Samsung is planning to follow-up the curved display-packing Galaxy Round with the first commercially available smartphone with a flexible screen, sources have revealed.
Insiders cited by Bloomberg claim that the handset will feature a radical three-sided screen that means owners can read messages from angles that would ordinarily make this impossible.
The screen will use the same Youm technology, which swaps glass for plastic as a key part of its construction, as the Galaxy Round and may feature in the next iteration of Samsung’s Note range or in the Galaxy S6.
However, with much undecided it seems there’s also a chance that Samsung could save the three-sided display for a completely new range of smartphones rather than take a risk with what is untried tech with some of its most established handset brands.
That seems a lot more likely to us, given Samsung’s tentatively taken decision to test the water with the Round by only releasing it in its domestic market of South Korea.
A concrete due date wasn’t forthcoming from the business site’s sources, who were only able to disclose that they expect the flexible screen-equipped smartphone to drop some time next year.
Chatter around Samsung’s plans comes amid rumours that Apple is also developing handsets with curved screens for release some time next year.
Unlike the Galaxy Round, whose screens curve upwards on either side, and the LG Flex, which curves up at the top and bottom, Apple’s efforts are thought to feature displays that curve downwards at the edges.
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50,000. That’s how many Galaxy Gear smartwatches Samsung has managed to sell in the two months since the device went on sale.
Word is that just 800 to 900 are sold daily across the globe.
On the face of it, this is a disaster for Samsung, which has bet heavily on the device and marketed it alongside the Galaxy Note 3 as one of 2013’s must-have pieces of mobile kit.
The Galaxy Gear has had a tough time of it since it was first launched.
Its lack of a flexible display seemed bizarre, especially as Samsung then launched its curved-screen Galaxy Round phone just a few weeks later.
The cost was, and is, prohibitive. And its awkward interface, average battery life and chunky design leave a lot to be desired.
But away from this, it’s hard to imagine Samsung being too disconsolate.
This is a tech company that has slain all before it in the past two years.
The Galaxy Gear represents a blip and one which it will doubtless be looking to fix in the very near future.
The device itself is the embodiment of a first-generation piece of kit that inspires only the hardcore.
But what it does is give Samsung a psychological advantage over its rivals (which in reality means only Apple).
Claims Samsung will ditch the Galaxy S range’s time-honoured plastic construction for something more robust for the next model in the series took a turn for the more likely today, after what appear to be tell-tale photos leaked online.
Purportedly sourced by Nowhereelse.fr from someone within the Samsung supply chain, the snaps show what the site claims is the metallic frame for next year’s addition to the Galaxy S line. That’s the phone we’re duty-bound to call the Galaxy S5. In the absence of anything firm to go on, that is.
Assuming the frame is the real deal – and odd anomalies such as the location of the camera at the side instead of the central position that Sammy usually favours means that’s by no means a sure thing – it could spell the end of the opinion-dividing plastic shells that have featured on every Galaxy S phone so far.
Criticism from the group of tech fans unimpressed by the Galaxy S4’s build quality reached a fresh pitch with the arrival of HTC’s One. HTC’s handset was garlanded across the board for its premium-feeling aluminium unibody.
Of course, before the S4 naysayers get too excited, it’s worth mentioning that even if we are looking at genuine parts for the S5, Samsung’s use of metal for the frame might stop there. There’s no guarantee whatsoever that it will adopt metal for the phone’s exterior.
Even less grounded in hard-cold fact are other rumours currently doing the rounds about the phone’s spec sheet. But for what it’s worth, the handset is apparently set to be home to a Touch ID biometric technology with eyeball-scanning technology and a larger screen.
The votes are in. The count is over. And we can announce that the iPhone 5S is the people's choice of the best smartphone of 2013.
In a poll of 9,004 uSwitch Tech users, 27.65% (2,490 people) named Apple’s latest flagship smartphone the finest slab of cellular gold to land this year.
Check the results in full at the foot of the page
That meant the Cupertino tech giant pipped Samsung’s own blockbuster device to the top spot, with the Galaxy S4 overcoming the odd lukewarm review in the tech press to claim a £25.21% share (2,270 votes) and nestle in at second position.
The battle for third place was even more hard-fought. But in the shakedown, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 nicked the bronze medal with 11.78% (1,061 votes).
