Large screen smartphones gaining popularity

CanalysThe numbers are clear. Big is getting more popular. Large screen smart phones (five-inch and above) accounted for 22 percent of the quarter billion smartphones shipped in Q3. This is the highest number ever and translates to a staggering 56 million units.

Samsung is the dominant player in the large screen segment. Breaking this down further, 66 percent of the 56 million smart phones had a five-inch display, 31 percent had screens between five and six inches while just three percent had six-inch or larger screens.

According to Canalys, the smartphone market grew 44 percent year-on-year in Q3. The top two vendors, Samsung and Apple, maintained their positions, with market shares of 34 percent and 15 percent respectively. Huawei, Lenovo and LG completed the top five.

NVIDIA fights back in battle of the GPUs with GeForce GTX 780 Ti

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780TiAMD fired the first salvo after a long period of silence to reignite the GPU battle. But, NVIDIA has hit back immediately and regained the crown with the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Besides sheer performance, NVIDIA’s armoury also includes G-SYNC, GeForce Experience and ShadowPlay.

The new card delivers smooth frame rates at extreme resolutions for the latest and hottest PC games, including Assassin’s Creed IV — Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Batman: Arkham Origins. It also this with cool, quiet operation that is critical to providing an immersive gaming experience.

Powering the GPU is the NVIDIA Kepler architecture, which provides an advanced, low-thermal-density design that translates into better cooling, quieter acoustics and record-breaking performance.

Target: Silver surfers

GartnerThe Baby Boomer generation is unlike any other. More technologically advanced, savvy and adaptable, they have been blessed with a slew of technologies and are not afraid to use them — for work and play.

Such is their influence that Gartner has note that silver surfers represent a more important technology market than Generation X and Generation Y.

Gartner Vice President and Fellow David Furlonger pointed out that with an aging population in many mature and emerging markets, technologists, designers and marketers must refocus to seize this crucial opportunity.

Apple to dominate smartphone-integrated vehicle infotainment market

abi researchApple’s “iOS in the Car” will lead the market for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems equipped with smartphone integration technologies, according to ABI Research.

It predicts that the market will grow substantially during the next five years to reach 35.1 million units globally by 2018. Of these, 49.8 percent will be equipped with Apple’s “iOS in the Car”, 43.6 percent with MirrorLink and 28.2 percent with other technologies.

Developments in the smartphone world are revolutionising consumers’ in-car expectations. Besides Internet connectivity itself, the ability to select apps whenever they choose is probably one of the IVI features that consumers value the most.

Global video game market to reach US$93b

GartnerThe worldwide video game marketplace, which includes video game console hardware and software, online, mobile and PC games, will reach US$93 billion in 2013, up from $79 billion in 2012, according to Gartner.

Driven by strong mobile gaming and video game console and software sales, the market is forecast to hit US$111 billion by 2015.

Mobile games are the fastest-growing segment of the market, with revenue set to nearly double between 2013 and 2015 from US$13.2 billion to US$22 billion.

Touch-enabled notebooks top wish list

IDCTouch is in. Beyond touch screen phones, users in Asia-Pacific want touch-enabled notebooks.

According to an IDC Asia-Pacific end user survey, 82 percent of respondents prefer a touch-enabled notebook for their next purchase.

The annual survey that studies end user behaviour and usage on client devices. The usage explosion of smartphones and tablets, where touch screen is a prominent feature, is a key driver of taking these screens to the personal computer. The study also finds that the majority of PC users today, even in emerging markets, own a smartphone, especially for 26-35 year olds at 87 percent. 

Mobile device platforms move towards more integration

abi researchSeveral trends are affecting the market for mobile device semiconductors. Two have been the shift towards multi-core application processors and the addition of x86 and MIPS to what used to be purely an ARM play. Two newer trends are the addition of heterogeneous processing functionality and 64-bit processors for mobile devices, according to ABI Research.

The trend towards more integrated platforms is the most crucial because the revenue of standalone components is folding into integrated platforms and the revenue for mobile device semiconductors lie with the higher cost components – mostly the application processor.

