Android Market offers more freebies [study]

According to a new study, the Android Market has passed Apple iTunes in offering more free applications for smartphones and tablets. Google's Android Market offers 134,342 free applications while Apple has about 13,000 fewer. The study also predicts that within five months, the Android Market will be the largest applications store, period, followed by iTunes and the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. What's interesting is that Blackberry, which once dominated the smartphone category is now a distance 4th, only beating out Nokia's Ovi Store.

Verizon waives $35 Tablet activation fee

Verizon has announced that they waiving their $35 Tablet activation fee for month to month data plans related to the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets. The fee waiver is retroactive to March 1. Users who find they have been charged the fee, should also see a similar credit on the same bill effectively cancelling it out. The waiver is likely in response to the fact that the iPad 2 has no activation fee from Verizon, so why wouldn't Android get the same kind of love.

Motorola Xoom users having a hard time with Verizon account activation

It seems that Verizon may be stuck in the dark ages when it comes to new customers activating their Motorola Xoom tablets. CDSmith over at Reddit shares his frustration at buying a new Xoom tablet and when trying to activate a new Verizon account in order to make payments and manage their accounts. The issue lies with not being able to activate a user account since Verizon sends the activation password either by SMS text message to a phone on the same account, or via snail mail. Being that the Xoom doesn't have a phone number, a user account can't be activated directly. And if new users don't have a Verizon phone on the same account, their only option is through snail mail, which is problematic since the temporary passwords are reportedly expiring before the users can receive the notification.

Which tablet should I choose to buy? Don’t even bother looking at specs – or price for that matter.

Before I begin here, allow me to address the cost factor - when begin thinking about purchasing a tablet, you've got to weigh the cost of the tablet against the benefits of owning it. This is the same thing you really ought to be doing, in my humble opinion, whenever you decide you're going to buy a bit of technology, or a car, or a house, or whatever other item you're going to purchase for the benefits of owning it. On the other hand, if you're thinking of purchasing a tablet so you can use it for entertainment alone, you've got an ever-so-slightly different set of circumstances you're going to deal with - BUT, as I'll maintain through the entirety of this text, comparing one tablet to the other based on specifications is, as Erica Sadun puts it, "missing the point." You must go forth and buy the tablet you know, in your heart, if you will, will be the one you'll love the best.

Study: Nearly 70% CIOs to buy Tablets in 2011

Morgan Stanley strikes again with yet another interesting study which reflects the trend of CIOs planning to purchase tablet computers for employees in 2011. Over half of companies surveyed stated that they were either in the process of purchasing tablet computers or planning to by year's end. The trend shows that tablets are not only gaining traction, but reflect the belief by corporate America that they will make workers more efficient in their work.

Motorola Bee Concept Phone Runs Honeycomb, Trumps ATRIX

Over on the lovely and wonderfully wishful designers portfolio Joy Studios, makers of such gems as pre-pre-concept visions of Apple iPad 2, Sony Playstation Portable Phone, and the Apple iPhone Nano, they've got a brand new bag. This new design is a phone that will run Honeycomb out of the box, making use of Android 3.0 to create what they're calling the "big brother" of the Motorola ATRIX. This Motorola Bee can record video in full HD 1080p, has a gigantic 4.3 megapixel screen at 1280x720, and of course works with both its own HD Multimedia Dock and Laptop Dock.

BBC iPlayer coming to Android and iOS

As reported early today on SlashGear, it appears that America's appetite for the "Beeb" is not waning anytime soon as BBC has announced their iPlayer app will be coming soon to not only the iPad, but Android tablets tablets as well.  Last year, BBC launched their BBC News app to great success, and now, the Royal network plans to premiere their iPlayer as the next in a steady line of apps for British Television.

Galaxy Tab returns under 2% in US insists Samsung

Samsung has denied analyst claims of sky-high Galaxy Tab returns, suggesting that figures indicating up to 16-percent return rates are entirely false. Instead, the company says, US return rates are under 2-percent. The news follows another clarification from earlier this week, when Samsung was thrown into damage control after reports suggested an exec had described sales of the tablet as "quite small"; in fact, the spokesperson had said "quite smooth" but seemingly been misunderstood during the quarterly financial call. At under 2-percent, that puts the Galaxy Tab return rate at around the same as what's been quoted for Apple's iPad, though the company is yet to announce official numbers. Samsung is expected to unveil a 10-inch Galaxy Tab with a dual-core processor at MWC 2011 later this month. [via SlashGear]

Motorola XOOM Hands-On [Android 3.0 Honeycomb]

As you may already know, we got up close and personal with Android 3.0 Honeycomb today via a special event for this brand new mobile operating system. This mobile OS called Honeycomb is made by Google to be specially suited for working with tablet computers, the first and most closely worked with of these tablets being the Motorola XOOM. The tablet itself is approximately the same size as the Apple iPad, with a screen basically in the same range, the iPad being 9.7" while the XOOM has a 10.1" screen.

Galaxy Tab returns sky-high say analysts: Froyo to blame?

The Galaxy Tab sales situation goes from bad to worse as, only moments after Samsung was forced to admit that its much-lauded sales figures were in fact merely shipments to retailers and carriers, analysts suggest returns rates for the 7-inch slate have been surprisingly high. ITG crunched the numbers across 6,000 US retail locations and discovered that, between the November launch of the Galaxy Tab and January 15, 15-percent were returned. In the run up to the holiday period, the number was a little closer - at around 13-percent - but in the period after it rose to 16-percent, likely as unwanted gifts were returned. In comparison, ITG suggests, Verizon has been seeing just 2-percent returns on Apple's iPad since it began selling the larger iOS slate. ITG blames Android 2.2 Froyo as unsuited to tablet-scale use, despite Samsung's attempts to customize the platform with its own apps. Google will attempt to change its fortune in the tablet space later this week, with a Honeycomb launch event; for more on what that will bring to the table, check out our deep dive into Android 3.0. [via SlashGear]
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