Hiwonder unveils Qdee programmable robot

Hong Kong-based Hiwonder has launched a micro:bit-based Qdee programmable robot with infinite shapes.  Available on Kickstarter from US$39, the kit is compatible with Lego and designed to teach children about robotics.  Continue reading “Hiwonder unveils Qdee programmable robot”

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New Android devices boost Australia smartphone market in Q2

New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.

Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.

Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.

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Microsoft hops on the “Band”wagon

Microsoft BandMicrosoft is the latest to dive into the wearables market with Microsoft Band, which works with Windows Phone 8.1, Android and iOS.

It can track heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality, as well as enable email previews and calendar alerts. Cortanaan intelligent personal assistant on Windows Phone 8.1 and Microsoft Band, can take notes, set reminders, provide driving directions, and keep wearers abreast of traffic, sports, stocks, and weather.

For now, the US$199 band is only available in the US. But, don’t get your hopes up yet even if you have contacts in the US because the product is currently out of stock.

 

 

PhotoMath app solves algebra problems using smartphone camera

PhotoMathAlgebra can be a bane to students and while some turn to their teachers for help, others request for assistance from parents, siblings and tutors. With PhotoMath, they now have another source of help. Best of all, it’s free!

PhotoMath, which is now available on iOS and Windows smartphones, leverage the devices’ cameras to scan a printed math problem and provide an answer in an instant — complete with the steps to solving the problem.

All the student needs to do is to install the app, scan the equation within a red frame and the app does the rest.

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Global smartphone shipment soars past 300m units in Q2

DIDCemand for smartphones are on the rise with more 301.3 million units shipped worldwide in Q2, up 25.3 percent from the 240.5 million units shipped in the corresponding quarter last year, according to IDC.

The dominant smartphone operating systems (OS), Android and iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4 percent for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors.

Android was the primary driver with its vendor partners shipping a total of 255.3 million Android-based smartphones in Q2, up 33.3 percent year over year. Meanwhile, iOS saw its market share decline despite posting 12.7 percent year-over-year shipment growth. While Android and iOS both realised gains from a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses.

Continue reading “Global smartphone shipment soars past 300m units in Q2”

Tablets to bridge smartphone-notebook gap

frost and sullivanSmartphones (71 percent) and notebooks (74 percent) are widely issued by enterprises. However, according to a Frost & Sullivan  survey, only 47 percent of enterprises issue tablets to their employees. The research firm expects these devices to bridge this gap over the next three years as many of the more data-intensive mobile applications migrate over to tablets.

By 2016, the use of smartphones is expected to decrease from 66 percent to 58 percent, while tablets are expected to increase from 49 percent to 56 percent. Interestingly, while almost 60 percent of enterprises allow personal devices to be connected to the corporate network, only four out of 10 IT decision makers report that their company has a formal bring your own device (BYOD) policy in place.

“Approximately 58 percent of large enterprises have a formal BYOD policy, while only 20 percent of small businesses have a standardised policy. The most common method of enforcing BYOD policies is through network technology solutions at 67 percent, followed by mobile device management at 61 percent,” said Karolina Olszewskan, Research Analyst of Frost & Sullivan.

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Global tablet growth to slow this year

IDCThe much sought after tablet — the darling of the technology industry in recent years — is expected to grow just 19.4 percent this year. That’s a massive slow down from last year’s growth of 51.6 percent. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, the reduction is due to slowing consumer purchases as hardware iterations slow and the installed base — particularly in mature markets — continues to grow.

Over the course of the past two years, average selling prices (ASPs) have declined rapidly in the tablet market, but this too appears to be slowing. In 2012, ASPs declined 18.3 percent from the previous year, and in 2013, prices dropped another 14.6 percent.

Price erosion has started to slowly bottom out, with ASPs forecast to drop a modest 3.6 percent in 2014. IDC believes ASP declines will slow for several reasons; chief among them are the growth of higher-priced commercial shipments and a consumer movement away from ultra-low cost products.

Continue reading “Global tablet growth to slow this year”

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.

Continue reading “Apple to dominate smartphone-integrated vehicle infotainment market”

Tata Sky delivers multi-screen experience with Cisco solution

Tata SkyTata Sky, one of India’s leading direct-to-home service provider, has become the first in Asia to deploy Cisco’s Videoscape Video Everywhere solution, to enable multi-screen experiences beyond the set-top box. Rolled out first on iOS and soon to be on Android platforms, this live streaming service can be enjoyed on many mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets such as iPads.

The Videoscape Video Everywhere solution is a part of Cisco Videoscape Unity, a platform that delivers and monetises a new generation of compelling, differentiated video experiences, which are personalised, synchronised, and social.

“Our subscribers’ will be able to take the video experience with them on the move; thereby transforming their handheld device into a fully-functional TV screen with an interface which is clean, simple and easy to navigate,” said Vikram Mehra, Chief Commercial Officer of Tata Sky.

ANZ mobile phone market declines

IDCThe ANZ mobile phone market has dropped by five percent quarter-over-quarter and over 20 percent year-over-year, according to IDC.

