Welcome aboard, good readers. We'll be covering the biggest headlines of the week, including Android, Apple and Windows Phone. It's been a fairly good week, with exciting new information about the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III coming to light, Apple facing heat over the rather toasty new iPad and its Apple TV user interface, and Windows Phone launching in China. Let's get right into the headlines, starting with Android, after the jump.
The big story this week on the Android front has been the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III. A whole host of new rumours have appeared about the highly anticipated handset, including a potential launch date of April. According to Samsung's head of Chinese operations Kim Young-Ha, the launch date was moved up from May in order to target the Chinese market more aggressively. That may fit with news coming in just today that Phones4U will be announcing something, in concert with Samsung, on the 30th of the month - that's Friday next week.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has also been rumoured to be shipping with some rather interesting additions. According to the Korea Times, we can expect to find a quad-core Exynos processor of Samsung's own design, which would include both LTE and WCDMA connectivity on chip. According to the unnamed executive quoted in the article, the new chip is ready and only needs to be included in a phone.
Even more excitingly, we may also see wireless inductive charging present in the Galaxy S III. That's the word from another Korean publication, DDaily, who report that wireless charging will come standard on the Galaxy S III as part of an attempt to produce one of the thinnest smartphones ever. It'd be a massive feature for Samsung to come out with, as it'd be the first to have a smartphone with inductive charging support out of the box. Samsung's proprietary charging solution apparently works from up to two metres away, so it's quite impressive from a technical standpoint too.
Of course, Samsung's not the only big Android maker with some news this week. We also heard from Sony that they're launching a new phone in China, the Xperia Neo L. It's the first Ice Cream Sandwich phone from Sony so far, but is otherwise a fairly nondescript mid-range handset.
Panasonic have also announced that their Eluga superphone will be hitting Europe in April, after a March 29th launch in Japan. The water-proof 7.8mm phone has a qHD display and dual-core processor, so not quite top-of-the-line but still pretty close.
Toshiba also captured our imaginations this week with a massive 13.3" Android 4.0 tablet that comes complete with a TV tuner. The AT330 looks to come with a 1080p (at least) display and a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, making it one of the most powerful (and certainly largest) tablets yet announced.
Of course the big tablet in the room at the moment is the iPad 3. After a highly successful launch where Apple sold 3 million iPads worldwide, there have been a few issues with the tablet - the most important of which has been the 'heatgate' proto-scandal.
While Apple has remarked that the new tabelts are running 'within thermal specifications', tests done by Consumer Reports have indicated the tablet can reach up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 47 degrees Celsius) when charging and running launch title Infinity Blade II. This isn't apparently enough to do any serious damage, but does make using the tablet uncomortable.
Some other issues have hit the new iPad too. One issue for owners of older smart covers is that many don't work on the new iPad. Due to a magnet polarity issue, some older smart covers won't be compatible. Another, potentially greater issue is that the new iPad continues charging for an hourafter reaching 100%, showing that either deliberately or accidentally the battery metre has been misconfigured by Apple.
The other product launched at the media event earlier this month is the Apple TV, which has also seen some interesting news released. According to a former Apple engineer, the Apple TV's new UI was one that was rejected by Steve Jobs five years ago. Jobs was notoriously hard to please, so the story does make a lot of sense - let's hope that Apple's legendary high standards aren't lowered by his passing.
One place that we may see relatively little innovation is the upcoming iPhone. According to the most recent rumours, the new iPhone will come with the same sized 3.5" display, albeit with LTE support and a smaller micro-dock connector. A 4.6" Retina Display iPhone was also rumoured earlier in the week, so it's impossible to known one way or another until it actually launches. That launch window is expected to be October, so we've still some way to go on this one.
Now let's move onto to WIndows Phone, which like Samsung has also been targeting the Chinese market. The first Windows Phone launched in China this week, the HTC Eternity. The Eternity is a rebranded HTC Titan with Chinese language support.
Nokia is also planning their own Chinese Windows Phone launch on the 28th of this month, where it's expected to announce the Lumia 610, 719 and 800 for the Chinese market. That shjould give Nokia a good range of options for Chinese consumers, and could become a massive market for the #1 Windows Phone maker.
Moving closer to home, the ZTE Mimosa is rumoured to be launching in May. The mid-range Windows Phone device is the second of its kind from ZTE (after the ZTE Orbit announced last month), and should challenge Nokia considerably at lower price points. The phone will launch with Windows Phone Tango and include 256 MB of RAM and a 800 MHz processor, a fair point away from its Android 4.0 Mimosa X cousin.
In news that I'm sure is near to the hearts of all Windows Phone fans, Angry Birds creators Rovio have confirmed that Angry Birds Space, the latest entry in the massively popular series, will be coming to Windows Phone as well. This news came after a spokesman in the company claimed that a Windows Phone version wasn't in development due to the high cost of developing for the Windows Phone platform.
And that's it for the headlines this week - I hope you enjoyed the article. Please feel free to leave your questions or comments in the comments section below, and if you found the post helpful then hit that 'Kudos' button to give me some sweet internet karma. Thanks for reading, and farewell until next week!
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