HTC’s much-garlanded One, which picked up the best design gong at the 2013 uSwitch Tech awards, was fourth with 11.26% (1014). And rounding off the top five with 6.95% (626 votes) was the handset that put Sony back on the map, the Sony Xperia Z1.
But while Apple once again topped the survey, the tidings for the purveyor of iOS-powered kit don’t all augur well. To say the least.
In a reflection of the iPhone 5C’s disappointing reception at cash registers, the mid-range iPhone garnered just 2.14% or 193 votes.
The upshot was that the handset that pre-release hype suggested would surely dramatically swing the smartphone market in Apple’s favour polled fewer votes than even the Nokia Lumia 1020, which nabbed 4.84% (4.84%).
It was also trumped by the Google Nexus 5 with 5.12% (462 votes). That’s notable and not a little worrying for Apple given that the Nexus 5 launched much later and, as is the way with Nexus devices, has only been granted a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it promotional push.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: "These results speak volumes as to both the enduring popularity of the iPhone, as well as the hugely positive reaction from customers to the Galaxy S4.
"Critics might have found the S4 packed with gimmicks rather than must-have features, but sales have been massive and – in conjunction with a strong phablet sequel in the Note 3 - taken Samsung from strength to strength in 2013.
"An interesting point to note is the relatively lacklustre showing from Apple’s iPhone 5C, with its premium pricing unexpectedly making the 5S more appealing as a luxury device.
"Whilst the flagship effort topped sales charts and polls alike, a modest placing for the iPhone 5C shows that Apple still has a way to go in courting the trendsetters of tomorrow."
Samsung’s Galaxy Round’s curved screen has left smartphone-fanciers cold, with sales after a month of availability standing at just one-fiftieth of the phone-maker’s bona-fide big hitters.
According to insiders cited by Daum, the Galaxy Round, which is being sold principally on the novelty of its curved display and is solely available in Samsung’s domestic market of South Korea, has sold just 10,000 units since it landed 40 days ago.
To put that in some kind of context, the Galaxy Note 3 raced to 500,000 sales in the same timeframe. Even the comparatively undersung and underpromoted Vega Note sold 200,000 over 40 days.
Of course, the fact that Samsung opted to grant the Round a release in a single market won’t have helped and will necessariy make its performance look pretty small fry against rival phones that got a worldwide launch.
Sales also reportedly being hampered by the paucity of display units in stores for customers to look at.
That’s something that Samsung surely wouldn’t allow to happen if they opted to use a curved screen on a future iteration of its dual flagship ranges, the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note.
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Samsung’s much-hyped Galaxy S5 could be launched as soon as February, if a new report from the tech giant’s native Korea is to be believed.
ET News claims that Samsung is looking to unleash the device ahead of the first anniversary of the Galaxy S4, which falls next April. Recent rumours have suggested that slow sales of that handset may have caused Sammy to bring forward plans for its new flagship.
Interestingly, the report serves up some juicy new morsels about the phone. Word is it’ll come in two variants: One a metal-chassis packing effort with a flexible screen; the other a plastic model with a regular display.
Specs-wise, both phones will come loaded with a blisteringly fast octa-core processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, 3GB of RAM and a 5-inch display. The same report claims that Samsung could launch the sequel to its Galaxy Gear smart watch at the same time.
Production of the Galaxy S5 will apparently ramp up at the start of the New Year, with a potential release at or around Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona next February.
Apple has cut the price of its flagship iPad and first-generation micro tablet for 24 hours, as the buying bonanza-cum-newly-minted-Xmas-tradition that is Black Friday gets underway.
Buy an iPad Air from the Apple Store today and you’ll qualify for a £31 discount on the 16GB model in its Wi-Fi-only and 3G flavours, bringing the asking price down to £368. Reductions on the 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models are £41, £51 and £61 respectively.
Disappointingly, there’s no discount on the iPad 2, aka the slate that Apple’s diktats insist we refer to as the ‘iPad mini with Retina Display.
But on the plus side, you can snare a £15 reduction on the original iPad mini, taking the price to £234.
There’s also a distinct lack of price cuts in the offing for the iPhone in any of its iterations. Not even the iPhone 5C, despite more than a few indications that the mid-range iPhone has failed to win over punters.
The reduced prices for Apple kit (iPods and iMacs are also cheaper right now) apply until 12pm tonight.
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The next Nexus smartphone and the freshly baked Kit Kat edition of Android missed their putative October 15th due date but should still be with us imminently, reports suggest.
