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BUILD 2012: Notes on Day 1 and 2 Keynotes

While the first day keynote fo BUILD 2012 event from Microsoft was far from developers’ hearts the second one was much closer. In the end of that it was disclosed that:

This BUILD is distinctly different: direct your imagination to exploit the platform capabilities.

Still the first day keynote served that purpose weakly while the second day’s one was quite good for that. So my recommendation is that after coming through these notes the developer-oriented readers could find more interesting materials in the associated Channel 9 discussion and session records. So go to the Build 2012 event site on the Channel 9 and select related videos of interest using the provided filtering capabilities.

Day 1 Keynote (Steve Ballmer)

Steve Ballmer and Steve Guggenheimer: Build Day 1 full transcript and video record of it on Channel 9

(There was also another keynote related to the announced Windows Phone 8 SDK by Kevin Gallo:

Build 2012: Microsoft launches SDK for Windows Phone 8 [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012] … full transcript and …the same video record of Keynote 1 BUT START AT [01:11:20] ESSENTIALLY AT [01:13:00] and read his blog post on Announcing the new Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform [Windows Phone Developer blog, Oct 30, 2012] from which it is especially important to draw the attention of developer oriented people to the referred from there to the Introducing Windows Phone SDK 8.0 [The Visual Studio Blog, Oct 30, 2012] and Announcing the release of the .NET Framework for Windows Phone 8 [.NET Framework blog, Oct 30, 2012] posts, and the following excerpts from those as well as from the keynote:

[from the keynote]

image

 

[01:19:38] Back in June I talked about how Windows Phone 8 was a foundational release, because we now share a common core with Windows. On top of this common core we have a common API set. You can now build shared components that are identical to both Windows and Windows Phone and use them inside of those apps. [01:20:00]
Following that: first a picture-sharing app is shown … already paired the phone and tablet using NFC … then it is shown how a photo image-editing app  written 10 years ago in C++ can be wrapped as a Windows runtime component, so it could be called from C#  in Windows Phone app … next how simple is to reuse the exact same code throughout the project inside of Windows 8 …
[01:24:17] talk about some of the new features coming to the Windows Phone 8 platform. …

image 

See all these other features that we’ve been adding to the platform over the last release. I want to highlight a lot of them there. I want to highlight a few. You asked us to make it easier to build fast and fluid UI. We delivered. We’re writing more controls to the platform and we’ve dramatically improved the performance of the existing controls. Your apps will be noticeably faster when you use them. You asked us to do more with Live Tiles. We delivered. We now support Live Tiles in three sizes. We also allow you to show notifications on the launch screen, and you can create and update the wallpaper of the phone directly from within your application.
You asked for speech support. We now support having full conversations in your app. So, not only can you launch apps, you can control them using speech. We’ve improved   you’ve asked for us to improve our dev center and store. We’ve streamlined our store. It’s now more efficient to submit and update your apps, and you have more ways to monetize your apps in our store. You asked for deeper integration with the phone experiences. We delivered. We’ve opened up our camera and now we support a feature called Lenses. We’re actually better multitasking. We support location-based applications running in the background, as well as first-class support for VoIP and video chat.
You asked for us to improve and to give you advanced networking capabilities. We’ve heard your request. For Bluetooth data transfer, peer networking with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as proximity connect with NFC. Our response is done, done and done. In total we’ve delivered on over 90 percent of the top developer requests. And over the next few days you will be able to have over 20 sessions to go into detail about how to use these in your apps. [01:26:40]
Then an AR Drone Quadcopter app is shown which comes with a native code library that allows communication with it and a front end built out in XAML. What follows that is a talk about native games, supporting C++ code, which allows to write high-performance physics engines, as well as audio libraries, and get access to low-level, hardware-accelerated APIs like Direct3D, with fully programmable shader support, both pixel and vertex shaders. … Then Unity is showing the first-ever demo of the Unity gaming engine running on a Windows Phone.  …
After that Richard Kerris from Nokia is coming to the stage first making publicity for the Lumia 920 and finishing with the annoumcement that every attendee will get a Lumia 920. Finally Kevin Gallo is closing with the announcement that Microsoft will reduce the individual registration for their dev center from the normal $99 to $8 for the next eight days.
[from the “Multi-Targeting Windows Phone 7.1 and 8.0 apps” of the Introducing Windows …]
With Window Phone SDK 8.0 and Visual Studio 2012 you can continue developing great Windows Phone 7.1 apps. These apps will run on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices. The SDK comes with emulators for both Windows Phone 7.1 as well as 8.0 so that your apps can be validated on both these versions. … However, if you have an existing Windows Phone 7.1 project but wish to upgrade it to Windows Phone 8, you can do so with the new single-click upgrade feature. Once upgraded, apps will no longer run on Windows Phone 7.1 or earlier version devices.
[from the “Tooling support for ‘Compiler in the Cloud’” of the Introducing Windows …]
Windows Phone 8 managed application binaries are processed in the Store to improve your apps’ performance and to save battery life. As developers, you will be able to validate your apps’ real life installation and performance behavior. When deploying to the Windows Phone 8 device, tooling will automatically generate these processed binaries and use them for deployment and launching of the apps.
[regarding that see also my earlier Windows Phone 8 software architecture vs. that of Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and the upcoming 7.8 [June 22, 2012] post]
[from the “Much faster code with “Compiler in the Cloud”” of the Announcing the release …]
For Windows Phone 8, we adopted a new code generation approach that is much better suited to the phone, both to deliver higher performance and to save battery life. Windows Phone 8 apps are compiled to high-quality ARM code before they are downloaded and deployed on end-user devices. They are compiled in the Windows Phone Store, with an optimizing compiler that does not have to satisfy the time and power constraints of a just-in-time (JIT) compiler. As a result, end-users will enjoy very fast app launch times on Windows Phone 8.
These changes are specific to Windows Phone 8, but they also improve launch times for Windows Phone 7.x apps. Both Windows Phone 7.x and 8 apps can be pre-compiled to high quality ARM code in the Windows Phone Store, before being downloaded and installed on Windows Phone 8 devices. You and your customers get the benefits of pre-compilation, without requiring you to make changes to your app. You can test out the pre-compiled binaries on your own Windows Phone 8 devices using Visual Studio 2012.
While these changes provide significant performance improvements for end-users, they also help battery life. In Windows Phone 7.x, app code was compiled every time the app was launched, and the CPU was used to compile that code, requiring battery power. With the new code generation approach in Windows Phone 8, apps are compiled in the Windows Phone Store with AC power generated from the Columbia River in Washington. That’s a better battery to use than yours! As you can see, we’ve removed an entire category of battery use on end-user devices.
[from the end of the Announcing the release …]
We recognize that many of you have a C# XAML Windows Store app or plan to write one soon, and it may well be similar in form and function to the companion Windows Phone 8 app. To enable you to share code across the two apps, you can use a feature we announced a little while ago – Portable Class Libraries. Visual Studio 2012 Professional and Ultimate SKUs have built-in support for creating Portable Class Libraries. If you have not explored using Portable Class Libraries before, the Targeting Multiple Platforms with Portable Code blog post has a good overview. You can read more about how to architect your code and leverage Portable Class Libraries in the MSDN Magazine article titled Create a Continuous Client Using Portable Class Libraries.
See also: Nokia gives a Lumia 920 to all //Build 2012 attendees
[LeFinFinnois YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012])

[1:35:45] Steve’s phone
[1:36:46] Start speaking:

Build 2012: 4M upgrades to Windows 8 in four days, says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012]
– in last 3 days 4 million Windows 8 upgrades sold
– 1981: launch of IBM PC … 1975: Windows 95 (also for Internet) … 2012: Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

[1:53:09] experience demos on new “Windows 8 generation” hardware:

Build 2012: Steve Ballmer shows off an 82-inch Windows 8 slate PC at Build 2012 [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012]

  1. Perceptive Pixel, 82” “slate”: … OneNote, New Office with touch as 1st class citize built-in …
  2. Dell XPS One 27” all-in-one: … Jessica Alba on Xbox video  and elsewhere (searching and sharing systemwide capabilities), lock …
  3. Smartphones: 4.8” Samsung ATIV S very personalized, HTC 8X with wide angle camera very thin very light, Nokia Lumia 920 with beautiful screen you can see very well in daylight with ink annotation earlier entered automatically rolled
  4. ASUS Vivo Tab RT: 1.15 lbs tablet (with Tegra 3) with detachable keyboard: … pinning to the start screen with live information (every developer can do and advized to do)
  5. Microsoft Surface: with TouchType … the best expression of the “PC meets the tablet” with Xbox Music built-into … built-in kickstand for …
  6. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: of 1.32 lbs which will be launched in next few weeks with Intel Atom processor: … with built-in stylus … new touch version of Microsoft Outlook .. making annotations
  7. Acer Aspire S7-191: … to surpise most of the people … with 2.38 lbs … very thin, very light notebook … also touch based … touch laptops are really cool … this type of machine will be also to do software development … new MSN for Windows 8, a website (not an app) optimized for IE10 and touch

all [groups in Microsoft are] in … video shown in connection with Xbox [2:19:23] VIDEO

[2:20:36] Steve Guggenheimer:
– last 5 years spent with OEMs: inflection point for hardware industry
– marriage of hardware, software and services in some case are demoed: … Disney game brought to Windows 8 (others from Disney coming) … (as other end of spectrum) from apps already built an Autodesk app for which making a complementary Sketch application (or service) … going to mobiler devices or from mobiles to … monetization (via Store or your own) with inapp purchase or advertising (PayPal to be released in a couple of weeks)
reimagining software, the applications (bringing to the market brand new apps): e.g. the result of the “Windows 8 journey” of the new ESPN application (by VP on the scene)
[2:36:22]

(See more in Guggenheimer’s post on The Business Opportunity with Windows 8 [The Official Microsoft Blog, Oct 30, 2012] as well as the Making money with your app on the Windows Store session by Drew Robbins published as a Channel 9 video recorded)

Ballmer back:
– example of some brand new apps available in Microsoft Store
– today: SAP announced, DropBox announced, Twitter announced
– magic of “Live Kinect”
– Why write for Windows 8? … lot of reasons … but volume is perhaps the most important … Windows 8 takes less resource than Windows 7 … vitality and explosion brought to the PC market, 400 million new devices you could target … Windows Phone … Microsoft will do more marketing and better marketing for Windows 8 systems and Windows Phone … this is the market which will explode … the best opportunity to make money …
for every attendee: 100 GB SkyDrive storage + Microsoft Surface RT
[2:046:00]

Day 2 Keynote (Satya Nadella)

Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Jason Zander: Build Day 2 full transcript and video record of it on Channel 9

[16:00] … new era of Devices & Services … very similarly on back-end we are reimagining the “Other” Windows … webscale services everywhere with diversity (SkyDrive, Office 365, Bing …) …

(See also Nadella’s post on Reimagining the “Other” Windows [The Official Microsoft Blog, Oct 31, 2012]

Device-centric apps
– announced Windows Azure Mobile Services: Josh Twist to the scene … creation of an event buddy service etc. … full app  [37:00]
– Windows Azure ISV usage examples

Web as the next application pattern
– … Scott Hanselman to the scene … videos on Windows Azure exposed as an ASP.NET application (from existing ASP.NET app into a touch enhanced one, both for web browsers and Windows 8 clients )  … [50:56]
– a lot of apps taking advantage of ASP.NET with touch enhancement
– make Scott Hanselman’s app and take it even richer … make building cloud-scale apps very easy
Scott Guthrie to the scene … about Windows Azure Media Services (exposes REST API): in a ~1 min have a media service around which can program further … incremental publishing story … introducing a background service … have a built-in monitoring support … [1:18:20]
– Announced: Windows Azure SDK October Update etc. … huge opportunity to boost …

The new lifecyle of [cloud-scale] webapps
– GA of the Team Foundation Service [1:22:15]
Jazon Zander to the scene … [1:27:26]

Cloud scale for enterprise apps
– tremendous amount of traction with enterprise adoption of Windows Azure
– 3 specific things (services) for that (very attractive for develeopers): 1. extending Office (SharePoint as a back-end especially) 2. service bus 3. identities (federation etc.)
– video clip of a SaaS ISV company using these services: Workday [1:35:22]

Data-centric
– building the data platform to do more: … all kind of data types … OLTP .. stream data … HADOOP … adding machine learning modules … loading into in-memory distributed database [1:38:11]
Dave Campbell to the scene … how to listen to services making refinement etc. … (past year’s) BUILD sessions as viewed overall … last week announced HDinsight (… HADOOP …) … Hive (a structured query language) … a LINQ provider … integrated Hive ODBC into Excel … geocode the country names … >>> building a user-specific recommendation engine based on all that … [1:49:25]
– … Halo 4 on Windows Azure (Nov 6) also the first customer to use HDinsight … adding features based on recommendation stuff … so change the code base in a lot of ways

(See also the related Microsoft feature story for the press Meet the ‘Plumbers’ Powering ‘Halo 4’ Infinity Multiplayer published on Oct 31, 2012).

Wrap-up showing the progress and achievements 
a distinctly different of this BUILD: direct your imagination to exploit the platform capabilities [1:53:16]

Acer Iconia W510: Windows 8 Clover Trail (Intel Z2760) hybrid tablets from OEMs

Update: Acer Iconia W510 Hybrid Tablet Overview by Chippy [Steve Chippy Paine YouTube channel, Dec 14, 2012]

http://umpcportal.com for more. Chippy gives an overview of the Acer Iconia Tab W510 CloverTrail hybrid tablet.

Update: Acer pushing tablet shipments [DIGITIMES, Dec 12, 2012]

Acer originally believed that tablets would soon lose their attractiveness to consumers helping notebooks to regain their influence; however as market watchers and IT players mostly estimate giant growth in tablet shipments with volume to surpass those of notebooks in 2013, Acer has started turning aggressive about pushing its tablet shipments.

For 2013, Acer will have three major operating strategiesraising its brand position, pushing its tablet shipments, and expanding its gap with competitors in the touchscreen notebook market, according to company chairman JT Wang.

Acer is already set to announce new products in early 2013 and will also release Windows 8 Pro tablets in the second quarter of 2013, Wang noted.

Commenting about his recent meeting with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Wang noted that Microsoft’s strategy of launching Surface products is unlikely to be changed in the short term, but Ballmer fully understands PC brand vendors’ opinions.

Wang pointed out that Ballmer’s visit to Taiwan was to discuss how to boost Windows 8 demand, and a few directions to work on were proposed for the future.

Acer estimates that its tablet shipments will reach 1.8 million units in 2012, but plans to significantly raise the volume in 2013.

Acer recently appointed Tiffany Huang as its president of PC global operations, replacing Campbell Kan who will serve as special assistant to the chairman, JT Wang. Both appointments shall take effect from January 1, 2013.

Acer Iconia W510 preview: as Acer moves into the Windows 8 era, it returns to its netbook roots [engadget, Oct 9, 2012]

Look and feel

<very good video about look and feel, watch at the original place on engadget>
It was almost a year ago that Acer CEO J.T. Wang vowed the company would stop making “cheap and unprofitable products” and focus on more premium items — namely, Ultrabooks. And yet, the W510 feels like precisely the sort of low-end netbook that earned Acer its reputation for slipshod quality in the first place. Mostly, it’s the keyboard dock that’s the problem: the plastic buttons have a slightly scratchy feel, and look mismatched against the smooth, faux-metal keyboard deck. The hinge is also made of white, textured plastic that seems out of place next to the rest of the system. What’s more, there’s a large, unsightly gap between the hinge and the keyboard — again, netbook redux.
Not to go there, but we suspect it’s because of products like this that Microsoft’s management felt compelled to build the Surface. Even if you left the Surface out of this — and why not, since we don’t know how much it will cost? — you can still do better than this. Just ask Samsung: the company’s Series 5 Slate costs the same with a keyboard dock and has near-identical specs, but the design is considerably more elegant.
Wrap-up
Having met with Acer’s product team in person (and having read its executives quoted in the press), it’s obvious the company is eager to shed its reputation for cheap products and be taken more seriously as an OEM capable of building premium PCs. You can even see glimmers of that in the Iconia W510, with its lovely IPS display and optional accessories. Ultimately, though, the W510 does a disservice to Acer: with a chintzy build and a cramped, netbook-like keyboard, it confirms whatever pre-conceived notions shoppers may have about the brand. And with so many Windows 8 hybrids on the way, including one from Microsoft itself, Acer can’t afford to have its products get lost in the mix.
There is something to be excited about, though: the W510 performs well, and at $500, it’s attractively priced for a tablet running full Windows 8. The Clover Trail-based Atom processor inside makes for some zippy performance in Windows 8, and that nine-hour battery is also promising. We’ll be back with a full review in which we plan to put this guy through its paces, and we’ll be curious to see how it fares against similarly priced hybrids offering comparable specs. For all we know, the W510 will end up being exceptionally fast and longevous for its class. But you’d have to get past its homely exterior to appreciate it.

Since Acer has been the most vocal opponent of the Surface introduction by Microsoft, as well as Surface is indeed the point of reference for every 3d party hybrid from now on, let’s see next a detailed comparision of the Acer device with the Surface:

image
Please also read my previous posts about the Surface:
Microsoft Surface: its premium quality/price vs. even iPad3 [Oct 26, 2012]
Microsoft Surface: First media reflections after the New-York press launch [Oct 26, 2012]

After this it would be much easier to evaluate the very recent complaints from Acer:
UPDATE: Acer Offers Grim 4Q Outlook; Lowers Shipment Forecast [The Wall Street Journal, Oct 25, 2012], with slides from the Oct 25 Investor Conference inserted appropriately

Global PC shipments have fallen for the first time in over a decade, plunging more than 8% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to industry researchers Gartner and IDC. A main reason is that consumers have been putting off computer purchases ahead of the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8.

Taipei-based Acer has suffered particularly, as it hasn’t diversified into growing sectors like tablet computers and smartphones as successfully as competitors like Lenovo Group Ltd. and Asustek Computer Inc., analysts say.

image

Acer Chairman and CEO J.T. Wang criticized Microsoft at an investor conference Thursday for throwing its partners into disarray with its decision to launch its own Surface tablet, saying retail stores have been unwilling to take on much inventory from companies like Acer ahead of the launch of the Surface.

image

This kind of uncertainty we have never encountered in the last 20 years,” Mr. Wang said. “An industry leader competing with its partners is a very new situation….The uncertainty has really created a lot of negative impact on the ecosystem.”

