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Infographic: The Evolution of the Living Room

IDG GlobalSolutions Color Infographic: The Evolution of the Living Room

Three years ago only 20% of IDG Global Solutions’ (IGS) respondents said they own a tablet, today it is 60% already. Today, people have the ability to browse and shop around the globe at the touch of a button. Communication has changed significantly from longer conversations on the phone or in person to an always on, short burst communication via apps or website plugins such as Disqus.

As IDG Global solutions 2014 mobile research survey continues to demonstrate, business is bleeding into our lives, as research is not bound to the office. View this infographic on how mobile is disruptive – affecting how we live, shop, do business and consume media.

Click here to download the white paper and for more infographics

 Infographic: The Evolution of the Living Room

China’s Smartphone Population Passes Half a Billion

eMarketer

More of the world’s smartphone audience lives in China than any other country around the globe—by far, according to eMarketer’s latest projections of worldwide mobile usage. We estimate that this year, the smartphone population in China will pass the half-a-billion mark, accounting for just under three in 10 smartphone users worldwide.

Screen Shot 2014 06 25 at 11.54.16 AM Chinas Smartphone Population Passes Half a Billion

The country’s share of the worldwide total will decrease in coming years, falling as low as 26.0% by 2018. However, that doesn’t mean gains in China’s smartphone market will be particularly sluggish over the next few years, with double-digit growth rates predicted through 2015, when more than half of mobile phone users in the country and 42.2% of the total population will own and use a smartphone monthly.

While not all mobile phone internet users are smartphone users, most are—and this is another key addressable population in China. At the end of last year, nearly nine in 10 internet users in the country used the web via mobile phones; this year, the percentage will creep to 92.3%. By the end of our forecast period, almost every internet user in China will go online on their phones.

Mobile internet usage breeds mobile web content usage, naturally, and hundreds of millions of mobile phone users in China are already going on social networks on their phones at least monthly, with double-digit growth predicted through the end of next year. In 2014, about one-fifth of the total population of the country is expected to visit social sites on their phones.

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What’s in the Amazon Fire Phone for business users: Not much

CITEworld

The new Amazon phone is essentially a buying machine that makes it easier than ever to buy anything from Amazon, a model that’s sure to dismay retailers and that won’t do you much good at work.

In the first hour and a half of the launch presentation, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spent very little time showing off features that might be useful at work, according to reporters live-blogging the event on sites like the Verge.

The phone runs the Silk browser, which Amazon created for the Kindle Fire. Silk offers a woefully poor experience, making it unreliable for accessing Web apps that users might want for work.

The app store for the new Fire phone is also likely to underrepresent, like the Kindle Fire app store, which sadly lacks many apps that uses want, particularly for work purposes. Amazon will similarly struggle to build up a big enough app store to compete with the giant Apple and Android stores.

But like the Kindle Fire, the new Fire phone has a good chance of bringing in revenue for Amazon, even if it gains only small market share.

“Anytime, anywhere. In one second. Over 100 million items,” reads one slide that Amazon displayed during its launch event, as live blogged by the Verge.

That slide captures the intent of a feature on the new phone called Firefly that recognizes images the camera picks up as well as music and video, and then makes it easy for users to quickly buy the item — like a book, song, or TV show. Amazon said it recognizes 100 million different items. A dedicated hardware button on the phone launches Firefly.

Retailers can’t be happy about this one. Some have already essentially become showrooms for Amazon, where shoppers go to look at a product in person, then order it, usually cheaper, on Amazon. The Firefly button makes that process much easier.

Many rumors predicted that the phone would have a unique technology that displays images in a way that gives them 3-D depth and that nicely displays images even when users are viewing the screen at an angle. Indeed, the Fire phone sports this technology.

It also has the rumored technology that lets users flick the phone to spur certain actions. Tilting the phone, for instance, advances items that a user might be shopping for. Tilting the phone scrolls a Web page or a book.

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Affluent Europeans adopt multi-devices

Warc

Close to one-third (28%) of wealthy Europeans now own all three key devices – a smartphone, a tablet and a PC/laptop – a survey of more than 28,000 Europeans across 21 countries has established.

These findings in the latest European Media and Marketing Survey (EMS) from research firm Ipsos confirmed that ownership of multiple devices among Europe’s richest 13% of population has more than tripled from the 8% reported in 2012.

Individual smartphone ownership for this group now stands at 70%, up from 62% last year and 44% in 2012, while tablet ownership has grown to 35% compared with 21% in 2013 and 11% in the previous year.

Laptop/PC ownership remains at the 92% recorded last year, slightly down from 94% in 2012.

