Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 smartphones will not receive an upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.

Samsung revealed the news on Twitter in response to a tweet requesting information about the possible rollout of Lollipop to the smartphones. The tweets below show Samsung UK's answer.

The decision not to push Android 5.0 to the smartphones, which are now several generations old, could be designed to prompt customers to buy the latest Galaxy S6 handset.

Buyers who are keen to get their hands on the latest version of Android can opt for the third generation of the phablet, the Note 3, which Samsung confirmed will receive an upgrade to Lollipop.

"We can confirm that the Note 3 shall be receiving the update. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as it is ready," the firm said.

But Samsung did not indicate when the Note 3 would receive the upgrade. "Unfortunately we would not be able to give you a time frame. We really do apologise for this," it said.

Samsung may be apologetic, but users of the older smartphones could be stuck on KitKat for longer than they want, which in turn could prompt them to purchase more recent Samsung models.

Samsung would no doubt welcome this, as a report from Reuters said that the company has not shifted as many Galaxy S6 handsets as it would like, forcing the firm's investors to lover earnings expectations for the second quarter.

Samsung has denied that it is suffering from less than stellar sales of the smartphone, and analyst firm Gartner debunked the talk of weak Galaxy S6 sales.

However, the release of the Galaxy S6 failed to improve Android's UK market position, leaving Apple's iOS to capture an increasing share.

The performance of the Galaxy S6 is still significantly better than the examples in V3's top 10 quirky smartphones that stand out from the iPhone and Android crowds.

Apple overtook Samsung in the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2014 driven by the success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, according to figures from Gartner.

This is the first time that Samsung has been knocked off the number one spot since 2012.

Samsung's sales fell by over 10 million units to 73 million in the final quarter of 2014, compared with 83 million in the same period in 2013.

The sales slump saw Samsung's smartphone market share fall from 29.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 19.9 percent a year later.

Conversly Apple posted sales of 75 million units sold in the quarter, an increase of 25 million over the 50 million a year earlier. Apple now holds 20.4 percent of the world's smartphone market, up from 17.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Strong sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are driving Apple's success in the market, continuing the trend seen in Gartner's research conducted for the third quarter of 2014.

 

Gartner indicated that demand for the larger screen iPhone 6 Plus drove sales in the US and China, growing at 88 percent and 56 percent for the quarter respectively, which Gartner said offers the market a "strong alternative to Android".

Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, explained that Apple dominates the premium phone market and Chinese brands are putting pressure on Samsung by offering "quality hardware at lower prices".

Cozza said that Samsung will need to adopt a new strategy if it wants to better compete against Apple.

"It is through a solid ecosystem of apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices that Samsung can secure more loyalty and longer-term differentiation at the high end of the market," she said.

Growing global market
Samsung remains the leader in smartphone sales for the whole of 2014, shifting 307 million units, an increase of over eight million compared with 299 million in 2013.

This gave Samsung 24.7 percent of the smartphone market last year, while Apple's share stands at 15.4 percent.

Lenovo took third place with 81 million smartphones in 2014, and Huawei and LG took the fourth and fifth positions with 68 million and 57 million respectively.

Total smartphone sales for the fourth quarter of 2014 showed healthy growth over the same period in 2013, rising from 282 million to 367 million units.

Over 1.2 billion smartphones were sold throughout 2014, up from 969 million in 2013, indicating significant potential for smartphone manufacturers to grow sales on a global scale.

Android remains the dominant smartphone operating system, holding 80 percent of the market driven by over a billion smartphone sales.

Other operating systems lag a long way behind. Apple's iOS holds 15 percent of the market and Windows a mere 2.8 percent.

Samsung revealed the Galaxy S6 at MWC, which it no doubt hopes will give Apple a run for its money.

Samsung is expected to release two versions of the Galaxy S6 when it unveils the device at Mobile World Congress next month.

