Welcome to our weekly roundup of the week's mobile and tablet headlines. This week, we've heard a lot more about the Samsung Galaxy S III (including a possible Windows Phone version), Apple and Samsung have agreed to talk it out and Apple founder Steve Wozniak has decided his favourite phone is Nokia's Lumia 900. All this and more after the break!
This week, it's all been about the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S III. We've learned a lot about the handset in the week leading up to its official announcement, which will take place in London on the 3rd of May. First of all, senior VP Robert Yi confirmed in Samsung's Q1 earnings call that the phone would be called the "Galaxy S III" rather than "the next Galaxy" as it's heretofore been known.
We've also learned a lot about what we'll find both inside and out. The Samsung Galaxy S III is expected to ship with a quad-core Exynos processor running at 1.4 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, a 4.7" 720p display and a 12 megapixel rear camera.
In the US, you'll find the phone comes instead with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 and LTE, as LTE currently isn't supported with known quad-core processors.
On both variations, the OS will be Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz, as you'd expect.
These rather mighty specifications were enough to launch the Galaxy S III into 1st place in the Antutu benchmark, outperforming the Galaxy Nexus and even the Asus Transformer Prime.
Samsung should be in high spirits when launching the S3 on Thursday; it recently reported fantastic Q1 earnings results ($4.46b in profit) that end Nokia's 14 year run as the world's biggest phone manufacturer. It's certainly one for the record books.
Of course, the Android world isn't just about Samsung. If you've splashed out for the latest and greatest HTC One X, you can now install custom firmware Cynaogenmod 9 onto the device. This replaces the HTC Sense UI with the stock Ice Cream Sandwich one, eliminating one of the device's few weaknesses. There are still a few bugs in the release, but if you'd like you can install it now via this guide - but be careful!
We end our Android section this week with news that Amazon's low-cost Kindle Fire tablet has dominated the Android tablet market, capturing 44% of the market. The Samsung Galaxy Tab family now takes only 15% of the market, and no other tablet family takes home more than 10%. It's a fractured market to be sure, but the Kindle Fire is proving that Android's biggest draw in the tablet market is cost - just as in the handset market.
In the ever-popular Apple legal sphere, a mediation event between Apple and Samsung is scheduled for May 21st to May 22nd. The court ordered mediation will take place behind closed doors, but does provide an opportunity for the two companies to put aside their differences and settle. It's more likely than you think, with Apple CEO Tim Cook remarking recently that he's "always hated litigation", so maybe we can finally see the end of this long-standing legal wrangle.
Apple have also announced their Q1 results: $11.6 billion in profit from $39.2 billion in revenue. That's a massive increase, up from $5.99 billion profit and $24.67 billion revenue in the same quarter last year. That accounts for 35.1 million iPhone sales and 11.8 million iPads, a frankly staggering amount.
Outside of that, there hasn't been much concrete news in the Apple sphere. We've heard rumours of the long-fancied iPhone Nano to be launched alongside the iPhone 5 in June, but I haven't personally put much stock in the reports - we've heard rumours of a low-price, low-spec iPhone for a while now and nothing has ever come of it.
What we do know is where the next big announcement could take place - June 11th, 2012. That's the date of Apple's WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC), and tickets to the five day event sold out in less than two hours. We may yet see the next iPhone or iOS announced here, so it's definitely one to mark on your calendars if you're a hardcore Apple fan.
At the top of our stack of Windows Phone news tonight is this tasty nugget of information - Samsung is reportedly preparing a Windows Phone version of their highly anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone. Expected to be released with Windows Phone 8 later this year, the phone will take advantage of relaxed hardware restrictions in the Microsoft OS. It will likely ship with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 with LTE rather than the quad-core Exynos chipset found in the GSM version of the S III, but still provide some much-needed starpower to the Windows Phone platform.
Another Apple leader has also been in the headlines this week - founder Steve Wozniak. The honest and outspoken programmer behind the original Apple has expressed his satisfaction with his new Windows Phone - a Nokia Lumia 900.
He's picked it out as his favourite phone of the moment, better even than his iPhone 4S, and has remarked that the interface is beautiful and highly intuitive, although apps remain a problem. It's a significant mark of approval from the long-time Apple fan, and speaks to what Microsoft have actually been able to achieve with Windows Phone.
Speaking of the Nokia Lumia 900, we may soon be seeing that device in the UK. Nokia has announced a date of May 15th for the top-of-the-line handset, and have also teased a new magenta version of the device. If you're liking the Nokia Lumia 800 but you've got a hankering for a front-facing camera and a bigger screen, then the 900 is definitely a solid option and has reviewed fairly well.
Finally, another Android vendor may be getting into the Windows Phone 8 game. Rising giant Huawei has been rumoured to be working on Windows 8 4" phones and LTE-enabled tablets with a team of 70 engineers. That's a fairly serious effort, so I'd be surprised if we didn't see some gadgets from Huawei later on this year.
So that's all folks - a solid week for all parties, but it surely won't match the craziness that'll accompany the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III on Thursday. Be sure to tune in for that, and I'm sure we'll have some major coverage of this massive event.
As always, thanks for reading and be sure to let me know what you thought in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you. Until next time, farewell!
This article was written by William Judd, a freelance tech journalist and copywriter.
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