Tag: mobile

Nokia sees Finnish of bleak sales

Finnish network equipment maker Nokia reported a slowing rate of sales decline, saying the global networks market was showing signs of recovery.

Nokia and its rivals, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei Technologies, have struggled in recent years as telecom operators’ demand for faster 4G mobile broadband equipment has peaked, and upgrades to next-generation 5G equipment are still years away.

Nokia said the business momentum was now improving: first-quarter network sales fell six percent from a year earlier to $5.3 billion, compared with a decline of 14 percent in the previous quarter.

Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said: “We slowed the rate of topline decline and generated healthy orders in what is typically a seasonally weak quarter for us… We saw encouraging stabilization in Mobile Networks topline… “I am optimistic about the year ahead, even if cautiously so.”

Nokia repeated that it expects its networks sales to decline in the full year, in line with the market.

Its first quarter group earnings before interest and taxes fell one percent from a year earlier to $371 million, slightly ahead of analysts’ average forecast.

Last year, Nokia bought Franco-American networks firm Alcatel-Lucent in response to industry changes, and is currently axing thousands of jobs.

That deal helped Nokia outperform rival Ericsson, which earlier this week posted a quarterly operating loss.

Qualcomm faces $854 million for anti-trust

monopoly (1)South Korea’s antitrust watchdog has bitten a $854 million chunk from Qualcomm’s bottom line claiming the chipmaker used unfair business practices in patent licensing and modem chip sales.

Qualcomm said that it will appeal the decision which would be the largest ever levied in South Korea.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission which is very nearly the unfortunate acronym of a US fried chicken outfit  (KFTC) ruled  Qualcomm abused its dominant market position and forced handset makers to pay royalties for an unnecessarily broad set of patents as part of sales of its modem chips.

Qualcomm also restricted competition by refusing or limiting licensing of its standard essential patents related to modem chips to rival chipmakers such as Intel, Samsung  and MediaTek , the regulator said, hindering their sales and leaving their products vulnerable to lawsuits.

The regulator ordered Qualcomm to negotiate in good faith with rival chipmakers on patent licensing and renegotiate chip supply agreements with handset makers if requested – measures that would affect the U.S. firm’s dealings with major tech companies including Apple, Intel, Samsung and Huawei if upheld.

The KFTC said it began its investigations into Qualcomm’s practices in 2014 following complaints from industry participants, but did not name specific companies.

Foreign companies including Apple, Intel, MediaTek and Huawei expressed their views during the regulator’s deliberation process, KFTC Secretary General Shin Young-son told a media briefing in the country’s administrative capital.

Qualcomm said it will file for an immediate stay of the corrective order and appeal the decision to the Seoul High Court. The firm will also appeal the amount of the fine and the method used to calculate it.

“Qualcomm strongly disagrees with the KFTC’s announced decision,” it said in a statement.

While the fine is big, analysts said that the KFTC’s orders for Qualcomm to alter its business practices have bigger future implications for the chipmaker. The ruling forces the company to license patents for some of its chips to rivals such as Intel, which has been competing hard to land its modem chips in mobile phones.

 

Floating speakers are going to be a thing

https-%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fuploads%2Fcard%2Fimage%2F330044%2F8df63095-92b1-443c-9126-15906699d51fLG hopes convince the world that it needs speakers that float.

The Levitating Portable Speaker (or PJ9) is a wireless, 360-degree omnidirectional speaker that flies above its station.  It has a built in sub-woofer which means that it should not sound too tinny. When its 10-hour battery is low, it automatically descends down to its station and charges wirelessly, without interrupting music playback.

It’s also weatherproof (up to IPX7 specifications), and can connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.

So does this mean that the audiophile friend of mine who set his speakers in concrete to stop them moving and improve the sound quality was completely wrong? Probably not. There are lots of speakers out there which defy the rules of sound quality in the interests of being a gimmick.  Their makers always say smaller speakers sound better thanks to modern technology and they never do.

Still it looks very pretty.

 

There’s more browsing on mobiles than PCs

mobileInternet usage by mobile and tablet exceeded desktop worldwide for the first time in October according to web analytics company StatCounter

The StatCounter beancounters found that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 percent of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7 percent by desktop.

“This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.

“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results.” He pointed out that Google recently launched a tool where businesses can test their website mobile performance.

