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  1. Today, the South Korean company (Samsung) has started sending out media invites for its UNPACKED event on September 3, where it is expected to launch the flagship phablet, SamMobile reports. The Galaxy Note 4 phablet is shaping up to be Samsung’s most advanced smartphone yet. It is expected to flaunt a 5.7-inch Quad HD display, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, 16-megapixel rear camera and a 4-megapixel front-facing camera. Some of the unique features expected to arrive on the phablet include an ultraviolet sensor, eye scanner, and possibly curved display too. In addition to the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, Samsung is also expected to unveil the Gear VR virtual reality headset, Gear S smartwatch as well as its Google Glass competitor called Gear Glass. Source
  2. After being caught paying for false praise and negative comments about competitors, Samsung has been fined just over $340,000. The issue first arose internationally in April, when Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announced it was opening an investigation into the allegations. That investigation found the allegations were true: the FTC says Samsung used a "large number of hired writers and designated employees" to post in Taiwanese forums. The commission does add that the company did this through a third-party marketing company, just as Samsung originally claimed. Two local marketing firms were fined a combined total of over $100,000 for their part in the marketing ploy. When news first broke of Samsung's behavior, HTC was presented as the victim of a campaign of defamation from the Korean company's army of commenters, but the FTC's report into the matter doesn't mention the Taiwanese company by name. Instead, it only notes that the company paid people to "highlight the shortcomings of competing products." The commission did dig up a lot more nefarious activity related to Samsung's commenters, though. The list of infractions includes the "disinfection of negative news about Samsung products," "palindromic Samsung product marketing," and the positive evaluation of Samsung products. Both individually and collectively, these types of covert marketing are known in the industry as "astroturfing." While Samsung is by no means the first company to engage in astroturfing, it's been caught in the act twice this year alone. In relation to a later case, Samsung told The Verge that it remains "committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers." : - source - :
  3. Although rumors had it that Samsung would introduce two different Galaxy S5 smartphones - including a premium model made of metal - the South Korean company announced only a regular S5 at MWC 2014 last month. Still, a metal-clad Galaxy S5 might be introduced by Samsung later this year. Not long after the announcement of the regular Galaxy S5, we heard that its premium version would arrive in May. Naturally, this should be more expensive than the S5 that we’ll be able to buy starting April 11, and it might have significantly different specs - like a Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) display. While we can’t know exactly what Samsung has in store for us, we discovered a Samsung Galaxy F concept that tries to paint a pretty realistic picture on what the rumored S5 Premium could be. The concept was made by Ivo Marić, and adds a metal case to the S5 that we already know. There is also a dedicated camera button. Check out the concept below and let us know if you think it looks better than the real S5. Source
  4. So you have a little rug-rat or two of your own that is constantly grabbing at your phone. You let them play with it, but want to make sure they’re downloading apps that are appropriate for them. Well it looks like Samsung has got your back with the Samsung kids app store. In addition the phone’s “kid’s mode”, the S5 will also give users access to a kids only app store. The apps are all developed for, you guessed it, children. So no, junior won’t be able to access Grand Theft Auto anything, but they will have some kid-friendly cute games at their disposal. Anyone here impressed with Samsung’s sensitivity and consideration towards parents? Source
  5. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has reached India and in anticipation of that the price of its predecessor dropped sharply. The Galaxy S5 was shortly available for sale on Saholic but has since been removed. Anyway, the important thing – the price – is known. Samsung's new flagship will set users back INR 45,500 ($745 / €540), which is a little more than what the Galaxy S4 cost when it launched (INR 41,500). The former flagship has since been dropped to around INR 30,000 ($490/€355). Note that this is the I9500 (Exynos chipset), the I9505 (Snapdragon) is hard to find. Anyway, since the product page has been pulled down it's not clear when the S5 flagship will actually go on sale. When it goes back up, it should appear here. In Europe the target launch date is in April and the device costs €600 or more, although this latest posting suggests that these pre-order prices might be over-inflated. If interested you can book the smartphone in multiple European countries. Source