More than 2.6 million devices were shipped in Q2, a contraction that is mainly attributed to the declining feature phone segment in which shipments fell by over 45 percent compared to last year. What was shocking was the slight decline in smartphones shipments during the period.

 

Despite the quarter witnessing some notable product launches such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4, smartphones shipments saw a marginal fall compared to the previous quarter.

Continue reading “ANZ mobile phone market declines”

Android-based tablets taking over the lead

abi researchA shift in leadership is now upon the tablet mobile computing market, observed ABI Research.

At the year’s mid-point, the market intelligence firm has identified a trio of events signalling Apple’s iPad family of products has passed the baton to the Android ecosystem. During Q2, the number of Android-powered tablets surpassed iOS-based slates for the first time, tablet-related hardware revenues reached parity, and perhaps most important, the average selling price (ASP) of iPad is rapidly approaching the market average.

Overall shipments in the quarter dropped 17 percent sequentially while growing 23 percent year-over-year for the same quarterly period. “Smaller 7-inch class tablets are finally the majority of shipments,” says Jeff Off, Senior Practice Director at ABI Research. “The 7.9-inch iPad mini represented about 60 percent of total iPad shipments and 49 percent of iPad-related device revenues in the quarter.”

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Global smartphone shipment to hit 1b in 2013

IDCOne billion smartphones are expected to be shipped this year, helping the global mobile phone market to rebound from just 1.2 percent growth in 2012 to 7.3, percent in 2013, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

The overall mobile phone market is growing faster than previously forecast thanks to a stronger-than-expected first half of the year driven by strong gains in emerging markets and the sub-US$200 smartphone segment. IDC previously projected 5.8 percent growth for the year. Vendors are now forecast to ship more than 1.8 billion mobile phones this year, growing to over 2.3 billion mobile phones in 2017.

Worldwide smartphone shipment is forecast to grow 40.0 percent year over year to more than one billion units this year. High smartphone growth is the result of a variety of factors, including steep device subsidies from carriers, especially in mature economic markets, as well as a growing array of sub-US$200 smartphones. Total smartphone shipment is forecast to reach 1.7 billion units in 2017.

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Android mobile app revenue to hit US$6.8b this year

AndroidAndroid’s smartphone mobile app revenues are projected to reach almost US$6.8 billion by the end of 2013, nearly doubling its revenues from the previous year, according to ABI Research.

The Android platform has some way to go before catching iOS’s smartphone revenues but the smartphone app market will be Android’s most fruitful hunting ground compared to other devices.

ABI Research estimates that Android smartphone app revenues will increase from 59.1 percent to 65.9 percent when compared to iOS smartphone app revenues over the next 12 months.

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Android-based tablets outship iPads in Q2

Three in 10 PC shipped in Q2 were tablets. According to Canalys, more than 34 million tablets were shipped in Q2, a 43 percent year-on-year increase. Even more impressive is the fact that tablets now account for 31 percent of worldwide PC shipments.

The charge is led by Android-based tablets as Apple’s tablet shipments declined 14 percent in Q2 and saw its market share shaved to 43 percent. The chasing pack of Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer each grew annually by over 200 percent, driven by increasing demand for small-screen tablets.

Canalys estimates that 68 percent of tablets shipped in Q2 had a screen size smaller than nine inches. “Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst at Canalys . “With touchscreens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.”

Continue reading “Android-based tablets outship iPads in Q2”

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.

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NetApp Connect provides seamless access to enterprise data from mobile devices

NetAppNetApp has announced NetApp® Connect which enables secure, instant, and easy mobile access to data stored on NetApp storage systems. Based on technology NetApp acquired from ionGrid, it can integrate seamlessly into a NetApp environment without requiring complex VPN setup or separate authentication tools. Additionally, all data remains completely on-premise while delivering consumer-class simplicity and ease of use to the enterprise.

NetApp Connect complements the strong and growing base of NetApp’s partner-delivered mobility solutions such as Citrix ShareFile and VMware Horizon Suite, helping NetApp deliver a more complete range of capabilities to enterprise customers. These partner solutions, integrated with the data management capabilities of NetApp storage (or the clustered Data ONTAP architecture), provide efficient and secure collaboration, data sharing, and mobile device access solutions.

By keeping all data securely behind the corporate firewall and never copied to the cloud, NetApp Connect offers mobile access to corporate data while maintaining the tight security and control that enterprise IT requires for keeping its data and business protected.

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Gartner: APAC led mobile phone growth in Q1

GartnerThe Asia-Pacific region grew 6.4 percent year-on-year in Q1 mobile phone sales, the only region in the world to register growth, according to Gartner.

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled nearly 426 million units this period, only a slight increase of 0.7 percent from the same period last year. Worldwide smartphone sales hit 210 million units in the first quarter of 2013, up 42.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

“More than 226 million mobile phones were sold to end users in Asia-Pacific in the first quarter of 2013, which helped the region increase its share of global mobile phones to 53.1 percent year-on-year,” said Anshul Gupta, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner. “In addition, China saw its mobile phone sales increase 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and its sales represented 25.7 percent of global mobile phone sales, up nearly 2 percentage points year-on-year.

Continue reading “Gartner: APAC led mobile phone growth in Q1”