Touch-based devices are likely to make up 5%-8% of Acer’s total shipments in the fourth quarter, it added.

imageAcer: Opportunity
– Acer expects the touch feature to stimulate PC shipment growth, particularly after the Windows 8 introduction.
– Acer has endeavored to improve the user experience in touch and is ready to embrace the new opportunity from touch and type in both supply and demand fronts.

Another Acer Iconia W510 preview [TheVerge YouTube channel, Oct 9, 2012]

David Pierce looks at Acer’s Iconia W510 Windows 8 hybrid tablet.

Information published by Acer:

Note that the announced entry level W510-1674 is not available yet. Therefore it is not sure at all why the available entry model W510-1620 (32GB) has a $50 higher price. Microsoft Surface has a price of $599 with TouchCover (32GB) and $699 for the 64 GB version with TouchCover. In comparison the W510-1422 (64GB with keyboard dock) has a price of $749.99. So, as it stands now, the W510 has generally a $50 higher price than the Microsoft Surface.

W510-1620 | Product Model [Acer USA, Oct 9, 2012]
SKU: NT.L0KAA.003: … Keyboard dock sold separately

New twist

imageWhen detached from the dock, this tablet lets you stay productive and mobile with touch convenience and a light 10.1″ design. Need to do some typing? Connect the tablet to the keyboard dock1 and get to it. Then, if you want others to view the display, you can twist it up to 295 degrees.

W510-1620 | Model Datasheet [Acer USA, Oct 20, 2012]

Windows 8 – Intel® Atom™ Dual-Core Processor Z2760 1.5GHz with Intel® Burst technology up to 1.8GHz – 2GB DDR3 SDRAM – 32GB internal storage – 10.1″ HD display (1366 x 768) with integrated 5-point multitouch screen – Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator – Acer Invilink™ Nplify™ 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi – front and rear facing webcams – high-definition audio support – Bluetooth® – Micro-HDMI® – Micro-USB – 2-in-1 card reader – 2-cell battery – 1-year limited warranty

<more detailed specification by clicking on the link
  NOTE THAT THERE LPDDR2 IS GIVEN INSTEAD OF DDR3>

W510-1666 | Product Model [Acer USA, Oct 9, 2012]:
SKU NT.L0KAA.001: Acer Iconia W510-1666 Intel Z2760 1.5GHz dual core processor, 64GB storage, Windows 8, 10.1 1366×768 IPS display. Keyboard dock sold separately

imageWhen detached from the dock, this tablet lets you stay productive and mobile with touch convenience and a light 10.1″ design. Need to do some typing? Connect the tablet to the keyboard dock1 and get to it. Then, if you want others to view the display, you can twist it up to 295 degrees.

W510-1666 | Model Datasheet [Acer USA, Oct 20, 2012]

Windows 8 – Intel® Atom™ Dual-Core Processor Z2760 1.5GHz with Intel® Burst technology up to 1.8GHz – 2GB DDR3 SDRAM – 64GB internal storage – 10.1″ HD display (1366 x 768) with integrated 5-point multitouch screen – Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator – Acer Invilink™ Nplify™ 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi – front and rear facing webcams – high-definition audio support – Bluetooth® – Micro-HDMI® – Micro-USB – 2-in-1 card reader – 2-cell battery – 1-year limited warranty

<more detailed specification by clicking on the link
NOTE THAT THERE LPDDR2 IS GIVEN INSTEAD OF DDR3>

W510-1892 | Product Model [Acer Canada, Oct 9, 2012]
SKU NT.L0KAA.004: … Keyboard dock sold separately

When detached from the dock, this tablet lets you stay productive and mobile with touch convenience and a light 10.1″ design. Need to do some typing? Connect the tablet to the keyboard dock1 and get to it. Then, if you want others to view the display, you can twist it up to 295 degrees.

W510-1892 | Model Datasheet [Acer Canada, Oct 20, 2012]

Windows 8 – 64-bit version – 1.8GHz Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760 (1MB L2 cache) – 2GB DDR3 SDRAM – 64GB solid state drive – 10.1″ HD LCD multi-touch display – 802.11b/g/n – Bluetooth® – 2-cell battery – 1-year limited warranty

<more detailed specification by clicking on the link>

Not on Acer US site but on reseller sites:
SKU NT.L0MAA.001: Acer Iconia W510-1422 Intel Z2760 1.5GHz dual core processor, 64GB storage, Windows 8, 10.1 1366×768 IPS display. Includes keyboard dock accessory $749.99 list price

Acer Iconia W510 Tablet PC With Windows 8 Is a Triple Threat Convertible [Acer America press release via Marketwire, Oct 9, 2012]

    Editor’s Summary:
    • Acer Iconia W510 tablet PC delivers ultimate flexibility and performance in three different modes for an optimum experience with touch, typing and viewing
    • 10.1-inch HD Gorilla Glass 2 display provides convenient 10-point touch, vibrant visuals
    • Superior battery life of up to 18 hours with keyboard dock, battery
    • Responsive performance in an incredibly thin form factor only 0.35-inches thin
    • Product available in the U.S. and Canada starting Nov. 9

      Acer America, the world’s number two notebook provider(1), today announced that the Acer Iconia W510 tablet PC featuring Windows 8 will be available for the U.S. and Canadian markets. The new tablet PC features a sleek convertible design that can be used in three different modes to make computing more natural and intuitive.

      Conventional tablet PC mode provides first-rate multi-touch navigation as customers enjoy the intuitive and comfortable design, as well as the responsive 10.1-inch HD LED-backlit Gorilla Glass 2 full high-definition screen that is beautiful, strong and scratch-resistant. The Gorilla Glass 2 display enhances the crisp and vibrant images, and is durable and flexible enough to handle the routine impacts of daily use.
      The Intel Atom Z2760 mobile-optimized processor smoothly and seamlessly blazes through games, websites and new Windows 8 apps. Plus, in conventional tablet PC mode, the Acer Iconia W510 delivers up to 9 hours of battery life(2) for video playback or WiFi browsing to boost all-day productivity.
      Customers get a boost in efficiency using the Iconia W510 in productivity mode. The keyboard dock seamlessly connects to the tablet PC, transforming it into a full-featured notebook for a first-rate typing experience. With it, the Iconia W510 becomes a powerhouse for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and multimedia content. In addition, the keyboard dock houses an additional battery, extending battery life up to 18 hours for multi-day use, further ensuring productivity and uptime (2).
      Rotating the keyboard on the Iconia W510 back 295 degrees allows it to be used as a stand for presentation mode. This hands-free usage mode is ideal for showing off the latest video, photo slideshow or presentation, while the display’s wide viewing angle ensures multiple people can comfortably enjoy the visuals. The W510’s 1366×768 resolution Gorilla Glass 2 HD display vibrantly highlights everything on it with consistent and accurate colors and clarity. HD audio support and two built-in stereo speakers ensure excellent sound quality.
      “Customers will enjoy optimized experiences for touch, typing and viewing on the Iconia W510 tablet PC,” said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing for Acer. “The versatility of the new tablet PC and durability of the Gorilla Glass 2 display pairs beautifully with the responsive performance to take advantage of the capabilities of Windows 8 for a first-rate tablet PC experience.”
      The Acer Iconia W510 features the latest technology and extras that make it incredibly useful. The tablet PCs come with either a 64GB or 32GB SSD(3) to power on the device and retrieve data quickly and securely. The microSD card reader allows easy transfer of content to and from the tablet PC. The micro-USB port on the tablet PC and full-sized USB on the keyboard dock enable quick and convenient connections to external devices, such as printers and external HDD or USB flash drives. Plus, the Iconia W510 has a Micro HDMI port and dual independent display support for sharing content onto external displays.
      The Iconia W510 is smartly designed with curved edges and a slim 0.35-inch thin build. The tablet PC weighs a mere 1.27 pounds, so it’s comfortable to hold for web browsing, reading, and enjoying Windows 8 apps on the go. With the full-featured keyboard, the Iconia W510 still measures just 0.84-inches thin and is very lightweight at only 2.63 pounds. Since customers will want to take it with them anywhere, the W510’s 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi provides a quick and reliable connection to hotspots. In addition, the new tablet PC can take advantage of location-based and travel applications with its integrated G-Sensor, E-Compass and Gyro-Meter.
      The new Acer Iconia W510 features Acer Always On and Acer Always Connect technologies that enable data upload and retrieval anytime, anywhere, and deliver power-saving features as well. Acer Always On technology ensures the Iconia W510 powers on nearly instantly, similar to a TV or phone. In addition, it provides instant-resume functionality in just 1.5 seconds(4).
      Acer Always Connect lets customers connect to previously used hotspots in just 2.5 seconds for better productivity and enjoyment(4). In addition, Always Connect features remote wakeup for AcerCloud applications, which makes digital content easy to access and share between their Iconia W510 and other PCs anytime, anywhere.
      Dual Acer Crystal Eye webcams ensure customers can capture images and video, as well as enjoy video conferencing on the go. The front-facing 2MP HD 1080p camera captures video in 1920×1080 resolution that is crisp and clear. The 8MP HD rear camera also captures full HD 1080p video in 3264×2448 resolution with auto focus and LED flash support. Dolby® Home Theater® v4 boosts sound for headphones as well as built-in speakers. Plus, the built-in digital microphone ensures that audio is crisp and clear for video conferencing and video emails.
      The Acer Iconia W510 tablet PC will be available starting November 9 at leading retailers across the U.S. and Canada in several configurations. For example, the W510-1422 with a 64GB SSD and the keyboard dock providing additional battery life is priced at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $749.99 USD and CAD. The Iconia W510-1674 comes with a 32GB SSD at the budget-friendly MSRP of only $499.99 USD and CAD.
      Acer corporate customers in the U.S. and Canada can be assured the Acer Iconia W510P with Windows 8 Pro will support their legacy Windows programs as well as provide the security and authentication they need through the option of TPM (Trusted Platform Module). The Acer Iconia W510P is backed by an extended two-year warranty(5) and is priced at $799.99 USD and CAD.
      About Acer
      Since its founding in 1976, Acer has broken barriers between people and technology, enabling users to explore, create and grow. Acer ranks No. 2 for notebook PCs globally(1). The Acer Group employs 8,000 people across the globe, and revenues for 2011 reached US$15.7 billion.
      Acer’s channel business model is instrumental to the company’s success, while its multi-brand approach integrates Acer, Gateway, and Packard Bell brands in worldwide markets. Acer designs environmentally friendly products and, with its vendors, has established a green supply chain.
      Acer is proud to be a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Movement. That includes supporting the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and London 2012 Olympic Games.
      More information is at www.acer-group.com.
      © 2012 Acer Inc. All rights reserved. Acer and the Acer logo are registered trademarks of Acer Inc. Other trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or service marks, indicated or otherwise, are the property of their respective owners. All offers subject to change without notice or obligation and may not be available through all sales channels. Prices listed are manufacturer suggested retail prices and may vary by location. Applicable sales tax extra.
      1.) Source: Gartner data, FY 2011.
      2.) Actual battery life varies depending on product specifications, computer settings and applications or features launched. All batteries’ maximum capacity diminishes with time and use.
      3.) Accessible capacity varies: (MB = 1 million bytes; GB = 1 billion bytes).
      4.) In about 2.5 seconds with previously used access point. Time based on testing with the following applications open: Internet Explorer 9 (Internet search and email web pages), Microsoft PowerPoint viewer (file size 68 MB) and Microsoft Excel (file size 108 MB) of Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, and logged in to Windows Live Messenger 2011.
      5.) Limited warranties and service agreements apply. May not be available in all locations. Availability varies. Other conditions apply. For a copy, write to Acer Customer Service, P.O. Box 6137, Temple, TX 76503.

      The latest Acer video at least containing the W510:
      Acer @ IFA Berlin 2012 [Acer YouTube channel, Sept 4, 2012]

      IFA 2012 – One of the worlds leading trade shows for consumer electronics and home appliances opened on the 31st of August 2012! If you are in Berlin, come and visit us at our Acer booth in Hall 12, Booth 101, and check out our latest smartphones, ultrabooks, all-in-ones and much more!

      Acer Iconia W510 – The new era of mobility [Acer press information, Aug 31, 2012]

      Berlin, Germany
      Mobility means more than the freedom of using a device anywhere; it’s also the freedom of using a device in more ways, according to our needs and moods. Developing the new ICONIA W510, Acer created a device designed for Windows 8 that offers excellent flexibility, allowing users to enjoy and share content, as well as be productive.
      Calling the Acer ICONIA W510 a tablet would be reductive. While the high-resolution 10.1 display provides excellent entertainment, the innovative detachable keyboard is perfect for productivity and the touch optimized screen ensures better data consumption.
      This tablet is the perfect device for users who want to enjoy a flawless touch experience, but want a device that is more flexible and can be used for productivity. The slim, easy to dock keyboard, not only offers a comfortable typing experience, but it extends the battery life up to 18 hours and allows users to rotate the tablet 295 degrees so that it can be used in presentation mode, great for watching a video or viewing a presentation.
      Both tablet and keyboard are ultra slim and light, making them easy to carry around as well as comfortable to use. The 10.1-inch touchscreen, providing a wider viewing angle with more vibrant, consistent and accurate colors, is perfect for enjoying multimedia in tablet mode or for sharing videos and movies with friends when docked to the keyboard.
      Thanks to this simple solution, this tablet provides optimal ergonomics and ease of use both on the go and at your desk. More connectivity options enhance the user experience, from the micro-HDMI port that allows immediate connectivity to an external monitor, to the micro-SD port to extend memory up to 32 GB.
      In addition, thanks to the Always On, Always Connect technology, you can count on the Acer ICONIA W510 to keep you updated on what’s going in your social networks, and have the latest news at your fingertips, check your mails or watch a movie on the fly, review a presentation or enjoy  games. This is the beauty of having a multi-touch screen tablet that offers seamless conversion between slate, keyboard and hands-free ergo-touch.
      To ensure the integrity of the device, the ICONIA W510 embeds the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which allows security-enhanced generation of cryptographic keys and minimizes the risk data are compromised by physical theft or external hacker attack.
      Thanks to TPM, the hardware is less vulnerable to software-based attacks, while authentication processes are conducted through a security-enhanced subsystem.

      China’s HW engineering lead: The Rockchip RK292 series (RK2928 and RK2926) example

      It was totally unexpected for a US company starting a new device project in China back in 2007 what kind of support network of vendors and designers was available for them in Taiwan or just across the water from Taiwan on the mainland. Here is an authentic recollection of that experience:

      WHERE THE MIDDLE CLASS MANUFACTURING JOBS GO? [David Dehghan’s tumblr microblog, Feb 5, 2012]

      This NY times article [How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work, Jan 21, 2012] is a great example of why it’s so hard to create middle-class jobs in the U.S. now. From personal experience I can confirm all the point made in this article with respect to electronics manufacturing.

      A few years a go [according to this and that it was around 2007] we were building a new phone and a special base station for it at Microsoft.

      We designed most of the electrical and mechanical parts in Taiwan because that was where the support network of vendors and designers existed around you. If you wanted a new PCB board re-designed and manufactured it would be ready for you within hours. That would have taken a week in US. In Xiamen (just across the water from Taiwan on the mainland) we designed and built the special base station for the phone. When we wanted to select cables and connectors we just called the sales rep from the neighboring factory and he was in our meeting room within 30 min. We didn’t like what they had and we called another one he too was there within 30 min. With samples and designs in hand. Whatever we wanted they could manufacture within a day. It was pretty incredible.
      Also the quality of craftsmanship was very high. People took care of producing the PCB boards and plastic phone enclosures we had ordered. The vendor network had all the latest prototyping and design equipment you could think of. There was no reason to get out of Taiwan or south of China for anything. They would beat any one on price, flexibility, and quick turnaround.
      There is zero chance you can bring that echo system back to US or western world. There is never ending supply of cheap, qualified and trained manufacturing workers coming from inland China.
      Now lets continue our debates about same sex marriage, abortion and border guards. Or Tibo, or whatever the hell his name is.

      Five years later we have now a significant evolution from that when China has not only manufacturing lead in the digital products, but engineering lead as well, and along the whole value chain, from designing the SoCs to the finished products themselves! Mainland China could even rely on itself in all that.

      Here is a very recent video showing the latest results of leading hardware engineering from mainland China: the Rockchip RK2928 specifically developed for the $40 and up entry level market of 2013 Android tablets, which was just first shown on the HKTDC in October 13, and here they have the first tablets on show already:

      $49 RK2928 7″, $95 RK3066 8″ and other tablets by Firstview [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 24, 2012]

      I show around some of the latest tablets by Firstview.

      Major learning for me here: with the IPS screen the cost is only $6 more.

      FirstView (ShenZhen FirstView Electronic Co.,Ltd.) is one of the typical midsize factories in Shenzhen with 200-300 actual employees, established in beginning of last decade (2001 actually), growing from simpler digital products like MP players, photo frames, digital cameras etc., but now producing mostly tablet PCs, netbooks etc. with production capacity of 10,000pcs-20,000pcs of finished products per day and exporting worldwide as described in their “About” page titled still Jing Han Optronics_Tablet PC _ books _ Digital Photo Frame _MP4 player _MP3 play:

      We are proud of our internationalism— 80% of our products are sold to developed countries in Europe and the Americas with the remaining 20% being sold in Asia, Africa and domestically. All of our products get the ROHS, CE, FC C Certificate. Having been cooperating with world-famous companies, such as Wal-mart, we are able to keep up with the latest international trends.

      Companies like FirstView have quite broad, quite price competitive products which technologically always represent the latest advances. How are they able to achieve that given not really big resources, especially in terms of engineering.

