There has been a fair bit of speculation in the last few days as to how many Samsung have sold of its flagship Galaxy S4 phone in the month since it launched.
Well today it offered up the figures and claimed to have cleared 10 million handsets since the end of April. Pretty impressive stuff eh, and all the more impressive when you consider that the Galaxy S III took 50 days after its launch to ship 10 million units, while the S II took five months and the original Galaxy S took almost seven months.
And then the phone isn't on sale globally yet with Samsung promising to deliver the handset to another fifty or so countries imminently. To celebrate the company is going to ship the S4 in other colours too including; "Blue Arctic", "Red Aurora", "Purple Mirage" and "Brown Autumn".
The big question then is how do sales of the S4 compare with the iPhones?
Interestingly Apple sold over five million iPhone 5 handsets in the opening weekend of sales. And as Apple Insider points out here that was in just nine countries and that figure was deemed by some analysts as disappointing.
The iPhone 5 went on to sell 33 million units in 2012 which was roughly the same number that Samsung sold of the S3 in the same period.
The iPhone 4S also got off to a flying start in with four million units sold in the first three days of release.
We don't have the exact figures for the first month of iPhone sales but hazarding a guess they are likely to be in excess of ten million.
Ultimately the S4 sales figures tell us two key things. Firstly that Samsung has produced a hit phone that even if hasn't usurped its Apple rivals in popularity is breathing down their necks. Secondly that Apple will need to post some pretty impressive stats for the iPhone 5S and 6 to keep its critics and the financial institutions happy.
There are two types of StarTrek gadgets. There are those that featured in the films and the TV series - that one day might actually become a reality.
And then there's the fun stuff. the things you can collect and display to show that deep down you are and always will be a Trekkie. Here is the best (and worst) of what's available now
As you would expect one of the fastest selling phones in mobile history has spawned a huge number of cases and accessories.
Interestingly there is already quite a number of high-end luxury style cases for the mobile and here are our favourites.
Though if you want a really flash phone then go here.
Bought yourself a lovely new iPad mini? Well the range and the quality of the cases for your new device gets better all the time.
Here are our favourite new high-end iPad mini cases.
Seems like there's a festival for everyone these days - even for us less naturally out-doors types. So even better news is there are lots of festival gadgets and gear, perfect for those not wanting to suffer out in the cold: There's nothing like a wonder-widget-that-does-it-all to make us happier campers, so here's our top ten gadgets and cool comforts we would definitely pack into our camper van...
At the moment we love all things vintage, and find nothing more satisfying than stumbling across the perfect artefact that brings a bit of chic to an otherwise practical item, like a chair. However it takes time rooting through your local second hand furniture shops and auction rooms (fun though it can be), and the randomness of what's current can be frustrating if you're looking for a particular item.
Fortunately whether you are the down-the-line authentic vintage or open to replica variations, there's lots of cool retro desk chair choices to choose from. When opting for used vintage, there's the usual risks when buying second-hand anything, so be prepared to invest more than the purchase price to restore it to it's former glory, or upcycle further by selecting the fabric of your choice and getting it re-upholstered.
Beware of purely going for aesthetics with a desk chair, as we all know spending a long time hunched over your desk in a not-so-comfortable chair can result in 'vintage backache'. So, at the risk of sounding like your mother, the first thing to consider when shopping around for a desk chair is how much time you will be spending at your desk, as some chairs are more suited for longer use and comfort, ie height adjustment, padding and arms should be top of your list if you're the WFH type.
I have always thought that one day publishers would start offering tablets for free as long as you subscribed to their packages. Well, we aren't there yet, but things are moving in that direction.
The Times has announced that it is offering a special deal to potential readers and that if they sign up for their Digital Pack - basically The Times and Sunday Times downloaded each day to a tablet, plus full website access and the smartphone app - they would throw in a device for £50. In this instance it is is the Google Nexus 32 gig version.
Usually the tablet costs around £200, so that would mean £150 off the tablet's price.
I think this is just the start. It would make so much sense for say Amazon to offer a free Kindle provided you agreed to spend a certain amount of money on books each year - think a Spotify type subscription.
Then there are other magazine publishers who could in theory offer cheaper tablets as an incentive to pay for yearly subs too. It makes so much sense - if they want to ensure that their tablet readerships goes up why not offer readers a tablet?
I don't think you will be getting a free iPad with your Daily Star just yet, but if you are thinking about buying a tablet it might be worth seeing if you can get it free or cheap with some great content too.
Or dining Al Fresco as the papers refer to it these days, like we're all in some Manet painting. Comparing today's outdoor dining experiences is a whole world away from those jam sarnies with curled-up corners washed down with a warm bottle of pre-diluted orange squash from yesteryear (- I recall there being a distinct lack of lashings of ginger beer).
Now there's a whole host of must-have picnic equipment that you didn't realise existed, until you look around and notice infinitely posher picnics being devoured. Outdoor concerts can bring out the worst with this kind of one-up-personship: When candelabra's and Irish lace linen are laid out sur l'herbe, you know your yellowing tupperware maybe best kept inside that picnic basket.
There's no need to go spending your summer holiday budget on rustling up a tasty hamper, as picnic accoutrements don't have to cost the earth. Here's a selection of good looking ware that we'd like to pack up with us on our next sunny day out...
So BlackBerry needs a big touch screen phablet to keep up with its rivals. But its hardcore fans love that keyboard and want it on board too. Now it could add a keyboard to a big five inch screen, but that phone would not exactly be pocketable.
So what should BlackBerry do?
Well how about resurrect the slider? It is been a while since we saw a sliding phone, but adding a keyboard to a phablet could be a work of genius.
So check this out. Engadget has got the scoop on a BlackBerry design patent which shows how a large screen slider could work.
The fly in the ointment is that this dates from 2011 when the jury was very much out on the big screen handset, so it might have very little relevance to what BB has planned for 2013.
Nevertheless it would be a smart move for BlackBerry and we wonder if it will crop up at the company's annual showcase, now renamed BB Live, in mid-May.
Could it be the five inch U10 that was hinted at by the company here and has already been talked about by several analysts.
If it doesn't expect Samsung to get a slider in some time before Christmas.
We spend more time at our desks these days than ever before, and desk space are fast becoming essential 'zones' to be planned within our homes. However how much time do we spend actually styling our desk space as we do endlessly for other areas of our homes?
Essential office furniture - like a good desk chair are must haves, but looking slightly further at say a vintage globe or a retro desk lamp can make your work station somewhere that you actually enjoy spending time and proudly display, along with the rest of your treasured 'statement pieces' that say something about your impeccable taste for home interiors!
Here's a selection of some of the finest examples of retro lamps we like.
I read the note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster earlier this week in which he plots Apple's upcoming year.
It revolves around tweaks to existing products - iPhone 5S, a cheaper iPhone and an upgraded iPad and iPad mini.
Munster believes that Apple will leave the innovation until the end of the year when it will unveil its core new product - the iWatch.
If Munster is right then I think that the iWatch could be a very important project for Apple this year and here is why they, along with Samsung, LG and lots of start ups, are eagerly eyeing up the smart watch market.
1 It is a market with huge potential
The phone may have replaced the watch for many people but it is still a massive market. If you are going to break into a new market then it is best to break into one (and even better innovate) where there is already a huge amount of business.
2 Smartphone sales are flattening
One of the reasons why Apple shares have tanked a little recently is that there is a fear that smartphone sales are starting to flatten. If you live in the western world and you wanted a smartphone chances are you would have bought one by now. The future is all about upgrades. With sales starting to slow to keep investors on board Apple, and to a lesser degree Samsung, need to be looking at a new market.
3 Locking people into platforms
With the sales of smartphones slowing it is imperative that Apple doesn't hemorrhage customers to Samsung and vice versa. It is important to lock people into using an operating system so that when it comes to an upgrade they don't desert your brand. If you create a watch that only works with one kind of platform and someone invests in it, then they are even more likely to stay with that platform in the future. The interesting question is whether the Samsung watch will be Android only. In theory they could produce a watch that worked with Apple iOS and Windows handsets.
4 Possibility of new rivals establishing themselves
If we accept that the smart watch is going to be an important area moving forwards - as is the wearable gadget sphere - then Samsung and Apple both need to watch their backs.
They could face all kinds of competition in the space. Off the top of my head - Nike and other sports brands could deliver watches that work with handsets in a similar way to the Samsung/Apple offerings, but that major on fitness/health items.
