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Jan 02
Berg Insight: mobile location platform revenues will...

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the global market for location platforms will grow steadily in the next few years, mainly driven by the emerging indoor location segment.

At the same time, the market for location platforms deployed by mobile operators is maturing. Annual revenues for GMLC/SMLC and SUPL A-GPS servers, passive location platforms, as well as middleware deployed by mobile operators are forecasted to grow from an estimated € 190 million in 2012 to € 275 million in 2018. The market is primarily driven by public safety and lawful intercept mandates that require network operators to invest in location platforms enabling location of any handset.

Overall, the growing end-user demand for commercial location-based services (LBS) will not have a substantial effect on the market for mobile network location platforms. Most mass market...

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Dec 31
Gartner: 20% of new tech spending will be on as-a-...

Organizations’ need to drive innovation and growth, coupled with a limited budget and the mainstreaming of consuming technology “as-a-service”, is creating the perfect condition for integrated platform solutions.

Susan Tan, research director at the Gartner research group (http://www.gartner.com) says that new technologies — such as cloud, mobile, analytics, social, sensors and in-memory computing—- offer the promise of innovation and creation of competitive advantages. However, enterprises face challenges to their adoption. Organizations still struggle with tight budgets and inflexible legacy systems, and many organizations lack resources, skill sets, appetite and time to adopt these new technologies in a conventional manner.

Traditional implementations that take months and years to build cannot be agile enough to keep up with changing technologies or respond quickly to fleeting market opportunities,...

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Dec 27
Mobile gambling user numbers to rise by 100 million...

Over the next five years, the number of mobile and/or tablet owners using their devices to gamble will increase by 100 million, meaning that 164 million people will either place a bet, visit a mobile casino or buy a lottery ticket on their device in 2018. These findings come from Juniper Research’s latest report on mobile gambling, which highlighted that the strongest growth would come from the North American market.

According to the report although growth has been slow in the US since the DoJ (Department of Justice) ruling in 2011, the number of users in the region is expected to pick up sharply from 2014 onwards. This will occur as states which have not yet fully legislated on remote gambling make progress following successful services launching in Nevada and New Jersey. In addition, inter-state poker, where two players in separate, regulated markets play against each other, is likely to become a reality in the medium term, further driving mobile/tablet gambling usage,...

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Dec 26
Early adopters of mobile websites are not who you...

Research from optimized website specialist Telnames (http://www.telnames.com) says that the businesses leading the way in adopting mobile websites are not who you might think.

The businesses leading the way in adopting mobile websites – and capitalizing on the consumer boom in mobile search - are not the larger hi-tech companies with established and mature web presences that people might expect. It is the UK’s small and micro businesses that have most enthusiastically adopted mobile technology.

The explosive growth in mobile search traffic represents a major opportunity for businesses looking to attract browsers on the move or searching at home on their smartphone and tablet devices, and Telnames’ research shows that small and micro enterprise owners in particular have been quick to grasp the benefits of establishing a mobile-ready web presence.


According to research by Google, 95% of...

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Dec 23
Growth of LTE-based in-car Wi-Fi hot spots to boost...

Although the majority of rear-seat entertainment usage is likely to be based on BYOD [bring your own device], ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that the number of embedded original equipment manufacturer [OEM] supplied rear-seat entertainment displays shipped in cars will increase to reach 13.3 million units globally by 2020.

Rear-seat entertainment systems, typically incorporating DVD players, have been offered by OEMs and numerous aftermarket suppliers for many years. However, the higher bandwidth of LTE and its increasing coverage in North America, Europe and other parts of the world means that OEM Wi-Fi hot spot solutions will enable a host of new in-car applications such as video streaming, gaming and even video-conferencing, as well as enabling multiple devices to be connected simultaneously.

"Although we expect the majority of people to use their own smartphone or tablet devices in...

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Dec 20
Gartner: BYOD an applications strategy, not just a...

Bring your own device (BOYD) is not just a purchasing policy and needs to be approached more broadly with the applications and strategies designed for today's world, according to Gartner, Inc.

While most enterprises today are increasingly feeling the imperative to "do mobile," many don't know where to begin and there are many obstacles to success. The research group says the key decision about BYOD is one of applications architecture and solutions design. 

"Designing your applications to meet the demands of BYOD is not the same as setting usage policies or having strategic sourcing plans that mandate a particular platform," said Darryl Carlton, research director at Gartner. "BYOD should be a design principle that provides you with a vendor neutral applications portfolio and a flexible future-proof architecture. If the applications exhibit technical constraints that limit choice and limit deployment, then the purchasing policy is irrelevant." 

Most...

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Dec 19
Study shows how tablet users share content

MAZ (www.mazdigital.com) — whose publishing platform powers over 600 apps on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore — has unveiled a study showing how users are sharing content from tablets.

The most interesting finding of the study was the fact that 72% of all shared content is shared via email. While a lot of digital strategists have written off email as an outdated tool compared to more modern social networks, the data suggests that despite being presented with the option to share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr, users continue to prefer sharing content to their friends, family or coworkers via email.

With the recent buzz about young people moving to closed networks such as Snapchat, this study supports the idea that sharing to individuals and smaller groups may be preferable over public-facing networks. As for social networks, the study shows that users prefer to share to...

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Dec 17
Gartner: smart watches won't dominate consumer...

Despite the hype surrounding smart watches, they are unlikely to be featured on many consumers' holiday wish lists this year, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The research group says that premium pricing paired with an unclear value proposition will steer consumers' spending toward tablets and fitness bands, leading to lackluster sales of smart watches this holiday season.

Smart watches are a product subset of the wearable electronics market that caters to different industry verticals and consumer groups that include fitness, health-monitoring, monitoring the elderly and law enforcement (tracking). Smart watches themselves are not a new device but they have recently evolved from the health and fitness field with an attempt to enter the mainstream consumer market by adding communication and more smart features.

"Samsung and other well-known vendors have recently entered the smart watch space, yet...

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Dec 16
Majority of consumers plan to shop online this holiday...

Based on a survey of shoppers completed by Overstock.com, a discount online shopping retailer, 75% plan to shop on Black Friday (Nov. 29) and of those, 57% plan to do it online. Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) will bring in 66% of shoppers online. The survey also revealed that consumers expect savings of up to 40% off during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail period.

"Online shopping allows consumers to make purchases comfortably from their home while avoiding the holiday rush, waiting in line, fighting traffic and suffering the weather," says Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne. "Overstock offers great deals on high-quality products that can be shipped directly to your door." 

The majority of online shoppers will be younger consumers. According to a study by CFI Group, 50% of millennials intend to spend more than 40% of their holiday shopping budgets online, compared to 38 percent of baby boomers.

Overstock.com's survey also showed that 74% of shoppers...

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Dec 12
Chip firms, OEMs to enjoy strong revenue growth as...

The semiconductor and electronics original equipment manufacturing (OEM) industries are set to enjoy significant revenue growth in 2013 — partly due to their tight management of inventory levels — according to a Supply Chain Inventory market brief from IHS Inc. (www.isuppli.com).

Among OEMs in six categories, total revenue in the third quarter reached an estimated US$493 billion, up a robust 7% from $462 billion in the second quarter. Revenue in the final quarter of the year is expected to climb at an even more blistering pace, reaching $540 billion with sequential growth of 10%.

In contrast to the strong performance for the two last quarters of the second half, the first two quarters of the year started out more quietly, with growth in the second quarter reaching only 2%. Industrial electronics was the strongest of the six segments being counted in the third quarter, but wireless communications will finish...

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Dec 12
Android OEMs expand their enterprise smartphone...

According to a new report from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), Android smartphone OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are taking advantage of a solid presence among consumers and mobile business users to drive more business entity smartphone purchases and expand use in the enterprise.

ABI Research predicts that shipment revenues from Android smartphones used by mobile business customers will grow from US$54 billion in 2013 to over $92 billion globally by the end of 2018. ABI Research analyzed Android OEM enterprise features and market presence to provide mobile business customer adoption forecasts for six OEMs including HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola Mobility, Samsung, and ZTE.

"Despite a significant presence among employees in the workplace, businesses have not allowed or have limited the access of Android devices to enterprise applications and systems," says ABI Resesarch Senior Analyst, Jason...

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Dec 11
26% of U.S. broadband households eyeing an Internet-...

The Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) research group finds growing consumer interest in smart home automation solutions, with 26% of U.S. broadband households planning to purchase a smart thermostat during the 2013 holiday season.

"Roughly 25% of broadband households with new home management and home entertainment equipment report experiencing problems with these devices on a monthly basis, a surprisingly high amount," says Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Robust technical support will help consumers to achieve the promise of these devices and mitigate consumer frustration."

Parks Associates research finds 30% of consumers with electronic door locks regularly experience technical problems with these solutions, including 9% on a daily basis. Over 20% of smart thermostat owners regularly experience problems, including 12% on a daily basis.

"IP-enabled...

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Dec 10
One billion smartphones will have location-based...