A report on Bloomberg said that both phones will have all-metal bodies but one model will have a 'three-sided display'. This appears to mean that the screen will actually run all the way to both edges and then around to touch the back-plate.

This is similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge smartphone released by Samsung at IFA last year, alongside the Note 4.

However, unlike Apple's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices that offered two different screen sizes, the Galaxy S6 variants will both have 5.1in displays.

The latest rumours of the S6 will continue to build as the launch approaches and more specs and features are leaked. Here to help, we've collected all the key rumours and information currently available about the Galaxy S6.

Release date
It appears that the Galaxy S6 will arrive on 1 March at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show after Samsung sent invitations to an event entitled 'Galaxy Unpacked 2015' (pictured below).

This would fit in with the usual time for Samsung to unveil the latest Galaxy device. V3 will be in attendance at MWC to cover the Galaxy S6 launch, so mark your diaries to keep track of the big event.

Samsung has also confirmed that it will stream the launch on its YouTube channel at 17:30 GMT on 1 March.

Galaxy S6 launch event invite from Samsung

Specs
The Galaxy S6 specs remain a mystery, as is always the case in the run up to a Samsung release, but there has been a steady stream of leaks about the hardware.

Most recently Bloomberg reported "sources with knowledge of Samsung's plans" as saying that overheating problems with Qualcomm's 810 chip forced the firm to change its Galaxy S6 chip plans. The source suggested that Samsung will instead use one of its own processors.

The report is in line with a previous rumour stemming from a leaked screenshot of an Antutu benchmark. The benchmark was of a mystery Samsung device believed to be a test version of the Galaxy S6.

The screenshots listed the mystery Samsung device as featuring a QHD display, an octa-core CPU believed to be Samsung's fabled 64-bit Exynos 7420, and 3GB RAM.

Dutch site TechTastic reported spotting a similarly specced mystery Samsung device when it found a User Agent Profile - the code that lets websites know how to correctly act and display on specific devices - of the Galaxy S6.

The profile indicated that the Galaxy S6 will feature a QHD 1440x2560 pixel display.

Some have suggested that the firm will follow LG and create a curved screen handset similar to the G Flex 2.

Others have reported that Samsung will continue the move to metal begun with the Galaxy Alpha and create an entirely aluminium chassis smartphone.

A final theory provided by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk suggests that the Galaxy S6 will feature a 5.5in curved display, metallic sides and a "rubberised backplate" (mock up pictured below).

Galaxy S6 mock up

With Android 5.0 Lollipop finally being rolled out, it's likely that the Galaxy S6 will come with a customised version of the OS, which is no bad thing considering its wealth of productivity and design perks.

Key upgrades include a reworked user interface, an upgraded notifications system that lets you view and manage incoming alerts from the lock screen, and support for 64-bit processors.

The support for 64-bit processors is particularly interesting as it increases the number of chips the Galaxy S6 will come loaded with.

What new features Samsung will add to Android 5.0 remain a mystery. Samsung has always loaded top-end smartphones with its custom Touchwiz skin, which we've found to be a mixed bag.

On the positive side, the skin has some useful features, such as multi-window support that lets you have two applications open on screen at once.

On the negative side, Touchwiz has made Android more difficult to use by adding useless widgets and pointless design tweaks.

Hopefully, Samsung will learn from its mistakes and load the Galaxy S6 with a lighter version of Touchwiz.

Make sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly as we'll be updating it with new details about the Samsung Galaxy S6 when they become available.

Price 
When it comes to upfront cost, Samsung flagships are never cheap. The most basic 16GB version of the Galaxy S5 still carries a hefty £580 sim-free price tag on the official Samsung store and its recently released Galaxy Note 4 phablet costs an even heftier £630.

Samsung is one of a select number of hardware companies able to generate fanfare levels around a device's release on a par with Apple.

While this remained true in 2014 during the run up to the Galaxy S5's release, come the handsets launch, Samsung didn't enjoy the high smartphone sales figures it was expecting.

