Samsung extends lead in India smartphone market

CanalysSamsung has pulled further ahead of the competition with a quarter share of the India smartphone market in 2015, according to Canalys.

Micromax held on to second place, with annual shipment falling by more than 20%, primarily due to inventory build-up in its distribution network.

Lenovo and Motorola’s combined shipments were just short of three million units, up almost 60 percent up from the previous year, moving them past Intex to take third place in the market.

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Oil gloom, data centre bloom

Oversupply of oil in the global economy is set to accelerate data centre investment, according to Canalys, which forecasted that the large data centre segment will grow eight percent in 2016 as enterprises and service providers become more ambitious with the size of their facilities.

Oil prices have declined more than 70 percent since mid-2014, and will remain low as production ramps up across the US and Middle East. Data centres, with their monolithic energy consumption, will benefit from cheaper electricity as wholesale gas prices decline. Investment will focus on larger facilities, as energy becomes less of a constraint on operating costs.

Cheaper oil will accelerate a market that is already growing. Pre-eminent cloud service providers have already reacted to data sovereignty concerns by investing in the expansion of their global cloud footprint. This will continue and industry standard servers, network security and virtualisation technologies will become key growth categories. Incumbent data centre infrastructure vendors will pivot their focus towards high-end large and hyperscale facilities, but will face stiff competition from cheaper ODM alternatives.

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Worldwide IT spending to remain flat this year

GartnerThe global economy is hitting IT spending, with Gartner predicting just a 0.6 percent increase over 2015 spending of US$3.52 trillion.

2015 saw the largest US dollar drop in IT spending since Gartner began tracking IT spending. US$216b less was spent on IT in 2015 than in 2014 and 2014 spending levels won’t be surpassed until 2019.

“The rising US dollar is the villain behind 2015 results. US multinationals’ revenue faced currency headwinds in 2015. However, in 2016 those headwinds go away and they can expect an additional five percent growth,” said John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President of Gartner.

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Samsung introduces Galaxy A smartphones in Singapore

Samsung Galaxy A 2016Samsung has launched its Galaxy A (2016) smartphones – the Galaxy A3 (2016) 4G, Galaxy A5 (2016) 4G+ and Galaxy A7 (2016) 4G+ – in Singapore. These additions come in three screen size options: 4.7-inch for the Galaxy A3 (2016) 4G, 5.2-inch for the Galaxy A5 (2016) 4G+ and 5.5-inch for the Galaxy A7 (2016) 4G+.

The ultra slim unibody sports a 2.7mm narrow bezel for an immersive viewing experience.

The smartphones pack a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera with brighter f1.9 aperture lenses. Innovative smart selfie features such as wide selfie, palm selfie and beauty face embedded in the Galaxy A (2016) allow users to capture high-resolution and vivid selfies with ease. The Galaxy A5 (2016) 4G+ and Galaxy A7 (2016) 4G+ rear cameras are also enhanced with optical image stabiliser for blur-free images.

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AIS migrates to ZTE’s USPP

AIS logoAIS, Thailand’s largest mobile operator, has successfully migrated 38 million subscribers from HLRs (Home Location Registers) to ZTE’s USPP (Universal Subscriber Profile Platform) solution.

USPP was fully vetted in a series of proof-of-concept tests conducted by AIS and ZTE before the solution was launched commercially. This included testing of overload protection capabilities with up to nine times normal traffic, simulating a 30 percent packet loss in IP network transmission, repeated plugging, unplugging and switching of single board computers and hard disks, and other extreme environmental tests and verifications.

ZTE USPP simultaneously supports subscribers of GSM/UMTS/LTE networks, and smoothly achieves VoLTE and VoWiFi services.

Semiconductor market drops 1.9% in 2015

GartnerWorldwide semiconductor revenue was US$333.7 billion in 2015, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2014 revenue of US$340.3 billion, according to Gartner.

The top 25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenue increased 0.2 percent, which was more than the overall industry’s growth. They also accounted for 73.2 percent of total market revenue, up from 71.7 percent in 2014.

“Weakened demand for key electronic equipment, the continuing impact of the strong dollar in some regions and elevated inventory are to blame for the decline in the market in 2015,” said Sergis Mushell, Research Director of Gartner.

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NVIDIA adds AI and supercomputing prowess to driverless cars

DRIVE PX_illustrationThe new NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 is set to give driverless cars a major boost.

Touted at the world’s most powerful engine for in-vehicle artificial intelligence, it allows the automotive industry to use artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle the complexities inherent in autonomous driving. NVIDIA DRIVE PX2 utilises deep learning on NVIDIA’s advanced GPUs for 360-degree situational awareness around the car, to determine precisely where the car is and to compute a safe, comfortable trajectory.

“Drivers deal with an infinitely complex world. Modern artificial intelligence and GPU breakthroughs enable us to finally tackle the daunting challenges of self-driving cars,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “NVIDIA’s GPU is central to advances in deep learning and supercomputing. We are leveraging these to create the brain of future autonomous vehicles that will be continuously alert, and eventually achieve superhuman levels of situational awareness. Autonomous cars will bring increased safety, new convenient mobility services and even beautiful urban designs – providing a powerful force for a better future.”

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China to surpass the US in 3D printer market

IDCChina is set to overtake the US to become the biggest 3D printer market this year.

3D printer shipments in the China market passed 34,000 units in 2014, and is expected to reach 77,000 units in 2015, a growth rate over 120 percent, according to IDC.

This growth rate is largely driven by sales of desktop 3D printers priced under US$5,000. As the Chinese government continue to promote 3D printer awareness and usage within schools and educational institutions, the desktop 3D printer market is expected to maintain an annual growth trend in the coming years.

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NVIDIA unveils VR-ready programme

NV-GF-VR-Ready-logo-wht-RGBNVIDIA is paving the way to virtual reality (VR) gaming experiences with the launch of its new VR-ready programme at CES.

Under the programme, PC and notebook makers and add-in card providers will deliver GeForce GTX VR Ready systems and graphics cards that deliver an immersive VR gaming experience. The programme minimises confusion regarding which equipment is necessary to play the range of VR games and applications increasingly coming to market.

Delivering a great VR experience demands seven times the graphics processing power of traditional 3D games and applications – driving framerates above 90 frames per second (fps) for two simultaneous images (one for each eye).

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