Casio already has a smart watch on the go and has innovated in this space several times before. Who know what they have up their sleeves. Sony could produce a watch that majors on entertainment features as could Amazon. Then of course there are the watches that are onsale already from Pebble etc some of which are very good.
If Apple and Samsung want to dominate the smart watch space they need to move quickly
5 A need to innovate
As I mentioned in the intro this is essential, especially for Apple. With this year dominated by upgrade products it needs to show that it can still create something magical and new to wow the cynics and give its fan people something to brag about.
Samsung could in theory drive a road through Apple's 2013 strategy by getting there first with an impressive smart watch. Imagine if the watch went on sale before the iWatch, was better specified and more stylish and worked with iPhones as well as Android devices. Apple could look like an also ran.
Conversely if Apple can get the smart watch right and deliver somethign that is significantly in advance of what Samsung offers it will reclaim its crown as consumer electronics' key innovator.
The Amazon Kindle HD has been one of the biggest gadgets of the last twelve months. So not suprisingly there has been a huge demand for cases for the tablet.
Here is our pick of the bunch
Waiting for the next Apple iPhone? Well according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster you won't have too long to wait.
He has told Cnet that he thinks that the next gen iPhone - the 5S - will land in June but also adds that he thinks it won't be as big a hit as its predecessor.
According to Cnet Munster suggests that Apple will sell 4 million units of the new phone before the month and the quarter are over. That estimate compares with the 5 million iPhone 5 handsets sold during that model's opening weekend.
The analyst has also been scoping out what he thinks will feature on the new handset. He says that there is an outside chance that the phone will come with a NFC chip and finger print treading to enable it to act as a bank card - see here for more - but that is more likely to debut on the iPhone 6.
So Munster is sticking with a faster processor, better camera, and some software enhancements.
So if he is right will that help claw some of the ground back that the company has arguably lost to Samsung?
What do you think?
In case you haven't yet heard the news Buzzfeed, that American site so beloved of people who like kittens behaving badly, has launched a UK edition today.
Now, UK flavoured versions of US sites haven't always gone down well over here. The Huffington Post UK got a bit of a pasting when it first arrived though it has since settled a bit and become part of the UK media scene.
So I was very sceptical about Buzzfeed UK? How many cats with British accents are there?
I really shouldn't have worried. Edited by former NME.com editor Luke Lewis Buzzfeed is a tour de force of all things British - which almost certainly wouldn't have made the original version of the site.
Not everything is quite as inspired. The 27 Extraordinary Facts About The London Underground seems like a parade of quotes from Wikipedia accompanied by shots from Flickr - which invariably aren't relevant to the station that is being posted about.
Also where the ferret is the footy stuff?
But it is early days, and if Lewis and his team can keep up this standard then Buzzfeed UK is going to be an absolute hoot.
It is fascinating too in that it provides a very real insight into what being British means in 2013 - so we are all about The Daily Mail, Boris Johnson, Marmite, The Tube, David Bowie and Alan Partridge. Is that good? I am not too sure...
Btw when you have checked it out don't forget to take a peek at the newly revamped MSNNowsite which features Becca, once of this parish, Caddy.
There were plenty of reported sightings of Samsung galaxy S4 cases before its launch last Thursday, but many were just mock-ups based mainly on conjecture than fact.
Now at last we know exactly what the S4 will look like and the deluge of cases and accessories has begun.
All the big names have been quick off the mark to produce cases and our selection ranges from budget number to a few luxury models that are creeping out.
Most will go one sale at the end of April when the S4 itself arrives
So here we go with the basic information
Screen size and resolution - 5inches - that's a tad larger than the 4.8inch display on the S3. It will have resolution of 1920x1080 - or around 441 pixels per inch (PPI) - that's more than the resolution of Apple's Retina display technology.
Design - The phone is available in black and white Polycarbonate. It is similar to the S3 though the casing has been squared off a little. It is made from plastic (probably to keep the price down)n rather than the more aluminium feel of the Apple iPhone 5. It is only 7.9mm.
Processor/storage - This is where the S4 scores big time. It has Samsung's new Exynos 5 eight core processor - the 1.6GHz Exynos 5410. It will be accompanied by a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 graphics chip, 2GB of RAM and 16GB (options for 32 and 64) of storage.
