Cyber Monday has only existed for a the better part of a decade, but it is already beginning to rival Black Friday. Bloomberg reports that Cyber Monday sales have jumped 19% over last year, setting December 2nd up to be “the biggest online shopping day of 2013.” Mobile traffic now accounts for 30% of all participating retailers’ web traffic as well. According to PayPal, 16% of all purchases made using the popular online payment service were from mobile devices. IBM also chimed in with some interesting statistics: Customers generally prefer to use smartphones when browsing for things to buy but prefer to use tablets when it comes time to make the actual purchase. More →
A leaked screenshot of an iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pre-registration page reportedly put up by China Mobile suggests that the largest Chinese mobile operator is getting ready to launch Apple’s 2013 iPhone models on December 18th, alongside its 4G TD-LTE network. The leaked page has been forwarded by readers to Chinese publication C Tech, an accurate source of Apple-related rumors in the past. Despite the apparently imminent iPhone launch, China Mobile is yet to officially announce iPhone plans even though official reports have recently confirmed that the carrier will launch its 4G service in the region on December 18th. Previous leaks have also claimed that a China Mobile iPhone launch is near. More →
In our review of the Xbox One, we talked about the potential of the console as a platform that will evolve over the course of this generation. According to ZDNet, part of that evolution will include unifying the game console even further with the Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. An update codenamed “Threshold,” reportedly set to be released in 2015, will roll out to virtually every Windows-powered device. If the site’s sources are correct, this convergence will bring even more shared features and capabilities to Microsoft’s lineup than the previously-reported merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone. This update could also play a significant part in the single, OS-wide app store that Microsoft is working to bring to Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1.
If there’s one legacy Internet protocol that really needs to go, it’s the password. Given how easy it’s become for hackers to decipher most passwords and how annoying it’s become to memorize multiple passwords that all require capital letters, numbers and symbols, it’s only a matter of time before some enterprising tech company comes up with a way to get rid of the password nuisance once and for all. More →
Microsoft’s mobile platform has made some impressive gains over the last year and the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel show that Windows Phone’s market share has passed the 10% barrier across Europe’s five biggest markets, a huge improvement from a year ago when it accounted for under 5% of smartphones sold across the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Windows Phone sales have gotten a big boost in Europe thanks to the efforts of Nokia, which has long been a popular brand in the Eurozone and which this year released some top-notch handsets such as the Lumia 1020 alongside some very competitive budget handsets such as the Lumia 520.
Transferring media between devices has always been a hassle, especially when it comes to transmitting videos from a phone or tablet to a television. Google has taken a stab at eliminating the frustration with Chromecast, but Cyanogen’s Koushik Dutta (or Koush) wants to make the process even easier by taking additional hardware out of the equation and making use of the devices you already have in your home. AllCast is an Android app that will stream video from your phone or tablet to any DLNA-compatible streaming device connected to your TV. In the demonstration, Koush streams his video to a Roku box, an Xbox One and a Samsung Smart TV — and even to the Apple TV. AllCast is still in beta, so if you want to give it a try before its official release, you will need to join the ClockworkMod Beta Testers group on Google+. Check out the app in action in the video below. More →
Whenever you see an industry with high profits and low customer satisfaction ratings, it’s a good bet that it doesn’t face the same kinds of competitive pressures that most industries deal with on a regular basis. Such has certainly been the case with the cable industry, whose largest two vendors don’t even compete with one another in any major markets. And as Ars Technica reports, cable companies could dramatically boost their services’ speeds starting today if they wanted to… but they won’t because they aren’t facing any competitive pressure to do so in most markets. More →
