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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
An Australia court has overturned an earlier ban on the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy tab in the country. Apple had previously won an injunction against Samsung in Austrailia and Germany preventing sales of the Galaxy 10.1 tab, accusing of it copying its touch-screen technology and infringing its patents. Samsung has sought a ban on sales of Apple's iPhone 4S in Australia, Japan, France and Italy.
Today’s news means Samsung will no longer be restricted in Australia. However, they will not be able to start selling the tablet immediately as Justice Lindsay Foster granted a stay on the order until Friday, 2 December, which allows Apple time to appeal in the High Court.
The case is part of a long legal battle which we have previously reported and one which is focused on the two market leaders slugging it out bout in the courts and the shops for a bigger slice of the smartphones and tablet market.
recent article: Apple and Samsung Lock Horns
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Will Facebook’s ‘Buffy’ be the vampire mobile slayer or a step too far?
Facebook are widely reported to be working with HTC to create its own Android smartphone, which is due out in 12 to 18 months. According to The Wall Street Journal the Facebook phone project has been codenamed, ‘Buffy’.
However why does it need to have its own hardware? Facebook is already tightly integrated into many Android smartphones and it is very questionable exactly what Facebook would gain over the wide adoption it already has. If Facebook believe that ‘Buffy’ could tightly integrate other Facebook services such as their email it could turn many off if all their all email and messaging from the phone have to be done through Facebook?
Facebook isn't a hardware company and perhaps they should stick to what they are good at. Even the likes of Google have struggled with the hardware and ended up buying Motorola and launching a Nexus with Samsung and Microsoft has many hardware nightmares most notably with their Zune player.
Ironically HTC, the world's fourth-biggest smartphone brand shares have fallen by 7%, which is the maximum allowed in one day. The fall has been driven by a cut its growth forecast. HTC had earlier forecast growth of 20% to 30% but despite a booming market now expected revenues for the final three months of 2011 to be little changed from a year earlier. This demonstrates the growth of Android adoption by many players.
Equally interesting is the news that Google and Samsung have confirmed that there are volume issues with their flagship mobile phone the Galaxy Nexus and Apple and that the battery problem that has dogged the new iOS 5 Apple operating system remains unfixed.
However, the one thing that is clear is that smartphones remain at the core of mobile technology, Android is now leading the wave and the more platforms tightly integrate applications and services the more the smartphone will become the device of choice. This has a significant bearing on how media providers, channels and cloud based services must adapt.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Sony left the Japanese market in 2007 after seen a poor response on their initial ebook reader push. Since then the success of the iPad and Kindle has sent electronics makers scrambling to gain a slice of the growing tablet computer and ereader market. Sony will also open a digital bookstore offering some 20,000 titles for download, but does anyone care and will it make an impact second time around?
Sony predicts it will sell 300,000 e-readers in Japan next year and expects to get 50% of the Japanese market share by 2012.
However their move is not an exclusive as Sharp has also confirmed that it will launch its Galapagos e-reader tablet device on the Japanese before the end of the year along with their own online store. The online shop which is to be a partnership with the Culture Convenience Club Co, which operates the Tsutaya book and music chain, will offer 20,000 books and magazines by the spring will be expanded to also include video and music content.
Sony unveiled their latest devices in September and expanded their availability to Australia, China, Italy, and Spain as well as the United States and UK, but some will ask is that enough and why only this small handful of countries?
When Sony first blew its trumpet in the UK, a deal was put in the table to tie the devices to the Danish digital public library service. It was envisaged that the libraries would offer the devices on loan along with the ebook. The offer was turned down as it was unsupportable so the danish just bought them from Waterstones in the UK. Now Sony have stopped the sales and we have discovered that German Cash&Carry giant Metro is now selling Sony readers in its Danish outlets even though the Sony devices are still officiallly unavailable in Denmark.
The situation where some countries are seen as viable and others which border on them aren’t, appears to be a joke in this global world. How can companies such as Sony be expected to be taken seriously when they still only operate is a handful of countries and yet are a global electronics brand and organisation. It clearly shows that to buy local may be an unwise move.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Samsung will launch a mobile application store in Europe on Sept. 14 for its Omnia smartphones. They join iPhone, Nokia’s Ovi, Rim/Blackberry and Palm Pre stores and as many operating system battles, carrier exclusives and even device showdowns.