As smartphones embrace always-on, ubiquitous location, location-based sensor fusion will become a standard feature, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). Location-based sensor fusion will enable the dawn of the quantified self, ambient intelligence, as well as provide huge potential around advertising and retail, says the research group.

"Sensor fusion is vital in enabling a consistent location experience, RF mapping, and the industry to scale rapidly," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly. "Unfortunately, it is not just a case of putting in a 9-axis sensor to achieve this. Highly complex algorithms are required to optimize sensor outputs, integrate with other location technologies and combine with machine learning and data-fusion algorithms. Sensor fusion will surpass Wi-Fi and BLE as the most important handset-based indoor location technology by 2017."

ABI Research has...

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Dec 09
Smartphones, tablets revolutionize online content...

Driven by rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, international consumers of digital media — video, video games, music and books — are moving away from traditional household ownership models to individual rental models, increasing the pressure on content publishers to increase investment and innovation.

This is according to "The Age of Curation: From Abundance to Discovery," an eight-country, 6,000 consumer survey and report to be presented on November 21 at the 2013 Forum D’Avignon, by Bain & Company (www.bain.com), aglobal business consulting firm. Key findings include:
° Smartphone ownership in developed markets (the U.S., U.K., France and Germany) jumped from 49% on average in 2012 to 64% in 2013, while increasing from 24% to 37% in developing markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China)

° Tablet ownership rose from 18% on average in 2012 to 39% in 2013 in developed markets, while increasing from 13...

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Dec 06
Americans reach for smartphones in unexpected places

With nearly 170 million Americans using smartphones today, mobile devices are now synonymous with everyday activities such as email, web browsing and communication via texts or social media. A number of Americans are actually reaching for their phones in some of the most unexpected places and using them for more than just staying in touch while on-the-go, according to results of a new nationwide survey released by LG Electronics.

Conducted by Kelton, the "Smartphone Secrets" survey of 1,152 Americans age 18 and over found that nearly one in five would never hide the fact that they are using their mobile device, no matter where they are. Some of the most shocking and surprising places in which Americans are not afraid to whip out their smartphones include:

° Places of worship: 48% of smartphone owners confess they would be comfortable using their devices in a place of worship.

° In the bedroom: 77% of smartphone owners admit they would openly use their phones...

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Dec 05
Gartner: personal worlds, Internet of Everything are...

With the digital world upon us, digitalization will significantly change the technology market through the Internet of Things, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). While IT spending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will show an average annual growth rate of 2.2 percent through 2017, the Internet of Things (things, people, places and systems) will create new markets and a new economy, according to the research group.

"The traditional IT market is not going to grow at a faster rate any time soon, if ever. Increased growth will come from the non-traditional IT market," says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. "While in 2015 the combined IT and telecom market will hit nearly US$4 trillion, the incremental revenue generated by the Internet of Things’ suppliers is estimated to reach $309 billion per year by 2020. Half of this activity will be new start-ups...

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Dec 04
Russia records massive mobile app growth

Game Insight (www.game-insight.com), a publisher/developer of mobile/social games, and J’son & Partners has presented new market research on the Russian mobile market, comparing growth in mobile applications and devices in Russia against global figures.

According to the study, the mobile application market volume in Russia will exceed US$330 million for 2013. In addition to calculating total mobile app market volume, the study also compares key trends and figures in the Russian mobile market against those of different countries, as well as against global aggregates. 

For instance, for the last two years, the average percentage of Russian mobile internet users has increased by a factor of 10. In fact, mobile internet expansion in Russia has outpaced that of other developing mobile markets by a sizeable margin, with penetration three times higher than in China and nine times higher than in India....

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Dec 03
Mobile broadband modem, router markets decline

Over the first half of 2013 about US$2.5 billion worth of mobile broadband modems and routers for computing and consumer electronics connectivity have shipped. For the full year, market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts 92.1 million of these 3G and 4G modems and routers will be shipped worldwide to mobile network operators, retailers, and device manufacturers.

This represents 0% growth year-over-year from the 92.4 million modems shipped during 2012. The mix of modem form-factors is changing due to declining USB volumes, offset by increased mobile hotspot routers and embedded modem modules.

"The use of USB for the addition of mobile broadband to portable computers has peaked," says ABI Research Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr. "The diversification of choices for the new era of computing can be seen by these trends in modems sold through the aftermarket."

Modem...

