Smartphone Scoop: 5 Intriguing Rumors For October12:00 PM EST Wed. Oct. 09, 2013
Fast chips, large displays and eye-reading cameras are all points of speculation when it comes to the next big smartphone. Samsung may have put to rest some of the latest rumors around its curved display device, but Amazon has been more hush-hush when it comes to what the company is seeking in the hardware arena. Following is the latest smartphone rumor roundup, taking a close look at what the major vendors seem to be up to behind closed doors.
Once again, buzz about Amazon joining the smartphone game has surfaced. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the rumor in May, speculating Amazon's to-be smartphone would be equipped with a 3-D display. The online-retailer-turned-cloud-computing-company already has a foothold in the consumer tablet space with its ever-evolving Kindle Fire (pictured) and Kindle Paperwhite product lines. According to the rumor mill fueled by Hacker News, the smartphone is likely to hit the market in two versions, the more advanced of which will feature a 3-D user interface and eye-movement tracker.
Though Lenovo saw its smartphone and tablet sales beat out its PC sales for the first time this year, it has yet to bring a smartphone to the U.S. "Our intent is to launch smartphones into more mature markets next year and the U.S. is under consideration for introduction by the end of 2014," Lenovo told CRN, without providing any more details. Lenovo has seen success with Windows and Android on tablets and hybrid convertibles in the U.S., though its focus thus far in the smartphone arena has been on Android. The Vibe X or Vibe Z seem to be the most likely candidates for Lenovo's first smartphone in the U.S. market. The Vibe Z has a 5.5-inch display, 2.2GHz quad-core processor and operates on Android Jelly Bean 4.2.
The HTC One (pictured) became a top smartphone contender last spring, stealing some attention away from competitors Samsung and Apple. The smartphone's successor, the HTC One X, did not enjoy the same popularity, and HTC experienced its first quarterly loss, reported early in October. Now leaks suggest the next member of the One line, the HTC One Max, is expected to be revealed mid-October and will be phablet-sized and loaded with a 2.3GHz processor. In addition, the phone may run on Android's newest operating system, KitKat 4.4, and is expected to have a fingerprint scanner much like that of the iPhone 5S.
As of Oct. 9, Samsung put a stop to the speculation with its now-official Samsung Galaxy Round (pictured), the first smartphone with a curved, flexible display. According to the Samsung Tomorrow blog , a feature called the "roll effect" allows users to tilt the curved device from a flat position, triggering the display to show basic information such as time, date and missed calls. Returning the smartphone to a flat position turns the display off again. The Galaxy Round is a 5.7-inch device and will be available in Korea beginning Oct. 10.
Rumors around Google's next Nexus device, expected to be the Nexus 5, have led consumers to believe the reveal date could be as soon as next week. As Google is admittedly close to the release of Android KitKat 4.4, it is assumed the Nexus smartphone made by LG will operate on KitKat and be equipped with near field communication abilities. The display will likely be 5 inches and run on a 2.3GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM.