What to expect from Apple and Samsung before Christmas – a rumour round-up

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There are a number of interesting rumours buzzing around over some remaining tricks Apple and Samsung may have up their sleeves, to unleash on us this side of December 25th. Here’s a run-down of what the whispers are saying…

New iPads

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Word on the Apple street is that on October 22nd Apple will be announcing a new iPad and iPad Mini – the iPad 5 and the iPad Mini 2, respectively.

Given the recent iPhone 5S unveiling, we can expect the new iPads to sport fingerprint recognition and be powered by a beefed up “A7X” processor. Almost every pundit is also expecting to see the new iPad Mini have an upgraded retina display to match the rest of the iPhone and iPad range. Incrementastic!

Waterproof Samsung Phones?

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Perhaps having taken inspiration from the disastrous/hilarious (delete as applicable) rumour that the gullible that iOS7 made their phones waterproof, Samsung are said to be cooking up a range of phones that can actually take a dunk in the pool with you (Sony, as in the picture above, already have a waterproof handset). The rumours suggest a device called the “Galaxy Note 3 Active”, which will be like the Galaxy Note 3 wearing a wetsuit and some tougher army. Which will be ideal for any Navy SEAL soldiers with shovels for hands.

The same source also suggests a waterproof Galaxy S5 – but for that we’d have to see a Galaxy S5 first, which seems fairly unlikely given how recently the S4 was released. I mean – an S5 before Christmas would be silly… right?

A Galaxy S5 Before Christmas!

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This website reckons we will see an S5 this side of Christmas – on the basis that Samsung need something new to compete with Apple and HTC who have refreshed their flagship smartphone offerings more recently than last April.

The same source suggests the S5 will have a metal body (because the plastic S4 felt too cheap) and sport 3GB of RAM (vs 2GB on the S4), 128GB storage (vs 64GB) and also be one of the first phones to offer the latest version of Android, KitKat, out of the box.

Perhaps most interestingly, at least to my nerdy battery life obsession, the S5 is said to have an “enhanced” battery – whatever that means.

Flexible Screens?

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The Galaxy Round – pictured above – is definitely not a rumour. It was officially unveiled today on Samsung’s official Samsung Tomorrow Blog – and will soon be heading to South Korea. But will it be heading to the rest of the world in time for Christmas?

The Round is essentially a Galaxy Note 3 that someone has stepped on. It has a similar 5.7″ AMOLED screen, and can do everything the Note can – including multitasking and the amusing “small mode”, which shrinks what’s on the screen down to the size of a normal phone.

The difference, of course, is that the screen is rounded.

Apparently it’ll be available in a number of colours eventually but at launch will only be available in what Samsung are calling “Luxury Brown”.

A massive tablet?

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Mobile Choice UK recently reported on a rumoured massive 12.2″ tablet from Samsung – which could be available this side of Christmas. The “Galaxy Note 12.2” as they call it is said to a Exynos 5 Octa processor, 2560×1600 (better than HD!) resolution display, and 3GB RAM. And it’ll also come with a stylus.

Even more interestingly, the Android Guys reckon that this 12.2 incher could be the first Samsung tablet to dual boot both Android and the ailing Windows 8 RT. This would mean that you’ll be able to have your pick of whatever ecosystem suits you better – so you can run normal tablet-like apps in Android, whereas you’ll be able to switch to Windows RT if you need to do a more heavy duty task, like use full-sized Microsoft Office.

Health Warning

So that’s the rumours we’ve been hearing – if we hear anything more concrete we’ll be sure to share it with you. Of course – the main thing to remember is that these are just rumours – which often sound like facts, but are of course, completely unverifiable and not necessarily likely to be true. So just as aliens probably didn’t land at Area 51, and you couldn’t find Mew underneath a truck parked in Vermillion City – take these with a gigantic pinch of salt.

James O’Malley