Category: Mobile

Only Apple and Samsung make money out of smartphones

apple-dalek-2Only Apple and Samsung are making money from smartphones and Apple is losing ground fast.

According to beancounters working for Canaccord Genuity, Apple accounted for 75 percent of the smartphone industry’s profits in the second quarter, but that’s down from more than 90 percent a year ago due to Samsung’s Galaxy device success.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 launch and the Note 7 follow-up likely indicate that profits will continue to do well,.

Cannaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley said that Apple’s industry profit was also suffering because punters were delaying purchases ahead of the iPhone 7 launch. Although it is a moot point if that particular product will do well.  Either way Samsung has captured more than 30 percent of industry profits in the second quarter.

Walkley said that Apple’s industry profit share is at its lowest point since the second quarter of 2014 before the iPhone 6 launched.

However it does look like all the other makers trying to get in the high end of the market are not scratching the surface.

Walkley said: ” Given the ramp of Chinese OEM smartphone volumes and particularly strong 2015 smartphone market share gains for Huawei, we note our industry profit analysis excludes a large portion of this group of OEMs gaining an increasing share of the smartphone market profits due to the lack of available and comparable profit metrics. While this likely overstates Apple’s profits, we note some leading smartphone OEMs in China are growing global market share through aggressive pricing strategies limiting near-term profit levels. Inside the Greater China region, share has shifted to Chinese OEMs as well. In fact, in Q2/C15 Apple was number 1 vendor of smartphones in China, and we now believe in Q2/C16 Apple fell to the number 5 vendor behind Huawei, OPPO, Xiaomi and VIVO.”


Apple suffers as global sales of smartphones grows

CaptureThe fruity cargo cult Apple is floundering even while the smartphone market has picked up, according to the latest figures from the Gartner Grope.

According to the Big G, Apple has had three consecutive quarters of slowing demand and seen its sales decline by 7.7 percent while its rivals saw an increase of 4.3 percent.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016.  Overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5 percent with only five vendors from the top 10 showing growth. Among them were four Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment and South Korea’s Samsung.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner said that demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year.

In addition, the decline in sales of “feature phones” (down 14 per cent) bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016. All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9 percent. In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9 percent.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10 percent more market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.

Apple continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016. Apple sales declined in North America (its biggest market) as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions, where sales declined 26 percent. Apple had its best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe regions in the second quarter of 2016, where iPhone sales grew more than 95 percent year on year, Gupta said.

Among the top five smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129 percent. This is due to strong sales of its R9 handset in China and overseas.

“Features such as an anti-shake camera optimized for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditized smartphone market,” Gupta said.

Android regained share over iOS to achieve an 86 percent share in the second quarter of 2016. Android’s performance continued to come from demand for mid- to lower-end smartphones from emerging markets, but also from premium smartphones, which recorded a 6.5 percent increase in the second quarter of 2016.

A number of key Android players, such as Samsung with the Galaxy S7, introduced their new high-end devices, but Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo are also pushing their premium smartphone ranges with more affordable devices.



US extends ZTE trade reprieve

US dollarThe US government appears to be allowing ZTE a further extension to its export freedom until the end of November.

In March, the US Commerce Department hit the company with some of the toughest-ever US export restrictions for allegedly breaking sanctions against Iran. The agency offered the company a three-month relief from the restrictions, which was later extended to Augugst 30.

The plan by ZTE  involved setting up several shell companies “to illicitly re-export controlled items to Iran in violation of U.S. export control laws,” according to a U.S. Commerce Department notice to be published Tuesday.

The restrictions were so severe that they not only would prevent ZTE entering the US, they would also cause extreme difficulty when it comes to using compontents made by US companies.

In a report to the Hong Kong stockmarket, ZTE said it would continue to cooperate with relevant US government departments to reach a final solution on the matter.  It is not clear how much choice it has.




Google grows a new Fuchsia operating system

stalin-googleGoogle appears to be working on another operating system which is different from its Android flavour.

