Items tagged with smartphones

China continues to swell with smartphones—the latest data from Strategy Analytics pegs China's smartphone shipments as having grown 3 percent year-over-over to a hit record 438 million handsets in 2015. That's especially good news for Xiaomi, which retained its top spot with a 15.4 percent share of the market, but not so much for Samsung. The South Korean handset maker was pushed out of the top 5 rankings and now occupies the catch-all "Others" category, which collectively accounts for more than four out of 10 handsets (43.1 percent) in China. However, the fifth most popular smartphone brand in... Read more...
Look around at any given time and you're likely to see multiple people actively using a smartphone. They're everywhere these days, and in the fourth quarter of 2015, hundreds of millions of more smartphone devices infiltrated the market—404.5 million to be exact, up 6 percent annually from 380.1 million units shipped in Q4 of 2014, according to Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Services.Now here's where things get weird. Looking at the period from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015, the smartphone industry saw its slowest growth rate of all time, which Strategy Analytics blamed on increased penetration in... Read more...
Though they're bitter rivals in the mobile space, Samsung and Apple often show each other the sincerest form of flattery, which is imitation. You can argue that one copies the other more often, but they both do it, often to the benefit of customers. The latest example of this has Samsung planning to roll out a Galaxy smartphone upgrade program similar to the one Apple offers for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus devices.Details are in short order, but it's said the program will kick off with the launch of Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy S7, which is expected to happen around March. Like Apple's program... Read more...
Legislatures in New York have drafted a bill that, if passed, would require Apple and other smartphone makers to provide backdoors to encrypted handsets for law enforcement officials or otherwise eliminate encryption altogether. Failure to do so would result in a $2,500 fine per device, a sum that would quickly add up. Apple and Google have been at the forefront of the encryption debate in favor of user privacy. New iPhone and most new Android devices come encrypted without any easy means of decrypting data without a key. Even if summoned by law enforcement to unlock a device, Apple and Google... Read more...
Google seems to have gotten the memo that a price cut for its Nexus 5X handset would be much appreciated, and so the powers that be in Mountain View made it happen. The Nexus 5X is now permanently lightened by $30, bringing the cost down for $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB version, both unlocked and off-contract. For what it is, the LG-build smartphone wasn't overpriced to begin with. However, it went on sale for $299 on Black Friday, and after that, several retailers had it listed for $330. Google's price cut isn't quite as steep, but it's enough that a potential buyer may now pull... Read more...
Before Microsoft can complete its plan to rule the world with Windows 10, it will have to figure out how to tackle the smartphone market, one that's largely eluded the Redmond outfit over the years. The latest data from market research firm comScore has Microsoft clinging to a less than 3 percent share of the smartphone sector in the U.S.Specifically, 2.8 percent of smartphones in the U.S. are based on a Windows OS, down a hair from 2.9 percent in the previous quarter. That's still better than BlackBerry, which claims a scant 1 percent, but far removed from Apple at 43.1 percent and Android at... Read more...
There was a time when the Motorola brand was a big deal in the mobile phone space. Remember all those Razr flip phones that were all the rage? That was Motorola's heyday, and it's now a distant memory, have given way to the likes of Apple, Samsung, and HTC. And starting soon, the Motorola brand will no longer be found on new mobile phone devices.Lenovo, the world's top supplier of PCs, purchased Motorola Mobility from Google two years ago for $2.91 billion. It was a far better deal than the one Google inked for the brand in 2012, which cost the search giant $12.5 billion, a move that was largely... Read more...
If you’re one of the few that still purchases brand new smartphones with a two-year contract, America’s second largest wireless carrier is about to strip that option away from you. Starting January 8th, AT&T customers will have to purchase a new phone using NEXT or eat the entire cost of the device upfront. This move is not unprecedented; earlier this year, AT&T stopped offering two-year contracts via its third-party resellers (a la Best Buy) and only offered them through its company-owned retail stores and online. This latest move further aligns AT&T’s corporate policy of killing two-year... Read more...
Somebody must have spiked Verizon's non-alcoholic eggnog with a bit of rum over the holiday, as the wireless carrier now finds itself in semi-snark mode. Verizon's also feeling generous. So generous, in fact, that it's dangling up to $650 in front of anyone who "didn't get the right network" and is willing to switch. "Everyone has that one gift they’d like to exchange for something better: maybe that not-so-cool holiday sweater…or the wrong network. This holiday season, Verizon is giving wireless users a chance to have no regrets," Verizon says. The level of smack talk isn't quite the same as what... Read more...
Password security is one of those things you either have or you don't. If you're password is a combination of alphanumeric characters and symbols with varying punctuation, congratulations, you're in much better shape than the guy who uses "12345," the same as found on his luggage. That said, traditional password input is becoming an antiquated way of locking down accounts, which is why Google is playing around with smartphone notifications. This is something Yahoo is already doing with its Account Key service. Similar to that, Google is inviting some users to try out its new password-free option.... Read more...
The mantra from Microsoft has been "Windows 10 for all devices" repeated over and over again, and having played with the OS extensively on the desktop, we think the company is headed in the right direction. At the same time, it's not a movement that will happen overnight. As we've seen. it's taking some time to roll out Windows 10 Mobile beyond Microsoft's flagship Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL devices. Microsoft originally promised to release Windows 10 Mobile to older Lumia handsets by the end of the year. No here we are with less than two weeks to go before it's time to toss our 2015 calendars... Read more...
In what could be Microsoft's last Lumia launch of the year, the Redmond outfit today announced that its entry-level Lumia 550 is now available to purchase, provided you live in Europe. Granted, this moment in time doesn't hold the same weight as Microsoft's Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL launch, but hey, they can't all be flagships. There's no mistaking the Lumia 550 for a top-end handset, though for an entry-level phone, it sports a respectable spec sheet. It starts with the 4.7-inch HD (1280x720) display with what Microsoft calls a Glance Screen. It's something that's exclusive to Lumia and when... Read more...
Microsoft's been hard at work trying to unite devices from different categories under a single ecosystem, and spreading Windows 10 Mobile to the masses is one of the keys to achieving that goal. The good news for Microsoft is that at least one market research firm is projecting an uptick in smartphones running Windows 10 Mobile over the next few years. International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that Windows Phone shipments will tally 31.3 million units by the end of the year, giving Microsoft a 2.2 percent share of the smartphone OS market. By 2019, shipments will reach 43.6 million units. That's... Read more...
The mobile market is flooded with smartphone makers, many of which are focused on Android handsets. Does it really need another one? That's up for debate, though if there's one person you'd want to see make a run at building Android phones, it would be Andy Rubin, who co-founded Android before it was purchased by Google. It may happen.Known as the father of Android, word on the web is that Rubin has been talking about starting up a new phone company. Citing "people in the mobile industry," The Informant says Rubin has even tried recruiting talent for the proposed outfit, though no specific names... Read more...
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