  6. The latest comScore numbers are out, giving us an idea of who’s gained and lost over last quarter. While the overall movement isn’t shocking, there were a few surprises. We’re starting to think a recent big transaction is having negative a impact some may not have anticipated. Apple still reigns supreme, commanding 41.6% of the smartphone market when compared t other OEMs. Samsung is second, naturally — they hold onto just over 1/4 of the market at 26.7%. LG ranks a distant third with 6.9%, which is just ahead of Motorola at 6.4%. HTC checks in as well, claiming 5.4% of the overall smartphone market. When it comes to platform, we all know what the answer is. Android is still king with a 51.7% market share, while iOS has 41.6. Blackberry is holding steady with 3.1%, closely related to Microsoft’s 3.2%. Symbian is still hanging on with 0.2%, bolstered by those emerging markets where other platforms are still finding their way. Two things stand out in this study: Apple and Motorola. Apple’s iPhone sales were up 1.0%, as was iOS. In terms of platform, iOs was the only one to pick up over last quarter — Android fell 0.5%. Motorola was also a loser, dropping 0.6% and out of third place for OEMs. We really hope the Lenovo purchase hasn’t hurt them. Source
  7. geeteam

    Samsung to pay Apple $930M

    Apple vs Samsung largest-scale patent lawsuit, taking place in the US, is now over. Apple was awarded just under $930 million in damages, but its request for judge Koh to ban the infringing products was denied. This means that Samsung is free to continue selling the infringing devices in the US. The first huge patent trial between Apple and Samsung started in 2012, and its first verdict was for Apple to receive $1.05 billion for the damages caused by its infringed patents. Samsung argued there were some discrepancies between the numbers the jury awarded Apple and after a new trial Samsung's fine was reduced to $929.8 million. Now this case is officially closed and while Apple has won $930 million its request for permanent sales ban against Samsung was denied. Apple has already started a new lawsuit against Samsung adding more relevant devices such as the Galaxy S III. Both sides failed to reach an agreement outside the courtroom, so the new trial will be starting in the end of this month. We are yet to see if Samsung has taken the necessary measures to side-step the infringing technologies or if it will be facing another huge fine. Source
  8. Samsung Galaxy S5 pre-orders continue to expand throughout Eurasia – following the Netherlands and Romania, the new flagship is now available for pre-order in Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic. In Sweden, the Galaxy S5 is available for around SEK 6,200 (€700 / $950) off contract, but several carriers have offers too. Tre (Swedish Three) prices start at SEK 328 / month and the carrier will throw in a free 32GB microSD card. Telia has it at SEK 380 / month and SEK 6,400 on prepaid. Tele2 has the blue Galaxy S5 (the other two carriers have only Black and White) and with a 2-year contract, the monthly cost is SEK 424. A pre-paid option is available too at SEK 6,400. In Russia, Samsung's official page advertises the pre-order at RUB 30,000 (€600 / $830). If you pre-order by April 9, you'll get a RUB 2,000 voucher to spend on Samsung Apps. Only the Black and White models are available here. In the Czech Republic, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is priced CZK 19,000 (€700 / $950). The full range of colors is available – White, Black, Blue and Gold. Update: It's also available in Finland at €700. There's no official price for the US just yet. Source
  9. It seems that when we brought you the news about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo with our exclusive coverage of its features last week we opened some sort of floodgates. The phablet can't stay out of the spotlight ever since, making numerous appearances through live images, benchmark scores and the FCC certification process. Now, we have the press images of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo that show the design of the phablet in all its glory. According to a report from SamMobile, the device is now available for pre-ordering in Belgium and the upcoming phablet is said to carry a price tag of €599 (about $812). Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo sits right between the Galaxy Note 2 and the current flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 3. The smartphone will feature a 5.55-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, a brand new Exynos chipset with a hexa-core CPU (1.7GHz dual core + 1.3 GHz quad core), 2 GB of RAM, 8 megapixel rear camera, 16 GB internal memory and a 3,100mAh battery. The official announcement of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo might happen any day now, given the rate at which these leaks are coming. Worst case scenario, we'll have to wait until the Mobile World Congress, which kicks off on February 24 in Barcelona. Source
  10. Well, Samsung just can’t seem to catch a break with Tizen, as the first commercial smartphone running on the new OS has been delayed once again. NTT DoCoMo recently scrapped plans for its Tizen phone, and it looks like even Samsung isn’t ready to release one just yet. “It is true that the release has been delayed,” said one official at Samsung Electronics’ Media Solution Center (MSC) today in Korea. “Previously we did had planned to release in the first half of this year in several countries, including Korea and Russia.” Samsung had recently said that the first Tizen phone would be unveiled on February 23rd, but that date is now being rumored to be the one when Samsung will announce the Galaxy S5 instead. It’s unclear what is causing the delays, though it could be that the company doesn’t want to take any limelight away from its Android flagship, which is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated smartphones ever (well, that’s usually the case with every Galaxy S flagship), or it could be because of obstacles they’ve run into while trying to develop the OS. Either way, it looks like those looking forward to trying out Tizen will have wait a few months, or maybe until the next year. Source