The code, which can be found in the Git repository, is dubbed Fuchsia OS, and it may be meant for mobile phones, computers, and other devices and is completely new.

The description in the repository says “Pick + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System), and those colours do not represent either Android or Chrome OS.

Travis Geiselbrech, who worked on NewOS, BeOS, Danger, Palm’s webOS and iOS, and Brian Swetland, who also worked on BeOS and Android, are all understood to be involved in this project.

Powered by the Magenta and LK kernel. The LK kernal might mean that the OS might be used for embedded applications, but Magenta targets modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation.

Google is saying nothing for now and since Fuchsia OS is early in development it is unlikely we will discover what Google is up to for years.

Nice Trump is an Apple fanboy, the nasty one uses Android

trumpuckerSomeone with too much time on his hands has discovered that the spilt (sic) personality in Donald Trump’s tweets are directly linked to the type of phone he uses.

When Trump wishes the Olympic team good luck, he’s tweeting from his iPhone. When he’s insulting a rival, he’s usually tweeting from an Android.

Trump has been seen in public with a Samsung Galaxy, and no one has seen him with an iPhone. The suggestion is that the iPhone tweets are being sent by someone else who is a little more reasonable.

Writing in his bog David Robinson, who is a Data Scientist at Stack Overflow, found that the that the Android and iPhone tweets are clearly from different people, posting during different times of day and using hashtags, links, and retweets in distinct ways.

“What’s more, we can see that the Android tweets are angrier and more negative, while the iPhone tweets tend to be benign announcements and pictures,” he wrote.

Tweets from the iPhone were 38 times as likely to contain either a picture or a link. This also makes sense if the campaign iPhone used to write “announcement” tweets about events.

More “emotionally charged” words, like “badly”, “crazy”, “weak”, and “dumb”, were overwhelmingly more common on Android. This supports the original hypothesis that this is the “angrier” or more hyperbolic account and this is the bouffant buffoon typing in his own words.


Flash Memory Summit 2016 – Consolidation?

FMS2016_BannerAd_300x250The Flash Memory Summit 16 will be convening at the Santa Clara Convention Center over August 9 -11, 2016. Flash memory is now established as a key technology enabling new designs for many products in the consumer, computer and enterprise markets.

Storage Crossover

The industry is at a critical juncture where the total cost of ownership for flash based SSD’s achieved crossover with hard disk drive equivalents last September as the enterprise storage medium of choice.

The fact that the number of producers is limited has altered the landscape of consumption with some analysts indicating that serious shortages will exist for some time to come. An interesting, but mitigating fact is that most of the analysts are not technical – the ones that we’ve talked to that have a technical bent are not so sanguine about the availability mix. One item that stands in the road to profits is the need for this next generation storage device to not only retain data but do so interactively without losing bits. The unrecoverable bit boogie man is now staring the industry down. The ability to store immense amounts of “ready data” for execution now depends on the technologies ability to reliably retain data.

All Flash Array producers are now entering the “really big data storage array” market – the battle has dropped down to the cost of storage per dollar creating a whole new category of marketing lows. 3D Flash is now so dense that failure modes are now dependent upon being aware of “how and when” the bits were used during the entire lifetime of the device.

Cork, Ireland NVMdurance was the first to understand this phenomenon and is now firmly embedded in their first customer Altera (now Intel). Pure and Nimble Storage are offering their services for their AFAs – seems that leasing AFA memory is a probable in the future of solid state storage. We’re still left reading the indemnification clauses of their contracts.

Poison Pill

Micron Technology filed with the SEC a poison pill last Friday. The buzz is that the company is once again in play. The likely suitor is none other than Intel according to the lead rumor. We will be talking with Micron and Intel at FMS 16 and although they’ll not say anything about what’s going on we’ll at the very least get to look into their pupils while they’re telling us…,

Samsung counter-sues Huawei

fef78e0cc21705723179c3a85d917f2bSamsung has sued Huawei for patent infringements across China as the handbags at dawn row escalates between the pair.

