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Aug 22
OTT video services see opportunity to differentiate...

4K or Ultra HD is the future, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint to higher resolutions.  And while 1080p TV screens are the norm and mobile screen resolutions continue to climb, plenty of streamed HD content is still distributed in 720p or lower.  Over-the-top (OTT) services such as Netflix, VUDU, and M-GO, which exclusively distribute content over the Internet, are more eager to embrace 1080p and Ultra HD for connected CE devices in order to appear more innovative, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Meanwhile, traditional distributors, with regards to TV Everywhere content, are more likely to settle for 720p as they consider smartphones and tablets the primary targets; continuing to leverage existing Pay TV services as their "main" distribution channel for TVs – OTT operators likewise favor lower resolutions for mobile devices.

OTT (over-the-top) streamer shipments are forecast to rise...

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Aug 21
ABI Research: high profile data breaches drive $1.7...

Cyber-attacks directed against enterprises have grown both in numbers and sophistication over the past decade to a point where breach and data theft have become inevitable, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). In 2013, more than 800 million records were exposed as a result of data breach incidents.

A number of organizations including online auction site eBay, U.S. retailer Target, telecom operator AT&T, and social networking sites Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn have reported massive data breaches in recent months, according to the research group. Hacking remains the leading cause for most attacks followed by malware and physical attacks such as point-of-sale intrusions and card skimming.

A data breach incident can have disastrous consequences on all businesses resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue and potential fines, not to mention the lingering impact on...

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Aug 20
U.S. video entertainment spending to hit $123 billion...

The overall US video entertainment market (subscription Pay-TV, box office, packaged home video, Pay-TV VoD and paid-for online video) continues to grow in low single digits, reaching $120 billion in 2013 — a 2% increase on 2012 — and is on track to peak at $123 billion in 2015, according to the latest industry report from Futuresource Consulting (www.futuresource-consulting.com).

"At $120 billion, this approximates to an average of $1,000 being spent on video entertainment by every US household," says David Sidebottom, senior market analyst, Futuresource Consulting. "This is by far the highest in the world, and significantly higher than any European country."

The US video market commands a unique position on the world stage, driven by an extensive choice of viewing options and a strong culture of new technology adoption: digital video spend in the US is larger than the rest...

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Aug 19
IDC: Worldwide IT market showing tentative signs of...

According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com), recent volatility will gradually give way to a more positive outlook for IT spending in the second half of 2014.

With the U.S. and other mature economies mostly heading in the right direction and a significant commercial PC refresh cycle already underway, improvements in business confidence are set to drive a moderate infrastructure upgrade cycle over the next 12-18 months, while investments in software and services will continue to accelerate, says the research group.

Worldwide IT spending is now forecast to increase by 4.5% in 2014 at constant currency, or 4.1% in U.S. dollars. A significant proportion of this growth is still being driven by smartphones – IT spending excluding mobile phones will increase by just 3.1% this year in constant currency (2.8% in U.S. dollars).

Aside from smartphones, the strongest growth will come from software,...

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Aug 18
Data center end user take-up has doubled year-on-year

New research just released by GVA Connect (gatewaydatacentre.co.uk), the data center specialist division of property adviser GVA, showed that the take-up of data center space by end users such as corporate occupiers, government agencies and IT Integrators more than doubled in the first half of 2014 compared to this time last year.
 
"With continued acquisition by data center operators through 2013 and a sharp increase of end user take up in Q1/2014, our research shows the continued growth in take up of both co-location and wholesale data centre space by end users which is rewarding those commitments by operators to expand existing sites as well as developing new sites," says GVA Connect director Charles Carden.
 
Total take up (including operators and end users) in H1/2014 increased by 14% compared to the same period in 2013. Within that, the volume of end user transactions more than doubled from a total of 13MW in H1/2013 to 30MW in H1/2014.

"...

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Aug 15
Mobile media revenue to approach $380 billion by 2018

The Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) predicts spending on consumer mobile media services consumed via the handset (which excludes tablet spend) including handset browsing, mobile applications, mobile games, mobile music, mobile video, mobile TV, ringtones, wallpapers and alerts will rise from just above US$236 billion in 2013 to approach $380 billion by 2018.

Mobile operators will remain the main beneficiaries with spending on mobile data accounting for over $254 Billion, or 67.3 percent, of total mobile media revenue by 2018. Strong mobile advertising revenue growth will eclipse consumer spend on premium content, rising at just below 20% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the next five years.

In advanced mobile media regions, like North America and Western Europe, demand for web browsing, games, apps and social media services will continue to drive mobile data...

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Aug 14
Will TV providers get beaten to the punch by Smart TVs...