      Let’s look at this from the example of the latest Rockchip SoCs through the whole engineering and manufacturing chain:

      A single core Terminator: Rockchip launched the strongest single-core chip RK2928 on the 2012 Hong Kong Electronics Fair [Rockchip press release in Chinese, Oct 18, 2012] as translated by Google and Bing with all the necessary manual editions:

      The annual Hong Kong Electronics Fair was held between October 13 and 16, 2012 in Hong Kong, as scheduled. As a world-renowned exhibition, each electronic exhibition will attract many domestic and foreign firms, and the media are invited to attend on a grand scale. The famous RK3066 chip brand was launched on the 2012 Hong Kong Electronics Fair in April, and Rockchip was again to bring new products to participate in the 2012 Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

      Single-core Terminator chips: the RK292 series

      On the current Electronics Fair Rockchip showcased its latest research and development of a new chip series – the RK292 series. Compared to the classic generation of RK29 series, the RK292 series chips are designed for the single-core Cortex A9 architecture and 1GB DDR3 memory, with which there will be nearly 30% increase in performance compared to the previous generation.

      image

      The parameters of RK292 series chips

      The series RK292 chips are upgrade products of the RK29 series, mainly for the low-end market, changing the Cortex-A8 architecture by turning to the popular Cortex A9 architecture. This has been done in such a way that while the performance is increased significantly, however the power consumption has been reduced compared to the previous generation. As such it can be described as a single core Terminator. It is understood that products equipped with the Rockchip single core solutions, aimed primarily for the European and developing countries markets, will become the lowest cost offerings among the industry’s single-core tablet solutions [said to be here and here aimed at $40 and up tablet price, ?probably in quantities of at least 1000?].

      imageTablet equipped with the RK2928 chip [shown at HKTDC]

      imageTablet equipped with the RK2926 chip [shown at HKTDC]

      The RK2928 parameters in English from here:

      image

      Cheap Killer Strikes – Rockchip launched RK2926, RK2928 for Android Tablet PC [TabletPCPhones.com blog, Oct 17, 2012]

      … RK2926/RK2928 is updated from RK2918, and they are changed in the old architecture of previous generation products, using the new Cortex-A9 architecture, support DDR3 and DDR3L [from the above parameter sheets it looks like that DDR3L is just for RK2928], and built-in Audio CODEC, LVDS have DVFS-power adjustment, you can support MLC NAND / E-MMC and i-NAND flash memory. RK2926 and RK2928 chips are slightly different in terms of functionality, the latter has integrated support of the HDMI 1.4a Controller and GPS baseband. In addition, both packages are different, the RK2926 chip uses LQP176 package, while the RK2928 chip using the BGA313 package. …

      Currently Rockchip, located in the exhibition area 1CON, has shown the prototype Tablet PC of RK2926/RK2928, but because of IP licensing confidentiality, clocked graphics core specific configuration can’t be disclosed, but also no detailed performance test. Just from the point of view of the experience to get started, compared to the previous RK2918 Tablet PC operation,  the fluency has improved, casual game can smooth run in prototype at the same time, and you would not feel a significant fever situation, the overall experience is still good for entry-level tablet PC market, this performance should be considered good. …

      About the Rockchip company and especially about the immediately preceding generation RK9218 SoC, as well as their current flagship RK3066, you can find plenty of information in MWC 2012: Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics [this same blog, March 13, 2012]

      Now a mid-size video about Rockchip RK2928 and RK2926 launched at the HKTDC Electronics Fair [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 13, 2012] with the Marketing Vice-President of Rockchip, Chen Feng:

      Rockchip Vice-President Chen Feng presents their new single-core ARM Cortex-A9 SoC for cheaper, faster, lower power consuming tablets! They call it the Single-core Terminator. They simplify to lower the cost of the SoC thus of the entry-level ARM Powered device all the while improving the performance to provide for better entry-levels tablets. Contact details for Rockchip are at: http://armdevices.net/2012/10/13/rockchip-rk2928-and-rk2926-launched-at-the-hktdc-electronics-fair/

      – RK2928 is [0:16] “so far the best performance single core product” [0:20]
      – RK2928/26: [0:50] “next year tens of millions of these chip’s products” [0:55]
      for the RK3066 and above market [1:14] “soon we will have the 28nm chip [version] coming out, lower the cost, higher performance, lower power. And at the end of the year we will have four-core 28nm product coming out.” [1:30]
      the GPU in RK2928/RK2926 [2:18] “is a mystery … but there is a good GPU here” [2:24]
      – regarding the smartphone market [9:10] “We have a very long view for that market. So we are also doing baseband but it’s … We’re always working on it. But when it will be our main business we will carefully seek. [9:29]
      – [10:52] “We want to get into the notebook [too], so … Once the software environment getting mature, that the Android and more mobile people write applications on the platform. So sooner or later the software won’t be an issue, but [the issue becomes] how you can make the best [notebook] product. … There are rumors on the market Microsoft might port Office to Android, right? [11:44]

      PCB Design House: Rockchip RK3066/RK2926 at Shenzhen Inpad Digital Technology [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 21, 2012]

      – When did you get RK2926 in house? [2:30] “We got it 1st of October. … Made PCB in 2 weeks only. [2:49]
      – [5:02] How can you as company optimize the price [making] low, and power [too]? How can the team to do that, how you do this?  [6:39] “Basically they [a separate team] communicate with the customer to understand their requirements, and based on that requirement they will choose the right component or do the right design for the customer. And also to simplify the design and process, so they can cut off the cost. [7:00]
      – [10:03] So how many people work here? [10:06] “About 40 people. … About 30 engineers, 10 sales and our working staff.” [10:27]
      – [10:26] So you are a PCB Design House. You get the CPU from Rockchip, you put that into PCB, and then work with the SMT, OEM, manufacturer? [10:37] “Yes” Different companies? [10:39] “Yes” So you work together? [10:41] “Yes”
      – [10:44] How many PCBs are made with your design every year? [11:04] “More than one million.” Different manufacturers, not only one? [11:10] “Different” All in Shezhen? [11:15] “No … Some customers are in other provinces.” [11:24]

      China Fabless: Rockchip rattled by Android tablet wars [Junko Yoshida at EE Times, Sept 25, 2012]

      Just nine months ago, Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics, a developer of apps processor for tablets, looked almost invincible. …

      … since then, the Android-based media tablet market has gotten far more competitive. By volume, the Android tablet sector has grown to an estimated 80 million units, outpacing the 75 million iPads sold by Apple thus far, according to estimates by Rockchip [marketing] vice president Feng Chen.

      At the beginning of 2012, the target price of a 7-inch capacitive screen media tablet featuring Cortex-A8 was $99. That price has since dropped to around $65, due largely to Allwinner, a red-hot Chinese fabless company that has flooded the tablet market with its own turnkey system. … Rockchip’s situation vividly illustrates the challenges most Chinese fabless chip companies now face.

      Notes regarding Allwinner:
      #1 After checking a number of SoCs for a Linux and FLOSS related, it was found [on Dec 14, 2011] by a UK based platform initiative that Allwinner A10 – ARM Cortex A8 SoC… has been developed in, and is sold in, the People’s Republic of China. Its mass-volume price is around $7, yet it is a 400-pin highly feature-rich 1.2ghz ARM Cortex A8 with a MALI400 GPU. It has the distinction of having the highest bang-per-buck ratio of any SoC available at the time of writing, by quite a margin. Its price and features is causing massive disruption of the tablet market in China (a minor recession was caused by widespread cancellation of prior committments to other SoCs!), as every factory in Shenzen scrambles to compete with hundreds of other factories for the same end-user market: tablets and PVRs.
      For comparison: TI has brought out a new $5 ARM Cortex A8, but it is limited to 500mhz and it is extra cost for the version with a PowerVR 3D GPU. Ingenic’s jz4770 is about $7 in mass-volume but it is a 1ghz MIPS with a Vivante GC600 3D GPU. Details are harder to get hold of regarding the jz4770, but its interfaces are known not as feature-rich as the Allwinner (no HDMI output for example). AMLogic’s Cortex A9 is $13 in mass-volume, but is limited to 800mhz and a maximum of 512mb of RAM. …”
      #2 At the end of February it was reported from China that: “Based on high cost performance, Allwinner A10 has good sales after the Spring Festival. The chips with high cost performance are welcome. … RockChip chips became cheaper and cheaper since Allwinner released A10. As the first chip of Allwinner, A10 is released with cheap price, which makes it has good sales. Allwinner is a famous company in MP3 times so that Allwinner has a strong customer base. In addition, A10 has few bugs since it is released. The performance of other chips is not stable in the beginning, such as RK2808 and VIA8505.
      The agents who have ordered VIA chips go to order Allwinner A10. VIA will release VIA8850 next month [but mass production just started in June, see later] which is based on A9 core. The performance is not different from A10. It means that it does not have any advantage. VIA8850 will be cheaper than Allwinner A10. Allwinner will release A13 to compete with VIA8850 so that VIA will get in a difficult position. [Was more expensive than the [$5 priced] A13 when mass production started in June]”

      During a recent interview with EE Times here, Rockchip’s Chen said, “This is a new world war we’re fighting.” … Indeed, nearly every apps processor [sic, SoC] vendor here is in a rough spot because “the time-to-market requirement has gotten much shorter,” he noted. “Worse, catching the market rhythm or cycle — at the right time – has become much harder.”

      “… now, as end-product cycles get shorter, we do everything from designing a chip to developing a board and software that goes around the hardware — literally within a couple of months,” he explained. In March, for example, Rockchip started to design its delivered samples of RK3066, a dual-core Cortex A9 chip with a quad-core Mali-400 GPU. By April [15], it hustled to showcase sample tablets based on the chip at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. By May, the company began shipping the new apps processor to its customers.

      Note regarding the timing of RK3066 SoC development:
      – The initial version of RK3066 datasheet brief is dated Oct 30, 2011. the 1.0 version of it February 15, 2012.
      – The RK30xx platform was announced on Feb 27, 2012 with information that “Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with up to 1.4GHz speed, implemented with Artisan Processor Optimization Pack (POP)” and that “Samples of the Rockchip RK30xx platform will be available in March 2012.”

      Unlike other startups here, Rockchip has been profitable from the start. But as the tablet battle heats up, it also needs to find a way to move to the next level. “We are fighting a world war. We need the world’s top talent.”
      The company also needs access to capital. Without it, Rockchip can’t even think about mergers or acquisitions. Organic growth alone won’t get it to the next level, Chen acknowledge, saying he expects consolidation in the Chinese fabless sector but “no Chinese companies want to give up.”
      Lastly, Chen said, “We need to be clear on the market” so that Rockchip can choose its battles.

      Factory Tour: Allwinner A10 PCB SMT line at the Jia Chuang Bo factory [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 20, 2012]

      This video shows how the Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 PCBs are being finalized, fixed, checked before they are inserted in the cheap Android tablets on the floor above. Contact details for this company are available at: http://armdevices.net

      SMT = Surface-mount technology

      Factory Tour: $61 [in quantity of 1000] Allwinner A13 9″ Tablet being assembled at Jia Chuang Bo [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 19, 2012]

      This is where we are now. The 9″ 16:9 capacitive Android tablet is $61. Based on the super cheap Allwinner A13 (no hdmi) system on chip, this is the assembly and boxing line. Contact details for this company are available at: http://armdevices.net

      Factory Tour: 9.7″ IPS 3G Allwinner A10 Tablet for $152 being assembled by Jia Chuang Bo [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 19, 2012]

      They are assembling right now some 10.1″ and 9.7″ Allwinner A10 tablets on this assembly line. Contact details for this company are available at: http://armdevices.net … a new model … very slim … with 3G … without 3G $135

      Jia Chuang Bo future products [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 19, 2012]

      They got $105 10.1″ 1024×600 RK3066, $115 10.1″ 1280×800 IPS RK3066, compact A10/A13 with 3G and more. A10 with ?IPS display?$135. … $30 plus for 3G. … chepeast A10 with standard industry design for $43 … full capacity: 100K units per month (also at another place, while at the place seen in the videos 30K/month)

      SHENZHEN JCB TECHNOLOGY CO.LTD [March 14, 2011]

      HAICHUANG TECHNOLOGY (HK)CO., LIMITED   registered in HONGKONG, which is the head office of SHENZHEN  JIA CHUANG BO Technology CO.LTD.

      SHENZHEN JIA CHUANG BO TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD , founded in 2001, which is a professional factory in designing, researching, manufacturing and marketing computer peripherals. We focus mainly on MID/Tablet PC and Media players. Now we have a workshop of 3,000 square meters and employ more than 300 staffs.

      We uphold advanced management philosophy, adopt flexible management model, focus on R&D, and has strong brand awareness, independent intellectual property awareness and quality control awareness. which makes us get into overseas market successfully such as North America, South America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Midlle East, Western Europe.
      Attaching great importance to quality, our company applies ISO9001:2000 standards in purchase of material, R&D, production, inspection and sales. Environmental testing and reliability testing are also part of our standard procedure. Professional R&D team and efficient production team provide a solid foundation for our high-quality products. Quality has always been our first priority. All of our products have passed CE, FCC related certifications. all employees recognize that quality is the life of enterprises and the core of competitiveness. Before all the products entering your market, all the finished products must undergo ten-minute pass vibration test and eight-hour aging test.
      We also offer OEM/ODM products and we pride ourselves on the ability to stay up-to-date in the rapidly changing market. OEM orders are welcome. We offer OEM/ODM services. Our R&D engineers can develop one new item in one week as your requirements. We have an innovative R&D team that is dedicated to meeting your requirements specifically.
      Because of the good reputation and perfect pre-sale/in-sale and after-sales services, we have established the long-term and stable strategic partnership with many famous suppliers at home and abroad.
      Our service  “Excellent Quality, First-Class Service, Best Price” is our working tenet.we take honest as the best policy and customer is the god as our business principle .
      Your trustworthy partner, is looking forward to establishing win-win business relationship with new friends all over the world.

      You can also browse through their current products (only MIDs/tablets now from 7” to 10”).

      Microsoft Surface: its premium quality/price vs. even iPad3

      Preliminary reading: Core post: Giving up the total OEM reliance strategy: the Microsoft Surface tablet [June 19, 2012]

      IAm Panos Panay, GM of Microsoft Surface, AMAA – Ask Me or My Team Almost Anything [reddit, Oct 16, 2012]:

        • Why 599 (with touch keypad)? Don’t you think thats too high considering where Microsoft is entering the tablet space? I think you will slash the price come holiday season. Can you shed some light on the pricing decision.

      When you start to see it includes touch cover, clear type display with better contrast, twice as much storage, along with Office included, you have a pretty cool deal. I think you will find the value is extraordinary once you start using the product. When you compare it to last generation or smaller devices, you can quickly see the value you are getting with Surface.

      See Panos Panay’s excellent Microsoft Surface talk on the press launch in New-York in the beginning of the Microsoft Surface: First media reflections after the New-York press launch [this same blog, Oct 26, 2012]

      A summarized media opinion published after today’s general launch:
      Microsoft Surface RT ..!!! just excite..!!!! [APPLEWORLDPRO, Oct 26, 2012]

      About APPLEWORLDPRO EVERYTHING ABOUT APPLE,SAMSUNG,MOBILES,TABLETS……etc..

      1. Unique TouchCover and TypeCover

      The Making of Touch Cover for Surface [surface YouTube channnel, Oct 23, 2012]

      Learn about how the Touch Cover keyboard for Microsoft Surface was made. http://www.microsoft.com/Surface http://www.facebook.com/Surface http://twitter.com/surface/
        • Quick question regarding the cover. If you flip the cover back, say to rest the tablet flat on a surface or to hold it, is there a mechanism that disables the keyboard so that it’s not randomly typing? (This would be when the cover is flipped to the back of the device)

      Hey this is Stevie, yes absolutely. Both TouchCover and TypeCover have sensors that understand orientation relative to Surface… in fact the Type and Touch Covers talk to Surface to figure out their relative position no matter the orientation of gravity of the device (pretty neat!). There are 3 positions modes: Closed (keys and mouse are off), Open to 180 degrees (keyboard and mousepad on), beyond 180 degrees to the back (keys and mouse off). That way you can flip back the covers and feel secure you are not pressing keys by mistake.

      I am Yi-Min and I am on the User Research team. I can type about 86 wpm on the Touch Cover and I am typing on a Pink Touch Cover!

        • What about the type cover? Do you type much faster? I’m wondering if I should get the type cover to take notes at school or if I can learn fast enough on the touch cover

      Hi this is Stevie. It depends on how you type. I have been using both for a while, and love them both. I love the sleekness of Touch Cover. Touch Cover has a very special digitizer that we invented.. it senses the impact force of your key presses. We designed super-fast electronics and smart algorithm in the keyboard so that Touch Cover can profile your key press down to a 1ms (1000 times a second). Using that information Touch Cover can infer if the user meant to press the key or not.. It is a smart key. So even though there is no key travel, the user can rest their hands on top of the keyboard and find home position without accidentally triggering keys.. pretty cool! The first time I typed on a full working version of Touch Cover, I typed just as fast as I do on a normal keyboard. I am confident you will be able to type significantly faster on Touch Cover than an onscreen keyboard. And with a little practice you will even do better (maybe even faster!) For folks who really love and really need keys that have travel, then Type Cover is one of the best keyboards I have ever used (desktop or other). It has a super awesome snappy key mechanism that feels great (has a strong hysteresis curve). Honestly both are great… try them both, actually get them both.

      • From here:
        • What do you think will surprise people most when they get to start using or seeing the Surface?
        • What feature are you most proud of and why?
        • What do you feel sets Surface apart most from the competition?
        • How would you convince someone to get it instead of the iPad?

      I think the seamless transitions from state to state will be one of the best parts of the device!! As you open the cover, close the cover, flip it back, move into ‘get it done mode’ it will be an awesome experience. You will find yourself being productive when you need to and you can read,watch movies, and surf when you want to….

      I also feel like the kickstand opening and closing will make you smile 🙂

      Microsoft Surface Type Cover-hands on..!!!!! [APPLEWORLDPRO, Oct 26, 2012]

      About APPLEWORLDPRO EVERYTHING ABOUT APPLE,SAMSUNG,MOBILES,TABLETS……etc..

