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Jun 09
Consumers expect value-added features to improve...

Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) has identified that the camera of a smartphone is the most-used, on-device feature thus far, while also being a consumers’ number one priority when purchasing a new mobile device.  It is clear that users are always looking for value-added features to improve their photo capturing experience.

A recent study from the Wireless Device Lab (WDL) at Strategy Analytics, surveying smartphone camera behaviors, found that when capturing a photo, consumers are most interested in "lining up the shot," "angling the camera correctly" or "positioning the subject the right way" prior to capturing a photo. Concern was highlighted when capturing photos in dim lighting, as shadows appeared on the photos and flash caused unwanted "red eyes" or "washed out skin color."
 
“To solve these issues, camera phone manufacturers need to work on improving the low...

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Jun 08
Global server shipments grow 13%

In the first quarter of 2015, worldwide server shipments grew 13 percent year over year, while revenue increased 17.9% from the first quarter of 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). 

"The first quarter of 2015 was a particularly strong start to the year, with the strongest shipment growth since the third quarter of 2010, when the market was recovering from the downturn. It was also the second-largest-volume quarter ever," said Adrian O'Connell, research director at Gartner. "The market was driven by particularly strong demand from the hyperscale area, which benefited North America, in particular. This comes at a time when other regions are struggling, due to price pressure driven by the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. The strength in North America was strong enough to offset declines in Latin America and Japan. EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] was barely positive, with 1%volume growth." ...

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Jun 05
There's little interest in autonomous driving...

Semi-autonomous features like adaptive cruise control (ACC) and traffic jam assist (TJA) represent early real-world tests for human-machine interaction (HMI).  At their best, when operated correctly in proper conditions, ACC and TJA completely control all acceleration, braking, and steering, removing some of the cognitive load from the driver.  From an HMI perspective, this presents the challenge of how to convey control and status information on a number of different subsystems, in an immediately clear and meaningful way to users.

A new expert evaluation of ACC and TJA implementations in 2015 model year vehicles by the Automotive Consumer Insights group (ACI) at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com), found that the current offering of semi-autonomous driving systems lacked refined HMIs. 

"Current TJA and ACC systems do not reliably inform the driver when any driving assistant...

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Jun 04
Upsurge in POS malware threatens 51.2 million devices

Notable brands like Target, Neiman Marcus, PF Chang’s, Staples, Michaels Stores, and Home Depot have all have become victims of point of sale (POS) security breaches targeting consumer payment card data. In the majority of cases, POS attacks take place due to malware infections, notes ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

During the past few years there has been a considerable rise in malware families including POSCardStealer, Dexter, Alina, vSkimmer, ProjectHook, BlackPOS and others, many of which can be easily purchased online, adds the research group. According to the 2014 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 198 total incidents related to POS intrusions were reported. ABI Research expects the total number of POS related security incidents with confirmed data exposure will hit 600 by the end of 2015.

The most sophisticated attacks are highly targeted, deploying hard-to-detect,...

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Jun 03
Worldwide production printer shipments grow 7.5% in...

The worldwide production print market enjoyed 7.5% year-over-year growth in unit shipments in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), according to IDC (www.idc.com). Unit shipments grew to approximately 11,167 units (printers and MFPs), and shipment value increased 3.6% to nearly US$1.2 billion in the same time period, according to the research group.

Highlights from the first quarter results include the following:

° All of IDC's regional markets saw positive year-over-year shipment growth in the production print market, with the exception of Latin America and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Key contributors to the overall growth worldwide were Japan, which grew 12.4% year over year, Western Europe (13.7%) and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (16.0%).

° All categories in the Production Print space recorded double-digit year-over-year gains. Mid-Production experienced 2.5% shipment growth, Production had 31.7%...

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Jun 02
Personal, entry level storage market declines in the...

Worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) shipments declined by -6.4% year over year and -13.6% sequentially, finishing the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15) with 17.6 million units, according to the International Data Corporation (www.idc.om). Shipment values declined along with unit shipments, down -11.6% from a year ago to U$1.5 billion, according to the research group.

"Broadly speaking, the size of this market has changed little over the past two and a half years. This is partly due to competition from public cloud offerings and partly due to a fundamental shift of media consumption preferences," says Jingwen Li, research analyst, Storage Systems, IDC. "It's important to note, however, that there are still untapped growth opportunities within this market. Personal and entry level NAS, for example, would benefit greatly from an increased level of marketing programs focused on building awareness."

According to...

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Jun 01
The Northern Spy: a first look at Modula-2 R10

By Rick Sutcliffe

Last month the Spy opined on the software crisis--safety, security, and reliability having been abandoned for quick-and-dirty-get-it-out-the-door and let the customers do our debugging, software has become prey for the black hats.