Smart applications and more interaction with the TV, both with different devices and for better navigation without a cumbersome TV remote, are priorities for consumers’ next TV purchase in the UK and US.

A recent study from the Digital Home Observatory (DHO) at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) surveying consumers in the UK and USA, found that functionalities such as being able to mirror a smartphone’s display, or providing a simplified human-machine interface (HMI), for example through voice or gesture control, were highly appealing features. However, such capabilities come at a cost. Rather than snapping up a more expensive smart TV, consumers are now looking to less costly media solutions such as Google Chromecastor and Roku, to provide such features.
 
"As traditional TV continues to be threatened by over-the-top subscription based video-on-demand (OTT SVOD), TV...

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Aug 13
Study: consumers want innovation, customization in...

Mobile phone users are ready for new options in data pricing and on-device solutions that provide them with more ability to control and personalize their mobile service, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

The survey reveals 60% of mobile phone owners want to be able to customize their plans, and 50% are interested in the ability to directly purchase more data in real-time from their device. Strategy Analytics surveyed over 500 mobile phone users in each of six mobile markets (China, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the U.S.). Key findings include:

°  60% of mobile phone users are interested in customization of their service plan, with particularly high interest in China (74%) the US (67%) and the UK (58%).

° 50% express interest in a real-time, on-device option to monitor data use and purchase more data.

° In China, interest in plan option for...

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Aug 12
Report: Iliad's T-Mobile bid risks US wireless...

Iliad’s surprise bid for T-Mobile would leave Sprint the least able to compete if wireless prices tumble, according to the "Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS)" service report (http://bit.ly/1kqfg6V).

While Strategy Analytics believes the bid will ultimately fail, it represents a wake-up call for all the carriers in the increasingly saturated market. Key findings from the report:

° Iliad’s Free has had a dramatic impact on the French market, driving a 29% decline in service revenue and 19% decline in EBITDA since its launch.

° Iliad’s founder, Xavier Niel, is also an investor in Israel’s Golan Telecom, who’s aggressive mobile launch two years’ ago has had an equally dramatic impact on the market.

° Despite good logic to a bid by an operator keen to play outside the contracting European market, Iliad is unlikely to have an appetite for a bidding war with Softbank.

"...

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Aug 11
Consumers find cloud DVR technology appealing

Over 45% of U.S. pay-TV subscribers find cloud DVR technology very appealing, according to new research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) notes that consumers show particular interest in unlimited storage space and two-week catch-up services for video.

With the Supreme Court omitting cloud DVR in its 2014 Aereo ruling, pay-TV providers can experiment with these cloud services as strategies to build subscriber loyalty and increase revenues.

"The Aereo case left licensing for cloud DVR rights largely unaffected, allowing pay-TV providers to move forward with cloud DVR development and implementation," says Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates. "For example, Comcast recently launched in Atlanta its X1 DVR service, which allows, among other capabilities, subscribers to access DVR recordings on their mobile devices. As content owners and providers experiment with cloud...

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Aug 08
Smart cities to rise fourfold from 2013 to 2025

The number of smart cities worldwide will quadruple within a 12-year period that started last year, proliferating as local governments work with the private sector to cope with a multitude of challenges confronting urban centers, according to a new report from IHS Technology (http://www.ihs.com). 

There will be at least 88 smart cities all over the world by 2025, up from 21 in 2013, based on the IHS definition of a smart city, according to the research group. While the combined Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region represented the largest number of smart cities last year, Asia-Pacific will take over the lead in 2025. In all, Asia-Pacific will account for 32 smart cities of the total in nine years’ time, Europe will have 31, and the Americas will contribute 25.

"Smart cities encompass a broad range of different aspects, but IHS has narrowed the definition of the term to describe cities that have deployed—or...

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Aug 07
Graphic Node launches new Set for iWork Plus

Graphic Node (http://www.graphicnode.com) has introduced Set for iWork Plus 1.0, a new collection of iWork templates designed to help OS X users make the best of Apple's iWork productivity applications.

The new pack for Apple's Pages, Keynote, and Numbers contains over 3,000 templates and images, including Graphic Node's first set of 50 scrapbook templates. All templates are editable and available in the US and international paper sizes. The designs range from traditional and formal to friendly and unconventional.

Set for iWork Plus requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, Pages '09 or later, Keynote  '09 or later, and Numbers '09 or later. For a limited time, it's available for US$39.99 at the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

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Aug 07
GPS tracking devices to break $3.5 billion in 2019

Health, commercial/enterprise, wearables, and iBeacons will help to revive the GPS tracking device market, with ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasting the market to reach over $3.5 billion in 2019.

