Mobile trends for 2015

The platform wars is over: Apple and Google both won. Microsoft wanted to be the third mobile ecosystem, and it has got clear solid third position, but quite small market share of  overall smart phone market. Apple now sells around 10% of all the 1.8bn (and growing) phones sold on Earth each year and Android the next 50%, split roughly between say 2/3 Google Android outside China and 1/3 non-Google Android inside China.  So Apple and Google have both won, and both got what they wanted, more or less, and that’s not going to change imminently.

Wearables and phablets will be the big device stories of 2015. I think that the wearables will be the more interesting story of them, because I expect more innovation to happen there. The smart phone side seemed to already be a little bit boring during 2014 – lack of innovation from big players – and I can’t see how somewhat bigger screen size and higher resolution would change that considerably during 2015. CES 2015 debuts the future of smartphones coming from all places – maybe not very much new and exciting.

Say good-buy to to astronomical growth in smart phone sales in developed countries, as smartphone market is nearly saturated in certain regions. There will be still growth in east (China, India etc..), but most of this growth will be taken by the cheap Android phones made by companies that you might have not heard before because many of them don’t sell their products in western countries. The sales of “dumb phones” will decrease as cheap smart phone will take over. Over time this will expand such that smartphones take almost all phone sales (perhaps 400m or 500m units a quarter), with Apple taking the high-end and Android the rest.

The current biggest smart phone players (Samsung and Apple) will face challenges. Samsung’s steep Q3 profit decline shows ongoing struggles in mobileCustomers sought out lower priced older models and bought a higher percentage of mid-range smartphones, or bought from some other company making decent quality cheap phones. Samsung has long counted on its marketing and hardware prowess to attract customers seeking an alternative to Apple’s iPhone. But the company is now facing new competition from low-cost phone vendors such as China’s Xiaomi and India’s Micromax, which offer cheap devices with high-end specs in their local markets.

Apple has a very strong end of 2014 sales in USA: 51% of new devices activated during Christmas week were Apple, 18% were Samsung, 6% Nokia — Apple and Apps Dominated Christmas 2014 — Millions of people woke up and unwrapped a shiny new device under the Christmas tree. It is expected that Apple also will see slowing sales in 2015: Tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted Apple will face a grim start to 2015 with iPhone sales plummeting by up to a third.

In few years there’ll be close to 4bn smartphones on earth. Ericsson’s annual mobility report forecasts increasing mobile subscriptions and connections through 2020.(9.5B Smartphone Subs by 2020 and eight-fold traffic increase). Ericsson’s annual mobility report expects that by 2020 90% of the world’s population over six years old will have a phone.  It really talks about the connected world where everyone will have a connection one way or another.

What about the phone systems in use. Now majority of the world operates on GSM and HPSA (3G). Some countries are starting to have good 4G (LTE) coverage, but on average only 20% is covered by LTE. Ericsson expects that 85% of mobile subscriptions in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa will be 3G or 4G by 2020. 75%-80% of North America and Western Europe are expected to be using LTE by 2020. China is by far the biggest smartphone market by current users in the world, and it is rapidly moving into high-speed 4G technology.

It seems that we change our behavior when networks become better: In South Korea, one third of all people are doing this ‘place shifting’ over 4G networks. When faster networks are taken into use, the people will start to use applications that need more bandwidth, for example watch more streamed video on their smart phones.

We’re all spending more time with smartphones and tablets. So much so that the “second screen” may now be the “first screen,” depending on the data you read. Many of us use both TV and mobile simultaneously: quickly responding to email, texting with friends, or browsing Twitter and the news if I lose interest with the bigger screen. Whatever it is I’m watching, my smartphone is always close at hand. There is rapid increase of mobile device usage—especially when it comes to apps.

