The tablet market is maturing and in established markets, two consecutive quarters indicate the tablet market is slowing down - as demand in mature markets leveling off. The IDC research group dropped its tablet forecast for 2014 down to 233.1 million units - still 6.5 percent year-over-year growth rate, but significantly less than the estimated 12.1 percent growth rate.
"When we look at the global picture, it would be easy to say that the tablet market is slowing down," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. "But, when we start digging into the regional dynamics, we realize that there is still a good appetite for this product category. While mature markets like North America and Western Europe will combine for flat unit growth in 2014, the remaining regional markets will generate 12% unit growth over the same period."
Some journalists and tech enthusiasts said they don't necessarily have demand for a new tablet, as they can use evolving smartphones - and older tablets - to browse the Internet, check email, and play games.
Smartphone maker BlackBerry plans to host a media event on September 24 to launch Passport, its latest device the company hopes will compete with the Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones. Events will be held in London, Toronto and Dubai - and consumers have known about the smartphone's launch for several months now.
The Passport features a 4.5-inch LCD square screen providing 1440 x 1440 resolution, and features a QWERTY keyboard. The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and an Adreno 330 GPU.
"In September, we will host an event to showcase our device portfolio for the [fiscal year 2015]," said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO, during a June earnings call. "We're launching a brand-new device called Passport in September in London. Most of the information has been leaked to websites, so you guys should go ahead and check that out. This will follow by the Classic coming out in November."
Apple says that hackers did not breach its iCloud and Find My Phone services to steal nude photographs of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco, and others. It might be a clever spin, as Apple didn't necessarily deny that the images originated from iCloud or the Find My iPhone apps.
It's possible the images were taken from iCloud backups instead of iCloud photos, though some of the images came from non-Apple smartphones.
"None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud," Apple said in a recently released statement. "We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."
With Marvel storming the barn with the their stable of feature films, including this years 'Guardians of the Galaxy' grossing over $554m worldwide, DC comics have been looking on enviously. But with the forthcoming 'Batman V Superman' currently filming in Detroit and studio plans to release nine features between 2016 and 2020, it looks like their future plans might make them a force to be reckoned with.
Now, thanks to a bunch of domain name registrations registered by Warner Bros. corporation, we have our first hints at what those other films might be, and they include characters such as Wonder Woman, Shazam, Aquaman, and what no doubt Warner hopes will be their rival version of 'The Avengers'; Justice League.
Whilst none of these titles have yet been dated, the next DC Comics release; 'Batman V Superman' hits cinemas on March 25, 2016.
Microsoft is appealing a ruling and doesn't plan to turn over customer emails that are stored overseas, after the order was lifted by Judge Loretta Preska, from the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, might lead to the company being found in contempt. The judge previously supported the feds with a ruling in late July, but gave Microsoft time to appeal, and both sides have until September 5 to determine how to move forward.
Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith noted that the company plans to protect user privacy both in the United States and overseas. It's a confusing legal case, especially considering Microsoft keeps data store overseas, but legal experts previously said the data is under the control of a company based in the U.S. - and that's why the emails must be turned over.
"Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal," a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters in an interview. "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen."
Storage giant Seagate has finalized the acquisition of LSI's Accelerated Solutions Division (ASD) and Avago's Flash Components Division (FCD). As the storage industry continues to evolve, Seagate wants to continue to expand its flash storage abilities. Seagate hopes to use the LSI ASD business unit's experience in PCIe flash products to help grow its own market share moving forward.
"There is a growing opportunity for mobile and enterprise flash-based storage solutions, which is why we're excited about this strategic technology acquisition," said Steve Luczo, Seagate CEO, in a press statement. "Integrating LSI's Enterprise PCIe flash and SSD controller products, and its engineering capabilities into Seagate's leading storage technology portfolio and product development will expand our ability to meet a broader base of customers' needs and drive new revenue opportunities."
The storage industry has been extremely competitive - and relatively volatile over the past few years - with a number of high-profile acquisitions. Seagate has remained competitive against EMC, Western Digital, and other companies in the consumer and enterprise markets.
Home Depot is now working with banks and law enforcement to investigate a data breach that led cybercriminals to steal customer payment information, including debit and credit card data. The Home Depot breach could have started in April or May, and reportedly affected a large number of customers. The data made its way to an underground forum and was called "American Sanctions," reportedly in response to further U.S. and European sanctions against Russia.
"Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers," said Paula Drake, Home Depot spokesperson.
Consumers are urged to use cash or credit card payments in retail stores - debit card payments can be risky, forcing shoppers to closely track their bank statements. Hackers taking a political stance, trying to retaliate against the U.S. for further sanctions in a tense situation between Russia and the Ukraine, adds another layer of chaos to data breaches.
A Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering has spearheaded research of a new app, Estar, able to reveal how quickly smartphone apps will drain a smartphone's battery. The app also provides more energy-efficient apps for users to choose from.
"While users are frustrated by the limited battery life, they often do not know which apps drain batteries the quickest, and as a result don't know what to do about it," said Y Charlie Hu, Estar app creator, in an interview with the media. "We created the free Estar app specifically to empower smartphone users to extend their smartphone battery life by exposing energy footprints of all the popular apps in the app market."
The Estar app is available to download via Google Play for free, and utilizes a five-star energy rating for apps, based on how fast a smartphone's battery will be drained.
Microsoft is already looking ahead to Windows 9, but still hopes its struggling Windows 8 operating system will replace older versions. Windows 8 accounted for 6.28 percent market share while Windows 8.1 had 7.09 percent market share in August, according to Web analytics company Net Applications.
Meanwhile, Windows 7 still leads with 51.21 percent market share, and Windows XP - the recently retired OS - still accounts for 23.89 percent market share, as it continues to slide. Despite a large marketing campaign, including pushing its value-added resellers (VARs) to sell Windows 8/8.1-powered devices, Microsoft has struggled to entice users to the touch-centric OS.
Microsoft "Threshold," which will be Windows 9, is expected to launch in preview mode at the end of September - and a full release is scheduled for April 2015. The software company will include a Start menu and has made changes to try to woo users away from Windows 7.
The FBI is now investigating the celebrity hacker that posted numerous photos of celebrities on the Internet over the weekend. Many of the images, originally posted on 4chan and later shared on Reddit, Twitter and Imgur, featured celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Jenny McCarthy, and Mary Winstead.
Here is what the FBI noted: "The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter," said Laura Eimiller, FBI spokesperson, in a statement. "Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."
Apple also is investigating the incident, as many of the images were reportedly stored online using its iCloud service.