3D renderings compare Samsung’s iPhone-like Galaxy Alpha to the real deal

Samsung Alpha iPhone 5s render

Earlier this month Samsung announced yet another Android handset dubbed the Galaxy Alpha that many observers noted borrows design cues from the iPhone 5 first introduced by Apple nearly 2 years ago. The Galaxy Alpha does feature a metal frame with chamfered edges, but does it really favor the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s or is it more Samsung than anything else?

Designer Martin Hajek has created a new collection of 3D renderings to help visualize that comparison and answer that question showing Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha handset side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone 5s. Read more

Samsung acquires iOS-connected home automation company SmartThings

SmartThings

About a month ago, word broke that Samsung was interested in acquiring home automation firm SmartThings and today the two companies have made things official. A blog post by the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Hawkinson acknowledged the deal and stated that SmartThings will continue to act as an independent company under Samsung’s Open Innovation Center group.

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iOS holds two-thirds of enterprise market, but drops five points to Android

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The latest enterprise market share data from Good Technology shows that iOS holds two-thirds of the market, at 67 percent, but has dropped five points to Android – which increased its share to 32 percent. Windows Phone remains flat (and irrelevant) at just 1 percent. (BlackBerry data is not included as the company uses its own servers and activations are invisible to Good Technology.)  Read more

UK carrier reports increased Apple Maps usage as ComScore numbers show downward trend

Apple’s Maps app, introduced as part of iOS 6 in 2012, has had its fair share of technical issues and was the source of a PR crisis and the ejection of multiple long-time Apple executives. But two years later, if data from UK carrier EE is any indication, Apple Maps usage appears to be on an upward trend. Here’s the latest usage data for Apple Maps from the network:

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Review: Lumsing Prophet $20 Bluetooth Speaker/phone rocks out with its dock out

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Although we’ve covered the gamut of portable Bluetooth speakers here at 9to5Mac, we typically recommend higher-end products like the Bose Soundlink Mini ($199), JBL Charge ($138) or Ultimate Ears Mini/Boom ($80/$179). It’s usually not worth cheaping out on Bluetooth speakers (unless you are looking for niche products like wearables) because the sound quality degrades heavily once you drop below the top tier. Lumsing-Prophet-review Sadly, today’s entrant into the Bluetooth speaker cage-match lot isn’t going to compete with any of the $100+speakers above. But I have to say, the Lumsing Prophet isn’t bad at all, especially if you aren’t listening to bass-heavy tracks. And, the freaky part is it only costs $20 bucks after coupon code PROPHET0 (expires 8/13) at Amazon which makes it an absolute steal… Read more

Opinion: Is the case for Apple ending its patent battles with Samsung stronger than ever?

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

Steve Jobs famously declared back in 2010 that Android was a stolen product, and he was willing to “go thermonuclear war” in order to “destroy” it.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Back in April, I suggested three reasons it might be time for Apple to settle its Android disputes and move on. The relatively small damages award in the most recent case (and which now looks set to be further reduced) provided a fourth reason not long after I wrote that piece. But I think the case today is even more compelling …  Read more

Hands-on with a functional 4.7-inch iPhone 6 clone, attention to detail is ridiculous (Video)

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A functional “Wico6″ iPhone 6 clone has made its way into a detailed hands-on video published by YouTuber Danny Winget. This functional clone mimics Apple’s iPhone in almost every way possible, all the way down to the packaging and accessories. So what’s the big deal? Apple clones pop up all of the time. Well, the Wico6 is designed to look like all of the iPhone 6 dummies we’ve seen up to the point.

This “fully functional” device does work as a smartphone (SIM card slot and all), but it’s not running iOS. Much like Goophone’s i6 copycat device, the Wico6 runs a skinned version of Android that’s designed to look like iOS. There’s nothing fancy here as far as specifications go, but it’s surprising how far this company went in terms of design and user interface to make a functional clone…

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Apple maintains lead over Samsung as top tablet vendor in Q2 as both lose share to others

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With Apple’s Q3 earnings call this week revealing iPad sales of 13.3 million units for the quarter and Tim Cook making a point of defending the category, today we get a look at how Apple is doing overall with IDC’s latest numbers for worldwide tablet shipments.

While noting that tablet shipments worldwide grew 11% year-over-year, IDC’s numbers show that Apple was able to maintain its lead over Samsung with 26.9% of the market (down from 33% last year) compared to Samsung at 17.2% down from 18.8% the year before. Both lose share to other companies as the category reportedly experienced a lot of growth among smaller companies like Lenovo and Acer while the “others” category grew from 37% to 44% marketshare: Read more

Opinion: Will the iPad be left behind in the shift to larger iPhones?

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With Apple reporting lower-than-expected iPad sales for the second quarter in a row, it’s likely that Tim Cook will be once again be called on to reassure investors that the decline in year-on-year sales won’t continue indefinitely.

Cook has been very bullish on the iPad, despite the numbers, pointing especially to growing sales in the education sector and the opportunity for tablet growth in enterprise.

The penetration in business is low, it’s only 20 percent. If you looked at the penetration of notebooks in business it would be over 60 percent. We think there is a substantial upside in business.”

I think he’s right, especially with the IBM partnership. I mentioned in my opinion piece then that increasing penetration in enterprise could also help drive consumer migration from Android, as it gives people exposure to iOS devices. But the impact this has could well be offset by the iPhone 6 …  Read more