      2. Unique kickstand

        • Does the kickstand arrangement work for someone who wants to type with Surface on their lap? To me it looks like it’s only stable on a table top.
        • I want to get a Surface for the wife, but she’d be typing Facebook updates while lounging on the couch. Would that work?

      hey, I’ve been using my Surface for a couple of month now. It works on your lap in multiple ways. Typing on the lap works fine, Surface is great for typing while on your couch. There are so many ways it folds and adjusts to your typing needs. You will be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

      Yes, she can certainly type Facebook updates from the couch while using Surface

        • How did you determine the angle that the kickstand allows Surface to lean to?

      We wanted the screen to be normal to the face. Voila, you then have a 22 degree angle.

      Seriously we did a ton of studies around lighting, reflection, ergonomics, table height, etc…. and then made sure it looked perfect and felt perfectly balanced.

        • Any chance you are working on a docking station for the Surface RT? Perhaps one that will work with the cover on?

      The Kickstand and Touch/Type Cover is your docking station :-). We are pretty pumped about the experience you get by kicking out the kickstand and then being able to use the USB and HD out connections to do what is needed. We specifically thought of this scenario and optimized for it. It is a pretty cool experience.

      The Surface Movement Commercial [surface YouTube channel, Oct 24, 2012]

      The Microsoft Surface Movement Commercial. From touch to type, office to living room, from your screen to the big screen, you can see more, share more, and do more with Surface.

      3. Superior industrial design

          • I wanted to ask where your philosophy for design language comes from.

      To me, it’s a refined industrial look. It’s like Motorola products if they weren’t cheesy or 80’s inspired, or apple products with a dose of testosterone and a dash of fighter jet inspiration.

      The fact that you make it functional with the lip on the non RT version is just a further testament to the strength of the design.

      We saw this in the Zune HD and I absolutely loved it. I almostbought one on that alone.

      I absolutely hope you guys carry this through to the Xbox next/720/Durango. It would be awesome to see a console with a black metal exterior.

      Hi there, ralf here, creative director of Surface. Designing the surface was an effort to create a great stage for the software. We wanted to make sure that the hardware was a physical extension of our software. The language we found came together by choosing the right materials and revealing the essence of out an idea. Make it comfortable to hold, light and strong.

          • Can you possibly expand on this? It kind of sounds like PR fluff that any company would say about their tablet design. The fact that you more faithfully execute it is beside the point.

      What drives the black matte look (for the black)? The sharp angles? Why do you work with metal instead of plastic?
      When you look at other pieces of design, what are your main inspirations for the surface?

      Hey, here a bit more context. We started at looking at the software and thought about how to extend it into a physical product. We tried to stay away from any classic design language stuff, we didn’t want to have a bunch of styling in the way, we wanted to build a bridge between you and your digital things. We developed the idea that later turned into the keyboard covers and kickstand. Most of the time we spent on revealing the essence of this idea: How can we make it comfortable to hold? How do we fit our connectors, and so on.. Step by step we found the design. The language behind it is a point of view to make a very useful product. I don’t believe in defining a design language in shape. A design language should be a consistent approach to execute the vision you have.
      Using magnesium allowed us to make our product thin, light and strong. The color we chose lets the physical product fade into the background and pronounces the screen as the main act.

      … a stage for your software

        • Can you share some of the thought-process that lead to Microsoft building the Surface? It feels like a big departure from the company’s tendency to stay out of PC device hardware.

      We have evolved the words, but the principle has stayed the same. We are focused on being a Stage for Windows . It is good to keep in mind that we have been in the Hardware business for sometime now, and with the combination of our history along with our very clear target of making Windows 8 great, it came together very clearly!! We really did start from a blank piece of paper and built the experience from the ground up knowing that we wanted to get it perfect as we designed the experence of Surface along side the experience of Windows 8.

        • How did you calculate the 8hr battery life estimate? What were the test conditions?
        • Why is there no NFC integration when WP8 is pushing it heavily?
        • What was the toughest challenge you faced when designing the Surface?

      Pavan, HW lead: We conducted testing across a variety of core scenarios such as local and streaming video playback (watching movies!), audio playback, wireless web browsing and productivity scenarios such as using Office and mail. We tested using different Wi-Fi networks with pre-production hardware and software. Hence the battery life numbers started early in the program as a model with calculations and then get verified with actual device HW and SW.

      For the product design experience we were aiming for with Surface, the Mg metal enclosure, including the back case, was critical. This made good antenna design for NFC a trade-off in our development process.

      The making of Microsoft Surface [surface YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012]

      Get a more in-depth view of the making of Microsoft Surface.

      4. ClearType Display Technology

        • Do you think ~$700 is too much for a tablet that does not currently own a share of the market?
        • I noticed that the Surface has a resolution of 1366×768 vs the iPad3 2048×1536. Do you think this will affect users considering the Surface vs the iPad ?
        • What can us (your fans) realistically do to make Surface the number one tablet out there?
        • Will Microsoft release more WinRT compatible applications other than the ones already mentioned in the release specs? What about other software vendors such as Adobe and Corel ?

      Hey this is Stevie [Steven Bathiche]. Screen resolution is one component of perceived detail. The true measure of resolvability of a screen called Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), not Pixels. MTF is a combination of both contrast and resolution. There are over a dozen subsystems that effect this MTF number… Most folks just focus on one number out of dozens that effect perceived detail. Without good contrast resolution decreases. Check out contrast sensitivity of the human eye graph (http://www.telescope-optics.net/images/eye_contrast.PNG) and if you want more see the links below. Basically, as resolution/DPI increases the eye has becomes less sensitive. So as a result, the amount of light in a room and the reflections off the screen have a huge effect on the contrast of the display. In fact, a small amount of reflection can greatly reduce contrast and thus the perceived resolution of the display. With the ClearType Display technology we took a 3 pronged approach to maximize that perceived resolution and optimize for battery life, weight, and thickness. First prong, Microsoft has the best pixel rendering technology in the industry (cleartype 1.0 and 2.0) .. these are exclusive and unique to Windows, it smooths text regardless of pixel count. Second, we designed a custom 10.6” high-contrast wide-angle screen LCD screen. Lastly we optically bonded the screen with the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market… something which is more commonly done on phones we are doing on Surface.

      While this is not official, our current Cleartype measurements on the amount of light reflected off the screen is around 5.5%-6.2%, the new IPad has a measurement of 9.9% mirror reflections (see the displaymate link:http://www.displaymate.com/iPad_ShootOut_1.htm). Doing a side by side with the new iPad in a consistently lit room, we have had many people see more detail on Surface RT than on the Ipad with more resolution.

      Some more links to share if you want to know more… (http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF.html)… Also This is a great book to read if you really want to get into it: http://www.amazon.com/Contrast-Sensitivity-Effects-Quality-Monograph/dp/0819434965 or more here http://alexandria.tue.nl/extra2/9901043.pdf

      EDIT: Hello, this is StevieB again. This is a great discussion. I wanted to elaborate some more. I hope folks understand that I am not saying that one resolution is better than the other. Nor that one display is better than the other. More so that the number of pixels is not the only metric which guarantees detail and image quality. It depends on many factors, some factors for which Surface optimizes for. So in some cases ClearType will look better and in other cases (darker environments) the iPad retina will look better. Further, in a number of cases the differences will be negligible.

      Think of it this way. When digital cameras started riding the megapixel curve, some cameras had/have better image quality than cameras with more pixels. How can that be? We all intuitively understand that if a camera lens is poor the resultant image will be poor (low MTF) no matter how many pixels sits behind the lens. The combination of a good lens and a good image sensor results in a good high quality MTF image. That’s the same in a display where the optics are partly in your eye and partly on the display. If the display reflects a lot of room light off the screen it will reduce the contrast of the image, and the resultant image will be harder to see and the information will harder to make out. The contrast sensitivity chart of the eye tells us this. A display system is just like a camera but it runs in reverse (Reciprocity Law of light).

      One of the more significant things affecting image quality of interactive displays is the addition of stuff in front of the display to enable capacitive touch. Currently most consumer touch system have a cover glass, and layers of transparent conductors between the cover glass and the display. Anything placed between the eye and the display will effect image quality. Engineering down those effects is one of the innovations we strived for in the ClearType display for Surface.

      Because the whole optical stack is fused in the ClearType Display, there is only one significant optical boundary. This is the front surface where the index of refraction changes from 1 in air to about 1.5 in glass—btw this also happens to bring your finger closer to the image on the screen (think how a straw looks under water). So Surface reflects less ambient light, this increases contrast in any lit environment over devices that reflect more room light. Previously, I mentioned contrast and resolution are related. Decreased contrast will obscure high resolution content. They are inseparable, neither one is more or less important than the other. If you have high contrast but low resolution, the MTF (and image quality) is lower. If you have high resolution but low contrast, your MTF (and image quality) will also be lower.

      Let me ask you this question. When you look up in the sky how many stars do you see? …. Well it depends on where you are. If you are out in the country there is not much light pollution, and the night sky lights up with stars. If you are in the city, there is a lot of light pollution so you may not see many. The stars are still there, it is the same sky, but the contrast is low, so as a consequence you do not see many stars. No matter how many “pixels” the sky has, you are not going to see anymore stars. On Surface, light pollution is low and as a result you will see more detail over any other device with lesser contrast. In a lit room just hold up a Surface, leave the display off, and hold up another tablet next to it and notice which one has the darker screen. This is your black point, your screen cannot go darker than in this situation.

      My goal is to get information out there so that you reach a conclusion based on science. Most people don’t know this, but this is well understood in the displays technical community. Hope this helps!

      Microsoft Surface RT vs iPad 3 [SlashGear YouTube channel, Oct 23, 2012]

      SlashGear reviews the Surface RT and compares it with the iPad 3

      5. USB support

        • First of all, I’m super excited about the way Microsoft is heading with the new Surface… What kind of devices I can or can’t use with the USB-Port. Can I connect a printer? A regular keyboard? Can I connect a cell-phone to charge it?

      BrettO here – Thanks for the excitement! We certainly feel it. Lots of questions so let me do my best. USB support – Numerous reports of 100’s of millions existing USB devices supported. Printers, Keyboards, Cameras – yes. Can I charge a phone – yes.

      Pavan: The full size USB 2.0 port on Surface supports hundreds of millions of devices that are out there… We chose USB 2.0 based on capability of the ARM SoCs during our development timeframe.

        • Will Surface be able to import images from a digital camera or card reader via its USB port? Or is that for signed devices only?

      BrettO here – Absolutely, uSD and USB 2.0. Most cameras will show up as mass storage device via USB.

      Microsoft Surface + AirTurn AT-104 USB wireless page turner pedal [Hugh Sung YouTube channel, Oct 26, 2012]

      Just received the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet a few minutes ago. This is a test showing how the AirTurn AT-104 uses the Surface’s USB port to connect wirelessly for hands free page turns and presentations. This demo is using PowerPoint on the Surface. Surface comes with an entire Office suite that works beautifully with the AirTurn AT-104.

      6. The overall value proposition

        • I have an iPad 2 and a Galaxy S2.
        • Can you tell me something that’ll make me want to shift to your platform? I just can’t find a reason. What feature does the Surface have that may not seem like much but makes it amazing to use?

      I am not sure what you do on your other devices and can not comment on it… however, I know that on Surface you can get a ton of stuff done. Given, we have a full operating system in Windows, we have the full suite of Office available, and the seamless transitioning in and out of different user states with touch cover… the ability to use it all day, use a USB port when needed to connect millions of devices, ultimately you have a full PC at your disposal…. you find yourself accomplishing a ton. Does this help?

      Microsoft Surface RT Hands-on: At Boston Store [booredatwork YouTube channel, Oct 26, 2012]

      Windows 8 is finally out and available for order and the Microsoft Surface is finally in stores, today we ventured to our local Microsoft Store at the Prudential in Boston to check out the new Microsoft Surface RT first hand. luckily for us we got a solid demo of the device by Store manager Ty Hapworth. Who was gracious enough to give us a solid hands on of the device. Which I must say at first glance is one great piece of hardware. The Microsoft Surface RT is a Windows 8 RT tablet that does more than your traditional tablet, sporting a 10.6 ClearType HD display with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor. All housed in a VaporMg casing at less than 1.5 pounds, with a watch-like finish that’s incredibly smooth, and durable. You have got an integrated Kickstand provides uncompromised support and flexibility. Flip out the Kickstand for hands-free entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie, or shooting video, Surface stands on its own. The surface comes in 32GB or 64GB options but can be supplemented with a microSDXC card slot lets you add up to 64 GB of extra storage. Full-size USB port and Bluetooth 4.0, Mini-HDMI and Dual 2×2 MIMO antennas provide reliable internet connectivity. You have also got two Front and rear-facing 720p HD video cameras, which allow to reacord directly at 22 degree angle even with the kick stand on. Finally you have got the Touch cover, and integrated keyboard and trackpad can be found in this versatile cover. When folded back, Touch Cover automatically disables keystrokes for a full touchscreen experience; when closed, it turns off your display. Give Surface your personal touch with a color that matches your style. The Microsoft Surface Rt starts @ $499 and looks like a fun product to have. Stay tuned for our full review. Till then enjoy our Hands on from the Boston Microsoft Store

      Highly suggested Understanding the Microsoft Surface (a sort of Review) [Hal’s (Im)Perfect Vision blog, Oct 28, 2012] with the following excerpts to wet your appetite:

      … The Surface is a great tablet. It is amazingly well-built and well thought out. As a pure piece of engineering it stands as an equal to the best Apple or anyone else has to offer. When you add Windows RT to the mix you get something that is, in the context of use as a “pure” tablet, a strong competitor to the iPad. There are definite differences, some strongly in the iPad’s favor (e.g., number of applications currently available), and some in Surface’s favor. In most cases the significance of those differences comes down to personal preference. …
      … an important point I think is missed in most reviews. Everyone wants to compare the thickness and weight of devices as they come from the factory. They don’t do comparisons of thickness and weight in terms of how they are actually used by customers! … while the Surface is competitive in raw weight and size it may be outstanding in real world usage configuration. …
      … The UI is inviting. The live tiles are awesome. … Six months from now everyone will think that swiping in from the edge of the screen is a completely intuitive way to bring up menus.
      Windows RT, and thus the Surface, currently has a relatively small library of applications available. But it is growing fast. Twice last week I tweeted or blogged [the blog case: Living with a Windows “RT” Tablet [Oct 22, 2012] is worth to read as well] about how I missed some application that I’d been using on the iPad. Within a couple of days, once within hours, the missing app appeared in the Windows Store! … Don’t let the size of the Metro app library keep you from getting a Surface if you otherwise find it a compelling offering. …
      Now we’re going to get to the core of the matter. What really makes the Surface difference. In your hands it is, at worst, yet another tablet. Prop it up on a table or other flat surface and something magical happens. The weaknesses of typing on a virtual keyboard or positioning on a capacitive touch screen fade away and you get all the benefits of a real keyboard and pointing device. Sure that shows up in simple ways, like being able to easily and accurately type in a password. For real magic though take a look back at that first graphic I posted. While walking around with the Surface in hand it would land in the same place on the Consumption/Creation scale with the iPad. But put it down, even on your lap, and it takes a giant leap in Creation capability.
      … if the keyboard is just a “nice to have” feature for entering text while you are sitting down, or you can’t stand virtual keyboards, or you like having it on the odd chance you’ll need to write a long email or make a Powerpoint slide, then the Touch Cover is for you, However if you know you are going to be using the Surface as a notebook substitute much of the time, then you may just want to pay the price (both in thickness and a little more money) for the Type Cover.
      The magic of the Surface is that you can use it all day purely as a tablet without paying a penalty for its ability to do Content Creation. That magic is enabled by Windows RT, but it is really brought to life by the Surface hardware. For any given user the choice of a Surface, another Windows RT or Windows 8 device, or indeed an iPad (or Android tablet) is going to come down to a lot of personal preferences. Sweeping attempts to position one or another as best don’t actually mean much. Where Surface, and Microsoft’s overall approach with Windows RT and Windows 8, shines is when you have a need to do Content Creation. Whether that is replacing some (or all) of your current use for a notebook or desktop computer, or just a desire to be more productive than is possible with a virtual keyboard, it is the place where the Surface shines.

      Microsoft Surface: First media reflections after the New-York press launch

      Preliminary reading: Core post: Giving up the total OEM reliance strategy: the Microsoft Surface tablet [this same blog, June 19, 2012]
      Follow-up: Microsoft Surface: its premium quality/price vs. even iPad3 [this same blog, Oct 26, 2012]
      Highly suggested Understanding the Microsoft Surface (a sort of Review) [Hal’s (Im)Perfect Vision blog, Oct 28, 2012] with the following excerpts to wet your appetite:

      … The Surface is a great tablet.  It is amazingly well-built and well thought out.  As a pure piece of engineering it stands as an equal to the best Apple or anyone else has to offer.  When you add Windows RT to the mix you get something that is, in the context of use as a “pure” tablet, a strong competitor to the iPad. There are definite differences, some strongly in the iPad’s favor (e.g., number of applications currently available), and some in Surface’s favor.  In most cases the significance of those differences comes down to personal preference. …
      … an important point I think is missed in most reviews.  Everyone wants to compare the thickness and weight of devices as they come from the factory.  They don’t do comparisons of thickness and weight in terms of how they are actually used by customers!  … while the Surface is competitive in raw weight and size it may be outstanding in real world usage configuration.  …
      … The UI is inviting.  The live tiles are awesome. … Six months from now everyone will think that swiping in from the edge of the screen is a completely intuitive way to bring up menus.
      Windows RT, and thus the Surface, currently has a relatively small library of applications available.  But it is growing fast.  Twice last week I tweeted or blogged [the blog case: Living with a Windows “RT” Tablet [Oct 22, 2012] is worth to read as well] about how I missed some application that I’d been using on the iPad.  Within a couple of days, once within hours, the missing app appeared in the Windows Store! … Don’t let the size of the Metro app library keep you from getting a Surface if you otherwise find it a compelling offering. …
      Now we’re going to get to the core of the matter.  What really makes the Surface difference.  In your hands it is, at worst, yet another tablet.  Prop it up on a table or other flat surface and something magical happens.  The weaknesses of typing on a virtual keyboard or positioning on a capacitive touch screen fade away and you get all the benefits of a real keyboard and pointing device.  Sure that shows up in simple ways, like being able to easily and accurately type in a password.  For real magic though take a look back at that first graphic I posted.  While walking around with the Surface in hand it would land in the same place on the Consumption/Creation scale with the iPad.  But put it down, even on your lap, and it takes a giant leap in Creation capability.
      … if the keyboard is just a “nice to have” feature for entering text while you are sitting down, or you can’t stand virtual keyboards, or you like having it on the odd chance you’ll need to write a long email or make a Powerpoint slide, then the Touch Cover is for you,  However if you know you are going to be using the Surface as a notebook substitute much of the time, then you may just want to pay the price (both in thickness and a little more money) for the Type Cover.
      The magic of the Surface is that you can use it all day purely as a tablet without paying a penalty for its ability to do Content Creation.  That magic is enabled by Windows RT, but it is really brought to life by the Surface hardware.  For any given user the choice of a Surface, another Windows RT or Windows 8 device, or indeed an iPad (or Android tablet) is going to come down to a lot of personal preferences.  Sweeping attempts to position one or another as best don’t actually mean much.  Where Surface, and Microsoft’s overall approach with Windows RT and Windows 8, shines is when you have a need to do Content Creation.  Whether that is replacing some (or all) of your current use for a notebook or desktop computer, or just a desire to be more productive than is possible with a virtual keyboard, it is the place where the Surface shines.

