch tablet (it’s 7.9-inches), but it’s clear Apple’s intentions are to disrupt the sales of those pesky 7-inch competitors out there who keep chipping away at their market share.
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 last week, the company promised that its custom A6 chip deliver performance twice as fast as its predecessor, the iPhone 4S. But according to the handset’s first benchmarks, this isn’t just the fastest iPhone yet — it’s also one of the most powerful smartphones money can buy.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) released preliminary data yesterday from its Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker. The study shows that total worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2012 are estimated at 25 million units, which is up from 18.7 last quarter. That’s a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33.6 percent, says the data analysis company, reflecting the total year-over-year growth rate of 66.2 percent of retail tablets in the US.
Guess which tablet is the largest part of those numbers?
No technology company in the world has been more scrutinized than Apple when it comes to labor conditions. Over the past couple months everyone has been quick to point out how crappy the conditions are at Apple’s supplier factories – Foxconn. But what a lot of the tech press hasn’t done, is investigate the conditions at the other major tech companies in the world. Not only is Apple the only company talking about what they’re doing to fix the problem, but they are the only major tech company that is allowing independent audits of their factory conditions.
It’s a simple question, phrased politely, and sent to the right people. Does your company have any plans to let independent auditors check up on your suppliers’ factories?
Here’s what some of the world’s biggest electronics companies said in response:
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 –When Asus first announced the PadFone at Computex 2011, they did so with a level of gleefully cheesy showmanship that set Apple fans sarcastically hailing chairman Jonney Shih as South Korea’s next Steve Jobs. To many Apple fans, the PadFone — a laptop with a tablet inside with a phone inside the tablet — represented the worst of the rest of the industry’s “kitchen sink” approach to beating Cupertino. If we can’t build a phone to beat the iPhone, a tablet to beat the iPad, or an ultraportable to beat the MacBook Air, why not beat one device to beat all three at the same time?
But it’s wrong to dismiss the PadFone just because of cheesy showmanship, or because it’s not likely to topple Apple’s three pillars in one go. We had a hands-on with one, and it’s far from a cheesy device. In fact, it’s actually a little marvel.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — On the surface of things, Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer Prime is just a wonderfully swell idea. Why have both an ultrabook and tablet when you can have one that is both? What if you could take your iPad, snap it onto a keyboard + trackpad, and have a MacBook Air?
It’s a nice dream, and, in actuality, the Transformer Prime is a beautiful piece of hardware. But the challenges aren’t hardware: they lie in software. And in software, neither Android nor iOS is yet up to the challenge of driving both a mobile and laptop OS. But after Windows 8 sets the bar higher, they both could be.