While the shift from standalone components to integrated platforms is drastic over the next five years in terms of shipments, this shift is even more radical in terms of revenue. From 2013 to 2018, the share of integrated platforms compared to all application processors in terms of shipments will jump from 46 percent to 79 percent while the revenue shares of the same will be higher. Smartphone application processor (integrated and standalone) revenue as a percentage of total mobile device semiconductor revenue for the major components will increase from 71 percent in 2013 to 89 percent in 2018.

Cloud Computing to account for most of IT budget by 2016

GartnerCloud computing adoption is growing and will form the bulk of new IT spend in 2016. According to Gartner, 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

Gartner describes cloud computing as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered “as a service” using Internet technologies. It heralds an evolution of business in positive and negative ways. It has also become a hot industry term that has been used in many contradictory ways.

“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualisation, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, Research Vice President of Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”

RTT acquires Bunkspeed

RTTProfessional high-end 3D visualisation solution provider RTT has acquired Bunkspeed, which develops visualisation software and services for design, engineering, and marketing.

Traditionally, RTT has provided enterprise solutions and services for OEMs that employ digital product pipelines. Los Angeles-based Bunkspeed represents a well-established company with a focus on design visualisation tools and is recognised for its affordable range of powerful, easy-to-use software products. The acquisition extends RTT’s services to agencies and designers by offering this lightweight yet robust design tool.

“The addition of Bunkspeed’s specialty services and footprint will allow RTT to provide a broader range of capabilities to our customers,” said Peter Stevenson, CEO of RTT USA.

New Apple hardware? OK, but free OS and apps sound really good!

OSXApple’s fall event early this morning (Singapore time) was about thinner, lighter and more powerful products. Yes, these are improvements but not something that would get me excited to lay my hands on one.

After all, having gone through two iterations of the iPad and other Apple products, the new announcements seem to be marginal improvements. OK, the new iPad Air is lighter and thinner but hey, I’m already used to having the New iPad (or at least, that’s what it was called at launch). However, what kept me awake (remember, it was in the wee hours) was the announcement that users can have the latest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, for free. Now, this has the potential to be a game changer especially in its battle with Windows. How often have we heard of free Microsoft products? If at all…

According to Jan Dawson, Chief Telecoms Analyst of Ovum, the changes to Apple’s software licensing for Mac OS X, iLife and iWork is also important, not least for Microsoft.

Cisco and NetApp expand FlexPod portfolio

NetApp cisco Cisco and NetApp have broadened the FlexPod portfolio with new validated designs across the entire portfolio, highlighted by the introduction of FlexPod Select for dedicated data-intensive workloads.

The FlexPod portfolio now includes FlexPod Datacenter (formerly FlexPod) for core enterprise data centres and service providers, FlexPod Express (formerly ExpressPod) for medium-sized businesses and FlexPod supports the growing need to tie storage, networks, applications, and analytics (such as big data) into a more automated, responsive system that increases efficiency and lowers operational expense.

The new offerings build on the joint vision and strategy of Cisco and NetApp to unify branch offices, core data centers, service providers, and dedicated application infrastructures.branch offices, and FlexPod Select for data intensive workloads. FlexPod Select is the first family in the FlexPod portfolio to address targeted workloads, such as high-performance applications.

Lower-priced products to drive devices growth in 2013

GartnerLower-priced devices are driving the growth of worldwide combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones in 2013, according to Gartner. The global devices market is expected to hit 2.32 billion units, a 4.5 percent increase from 2012.

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desk-based and notebook) are forecast to total 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from 2012, and the PC market, including ultramobiles, is forecast to drop 8.4 percent. Mobile phone shipments are projected to grow 3.7 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

Tablet shipments are expected to grow 42.7 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units. Premium tablets are faced with continued price decline in the 7-inch form factor as a larger number of consumers prefer smaller form factors when it comes to content consumption.

NVIDIA GRID brings visual computing capabilities to Australia

NVIDIABusinesses across Australia can now deploy graphics-accelerated virtual desktops to their employees – cost-effectively, anywhere and on any device – with the adoption of NVIDIA GRID technology by leading technology partners.

Servers from Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and others are now incorporating NVIDIA GRID into their desktop virtualisation solutions. Combined with enterprise virtualisation software from Citrix, Microsoft or VMware, these solutions can deliver GPU-accelerated applications and desktops to engineers, designers, architects, product design teams and special-effects artists throughout Australia.

