2014 Smartphone Sales Projection

The high-end phone market will be a chamber of horrors in 2014

By on December 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM.

The high-end phone market will be a chamber of horrors in 2014

Many news sites have reported perky news items about Flurry’s Christmas app download statistics. And most of them have been comprehensively out to lunch. The real news in Flurry’s numbers is not that Christmas Day app downloads once again bounced sharply from the average December day since that obviously happens every year. A truly gruesome bit of real news was buried in the exhibit that compares Christmas 2012 download volume growth to Christmas 2013: App download volume increased by 90% year-on-year back in 2012 but by just 11% in 2013. More →

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ARM Geomerics Acquisition Mobile Gaming

Next-gen tablets could be the final nail in portable consoles’ coffins

By on December 13, 2013 at 11:15 PM.

Next-gen tablets could be the final nail in portable consoles’ coffins

Smartphones and tablets may not deliver the gaming quality you get from dedicated portable consoles such as the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS… but they’re definitely catching up. VentureBeat reports that chipmaker ARM has acquired Geomerics, a graphics technology firm that specializes in making realistic lighting and imagery in video games. And Geomerics’s Enlighten technology has some very impressive notches under its belt since it’s been used in big-time games such as Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals, Eve Online, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Carl Almgren, who serves as head of development for Electronic Arts’ Frostbite Engine, says that Enlighten has “helped EA provide new levels of realism and gameplay experience,” so it should be exciting to see what it can do on tablets and smartphones with ARM-based chips.

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International Roaming Solution

The death of roaming charges

By on December 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM.

The death of roaming charges

For those who travel internationally, there are few things more agonizing than the wait to see how badly your wireless carrier will hose you for calls, messages and data while you were abroad. Roaming charges can’t die soon enough. T-Mobile’s latest “Uncarrier” move looks to take some of the sting out of international roaming for its subscribers by offering free international low-speed data and unlimited messaging in more than 100 countries, but an Israeli startup is looking to tackle the issue from a different angle. More →

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PC Versus Smartphone Install Base

2014 looks like the year when smartphones finally crush PCs

By on December 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM.

2014 looks like the year when smartphones finally crush PCs

While Steve Jobs declared the dawn of the post-PC era in 2007 he may have been a bit ahead of his time. After all, PCs to this day still have the largest install base of any computing device in the world. However, a new chart posted by Enders Analysis researcher Benedict Evans shows that this won’t be the case for much longer since smartphones’ install base looks set to eclipse PCs’ install base sometime in 2014. The growth in smartphone use has been truly astonishing, going from an install base of under 200 million in September of 2010 to more than 1.2 billion this past September. Tablets’ install base, by comparison, is now at around 200 million, so it will likely take quite some time before tablets’ install base catches up with personal computers. Evans’ chart follows below. More →

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Mobile Gambling Growth

The next big mobile moneymaker: Gambling

By on December 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM.

The next big mobile moneymaker: Gambling

Wearable computing is at the forefront of every conversation these days when it comes to predicting the next big thing in mobile. As it turns out, however, the next big thing might already be here. According to a new report issued on Tuesday by market research firm Juniper Research, gambling is in the process of becoming the next monster mobile market. Be it sports betting, mobile casinos or various lotteries, Juniper says that 64 million people will use mobile devices to gamble in 2013 and that figure will balloon to 164 million in 2018. Interestingly, Juniper believes that strong growth in North America will drive the market — while mobile gambling adoption as been slow thus far in the U.S. due to regulatory issues, Juniper believes recent and ongoing legislative changes along with successful launches in Nevada and New Jersey will be the start of accelerated growth in the U.S. In a previous report, the firm estimated that revenue from mobile gambling would surpass $100 billion in 2017. Juniper’s full press release follows below. More →

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Stolen Smartphone Database

CTIA’s stolen smartphone database is complete – but will it curb theft?

By on November 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM.

CTIA’s stolen smartphone database is complete – but will it curb theft?

The CTIA on Wednesday announced that the database system for lost smartphones launched by the country’s main mobile operators back in April 2012 is finally complete, beating the initial November 30th deadline by a few days. The database will allow local carriers to block the activation of 4G and 3G smartphones not just in the U.S. but also abroad, as it will also integrate with similar databases from international carriers. But San Francisco district attorney George Gascón believes that the new database will not be that effective. “The UK tried a national registry and has not slowed down thefts,” he told The Verge. More →

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Smartphones Average Selling Price

Dirt-cheap smartphones are the wave of the future

By on November 26, 2013 at 6:30 PM.

