Samsung Galaxy S II Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks; Brings GTalk With Video-Calling Capability

In the world of Samsung based Android phones, firmware leaks are a very common sight. The Android 2.2 FroYo and the Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware for Samsung phones like the Galaxy S, Galaxy Ace, Epic 4G and the Captivate leaked online, nearly a month before its official release. In fact, the Gingerbread update for the Ace, Epic 4G and the Captivate is yet to go online!

Now, it was only a matter of time before an Android 2.3.4 based firmware leaked online for Sammy’s latest flagship handset the Galaxy S II. Yesterday, a new firmware (KG1) for the Galaxy S II leaked online, and is based on Android 2.3.4.

Apart from a minor bump in the Android OS version, the firmware also includes GTalk with video chat capability. The leaked firmware also includes a new baseband/modem, which has definitely improved the network reception for me.

SC20110709-204824

Many SGS2 owners expected that the Android 2.3.4 firmware will squash the high battery drain caused at idle, by the Android OS and the Android System process. Even though the drain caused by the Android OS/Android System process has gone down noticeably, they still drain quite a lot of battery.

SC20110709-204820

SGS2 owners, who are interested in flashing this leaked ROM on their handset, can do so by following the instructions stated here. Keep in mind that flashing the de-odexed firmware will make the web browser slow and jerky.

LG Cuts Down Smartphone Sales Target by 20%

LG hasn’t seen much success with its Android smartphones, except for a few moderately successful ones like the dual core LG Optimus 2X or the budget LG Optimus One. It is, however, one of the largest phone manufacturers in the world.

Compared to LG, other manufacturers including Samsung and HTC have been successful in creating really popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S 2 and the HTC Sensation. The Samsung Galaxy 2 recently broke records by selling more than 3 million devices in 55 days.

Since LG doesn’t offer its smartphones at a significantly lower price point than Samsung or HTC, it hasn’t been able to attract customers from their camps.

Today, Park Jong Seok, the head of LG’s mobile business stated that LG expects to sell 24 million smartphones this year. This estimate is down 20% from the original estimate of 30 million units.

LG’s mobile phone division isn’t even breaking even right now; it had a $94 million operating loss in the first quarter of 2011. They don’t expect the mobile division to turn profitable in the second quarter as well.

Consumers are flocking to Samsung and Apple’s flagship devices – the Galaxy S 2 and the iPhone 4. LG recently launched the LG Optimus 3D, but it was overshadowed by the Samsung Galaxy S 2 soon after its launch.

LG is apparently working on a new device which will sport a 4.5 inch HD display. It may also launch the LG Optimus Pad in some international markets soon.

I wouldn’t be very bullish about LG’s prospects right now.

Android Still No. 1, Apple Moves Up to No. 2 in U.S. Smartphone Share

Although Android holds the No. 1 position and sits on top of the smartphone market, the battle for the second position between Apple and Blackberry got tougher and in the end it was Apple who made it, leaving behind RIM’s BlackBerry in the third position.

According to the report published by market research firm comScore, Android continues to dominate the smartphone world while Apple’s iOS ranks No. 2 and BlackBerry dropping to the third position followed by Microsoft’s Windows 7 at fourth position.

Apple Beats RIM's BlackBerry, Android Still No. 1

The reason behind Blackberry’s backsliding could be due to the delay in release of new models and the several problems faced by the company.  RIM is currently valued at about $14 billion which came down from $83 billion in June 2008.

RIM’s Blackberry OS has 24.7 percent in the the smartphone market share while Apple’s iOS now enjoys 26.6 percent share whereas Google’s Android OS saw a 5.1 percent rise making its total share 38.1 percent and topping the list.

During the three month average period ending in May 2011, Android and iOS were the only two platforms that saw growth of 5.1 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. Blackberry lost 4.2 percent while Microsoft losing 1.9 percent and Palm losing 0.4 percent share in the US market.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Feb-11May-11Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Google33.0%38.1%5.1
Apple25.2%26.6%1.4
RIM28.9%24.7%-4.2
Microsoft7.7%5.8%-1.9
Palm2.8%2.4%-0.4

The report also mentioned that Apple saw a significant growth in hardware sales, and rose from 7.5 percent to 8.7 percent. However, Samsung retained it’s position at the top with 24.8 percent restricting LG to second position with 20.9 percent. Motorola, on the other hand, had a slight decline of 1 percent, yet holding it’s position at three.