      The reality shown #1: Surface Tablet Press Event Part 2 October 25, 2012 [TechLifeNews, Oct 25, 2012]

      The reality shown #2: Surface Tablet Press Event Part 3 October 25, 2012 [TechLifeNews, Oct 25, 2012]

      The reality shown #3: Surface Tablet Press Event Part 4 October 25, 2012 [TechLifeNews, Oct 25, 2012]

      You can also read the transcript of the above as published by Microsoft:
      Steven Sinofsky: Surface Launch [Microsoft News Center, Oct 25, 2012]
      (note that the video records of intro and closing remarks by Sinofsky are at the end of this post)
      See also: Microsoft Surface Now Available at Microsoft Retail Stores [Microsoft press release, Oct 26, 2012]

      Overall reflections: What journalists are saying about Panos Panay


      The Good reflection: #1 Microsoft Surface Event Recap [TGameNTech, Oct 25, 2012]

      The Good reflection: #2 Microsoft Surface review: first look [PC Pro blog, Oct 25, 2012]

      image

      After the disappointment of the Windows 8 keynote, where very little was said that was either key or of note, Microsoft has struck back with a vengeance by delivering the Surface. And it is a staggeringly good device.

      To explain this without making me sound like a Microsoft fanboi, I’ll dive into the kind of minutiae that PC Pro readers should appreciate.
      Because I want to start with, yes, wireless reception. This boring topic is something that’s difficult to get people excited by, until they need to get internet access in an area of poor coverage. Then, suddenly, it’s all-important.
      Microsoft has put a good deal of effort into wireless, including two MIMO aerials where most tablet makers opt for one. It was certainly a match for my Asus Ultrabook in the theatre, but to be sure I’d have to take it home with me (something the bulky security guard looking over my shoulder seemed less positive about than I did) and use it in the wireless-free areas that litter my lounge.

      image

      Then there’s the magnetic mechanism that clamps the Touch Cover to the tablet. Unlike the iPad, you can hold the Surface by the cover and let it drop without fear the tablet will break off and smash to the ground. We also saw Panos Panay, the general manager of the Surface team at Microsoft, bravely drop it on stage during his demo and the machine carried on working (see the video below).
      Panos Panay, the General Manager of the Surface team at Microsoft, bravely dropped the Surface on stage during his demo and the machine carried on working
      At this point I’m unapologetically going to get more geeky and talk about how that mechanism works. The answer came quite unexpectedly when I started chatting to Ralf Groene, creative director of Surface, later on at the event.
      The key point to understand is that magnets work extremely well when they’re directly aligned, but if they move out of position then the connection becomes weak. So, if you swing the cover around and the angle shifts, the connection will break and your tablet will fly off into the distance.
      This was a problem that afflicted an early version of the Surface, until one of Groene’s team came up with the solution: two protrusions on the cover that would ensure it stayed perfectly aligned unless enough lateral force was applied. How much force? Roughly what you’d expect from a five-year-old.

      image

      Now Microsoft claims that you can still touch-type on the Touch Cover and reach similar speeds to before, although Panos added the caveat that it takes 3-4 days to get used to it. In my experience, that could be a little optimistic: there’s a reason that keyboards with decent level of travel are people’s preferred choice.
      What I can say with confidence is that within a few minutes I was typing far more quickly than I’ve ever managed with an on-screen keyboard (according to Microsoft’s internal tests, you should be able to reach around 80% of your natural speed). And, if typing is important to you, then there’s always the Type Cover.
      This adds a little more girth and weight to the Surface, but not by much. And for anyone who does a lot of typing, the result is well worth it. It’s not the simple ability to be able to touch type, but the fact that, with a Type Cover, this machine can genuinely replace your laptop.
      The 1.2mm of travel each key offers, while not generous, is just enough to make you feel like you haven’t made a sacrifice. You’ll look at your laptop, particularly if it’s more than 2kg, and start thinking of all the reasons why you can leave it behind on your desk.
      Because, as with all Windows RT tablets, the Surface includes Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013 and OneNote 2013. They are full applications, although note that you can’t run macros due to the RT’s lack of support for Visual Basic for Applications.
      The other omission to note is Outlook 2013. Yes, there are Mail and Calendar apps built in to Windows RT, but I’m reserving judgement on exactly how I might replace Outlook if I do decide to replace my work laptop with the Surface (some third-party apps are already available, for example).
      The only times that using Surface jars a little is when you slip into the old style of Windows interface; for example, when you click Personalize in the Settings menu. This is jarring and horrible, because you have to peck at a tiny X with your finger in a way that’s all too reminiscent of Windows Mobile before it became Windows Phone.

      image

      But – and it’s a big but – there’s something about the Surface that makes you forgive these foibles. There’s the kickstand, shown in action above, which folds perfectly flat against the back of the Surface when not in use.
      All the gestures seem to work so well that you’ll soon be flicking between applications (swipe in from the left) and jumping to the app’s hidden features (swipe in from the bottom).
      It helps that it’s pretty light too: around 680g, or 1.5lbs. It feels well balanced, although just like the iPad you wouldn’t want to hold it one-handed for long.
      There’s much more that could be said about the bright 10.6in screen, the clever webcam that films at exactly the right angle when you use the kick-out stand, the way it integrates with an Xbox so you can display films on your TV screen, the fact it includes a microSD card so you can expand storage – but if I carry on in that vein even I’ll start to believe I’ve drank the Microsoft Kool-Aid.
      In short, we’ve seen very few Windows 8 tablets that would give Apple any cause for concern, but the Surface really should. It’s been designed with the same from-the-ground-up ethos that marks the iPad, and the end result will be hugely compelling to both home and business users.
      And now I’m going to save this file to a USB thumbdrive because I’m being kicked out of the theatre – how handy that a USB slot is built in.

      image

      The Bad reflection: First look at real Microsoft Surface [Razma ToloYouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

      The good: Microsoft Surface’s Metro interface is innovative, elegant, powerful, and versatile. The tablet feels strong and well-built, includes Office 2013, and rich video and music services. Its keyboard cover accessories are the best ways to type on a tablet, period.
      The bad: The tablet has sluggish performance, its Windows Store is a ghost town, Metro has a steep learning curve, and the Desktop interface feels clunky and useless.
      The bottom line: If you’re an early adopter willing to forget everything you know about navigating a computer, the Surface tablet could replace your laptop. Everyone else: wait for more apps.
      Microsoft Surface is the best productivity tablet yet, and it had better be. As the only Microsoft-branded Windows RT hardware to launch with the new operating system (Windows 8 launches this week as well), the tablet serves as ambassador and flagship for the touch-focused, wildly risky Windows grand experiment. The Surface excels thanks to its thoughtful design, sensible implementation of its keyboard accessory, and the innovations brought about by the interface formerly known as “Metro”– chief among them: the gesture-driven menu system, powerful search tool, and incredibly cool and versatile split-screen feature.
      Unfortunately, there’s a price to pay for doing things differently. I’ve spent a week with this soldier for the Windows cause, and I predict that some of you will find Metro’s steep learning curve discouraging. Additionally, apps support is dismal, performance (especially when using IE 10) is slow at times, and like the old guy in the club still hanging around after last call, the traditional Windows interface lingers on, feeling embarrassingly out of place.
      The Surface isn’t for everyone. Those looking for tons (or even several pounds) of apps should look elsewhere; however, it takes a legitimate swing at replacing your computer and gets closer than any tablet before it at hitting the mark.
      On the Surface
      So what keeps the Surface from looking like just another generic black tablet? Honestly, not that much, but the features and aesthetic details that do set it apart are significant, if not immediately apparent. For one, the Surface sports a 10.6-inch screen, which is about 0.5 inch larger than most full-size mainstream tablets and 0.9 inch larger than the iPad’s screen. However, this larger screen affords it a true 16:9 aspect ratio at a screen resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. This aspect ratio matches most movies and TV shows, eliminating the need for black bars to appear at the top and bottom of the screen. While movies shot in Scope (2.35:1) will still display with black bars, they’re not nearly as all-encompassing as when watching the same movies on an iPad with its 4:3 aspect ratio screen.
      Then there’s the Surface’s beveled backside that contributes to its sleek, somewhat industrial-looking metallic aesthetic. It looks practical without being cold, and just feels like a high-quality device that Microsoft cut few corners to make. Speaking of which, the corners are somewhat rounded, but do tend to dig into the palms a bit when holding the tablet in both hands. The entire chassis is surrounded by a full magnesium (VaporMg, pronounced “Vapor Mag”) outer casing that’s supposedly both scratch- and wear-resistant; however, scratches are already beginning to appear on my unit.
      Microsoft Surface Asus Transformer Tab Infinity TF700 Apple iPad (third generation) Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
      Weight in pounds 1.5 1.32 1.44 1.32
      Width in inches (landscape) 10.8 10.4 7.3 10.3
      Height in inches 6.8 7.1 9.5 7.1
      Depth in inches 0.37 0.33 0.37 0.35
      Side bezel width in inches (landscape) 0.81 0.8 0.87 0.9
      In the top middle of the front bezel, sitting right next to an ambient light sensor, is the front-facing 720p-capable camera. Several inches below that on the bottom of the bezel sits the Windows home touch sensor, which takes you back to the Start screen or to the last app you had open if you’re already at the Start screen.
      Along the right edge, from the top is a speaker grille, a Micro-HDMI port, a full USB 2.0 port, and the power port, which magnetically attaches the power cable. At the far right of the top edge is a lone power/sleep button. The left edge features an additional speaker grille, a headphone jack, and a satisfyingly tactile and clicky volume rocker. Seated toward the bottom of the left edge sits an inch-long groove that allows you to easily pull out the built-in kickstand and prop the tablet up.

      The Ugly reflection: Apple’s CEO Discusses F4Q12 Results – Earnings Call Transcript, Question-and-Answer Session [Seeking Alpha, Oct 25, 2012]

      Shannon S. Cross– Cross Research LLC

      Great, and then I just had a follow-up question on the Tablet market, now with the launch of Surface today and obviously Window 8 Tablet in that could you talk a little bit about what are you seeing, from a competitive standpoint and how you think about it? Thank you.

      Timothy D. Cook– Chief Executive Officer

      I haven’t firstly play for the Surface yet, but the, what we are reading about it is that it’s a fairly compromised confusing product, and so I think one of the toughest things you do with deciding which product is to make hard trade off and decide what a product should be and we really done that with the iPad and so, the user experience is absolutely incredible, I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all of those things very well, and so I think people when they look at the iPad versus competitive offerings are going to conclude, they really want an iPad and I think people have done that to-date and I think they will continue to do that.

      reported by TechCruch and commented on as:

      Windows 8, of course, features both the standard desktop interface and the new Windows 8 UI (formerly known as “Metro”). The surface, runs Windows RT, doesn’t offer the full desktop experience, but it does run Microsoft’s Office suite in the old-school desktop mode.

      Cook was clearly taken back a bit by this question and he clearly had to think about his answer. He still didn’t hold back and, to be fair, his opinion is fairly similar to that of many reviewers.

      Microsoft’s own CEO Steve Ballmer, of course, channeled some of Apple’s language today and called the Surface “truly magical” during today’s official launch.

      reported by Apple Insider and commented on as:

      Cook may have had in mind the Wired reviewby Mathew Honan, who described the Surface as “a tablet of both compromises and confusion.”

      CNN’s Harry McCracken also wrote that working with the Surface’s Office apps “feels like an exercise in compromise,” while Josh Topolsky of the The Verge wrote “Instead of being a no-compromise device, it often feels like a more-compromise one.”

      reported by The Next Web and commented on as:

      A common refrain from founder Steve Jobs was that he was as proud of the things that Apple has said no to making as he was the things that they had made. This has been echoed by Cook during his tenure. This is apparently the reasoning that Cook is following when saying that they’ve heard it is a ‘compromised and confusing’ product.

      Microsoft has actually used the term ‘no compromises’ when referring to the Surface, a hybrid tablet that runs desktop and touch-friendly Windows environments and has an optional keyboard accessory that features heavily in its advertising.

      reported by abc NEWS and commented on as:

      Apple and Microsoft are taking different routes when it comes to tablet software. While Apple offers its iOS mobile software on its family of iPads, Microsoft has decided to revamp Windows by bringing in elements from its smartphone operating system. Previously, Cook had compared what Microsoft was doing to combining a refrigerator and a microwave.

      Microsoft, on the other hand, claims Windows 8 doesn’t have any of the compromises that the iPad has.

      “We have a different perspective, a different reason why we would want to make a tablet computer and that is really rooted in PCs being a general-purpose device that works within a broad ecosystem, that connects to a lot of peripherals, and represents an open platform,” Steve Sinofsky, head of the Windows division, told ABC News in an interview.


      The reality shown #4: Microsoft Surface vs Apple iPad 3 – NYC Launch Event [Portaltic YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

      A glimpse into the Windows 8 reality shown before the Surface launch (after the break): Full report [in just 2 and a half minutes]: Microsoft Windows 8 aimed at tablet, mobile users [networkworld YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

      Microsoft introduced its latest operating system Windows 8 at an event in New York Thursday. It’s the first time the OS will run on devices with ARM chips. Follow reporter Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

      See also:
      Windows 8 Arrives [Microsoft press release, Oct 25, 2012]
      Windows reimagined. #Windows8 [Tami Reller on the Windows Experience Blog, Oct 25, 2012]
      Steven Sinofsky, Steve Ballmer, Julie Larson-Green, and Michael Angiulo: Windows 8 Launch [full transcript on Microsoft Nerws Center, Oct 25, 2012]

      A straight to the point media observation about that first, “Windows 8 in general” part from Microsoft’s mid-life cris [Business Insider, Oct 26, 2012]

      It’s the kind of OS that should get Microsoft to scream loudly from every rooftops: “We have reimagined the PC and moved the dialogue about the next generation of computing interfaces forward; We have forced our partners to evolve the computer for the next generation of challenges.”
      Instead Microsoft launched Windows almost timidly, speaking not of Microsoft launching Windows but of the industry launching Windows. At no time during either Steven Sinofsky’s speech nor Steve Ballmer’s one did the company mention its own name and presented the image of a giant reborn. Both seemed worried, concerned that they might offend, and with many partners in the room, the whole affair felt uneasy as they presented something that just didn’t seem terribly exciting to them.
      The performance of Microsoft’s management was not too far from the performance of president Obama during the first presidential debate: somnolent, and somewhat withdrawn.

      The reality shown and told before the proper Surface launch: Surface Tablet Press Event Part 1 October 25, 2012 [TechLifeNews, Oct 25, 2012]

      The reality shown and told after the proper Surface launch: Surface Tablet Press Event Part 5 October 25, 2012 [TechLifeNews, Oct 25, 2012]

      A straight to the point media observation about that second, “Microsoft Surface” part from Microsoft’s mid-life cris [Business Insider, Oct 26, 2012]

      Steve Sinofsky, who earlier that morning had robotically run through the Windows 8 scripts seemed to go off script, talking about passion and truly excited about this new device. Panos Panay, the man behind the Surface tablet, seemed to have had a double dose of expresso, presenting the Surface in a way that channeled the presentation genius of Steve Jobs and combined it with a little Oprah Winfrey thrown in. Whether it was when talking about the hardware, the software, the way this helped him be a better dad, the going into the crowd and handing out devices to be tested, or throwing a tablet on the ground to show how sturdy it was, we were presented with a man who knows what showmanship is about.
      While Panay played the lead role, Sinofsky was dropping in, with amusing quips and a sense that this, the first computer built by the company (if you assume that Xbox is not a computer) was the truly exciting thing. But at the same time, there was some tension in the air: it was almost as if Microsoft had a hard time containing its excitement but also wanted to keep it all secret in order to not annoy its OEM partners.
      Surface is a tight-rope act for Microsoft, as it tries to compete with its business partners while saying it doesn’t compete with its business partners. The company’s level of care in attempting to create a unique device clearly points to how much it believes that this is the future of the company but at the same time, the company is wary of telling PC manufacturers that it wants to eat their lunch. And so there’s this weird uneasiness where the company appears to want to promote Surface but at the same time is wary of over-promoting Surface.

      And the right conclusion after all that is:

      Microsoft is hiding its new mistress (Surface) from the rich wife (the OEM partners) all the while claiming that it loves both but, in its heart, truly more enthused by the new girlfriend. Microsoft marriage of convenience is something that sustains it today but it yearns to elope with the new thing in town and build a new life with it.

      And at the source of it all, that may be why the company is under-hyping Surface and Windows 8. Microsoft is having a mid-life crisis and after a 30+ year marriage with its OEMs, the company is plotting a future that looks radically different, one where it is single and gets to choose what its product/mate looks like. It’s the future it really wants but it’s also a future the company is not willing to admit to. All its insecurities are tied into its relationship with the OEMs and the company fears that if it makes the jump, it will have a chance to fail and that’s truly scary.