Melbourne-based Xenon Systems was appointed as the first NVIDIA GRID Demo Centre for Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. 

ANZ WLAN market boosted by increase in devices

IDCThe wireless local area network (WLAN) hardware market in ANZ continued to grow for the third consecutive quarter, according to IDC.

While enterprises remained the largest users of wireless infrastructure, the consumer space gained share from enterprise over the year. This means that more consumer wireless routers were sold, thanks to an increased number of devices in households during the period.

Service Provider (SP) WLAN deployments differed between Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand SPs embraced 3G/LTE offload via WLAN infrastructure while Australia SPs preferred to rely on available spectrum to support mobile connectivity. Overall, SP contribution to the WLAN market remained minuscule in the region despite having the strongest growth. Table 1 shows growth for the three main segments quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and year-on-year (YoY):

Microsoft Xbox One tops ABI Research’s Game Console Competitive Assessment

Microsoft Xbox One consoleThe gaming console market is highly competitive with Microsoft just edging Sony for the top position in ABI Research’s game console Competitive Assessment, based on expectations for the impact of Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One game consoles.

ABI Research evaluated a number of companies across three device categories: game consoles, smart set-top boxes, and TVs/Blu-ray players. Several factors were used to score each company based on two main axes of Innovation and Implementation. The assessment provides deep insight into consumer electronics ecosystems and modern video experiences in the connected home.

Sony fell to second in the game console assessment in part because key PlayStation 4 (PS4) differentiators such as cloud gaming are still untested (and won’t be fully available at launch), but largely because Microsoft has shown more features on the broader entertainment front (eg hybrid premium/OTT services). Nintendo secured the third position but a significant gap remains between it and market leaders.

Huawei launches evaluation platform for mobile app developers

HuaweiHuawei has announced MBB Insider Online, a cloud-based mobile platform for evaluating mobile broadband (MBB) app network friendliness.

Developed by mLAB, Huawei’s wireless network innovation lab, MBB Insider Online allows app developers and other third-party MBB ecosystem companies to take unique advantage of evaluation tools that accurately determine the impact their services will have in terms of consumption of traffic, signaling, device power and delivered user experience when installed on a smart device connected to a live mobile network.

These developers can then better fully utilise network resources to considerably enhance their delivered service experience. MBB Insider Online also provides app optimisation recommendations to improve delivered user experience and optimise utilisation of network resources.

NVIDIA believes that PC gaming is thriving

thriving

Think that PC gaming is on the wane? NVIDIA certainly doesn’t think so and has brought a group of top journalists to Montreal to deliver this message.

“Some of the season’s most anticipated PC games have been built with technology developed by NVIDIA,” wrote Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President of Content and Technology of NVIDIA, in a blog post (http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2013/10/17/twimtbp/).

“We have a proud heritage on the PC platform, delivering amazing performance and advanced technologies for gamers. Technologies developed as part of our The Way It’s Meant To Be Played programme are among the most deployed in the industry,” he added.

India Green IT and sustainability spending to hit US$29.2b

GartnerIndia’s spending on green IT and sustainability initiatives will reach US$29.2 billion in 2013 a 17.6 percent increase from US$24.8 billion in 2012, according to Gartner.

In the  “Hype Cycle for Green IT and Sustainability in India, 2013,” report, analysts said while businesses and investors in India are slowly waking up to green and sustainability issues, policymakers in the government are clearly pushing for changes that will likely set the tone for green and sustainable, low-carbon economic growth in the country in the coming years.

“Many Indian organisations still lack the strategic focus that comes with a clear understanding of the core issues and key technologies that bring about real change in the vision for sustainability and green IT in an organisation,” said Ganesh Ramamoorthy, Research Director of Gartner. “Therefore, policy initiatives and regulatory measures from the Indian government will be the key drivers for implementation of some of the technologies (such as advanced metering infrastructure, carbon capture and sequestration, intelligent transportation system, and solar energy technology) necessary to usher in low-carbon sustainable growth.”

