Tag Archive: Samsung


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Amazon Kindle eBook reader has been the best selling tablet after Apple iPad that holds 47% share of market as per the survey conducted by Yankee Group. After dealing with some software and hardware issues, Amazon has managed to be in the queue of top tablets manufacturers. The survey results show that the company is at #2 with 7% market share and leading Samsung by a wafer thin margin of one percent, which is at #3 with 6% of the tablet market. Considering the consistent growth and demand of the e-readers, the company has decided to increase its Kindle offerings by adding more devices in the segment. The Kindle series now has eight different e-readers variants that vary on the basis of price and features.

If we believe on the various reports on the web, then it seems like that Amazon is prepping for three new Kindle Fire release by the end of this shopping season that is sometime near September. The first of these appears to be a replacement of the current entry-level tablet that has a screen resolution of 1024x600p, and is being sold for $159 right now, with a new similar size 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet in series that features a higher resolution of 1280x800p.

Another upcoming tablet is a new version of Kindle Fire HD. The existing 7-inch Fire HD model has a display resolution of 1280x800p, which will be upgraded by a newer version that will have a resolution of 1920x1200p to offer brighter and appealing display in comparison to its predecessor. However, the size of the newer model will remain unchanged as 7-inches.

The third expected model for this year would be a replacement of current Kindle Fire HD 8.9” model. The existing Fire HD 8.9” model has a resolution of 1920x1200p, which is better than traditional full HD (1920x1080p). However, Amazon has planned to upgrade the pixel count of its new model to 2560×1600 which is way beyond than full HD, but lesser than ultra HD!

As far as the pricing is concerned then there is much speculation but no reliable information as yet until Amazon decides to spill the beans. The demand for these upcoming devices would primarily depend on the consumers’ budget and requirements and if history is anything to go by Amazon may have another winner on its hands with this new range. Keep watching this space more for updates on this.

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LG-logo-Android

Just a month ago I read somewhere on the web that “considering LG’s dedication towards its incredible work and consumer response especially in the mobile segment, it lets us witnessed very soon that the company (LG) will also be in line along with Apple or Samsung to generate maximum revenue from its mobile sector”. And finally, that day has come! Strategy Analytics has confirmed that worldwide smartphone shipments have reached 210 million units that shows the growth of 36% annually in just the first quarter of 2013. The Major market share was captured by the top giants Samsung and Apple obviously however, they were followed by LG at number three for the first time ever.

According to the report issued by the researchers team of Strategy Analysts, Samsung, Apple and LG shares were as mentioned below:

Brand

Smartphone Units Sells

Market Share in (%)

Samsung

69.4 Million

33.1

Apple

37.4 Million

17.9

LG

10.3 Million

4.9

Currently, LG is wooing the market with the Optimus G Pro while Samsung looks all set to rule the roost again with its powerful Galaxy S4. The Korean manufacturers have some strong competition from Taiwanese company HTC with their super stylish HTC One and let’s not forget the iPhone 5 which has been around for a while. In essence, all these companies are pushing hard for market dominance. However, it all comes down to the decision of today’s customer who is well informed and nitpicky and can easily differentiate between the different flagship mobiles.

Now LG’s unit volume might look meagre as compared to that of Samsung and Apple but the truth is that it is a big step in the right direction as these sales show that end users now have a much more positive outlook towards LG mobile as compared to the insipid response from previous years. It is also the perfect catalyst for LG to constantly improve and increase its market share in the coming years.

The past year or so has passed with expectation for the consumer Display industry with the unveiling of OLED TVs at CES 2012 and IFA 2012. But more than a launch, it was a presser by companies to show the industry what they have in store for the coming years.

CES-2013-LG-Curve-OLED

And just when you would expect that CES 2013 would act as the carrier for finalized launch dates of these OLED TVs, both the Korean giants threw an unexpected but pleasant surprise at the audience in Las Vegas this year. Along with the shipping announcements for OLED TVs, we got to witness prototypes of curved OLED TVs. To be honest, even I looked at the latest entrants with a thorough brow anticipating the whole deal to be a damp squid.

sammy curved oled tv

At first look one might assume these TVs to be malleable considering the curved design. Not so much as they are just flexible OLED displays which have been designed as such and are not bendable at all. The whole idea behind having a curved screen is to make sure that the display is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes and there any visual distortion on the edges.