      So the company is doing everything to undermine its own hopes. Looking at the Surface is facing a true tragedy due to poor pricing: The Surface retails at $499 without the keyboard (you’ll have to pay $100 extra for that) and thus finds itself in a space where it is too expensive to compete in the tablet space and not feature-rich enough to compete in the PC space. It’s the kind of device that would have been perfect at a $399 price point with the keyboard included, the kind of device that could have stolen millions of hearts away from the iPad; It’s the kind of device that could still have been a successful contender at $329 without its keyboard; It’s the kind of device that seems to exist to prove Apple’s superiority in squeezing every dollar out of its production line to deliver products that are relatively inexpensive while getting decent enough margins for the company.

      And the truly sad part is that Microsoft will look at this failure in selling more of those devices as confirmation that it should have stuck with its partners in the first place (no matter what I, or any other pundit, say, there will be hundreds of millions of copies of Windows 8 sold, as the industry as a whole loads it up on new machines that will get upgraded to eventually).

      But maybe there’s hope. I was recently talking to a longtime Apple user (the kind of person that was there with the early macs, the kind of person who stuck by Apple’s side through the lean years; the kind of person who’s never own anything but a mac) and she told me that Surface was the first time she thought of a Microsoft product as a decent alternatives. The live tiles, in particular, were part of the attraction.

      ASUS: We are the real transformers, not Microsoft

      Unveiling the ASUS Vivo Lineup [asus YouTube channel, Oct 12, 2012]

      [http://www.asus.com/vivo] [http://www.facebook.com/ASUS] ASUS Windows 8 products Teaser Alert! Join us on October 23 in NYC to witness for the very first time.

      Here ASUS likens the New York City announcement for its touchscreen Windows 8 devices to the Apollo moon missions, the appearance of television, great sport events, Elvis Presley’s concerts, the fall of the Berlin wall, and having a child. Note that the ASUS rollout will come 3 days before Microsoft will launch its own offerings. 

      ASUS has definitely a lot of things to be afraid of Microsoft. Look at this latest The making of Microsoft Surface [surface YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012] video from Microsoft:

      Get a more in-depth view of the making of Microsoft Surface.

      or this The Surface Movement [surface YouTube channel, Oct 15, 2012] published a day before:

      So ASUS also launched an Eee Pad | Transformer Pad Infinity | Videos site on October 15, 2012, the same day as Microsoft made its new Surface with Windows RT available for pre-order with promised delivery by Oct 26. The below video is one the four available on that site:

      Experience the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity [asus YouTube channel, July 24, 2012]

      [http://eee.asus.com/en/eeepad/transformer-infinity/] The Transformer Pad Infinity is ASUS’ new flagship tablet, boasting new technologies that allows it to stand above the competition. From a Full HD screen to the fastest NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor available, the Infinity is designed to be both a productive workstation and multimedia powerhouse.

      There are three other videos which were made available on June 24/25, just after the Microsoft Surface was shown first time with big surprise: see Giving up the total OEM reliance strategy: the Microsoft Surface tablet [on this blog, June 19 – July 30, 2012].

      In fact ASUS had a special press release with those three videos, explaing its leadership versus Microsoft with some text as well:

      The ASUS Transformer Pad Design Story [ASUS press release, June 25, 2012]

      Always at the forefront of technology, ASUS has proven with its Transformer Pad family of tablets that they are in tune with what consumers require from their mobile devices. Launched in March 2011, the [Tegra 2-based] Eee Pad Transformer showed ASUS’ ingenuity and innovative thinking with the Mobile Dock design. With the philosophy of “design thinking” implemented deep into the ASUS work culture, the Transformer Pad design team set out to create a tablet that not only provided media consumption, but also productivity for professional use. The tablets have evolved, and are now offered in a variety of price points and specifications, including the new Transformer Pad and Transformer Pad Infinity.


      To celebrate the success of the Transformer Pad family of tablets, ASUS has created a series of videos detailing their story. Also available are interviews with various product directors and designers, so those who have purchased a Transformer can understand where it came from and better connect with their device.

      Getting Ready for Transformation


      Every product created has a story, starting off from design sketches and following a long process cycle before a finished product is ready for mass production. The Transformer Pad family’s story starts with a brief introduction from ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih, and follows with an interview from a product director and the various stages of thought and design, then moves on to discuss how the Design Team moved ahead in creating the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. At the end is a peek of what’s in store for the future of the Transformer Pad family. The video is available for viewing via YouTube, at http://youtu.be/QWYTghVZpNo .

      [ASUS Transformer Pad – Getting Ready for Transformation [asus YouTube channel, June 24, 2012]]

      The Next Transformation


      Even before the success of the Eee Pad Transformer and Eee Transformer Prime, work was already well under way with the next two models: The Transformer Pad and Transformer Pad Infinity. With the foundations and lessons learned already in place from the original Transformer, ASUS set about designing their latest tablet offerings based on customer feedback to reach an even broader audience. The story of the new Transformer Pad family continues with the second design video, available to view via YouTube at: http://youtu.be/bqus37RcTSY

      [ASUS Transformer Pad – The Next Transformation [asus YouTube channel, June 24, 2012]]

      ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity


      Similar to the other tablets in the Transformer Pad family, the Infinity features true 2-in-1 innovation with the Mobile Dock. Everything that made the Transformer Pads the most sought after Android tablet has been made even better in the Infinity, most notably the Full HD display that provides super crisp images and video to users. At the heart of the Transformer Pad Infinity is NVIDIA®’s Tegra® 3 T33 4-PLUS-1™ quad-core CPU, which also contains a 12-core GeForce® GPU. The extra battery-saver core on the CPU handles low-power tasks such as active standby, music and video, and is transparent to the OS and applications. Running at 1.6GHz, the Transformer Pad Infinity’s quad-core processor drives the incredible Full HD experience, while the display’s 16:10 aspect ratio, 1920 x 1200 native resolution and wide 178-degree viewing angle means it’s perfect for watching Full HD video, playing the latest HD games and also browsing the web – both indoors and outdoors, thanks to the ultra-bright Super IPS+ technology built into the display. A 2MP front 8MP rear camera with large F/2.2 aperture and 5-element lens is tucked into an ultra-slim profile that’s 8.5mm thin, and features a metallic spun finish design that is beautifully accented in either Amethyst Gray or Champagne Gold colors. To highlight the launch of the Infinity, a video detailing its technical specifications has been created so consumers can see the attention to detail that went in to creating a device that is powerful yet fashion savvy at the same time. The video is available for viewing via YouTube, at http://youtu.be/s7YvXgHe5UY .

      [Exploring the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity [asus YouTube channel, June 25, 2012]]

      And on the same day there came a press release from ASUS:
      ASUS Sets Benchmark for Mobile Entertainment with the Transformer Pad Infinity [June 25, 2012

      Experience entertainment like never before in glorious Full HD
      First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is the world’s first Full HD Android™ tablet and sets a new benchmark for mobile entertainment. Featuring a Full HD 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+ display with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2, ASUS SonicMaster technology, Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and an incredibly thin design complete with our exclusive metallic spun finish, the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is the perfect companion for the heavy media consumer who is constantly on the move. It’s not all play with the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity though as the unique detachable Mobile Dock accessory transforms it from a tablet into a notebook. When docked, total battery life is rated at 14 hours and productivity is increased with the full QWERTY keyboard, multi-touch touchpad and USB/SD card ports.
      Incredible Entertainment
      At the heart of the Transformer Pad Infinity is NVIDIA®』s Tegra® 3 T33 4-PLUS-1™ quad-core CPU, which also contains a 12-core GeForce® GPU. The extra battery-saver core on the CPU handles low-power tasks such as active standby, music and video, and is transparent to the OS and applications. Running at 1.6GHz, the Transformer Pad Infinity’s quad-core processor drives the incredible Full HD experience, while the display’s 16:10 aspect ratio, 1920 x 1200 native resolution and wide 178-degree viewing angle means it’s perfect for watching Full HD video, playing the latest HD games and also browsing the web – both indoors and outdoors, thanks to the ultra-bright Super IPS+ technology built into the display.
      Completing the Transformer Pad Infinity’s armory of entertainment-rich features is ASUS SonicMaster audio technology. Tuned by the ASUS Golden Ear team, SonicMaster Sound technology features a combination of advanced hardware and software designed to deliver immersive and lifelike audio.
      Beautiful Design
      The Transformer Pad Infinity features the gorgeous metallic spun finish that characterizes the ASUS Zen philosophy first unveiled with the ZENBOOK™ and Transformer Pad Prime, and comes in two stylish colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold. Thanks to the forged aluminum construction, the Transformer Pad Infinity is just 8.5mm thin and weighs only 598g, meaning it can easily be carried around all day. When combined with the ASUS exclusive Mobile Dock, the Infinity turns into a productivity workstation with up to 14 hours of extended battery life – the full QWERTY keyboard and multi-touch touchpad deliver a true notebook experience, while the USB port and SD card slot provide additional storage options for the business-focused user.
      Wonderful Memories
      An excellent 8MP rear camera with auto-focus and an LED flash allows the Transformer Pad Infinity to take sharp, vibrant and highly detailed photos thanks to its large F/2.2 aperture, 5-element lens, back-illuminated CMOS sensor, touch-to-focus capabilities, shallow depth of field, low light noise reduction and a wide 75-degree angle of view (28mm equivalent focal length). The rear camera also has the ability to record Full HD 1080p video at 30fps, while the 2MP front camera is ideally suited to video conferencing. With 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, 8GB of free storage on ASUS WebStorage for life, and a variety of external storage options, Transformer Pad Infinity users will be able to store and share their memories anytime, anywhere.
      Unrivaled Capabilities
      Running the Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity offers unrivaled performance and flexibility with advanced multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens and deep interactivity. Combining this with the blisteringly fast NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, Full HD Super IPS+ display, the ultra-slim design and beautiful metallic spun finish makes the Transformer Pad Infinity the perfect mobile entertainment companion.

      Indeed Infinity was introduced back in January as you could see in ASUS press release [CES 2012] ASUS Embraces the Spirit of the Incredible at CES 2012 [Jan 10, 2012]

      … ASUS also introduced the new Transformer 700 series — a premium 10.1” tablet that takes the Transformer series to new heights. Like the [Eee Pad Transformer Prime] TF 201, audio comes by way of the ASUS-exclusive SonicMaster technology. It features a Full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution screen that introduces users to a viewing experience never before seen on tablet PCs. In addition, it has an upgraded front facing 2MP camera along with a rear-facing 8MP camera with a F/2.4 aperture. The built-in LED flash allows for clear, bright photos even in low light environments. In terms of productivity stakes, the pre-installed SuperNote app is ideal for note-taking, with a user-friendly design that allows for easy file sharing while at the same time keeping data secure. …

      while information about the “first generation transformers” is in my NVIDIA Tegra 3 and ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime [Nov 10, 2011].

      The effective availability of Infinity, however, came much later:
      – as in ASUS PadFone and upcoming Transformer Pad Lineup unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2012 [ASUS USA press release, Feb 27, 2012] it was announced that:

      … ASUS is redefining the future of mobile computing devices and is excited to announce the new and innovative ASUS Transformer Pad lineup [instead of the previous EeePad Transformer line as the 1st generation]. Offering three distinct models to fit the unique needs of mobile media consumers, ASUS believes in providing consumers with choices. The ASUS Transformer Pad lineup includes the ASUS Transformer Pad Prime and upcoming ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity series and ASUS Transformer Pad 300 series. …

      – then first the TF300 series were launched to the US market: ASUS Launches the Transformer Pad [ASUS USA press release, April 22, 2012]

      … The TF300 series will be available shortly in Royal Blue at national retailers and online resellers at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $379** (16GB storage), with the optional mobile dock accessory priced at $149**. …
      **Pricing and availability will vary by country and SKU. North American MSRP pricing listed. Suggested MSRP of $399 for the 32GB version. ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 will launch with Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and offer class leading support and updates via FOTA (free over the air). Launch color is Royal Blue. Iceberg White and Torch Red will be available at a later date.
      [http://eee.asus.com/en/eeepad/transformer-300/] Meet the ASUS Transformer Pad, a stylish tablet with NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core CPU and Android™ 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich. ― Concentric finished pattern with stylish colors in Royal Blue, Iceberg White and Torch Red ― Mobile Dock with USB & SD card ports extends battery life up to 15* hours ― NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 4-Plus-1™ Quad Core CPU with 12-core GPU for lowest power and the highest performance ― Crystal clear 8MP auto-focus camera with 5-element lens, large F/2.2 aperture & back-illuminated CMOS sensor ― Superior audio experience with ASUS SonicMaster technology ― 178° wide viewing angle IPS panel ― The latest Android™ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS ― Pre-loaded exclusive SuperNote app for taking notes using drawings, photos or videos ASUS exclusive application combined with the above makes the Transformer Pad the most incredible tablet ever.

      [Experience the ASUS Transformer Pad [asus YouTube channel, April 22, 2012]]

      – the effective opportunity to start talking about “The Incredible Transformations” came just by the Computex 2012 end of May/early June:

      [http://www.techinstyle.tv/computex-2012] [http://www.facebook.com/ASUS] ASUS COMPUTEX 2012 Teaser Alert! Join us at COMPUTEX. More exciting product teasers will be released by May 31.

      – where ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Series was one of ASUS Products Win Six Computex 2012 Best Choice Awards [ASUS press release, June 1, 2012]

      Golden Award, Computer & System: ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Series

      The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Series is the world’s first Full HD tablet with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi. Its Super IPS+ display with 1920 x 1200 resolution and ASUS SonicMaster technology delivers cinematic audio-visuals, while next generation Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2 helps protect the screen with improved damage resistance.

      The 4G LTE model is based on the powerful Qualcomm® MSM 8960 Snapdragon™ S4 Krait dual-core processor and is capable of download and upload speeds of up to 100Mbit/s and 50Mbit/s respectively. The Transformer Pad Infinity also has a 2MP front camera for video-conferencing, plus an 8MP rear camera with a large f2.2 aperture, 5-element lens and LED flash to ensure quality images even in the dark. …

      – as even the TF300 series appeared in the price list of other countries like Malaysia just on June 6, Infinity (TF700 series) only on July 13 price list (with Nexus 7 actually), and becoming regular part of the ASUS Product Guide just in July-August (see the Singapore version dated July 6).
      – It took even longer to deliver an LTE capable quad-core version of the TF300: ASUS Launches the Transformer Pad TF300TL [ASUS USA press release, Sept 28, 2012]
      – The Windows RT version also came later on August 29 (although that was understandable), and with different device name, ASUS Vivo Tab RT (TF600):

      ASUS presents a quick run-through of the brand new ASUS Vivo Tab RT (TF600), running Windows RT. Being one of the lightest & thinnest 10.1″ tablets in the market, it’s powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-core CPU, making it incredibly smooth and responsive. The newly designed, optional mobile dock provides extended battery life, keyboard, touchpad and additional connectivity via a USB port — you can even connect game controllers! The ASUS Vivo Tab RT also comes with MS Office 2013 preinstalled, making it the ideal tablet for all around use.

      ASUS Announces the Incredible Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT tablets intended for Windows 8 at IFA [ASUS press release, Aug 29, 2012]

      ASUS Announces the Incredible Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT tablets intended for Windows 8 at IFA

      Two new tablets with a dual-purpose design that combines a high-resolution multi-touch display and a detachable QWERTY keyboard dock for a great Windows 8 experience.

      IFA, Berlin, Germany, (August 29, 2012) — ASUS, a global leader in the new digital era, today announces two incredible new tablets intended to run Windows 8. First unveiled at Computex in June, the ASUS Vivo Tab and ASUS Vivo Tab RT (formerly known as the ASUS Tablet 810 and ASUS Tablet 600 respectively) open up a new world of mobile possibilities and transform expectations about what tablets can do.

      Meet Vivo
      With a name taken from the Latin verb “to live”, Vivo is designed as a constant companion that blends the familiar elegance of ASUS tablet design with Microsoft Corp.’s new touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system.
      Vivo has a dual-purpose design that combines a high-resolution multi-touch Super IPS+ display with a detachable QWERTY keyboard dock to provide a great Windows 8 experience. ASUS TruVivid technology with Corning® Fit Glass gives improved colour clarity and superior scratch resistance, while the keyboard not only transforms Vivo into a convenient clamshell ultraportable, but also provides a secondary battery for prolonged mains-free use.
      With an 11.6” screen backed by high-precision Wacom digitiser stylus technology, the Vivo Tab is designed with productivity in mind, while the ultra-light Vivo Tab RT is ideally suited to entertainment on the go. Get more done, enjoy new experiences and connect with others in exciting new ways — Vivo makes it all possible.
      ASUS Vivo Tab
      The ASUS Vivo Tab features the Next Generation Intel® Atom™ processor and has 2GB RAM with 64GB eMMC (embedded multimedia card) user storage. An incredible Windows 8 experience makes it a smart choice for professional and personal use. With support for 1024-level Wacom digitizer for precise work and navigation, ASUS Vivo Tab maximizes productivity and provides the best input experience.
      Key to the Vivo Tab’s recipe for Windows 8 is the supplied mobile dock. This instantly transforms the tablet into a compact clamshell ultraportable, complete with full QWERTY keyboard, trackpad, two USB ports and second battery for extended use away from the mains.
      The 11.6” display with a 1366 x 768 resolution uses Super IPS+ technology to deliver superior visual clarity both indoors and out, and its 10-point multi-touch is complemented by Wacom digitiser stylus technology for high-precision stylus input and a more natural writing experience.
      Despite its compact dimensions and ultra-thin 8.7mm and 675g profile, the Vivo Tab still delivers superlative sound quality, thanks to the same SonicMaster technology used on ASUS’ award-winning notebooks. High-quality photographs can also be captured with the 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, along with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. The Vivo Tab also features a built-in NFC sensor, enabling the device to easily sync with other NFC-enabled devices.