The GPS personal tracking market has always had huge potential yet it has faced huge barriers around awareness and RoI (return on investment), expensive devices, cellular subscriptions, indoor location and severe regionalization and fragmentation, according to the research group. As a result the market has never been able to scale sufficiently to lower costs and create the revenue to support much needed marketing/advertising campaigns.

"The potential of this market continues to draw investment and interest. Over the last 12 months, there has been a host of companies entering this space," ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly says. "As well as a steady stream of start-ups like estimate and...

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Aug 06
Survey: NSA, retail breaches influenced corporate...

Sixty eight percent of businesses stated that the NSA breach by Edward Snowden and the number of retail/point of sale (PoS) system breaches in the past year were the most impactful in terms of changing security strategies to protect against the latest threats, according to a global survey by the CyberArk (www.cyberark.com) security company.

The majority of organizations surveyed believe that attacks reaching the privileged account takeover stage are the most difficult to detect, respond to and remediate. While the NSA breach is widely regarded as the prototypical insider-based attack, and the retail/PoS breaches are regarded similarly for outside attacks, the critical link between both attacks was the compromise and exploitation of privileged credentials.

When asked which cyber-attacks or data breaches in the past year had the biggest impact on their business’ security strategy:

° 37% of...

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Aug 05
IDC: Network virtualization to revolutionize...

According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), network virtualization is set to revolutionize the telecom industry as it transforms the culture and operational infrastructure, as well as the fabric of legacy proprietary infrastructures that have, until now, dominated the space.

As technologies and business dynamics continue to evolve, network virtualization strategies are reshaping the telecommunications ecosystem, says the research group. The shift to the third platform — built on cloud, mobile, social, and big data and analytics technologies — is driving communication service providers (CSPs) and their suppliers to accelerate their efficiencies and agility IT industry approaches and technologies such as virtualization, balanced with telecom industry business considerations are coming to the forefront of telecom industry dynamics.
Communication service providers and their suppliers are embracing the promise and...

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Aug 04
Consumers will research online, but buy in-store

The back-to-school (BTS) shopping season in the U.S. is already in full swing, with over one-third (37%) of consumers having begun their shopping – up from the 29% who started at this time last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Roughly 90% of households indicated a selection of brick-and-mortar retail as a shopping venue for the BTS season.

Consumers will shop in a variety of places for their BTS items this year. While discounters are still expected to be the winners, the number of households selecting this shopping venue dropped from 90% last year to 80% this year. For all 2014 BTS shopping venues, discounters represented a 23.7% share of where consumers will shop, according to ICSC.

Many retailers found in regional malls and open-air centers, such as office supply stores, traditional department stores, electronic stores, and apparel specialty stores, should see increased activity during the BTS season. The biggest mover was...

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Aug 01
ABI Research: mobile network security will be '...

Outdoor small cells pose increased security risk as mobile networks densify to meet burgeoning traffic demands. Small Cell shipments will exceed macrocells in 2016, and total shipments will reach nearly 15 million units through 2019, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

With residential femtocells stagnating, shifting market dynamics favor larger deployment scenarios in enterprise and urban outdoor femtocells. Top-tier operators planning wide-scale deployments include AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Telefonica, SK Telecom, and SoftBank. Regardless of location and size, operators must provide Small Cell networks with at least the same level of security that is expected from the mobile network, according to ABI Research.

"Small Cells are inevitable parts of future mobile networks, but IP-based backhaul and location risks, like being out of operator direct reach and open to public...

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Jul 31
The Internet of Things will keep demand for standalone...

The share of standalone Bluetooth ICs will be about 40% by the end of 2014, down from 42% in 2013, and by the end of 2019 that share will remain at 40%, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The steady market share of standalone Bluetooth IC market share is being maintained by both traditional device categories which consist of handsets, tablets, and PCs, and new growth categories including wearables, sports and fitness equipment, and smart home nodes.

"End user products such as smartphones and PCs have been shifting away from standalone solutions for some time now, and smartphones have shifted to integrated platforms with Bluetooth as well," says research director, Philip Solis. "On the other hand, there is a growing long tail of devices around the Internet of Things (IoT) that will gravitate towards standalone Bluetooth in many cases. The end result is that standalone Bluetooth ICs...

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Jul 30
IDC: digital production color market on growth path

According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), the worldwide digital production color market continued its unabated growth of top-line shipment value in 2013.

The industry achieved record shipment values of US$4.4 billion in 2013, fueled by growth in a range of technologies, from mid-production cut sheet to ultra-high volume inkjet systems. The cumulative value of shipments is expected to approach $25 billion over the 2014-2018 forecast period, climbing from US$4.6 billion to $5.4 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%.

