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LG Electronics has more to celebrate because its mobile electronics business has done extremely well, as the forecast-beating quarterly results makes smartphone profitability even more likely. The company shipped 14.5 million smartphones during its most recent financial quarter, with profits rising 165 percent up to $399.8 million.
Apple (41 percent) and Samsung (27.7 percent) lead the market over LG (6.5 percent), Motorola (6.3 percent), and HTC (5.3 percent), according to comScore MobiLens figures ending January 2014. Although Apple and Samsung have a strong grasp on the market, LG has shown great promise in developing new technologies to cater to North American customers.
"We don't expect (mobile) profit to turn negative like last year," said Jung Do-hyun, LG Electronics Chief Financial Officer, in a statement. "We expect further improvement."
Amazon's Fire smartphone has been on the market for a short while and it has finally been granted the teardown treatment by iFixit. Once the smartphone was pried open, we were able to see what hardware the device used for the first time.
Under the skin, Amazon's Fire smartphone is using chips from Qualcomm, NXP Semiconductors NV, and Samsung Electronics. Other hardware inside the smartphone comes from Synaptics Inc and Skyworks Solutions. The main processor inside the phone is a Snapdragon 800.
One of the major features of this smartphone is the four cameras that are designed to track the user's head. The smartphone also has the ability to take a photo of just about any product and then take the user to that product on Amazon. Samsung makes the NAND storage inside the Fire smartphone and the 2GB of DRAM as well.
Apple is still reportedly preparing two next-gen iPhones, with a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version. It looks like we could see the 4.7-inch version launched first, with the larger 5.5-inch model to be launched several months later. Why? Well, there's a good reason for that, in Apple's eyes anyway.
DigiTimes is behind the new report, citing their usual anonymous supply chain sources, where they said: "The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources". There are still conflicting rumors that Apple will launch both new iPhones at the same time, but I think we will see a staggered release.
Apple won't want to cannibalize its own sales, and it knows that releasing two new bigger iPhones at the same time will do just that. There are a lot of people who have been waiting for a 'bigger iPhone' and being torn between two models won't help. One will sell more than the other - I'm banking on the 4.7-inch version - which will allow Apple to do a Samsung. Samsung launches a Galaxy Note around six months after its flagship Galaxy S smartphone, where Apple could start doing the same thing - releasing the 4.7-inch version, waiting six months to launch the bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 6.
Microsoft has rolled out a new smartphone in the Lumia range called the Lumia 530. The smartphone is set to land in Europe next month and will sell for €85 before taxes and subsidies. Odds are the cheap device will be free on certain tariffs.
The smartphone has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and runs Windows Phone 8.1. Other hardware features include a 5MP camera, 4-inch screen, and interchangeable colored shells.
The 4-inch screen has a native resolution of 854 x 480 and Microsoft will offer dual and single SIM versions of the smartphone. Microsoft has also unveiled a new mobile speaker along with the phone called the Bang by Coloud designed to plug in with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Its internal battery is good for eight hours of playback.
Apple posted its quarterly profits this week and shed a bit of light on sales for its popular iPad and iPhone devices. While iPhone sales are up, sales of iPad tablets are slowing with sales slumping to 13.3 million units during the quarter, a 9% decline.
This marks the second quarter in a row where sales of the iPad have been on the decline. CEO Tim Cook says that the key to reviving iPad sales is to get more of the tablets into the business world. Cook notes that Apple has 76% of the commercial market with its products, but tablets are used less often in the commercial setting than laptops.
Apple admits that sales for the iPad last quarter were less than some analysts predicted, but says that sales were in line with its own predictions. "We still feel the category as a whole is in its early days and there is significant innovation that can be brought to the iPad and we plan on doing that," Cook said.
The Chinese government plans to launch a crackdown on mobile pornography and obscene content, as part of its "clean the Internet" campaign. Critics of the ban say it's nothing more than the Communist Party trying to limit anti-government discontent.
China is well known for restricting what its population of 632 million Internet users can access - and with 83 percent relying on smartphones for Web access - it's not surprising to hear the crackdown will focus on mobile apps. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said the campaign will first start with mobile app companies encouraged to remove inappropriate content on their own.
The actual effectiveness of these types of campaigns remains unknown, as tech savvy users will share ways to easily circumvent the ban. Furthermore, the use of WeChat and other mobile messaging apps make it even easier to share "lewd" content, as the number of social networking and messaging apps in China increases.
Xiaomi is a Chinese smartphone marker that also has device like tablets and wearables to its credit. The company has unveiled two of its latest products including the Android Mi 4 smartphone and a wearable wristband. The smartphone has a 5-inch screen promising 17% higher resolution than the iPhone.
The wristband is an accessory for the phone that acts as an identifier to unlock the smartphone without a password. The smartphone has a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor with four cores. Internal storage is 16GB or 64GB depending on the version and the phone has 3GB of RAM.
The 5-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and power for the device comes from a 3080 mAh internal battery. Android is the OS with the Xiaomi MIUI skin on top. The smartphone will hit China first priced at the equivalent of $322 in the US.
For something that we've been teasing for a little while now, NVIDIA has just taken the official wrap off of its Shield Tablet. We now have confirmed specs, with the new device being an 8-inch tablet featuring the slightly higher than Full HD resolution of 1920x1200.
The new Shield Tablet is powered by the company's more than impressive Tegra K1 processor, is compatible with the new Shield wireless controller, something that will let you get your game-streaming fun on. This will allow you to run your games remotely from your PC at home. With its mini-HDMI connection, you can throw up 1080p content to the Full HD TV near you.
Because it's an Android-based device, you get the best of both world's - the Android games, as well as PC games. This is something most other devices don't even begin to offer, especially at $299. NVIDIA is doubling down with the Shield Tablet, by turning the Shield brand into a product family. The new NVIDIA Shield Tablet is also the first global launch that the company has taken on. The new Shield Tablet starts off with the Wi-Fi-only 16GB version priced at $299. The 32GB model with LTE capabilities is priced at $100 more, at $399.
China is the most populous country in the world with a huge number of people residing inside the country. Some new stats from the semi-official China Internet Network Information Center have been released that looks at how many people in the country use a smartphone.
According to the stats, China has more people using smartphones than the population of the US. In all, China has 632 million internet users as of the end of June. That means that China has a bit more than twice as many people using smartphones than the US has population.
The growth rate in 2014 for smartphone users in China has reached 14 million users. To put that number in perspective 14 million is about the same amount of people who live in New York City, LA, and Chicago combined. In China 83% of internet, using citizens access the internet via their phone, which is about 527 million people.
According to sources of The Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered a huge number of next generation iPhones. The Journal's sources have said that the company has ordered a huge 70 to 80 million units, with this order being split between the two screen sizes.
Remember that we should have both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 arriving, with the 4.7-inch being teased the most so far. If we put these figures up against the order that Apple placed for the iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple ordered between 50-60 million. The iPhone 5S was met with big demand, which saw Apple experiencing shortages for consumers.
Things have changed in the past year for Apple, with the company signing a rather large deal with China Mobile, which has over 790 million subscribers on its network. We should expect Apple to bake in considerable changes into the iPhone 6, in both the software and hardware departments.