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Posts tagged smartphones

China and Japan: The device tech faceoff?
December 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

sharptabs_thumb.jpgDigitimes, the popular though occasionally unreliable Taiwanese technology news platform, has shared fresh intelligence that Japanese mobile device display manufacturers are finally managing to bring significant pricing pressure to bear on their Chinese rivals. According to the Digitimes report, which cites local "industry sources," Sharp and the government-supported Japan Display conglomerate, the world's largest manufacturer of smartphone screens, are finally managing to match or beat the prices commanded by Chinese and Taiwanese peers for TFT LCD screens and other digital device display technologies. Chinese smartphone manufacturers Huawei, TCL and ZTE are cited as some of the makes implicated in the pricing offensive....

eReading while cruising
December 19, 2014 | 10:27 am

ereadingWhen I mentioned to Chris Meadows that I was leaving for my first ever cruise, he suggested I write something about ereading while cruising. I wasn't sure how I'd approach that, until I'd been on the ship for a couple of days. It was interesting to walk around the decks and see what devices people were using. Here's what I saw. The first day, Nooks outnumbered Kindles, but that turned out to be a fluke. After that first day, I saw only one other Nook. Kindles abounded, although most of them were the eInk versions. I saw lots of Paperwhites, one Touch,...

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...

Jolla gets moolah with $1.2 million and counting for alternative tablet
November 24, 2014 | 2:22 pm

Finnish startup Jolla apparently tapped into a source of serious demand when it launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its Jolla Tablet, a 7.85" display device running the Linux-based Sailfish OS 2.0. The crowdfunding campaign blew past its $380,000 target within a couple of days of its November 19th launch, and as of the time of writing, has secured over $1.2 million in pledges, or 318 percent of the target, with 16 days still to go. What could be the secret of Jolla's success? It might be the Sailfish OS, "mobile-optimized with the flexibility, ubiquity and stability of the Linux core and...

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...

Disney sees big growth from mobile as gaming monetization options multiply
November 16, 2014 | 12:26 pm

disneycomic_thumb.pngDisney has announced new mobile gaming products in news that highlights just how profitable mobile gaming spinoffs have become for creative and media franchises. Quoted in GigaOm and elsewhere, Disney Interactive president James Pitaro claimed that Disney is now the world's sixth largest mobile gaming company, and looking at an over 50 percent rise in users since the same period last year, with players spending 75 percent more time on the games. Pitaro also claimed that the Disney mobile-based Club Penguin platform was the most popular virtual world for children, and that total usage hours of the Frozen Free Fall...

Latest comScore rankings show Android has U.S. smartphone market in its pocket
November 7, 2014 | 2:30 pm

comScore_IncThe latest U.S. smartphone market rankings report from mobile comms metrics outfit comScore, Inc., covering September 2014, shows Android in the lead as the dominant smartphone platform "with 52.1 percent platform market share." Apple, meanwhile, remained "the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.7 percent OEM market share." This is off a base of 174 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones, or 72 percent total mobile market penetration, over the July-September 2014 period. Android's market share has if anything very slightly increased since comScore's last set of numbers, from June 2014, rising 0.2 percent from 51.9 percent. it. Apple's OEM market share meanwhile, is...

Samsung squares off against Microsoft in the smartphone wars
November 3, 2014 | 6:25 pm

SamsungGalaxyTab_thumb.jpgSamsung's attempts to dominate the global smartphone market have taken a new turn as a result of Microsoft's own efforts to promote its Windows Phone OS. The two giants' collaborations have now ended in an exchange of lawsuits, with Microsoft claiming that Samsung owes $6.9 million in interest on over $1 billion of delayed patent royalties in a case filed in the southern District of New York. Samsung is now counter-claiming that the original agreement is void, since Microsoft is now a hardware competitor since its purchase of Nokia. Samsung's original royalty agreements with Microsoft covers parts of the Android OS...

Mobile phones go wingardium leviosa
October 9, 2014 | 2:25 pm

For those wanting to take the Harry Potter approach to controlling and interacting with your mobile device, there are some welcome developments on the horizon. Already there is the Amazon Fire Phone, which, although it hasn't exactly set the ... ahem ... world on fire, does incorporate gesture control via its four forward-facing cameras. However, there is also Elliptic Labs, which seeks to make mobile devices gesture-capable via ultrasound. Elliptic's Touchless Gesture Recognition Engine is already implemented in a Windows 8 suite and an Android SDK. According to the company's materials, "ultrasound signals sent through the air from speakers integrated in smart...

xkcd explains why texting is good for writing skills
August 29, 2014 | 7:18 am

Origin 8292014 70958 AM.bmpRandall Munroe, Hugo-winning webcomic artist of xkcd, has hit the nail on the head with another keen observation about our mobile lifestyle. The xkcd character Cueball is not surprised when his friend observes that SMS texting is actually good for spelling and grammar. Practice, he explains in the rest of the strip, makes perfect. (The text does contain an F-bomb, but it’s an F-bomb that was dropped by James Joyce.) Be sure and pay attention to the alt-text that comes up when you mouse over the comic. In an odd juxtaposition, this came just a few minutes after I...

Mobile game Ingress has implications straight out of science-fiction
August 26, 2014 | 7:11 pm

braceletSo, this past weekend I took part in my first ever “Anomaly,” a big local event for players of the Ingress game (which I wrote about for Answers here) by Niantic Labs, a subsidiary of Google. In these events, players in certain towns gather together and fight over specific virtual bits of real territory, needing to hold as much of it as they can at specific time points when the score is counted. It was a great deal of fun, and very involved. The Resistance (the faction I play) is very well-organized around these parts. We met at 10:30...