Author: entelechyasia

Entelechy Asia is passionate about technology -- from the home to the enterprise, and telecommunications. We deliver news, views and reviews from Asia from the perspectives of practitioners and followers.

Nokia redefines zoom with Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020In an effort to make an impact in the smartphone market, Nokia seems to be banging the camera feature. Boasting a second generation 41 megapixel sensor, the new Nokia Lumia 1020 reinvents zoom, delivering more details than the eye can see so people can take photos first and frame later.

With Nokia’s innovative PureView technology and a new application called Nokia Pro Camera, it claims to be able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera. Nokia Pro Camera makes it easy to capture, edit and share photos and videos.

The Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel sensor features ZEISS optics with six physical lenses, plus optical image stabilisation. It also captures blur free videos with stereo sound even at the loudest concerts thanks to Nokia Rich Recording, which handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones.

Lenovo nudges HP off global PC perch

IDCLenovo became the number one PC vendor in Q2 as HP slid to second with Dell coming in third.

According to IDC‘s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Lenovo continued its streak of gains following channel expansion and solid product development. In Q2, it made impressive gains outside of Asia Pacific except Japan (APeJ). However, the headwinds in China continued to affect its home turf significantly. Lenovo ended the quarter with a double-digit decline in APeJ. Overall growth has slowed from prior quarters, and slipped into negative territory this quarter, but still outpaced the market and top competitors.

HP slipped to second place, but growth improved from recent quarters. It was boosted by shipments to India as part of large education projects. Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding its restructuring, Dell performed above market with a decline of 4.5 percent. As with HP, this was a significant improvement from the past year that was aided by improving growth in the US. It managed to perform above market in all key regions except APeJ.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active with LTE available for S$898 from July 13

samsung galaxy s4 active with lteYet another iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be making its debut in Singapore on Saturday. The Galaxy S4 Active with LTE is designed for active users who want to stay connected while exploring environments from the most rugged mountain trails to the roughest rivers.

Priced at S$898 without contract, the phone has qualified protection from dust and water (IP67),  keeping dust particles out and protecting against water damage for up to 30 minutes of submergence at a depth of one metre. Equipped with a water-resistant earphone jack, the GALAXY S4 ACTIVE With LTE frees you to use earphones above water when the phone is wet or in water. 

“The Galaxy S4 Active with LTE is a new addition to the Galaxy series and is purposefully designed for active users who love the outdoors,” said Irene Ng, Vice President, Marketing, Samsung Asia Pte Ltd. “Samsung has taken the innovative features of the Galaxy S4 and added breakthrough protective design elements to create a device that thrives in an active environment and is built for a lifestyle of travel and exploration.”

LTE to deliver US$74b in service revenue in 2013

abi researchOut of 470 LTE commitments tracked by ABI Research, 193 have gone commercial. Over the next two years, another 123 network commitments are expected to do likewise. Additionally, ABI Research is currently tracking 69 LTE-TDD commitments.

“By 2018, LTE deployments should deliver population coverage of 57 percent (4.2 billion) and 31 percent (2.3 billion) in legacy WCDMA and CDMA2000 markets respectively. Significantly, LTE-TDD coverage should achieve 49 percent population coverage by the end of the five year period,” said Jake Saunders, Vice President – Core Forecasting at ABI Research.

These coverage targets will be driven by macrocells and small cells. By 2018, the number of LTE macrocell base stations will reach 2.43m to achieve the population coverage targets. Small cells are an integral part of the LTE operator’s network strategy. As a result, ABI Research estimates that 18,000 LTE outdoor small cells will ship in 2013, and will expand to 986,000 by 2018.

Richmanclub Studios relies on NVIDIA GPUs to produce upcoming film

The Boy and his Robot
The Boy and his Robot

By Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

Founded by Rich Ho in Singapore in 2004, Richmanclub Studios is a motion picture production company. Its first official production was the short film, “The Alien Invasion” in 2004, which has been shown around the world. The film was the first Singaporean short film to be nominated for the “Chinese Oscar”, The Golden Horse Awards 2004 for Best International Digital Short Film.

