Comscore: Samsung is top mobile handset maker

Samsung Galaxy S II

comScore Inc.,Reston, Va., reported Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.3 percent market share, according to a study of 30,000 U.S. mobilr subscribers.Google Android strengthened its lead in the smartphone market to reach 47.3 percent market share.

For the three-month average period ending in December, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, followed by LG with 20 percent share and Motorola with 13.3 percent share. Apple continued to gain ground in the OEM market with 12.4 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 2.2 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 6.7 percent share.

Almost 98 million U.S. people owned smartphones during the three months ending in December, representing 40 percent of all mobile subscribers. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 47.3 percent market share, up 2.5 percentage points from September. Apple maintained its number 2 position, growing 2.2 percentage points to 29.6 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16 percent share, followed by Microsoft (4.7 percent) and Symbian (1.4 percent).

In December, 74.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 3.2 percentage points. Downloaded applications were used by 47.6 percent of subscribers (up 5.1 percentage points), while browsers were used by 47.5 percent (up 4.6 percentage points).

Samsung, Toshiba offer new Android tablets

Toshiba claims its Thrive 7-inch tablet “is the first seven-inch tablet in the U.S. market to offer a true HD display” —  a 1280 by 800 resolution that “puts bright and crisp images from movies, photos, books and games right in your hand.”

Toshiba claims the highest-res screen on a 7-inch tablet.

The tablet sports Adaptive Display and Resolution+ video enhancement technologies, a dual-core processor, and NVidia GeForce graphics. It has a five-megapixel camera with an LED flash on the back for capturing pictures and video, plus a two-megapixel camera on the front for video chat.
It weighs under a pound, and measures just under half an inch thick.

Samsung Mobile announced a new Galaxy tablet. The Tab 8.9 is 8.6 millimeters thick. It has a dual-core processor, WXGA TFT display with a 1280 by 800 resolution, rear-facing 3-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chat.
The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is $569 for the 32GB version and $469 for 16GB.

Also: Samsung’s upcoming  $269 Galaxy Player 5 will have rear 3 megapixel camera and VGA front camera. It will measure 3 by 5.56 by 0.46 inches.


Flickr app hits Android market

Flickr for Android

Flickr for Android

The official Flickr app has hit the Android Marketplace. The app always users to enhance pictures with custom filters, upload pictures directly to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and more. Other features include privacy setting, full-screen browsing and slideshows for photos, contacts photos or any of the public photos from the global Flickr community, and adding titles, descriptions, comments, tags and geotagging.


HP to cancel webOS tablets, phones

When discussing the camera phone market, only two names are considered serious potential competition for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, which dominate the smartphone field: those two were Windows Phone and webOS. Now Microsoft is alone in reaching for the #3 position, as HP announced it is ending production of its mobile OS devices.

This comes mere days after the (quiet) European launch of its latest smartphone, the Pre3, and just weeks after shipping its TouchPad tablet computer. Despite boasts of overtaking Apple’s iPad sales, HP’s tablet instead was reported this week to be selling less than ten percent of units shipped to chains such as Best Buy — despite a $100 price drop.

Now HP will pull out of the mobile device business, and likely end development of webOS —  which just a few months ago it said would be built into all its PCs, printers, and other devices. webOS was the last remnant of mobile phone /PDA pioneer Palm, which HP acquired just last year.

As part of its further emphasis on enterprise computing, HP will also investigate selling off its market-leading PC business. HP is in discussions to acquire search software developer Autonomy.

All this news came as HP announced preliminary results for the third fiscal quarter 2011, with revenue of $31.2 billion compared with $30.7 billion one year ago.

HP’s announcement is here.


LifePics prints directly from Android

LifePics says it is the only company offering photo ordering apps across all three major mobile platforms. With the launch of its updated Android app, users of Google’s mobile OS can now can “easily order photo prints from any retailer in the LifePics network.”

“We are excited about our new Android photo ordering app and its ability to generate new exposure and business for our retailers,” LifePics says. It previously released similar apps for the iPhone and iPad, and Windows Phone 7.

The company cites “the benefits of printing photos locally from phones, fast one hour turnaround times, the convenience of working with trusted photofinishers, and the ability to select from more than 13,000 different pick up locations in its printer network.”

Also, exporting photos from Apple’s iPhoto software for the Macintosh to any other photo account “has always been a huge pain point for iPhoto users,” the company says, “but our new plugin makes the process much easier and more intuitive.” The iPhoto plugin exports images from iPhoto to a LifePics online photo account.

LifePics says it allows photofinishers and professional photographers to accept online photo orders from consumers, and route orders to any fulfillment lab. LifePics drives orders to retailers and professional photographers through a variety of partners and sources, and gives consumers an enjoyable, easy-to-use ordering interface.



Samsung updates phone and tablet with 8MP camera

Samsung Electronics claims its upcoming Galaxy S II phone’s Super AMOLED Plus screen is “the most advanced mobile visual display ever created…the best in quality in color gamut, contrast ratio and edge sharpness.”

The 4.27-inch touchscreen has an 800-by-480 resolution. The 8.49 mm thick phone has an 8 megapixel camera on the back and a 2 megapixel sensor in front. Samsung says its “AllShare” technology lets customers “capture, create and then share their experiences hassle-free.”
The phone runs the Android 2.3 OS.