4G - EE pretty much confirmed that the phone was going to be 4G a few days ago. Anyway yes it will run on EE's 4G network and any other UK 4G networks that will launch soon.
Features - The S4 is the first Samsung phone to offer wireless charging. It also has Infra red conbtrol, so you can contol your TV.
There's a feature called S-Translator that can translate languages automatically. You type words out in English and it then speaks them in one of nine languages. Or it can translate words on a menu etc through its reader.
Adapt Display - with this the screen automatically adjusts to what you are using the screen for and where you are so it is more comfortable to your eyes.
The S4's touch screen can also be controlled when using gloves.
The S4 also has Group Play - which you can use shared music feature to play music on up to eight devices simultaneously.
Video Calling has been enhanced so it now works with up to three people - or you can have a video call but show an image.
Air Gesture is on board too this means you can navigate phone with a swipe of your hand or answer phone with a wave of your hand.
S-Health is a suite of health and fitness related features. It will tell you how many calories you are burning, gague your heart rate and sleeping patterns. You can also monitor your blood sugar levels with an add on.
Smart Scroll web-page eye-tracking and Smart Pause media pausing are also included, with the front facing camera following your eye movements and angle of the handset in your hand to pan pages automatically, or pause videos if you look away from the screen.
Camera - The S4 sports a 13 mega pixel camera. A step up from the eight mega pixel one on the S3. It also includes a dual camera record feature. So you can shoot video from both the front and rear cameras at the same time, enabling you to be in the picture if you are taking the image. It also works for photos too. You can also add voice to an image as it can capture a few seconds of audio.
The S4 also has a feature called Drama Shot that can snap 100 images in four seconds. Another feature is the Story Album that automatically gives you an option of creating a Story Album which brings together pics from the same place together - ie all your holiday snaps.
Battery - This is another step up from the S3. The phone will sport a 2600mAh battery which is 500mAh bigger than the battery in the S3. It will need it to run the brighter screen and 4G.
Release date - The phone will be available in the UK on April 26th
Networks - Every single UK network is taking the phone. See here for more details
Got a secret crush on one of your Facebook pals, but can't bring yourself to declare your love for them. Well there's an app for that.
There;s a new free Facebook app which will at the very least give Cupid a bit of a nudge and may even bring you together.
Both Interested enables users to chose a trio of Facebook friends that they have the hots for and enables them to send an anonymous message letting them know that they have a secret admirer who is one of their Facebook pals.
If your crush wants to find out more then they like the app and it will then send email to both parties telling them who it is and maybe bringing them together. If your crush isn't interested then it all stays anonymous - unless of course they share it with everyone via social media...
It is an interesting little app which is capable of causing all kinds of mayhem. Forget to log out of your Facebook account and you might suddenly find yourself sending anonymous love messages to all manner of hotties...
Incidentally there is a similar app that works on a much more direct way here.
It is up there with the iPhone 5 as the most popular handset onthe planet - well until they launch the S4 anyhow.
So it is not suprising that there is a huge collection of high-end/luxury cases for the Samsung Galaxy SIII.
Here is our pick of the bunch. Prices start at around £40 and go up to very very expensive.
So just three days to go before its big Manhattan launch and once again the web is ablaze with chatter about what Samsung are going to include on their new Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone.
Today's big story is the leak of a series of pics on a Chinese forum website that purports to show a user's hands-on with the new handset.
As with all these rumours you can take them - or leave them.
First up though the specs associated with the handset, as claimed by the leak, tally with many other sources.
So the handset will pack a 12.8-megapixel camera, run Android 4.2.1, boast a Full HD (1920 x 1080) five inch screen, include a A quad-core 1.8GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM.
As for the design itself it seems less square than other recent rumours have suggested. If anything it looks more like a Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Meanwhile Computerworld has a round up of what it is expecting from the S4.
It suggests that
What Samsung must accomplish with the launch is not only to substantially top its current GSIII in hardware specs and software, but to compete with the next iPhone, expected in June, and whatever HTC and other Android phone makers introduce in 2013, analysts said.
There's also the latest news about Eye Scroll, which we first mentioned here, and also the resolution of the S4's screen.