In fact, poor Galaxy S5 sales are believed to be a key factor contributing to a slump in Samsung's 2014 financials, which showed a 60 percent fall in profits.

Looking to make sure disaster doesn't repeat itself in 2015 Samsung's made a sweep of reforms in its executive team and, according to reports, gone back to the drawing board designing its next flagship, the Galaxy S6.

Specs
The Galaxy S6 specs remain a mystery, as is always the case in the run up to a Samsung release, but there has been a steady stream of leaks about the hardware.

Most recently Dutch site TechTastic reported spotting a User Agent Profile - the code that lets websites know how to correctly act and display on specific devices - of the Galaxy S6.

The profile indicated the Galaxy S6 will feature a QHD 1440x2560 pixel resolution display.

Prior to this a screenshot of an Antutu benchmark of a mystery Samsung device believed to be a test version of the Galaxy S6 had been doing the rounds.

The screenshots listed the mystery Samsung device as featuring a QHD display, like the Agent Profile hinted, an octa-core CPU believed to be Samsung's fabled 64-bit Exynos 7420, and 3GB RAM.

Some have suggested that the firm will follow LG and create a curved screen handset similar to the G Flex 2.

Others have reported that Samsung will continue the move to metal begun with the Galaxy Alpha and create an entirely aluminium chassis smartphone.

A final theory provided by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk suggests that the Galaxy S6 will feature a 5.5in curved display, metalic sides and a "rubberised backplate" (mock up pictured below).

Galaxy S6 mock up

With Android 5.0 Lollipop finally being rolled out, it's likely that the Galaxy S6 will come with a customised version of the OS, which is no bad thing considering its wealth of productivity and design perks.

Key upgrades include a reworked user interface, an upgraded notifications system that lets you view and manage incoming alerts from the lock screen, and support for 64-bit processors.

The support for 64-bit processors is particularly interesting as it increases the number of chips the Galaxy S6 will come loaded with.

What new features Samsung will add to Android 5.0 remains a mystery. Samsung has always loaded top-end smartphones with its custom Touchwiz skin, which we've found to be a mixed bag.

On the positive side, the skin has some useful features, such as multi-window support that lets you have two applications open on screen at once.

On the negative side, Touchwiz has made Android more difficult to use by adding useless widgets and pointless design tweaks.

Hopefully, Samsung will learn from its mistakes and load the Galaxy S6 with a lighter version of Touchwiz.

Make sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly as we'll be updating it with new details about the Samsung Galaxy S6 when they become available.

Release date
There is no official word on when the Galaxy S6 will be unveiled let alone released. However, based on past form, most industry watchers believe Samsung will take the wraps off the S6 around the time of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in March, which would mean the device going on sale in UK stores around April.

Price 
When it comes to upfront cost, Samsung flagships are never cheap. The most basic 16GB version of the Galaxy S5 still carries a hefty £580 sim-free price tag on the official Samsung store and its recently released Galaxy Note 4 phablet costs an even heftier £630.

It's likely the Galaxy S6 will retail for between £500 to £600 come its release.

Israel's supreme court has ordered Israeli authorities to demolish one of the oldest and most contentious Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank.

The court on Thursday said the hilltop outpost of Amona must be evacuated within two years.

The state "must act to carry out the demolition orders to all the structures in the locale, as they had committed to," the ruling read, noting a grace period of two years to enable the families to resettle.

Amona was established in 1995 on private Palestinian land without Israeli government permission.

In 2006, Israeli police demolished nine homes at the outpost, setting off a bloody clash of settlers and supporters against police and soldiers. Several dozen trailers have remained.

The government put off dismantling the rest of the outpost, despite court deadlines.

Amona is the largest outpost in the West Bank, and was built on lands near Ramallah privately owned by Palestinians, who were behind the court petition.

Israel considers settlement outposts built without government approval to be illegal and often sends security personnel to demolish them.

