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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 vs Apple iPad Air vs Nokia Lumia 2520 – Specs Comparison

Okay, Apple, so you got me to confess to liking your iPad mini 2 more than Google’s new Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 7. Big deal, since at the end of the day, the spanking new 7.9-incher is still pretty expensive. Maybe not unwarrantedly so, but darn pricey nevertheless.

iPad Air Note 10.1 2014

Besides, you won a battle, yet the war is wide open. In other words, if you can’t double down on your victory with another in the 10-inch niche, it means nothing. And to make sure your iPad Air will be brought to its knees, I have backup in the ultimate 10-inch spec smackdown.

Windows RT-based backup, in the form of Nokia’s first ever tablet effort, the Lumia 2520. Plus the biggest, baddest, proudest slate Android is able to deliver… today, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Now this is one tough clash and it’s only bound to get tougher, as Google’s second-generation Nexus 10 is looming on the horizon.

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For now, let’s keep our eyes on the ball and do what we do best: pit maybe the best contenders to a particular mobile throne (in this case, the 10-inch tablet throne), and see which one comes out on top strictly as far as cold numbers, specs and features are concerned. Game on:

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 vs. iPad Air vs. Lumia 2520 – design comparison

Craftsmanship at its finest. It’s the best description of all three of these jewels, albeit Nokia’s Lumia 2520 does come short of greatness in the weight department, tipping the scales at 615 grams. And it measures 8.9 mm in thickness, so it’s definitely out of contention.

iPad Air commercial

And then there were two. Almost equally as slim (7.9 mm profile the GNote 10.1 and 7.5 mm the Air), but not so close in terms of weight as it may look from the outside. Samsung’s 10-incher, while not bulky, weighs 540 grams, a whopping 70 grams more than the iPad Air.

So yeah, I have to reluctantly give this one battle to Apple, especially since the iPad Air is the smoothest and more robust fellow of the two, rocking that iconic Cupertino all-metal chassis.

Display face-off

Mind-blowing, mind-blowing and… okay-ish. That’s Note 10.1, iPad Air and Lumia 2520’s screens in one word for you, with Nokia’s big guy losing right off the bat for the second time in a row, courtesy of a decent but not impressive 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution.

Note 10.1 2014

And again, there were two. The iPad Air, with a Retina 2,048 x 1,536 pix res panel (264 ppi pixel density), and the Note 10.1, rocking a 2,560 x 1,600 display (299 ppi). Oh, noes, is Apple throwing in the towel? It certainly looks that way, so point Samsung.

Processing speed, RAM and camera smackdown

This is where things get truly interesting, with both the Note 10.1 and Lumia 2520 packing Snapdragon 800 heat and Apple responding with a much hailed 64-bit A7 CPU. I’m afraid Nokia can’t finish round three on its feet either, abandoning due to low memory: 2 GB RAM, compared with 3 for Samsung.

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As far as the S800 vs. A7 duel goes, I’m fully aware of what reviewers say, but if you’ll allow me, I think I’m going to call this a draw. Possibly because I’m biased, but most likely because I can’t se the iPad Air being zippier and more responsive in real life than the 10-inch Note with a measly 1 gig of RAM. I simply cannot.

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Cameras? I don’t care that much and neither should you (taking photos with 10-inchers is stupid), but for the record, Nokia probably has the edge there, courtesy of a top-notch 6.7 MP rear snapper with Carl Zeiss optics.

 Software and battery life

Contrasting iPad Air’s pre-loaded iOS 7 with Note 10.1’s Android 4.3 with Lumia 2520’s Windows RT 8.1 is like comparing fresh apples with fresh oranges with rotten tomatoes. The rotten tomatoes being Win RT, which is clearly on the rise, but still kind of lame.

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So it’s bye-bye Nokia again (I lost count), with the Android vs. iOS debate taking far too long to be worth tackling right now. For the sake of keeping a clear record, let’s call it a draw.

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And let’s call another draw in the battery division, but a three-way draw, as all of these beauties’ manufacturers claim their slates can go for up to ten hours on a single charge. Bollocks, yet we’ll need to run our own tests to prove them wrong.

Pricing, connectivity and accessories

No fingerprint recognition anywhere (no one needs it anyway), basically nothing else to make the iPad Air stand out, but plenty to skyrocket the Note 10.1 and Lumia 2520’s overall value. Like S Pen support and microSD on the former, HDMI, NFC, microSD and sleek optional keyboard dock for the latter.

nokia-lumia_2520

It thus all comes down to the wire, with pricing being the last key piece of the puzzle and probably the most important of all. $500 for the 2520 (with 32 GB storage), $500 the iPad Air (16 GB variation) and $550 the 2014 10-inch Note (also with 16 GB memory).

