It’s been a busy day for Korean electronics giant Samsung, with the news that its 5.5in Galaxy Note 2 “phablet” device will land in the UK on 1 October promptly followed by confirmation that the Galaxy S3 has commenced updating to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – in Poland, at least. ITProPortal did a bit of lateral dot-connecting, deciding that the two announcements may not be entirely unrelated, especially with the firm’s flagship retail outlet in East London’s Westfield Stratford shopping centre currently mysteriously listed "closed due to refit" but "re-opening again shortly." We’re assuming that “shortly” is possibly code for 1 October, so could it be that the mysterious "refit" is actually just a bit of suspense-building, coupled with some sprucing up ahead a massive launch on Monday? Adding Jelly Bean availability to the store's re-opening next week would make it an even bigger event, while Samsung could also pull an extra rabbit out of its hat and deliver the 4G LTE version of the Galaxy S3 then as well, making it a blockbuster on a par with Apple's recent iPhone 5 unveil.
If you want to turn an issue into a saga, adopt the ‘gate’ suffix. That’s what the tech world decided to do in the case of the iPhone 5 and its vulnerability to chipping and scratching, with ‘scuffgate’ now drawing a response from Apple itself. Senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller dismissed the issue as “normal” when an iPhone 5 owner emailed the company about the superficial damage to his model, admitting this was to be expected with an aluminium product. Maybe the plastic-coated Galaxy S3 is a better bet than the swanky metal iPhone after all?
Regardless of scuffgate, Apple can be assured of its place in the top two (probably top one) of the smartphone rankings as it continues to vie with Google’s Android platform. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins would admit this mobile order is likely to remain intact for the foreseeable future too, but Heins is backing his beleaguered company to establish itself as the third biggest brand in the arena. Speaking at the BlackBerry Jam event in California, the RIM chief said his team is “fighting” to revive the firm’s fortunes and spoke of his faith in the forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system. Follow the link for more on what Heins had to offer.
In other mobile news, Instagram has released an incremental update, with the latest iteration of the popular photography app adding support for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5. While Instagram's user interface and base capabilities haven't been altered, the app has been scaled to utilise the new iPhone's additional display space, making for more viewable content per screen. Other changes being touted by Instagram include an expedited registration process, improved password recovery, and the standard array of bug fixes, designed to improve the app's performance on Apple's recently unveiled mobile operating system, iOS 6. Instagram version 3.1 is currently available to download for free via Apple's App Store and is compatible with devices running iOS 4.3 or above.