In the past few days, the rumors of Google making and selling their own tablet have gained steam. The rumors also point to a Kindle Fire-like price point of $199. The instant reaction is to look at Google’s earlier attempt to sell hardware directly to consumers, the Nexus One phone. We know it was a failed experiment which Google acknowledged, by shutting down the operations.
Nexus tablet, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I have firmly believed that tablets should not be sold by the carriers. Yes, there are some options with tablets where you can get cellular broadband service, but first and foremost, a tablet should be sold like a PC. I mean, a computer store or a consumer electronics store. Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics and the like. The carriers can also hop in and sell the 3G/4G versions of the tablets like they tried selling the 3G-enabled netbooks. So, taking the sales point away from the carrier stores is a good sign. Compare this with the phone where, at least in the US, it is extremely hard to sell a phone without subsidies. Nokia tried it long time ago and failed. Even Apple briefly tried the unsubsidized route but realized people are much more sensitive to upfront price than you would think. Given that the sale of the phone is tied so much to a carrier, it does not make much sense to conduct the sale away from the carrier. Apple is clearly an exception here, like in many business processes today.
Secondly, the price. If the rumors are true and the tablet is in fact around $199, it will be a huge win. A stock Android tablet with no “skins” installed, for $199 could be an interesting device. Kindle Fire has its ecosystem to rely upon but out of the box, it does limit which Android apps can run on the device. If a Nexus tablet can run all Android apps, and additionally support Amazon media consumption (either via Amazon apps like Kindle app or via the browser for Amazon Video), it becomes a superset of the Fire, for the same price as the Fire. Yes, the current Android tablets already do all of that, I understand. However, none of them have gained any traction yet, and if Google can get behind the marketing and sales, and create a Nexus phone-style clean and crisp user experience, I think users may get interested.
In fact, if this strategy does not work, you can presumably call it the end of the road for Android tablets.
Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi, the 10.1 inch tablet from Motorola has finally gone on sale today at various stores including Best Buy, Costco and Staples.
Motorola XOOM features a 10.1 inch screen with a resolution of 1280×800 and is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor which includes a dual-core Cortex processor. The device runs the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS which is designed for tablets and has a 2MP camera at the front and a 5MP camera with 720p HD video capture at the back.
Motorola XOOM 32GB Wi-Fi version will retail at $599 which is on par with the 32GB version of the iPad 2. However, XOOM has a better hardware configuration than the iPad 2.
You can order the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi version by visiting this page.
Motorola launched the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb based tablet the XOOM on February 24th.
Today, the company announced the Wi-Fi version of the XOOM which will be available beginning from March 27th. The XOOM sports a 10.1-inch XGA (1280×800) display and is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset. It is also the first tablet in the world to be powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb which was tailor made for tablets.
The handset packs in 1GB of RAM and a bunch of sensors including accelerometer, barometer and an ambient light sensor. There is also a 5MP camera at the back, and a VGA camera in the front for video calling.
The base model of the Wi-Fi version of the XOOM with 32GB of internal memory will cost $599. The tablet will be available at all major retailers in the United States including Best Buy, Costco, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Staples.
Motorola has not announced anything about bringing the XOOM to other regions of the world as well.
When the Motorola Xoom was officially unveiled at CES 2011, earlier in January. It is probably the best Android tablet yet, and the first one to run the latest version of the Android OS – Android 3.0 Honeycomb. It has some really impressive hardware specs but is priced a bit high, at $800 for the 32 GB version which comes with both 3G + Wi-Fi connectivity.
Today, another tablet by Motorola has passed FCC testing. It seems to the Wi-Fi only version of the Motorola Xoom, about which we had reported earlier.
It will have the exact same specifications as the Motorola Xoom 3G version. It will come with a 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform and comes with 1 GB RAM. It also has a 5 MP camera with dual LED flash as well as a secondary 2 MP camera. It comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and has 32 GB internal storage. It will likely be priced much lower than the 3G version, which is great for buyers who want the Xoom, but can’t afford the 3G version at $800. Motorola will also be launching a 4G version of the Xoom soon.
Check out more details about the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi version at WirelessGoodness
The Motorola Xoom was definitely the best tablet announced during the CES 2011. The Xoom is expected to hit the stores sometime in May as a 3G+WiFi tablet, with an upgrade to 4G LTE sometime later in 2011 in the States. However, now it looks like Motorola will ship a Wi-Fi only version of the Xoom as well.
Motorola’s Latin America General Manager, Maurizio Angelone has told Infobae that Motorola will ship the WiFi only version of the Xoom a whole month before the 3G+WiFi version of the device hit the stores.
