Millions 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.
Lenovo is having that same moment of realisation that people get when they realise that special deal they bought off ebay was not really so special after all and they probably bid too much for it.
The company moaned that its integration efforts after buying Lenovo had not met its expectations.
Both crucial mobile markets, China and the United States, disappointed in the wake of Lenovo’s takeover, with Chinese shipments declining by a huge 85 percent and product transition in North America deemed simply “not successful.”
Lenovo says it has drawn many lessons from the experience since the close of the Motorola acquisition and it’s applying them quickly. One aspect of its refreshed strategy is to have two co-presidents, with two distinct strategies for China and the rest of the world. In China, Lenovo will refocus around its affordable Zuk brand “to rebuild its end-to-end competitiveness,” while elsewhere the company plans to keep growing in emerging markets “and get the US business back on track with a competitive product portfolio.”
It has already been doing this for its Moto G launch which is focused on India and Brazil, two countries where the Moto brand is already doing well.
When Lenovo bought Motorola from Google, it had expected to become a strong number three and a credible challenger to the top two in smartphones.
CEO Yang Yuanqing said that the combined Lenovo-Motorola group has fallen out of the top five global smartphone vendors, supplanted by fellow Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo. Huawei rose to become what Lenovo intended.
In any event Lenovo is planning a come-back with its Moto Z flagship which looks like it will be bold and ambitious. The Moto Z is expected to be accompanied by a series of MotoMod accessory cases, which add things like a projector, a zoom camera, and better speakers to the basic device. This will be revealed on June 9.
Smartphone maker Xiaomi admitted that it had shipped more than 70 million handsets in 2015, and while this figure might be seen as great in the rest of the world, the company missed its own ambitious targets.
The figure was announced in a photo featuring Xiaomi President Lin Bin which was posted on the company’s microblog with the banner: “2015 Xiaomi mobile shipments: Over 70 million!”
However this was putting a brave face on things. Earlier this year Xiaomi had estimated total annual sales of 80-100 million, but then in July reported semi-annual sales that for the first time were lower than the previous six months.
Xiaomi has discovered that its main domestic market was saturated.
The Tame Apple Press is cheering that the news is proof that Apple will win in China as Xiaomi was seen as its only rival. This is rubbish of course, but it does not stop Reuters repeating it. The best that Apple could have sold in China was 20 million. Xiaomi’s main rival is Lenovo and Huawei.
Still it is not bad given that the company has only been running for five years and in the past has been locked out of countries with strong IP law enforcement. The company has put its market value at $45 billion. It also lacks many products to sell.
Xiaomi’s annual sales growth for the year was now 14.5 percent, he said, still above the average overall annual market growth rate of 12 percent. Shah forecast 2016 growth at 16 percent, based on expectations that Xiaomi will start sales in the United States, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
A market research company said that over 331 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of this year.
Digitimes Research (DR) said that Samsung accounted for 25.6 percent of the systems, followed by Apple (14.5%), Huawei (7.4%), Lenovo (4.8%), LG (4.5%), Xiaomi (3.8%) followed by a number of other brands.
DR said that the top 15 vendors accounted for 81.4 percent of total shipments with nine Chinese companies in that league.
DR estimates that smartphone shipments in the current quarter will total 396.8 million handsets – meaning that total shipments this year will be 1.326 billion units – a rise of over 10 percent compared to 2014.
ABI Research said that Chromebooks are leading growth for the notebook PC category, with Chrome OS systems expected to ship over eight million units by the end of the year.
And ABI analyst Jeff Orr said that growth for Chromebooks will show a 22 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years.
Orr said: “Industry professionals can expect the notebook PC marker, including Chromebooks, laptops and ultraportable PCs to remain roughly flat year on year in 2015, with flat to slightly positive growth projected through 2020.”
He said that next year will see a sales surge for both Chromebooks and ultraportables with people adopting Chromebooks in schools and 2-in-1 ultraportables representing the future.
ABI estimates that 164 million notebooks will ship this year.
The ultraportables and laptop will show a decline of 14 percent compared to last year.
Orr said that’s mostly due to unit volume declines at Acer, Asus and Lenovo.
Apple will have 32 percent share of the ultraportable PC with various Macbook Air models.