      ASUS Vivo Tab RT

      The ASUS Vivo Tab RT has a slim and light profile that’s 8.3mm thin and 520g light. It features the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor and 12-core GPU for outstanding mobile graphics performance, along with 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC user storage. Supplied with Windows RT, tablet users with entertainment in mind will find a great partner in the Vivo Tab RT.

      The Vivo Tab RT also has the same innovative Transformer design as the Vivo Tab and is supplied with its own mobile dock that provides a QWERTY keyboard, track pad, USB port and built-in battery.

      Windows 8 apps, games and movies will look incredible on the Vivo Tab RT’s 10.1” display with 1366 x 768 resolution and Super IPS+ technology, while ASUS SonicMaster technology ensures top-quality audio. The Vivo Tab RT has the same high-quality front and rear cameras as the Vivo Tab too, making it an excellent all-round multimedia performer. It also features a built-in NFC sensor, enabling the device to easily sync with other NFC-enabled devices.

      AVAILABILITY

      First wave launch for Windows 8 GA

      – and as Microsoft made Surface on pre-order ASUS did the same for Vivo Tab RT, and even the first 3d party video bacame available: First Look at the Asus Vivo Tab RT on Three [three YouTube channel, Oct 15, 2012]

      Brendan Arndt from Three talks about the Asus Vivo Tab RT, a new Windows 8 RT tablet coming soon to Three. For more information visit https://www.three.co.uk

      A quick comparison of Microsoft and ASUS offering is given below:

       

      ASUS (VIVO RT) TF600T-B1-GR

      Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

       

      $599.99**

      $499*** / $699 64GB with Black Touch Cover

      Display

      10.1″ HD (1366×768) Super IPS+, 10 finger

      multi-touch with OGS touch panel, backed by high-precision (1024-level) Wacom digitiser stylus technology, 600 nits, Outdoor Readable Mode, ASUS TruVivid technology with Corning® Fit Glass

      10.6″ ClearType HD Display

      1366×768 pixels

      16:9 (widescreen)

      5-point multi-touch

      Chipset

      Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core T30 @1.3Ghz

      NVIDIA T30

      Memory

      2GB DDR3

      2GB RAM

      Graphics

      12-core GeForce® GPU

      12-core GeForce® GPU

      Storage

      32GB eMMC Flash

      32GB/64GB

      Operating system

      Windows RT

      Windows RT

      Wireless

      802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0

      802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0

      Front facing camera

      2MP for video chats

      720p HD (1280×720) LifeCam

      Rear camera

      8MP, auto-focus w/LED Flash

      720p HD (1280×720) LifeCam

      Sensor

      G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass, GPS

      Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass

      Audio

      Built-in streo speakers, Built-in microphone, Sonic Master

      Two microphones, Stereo speakers

      Interface

      1x Microphone-in jack

      1x Headphone-out jack

      1x Micro HDMI

      1x Micro SD Card Reader

      NFC

      Full-size USB 2.0

      microSDXC card slot

      Headset jack

      HD video out port

      Cover port

      Battery

      8 hours; Li-Polymer battery

      6760mAh,(25W)

      Up to 8 hours mixed activity; 7-15 days idle life;
      24W power supply

      Dimensions

      262 x 171 x 8.3 mm

      275 x 172 x 9.4 mm

      Weight

      520 g

      680 g

      ***: with Black Touch Cover $599; 64GB with Black Touch Cover $699; separate Surface Type cover $129.99

      Then here is a comparison of Microsoft offering with the Android based latest transformers already on the market:

      image

      *: Battery life tested under power saving mode, playing 720p video playback, Brightness:60nits, default volume with headphones.
      **: the additional keyboard dock costs an extra $170; the keyboard docking stationin a bundle TF600T 32GB model the current price is $749.99
      And for clickability I will repeat below the header of the table:
      ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T-B1-BL
      10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Blue)
      ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T-B1/C1-GR
      10.1-Inch Tablet (Gray)
      ASUS (VIVO Tab RT) TF600T-B1-GR

      China: 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in 13 cities by the end of 2012 and about 200,000 base stations in 100 cities launched in 2013 with the 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning just started—SoftBank with TD-LTE strategy in Japan getting into global play with Sprint (also the 49% owner of US TD-LTE champion, Clearwire) acquisition

      China Mobile TD-LTE tender results … [Communications World Network (CWW), Oct 16, 2012]

      According to informed sources, China Mobile has informed all the equipment manufacturers of the TD-LTE expanded large scale trial network tender about the results of the tender. There were nine manufacturers involved in the tender of the construction  of TD-LTE network in 13 cities, concrete results are as follows:

      Huawei (Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu) and ZTE (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shenyang, Tianjin) are the front winners, as each won five city contractor qualifications; Datang got 4 cities (Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Nanjing); Alcatel-Lucent (Shanghai, Qingdao, Nanjing) and Ericsson (Guangzhou, Shenyang, Qingdao) each received three cities, NSN is involved in Xiamen and Fuzhou, i.e. two cities; …

      Note: Cities in bold have only one vendor while the underlined ones (Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Guangzhou) “will conduct in-depth testing and offer pre-commercial 4G services to the publicas per China Mobile.

      Alcatel-Lucent Wins TD-LTE Contract to China Mobile [Cynthia Chow YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012]

      China Mobile, the world largest wireless operator with over 650 mobile subscribers, announced plans to deploy a large scale TD-LTE network. Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell is pleased to be a part of China Mobile’s plans. Rajeev Singh-Molares discusses the deal and what a TD-LTE network on a China-sized scale means for us and the industry.

      ZTE Wins 13,000- Carrier Frequency TD-LTE Contract to Become China Mobile’s Largest LTE Device Supplier [ZTE press release, Oct 15, 2012]

      ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, today announced it has won China Mobile’s TD- LTE contract. According to the contract, ZTE will construct China Mobile’s TD-LTE networks in five Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shenyang, with more than 13,000 carrier frequencies.
      In China Mobile’s earlier TD-LTE project in Hong Kong, ZTE was assigned 50% of the construction work. ZTE has become the largest LTE device supplier for all such projects initiated by China Mobile.
      China Mobile launched the TD-LTE bidding in August 2012. The tender included contracts for some 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors, and theTD-LTE devices purchased by China Mobile will be deployed in an expanded trial TD-LTE network in 13 Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenyang, Ningbo, Chengdu and Fuzhou. Ten major telecom firms including ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens bid for the tender.
      Wang Shouchen, ZTE’s Vice President, said, “We thank China Mobile for choosing ZTE for the construction of the TD-LTE networks in the five cities. ZTE has been highly committed to TD-LTE as a strategic product. As a leader in LTE, our company is both capable of and confident in bringing excellent results to China Mobile.”
      By August 2012, ZTE has constructed various trial LD-LTE networks and 9 commercial networks for 38 operators in 26 countries of Europe, CIS, Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia and North America.

      ITU Telecom World 2012—TD-LTE/ TD-SCDMA Solutions: Leading TD Development [Datang News, Oct 15, 2012]

      TD-LTE-Advanced technology has been determined by ITU to be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced (4G mobile technology), to which Datang Telecom Group is an important contributor. Datang’s strong R&D capacity secures its leading position in telecommunication industry. TD-LTE is gaining momentum among global carriers.
      In TD-LTE/TD-SCDMA area, visitors can experience services based on TD-LTE technology. Living Meeting, combined the features of cloud computing, TD-LTE’s high bandwidth and low latency, and providing mobile HD VOD conferencing services for users. In addition, SeeingEye intelligent identification system, supported HD picture and receiving terminals anywhere, users can view monitoring images and analyze results at anytime and anywhere.

      Datang Mobile, a subsidiary of Datang Telecom Group, is chosen to construct TD-LTE scale trial network in Nanjing and TD-LTE demo network in Beijing. TD-LTE products and solutions developed by Datang have been adopted around the globe, driving TD-LTE speed.

      China Launched 2.6GHz TDD Spectrum Planning [Global TD-LTE Initiative – GTI, Oct 16, 2012]

      The TD-LTE Technology and Spectrum Workshop at ITU Telecom World 2012 took place in Dubai on October 14th, 2012. This workshop was jointly hosted by ITU, China Mobile, Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) and the TD Industry Alliance (TDIA), aiming to convene industry players to discuss the development trend of TD-LTE and spectrum-related issues and share experience on the commercialization of TD-LTE. Mr. Zhao Houlin, Deputy Secretary of ITU, Mr. Liu Lihua, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT), Mr. Zhao Jibin, Vice President of China Mobile, leaders from national telecom authorities, as well as senior managements from China Mobile, SoftBank, Clearwire, UK Broadband attended this workshop.
      The government of China officially announced its 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning at the workshop. Mr. Liu Lihua stated, “The government of China attaches great importance to the research and development as well as the commercialization of the new-generation broadband mobile communication technology, and has provided active support for industrial initiatives, such as technological tests, to advance the industry development. As one of the mainstream evolution standards, TD-LTE has great edge in spectrum utilization, and receives widespread recognition from global operators and device manufacturers.” Mr. Xie Cun, Deputy Director of Radio Regulatory Bureau, MIIT introduced the planning and progress of the frequency resources of China’s new-generation mobile broadband technology. According to him, China has decided to allocate 2.6GHz frequency band ranging from 2500-2690Hz and the entire band of 190MHz for the deployment and application of TD-LTE technology.
      Such an announcement at the most authoritative meeting offered great confidence in the development of TD-LTE to the global industry and market, and helped point out the way for other nations that were going to plan and allocate frequency resources of mobile broadband in the near future.

      Mr. Zhao Jibin, Vice President of China Mobile, pointed out at his speech, “China Mobile has always been committed to advancing the integration of LTE TDD/FDD. Joining forces with GTI, global operators and industry players, China Mobile has promoted the maturity and commercialization of TD-LTE. China Mobile has accomplished the TD-LTE large-scale trial this year and initiated the expanded large-scale trial across 13 cities in China. 20,000 TD-LTE base stations will be built up by the end of 2012. Equipment purchase and network construction across 100 cities in China, covering about 200,000 base stations, will be launched in 2013. Besides, China Mobile Hong Kong will roll out a commercial TD-LTE network to provide users with high-efficiency mobile broadband service based on the integration of LTE TDD/FDD.”

      Representatives from GTI and TDIA gave keynote speeches on the global deployment of TD-LTE, as well as the development of the TDD industry in the mobile broadband era. As the representative from GTI mentioned, “GTI achieved rapid growth over the past year, having not only set up an important international cooperation platform composed of 50 operators and 37 industrial partners in the world, but also implemented dozen of GTI task forces under the categories of network, terminal, business and service working groups. These helped with the resolution of key problems in the commercialization to a very large extent and accelerated the maturity of TD-LTE. In the future, China Mobile will join force with GTI operators and industrial partners to advance the global deployment and development of TD-LTE. GTI will adopt more efficient strategic tactics to promote the development of highly-integrated, multi-mode multi-band terminals (such as Multi-Mode Multi-Band MiFi), help expand TD-LTE devices into consumer electronics, set up new pattern of global data roaming, and advance the convergence of LTE TDD/FDD. These measures will help address the requirements of the global mobile Internet market.

      In addition, globally leading TDD operators, including SoftBank, ClearWire, UK Broadband and P1, shared their experiences in the large-scale deployment and commercialization of TD-LTE and gave suggestions on spectrum planning and allocation at the workshop.

      Under the promotion and support of GTI, totally 12 commercial TD-LTE networks have been launched globally; 24 global operators have signed contracts for 31 devices, and more than 29 global operators have announced their TD-LTE commercialization plans.

      China to modify building codes to promote fiber to the home [Xinhua, Sept 10, 2012]

      Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei … also said [in an interview on 10th] for sure, that 4G license in China will be issued in about a year’s time, led by the country’s 4G technology TD-LTE and this will be a great deal of good news.

      The World’s First Mobile Hotspot Prototypes Supporting Five Modes and Eleven Bands Debut at the 5th GTI Workshop in Dubai, UAE [China Mobile press release via PR Newswire, Oct 17, 2012]

      The 5th GTI Workshop jointly hosted by China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; HKEx: 941) and Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) took place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from October 15th to 16th, 2012. More than 100 representatives from international operators, international industrial organizations, system vendors and terminal/chip/test instrument OEMs attended this workshop, discussing key issues for commercialization of TD-LTE including R&D of highly-integrated Multi-Mode Multi-Band smart phones, convergence of LTE TDD/FDD, LTE roaming framework, VoLTE, as well as the application of TD-LTE in consumer electronics and the Things of Internet.

      The workshop was highlighted by the release and demonstration of work outcomes of GTI’s Terminal Working Group. In the beginning of 2012, GTI has set its target to promote the industry to facilitate highly-integrated Multi-Mode Multi-Band terminal products. So far, GTI has preliminarily clarified the demands for Multi-Mode Multi-Band operation, finishing the draft of GTI White Paper on Multi-Mode Multi-Band Terminal Requirements & Realization Structure, GTI LTE Terminal General Technical Requirements, and GTI Multi-Mode Multi-Band Mobile Hotspot Terminal Technical Requirements. In addition, GTI has set up a team composed of core operators, such as China Mobile, Clearwire, SoftBank and KT, in an effort to assist chip OEMs partners including Qualcomm and Huawei Hisilcon and radio frequency front end OEMs, such as Avago, RFMD and Skyworks in developing highly-integrated Multi-Mode Multi-Band terminal products.

      In particular, the world’s first global roaming enabled Multi-Mode Multi-Band mobile hotspot prototypes supporting five modes (LTE TDD/LTE FDD/TD-SCDMA/WCDMA/GSM) and eleven bands (Band 38/39/40/41/3/7/34/1/2/5/8) developed by Quanta and Gemtek were exhibited at the workshop. Later, GTI will perform a testing on the commercialization of the products.  

      Under GTI’s effective promotion in the technical field, substantial progresses have been made in the commercialization of Multi-Mode Multi-Band TD-LTE terminals, global roaming and convergence of LTE TDD/LTE FDD. The launch of the global roaming enabled highly-integrated Multi-Mode Multi-Band data terminal products is considered as a key milestone toward the globalization of TD-LTE, laying a solid foundation for the global deployment and application of TD-LTE and realization of global roaming.

      Japanese Company Buys Sprint [BizAsiaAmerica YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012]

      Correspondent Mike Firn elaborates on the recent purchase of Sprint by Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company

      Report: Sprint has no plans to acquire Clearwire, for now (FierceWireless, Oct 16, 2012)

      Following Softbank’s announcement that it plans to purchase 70 percent of Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) for $20.1 billion, speculation started to rapidly swirl about whether Sprint would buy partner Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR). According to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources, Sprint has no immediate plans to do so.
      The report said that Softbank and Sprint’s priority at this point is getting their multi-stage deal finalized and approved, which is expected to happen by mid-2013. The report also said that until the deal is completed, Softbank and Sprint cannot take part in “extraordinary activities” such as further mergers or acquisitions.
      Sprint and Clearwire declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.
      Despite assurances that the transaction does not require Sprint to take any actions involving Clearwire “other than those set forth in agreements Sprint has previously entered into with Clearwire and certain of its shareholders,” analysts and investors immediately began positing when–not if–Sprint would take control of Clearwire, in which it holds a 48 percent stake. Shares of Clearwire stock shot up 15.5 percent in midafternoon trading Monday at $2.68 before dropping back down to $2.35 per share Tuesday morning.
      “I think the probability is very high that Clearwire won’t be a standalone company a year from now,” D.A. Davidson analyst Donna Jaegers told Dow Jones Newswires. Jaegers said Clearwire shareholders will need to determine what might be a “fair price” for a Sprint takeover.
      Many industry analysts believe Softbank may be looking to boost the 2.5/2.6 GHz TD-LTE ecosystem. Clearwire is using that spectrum and technology for its LTE buildout, and plans to launch LTE service next year. Sprint has said its LTE devices will be able to run on its FDD-LTE network as well as Clearwire’s TD-LTE network, and Sprint will offload excess traffic onto Clearwire’s network. Clearwire has around 120 MHz of spectrum in many markets across the United States and Clearwire plans to use carrier aggregation technology in its forthcoming TD-LTE network to meld together it spectrum holdings into 40 MHz-wide channels.
      “We believe that Clearwire will play a critical role in Softbank’s plans to aggressively compete with AT&T and Verizon in the United States,” wrote BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk. “Clearwire’s depth of spectrum paired with Sprint’s network and customer scale and Softbank’s cheap capital will enable the companies to offer faster speeds and more capacity than their rivals. Sprint would be wise to take control of Clearwire as soon as possible in order to protect that differentiation but in recent history Sprint has been slow to act, allowing their peers to poach opportunities.”
      Piecyk noted that an acquisition of Clearwire would be difficult for Sprint given the complicated nature of Clearwire’s 2008 shareholder agreement, but he also said it would be tough for any of Sprint’s competitors given Sprint’s 48 percent stake. “Nevertheless, Sprint might regret leaving any risk that a competitor could poach Clearwire at a later date, especially if the later interest is a result of Sprint’s  success in executing a more aggressive differentiated strategy with the 2.5 GHz spectrum while Softbank and China Mobile further legitimize the 2.5 GHz ecosystem in Japan and China, respectively,” he wrote.  “Of course, this would not be the first time that Sprint made a strategic decision that we did not fully understand.”
      Meanwhile, more details continued to emerge about the deal. According to Reuters, Sprint or Softbank would need to pay up to $600 million in termination fees if either party backs out of the deal. Sprint is also on the hook for up to $75 million if its shareholders do not approve the deal.
      For more:
      – see this Bloomberg article
      – see this NYT article
      – see this Dow Jones Newswires article
      – see this BTIG blog post (reg. req.)
      – see this separate Bloomberg article
      – see this Reuters article
      Special Report: Softbank to take control of Sprint: Complete coverage
      Related Article
      Analysts: Softbank’s deal with Sprint benefits U.S. wireless market 
      Softbank to buy 70% of Sprint for $20.1B 
      Analysis: A Softbank buyout would give Sprint cash, improve TD-LTE ecosystem 
      Can Japan’s Softbank reinvigorate Sprint? 
      Sprint confirms Softbank in talks to take control