Despite the rapid growth of mobile devices, desktop is still the primary mode of internet usage in mature markets such as the US and UK.

However, Cullen warned, “Post-Brexit, UK businesses should be aware, as they look to increase trade outside the EU, that India for example has over 75% internet usage through mobile devices.”

In the UK desktop is on 55.6 per cent  with mobile and tablet on 44.4 per cent .

In the US desktop still accounts for 58 per cent  of internet usage compared to 42 per cent for mobile and tablet.

Samsung unveils recovery plan

cunning-planSamsung has been talking about its cunning plan to recover quickly from the disastrous withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 that dragged down its third quarter mobile earnings to their lowest level in nearly eight years.

The outfit said it was expanding its probe into the Note 7 fires beyond batteries, as it tried to reassure investors that it would get to the bottom of the problem.

It suggested that it might be carrying out a share buyback to boost the share price. It also talked up its semiconductor business and promised to consider proposals for a corporate makeover.

Co-Chief Executive J.K. Shin told shareholders at the annual meeting that the company had to work hard to win back trust. He also apologised for the Note 7 debacle.

Investors are now expecting to see sweeping management changes in response to the Note 7 failure, especially after voting to make the parent conglomerate Samsung Group’s Jay Y. Lee, a Samsung Electronics director.

Lee, 48, the son of patriarch Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalised following a heart attack, will now have a clearer mandate to play a public role in setting strategy.

Heads will roll but shareholders may have to wait for the Note 7 investigation to conclude first. Chief Executive Kwon Oh-hyun said at the shareholder meeting the company would assign responsibility only after the crisis was resolved.

The world’s top smartphone maker posted a 96 percent plunge in third-quarter mobile earnings to $87.63 million from a year earlier, their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Operating profit was $4.57 billion, matching Samsung’s revised guidance.The scrapping of Samsung’s flagship phone erased 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points from South Korea’s third-quarter GDP growth in quarterly terms, a finance ministry official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Samsung SDI which supplied batteries blamed for the first Note 7 recall, separately reported a 110 billion won operating loss for the third quarter.

New York’s smut addiction clogs net service

escape-from-new-york-02A Google initiative to install super-fast wifi hubs and tablets in New York City, is failing because the citizens of the Big Apple are using the kiosks to download porn and listen to rap music.

LinkNYC said it is suspending web browsing on all its tablets after eight months due to “inappropriate behaviour”. Some users have been monopolising the Link tablets and using them inappropriately, preventing others from being able to use them while frustrating the residents and businesses around them,” the company writes in a statement.

If they are not watching porn they are listening to “loud, explicit” music.

LinkNYC is working with city officials to come up with potential solutions, like time limits, so that it can allow users to browse the web once more. Until it sorts out a cunning plan people can only use the tablets to make calls and look at maps.

LinkNYC said:

“The kiosks were never intended for anyone’s extended, personal use and we want to ensure that Links are accessible and a welcome addition to New York City neighborhoods.  Starting today, we are removing web browsing on all Link tablets while we work with the City and community to explore potential solutions, like time limits. Other tablet features—free phone calls, maps, device charging, and access to 311 and 911—will continue to work as they did before, and nothing is changing about LinkNYC’s superfast Wi-Fi. As planned, we will continue to improve the Link experience and add new features for people to enjoy while they’re on the go.”

British pub installs Faraday cage

Faraday-CageA pub has installed a Faraday cage to stop punters using their mobile phones and annoying everyone by shouting their location into them or by constantly looking at their messages.

Steve Tyler of the Gin Tub, in Hove, East Sussex, is hoping customers will be encouraged to actually talk to each other as a result of his initiative.

He has installed metal mesh in the walls and ceiling of the bar which absorbs and redistributes the electromagnetic signals from phones and wireless devices to prevents them entering the interior of the building.

The method was discovered in 1836 by Michael Faraday although it is not clear who was using a mobile phone at that point in history.

The idea is used in power plants or other highly charged environments to prevent shocks or interference with other electronic equipment.  Some wallets are now cloaked in a similar flexible mesh to prevent data and credit card theft.

Tyler said he wanted to force “people to interact in the real world” and remember how to socialise.

“I just wanted people to enjoy a night out in my bar, without being interrupted by their phones,” he said.