The studio has also won the Special Technical Achievement Award (Hive Film Festival), Audience Favorite (Substation First Take) and the Asia-Pacific wide Gold Award-Digital Art (ACMSIGGRAPH ComGraph).

In 2011, Richmanclub Studios launched two additional departments – Richopus Music to offer music production services and IVI VFX to provide post-production services.

Smartphones account for half of mobile device shipments in Japan in Q1

Smartphone shipments in Japan grew 4.0 percent year over year in Q1 to 6.8 million units to account for half of the overall mobile device market in Q1, according to IDC’s Japan Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker.

Total shipments in the Japan mobile device market for Q1 came to 13.6 million units, an increase of 9.7  percent on a year-over-year basis.

While the PC market declined by 4.6 percent in the quarter, the rapidly growing tablet market enjoyed year-over-year growth of 187.2 percent to slightly more than 2 million units. The tablet growth was largely driven by the availability of inexpensive new tablets and huge sales incentives from mobile operators to boost the shipping volumes of LTE (4G) tablets. 

ZTE snags most new contracts in China Telecom CDMA procurement programme

ZTEZTE Corporation has been awarded the most new contracts in phase 1 of China Telecom Group’s 2013 CDMA network procurement programme.

With the 2013 network procurement programme, China Telecom is strongly-positioned to grasp the new opportunities in CDMA services and meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of subscribers.

“We are fully committed to offering China Telecom the most advanced products and solutions,” said Fan Xiaobing, vice president of ZTE. “ZTE always strives to deliver the best technology, and the most customised services.”

Gartner adjusts worldwide IT spending projection downwards to 2% growth this year

GartnerGartner has adjusted its worldwide IT spending forecast for 2013 downwards to US$3.7 trillion in 2013. Last quarter, the research firm predicted a 4,1 percent increase compared to 2012 but that projection has been sliced by half to 2 percent. This reduction takes into account the impact of recent fluctuations in US dollar exchange rates. 

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the a leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognise market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.

“Exchange rate movements, and a reduction in our 2013 forecast for devices, account for the bulk of the downward revision of the 2013 growth,” said Richard Gordon, Managing Vice President at Gartner.

Samsung launches Galaxy S4 mini with LTE in Singapore

Galaxy S4 miniLike the Samsung Galaxy S4 but prefer a smaller form factor? The good news is that Samsung has launched the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini with LTE, a compact version of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Priced at S$698 without contract, the phone will be available in two colours — white frost and black mist — from July 6.

With a 4.3-inch qHD SUPER AMOLED display, 107g lightweight and compact design, it is easy to carry and operate with one hand. Though compact, the Galaxy S4 mini with LTE boasts a 1.7GHz dual core processor that allows users to quickly and easily perform data intensive tasks.

NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators power world’s most energy efficient supercomputer

Eurora SystemNVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators are powering the world’s two most energy efficient supercomputers, according to the latest Green500 list published last week.

The winning system is Eurora at CINECA, Italy’s largest supercomputing centre, in Casalecchio di Reno. Equipped with NVIDIA Kepler architecture-based GPU accelerators – the highest-performance, most efficient accelerators ever built – Eurora delivers 3,210 MFlops per watt, making it 2.6 times more energy efficient than the best system using Intel CPUs alone (at Météo France). It also greatly surpasses the most efficient Intel Xeon Phi accelerator-based system, Beacon, at the National Institute for Computational Sciences, at the University of Tennessee.

The number two system on the June 2013 Green500 list is the Aurora Tigon supercomputer at the Selex ES facilities Chieti, Italy.

Mobile fuelling economic growth in APAC

Mobile communications is more than just a way of communications — it is impacting and driving economies in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

According to GSMA’s ‘Mobile Economy: Asia Pacific 2013’ report, the region is at the forefront of mobile innovation, with the number of unique mobile subscribers having outpaced the rest of the world over the last decade, reaching 1.5 billion at the end of 2012.

In 2017, it is expected that APAC will reach 1.9 billion unique mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion.