But with no announcements for plans on commercial production or pricing, these TVs still look far away from the realization of having one at your place. Having said that, there’s no doubt about the fact that these curved OLED TVs with a concave form factor from LG and Samsung are every videophile’s dream!

TVs galore at CES 2013

If the keynotes and unveilings at the ongoing CES 2013 is anything to go by then these are exciting times for consumer display technologies. International-CESTechnologies which looked inconceivable are being flaunted in full fledge in Las Vegas. Here’s a manufacturer-wise low-down on all these exciting technologies.

Sony – Having trailed behind Samsung and LG in the OLED TV race, Sony’s unveiling of a 56” prototype 4K OLED TV took everyone by surprise. The mashup may look wishful on the face of it, but the picture quality, contrast ratio and black levels which an OLED TV is capable of producing coupled with the high amount of detail its 4K resolution can show might just make this TV the ultimate beast once it commercially materializes.

Panasonic – Since Sony and Panasonic had collaborated last year to produce OLED screens, Panasonic also showed off its own 56” 4K OLED prototype. And it doesn’t look like the Japanese manufacturer is going to budge from making Plasma’s [despite reducing sales and consumer interest] as it also unveiled its 2013 line-up of Plasma TVs.

Toshiba – Another Japanese firm making sure that the Ultra HD market heats up. Its latest offering, the L9300 Ultra HD TV series just acts as a pointer to how manufacturers perceive the future of TV displays.

LG-throws-CES-2013-a-curveball-with-a-gently-arcing-55-inch-OLED-TVLG – Fresh from the accolades of last year, LG finally announced commercial shipping of its OLED TVs to US in March. The prices are jaw-dropping but so is the technology. Apart from that, it also launched 55” and 65” TVs with Ultra HD resolution to join the 84” LM9600 last year. Also on showcase was the stunning Curved OLED TV which was an instant crowd-puller. And to top it all is the all new Hecto Laser TV Projector which can generate crisp picture in the size range of 100 inches from a very short projection range.

Samsung – Like LG, Samsung also came up with its own curved OLED TV. The concept is aimed at doing away with viewing angle issues as well give a panorama-effect to visuals on it. Although just a concept, it opens up the possibility of having large-sized curved and bendable displays in future. Also on feature was the world’s largest Ultra HD TV at a mouth-watering 85 inches, pipping commercially available LG and Sony Ultra HD sets by an inch.

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Sharp – 60” Purios Ultra HD TV was one of the highlights at the Sharp stand with this set being the first one to receive THX 4K certification. The explanation of IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) displays was another one that seems exciting as these displays can have a 550 PPI (pixels per inch) making it a serious competition for Apple’s Retina displays. Then there were two prototypes, the 60” Aquos Ultra HD TV and an 8K TV. Considering 4K has been dubbed as Ultra HD by the companies, it will be interesting to see what branding 8K gets.

Simply put, it’s easy to conclude that CES 2013 was the hub of TV displays and technologies accompanying it which means the industry is geared up for transition and gradual overhaul of existing TV displays. So it will be interesting to see how consumers warm up to this vision in the coming years.

World Record – the two words together conjure up an image of something done extraordinarily – head and shoulders above the mundane. Obviously, such a proposition would definitely attract marketers – who would like to project their products and brands wras a cut above the rest – a spirit best signified by a world record. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before enterprising marketers would seek to establish world records with their products and services – to provide that all important “bragging right” – probably a matter of great significance in the cut throat world of product differentiation.

And that time has already arrived. Over the last few years, there have been many attempts to establish world records by leading companies – so as to later claim in advertisements that the product is the best at a particular job. Indeed, this trend has been noteastutely recognized by the Guinness World Records – the ultimate purveyors of world record feats. The Guinness promotes a special “package” wherein they seek to guide any world record creating efforts, and also produce them in a professional manner – so that they can be later promoted through marketing and advertising.