There are too many vulnerabilities in both commercial packages and the Internet, and one day this house of cards is going to come crashing down upon us all. We have sound software engineering techniques and universities such as the ivory basement where the Spy toils do teach them--but they are not used because too few developers are university trained, too many managers haven't a clue what those principles are, and have other priorities that do not necessarily eventuate in quality code, and too many people use tools that are not optimized for producing that quality code--even mitigate against doing so.

This month, the Spy will begin presenting a new dialect of Modula-2 that he and Telecom engineer...

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May 29
Wearable band market grew over 150%

The wearable band market grew over 150% as more than 7 million units were shipped in the first quarter of 2015, according to Canalys (www.canalys.com).

First place Fitbit saw major year-on-year volume growth, while greatly increased shipments of the affordable Mi Band, predominantly in China, secured Xiaomi second place. Garmin also had a strong quarter and rolled out two new products in its vívo line, says the research group. Canalys forecasts that 20 million Apple Watches will be shipped in 2015.

"Despite the Apple Watch requiring an iPhone, Apple’s impending entrance in quarter two had a negative impact on vendors such as Samsung. Discounting has been used to clear inventory in the channel," says Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones. "The Apple Watch has set the benchmark for other smart watches and will make up the majority of shipments this year."

Wearable band shipment data...

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May 28
Gartner: global Chromebook sales will reach 7.3...

Worldwide Chromebook sales to end users is on pace to reach 7.3 million units in 2015, a 27% increase from 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Education is the primary market for Chromebooks and represented 72% of the global Chromebook market in 2014, says the research group.

"Since the first model launched in mid-2011, Google's Chromebook has seen success mainly in the education segment across all regions," says Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner. "In 2014, the education sector purchased 72% of Chromebooks in EMEA, 69% in Asia/Pacific, and 60%in the U.S."
 
In the business segment, purchases of Chromebooks remain low despite interest from small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and vertical industries. Google is increasingly targeting the business segment with its Chromebook for Work suite of office applications and has continuously improved access and functions by making more...

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May 27
IoT market to grow 19% this year

The worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to grow 19% in 2015, led by digital signage, according to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (www.idc.com). The second annual forecast focuses on growing IoT use in 11 vertical industries, including consumer, retail, healthcare, government, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries, while also sizing IoT opportunities for 25 vertical-specific use cases.

Unlike any other research in the industry, the new forecast specifically highlights worldwide spending across IoT use cases, including smart appliances, automated public transit, remote health monitoring, digital signage, connected vehicles, and air traffic monitoring, among others. Key findings include:

° The IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from US$42.2 billion in 2013 to $98.8 billion in 2018, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6%. Growth will be...

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May 27
Maintain serves up Cocktail 8.4 (Yosemite Edition)

Maintain has served up Cocktail 8.4 (Yosemite Edition), the latest maintenance update for users running OS X Yosemite.

Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets users clean, repair and optimize their Macs. Version 8.4 adds ability to clear applications (App Store, Automator, Contacts, Dashboard, Dictionary, Game Center, iBooks, iTunes, Maps, Photos, System Preferences, Xcode) caches and adds compatibility with OS X 10.10.4. It also contains updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 8.4 (Yosemite Edition) requires OS X Yosemite 10.10 to run. Cocktail (Mavericks Edition) for OS X 10.9, Cocktail (Mountain Lion Edition) for OS X 10.8 and Cocktail (Lion Edition) for OS X 10.7 are available for download from Maintain website (http://www.maintain.se/cocktail). Cocktail 8.4 (Yosemite Edition) costs US$19 for a single user license and is available for purchase from the Maintain...

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May 26
Apple loses tablet share for second successive quarter

For the second quarter in a row, Apple lost a substantial share of the tablet market as shipments declined and growth of the overall market remained stagnant, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

For the fourth quarter (4Q) 2014, Apple shipped 21.42 million iPads, causing the company to experience an 18% year-over-year (YoY) decline. In its most recent quarter, the results for 1Q 2015 depicted the company only shipping 12.62 million iPads, resulting in a 23% year-over-year (YoY) decline.

Apple is not the only company to report declining shipments. Samsung also reported a YoY decline of 30% for 1Q 2015. In total, overall market shipments of OEM branded tablets experienced a YoY decline of 13%.

"There is no denying the market is losing its momentum," says ABI Research Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. "The market is in the process of going through a transition as developed markets...

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May 21
Security monitoring services will reach 15 million...