The use of digital ads on mobile devices is increasing. Digital ad spend is forecast to increase 15% in 2015, with research saying it will equal ad spending on television by 2019. Mobile and social media will drive 2015 spending on digital to $163 billion, with mobile ad spending expected to jump 45%. “Almost all the growth is from mobile”

Mobile virtual reality will be talked about. 3D goggles like Sony Morpheus and Facebook’s Optimus Rift will get some attention. We’ll see them refined for augmented reality apps. hopefully we see DIY virtual reality kits that use current handsets and don’t cost thousands.

Google glass consumer market interest was fading in the end of 2014, and I expect that fading to continue in 2015. It seems that developers already may be losing interest in the smart eyewear platform. Google glass is expected to be consumer sales sometime in 2015, some fear consumer demand for Glass isn’t there right now and may never materialize. “All of the consumer glass startups are either completely dead or have pivoted”  Although Google continues to say it’s 100% committed to Glass and the development of the product, the market may not be.

The other big headliner of the wearables segment was Apple’s basic $350 Watch. Apple invest its time when it released the Apple Watch last quarter, going up against the likes of Google’s Android Wear and others in the burgeoning wearables area of design. Once Apple’s bitten into a market, it’s somewhat a given that there’s good growth ahead and that the market is, indeed, stable enough.

As we turn to 2015 and beyond  wearables becomes an explosive hardware design opportunity — one that is closely tied to both consumer and healthcare markets. It could pick up steam in the way software did during the smartphone app explosion. It seems that the hardware becomes hot again as Wearables make hardware the new software. It’s an opportunity that is still anyone’s game. Wearables will be important end-points both for cloud and for messaging. The wearable computing market is one of the biggest growth areas in tech. BI Intelligence estimates that 148 million wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers will ship in 2019.

I see that wearables will be big in 2015 mainly in the form of smart watch. According to a survey by UBS, 10% of consumers said they were very likely to buy a smartwatch in 2015, even though so far, no smartwatches have resonated with consumers. I expect the Sales of fitness wearables to plunge in 2015 owing to smartwatch takeover. In the future you need to look at exercise and fashion products as being in the same space. Samsung, Motorola, LG, and Apple debuted or announced smartwatches in 2014, so it’s no surprise that smartwatches are expected to be huge in Las Vegas at CES January’s show.

The third mobile ecosystem Windows phone has some new thing coming as Microsoft ready to show off Windows 10 mobile SKU on January 21. But it does not well motivating to me. After all, the vision of a unified Microsoft world extending across all screens is great, and it’s what Microsoft has needed all along to make Windows Phone a winner. The problem that hits me: if you fail enough times at the same thing, people stop believing you. It’s not just that Microsoft keeps failing to integrate its mobile, desktop, and console products. But Microsoft keeps claiming it will, which starts to loose credibility.

Mobile will change on-line sales in 2015: Phones have already radically altered both the way Americans shop and how retail goods move about the economy, but the transformation is just beginning — and it is far from guaranteed that Amazon will emerge victorious from the transition (this will also apply to other “traditional” players in that space).
Mobile payment technology reaching maybe finally reaching critical mass this year. Long predicted but always seeming to be “just around the corner,” mobile payments may finally have arrived. While Apple’s recent Apple Pay announcement may in retrospect be seen as launching the coming mobile payment revolution, the underlying technologies – and alternative solutions – have been emerging for some time. Maybe it isn’t going to replace the credit card but it’s going to replace the wallet — the actual physical thing crammed with cards, cash, photos and receipts. When you are out shopping, it’s the wallet, not the credit card, that is the annoyance.

Mobile money is hot also in developing countries: ordinary people in Africa using an SMS text-based currency called M-PesaM-Pesa was invented as a virtual currency by mobile network provider Vodafone after it was discovered that its airtime minutes were being used and traded in by people in Africa in lieu of actual moneyIn Kenya, a critical mass was quickly reached, and today, over 70% of the 40 million Kenyans use M-Pesa.

Mobile security will be talked about. Asian mobiles the DDOS threat of 2015, security mob says article tells that Vietnam, India and Indonesia will be the distributed denial of service volcanoes of next year due to the profieration of pwned mobiles.