Of course, the basic premise of such a record breaking or creating effort is simple – the exercise should be directly relatable to a product USP. Unless this requirement is met, the record feat will simply not register in the minds of public, and the effort is likely to go waste.

For example, when the blockbuster Dreamworks produced animation movie Megamind was released in 2010, the promoters wanted to create an event that would immediately appeal to superhero fans, as well as create a buzz around the word “Mega”. As a solution, the largest gathering of superheroes was planned – a premise that gelled beautifully with the movie storyline. Adults and kids responded in big numbers, and a total of 1,580 people dressed as superheroes turned up – creating a world record. The event got very good coverage – estimated at over 58 million impressions over the first three days of the ad campaign.

Similarly, Jack Daniel’s – makers of the famous Old No 7 whiskey planned to create seven new world records to commemorate the famous brand, and to celebrate the founders 161sy birthday in a quirky, fun filled manner signifying the “spirit” (pun intended) of the brand. So, world records were created in the categories of – most contributions to a greeting card, largest glass bottle mosaic, largest bottle of whiskey, most bottles played in a bottle orchestra, most people blowing out candles together, and building a 20 shot glass pyramid in the quickest possible time.

LG – the global consumer electronics giant had started an LG World Record campaign way back in July – to promote the product innovation in various categories. For example, LG wrmenSmart TVs – that have the thinnest bezels, or the LG LTE Smartphones – where LG holds the largest number of patents. To create an association with customers, LG has created a team of friendly animated characters called LG WR Men, which explains the benefits and features of LG products to end users over online media.

Samsung has also joined the fray of world records, though its recent effort to promote Samsung Galaxy Note II is somewhat intriguing, considering that it is not associated with any product USP – thus contradicting the basic premise that a world record feat should be directly relatable to some product USP. paintSamsung is calling upon its users to break and already existing world record of largest number of artists collaborating on a single art installation. Incidentally, the original charity sponsored world record was set by more than 200,000 children earlier in 2012 in UK. Probably Samsung is not seeking to highlight any product USP; rather it simply wants to be associated with a world record.

The second half of October is characterized by religious satiety. With the daily grind of life taking a backseat,  people immerse themselves in devotion and exaltation of mythological elements. And the utmost dedication the organizers and the participating masses exude during the course of these events in endearing.

The first event of religious celebration during this time is the ongoing Navratri. This is a nine-day period ending with Dussehra  where Hindu devotees engage in worshipping Hindu deity Durga as well as keeping fast for the complete duration. So surprising is the cause of reverence that people negate the unruly elements as well as stay away from consumption of meat during the sacred period. Moreover, people throng the temples to get a glimpse of the embellished treatment being given to idols there. As I write this, Hindu households throughout the North will be concluding their Navratri with a very symbolic conclusion through Kanjak Puja; serving traditional food to girls who are seen in the image of goddess Durga.

The other event being the Durga Puja holds more or less the same significance and is celebrated with great fervor especially in the Bengali community. The local and regional associations set up pandals with Maa Durga decorated in variety of themes and standing in her full glory. There are some lovely performances throughout the five days and there is a lot of traditional food being served for the visitors. The event ends with the immersion of the eco-friendly idols.

The atmosphere that these festivities are capable of generating is unparalleled and pragmatic. I was able to catch a short part of Durga Puja celebrations in the CR Park area and boy was it wonderful. I am planning to be there tomorrow as well in the traditional sari to see the final phase of the Puja. The events hold immense significance in the eyes of the population and the surreal involvement by people from all walks of life is a testament to that.

And on the commercial side of it, these festivities seem to have a catalytic effect of consumer brand companies who have great deals going on both home appliances and home electronics at the moment.  LG have already begun their pre-festival offers while Samsung and Sony have their own set of innovations going on. Even camera majors Nikon and Canon are geared up for the festive season ahead. As a prospective buyer, this period is the best in terms of offers and discounts on products.

