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Posts tagged smartphones

Republic Wireless offers affordable hybrid VOIP/cell smartphone service
April 18, 2014 | 3:06 am

20140418_003539_HDRI’d previously mentioned switching to an Android smartphone with Virgin Mobile, and enjoying it as far as it went. However, lately my Virgin Mobile phone went belly-up. I’d already promised myself that when I got my new full-time job I would be switching to Republic Wireless, so this was a good opportunity. I’ve only had my new Motorola Moto X for a day or so, but I’m already pretty pleased with the phone and the service so far. If you’ve never heard of Republic Wireless, it’s a small no-contract smartphone startup based on a clever idea. If you’re like...

New Nielsen report shows smartphones changing lives
February 26, 2014 | 6:47 pm

A timely new analysis from Nielsen provides some context that justifies all the smartphone releases around Mobile World Congress 2014. Because, it seems, "smartphones are beginning to transform how we engage in our everyday lives." Based on data collected "from markets including the U.S., U.K., Italy, Japan, and around the globe," via Nielsen's opt-in phone monitoring meters, the report concludes that "not only is smartphone penetration growing, with over two-thirds (67%) of mobile subscribers in the U.S. owning smartphones in Q4 2013, but consumer usage of phones is rapidly shifting toward increased screen time with entertainment and social media." Also, critically, "time spent using...

MWC2014 announcements look likely to extend smartphone lead
February 24, 2014 | 10:58 am

The series of product announcements from smartphone manufacturers coming from and around Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona look likely to push smartphone penetration even further across all markets and price points, and to make smartphones more attractive and affordable than ever before as ereading platforms. Manufacturers seem to be queuing up to offer larger screens with higher resolutions at lower prices. Typical of these announcements, Lenovo, has announced a new series of smartphones, the S series, which "start at $349, $269 and $229, respectively." In this series, the S860 has "a large 5.3-inch HD screen," the S850 has "a large...

Kantar data emphasizes Android lead, Apple slide in smartphone sales
January 30, 2014 | 10:15 am

New 4Q 2013 data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech backs up earlier IDC figures for 2013 smartphone sales that suggest Android is continuing to extend its lead across global markets, especially outside the U.S. According to the Kantar analysis, "the three-month period ending December 2013, shows that Android closed out the year strongly across 12 global markets including the United States.  The operating system ended 2013 with a sales share of 50.6 percent, a gain of 4.4 percentage points from the final three months of 2012." Android remained especially strong in Europe, "with 68.6 percent share, while Apple held second place with 18.5 percent."...

Google sells Motorola phone business, keeps patent portfolio
January 30, 2014 | 3:23 am

Motorola_logo26Well, there’s an example of comedic timing for you. Just the other day, Gizmodo speculated that Google might kill off the Nexus line of tablets and phones in favor of “Google Play Edition” devices from other hardware manufacturers—including, notably, Motorola, who Google owns. But today, news came out that had Gizmodo saying, “What?!” Turns out Google is selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. The deal includes all Motorola’s phone hardware, but Google is keeping most of Motorola’s patents. Google already sold Motorola’s set-top box unit to Arris for $2.35 billion. It only just bought Motorola in 2011...

Latest IDC data spotlights a billion smartphones shipped in 2013
January 28, 2014 | 6:30 pm

The latest data report from International Data Corporation (IDC) in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker series has highlighted the record-breaking figure of just over 1 billion smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013, "up 38.4 percent from the 725.3 million units in 2012." Also spotlighting "a difference of less than 1 percent" from its forecast for full-year shipments in 2013, IDC noted that this growth in smartphone demand is cannibalizing the broader mobile phone market, which grew only 4.8 percent over 2013 to a total figure of almost 1.822 billion units. [caption id="attachment_106479" align="aligncenter" width="475"] Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January...

Samsung’s new year gift to the ebook community: The gatefold screen?
January 22, 2014 | 4:26 pm

[caption id="attachment_8049" align="alignright" width="168"] The Readius - an earlier less successful effort in foldable screen technology.[/caption] The reporting around CES 2014 included plenty of rumors and hints from a supposedly closed-doors presentation of Samsung's latest contribution to smartphone technology: A workable folding screen. Solid details are sparse, with no official Samsung announcement, but Korean and other industry sources indicated that this was am AMOLED screen, 5.68” in size, based on a plastic-style substrate. This follows earlier statements from Samsung that it would have a foldable touchscreen ready for market by 2015, but the screen displayed at CES has been described as...

Pew, Princeton survey shows U.S. ereading up
January 22, 2014 | 2:26 pm

A new survey from Princeton Survey Research Associates International and made available through Pew Internet indicates that "the proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing," while "more also own dedicated e-reading devices." The survey, one of the first of the new year and based on a sample of just over 1000 adults surveyed in January 2nd-5th, 2014, indicates that "the percentage of adults who read an e-book in the past year has risen to 28%, up from 23% at the end of 2012.' That said, the survey also concludes that: "print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Most people...

Tablets are the new … um, tablets for writers
January 14, 2014 | 8:15 pm

wattpadFigures from story-sharing and writers' social media platform Wattpad suggest that today's tablets are becoming as much the writer's tool of choice as their classical namesakes were for Greek and Roman scribes. And although I haven't been able to track down the original Wattpad press release, the data points quoted from it and shared via Mediabistro are compelling enough. According to these, more than 50 percent of its members have contributed a story to Wattpad via either tablet or mobile phone during 2013, with more than 83 percent of access to Wattpad from such devices. According to the quted press release,...

How reading can bridge the social divide
January 12, 2014 | 4:28 pm

readingAustralian website Momentum Books has just shared a post listing "Nine reasons that being a book loving shut-in is better than being a social butterfly." And while it's always good to see quiet solitary reading defended, there are also plenty of reasons why reading can actually help your social life. And why ereading helps even more. And anyway, finger-wagging and us-and-them thinking isn't always that's positive. So let's go through the list. Reason 1 deals with the nasty accidents and spillages that can happen in a bar "you only went to because your friends made you." Well, what about all the...

Dustcloud brings virtual assassination to the digital age
January 9, 2014 | 10:23 am

dustcloudEverything’s better with smartphones. Reading, navigating, playing silly games…and possibly, that might soon include laser tag. Yesterday I found out about a game called Dustcloud, which is undergoing a Kickstarter right now that wants to combine laser tag, the game of “Assassin” (often played with water guns or paintball pistols), GPS, and social networking, for a geolocation-based game you play anywhere, on the spur of the moment, with total strangers. It’s been getting some good buzz from news sites such as Engadget, Re/code, and Time. It looks exciting, and I’ve gone ahead and kicked in for it, but I must...

Mashable, Mophie diagram our digital distractions on the move
December 26, 2013 | 2:25 pm

digital distractionsMashable has just shared an infographic from mobile accessories and services company Mophie on mobile data consumption - the data that mobile device users use while ... well, mobile. According to the article, almost 83 percent of leisure travelers say that they use their smartphones all the time while on the move, while a typical user checks the device 34 times daily. As it happens, none of the activities listed in Mophie's infographic include reading ebooks. This is obviously going to be the case in a breakdown of "exactly how — and how much — data we use while we're traveling." After...