In August Samsung released its mobile widget software development kit (SDK) and its Application Seller Site a month earlier. Users will initially be able to select from about 300 apps, including games and e-readers and they predict that this will increase to around 2,000 by the end of the year. Their SDK is different in that it will let developers create widgets for different Samsung phones using different operating systems, including the company's own proprietary OS.
Nokia is the market leader in terms of phones, smartphones and mobile but has struggled to get third-party developers to develop applications for their phones. They are not alone, after all why do you want to develop 4 apps that each have to be maintained and may not all earn out?
Then we have the formidable LG Electronics, which in July launched an online store for mobile phone applications.
Finally we have Microsoft who is hoping the launch in October of its new mobile phone software, will revive its flagging position in this lucrative market. Today they are estimated to have some 9% share against the 14.3% they enjoyed only a year ago. They are behind RIM’s 20.9% and Apple’s growing 13.7% and a long way behind Nokia’s 45%.
Microsoft’s big card is its ability to run Windows Mobile Office productivity apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. But is that enough and a strong enough differentiator today? They claim a trusted brand but is it it trusted enough and although they can line up all the big guns in support we think it too late, too tired and somehow lacking. Will it fully support touch and compete with the new touch environment.
What is clear is that consumers need to keep their options open in what is a dynamic market.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
JoongAng Daily report that SK Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding with Neolux, a local e-book manufacturer in December. “Looking at Amazon and Google’s cases, e-books have potential to become a new digital convergence model for the mobile telecommunications industry,” said Kim Gwang-hi, head of the new business team at SKT. “We are in the process of seeking collaboration with other e-book companies as well and plan to launch a product this year.”
LG Telecom’s who are behind our favourite 3G Wrist Smartphone is reported to be also planning the join the leap to the e-book market.
The report also shows that we are not alone in getting books digitised and available to sell. Booktopia, Korea’s largest e-book database, has some 120,000 digital titles but only have half of them are available for sale. “In the past, authors and publishers didn’t consider electronic book copyrights when coming up with contracts,” said Choi Jong-su, vice president of Booktopia.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The A5-sized e-ink device (5.8 x 8.3 inches), has an aluminum stylus and is rumoured to have only 512MB of memory with no memory-card slot, no Wi-Fi and no cellular WAN access. So little room for the library of e-books, PDFs or documents, and MP3 files and more importantly these rumors either don’t stack up or we are looking at a lame duck .The other rumour is the price, at under $300 it can compete but without the features again its relatively useless tin.
It is being touted as not just to be an e-reader, but a “notetaker, world clock, diary, memo taker, calculator, and contacts” but alas the rumours say a lot less than more.
So the electronic companies from the Far East look to be wakening up and could drive down the price but its down to content and channels so it will be interesting to see who bits and what the final release looks like.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
There's a long way to go before Phicot can create big screens with every pixel perfect; cracks, pinholes, bubbles and particles can all cause defects that reduce the yield. Today the displays use grayscale E-Ink with the promise colour screens ever coming.
So will large OLED beat the with cost effect panels? Again the answer is maybe and in the future but the difference is more down to a slowdown in the global economy than technology.
As we have written before OLED offers much; flexible displays, transparent displays that allow a window by day to function as a light by night, and plastic OLED lights that can be cut and molded into interesting shapes. However OLED is coming with Samsung planning a 14.1" OLED laptop and TV this year and costly manufacturing conversion is an issue.
So plasma and greayscale eink look to be the screen technologies for the time being at least.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Both these moves are clearly focused on helping Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system defend itself against Nokia’s Symbian a platform and which is used in two-thirds of smartphones. As we have already reported the remaining contenders are RIM’s Blackberry, Apple's iPhone and Google's Android.
In the same way that DOS versus Windows defined and help shape the PC era and Explora versus Netscape the Web browser initial battles the this ongoing smartphone battle will shape the smartphone market and have a significant impact on digital content and presentation in the digital content era. What will be the key is hard to say but Google certainly has been given a significant boost by its recent settlement.
Aligning digital search and discovery, content delivery and synergy with PCs in an online offer that is unique by its nature is something others will struggle to match. It’s a pity the price was so cheap.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Samsung SDI is also planning to mass-produce 14-inch screens in 2008.
The interesting thing is that as the quality of screens improves and they shrink in size then the potential for reading becomes greater. The screen is where the digital rubber hits the road and will determine whether consumers adopt them for reading or keep them for just for entertainment.