So could Nokia win the war in the eleventh hour? No way Jose, as they’ve lost too many battles by very wide margins. As for the GNote 10.1 vs. iPad Air duel, in my book it goes down as an overall tie. Surprisingly, the Air is the cheaper of the two and unsurprisingly, it’s the better looking tab.

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Meanwhile, the Note has the unique S Pen, the crisper display, three times Air’s RAM, an equally as impressive battery (on paper), silky smooth software and a fast and furious, albeit not as buzzed about processor. Did I or did I not tell you, Apple, that the war was not decided?      

Nokia World and Apple iPad Events: Should We Care? Spoiler Alert: Not Really

Say, all ye die-hard Android fans, do you by any chance know what’s set to go down come October 22, i.e. in 24 hours give or take?

Probably not Google’s Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat grandiose unveilings, to the sheer desperation of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and amateur detectives trying to make heads or tails of incredibly cryptic (and random) teasers and hints.

Android vs iOS vs Windows

Instead, in the space of just a few hours, Nokia will try to convince the world it’s still alive and kicking and its products matter in the grand scheme of tech things, whereas Apple will do what it knows best: roll out “more of the same” and, courtesy of bitching marketing, convince everybody it has reinvented the wheel… again.

That’s all fine and dandy if you’re into retro (read fugly) designs and useless tiles on the one hand and overly simplistic software and overpriced hardware on the other. But why should Android enthusiasts give a damn about the latest installment in Nokia’s “World” press event series and however the hell Apple is nicknaming its tedious product announcements nowadays?

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Well, you know what they say. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Besides, unlike you know who, we Android aficionados always like to keep an open mind and give everyone a fair chance to impress us. So go ahead, Nokia, Apple, show us what you got and why we should care.

Nokia World – what it’s all about

Though rumor has it Nokia will have a bag full of new gizmos to announce in Abu Dhabi (of all places), I think it’s obvious for everyone meager Asha products don’t really count in the grand scheme of things. Which leaves the Finns with three or four aces up their sleeves.

Lumia-1520

Number one, the Lumia 1520. The first Windows Phone with Full HD and quad-core power (oh, welcome to the club) is said to leave all compromises behind and blend generous screen real estate (6 inches or so) with breezy multitasking (2 gigs of RAM), incredible raw speed and top-notch camera technology (20.6 MP PureView snapper).

Then there’s the 2520, Nokia’s first ever tablet, rumored to be quite impressive in the hardware department, but only run Windows RT on the software side of things. Number three, there’s a Lumia 929 for Verizon, which in a nutshell will be a 1520 in a more compact, 5-inch body. And then there’s a 1320 “Batman”, which some sources say will be the international flavor of the 929, while others a low-end, large screener.

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Finally, Nokia will bring forth the Lumia 525, an incremental upgrade for the 520, currently the best-selling Lumia in the world.

Why we should care

  • The 5-inch Lumia 929, if it comes with Full HD, 2 GB RAM, 20 MP camera and Snapdragon 800, sounds pretty darn impressive. A little late to the party, but impressive nevertheless.

Nokia Lumia 929

Why we shouldn’t care

  • Windows RT. Enough said
  • If real estate is all about location, location, location, mobile tech is all about timing, timing, timing. And the 929 and 1520, as impressive as they may be, are, or better yet, will be late. Just think about it. They won’t launch until mid-November, at best. And they’ll cost $250 with contracts, at best. Meanwhile, you have the GNote 3 out and about, Sony’s Xperia Z1, LG’s G2, HTC’s One max… Shall I carry on?
  • 4-inch Lumia 525? Possible 4.7-inch Lumia 1320 with dual-core CPU and 480 x 800 pix res panel? Puh-lease!

Apple iPad event – what it’s all about

Guess I don’t have to tell you Cupertino is not really a fan of the “putting as many eggs in as many baskets” strategy. As such, don’t expect an avalanche of new products from them. Just two. A “full-sized”, fifth-generation, 9.7-inch iPad and a second-gen 7.9-inch iPad Mini.

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Just like Nokia, Tim Cook and the gang have been incapable of keeping a tight lid on their unreleased products, so they’re as transparent as glass already, following a bundle of rumors and leaks.

Thus, if something stunning doesn’t happen in the eleventh hour, the iPad 5 is to resemble the new (and old) iPad mini on the outside, with a thinner than before profile, slimmer bezels and decreased weight. Yet the design philosophy will remain virtually the same.

