May 2012

Full review: Winmate 9.7-inch rugged Windows tablet with capacitive multi-touch
With Windows 8 getting closer, all eyes are on tablets that run the Redmond OS while still providing the iPad experience, and in a tougher package that can handle bumps and rain. Winmate has one of these, the M970D rugged tablet, and we got an early example for a full review. It is based on the rather quick Intel Atom N2600 processor and has a superb 9.7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen. [Read full review of the Winmate M970D rugged tablet] -- Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 by chb

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note
As phones get ever larger, wouldn't it be nice to also have a pen for doodling and taking handwritten notes? That's what Samsung thought when it created the Galaxy Note with its huge (for a phone) 5.3" screen. Dan Rasmus takes a detailed look at this "Phablet" with its Wacom technology pen. Does it make sense? Does it work? Who is it for? [See Dan Rasmus' review of the Samsung Galaxy Note] -- Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by chb

Cisco Cius victim of market shift to employee-owned devices
95% of organizations in a Cisco IBSG Horizons Study on virtualization and BYOD allowed employee-owned devices and 36% provided full support for them. Cisco senior VP O. J. Winge said in a blog that this represents a market transition and that Cisco will no longer invest in its own Cisco Cius tablet, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius product. [See Cisco blog] -- Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 by chb

Appcelerator: Interest in developing Android apps falling
Appcelerator says that a survey of the 300,000 developers currently in their network, and over the past three quarters, showed that interest in developing mobile applications to run on Android platforms (both tablet and smartphone ) has fallen off more than 10%. Developers most often point to the fragmentation of the platforms, the lack of standard device images and feature sets and the difficulty in monetization as the most frequent reasons for their lack of interest in Android as a target OS. -- Posted Thursday, May 24, 2012 by chb

IDC releases Q1 2012 smartphone numbers and report
According to a press release by IDC on their latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 152 million smartphones were shipped in Q1 2012. In smartphones, Android commanded a 59.0% marketshare (up from 36.1% a year ago), with Apple's iOS second with 23.0% (up from 18.3%). The big losers were Symbian with 6.8% (down from 26.0%) and RIM with 6.4% (down from 13.6%). Microsoft came in 6th with 2.2%, down from 3.1%. (Compare these figures to the Gartner figures we reported on May 16; the difference may be because Gartner reported "sold to end users" whereas IDV reported "shipped".) IDC noted that almost half of all Android phones came from Samsung, that Symbian will further decline, that upcoming BlackBeryy 10 phones "have shown improvement," and that Windows Phone has yet to make significant inroads. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 24, 2012 by chb

Jury: Google did not infringe on Oracle patents
While Android has become the #1 operating platform for smartphones and is also used in most media tablets competing with Apple's iPad, a patent infringement lawsuit by Oracle against Google had been hanging over it. Case 10-3561 was tried in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, and on May 23, 2012, the jury decided Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents (which Oracle came to own via its purchase of SUN Microsystems). [See Reuters news on the case, and the actual jury verdict (PDF)] -- Posted Thursday, May 24, 2012 by chb

DRS Tactical Systems announces two new lightweight 7-inch multi-touch tablets
DRS Technologies announced that its Tactical Systems division has expanded its portfolio with two new, thin, lightweight tablets. The new ARMOR X7ad and ARMOR X7et tablets look almost identical and both have 7-inch multi-touch displays, but they are actually quite different: the NVIDIA Tegra 2-based X7ad runs the Android OS that dominates the smartphone market and is making inroads in tablets, whereas the Intel Atom-based X7et is based on the enterprise-friendly Microsoft Windows 7 platform. [See's description and specs of the DRS ARMOR X7ad and DRS ARMOR X7et tablets] -- Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by chb

Juniper Systems partners with SDG to produce Android version of the Mesa Rugged Notepad
Juniper Systems announced a partnership with Pennsylvania-based SDG Systems. This partnership will bring to market a version of Juniper Systems' Mesa Rugged Notepad with Android 2.3, which will be distributed exclusively through SDG Systems as the RAMPAGE 6. The Android version of the ultra-rugged Juniper Mesa Rugged Notepad with its 5.7-inch display and IP67 sealing will be available starting in Q3 of 2012 from SDG Systems. [See Juniper Systems press release and SDG's RAMPAGE page] -- Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by chb

DLI 9000: rugged 9.7-inch capacitive touch POS tablet can run Windows or Android 4.0
DLI of LaPorte, Indiana, has announced the DLI 9000, an Intel Atom Z670-powered rugged tablet that can run either Windows or Android 4.0. With a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 pixel capacitive touch screen and measurements only slighter larger than that of the iPad, the 2-lbs DLI 9000 tablet may well benefit from a market that has embraced the iPad by the tens of millions. Also interesting: an optional 5-in-1 module that adds a magstripe reader, a debit pin pad, contactless payment, EMV Smartcard reader, and 1D/2D CMOS barcode scanning. [See description and specs of the DLI 9000] -- Posted Monday, May 21, 2012 by chb

Perytons Launches ZigBee protocol analyzer for Tablet PCs
Perytons Ltd. announced today the release of its new Tablet PC analyzer models for sniffing 802.15.4, ZigBee and 6LoWPAN networks. The PeryTAB combines the Perytons Protocol Analyzer suite features with an optimized Tablet PC touch interface for a superior user experience. During the market introduction phase the PeryTAB will be provided together with a Tablet PC such as ACER Iconia W500 or Skytex Skytab S-series, running the Microsoft Windows 7 OS. -- Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by chb