Intel is heavily pushing to mobile and wearable markets. Intel is expected to expand its smartphone partnership with Lenovo: Intel will provide both its 64-bit Atom processor and LTE-Advanced modem chips for the Lenovo phones. The 4G phones follow Intel’s announcement in October of its first 4G smartphone in the US, the Asus PadFone X Mini. Now Intel remains well behind Qualcomm — which controls two-thirds of the global mobile modem market — and MediaTek as a supplier of chips for smartphones and tablets. Intel faces tough competition trying to fight its way into mobile — a market it ignored for years. Intel in early 2015 will introduce its first 4G system-on-a-chip under the new SoFIA name. Such chips include both a processor and modem together and are sought after by handset makers because they’re smaller in size than separate processor and radio chips, and use less power (matching Qualcomm’s Snapdragon).

Mobile chip leader Qualcomm will be going strong in 2015. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 is not only a killer part, it has raised the bar on what a mobile SoC has to be in 2015. It can power devices that drive 4K (3840 x 2160) TV, take 4K videos, run AAA games and connect to 5-inch HD display. There are finished, branded products just waiting to be released. I am convinced Qualcomm is on track to deliver commercial devices with Snapdragon 810 in mid-2015. I expect Qualcomm to be strong leader throughout 2015.


More material worth to check out:

New questions in mobile

What’s Next in Wireless: My 2015 Predictions



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Windows 10 Mobile won’t come to existing devices until next year
    Microsoft ruins Christmas for Lumia owners

    MICROSOFT HAS DELAYED the rollout of Windows 10 Mobile yet again, announcing that the software won’t arrive on existing devices until next year.

    Back in October, Microsoft was forced to delay the rollout of Windows 10 Mobile to devices running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 until December, despite the fact that the operating system had originally been set to launch alongside the desktop version of the software in July.

    In a statement released this week, Microsoft has admitted that Windows 10 Mobile still isn’t ready, and now won’t arrive on Lumia devices until next year.

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  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ​Breitling’s new connected watch costs $8,900: Hands-on with the Exospace B55

    This is the year that real watchmakers are making smartwatches. TAG Heuer, Fossil and now Breitling, too. The Breitling Expospace B55, however, is a “connected watch,” which means it’s a traditional watch with additional smartwatch-like connected notifications. No, this watch doesn’t run Android Wear. Unlike TAG and Fossil’s smartwatch entries, this is a real chronograph watch with added digital benefits. It’s a trend that’s growing: connected Swiss fitness watches are already here.

    We first saw this watch back at the Baselworld watch show in March, but the Exospace B55 is finally here: and it costs $8,900. Suddenly, the Apple Watch seems affordable.

    The Breitling Exospace B55 is, according to Breitling, a watch that’s specifically designed for aviation professionals

    The Exospace B55 pairs with a connected app on the iPhone, which can be used to sync lap times recorded on the watch, or to set certain watch functions. This is a traditionalist’s approach to smart tech: I barely had a chance to test the features for myself.

    As smartwatches keep evolving and higher-end watches strive to find ways to compete with high-tech alternatives, this hybrid idea will be seen more frequently.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft Fails Windows Phone Fans Again By Delaying Windows 10 Mobile

    An anonymous reader writes that Microsoft says the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin early next year. The company had previously promised a roll out this month. Venturebeat reports: “Windows Phone fans and fanboys have a tough job. They have to stand by an operating system with a new name every few years, significantly fewer apps than the competition, and a distant third place spot in the market.”

    Microsoft fails Windows Phone fans again by delaying Windows 10 Mobile

    “The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. That means not a single Windows phone will be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile in 2015.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft’s biggest problem, in a single chart

    The 10 most-used apps of the year in the U.S. were all made by three companies — Facebook, Google, and Apple.

    Notably absent is Microsoft, one of the largest software makers in the world by revenue.

    Microsoft cares about lists like this for an important reason. They paint a very clear picture of what people need and want their phones to do — and it’s not the stuff that Microsoft builds.