Samsung also announced a larger tablet: the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has, you guessed it, a 10.1-inch TFT display. The touchscreen has a 1280 by 800 resolution. The 8 megapixel main camera has an LED flash and captures 1080p video. The front-facing 2-megapixel camera is aimed at video calls. The tablet runs the Android v3 (Honeycomb) OS on a dual-core Tegra 2 processor. The device weighs 1.23 pounds and is 0.4-inches thick. It will launch in Europe and Asia in March. Pricing was not announced.

Samsung reports it sold two million of its first Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch tablet PC.

Samsung and Google deliver Nexus S phone

Samsung Electronics is the first manufacturer to market with a new phone running Google’s latest operating system. Android 2.3 is the fastest version of Android, Google says, with a new user interface.

The latest Android phone sports a 5MP camera.

The Nexus S — the successor to the Nexus 1 that Google sold online itself — “integrates Samsung’s best-in-class hardware and technology with the exciting new features and upgrades of Android 2.3 to give consumers a breakthrough smartphone experience,” the companies say.

The phone has a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen and features a curved design “for a more ergonomic style and feel when held to the user’s face.”

The Nexus S also features Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which reads information off of everyday objects embedded with NFC chips.

The phone has a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and camcorder with HD video capture, and a VGA resolution front-facing camera for video calls.

LifePics launches beta version of Android app through its OPEN program

LifePics Inc., Boulder, Colo., announced the launch of the beta version its new Android app, which gives Android mobile phone users the ability to upload photos from their phone to their existing LifePics online photo account, as well as view all photos from their online account on their phone. New users can also create free online photo accounts with LifePics through the app. The next version will allow users to order photos directly from the app and pick up the orders at any retail photofinisher in the LifePics Network.

The app was launched through the LifePics Open Photo Ecommerce Network (OPEN) Program, an open API initiative LifePics launched in February, 2010. The OPEN Program allows mobile and software app developers and affiliate partners to connect to the LifePics Retail Network to send users, images, and orders to LifePics retail stores. The program is designed to drive more orders to LifePics retailers from all over the Internet. Numerous mobile phone apps have already integrated with LifePics through the OPEN program, and several software integrations and partnerships are in progress.

The LifePics Android app operates directly within the Android phone’s operating system. Users who have installed the app will see “LifePics” as a sharing option for any photos saved on their phone, whether the app is running or not. The app also uses lazy loading technology, so users with thousands of images stored online can quickly access all of their albums without having to wait much time for the albums to load. The next release of the app will include the ability to order prints from the app to any of the 10,000 stores in the LifePics Network, as well as multi-image simultaneous uploading.

Adobe Mobile Editor now available to Android developers

Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif., announced third-party application developers now have access to the Mobile for Android 1.1 editor, allowing them to easily make it a part of their applications. In addition, Mobile for Android 1.1 is available, providing users of the Google Mobile operating system with quick and easy photo-editing and sharing capabilities. Mobile for Android 1.1 enhances the camera-phone experience by providing a collection of new editing effects.

“ Mobile is the ‘go-to,’ photo editing application for iPhone and Android devices,” says Doug Mack, vice president and general manager of Digital Imaging and Rich Media Solutions at Adobe. “Unlike iPhone, the Android platform allows us to make the editor broadly available to developers so they can provide it within any application they are working on. Photoshop functionality can then easily be accessed from an online auction, real estate or social media application so users can quickly fix photos and make them look their best, before being showcased.”

Adobe says the new developer site now allows Android developers to leverage the Mobile for Android 1.1 editor in the creation of other application workflows. The web site provides access to Adobe technology and promotes an ecosystem where developers have more creative freedom when developing their software, the company claims. Mobile for Android 1.1 advances mobile photo editing with effects such as Vibrant, to boost photo colors, and Pop, which brings a ‘pop art’ style to images. The Soft Black and White, and Warm Vintage tools can be used to add a classic and aged effect to photos. With one touch, users can also apply dramatic changes to a photo’s look and feel with Vignette Blur, White Glow and Rainbow. All edits and changes can be undone so consumers can liberally apply effects and know that their original photo is safe.

Photobucket unveils Android app

Photobucket, Seattle, Wash., announced a free Android application providing a “full imaging suite” for mobile devices, complete with automatic upload, content management, and image search capabilities. The latest release reflects its recent merger with mobile imaging company Ontela, an automatic backup solution. It also allows users to browse their albums and popular photos from others, giving them complete control of their imaging needs directly from the phone for the first time. The app can be downloaded from the Android Market by searching for Photobucket.

“By adding the ability to upload all camera phone photos automatically, the time consuming and confusing process of getting pictures off your phone has been rendered a thing of the past,” says Tom Munro, president, Photobucket. “Coupling the simplicity of automatic upload with the full functionality of the Photobucket Mobile application is a game changer when it comes to managing personal photos. Best of all, the service is available to anyone with an Android phone, absolutely free of charge.

”Demand and consumer need for an automatic upload solution is nothing new in Mobile: a recent study conducted by Photobucket found that of U.S. camera phone owners, 94 percent store images on a website. However, only 26 percent have ever uploaded a photo from their camera phone to the internet, and only 8 percent claim to do so frequently,” he says.