The growing popularity of phablets, as well as emerging categories like wearable tech has prompted IDC to shift its tablet estimates for the year. The research firm has put 2013 tablets shipment estimates at 227.4 million. That's down from IDC's previous estimate of 229.3 million, but still almost 60 per cent higher than last year's total. IDC also adjusted its regional outlook, making way for emerging areas like Asia. Activity in mature markets like the UK and US will likely slow, based on market saturation, increased adoption of 5in+ smartphones, and the future impact of tech like smartwatches and Google Glass. IDC now expects North America, Western Europe, and Japan to control 49 per cent of the tablet market by 2017, down from 60.8 per cent last year. That will leave emerging markets with 51 per cent of the market, up from 39.2 per cent..
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch will benefit from 10 hours battery life as well as a 4-megapixel camera when it's unveiled at a launch event next month. The smartwatch is also expected to ship with 1GB RAM and a choice of either a 6GB or 8GB onboard storage capacity and it will have a 4-megapixel camera that supports 720p video recording. It has also emerged that Samsung could downgrade the hardware on the Galaxy Note 3 in emerging markets to allow it to be sold to consumers at a more affordable price. Sammobile reports that an LCD screen will be preferred to the usual Super AMOLED display and the 13-megapixel camera replaced by an 8-megapixel one. The Galaxy Note 3 phablet is expected to be unveiled at the same launch event as the Galaxy Gear smartwatch on 4 September.
Sony smartphone suiters, start your engines: the eagerly anticipated Xperia Z1 is set to be unveiled at IFA next week, and now we've got a snazzy round of images to really get things rolling. Unlike previous hands-on photo leaks of the Xperia Z1, the set of snaps outed by Chinese website 365dian are seriously glossy stuff, offering a crystal clear glimpse of Sony's next flagship smartphone and potentially confirming a number of its rumoured specifications. For starters, there's the display, which looks nice and bright - neatly in line with our expectations of a Full HD, 5in screen. There's also a shot of the rear camera in evidence, apparently affirming its 20-megapixel, G-branded lens. Other chit-chat has pointed to the Xperia Z1 packing a beefy 3,000mAh battery, and while the photos don't confirm or deny this, the forthcoming handset does seems to have a little bit more girth than its predecessor, so there should be plenty of room for a powerhouse petrol tank.
Three has abolished roaming charges in seven countries, with UK consumers able to benefit from the changes immediately. Customers on Three will now be able to go online, call and text using their current plan and use up their allowance with anything outside bundles subject to reduced roaming rates. "We want to make sure our customers have the best possible mobile experience. By abolishing expensive roaming charges in select countries we are allowing our customers to get even more value from their minutes, texts and data abroad by removing the fear associated with staying in touch while travelling," said Thomas Malleschitz, marketing director at Three. 'Feel At Home' will automatically activate when customers land in the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark, and will work regardless of the local network that your device picks up.