    To its credit, Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) has been doing a commendable job of building a mobile-friendly bundle of products, including free versions of its uber-popular Office 365 suite of apps.

    With Windows 10, apps that developers write for the PC will also work on Microsoft’s phones. That could help the platform bust out of its longstanding “chicken and egg” problem: Too few people have Windows phones for developers to care about making apps for the platform, and customers don’t want to buy Windows phones because they don’t have enough apps.

    But Microsoft is one of the biggest software companies on the planet. To not be in the top 10 on mobile has got to hurt.

    Google and Apple’s presence on the list makes sense, since their apps are native to their phones.

    Microsoft should be encouraged by Facebook’s success.

    Without its own mobile operating system, Facebook is still dominant on mobile.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
    Sailfish OS Lives To Fight Android Another Day As Jolla Secures Series C Funding

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobile Gaming Giant Calls For Longer Product Life Cycles

    South Korean gaming firm Nexon has vowed to release mobile games with longer life cycles, focusing on attracting users for at least 10 years rather than relying on fad sales. The company argued that developing a sustainable ecosystem in the mobile gaming industry was more important than generating immediate sales. While Nexon is the region’s largest PC gaming business, it has been comparatively laggard in its attempt to break into the mobile world.

    Mobile gaming giant calls for longer product life cycles

    South Korean gaming firm Nexon has vowed to release mobile games with longer life cycles, focusing on attracting users for at least 10 years rather than relying on fad sales.

    The company argued that developing a sustainable ecosystem in the mobile gaming industry was more important than generating immediate sales, according to local reports.

    “We want to develop and roll out unprecedented kinds of mobile games that we can stably service for 10 years, not ones favoured by gamers only for a short time.”

    “We have tested diverse marketing strategies such as the global-one-build approach and localisation to strengthen competitiveness in the global market,”

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alistair Barr / Wall Street Journal:
    Sources: Google has been working on new messaging app for over a year that supports chatbots and uses AI to answer questions and perform other tasks — Google Plans New, Smarter Messaging App — Users will be able to text friends or a chatbot that will scour the Web and other sources to answer a question

    Google Plans New, Smarter Messaging App
    Users will be able to text friends or a chatbot that will scour the Web and other sources to answer a question

    Google is building a new mobile-messaging service that taps its artificial intelligence know-how and so-called chatbot technology to try to catch up with rivals including Facebook Inc. in the fast-growing arena, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Messaging services are among the world’s most popular mobile apps, with more than two billion users, according to Portio Research Ltd. But Google’s two messaging services—Hangouts and Messenger—trail far behind Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat, the most popular messaging app in China. Some services are adding other capabilities—WeChat, for instance, lets users shop, pay bills and book appointments.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China’s Huawei can safely rename the smartphone market in recent years success story. The company entered the race in 2010 and sold three million smartphones. This year, the limit of one hundred million unit sold goes for broke.


  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel Funds Doctor in Your Pocket
    Medical diagnosis adds onto your smartphone at NTU

    Today healthcare is shifting from centralized hospitals to distributed clinics, especially in developing countries where qualified physicians and specialists are in short supply. Medical electronics with diagnostic add-ons to the ubiquitous smartphone may prove helpful to medical personnel diagnosis disease and recommend remedies with or without a connection to the cloud.

    Called “in-vitro diagnosis” (IVD)—meaning it analyzes fluids such as blood, saliva or urine outside the body—the software not only performs diagnosis, but also recommends treatments and provides prognoses (chances of being cured). According to National Taiwan University (NTU) professor, Chih-Ting Lin, whose funding come partially from the Intel/NTU Lab, analyst’s predict the market for such devices detecting cardiac biomarkers alone will grow to $18 billion dollars before the end of the decade circa 2018. As a result Lin is developing a Bio-System-on-Chip (B-SoC) with a goal of performing analyses in less than 10 minutes.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Benedict Evans:
    16 mobile theses on what is driving transformation in technology and the Internet today

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Former and current Samsung employees say the company’s mobile woes are rooted in its hardware-focused culture, lack of expertise in software and services

    Culture shock – Samsung’s mobile woes rooted in hardware legacy

    Efforts to revive its once stellar smartphone fortunes may be doomed if Samsung Electronics cannot overcome its dominant engineering culture, according to serving and former executives and those who have dealt with the company.