New iPad

On the hardware front, both the new iPad and iPad Mini will be pushing the envelope Apple-style, meaning they’ll be ever so slightly zippier than their predecessors… in real life. But here’s the kicker. There’s a good shot the Mini won’t rock a Retina display this year either, while Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology may not find its way on either of the two tabs.

On the “bright” side, rumor has it the iPad 5 will feature an upgraded 8 MP rear-facing camera. Because hey, who doesn’t like to take bitching photos with a 10-inch slab?

iPad-mini-2

Why we should care

  • When all is said and done and as much as it pains me to admit it, the iOS tablet “ecosystem” remains superior to Google’s. Probably not for long, but right now, that’s just how things are, with far too few Android apps conceived specifically for slates.

Why we should absolutely not care

  • 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution for a late 2014 7.9-inch tablet? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
  • Preposterous pricing is what will ultimately bring Apple’s demise and, if the non-Retina iPad Mini 2 starts at $300 or more, the end is one step closer. Not that the iPad 5 is set to be very budget-friendly, at $500 or so.

iPad

  • Cupertino has stopped innovating a looong time ago, but nowadays it seems like Cook’s employees, save maybe for the marketing team, are not even trying anymore. Seriously now, can anyone tell the difference between the iPhone 5 and 5s purely aesthetically? That’s exactly what will go down with the iPad Mini 2.
  • Let’s assume you’re in the market for a 10-incher right now. And aren’t willing to overlook Android’s crystal clear ecosystem shortcomings. No one will blame you for choosing the large-screen iPad. But why go for the “new”, overpriced one when last year’s is almost just as good and, in a month or two, probably much cheaper? Now that’s a puzzle.

NVIDIA predicts drop in mobile processor sales due to Windows RT

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NVIDIA has had a rough transition from the PC era to the mobile era, with the Tegra processor line always being trumped by another company, when Tegra 3 was launched, the Snapdragon S4 Pro was fitted on most of the top-end smartphones.

Still, Tegra 3 managed to get some attention and NVIDIA has managed to keep gaining some profits every quarter, but the company says Q3 and Q4 this year may be hard fought, with the recent drop in mobile processor sales due to Windows RT failing to gain any traction.

The Windows Surface hit a $900 million loss and NVIDIA has to suffer the same loss for investing so much time and money into Windows RT. With ASUS and other manufacturers saying they do not feel confident with the Windows RT platform, it seems NVIDIA is not going to benefit anytime soon from its investment.

The Tegra 4 processor has yet to gain any traction on mobile, with the vast majority of manufacturers opting for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 and 800 chips. Not only has benchmark scores shown the Snapdragon 800 outperforms the Tegra 4, Qualcomm is also marketing the chips at a cheaper price, supposedly.

We believe NVIDIA will start dropping chip prices and may look for other ventures to invest in. With Samsung developing their own Exynos processor, NVIDIA needs to start hunting down all available manufacturers and try to sell the Tegra 4 for a lower cost.

Source: Bloomberg

Next Surface RT tablet will have Qualcomm mobile chip

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Microsoft will not be giving up on Windows RT straight away it seems, despite expectations not being met, with new rumours fleshing out about the next Surface RT range. According to new reports, some tablets will come with Qualcomm chips instead of NVIDIA, although the company will continue to use NVIDIA Tegra chips in some devices.

The Snapdragon 600 is the processor of choice right now, although the Snapdragon 800 offers more speed and a little trickle more battery usage. What’s interesting is the Surface RT will not only continue but Microsoft will invest in more than one model this time, with the possibility of a seven-inch and ten-inch Surface tablet.

Microsoft has started offering Surface RT’s to educational institutions for $199, possibly to get rid of inventory.

Source: Bloomberg

Via: TechnoBuffalo

Microsoft aiming for 25 million Surface sales in 2014

Surface tablets

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Microsoft flopped with the Surface RT and the Surface Pro may have been an admirable if somewhat unsuccessful attempt at a revamp, but that has not stopped the optimism at Redmond.

The company believes they are still in the running to become one of the biggest tablet distributors by 2014, hopefully selling 25 million Surface tablets in a year.

We have already heard rumours of a new line of Surface tablets, one running Windows 8 and a smaller seven-inch tablet running Windows RT, with the same price tag as the Nexus 7.

Perhaps Microsoft believe marketing to a budget audience could be the best decision, if a Windows RT tablet is developed for a minimal amount of money, it may take off with audiences.

