Tag: mobile

Lenovo to enter OEM mobile business

LENOVOA report said that Lenovo, which has considerable smartphone manufacturing facilities but has failed to make a major dent in the market, has decided to become an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and make its own.

A report from Digitimes, citing “industry sources” is integral to the restructuring of its smartphone business.

Lenovo is facing stiff competition from companies including Xiaomi and Huawei, the report said.

But the entry of Lenovo into manufacturing is likely to affect Taiwanese OEMs it had used before, including giant manufacturer Compal.

Most analysts believe that the smartphone market is pretty well saturated and faced with stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers, giants like Samsung and big outfits like HTC have felt the pain.

But if the reports are correct, it’s hard to see how Lenovo will turn the market round, particularly as manufacturing is rather top heavy at the moment.

Screen time is killing kids’ grades

76817It looks like the grades of the kids of today are suffering because of their dependence on gadgets.

A Cambridge University report, published in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity found that teens who spend an extra hour a day surfing the internet, watching TV or playing computer games risked performing two grades worse in exams than their peers who don’t.

A study of more than 800 students aged 14 and 15, also found that physical activity had no effect on academic performance, thus confirming that psychopathic PE teachers were the chocolate teapots of academia.

Researchers followed the pupils over time to see how different behaviours affected performance.

The scientists said it was reasonable to conclude that too much screen time reduced academic achievement.

Kirsten Corder of Cambridge’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research, who co-led the work said that it is possible to reasonably suggest that screen time may be damaging to a teenager’s grades.

The study found the average amount of screen time per day was four hours.

An extra hour in front of the TV or online at age 14-and-a-half was linked with 9.3 fewer exam points at age 16 — equivalent to two grades, for example from a B to a D. Two extra hours was linked to 18 fewer points.

Pupils doing an extra hour of daily homework and reading scored better had averages of 23.1 more points than their peers.

Further research was needed to confirm the effect conclusively, but advised parents worried about their children’s grades to consider limiting screen time.

It is not all tablets and mobiles though. TV was the most detrimental in terms of exam performance.

Look out Apple and Samsung! Huawei is here

William Xu, HuaweiChinese smarphone maker Huawei wants to get into the high end of the smartphone market, which should put the fear of Jobs into Apple and Samsung.

Dubbed the Mate S, launched on the sidelines of Europe’s biggest consumer electronics show, IFA, in Berlin, has a 5.5-inch display, a 13 mega pixel rear camera and fingerprint security. Huawei says it is one of the first smartphones to include a Force Touch display, which can distinguish between a light tap and deep press, enabling access to more functions just by pressing harder.

Huawei became the world’s third-biggest smartphone company by sales last month, overtaking Chinese rival Lenovo.

But it is still far behind Samsung, which had 21.9 percent of the market in the second quarter, and Apple, on 14.6 percent. Huawei’s share rose to 7.8 percent from 5.4 percent in the first quarter.

Huawei’s Mate S phone will retail for $732 which is slightly cheaper than some of the higher-end Apple iPhone 6 series models.

Its Mate S will be available in more than 30 countries including China, Germany, Israel, Japan, France, Germany and Spain and can be pre-ordered in Western Europe from September 15.

 

Intel “needs regime change”

Intel bus - Wikimedia CommonsA financial analyst believes that Intel is fast turning into the Blackberry of the semiconductor industry and has called for “regime change” at the corporation. Has Intel missed the bus?

Mark Hibben, at Seeking Alpha, believes that Intel’s “mobile strategy is an abysmal failure and is reminiscent of Blackberry’s response to Apple’s iPhone”.

He also thinks that after he’s crunched through the earnings, the picture for Intel isn’t that bright, with operating income down by a quarter year on year, and revenue down 4.7 percent year on year.

“The EPS beat was an artifact of an abnormally low income tax provision for the quarter. Intel is no longer a growth story despite the representations of Intel management,” he said.

Intel was able to lower its provision for taxes to $277 million for the latest quarter, compared to $1.126 billion in the same quarter last year.

Hibben believes that the fall in operating income is down to its client computing group, with revenues down in both Intel’s first and second financial quarters.

Intel is still subsidising suppliers of tablet computers with its chips.

He concludes: “Intel has become a short opportunity. The ingredients are all there. A management out of touch with reality. A company that is shrinking rather than growing and doesn’t understand why. A base of investor/fans clinging to an image of Intel from its glory days. Intel has become the BlackBerry of semiconductors.”