A growing roster of smart home services and device providers are using home security monitoring as a beachhead to introduce home automation services. In the key U.S. market, a bellwether for developed markets around the world, some 15 million more U.S. homes will invest in new connected home security services in the next 5 years, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"After decades where penetration into U.S. households stalled, home security adoption is set for significant growth. However, it will not be the sole preserve of traditional professionally monitored home security providers. Consumers can now choose from an array of non-traditional suppliers, new technologies, and innovative services that balance value with cost," says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst, ABI Research.

Through managed smart home offerings from retailers such as Lowes and Staples as well as standalone devices...

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May 20
Survey sees growing mobile payment opportunity for...

Harbortouch (www.harbortouch.com), a supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, has published the results of a recent survey investigating the changing attitudes consumers have toward mobile payments technology.

The results of the survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, fielded in April 2015, examined the current state of mobile payment adoption, and demonstrated a shift in consumers' comfort level and acceptance, with a greater focus on interface and experience.

Mobile payment applications like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are enabling consumers to leave their cash, credit and debit cards at home, and pay for dinner or shop with friends all by simply using a mobile device. Early adopters are already reaping the benefits of this technology.

The Harbortouch survey took a deeper look into the current mobile payment landscape. Some of the more interesting findings include:

° Out of seven categories,...

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May 19
Mobile devices to generate the equivalent of 10...

Mobile data traffic, generated by smart phones, feature phones and tablets will approach almost 197,000 PB (Petabytes) by 2019, equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies, according to Juniper Research (www.juniperrsearch.com).

However, the research group found that only 41% of the data generated by these devices will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, with the majority of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks. Juniper Research estimates that the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years. The daily media consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, bolstered by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage.

“"Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. For example, Juniper Research anticipates that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014...

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May 19
Survey: Millennials represent the biggest threat to...

A survey by Absolute Software Corp. (www.absolute.com) — which specializes in endpoint security and management solutions for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones — says Millennials prove to be a greater risk to data security as compared to other user categories.

The report provides insight into employee attitudes toward IT security and their behaviors on corporate-owned mobile devices. Based on usage preferences and content accessed, the results offer an eye-opening perspective on the security risks associated with employee mobile device usage, depending on company size, employee age, their role, and the number of devices they use. The report demonstrates clear differences in generational behavior and associated risks related to data security.

Millennials versus Baby Boomers:
° 64% of Millennials use their employer-owned device for personal use, as opposed to 37% of Baby Boomers.

° 35%...

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May 18
Smartphone ownership exceeds desktop ownership in U.S...

More U.S. households now own a smartphone than a desktop, according to new research that Parks Associates (www.parkassociates.com) will discuss at the 19th-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference. The conference runs May 19-21 in San Francisco.

In the last five years, desktop adoption declined from 90% to 69% among U.S. broadband households, while smartphone adoption increased from 36% to 78%, according to the research group. Tablet adoption increased from 7% to 63%.

"The U.S population has made a dramatic shift to mobile devices and services, which they are using to access content in the cloud and check the smart devices in their connected home," saysStuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "At CONNECTIONS, we will analyze the implications of this new post-desktop world."

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May 15
Why is Verizon buying AOL? This is about reinventing...

The traditional telecom business has become a challenging environment to find growth and sustain profits. Beyond subscriber saturation (no one new to sell things to), this situation is exacerbated by pricing wars for traditional services (driven by T-Mobile/Sprint) and encroachment from OTT players into traditional communication services (Skype/WhatsApp). 

New revenue growth initiatives must be developed for the future. Verizon buying AOL is one such example of how telecom operators will seek to transform themselves and take different positions higher up the stack in the digital ecosystem, according to 451 Research (www.451research.com).  

AOL has seen its fortunes shift (as in steady revenue growth) in the past couple of years on the back of its programmatic advertising platform. Programmatic advertising describes a highly automated platform for buying, placing and optimizing media inventory to...

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May 13
Parks Associates estimates 1.6 billion video viewers...

There will be 1.6 billion video viewers worldwide at end of 2015, increasing to 1.9 billion in 2019, according to new data from the Parks Associates research group (www.parksassociates.com).

The global LTE user base will top 700 million in 2015, led by substantial subscriber gains in the U.S., Europe, China, and Latin America. The research firm based its findings on in-depth calculations from NUMBERS, a service forecasting adoption and revenue growth for connected products and services within the connected home ecosystem. 

"With the proliferation of content and streaming options, providing a best-in-class user experience becomes increasingly critical to pay-TV providers and CE manufacturers in terms of increasing sales, subscriptions, and usage," says Barbara Kraus, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Access to desired content is critical, as is ease and speed of search, sufficient broadband...

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May 12
In-building wireless market heads toward US$9 billion...

New market data from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that market for in-building wireless equipment and deployments will more than double the current market by 2020.

