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Google Android continues to dominate the smartphone OS market, with its lead continuing to expand, now controlling 83.1 percent after Q3, according to the Gartner research group. Apple iOS (12.7 percent), Microsoft Windows Phone (3.0 percent), and BlackBerry (0.8 percent) greatly trail Android. Both Windows Phone and BlackBerry lost share, as Android is able to attract a growing number of consumers worldwide.
"Microsoft needs to keep the momentum going from the third quarter, when Windows Phone-based devices grew quarter-on-quarter thanks to the introduction of more mid-range devices," said Annette Zimmerman, Gartner research director, in a press statement.
The iOS is only available on iPhones, while Android can be found on a number of smartphones from a wide variety of manufacturers. Android is expected to keep its dominant stance as the No. 1 smartphone OS for the foreseeable future, as Google continues to develop the popular OS.
Smartphone sales to end users increased 20.3 percent during Q3, while worldwide sales of mobile phones were flat, according to the Gartner research group. Samsung continues to lead the market, with 24.4 percent market share ahead of Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo.
Of note, three of the top five smartphone makers are Chinese companies, as Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo see increased sales - both in China and globally - as the smartphone market continues to intensify.
"Over the holidays we expect record sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but we should not underestimate the Chinese vendors and local brands," said Annette Zimmermann, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "Chinese players will continue to look at expanding in overseas emerging markets. In Europe prepaid country markets and attractive lost-cost LTE phones will also offer key opportunities for these brands."
Pantech's employees have just agreed to return 20 percent of their salaries between December 2014 and March 2015 to assist the struggling Korean mobile phone manufacturer out of it's recent debt problems. In August they filed for court receivership, which is said to be the South Korean equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with them soon after deciding to sell the company.
However the bidding for Pantech has now closed and its been reported that not a soul placed a bid for the phone company. Determined to continue operation and climb out of debt, they asked their employees for a little trust - wanting a 20 percent return of their monthly pay over this 4 month period, seeing the staff take up the task.
CNET got hold of a Pantech 'source', with them claiming that "last month on November 28, we held an information session for our employees and asked for their consent and our employees decided to participate fully."
Baidu maps used on desktops, laptops and mobile devices will be powered by the Nokia Here service outside of China, with an aim to help Chinese travelers. The deal, which will impact Baidu's desktop versions, Google Android and Apple iOS mobile mapping apps, will roll out in Taiwan - with other countries to be included in the future.
"Every day, millions of people count on HERE to explore the world and discover new places whether at home or on the go," said Bruno Bourguet, SVP and Head of Sales for the HERE program, in a press statement. "Together with Baidu, a new customer for us, we want to help the growing number of Chinese tourists get the most from their travels."
Nokia wants to compete with Google, OpenStreetMap and TomTom in the online mapping department, as the company continues to revamp itself. Here is available on Microsoft Windows Phone and Android already, with an iOS release expected sometime in early 2015. Nokia has worked with Microsoft, Amazon, Garmin, Moreover and Yahoo in the past, while also offering its services to BMW, Mercedes, and other automakers.
As it gets closer to Christmas, some people might be finding it hard to find their loved one that perfect Christmas present. Well, that's what we're here for, to report to you about the new 88 Tauri smartphone from Torino Lamborghini.
The 88 Tauri will cost you only $6000, but it does feature leather finishes and "angular slabs of steel" according to The Verge. Unfortunately, the 88 Tauri smartphone isn't from the same supercar company that hits the race track, but it is a fashion brand named after the son of Ferruccio Lamborghini, who founded the car brand.
What's inside of the 88 Tauri? We have a 5-inch 1080p display, a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage, and more. It's not going to break speed records in your hands, but it'll look damn good in them.
If you're looking for a little extra protection, Shop Android are offering Samsung Galaxy S5 Amzer Pudding TPU cases for $5 - this deal is only available for today, closing in around 9 hours (at the time of this articles publication).
As claimed through their description, this case is "made from multiple thermoacrylics" and will give you features including being "highly elastic and resistant to oils." If you're looking for hard-core protection, we suggest you look somewhere else as this is a 'skin' case. However if you're careful enough with your phone and want to stop the usual bumps, scrapes and bruises from day-to-day use - this solution might be for you.
Google Android might have a significantly higher market share than Android iOS, but it appears iOS users take security and privacy a bit more seriously, according to iDrive. iOS users are more likely to keep data backed up, with 33 percent more photos and 20 percent more videos backed up when compared to Android users. Furthermore, iOS users also are 25 percent more likely to keep data secure with encryption.
"iOS and Android both have users that land between 'Does not care at all' and 'Cares deeply' on the security and privacy awareness spectrum, but it's no coincidence that iOS users seem to rank higher," noted Patrick Nielsen, Kaspersky Lab Senior Security Researcher, in a statement published by PCWorld.
Both companies are taking mobile security seriously, but must now relay its importance down to users - especially with smartphone theft and cloud security remaining significant concerns.
CES 2015 is less than one month away, and many tech companies are gearing up for yet another hectic show from Las Vegas. However, the smartphone and tablet markets are surprisingly quiet as consumers and manufacturers prepare for a barrage of product announcements and public launches.
AT&T will host a keynote and developer conference during CES 2015, but most other wireless carriers and manufacturers have remained relatively tightlipped.
It would appear some manufacturers preparing mobile products will wait until Mobile World Congress (MWC), a show dedicated specifically towards mobile products. This allows them to have more time to prepare products, while also ensuring their products won't be overwhelmed by every other consumer product highlighted in the Nevada desert.
US consumers are estimated to spend up to $3.5 billion using their smartphones, eMarketer predicted, but that still doesn't mean mobile payment systems are quite ready for primetime. To help entice smartphone owners to embrace mobile pay, offering some type of discounts and e-coupons might be able to lead to higher adoption rates - otherwise, companies are spending large amounts in developing platforms that may be largely ignored.
"No one has hit on the magic combination of features that will make people migrate their payment behavior," said Bill Maurer, dean of the University of California, Irvine's School of Social Sciences, in a statement published by CNBC. "Folks are used to the idea of pulling a court out of their wallet. That's a behavior established for over 30 to 40 years, and it's not going away overnight."
Apple Pay and CurrentC will likely help push the mobile pay industry forward at a rapid pace, but it looks like Starbucks is still the most prominent company. The popular coffee shop has 12 million customers paying using its mobile app, with 16 percent of transactions being done via mobile.
Sprint launched its "Cut Your Bill in Half" plan earlier in the month, and is reportedly "pleased with initial results," a Sprint spokesperson recently told ComputerWorld. The premise of the plan is AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers that switch to Sprint will be greeted with unlimited talk and text - and can have the same amount of data as their previous plan, but at half price.
"The new Sprint Cut Your Bill In Half plan, seems to be a hit," according to technology analyst Jeff Kagan. "It has only been in the marketplace for about a week so far, but I have been hearing strong and positive opinions from customers in the wireless marketplace. Sprint has been struggling for years trying to find their place in the changing wireless industry. Suddenly they seem to be hitting the target with this new half-off plan."
The unique offering will continue until Thursday, January 15.