Dirt-cheap smartphones are the wave of the future

Smartphone shipments are expected to equal one-seventh of the Earth’s population by the end of the year, but how has the market maintained its momentum? Easy: lower prices. According to an IDC forecast, smartphones are expected to see 39.3% year-over-year growth in 2013, while their average selling prices (ASPs) will decline 12.8%, from $387 to $337. More →

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Smartphones Public Use

Are smartphones making us awful people?

By on November 4, 2013 at 9:45 PM.

Are smartphones making us awful people?

If you don’t think smartphones have changed the world, you haven’t been paying attention… probably because you were too busy flipping between apps on your smartphone. People are more “connected” now than they have ever been before thanks to smartphones and the mobile Internet, but is all that connectivity causing us to lose our connection with the people around us? The Wall Street Journal contributor Christine Rosen explored that question in a recent essay, wondering aloud if smartphones are turning us into bad Samaritans. More →

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Location-sharing Market Growth

Are privacy concerns killing the mobile location-based services market?

By on September 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM.

Are privacy concerns killing the mobile location-based services market?

The latest Pew report on mobile behavior offered one fascinating contrast. Video calling on mobile phones is finally going mainstream, with usage increasing from 7% of cell phone owners in 2010 to 21% in 2013. But growth in location-sharing is fizzling badly, increasing from 5% in 2011 to just 8% in 2013. The difference in growth between these two types of services is pretty stunning, particularly when you consider how much hype there was around location-sharing services back in 2011. What I find mesmerizing is the differences between various income levels. More →

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Smartphone Adoption United States

Smartphones now account for almost two-thirds of all mobile phones in the U.S.

By on September 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM.

Smartphones now account for almost two-thirds of all mobile phones in the U.S.

America really has become smartphone nation. Nielsen estimates in its latest survey of American consumers that smartphones now account for around 64% of all mobile phones used in the United States and that 80% of Americans who recently bought a new phone bought a smartphone. As far as smartphone platforms go, Nielsen found that Americans have stuck with the iOS-Android duopoly as Android phones accounted for 53% of all smartphones bought between June and August this year while iPhones accounted for 40% of all smartphones bought over the same period. Nielsen unsurprisingly reports that smartphone adoption is strongest among young people while noting that “50% of the mobile subscribers using feature phones in the U.S. were those aged 55+, highlighting significant room for smartphone growth among this group of mobile users.” A chart showing Nielsen’s findings follows below. More →

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Phonebloks Viability Questioned

Here’s why the Phonebloks modular smartphone might not happen

By on September 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM.

Here’s why the Phonebloks modular smartphone might not happen

Last week’s most surprising phone announcement wasn’t anything from Apple, but rather a modular smartphone called Phonebloks. The idea of an upgradeable, customizable smartphone is an exciting one, but the revolutionary concept might not hold water. George Hahn at Generic Maker analyzed the phone over the weekend, and came to the conclusion that Phonebloks probably wouldn’t work. More →

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Future Smartphone Technology Predictions

Prominent economist predicts smartphones will soon tell us how to run every aspect of our lives

By on September 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM.

Prominent economist predicts smartphones will soon tell us how to run every aspect of our lives

Tyler Cowen has seen the future and it involves Siri nagging you to brush your teeth. Cowen, a well-known economist at George Mason University, has been making the media rounds lately to promote his new book Average is Over, in which he predicts that technological progress will effectively end the American middle class and will instead produce a fabulously wealthy 15% of the population that thrives even as everyone else is relegated to a vast underclass. To help us understand this brave new world, Cowen takes to The New York Times to write what is essentially a list of winners and losers in the future economy. Although his whole article is worth reading, the most interesting group of people in his “winners” category is “people who listen to computers.” More →

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Phonebloks Modular Smartphone

Video: Phonebloks is a modular smartphone that’s always cutting-edge

By on September 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM.

Video: Phonebloks is a modular smartphone that’s always cutting-edge

As exciting as new phone announcements are, there are those who are understandably exhausted with the never-ending updates that make their phones obsolete each and every year. Dave Hakkens’ Phonebloks concept might be the perfect solution. Phonebloks will allow you to update your phone’s hardware one blok at a time in order to cut down on electronic waste, save yourself several hundred dollars, and customize your phone to suit your needs without having to choose from a limited set of pre-made devices. More →

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