North America will continue to be the region with maximum DAS spend with sports venues, transportation, and healthcare remaining the verticals which attract the most DAS investment with shopping malls and hospitality coming in a close second place, says the research group. Together, these verticals in North America account for just under half of DAS spending. North America is followed by Asia-Pacific and then Europe, respectively, for market size.

"While the Asia-Pacific region accounts for just one-fifth of the total market, we forecast it to be the fastest growing region and to represent over 25% of the market by 2020," says Nick Marshall, research director at ABI Research. "China dominates the activity in the Asia-...

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May 11
Certified workstation growth disappointing

According to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group, the overall certified workstation market experienced disappointing growth in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15) after seven consecutive quarters of strong growth.

Worldwide shipments for the quarter recorded a year-over-year decline of -1.7%, less than forecast projected growth of 2.4%. Overall shipments fell to 838,400 compared to 858,667 in the same quarter a year ago. Emerging markets continued to perform better than developed markets with a quick turnaround in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region after a decline of -15.2% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2014. MEA was the fastest growing region in 1Q15 with 11.0% year-over-year growth and gained global market share of 0.5 points sequentially and 0.3 points year-over-year.

For the first time in five consecutive quarters, the Latin America region was not able to achieve double-digit growth although it did...

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May 07
Apple, Samsung driving evolution in embedded touch...

A new report from the IHS (www.ihs.com) research group says that embedded touch displays, including in-cell and on-cell touch displays, are forecast to have a nearly 40% share of touch module shipments for mobile phone applications this year. In-cell and on-cell touch displays for mobile phones grew 47% year-over-year (Y/Y), which was 36% of shipments in 2014.

Apple and Samsung have more than 40% of the global smartphone market, and the growing use of in-cell and on-cell touch technologies by these two companies is driving the direction of the overall touch sensor market. Japan Display also uses hybrid in-cell touch displays in some tier-one brands from LG, Xiaomi, and Huawei.

"The technical touch sensor evolution is changing the face of touch-panel competition," says Calvin Hsieh, director for IHS. "Since Apple adopted in-cell touch technology in 2012, and Samsung chose on-cell AMOLED for their premium product line...

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May 06
Carrier Wi-Fi market holds strong

The rapid development of LTE-U standards and the increasing number of its proponents brings into question the relationship between cellular network and Wi-Fi, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"While a number of mobile operators, especially Wi-Fi laggards, would strongly back LTE-U and look forward to it to compensate for late or poor Wi-Fi adoption, the carrier Wi-Fi space continues to grow, attracting other players like fixed and cable operators. We expect a total shipment of nearly two million units in 2015,” says Ahmed Ali, an analyst at the research group. "Wi-Fi calling, for example, provides opportunities for non-mobile carriers to enter and compete in the wireless market. Also, dual-SSID gateways allow operators with massive home and enterprise footprints to move into public Wi-Fi segment through community Wi-Fi."

Technical advances in Wi-Fi transform operators’ objectives for...

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May 06
Global risk IT and services spending to reach $78.6...

According to a new IDC report (www.idc.com) worldwide risk information technologies and services (RITS) spending will reach US$78.6 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $96.3 billion by 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.97% during the 2013–2018 forecast period. Key highlights from the new report include:

° Total IT spending for the worldwide financial services market for 2015 is forecast to reach $458.4 billion for hardware, software, and internal and external IT services. By the end of the forecast period in 2018, this spending will reach $522.3 billion.

° The components of this total market devoted to risk management will account for an average of 17.1% of overall spending by CIOs, CTOs, risk and compliance officers, and line-of-business IT executives in 2015, growing to 18.4% of total spending by 2018. Both percentages are up slightly from the previous forecast.

° The Capital Markets...

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May 06
Shoppers migrate to mobile devices, tablets

New research from Juniper Research (www.juniperrsearch.com) has found that global brand and retail spend on digital marketing activities will reach $200 billion this year, up by 15% on 2014 levels.

The research group says that nearly 70% of the net increase on digital marketing spend this year would be concentrated on mobile and tablet devices, as brand strategies evolve to deliver campaigns within an omni-channel digital environment. According to the research, factors behind the migration to smartphones and tablets include their capabilities to enable timely, targeted, personalized campaigns, to enhance customer engagement and to analyse the relative success of campaigns.

Juniper Research noted that, in the case of mobile coupons, redemption rates were typically significantly higher and costs per redemption much lower than for traditional mechanisms such as direct mail or newspaper coupons....

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May 05
Smart Home System Revenues to Hit US$34 Billion in 2020

Global revenues from smart home automation systems will grow at a 21% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] between 2015 and 2020, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). North America will account for the lion’s share of the smart home automation system revenues in 2020, contributing close to 46% globally, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific, says the research group.