      NHK – Softbank wants to become major global carrier [NHKReloaded YouTube channel, Oct 16, 2012]

      NHK World News —- Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai
      Description — Softbank’s maverick chief Masayoshi Son says he wants to turn his telecom company into a major global mobile phone business. His comment came after the company announced that it would takeover the 3rd largest US carrier, Sprint Nextel.
      In an exclusive interview with NHK on Monday, Son said that both Softbank and Sprint sell Apple iPhones and are moving to build a high-speed LTE wireless network. He said this was behind Softbank’s buyout decision.
      He said he intends to implement Softbank’s know-how on smartphone sales and network improvement in the US market.
      Son said he will move to the next step after fully completing business consolidation with Sprint and eAccess, Japan’s 4th-largest mobile carrier. Softbank announced the purchase of eAccess on October 1st.
      Son also said he will accelerate capital spending to reinvigorate his company’s fight for market share. He said he wants to do this by increasing procurement of telecom equipment, taking advantage of economies of scale.
      Last Wednesday, when the negotiations with Sprint were in the final stage, Son asked rhetorically over twitter whether his business goals weren’t too low, and whether he shouldn’t be satisfied with an ordinary life.
      Son said he was simply expressing his thoughts during the negotiations with the US mobile carrier. He said he tweeted to encourage himself because he wanted to achieve his goals despite his worries.
      Softbank will spend about 20 billion dollars to buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint. The strong yen worked to push the deal.
      The purchase will create a global telecommunications giant with more than 96 million subscribers. Sprint has 56 million subscribers in the United States, the third largest number behind AT&T and Verizon.
      Oct. 16, 2012 – Updated 02:29 UTC (11:29 JST)

      Sprint’s $20 Billion Deal Could Mean Lower Rates for All [Wired.com, Oct 15, 2012]

      The takeover of Sprint (S) by Japanese mobile phone company Softbank has Wall Street chattering about the history-making size of the $20 billion deal. But for most of us regular consumers, the relevant question is: What can $20 billion do for me?
      Possibly a lot, even if you’re not a Sprint customer.
      For years, the U.S. mobile marketplace has been dominated by two heavyweights engaged in a Republican-versus-Democrat-style two-party contest for dominance. As with many elections, consumers often end up feeling like they have to pick between the lesser of two evils rather than what they really want. But as with voting for third-party candidates, you can feel left out of the national conversation (literally) when you choose a company other than AT&T or Verizon.
      But independent mobile industry analyst Chetan Sharma says SoftBank and its cash could give Sprint the heft it needs to become a relevant rival. The capital infusion lets Sprint build out its LTE network, creating a viable third high-speed option. And by combining forces for greater purchasing power, Sharma says Sprint and SoftBank together gain serious leverage when negotiating with handset makers for access to the best new phones.
      With better phones and a better network, Sharma believes Sprint could at a minimum expect to claim at least one-quarter of the U.S. mobile subscribers, up from less than one-fifth. With a critical mass of customers, he says Verizon and AT&T will have to pay attention when Sprint offers lower prices. In the end, this could mean lower prices for everyone. “It puts pressure on the top two. The market can fluctuate,” Sharma says.
      In the short term, he says SoftBank’s cash will also let Sprint continue to offer its unlimited plans while angling for a possible T-Mobile takeover, which would solidify Sprint’s status as the default third choice.
      SoftBank could also help Sprint compete by taking the lead in bringing innovations popular in Japan into the U.S. market, such as advances in mobile payments and mobile health care. But Sprint customers could also find themselves affected if the Japanese market takes a bad turn and SoftBank is forced to focus attention and money on its business at home.
      Barring such overseas crises, however, Sprint could find itself moving up from write-in candidate toward the stature of Ross Perot of the 1992 presidential race. The company might not have a chance of winning, and not everyone will take it seriously, but Sprint could finally get the chance to take part in the debate.

      China Mobile Invites Tender for 34,700 TD-LTE Terminals [ChinaScope Financial, Sept 25, 2012]

      Source: Sina

      • China Mobile (CHL: NYSE; 0941: HKG) announced today that it will soon open the bid for 34,700 TD-LTE device supply contract for trial in 13 cities.
      • The trial projects will test multiple forms of dual-mode TD-LTE devices, including data card, MiFi, MiFi for international roaming, CPE, multi-mode and dual-SIM card smartphones, and tablet computers.

      China Mobile Hong Kong selects Ericsson to build TD-LTE network [Ericsson press release, July 19, 2012]

      • China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) selects Ericsson to add TDD technology to its commercial LTE network
      • Ericsson and CMHK will together build a converged LTE FDD/TDD network based on 3GPP in Hong Kong, increasing end user experience and capacity
      • Ericsson will upgrade, expand and perform systems integration of the operator’s Evolved Packet Core network (EPC)
      China Mobile Hong Kong, subsidiary of the world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile Limited, has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) to expand their commercial LTE network with TD-LTE (LTE TDD) in Hong Kong. Ericsson is already the sole supplier for China Mobile Hong Kong’s LTE FDD network. Together the companies will now build a converged LTE FDD/TDD network.
      Leveraging on the advantage of the LTE FDD installed base, Ericsson will also upgrade the operator’s existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network.
      China Mobile Hong Kong launched LTE FDD mobile data services in April this year. Now it plans to launch a TD-LTE network according to 3GPP standards, complementing its existing LTE FDD network. The converged LTE FDD/TDD network will be launched as early as the fourth quarter, when devices that support both modes become available in larger volumes.
      “We chose Ericsson, a global leader in the LTE space, as our TD-LTE network partner,” said Sean Lee, Director and CEO of China Mobile Hong Kong. “By partnering with Ericsson and maximizing our spectrum asset, we will build a converged LTE FDD/TDD network that gives our customers an even better 4G experience.”
      “This contract marks another significant milestone for Ericsson and further consolidates our network leadership in the region,” said Mats H Olsson, President of Ericsson China & North East Asia.  “With our continued innovation in technology, services and design, we are committed to further enhance China Mobile’s mobile services in Hong Kong and extend our long-standing relationship with the operator.”
      Under the agreement, Ericsson will deliver the TD-LTE radio access network, network management using Ericsson OSS-RC, Evolved Packet Core network expansion and upgrade, consulting and systems integration services as well related design, training and support services.
      Ericsson has now signed 67 LTE/EPC contracts in 30 countries on five continents. We have a well proven LTE solution, outperforming competition, and according to measurements end of 2011, we have a 60% market share measured in LTE volumes.

      ZTE launches TD-LTE commercial network in HK [China Daily, Sept 24, 2012]

      ZTE Corp, the world’s fifth largest telecom equipment vendor by revenue, began deployment ofa TD-LTE commercial network in Hong Kong this month that will be put into operation by year-end.
      On July 19 this year, China Mobile Hong Kong Ltd selected ZTE and Ericsson to build a TD-LTE network that operates in the 2.3GHz frequency band. Before that, China Mobile had already launched commercial FDD LTE network services in April.
      When the project is completed, China Mobile will run a dual mode 4G LTE network in HongKong.
      The network will be the first commercial TD-LTE network operated by China Mobile since the world’s biggest telecom operator started to promote the Chinese homegrown 4G technology in 2009. Currently, China Mobile conducts large-scale trials on TD-LTE technology in 13 Chinesemainland cities.
      In a statement to China Daily, ZTE said it had signed nine TD-LTE commercial network contracts around the world by August.

      Secretary General of Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) from the 7th Annual LTE Asia [LTEWorldSeries YouTube channel, Sept 26, 2012]

      Madam Huang Yuhong, the Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute. She is also Secretary General of Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) and Operating Committee member of Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Alliance. Madame Huang joined Mobile Bureau of MIT, the predecessor of China Mobile in 1996 and joined in China Mobile since its establishment in 2000. As a wireless technology expert, she has 16 years of rich experience in the development of key technologies and international standardization. Madam Huang served as Vice-Chairman of 3GPP TSG Service and System Aspects (TSG-SA) from 2005 to 2008. Madam Huang graduated from the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in 1993 with a Bachelor degree in Wireless Engineering, and received a Master degree of Digital Mobile in 1996.

      – What is the GTI organisation?
      – Why will TD-LTE be important?
      – What have been your impressions of this event?
      – What has been your most valuable experience here?

      TD-LTE Expanded Trial Officially Approved in China [GTI TD-LTE Industry Briefing August 2012, pp.5, Aug 10, 2012]

      China TD-LTE Expanded Trial Officially Approved by Chinese Government

      On July 18 2012,MIIT officially approved the deployment plan of TD‐LTE expanded trial in china.

      Before the end of 2012, China Mobile will deploy 20,000 TD‐LTE base stations in 10 cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Qingdao and Shenzhen. 1.9GHz (Band 39) and 2.6GHz (Band 38) will be utilized for outdoor coverage and 2.3GHz (Band 40) for indoor coverage. The number of cities, network scale and frequency bands are much larger compared with the TD‐LTE large‐scale trial that finished during May 2012. At this phase, the trial will focus on the pre‐commercial deployment, network operation and friendly user test. Other 3 cities are currently under preparation, which are Chengdu, Fuzhou and Ningbo.

      The approval of TD‐LTE expanded trial plan states that China is currently trying hard to boost up the commercial deployment of TD‐LTE network.

      Chen Shanzhi delivered a speech on “ICT China 2012 High Level Forum” [Datang News, Sept 19, 2012]

      On September 18th, Chen Shanzhi, Vice President and CTO of Datang, delivered a speech, “TD-LTE Industry Development and Technology Evolution” on “ICT China 2012 High Level Forum”.
      In the speech, Mr. Chen pointed out that with the quick development of global LTE industry, TD-LTE attracted more big operators to join. By July 2012, 80 LTE networks in 38 countries had been in use; 16 operators had announced plans for TD-LTE commercial use. There were 9 commercial networks and 38 trial networks.
      China launched expanded large-scale trial in 13 cities in 2012, realizing continuous wireless coverage in urban areas, and interconnection with TD-SCDMA and multi-mode application. Now 11 system suppliers and 9 chip manufacturer have participated in the trial, and 4 multi-mode terminals based on multi-mode chips, 3 of which have passed scale trial.
      According to Chen Shanzhi, Datang, as the major contributor for TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE-A development and standardization, is committed to the development of TDD technology. Datang will promote LTE-Hi development with TDD macro cover technology as its basis. This will dramatically increase capacity and provide wider band and better experience. Datang actively deploys TD-LTE industry chain, and goes ahead in base stations, terminals, chips, test instruments and networking planning tools. Datang is one of the first enterprises which entered TD-LTE scale trials. Meanwhile, Nanjing TD-LTE trial network includes the only highway test scenario in scale trials.
      As to the international market, Datang has started to construct TD-LTE trial networks in Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe.
      At the end of his speech, Chen Shanzhi said Datang would strive to promote development of TD technology and innovative application, based on Datang’s strength in TD system equipment, TD handset chips, TD terminals and application areas.

      China Mobile to expand 4G network [China Daily, June 21, 2012]

      The rollout of China’s homegrown fourth-generation wireless networks will take off andexpand at a rapid pace if mature 4G terminalsare ready, according to Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile Ltd.
      Xi, speaking at the GSMA Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai on Wednesday, said the developmentof China’s TD-LTE 4G technology is proceeding smoothly both at home and abroad.

      China Mobile is conducting its Phase 2 scale-trial in 10 cities and aims to construct more than 20,000 base stations through new builds and upgrades this year, Xi said.

      The company revealed in March that it hoped to have a total of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations by 2013.

      “China Mobile has the ability to build as many 4G base stations as it wants in a short period oftime,” said Xi, a former vice-minister of industry and information technology, who succeeded Wang Jianzhou in March to become China Mobile’s chairman.

      The target of building 200,000 TD-LTE base stations is realizable, since the company can directly upgrade its 3G stations to advanced 4G ones. According to China Mobile’s annual report, the number of 3G TD-SCDMA base stations reached around 220,000 last year.

      However, the lack of TD-LTE devices could hamper the company’s 4G rollout, Xi continued.
      Though a dozen mobile phone manufacturers have expressed interest in developing TD-LTEhandsets, a mature device has yet to emerge, said Cao Shumin, president of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research of the Ministry of Industry and InformationTechnology.
      “Several TD-LTE handsets are being tested, but their capabilities do not meet the standardsfor everyday use,” Cao said.
      The other LTE 4G technology, FDD-LTE, has around 64 smartphone models.

      China Mobile started building the world’s largest TD-LTE trial network in the Chinese mainland in January 2011, when the Phase 1 scale-trial began. Among the 10 pilot cities, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou will conduct in-depth testing and offer pre-commercial 4G services to the public.

      The company realized two-way roaming between the FDD-LTE network in Hong Kong and theTD-LTE network in Hangzhou on Monday.

      Reports have circulated that China Mobile would get a fixed-line network license from Chineseregulators to complement its wireless business. Xi said it was up to the ministry to decidewhether China Mobile should get the permit.

      But China Mobile will not enter fixed-line networks on a large scale, or start any price wars, Xisaid. “If we get the license, we will do business selectively. China Mobile is a listed company, and we will invest considering returns.”

      China Mobile and SoftBank note TD-LTE progress [Mobile World Live of GSMA, June 20, 2012]

      LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2012: Executives from China Mobile and SoftBank today highlighted the success of their initial efforts with TD-LTE technology, although it was also noted that there are hurdles to be overcome – with devices a particular sticking point.
      Speaking at the GTI Asia Conference, Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said that the company’s pilots have proved that “TD-LTE is capable of supporting big networks, with a large flow of data.” He said that the operator intends to “make further investments and further efforts to speed-up the implementation of TD-LTE,” with the intention to grow both its network size and its user base – although “that will depend on the maturity of the whole industry, especially the maturity of the terminals.”
      With services currently only available using data devices, it was said that China Mobile will work with partners to launch smartphones “in the latter part of this year or next year.”
      Ted Matsumoto, chief strategic advisor to the board of SoftBank, said that the Japanese number three now has more than 100,000 users for its services, following a commercial launch earlier this year.
      Currently, SoftBank only offers one wireless hotspot device, with the intention to offer two more of these in the next quarter. In addition, in Q4 it is set to launch its first smartphone supporting TD-LTE, manufactured by Huawei, with the operator intending to move to the point where “most” of its smartphone range supports the connectivity.
      Both executives also supported the need to support roaming, in order for LTE to become the enabler of international data services for travellers. China Mobile said it is looking for “more active exploration” of the options for data roaming.
      And Matusmoto observed: “we are rather lonely. We would like to have more operators supporting TD-LTE through the world, so users can roam.”

      SoftBank details ambitious TD-LTE plans [Mobile World Live of GSMA, Nov 15, 2011]

      LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE ASIA CONGRESS 2011: Tetsuzo Matsumoto, chief strategic advisor to the CEO and member of the board of Japanese operator SoftBank, today disclosed an aggressive strategy for the rollout of TD-LTE services in Japan, with the intention of commercially launching propositions under the SoftBank 4G banner in March 2012.
      Speaking this morning, Matsumoto (pictured) said that the company is looking to deploy around 12,000 base stations covering 92 percent of the population of Japan next year. “So it is real,” he observed.
      Initially, the company will offer services using data cards and wireless hotspots. However, by the “summer or autumn” the intention is to offer a smartphone with TD-LTE support – which will also offer FDD LTE and HSPA connectivity.
      SoftBank has already soft-launched a TD-LTE compatible network, through its Wireless City Planning affiliate. While this is using technology branded AXGP, Matsumoto said that this is “basically exactly the same as TD-LTE.” It is compatible with the global TD-LTE ecosystem, and is “100 percent conforming” to the 3GPP TD-LTE standard, he said.
      The pilot has so far been a low-profile affair, he noted, but “eventually we will start making it more visible.”
      According to Matsumoto, while SoftBank owns around one third of Wireless City Planning, the other investors are passive partners – it is “100 percent responsible for the operations.”
      The executive also talked up SoftBank’s position in the mobile broadband market, as well as highlighting the potential for further industry collaborations. “Unlike other operators, Softbank’s background is internet. Our belief is that the world is moving from the mobile phone, to the mobile internet, and SoftBank is right to take the lead of this convergence throughout the world.”
      The company is working with multiple partners to construct its network, including Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent.

      Mr. Tetsuzo Matsumoto, Member of the Board, Chief Strategy, Adviser to CEO, SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. [June 5, 2012]

      Tetsuzo (Ted) Matsumoto is a member of the Board and Chief Strategy Advisor to the CEO of SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. He is also a Board member of GSMA and various other international organizations related to the mobile communication industry
      On September 1, 2006, Mr. Matsumoto joined Vodafone KK in Japan, which had been already acquired by Softbank group, as an Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, and became a member of the Board and Senior Executive Vice President of the company after its name was officially changed to SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. Since then, until June 30, 2011, he had been active mainly in the area of the company’s technology strategy, government relations and international operations. Now, he is free from the company’s day-to-day operations, and focusing on the long-term strategic issues.
      Prior to joining the Softbank group, Mr. Matsumoto was with Qualcomm for over 10 years, commencing as a consultant, and, subsequently, serving as President/Chairman of Qualcomm Japan, as well as a Senior Vice President at its Head Quarters in San Diego. While at Qualcomm, he was instrumental to introduce CDMA technology to Japan, and responsible for its Japan, Southeast Asia and Pacific operations.
      Mr. Matsumoto began his career with Itochu Corporation, a Japanese conglomerate, where he worked for 34 years and held a variety of positions, including Senior Vice President of the Electronics Division of Itochu (America) Corp., General Manager of its Communication/Multimedia Business, and Group Vice President of the Aerospace and Information Division at the company’s Tokyo Headquarters. During his last five years with Itochu, he held the Director positions of the Boards of more than 10 Telecommunications, Media and IT Services companies in Japan.
      Mr. Matsumoto received a Bachelor of Law degree from Kyoto University in 1962.

      The Chinese actually are so proud of the progress of their “own” 4G standard that they put the below advertisement on the p. 4 of China Daily June 18, 2012 issue:

      LTE TDD Goes Mainstream

      Mobile ecosystem puts support behind the standard

      Author: Daryl Schoolar, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure
      (Report excerpt)

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