Taking advantage of Black Friday, Amazon released an ad comparing the iPad Air unfavorably to its own Kindle Fire HDX, making Amazon the latest in a long line of tech giants to set its sights on Apple’s tablet in an ad. Amazon’s ad takes things a step further, however, by making things personal and mocking Apple design chief Jonathan Ive. The Kindle Fire HDX has a 2560 x 1600 resolution display, which amounts to about 1 million extra pixels over the iPad Air’s 2048 x 1536 display. The HDX is also 20% lighter than the iPad Air, weighing in at just 13.2 ounces as opposed to the 16.8 ounces of the iPad Air. And the kicker: Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX costs just $379 while the iPad Air starts at $499. Amazon is obviously not the first tablet vendor to attack Apple — in fact, both Microsoft and Nokia released commercials last week in order to convince shoppers to rethink that iPad purchase this holiday season. With tablets expected to take over the market as early as next year, every company is doing what it can to carve out its place. The HDX advertisement follows below. More →
Despite publicly belittling software patents and lobbying for patent reform that would make it difficult for companies to use such patents in patent-based lawsuits, Google is building an impressive arsenal of patents of its own at a much faster rate than in previous years. While the move may be perceived as an attempt to defend its Android mobile operating system that’s under attack from rivals including Apple and Microsoft – as well as to attack them back – it would appear that Google is protecting all of its interests, across a variety of markets that it’s currently a player in. MIT’s Technology Review reports that this year alone, Google is on track to be awarded about 1,800 patents, putting Google on the top 10 patent recipients list, ahead of companies like GE and Intel. Google is now No. 3 or No. 4 on that list behind the likes of IBM and Microsoft. To help illustrate what a dramatic change this is from the old Google, in 2007 when the iPhone was first introduced, Google was awarded only 38 patents. More →
The launches of Apple’s new iPad Air and Retina iPad mini weren’t enough to stop Android from making huge gains in November as the platform’s global share spiked while iOS’s share slid. Net Applications issued its updated market share data for the month of November on Sunday, though its figures can be better described as “usage share” since they measure market share by monitoring traffic across the firm’s various networks. According to the company’s data, sales momentum of Apple’s recent iPhone 5s and 5c launches has evaporated and the debuts of its new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display did nothing to pick up the slack. As a whole, Net Applications found that iOS’s usage share slid slightly to 55.17% in November from 55.39% in October. Meanwhile, Android built on earlier momentum to post its largest monthly gain of 2013, jumping to 33.89% in November from 30.58% in October. BlackBerry’s share slid from 2.55% in October to 1.65% in November and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform still doesn’t have enough usage to escape the “other” category. More →
BlackBerry is tired of rival mobile device management (MDM) companies circling its body like a swarm of ravenous vultures. In an open letter to enterprise customers posted on Monday, interim BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that his company is “very much alive” in the enterprise mobility space and that businesses shouldn’t listen to MDM vendors who want them to throw away their BES. More →
Imagine a device that would allow Apple to eat into Android’s market share in several key markets, and yet only have a minimal negative impact on Apple’s margins. While early reports suggested the new iPhone 5c might be a flop when Apple had to cut orders with its manufacturing partners, new data from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel suggests that “the other high-end iPhone” might be just what Apple needed to pull in new business without sacrificing the average selling price (ASP) of its iPhone lineup. More →
“We now live in a world where there is no downtime.”
Today, I made a choice. I made a choice to carve out a chunk of time to write this article, but I did so at the expense of communication. I very intentionally decided to cast my eyes in the other direction by ignoring a deluge of inbound inquiries, and to be honest, I’m still unsure as to whether it was the right decision. Five years ago, I might have suggested that those employed in the digital industry would understand where I was coming from, but today, I’m more inclined to believe that everyone in a developed country would get the gist. This is the era where personal time becomes a relic, silence is the new distraction, and 24/7 expectations bleed from petrol stations into every possible aspect of your life. Consider this: how many requests are you presently ignoring by taking the time to read these words?
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Jonathan S. Geller The Boy Genius Report: The past four years of BlackBerry warning signs
Zach Epstein Apple's iPhone named most searched-for tech device of 2013
Tero Kuittinen Now Amazon is pulling ahead of Nintendo in handheld gaming in the U.S.
Brad Reed WSJ: Samsung's mobile security program has been a bust so far