Samsung could be just weeks away from unveiling its next flagship Android smartphone — the Galaxy S III — on May 3 after the company began sending invites with the tagline “come and meet the next Galaxy” for an event that will be held in London at the start of next month.
The invite was sent to Tweakers.net, a well-known Dutch technology website, notifying them of the date and the location. The invite teases another of Samsung’s “Samsung Mobile Unpacked” events, which have served as the springboard for some of the company’s bigger smartphone and tablet launches in recent years, both at dedicated and trade show events.
Samsung has been enjoying the amount of buzz its next flagship Android smartphone is generating, despite the company’s silence on what will be included in the device and when it will launch. The company recently moved to quash any rumours it was to incorporate a 3D display in its future handsets, but has kept details of the handset close to its chest.
Recent ‘leaks’ suggested that the device would launch on May 22 in London but failed to gain momentum. However, other leaks have suggested that the device will feature a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display and the company’s own quad-core Exynos processor.
Samsung purposefully decided against launching its new handset at Mobile World Congress, instead choosing to launch the device at a dedicated event in the first half of the year.
It appears the wait to see the new Android smartphone could be over, we are digging for more details and will update the article should we receive any further confirmation.
Apple Australia will offer a refund to those who purchased the New iPad under the misapprehension it could hook up to 4G networks in Australia.
The company made the offer today in Australia’s Federal Court, where it was responding to a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sought to stop the company calling the New iPad as a 4G device because “it represents to Australian consumers that the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case,” as the only 4G network in Australia operates on a frequency the iPad’s radios cannot reach.
The matter made it to court after Apple denied misleading punters in correspondence with the ACCC.
In court today, Apple offered to contact all owners of the New iPad by email and offer them a refund if they feel they have been misled by statements about 4G connectivity. The company has also said it will amend point of sale material to explain that while the New iPad has 4G capability, it cannot connect to local 4G networks. Apple’s defence rests on similar niceties, with its Barrister telling the court the company feels Australia does possess networks that fall under the definition of 4G.
The ACCC sought an order that stickers saying “”not compatible with current Australia 4G networks” be placed upon New iPad boxes, and also asked for corrective advertisements to appear in several publications. Apple’s lawyer rejected the sticker plan as “cumbersome.”
Asus hopes its close partnership with Google will lead it to be the first company to offer devices running Android Jelly Bean – version 5.0.
Asus prides itself on its Android upgrade efficiency, as it was the first to provide tablets running Honeycomb and the first to push the Ice Cream Sandwich update to its tablets.
Benson Lin, Asus’ Corporate Vice President told TechRadar: “Asus is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update.”
Lean, mean, jelly bean machine
Asus announced its 3-in-1 Padfone device at MWC 2012, which sees a mobile phone, tablet and netbook combined into one device running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
Asus hopes the Padfone will help it gain traction in the mobile market and if it produces quality handsets, the promise of a speedy upgrade to Android Jelly Bean in the future may see consumers flock to the Taiwanese firm.
We’ve already heard from LG that it is committed to upgrading its 2012 handset range to Android Jelly Bean once it becomes available, so it will be interesting to see which manufacturer can turn it around in the shortest amount of time.
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Intel expects its next-generation microprocessors to go on sale eight to 10 weeks later than initially planned, according to Sean Maloney, executive vice-president of Intel and chairman of Intel China.
In his first interview to discuss Intel’s business in China, Mr Maloney told the Financial Times that the start of sales of machines equipped with Ivy Bridge – the 22nm processor set to succeed Sandy Bridge in notebooks this year – had been pushed back from April. “I think maybe it’s June now,” he said.
Mr Maloney said the adjustment was not caused by a lack of demand but came because of the new manufacturing process needed to make the smaller chips.
An Intel spokesperson said the company’s plans to start shipping Ivy Bridge in the second quarter had not changed.
Mr Maloney also said the global launch of a series of Intel-powered smartphones would follow the launch in China of the first such handset – a Lenovo phone – in April. He said the Intel-powered Lenovo phone would become available in other countries four to five months after its China launch.
The comments come after Lenovo said last month it intended to push sales of its smartphones in emerging markets outside China this year. Lenovo is China’s largest leading Android phone brand.
Mr Maloney had been viewed as the most likely candidate to succeed Paul Otellini when he steps down as chief executive in 2015, but this career prospect is now less clear after he suffered a stroke in early 2010. Mr Maloney took over as Intel China chairman in July last year, a newly-created position through which the company hopes to give the Chinese market more weight.
