Look Out Nokia! Samsung Gain Ground Fast

samsung 360

The competition (Apple) may have slammed the breaks on Samsung from hitting the tablet market, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung from reporting a record number of sales this year.

According to a report from Reuters, Samsung surpassed their 2010 sales figures of 280 Million Mobile units sold, and recently passed the 300 Million Units milestone, and they still have the busiest month of the year ahead of them.

These sales figures puts Samsung as the #2 Mobile Manufacturer in the world.  The leader, Nokia, surpassed 300 Million sales in the third quarter of the year and is expected to stay well ahead of Samsung as the year closes out.

In a report by the Social News site, Mashable;

Samsung, however, has been one of the main handset makers that has been transforming the “lower end” market for feature phones, with its proprietary Bada operating system, complete with app store and other content services, that effectively gives users a smartphone experience with a lower-specced and less expensive device. In Q3, Samsung’s Bada actually outsold Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices, according to Gartner. (Source: mashable)

With the recent injunction against Samsung lifted in Australia and other countries, it will be interesting to see how Samsung do against Tablet giant, the Apple iPad.

Read the full Mashable article here

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Did Apple Steal Technology & Ideas? Who Really Stole From Who?

Steve Jobs never liked Android, that much has always been known. It is afterall a direct competitor to the Apple flagship product; the iPhone (and iPad).

Walter Isaacson, in his authorised biography of the recently departed Jobs sheds insight into how deep that dislike really went. An extract from his book reports Jobs as saying “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Very passionate words from a very passionate man.

But who really stole from who?

Apple is in the process of suing several smartphone manufacturers who use the Android operating system, claiming breach of patents. Samsung, one of the biggest Android brands in the world was recently blocked from selling it’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia after Apple was granted an injunction. That case is ongoing, and Samsung are in the process of appealing that desicion, as well as filing counter-claims against Apple, involving claims that Apple stole technology created by Samsung.

But take a trip back in time, to when this all started; the original iPhone 3.

One of Apples biggest claims is that the iPhone style smartphone was their design, and all other similarly designed phones have “stolen” the idea from them. This is one of their arguments against Samsung with regards to their Galaxy Tab 10.1 and also the Galaxy S phone range. In fact, most touch screen smartphones right now tend to have the same slick style, but does that mean they all stole the idea from Apple? Absolutely not.

It’s very possible that the iPhone 3 was built on a design ALREADY in use by Samsung on their F700 smartphone (seen below).

Samsung F700 vs Apple iPhone

The F700 was first introduced in 2006 and went on sale in early 2007. The iPhone 3, using the allegedly Apple designed style was released on the market in mid 2007, almost 5 months AFTER the Samsung F700.

A report on the F700 vs iPhone 3 goes into a little depth about the style of the 2 phones. Both have similar style, both have touch screens, both have a single button and both have an icon display using a grid layout.

So who stole from who? The article best sums it up by saying: “The answer: no one is stealing from anyone. Apple didn’t invent icons, nor did they invent the grid in which they sit. They didn’t invent the rectangle. They didn’t invent the touchscreen. They surely didn’t invent the nice looking button sitting at the bottom. And last, but not least, they didn’t invent phones.”

Could Samsung file charges against Apple for the very thing Apple are accusing them of doing? Where does this end? Could Ford take Toyota to court for breach of design because their cars use 4 wheels and an engine? Where does the line between an original design and fair game start and finish?

Greg Hughes, creator of the wifi sync app
Greg Hughes with his Wifi Sync app icons

And then there is the story of Greg Hughes, a third-year computer science student who contacted Apple in May 2010 about an iPhone app he created; a wireless sync system that would allow your phone to sync with iTunes wirelessly. Apple rejected the idea claiming it was a security risk, so Hughes has been selling his app for the last year on Cydia, an online store for “jailbroken” phones.

When Apple recently launched iOS5, WIFI Sync was one of the big selling points that Apple has pimped the hell out of.

Greg Hughes was shocked and upset with the news about the Sync on iOS5. “I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for a year. Apple knew about it as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that they had pinched it for iOS 5.” Greg Hughes is getting legal advice on the issue and plans to follow this up. “At the end of the day you have to stand up and defend your work,” he said.

From hardware to software, Apple have been very outspoken about other companies stealing their ideas, yet it appears that Apple may not be entirely innocent themselves.

Dear Pot, meet Kettle!

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Native Gmail App For iPhone Is Coming (rumor)

Native Gmail app for iPhoneAccording to recent reports, it is rumored that Google are working on a native Gmail app for the Apple iPhone.

MG Siegler reported the rumor, saying “Google is on the verge of launching their native Gmail app, multiple sources tell me. In fact, I believe it has already been submitted toApple for review. If it gets approved, it should be out soon. And I think it’s going to be approved.”

I think it’s safe to say that the very suggestion of a native Gmail app is enough to bring a smile to our faces. The problem is, a native email app for Gmail could be seen as direct competition for the core mail system that is integral to the iOS Platform.

