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Smartphones

The curious case of the developing world’s smartphone gender gap
March 2, 2015 | 10:25 am

Névtelen Waiting for new smartphone programs like Android One to bring the four billion global citizens who still don't have internet access, and put ebooks in the hands of the developing world? Well, for the female half of that four billion, you may have to wait more than a little while longer. That's according to the GSMA Connected Women Global Development Alliance program, which has just released a report on "Bridging the gender gap: Mobile access and usage in low- and middle-income countries." According to the report, "based on primary and secondary research conducted by Altai Consulting," with primary field research "conducted in...

Ubuntu Phone platform surmounts App Store envy?
February 8, 2015 | 4:26 pm

Ubuntu's rather delayed attempt to crack the mobile market with a Linux-based mobile phone is getting even more attention than it otherwise might, not only because of its transition to an open source OS, but also because of its replacement for apps: Scopes. Ubuntu descibes these as: "a world away from the traditional app icon grid ... Scopes are a new UI paradigm, designed to deliver content and services directly to categorised home screens, giving users a rich, unfragmented experience. Developers have a new way to create app-like experiences that are easier to discover, build, and are integral to the OS." Jay...

Lenovo gotta lotta Moto
February 4, 2015 | 10:25 am

Lenovo's decision to purchase the Motorola smartphone division has been more than vindicated with its latest Q32014-15 results, which beat business analyst consensus and showed Motorola shipping more than 10 million units, up 118 percent year-over-year, for US$1.9 billion additional revenue. Yuanqing Yang, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, said of Motorola and his other new acquisition, the IBM System X assets: “The two newly acquired businesses are achieving great momentum in their first quarter of integration.  They are definitely becoming our growth engines. Motorola is already a global strength: for the first time it sold more than 10 million units in the...

HTC out of the woods?
January 7, 2015 | 2:25 pm

ios to androidHTC, which makes some of the best Android handsets - and hence, most preferred mobile ereading devices - around, has just posted its most favorable sales numbers for a long time, recording $1.5 billion of sales in the fourth quarter of 2014, a marginal increase on the same period a year earlier and the first time it has seen quarterly revenue growth since the third quarter of 2011, according to Bloomberg. HTC also recorded a solid operating profit for the period, against analyst consensus estimates of a loss. Bloomberg attributes this turnaround partly to new mid-range handsets in HTC's portfolio, as well...

Reuters Huawei sales report chimes badly with Apple victory march
January 2, 2015 | 6:25 pm

HuaweiThe already rather surprising report from analytics firm Flurry that implied mobile device market leadership for Apple at end 2014 received fresh contradiction with a year-end news item from Reuters, based on a leaked internal memo, which indicated that Chinese telecoms major Huawei shipped 75 million smartphones in 2014, an over 40 percent y-o-y increase. This compares with an analyst estimate, also quoted by Reuters, which indicates that Apple may have enjoyed 20 percent sales growth after launching the iPhone 6. Xiaomi, meanwhile, has a  sales target of 60 million for the full year of 2014, three times its 2013 sales of 18.7 million....

Xiaomi heads for the big time with $1 billion capital raise
December 22, 2014 | 11:25 am

A Xiaomi smartphone looks like an increasingly safe bet for your next ereading device: the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has just scored $1 billion in a fundraising round that values the entire company at $45 billion, according to a source quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Participants in the fundraising round included All-Stars Investment, Russian investment firm DST Global and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC), according to the WSJ. Already cited by Gartner as China's Number One smartphone brand, with 336 percent growth in end user sales in the third quarter of 2014 alone, Xiaomi is already being...

The whole world gets smart as Gartner data shows smartphone market growth
December 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

gartner136.gifThe latest data on the global mobile phone market from Gartner shows smartphones reaching new levels of penetration and cannibalizing other mobile phone segments in the third quarter of 2014. Against a background of overall flat mobile phone sales during the quarter, "sales of smartphones to end users grew 20.3 percent to reach 301 million units." Much of this increase is driven by the progressive disappearance of the feature phone category, as phones that do nothing but phone become an increasingly small slice of the mobile pie, even in emerging markets. "Sales of feature phones declined 25 percent in the third quarter...

IDC shows smartphone shipments, revenue growth slowing as markets mature
December 3, 2014 | 2:28 pm

IDC_logoThe latest global mobile phone market forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC,) the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, headlined "Worldwide Smartphone Growth Forecast to Slow from a Boil to a Simmer as Prices Drop and Markets Mature," points to worldwide smartphone shipments reaching "a total of nearly 1.3 billion units in 2014, representing an increase of 26.3% over 2013." That impressive growth rate, however, is due to halve during 2015, with IDC predicting "1.4 billion smartphones to be shipped worldwide in 2015 for a 12.2% year-over-year growth rate. Slower annual growth continues throughout the forecast with unit shipments approaching 1.9 billion units...

Motorola’s ‘Duet’ tells a story as only a smartphone can
November 20, 2014 | 7:41 pm

Screenshot_2014-11-20-18-35-16I was just answering a message on Google Hangouts in my Moto X when I saw a blue stylized figure of a ballet dancer dance across the bottom of the screen. It left a glowing blue circle that I tapped on, and I was presented with a screen that said “Duet”. This puzzled me, as I certainly hadn’t installed anything by that name lately. A quick Google revealed that this was a new animated short from Motorola’s Moto X Spotlight Player. Directed by veteran ex-Disney animator Glen Keane, “Duet” tells the story of a boy and a girl who...

YotaPhone 2 slated to debut soon
November 19, 2014 | 2:19 pm

YotaPhone 2YotaPhone recently tweeted news of a press event in London: "#YotaPhone2 will be presented December 3! We will celebrate with a by-invitation only event in London - stay tuned!" accompanying it with a beautiful picture of this now-almost-mythical device. Now almost mythical because of the sadly protracted release time. "So late!! announced in MWC 2014" complained one respondent, and you can see their point. The design, however elegant, doesn't appear to have moved on much from February this year, but an implementation of a competitive smartphone design with a solid state ereader back is stillcompelling. As Chris Meadows reported earlier, the...

Personal hotspots: Wal-Mart vs. Karma
November 5, 2014 | 6:12 pm

karmaIn March of this year, I took a look at the current options for pay-as-you-go cellular wi-fi hotspots—just the thing for giving wi-fi-only tablets and e-readers connectivity wherever you go. At the time, I switched over from TruConnect to Wal-Mart’s equivalent 3G MiFi, to get away from TruConnect’s $5 per month fee, and was more or less happy with it, as far as it went. But one of the other competitors I mentioned at the time, Karma, is about to change things up, and it looks like it might just be worth trying. A lot of people with smartphones...

Opening the Inbox: Google’s new paradigm for reading email
November 5, 2014 | 5:20 pm

Screenshot_2014-11-05-17-12-58If you’ve heard about Google’s new “Inbox” system for reading GMail, you’re just about to have your chance to request an invitation. Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific) today (starting just about 40 minutes from now), Google will send invitations to everyone who requests one. Just send an email to inbox@google.com between 6 and 7 and you’ll get your invitation by 8 p.m. (5 p.m. Pacific). I requested an invitation the day it launched and got it the very next day. I’ve been using it since then, on my PC, tablet, and...