The Motorola Xoom features a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280×800. The tablet is based on the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform which includes a dual-core Cortex A9 based 1 GHz processor. The back of the tablet sports a 5MP camera with dual-LED flash while there is a 2MP camera in the front for video calling. The Xoom runs on the tablet version of Android Honeycomb. Readers can find out the whole specs of Motorola Xoom here.
In other Xoom related news, Motorola expects the Xoom to set the sales chart on fire. According to DigiTimes, the company has ordered 800,000-900,000 units of the Xoom with four varying colors. The company expects the order of the Xoom to reach as high as a million in the first quarter of 2011.
Optimistic or modest? Only time will tell!
The Android 2.1 update for Xperia X10 has been released a few weeks ago and brought some joy to users. However, a very important feature, Wi-Fi tethering, didn’t come with the update. However, since Android 2.1 on X10 can be rooted, Wi-Fi tethering can be enabled using a third party app. Here are the two steps to enable Wi-Fi tethering on your X10 and other Android device.
First thing to do is root your Android device. The easiest way to do it is by installing z4root from Android Market on your phone. This app will root your phone in one click. I rooted my X10 using this app. However, it took three tries to root my phone, so try again if it didn’t work for the first time.
To enable Wi-Fi tethering on the Xperia X10, install Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether from Android market after rooting your phone. After the installation, run Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether and click Start. Now your phone is ready to share its internet connection with other Wi-Fi capable devices. Enjoy!
The Samsung Galaxy Tab will be launched in the US in November, with all major carriers – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Most of them are pricing the Galaxy Tab at $599 without a contract and $399 with one.
However, that is not your only option. Earlier, Samsung announced that it will be launching a Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Tab, and details of that have now started leaking out.
Pocketables has come across some fliers which say that the Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Tab will be launched in November itself, and will be priced at $499. It will be launched at Best Buy and will be available at the same time when the carriers start shipping out the preorders.
The Wi-Fi only version is exactly the same as the 3G version except that it doesn’t pack in a CDMA/3G radio. $499 seems to be the right price point for the Galaxy Tab considering that the base version of the Wi-Fi iPad is priced at $499 too, and has much less to offer than the Galaxy Tab.
Remember the HTC Aria? The handset was an AT&T exclusive until now. Today, HTC announced the European version of the Aria the HTC Gratia. The Gratia has a 3.2-inch screen with a HVGA (320×480) resolution. The phone will be powered by a 600 MHz processor from Qualcomm and will pack 384MB of RAM along with 512MB of ROM. The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera with auto-focus.
“HTC’s mantra is to provide a unique mix of experience and choice to people using our phones,” said Florian Seiche, President of HTC Europe, Middle East and Africa. “HTC Gratia offers something completely different. Its compact size, beautiful design and power with Android 2.2, combined with its personalised experience through HTC Sense, is uniquely compelling. We can’t wait to bring HTC Gratia to our customers in Europe.”
The phone also features the usual Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm jack, microSD card slot, microUSB port, an accelerometer, GPS with A-GPS and a digital compass. The Gratia will be running on Android 2.2 with the HTC Sense UI on top of it. The device will be available in some wacky colors like Forest Green and Pristine White etcetera.
The handset will hit the major European markets by November 2010.
Today, Apple in a press release has officially announced the release of the iPad in China. The Apple iPad has been an astounding success for Apple. The tablet device has been breaking all sorts of sales record for the Cupertino Company. Even after five months of its launch, Apple is still struggling to meet the demand for the iPad. Apple however has launched only the Wi-Fi sporting models of iPad in China.
It was earlier this summer that Apple had launched its flagship store in Shanghai. The iPad will be available at all the Apple retail stores and authorized Apple resellers from September 17. Users who will be buying the iPad from the Apple retail stores will be getting a free Personal setup service so as to customize their iPad. The 16GB model of the iPad will cost CNY3988 which roughly equals to around $600 while the 32GB version will be available for CNY4788. The top of the line 64GB version will cost CNY5588.
All these prices when converted to U.S dollars are roughly 20% higher than retail price of the iPad in the U.S.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 was among the first Android phones to hit the market with a 4-inch TFT screen, an 8MP camera and a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. However, the biggest problem with the Xperia X10 in fact with all the Xperia Android based handsets – is that they run on Android 1.6 (Donut). Sony Ericsson had promised that the X10 will get the Android 2.1 update sometime in Q3. With already a week and half in to September, it won’t be long before Sony Ericsson starts rolling out the Ã‰clair update across various regions of the world.
Until that X10 owners should suffice their 2.1 desire with this new video of X10 running Android 2.1 :
As it can be seen from the video above, Sony Ericsson has replaced their older lock skin with a themed version of the original Android lock screen. The Android 2.1 update will also bring with it 720p HD recording to the X10.
Hopefully, the Android 2.1 update will also fix the nasty Wi-Fi bug which currently plagues the X10.