Market News: Apple, Samsung Continue to Grow in US as BlackBerry Struggles

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The latest comScore market reports are in, and Apple and Samsung are the only two players currently growing. Apple grew 0.3% in the US market, while Samsung grew 1.7%, likely thanks to the release of its latest flagship device, the Galaxy S 4. HTC, maker of the venerable One, saw their share drop 0.6%. Samsung’s gain of 1.7% solidifies its position as the dominant Android manufacturer in the United States, leaving only Apple to contest the space.

BlackBerry announced their quarterly results this morning, and those results paint a dreary picture for the future of the company. The past quarter marks the first full quarter that BlackBerry 10 devices have been available. The Canadian company shipped 6.8 million devices — a sum of the number of BB10 and older devices — but lost $84 million. The 6.8 million devices shipped also doesn’t represent the number of devices actually sold.

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Samsung’s ‘Gadget Spam’ Approach is Working

Samsung-galaxy-S4

Samsung recently announced a series of new Galaxy S4 devices: the rugged S4 Active, larger-than-life 6.3-inch S4 Mega, tinier 4.3-inch S4 Mini, point-and-shoot S4 Zoom and another model running stock Android Jelly Bean. And with good reason. Over the past few years, especially since its legal battles with Apple, Samsung has emerged as the de facto Android handset maker in the mobile space. The South Korean firm has established itself in the market, and consumers are avid fans of their products.

With this powerful reputation, Samsung knows that it can launch a seemingly endless number of smartphones carrying the Galaxy S4 name. Simply put, the Galaxy S brand sells. While this practise might be referred to as “gadget spam” by CNNMoney, the bottom line is that Samsung has been able to drag in profits on these spinoff devices due to its extensive — and expensive — marketing strategies and powerful brand recognition. It just has to be careful not to sature the market with a myriad of subpar products, or things could take a turn for the worse.

[CNNMoney]

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Quick Thoughts on Minuum: A Clever, But Flawed, Keyboard for Android

minuum keyboard

Minuum is a keyboard for Android with a rather unique take on the market. Instead of providing what is essentially a tiny, software version of the QWERTY keyboard, the Minuum keyboard shrinks everything down and relies upon intelligent software prediction to accomplish the task of inputting text.

The project was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to donate — after all, the concept is interesting and text input on mobile devices has not evolved much in the past few years. I received an invite to the beta earlier this week, and I immediately installed the keyboard on my Nexus 4. After a few days of use, here’s what I think: (more…)

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Samsung Announces Galaxy S4 Mini, S4 Active and S4 Zoom in London

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Active Mini

Samsung announced a trio of new Galaxy S4 (GS4) smartphones at its Premiere 2013 event in London on Thursday, including the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4 Active and Galaxy S4 Zoom. While all three of these devices were already confirmed or leaked prior to this afternoon, it is the first time that all three handsets have been unveiled to the public. Get a look at each device ahead.  (more…)

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Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S5 Will Be First to Have Aluminum Design

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One of the main criticisms that the Samsung Galaxy S4 receives is its polycarbonate enclosure, especially when competitors like Apple and HTC use sleeker aluminum in the iPhone and HTC One respectively. Critics will often refer to the Galaxy S4 as a cheap-looking smartphone because of this plastic design, but that could all change in the near future.

Samsung will finally switch to an all-aluminum unibody when it releases its next-generation Galaxy S5 smartphone, according to a new rumor from Android Geeks. The move is allegedly part of Samsung’s new “Design 3.0″ direction, which sounds more like catching up with what other smartphone makers have been doing for years.

A downside to the switch in materials will be the lack of a removable battery in the Galaxy S5, a feature appreciated by those that are constantly traveling and require ample battery life at all times. What else to expect from the Galaxy S5 remains unknown at this point, but what is on your wish list?

[Android Geeks via AndroidGuys]

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ITC: Apple Guilty of Patent Infringement, Certain Devices Banned from Import

samsung-vs.-apple

The Samsung-Apple court wars are still raging, even if they haven’t received the same amount of attention. Regardless, the International Trade Commission today ruled against Apple, declaring that certain iOS devices infringed upon Samsung’s 3G patents. Models include the iPhone 4, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G.

What does this mean? For starters, people with affected devices can continue using these devices. In that regard, very little will change. This ruling does not go into effect for 60 days, during which the White House can veto the decision. If the White House upholds the ruling, then Apple can take the case further and contest this ruling, which would result in a postponement of this ban until another decision is made.

After all of these options are exhausted, Apple would be unable to sell the devices which were found to be infringing upon Samsung’s patent in the United States, and potentially elsewhere as similar cases would use this judgement in their consideration. (more…)

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Android User’s Galaxy S III Explodes and Lights on Fire While He is Asleep

Exploded Galaxy S III

Talk about a nightmare.

Reddit user vizionx1208 details a scary situation in which his Galaxy S III exploded while he was sleeping, presumably as a result of the lithium-ion battery overcharging. The user claims that everything about the smartphone was stock, including its battery and charger, and that it was not rooted. This is how the events unfolded, edited for clarity.  (more…)

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Samsung to Discuss Android and Windows Devices at June 20 Event

Samsung Premiere 2013

Samsung has issued an invite to members of the press for a media event called “Samsung Premiere 2013″ on June 20th, likely to launch new devices for its Android and Windows Phone lineups. The event will focus on Galaxy and Ativ devices, which is the South Korean handset maker’s branding for its Android-based and Windows-based smartphones respectively.

The event will take place at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, with doors opening at 6:00 PM local time ahead of a 7:00 PM start. A live stream of the event will be made available online via the YouTube channel for Samsung Mobile. What do you think Samsung will announce at the event?

[AllThingsD]

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HTC One Sales Near 5 Million

htc-one-m7Taiwanese handset maker HTC is in trouble, with declining revenues and internal struggles, but its flagship HTC One has been one bright spot for the ailing corporation.

HTC One shipments are now approaching 5 million since the smartphone was released in late April, an impressive number for a company that also has a dud called HTC First on its hands.

Despite its success, the HTC One isn’t the top-selling Android smartphone. That crown goes to the Galaxy S4, which is about to eclipse 10 million shipments according to Samsung.

Nevertheless, iFans strongly believes that the HTC One is the best Android smartphone released to date, outshining the Samsung Galaxy S4 in a number of areas: physical design, software features and low-light camera performance.

[CNET]

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Users: Please Don’t Ever Do This

This video makes total sense, because stalking a girl with your Galaxy S4 is totally going to land you a date. Wait a second, that makes absolutely no sense. You’re more likely to end up with a restraining order against the person, let alone a date. This ad joins the ranks of Microsoft’s peculiar watermelon-chopping ad for weirdest promotional video ever.

[BGR]

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