"Between 2014 and 2018, IDC expects to see the sum of all production color shipments to surpass 353,000," says Amy Machado, senior research assistant, IDC. "The high end of the market, albeit smaller from a unit perspective, is where the gold rush of pages is occurring with vendors vying for market dominance."

Annual unit shipments doubled from 2008 to 2013, growing from...

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Jul 29
ABI Research: global pay-TV market to generate $280.4...

The worldwide pay-TV market continues to grow in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1 2014). According to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the total pay-TV subscriber base is expected to surpass 936.4 million at the end of 2014, generating US$280.4 billion in service revenue.

Although the global cable TV market grew in 2013, the North American cable TV market lost around 4% subscriber base in 2013. High subscription cost and other pay-TV alternatives are blamed for the declining subscriber base; however, cable TV operators experienced slower subscriber loss rate in the past two quarters. In Q1 2014, subscriber net loss of major cable operators in the United States was around 7k compared to over 200k subscriber loss in 4Q 2013.

"Innovative services such as Comcast’s cloud based X1 system which allows customers to store and watch TVshows on different devices has helped to reduce churn," says Jake Saunders...

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Jul 28
IDC: cloud hardware spending breaks $4 billion mark

A new International Data Corporation (IDC) study confirmed that cloud is the major disruption factor in the EMEA [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] infrastructure hardware market, accounting for a growing portion of hardware spending and exerting influence on hardware architectures and vendors' strategies.

The overall investment in hardware for cloud environments in EMEA is expected to exceed US$4 billion in terms of user value by the end of 2014, with a strong 19% year-over-year growth, says the research group. 15% of the infrastructure spend in EMEA will be related to cloud environments in 2014, versus only 8% in 2011. This will grow to more than 22% by 2018, says IDC (www.idc.com). Further findings from the report include:

° IDC estimates that $3.4 billion was spent on hardware going to cloud environments in EMEA in 2013, up 21% compared with 2012. This led to an increase in the penetration of the overall...

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Jul 25
4G LTE to represent over 1-in-5 active mobile...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts a rapid uptake of 4G LTE mobile technology in the next five years, with active connections crossing the one billion mark in 2017 and reaching 1.8 billion by 2019. This will represent 22% of the global active mobile SIM connections by this time.

The report from the research group finds that, with the rate of LTE network commitments and roll-outs at an all-time high, network and device vendors have significantly improved their position to offer products and solutions to network operators. The GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Association) confirmed that 168 manufacturers have announced 1,889 LTE-enabled user devices, including operator and frequency variants, along with 300 commercial network launches.



Juniper found that TD-LTE (Time Division LTE - using unpaired spectrum) will indeed play a major role in global deployment....

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Jul 24
Gartner: the business consumer requires a digital...

Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com) says that IT leaders have a significant opportunity to contribute to the business by creating a more flexible work environment that accommodates the needs of the business consumer.

Starting with the rise of PCs and the Internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the "business consumer" — an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," says Matthew Cain, research vice president at the research group.

"Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work," he adds. "Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."

Given the complexity of work environments and the geographic distribution of expertise across organizations, a critical competitive advantage will accrue...

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Jul 23
Cable operators seize the OTT initiative

Cable and over-the-top (OTT) providers are striking an unusual friendship, one that leads to profitability for both sides once some large challenges are hurdled, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider (www.heavyreading.com/cable), a subscription research service from Heavy Reading.

"Cable & OTT: New Opportunities for Convergence" explores the market drivers, opportunities for convergence and the challenges ahead. It includes profiles of 10 cable software suppliers that offer solutions that support cable's TV Everywhere and multi-screen initiatives, which also can lend support for cable-OTT integration.

"As OTT video streaming services and devices began to attract consumers, they appeared like barbarians at the gate, ready to disrupt traditional media and topple the longstanding empires of cable and other television establishments," notes Craig Leddy...

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Jul 22
IK Multimedia releases VocaLive 2 for iOS

IK Multimedia has released version 2 of its VocaLive app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It adds a flexible new multitrack studio with digital audio workstation features.

Now singers, songwriters and musicians can benefit from advanced editing features like timeline audio editing, waveform visualization, touch-and-drag looping and more. VocaLive can be used with the IK Multimedia iRig line of microphones and mic interfaces, VocaLive provides an all-in-one solution - with superb sound quality, recording flexibility and ease-of-use - for the professional singer on the go.