"Higher quality of service assurance and longer battery life are primary drivers for the continued adoption of proprietary technologies in smart home security”
“Smart home automation system revenue was primarily driven by mass consumer adoption of smart home security systems but the market is also witnessing strong revenue growth from the adoption of smart plugs and smoke and air quality monitors," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Adarsh Krishnan.

Regional differences are also reflected in device adoption. In 2014, North...

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May 04
802.11ac Wi-Fie CPE shipments to reach 71 million...

The worldwide consumer Wi-Fi equipment market increased 5% in 2014, surpassing 166.1 million unit shipments, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"Shipments of devices which support the 802.11ac standard grew significantly in 2014, representing more than 11% of total access point shipments," says Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director, ABI Research. "In 2014, total shipments of consumer Wi-Fi devices with the 802.11n standard declined 3% from 2013. New generation 802.11ac products are expected to gain market share in the years to come. ABI Research expects that nearly 71 million 802.11ac access points will be shipped in 2015."

Since 802.11ac device shipments started to accelerate, the market share of devices with older generation Wi-Fi standards has started to decline. In 2014, total shipments of consumer Wi-Fi devices with the 802.11n standard declined 3% from 2013. New...

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May 01
Low-cost tablets to help grow global touchscreen market

The Technavio (www.technavio.com) research group has published a report saying the global tablet touchscreen market is expected to grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 11.5% from 2015-2019.

The report draws attention towards the availability of low-cost tablets as well as increased internet penetration in emerging markets like China and India, which has led tablet shipments to increase by a significant amount.

"A number of local market participants have started introducing tablets in their respective countries, which is expected to increase tablet sales considerably over the forecast period," says Faisal Ghaus, vice president of Technavio.

The new Technavio report also emphasizes the emergence of multi-touch screens, which is expected to propel market growth in the coming years. Multi-touch is seen only in capacitive touchscreen displays and not in resistive touchscreen displays, and...

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Apr 28
Broadband households have privacy, security concerns...

Research firm Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reports 47% of U.S. broadband households have privacy or security concerns about smart home devices. The connected home industries need to formalize strategies, such as consumer privacy rights, in order to push these markets forward, according to the research group.

"Recent high-profile media reports of hacks into smart baby monitors and connected cars, whether valid or not, have heightened consumer concerns over privacy and security for connected home systems," says Tom Kerbersaid, director of Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "Companies need to move quickly to reinforce the security of their solutions as well as ensure the consumer's right to privacy."

Parks Associates says that if firms offer a bill of rights to consumers, specifically the rights to be invisible, to approve who uses the data, and to be erased,...

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Apr 24
Video infrastructure markets to grow 75% over the next...

Video infrastructure markets, including broadcast pre- and post-production, video encoding, and VOD and CDN hardware, continue to grow at a relatively healthy pace of 37% over the next five years, despite the impact of virtualization separating hardware and software requirements, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"Broadcasters and operators virtualizing their workflow are likely to buy classic IT servers, while continuing to rely on video specialists for their application and software requirements," says ABI Research Practice Director Sam Rosen. "In theory, this means that video vendors are supplying less of the total solution; however, rising overall business complexity of areas, including ad workflows and over-the-top delivery, are offsetting this downward pressure on revenues."

"The encoder and transcoder market represents the brightest spot in the video industry. Growth in this sub...

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Apr 23
Amazon Web Services,VMware are market leaders

According to the latest 451 Research Vendor Window from 451 Research (www.451Research.com), Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the leader in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) adoption among enterprise IT buyers.

These findings are based on responses from over 1,500 global IT professionals, including 1,000 unique vendor evaluations. The 451 Research Vendor Window assessment is based on both overall enterprise adoption rates and customer ratings of vendor performance.  

AWS is used by the majority of enterprise IaaS customers in the study (57%) and is also cited as the most important IaaS provider by 35% of these current IaaS customers. Additionally, AWS received some of the highest ratings overall for its ability to fulfill customer needs, particularly in terms of experience and technical innovation. Other important findings from the 451 Research Vendor Window for IaaS include:

° Microsoft...

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Apr 22
Gartner: worldwide IT spending to decline 1.3% this...

Worldwide IT spending is set to shrink to US$3.66 trillion in 2015, a 1.3% decrease from 2014, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The research group says that the rising dollar is chiefly responsible for the slowdown. 

"We forecast U.S.-dollar-valued worldwide IT spending in 2015 to shrink by 1.3%, down from 2.4% growth forecast in last quarter's update," says John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "However, this is not a crash, even if it looks like one. The recent rapid rise in the value of the U.S. dollar against most currencies has put a currency shock into the global IT market."