However, we have heard others rumours about Microsoft scrapping Windows RT or at least changing the formula to resemble Windows 8, with all the desktop applications capable of running on RT.

We will have to wait and see what Redmond have in store this year and next.

Source: GSMInsider

Microsoft Surface RT Can Now Run a Few Basic x86 Applications Thanks to a Hack

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Each operating system/platform has a vast developer community, and the number only increases with each coming day. Be it Android, iOS or Windows Phone/Windows 8, they’ve all got a large number of developers trying to bring in hacks/tweaks to unsupported devices. For Android, there’s the CyanogenMod team and similarly for Windows too there’s a big group of devs trying to bring in unsupported features on devices. Windows has always been known to be the ultimate hacking/modding machine, but Microsoft didn’t live up to that promise with the Surface RT. Since the tablet was based on ARM’s CPU architecture, it didn’t pack support for standard Windows apps, which was kind of a letdown. But the folks at XDA have been hard at work to bring regular Windows apps (x86) onto the Surface RT since a long time and it’s finally possible. This will however require the Surface RT jailbreak as a prerequisite, so users have to make sure they’ve got themselves covered there.

As of now, it appears as if this new tool only runs light apps, but the developer has urged users to try out as many apps as possible and let him know how well they’re doing by writing to him at the forums. Sure, you won’t exactly be able to run heavy apps immediately, but this is certainly a start. This trick fools the system into emulating x86 tools to the default kernel. The process is a little too technical to understand, but it’s pretty simple in practical use. If you’re familiar with the term “jailbreaking”, you’ll find no trouble understanding this. Just like how one would modify a device after jailbreaking, this tool basically would work the same way. While not everything will work as smoothly as you would like, it’s a great start and one which would go a long way in making the tablet relevant again. Thanks to these devs, people can now run regular Windows software (albeit partially) on the Surface RT. There is still enough work to be done in this area though and we can expect to see the Surface RT running more heavy stuff in the coming days. The delay is painful, but better late than never, right?

These are the features which should have been enabled right from the start, but MS had no choice as it wanted to make the device a standalone tablet and not a Windows PC or notebook alternative. For users willing to get a replacement to the PC or their notebook, Microsoft has the Surface Pro which launched a few weeks ago. But if these ARM based tablets can run standard Windows apps without much fuss, then there won’t be much noise about the substantially pricier Surface Pro. Let’s hope the developers make more progress in this area as we would like to see the Surface RT bring some smiles on the owners’ faces. They’ve not had much to smile about really.

Source: XDA Forums
Via: Phone Arena

Microsoft Might Have Only Sold About 230,000 Surface RT Tablets

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The Microsoft Surface tablets were proudly announced by the Redmond giant back in June 2012. It was interesting to see the company’s approach towards the tablet industry as they had a regular tablet in the form of the Surface RT, which was aimed at the average tablet user. And a hardcore tablet with similar design and construction but pretty powerful internals, and this is known as the Surface Pro. The problem for Microsoft was that the Surface Pro wasn’t quite ready to be released in October, which meant that they had to only launch the Surface RT. Granted this wasn’t much of a notebook replacement, which is something people generally come to expect from a Windows tablet, the tablet didn’t attract a lot of buyers. And even if there were buyers, they didn’t have good experiences to share about the device. This mass disinterest in the tablet is evidenced by the poor holiday season sales of the Surface RT along with the rest of Microsoft’s Windows package, including Windows 8 PCs. We’re not sure if the problem lies in the user interface or the mere usability of the platform, but the Microsoft Surface RT wasn’t quite the success Microsoft expected. And now, we are learning that the Surface RT might have only sold a touch over 230,000 units overall since its late October launch.

This is in stark contrast to what analysts previously reported. This new revelation comes from an analyst name Heather Bellini from Goldman Sachs and we don’t see why these numbers could be wrong. Financial magazine Barron’s cited sales estimates predicted by various analysts over the past few weeks. It can be concluded that the 1 million sales report of the Surface RT for Q4 2012, was an over exaggerated figure. According to Heather Bellini, Microsoft made $140 million in Surface RT revenue, which could only account for roughly 230,000-300,000 sales. Here’s the math. If we consider the average price of each Surface RT sold to be $580, which is after taking into account the Touch Cover sales, the total sales wouldn’t go north of 300,000 units. This is a fair calculation, and one which needs to be closely analysed.