The newest feature in VocaLive 2 is its Studio section. Designed to complement VocaLive's Recorder section, it allows for a full degree of editing and composing flexibility with recorded tracks. Musicians can see and manipulate their audio tracks (up to four on an iPhone and eight on an iPad) as waveforms on a timeline grid, just like on a computer digital audio workstation.

Clips can be...

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Jul 22
Study: channels are irrelevant to consumers

SDL has released the final report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series titled “Channels are Irrelevant,” that features results from SDL’s global survey of more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36). The data reveals that today’s consumers no longer care about where they are or what device they are on when interacting with a brand, as 58% of millennials polled said they expect to engage with a company whenever they choose and via whichever channel they elect.

The data highlights the critical need for brands to stop focusing on channels and instead apply what they know about their consumers to elevate the overall experience in the buying journey. Millennials are the "always on" and connected generation, demanding consistent and seamless interaction with brands wherever they are and from any device they choose. According to the data, millennials touch their smartphones 43 times per day, and 30% admit they touch more than four devices over the course of 24 hours....

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Jul 21
Shipments of 300Mbps smartphone modems to exceed 700...

Shipments of second-generation LTE basebands, commonly called Cat4, enabling mobile users to enjoy up to 150 Mbps bandwidth, barely exceeded 42 million in 2013, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

However, key chipset suppliers are stretching their muscles for next-generation basebands that will enable speeds of up to 300 Mbps, namely Cat6 chips. New findings from the research group indicate that cumulative shipments of Cat6 chips targeting smartphones are expected to exceed 700 million by the end of 2019.

"Although a number of chipset suppliers have announced their Cat6 basebands, mobile operators are not yet launching commercial networks that will allow users to enjoy mobile broadband speeds exceeding 150Mbps. An exception to this is SK Telecom which recently launched an LTE-Advanced service, offering speeds up to 225 Mbps," says Malik Saadi, practice director at ABI Research.

...

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Jul 18
CHGT: new 3D printing innovations open up opportunities

As forward-thinking technology company Changing Technologies, Inc. (http://tinyurl.com/mcdmvoe) has examined new ways to commercialize the latest innovations, a recent news report suggests that 3D printing is set to become a game-changer in the multi-billion dollar headphone market.

While figurines, household items and even food are examples of smaller-scale items created by 3D printers for the consumer end user, ABC News reported last week that a New York-based company is now mass producing custom-fit earphones using advanced mobile and 3D-printing technologies. Simply using a phone app and a photo, the earphones are custom-made, have a price-floor under $200 and can be delivered in two days.

NDP Group consumer electronics experts project earphone/headphone sales to exceed $2 billion in 2014. Apple Inc. recently purchased consumer electronics company Beats Electronics producers of Beats by...

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Jul 17
In-vehicle ads to impact automotive infotainment market

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says in-vehicle advertising will affect the North American auto infotainment market.

There is an influx of connected vehicles in the United States. The success of mobile advertisements delivered through handheld devices is due, in large part, to social media, and the transition to the next largest audience (automotive) is promising, according to Research and Markets. The research group's study found:

° While mobile advertising has seen lucrative growth, Frost & Sullivan expects the industry to continue to grow, making in-vehicle advertising more attractive.

° Streaming services in vehicles do not have the same traction as mobile offerings, so in vehicle ads will almost make up for high-development costs to the service provider.

° Location-based services will be the leading method for ad delivery, but first marketers...

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Jul 16
Cloud app development, management platforms to flourish

The nascent enterprise mobility space will see tremendous growth in new cloud based solutions as enterprises seek to mobilize quickly and easily, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

No longer focused on mobile device management solutions, companies are seeking mobile application platforms deployed on-premise or in the cloud for the development and management of enterprise applications, the research group adds. The shift towards applications is based on necessity and scalability as enterprises are forced to deal with a growing number of devices and device platforms accessing enterprise content and systems.

"Mobile applications allow for greater flexibility when mobilizing content and employees," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Jason McNicol. "However, the cost in terms of time and resources is fairly expensive to generate a single app for multiple platforms like iOS,...

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Jul 15
WiFi double digit growth to continue with next wave of...

Qualcomm-Atheros' recently announced portfolio of 802.11n/ac MU-MIMO "Wave 2" chips represents the next evolution of Wi-Fi to higher data rates and capacity, helping stimulate demand for Wi-Fi routers and Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices, according to Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com)

The research group predicts that 802.11n/ac with MU-MIMO will help propel the Wi-Fi market to 3 billion systems shipped in 2018, at the same time pushing the market for external RF power amplifiers for Wi-Fi up by more than 50% from 2013 sales, to the benefit of Skyworks, RFMD, TriQuint and other suppliers.