Taking out the impact of exchange rate movements, the corresponding constant-currency growth figure is 3.1%, only off 0.6% from last quarter's update. Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the dollar versus other currencies can create.

"However, this...

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Apr 21
Data captured by IoT connections to top 1.6 Zettabytes...

A new report from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) estimates that the volume of data captured by IoT-connected devices exceeded 200 exabytes in 2014. The annual total is forecast to grow seven-fold by the decade’s end, surpassing 1,600 exabytes—or 1.6 zettabytes—in 2020. For scale, 1 zettabyte = 1000exabytes = 1 billion terabytes = 1 trillion gigabytes.

"The data originating from connected products and processes follows a certain journey of magnitudes. The yearly volumes that are generated within endpoints are counted in yottabytes, but only a tiny fraction of this vast data mass is actually being captured for storage or further analysis," ABI Research Principal Analyst Aapo Markkanen says. "And of the captured volume, on average over 90% is stored or processed locally without a cloud element, even though this ratio can vary greatly by application segment. So far, the locally dealt data has typically...

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Apr 20
Tapping into OTT video’s 24% projected growth is key...

The pay TV market has been struggling with increasing customer churn and maintaining ARPU [average revenue per user], and is forecast for only 3.7% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] through 2020, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

In contrast, OTT [over-the-top] video continues its strong growth, and should see around 26% total revenue growth in 2015, with 24% CAGR through 2019, says the research group. With the growing popularity of independent OTT services, such as Netflix and HBO Go, customers are starting to demand a similar experience from their pay TV subscriptions, including features such as content search and recommendation and mobile device support.

"Comparatively high priced pay TV bundles are losing customers to more inexpensive, IP-delivered content," says Eric Abbruzzese, research analyst, ABI Research. "Operators can combat this with rollouts of new STB technologies...

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Apr 17
World's largest companies spent $895 billion in...

IDC research group (www.idc.com) estimates that, including internal spending, the world's largest companies spent US$895 billion on technology in 2014.  IT vendors of all flavors long to harness a share of their hefty IT wallets not only for the revenue gains, but also for the bragging rights. 

The activities of the largest IT spenders provide a glimpse into how these industry leaders are taking steps to transform their businesses for 2015 and beyond, says the research group. As we enter the "innovation stage" of the third platform, IDC expects to see these companies focusing on value creation on top of their current technology foundation.  Key findings of the report include:

° Wal-Mart was the largest IT spender worldwide in 2014. Bank of America placed second, followed by Citigroup, AT&T, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

° Nine out of ten spenders increased their IT spending from 2013 to 2014.

° On...

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Apr 16
3D printing market surpasses $3.3 billion in 2014

The Canalys (www.canalys.com) research group estimates that nearly 133,000 3D printers were shipped worldwide in 2014, a substantial increase of 68% from 2013. Additionally, market revenue from 3D printers and their associated materials and services rose to US$3.3 billion, an increase of 34% from 2013.

"We’ve seen the 3D printing industry go from strength to strength in 2014," says research analyst Joe Kempton. "As we expected, the holiday season saw the most significant growth, particularly in the consumer segment, with many users buying their first 3D printer. A combination of falling prices, a wider range of technologies on offer and improved printing speeds helped fuel this demand."

In the fourth quarter of 2014, Canalys estimates that total market revenue surpassed US$1 billion for the first time in a single quarter, and some 41,000 3D printers were shipped worldwide, an increase of 24% sequentially....

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Apr 15
Global mobile gaming market forecast to top $50...

Increased adoption of smartphones and tablets has led to the growth of the global mobile gaming market, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21.39% from 2015-2019, says research firm Technavio (www.technavio.com).

Smart mobile devices have seen huge demand as gaming platforms in recent years. The diverse connectivity options available on these devices like 4G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are helping them edge-out laptops as sought-after platforms.

"More than 60% of users play games on their mobile devices on a daily basis and nearly 65% of the money spent on smartphones and tablets is for gaming purposes," says Faisal Ghaus, vice president of Technavio.

The latest report by the research group also draws attention towards a shift in gamer demographics, which is affecting the global video game market as a whole. There has been a drastic increase in the number of women and child...

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Apr 14
Smart bulbs marching into the smart home

Philips kicked off the smart bulb market nearly three years ago with its pricey Hue bulb, but at this year’s CES a horde of new entrants emerged.  The transition from incandescent to more energy efficient bulbs is an opening through which smart bulbs – LED bulbs with wireless radios built in, which can be controlled remotely – are gaining a foothold according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

The smart bulb market is a fragmented "Wild West" with a variety of technologies and control protocols being implemented, says the research group. Multi-function smart bulbs – those with Wi-Fi repeaters, speakers and cameras — will change consumers’ perceptions of "light bulbs," says Strategy Analytics.

