Let's be clear about something right off the bat. Highfalutin digital SLR cameras are very much relevant and will be for a long, long time to come. DSLRs have nothing to worry about from smartphones, not now, not tomorrow, and maybe not ever. But compact cameras and consumer point-n-shoots in general? Well, they're already feeling the squeeze from increasingly capable smartphones, and if Nokia's Lumia 1020 lives up to the hype, it could be the beginning of the end for budget digicams.
Smartphone sector isn't appealing to AMD right now
You can hardly go a week without there being a new smartphone announcement, some bigger than others. Thanks to a combination of lower prices (especially subsidized pricing) and advancements in mobile technology, smartphones are more popular than ever, but that doesn't mean AMD is anxious to jump in and start competing with ARM, its licensing partners (like Nvidia and Qualcomm), and Intel.
The thing about smartphones is that even though they're offered at a large discount when signing up for a two-year service agreement, if you don't opt for an accidental damage warranty, you could be looking at a costly replacement if something goes wrong. What happens if you're sitting by the pool and your Galaxy S4 decides to squirt out of your hand and go for a swim? The outcome isn't likely a good one (try sticking it in a bag or bowl of uncooked rice for a day or two). However, Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active isn't quite as fragile.
Thinking about picking up Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone? Before you do, Microsoft wants you to consider the price. Off contract, a Galaxy S4 will set you back "a cool $750," compared to Nokia's Lumia 521, a Windows Phone 8 device that costs $150 off-contract. Oh yes, Microsoft went there, and then shot a YouTube video showing all the things you could purchase at a Microsoft Store with the money you saved.
Handset makers and wireless carriers love to load up Google's Android platform with custom overlays, user interface tweaks, and third-party programs that don't ship natively with the open source operating system. That's great for them, but most power users would prefer a clean version of Android to work with, which is why the third-party ROM community is popular. Well, following in the footsteps of Samsung and it's custom S4 that was announced at Google I/O, HTC is reportedly kicking around the idea of offering a Google Edition of its One smartphone.
Cries of "boycott!" emanate from the BlackBerry 10 camp.
Netflix has been known to rile up its subscribers on occasion. The biggest example of this is when Netflix tried to sever its DVD-by-mail division into a spinoff called "Qwikster" so that it could focus all its efforts on streaming. That didn't sit very well with consumers, but it wouldn't be the last time the company would make an unpopular decision. Just a few days ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hinted that his company currently has no plans of developing a BlackBerry 10 app.
The cold, hard truth for companies like Nokia and HTC is that one of their biggest competitors, Samsung, is red hot right now. Apple faces the same concern, though the Cupertino company isn't fighting for scraps like the other guys, it's leaving them behind alongside Samsung, the latter of which just announced it has surpassed 10 million Galaxy S4 sales in less than a month after its commercial debut.
Google I/O kicked off this morning and is still going on at the time of this writing, but rather than make you wait for a roundup of the highlights, we thought we'd pass along some of the more interesting developments that have already occurred. One of the biggest ones is the introduction of a streaming music service, as previously rumored, to go up against the likes of Pandora, Spotify, Slacker, and eventually Apple, to name a few.
IHS iSupply tears down the Galaxy S4 from Samsung.
Barring a sale price or a promotion, you're liklely to pay $200 for a Samsung Galaxy S4 handset, not including the overall cost of a two-year service agreement to qualify for subsidized pricing. Data fees notwithstanding, that's $29 less than the bill of materials (BOM). Manufacturing costs add another $8.50 per device, so on paper, Samsung is paying $237.50 for every Galaxy S4 device it builds.
It does seem at times as though Apple and Samsung almost enjoy fighting with each other, doesn't it? A new ad promoting Nokia's Lumia 920 smartphone and the Windows Phone platform it runs on comes right out and says it, and then implores viewers, "Don't fight. Switch." The 1-minute ad spot does little to promote the Lumia 920's features or Windows Phone software, but you have to hand it to Microsoft for at least trying to get into the thick of things.