In Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung vs. Apple ads: Who Ends Up Looking Better?

Whenever Apple, Microsoft or Samsung is in news, we like to keep our readers in loop. This article focuses on the defensive mode these tech giants adopt via advertisements that wind up with comparisons. But guess who ends up looking better?

Apple’s initial ad, ‘Get a Mac’ campaign clearly pointed out why Windows was off the beam and why users should buy a Mac. However, the Cupertino Calif.-based firm stopped these popular ads soon after. Later on, all Apple ads for the iPod, iPhone or iPad, highlighted their own device and its features with no comparisons with rivals. Apple’s iPhone ad shows the smartphone’s FaceTime feature, where a son shows his father his granddaughter for the first time. These simple and short ads were effective and easy to understand. Also the advertisement for iPad came out with a clear focus, which was on iPad specific apps in the App Store.

However, considering Apple’s rivals and their ads, the need to stay ahead is so strong that the focus loses its way from their own devices, which in turn makes Apple look good. The recent comparison ads by Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung with Apple have only made the latter look better as consumers consider all the differences.

Let’s look at the latest ads by Microsoft. The focus in these ads is on Windows 8 and Windows RT against the iPad. There’s no sight of Surface Pro and Surface RT. But there’s an Asus VivoTab Windows 8 tablet vs. an iPad in one commercial and a VivoTab Windows RT tablet vs. an iPad in another. Microsoft shows how Windows 8 and Windows RT are different from the iPad. Along with confusing users with two different Asus tablets, which look the same, the ads have only given the iPad some free publicity.

Moving on to the ad by Amazon, Apple got the advantage here too. The ad that shows Kindle Fire HD on the same screen with an iPad, focuses on the great price difference between the two. Alas, this also in turn gave the iPad free publicity, which made us as consumers question the big price difference. What these firms don’t understand is that they need to focus on their own product instead of pointing out what others got.

Samsung also claims that its smartphone is superior to the iPhone. The ad shows a lot of Apple fans, waiting in line to bag the next Apple product. Again, this puts the highlight on how so many people lineup and wait for the launch of Apple products. The ad shows off the features of Samsung smartphones while focusing on old and not-so-cool people trying to do the same thing on an iPhone.

Clearly, all these commercials do leave consumers with an impression about Apple’s products. Whereas, looking at Apple ads, the focus is only on their own products, with no mention of Microsoft, Amazon, or Samsung. These companies should take out clear and focused ads with their own devices as consumers do not need to see what others have in hand to offer. They clearly end up making Apple look better.

 … Read the rest

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Metal Body of Nokia Lumia 925 Raises Concerns, Would It Be Able To Beat HTC and Samsung

Slated to release sometime in early June, Nokia Lumia 925 has already raised a few concerns. Certain reports indicate that Nokia is rolling out its upcoming device with an aluminum body. Now the plot thickens around the Finnish firm as the 925 is going to be the first in Lumia series with a metal body. This reason has compelled consumers to feel that the 925 will suffer from issues regarding antenna and reception performance.

However, to clear the air regarding this issue, Nokia released a statement on Thursday, May 23 via its official blog saying, “This [the phone’s metal exterior] looks gorgeous, and adds robustness to the phone. But what’s worth noting is that it does not impact on the strength of the signal you’ll be able to receive on the phone.”

Nokia states that the aluminum ring that the Lumia 925 is made of, in fact acts as an element of the devices’ antenna.

The firm’s blog post states that the Nokia Lumia 925 will have three antennas, the main one being at the base of the device and two others close to the top. There are also stripes on the device to keep the metal ring around the phone separated from the antennas to make sure there’s no problem with the performance.

Continuing its stance, Nokia writes, “Nokia-specific technology incorporated within the antenna solution maximi[z]es its use of radio bands – whether you’re on GSM, WCDMA or LTE networks. It will also adjust the ‘balance of power’ between the antennas according to how you’re holding your phone.”

The blog post ends by Nokia saying that unless users deliberately try to disrupt the antenna performance of the Lumia 925 by holding both hands over every edge of the phone, the metal handset will work just as well as a polycarbonate one. “So relax,” Nokia says, “and enjoy Nokia Lumia 925 and its sleek design, any way you like.”

What do you feel about the aluminum ring and metal body of the Nokia Lumia 925?… Read the rest

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Staff Layoffs, Disastrous HTC One and First Sales Make HTC Lose Sleep Against Samsung Galaxy S4

Dark clouds seem to be hovering over HTC for the past few months as we hear constant news of old staff fleeing, following the disaster that hit the firm with failed sales of HTC One and HTC First phones.