Turkey emerged as the European nation where affluent people are most likely to own a smartphone – 84% own this device, while 37% of Turkish people own all three main devices. The Dutch have the highest proportion of tablet-owners, at 54%.

Nathalie Sodeike, managing director of Ipsos MediaCT in the Netherlands, said that while print and TV still makes up a large proportion of media consumption, the survey showed affluent consumers are leading the way for digital adoption.

“Every year we see digital technology play a larger and larger role in the media consumption of Europe’s affluent population,” she said.

Just under a third of affluent Europeans (27%) read international publications to keep themselves informed, the report found, while 58% access media via digital devices.

More than four-fifths (82%) watch international TV channels on a monthly basis, 63% doing so for news and business while 76% do so for entertainment and general coverage.

The importance of social media sites for affluent Europeans also emerged in the study – a full 43% say they check them several times a day, while almost three-quarters visited Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter in the previous month.

Design is more important than technology

CITEworld

It happens every time Apple makes an announcement: “Where’s the really big difference,” shout the haters from the rooftops. “Where’s the innovation?

Well, here’s the thing: When it comes to technology, “innovation” doesn’t mean what you think it means. Almost none of the technology we come to rely on every day for transportation, productivity, and entertainment, is actually a brand new invention. And very much of what we refer to as “innovation” is mainly a product of good design — the smart application of existing technologies to make life better for users.

Let’s go back to Apple for a moment. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, Apple didn’t invent the personal computing market: Olivetti invented the PC with the Progamma 101 in 1965, when the Steves Wozniak and Jobs were still in school. HP, Xerox, Wang, and IBM all offered personal computer models of their own. But it was the Apple II that made computing affordable and accessible to the home.

Which is exactly the same trick that Apple pulled thirty-some-odd years later with the iPod, and later the iPhone. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player. It didn’t invent the cell phone. It didn’t invent the touchscreen, or mobile e-mail, or that cool portrait/landscape switching that we now take for granted. What Apple did was combine these technologies in a way that had never been tried before.

The iPhone wasn’t the most technologically robust phone on the market — remember when everyone was up in arms because the first two iPhone models were only on 2G? But it was the first that presented a compelling case for how people could use a smartphone in their everyday lives.

The “innovation” was in optimizing their product to reflect the company’s very specific vision for how people should interact with technology. That vision continues through today: Even the Woz agrees that Apple is plenty innovative, even if its lack of really new products indicates a gap in inventiveness, which is a different topic.

And you see it again and again in all segments.

Uber didn’t invent cabs. It just invented a better way to call and pay for them that took advantage of the smartphone platform.

Tesla didn’t invent electric cars. It just invented a better way to manufacture them that lets them drive further, faster. (Although Tesla holds a bunch of well-deserved patents for their battery and charger technology — patents that theyopened up this week to encourage people to build on their inventions.)

Since CITEworld is an enterprise IT blog, let’s take a look at an enterprise IT company: Okta, the single sign-on cloud identity company which this week raised a hefty $75 million round of funding, today unveils a new user experience (UX).

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India Continues As One Of The Fastest Growing Smartphone Markets In Asia Pacific In 1Q 2014, Says IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 India Continues As One Of The Fastest Growing Smartphone Markets In Asia Pacific In 1Q 2014, Says IDC

India was the highest growing market in Asia Pacific with a year-on-year smartphone shipment growth of over 186% in 1Q 2014.The vast majority of the country’s user base migrated to smartphones from feature phones and as a result Indian smartphone market outshone other emerging markets like China which registered a year-on-year growth of 31% in 1Q 2014.

The smartphone penetration in India still hovers at 10% and it is expected to grow due to a variety of factors including greater availability of low-cost devices and additional sales emphasis by top-flight vendors on less populous parts of the country.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall India mobile phone market stood at close to 61.07 million units in 1Q 2014 which is a 10% quarter-on-quarter dip and a mere 1% year-on-year growth. The dip in the overall mobile phone market shipments can be attributed to the 18% decline in the feature phone shipments from 4Q 2013 to 1Q 2014. This was offset by the smartphone market, where units shipped grew by close to 17% in 1Q 2014 compared to 4Q 2013. The consistent growth in the smartphone market is driven by enhanced consumer preference for smart devices and narrowing price differences.

The share of feature phones in the overall market further slipped further to 71% in 1Q 2014 which is a considerable decrease from 90% share in 1Q 2013.