Interoperability is key – consumers don’t want to have to worry if a bulb they purchase will work with other bulbs they have or will purchase. The industry must address this issue...

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Apr 13
Gartner: mobile apps adoption is maturing as usage...

The mobile apps marketplace is maturing as users declare themselves satisfied with current engagement rates, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). As users integrate apps more deeply into their lives, app providers will need to stay one step ahead and focus their development, marketing and branding more intensely toward retention strategies, according to the research group.

"After eight years of searching for, downloading and using smartphone apps, users are maturing in their usage behaviors," says Brian Blau, research director at Gartner." However, we may see those patterns change in the future as users integrate apps more deeply into their daily lives."

User interest in apps has mellowed now that they have integrated apps into their use of personal technology and their interaction with brands while online. Although usage remains high, users may not want or need more apps in the future....

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Apr 10
Worldwide wearables market forecast to reach 126.1...

A combination of new vendors, new devices, and greater end-user awareness will drive the worldwide wearables market higher in 2015. According to the most recent forecast data from IDC (www.idc.com) vendors will ship a total of 45.7 million units in 2015, up a strong 133.4% from the 19.6 million units shipped in 2014.

By 2019, total shipment volumes are forecast to reach 126.1 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.1%, says the research group. Propelling the market higher in 2015 is an increased focus on smart wearables, or those devices capable of running third-party applications. These include devices like the Apple Watch, Motorola's Moto 360, and Samsung's Gear watches.

The total volume of smart wearables will reach 25.7 million units in 2015, up a whopping 510.9% from the 4.2 million units shipped in 2014. Basic wearables, or those devices that do not run third party...

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Apr 09
iPhone, ApplePay opening up financial services for...

There are more than 28 million small business owners in the United States, some 80% of whom are non-employers. Small business use of mobile devices—in particular "smart" devices—opens up a world of opportunity, much like it has done in the consumer marketplace, according to Packaged Facts, a a division of MarketResearch.com.

As mobile technology and payments continue to converge, more and more small businesses will look to their smartphones to make payments and meet their financial services needs, according to the market research publisher. ApplePay provides a case in point. Many payments industry observers view Apple's ApplePay mobile wallet as the first product with the potential to push payments into the realm of mobile point-of-sale, which has thus far had difficulty gaining mainstream traction.

Small business participants may make especially strong targets for this payments solution, notes Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. For one, they are more...

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Apr 08
Cloud-DVR subscribers worldwide will increase to 24...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows the total number of cloud-DVR subscribers worldwide will exceed 4.6 million in 2015 and total 24 million by 2018.

"Time-shifting content has led to an evolution and new challenges in television business models," Brett Sappington, director, Research, Parks Associates, says. "Though the basic features of the DVR are the same, moving the service to the cloud is surprisingly complex. However, it opens up a variety of new opportunities for consumers and operators. Beyond expanding storage capacity, a cloud-based DVR impacts viewing features, revenue opportunities, and rights agreements with content creators."

Operators are interested in deploying cloud DVR because these solutions will reduce set-top box costs, eliminate costly replacements, and provide support for enhanced features, which will open new revenue opportunities, he adds...

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Apr 07
Smartphones fuel biometrics to $3.1 billion

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts US$3.1 billion global revenues in 2015 for biometrics in the consumer and enterprise sectors with much of the growth coming from smartphone solutions.

Existing smartphone hardware provides a relatively stable foothold for some authentication modalities but rapid advances in the biometrics field will drive further smartphone hardware upgrades. Meanwhile, pioneering algorithm design and cloud computing services are transforming user authentication.

Dimitrios Pavlakis, digital security research analyst, ABI Research says: "Biometry is moving rapidly into the security ecosystem and its adoption by CE [consumer electronic] devices will jumpstart this phenomenon. Specifically, smartphone biometrics provide not only a secure alternative for authentication, mobile payments, and BYOD [bring your own device] initiatives but also enhance user experience, navigation...

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Apr 06
Global pay TV subscriber base to surpass 1.1 billion...

According to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) the worldwide pay TV market grew at a steady rate of 4% in 2014 to reach 923.5 million subscribers.

"Despite the growth in subscriber base, weak currency exchange rates resulted in a slower increase of pay TV market service revenue. Worldwide the pay TV market generated US$257 billion in 2014 and is expected to surpass 1.1 billion subscribers in 2020 with a CAGR 2.7%," says Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director of Core Forecasting.

Cable and terrestrial TV markets had weaker growth rates in 2014 compared to satellite and IPTV platforms. However, high definition (HD) penetration is increasing across all pay TV platforms because of the increasing number of HD channels added by operators. In 2014, 44% of the worldwide pay TV subscriber base were HD subscribers, with the highest HD penetration in Western Europe and North America. HD...

