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.
We hate to break it to anyone who recently purchased a 16GB Nexus 7 device, but it now appears a 32GB version is definitely destined to land in the U.S., and it won't cost any more than what users already paid for half the capacity. The 32GB version was spotted on the Staples Advantage website, which is the company's portal for business users, and it's actually priced a few dollars cheaper than the 16GB model.
Microsoft made a splash in cyberspace this morning when it temporarily revealed pre-order pricing for its Surface RT tablet line, only to inexplicably pull the listing offline. Well, once you let the cat out of the bag on the Internet, there's no putting it back in, so either Microsoft caved, or it was planning to go live with the pre-order site all along. Either way, the pre-order page is now back online, presumably for good.
One of the main reasons we're such big fans of the PC (as in, Windows- and Linux-based boxes) is because they're so easy to service and upgrade. That isn't necessarily true for many mobile devices, and it's certainly a concession you have to make with most Apple products, including the new iPod Nano. Our friends at iFixIt carved into a 7th generation iPod Nano like a Halloween pumpkin and found both tricks and treats inside.