Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform hasn’t exactly been a ringing success so far, partly because third-party vendors typically see it as an afterthought compared to Android. Digitimes‘ supply chain sources now say that smartphone makers’ enthusiasm for Windows Phone 8 has waned in recent months due to both low adoption among consumers and high licensing fees that give them little reason to invest significant resources in the platform when they can use Android for free. What’s more, vendors are reportedly wary of Windows Phone because it doesn’t allow for the same level of customization that Android does, which makes it harder for companies to differentiate their own Windows Phone devices from those offered by Nokia.
Although sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 got off to a blisteringly fast start, many reports have suggested that sales of the device have started to noticeably slow in recent weeks. And now Digitimes‘ supply chain sources claim that Samsung has started cutting back component orders for the Galaxy S4 due to “a slowdown in demand” for the device. This doesn’t mean the Galaxy S4 is selling poorly, of course, since Samsung is still ordering enough parts to sell up to 45 million units of its flagship phone over the next two quarters. But as more of the action moves away from high-end devices such as the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5 and toward more low-cost devices in emerging markets, Samsung has had to adjust its expectations.
Apple may want to ditch Samsung, but it’s had a tough time so far finding another component supplier that’s capable of delivering the consistent quality and scale that it needs for its hugely popular mobile devices. Because of this, Korea’s ETNews reports, Apple will likely turn to Samsung to supply LCD displays for its upcoming Retina-equipped iPad mini that’s slated to launch by the end of the year. This is particularly interesting because we heard rumors last year that Apple’s feud with Samsung was one of the major reasons why it faced shortages for its first-generation iPad mini, which manufacturers reportedly had trouble mass producing at first because its thinner side bezels made it trickier to manufacture than traditional iPads.
Much as he dismissed the significance of the iPhone when it first released, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also dismissed Google’s free-to-use Android platform when it launched because Google wasn’t charging any money for OEMs to use it. In the five years since launching Android, however, it’s clear that making money from the direct sales of Android devices was never part of Google’s plan. To understand why this is, take a look at eMarketer’s new report on mobile advertising showing that Google took home $4.61 billion in mobile advertising revenues in 2012, or more than half of all mobile advertising revenues in the world. More →
Sales of Nintendo’s Wii U console have been calamitously bad so far but the company’s CEO isn’t about to start blaming the rise of mobile games. Instead, AllThingsD reports that Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata thinks that the Wii U has sold poorly because Nintendo isn’t providing gamers with enough top-notch titles to draw them to the system. More →
As we’ve often noted, the brilliance of Samsung ads is how they take their smartphones’ most mundane features and gimmicks and make them look like life-changing technological achievements. The company’s latest ad for the Galaxy S4 is no exception, as it demonstrates all the ways that the device can help an inexperienced father master the art of diaper changing. More →
WhatsApp has become one of the world’s staples in mobile messaging and it’s not done growing yet. WhatsApp announced on its Twitter account this week that it processed a record 27 billion messages in a single day, with roughly 10 billion messages sent and 17 billion messages received. WhatsApp said just two months ago that its record for messages in a day was around 20 million and that it had around 200 million users, which makes it even larger than Twitter. WhatsApp and rival messaging apps LINE and KakaoTalk have been particularly popular on Android recently and the market for messaging apps only seems to be growing as more consumers in emerging markets are poised to buy smartphones for the first time.
Sorry, Google, but you may not hold a monopoly on researching far-out technologies that may not even help your core business in the future. Forbes contributor Haydn Shaughnessy notes that Samsung has started investing substantial sums of money into science and technology research for an ecosystem that may never see the light of day. In particular, he says that Samsung has said it will invest $1.34 billion over the next decade in the Samsung Future Technology Foundation, which The Korea Times reports will focus on “three areas such as basic sciences — physics, chemistry, life science, and mathematics, materials science, and ICT fusion-type projects.” More →
Rovio looks set to change its longtime formula for Angry Birds games. In a new website launched this week, Rovio teased a new game called Angry Birds Go! with a short Flash movie depicting one of its famous birds speeding down some sort of racetrack. From the looks of things, it seems that we’re about to get our first-ever Angry Birds racing game although Rovio hasn’t yet posted any specific details about how gameplay will work. In a company blog post, Rovio said that the game would be “Angry Birds, but not as you know it” and that “all your favorite characters are returning for a brand new title that will bring you closer to Piggy Island than ever before.” At the very least, the new game sounds more promising than Rovio’s Angry Birds Soda franchise that’s taken Finland by storm.
Microsoft Office is by far the most comprehensive suite of productivity services around, but what if you own a small business with bare-bones requirements for word processing and spread sheets? AllThingsD reports that HP is teaming up with Google to promote Google Apps as a free alternative for companies that don’t want to pay Microsoft fees to use Office. HP “will package [Google's] management tools with its PCs, printers and other IT gear” while helping companies ease into using Google Apps with an assist from its own management software, AllThingsD says. The move toward Google Apps comes at a time when HP has been inching away from Microsoft a bit, as this year the company has launched new devices based on Google’s Chrome and Android operating systems.
Carriers have long complained about data-hungry smartphone users clogging up their networks, but a new study from Juniper Research suggests that their plans to limit their customers’ data consumption might be working a bit too well. Juniper’s latest report “forecasts that almost 50% of data traffic generated by mobile phones, tablets and other 3G/4G connected devices, will be offloaded to Wi-Fi and Small Cell networks this year.” While this is on the surface good for carriers because it relieves congestion on their networks, Juniper points out that it could also lead to more consumers choosing cheaper data plans with low bandwidth caps if they become accustomed to hooking onto Wi-Fi for most of their mobile data needs. Juniper notes that “in response, operators are actively partnering with existing Wi-Fi networks and launching their own carrier grade Wi-Fi solutions” so they don’t get completely left out in the cold.
Every major new software release has its share of bugs and security holes and the developer edition of Apple’s iOS 7 is no different. Forbes points us to a new video showing how to completely bypass the iPhone’s password protection by accessing the calculator available on the lock screen. As Forbes describes it, users can bypass the password screen “by opening iOS’s Control Room and accessing the phone’s calculator application before opening the phone’s camera,” which will then let them “access, delete, email, upload or tweet the device’s photos without knowing its passcode.” The new security flaw in iOS 7 is the second lock screen-related hole found on iOS this year, as earlier hackers found a way to bypass the password protections on iOS 6.1. The full video demonstrating the security flaw is posted below. More →
AT&T has scored exclusive rights to carry Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 on its network, the company announced on Wednesday. AT&T did not announce pricing or a release date for the 8-inch tablet and only said that it would be available “in the coming weeks.” Samsung first debuted the Galaxy Note 8.0, which takes its design cues from Samsung’s popular Galaxy S smartphone series, at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The tablet’s specs include an 8-inch 1280 x 800-pixel TFT display, a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, microSDXC support, a 4,600 mAh battery and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.