Samsung sued Huawei in a Beijing court about two weeks ago for allegedly infringing six of its patents, a spokeswoman said. She did not elaborate on the types of patents or the other Chinese courts involved.

“Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property,” Samsung sang

Huawei  said in a statement it had not received a “formal complaint” but would defend itself as necessary.

“In the absence of a negotiated settlement, litigation is often an efficient way to resolve” intellectual property rights disputes, it said.

Huawei sued Samsung in the United States and China in May, accusing its rival of infringement on patents for fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software.

Analysts say that neither side will end up winning on the basis of money. Huawei could be angling to boost its reputation by taking on the top smartphone player, he said, while Samsung’s suit might be a maneuver to force Huawei to settle its claims as soon as possible.

Some have suggested that Huawei might also be trying to create some noise marketing for itself and the two firms will eventually reach a deal such as a cross-licensing agreement.


Millions of Xiaomi phones have bugs

bugMillions of Xiaomi phones are vulnerable to a “flaw’ that could allow an attacker to remotely install malware.

Although the flaw in the analytics package in Xiaomi’s custom-built Android-based operating system has been fixed, it could be a while before users install the patch.

Security researchers at IBM, who found the flaw, discovered a number of apps in the package that were vulnerable to a remote code execution flaw through a so-called “man-in-the-muddle” attack and allow an attacker to run arbitrary code at the system-level.

Xiaomi is advising users should update their devices as soon as possible. The flaws rely on a lack of encryption and code-checking and verification. The risk is that if the phone is already hacked the update could be theoretically modified in transit although the hackers would have to be rather quick.

Companies are getting more into trouble for software that they supply with their hardware.  Lenovo faced a scandle when some some its bloatware arrived with a particularly nasty security flaw. It did fix it and bundled off a patch, but the case highlighted the risks for suppliers in providing such software to users.

Apple fanboy takes gun shaped case to airport

CmrCpkJWEAAlL3m.jpg largeProof that, as a basic life-form Apple fanboys are not meant to be in the gene-pool, has been found at an Essex airport.

A bright spark thought it would be a  nifty idea to make an iPhone case which made the phone look like a hand-gun.  After all Apple fanboys have a problem getting themselves taken seriously and what better way to make them look tough than by making their favourite toy look like a lethal weapon?

Needless to say some complete iDiot in the UK  bought the case and then thought it was perfectly reasonable to take it to the Stansted Airport.  Essex Police stopped a man at Stansted Airport who had what seemed to be a gun sticking out of his back pocket.

They said that it was a “split second” scenario – and likely a terrifying one at that, before revealing it was only a phone case.

Fortunately for the Apple fanboy he was not dealing with the  “shoot first ask questions later” US authorities who would have filled him so full of lead that when he sat down he would have made pencil marks.  Unfortunately for humanity this iDiot might go on to contribute to the gene pool and further lower the standards of humanity.

Essex police say the Apple fanboy may yet be charged with a public order offence or for carrying an imitation firearm in a public space. We would also go for a charge of being a total tosser in a built up area, if such a charge existed.

Blackberry Classic goes the way of the Dodo

dodoTroubled phonemaker BlackBerry has said it will stop making its Classic smartphone and consigning the technology to the dustbin of history.

The Classic was launched early last year, with a physical keyboard in the vein of its Bold predecessor and powered by the company own overhauled BlackBerry 10 operating system.

However, while a small number of users still like having a physical keyboard on their phone, they are too few to keep the company going. BlackBerry has since launched a phone powered by Android software and plans several more.

Even so BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen is pushing his outfit away from making phones and into becoming a software company. He has warned that if the Android phones don’t make cash he is happy to bump them off too.

The company will no longer manufacture the Classic as it updates its device lineup “to keep innovating and advancing our portfolio,” Ralph Pin wrote in his bog on Tuesday.