The general opinion out on the street is that the Surface RT hasn’t been a success in the market and we found more users keen on waiting for the Surface Pro’s launch. The tablet breaks cover on the 9th of February, so we’ll know how this sells in due time. Microsoft certainly has to address some issues with regards to its tablet lineup though. The Surface RT was nothing short of a dud, and maybe Microsoft should strictly focus on making top end premium tablets like the Surface Pro so as to avoid losses and failures like these. Not that the Surface Pro will sell any better, but it’s just that Microsoft cannot afford to fall back even in the tablet game. As we all know, it’s already falling behind in the smartphone biz and its recent PC sales figures have been nothing to write home about either. So in order to keep its house intact, some serious changes are in order.

Source: Barron’s
Via: Phone Arena

Reader Question: Will the Surface Tablets Pick Up Pace in the market?

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This one’s off the Android topic too, but of particular interest to us all. Microsoft’s Surface tablets were formally announced in June last year and brought to the market in late October, although only the Surface RT was launched. The tablet has found critics right from the start, be it for its poor timing or its nature as a tablet/computer overall. To begin with, the Surface RT is NOT a netbook replacement, which Microsoft made steadily clear in its presser back in June. For those seeking a replacement to the notebook, the Surface Pro would suffice. There’s a very distinct reason the Windows RT running Surface tablet cannot be called a notebook in any sense of the word. And that is due to the fact that the Surface RT runs on an ARM CPU which means it is more on par with the current generation of tablets than a complete notebook replacement.

What this means is that the Surface RT is incapable of running regular Windows software or non-Windows Store apps. Although there’s a way to make some tweaks to the device (via Jailbreak) to make of these functions possible, Microsoft doesn’t necessarily intend it to be that way out of the box. This quite essentially is the root of all the cause, the fact that it doesn’t run Windows software but is still considered a Windows device. We can expect many consumers to simply take no interest to this device or probably just wait for the real thing a.k.a the Surface Pro to arrive. So far, the Surface RT sales have been abysmal and Microsoft has only itself to blame for the delay in launch in key countries and the hesitance to partner with retailers to bring the device. If you might know, the Surface RT was only available for purchase on Microsoft kiosks or its online store, and nowhere else. This can be another major reason why the tablet didn’t get the attention it probably deserved.

The Stronger Surface

But we have to bear in mind that the Surface tablets consist of two devices, the other being the Surface Pro. This tablet or netbook if we can call it that, is a more worthy buy for people looking for a full-fledged notebook replacement. The screen size is the same as the Surface RT, but the resolution is Full HD instead of just HD, plus there are plenty of other additions to this tablet which make it a more than attractive purchase at this price point. What strikes as resounding to us though is the fact that how much of a difference a change in chipset and CPU architecture can do. Prices for the Surface Pro starts from $899 which immediately puts it in the expensive notebook category, but that crispy display and the dual digitizer (usable with a pen stylus) will certainly justify the price tag. And unlike the Surface RT, the Windows 8 Pro running Surface Pro comes with support for all the standard desktop apps, so that’s not an issue at all. The RAM is upgraded as well, as the Surface Pro comes with 4GB of RAM compared to the 2GB of RAM provided on the Surface RT. So all in all the Surface Pro is an ideal device for someone who works more often and does CPU heavy stuff like editing and what have you. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU isn’t all that bad either, so I guess the Surface Pro is a better bet right now. This tablet is expected to break cover on February 9.

The Future?

Now for a bigger question about the future of these Surface tablets. Well, honestly I don’t see a bright future for these tablets. Sure the Surface Pro could be the rejuvenation which Microsoft desperately needs at this point, but at its price range it certainly won’t attract the tablet crowd. That’s what the Surface RT was supposed to do but miserably failed. The Surface Pro will sell, no doubt, but only a few elitists out there wanting to replace their notebook would be interested in something like a Surface Pro, and believe me it will suit their needs perfectly. But the bigger issue is how Microsoft dealt with its products and the initial hiccups it faced in the industry. In my opinion, had Microsoft launched the Surface RT and the Surface Pro together, there would be much more noise and excitement for these devices, whereas now, people hardly seem to care about Surface RT. There is certain amount of excitement for the Surface Pro, but we are fairly certain that will pass too. Is it really worth the $899 price tag?

Now that’s a question the customers will answer, but a steady increase in Surface tablet revenue can be expected, mostly due to the Surface Pro. This was more of a rant than answering a question really, but I guess that’s the situation Microsoft is in right now. There are several people calling for the head of Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft. The ex-president of the Windows Team, Steve Sinofsky recently left Microsoft to pursue other opportunities. On the other side, the Windows Phone marketshare hasn’t seen a giant increase either. So one can say that Microsoft is currently in shambles, and it needs to put its house in order for things to begin picking up pace. Either way, I feel it’s a little too late for the company to make any impact on the market. Windows Phones are aging and the Surface tablets hardly manage to excite us. Also, one of Microsoft’s signature businesses, the PC market is taking a hit.