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Dec 02
The Northern Spy: curmudgeonly yours

By Rick Sutcliffe

Following up on comments in this space last month, the Spy still has had none of the issues reported by others who've adopted Mavericks. Apart from the need to upgrade a handful of programs, all continues smooth. However, iTim's elves are busy at work releasing betas of the first incremental upgrade to fix issues some have seen. Of greater interest might be what they're doing with system XI.

And, the reader will recall the troubles reported here with his own hosting company's mail server (another millisecond older and deeper in spam with faked to, from, and reply-to addresses). Enabling MCP (Message Content Protection) in MailScanner to scan and delete on specific content did blue list and refuse much of the offending mail, which on that change alone declined from 80% of all arriving messages to about 20%.

But, subject, content, and other characteristics kept changing, and even adding more block lists to the scanner only...

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Dec 02
Mobile augmented reality users to approach 200 million...

New findings from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) shows that the mobile Augmented Reality (AR) market, is set to increase dramatically from 60 million unique users this year to nearly 200 million in 2018.

The market will expand from the early adopting gaming segment and navigation based utility to becoming an integral part of the consumer’s ecosystem, according to the research group. Despite initial trepidation and single use applications of the technology, Juniper forecasts AR to become a key future platform for communication and commerce.

AR has a potential to engage a new generation of consumers in a unique manner, combining the personal nature of mobile devices with the Internet’s wealth of accessible information. Juniper’s report finds that as the market matures, the app ecosystem is set to expand rapidly over the forecast period.

Initial innovations will stem from...

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Nov 27
Game consoles, tablets competing for holiday shopping...

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds tablets and game consoles are virtually tied among U.S. consumers for planned purchases in the 2013 holiday season.

Parks Associates' research reports purchase interest in game consoles has rebounded after tablets surged ahead in the 2012 holiday season. The research group's analysts say comparable percentages of U.S. broadband households purchased tablets and game consoles in 2011, and if current intentions reflect 2013 purchases, game consoles will soon be back on an equal footing with tablets.

"Tablets are poised to be a big seller this Black Friday and holiday season, with Apple, Microsoft, and Nokia announcing new models, but the launch of new game consoles from Microsoft and Sony may steal their momentum," says Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "2013 will not be a repeat of...

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Nov 26
Enterprise small cell installations set to increase 70...

The femtocell market has continued its steady growth in 2013 with the number of installations rising by 70% over the last year in the enterprise market with some notable deployments recently, including Telefónica in Germany and Free in France, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The femtocell ecosystem is also developing with more equipment providers looking to capture a share of the market which has attracted vendors from different backgrounds including ICT, core network, and in-building/DAS providers. This is reflected by the number of femtocell shipments which will increase tenfold by 2018, jumping from 3.75 million in 2013 to 37.45 million.

Now that Wi-Fi has entered the gigabit era with the new 802.11ac standard delivering total data rate of 1.3 Gbps and femtocells migrating from 3G to LTE which offers considerably higher data rates than 3G, new applications and business models are...

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Nov 25
Gartner: limit data centers to two per continent of...

Most global organizations have too many data centers in too many countries, according to Gartner, Inc (www.gartner.com). The research group said that in order for enterprises to save costs and optimize service delivery, they need a twin data center topology for each continent of major business activity.

"It's a fact that most global organizations run too many data centers in too many countries. This is normally the result of business expansion, either organically or through acquisition over many years," said Rakesh Kumar, research vice president at Gartner. "While the logic of business growth makes sense, having too many data centers results in excessive capital and operational costs, an overly complex architecture and, in many cases, a lack of business-IT agility." 

Many companies have stated that having too many data centers inhibits their ability to respond quickly to business changes. This is because of...

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Nov 21
Broadband users are paying less for services

The most recent mobile broadband price benchmarking results from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) shows that while service speeds have grown dramatically over the past year, users are paying less for them.

The average monthly cost for a tablet user needing 2GB per month has fallen 4% since the same period last year, to USD PPP 17.79, while average advertised speed for the same basket has risen by a massive 123%, to 26 Mb/s. For a laptop user requiring 5GB per month, the cost has fallen by 9%, and currently averages USD PPP 25.24, while the speed has risen by 35%over the year, and now stands at just under 24 Mb/s.

"We are seeing some very dramatic movements with mobile broadband pricing," says Strategy Analytics Teligen Director Halvor Sannaes. "The impact of 4G rollouts on speed is very evident, with some providers offering download in excess of 100 Mb/s. What is perhaps...

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Nov 20
Cloud-based security services market to reach $2.1...

The cloud-based security services market will be worth US$2.1 billion in 2013, rising to $3.1 billion in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The search group says that growth in cloud-based security will remain strong, but revenue opportunities will vary.