Based on a detailed analysis of Wi-Fi adoption and radio component architectures in 24 types of Wi-Fi systems, the report includes historical shipment estimates and specifications for the latest Wi-Fi radio SoCs and power amplifiers.

"The Wi-Fi SoC suppliers have worked hard...

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Jul 11
Worldwide IT spending on pace to grow 2.1% this year

Worldwide IT spending is on pace to total $3.7 trillion in 2014, a 2.1% increase from last year; however, this grow rate is down from earlier projections of 3.2% growth, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com). The slower outlook for 2014 is attributed to a reduction in growth expectations for devices, data center systems and to some extent IT services, according to the research group.

"Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short term IT spending outlook," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "However, 2015 through 2018 will see a return to ‘normal’ spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and...

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Jul 08
Wireless LANs to represent 18% of enterprise...

Canalys (www.canalys.com) has announced its forecast for enterprise networking investment, which shows the ongoing shift in budgets from wired to wireless.

The total worldwide end-user value of router, switch and wireless LAN shipments is forecast to grow from US$29.9 billion in 2013 to $33.7 billion in 2018, according to the research group. Wireless LANs will remain the fastest growing segment, accounting for 18% of total value by the end of this period, up from 14%.

"Wireless LAN investment continues to be driven by enterprises moving more of their campus and branch office networking budgets from fixed to wireless to support increasingly mobile-centric user device access at the LAN edge," says Canalys Principal Analyst Matthew Ball.

The transition to 11ac continued to accelerate during the first quarter of 2014, following the start of customer adoption in Q3 2013. Just over 10% of access point...

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Jul 07
Consumers want more flexibility when shopping online

Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, according to comScore (www.comscore.com), a company that "measures the digital world." Consumers also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns “free” is a driving factor to complete the sale.

Earlier this year, comScore asked 5,800 consumers about their online shopping experiences. Respondents said they want more options in searching for items, checking out, enhanced security and alternate delivery locations. While smartphones play a big role in the online experience, user interfaces have some catching up to do to win over consumers.

Online shoppers who use multiple devices said they would prefer to shop on a desktop computer over mobile because larger and...

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Jul 03
The Northern Spy: gone phishing

By Rick Sutcliffe

This month's column will be short but not entirely sweet. Following much ado about something in the two columns filed here from WWDC, the Spy has less to say this month, but that is not to suggest it has been a slow time.

WWDC

Upon reflection, the Spy remains convinced that the Swift programming language is a major step forward in developer tools. The language has a slight air of being unfinished, as a few spots (the role of modules, for instance) need a little work. However, he believes developers will be using it and its descendants for a long, long time. Of the other announcements for developers, the Home and Health Kits probably represent the greatest opportunities for making new products, and expanding the Apple ecosystem. These will be very big. You heard it here first.

Hacked

Far too much of the Spy's time afterwards was taken up by fixing vandalism. Under another hat he...

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Jul 03
Annual digital payments to reach $4.7 trillion by 2019

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) finds that the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach US$4.7 trillion by 2019, up from just over $2.5 trillion this year.



The report says that the largest net increase in spend would occur through remote physical goods purchases. However, while there was organic growth in the overall transaction levels due to increased purchasing on tablets and mobile, a significant proportion of tablet usage represented migration from desktop activity, according to Juniper Research. Combined transactions on mobile handsets and tablets will exceed those on desktops and laptops for the first time this year.



The report also notes that there's accelerating migration from physical format (DVD, CD) to digital (stream, download) across all core content sectors. These included a marked trend...

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Jul 02
Newlyweds, new parents most likely victims of identity...

LifeLock (http://www.lifelock.com), provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and fraud and risk solutions for enterprises. has announced newly commissioned research conducted by Forrester Consulting about consumer attitudes, behaviors, and exposures related to identity theft.

The February 2014 survey revealed that individuals who experience life milestones related to "new beginnings," including getting married, becoming new parents, buying a home or entering the dating scene, are more likely than the average population to become victims of identity theft.

"Life milestones in this day and age are often accompanied by significant sharing of personal data. Whether you’re getting married or buying a new home, you’re filling out many different forms both digitally and on paper – and you may have very little control over where your highly personal information goes," says...

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Jul 01
Enterprise mobility solutions to shift from device to...

Mobile application management (MAM) is seeing increased adoption levels as enterprises seek solutions more flexible than traditional mobile device management (MDM)., according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Currently, MDM solutions comprise over 60% of enterprise mobility management solution users; however, by the end of 2019, MDM share will drop to a bit more than 30% and MAM will command the lion’s share at over 60%. Thanks to large growth in the Asia-Pacific region, MAM will supplant MDM as the preferred enterprise choice, notes the research group.

