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.