According to the latest Comscore report, Android has overtaken iOS in terms of US smartphone subscribers. In the quarter ending November 2010, there were a total of 61.5 million smartphone users in the US, of which 26% were Android users and 25% were iPhone users.
Both of them are still way behind RIM which holds the lead with 33.5% of the total smartphone users. These numbers are about a month old though, and at this rate, Android should displace RIM as the top smartphone platform by the time the next Comscore report comes out in February 2011.
Even Microsoft lost 1.8% share in that quarter, but with the sales of Windows Phone 7 picking up, it could regain some of it.
Samsung is the top handset manufacturer overall, with a 24.5% share of the mobile phone market.
We are seeing more and more high-end games make an appearance on Android. However, high-end games need powerful hardware, and as recently launched games like Dungeon Defenders have shown, many of the high-end Android phones (read Snapdragon phones with Adreno 200) might not have enough in them to support games with next-gen visuals. The good news is that the next generation of Android phones should solve the problem.
Dual-core processors are clearly going to be the way to go in 2011. Baring Sony Ericsson, all other popular Android handset manufacturers are expected to introduce dual-core CPU driven handsets. In fact, some like LG (Optimus 2x) and Motorola (Atrix 4G) have already made their move.
Most of the upcoming dual-core handsets as well as tablets will be powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2. NVidia clearly expects Android gaming to take off in a big way. Besides actively working with developers, nVidia is also working on its own app store. It will be launching a market called Tegra Zone for Tegra 2 enabled Android devices.
Galaxy on Fire
Tegra Zone will be an Android market dedicated to high-end games. It will be using the Android Market’s payment backend, which means that you will be able to use your Google Checkout account for payments (and carrier billing, if available). Since Tegra Zone is meant only for games, there will be no file size limit. It will also feature HD video previews, unlimited screenshots, reviews from 3rd parties and gameplay videos. The first five games to be included are Dungeon Defenders: First Wave, Monster Madness, Fruit Ninja THD, Backbreaker THD, and Galaxy on Fire.
We have already shared with you how the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone looks, what are its specifications, and what it might be called. Now, we even have some benchmarks to judge its performance.
A Chinese technology website managed to get hold of a PS phone with pre-release firmware for half-a-day. If you can read Chinese or don’t mind Google Translate, head over here for the details.
As we already know, the PlayStation phone ships with a single core processor – a 1 GHz Snapdragon. While this might soon get outdated due to the expected onslaught of dual-core Android handsets, the good news is that Sony Ericsson has done a very good job at optimizing its custom shell.
The PlayStation phone clocked in a Quadrant score of 1,733, which is admirable for any phone with default ROM. The Adreno 205 GPU also pushed the Neocore score to 59.1fps, which is once again, excellent.
The lack of cutting-edge hardware in a gaming device is surprising. In fact, one of the videos shot by IT168 shows the PlayStation phone getting beaten by another current generation phone in Dungeon Defenders. Nevertheless, at the very least, the PlayStation phone will be able to handle all current generation games. Sony will undoubtedly tap into content partners to make some big-name games available for the PlayStation phone. These games, which targeted at the device, will be accessible through a bundled app called PlayStation Pocket.
Beside the Streak 7 tablet, Dell also announced the Dell Venue smartphone at the CES 2011. The Dell Venue handset has a 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED display with Gorilla glass on top of it. The phone is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm QSD825 processor and packs 512MB of RAM. The back of the phone sports an 8MP camera.
The usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microSD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present. The Venue runs on Android 2.2 with Dell’s Stage UI on top of it. The phone also has a physical camera shutter button. Dell did not mention any other relevant information about the handset except that it will be sold unlocked in the U.S.
They did not mention anything about the pricing and the availability of the Venue as well.
Word about a Samsung 4G LTE smartphone headed to Verizon had leaked out some time back, but until Verizon’s conference at CES, we didn’t know much about it.
Well, it was showcased at CES as just that – “Samsung 4G LTE smartphone”. Apparently, Samsung still hasn’t figured out what to name it, with all the awe-inspiring names like Infuse, Inspire, Revolution, Bionic, Thunderbolt etc already taken.