    This culture, they say, has stymied many previous efforts to develop software and service platforms to support the smartphone business. In the past year several such services have closed down, at least one of them within a year of being launched.

    “There’s a lot of distrust of top executives who can actually implement stuff that is more of a software and services offering,” said one person familiar with the company’s inner workings. “It’s still ‘we know how to sell boxes, we sell boxes’.”

    Growth in handset sales is slowing as the smartphone market matures, and without its own distinctive software, content and services, Samsung has little to differentiate itself from other Android phone makers selling similar devices at lower prices.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nilay Patel / The Verge:
    Every new Apple product or feature released in 2015 was essentially in beta

    2015: Apple’s year in beta
    Everything needs more focus and more time

    The Gizmodo headline last week was blunt, in the way that the best Giz headlines are blunt: Everything Apple Introduced This Year Kinda Sucked. It’s worth reading; it is surprisingly easy to make the argument that everything on Apple’s huge list of new products and features this year sucked a little bit.

    But that’s not actually true. All of Apple’s products this year were just fine. You could settle yourself totally within the Apple ecosystem and use Apple Music and Apple News on your iPhone while taking Live Photos and you would be just fine. You wouldn’t have the best time, but you wouldn’t have the worst one, either. It would just be fine.

    And that’s really the issue. We’re not used to Apple being just fine.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stephen Hall / 9to5Google:
    Pictures of Google Glass Enterprise Edition turn up at FCC, showing foldable design — This is Google Glass: Enterprise Edition in the flesh [Gallery] — Earlier this year, we told you across several exclusive reports that new Google Glass hardware was on the way, namely a device Google …

    This is Google Glass: Enterprise Edition in the flesh [Gallery]

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nandita Bose / Reuters:
    Samsung plans to let US users pay online with Samsung Pay, expand it to lower-priced smartphones soon

    Samsung Pay plans to enable U.S. online shopping in 2016

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can Web Standards Make Mobile Apps Obsolete?

    There’s a litany of problems with apps. There is the platform lock-in and the space the apps take up on the device. Updating apps is a pain that users often ignore, leaving broken or vulnerable versions in use long after they’ve been allegedly patched. Apps are also a lot of work for developers

    Well, perhaps the best answer is to go back to the future and do what we do on desktop computers: use the Web and the Web browser.

    The App-ocalypse: Can Web standards make mobile apps obsolete?
    Many big tech companies—absent Apple—are throwing weight behind a browser-based world.

    It’s the apps. The iPhone and Android conquered the world because of the apps. More specifically, what keeps Android and iOS dominant is the utter lack of those apps on competing platforms. But today, the mobile landscape is significantly different from a year or two ago (let alone five). Today, apps aren’t really necessary. In fact, it’s easy to envision an excellent, software-rich mobile device that uses the Web instead of apps.

    There’s currently a litany of problems with apps. There is the platform lock-in and the space the apps take up on the device. Updating apps is a pain that users often ignore, leaving broken or vulnerable versions in use long after they’ve been allegedly patched. Apps are also a lot of work for developers—it’s not easy to write native apps to run on both Android and iOS, never mind considering Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

    What’s the alternative? Well, perhaps the best answer is to go back to the future and do what we do on desktop computers: use the Web and the Web browser. Updates to HTML apps happen entirely on the server, so users get them immediately. There’s no window of vulnerability between the release of a security fix and the user applying the update. So with a capable, HTML-based platform and a well-designed program that makes good use of CSS, one site could support phones, tablets, PCs, and just about anything else with one site.