“The native Gmail app will likely bring other key functionality as well: like Priority Inbox and one-click starring of messages.” says Siegler in the report, and goes on to say “Other possibilities include some of the stuff Google is about to roll out for Gmail proper: like contact icons, better threading, and deep searching functionality. Maybe there will even be some Google+ integration, which Google is also hard at work on for Gmail.”

A native Gmail app for iPhone would bring Apple in-line with other smartphone platforms such as Android, who have had a native Gmail app for some time now.

Social Media network Mashable is following this story closely and have contacted Google for confirmation. Watch for updates, as news of a native app would be very big news indeed for Gmail iPhone users.

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A Revolutionary Passes: Rest In Peace Steve Jobs

iSadThe world has lost one of it’s truly revolutionary geniuses.  Earlier today the Apple website announced that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. had passed away.

While I would not consider myself a devout Apple user (I do own and love by my iPod and iPhone), I would like to pay tribute to all that Steve Jobs did for the advancement of technology during his lifetime.  His work not only created the standard for what we now use, but has been a driving force in how we all use technology.  His vision to create products that are usable and elegant will live on.

The world will miss you Mr Jobs. 

May you rest in peace.

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Goodbye Blackberry, Hello iPhone: First Thoughts, Feelings & Gripes

Ok so the long anticipated wait is over. Last week we got the phone call that offered us an upgrade on our old phones (Blackberry Bold 9000), so we opted to get the shiny Apple iPhone 4.

iphone4-250As you can imagine, going from the Blackberry, which is very straight forward, almost business like to the iPhone, which can best be described as “ooohhh it’s shiny and does fancy stuff” was quite the learning curve. But learn we did, as learn we must… and for the most part, I am very pleased.

But as with everything, there are a few gripes.

Custom Text Tones

For a start, why the hell can’t I add a custom ring tone for my text and / or sms messages? This is a stock standard feature on almost every single phone out there, including $30 cheapie phones from the servo, so i am confused why Apple don’t offer this? It is annoying, especially as my wife and I both had custom text alerts on our old phones. Bad form Apple, very bad form.

Better Push Mail Service

Ok, so I was spoiled on the Blackberry, who have the best email system of any Smart Phone availble, but i just wish the iPhone email program would allow me to auto-check for new mail a lot more often than 15 minutes. I can do it manually, of course, and do so, but the auto every 5 minutes like I had on the Bold was very efficient and handy to have. Just saying.

Viewing Photos Then Sending To FB, Twitter etc.

Not sure if this is a gripe, or if we were just lucky on the old phones, but is there a way to view a photo you’ve taken and from that photo screen send direct to Facebook, Twitter etc? Or do we have to add the photos from inside the other apps themselves?

iTunes

Yes, I know, you get an iPhone you get stuck with iTunes. I knew that before I got it, and I know that now. Not griping, just saying what you all expected me to say.

Now, on to the GOOD parts!

This phone is so slick to use. Super fast interface, killer apps store and the most intuitive touch keyboard I have ever used. I have heard horror stories about Auto correct issues (take a look at http://damnyouautocorrect.com for some great laughs) but so far have found the touch keyboard to be incredibly accurate.

I used to think the Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare apps on the Blackberry were great, but on the iPhone they are a whole new level. More features, more speed and much more usable, it makes the entire “using” aspect of the phone simply better.

The camera is spectacular, and the video camera is outstanding. High Def video, tap to auto-focus, the whole package is great quality.

Angry Birds. You know, I had to mention this. I’ve played this game on friends iPhones and iPads lately and really do see why it gets all the mentions it does. So, consider this another mention out there in cyberspace.

I guess all-in-all, I am very pleased with the switch. It’s all a learning curve, and eventually things like the email, tones etc simply wont bother me anymore. So kudos Apple, the phone is great and so far, I am very pleased.

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Sony S1, S2 Hit Android Tablet Market & Hope To Grab #2 Spot

First there was the iPad, then there was Android; a LOT of Android.

It seems that every new product to hit the smartphone or tablet market these days is using the Android Operating System, all of them vying for the coveted #2 spot on the Tablet market. Presently, that spot seems to be taken by the Samsung Tablets, or, if you think of the iPad and iPad2 as being separate products, the original Apple tablet.

Sony hope to change that with there first offereing in the Tablet market, the incredible S1 and S2 Android Tablets. Both will be WiFi and 3G/4G compatible, both have a comfortable curved design to ensure easier use for longer periods of time and both will feature the Android 3.0 Operating System. The S1 has a large 9.4 inch display while the S2 features a clamshell shell that features 2 5.5 inch displays.

Sony S1 and S2 Android Tablets

But if you think that this is just another Tablet to launch with the Android system, think again.

According to the deputy president of the Consumer Products and Services Group, Kunimasa Suzuki, “Sony’s black, glossy devices, code-named S1 and S2, will be the first tablets to enable the use of PlayStation games”. (source)

According to a recent article on 234next.com, Sony is banking on the unusual, off-center design of the S1 and access to first generation PlayStation games and its other networked content to differentiate the products from the flood of tablets in the market.

The PlayStation gaming feature will no doubt make this a hot favorite with the gamers out there, but the big question is whether it has enough to knock the likes of Samsung out of the game. Only time will tell.

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