In June, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered that the state pay six Palestinian landowners 300,000 shekels ($85,700) in compensation for their losses from the presence of settlers on their land in Amona.

The international community considers all settlements built in the West Bank - including East Jerusalem - to be illegal.

Hardware firms BlackBerry and Samsung have announced a partnership to offer an end-to-end security solution for enterprise Android users.

BlackBerry said that the partnership will deliver "highly secure mobility for Android" through a combination of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 12 and Samsung's government-approved Knox system.

Additional enterprise security will be included in Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets that run the Knox software.

The partnership will seek to exploit the increased use of Samsung tablets by consumers and workers, and BlackBerry's long-standing enterprise reputation.

BlackBerry said that the combination of services, expected to be available in 2015, will offer "a new and highly secure mobility option" for businesses.

"BlackBerry has developed a very close partnership with Samsung and we're committed to deepening the interaction between our engineering and product development teams for the long term," said John Sims, president of global enterprise services at BlackBerry.

"It is a natural progression in our path to provide customers with more alternatives to meet their evolving mobile needs.

"Samsung Knox offers a number of hardware and software security features, and our partnership allows us to tightly integrate these capabilities with BES 12."

The system will link secure connections with enterprise-standard device, application and data management stems, allowing workers to separate business and personal content on tablets and smartphones.

Samsung will resell BES 12, while BlackBerry will offer Knox as an extra for the BES 12 gold subscription level.

"We share the goal to provide enterprises with the most secure mobility solutions through this partnership with BlackBerry," said Injong Rhee, senior vice president of the Knox business group at Samsung Electronics.

"Samsung Knox is focused on delivering secure mobility solutions to enterprises and, combined with BES12, we will offer more options for customers that need enhanced levels of security on Android devices."

5G mobile networks will offer speeds as high as 10Gbps with extremely low latency, making them a key driving force for the Internet of Things (IoT). However, such services are unlikely to be commercially available until 2020.

This is the view of the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) which is supported by leading telecoms companies such as Huawei, Samsung, Fujitsu and Vodafone.

As part of the industry’s commitment to the 5GIC, Huawai has announced that it will stump up £5m to support its work.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of 5GIC at the University of Surrey, said that with the support of leading telecoms firms the centre is ideally placed to ensure that 5G technology remains on track for future use.

 

In particular, he pointed to the creation of the test bed facilities at the university as critical to its work and plans for the future.

“As the world’s leading independent facility for trialling emerging 5G technologies and applications, this test bed will be used for proof of concepts, to validate standards and to test vendor interoperability,” he said.

“It will be the first of its kind to test new technologies that will allow for a high capacity, low latency, energy efficient and user-centric 5G network.

"It will feed into critical developments in areas such as the IoT and for applications where device battery life is critical.”

 

These tests will begin in September 2015 and the aim is to start demonstrating 5G technologies by 2018, with real-world commercial services live by 2020.

The university also believes that 5G networks will be able to understand users' requests dynamically and provision the necessary resources to ensure that everyone receives the bandwidth they require at any given moment.

The comments by Professor Tafazolli and the university echo those of the UK government which has urged the industry to ensure that the UK is well placed for 5G, and does not become too mired in the security concerns that it will inevitably create.

 

Apple tablet shipments fell 13 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year as interest in the iPad range continued to wane.

Apple’s share of the market also fell, hitting 22.8 percent, representing a decline on the previous quarter's 26.9 percent. Overall shipments fell from 14.1 million in Q3 2013 to 12.3 million in Q3 this year.

The decline is not surprising as Apple’s own financial statements revealed a decline in iPad sales. The company recently launched the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 in an effort to revive interest in the product category.

 

By contrast, rival Samsung saw growth in the tablet space with a 5.6 percent rise in shipments to 9.9 million. However, Samsung's overall share of the market declined slightly to 18.3 percent, down one percent from the same period last year.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, said that Apple won't be overly concerned about its falling market share given the good profit margins on iPad sales.