"The cloud-based security market remains a viable one, offering providers many opportunities for expansion," says Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. "Encryption will be a new area of growth, but it remains a complex activity. The strongest interest will be in encryption products from cloud security brokers, which are relatively easy to deploy and have options for on-premises encryption management."

Gartner predicts that the top three most sought-after cloud services moving forward will remain email security, web security services and identity and access management (IAM). However, in 2013 and 2014, the highest growth is forecast to...

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Nov 19
Notebook market's annual plunge continues

How far have expectations fallen for the mobile personal computer (PC) business this year?

So far that single-digit sequential growth in the third quarter comes as the best news the notebook market has heard in many months — even as shipments plunged on a year-over-year basis. The year-over-year decline is making it increasingly apparent that the mobile PC market is headed for a second consecutive year of contraction in 2013, according to a new PC Dynamics brief from IHS Inc. (www.isuppli.com).

Mobile PC shipments worldwide are estimated to have reached 47.9 million units in the third quarter, up 6% from the second quarter. This represents the largest sequential growth since two years ago when the market rose 7% in the third quarter of 2011, as presented in the graph.

On the other hand, the third-quarter results show the market has now shrunk for five consecutive quarters on a year-over-year basis,...

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Nov 18
Cellular M2M device installed based to near 500...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the installed base of cellular M2M devices will approach 500 million modules by 2018, driven by more open M2M ecosystems and improved cloud-based APIs (application programming interfaces).

According to the report, the M2M space is seeing an increasing focus on the development of open platforms that simplify connectivity to a wide range of isolated devices through the cloud. It found that "Big Data" emerging from M2M service provision will, in time, allow for improved interrogation of M2M data, opening the door to new revenue streams for companies and M2M operators.
Towards the Internet of Things

The Juniper report found that M2M roll-outs have become increasingly global, with Mobile Network Operators facilitating M2M roaming and tailoring services and approaches to industry verticals.

"Mobile...

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Nov 14
NPD DisplaySearch: there's an increased demand...

As 5-inch full-high-definition (FHD, 1920 × 1080 resolution) smartphone panels continue to gain traction and demand increases, manufacturers are beginning to implement new technologies to reduce power consumption at higher resolutions, according to NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com). More than 100 million 5-inch FHD smartphone panels will be shipped in 2013, 5% of all smartphone displays.

There are several manufacturing technologies that can produce the active matrix TFT backplane for 5-inch FHD smartphone panels: traditional a-Si TFT, oxide TFT, and low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) TFT, all of which are used with LCD. LTPS TFT can also be used as a backplane for AMOLED (active matrix OLED) displays.

"While Apple iPhone suppliers are focused on the production of LTPS LCDs, others with experience in oxide TFT are trying to address the issue and gain a competitive advantage," said Yoonsung...

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Nov 13
Cellular connectivity to deliver nearly 60% of M2M...

M2M connectivity will be embedded in more than 2 billion devices across nine key industries by 2018, but it will be cellular that will bring the bulk of the value and the connectivity revenues, according to ABI Research.

A new generation of smart devices is set to have embedded connectivity and manufacturers have a number of technologies to select to deliver network connectivity. ABI Research has examined the demand and appeal for M2M connectivity across cellular, satellite, fixed-line and short-range wireless technologies within nine key industry verticals. Each technology has specific advantages and appeal, but cellular is the best placed to deliver the most value, he

"Looking at demand for connectivity, while cellular will not have the highest number of connections, or the highest average revenue per connection, it will provide the greatest opportunity to drive the most overall value from those connections," says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst and author of...

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Nov 12
Mobile device platforms continue toward more...

There are many trends simultaneously affecting the market for mobile device semiconductors. Two have been the shift towards multicore 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; however, it is 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, says the research group. So 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...

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Nov 07
Mobile security services to drive billion dollar...

Mobile authentication and encryption services for enterprises are growing dynamically with the saturation of cloud-based applications and BYOD trends, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Organizations are looking to maximize the benefits of these technologies while maintaining a level of security that satisfies compliance and the protection of corporate resources, according to the research group. These need to be further balanced against flexibility and manageability; without these guarantees, even the most secure solutions are useless.

For mobile encryption technology, this means effective key management. For authentication, it may be SSO or tokenless access. The field of application for mobile authentication and encryption services is wide, and the demands are varied.

ABI Research says an innovative market in mobile-specific services for authenticating users and devices has...

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Nov 06
Gartner: cloud computing to be the bulk of new IT...

The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spending, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). 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, the research group says.

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. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals...

