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Samsung takes aim at Apple's iPad, iTunes
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Sept 17, 2010


South Korea's Samsung took aim at Apple's iPad and iTunes on Friday with the US launch of its new Galaxy tablet computer and an online entertainment hub for movies and television shows.

Samsung said US wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon will sell the Galaxy Tab, which was unveiled at the IFA electronics trade fair in Berlin, Germany, in early September.

Samsung said the Galaxy Tab would be available in the United States in the "coming months" but did not provide pricing details of the touchscreen device seen as its answer to the iPad.

The South Korean electronics giant said the Galaxy Tab will offer access to "Media Hub," a new content service at Samsung.com.

MTV Networks, NBC Universal and Paramount are among the partners in Media Hub, which Samsung said will offer a "robust library" of movies, including new release films, next day television episodes and full TV show seasons.

Movies and TV shows can be rented or purchased and shared with up to five devices including Galaxy S smartphones, Samsung said.

"The new site further shifts the company from a product and technology provider to providing an overall digital experience," Samsung said in a statement.

Releasing the Galaxy Tab in the United States, Samsung sought to emphasize its differences with the iPad, which has been a hot seller for Apple since it hit stores in April.

Samsung noted that the Galaxy Tab has front- and rear-facing video cameras, allowing for video chat, and runs the popular Flash video software from Adobe.

The iPad does not have a camera and Apple has banned Flash from the device.

"With support for Flash Player 10.1, the Galaxy Tab delivers an enhanced content experience when compared to other tablets currently available in the US," Samsung said.

The Galaxy has a seven-inch (17.8-centimeter) touchscreen, smaller than the iPad's 9.7 inches, weighs 0.8 pounds (380 grams), almost half the iPad's 1.5 pounds, and is powered by Google's Android operating system.

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab is designed for people who want a premium mobile entertainment experience on the go, but don't want to be weighed down by a bulky device," Samsung said.

The Galaxy Tab provides access to the more than 80,000 applications available on the Android Market, Samsung said.

The Galaxy Tab is one of a number of tablet computers slated for release in a bid to challenge the iPad.

US computer maker Dell offers the "Dell Streak," an Android-powered device with a five-inch screen, and Japan's Toshiba unveiled its "Folio 100" at the IFA in Berlin,

US handset maker Motorola said this week it hopes to release a tablet computer powered by Android early next year and South Korea's LG Electronics has promised to release an Android-based tablet computer before December.

US computer giant Hewlett-Packard is pinning its hopes on its Slate.

Glenn Lurie, president of AT&T's emerging devices, welcomed the arrival of the Galaxy Tab.

"We're looking forward to expanding our computing device portfolio and giving our AT&T customers more great choices with this innovative device," Lurie said.

AT&T is the exclusive provider of 3G cellular service in the United States for Apple's iPhone and iPad.

earlier related report
Yahoo! revamping email and getting more social
Sunnyvale, California (AFP) Sept 16, 2010 - Yahoo! on Thursday provided a glimpse at the faded Internet search star's future identity that included making its Web pages more personalized and social.

"You are going to see some changes from us," Yahoo! chief product officer Blake Irving promised at a "Product Runway" event at the firm's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.

"You are going to see things that happen fast, that are innovative and that make customers and advertisers delighted."

Irving joined Yahoo! a hundred days earlier as part of change brought about by chief executive Carol Bartz, who replaced company co-founder Jerry Yang as head of what was a floundering Internet search pioneer being lost in Google's growing shadow.

Under Bartz, Yahoo! struck a recently implemented deal to have Internet queries at its Web pages handled by Microsoft's new Bing search engine.

Engineers at Yahoo! on Thursday showed off new products, tools and services they have been able to create since shifting the "block-and-tackle" labor of scouring the Web to Microsoft.

Yahoo! has revamped its free Web-based email service and is weaving Twitter into its online pages so people can more easily fire off or view updates at the microblogging service.

Yahoo! already allows for Facebook updates and lets users import contact information from the social network.

With the goal of getting more of its 600 million users around the world to visit Yahoo! pages more, the websites will begin honoring Facebook and Twitter account sign-ins, according to Irving.

"The integration done with Facebook and Twitter is an acknowledgement that this is what people are doing," Irving said.

"But, the social networking game isn't over because we are going to integrate social websites. There is definitely a place that Yahoo! can go based on the assets we have today and the technology."

A Yahoo! Groups that lets people form small online communities based on common causes or interests is being overhauled and made more social with Facebook-like features.

"People want to share (stuff) they care about with people who care about that (stuff)," said Jim Stoneham, vice president of Yahoo! Communities. "Not at the cocktail party conversation that is Facebook."

Yahoo! also showed off a new application for Apple's coveted iPad and other tablet computers to deliver its news pages to such devices with snazzy presentations and intuitive use of touch-screen controls.

"You are going to see us do a lot more mobile," Irving said, referring particularly to touch-screen smartphones and tablet computers.

"Ten years from now, you will find more people typing on glass than on clickety-clack keyboards."

The company announced new Connected TV partners to deliver more games, social networking, music, shopping, and video on demand to Internet-linked televisions embedded with snippets of Yahoo! software.

Yahoo! said it was changing its style to be more "iterative," upgrading and evolving Web pages, tools and offerings routinely and often.

Products and changes demonstrated by Yahoo! were already being rolled out or would be in the coming months, executives said.

Yahoo! is planning to enhance the way entertainment results are presented at its search page since that is a favorite topic among visitors to its Web pages.

Search results related to movies, music artists or celebrities will combine images, news articles, videos, tweets, events and ratings, according to engineers at the firm.

Searches for news will result in videos, images, articles, and tweets combined in results pages.

"Yahoo! in three years is a global series of Web experiences across a variety of different devices that gives people what they want; the content, the folks that they care about," Irving said of the firm's vision.

"There is a bunch of bringing cool back to Yahoo!, saying a lot of the things that you want to do on the Web are here."

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Motorola hopes for Android tablet early next year
San Francisco (AFP) Sept 15, 2010
Motorola co-chief Sanjay Jha on Wednesday painted a future for the company that included beefed-up smartphones and a tablet computer running on Google-backed Android software. Jha hoped Motorola would have an Android tablet computer ready early next year, he said while sharing thoughts at a Deutsche Bank Technology Conference in San Francisco. "I will only develop a tablet if it is suffi ... read more


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