If you've ever seen the movie Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, then you have an idea of the relationship that exists between Samsung and Apple. It's a contentious one, born out of the fact that they've been brought together as a result of a marriage between mobile technologies and a mainstream audience increasingly infatuated with smartphones and tablets. Just as in Step Brothers, shenanigans ensue, the latest of which involves a significant price increase that Samsung is attempting to shove down Apple's throat.
Apple may have taken a billion dollar bite out of Samsung in the courtroom, but in the court of public opinion, the Korean handset maker's Galaxy S III is proving to be the most popular smartphone on the planet. It's all in the numbers, and according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, the Galaxy S III leapfrogged over Apple's iPhone 4S to become the world's top selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2012.
Now that Surface RT is here (and Surface Pro not far behind), it appears Microsoft wants to turn its attention to the 7-inch tablet market next, but with a twist. Unlike the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook Tablet, Microsoft's 7-inch slate -- dubbed Xbox Surface -- will be squarely aimed at gamers, the same ones who go out and buy handheld gaming consoles like the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.
It's no secret that Google's open source Android platform is the popular kid on the block, but even Google may not have envisioned a time when its mobile OS would account for 75 percent of all smartphones. Yet here we are, with Android installed on three out every four smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012, according to data by International Data Corporation (IDC).
In case further proof is needed that mobile devices are the hottest items on the planet right now, consider that, for the very first time, tablets and handheld devices like smartphones and media players now account for more than 10 percent of all web browsing, according to data collected by Net Market Share. The desktop is still the dominant platform in the surfing space, and probably will be for a long while to come, but there's no denying the mobile movement.
For our friends at iFixIt, tearing into Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT (Surface RT from here on out) represents just another day at the office. But for the rest of us, it provides an interesting peek at what lies beneath the Surface, as well as how easy or difficult it is to open up and service at home. Apple products are notoriously burdensome to crack open and repair; is the Surface any different?
The Internet is terrible at keeping secrets, and we've known for some time that Apple was cooking up an iPad Mini device, but we didn't know how much it would cost. Apple answered that question at a press event this afternoon, launching the oft-speculated iPad Mini starting at $329 for the 16GB model with Wi-Fi. Like the full size iPad line, there are different storage options and 4G LTE models.
Well that was fast, Despite all the speculation about Microsoft's pricing strategy for Surface, there were enough pre-order buyers to deplete whatever initial stock of the standalone 32GB model the Redmond company had set aside. Now when you go to order a 32GB Surface RT without a Touch Cover, the estimated delivery is "within 3 weeks" instead of October 26, which is when the other models will still arrive.
Acer's entry into the increasingly popular (and affordable) 7-inch tablet category is the Iconia Tab A110, a lightweight and pocket-sized slate that will be available to purchase in the U.S. on October 30, 2012. The A110 is ready to rock with an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1024x600 capacitive touchscreen display, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is the same version of Android found on Google's Nexus 7 device.
In case you haven't heard, Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT tablets are now available to pre-order, starting at $499 for the 32GB model sans Black Touch Cover. With the Touch Cover, the price jumps by a Benjamin to $599, and the 64GB version (with Touch Cover) is going for $699. Those are competitive price points compared to Apple's third generation iPad tablets, but as the Android camp found out, $499+ tablets are a tough sell.