  11. Back in October, rumors emerged about the possibility of Samsung implementing magnetic resonance wireless charging, a technology that allows wireless charging of a device without direct contact with the charging pad, on its smartphones. The rumors suggested that the technology would find its way into phones from mid-2014, but some were still hopeful that it would be ready in time to find a place on the Galaxy S5. However, that’s not likely to happen, according to a report from the Korean media. Industry officials have said that Samsung might skip on putting magnetic resonance wireless charging on the Galaxy S5; apparently, the technology does exist and it won’t be difficult to implement it on the S5, but Samsung doesn’t believe the technology is marketable yet and isn’t sure of whether consumers will be willing to cough up extra cash for the feature. Samsung’s reluctance does make sense, as even standard wireless charging is a feature that hasn’t caught on in the market yet (mainly due to the cost of wireless chargers, and lack of the necessary marketing explaining why the feature is useful) – couple that with the already excessive prices of smartphones these days, and it could be a while before it becomes feasible to implement the contact-less wireless charging tech in consumer devices. Source
  12. In the latest Apple vs. Samsung patent trial held in California's Northern District court, Judge Lucy Koh entered a summary judgment yesterday finding Samsung's Android-based devices as infringing on a specific patent held by Apple. Besides being found as infringing of the text autocomplete patent used in iOS, Judge Koh has also tossed Samsung's patent related to "multimedia synchronization method and device". Koh claims that the latter patent - purchased in September 2011 some 5 months after the start of patent disputes between the two companies - was only acquired by Samsung to use against Apple in court. The latest ruling increases Apple's likelihood of scoring a ruling in its favor once the multi-patent trial against Samsung begins on March 31 of this year. The summary judgment strengthens Apple's case for its patent related to the autocomplete function, not to mention the other four patents still in play. The dismissal of Samsung's patent leaves them with a total of four. Source
  13. Samsung has started offering a Galaxy Note 3 Olympic Games Edition - although it looks like this is available only in the Netherlands for now, with no word on a wider availability. The Note 3 Olympic Games Edition isn’t different from the handset’s regular version, but it comes in a special packaging. This seems to include tickets to skating sessions in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, and a special flip cover. Buyers are also offered the chance to win tickets to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, which takes place between 6 and 23 February in Russia. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Olympic Games Edition is offered by Dutch carrier KPN for free on select plans. It’s not surprising to see a Galaxy Note 3 Olympic Games Edition, since the new Note is the official phone of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and it's been gifted to all participating athletes. Source
  14. A Samsung software engineer with knowledge on the subject claims that both devices (Galaxy S3 and Note 2) will be updated in late Q1 of this year, not long after the expected Galaxy S4 KitKat rollout. The update will include performance tweaks and updates, and a few new software features. The transparent status bar, new print feature from settings, and immersive full-screen mode will be included. The KitKat update for the S3 and Note 2 is expected to be outed in phases, which means that carrier branded variants will likely receive the update as much as a full month later. Source
  15. No, Windows Phone won’t be catching up to Android in terms of market share anytime soon. However, there is one key area where Windows Phone may at last surpass Android: It might soon generate more revenue for Microsoft than Android does. Beyond Devices takes a look at some of the latest numbers for Windows Phone revenues in Microsoft’s latest earnings report and finds that revenue generated from Windows Phone licensing has narrowed the gap with licensing revenue collected from Android handset manufacturers. In all, 42% of licensing revenues came from Windows Phone vendors on the quarter while 58% came from Android vendors, Beyond Devices estimates. If Windows Phone keeps showing impressive sales growth over the next few quarters then it could soon generate more revenue for Microsoft than Android does within the next year. “Given the overall growth rate of Windows Phone relative to Android, and the higher fee per device for Windows Phone licensing, it’s likely that the percentage of revenue from Windows Phone licensing will continue to grow over time, such that it may well account for the majority of revenue in the overall ‘Windows Phone’ bucket sometime in late 2014 or early 2015,” writes Beyond Devices. “I’d estimate that it will be another billion-dollar business for Microsoft within the first couple of quarters of 2014.” A graph showing estimates of Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Android revenue shares follows below. Source