The Taiwanese company recently saw the departure of Lennard Hoornik, its former CEO of HTC Asia, who left the firm last week. Earlier also Jason Gordon, HTC’s Vice President of Global Communications and Kouji Kodera, Chief Product Officer were also in reports for leaving the firm.

And now there’s buzz around the corner that Elizabeth Griffen, HTC’s Head of Global digital services also plans to leave HTC.

The news is not really welcomed by the company as HTC had hopes pinned on recovering from losses with its HTC One and HTC First devices. What could have lead to the failure? Well there are certain factors including the manufacturing of phone to Facebook deciding to drop its homepage from HTC First that added fuel to the firm’s already existing problems.

HTC’s manufacturing power isn’t as good as Apple and Samsung, who are currently the world’s leaders in smartphone devices and tablets. Both these firms have strong manufacturing chain to produce their own chips, processors and displays to meet strong demand in short time, which HTC lacks.

The Android system HTC uses for its devices also doesn’t help the firm much as there are various cheap Android devices available. However, the fact that Samsung owns around 95 percent of the global Android market also makes HTC lose out on that facet.

Hoping to gain some dominance in the market, the Taiwanese firm focused on the software of its HTC First, which apparently was the first smartphone to feature Facebook Home, but that too for less than a week.

The disastrous sales, management layoffs, competition, production and supply problems could be catastrophic for the firm, until HTC addresses them. An effective solution is the need of the hour, which we hope the Taiwanese company implies soon.… Read the rest

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HTC One Update: Touch Key Sensitivity Issue Fixed

Here is an interesting development that’s good news for users of HTC One on Sprint. The Taiwanese manufacturer has lately rolled out a latest software update for its popular smartphone. The move is meant to make HTC One take a leap ahead with the device’s touch key sensitivity feature. The number of this updated version is 1.29.651.10.

The update in question for HTC One users comes with a significant advancement in the Back and Home key sensitivity. HTC One users will be automatically notified of this updated version on their devices. It also features upgrades to BlinkFeed and a new Sprint Zone client.

For HTC One users, the issue was that the capacitive keys below the screen didn’t always respond as the touch targets were small. Now with this latest update, this issue is fixed as it increases the target size, making it easy to activate.

With this upgrade, HTC has taken a plunge, hoping to make its device a fast-selling smartphone.

Did you receive the update on your HTC One? Have you already updated your smartphone? If yes, what do you think of the update? Share it with us. Read the rest

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Leaked Photos From The Supposed Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Ruffels Sony Xperia Z And Apple iPhone 5

Will Samsung unveil the upcoming flagship Galaxy S4 already? We’ve been hearing endless rumors about this beauty and each new day just gets more rumors, making us wonder just how many accidental leaks can take place. The latest in this long line of rumors is some photos supposedly clicked by the Galaxy S4 appearing on Picasa.

We do have reason to believe if there’s any truth in this, given that there’s nothing spectacular about these snaps that show the back of a computer’s CPU. However, according to the EXIF data of these files, the images were clicked by Samsung GT-I9505, which could probably be the international model number of the Galaxy S4.

The 2322X4128 resolution of the photos also points to the use of a 13 MP camera. But, given that EXIF data of an image can be altered, we don’t really know if it could be real. Besides, the quality of the images is really low, so we are hoping that this is just a fake news.… Read the rest

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Micromax Canvas HD Vs Samsung Galaxy Grand : We Taste Micromax New Flagship Phone… Quite A Flavorsome Deal

It’s the season of flagship smartphone launches, and Micromax is not one to be left behind. After the runaway success of the Canvas 2, the company’s flagship A116 Canvas HD will start selling from today onward at a price of Rs 13,990. Those who place the order will be able to receive it within 5-7 days. The Canvas A116 HD will offer direct competition to the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos, which is almost double its cost. However, it’s not just on the cost that it emerges the winner – the Canvas A116 HD does have better specs too. Micromax has also put together a promo video to celebrate the launch of its latest flagship phone. Here’s hoping the Canvas A116 HD becomes more successful than its previous Canvas 2.… Read the rest

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Sony Xperia Z Gets Rolled Out In Japan, Europe Can’t Wait For This Fierce Samsung Galaxy S3 Competitor

Yes, it’s been a while since we brought out extensive coverage of the absolutely gorgeous Sony Xperia Z. We know you’ve been waiting to get your hands on it for some time now, but it sure looks like your wait is ending soon. Sony’s flagship device with its 5-inch screen, quad-core processor and dust and water resistant body has finally started selling in Japan. You can buy it through NTT DoCoMo and shipping has already started to consumers who had pre-ordered the phone.

The Xperia Z available in Japan has been specially customized by Sony, and features a One Seg Tuner, FeliCa NFC as well as an infrared port, in addition to unique software features. You can choose from three color options – white, black and purple.