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Nov 05
NFC to enable $48 billion in in-store mobile payments...

Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) has lowered its outlook for NFC-based mobile payments to reflect the slow pace at which operators are pushing NFC payment services, limited NFC payment deployments by handset makers, and the continued slow adoption of contactless payments by retailers.

The research group estimates that 115 million NFC handset owners will spend just over US$48 billion using their NFC phones by 2017. Although that's a large amount, it represents a drop in the ocean of the multi-trillion dollar global retail sector. 

The healthy growth in sales of NFC handsets has yet to be matched by the adoption and use of handset based NFC payments services, with many mobile operators pushing back the launch of NFC-based mobile payment into the final quarter of 2013 or in to 2014 and beyond.

"With the exception of China, where we see some momentum from China Mobile...

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Nov 04
Tablet shipment forecast lowered through 2017

The forecast for global tablet shipments has been lowered as short-term build plans are being reduced, according to the NPD DisplaySearch research group.

NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com) says shipments are still expected to be up 30% year-over-year, but projections between 2013 and 2017 are being scaled back by roughly 9% every year. The main factor in the forecast reduction is white-box tablet production in China, which is being pulled back following overly aggressive build plans that out-paced demand.

Despite the current situation in China, much of the future growth for tablet PC shipments will come from the China and Asia Pacific regions. These regions will make up nearly 50% of the worldwide tablet PC segment by 2015, increasing to nearly 60% by 2017. In comparison, North America and EMEA, which combined will make up 50% of the market in 2013, will fall to 36% in 2017, says NPD...

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Nov 01
Northern Spy: Surf's Up

By Rick Sutcliffe

The wave of Apple's future was supposed to be a simplification of the user interface, a de-skeuomorphism of visual elements, and a unification of MacOS and iOS. The most recent version of the latter went a long way toward this mark

However, MacOS 10.9, a.k.a. Mavericks, is, on the whole, a stay-the-course mild enhancement of Mountain Lion 10.8, nothing radical. Thos who want radical change will have to wait for MacOS 11.

The important changes are in the upgrade process itself. First, it is free to anyone who has Snow Leopard or higher (i.e. can access the Apple Store). This will increase adoption rates and customer satisfaction, and give IT departments at most organizations hissy fits, because they will not be able to prevent their user base from doing independent upgrades. Second, iWork is also free--at least if you are new to the eco-system, or you have a previous version of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers installed. But even...

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Nov 01
Most organizations running cloud apps -- even if they...

More than 55% of organizations are running Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications on their corporate devices whether they know it or not, according to new research by Softchoice, a North American technology solutions and services provider.

The challenge isn't necessarily that these apps are being used predominantly for file sharing, storage, and remote access. It's that many of them are being used without proper oversight by IT departments, posing a serious threat to the security of corporate data, according to Softchoice.

"Shadow IT in the Enterprise: Softchoice SaaS Study 2013" examines the presence of SaaS on 7,200 corporate devices across 23 distinct organizations. The study reveals the most common apps in use today, the benefits and security risks posed by certain apps, and offers recommendations on how IT departments can best manage their use without squelching the benefits they deliver in terms of employee productivity and engagement.

"As the front...

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Oct 31
Which city is the U.S.'s highest for smartphone,...

New research from app tester SOASTA (www.soasta.com) shows which city in America has the highest smartphone and tablet adoption. It’s not the San Francisco Silicon Valley area. 

The home of Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Google comes in at number six for smartphone adoption. It’s not New York either.  Out of 10 major metropolitan American cities, it’s the nation’s lowest in smartphone adoption.

The city with the highest smartphone adoption is… Dallas. Here’s the ranking:

Dallas – 76%
LA – 66%
Washington, D.C. 64%
Philadelphia 62%
Houston – 62%
San Francisco 61%
Atlanta – 60%
Chicago – 57%
Boston – 55%
New York – 48%
 
The city with the highest tablet adoption is… also Dallas. Here’s the ranking:
 
Dallas – 48%
Washington, D.C. – 43%
Chicago – 39%
New York – 39%
Boston – 38%
LA – 38%
...

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Oct 29
Microsoft edges Sony in ABI Research’s Game Console...

Microsoft just edged 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 (www.abiresearch.com) 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.

"With the hardware specs between Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 so similar this leaves Nintendo’s Wii U on the outside," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Michael Inouye. "If not for Nintendo’s wider distribution network, console heritage, and first party titles it would start to find itself in closer competition with many...

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Oct 28
IDC: exchange rate volatility affected PC shipments in...

