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18 Jun 12 Sharp to Launch New Android-based User Interface to Differentiate …


Japan’s Sharp said Monday it will release a new user interface for its smartphones in an attempt to differentiate them from the Android masses.

The Osaka-based electronics maker’s new “Feel UX” will feature a simplistic design with large icons, and allow many phone functions, such as camera, photo gallery, and music player applications, to be accessed directly from the lock screen. Once unlocked, the interface has three main screens, one each for apps, shortcuts to phone features, and widgets such as calendars and clocks.

The phone’s lock screen can also automatically tweak its background photo to match the current weather, and displays updates on stocks and other real-time info as well as messages and missed calls. Unlike with competitors such as Apple’s iOS, the photo featured on the lock screen is never obscured by time or message information, which appear across a section in the bottom third of the screen in images provided by Sharp.

With the majority of smartphones based on Android and having increasingly similar feature-sets and specifications, manufacturers are hoping unique-looking software user interfaces will differentiate their products and hook customers. Sharp joins rivals such as Sony and Samsung in offering user interfaces that run on top of various versions of Android.

Sharp said it will initially phase the new design into its Japanese phones, but is “exploring its potential use in smartphones destined for international markets.”

Sharp, known mainly for its own line of LCD TVs and as a global supplier of LCD panels to other manufacturers, is also a major handset maker in Japan, offering smartphones based on its Aquos TV brand. The company also sells a limited number of mobiles abroad.

The new user interface was designed and built together with software design firm Frog Design, headquartered in San Francisco. Frog said the interface was developed over a nine-month period, and is being launched on seven different Aquos-brand smartphones in Japan.

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Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/257788/sharp_to_launch_new_androidbased_user_interface_to_differentiate_its_phones.html

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06 Apr 12 Android Earnings Report Pt. I: Samsung Wins Big, HTC Plummets




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1 comment(s) – last by quiksilvr.. on Apr 6 at 3:05 PM


Samsung makes nearly twice the profit it did last year, increases position as standards bearer

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) — currently the top Android phonemaker — and HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) — currently in the top three in Android sales — reported earnings guidance (unaudited earnings) today.  While we’ll have to wait until mid-month (April 12) for Google Inc.’s (GOOG) earnings and till the end of the month for pending Google acquisition Motorola Mobility Inc. (MMI) (the last of the Android “Big Three”), HTC and Samsung’s reports give some idea of the state of the Android union.

By all indications the story is relatively unchaged — HTC continues the slump it got into late last year, while Samsung continues its meteoric rise.

Samsung’s estimated total sales rose to 46T Won (~$40.71B USD), up from 36.99T Won (~$32.73B USD) in Q1 2011, and almost matching its record holiday haul of 47.3T Won (~$41.86B USD) in Q4 2011.  Given that the first quarter is often far weaker than the holiday quarter for consumer retail companies, this is a great result.

Better yet Samsung’s profit soared to an estimated 5.8T Won (~$5.13B USD), nearly twice the 2.99T Won (~$2.65B USD) it pulled in in Q1 2011, and more than its holiday Q4 2011 profit of 5.3T Won (~$4.69B USD).  

HTC Phone Quietly Brilliant
Quiet brilliance is no longer achieving success for HTC [Image Source: Reuters / Pichi Chuang]

What does that profit mean?  Well, Samsung does not break down its sales or profit by division in its report, but given that its DRAM and LCD panels businesses are substantially less profitable than its smartphones, it indicates that Samsung’s smartphone sales continue to rise sharply.

On the opposite end of the earnings spectrum was HTC’s report [PDF].  HTC posted estimated sales revenue of $67.79B TD (~$2.3B USD) and profit of $5.099B TD (~$173M USD) pre-tax, $4.464B TD (~$131M USD) post-tax.  HTC’s profit has fallen an astounding 68 percent since Q1 2011 and revenue has fallen 35 percent.

HTC is scrambling to try to release new iconic handsets, as its current lineup is clearly not doing the trick.

Overall the earnings indicate that Android remains successful, but that increasingly Samsung is becoming the standards bearer for the platform, while other strong contenders like HTC fade from contention.  Samsung’s success is largely fueled by slick packaging and strong marketing.  By contrast, HTC’s slogan is “Quietly brilliant” — and its own advertising efforts are true to form.  Clear Samsung’s bolder approach, which in a way echoes Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is winning out.

Both companies have struggled in the last couple quarters with litigation from Apple, which has forced them to remove user interface features from their Android distributions [1][2].

Sources: HTC, Samsung

Article source: http://www.dailytech.com/Android+Earnings+Report+Pt+I+Samsung+Wins+Big+HTC+Plummets/article24403.htm

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