  16. \ A Korean website published this product image of what is, allegedly, the first Samsung Tizen-based smartphone to be sold to consumers. It's called ZEQ9000, which probably means it's coming from a similar place as the previous Samsung Tizen phones that we know of - the SM-Z9000 and the SM-Z9005. Its eventual market name could be “Zeke” - according to the source, Samsung has filed for this new brand last August. It's hard to say whether this leak is reliable or not, but the smartphone's design - not a wildly imaginative designer's concept, but a familiar textured plastic affair, seems authentic enough. As for the operating system shown on the display, its visual style mostly matches the Tizen 2.1 screenshots that leaked last December. The upper status bar, for example, is the same between the two leaks. The flat and symmetrical aesthetic, shaped by rectangles and squares, is preserved as well. This leak contains some specifications, too. Zeke could have a 4.8-inch HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU running at 2.3GHz, and be slightly smaller than the Galaxy S4 in size. While not every part of this leak sounds credible, most of it manages to squeeze past the lie detector. Perhaps we will learn more truthful details from Samsung's official pre-MWC Tizen Developer event on February 23, or at the Congress itself. Source
  17. It’s not unusual to see a lot of fake smartphones in China. But in Europe? Not so much. That’s why German authorities must have been very surprised to find no less than 250 fake Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones in a shipment that arrived from Hong Kong at the Stuttgart airport this month. According to Stuttgarter-Nachrichten, Customs officers at the airport became suspicious after the alleged owners of the shipment declared that it contained just $2,000 worth of cable. The officers opened all the packages, only to find hundreds of counterfeit smartphones. Reportedly, the handsets were not supposed to go on sale in Germany, as they were headed to Georgia. Nevertheless, all 250 fake Galaxy S4s were confiscated and destroyed with hammers (apparently, the photo seen above was taken during the smashing). Had the 250 Samsung Galaxy S4 units been genuine, they’d have been worth about $200,000 (€150,000). German authorities are now trying to determine whether this was a one-time delivery, or if there is a network of counterfeiters out there. It’s not clear if the fake Galaxy handsets looked good enough to fool customers into thinking that they’re genuine. In any case, it goes without saying that, whenever you’re buying a smartphone, you have to make sure you’re getting it from a reliable shop / outlet / website. Source
  18. A new report from the Korea Times cites unnamed Samsung officials who claim the company is presently developing a competitor to Google's Glass — tentatively named Galaxy Glass — which could make its debut at the IFA trade show in Berlin this September. One of the officials is quoted as saying that "wearable devices can’t generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets." The tone of this disclosure is very similar to what Samsung had to say before the unveiling of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which was the company's big novelty at last year's IFA. The goal for the Korean giant is evidently to establish a first-mover advantage in the wearable sector, disregarding how profitable those early efforts may be. The Korea Times article goes on to say that the Galaxy Glass accessory would connect to a smartphone and let you handle calls and listen to music, duplicating the Gear's companion functionality. That also evokes the so-called sports glasses that Samsung won a patent for in Korea last year, suggesting that Google's most successful Android partner is indeed preparing to more directly compete with the Mountain View team. Source
  19. Samsung and Ericsson have reached a deal to end their ongoing patent disputes. Under the agreement, Samsung will pay Ericsson ongoing royalty costs in addition to an initial payment to begin licensing its patents and end all of their current patent-related legal disputes. Though the exact payment was not disclosed, Ericsson says that its Q4 2013 sales will increase by SEK 4.2 billion (around $651 million) as a result of the transaction. In return, the agreement gives Samsung access to a number of Ericsson patents covering LTE, GSM, and UMTS standards related to both networking and devices. Lawsuits brought by both parties will end as a result of the deal. Samsung and Ericsson have been in patent disputes for some time now, with Reuters reporting in 2012 that Ericsson was initiating a lawsuit after two years of failed licensing attempts. But lately, Samsung appears to be more willing to strike licensing deals. Just yesterday, Samsung announced that it and Google had established a broad patent licensing agreement, and last November, Samsung extended a patent licensing agreement with Nokia for five years. Patent licensing has become a legal battlefield in the tech industry lately, with Samsung the star in one of the biggest conflicts. After its major loss to Apple in a 2012 patent suit, it's possible that Samsung is on a mission to stay out of the spotlight going forward. While Samsung may be the one paying in its agreement with Ericsson, it's certainly good news for both companies: Ericsson is touting its commitment to licensing patents on FRAND terms, while Samsung ends another series of lawsuits and expands what patents it has access to. Source