"Although the low-cost vendors are moving a lot of volume, the top vendors, like Apple, continue to rake in the dollars," he said.

 

"A sub-$100 tablet simply isn't sustainable. Apple knows this and it's likely to be the reason that it is not concerned with market share erosion."

Asus took third place with a market share of 6.5 percent, down 0.9 percent compared with the same period last year. Lenovo was fourth with a market share of 5.7 percent as shipments rose to three million in the quarter.

In fifth place is the relatively unknown company RCA, which saw a huge 194 percent increase in market share to 4.9 percent.

IDC said that RCA had signed good distribution deals with major retailers and had been helped by back-to-school sales.

 

Overall worldwide tablet shipments rose 11.5 percent year over year to 53.8 million units, up from 48.3 million in the same period last year.

The figure of 53.8 million is small fry when set against stats from IDC tracking smartphone shipments, which revealed that a staggering 328 million devices were shipped in the most recent quarter.

South Korean tech firms LG and Samsung have announced more smartwatches, ahead of a widely anticipated entry to the sector from Apple.

The devices, from LG and Samsung, suggest renewed attempts to create a smartwatch that is perhaps more fashionable than previous efforts.

Samsung's Gear S features a curved screen, while LG's G Watch R has a more classic watch design.

Apple is rumoured to be preparing to launch its device next month.

Technology news site Recode has said the smartwatch - dubbed iWatch by Apple's fans and some of the press - will debut on 9 September.

However, in typically tight-lipped fashion, Apple has yet to confirm its plans.

Furthermore, analyst Benedict Evans noted that a lack of leaks showing a design for the watch might suggest production had not yet started.

Other sources, including the Wall Street Journal, also anticipate the unveiling of a 12.9in iPad.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

No-one really knows what the killer design for a smartwatch is”

Ben WoodAnalyst, CCS Insight

Killer design

Other brands have been keen to set out their wares.

Smartwatches are expected to be a major focus of the forthcoming IFA conference.

The Berlin-based show is considered to be the European equivalent to the bigger Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held at the start of the year in Las Vegas.

At last year's IFA, Samsung launched its first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, and has since gone on to launch five more.

LG smartwatch G Watch R
LG's new offering has a more traditional style of telling the time

The surge of products was a sign, one analyst told the BBC, that the company was throwing everything it had into getting ahead.

"Samsung are deliberately trying to do something different," said Ben Wood, from CCS Insight, drawing attention to the latest model's curved screen.

"We're in an era of experimentation - no-one really knows what the killer design for a smartwatch is.

"Samsung's playing their strengths because they have curved screen technology in their portfolio.

"It does look very edgy in terms of design. Ergonomically, a curved screen makes a lot of sense around your wrist."

The Gear S uses Samsung's own operating system - Tizen - rather than Google's Android platform.

The watch also has space for a SIM card, meaning it can be used as a stand-alone device - other smartwatches are typically paired with a user's smartphone in order to receive information.

'Fashion statement'

Yet while Samsung does have a lead in the smartwatch market, it is certainly not a commanding one.

One reason for this, Mr Wood suggested, could be because the devices - from Samsung and others - are not seen as being particularly fashionable.

"They've got to look nice to be attractive to the mass market," he said. "A clunky piece of gadget bling is not really what the whole world wants.

Moto 360 smartwatch
The Moto 360 impressed tech fans due to its round shape

"Watches are first and foremost a fashion statement, it says something about you as a person."

Motorola drew plaudits earlier this year when it announced its Moto 360 smartwatch, which had a distinctive trait - it was round.

LG's G Watch R follows that line of design, adding more traditional aspects including analogue-style hands to display the time.

It is powered by Android Wear, Google's adapted operating system for wearable devices.

More details about both Samsung's and LG's watches - such as release dates and pricing - are expected at IFA next week.

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