    From the user’s standpoint, it would be far better to have access to all those apps through a browser. Most of the reasons are the same as for the developers—nothing to install and automatic updates. Because of this, Web apps take up next to no persistent storage, leaving more room for music, videos, other persistent data and cache.

    Currently, standards are advancing rapidly in the area of mobile Web applications as part of the emerging HTML5 platform. The goal, backed strongly by Google and Mozilla, is for websites to be able to do anything that native apps can. If this happens, native apps may no longer be necessary or desirable—right? Would the considerable advantages of the mobile Web (its near-zero footprint, updates performed on the server, and support for all platforms) convince developers and users to target the Web instead of the iPhone and Android? And would Apple allow this to happen?

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    Google confirms next Android version won’t implement Oracle’s proprietary Java APIs

    Google is replacing its implementation of the Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android with OpenJDK, the open source version of Oracle’s Java Development Kit (JDK). The news first came by a “mysterious Android codebase commit” from last month submitted to Hacker News. Google confirmed to VentureBeat that Android N will rely solely on OpenJDK, rather Android’s own implementation of the Java APIs.

    “As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. “In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.”

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google brews a fresh pot of Oracle’s OpenJDK Java for future Android
    Just let that settle in

    Google appears to be lining up OpenJDK – an open-source implementation of the Java platform – for future Android builds.

    Up until now, the mobile operating system has used a Java class library derived from the Apache Harmony project. Harmony was developed from 2005 by the Apache Software Foundation as a free implementation of Java, with the blessing of then-Java supremos Sun Microsystems. Work on Harmony ended in 2011 after Oracle bought Sun.

    As you may know, Android runs apps written in Java on its Dalvik engine, and lately, its Android Runtime virtual machine.

    These apps require a Java class library, as well as various Android-specific bits and pieces, to work. Now it seems the next big releases of Android will use not the heavily customized Harmony-derived library but instead OpenJDK’s core libraries. Judging from this source code commit – and particularly this commit on December 18 – Google has finally taken the plunge and adopted OpenJDK for Android. The changes were spotted on Monday, and discussed on the Hacker News message board.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LG Display, Samsung Display to supply OLED screens for iPhones – report

    South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd and the panel-making unit of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will supply organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for Apple Inc’s iPhones, the Electronic Times reported on Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

    The report comes after years of speculation that Apple will start using the next-generation technology in its phones. OLED screens are thinner and offer better picture quality than the mainstay liquid crystal display screens.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Now one smartphone maker is building in ad blocking as standard

    The laptop and smartphone maker Asus has partnered with Adblock Plus to introduce ad blocking as a default option on its mobile devices, Motherboard reports.

    The proprietary Asus Browser will be set to automatically block website ads — except those that appear on Adblock Plus’ “Acceptable Ads” whitelist, which lets through ads that aren’t deemed interruptive to the browsing experience.

    Browsers Are Starting to Block Ads by Default

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Simon Khalaf / Flurry Insights Blog:
    Flurry Report: Mobile app usage grew 58% in 2015, led by emoji keyboards, news, and productivity apps — Media, Productivity & Emojis Give Mobile Another Stunning Growth Year — In the seven years that Flurry has been reporting on mobile app usage, we have seen nothing but growth, and this year continued the trend.

    Media, Productivity & Emojis Give Mobile Another Stunning Growth Year

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Gurman / 9to5Mac:
    Sources: iPhone 7 will do away with the standard 3.5mm headphone jack; premium Bluetooth Beats earbuds with charging carrying case could debut this fall

    Apple developing revamped, cord-free Beats with charging case ahead of iPhone 7

    With its resources from the 2014 acquisition of headphone maker Beats Electronics, Apple is prototyping a completely new set of Bluetooth earphones with the potential of launching the accessory alongside the iPhone 7 this fall. The new earphones are said to be completely wireless, which is to say that they do not even have a cable connecting the left and right ear pieces. Sources say that the headphones are similar in concept to the Motorola Hint headset (pictured above) and Bragi’s new Dash headphones that were shown at CES this week.