TechEye believes Hibben is right…

Americans check their phones too often

mobileThe latest statistics from the US indicate that more than half of people check their smartphone for mail and messages a few times an hour. Some are even waking up in the middle of the night to check them

The poll, gathered by Gallup, said that eleven percent of respondents said they check their smartphone every few minutes and 41 percent said they check a few times an hour.

Another 20 percent said they check about once an hour and 28 percent check less frequently.

The Gallup survey included responses online or through the mail from 15,747 US adults who own smartphones in all 50 states from April 17 to May 18. It had a one percent margin of error.

Young Americans checked their smartphones most frequently, Gallup said. Twenty-two percent of respondents from 18 to 29 said they checked their smartphones every few minutes, compared to three percent of people 65 or older, Gallup said.

More than four out of five owners, 81 percent, said they keep their smartphone nearby almost all the time while they are awake and 63 percent said they keep the phone near them while sleeping, Gallup said.

Gallup said the high numbers at night may be for people checking it before going to sleep and upon waking, or may reflect the phone’s use as an alarm clock. It could also because they are barking mad and want to make sure no one is trying to talk to them from the other side of the world.

 

iPhone spy hacked

 184owiq3hokyhjpgmSpy, which makes its living selling software to help people spy on iPhone users, has been hacked.

All the details of iPhone user’s Coldplay collections, Klingon Dictionaries, pictures of cats, their mums and sci-fi actresses they would like to sleep with have ended up on a dark web site.

mSpy has not responded to multiple requests for comment left for the company over the past five days and the story has been leaked by KrebsOnSecurity 

The site is only reachable via the unternet system Tor.   The Tor-based site hosts several hundred gigabytes worth of data taken from mobile devices running mSpy’s products, including some four million events logged by the software.

The unknown hackers, who’ve claimed responsibility for this intrusion suggests that the data dump includes information on more than 400,000 users, including Apple IDs and passwords, tracking data, and payment details on some 145,000 successful transactions.

Also included in the data dump are thousands of support request emails from people around the world who paid between $8.33 to as much as $799 for a variety of subscriptions to mSpy’s surveillance software.

Mspy users can track Android and iPhone users, snoop on apps like Snapchat and Skype, and keep a record of every key the user types.

mSspy users can track the exact location of Android and iPhone users, snoop on apps like Snapchat and Skype, and keep a record of every word the user types.

mSpy advertises that its product works even on non-jailbroken iPhones, giving users the ability to log the device holder’s contacts, call logs, text messages, browser history, events and notes.

The company claims that its product is great for rubbish parents who believe that their own insecurities can be made up by being overly protective of their children.  The irony is now that all the paedophiles and bullies will now have access to all their precious snowflake’s details.

 

Samsung is trashing Apple

cat versus dogWhile the Tame Apple Press is spinning Apple’s results to make it look as if everything is great behind the reality distortion field, it appears that it is ignoring one important fact – Apple is losing ground in smartphones.,

One of the key planks of the “Apple is still relevant” claims was that its iPhones 6 and iPhoneS was in great demand — particularly in China. And while it is true that sales of the iPhone 6 have been OK in China they were dropping in Apple’s home markets of the US and Europe.

Now figures from research firm Strategy Analytics have painted a different picture of the situation which should leave Tim Cook clutching his chest and calling for a quack.

Samsung overtook Apple Inc (AAPL.O) to recapture the title of world’s top smartphone maker by volume in the first quarter of 2015.

It said Samsung shipped 83.2 million smartphones worldwide and captured 24 percent market share in the quarter, down from 31 percent a year earlier but better than Apple’s 18 percent.

Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said in a statement:”Samsung continued to face challenges in Asia and elsewhere, but its global performance has stabilized sufficiently well this quarter to overtake Apple and recapture first position as the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume,”

The difficulty here is that Samsung did not really have a product in the market, while Apple had its two best shots. Samsung is since doing extremely well with its new Galaxy S range which was expected to pull the rug from underneath Jobs’ Mob.

If Strategy Analytics is correct, then the rug had already been pulled and Samsung will be able to deliver a swift kick to Apple’s bottom line while it was down. Apple’s results then are starting to look like the beginning of the end.