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Feb-11May-11Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Samsung24.8%24.8%0.0
LG20.9%21.1%0.2
Motorola16.1%15.1%-1.0
Apple7.5%8.7%1.2
RIM8.6%8.1%-0.5

 

The research also dug up the mobile content usage by subscribers. It was reported that subscribers most used text messaging (69.5 percent) on their mobile device with a 0.7 percent rise. Browsers on the other hand, were used by 39.8 percent of subscribers (1.5 percent rise) while 38.6 used downloaded apps.

Social  networking or reading blogs,  however, saw a 1.8 percent growth with 26.8 percent while others enjoyed playing games (26.9 percent) and listening to music (18.6  percent)

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending May 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Feb. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Feb-11May-11Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Sent text message to another phone68.8%69.5%0.7
Used browser38.3%39.8%1.5
Used downloaded apps36.6%38.6%2.0
Accessed social networking site or blog26.8%28.6%1.8
Played Games24.6%26.9%2.3
Listened to music on mobile phone17.5%18.6%1.1

Microsoft Asks Samsung To Pay $15 For Every Android Phone Sold

Samsung is the world’s No.2 handset manufacturer, which sold more than 19 million smartphones during the Q2 of 2011. The Samsung Galaxy S is the only Android smartphone which managed to cross the 10 million mark and its successor, the Samsung Galaxy S II have already sold 3 million units in just 55 days. This might be a great achievement for Samsung, but the company have already started getting into troubles, thanks to the Android Operating System.

samsung galaxy s ii

Microsoft has recently asked Samsung to pay $15 for every smartphone based on Google’s Android Operating System since Google has used a wide range of patents in Android OS, which are held by the Microsoft. Back in April last year, Microsoft has already signed a similar patent agreements with HTC, where the Taiwanese mobile phone gaint agreed to pay Microsoft in exchange for the use of the patented technology in its Android powered smartphones.

Samsung is expected to negotiate with Microsoft and ask them to lower the payment to about $10 in exchange for a deeper alliance with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 devices. Samsung is also rumored to launched a new variant of its popular Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone based on the Windows Phone 7 OS. Microsoft is expected to get around $200 million a year, just from the sales of Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone.

Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy Tab Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

Sprint has started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for Samsung’s first ever tablet the Galaxy Tab 7.

Even though the Galaxy Tab 7 was not a tablet in the true sense, Sammy still made sure to release the device under every network in the U.S. The Galaxy Tab 7 was dubbed by many as an enlarged version of the Samsung Galaxy S, and is powered by a 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor, and packs 512MB of RAM.

Samsung_Galaxy_Tab

The new software release from Sprint (EF17) will bump the Android version to 2.3 Gingerbread and will also fix the HID Bluetooth bug. Along with this, Tab owners should also expect some improvement in the performance and battery life of the device.

The update is already available for download, and the Tab can be updated using the OTA (Over-The-Air) method.

To download the update, Tab owners should head over to Settings-> About My Galaxy Tab-> System Updates, and select the Update Firmware option. The update will then be automatically downloaded and installed.

Sprint aims to complete the Gingerbread update roll-out within the next 4 days.

Why a Windows Phone 7 Based Samsung Galaxy S 2 is the Right Move for Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S was the most popular Android smartphone of 2010. Its successor, the Samsung Galaxy S 2, which was launched about 2 months back has been a huge hit too, selling over 3 million units in just 55 days. It has been declared the best Android smartphone of 2011 by almost every gadget review blog, and is the one of the few phones which can rival the popularity of the iPhone.

Naturally, when there were rumors that Samsung was working on a Windows Phone 7 based version of the Galaxy S 2 (codenamed the Samsung SGH-i937), everyone, including me, was very excited about the possibilities. Windows Phone 7 is a very promising OS, and with the Mango update, it is probably the best alternative to iOS.

Many people I know prefer Windows Phone 7.5 to Android 2.3.4, but since Android has a much better choice and selection of hardware, they have stuck with Android. You may argue that Android has far more apps than Windows Phone 7, but Windows Marketplace’s app count is growing rapidly; it recently passed the 25,000 mark and is still growing.

If Samsung does launch a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 powered by Windows Phone 7, it would probably be the best option for anyone wanting to buy Windows Phone 7 devices. It could capture a majority of the Windows Phone 7 market share in one move, before Nokia even manages to launch its first Windows Phone 7 device. It would have a much better chance at becoming the world’s largest smartphone vendor then, with devices on three smartphone platforms – Android, Windows Phone 7 and BADA OS. This is why launching a Windows Phone 7 based variant of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 would be an excellent move for Samsung. If I wanted to, I would probably go short some Nokia stock. Its prospects aren’t looking very good.