    It’s expected that the in-development accessory will include a noise-cancelling microphone system, enabling phone calls and communication with Siri even without Apple’s prior in-line microphone and remote.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Journal:
    Samsung sees mild recovery for Q4 with operating profit of $5.1B, up 15% YoY, says aim in 2016 is to “minimize the damage from tough business conditions”

    Samsung Sees Mild Recovery for Fourth Quarter, but Warns of Tough 2016
    In its search for new avenues of growth, the South Korean tech giant aims to learn from Silicon Valley

    “If we only work within ourselves, we can’t really keep up with the speed of change,” Mr. Yoon said Wednesday, pledging the company would seek to strike more deals and work more closely with startups. “With our own efforts, we cannot address everything.”

    After a nearly two-year slump in earnings, Samsung showed signs of a recovery in the third quarter as the company pared the number of smartphone models it sold and as profit from chip sales hit a record high on robust demand and tight supply.

    “The global economy will continue to see tepid growth while uncertainty will grow in emerging markets,”

    “This year’s aim for Samsung will likely be about minimizing the damage from tough business conditions,” said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst with IBK Securities in Seoul.

    At the CES trade show in Las Vegas, Samsung executives touted services that would help it build what it described as an ecosystem of software and services, including a mobile-payment service, Samsung Pay, that it introduced last year, as well as new Internet-connected home appliances.

    In a sign of increased emphasis on software

    Samsung’s top executives are increasingly talking about learning from Silicon Valley, an attempt to adapt to a fast-changing market by taking a page from nimbler upstarts like SmartThings, a U.S. business it acquired in 2014.

    “If you go to Silicon Valley, you realize change is taking place much faster than we imagine,”

    Mr. Yoon also praised Silicon Valley’s “tolerance of failure,” an attribute he said he hopes to foster at Samsung.

    He acknowledged that changing the culture at a company as large as Samsung wouldn’t be easy,

    Samsung employs 320,000 people in 84 countries.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tom Warren / The Verge:
    Microsoft’s cellular data app for Windows 10 suggests it may be developing its own SIM card

    Microsoft is building its own SIM card for Windows

    Microsoft is planning to make LTE access a little easier soon, thanks to its own SIM card. The software giant is currently testing a cellular data app that lets Windows 10 devices connect to various mobile network operators without a contract. The cellular data app has been published to the company’s Windows Store, but Microsoft has not yet announced its plans for the service.

    The app is designed to work on Windows 10 and “requires a Microsoft SIM card,” according to the listing. It’s not immediately clear which markets Microsoft plans to launch its SIM card in, and the pricing of the cellular data. Microsoft is planning to sell plans through the Windows Store, so the data will be tied to a Microsoft Account.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Eva Dou / Wall Street Journal:
    Sources: Xiaomi missed 2015 sales target of 80M smartphones, is under pressure to justify $46B valuationFind

    China’s Xiaomi Under Pressure to Prove Value to Investors
    Once the world’s most valuable technology startup, the smartphone maker is now facing strain of expectation

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Here’s What Happens To Your Eyes When You Look at Multiple Screens

    If you don’t spend a few hours of your day staring at a screen, then statistically, you’re a digital freak. Nearly 90% of Americans use their devices for at least two hours a day.

    And a growing number of us—70%—are glued to multiple screens at once. All that eyeballing comes at a cost, according to a new survey by the Vision Council.

    The survey polled more than 10,000 adults and found that 65% of Americans experience digital eye strain—physical discomfort, like getting dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches and neck or back pain—after staring at a screen for hours.

    But people who used just one device fared better than those using multiple screens: only 53% of them had symptoms of digital eye strain, compared to 75% of digital multitaskers.

