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.
Convenience is the name of the game, and today more than ever, mobility is playing a huge factor in consumers' buying decisions for electronic devices. Gadget makers are answering the call, and in the first quarter of 2013, they shipped more than 300 million mobile devices around the world, according to the latest data published by Canalys, a market research and analysis firm.
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.
With so many low-cost tablets entering the fray, Barnes & Noble wants to make sure it's Nook HD and Nook HD+ don't get overlooked. To help put them both in the spotlight, B&N last week issued a firmware update that added Google Play access to the tablets, making it much more difficult to pigeonhole them as glorified eBook readers. And if that wasn't enough incentive, B&N just dropped the price by about 30 percent for Mother's Day.
Multiple sources are saying that Microsoft is currently working on another Surface tablet, one that will likely be smaller in size than the current models, and less expensive as well. If the rumors are true, then it means Microsoft received the memo that $500 tablets without an Apple logo are a tough sell. which is the same memo Google's hardware partners received long ago in reference to Android.
It seems like the whole world has gone crazy over tablets, and you can't go more than a week without some market research firm posting gloom and doom numbers on the desktop PC side due to consumer interest in mobile. Be that as it may, and despite falling prices for increasingly powerful tablets, not everyone believes the form factor will stand the test of time. Just the opposite, BlackBerry's Thorstein Heins -- the guy who runs the show -- believes tablets are a bad business model that will be lucky to last past 2018.