It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
In a press release earlier today Samsung announced an update to its Exynos line of mobile processors with the release of the Exynos 4212 a 1.5 GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. The chip is designed on Samsung's advanced 32nm low-power processes and is intended for the burgeoning smartphone and tablet market. According to Samsung's release the Exynos 4212 will deliver a full 25% increase in processing power over the previous chip and will feature an enhanced GPU capable of delivering 50% higher 3D graphics performance.
After just over a year of envious grumbling, the Canadians have finally gotten their first taste of LTE. Rogers Wireless announced today that true 4G speeds are available to customers in specific coverage areas in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
While this is surely a cause for excitement for my fellow Canucks, the devices that are currently on this new network aren't. At the time of launch, the only LTE device available to consumers is the Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U, a mobile "LTE Rocket stick" for laptops.
Everyone's getting on the peace train, it seems. T-Mobile, in concert with Verizon's filing last week, submitted an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the Federal Court for the Northern District of California this morning in regard to the ongoing patent and trademark suit between Samsung and Apple. Its contents? Basically the same thing Verizon's said - that denying Americans their 4G Samsung devices just for some silly little patent infringement will hurt 4G deployment in the US and decrease access to high-speed mobile broadband.
When I saw the announcement by Samsung that they were bringing the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 portable media players to the US, I paused, and thought "Uh, why?" We have yet to come up with an answer.
That's to say, we're not sure what Samsung is thinking bringing a PMP (portable media player) product line into the United States, where the iPod Touch dominates that already-dwindling market to a laughable extent.
It seems that T-Mobile isn't the only one with a handful of big announcements today. Samsung has just unveiled a selection of brand new devices to give us even more to look forward to in the coming months.
Samsung has finally announced the Galaxy Tab 8.9, the slightly smaller counterpart to the 10.1. It's packing a 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1280x800 TFT display, a 6100mAh battery, and other specs made familiar to us by the Tab 10.1 (including Samsung's Touchwiz UX overlay).
We already know the Samsung Galaxy S II (SGSII) is a huge success (even compared to the original SGS), but now sales of the uberphone have been kicked up even higher. In the last 8 weeks, sales have gone from 5 million to 10 million - or 625,000 units sold per week. And here's the real kicker: the press release expressly states "Model: GT-I9100," meaning these sales figures don't even include the United States.
The update isn't showing up on Rogers' own website yet (under the Support tab), but if you go through Samsung's Kies upgrade software (go here, click Support, then Download), you should find it sitting in plain view, itching to jump over to your device.
Galaxy S users, if you've upgraded, let us know how it went and if you experienced any issues.
One of the biggest fears that many users have before rooting their device is something going wrong with no way to return to stock. Fortunately, we have a brilliant root community behind us, and thanks to Team ACS, we now have an unrooted, stock kernel available to flash via ODIN. This way, if you encounter any issue during or after rooting your device you have a way to restore the kernel back to its factory state.
Update: After receiving a distraught email from Team ACS, it has been brought to our attention that their root method may not be the cause of signal loss on the Epic 4G Touch. We're currently researching the details and will update this post accordingly.
Update x2: According to new information we received, there have been reports of this same issue happening on non-rooted phones. We're not sure how things got twisted around to point the finger at rooted devices, but we do know that Sprint is looking into it.