Apple in February acquired the San Francisco-based company Chomp, a startup that develops application search and discovery software. Apple went forward with the acquisition in an attempt to improve the application search and discovery features within its App Store — the company’s Genius recommendations are a little half-baked. The service was previously available for both Android and iOS, but a recent visit to Chomp’s website has revealed that you can no longer search for Android applications. The app has also been removed from Google’s Play marketplace. It is unclear what will become of Chomp’s earlier partnership with Verizon, which used the service to powering its own app store marketplace.
Apple’s third-generation iPad launched in nine additional countries on Friday, stretching the number of total markets in which the iPad is now available for purchase to 57. Apple released its wildly popular iPad tablet in 21 additional countries this month. The Cupertino, California-based company reported earlier this week that it sold 11.8 million iPads during the second fiscal quarter, narrowly missing analysts’ expectations but growing two-and-a-half times over the same quarter in 2011. BGR reviewed the new iPad in March and said its only competition is the iPad 2, and we revisited the tablet a month later when the iPad completely changed our perspective on tablets.
Android smartphones are not typically updated very frequently, leaving many owners to either try and update their own device, or wait for months or even years to get the latest operating system. The technical lead developer on the Android Open Source Project believes the slow update rate many Android users have had to endure is “very reasonable.” Sometimes, Jean-Baptiste Queru revealed his opinion on his Google+ page in a congratulatory post towards Sony, who recently updated its Tablet S to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The developer said the Japanese company was the biggest contributor to Android, leaving all other manufacturers playing catch-up. Due to its contributions, Sony is able to ensure timely updates for its own devices, while helping the community as a whole. Queru said the complexity of moving from Android 3.0 to Android 4.0 is the reason it took Sony five-months to updates its tablet.
Factory workers at one of Foxconn’s Brazilian plants are complaining of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water. Unless the issues are resolved by May 3, they are planning to strike, Tech Guru reported on Thursday. Workers reportedly met last Monday to voice their concerns and have given the company 10 days to address them or else over 2,500 employees will strike. Foxconn recently hired more than a thousand workers, however the company did not increase its transport infrastructure, and was also forced to hire water trucks due to the lack of water in the factory. A representative for the employees expressed optimism that a solution would be reached without resorting to a strike.
Samsung reported a blow-out first quarter on Friday as strong mobile phone sales helped the consumer electronics giant increase profits by 82% to a record 5.05 trillion won. The numbers were undoubtedly impressive as they stood, but market research firm Strategy Analytics helps us paint a broader picture of just how dominant Samsung’s mobile business was in the first quarter. On the smartphone side, Strategy Analytics estimates that Samsung sold a staggering 44.5 million smartphones into channels last quarter, overtaking Apple’s 35.1 million iPhones by a landslide and making Samsung the top-selling smartphone vendor in the world.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire has seen rapid adoption among tablet buyers since its release last November. The device had an explosive debut quarter, giving it a 14% share of the tablet market. According to the latest numbers from comScore, the Kindle Fire has almost doubled its share of the U.S. Android tablet market over the past two months from 29.4% in December to 54.4% in February. In other words, more tablets running Amazon’s version of Android were sold in the U.S. than tablets running Google’s version of Android. Amazon’s tablet is followed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab family, which had a combined 15.4% share in February, and the Motorola Xoom with a 7.0% share. The ASUS Transformer and Toshiba AT100 rounded out the top five with 6.3% and 5.7% of the market, respectively. The research firm also found, when analyzing page view consumption, that 10-inch tablets had a 39% higher consumption rate than 7-inch tablets and a 58% higher rate than 5-inch tablets. Read on for comScore’s press release.
We received a photo of what looks like it could be Samsung’s upcoming flagship handset, the Samsung Galaxy S3. Although it isn’t confirmed at this point, this is one of the most compelling images we have seen so far. We’ll know in a couple days if this is the real deal but compared to all the decoys we’ve seen, we definitely hope the flagship smartphone Samsung unveils next week ends up looking like this instead. This phone also matches up exactly with what we have reported, something many people have continued to miss — the Galaxy S3 will have a physical button in the center beneath the display.
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Samsung managed to top its pre-announced earnings when it reported results for the first calendar quarter of 2012 on Friday morning. The company reported a record operating profit of 5.85 trillion Korean won, up 98%, and a consolidated net profit of $5.05 trillion won, up 82% over the same quarter last year. Revenue came in at 45.27 trillion won, beating expectations. TV and semiconductor sales were down in the quarter, but any potential impact was offset by strong sales of high-margin display panels and mobile phones. Samsung’s mobile sales grew 86% over the year-ago quarter to 18.9 trillion won, and the company’s combined operating profit margin climbed 1.7 points to 12.9%. Samsung’s full press release follows below.
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