For European customers too, the wait is soon coming to an end. From what we have heard, the phone should hit the European markets by the end of this month and become more widely available by March. For Sony Xperia Z fans in India though, unfortunately, we still don’t know how much longer until the phone arrives here. But if you know someone in Japan or Europe, maybe you can request them to pick one up for you.… Read the rest

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TechThirsty Review: Nokia Lumia 920 Hits India

After not too long a wait, Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8-based smartphone Lumia 920 was finally unveiled at an event in India. And we’re not just excited about the OS – this Nokia Lumia 920 is loaded with tons of interesting features that we feel may be just what Nokia needs to get back up on the charts again. So, how did the Lumia 920 experience feel?

First impression: It looks gorgeous, no doubt about that! Microsoft wanted phone makers to keep them looking colorful and quirky, and yes, Nokia’s lived up to this expectation. The Lumia 920 comes in bright colors with a glossy finish, giving it a high score in the looks section. It’s 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ LCD display with ClearBlack technology makes for vivid reproduction of colors even when used outside under the sun. In fact, we must confess that its screen made for much better viewing in sunlight when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3 too.

Camera performance: The Lumia 920 has an 8 MP rear camera with Nokia’s PureView technology and optical image stabilization. The latter is a first for camera phones and promises to help users capture sharp images even in low light conditions or with slow shutter speeds. Images clicked with the camera looked absolutely beautiful on the phone’s screen, and although there was some noise visible in the images when seen on a PC screen, Nokia has assured us that the quality would be much better in the retail units of the phone, when compared to the pre-production pieces we experimented with. Even in terms of video recording, we must say the Lumia 920 managed to hold its own and capture videos with clarity rarely seen in camera phones until now.

The OS experience: Windows Phone 8 has managed to create a few waves in the world of smartphone OS’s, and does have a much better overall feel than the previous versions of Windows Phone. Nokia’s apps especially, like the City Lens, Maps, Music, etc. were an absolute delight to use. The Lumia 920 also comes preloaded with some exclusive games from third-party developers. While the OS is a completely different interface from Android and iOS, it’s still rather new and the appstore is nowhere as extensive as that of its competitors. Maybe in time, this would cease to be a concern, but for now, there are relatively fewer apps to choose from.

We’re not really sure of the pricing plan for the Lumia 920 in the Indian market, but we can expect it to hit the stores by sometime in January 2013. Even though Windows Phone 8 is a new OS, the Lumia 920 sure does make for an interesting high-end smartphone choice.… Read the rest

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FingerSense on Smartphones Can Identify Knuckles, Fingertips, Fingernails

Well, this one’s still in the works – at least for now. But an American scientist has recently developed a prototype smartphone which can identify different types of touch of knuckles, fingertips and fingernails on the screen. Chris Harrison, the creator of this smartphone, is based in Carnegie Mellon University at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

You can open up the screen using other parts of the hand. The phone has an inbuilt vibration sensor and runs FingerSense software, also created by Harrison. These technologies together identify different acoustics and vibrations of the different kinds of touch and help the phone respond accordingly. You can select an object using a tap of your fingertip, while your knuckle opens up a sub-menu like the right click of a mouse on the PC.

Harrison envisions smartphones to become more capable towards human touch, and give users the ability to provide inputs using more means. The vibration sensor can be added to any smartphone’s main circuit board to give it the capability to identify the different types of touch. Harrison is already in discussions with major phone makers to include his technology in their devices. He has also launched his own company called Qeexo to sell his prototype device with this futuristic artificial intelligence like software.… Read the rest

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AT&T to Pay $700,000 to Government, Offer Refunds for Forcing Monthly Data Plans

Wireless carrier, AT&T, has agreed to pay $700,000 to the federal government and offer refunds to customers who were mistakenly forced into subscribing for monthly data plans. The issue began in late 2009, when new smartphone customers with AT&T were required to subscribe to monthly data plans. Even existing subscribers who had pay-per-use data plans or did not have any plan at all were made to subscribe to a monthly plan upon upgrading their smartphones.

However, customers who replaced a lost or damaged phone through an insurance program or warranty, or those who moved to a different AT&T service area, were not supposed to get themselves a monthly data plan. But due to a computer error, this requirement was enforced even on these customers. To undo this damage, the company has been asked to restore the customers’ previous plans and offer them refunds, which could be up to $30 a month.

The company has stated that this ruling will affect a small number of customers and that they have already refunded the customers who contacted them. The Federal Communications Commission’s decision also requires AT&T to notify customers via their bills and offer them an option to revert to their original pay-per-use plans or have no data plans at all.… Read the rest

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