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Apr 03
The global mobile biometrics revenue is set to boom

Starting from a base of $249 million 2015, global mobile biometrics revenue is forecast to reach $3.5 billion by 2024, with cumulative revenue for the 10-year period totaling $17.5 billion, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets).

Biometrics for mobile devices have finally reached a tipping point. The march began with the release of the Apple iPhone in 2007 and later the iPad, each subsequently matched by Android competitors. These smartphones and tablets finally have enough processing power and hardware capabilities to put biometrics directly into their users' hands.

Biometrics, whether for mobile devices or large stationary systems, typically perform one of two functions: authentication, proving that someone is who they claim to be, or identification, figuring out who someone is. Nearly all consumer-facing use cases are authentication and nearly all identification uses are...

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Apr 02
Mobile, casual gaming fuels gaming content markets

Overall, ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) expects the video game market to pass US$80 billion in 2020, growing from under $70 billion in 2014.

Mobile gaming is behind nearly all of this projected growth, with the traditional PC and console segments seeing 1 to 2% annual growth. Triple-A titles have the potential to dramatically change a developer/publisher’s financials, but gaming’s long tail is equally important to the continued growth of the industry.

This is particularly true in the mobile space where a hit title can catapult a mobile game developer into the upper echelons of the market—as was true for developers like King Digital (Candy Crush Saga) and Supercell (Clash of Clans). Innovation in the industry is particularly important to fend off the stagnation that can occur from too many copy-cat games, but the market can also move in unpredictable ways as one game can quickly gain favor, so...

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Apr 01
Global smart TV market set to boom

The global smart TV market is expected to post a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 20.37% from 2014-2019, as consumers are spending more than ever on electronics, according to a new report from research firm Technavio (www.technavio.com).

The new report draws attention towards economic growth in developing countries that has improved the financial status of a significant portion of the population. This has resulted in higher consumer purchasing power, which has contributed to increased spending on consumer electronic goods.

"The increased number of technologically advanced devices available in the market is expected to trigger the demand for devices that offer multifunctional capabilities to consumers," says Faisal Ghaus, vice president of Technavio.

What's more, the Technavio report emphasizes the increased adoption of smart TVs in advertising. The growing popularity of smart TVs and 3D TVs...

| Read more »
Mar 31
Chromebook’s computing style disrupts low-end PC,...

Chromebooks: cloud-centric, budget-friendly, fast-booting, secure computing devices that are more functional than tablets and less expensive than the average laptop PC are market changers, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

In 2014, Chromebooks gained traction in North America, and are set to continue growing as streaming devices become more popular among consumers and purchasing entities. According to ABI Research, Chromebooks experienced 235% growth between 2013 and 2014, with shipments reaching 4.87 million in 2014.

"The rollout of cloud services and the 2009 global economic collapse created the opportunity for developers to provide a budget-friendly solution for consumers,”" says Research Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. "Chromebooks were the result, and the ‘anytime anywhere’ access to content is a mobile-centric game changer."

Deployments in the education market have...

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Mar 30
Global devices shipments to grow 2.8% this year

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are estimated to reach 2.5 billion units in 2015, an increase of 2.8% over 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). In spending terms, the global computing devices market (PCs and ultramobiles) is on pace to reach US$226 billion, a 7.2% decline in current U.S. dollars, says the research group.

Stripping out the impact of exchange-rate movements (constant U.S. dollars), the global computing devices spending will decrease 3.1 percent in 2015. The global PC market is on pace to total 306 million units in 2015, a 2.4 percent decrease over 2014. 

"The fall in PC purchases is primarily due to expected price increases by vendors in Europe and other regions, which is forced by local currency depreciation against the dollar," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "The currency squeeze is forcing PC vendors to...

| Read more »
Mar 27
Public Wi-Fi hotspots to reach 7.8 million this year

Worldwide public Wi-Fi hotspot deployments have reached a total of 5.69 million in 2014, and will grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 11.2% between 2015 and 2020, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

This includes public Wi-Fi hotspots deployed by mobile and fixed-line carriers as well as third-party Wi-Fi service providers. ABI Research expects the number of worldwide carrier Wi-Fi hotspots will reach 13.3 million in 2020.

"Wi-Fi hotspot deployments have been surprisingly robust; more and more public locations have signed up on a free or 'freemium' basis. This has discouraged the participation of third-party operators in some locales because there is a need for the upgrade of service, coverage and legacy equipment, which is only beneficial for operators with significant economies of scale," comments Lian Jye Su, research associate at ABI Research,

For example,...

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