The specs of the Samsung 4G LTE smartphone seem quite impressive though. It has a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display and an 8 MP camera. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor and comes with Android 2.2 Froyo. It offers LTE connectivity and will be rolled out with the LG Revolution and the HTC Thunderbolt.
Dell has announced the Streak 7 a 7-inch tablet heading to T-Mobile. The Dell Streak 7 sports a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor with both the cores running at 1GHz. The 7-inch WVGA display of the Streak 7 is covered with Gorilla glass.
The 7-inch tablet also features HSPA+ 4G support along with the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot.
The tablet has 16GB of onboard storage space. The front of the tablet sports a 1.3MP camera for video calling while the back sports a 5MP camera.
The Streak 7 runs on Android 2.2 with the Stage UI of Dell on top of it. Sadly, T-Mobile did not mention the pricing of the tablet. The Streak 7 is expected to hit the stores in the coming weeks’.
After numerous leaks, the HTC Thunderbolt has finally been unveiled by Verizon and HTC at the CES 2011. The HTC Thunderbolt features a mammoth 4.3-inch S-LCD screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1GHz Qualacomm Snapdragon processor.
The back of the phone features an 8MP camera with 720p HD video recording capability. The phone also sports a front-facing camera for video calling. The handset also supports Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
Other key features of the HTC Thunderbolt include DLNA, Dolby Surround Sound, Built in kickstand, GPS with aGPS, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot with a 32GB microSD card preloaded. The HTC Thunderbolt runs on Android 2.2 with the latest version of HTC Sense UI on top of it. HTC have also integrated Skye Mobile with video calling in their Sense UI on this phone.
Sadly, HTC did not mention the release date or pricing of the device. However, I expect the Thunderbolt to hit the shelves by Q1 of 2011.
Verizon’s press conference at the ongoing CES 2011 just got over, and the company announced a bunch of new Android based LTE handsets including the HTC Thunderbolt and the LG Revolution. The LG Revolution supports HD video recording, 1080p playback and HD video streaming capabilities. The phone has a 4.3-inch screen and runs on Android 2.2 Froyo.
The phone also features 4G LTE and has a front facing camera for video chat purposes. Other features of the phone include DLNA, min-HDMI port, Bluetooth 3.0, and a 5MP camera with HD video recording. Sadly, neither Verizon nor LG mentioned anything about the processor being used in the Revolution.
Hopefully, LG will reveal more details about the Revolution in the coming few days. Verizon and LG also kept mum on the release date and the pricing of the device.
Acer recently announced the Android powered beTouch E210. This handset runs on the Android 2.2 (FroYo) operating system and it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard and an optical trackpad. Acer beTouch E210 is the tenth device in the Acer’s beTouch series of phones.
Acer beTouch E210 features a 2.6-inch TFT touchscreen display with 240 x 320 pixels resolution, 416 ST-Ericsson PNX6715 MHz processor, Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS, full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, 3.2-megapixel camera, music player and more.
Other features include a 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot, 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM, GPS, micro-USB, optical trackpad, Stereo FM Radio, Digital compass and a 1300mAh battery. This handset measures 115 x 62.5 x 11.5mm and weighs just 109g.
This handset is available in two colors – silver and black. Acer beTouch E210 will be released in the UK on March 11th. The price of this handset has not been announced yet.
It’s no surprise that Windows Phone 7 was let out the gate with a few essential smartphone features missing, most notably being copy and paste. Well, during a CES keynote, Steve Ballmer indicated that an update would be available soon, but anybody who digs a little deeper would see that Microsoft has a “Windows Phone 7 Updates” page that shows January right in ASP document file name plain as day – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/features/january-update.aspx
In addition to bringing copy and paste, the next update will include better filtering and searching for apps and games in the Marketplace as well as speed optimisations to continue “getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.”. Thanks to the built-in update mechanism in Windows Phone 7, your device will automatically notify you of an update when it becomes available.