Gartner releases Q1 2012 smartphone numbers
According to a press release by Gartner, 144 million smartphones were sold to end users in Q1 2012, which means that over a third of all cellphones sold are now smartphones. In smartphones, Android commanded a 56.1% marketshare (up from 36.4% a year ago), with Apple's iOS second with 22.9% (up from 16.9%). The big losers were Symbian with 8.6% (down from 27.7%) and RIM with 6.9% (down from 13.0%). Microsoft came in 6th with 1.9%, down from 2.6%. [See Gartner press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by chb

Foxconn scores US$34 billion sales in Q1 2012
It's stunning how big electronics contract manufacturing companies have gotten. Hardly anyone knows their name, but in terms of sales they pass and dwarf some of the world's most recognizable brands. Foxconn, for example, makes a lot of the electronics products sold by Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon. The company just announced Q1 2012 revenues of US$34 billion, up almost 40% from Q1 2011. In annuals sales, Foxconn is bigger then IBM, Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft, Hyundai or BMW. -- Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by chb

RIM announces approval of BlackBerry 7 smartphones for U.S. DoD networks
In a piece of good news, RIM announced DoD-wide approval for the use of BlackBerry 7 smartphones. Working with U.S. Army and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) sponsors and partners, BlackBerry 7 smartphones have undergone successful testing through Army labs leading to a listing on DISA's Unified Communications Approved Product List (UCAPL). -- Posted Monday, May 14, 2012 by chb

Thailand buys 400,000 educational tablets
According to Digital Trends, Thailand has signed the world's largest educational tablet purchase to-date. The US$33 million deal covers the first 400,000 tablets, with a second deal for over half a million more anticipated. The ScoPad SP0712 tablets are made by Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co. in China, and run Android 4.0 on a 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. The 7-inch display features 1024 x 600 pixel resolution and capacitive multi-touch. While specs are modest, they'll certainly help speed Thailand's 6-8 year olds towards becoming Post PC-savvy. -- Posted Monday, May 14, 2012 by chb

Juniper Systems Mesa torture test video on YouTube

Juniper Systems posted a new video compilation of outrageous torture testing of its Mesa Rugged Notepad on YouTube. You have to see this to believe it. [See Juniper Systems Mesa torture test video]
-- Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2012 by chb

Moprise announces new version of Coaxion
Moprise, a provider of mobile software for accessing and organizing enterprise documents from mobile devices, announced its newest version of Coaxion with a re-designed user interface is available for download from iTunes for iPads and iPhones. Coaxion, allows seamless navigation between enterprise-hosted and personal document storage, and organizes documents related to specific meetings. Mobile users can view and share Office documents in their original form on iPads - including embedded charts, graphics, annotations, and security watermarks - features that consumer document reader applications are unable to support. -- Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by chb

Evernote buys Penultimate
Evernote, the company whose very popular software lets you take and archive notes, has bought the Penultimate digital handwriting app for the iPad. The Evernote blog describes the transaction and how everyone feels about it. Evernote, which has just raised another US$70 million, is clearly thinking big. Now if they could only come up with a stylus that really works on projected capacitive screens, and apps that include palm rejection smarts. -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 by chb

Rugged Computing Industry Discussion -- Part 2
Rugged Tablet PC company executives answer RuggedPCReview's questions about opportunities in the rugged and semi-rugged tablet market as a result of the iPad's popularity. In Part 2, the Handheld Group and Motion Computing answer the questions. [Read Rugged Computing Industry Discussion - Part 2] -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 by chb

Who makes the most tablets?
Well, Apple, of course, and then Amazon and Samsung. But the picture looks quite different in terms of who actually builds those tablets. iPads are made by Foxconn, and the Taiwan Economic News just reported that Quanta will be the leader among non-iPad tablets in 2012. That's because Quanta scored a number of new contracts to build Android tablets, over six million this year. [See article] -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 by chb

IDC on Q1/2012 tablet sales: Apple shines, Android struggles
According to IDC, a steep drop in Android-based tablet shipments offset a strong quarter by Apple. A total of 17.4 million media tablets were sold worldwide in Q1 2012, 1.2 million below IDC's estimates. Of those 17.4 million, Apple shipped 11.8 million, for a 68% marketshare, up from 54.7% in Q4, 2011. Amazon, which had sold 4.8 million tablets in Q4, 2011, fell sharply and is now in 3rd place behind Samsung. Our take: Given Android's stellar performance in smartphones, the platform's struggle in tablets clearly represents a missed opportunity. Android's platform fragmentation seems a much bigger issue in tablets than in smartphones. And soon there will be further fragmentation when Windows 8/RT arrives. [See IDC release] -- Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 by chb

Diversity to add to growth in tablet market
Shipments of tablet PCs are expected to grow from 81.6 million units in 2011 to 424.9 million units by 2017, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Tablet Quarterly report. The forecast for 2013 shipments has increased from 168.9 million to 184.2 million. This forecast estimates that in 2016 more tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs. A growing diversity of operating systems is driving the increase in demand for tablets, as well as rapidly evolving features. At the same time, the capacity of component manufacturing is being increased to meet new market demand. [See NPD DisplaySearch release] -- Posted Thursday, May 3, 2012 by chb

RIM launches BlackBerry 10 platform
Research In Motion unveiled its vision for the BlackBerry 10 platform at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Florida and released the initial developer toolkit for native and HTML5 software development. The toolkit is available in beta as a free download from [See RIM press release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by chb

ecom and Intermec announce intrinsically safe rugged handheld
ecom instruments Inc. and Intermec announced a new intrinsically safe handheld mobile computer for use in hazardous environments that include oil refineries and drilling platforms, petrochemical, pharmaceutical production, agriculture processing and other explosion-classified environments. The new i.roc Ci70 -Ex, which is based on the Intermec 70 series platform, is the first product offering resulting from the partnership between Intermec and ecom announced in late 2011. The i.roc Ci70 -Ex will be exclusively sold and distributed by ecom. -- Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by chb