TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Last year was a massive year for smartphones, with over one billion smartphones shipped last year. The International Data Corporation has some data that shows that 1,004.2 million smartphones were shipped last year.
This is an increase of 38.4% from last year, where 725.3 million smartphones were shipped. Of those 1 billion smartphones shipped, Samsung held the lions share with 313.9 million handsets, increasing its market share from 30.3% to 31.3%. Apple took second place with 153.4 million iPhones shipped over the course of 12 months.
Apple's market share slipped however, from 18.7% to 15.3%, even with it posting a record number of iPhones in the last quarter. Huawei, LG, and Lenovo did not mind though, as they scooped up that lost market share. Huawei shipped 48.8 million, LG shipped 47.4 million, and Lenovo pushed out an impressive 45.5 million smartphones in the quarter.
Google and Samsung have just shown how a certain fruit logo company the way it's done in the patent game, by signing a massive deal to license their patent portfolios to one another.
The new deal sees existing intellectual property covered, as well as patents filed over the next ten years.Samsung's Seungho Ahn says "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes". Google's Allen Lo chimed in with "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation".
This is how the industry should be acting, with two of the biggest players cooperating with one another. Samsung is a massive partner for Google, but could be a potential competitor with Tizen on the horizon. Google on the other hand, is simply unstoppable right now with the amount of hardware and services it provides to the world.
After some major slumps in revenue, Apple is back, bigger than ever for its Q1 2014. Revenue reached $57.6 billion, setting a new quarterly record for the company, with profits reaching a nice $13.1 billion.
Device sales are where it gets interesting, with iPhone sales bursting through the 50 million mark - the first time it has ever done so in a quarter. iPad sales also reached a new record, selling over 26 million units. The iPod didn't see the same success, with sales dropping to 6 million, down from 12.7 million at the same time last year.
Apple has seen its share price completely erode from 2012 when we saw it coming - from $700 down to under $400 throughout 2013. At the moment, it is half way back sitting at around $550. Today's earnings report should help Apple claw back some of that much needed increase in stock prices.
BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem was recently arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, accused of funneling funds for the now defunct Silk Road website. Specifically, Shrem and his accused partner, Robert Faiella, allegedly sold more than $1 million in Bitcoin to Silk Road users, with the funds later used to purchase drugs and other illegal goods.
"The charges announced today depict law enforcement's commitment to identifying those who promote the sale of illegal drugs throughout the world," said James Hunt, DEA spokesperson, in a statement. "Hiding behind their computers, both defendants are charged with knowingly contributing to and facilitating anonymous drug sales, earning substantial profits along the way."
Shrem also used Silk Road to order marijuana brownie edibles, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Internal Revenue Service lending a hand in the investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
This is a major blow to the Bitcoin community, as Shrem has traveled the world to promote the use of Bitcoins for consumers and businesses alike. As federal investigators continue to look for financial backers and supporters of the Silk Road operation, additional high-profile arrests are possible later down the road.
Google has apparently been in a spending mood lately and has been buying up companies that could turn the search giant into one of the largest defense contractors in history. Just a few months ago, we saw Google purchase Boston Dynamics, a company that is responsible for developing the four-legged robotic hell hounds that can run at highway speeds while carrying automated weapons.
Today word is spreading around the internet of yet another Google acquisition involving intelligent technology. Google has reportedly purchased Deepmind, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence based out of London, England. The purchase is worth a reported $400 million USD, although that figure has not officially been confirmed yet. Deepmind's website says that it works on developing "general purpose" learning algorithms, something that could be used to further Google's research into automated vehicles, Android, or even some of its robots at Boston Dynamics.
It seems like more and more retailers are jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon every day with the TigerDirect being the latest to start accepting the cryptocurrency. TigerDirect now allows payment via Bitcoins through the payment processor, BitPay, and can be used to purchase more than 200,000 items that TigerDirect stocks.
TigerDirect says that both its desktop and mobile versions of the site accept the virtual currency, and has even listed a handy getting started guide to Bitcoin payments and even Bitcoin mining at the source link provided below. "With individuals building their own high-powered PCs with parts offered on our site to mine Bitcoins, it's a logical fit." Steven Leeds, TigerDirect's marketing chief said in the company's announcement.
This morning HP announced that it has sealed a deal in which Qualcomm will purchase an extensive mobile patent portfolio that includes patents associated with Palm, HP's iPAQ, and Bitfone. In total HP will sell more than 1,400 patents to Qualcomm for an undisclosed sum.
Qualcomm makes about 32-percent of its annual revenue from licensing patents it owns, and this portfolio acquisition from HP will certainly help boost those revenues to an even higher percentage in 2014. In a statement Qualcomm said that the patents include "technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques" and will "enable the company to offer even more value to current and future licensees."
HP says that it will retain a license to all the patents it sold as part of the deal, and it will continue to develop new mobile devices. Unfortunately, no word was given on how this affects LG who purchased WebOS' source code last year, but did not pick up the patent that now belongs to Qualcomm. Qualcomm and HP have a good relationship so I expect things will continue on as normal.
What are Google's plans with digital currency, Bitcoin? Nothing it seems, with the Mountain View-based giant talking to The Next Web, confirming the news that it doesn't have any immediate plans to use Bitcoin.
A Google spokesperson told TNW: "As we continue to work on Google Wallet, we're grateful for a very wide range of suggestions. While we're keen to actively engage with Wallet users to help inform and shape the product, there's no change to our position: we have no current plans regarding Bitcoin".
Google was forced to come out and talk about it after a recent Reddit thread that tackled the digital currency issue, after a Reddit thread was titled "Google confirms their payments team is working to incorporate bitcoin". The user who posted the thread said he had e-mailed Google's Senior Vice President of Social, Vic Gundotra, asking him if the company was going to support Bitcoin.
Gundotra then allegedly forward the email to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google Wallet's Senior VP, who replied with: "We are working in the payments team to figure out how to incorporate bitcoin into our plans".
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has made quite the prediction in the Gates Foundation's annual letter. Gates has said that there will be "almost no poor countries by 2035."
The Gates Foundation is expected to give away the entire Gates fortune of around $67 billion once the couple has been dead for over 20 years, has published a letter for each of the last dive years, detailing global philanthropic progress. Gates talked with Forbes Magazine's Editor, Randall Lane, where he said there will soon be a point where "you'll have to give a reason why a country is poor."
Gates wrote: "I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction. By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer. It will be a remarkable achievement. When I was born, most countries in the world were poor. In the next two decades, desperately poor countries will become the exception rather than the rule. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty. The idea that this will happen within my lifetime is simply amazing to me."
The cash-strapped Jamaican bobsleigh team is in dire need of funds to reach the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, and it looks like they might get there thanks to the crypto-currency, dogecoin.
A fundraising campaign was put together following news over the weekend that Team Jamaica had qualified for the Winter Olympics for the first time since 2002. Winston Watt, who leads Team Jamaica, spent his own money transporting the team to training sessions, but didn't have enough funds to make it to Russia.
Watt then opened a PayPal account, hoping to raise the $40,000 or so required to attend. Dogecoin founders, Liam Butler, Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, all happen to be fans of the Jamaican bobsleigh team, with Butler telling the Guardian: "As someone who grew up in the '90s, Cool Runnings was the ultimate feel-good movie about underdogs out of their element achieving their dreams. When I was about seven years old, my best friend and I had a billy-cart that his dad built. When we would start our run down his driveway, we would shout out the catchphrase from the movie: 'Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time!"