"MDM is a tool being reserved more for corporate-liable devices, while MAM is a mobility solution for the masses, or employee-owned devices associated with BYOD," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Jason McNicol. "For employees to embrace enterprise mobility initiatives and more importantly policies, more flexible yet secure solutions are...

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Jun 30
New materials, better processes spur touch sensor...

Both glass-based and film-based sensors are evolving to improve performance, while at the same time becoming thinner and lighter, and increasing optical quality, according to new data from NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com).

The research group forecasts that the total touch sensor area yield of projective capacitive, in-cell, on-cell, and resistive sensors, will reach 23.3 million square meters in 2015, up from 18 million square meters in 2014. Capacity for sensors for film substrates will be higher than for glass substrate, due to expected area growth of each type of film structure.

"Metal mesh, sliver nanowires, and other new materials will be used in the production of larger displays with better sheet resistance at affordable prices, and these new materials might be used for curved or flexible-touch sensors soon," says Shoko Oi, deputy director of touch panel and emerging display...

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Jun 27
Third generation of LBS to capitalize on location...

The LBS [location based services] market continues to grow strongly and with the arrival of always-on ubiquitous location, ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) believes that the market is ready to truly support location based advertising efforts.

In Western Markets, a third generation of location based services is now underway. It has forecast retail/shopping, ambient intelligence, hyperlocal social and personal asset tracking/BLE beacon applications to emerge as the next wave of important location based services over the next five years, with ABI Research forecasting a four-fold increase in revenues by 2019. In emerging regions the value of location is not lost with strong local deals/offers markets already emerging.

"In Asia, ABI Research sees LBS downloads breaking 4 Billion in 2019. In China, major Internet companies can see the necessity of location and are acquiring/integrating as they move to...

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Jun 26
Worldwide monitor market undergoes a slight decline

Worldwide PC monitor shipments totaled nearly 33.7 million units in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), a year-over-year decline of -0.4%, according to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group. IDC expects worldwide shipments to continue on their current trajectory, slipping to 106 million units for the full year 2018.

"Despite the overall decline, the shipment totals were stronger than the forecast of 31 million units," says Phuong Hang, program director, Worldwide Trackers at IDC. "Geographically, Japan and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions delivered the largest gains during the first quarter while Dell and HP both experienced solid shipment growth."

LED backlight technology adoption continues to increase with a new high of 92% market share in 1Q14. This represents a year-over-year increase of 16.4%. Screen size of 21.x-inches wide has held the largest worldwide share for the last six quarters, with 20.5% share...

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Jun 25
The Internet of Things to drive changes in the auto...

For the automotive industry the emergence of the IoT ("Internet of Things") constitutes a disruptive and transformative environment characterized by value chain and business model upheaval and a "collaborate or die" ecosystem friction reality prompting it to redefine and reinvent itself in order to capitalize on the huge opportunities in the new IoT economy, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The absorption of the automotive industry in the wider IoT is driven by new connected car use cases such as EVs as a mobile grid and vehicles used as delivery locations, says the research group.

"As this IoT revolution unfolds, automotive innovation and value creation will be shifting to the boundaries with other verticals such as home automation, smart grids, smart cities, healthcare and retail,” says ABI Research vice president and practice director Dominique Bonte.

Vehicle-to-...

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Jun 24
Mobile game revenue will near $29 billion by 2016

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) says that 2016 total revenues from mobile games will reach US$28.9 billion, a growth of over 38% on the 2014 figure of $20.9 billion.

The report found that with the domination of casual gamers playing free-to-play games, developers’ approach has shifted from bulk acquisition of unique players. Under the new strategy, which brings mobile analytics to the fore, developers are increasing lifetime value through analyzing, (re)engaging and monetizing users, allowing for higher overall returns on investment.

The Juniper report finds that tablet users will spend more on in-game purchases and generate more revenues per device than smartphone users. The research group argues that in turn, the enhanced performance and graphical capabilities of tablet games is resulting in accelerated migration from traditional portable gaming...

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Jun 23
Enterprises drive demand for more seamless mobile...

As the smartphone and tablet markets continue to explode, and bring your own device (BYOD) becomes more prevalent within the enterprise, mobile print subsystems are being integrated within mobile operating systems (OS). According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), mobile OSs are increasingly geared toward the enterprise and this focus is driving demand for more robust print capabilities.

"Integration of print subsystem in mobile OS architecture vastly simplifies the print workflow and print experience for users," says Dinesh Srirangpatna, research manager, IDC. "The print landscape is experiencing dramatic change and the tighter integration of mobile print capabilities is a positive sign for the entire print industry."