GSMA mobile ecosystem 2012

Source: GSMA’s Mobile Economy: Asia Pacific 2013’ report

NVIDIA rolls out GeForce GTX 760

GeForce GTX 760Barely a month after it introduced the first GeForce 7 series GPUs — the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 — NVIDIA has added another new card to its lineup. Priced at US$249, the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 GPU, is designed to deliver extreme frame rates for this year’s hottest PC games, including Call of Duty: GhostsWatch Dogs, and Battlefield 4,.

According to NVIDIA, this would be its last GeForce 7 series card to be introduced this year. The new lineup now consists of:

  • GeForce GTX TITAN/GeForce GTX 690
  • GeForce GTX 780
  • GeForce GTX 770
  • GeForce GTX 760
  • GeForce GTX 660
  • GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST
  • GeForce GTX 650 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 650

Powered by an NVIDIA Kepler architecture-based GPU with an incredible 2.3 gigaflops of processing horsepower, the GeForce GTX 760 is more powerful than the next-generation game consoles expected by the end of the year.

Gartner: Worldwide PC, tablet and mobile phone shipments to grow 5.9% in 2013

GartnerCombined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.35 billion units in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. The market is being driven by sales in tablets, smartphones and to a lesser extent, ultramobiles, as PC shipments are on the decline.

Worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are forecast to total 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in Q1 was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.

Huawei introduces MediaPad 7 Vogue

When Samsung launched the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note in October 2011, critics scorned at the size of the phablet and wondered if people would actually buy the product. In under two years, the Galaxy Note has not only proven to be a success but has become the trailblazer to bigger-screen phones.

The latest iteration is the Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue, which sports a 7-inch display, aluminum unibody and quad-core processor.

We’re delighted to introduce the MediaPad 7 Vogue, our call-enabled tablet with world-class entertainment capabilities and long-lasting battery power,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group. 

Thailand’s PC market declines 20% in Q1

IDCSluggish demand in Thailand’s consumer market helped drive PC shipment down 20 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year.

According to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker, PC shipment reached only 800,000 units in Q1.

“Channel partners reacted quickly to the slowdown by reducing PC buy-in to make room for faster-moving devices like tablets” said Jarit Sidhu, Market Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Thailand. 

NVIDIA drops price of SHIELD to US$299

NVIDIA ShieldNVIDIA has done something quite unheard of — dropping the price of a pre-ordered product just a week before shipping. According to a NVIDIA blog post, “we’ve heard from thousands of gamers that if the price was US$299, we’d have a home run. So we’re changing the price of SHIELD to US$299”.

All pre-orders will be charged the new price of US$299 when the product ships.

“We want to get SHIELD into the hands of as many gamers as possible. That’s because we think they’ll have the same reaction to it as thousands of gamers already have: joy,” said NVIDIA Product Manager Jason Paul.

Enhancements to hybris Commerce Accelerator speed up omni-channel functionality deployment

hybrishybris has integrated hybris Commerce Accelerator with hybris Order Management Services (OMS) to enable merchants to deliver a complete omni-channel shopping experience, including browsing and fulfillment – like buy online and pick up in store and cross-channel stock-level display.

This significant enhancement means that B2C merchants of all sizes can now, at an affordable price point, go live with a world-class commerce system in less than four months through ready to use storefront templates and channel integrations that can be deployed quickly and then enhanced with more functionality over time.

Customers can also chose the deployment and purchase model which best meets their needs – traditional on-premise perpetual license, hosted by hybris or on-demand (software-as-a-service) with a monthly fee based on usage or revenue share.

Malaysia’s PC market down 18% in Q1

IDCThe PC market in Malaysia dropped 18 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker. However, the 898,000 units sold in the quarter represented an 18 percent growth in sequential quarter.

A major delivery of mini-notebooks nationwide under the government’s Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) project was the only notable event in an otherwise lacklustre quarter. The education and enterprise segments both posted declines after flushing their budgets last quarter.

Retail spending on PCs was also curtailed by distractions from Chinese New Year festivities and the influx of smartphones and tablets into the market. However, the positive response to touch-based notebooks in retail was a notable silver lining in a gloomy retail climate. 