What’s your take on Microsoft’s Surface tablets? Drop a comment below or email us at – [email protected].

Over 180 Million Tablets Will be Shipped in 2013 Claims Report

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The tablet marketshare has substantially increased over the past few years and with good reason. The market which was more or less dominated by the Apple iPad, saw the emergence of the budget tablets like Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 which marked a new revival (or arrival) of Android tablets on a bigger scale. Today, the tables have turned and Android tablets currently rule the budget tablet segment which led Apple to launch its own budget tablet, or something which comes close to it in the form of the iPad Mini. And it is now being reported that the tablet market will see further surge in 2013. Reports coming from analysts cited by Digitimes suggests that the tablet shipments could reach 180 million units in 2013. As you would expect, the iPad will continue to take most of the cake of the tablet industry or in the 9-inch+ tablet segment. While the budget tablet segment which consists of tablets under 8-inches will be dominated by Google’s offerings as well as Amazons.

Even with top quality Android tablets like the Nexus 10 in the market, there’s very little going for it. The reason being that Android tablet apps are still not as polished as iPad applications. The iOS platform comes with a large number of iPad specific apps which are built to work on these devices, so users aren’t treated to magnified mobile apps. Of course, the first gen iPad had this issue back when it was launched where we saw plenty of apps weren’t meant to work on the device. So it’s basically a slow transition, and as the days progress we are seeing more and more Android developers improving the quality of their apps, so app content is one area where Android can improve. I think Google will like to maintain a specific benchmark now with the 7 and 10.1-inch tablets respectively. The iPad has been 9.7-inches right from the start and even today it maintains the same size, although the change in display resolutions were cause for concern. Even with the iPad Mini, despite being a relatively smaller device, all of the iPad apps work seamlessly on it as it uses the same resolution as the first and second gen iPad. So these are the challenges that Android tablets are facing as of now, but if there’s a fixed display resolution that all developers can work on, I guess most of the issues will be resolved.

Then there are tablets like the Microsoft Surface RT and the yet to be launched Surface Pro which are yet to prove their mettle in the market. Although we think the Surface Pro would do well in the market, it won’t cause any harm to the iPad marketshare and certainly not the Android budget tablet marketshare. But people will certainly buy all sorts of tablets this year and we’re fairly certain that the Surface tablets will account for many of those. 180 million shipments is a lot, but not unexpected looking at the pace at which manufacturers are going.

Source: Digitimes
Via: Phone Arena

Microsoft Going Mellow on the Surface RT Jailbreak Episode

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Microsoft’s Windows RT based tablet, the Surface RT is a moderate success despite what the company would have you believe. The reasons for that are pretty much out in the open. And there is hardly anything going for the company in the current situation as we told you a couple of days ago. But if there’s one positive coming out of the Microsoft camp and particularly with regards to the Surface RT, is about its “jailbreak” which would allow sideloading of non-Windows Store apps (basically normal desktop apps) on the tablet. In fact, some people reportedly were able to run Mac OS on the Surface RT post the alleged jailbreak. So this has been tagged as a bug or an inevitable security threat by many, which Windows RT is supposedly alien to by default. However, Microsoft has now come out with a word saying it’s all good and it doesn’t seem to be worried all that much about the jailbreak. This is what the company had to say –

This issue is not a security vulnerability, and we have not seen attempts to take advantage of this social engineering technique. In order for this social engineering technique to be successful, a user would need to be lured to click on a malicious link, and also click through an additional security alert. As always, we encourage all customers to avoid opening suspicious links and emails. We continue to appreciate the work of researchers, and we will take appropriate action to help protect customers.”

This basically tells us that Microsoft is in fact appreciative of the developer’s work to be able to jailbreak the devices. However, it is providing assurance to users that it will protect them. Unfortunately, there’s little word on Microsoft’s course of action if malware or potential security threats are spotted post the jailbreak. Hopefully, we’ll have more clarity on that as the days progress. It almost seems like Microsoft secretly wanted this to happen, because we all know how restricted the Surface RT is as it is incapable of running normal desktop apps due to the change in chip architecture. Until the Surface Pro arrives, which is a full-fledged portable machine running on an Intel based chip, this new found hack should come in handy for Surface RT owners. And since Microsoft doesn’t seem to mind much, we guess it’s a win-win situation for all. Bear in mind that the Surface RT does have Windows Defender preinstalled which does warn you on spotting malware threats. So should you encounter any such issue, there’s no one else to blame but yourself. This is how it is with any jailbreak or root exploit basically, so I guess the users are well aware of that.

