Rumours have been flying around from many sources in the past days about the impending iPhone 5 launch date. Today though both Reuters and Bloomberg confirmed a September 12 Apple event where the 6th generation iPhone, often referred to as the iPhone 5, is expected to be launched. Reports have also speculated that the actual launch of the iPhone 5 will take place the following Friday, September 21. These dates are about 1 month earlier than the launch of the iPhone 4S last year; the folks from Cupertino are no doubt feeling the heat from their competitor, the Galaxy S III. These new rumours will no doubt fuel the pent up demand for the next device and possibly slow down the momentum that Samsung’s device has gained in recent months. The next generation iPhone is expected to feature a slightly taller 4 inch display and 4G LTE connectivity.
Microsoft announced that its Surface tablet will be released on October 26 when the Windows 8 is expected to launched. This initial batch of tablets will be the ARM based variation, the Intel based tablet which is the more powerful and expensive version is expected in early 2013. The release of this tablet will be one of the few times Microsoft itself will be releasing hardware for its Windows based OS. Pricing details were not released but it is expected to be comparable to other ARM tablets on the market.
Second quarter results released by IDC show that Samsung has now attained the top position in the overall cell phone race, with 97.8 million units being shipped. Nokia which was the leader for many years, slipped to second place with 83.7 million units being shipped, which is a 20.6% reduction. Rounding out the top five were: Apple, ZTE and LG Electronics with 26.0, 17.7 and 13.1 million phones being shipped respectively. RIM, who was usually in the top 5, now only commands 5% of the market. A little more information can be gained from recent earnings reports from both Apple and Samsung this week. Apple reported that they shipped 26 million iPhones which amounts to 16.9% of the smartphone market, while Samung shipped 50.2 million smartphones (32.6% of the smartphone market) in the same quarter. These two manufacturers alone now account for nearly 50% of the smartphone market in the world. A further analysis of the data shows a small quarter over quarter decline for iPhone sales, likely a result of the release of the wildly popular Galaxy S III as well as people holding off buying the iPhone 4S in anticipation of the fall release of a new iPhone model.
Well it’s time for another freebie from those good people in Cupertino. This week head on over to the app store to pick up your free copy of “Catapult King”. This game has been compared to Angry Birds, in terms of being addictive, so you may want to be careful with this one. The goal of the game is to rescue the princess and defeat the enemy while taking down forts, castles and a fire breathing dragon with a catapult.
Samsung has been slowly removing local search functionality on its US variants and now word is out that it is also doing the same on the international unlocked version. Obviously, Samsung is worried about its flagship device suffering the same fate as the Galaxy Nexus in the US and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Europe. The Verge reports that it is possible to restore the functionality by installing an app for the old Google Quick Search Box.
Ever since AirPlay/Mirroring came to the iPad and iPhone, Mac users have been looking forward to the having the same capabilities for their computers. In fact, when AirPlay was announced for Mountain Lion, it became one of the most anticipated features in the upgrade. Now that the new OS has actually been launched there are reports of many frustrated users as they realize that AirPlay requires a mid 2011 or newer computer. Although this requirement was listed in the footnotes (that pesky fine print) on the OS’s “What’s New” page and in the specifications notes of “Feature Specific Requirements”, it is clear that most people did not see these caveats. Apparently the older models don’t have the hardware to transmit video fast enough to an external screen without excessive heat buildup in the device. If you have a pre-2011 Mac and you want to stream your computer’s display to a Apple TV you can use AirParrot, an app that mimics AirPlay/Mirroring.
Previously only available in the US, RIM’s PlayBook Video store is now open for business in Canada. In order to access the video store you will have to download the app, Video Store Canada, and you will also need to have OS 2.0.1 or higher installed. According to the official publicity from RIM, thousands of movies and TV shows are available for purchase or rent and can be watched on your tablet as soon as you start to download a media file. Since the PlayBook has a HDMI out, users can also watch the programs on their HDTV.