Ultra-portables grow 100% in 2013

abi researchUltra-portables are becoming increasingly popular, growing 100 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to ABI Research. This translates to 12.3 percent (22.5 million) of notebook PC shipment in 2013 (182.7 million).

“Across 24 countries tracked in November 2013, we found average ultra-portable PC selling prices ranging from US$940 to US$1,540 with the majority of models offered above US$1,200 in each country,” said Jeff Orr, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research. “The ASPs suggest ultra-portables including the convertible and detachable 2-in-1 configurations remained at the high-end of the notebook PC category exiting 2013.”

Beyond Apple’s MacBook Air running MacOS, the bulk of ultra-portable PCs are powered by the Windows 8 operating system, which suffered fits and starts during 2013 due to usability issues and poor first impressions by early adopter audiences. A revision, Windows 8.1, was released in the second half of the year to address these concerns, though popular opinion suggests many considering a refresh to their existing systems are willing to wait for the hiccups to be worked out before making a financial commitment.

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Samsung is top global semiconductor buyer

GartnerSamsung Electronics is the world’s top semiconductor buyer, and together with second placed Apple, increased their combined semiconductor demand by 17 percent in 2013, according to Gartner.

The two companies consumed US$53.7 billion of semiconductors in 2013, an increase of $7.7 billion from 2012.

“Samsung Electronics and Apple have topped the semiconductor consumption table for three years running, with their share of the design total available market (TAM) rising from 12 per cent in 2011, to 17 per cent in 2013,” said Masatsune Yamaji, Principal Research Analyst of Gartner. “This increase clearly shows how fast the presence of these two companies has expanded over the last three years and why their decisions have technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry.”

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APAC PC market shrank 10% in 2013

IDCThe Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market declined 10 percent in 2013 to reach 108 million units, according to preliminary results from IDC.

The economic sluggishness in big emerging markets in the region adversely affected buying sentiments, with education sector projects being a lone bright spot in the commercial space, without which the region could have dropped even further. On the consumer side, smartphone and tablet distractions spread throughout the region this year, further contributing to the sharp decline in the PC market.

In Q4, the market came in two percent below IDC’s initial forecasts with a nine percent year-on-year decline. While most of the region was generally in line with forecasts, Thailand stood out as an exception, as the market there was plagued by the ongoing political turmoil. Shipment volumes this quarter will likely be the lowest in Thailand in the last four years.

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Huawei teams up with the Gunners

HuaweiHuawei has taken a shot at the English Premier League by becoming the official smartphone partner of league leaders Arsenal.

Huawei and Arsenal announced the global deal, which lasts until the end of season 2015/16 at the Arsenal Training Centre in Colney, Hertfordshire, with members of the first team including, Aaron Ramsey, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Özil along with manager Arsène Wenger.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Huawei at such an exciting time in the development of its brand globally, and in particular in the UK and Europe,” said Tom Fox, Chief Commercial Officer of Arsenal.

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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to speak at MWC

GSMAMark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook is among the line-up of new speakers in the keynote programme at the upcoming 2014 GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC).

He will be headlining in the first of the week’s Mobile World Live keynote sessions on Monday, February 24 at 18:00-18:45. In this session, he and renowned technology journalist and writer David Kirkpatrick will explore the importance of extending the benefits of ubiquitous Internet access to the unconnected world. In addition to the live audience in the Conference Village in Fira Gran Via, the Mobile World Live keynotes will be streamed live across the venue and to hundreds of thousands of viewers globally via the Mobile World Live portal.

“Mobile World Congress 2014 is set to be our biggest, most ambitious and most diverse event yet, offering new experiences for attendees across the growing mobile ecosystem,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer of GSMA. “Over four days, attendees will have the opportunity to see just how broadly mobile is impacting our everyday lives, how we work, live and play. We’re looking forward to seeing the mobile world gather in Barcelona.”

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Companies need to catch up with mobile customers

ForresterCompanies worldwide are quickly realising that mobile has not only changed digital operations, but that it will fundamentally change entire businesses in decades to come, according to Forrester Research.

2014 will be an incremental year on this journey, as companies increase investments to transform their businesses and race to keep up with the growing mobile mind shift, with an installed base of more than two billion smartphones globally. In the report, Forrester Analysts Thomas Husson and Julie Ask outline key mobile trends anticipated for 2014, including::

  • Big data, big data, big data. Mobile is transformative but only if consumers are engaged in their exact moment of need with the right services, content, or information. Insights gleaned from data over time will be essential to know how to best serve customers in that moment.
  • Mobile advertising will start to mature. New mobile-centric ad formats will emerge, with more effective mobile video inventory and more mobile ad network inventory shifting to the exchanges.

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APAC leads in mobile data traffic

abi researchGlobal mobile Internet service revenue grew an estimated  23.4 percent to US$300 billion last year, according to ABI Research. Wireless broadband subscription grew 28.8 percent and the smartphone share of total subscriptions advanced by 6.6 percent to capture 27.5  percent of the overall pie.

In 2014, mobile Internet related revenues will power ahead with growth in the 13 to 15 percent range in 2014 with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way.

“When it comes to mobile data traffic growth, Asia-Pacific will lead the pack, generating 16.8 exabytes of traffic in 2014 for a 40.2 percent share,” notes Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director of ABI Research. “After launching LTE services in late 2013, China will experience a surge in data traffic in 2014. Even mature markets like South Korea and Japan will continue to see strong growth as operators boost capacity with LTE-Advanced technologies.”