Source: TNW
Via: Phone Arena

PC Sales Drop in Q4 2012, Worst Figures in Over Five Years for Microsoft

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Microsoft clearly didn’t have a good 2012 and that was apparent for several reasons. Firstly the evolution of its mobile OS in the form of Windows Phone 8 received lukewarm response when it was launched, and also because its aspirations for the tablet market took a heavy beating post the launch of the Surface RT. And now it seems like the company didn’t have a great time with PCs either, as a new research has shed light on the dismal run of Microsoft in that department. According to IDC, 2012’s fourth quarter PC sales took a substantial fall which is surprising as it includes the holiday season as well. This was a shocker really, as instead of the sales percentage slightly dropping from the past year, it actually went down by about 6.4%. This apparently is the first time it’s happening in over five years. It seems like a clear case of product confusion for potential buyers, as Microsoft introduced two products at the same time – the Windows 8 operating system and the Microsoft Surface RT tablet. It is evident that many buyers held back and decided to play the waiting game as they were quite unsure as to what’s going on with Microsoft. To makes matters worse, Microsoft launched the Surface RT as a lone tablet and pushed back the launch of the Surface Pro. Even though we’re speaking strictly of PCs here, it is understandable as to why things went wrong for MS.

Microsoft spent over $1.5 billion in Windows 8 marketing, which clearly hasn’t reaped the benefits for them. Will this change in the future? Probably yes, after the Surface Pro is launched and people sort out the whole Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT confusion. Honestly from a personal point of view, Windows 8 isn’t quite optimized to work on a non-touch computer, especially the Metro UI which is supposed to be the core of the Windows 8 OS. That’s not to say that the OS in itself is flawed. It’s a real change in the way we look at Windows, no doubt, but that at times is the problem. I’m sure there are several others out there who still remain on Windows 7 or earlier versions of Windows. The analyst from IDC, Jay Chou reflected on why Microsoft couldn’t post respectable sales figures in the fourth quarter of 2012.

He said – “Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience. As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013.”

When we look at how the OEMs fared, it was Dell and Acer which were the biggest losers seeing a drop in sales of about 20.8% and north of 28% accordingly. But HP grabbed a large chunk of the Windows marketshare this past quarter with 16.7% while Lenovo saw a good increase in marketshare with 15.7% of the pie. Lenovo as BGR rightly mentions, was probably the only company which saw a rise in marketshare. All in all, it was a forgettable fourth quarter for Microsoft, with Windows Phones not doing all that great either.

Source: IDC
Via: BGR

Samsung’s Windows RT Running Ativ Tab Will Not Make its Way to the U.S

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Samsung’s ambitions in the tablet market have been very high with devices like the Galaxy Tab which had quite a few variants and the Galaxy Note 800. More recently, the company announced the Nexus 10 tablet in accordance with Google which is one of the best Android tablets money can buy right now. However, we often tend to neglect Samsung’s aspirations in the Windows tablet arena especially since the launch of Windows RT. When Samsung launched the WP8 running Ativ S, there were a few other Ativ devices announced during the event. This included the Samsung Ativ Tab which was running on Windows RT. These devices got very little coverage over the months following its official announcement and it has now come to light that the device will not be launched in the U.S. Perhaps, Microsoft doesn’t want Samsung to interfere with the sales of the Surface RT in the country which might strike out as the reason behind backing out. But Samsung’s Senior VP, Mike Abary has other theories. He said there was too much confusion about the device’s nature given it’s running on a toned down version of Windows 8. He indicated that it was probably at the company’s best interest to wait on the launch of the device in the States.

He said – “There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment. When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.”

Samsung is not really the first company to be a little cold on Windows RT, previously Acer was also known to be a little disconnected from the concept. The company delayed the launch of its Windows RT tablet so as to see how the Surface RT performs in the market. So there is a general sense of caution from the manufacturers with regards to Windows RT which is understandable. OEMs have been more aggressive and supportive towards the Windows 8 Pro running tablets, which will arrive in the form of Surface Pro this year. So while there is enough excitement among manufacturers about Windows 8 Pro, they don’t quite feel the same about Windows RT. We’re in that time of the year where tons of smartphones and tablets are going to be launched. Windows has always known to be the ultimate work machine, which is why there are plenty of people waiting for the release of the Surface Pro. Let’s see how that pans out for Microsoft and its partners.