Preliminary results from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) show that hat the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market increased 2% quarter-on-quarter but declined 12% year-on-year in 2013 Q3 to reach 27.8 million units, 1% lower than IDC's initial forecasts.

China posted modest gains compared to last quarter on the back of improved commercial spending there, but declines in a few big ASEAN markets and continued weakness in most mature markets offset those gains, keeping the overall region suppressed yet again in Q3.

"Sluggish economic activity, exchange rate volatility and fuel price hikes plagued markets in South East Asia, with Indonesia and Thailand bearing the brunt of this pressure," says Handoko Andi, research manager at IDC Asia/Pacific. "And there are still many risks ahead, despite a number of new products being launched towards the end of the year."

Lenovo did well in the seasonally high Q3...

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Oct 25
Smartphone apps processor revenue jumped 44% in Q2...

The global smartphone applications processor market continued to show strength and grew 44 % year-on-year to reach US$4.4 billion in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2013), according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

According to the report from the research group, Qualcomm, Apple, MediaTek, Samsung and Spreadtrum captured the top-five revenue share spots in the smartphone processor market in Q2 2013. Qualcomm maintained its dominance in the smartphone applications processor market with 53% revenue share followed by Apple with 15% share and MediaTek with 11 percent share in Q2 2013.

"Strategy Analytics estimates that low-cost suppliers MediaTek and Spreadtrum together captured over one-third volume share in the smartphone applications processor market in Q2 2013, thanks to the smartphone boom in emerging markets," says Strategy Analytics Senior Analyst Sravan Kundojjala...

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Oct 24
Over 25% of CE shoppers use mobile commerce apps

A new Parks Associations (www.parksassociates.com) study finds that over 25% of CE buyers in U.S. broadband households use mobile commerce apps on their smartphone to help with an in-store purchase decision, including functions such as product research, barcode scanning, and interaction with a retailer or brand app.

The research group's data reveals that 43% of U.S. smartphone users purchased a good via their device in the last month. However, consumers, especially shoppers at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, are starting to use their smartphones while shopping in stores. Walmart in particular encourages in-store shoppers to use its app, but Parks Associates reports that currently Target shoppers are more likely than Walmart shoppers to use mobile commerce apps when shopping at any store for a CE product.

"Consumers are using apps and smartphones to enhance their brick-and-mortar shopping...

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Oct 23
Mobile smart wearable devices to be worth $19 billion...

New findings from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com), has revealed that the retail revenue from smart wearable devices, including smart watches and glasses, will reach US$19 billion by 2018 compared with $1.4 billion this year. Revenues will be driven by high price points for these devices allied to their anticipated strong market demand.

In its latest report, Juniper Research has revised upwards the adoption of devices in the two key segments of consumer electronics "Multimedia & Entertainment," and "Multi-functional" devices. Revisions such as these are common in the early years of a new technology category, and reflect the latest announcements from vendors across the sector.

"It is worth observing that this change in adoption levels can also be attributable to heightened consumer awareness of wearable technology and a better visibility of product adoption, especially in the...

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Oct 22
Smart machines to have deep business impact through...

Sixty percent of CEOs believe that the emergence of smart machines capable of absorbing millions of middle-class jobs within 15 years is a "futurist fantasy," according to Gartner's 2013 CEO survey. However, Gartner (www.gartner.com) predicts that smart machines will have widespread and deep business impact within only seven years through 2020.

"Most business and thought leaders underestimate the potential of smart machines to take over millions of middle-class jobs in the coming decades," says Kenneth Brant, research director at Gartner. "Job destruction will happen at a faster pace, with machine-driven job elimination overwhelming the market's ability to create valuable new ones."

CIOs must change their mission to address the proliferation of smart machines in a widening range of jobs and consider the impact this trend might have on their career paths and on increasing levels of unemployment, according to...

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Oct 21
ABI Research: wearable devices provide opportunities...

Smart watches will provide the biggest opportunity for flexible displays in the short term. A number of new smart watch vendors have incorporated some form of flexible display technology to maximize the screen size of the small device.

Market Intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) believes most of the digital smart watches and other fitness and health wearable devices will incorporate a flexible display over the next eighteen months due to the robust and rugged characteristics of the displays.

Furthermore, flexible displays or e-ink displays could be used as secondary displays on smartphones and media tablets. Phablets are predicted to be a key application for secondary displays -- it is anticipated more than 6% of annual phablet shipments could include the display type in 2015.

"Samsung’s YOUM technology (flexible display) has been highly publicized and it is clearly...

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Oct 18
IDC: The Internet of Things is poised to change...

