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Today in Tech: Samsung Unveils Its Flagship Smartphone


Could this be the Android that gets the platform out of its also-ran status?

Samsung (SSNLF.PK) unveiled its newest Galaxy S III smartphone at an event in London just minutes ago. The largest Asian electronics company's newest flagship phone will have a 4.8 inch Super AMOLED screen, an 8 megapixel camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, 32-64 GB of storage, near field communication, and 4G connection speeds. The whole thing is only 8.6mm thick.

The long-anticipated device runs on a skinned (tech-speak for branded) version of Google's (GOOG) Android 4.0, a.k.a , "Ice Cream Sandwich," with some interesting tweaks. One is called "pop up play," which allows users to watch videos while performing other functions. This is unimpressive for almost any desktop computer, but highly advanced for a smartphone. The Galaxy S III also has some "natural interaction" with the user through the sensors and cameras. The front-facing camera will detect whether your eyes are reading the phone and will keep the screen at the proper brightness, for example.

The phone comes with a Siri-like personal assistant called S-voice, and Flipboard for Android will come out exclusively for the Galaxy S III. A feature called S beam allows users to share massive files between two phones in seconds by just touching the phones.

No word yet on carriers or price, but the phone is scheduled to ship to the US during the summer. The Galaxy S III will probably give the iPhone a run for its money... unless the iPhone 5 comes out around the same time.

Apple (AAPL) solidified its dominant position in the tablet market that it created in the first quarter. The new iPad launch helped Apple widen its lead from 55% to 68% of the tablet market, according to IDC. Amazon (AMZN) was a distant second with 4% of market share.

Yelp (YELP) shares are down 6.5% today after reporting a wider-than-expected loss for its first quarterly report since going public. The local business review site reversed a downward trend in year-over-year revenue growth, but spending on sales and marketing and product development went up as the young company aggressively pursues market share and brand recognition. The company put its IPO proceeds into research and development, which doubled (as a percentage of revenue) in the first quarter.

All Things D's Liz Gannes reports that Microsoft (MSFT) snatched up 14 Yahoo (YHOO) researchers to staff a research center in New York City. The future Microsoft research center will be yet another addition to New York's growing tech ecosystem. Cornell University and Israel's Institute of Technology won bids to plan a massive tech-focused university campus on Roosevelt Island. New York's venture capital scene is right behind Massachusetts, but the city is right behind Silicon Valley in tech startups. Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes that the Cornell campus will be a sort of Stanford of the East to accelerate that trend.

New York's subway stations will get Wi-Fi service from Boingo Wireless (WIFI) that will be available to Boingo subscribers as well as Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S) customers.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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