A market research firm said that 40 million tablets will ship worldwide in this, the fourth quarter of 2015.
ABI Research said last quarter 30.6 million branded tablets shipped, but described this quarter as promising, with units accounting for 29 percent of the total volume in 2015.
Nevertheless, the fourth quarter will be down 19.7 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
Jeff Orr, a research director at ABI, said: “Vendors are hoping to gain back some of their unit and revenue shortfall from earlier in 2015. New tablets from Amazon and others will utilise a low cost approach to achieve this strategy.”
Orr numbers the vendors as Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei and Asus, in order. But the biggest gains during the quarter were made by Lenovo and Asus.
The biggest vendor losers during the quarter will be Apple and Microsoft – the former fell eight percent during the first nine months of 2015. Microsoft lost over half of its market share in the previous 90 days as it moved from the Surface Pro 3 to the Surface Pro 4.
The dark satanic rumour mill has suggested that Toshiba, Vaio and Fujitsu are thinking about tying the knot and will merge their PC businesses.
The outfits are desperate to get rid of struggling units to overhaul their operations and the pair are looking at some form of collaboration.
Any deal is mostly rumour and if true in the early stages. Tosh needs to raise capital after a $1.3 billion accounting scandal which has meant that the banks are not returning its calls. It has already agreed to sell its image sensor business and said it is considering splitting off part of its chip business.
Fujitsu, which announced in October that it intends to split off its PC division, said it is considering various options for the business.
The Nikkei Business Daily reported earlier that Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio which was spun off from Sony were considering a three way merger of their PC businesses.
The merged company would have just over 30 percent of the Japanese market, overtaking the current top-ranked NEC Lenovo Japan , which controls 26.3 percent, the Nikkei said without citing any source for its information.
A Vaio spokeswoman dismissed the Nikkei report as speculation, adding that the company was not in talks with anyone about its PC operations.
Shipments of servers worldwide in the third quarter of this year grew by 9.2 percent, while vendors’ revenues grew 7.5 percent.
But, according to Jeffrey Hewitt, a research VP at Gartner, there were mixed results depending on the regions. “All regions showed growth in both shipments and vendor revenue, except for Eastern Europe, Japan and Latin America, which posted revenue declines of 5.8 percent, 11.7 percent and 24.2 percent respectively,” he said.
The reason for the differences in regional performance were mostly down to currency fluctuations, he said.
The Asia Pacific region showed a 23.8 percent shipment increase, with revenue growth at 25.4 percent.
HP dominates the worldwide server market, followed by Dell, IBM, Lenovo and Cisco.
IBM showed a decline of 42.8 percent but that’s mostly because it sold its server business to Lenovo. However, its mainframe business grew by 15 percent, Gartner said.
The RISC, Itanium and Unix server revenue declined by 11.5 percent during the quarter.
Yesterday we reported that the outlook is bleak for tablets as smartphones get bigger and bigger.
But in 2016 there will be a segment of the tablet market which is set to grow, according to Digitimes Research (DR).
The Apple iPad market will grow in 2016 because of sales of the iPad Pro and a future iPad Air, said DR.
Sales of Microsoft Surface 2-in-1 machines are also expected to offset the overall decline in tablet sales.
DR believes that the so-called “white box” tablet players will exit the market.
Apple will continue to be the largest vendor next year, followed by Samsung and Lenovo. But the last two will see big declines.
Analysts predict that tablets over 10 inches will grow over 20 percent in 2016 because of sales of the iPad Pro and the Surface 2-in-1, taking a total share of the tablet market of over 20 percent.
All-in-one PCs were a great hope for PC vendors as the traditional desktop market fell, but a report suggests that sales are set to fall this year.
According to Digitimes Research (DR) only 13 million units will ship tgis year, a decline of 3.9 percent compared to 2014.
DR said that sales are expected to be flat in 2016 or even fall by around half percent.
If all-in-one PCs are included as overall desktop shipments however, they account for 10.5 percent of the total.
Lenovo was top of the pile this year, with Apple taking second place and with both vendors holding 60 percent of the total shipments.
Third, fourth and fifth are HP, Dell, and Acer.
The machines are mostly manufactured by Taiwanese original design manufacturers – the usual suspects like Quanta, Wistron, Compal and others supply 90.1 percent of the machines to the brand name vendors.