  20. Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin said on Twitter that the Nexus line of devices will be discontinued in 2015, replaced instead with a new brand spawned from the current Play Edition family. Google has launched various Play Edition devices this year, including the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the LG G Pad 8.3, the Sony Z Ultra and the Motorola Moto G. Essentially these devices run a pure version of Android, with no OEM user interface and bloatware on top. However, these devices aren’t updated directly by Google, but by OEMs, meaning that new Android OS versions first reach Nexus devices, and only later Google Play Edition devices. Murtazin has not detailed where he received his information from but said in following tweets that new Nexus devices are expected for this year. While the blogger has been accurate with mobile predictions in the past, he has also been wrong before. Interestingly though, Nexus smartphones and tablets may be on a name collision course for 2015, when a Nexus 7 (2015) tablet may be simultaneously launched with a Nexus 7 smartphone – that’s assuming Google’s current naming patterns for its Nexus smartphones and tablets would be kept in place, and that the company would continue to make 7-inch tablets of its own. In addition to talking about the death of the Nexus family life, Murtazin has tweeted several other bits of information, most of them related to the newly inked Google Samsung cross-licensing patent deal. The blogger said that Samsung will not only get patents for Google, but it will also secure hardware development, hinting that more Google Play Edition Samsung handsets may hit the Google Play Store in the future. Furthermore, he added that Samsung will stop developing Tizen for smartphones in the future, a decision that it has reportedly taken without being influenced by Google. The blogger also said that TouchWiz will evolve in extra features, that will “be an integral part of future Android versions,” which “others” will pay for – it’s not clear whether he meant that other OEMs will pay to use Samsung TouchWiz features or whether users will have to pay to access some of these features. Murtazin also said that Google will not be competing against Samsung or any other brand in hardware, and that the company is considering reprofiling Motorola in the future. Finally, Android will be somewhat restricted from use by some companies including Microsoft, which may mean that even if other companies will fork Android, they may not get access to Google’s apps including Google Play Store. Just like with the Nexus tweet, the blogger did not reveal where he got his information regarding the Google Samsung deal. Source
  21. In a note to investors, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has detailed the specs and features of the next-gen Galaxy S flagship, revealing that the handset may have two versions whose features will be slightly different, 9to5Google reports. The Galaxy S5 “Prime” and the Galaxy S5 “Standard” – which is what Kuo calls them, although it’s likely these aren’t the final names of the products – will share many specs including a 5.2-inch display 16-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 3D gesture support, fingerprint sensor, plastic cases and a 2850mAh battery. However, when it comes to screen resolution, RAM and processor types, the Prime and Standard versions will pack different components. The Galaxy S5 Prime will have an octa-core Exynos 5430 32-bit processor, 3GB of RAM and a 5.2-inch AMOLED display with WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels) or 565 pixels per inch (PPI) density, while the Galaxy S5 Standard will have a choice of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974AC) or octa-core Exynos 5422 32-bit processor, 2GB of RAM and a 5.2-inch AMOLED display with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) or 423PPI). Previous reports have said that the Galaxy S5 may pack a 64-bit processor, citing the Exynos 5430 as a potential 64-bit mobile CPU made by Samsung, but that won’t be the case, according to Kuo, an analyst who has been accurate with Apple and Android predictions in the past. Furthermore, it would appear that the Galaxy S5 won’t make use of Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 805 processor either. Kuo is not the first person to say the Galaxy S5 may arrive in two versions, and the analystalso appears to confirm several other Galaxy S5 rumors that mentioned the fingerprint scanner, the better Air Gestures, and even the bigger battery. Samsung is yet to announce when its Galaxy S5 smartphone will be unveiled, although many people including Samsung execs have said the phone will be unveiled around MWC 2014, and launch in the following months. Source
  22. Samsung and Google have signed a sweeping deal to license their patent portfolios to each other, covering both existing intellectual property in addition to patents filed over the next ten years. United under Android, the two companies haven't really been seen as litigation threats to one another — but with this deal, the threat drops considerably more. Samsung's Seungho Ahn says "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes," a pretty clear shot at Apple, which has been locked in patent suits for years with Samsung and Motorola Mobility (predating Google's acquisition of the manufacturer). Google's Allen Lo takes the same tone: "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation." For Google, the deal could have particularly broad implications considering its ever-growing reach into hardware: Glass is expected to move to wider availability at a lower price soon, Chromecast has been a hot seller, and rumors of a Nexus set-top persist. Clearly, Samsung has a slew of helpful hardware patents on-hand. Source