The last month in the techie arena has been overshadowed by the patents wars between California based Apple Inc. and Korean heavyweight Samsung. In the aftermath of this decision, the Cupertino giants have unveiled their latest iPhone 5 with the all-new iOS 6 and a much more responsive SIRI. And in spite of the venom spewed by Android users and analysts alike, the response to Apple’s newest gadget has been nothing short of overwhelming as Apple received 2 million pre-orders within 24 hours of launch. However, the unfavorable ruling has left a bad taste in Samsung’s mouth who has devised a series of Anti-Apple video commercials depicting the Galaxy S III as a far superior phone.

This has triggered a cyber war of sorts with both the legion of fans from both sides defending their favored product. What has gone unnoticed is the gradual emergence of Windows phones from the shadows of these two dominating OS’s. Nokia had been the biggest sufferer since Apple and Android handsets flooded the market as the Finnish mobile manufacturer was left digging at the heels of latest technologies. So much so that one could be forgiven for assuming if Nokia phones were actually competing for a market share. But instead of taking the easy route and jump on the same bandwagon as other brands, Nokia decided to re-invent their flagship handsets on Microsoft Windows OS. And even there have been a few major drawbacks in it with the lack of apps and operational glitches, WP8 promises to iron them out.

Looking at some of the major features available in the three Operating systems, I observed a few favorable factors inclined towards the Windows phone. One of them is the video-chatting – while iOS and Android have their own specific software, a WP8 is going to use a Skype for the same purpose, which is considered one of the best software for video calling. It will also allow seamless Facebook and Twitter integration for getting status updates, photos, contacts etc. Even the messaging service on a WP8 is comparable to that in iOS and Android. And unlike either one of them, a WP8 uses an organized icon grid structure for better arrangement of notifications and icons. And the Redmond based unit has been signing licensing agreements to make sure that Windows 8 becomes a safer OS for manufacturers in the future. But in spite of these advantages, there are a few weaknesses that the Windows Phone suffers from as well. Features like Browser sync, Voice Commands and Media streaming needs to improve a lot.

With the launch of Lumia 820 and 920 nearing and HTC WP 8X and 8S also being unveiled recently just reflects that even major manufacturers are willing to migrate to the Windows OS. If Microsoft can address the niggling weak points by the time WP8 reaches users, the Windows 8 OS is capable of operating on a level playing field with iOS and Android from Google.

I have already spoken about my admiration of Touchscreen Glass technology which is capable of taking the human lifestyle to the very next level. However, it will take a significant time period for the technology to be scaled down for consumer use. But the flexible displays that major manufacturers like Samsung and LG are speaking positively about may just see the light of the day pretty sooner.

Flexible Displays have turned quite a few heads with Samsung’s unveiling of OLED flexible displays and LG’s prototypes of an E-Reader. The technology is not new to hear of but has certainly gained momentum during the past twelve months. Mainly because of the possibility of throwing conventional displays like the ones used in Smartphones, tablets, PC’s and even TV’s into a mire. The most basic essentials one needs to know about this technology is that the flexible (or bendable) nature of this technology means that glass displays give way to polyamide sheet which is sturdy, endurable and can be bent up to 40° in angle. Couple that with the Touchscreen technology and you have a hell of a display at your disposal. The super advanced technology holds the potential to turn the industry of displays upside down with its unique attributes. And the probable ubiquity it holds just paints a vivid yet convenient picture of how Flexible Displays may give major products a facelift.

I have been very impressed with LG’s flexible E-Reader and how it might change the way we read news and books. No need to stash bundles of papers as the news will be updated every day. Even reading books would give you a much more realistic experience with the Display’s bending capabilities. Samsung, who has pioneered flexible OLED displays seems to be attracting the interest of potential buyers already.

But what can be a convenience for a consumer may also be a headache for its developer. Considering the key components that will be put in the thin bendable sheet and the amount of bending and wear and tear it will undergo, it remains to be seen what the exact shelf life of a bendable display might be like. And how the major manufacturers are able to replicate the technology on devices like Smartphones and TV’s in the future makes it an intriguing technology to look forward to in the coming years.

So the much awaited iPhone 5 has finally been launched after Apple’s powerhouse victory over Samsung in the patents infringement lawsuit. The US giant’s latest offering had been hyped up to no extent by company’s PR and tech analysts alike. So does Apple’s newest iPhone really justify the hype preceding it? In my humble opinion, not really!