Disclosure: I have no open stock positions in any of the companies mentioned in this post.

3 Million Samsung Galaxy S II Sold In Just 55 Days

The Samsung Galaxy S II was one of the hotly anticipated phones of this year. The phone is a beast in its own right, with a   1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor, 1GB RAM, 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen and an 8MP camera, and yet it is one of the slimmest Android phone measuring only 8.49mm.

The popularity of this phone can be seen by its sales figure. More than three million units of the handset were pre-ordered in Korea, and the handset was the fastest selling phone ever in Korea. All this, when the handset was not even available in most regions of the world.

Samsung_Galaxy_S_II

The sales of the handset were expected to soar to a new high when it was available in most regions of the world, and it definitely has. Samsung has just announced that the Galaxy S II is their fastest selling phone, EVER!

Sammy has managed to sell 3 million units of the SGS II in just 55 days. That means, on an average, Samsung sells nearly 55,000 units per day. According to Samsung, it sold most units of the Galaxy S II in Europe.

All this, when the Samsung Galaxy S II is still not available in the United States and Canada. While Canada will be getting the Galaxy S II by this month, there is no confirmation as to when the SGS2 will be available in the United States.

You can read our review of the Samsung Galaxy S II here.

(Source)

Samsung Galaxy Z Announced; Down-Spec’d Version Of Galaxy S II

A new Galaxy branded handset has been unveiled by Three Sweden, instead of Samsung. The new handset is dubbed as Galaxy Z, and is the downgraded version of the Galaxy S II.

The Galaxy Z is not as slim as the Galaxy S II, but still weighs in a decent 135grammes, and is 9.5mm thick.

The handset sports a 4.2-inch Super Clear LCD Screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. The Galaxy Z is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, and packs 768MB of RAM along with 8GB of internal memory.

Galaxy_Z

The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera, with an LED flash. Sadly, the phone can only record videos in 720p resolution. There is also a front-facing camera in the front for video calling.

The Z runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with TouchWIZ 4.0 running on top of it. Other key features of the phone include Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, microSD card slot, micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio jack, and FM Radio.

The Galaxy Z can already be pre-ordered on Three Sweden network for 3995SEK, or around $600.

(Source)

Sprint Unveils The Samsung Conquer 4G Smartphone

samsung conquer 4g
Samsung recently announced the Android powered Samsung Conquer 4G smartphone. This handset will be available exclusively to the Sprint customers in the US. Samsung Conquer 4G is a mid-range smartphone, which runs on the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. If you don’t like the Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, then you can go ahead and get this handset, since it does not comes with the TouchWiz UI.

Samsung Conquer 4G Specs:

  • 3.5 inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen
  • 1 GHz Processor
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS
  • 3G/4G Connectivity
  • 3.2 megapixel rear camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Sprint ID
  • A-GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • MicroUSB
  • Tri-Band CDMA (including the 800MHz frequencies)

Sprint recently launched the HTC EVO 3D for high-end smartphone users. The Samsung Conquer 4G is for the mid-range smartphone users, who wants to use the Sprint’s 4G connectivity, without burning a hole in the pocket. The price and release date of this handset have not been announced yet. Stay tuned for more updates.

Samsung Droid Charge Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks

P3Droid is a very popular developer in the Motorola Android phone community. It is due to him, that the Gingerbread update for the Droid X and the Droid 2 Global leaked on the Internet.

Now, P3Droid has managed to get his hands on a leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Samsung’s Droid Charge. The update was initially meant to be private for 48 hours, for all the TeamBlackHat members exclusive. Sadly, things did not go as planned, and the leaked file was again leaked on the Internet (Ironic, isn’t it?).

Samsung_Droid_Charge

The leaked Gingerbread firmware is based on Android 2.3.3, and is just a beta build. According to P3Droid, the final Gingerbread build for Droid Charge will be based on Android 2.3.4.

Everything works on this beta build, except for HDMI-out functionality. The whole tedious step of flashing the leaked Gingerbread update on your beloved Droid Charge can be found here. The leak is available in two flavours, one with all the bloatware on-board, and the second one with all bloatware removed, and with Netflix app pre-installed.

Oh, and if you want to thank TBH (TeamBlackHat) and P3Droid for his work, you can do so by purchasing this app of theirs.