The mobile print subsystem offers users a uniform print experience across the mobile OS platform and will ultimately drive print volume. For example, all Android users (post KitKat) will...

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Jun 20
Mobile apps to have significant impact on information...

With digital business blurring the line between the physical and the digital worlds, consumer-centric mobile apps are playing an important role, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com)

The research group predicts that, by 2015, most mobile apps will sync, collect and analyze deep data about users and their social graphs, but most IT leaders are failing to consider the deep impact that mobile apps have on their information infrastructure. Gartner also predicts that, by 2017, wearable devices will drive 50% of total app interactions. This includes desktop-based app interactions and mobile apps, with mobile apps making up the majority of these interactions. 

"IT leaders should ensure they have infrastructure in place that takes into account data collected, not only via mobile apps, but also from apps running on wearable devices," says Roxane Edjlali, research director at Gartner. 

To date, most...

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Jun 19
Competition, new apps, innovation to drive smart home...

Smart home automation controllers in the form of control panels, gateways and bridges are at the center of the smart home ecosystem delivering automation in single point and whole home solutions. Smart home automation controller shipments will witness strong growth driven by ongoing mass market interest, lower cost and an expanding supplier base, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Home broadband service providers such as Comcast and AT&T seeking to expand beyond access and entertainment services are adding home automation connectivity and features to their gateways and routers. CPE suppliers are also getting into the game to replace slimmer margins from their traditional broadband access equipment sales. Cisco, Netgear, Belkin, Technicolor have been quick to deliver smart home automation solutions for service providers. Pushing both groups are new entrants such as smartThings, Revolv, and...

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Jun 18
Organizations must prepare for security implications...

Increasing adoption of a more mobile, social, data-driven and consumer-like workplace is causing the breakdown of traditional security models and strategies, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).


The research group predicts that by 2018, 25% of large organizations will have an explicit strategy to make their corporate computing environments similar to a consumer computing experience. Security organizations and leaders that fail to alter strategies to accommodate a more consumerized workforce will be sidelined by engaged organizations.

"Significant changes that impact an organization's approach to security are underway," says Tom Scholtz, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Employee digital literacy has led to a growing consumerization movement within most enterprises, with employees using a wide variety of consumer-oriented apps for business purposes. Other workplace trends — such as out-tasking,...

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Jun 17
The Internet of Things moves beyond the buzz

While the interest and buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) has grown steadily in recent years, the seemingly endless market promise continues to become reality.

According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), a transformation is underway that will see the worldwide market for IoT solutions grow from US$1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020. IDC (www.idc.coom) defines the Internet of Things as a network of networks of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or "things") that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity – be it "locally" or globally.

Consumers continue to experience and embrace IoT in their homes, cars, and in many other aspects of their daily life. Globally, individuals are developing a high affinity for full-time connectivity, which makes consumer IoT a compelling proposition. Businesses are intrigued by the efficiencies, business process implications,...

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Jun 13
Mobile tariffs bundled with music drive mobile music...

Mobile phone Users with access to music bundled into their phone tariffs listen to music on their phones more actively than users without music bundles, according to the Strategy Analytics report "Listening to the Listeners: Mobile Music Survey Results" (http://sa-link.cc/zW).

The study – conducted across the US, China, France, Germany, Spain and the UK — revealed that 72% of mobile phone owners listen to music on their phone actively, or at least once a week, when music is bundled into their tariff compared to 46% for users without music bundled mobile plans.

"Mobile operators and handset manufacturers have a significant role to play in enabling the music industry to grow revenue through access to music that is bundled into customers' phone tariffs, or into the price of the phone," says Nitesh Patel, Director of Wireless Media Strategies, at Strategy Analytics. "Fast growing streaming digital music...

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Jun 12
Expanding LTE coverage priming VoLTE adoption

By the end of 2013, global LTE-related cellular subscriptions surpassed 230.9 million, 3.3% of mobile subs, and will continue to grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 36.6% between 2014 and 2019, to exceed two billion, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The extensive presence of LTE networks is also stimulating the deployment of VoLTE. By the end of 2014, there are expected to be 59.6 million VoLTE subscriptions in place, and it is expected that nearly 56% of LTE-related cellular subscriptions will be using VoLTE services by the end of 2019.

"For VoLTE to be a success, there needs to be widespread adoption of the technology by handset vendors and not just the operators. There are some promising signs, though — it is anticipated that Apple will incorporate VoLTE into iPhone 6," says Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research.

The strong subscriber adoption in 2013 has...

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