I start first and foremost with the design. The various designs leaked for the new iPhone depicted an overhaul job with sleeker lines and a bigger screen. Well, it does have a half an inch lead screen as compared to its predecessor iPhone 4S but that is about it. Apple, who takes pride in innovation, has just about done the opposite. The design is staple Apple and if anything it looks like an elongated version of the 4s. So no brownie points for the phone’s make. Even the Camera hasn’t been upgraded from the 8 MP with the only addition being the Panorama feature. Maybe the much anticipated Optimus G would have something to say about that. But it’s not the exterior design that is the USP of the phone but what it runs on. The iPhone 5 comes with the 4G LTE enabled iOS 6. Instead of me going over the details, it better you get it from the official Apple website here.

 

Now without trying to sound like I am bashing Apple, we have to look at the cold hard specs available. There is nothing revolutionary or path-breaking about the latest iPhone. In fact, overall it has come as a major disappointment. Most of the features except the iCloud are majorly available in major high-end Android handsets. I do not believe in accepting blatant reshuffling being termed as innovation and I think any Smartphone user would have the same opinion. Sadly, the Apple Samsung lawsuit is just a precursor to how things will get even uglier between the Smartphone giants as just a day after its release, Bloomberg Business weekly has speculated Samsung and HTC to now sue Apple over 4G LTE and ADC communication patents. Even Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniack has given a nod of disapproval to the recent verdict stating patents and technologies should be shared to bring the best products for consumers.

 

Apple’s act of dragging its competitors into lawsuits is not helping anyone. They may gain a financial and moral victory for trivial patented rectangles but the bigger picture is that it’s a depressing regression of innovation.

Yes, unfortunate but true. I enjoyed a stupendous Saturday with the showcase of the OLED 3D TV by LG. This newest in line OLED TV has already has the distinction of being the best product at CES Las Vegas 2012. But Sunday came a bit early for me as this was the final time I went to Messe Berlin. 24 hours later, I am sitting in my office desk wondering “Waqt di fer-palat te vekho, kal Germany te aaj Nai Dilli L”, but if I am being absolutely honest, I enjoyed returning back home after a hectic but fabulous few days in Berlin.

I have already told you guys about the OLED TV as well as the 4K TV’s and my last day was just about introspection of whether I might have missed something I shouldn’t. Most of my time was spent looking at the various Smartphones namely Optimus L9, HTC Desire, the three variants of Experia series and Samsung Note II. But I have been left disappointed about the fact that in spite of making the Optimus G official just days before the IFA Berlin 2012, LG has not displayed it in Messe Berlin. Maybe its part of their strategic marketing to avoid duplication after the recent Apple-Samsung verdict but the fan inside me is still reeling from it. Largely because the technical specs on the device make it one of the most awaited LTE Smartphone in recent times.

But it was not all gloom as I got a glimpse of the LG 3D Video Wall during the wee hours of my visit. Based on the same Cinema 3D technology with IPS panels, the Film Patterned Retarder based screens provide flicker-free passive 3D and the In Plane switching panels allow a wide viewing angle and consistent white distribution to accommodate a large audience. WM70MD 55” LED displays were arranged in a cinema screen design and with the narrowest bezel in the world (5.3 mm), these displays seamlessly reinvent the concept of 3D viewing. Indeed, “And after all, you’re my Wonderwall..” echoed in my entangled brain. Maybe this clip on Youtube will give you a better idea of it.

So to sum it up, the “Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin” was like a goodies bag full of surprises. The unveiling of the LG OLED 3D Smart TV, the mini LG TM 2792 Cinema 3D TV and also the first ascendance of 4K TV’s like the LG UD 3D 84” TV as well as their Sony and Samsung counterparts were the definite highlights of the fair. Even the disappointment of the no show of Optimus G was compensated by the 3D Video Wall. Now all I eagerly await is the tentative release dates of this fabulous 55” OLED TV in India. Till then, I will stick to enjoying true quality and high definition 3D on my LM6700 J

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