Heads up Apple, Here Comes Samsung's 8-core Chip

Samsung is set to begin manufacturing its eight-core phone and tablet processor in the second quarter. That's a problem for Apple because Apple is both competing with Samsung and getting its A6 from the South Korean company. Think Apple's A6 chip packs a punch? It appears to have some stiff competition from Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa, slated for commercial production in the second quarter, the company announced yesterday.

Samsung Offers Peek at What May be New Galaxy S4

Further whetting appetites for its new smartphone, Samsung tweeted an image this evening that is presumably the Galaxy S4, which is expected to be unveiled Thursday. The very dark image, depicting only the upper left corner of what appears to be a smartphone with the familiar Samsung brand at the top, appeared on the South Korean electronics giant's official U.S. Twitter feed

Ubuntu Linux Enters the Smartphone Wars

Instead of going after both the tablet and smartphone with a newly-improved touch-enabled version of Ubuntu Linux, Canonical will be focusing its efforts in 2013 on smartphones. While the smartphone interface is clearly based on Ubuntu's Unity interface, it's not just the same old desktop shrunk down to a smartphone. According to Canonical, the smartphone Ubuntu will use all four edges of the screen for a more immersive experience. Ubuntu uniquely gives handset OEMs and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise superphone.

Nokia Navigates New Map Strategy with Launch of Here

Nokia has put its mapping unit front and center with the introduction of its Here cloud-based location brand and platform, which was unveiled during a media event. Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop said that maps and location experiences should inspire to sense our the world. He added that the quality and quantity of data available will enable Nokia to transform mapping in ways they haven't even thought possible yet and Here is also being built to be span on most mobile operating systems and devices.

Google's Nexus 10 Goes for the iPad's Jugular

On paper, at least, Google's Nexus 10 is a remarkable-sounding tablet that challenges the iPad on key hardware metrics. Those metrics would include size, weight, and display. Not to mention price. Google's high-end 32GB Nexus 10 model is priced at $499 ($399 with 16GB). By comparison, Apple's 32GB Wi-Fi iPad is $599.

iPad Mini vs. Nexus 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD

After dominating the larger tablet market it popularized, Apple has turned its attention to the slightly smaller screen. The 7.9-inch iPad Mini has Apple's attention to style and detail behind it, but it certainly isn't the only slate of this stature that's worth considering, especially with the Mini's stepped-down processor and screen resolution.

Android, Apple Still Going Strong among U.S. Users

Android and Apple continue to bite bigger hunks out of the U.S. smartphone market. As of the three months ended July, Google's mobile OS held a 52.2 percent share of the market, a gain of 1.4 points from the prior three months. In second place, Apple's iOS grabbed 33.4 percent of the market, up 2 points from the prior period. That left the rest of the top five platforms still spinning down the drain.

YouTube Brings Skippable Ads to Mobile Devices

YouTube will now let people viewing clips on the site by way of their mobile devices skip video ads after 5 seconds, the same way they can when watching clips on a desktop or laptop computer. The TrueView ads - launched for PCs in December of 2010 - are heading to smartphones and tablets. Under TrueView, advertisers pay only when someone chooses to watch a complete ad. But does this ever happen? According to YouTube it does. Google unit noted late last year that 15 percent to 45 percent of viewers on desktops and laptops were indeed opting to let ads play out.

110Mbps SoftBank 4G Mobile Router

SoftBank's recently-launched AXGP 4G network is capable of speeds up to 110Mbps, but so far we've only seen the release of a 76Mbps mobile router. That's set to change at some point after September courtesy of the Ultra Wi-Fi 102HW, a Huawei-made router that SoftBank is calling the "fastest ever." It'll allow for theoretical maximum download speeds of 110Mbps and uploads of 10Mbps, and has a 3,000 mAh battery.

Samsung's Music Hub Launches

It was clear that Samsung was dipping a toe in the music market, and now it's officially landed. Music Hub will launch with the GSIII in the UK, France and Germany. It's fair to say the electronics giant will be trampling on a fair number of toes, with Music Hub offering both streaming - from 7 Digital's catalog of 19 million - as well as recommendations, and a 100GB iTunes Match-esque cloud service.

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