The India smartphone market grew by a whopping 186% year-on-year in 1Q 2014. According to IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker (excluding Japan), vendors shipped a total of 17.59 million smartphones in 1Q 2014 compared to 6.14 million units in the same period of 2013. The shipment contribution of “phablets” (which IDC defines as 5.5 inch-6.99 inch screen size smartphones) in 1Q 2014 was noted to be around 5% of the overall market. The category grew by 125% in 1Q 2014 in terms of sheer volume over 4Q 2013. The primary reason behind this trend is the launch of low-end phablets by international and local vendors alike.

The sub-200 USD category in smartphones contributed to about 78% hinting at the fact that the growth in the India Smartphone market still remains constrained towards the low-end of the spectrum.

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India Continues As One Of The Fastest Growing Smartphone Markets In Asia Pacific In 1Q 2014, Says IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 India Continues As One Of The Fastest Growing Smartphone Markets In Asia Pacific In 1Q 2014, Says IDC

India was the highest growing market in Asia Pacific with a year-on-year smartphone shipment growth of over 186% in 1Q 2014.The vast majority of the country’s user base migrated to smartphones from feature phones and as a result Indian smartphone market outshone other emerging markets like China which registered a year-on-year growth of 31% in 1Q 2014.

The smartphone penetration in India still hovers at 10% and it is expected to grow due to a variety of factors including greater availability of low-cost devices and additional sales emphasis by top-flight vendors on less populous parts of the country.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall India mobile phone market stood at close to 61.07 million units in 1Q 2014 which is a 10% quarter-on-quarter dip and a mere 1% year-on-year growth. The dip in the overall mobile phone market shipments can be attributed to the 18% decline in the feature phone shipments from 4Q 2013 to 1Q 2014. This was offset by the smartphone market, where units shipped grew by close to 17% in 1Q 2014 compared to 4Q 2013. The consistent growth in the smartphone market is driven by enhanced consumer preference for smart devices and narrowing price differences.

The share of feature phones in the overall market further slipped further to 71% in 1Q 2014 which is a considerable decrease from 90% share in 1Q 2013.

The India smartphone market grew by a whopping 186% year-on-year in 1Q 2014. According to IDC Asia Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker (excluding Japan), vendors shipped a total of 17.59 million smartphones in 1Q 2014 compared to 6.14 million units in the same period of 2013. The shipment contribution of “phablets” (which IDC defines as 5.5 inch-6.99 inch screen size smartphones) in 1Q 2014 was noted to be around 5% of the overall market. The category grew by 125% in 1Q 2014 in terms of sheer volume over 4Q 2013. The primary reason behind this trend is the launch of low-end phablets by international and local vendors alike.

The sub-200 USD category in smartphones contributed to about 78% hinting at the fact that the growth in the India Smartphone market still remains constrained towards the low-end of the spectrum.

Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014 06 13 at 9.49.18 AM 1024x714 India Continues As One Of The Fastest Growing Smartphone Markets In Asia Pacific In 1Q 2014, Says IDC

 

Google’s building 7-inch Project Tango tablets that see the world around them, report says

IDG News Service

After releasing a 3D-aware prototype smartphone in February, Google is getting ready to release a similarly equipped Android tablet.

Produced under Google’s “Project Tango,” the prototype tablet will have a 7-inch screen, two cameras, and infrared depth sensors. The tablet’s software will be able to use all that hardware to capture 3D images of the immediate surroundings, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Possible applications for the tablet, and the smartphone before it, include navigation assistance for the visually impaired, augmented reality gaming, and 3D floor plans of your living room. You could use a 3D floor plan, for example, to shop for a new couch and see how it’d look at home right on your mobile display.

Google intends to produce about 4,000 Project Tango prototype tablets in early June to distribute to developers, according to the Journal. The devices could be ready for introduction close to Google I/O. The search giant’s developer conference is scheduled for June 25 and 26; however, it’s not clear if Project Tango will be a featured part of the I/O keynote.

If accurate, Google’s reported 4,000 tablets is a significant boost from the 200 Project Tango smartphones Google planned to distribute to developers earlier this year.
Google says its goal with Project Tango is to “give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.” Similar to Google’s other creative projects, the company is hoping that developers will come up with newer and more interesting uses for Project Tango than Google has itself.

In March, Google and NASA said two Project Tango smartphones would be sent to the International Space Station. The handsets are attached to spherical robotic devices about the size of a volleyball called SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites) that can float and move inside the ISS.

The idea is to see if Project Tango can help the device learn and maneuver around its environment. The Tango-ized SPHERES are set to launch on the Orbital 2 resupply mission on June 10, according to NASA.

3D appears to the next great frontier that major technology companies are working on. While Google has its Project Tango, Facebook, Microsoft, and Sony are working on virtual reality headsets focused on gaming.

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The hottest trend in mobile: going offline!

