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Fujitsu has developed a new iris authentication biometrics system, which the Japanese company has built into a prototype smartphone. The mobile device is unlocked simply when a user looks into the smartphone's screen, where the iris is read instantaneously. Fujitsu's system uses a custom compact infrared LED and infrared camera paired with biometric-authentication software to scan a person's iris.
Traditional security on smartphones begins with a password/PIN code or fingerprint scan, but the use of iris scanning provides new security opportunities. Fujitsu claims its technology is easy to use and difficult to fake, providing a more secure solution.
There is more focus on keeping smartphones secure, as users stay logged into email, social media accounts, and access mobile banking apps.
There were more than 1 billion smartphones sold worldwide in 2014, according to the Gartner research group. Apple topped the list with 20.4 Q4 market share, ahead of Samsung (19.9 percent), Lenovo (6.6 percent), Huawei (5.7 percent), and Xiaomi (5.1 percent). Apple sold 74.8 million units in Q4, with the successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.
Samsung continued to lose market share, dropping 10 percentage points during Q4 2014, according to Gartner. The company is facing increased pressure from Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi, with all three companies expanding sales efforts - with Lenovo and Huawei expected to increase sales and marketing efforts in the United States.
"With Apple dominating the premium phone market and the Chinese vendors increasingly offering quality hardware at lower prices, it is through a solid ecosystem of apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices that Samsung can secure more loyalty and longer-term differentiation at the high-end of the market," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
Huawei, the No. 2 largest smartphone manufacturer in China, plans to begin increased sales and marketing efforts in the United States. The company wants to focus on promoting smartphones and wearable devices, including sports team sponsorships, advertising and online promotion of its products to US consumers.
To win over US consumers, Huawei will launch cheaper low-end phones and higher-end smartphones, while creating partnerships with US wireless carriers - and major retailers. Analysts are curious to see if carriers and e-tailers will be reluctant to partner with Huawei, though there is time for relationships to be nurtured.
Just two years ago, the US said Huawei was a national security threat - a lesser concern following increased knowledge of US surveillance operations. However, Huawei faces a bigger battle trying to compete with Apple and Samsung in the United States, as both companies aren't willing to give up market share without a major fight.
MWC 2015 - It was rumored weeks before Mobile World Congress, but Sony made its Xperia Z4 Tablet official during the show, and it was one of the highlights of the Barcelona-based event.
Our man on the ground, Johannes Knapp, had some hands-on time with the new slate, as you can see in the video above. The new Xperia Z4 Tablet features a beautiful 10-inch 2560x1600 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor (8-core CPU), 3GB of RAM, is completely waterproof and is just 6.1mm thin and weighs in at only 390g.
MWC 2015 - Lenovo announced its VIBE Shot recently, which the company describes as a '2-in-1 camera smartphone' that is meant to help blend the worlds of smartphones and point-and-click cameras.
The way the VIBE Shot does this is by having buttons on the sides of the smartphone, like a point-and-click camera would. We have a full-frame 16:9 16-megapixel low-ligiht sensor, and tri-color flash, too. There's a 5-inch 1080p display on the front, and inside we have a Snapdragon 615 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
There's a 2900mAh battery, LTE Cat-4 and Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Lenovo VIBE Shot. All of this will arrive in a dual SIM offering, weighing in at 145g and just 7.3mm thin. A microSD card slot is provided for expanding upon the 32GB of on-board storage.
Lenovo will make the VIBE Shot available in three colors: red, white and grey. We should see it released into Lenovo's regular markets stating in June for $349.
MWC 2015 - Early benchmarks have shown that Samsung's new Exynos processor in the new Galaxy S6 is just completely smashing the competition, even against the likes of the Snapdragon 810-powered HTC One M9 smartphone.
In a video captured at MWC, the Exynos processor in the new Samsung flagship handset is reaching around 70,000 in AnTuTu benchmark. This might not sound like much if you don't benchmark smartphones, but with most flagship handsets from 2014 scoring around 40,000 - 50,000, this is big news. Even the HTC One M9 smartphone scores 55,000 and is powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.
These handsets are being tested on the show floor, so we might not be seeing final software from HTC or Samsung just yet. But early numbers are showing that Samsung has quite the powerhouse processor in its Exynos SoC.
MWC 2015 - Our man on the ground at Mobile World Congress, Johannes Knapp, scored some hands-on time with the Galaxy S6 from Samsung earlier today, but now we have some time with the gorgeous HTC One M9 smartphone.
If you haven't read up on the One M9 yet, HTC has provided it with a 5-inch 1080p display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor (an 8-core CPU), 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage expandable through microSD, a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera which is backed up by the UltraPixel front-facing snapper.
BlackBerry is transitioning focus from smartphone hardware more towards software, building business partnerships with Apple and Google. The struggling manufacturer wants to develop business applications able to run on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It's not a surprise BlackBerry wants to create enterprise products for other platforms, after its hardware efforts slid over the past few years.
"I have a lot of software assets that are really good," said BlackBerry CEO John Chen, when speaking with Bloomberg. "We're going to build a business on putting it on other peoples' devices. As our market share in hardware is shrinking, I think there's a much bigger opportunity to make our software and package it correctly to be available on cross platforms."
Since becoming CEO in November 2013, Chen has looked for strategies to expand BlackBerry's product offerings. The company's smartphone market share has dropped below 1 percent, as Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers fight for control.
MWC 2015 - Something interesting has been announced at MWC 2015, with Qualcomm and Cyanogen announcing a new partnership that will see Qualcomm baking Cyanogen OS onto its upcoming Reference Design products that will be announced next month.
The new Reference Design program will see Qualcomm providing smaller companies with smartphone templates, allowing them to release their own brand. Cyanogen OS being an open source version of Android allows Qualcomm to replace its own builds, which normally didn't have that great of a feature set.
Cyanogen hopes that the new look for its company "captures our commitment to openness". We will report on the new Reference Design products from Qualcomm with Cyanogen OS as it happens.
MWC 2015 - We knew it was coming, but Sony has made the Xperia Z4 Tablet official at MWC 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. The new Xperia Z4 Tablet is one of the most powerful slates on the market, and some.
We have a 10.1-inch 2K display (2560x1600) giving us a pixel density of 299PPI, but inside we find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor (an 8-core 64-bit CPU) at 2GHz. There's 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage which is expandable through microSD right up to 128GB. Sony will be offering the new Xperia Z4 Tablet as a Wi-Fi only tablet, as well as an LTE-capable model.
On the back we have an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, backed up by a 5.1-megapixel selfie shooter with a wide-angle lens. Sony has crammed a 6000mAh battery inside of the Xperia Z4 Tablet which the company says is good for around 17 hours of video playback. Out of the box we will have Google's latest Android 5.0 Lollipop.