Samsung Acquires Android Trademark

Digital Times, ZDNet Korea: In South Korea there are separate trademarks for hardware and software. Samsung has just acquired the hardware trademark for Android. Using just four characters of the name will be in violation of trademark laws in South Korea. My gut reaction pooh-poohs Samsung. The company seems be doing evil. What a terrible move to limit competition in South Korea.

All phone manufacturers in South Korea, sans Samsung, will be forced to look elsewhere. I foresee a fury of development for Windows Phone 7 Series smartphones especially by LG. In the near future my bet is on South Korea’s smartphone market being dominated by excellent WP7S phones, which will be superior to phones manufactured by an unfocused Samsung (Bada, Android, WP7S, etc.).

Tim Bray and Google

Tim Bray has joined Google as “Developer Advocate” and shares some thoughts on his blog, Now A No-Evil Zone:

The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what.

What are you smoking Mr. Bray? Take your iPhone, launch mobile Safari, get to whatever site you want, learn and say anything. via Daring Fireball

Windows Phone 7 Series: Asus, LG, Samsung

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The first three Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7S) phones are out of the gate: Asus, LG, and Samsung. All of these WP7S phones sport these common specifications, lifted from a slide titled “Standardized Hardware Foundation” and presented by Joe Belfiore:

  • Capacitive touch: 4 or more contact points
  • Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
  • Camera: 5MP or more, flash required, camera button required
  • Multimedia: Common detailed specs. Codec acceleration
  • Memory: 256MB RAM or more, 8GB Flash or more
  • GPU: DirectX 9 acceleration
  • CPU: ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better
  • Hardware buttons (on the bottom of the front face): Start, Search, Back

The LG sports a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and looks quite solid. The Samsung is a slate-type that seemed to have veered too much toward glossy cheap-looking plastic but sports a camera that at least looks capable with its huge bezel. The one from Asus is unbranded and made just as a demo unit for Mobile World Congress. You can find pictures of these WP7S phones at Engadget.

At least Microsoft is trying to establish a minimum user experience via hardware requirements. Maybe Google should take some notes. Source: Slashgear

Windows Phone 7 Series: 800×480

Microsoft’s Charlie Kindel: for now, Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7S) will only sport a pixel format of 800×480 (landscape). And for some odd reason we can expect a lower-end 480×320 to join some time in the future. Keep it simple guys: stick to just 800×480 and forget about 480×320. Source: Engadget

$105.95 iPad

Apple:

If your iPad requires service due to the battery’s diminished ability to hold an electrical charge, Apple will replace your iPad for a service fee.

The service fee including shipping is US$105.95. Nice.

Sony Alpha: Compact APS Prototype Video

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Sony is unto something exciting: mating a APS-sized image sensor and a compact digital body. Currently compact digital cameras sporting the Micro-Four Thirds system have significantly increased the capabilities of compact digitals but still fall short of DSLR quality. Although the Micro-Four Thirds image sensors are quite a bit larger than those used in typical compact digital cameras, they are still small compared to those used in DSLRs, namely APS-sized image sensors. By combining a much larger APS image sensor into a compact digital body Sony is changing the game. Sony claims DSLR quality but I think this new prototype will fall short, mainly because of smaller optics in the lens compared to the larger full-bodied cousins. Still, I am quite excited about what Sony is doing. If priced right, I think we’ve got a revolution at hand.

LG X300: Ultraslim 11.6-inch Netbook

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LG’s X300 is a 11.6-inch notebook PC that is just 17.5-mm (0.69 inch) thick. Weight is just 970g (2.13 pounds). The X300 is powered by a 2GHz Intel Menlow CPU, 2GB RAM and a 128GB SSD but sports a fan-less design. Other specs include: 1.3MP webcam and an embedded 3G (GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA) modem chipset. The ultraslim netbook comes in two colors: pearl white and light brown. There is a “hidden touchpad” that shows itself when you touch it. I’m not sure if you want a touchpad to be hidden but LG touts it as part of the X300 slim and high-tech design. I’m currently in Korea and the ad (above) for the X300 is being aggressively promoted by LG. I wonder if you can really stick the X300 on a window with just a little piece of scotch tape… Source: Akihabara News

Verizon Nexus One

Verizon’s Nexus One is HTC’s Incredible and sports the Sense UI. And you’ll only be able to purchase it through Google’s store. Big mistake. I would much rather be able to go to a Verizon store and pick up the CDMA version of the Nexus One. It is also a whole lot easier to go to a physical store and interact with a physical customer representative when something goes wrong. Source: Android Central via MobileCrunch