Normally you dont have to worry about drinks that don’t touch the sides, but we would be careful going near the walls during a lightning storm.

 

UK has the world’s fastest mobile internet

flash_superhero_running-t2Its government might have collapsed and opposition in disarray following Brexit, but the UK can pat itself on the back for having the world’s fastest mobile broadband.

According to data and graphics from the First Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report, which can be found on the Akamai State of the Internet site the average mobile connection speed in the UK was 27.9 Mbps making it the world’s best. The world’s worst was the 2.2 Mbps Algerians have to suffer from.

The United States’ average speed was 5.1 Mbps, which was lower than Turkey, Kenya, and Paraguay, and on par with Thailand. Many European countries more than doubled the average U.S. speed, including Slovakia with 13.3 Mbps, France with 11.5 Mbps, and Germany with 15.7 Mbps.

The report said that Global average connection speed increased 12 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to 6.3 Mbps, a 23 per cent increase year over year.

Global average peak connection speed increased 6.8 per cent to 34.7 Mbps in the first quarter, rising 14 per cent year over year.

Global 10 Mbps grew by ten percent, 15 Mbps grew by 14 per cent, and 25 Mbps broadband adoption grew by 19 per cent.

This are expected to hot up this quarter as the internet prepare to watch the Olympic games in Brazil, with expectations that this year’s events will be watched by more online viewers than ever.

David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report. ‘Global connection speeds have more than doubled since the summer of 2012, which can help support higher quality video streaming for bigger audiences across even more connected devices and platforms.’

The number of unique IPv4 addresses connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform declined 0.2 per cent to 808 million.

Belgium remained the clear global leader in IPv6 adoption with 36 per cent of its connections to Akamai occurring over IPv6, down 3.1 per cent from the previous quarter.

 

Apple not buying a lot of components

poison-appleIt looks like Apple has written off this year as an annus horribilis and is not buying nearly as many smartphone components.

According to Asian suppliers, Apple has cut the number of components down this quarter indicating that Apple things the market is going to be soft as a baby’s bottom.

The Tame Apple Press is having a job giving its favourite smartphone maker free publicity for the coming iPhone 7 because it looks like it is nearly identical to the iPhone 6S. It appears that Apple is not even trying.

Taiwanese chip firm Advanced Semiconductor Engineering warned that Apple was being more conservative in placing orders compared with last year.

Nikkei said that hat component suppliers in Taiwan would receive fewer orders from Apple in the second half of 2016.

Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs lowered its price target on Apple’s stock on worries about slowing growth in the smartphone industry.

At the time, the brokerage also lowered its fiscal 2016 forecast for iPhone shipments to 211 million units from 212 million units.

Apple reported its first-ever quarterly decline in iPhone sales in April and it is expected that the iPhone 7 will be a huge disappointment.  Apple’s shares have fallen 12.6 percent this year which is a little surprising given the amount of bad news the outfit has been doling out.

 

Smartphones give us ADHD symptoms

mobileSmartphone use is creating similar symptoms to  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a new study has suggested.

Research Associate in Psychology, University of Virginia Kostadin Kushlev, recruited 221 students at the University of British Columbia to participate in a two-week study to look at the effects of smartphones on them.

During the first week, he asked half the participants to minimise phone interruptions by activating the “do-not-disturb” settings and keeping their phones out of sight and far from reach. We instructed the other half to keep their phone alerts on and their phones nearby whenever possible. In the second week participants who had used their phones’ “do-not-disturb” settings switched on phone alerts. The order in which we gave the instructions to each participant was randomly determined by a flip of a coin.

Then Kushlev measured inattentiveness and hyperactivity by asking participants to identify how frequently they had experienced 18 symptoms of ADHD over each of the two weeks. These items were based on the criteria for diagnosing ADHD in adults as specified by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V). The results were more frequent phone interruptions made people less attentive and more hyperactive.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and Kushlev is not saying that smartphones can cause ADHD, nut the findings suggest that people can act like it. He thinks that smartphones could be harming the productivity, relationships and well-being of millions.

” Our findings suggest that our incessant digital stimulation is contributing to an increasingly problematic deficit of attention in modern society. So consider silencing your phone – even when you are not in the movie theater. Your brain will thank you,” Kushlev wrote.