Analysis: Intel fails to fix PC malaise

Intel's Gordon Moore and Robert NoyceIntel reported its financial first quarter results yesterday evening and as expected its PC business continued to decline.

But Intel consolidated its results making it hard to see how much money it’s losing on its really quite disastrous foray into the mobile and tablet markets.

PR executives spun the results by saying they were in line with previous estimates – but its previous estimates weren’t in line with the estimates it previously estimated.

Its revenues were flat and it expect its revenues to continue to be flat for the rest of the year. But with gross margins of 60.5 percent for the quarter, it still turned in a net profit of two billion dollars.

CEO Brian Krzanich said in a prepared statement that growth in data centres, the internet of things (IoT) and memory helped to keep its figures relatively not too bad.

The client computing group showed revenues of $7.4 billion, a fall of 16 percent compared to the previous quarter and a fall of eight percent compared to the same quarter in its last financial year.

And while the data centre group turned in revenues of $3.7 billion, that was down 10 percent sequentially but rose 19 percent year on year.

The internet of things group delivered revenues of $533 million – a fall of 10 percent compared to the previous quarter but up 11 percent year on year.

Its software and services operating division delivered revenues of $534 million, down four per cent sequentially and three per cent year on year.

It is hard to describe Intel’s results as stellar. Like Microsoft, it is showing signs of malaise and despite optimistic forecasts that PC sales are going to go through the roof because of the launch of Windows 10, that is a hope, not a promise.

Intel’s problem is, that like IBM in the 1990s, it resembles a big oil tanker and can’t be turned around quickly. The real question is that as it depended on its success in the PC business through sales of X86 chips, where does it actually go now?

Its mobile strategy has been all over the place for years now and phone manufacturers quite simply went for better and cheaper ARM processors. The Wintel hegemony is over and Intel’s board lacks a charitable nature. Krzanich is too newly fledged to dump yet, but the board will already be demanding answers.

The problem is, there are no easy answers to the Intel malaise and despite it being the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law (pictured, left)  in just a few days time, that isn’t going to stop the slow and steady decline in the company’s fortunes. Like Microsoft, it is largely irrelevant to the changing nature of current technology and we doubt the internet of things is going to make any real difference in the long run. ♣

Addicted to smartphones don’t ya know that they’re toxic?

Britney_Spears_Toxic-e1428916575934A Japanese University president has told his students that smartphones are toxic and they should quit their smartphones or quit school.

Channelling Britney Spears Shinshu University President Kiyohito Yamasawa told his students that their addiction to smartphones was “toxic.”

“Smartphone addiction slows down brain functions and wastes precious time,” he added.

Yamasawa’s comments are being seen as a split from students and other college heads, with some saying that smartphones were useful for finding information.

A government survey released in March shows that over 80 per cent of high school students who own a mobile phone use a smartphone. Smartphone users aged between 10 and 17 spend an average of 133 minutes on the Web per weekday using their device, the study also showed.

Another head, Hiroshi Hosoi, the president of Nara Medical University in western Japan,referred to Yamasawa’s comments while speaking to his freshmen at another ceremony.

He said that it was true that spending time reading books is probably better for developing one’s character, but the important thing was to learn how to use smartphones properly, because they are tools.

The phones not the students, we guess.

Nearly four in ten UK households bought a tablet

tabletNearly 40 per cent of UK households bought a tablet last year, despite the fact that they didn’t really know what to do with one.

The statistic, compiled by the Internet Advertising Bureau suggests that the average number of internet connected devices in each house is up to 7.4.

Smartphones are the most commonly owned connected gadget, followed by laptops and tablets, according to research from the UK. Games consoles, desktop computers and smart TVs were also likely to be found within British homes. One fifth of UK households own two tablets, while 11 per cent own three or more, the study found.

However the writing appears to be on the wall for the tablet.  The percentage of customers planning to buy a tablet has fallen from 44 percent in 2014 to 38 percent this year, a separate set of research from Accenture found.

The two figures side by side suggest that people who bought a tablet did not use it much and when they came to buy something else they went for ‘phablets’ instead,

John Curran, managing director, Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology group said that phablets were grabbing centre stage because a growing number of consumers prefer the screen size and resolution to that of a smartphone.

“This does not mean the tablet market will become inactive, but as consumers’ purchasing plans for mature device categories such as tablets decline, high tech companies will need to replace lost revenues with sales in new categories such as wearable health and fitness monitors.”