Huawei unveils slim Ascend P6 smartphone

Huawei Ascend P6Claimed to be the world’s slimmest smartphone at 6.18mm, the Huawei Ascend P6 weighs just 120g. Packed into this sleek design are a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.2.2 operating system, 2000mAh battery, 4.7-inch HD in-cell LCD screen technology, and ‘MagicTouch’ for enhanced screen responsiveness even when wearing gloves.

As the flagship smartphone of the Huawei Ascend P series, it is targeted at the fashion conscious. The smartphone’s brushed metallic look with a naturally curved base is both elegant and intuitive.

“The Huawei Ascend P6 is a star among smartphones with its industry-leading design, high-quality camera, and intuitive user interface, Huawei’s proprietary Emotion UI,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group.

New Samsung Galaxy S4 model comes with 10x optical zoom

Samsung Galaxy S4 ZoomSamsung Electronics has released yet another model of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom is positioned as a smartphone with the capabilities of a high-end compact camera.

Packed with 10x optical zoom, 16MP CMOS sensor, optical image stabiliser (OIS), and Xenon Flash, the Galaxy S4 zoom aims to enhance the mobile photography experience.

“As communication continues to become increasingly visual in nature, people wish to capture and share their moments in the highest quality possible, but often do not have the space or inclination to carry a dedicated camera for this purpose. The GALAXY S4 zoom changes this forever, combining the industry leading functionality and connectivity of the GALAXY S4 with the high quality photographic experience you’d expect from a compact camera,” said JK Shin, President and CEO, Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. 

Stanford University researchers build world’s largest artificial neural network

NVIDIANVIDIA has collaborated with a research team at Stanford University to create the world’s largest artificial neural network built to model how the human brain learns. The network is 6.5 times bigger than the previous record-setting network developed by Google in 2012.

Computer-based neural networks are capable of “learning” how to model the behaviour of the brain – including recognising objects, characters, voices, and audio in the same way that humans do.

Yet creating large-scale neural networks is extremely computationally expensive. For example, Google used approximately 1,000 CPU-based servers, or 16,000 CPU cores, to develop its neural network, which taught itself to recognise cats in a series of YouTube videos. The network included 1.7 billion parameters, the virtual representation of connections between neurons.

Android and Windows tablets picking up steam in ANZ

IDCThe ANZ tablets market grew a phenomenal 147 percent year-on-year in Q1, bringing the total market size up to 1.14 million units, according to IDC. This tremendous growth was due to increased demand of smaller, cheaper Android tablets, as well as Windows tablets.

“Users now have better access to a wide range of low to high-end tablets as well as different operating systems compared to last year. In 2012, an user would usually choose between an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab but now, a year later, brands like ASUS, Acer and Microsoft would also appear on the user’s radar,” said Suzanne Tai, Associate Market Analyst of IDC’s ANZ Infrastructure Research Group. “Whitebox tablets have picked up significantly as well, driven with heavy promotions by retailers such as Aldi, Harvey Norman, K-Mart, and Warehouse Stationary.”

“Android is growing its foothold in the marketplace, thanks to Samsung’s aggressiveness with promotions and channel strategies, as well as the influx of whitebox tablets. Additionally, Windows tablets are also gaining traction with entry of new models, pilot rollouts and implementations in commercial sector especially in education.”

Every car to come with mobile technology in 2025

GSMAGSMA has shared research that details the disruptive impact embedded mobile technology will have on the automobile industry, revolutionising the motoring experience and helping to create a connected car market worth almost €40 billion globally in 2018, up from €13 billion in 2012.

According to research firm SBD, €32.6 billion of revenues – 83 percent of the total – will be driven by the growth of embedding SIM technology into new vehicles to enable mobile connectivity. This will encourage a range of mobile-based services around safety, security, infotainment, traffic information, navigation and vehicle diagnostics.

SBD predicts that most, if not all, new cars will have some form of connectivity by 2025, due largely to the rapid growth of embedded mobile technology.