Evidence that the phone is due soon stems from a cryptic Google+ post on confectioner Rowntree’s official Kit Kat page. The post shows a Kit Kat-clad version of the Android mascot with the mysterious message ‘Everybody Dance Now’.
None the wiser? Bear with us and we’ll explain. As fans of bumping US house will know, Everybody Dance Now is the title of a C+C Music Factory's hit from the ‘90s. More importantly, it came out on October 18th 1990.
That's led Android Community to speculate that tomorrow (that’s October 18th, date fans) will mark the debut of the fifth-gen Nexus smartphone.
As is the way with big tech launches, many of the most exciting details of the handset’s spec sheet have already leaked online.
Highlights will apparently include a lavish MEMS camera and a larger 4.95-inch screen. We can also look forward to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 4G support.
Details of Android 4.4 are less easy to come by. But leaked screenshots indicate they’ll be an iOS 7-style redesign, with rethought Google apps and a cleaner, more modern look.
Tech-watchers are used to leaks. They’re the currency that helps us get by in the lean periods between actual unveilings.
Rumours are all well and good, but a decent leaked part gives far more credence to a story and helps build a picture of what the industry’s biggest players are plotting. In recent weeks, we’ve not been able to move for Nexus 5 leaks. Press shots, blurry spy shots, even Google itself posting the device for sale on its Play Store.
It’s hard to think of another phone in 2013 that has been so comprehensively leaked. Sure, we knew a lot about the iPhone 5s, but the level of detail we already have on the Nexus 5 is insane. We know all about that 4.95-inch, Full 1080p display. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, the eight megapixel camera, now even the price thanks to a Google staffer pulling the trigger too early with that Play listing. When the Big G does decide to come over all official with the Nexus 5, there’s going to be little or nothing new to get our teeth into. Now, is that a good or a bad thing? It’s always good to have some idea of what a company is planning, but it’s nice when something has been kept back. It’s likely Google may have the odd morsel about the phone’s MEMS camera, or something new about Android KitKat to share. But it’ll largely be confirming what the tech community has known for weeks. These days, it seems it’s virtually impossible for any company to keep a forthcoming device under wraps.
Despite weeks of rumours to the contrary, it now looks like the Nexus 5 won’t land this month. But the good news is that more images of the phone have surfaced online to keep the Android faithful’s fires burning until it does show up.
Sourced by Techno Buffalo, which owes its scoop to Chinese site Weibo, a press render features what we’re assured is the Nexus 5 in a previously unseen shade of white. Until now, all snaps of the phone that have leaked online were of the black/gun-metal grey model.
A separately sourced image, this time from Underkg.com, shows the packaging for a white Nexus 5. This has been read as a sign that a white edition is ready to go and will likely launch alongside the standard black variant.
Last time around with the Nexus 4, Google held fire on the white take on the smartphone until several months after the black edition.
Billed as the ‘most leaked phone ever’ by some tech-watchers, the Nexus 5’s spec sheet is rumoured to include 4.95-inch IPS TFT display and an eight-megapixel rear camera.
A 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor is also said to be on board, as is 2GB of RAM, a 2,300mAh battery, 4G LTE support (which was missing from the Nexus 4) and 16GB and 32GB storage options.
As with pretty much all Nexus devices so far, it’ll also debut a new version of Android too. In this case it's KitKat, aka Android 4.4.
In line with its Nexus 4 strategy, Google is expected to sell its next own-branded effort at a cut-price, with the entry-level edition most likely going for not much shy of £250.
The Google Nexus 5 is up for order again from Google’s site, but won’t be shipping until November 8th.
The standard black edition of the handset, which you can pick up from £295 from Google Play, initially sold out in its 16GB and 32GB iterations within a matter of hours of going on sale last night.
However, it’s now back, back, back (for now, anyway) and set to begin shipping from next week.
The white version, which at no time was out of stock, is still available in its 16GB and 32GB flavours and purportedly ships within one to two days of customers’ order being received.
Unveiled last night in what must be one of the softest handset launches ever, the Nexus 5’s spec sheet highlights include a`4.95-inch screen with eye-caressing 414 pixels per inch resolution and Qualcomm’s beefy Snapdragon 800 processor.
It’s also packing 4G support and an eight megapixel camera with LG Innotek’s acclaimed optical image stabiliser technology.