The tablet market has seen massive deceleration this year, and while year-over-year growth still accounted for 7.2 percent, the figure is down from 52.5 percent in 2013, according to the IDC research group. There will be 235.7 million tablets shipped in 2014, and is a clear indicator consumers need full functionality of PCs and smartphones.
Android has seen 16 percent year-over-year tablet market growth, now amounting for 67.7 percent of the market - Apple iOS is the No. 2 spot, but struggled, losing 12.7 percent year-over-year. Microsoft Windows saw 67.3 percent year-over-year and now has 4.6 percent control of the tablet market.
"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," said Ryan Reith, IDC Program Director. "In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."
Microsoft doesn't want Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamers to wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to begin shopping for Christmas. The pre-Black Friday offering is available now until Monday, December 1.
Game titles ranging from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, Forza Motorsport 5, and Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition are available, along with numerous other game titles.
Xbox 360 and Xbox One game console deals kick into effect later this week, along with controllers, Xbox Live memberships, and Xbox Video deals launching soon.
AMD is reportedly stepping away from the tablet chip market as they enter into yet another restructuring period. AMD has struggled financially over the last several years, and the low-margin tablet market isn't likely to provide them much relief. Tablet sales are declining, and the market is awash in Apple and economically-priced Chinese tablets. The beleaguered AMD is changing their focus to the low-wattage CPU space and custom chips for their customers, such as the Microsoft XBOX and the Sony PlayStation 4.
These two custom projects are projected to provide AMD with billion in sales alone, and they indicate that other custom projects are in the works. AMD is not releasing a new tablet chip this year, instead staying with their Mullins chip for the entirety of next year. AMD does not provide chip roadmaps more than a year out, so it is hard to determine if they will ever offer a new line of their currently unsuccessful tablet processors. Intel has also recently took a drubbing in the tablet PC market, as outlined during their recent investor conference, and has shifted priorities as they move forward.
Intel is planning to release diminutive thumb-sized computers next year. These Small PC's are fanless designs that are roughly the size of a USB thumb drive, and Intel actually demonstrated one of the devices at their recent investor conference. Intel didn't speak to the actual performance of the unit, but we do know that some Atom processors are small enough to fit into such devices.
The market for these small computers is actually in the tens of millions of devices per year, and there are already competing designs on the market featuring ARM processors and the Android operating system. By expanding x86 computing ability into this small form factor it opens up new potential use-cases. This class of tiny compute devices rarely have much storage, if any at all, onboard. Intel might be planning on integrating their new 3D NAND, which can pack up to 1TB of storage into a 2mm package, into the new devices. This would provide Intel a massive advantage over competing devices.
Sony received harsh criticism from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and it looks like some PlayStation Vita gamers will receive money back. Sony promised "game-changing" features that simply weren't true, so the FTC made the Japanese electronics company stop making those claims.
Also in the agreement, Sony will provide gamers with a $25 refund - or $50 games voucher - and put Sony, its ad agency Deutsch LA, and other companies on notice that it is watching.
The problem specifically mentioned the Vita "cross-platform" gaming features so gamers can link their PlayStation 3 or 4 game console to the Vita - being able to pause game play on the Vita and resume while using a console.
3D printing is gaining popularity in manufacturing and for home users, but its application is pretty limited. Applying 3D printing technology to semiconductors could be a whole new way of revolutionizing products we use every day. A team of researchers at Princeton University has created Quantum Dot LEDs with a 3D printer.
This opens the door for numerous advances, such as weaving small devices into fabrics or even printing them on surfaces. This can eventually be used for smart contact lenses and many medical applications.
Google has announced they will make a 1Gbps internet package available in Austin, Texas, for only $70 per month. Users will pay a one-time construction fee of $300, but that fee can be waived if customers sign up for a one-year contract. The plan also includes a massive 1TB of free cloud storage with other Google services, such as Gmail, Google+ photos, and Google Drive.
There is no announced release date of the new plan, as Google is still installing the 1000 miles of fiber for their new network. Google Fiber is already available in several ares, and there are plans for more expansion as the year progresses.
After details of the sophisticated Regin malware was published online, there was concern that security companies didn't do enough to protect Internet users from the threat. Since it was released years ago, it took some time before Symantec reportedly identified - and included it in detection systems in December 2013.
However, it would appear Symantec identified Regin sometime in 2010 and it was labelled a Trojan in 2011, while F-Secure identified parts of the malware in 2009, with Microsoft learning of it in 2010.
"Symantec has been monitoring Regin for some time," Symantec recently told Forbes. "However, it has taken some time to gather all necessary components so that we can build a good understanding of the threat. We have also been monitoring for any further activity and attacks. Since no further information has come to light we have made the decision to release our findings publicly."
Two men were arrested for their role in pirating the Expendables 3 movie, with officials from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). The US release date for the movie was August 15, but copies of Expendables 3 were found online as early as July 25.
The two suspects, 36 and 33 years of age, reportedly uploaded the high-quality film after stealing it from a cloud-based storage system. Lionsgate Films said there was severe financial impact by the movie being related so early online, saying it cost millions of dollars in potential lost revenue.
"Today's operation shows you the significant impact intellectual property crime has on our creative industries, with millions of pounds being lost as a result of criminal actions," said Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott, Head of PIPCU. "The public need to be aware that piracy is not a victimless crime. By downloading illegal music, film, TV and books, not only are you exposing your own computer to the risk of viruses and malware, but you are also putting hardworking people's livelihoods at risk as piracy threatens the security of thousands of jobs in the UK's creative industries."
Japanese electronics company Sony will try to cut costs by reducing TV and smartphone product lineups, and spend more in its PlayStation game console line and invest more in image sensors. Sony wants to push its PlayStation video game division, hoping to ramp up sales up to $13.6 billion, as the console industry continues to heat up.
We're not aiming for size or market share but better profits," said Hiroki Totoki, Sony's chief of mobile, recently noted in an investor conference. Sony will sacrifice sales while trying to ensure its TV and smartphone businesses are able to turn a profit.
The electronics company has struggled - especially as the Japanese and US economies suffered in recent years - but is taking a closer look at its financials.