Computerworld

The consumer electronics industry has spent the past 20 years making everything connect wirelessly to the Internet — from PCs to TVs, cameras and speakers.

This includes, of course, the most wireless of wireless devices, the ubiquitous smartphone.

Your average smartphone connects wirelessly in three ways: via mobile broadband, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — all of which get faster, more reliable and more widely available all the time.

So why is there now a big trend in the industry to make apps work in places where no Internet connection is available?

A dream abandoned

Years ago, the dream was to blanket the world with universal connectivity. Entire cities would be blanketed with Wi-Fi. Continents would be dotted with cell towers. Geosynchronous satellites would provide fast Internet connectivity to everyone, everywhere.

Just look at the grandiose intentions of the Bill Gates-backed company Teledesic in the 1990s: “On day one of service, Teledesic will offer broadband telecommunications access for businesses, schools and individuals everywhere on the planet.” Teledesic went out of business in 2002.

In recent years, reality has set in. We are nowhere near providing Internet connectivity everywhere. So now, companies are wisely starting to do the next best thing: Making their apps and services work offline.

Over the past month, the industry has flooded users with apps and services designed to work without an Internet connection.

Making the world safe for going offline

Google this week rolled out better offline support for its iOS and Android Google Maps apps. It enables you to choose an area and then tap a button to download the mapping data to your phone, saving it for later use. Then when you’re out on the road, you can look at the map without going online. So you don’t have to worry about getting lost if you’re in a mobile broadband dead zone.

The Android version of Google Search has a new offline mode for the Google Now feature as well. Even without a connection, the Google Now cards will keep on coming.

The company has also been working hard to make its cloud-centric laptop platform, the Chromebook, as functional offline as possible. Google publishes a page listing all the things you can do with a Chromebook without an Internet connection — things like using email, adding appointments to the calendar and so on. Any day now, Chromebooks will have the ability to download and play TV shows and movies offline.

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Smartphone Momentum Still Evident with Shipments Expected to Reach 1.2 Billion in 2014 and Growing 23.1% Over 2013, According to IDC

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 300x99 Smartphone Momentum Still Evident with Shipments Expected to Reach 1.2 Billion in 2014 and Growing 23.1% Over 2013, According to IDC

According to a recently published mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments will reach a total of 1.2 billion units in 2014, marking a 23.1% increase from the 1.0 billion units shipped in 2013. From there, total volumes will reach 1.8 billion units in 2018, resulting in a 12.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013–2018.

“What makes smartphone growth so amazing is where the growth will be taking place,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Smartphone shipments will more than double between now and 2018 within key emerging markets, including India, Indonesia, and Russia. In addition, China will account for nearly a third of all smartphone shipments in 2018. These – and other markets – will offer multiple opportunities to vendors and carriers alike, but the key will be balancing affordability with expectations.”

On a worldwide basis, IDC expects the average selling price (ASP) of smartphones to reach $314 in 2014, down 6.3% from the $335 ASP in 2013. From there, ASPs are expected to reach $267 by 2018.  While these prices point to a definite decline, users still expect top-notch experiences regardless of what smartphone they purchase.

“Until recently, low cost has equaled poor quality in the smartphone space,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Given the competition at the high end, vendors like Motorola are trying to skate to where the puck is going by offering extremely affordable devices like the Moto E, which offer a ‘good enough’ experience that will suit the needs of many. This goes to show that components that were used 2-3 years back in high-end smartphones are still sufficient in many aspects, and ultimately will allow vendors to come to the table with viable low-cost solutions.”

Operating Systems

Android –Android will undoubtedly remain the clear market leader among smartphone operating systems with share expected to hit 80.2% in 2014. Looking forward, IDC expects Android to lose a minimal amount of share over the forecast period, mainly as a result of Windows Phone growth. Android has been, and will continue to be, the platform driving low-cost devices. ASPs of Android smartphones were well below market average in the first quarter of 2014 and are expected to be $254 for full year 2014, dropping to $215 in 2018. Growth of Android phones is expected to outpace the market in 2014, rising 25.6% with volume just shy of 1 billion units.

iOS – Despite rumors of a larger screen iPhone, IDC expects share of iOS to drop from 14.8% in 2014, to 13.7% in 2018. Apple continues to be strong in mature markets, where devices are heavily subsidized, but emerging markets are expected to drive overall market growth, and appetite for smartphones in these markets is at the sub-$200 level, significantly below Apple’s selling prices. iOS volumes are expected to hit 184.1 million in 2014, growing to 247.4 million in 2018. Growth of 20.0% this year will slowly drop to year-over-year growth of 6.1% in 2018, more in line with overall market growth.

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