Audi adds NVIDIA Tegra-based visual computing power to its cars

Audi dashboardThree new in-vehicle systems powered by the NVIDIA Tegra Visual Computing Module (VCM) will soon begin shipping in Audi’s vehicles.

These innovative solutions, disclosed at the German automaker’s press conference at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, include:

  • a connected infotainment system with twice the performance of its predecessor;
  • the world’s first automotive-grade tablet that is fully integrated into the car’s infotainment system; and
  • a high-resolution digital cockpit with unprecedented, vivid 3D graphical displays.

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Worldwide PC, tablet, ultramobile, and mobile phone shipment to grow 7.6% this year

GartnerGlobal shipment of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles, and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6 percent increase from 2013, according to Gartner.

Among the operating system (OS) market, Android is on pace to surpass one billion users across all devices in 2014. By 2017, more than 75 percent of Android’s volumes will come from emerging markets.

“The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs. Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner. “Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users’ increasingly different demands.”

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New alliance formed to bring Android to automobile

A coalition of auto and technology companies have formed a new industry alliance to bring the Android platform to a device that’s always been mobile: the car.

Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai, and NVIDIA have joined together to form the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014. OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone.

OAA is aimed at accelerating auto innovation with an approach that offers openness, customization and scale, key tenets that have already made Android a familiar part of millions of people’s lives. This open development model and common platform will allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their drivers, and create new opportunities for developers to deliver powerful experiences for drivers and passengers in a safe and scalable way.

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Solved! Mystery of “192” crop circle

Crop CircleFor a couple of weeks, the US media were reporting on a crop circle that appeared in Salinas, a small town two hours south of San Francisco.

An intrepid reporter deciphered the message as “192”. The mystery was revealed by Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA at CES 2014.

The crop circle is the doing of the NVIDIA Marketing Team behind the launch of the newly-launched Tegra K1 mobile processor, which sports 192 cores. Catch the making of the Salinas Crop Circle.

 

NVIDIA unveils revolutionary Tegra K1 super chip for mobile platform

NVIDIA Tegra K1NVIDIA unveiled at CES the Tegra K1 mobile processor, a 192-core super chip featuring the same NVIDIA Kepler architecture that powers the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti. For the first time, next-generation PC gaming will now be available on mobile platforms.

The Tegra K1 processor sets new mobile standards by supporting the latest PC-class gaming technologies, enabling it to run sophisticated gaming engines like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. It delivers advanced computation capabilities to speed the development of applications for computer vision and speech recognition. And its extraordinary efficiency delivers higher performance than any other mobile GPU at the same power level.

 

“Over the past two decades, NVIDIA invented the GPU and has developed more graphics technologies than any other company,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO, NVIDIA. “With Tegra K1, we’re bringing that heritage to mobile. It bridges the gap for developers, who can now build next-gen games and apps that will run on any device.”

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IMS deployments to reach US$4b by 2017

abi researchIMS Core Network deployments are edging up as operators put the necessary infrastructure and capacity in place for planned 2014 VoLTE launches, according to ABI Research.

Spending for the core network products (HSS, CSC, Media Controllers and Gateways, MSF, IBCF, SBC and P-CSCF) integral to a functioning IMS network will reach US$4 billion by 2017. “We see increasing IMS Core Network revenues through 2017, after which IMS revenues will flatten and reflect capacity expansion,” said Joe Hoffman, Research Director of ABI Research.

IMS spending for mobile 4G markets follows the LTE deployments, as operators seek to get their network coverage in place, stabilised, and compatible mobiles for VoLTE become available. The leading LTE market, North America, will peak 2015 to 2016, while the largest market, Asia-Pacific shows continued growth into the foreseeable future.

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KDDI offers smart multimedia infotainment system in Japan

ZTE PHOTO-U TV systemZTE is cooperating with KDDI to offer a smart multimedia infotainment system to its subscribers, bringing a high-quality and enriching user experience to consumers in Japan. The sleek and stylish PHOTO-U TV system, equipped with a 10.1-inch high-resolution(1024*600) display and front stereo speakers, enables users to watch digital TV broadcasts (full-segment, one-segment), mirror their smartphone screens, view photos and access real-time weather and directory information.

PHOTO-U TV comes with 4GB of internal data storage, and supports as much as 32GB of external storage, allowing user to make full-segment recordings of TV programs. Designed for portability, the waterproof PHOTO-U TV supports CDMA 1X WIN and Wi-fi CERTIFIED Miracast connectivity, allowing users to stream videos from their smartphones. The built-in antenna and a 2,500mAh rechargeable battery means users can carry the device anywhere, including bathrooms and kitchens. PHOTO-U TV users may view photos taken on their own smartphones through the “au Cloud” technology.

Samsung Electronics appoints Moon Soo Kim as President and CEO of SEA HQ

Kim Moon SooSamsung Electronics has appointed Moon Soo Kim as President and CEO of Southeast Asia Headquarters. Kim will lead all of Samsung Electronics’ businesses in Southeast Asia and Oceania to further strengthen the company’s position in the region.

He has previously served on Samsung Corporate’s Strategy team for nearly four years, advancing Samsung’s mission to devote its talent and technology to create products and services that contribute to a better global society. Prior to that, he was also Managing Director of Samsung Electronics United Kingdom for three years where he was instrumental in leading its growth.

In his new role, Kim will leverage his experience in operational excellence and business management to continue to build Samsung Electronic’s success in the Southeast Asia and Oceania region.