ASICS picks hybris for new global consumer websites

hybrisSports footwear maker ASICS has selected hybris Commerce Suite for the infrastructure of the company’s new global consumer websites, featuring corporate, branding and e-commerce functions.

The solution will empower its branding and transactional pages, supporting its omni-channel deployments and B2C commerce with consumers.

In the middle of 2011, ASICS launched an internal project to rebuild the system, by using an omni-channel enabled e-commerce solution. After carefully comparing and evaluating several vendor solutions, ASICS selected hybris Commerce Suite in May 2012. It will start designing and integrating the new system in the US this year before rolling it out to other countries.

Vietnam’s PC market up in Q1

IDCIt looks like Indonesia is not the only market where PC sale is still heading north. Vietnam’s PC market grew by 13 percent in Q1 compared to the same period last year, according to IDC’s Vietnam Quarterly PC Tracker.

Nearly 500,000 PCs were shipped despite concerns over high inventory.

Anticipation of growing consumer demands in under-penetrated areas of Vietnam spurred vendors to increase consumer PC shipments. 

Philippines’ printer market bucks APAC trend

The market for printing devices in the Philippines grew by an astounding 34.5 percent in Q1, compared to the same period last year. This is a sharp contrast to overall Asia-Pacific region drop of 7.6 percent, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year drop.

According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals (HCP) Tracker, about 233,400 units of single and multifunction printers (MFP) and copiers were shipped in Q1 versus 174,000 units in Q1 of 2012.

Eight out of 10 were of inkjet technology while laser and serial dot matrix (SDM) accounted for the remaining 12.9 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively. Total market revenue hit an all-time high of US$48.2 million.

GSMA launches data and analysis platform for mobile industry

GSMAGSMA has launched GSMA Intelligence, a powerful new data and analysis resource for the mobile industry. The online portal provides a comprehensive set of data points, covering every mobile operator in every country worldwide, alongside market insights produced by a team of experienced industry analysts and experts.

The GSMA Intelligence portal is available at https://gsmaintelligence.com

“The mobile industry is one of the most dynamic and transformative technology markets ever, evolving at an unprecedented pace,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of GSMA. “This dynamism presents many opportunities and challenges for players across the mobile ecosystem and the GSMA is in a unique position to provide the intelligence and insights that organisations require to drive future growth and innovation. We’re excited to be addressing this key issue with today’s launch of GSMA Intelligence.”

hybris partners LivePerson to provide digital engagement solutions

hybrishybris will partner intelligent engagement solution provider LivePerson to offer an integrated solution for businesses to optimise the online commerce experience and drive greater return on investment (ROI) to their digital properties.

The hybris Commerce Suite is now fully integrated with LivePerson’s award-winning chat solution and available on the hybris Extend marketplace. The new integration will be essential to e-commerce professionals seeking to differentiate their brands from competitors, enabling them to connect more meaningfully to visitors and delivering a richer, more personalised experience for customers that will drive higher customer satisfaction and greater value to their business.

With LivePerson’s chat solution, merchants are able to increase conversion rates through their online stores and decrease cart abandonment. For example, if a customer is having difficulty locating a particular item, a customer service agent will be alerted and offer immediate assistance with the customer directly through live chat or ‘click to call’. Likewise, customers can engage directly with a customer service agent through a ‘click to chat’ button. To ensure an optimised client engagement, the customer’s page data is dynamically passed through to the agent.

PC sales in ANZ dip in Q1

IDCThe PC market is weakening as demand for tablets and other mobile devices strengthen. In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), the PC market closed Q1 with a 21 percent and 27 percent dip respectively compared to the same quarter last year, according to IDC.

This decline is all the more ominous in view of recent cuts to the Australian Federal interest rate and the quarter being the end of financial year in New Zealand.

“The softness in PC sales across the consumer and commercial space reflects a declining demand for PCs,” said Amy Cheah, Market Analyst of IDC Australia. “More consumers are skipping or delaying PC purchase as tablets become the more common alternative for mobile access. Vendors, as a result, took a more cautious approach this quarter, cutting back on shipments given the slow moving inventory situation.”