Samsung Wallet, the new Passbook-like virtual wallet service that was unveiled at Mobile World Congress back in February, has begun appearing on select Samsung devices in Korea and the United States. It’s currently compatible with the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 10.1, and the Galaxy S II HD LTE.
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LG showed off a number of new handsets at Mobile World Congress last week, but it seems the company hasn’t quite finished yet. It has today unveiled the Optimus LTE III, a new Android-powered smartphone that will succeed the Optimus LTE II (obviously), with a 4.7-inch 720p display, an 8-megapixel camera, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
Sharp has this morning announced a ¥10.4 billion ($112 million) investment from Samsung that will provide the latter with a 3% stake in the company. It makes Samsung the biggest individual shareholder in the Japanese display maker, and secures its access to Sharp’s LCD panel supplies.
The investment comes at a time when Sharp has been struggling. The company received a $4.4 billion bailout from the banks in October 2012, and its iPad display orders from Apple were recently cut as consumer demand shifted to the smaller iPad mini, which Sharp is not involved with.
Almost four months after LG launched its flagship Optimus G, the company has sold more than 1 million units. The device first launched in Korea back in September, and it’s been slowly but surely rolling out in additional markets since. In the United States and Canada, the Optimus G has been available since November, while those in China and Europe are still waiting for it.
Samsung and Apple are the only two smartphone vendors currently seeing growth in the United States, and although it was Apple that saw the most between September and November of last year, it’s Samsung who will attract most customers throughout 2013. The Korean electronics giant will see 35% growth over the next 12 months, according to Strategy Analytics, further increasing the lead over its arch rival in Cupertino.
Not only does Samsung offer a wide range of Android-powered smartphones, but it also offers them in a wide range of color options. Its hugely popular Galaxy S III, for example, comes in white, blue, red, and brown, with more colors on the way. Now the Korean company looks to be giving the Galaxy Note II a lick of paint; a new leak reveals that new “ruby wine” and “amber brown” models are on their way.
Samsung Galaxy S II users in Europe, Korea, and other select markets around the globe are being treated to Ice Cream Sandwich thanks to an update that began rolling out last night. Unfortunately U.S. users will have to sit tight as it hasn’t landed in the states just yet. It’s great to see devices being updated and we welcome all new users to the exclusive Ice Cream Sandwich club. Samsung also announced they would be updating a slew of devices to a newer Gingerbread firmware:
LG was proud to announce that their HD LTE handset, the Optimus LTE, has surpassed 1 million units sold. That’s not too shaby for an LTE Android device launched only 3 months ago. The LG Optimus LTE is known here in the States as the the Nitro HD on AT&T and the Spectrum on Verizon. Neither device has been available that long so it will be interesting to see how they sell in the US as compared to Korea, where the device was launched.