    “What we’re finding is that Millennials especially are very comfortable working on multiple screens and multiple devices,”

    Several factors contribute to digital eye strain, including how close you are to your screen. People typically hold small devices 8-12 inches away from their faces, a closeness that decreases blinking rates, the report says. “Blinking is crucial to keeping the ocular surface well protected from environmental assaults and our eyes from drying out,” Bazan says. “They’ll become dry and irritated, and vision will become blurry as well.” That’s where the urge to rub your eyes at the end of a long workday comes from.

    Blue light, the high-energy visible light emitted by your digital devices, is another contributor. “That light is so close to ultraviolet, which has been known to cause damage on the cells of the eyes for years now,”

    “When we look at ink on paper, our eyes know at what distance the ink and paper is and we can lock the focus on.” Pixels on a screen, on the other hand, are hard points of focus and compete for our eyeballs, he says. “Since a pixel is a hard target, we see that our focusing system is always in a state of trying to find exactly where the pixel is. That constant focusing causes strain.”

    What is Digital Eye Strain?

    On average, nearly nine in 10 adults (88 percent) spend more than two hours each day using a digital device, with one in 10 people spending at least three-fourths of their waking hours on a digital device. This constant exposure to technology is a shock to our eyes with 65 percent of Americans reporting symptoms of digital eye strain, such as dry, irritated, eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and back pain and headaches.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us
    The (social) world is not enough, for Zuckerberg

    Facebook started 2016 with the bold claim that it intends to eradicate phone numbers and replace web browsing, but the Social Network has a mountain to climb before Facebook Messenger becomes the centre of our online world.

    That’s the stated intention of the Zuckerberg empire – to replace all our myriad internet communication systems with one interface.

    Facebook claims that its Messenger app has been installed 800 million times

    If Facebook is going to recruit the shops, taxi companies and airlines it needs to make Messenger a one-stop internet shop it will need to get the app installed across the demographics before Microsoft (with Skype) steps in to take the cream.

    The medium is the Messenger

    With that in mind, Facebook Messenger was forked from the main Facebook mobile app back in 2011, but messaging remained possible in the main app until 2014. These days, the Facebook app will notify you that a message has been received, but if you want to read that message then you’ll have to download and install Facebook’s new Trojan Horse.

    Every month, 600 million Chinese are using Weixen, Tencent’s WeChat client, to book taxis, check into flights, play games, buy cinema tickets, make doctors’ appointments, and even manage bank accounts, all without touching the web browser.

    In China, messaging has become the platform of choice for accessing a wide variety of services, and Facebook plans to replicate that model in the rest of the world – with it owning the messaging platform, obviously.

    Walled garden of Zuck

    In Facebook’s brave new world, everything is done through Facebook Messenger, and Facebook takes control of the delivery channel, removing that irritating “Open in Web Browser” which takes so much control away from the Social Network.

    But that brave new world is predicated on the idea that people will install Facebook Messenger, rather than relying on the website, and email notifications, to stay in touch. Our research, in partnership with Celltick, looked at the top 10 applications installed on different handsets, and shows that while many low-end handsets do have Facebook Messenger installed, the application is almost invisible in handsets costing more than $200.

    In high-end phones, Skype consistently rates top – well above the main Facebook application – and Facebook Messenger isn’t even in the top 10.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Suhaib / Gizmochina:
    OPPO Sold 50 Million Smartphones In 2015

    2015 was an incredible year for the smartphone manufacturers with so many high end models flooding the shelves. OPPO credited as the brand responsible for designing some of the best looking smartphones in market has sold 50 million smartphones in 2015.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results — CUPERTINO, California — January 26, 2016 — Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 first quarter ended December 26, 2015. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $75.9 billion and record quarterly net income of $18.4 billion, or $3.28 per diluted share.

    Daisuke Wakabayashi / Wall Street Journal:
    Apple says it sold 74.8M iPhones, up under 1% year-over-year, the slowest growth pace ever — Apple Reports Slowing Growth in iPhone Sales — Company sees revenue in current quarter declining at the steepest rate in 15 years — Apple Inc. said iPhone sales grew at the slowest pace since …

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
    Apple says it now has over 1B active devices worldwide, up 25% year-over-year


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