The Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 10.1, LG Optimus 3D and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play grabbed the big headlines at Mobile World Congress 2011. If you thought CES was fun, the annual Barcelona event will have had early adopters reaching for their wallets and breathlessly hunting for preorder opportunities. Hit the jump for a quick take on news, pending announcements from the major handset providers, and a brief analysis of what it all means for you.
Before you settle on a Galaxy Tab, know that Samsung is readying a larger, more functional tablet built around Google's Android 3.0 platform. Samsung, in partnership with Vodafone, announced the next generation Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Korea on Sunday, and there's a lot that has us salivating. In addition to Honeycomb, it will sport a bigger screen and a faster processor. More specs after the break.
According to Pocket-Lint, Samsung will be announcing a new Android tablet at Mobile World Congress next week. Unlike their existing Galaxy Tab, this new device will be running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and will have a 10.1-inch screen like the Motorola Xoom. The Current Galaxy Tab runs Android 2.2 and has a 7-inch screen.
IBM collects patents nearly as fast as the file clerk at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office can process them. In fact, the USPTO granted Big Blue an all-time high of 5,896 new U.S. patents in 2010, positioning IBM as the No. 1 patent assignee for the 18th consecutive year. In second place is Samsung, which added 4,551 patents to its portfolio last year. Now these two busy bodies will be able to license each other's patent portfolios after coming to undisclosed terms on a new patent cross-license agreement.
A recent report in The New York Postsuggested that a high number of Galaxy Tab buyers aren't exactly pleased with their purchase, quoting a return rate of around 15 percent. That would certainly be cause for concern for Samsung, or at least it would be if it were true. According to Samsung, that's all a bunch of hogwash and the actual return is much, much lower.
T-Mobile hopes to have a leg up on the competition in the 4G arms race. Along with Samsung, the wireless carrier this week announced the anticipated February availability of the Galaxy S 4G, available exclusively through T-Mobile.
"The Galaxy S 4G pushes the envelope by reaping the benefits of our network’s unprecedented speeds and by offering groundbreaking entertainment experiences," said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president, product management, T-Mobile USA. "We are excited to continue to expand our portfolio of 4G devices that enable our customers to have access to unique and compelling features and an optimal 4G experience."
T-Mobile says it's the first smartphone capable of delivering peak downloads of up to 21Mbps (theoretical, of course). It will come with a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 1GHz Cortez A8 Hummingbird processor, both rear- and front-facing cameras, 16GB microSD card, and Android 2.2.
Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab was once hyped as a potential iPad killer, at least before it was released. And now? Well, some analysts say the number of Galaxy Tabs being returned is as high as 15 percent, The New York Postreports.
"Consumers aren't in love with the device," said Tony Berkman, a consumer tech analyst with ITG.
Whether or not that number is accurate, we don't know, though Samsung did recently announce it had shipped 2 million Galaxy Tab devices. That's an impressive number, especially for a tablet running a version of Android that wasn't designed with tablets in mind, as opposed to Google's upcoming Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) platform.
Lovefilm is a name to remember. Right now it's just Europe's best impersonation of Netflix, only now it's owned by Amazon. It also has the backing of Samsung, which just announced plans to include the Lovefilm streaming application on all of its Blu-ray players in the U.K.
That's a pretty significant win for Lovefilm/Amazon. As far as Blu-ray players go, Samsung owns a quarter of the European market. With the app now coming standard, Samsung Blu-ray owners get access to thousands of streaming movies, from "Hollywood blockbusters, to the latest Cannes Film Festival nominees and even critically acclaimed documentaries," provided they pony up for a £5.99 (just under US$10) for a subscription.
A leaked PR schedule for the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2011 event managed to fall into the hands of Electronista, who posted the details to the Web. Assuming it's real, the itinerary confirms Samsung is working on a pair of second-generation Galaxy devices.
There aren't any details to go on, just the fact that Samsung plans to present the Galaxy S 2 smartphone and Galaxy Tab 2 tablet at MWC. Depending on the direction Samsung takes these devices, we could be in store for some nifty upgrades. Imagine a dual-core processor in the Galaxy S 2, along with a bigger screen and front-facing camera. And as for the Galaxy Tab 2, we'd be willing to gamble (a small sum) that it will ship with a 10-inch screen, a speedier processor, and of course Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).
What would you like to see included in the next generation of Galaxy devices? Hit the jump and sound off!
PC Mag is reporting today that T-Mobile outed the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 4G and Sidekick 4G at a press breakfast today. According to T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm, the devices will be available in the first half of 2011, but no more specific dates were given. Both devices will work on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network that they are fond of calling 4G.
Both will be running Android, which is more of a surprise for the Sidekick than the Galaxy. The Sidekick OS designed by Danger is no more, but the Sidekick branding as owned by T-Mobile is being transitioned to Android. Samsung is expected to announce a new version of the Galaxy S at Mobile World Congress in just a few weeks, but we believe the Galaxy S 4G is based on the existing Vibrant hardware.