  23. We may be waiting for Samsung to share its vision for the Galaxy S5, but that isn’t stopping people from coming up with their own concepts of what the next big thing from the company will be like. The latest concept comes from Rozetked, with the idea being that the new handset would be some sort of amalgamation between an iPhone 5s and whatever Samsung has up its sleeve for the next Galaxy phone. This being a device that takes cues from the iPhone 5s, the device in the video looks somewhat like an overly large iPhone. The Galaxy S5 as it is depicted here features a flat back that will look eerily familiar to iPhone owners, but it’s around the front where the iPhone influence becomes clear. Where the iPhone 5s sports the fingerprint sensing technology Touch ID, this concept sees the Galaxy S5 feature something called ‘Reach ID.’ Instead of having the sensor inside the home button only, this concept has the entire Galaxy S5′s screen be a fingerprint sensor, meaning users can unlock their device by touching pretty much anywhere on its face. Apple has been rumors to be working on offering just that feature, though getting a fingerprint sensor into something that needs to be clear like an iPhone screen obviously has its challenges. Reach ID also features a Moto X-like voice control element, with the device able to be woken up with a phrase that could be pre-configured by the user. We’re still a little dubious about how useful such a thing would be in the real world though, especially considering how sparingly we use things like Siri already. The video ends with a screen showing the expected specifications of the Galaxy S5. With a 5.2-inch screen with a 2560×1440 resolution, there’s no doubt it would be an phone that would demand attention. A 64-bit Exynos Octa CPU and 3GB of RAM would no doubt make things nice and snappy, too. We’re hoping to hear from Samsung soon enough, so we’ll at least know what we will be able to buy when the real Galaxy S5 hits the market later this year. If it’s anything like what this concept depicts though, we’re sure it’ll be popular. Source
  24. Apple and Samsung once again top the ranks of smartphone sales, ending Q4 of 2013 with increased numbers from the previous year. Overall, Apple lifted themselves up by 7% from 2012, grabbing 42% of all US smartphone share in Q4 of 2013. Samsung had increased numbers as well, and grew their users by 4% from 2012, grabbing 26% of all US smartphone share in Q4 of 2013. While these numbers aren’t leaps and bounds over their previous year, increases are increases, and that’s more than can be said for other manufacturers. A report from The NPD Group shows the most recent figures from the fourth quarter of last year, and while Apple and Samsung had gained users of their popular handsets, those users had to come from somewhere, and it seems that they came from Motorola, HTC, and Blackberry. NPD notes that six out of ten cell phone users in the US owned a smartphone by the end of Q4 in 2013, making up 56% of all cell phone users in the US. That’s an overall lift from 52% in 2012. As smartphones offer us more and more tools to enhance our daily lives, more and more people are realizing the benefits that they can offer. Smartphone ownership wasn’t the only thing that increased over the last year though. With increased number of smartphone users came an increased amount of data usage, with more people taking advantage of the web connected apps and features that their devices offer them. In Q4 of 2012, smartphone users were racking up 5.5GB of data usage each month, while in Q4 of 2013 smartphone users had increased that amount to about 6.6GB each month. While lots of things on the smartphones of today offer web connected features, one of the biggest factors in the data usage increase can attributed to streaming music, with 52% of smartphone owners in Q4 of last year using a music app to stream their favorite tunes, as opposed to storing their own music locally on the device. By those numbers, it would seem that music streaming could be one of the highest data consumption features we use. Source
  25. Good news for Samsung Galaxy S4 owners - well, at least for those having the GT-i9500 model. It appears that Samsung has begun testing Android 4.4 KitKat for the i9500, so an official update might be released soon. That’s according to SamMobile, which is usually spot on with details regarding Samsung’s plans. However, it’s been noted that KitKat for the S4 GT-I9500 isn’t “stable enough” yet, so Samsung may still have some work to do. Back in December, we told you that French carrier SFR was expecting KitKat to hit the Galaxy S4 at the end of January (this month). The update for the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung’s other flagship Android handset from last year, is expected to arrive at about the same time. Earlier this month a leaked Android 4.4 KitKat build for the Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 was made available to anyone unwilling to wait for the official update. So we can only conclude that KitKat is officially coming to all S4 versions very soon. We’ll let you know exactly when it happens. Source
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