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a new construct in the information and communications technology (ICT) world that is occupying the minds of IT vendors, service providers, and systems integrators as it represents huge potential for new streams of revenue and new customers.

International Data Corp. (IDC) has looked at the components, processes, and supporting IT and connectivity for the Internet of Things and expects IoT technology and services spending to generate global revenues of US$4.8 trillion in 2012 and $8.9 trillion by 2020, growing at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 7.9%.

"The momentum of the Internet of Things is driven by a number of factors. There is no doubt that business and consumer demand exists and will continue to expand for IoT solutions," says Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC's Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, Network, Telecom, and Sustainability Research. "I expect the current IoT use cases are just the tip of the iceberg...

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Oct 17
Worldwide shipments of 3D printers to grow 49% in 2013

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers (3DPs) priced less than US$100,000 will grow 49% in 2013 to reach a total of 56,507 units, according to Gartner, Inc.'s first forecast of the less than $100,000 consumer and enterprise 3D printer market.

Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3DP technologies will drive enterprise and consumer demand. Gartner said that shipments will increase further in 2014, growing 75% to 98,065 units, followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. 

"The 3D printer market has reached its inflection point," says Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. "While still a nascent market, with hype outpacing the technical realities, the speed of development and rise in buyer interest are pressing hardware, software and service providers to offer easier-to-use tools and materials that produce consistently high-quality results." 

In 2013, combined end-user spending on 3DPs will reach $412 million, up 43% from spending of $...

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Oct 16
Datacenter, VPN, Cloud Service Connectivity to Drive...

Adoption rates for Ethernet services are soaring, propelled by superior cost effectiveness, high-bandwidth scalability, greater availability, and overall flexibility for connecting to cloud and datacenter virtualization applications. According to new a forecast from International Data Corporation (www.idc.com), total U.S. Ethernet revenue will increase from US$6.2 billion in 2013 to $10.1 billion in 2016.

Enterprises across all major verticals are utilizing Ethernet services for domestic and international wide area network (WAN) and metro area connectivity, as well as for access to other services, such as connecting to the Internet, IP VPNs, and cloud service providers, says the research group. The primary drivers of Ethernet adoption among U.S. enterprises are high-bandwidth applications, such as datacenter inter-connectivity, disaster recovery/business continuity, and data storage replication. Enterprises rank security...

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Oct 15
Mobile payments see 27% growth in the past four months

Adyen (www.adyen.com), a global payments solutions company, has announced the most recent findings from its Adyen Global Mobile Payments Index, which showed that mobile payments transactions on its platform from May to August 2013 have increased by 27% worldwide, jumping from 13.8% of all transactions at the end of April 2013 to 17.5% in August 2013.

The Index analyzed all mobile transactions completed over its platform for thousands of merchants globally, including Vodafone, Mango, SoundCloud, KLM and PopCap Games. It found that the overall percentage of worldwide purchases made using mobile phones and tablet devices both increased during this period Smartphones went from 6.5% to 9.2%; tablets went from 7.4% to 8.3%. 

However, in a reversal from the previous Index, the share of tablet devices used for mobile purchases decreased during this period from 53.2% to 47.4% -- the lowest percentage since May 2012,...

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Oct 14

Half of large enterprises to have hybrid cloud...

Nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). In the past three years, private cloud computing has moved from an aspiration to a tentative reality for nearly half of large enterprises.

Hybrid cloud computing is at the same place today that private cloud was three years ago; as actual deployments are low, but aspirations are high. When it comes to drivers of private cloud computing, while cost is always an important consideration, a business case for private cloud cannot rely on lower costs as the primary justification. 

"Virtualization reduces capital expenses, and standards and automation reduce operational expenses," says Thomas Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "However, taking the next step of adding usage metrics, self-service offerings and automated provisioning requires investment in...

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Oct 11
Ultra-premium smartphone segment market share to fall

New findings from hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research (www.juniperrsearch.com) says that a new ultra-low cost generation of smartphones is emerging, capturing large volumes of the emerging markets.

Juniper forecasts almost 200 million in shipments by 2018, compared to nearly 10 million in 2014. On a global scale, this means that the "ultra-premium" end of the smartphone market is set to diminish proportionally by volume over time, not due to a drop in sales but a faster level of growth at other price points.

The report, "Smartphone Futures: Differentiation Strategies & Emerging Opportunities, 2013-2018," argues that this new generation of devices will permanently change the market, splitting the global market in two, with the developed high margin low volume markets on one side and low margin high volume markets on the other.

The ultra-premium smartphone market is currently dominated...

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