Mobile money deployment on the rise

GSMAThe adoption of mobile money is increasing with 208 live deployments for unbanked services in 83 countries, compared to 178 in 74 countries as of January, asccording to GSMA’s 2013 Mobile Money Adoption Survey. Another 117 deployments are planned over the coming months.

The report underscores the critical role of mobile and mobile network operators (MNOs) in driving the adoption of convenient and affordable financial services among unbanked and under-banked individuals around the world.

“The impressive and encouraging results of the study demonstrate that mobile money services are increasingly reaching scale and are becoming even more essential in providing convenient and affordable financial services to the underserved,” said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Mobile for Development.

HTC One upsized

HTC One maxThe HTC One has gotten a bigger brother — the 5.9-inch HTC One max. Just like the recently launched Apple iPhone 5S, the new smartphone has a fingerprint scan feature. Located on the back of the device, the fingerprint scanner allows users to lock or unlock the screen and quickly launch up to three favourite applications by assigning an individual finger to each.

With a larger and full HD1080p display, users can better enjoy photos, videos and movies. Driving the smartphone is the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor featuring a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU.

The 16GB or 32GB onboard memory can be expanded with the microSD card slot, and with up to 65GB of Google Drive storage free for two years offered to HTC One max owners.

Innovation and brand equity key for China smartphone makers in global market

frost and sullivanChina smartphone makers looking to take their domestic success globally need to carefully consider their expansion strategies, according to Frost & Sullivan.

While the China market has been driven by demand for cheap devices that offer a unique range of services such a virtual goods, messaging apps, and photo sharing, the more mature Western markets are very different, with carrier relationships, strong brand equity, and innovative features crucial to success.

Along with Huawei and ZTE, three interesting China companies have ambitions to take their smartphone businesses international: Lenovo, Yulong Coolpad and Xiaomi. The first and most successful China smartphone company is Lenovo, which has the largest smartphone market share of China companies, second only to Korean giant Samsung in China. Lenovo is also one of the most diversified China electronics companies, with a broad portfolio. The company has already achieved success on the global stage with its PC business, now the world’s largest after overtaking HP in 2012.

GPU computing is more than just about gaming

Simon talking about the possibilities with GPU computing.
Simon talking about the possibilities with GPU computing.

Visual computing is no longer just about gaming but has now permeated everyday lives, Dr Simon See, Director and Chief Solution Architect of NVIDIA, told a gathering of 450 start-ups, investors and R&D providers in digital media.

He pointed out that GPUs now help power the 3D web, location-based visualisation applications, creative content creation, computer vision, user interfaces, image recognition, HD video processing, and virtual worlds.

In his talk, Simon also discussed the vibrant ecosystem of developers that have adopted the CUDA GPU computing platform, how early stage companies can leverage the GPU for visual and other computing applications, and what global programmes NVIDIA offers to nurture and inspire innovation and business opportunities throughout these ecosystems.

APAC PC shipment down 11.2% in Q3

GartnerAPAC PC shipment continued to head south with 28.1 million units in Q3, an 11.2 percent decline from Q3 of 2012, according to Gartner. Factors contributing to the drop were currency volatilities, especially in India and Indonesia, where currencies plunged to record lows. Vendors were careful in managing inventory, bearing in mind Windows 8.1 and new models based on Intel’s Bay Trail that will start shipping the following quarter.

Globally, PC shipment totaled 80.3 million units in Q3, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period last year. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments.

“The third quarter is often referred to as the ‘back-to-school’ quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst of Gartner. “Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”

Gartner: Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014

Gartner3D printing, personal cloud, the Internet of Everything — these buzzwords today are expected to be among the top 10 strategic technology trends next year, according to Gartner.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organisation’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

Beginning of the Digital Industrial Economy

GartnerWorldwide IT spending is forecast to reach US$3.8 trillion in 2014, a 3.6 percent increase from 2013, but it’s the opportunities of a digital world that have IT leaders excited, according to Gartner.

The beginning of the Digital Industrial Economy will make every budget an IT budget; every company a technology company; every business a digital leader, and every person a technology company.

“The Digital Industrial Economy will be built on the foundations of the Nexus of Forces (which includes a confluence and integration of cloud, social collaboration, mobile and information) and the Internet of Everything by combining the physical world and the virtual,” said Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President of Gartner and Global Head of Research.