China is expected to surpass the US as the world’s largest PC market by unit shipments this year, according to IDC, and the country is already the world’s largest market for mobile phones by unit shipments, a segment which Intel is currently pushing into with its Medfield processor for smartphones and tablets.
“I think give it two or three years, and all phones in China will be smartphones, because the cost is going to be way way down,” he said.
He also emphasised the Chinese server market as a source of strong growth. “First off, it’s not really an emerging market. It’s emerged. Secondly, it’s just the same at the server side. Ali Baba, Baidu, they all want the same servers as Facebook, and really the notebooks are as advanced as anywhere,” he said.
This week the state of Nevada finalized new rules that will make it possible for robotic self-driving cars to receive their own special driving permits. It’s not quite driver’s licenses for robots — but it’s close.
The other day I went for a spin in a robotic car. This car has an $80,000 cone-shaped laser mounted on its roof. There are radars on the front, back and sides. Detailed maps help it navigate.
Do people notice it’s a self-driving car and gawk?
“We get a lot of thumbs up,” says Anthony Levandowski, one of the leaders of Google’s self-driving car project. “People drive by and then they wave. I wish they would keep their eyes on the road.”
Levandowski is in the passenger seat with a laptop showing him what the car can see. Chris Urmson is behind the wheel. But his hands are in his lap and the steering wheel is gently turning back and forth, tracing the contours of California’s busy Highway 85.
“And it can adjust the speed. If there is a particularly tight corner, it will slow down for that,” Urmson says. “It adjusts speed to stay out of blind spots of other vehicles. It tries to match speed with traffic.”
Urmson has been working on this technology for close to a decade. His first car managed to travel just 11 miles on a dusty road. Google’s vehicle is a giant leap forward.
“When we got this on the freeway and it was doing 70 miles an hour and just smoothly driving along the road, you could taste it — the technology,” Urmson says. “You could really feel the impact and how it’s going to change people’s lives. It was just amazing.”
While he was talking, a motorcycle cut us off. The car saw the move coming, and we hardly even noticed.
Google’s fleet of robotic cars has driven more than 200,000 miles over highways and city streets in California and Nevada. Google did this testing in kind of a legal limbo. These cars aren’t forbidden, but, “There was no permission granted for any of that to happen by anybody,” says Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist and robotic car enthusiast.
“It’s essential that there be a place to do tests,” he says. “There’s two ways to do it — the seek-forgiveness strategy and the seek-permission strategy. Frankly, the 200,000 hours I think that have been driven here in California — that’s a seek-forgiveness strategy. Right?”
If anything went wrong, Google would have had a huge amount of explaining to do. So last year, the company hired a lobbyist in Nevada.
“The state of Nevada is close, it’s a lot easier to pass laws there than it is in California,” Levandowski says.
He says Google convinced the state Legislature to pass a law making robotic cars explicitly legal. But the Legislature went further than just creating a place to test these cars — it ordered the Department of Motor Vehicles to create basically a driver’s license for these robot cars.
“I thought it was great,” says Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada DMV. “My grandfather took me to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City many times. And they were promising me the car of the future as an 8-year-old, and I thought to myself, this finally could be it.”
Starting March 1, companies will be able to apply to test self-driving cars on Nevada roads.
“The test vehicles will be Nevada’s first red license plate since the 1940s,” Breslow says. Think of it like a learner’s permit — those bright red plates will let everyone know there’s a student robot driver behind the wheel.
“And eventually when these vehicles are sold, it will be the first ever neon green license plate that the state of Nevada will ever issue — green meaning go, and the future’s arrived,” Breslow says.
Google says it will probably be years before cars like this go on sale. But Jurvetson, the venture capitalist, says he’s convinced this technology could save thousands of lives “today, already, right now.”
Robots are never distracted. They don’t text or drink or get tired. They see things no human can.
“That front radar catches bounces off the ground,” Jurvetson says. “We were driving behind an 18-wheeler, and we saw the vehicles in front of the 18-wheeler — vehicles we could not see with our eye — because the signal bounced off the pavement … at a glancing angle underneath the 18-wheeler. And so no human will ever have the amount of information that these cars have when they are driving.”
While Nevada may be the first state to create a licensing system for self-driving cars, it won’t be the last; Hawaii, Florida and Oklahoma are already following suit. And Jurvetson says one day we may be asking ourselves if humans should still be allowed to drive.