Source: Cnet
Via: Pocketnow

Microsoft Windows RT Ported Onto a HTC HD2

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It’s baffling to see how some developers manage to get newest versions of an OS running on a relatively older device. This is crucial for devices which are usually forgotten by its creators. Due to (alleged) hardware limitations, manufacturers quickly write off a device from their update list. The HTC HD2 is one of them. The device didn’t have much luck with updates as Microsoft was shifting to an entirely new OS with Windows Phone 7 at the time. But this didn’t stop the developers from exploring modding options within the device. This is why the HTC HD2 is known to be a very developer friendly smartphone. We’ve seen Android run on this smartphone, which is a marvel to us all. And as surprising as that was, we have something now which is equally astonishing, if not more. Renowned Dark Forces Team hacker Cotulla, who specializes in Windows Phone ROMs and other tweaks, has now managed to get Windows RT working on the HTC HD2. Yes, as strange/absurd/surprising as it sounds, this is exactly what he has done. There’s no issue with compatibility as Windows RT requires ARM based processors which is what most smartphones have anyways. If you’re wondering whether this is stable, well we can’t quite vouch for that yet, but the effort made by Cotulla is very commendable.

The HTC HD2 is a juggernaut in every sense of the word. And I can understand why people who sold the device in return for a newer model would regret their decision. There have been plenty of smartphones that arrived after the HD2, and despite that, this giant never lost steam and withstood the test of time, one of the very few smartphones capable of doing that actually. So while this Windows RT port might not be fully complete or working, it feels good to see developers still showing faith in the device. Cotulla is also known for ports of the Windows Phone 7.8 ROMs on legacy Windows Phone 7 smartphones. This is yet another feather in his cap.

We know very well where Microsoft is heading with Windows RT, and there’s zero possibility as of now to get it on smartphones since there’s already a dedicated platform for that (WP8). Perhaps in the future, Microsoft could look to unify the mobile and tablet OSes into one like how iOS and Android devices are today. There’s still some distance to go for that though, and we’ll know more about Microsoft’s plans when the next major Windows Phone update is announced. Until then, we can merely watch as these dedicated developers continue to come up with something new.

Source: Cotulla – Twitter
Via: Pocketnow

HTC Could Launch 7 and 12-inch Windows RT Tablets in 2013

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HTC is certainly not the top manufacturer in the Android world today and clearly hasn’t been having a good time in the market. But there have been hints at a revival by the company with the industry standard setting HTC Butterfly and its subsidiaries, which has opened the doors for 1080p display panels to be used on a smartphone. However, its aspirations in the tablet industry weren’t all that positive. As it launched the Flyer and Jetstream (AT&T) last year, we would have felt there would be more coming from the manufacturer. But there wasn’t and we though perhaps HTC wanted to solely focus on smartphones. But now, a report claims that HTC could be looking to launch Windows RT tablets in 2013.

Details about this are scarce, but it seems like HTC could finally get a fully fledged Windows RT tablet of its own, the first for the Taiwanese manufacturer. Bear in mind that HTC had previously claimed that it won’t concentrate on the tablet market in the U.S. But back then, we weren’t sure of Microsoft’s Windows RT building interest in third party OEMs. It is said that HTC will launch a 7-inch and 12-inch tablet, catering to the budget segment and the high end segment respectively. And these tablets will run on Qualcomm designed chipsets, and not Tegra 3 as used by the Surface RT. The big surprise is the 7-inch tablet, which apparently can also make phone calls. Now that’s very unique and something we don’t expect from a Windows tablet. So we recommend you to take this with a pinch of salt for now. This is also strange because Windows RT isn’t supported on 7-inch tablets, as it’s not as versatile as Android or iOS. But it is believed that Microsoft will roll out an update called “Windows Blue” which will fix that limitation.

I personally feel Windows RT tablets made by major OEMs like Nokia, HTC and Samsung could go a long way in popularizing the concept in general. But for companies like Nokia and HTC, this is a new niche. These manufacturers are historically known for their cellular devices, and making the switch to tablets shouldn’t be a bad idea. Nokia in particular which works in close quarters with Microsoft, could benefit a lot from the company’s support. The HTC tablets will apparently break cover in the third quarter of 2013. So will we see the tablets being announced at the CES or MWC? That’s highly unlikely, and we’re guessing HTC would take to the IFA event in 2013 to announce the device. There’s still a long way to go, and we expect to hear rumors and tidbits of the alleged new tablets as days go by.

Source: Bloomberg
Via: Phone Arena