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The tablet market is suffering, with worldwide tablet shipments enduring a second consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline, according to the IDC research group. Tablet shipments and 2-in-1 devices dropped 5.9 percent, down to 47.1 million during Q1 2015, researchers discovered.
Apple still leads the tablet market, shipping 12.6 million iPads during Q1, which captured 26.8 percent of the market. However, this is the fifth consecutive quarter of negative annual shipment growth, as Apple - just like other manufacturers - must find new ways to appeal to customers.
"The market slowdown that we witnessed last quarter is continuing to impact the tablet segment, but we see some growth areas that are starting to materialize," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director of the tablets segment at IDC. "Cellular-enabled tablets are outgrowing the rest of the market, providing an additional revenue stream for OEMs and mobile operators."
As millennials embrace in-store self-service checkouts and mobile payments, there is concern that cashiers and "retail sales clerks" will one day face a reduced number of open positions. Twenty percent of millennials would choose to use self-checkout or mobile payments and avoid interacting with cashiers, according to a survey from Retale.
Eighty-five percent of survey respondents confirm using a self-checkout lane, with the number increasing up to 91 percent among millennials. Meanwhile, 26 percent of millennials "want to be able to pay at self-service kiosks using mobile devices," though may have to wait a while. Retail stores don't tend to embrace technology rapidly, and it will be a steady rollout in the coming years.
Apple Pay has successfully attracted banks and credit card companies, retailers and consumers - and there is growing interest in mobile payments. It will take time for shoppers and retailers to adjust to newer technologies, but it seems inevitable that more solutions will become available in the future.
Samsung has had quite the launch with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge now in consumers hands, but the Galaxy Note 5 isn't here yet and its leaky ship of rumors is beginning to spill.
Project Noble is the codename of Samsung's phablet, which is rumored to feature a 4K display, up from the 1440p panel found in both the new Galaxy S6, S6 edge and the current Galaxy Note 4 handsets. But the exciting news here is that Samsung is cramming in a new processor into not just the Galaxy Note 5, but a new variant of the Galaxy S6, which comes as model number SM-G928.
Both of these smartphones will rock Samsung's custom processor, the Exynos M1, but with news that the Exynos M1 would find its way into the Galaxy S7, it would be surprising to see Samsung use it early. We would guess that Samsung would save that for the Galaxy S7, since the 8-core processor found in the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge is far more than enough right now.
Dekkers Davidson, former CEO of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), has been forced out following news that partner company Best Buy is supporting Apple Pay. MCX hasn't even released the CurrentC mobile payment flagship service, but things seem tense among senior leadership - and Brian Mooney has been selected as interim CEO.
This is a frightening issue for CurrentC, as it appears to be losing control of the mobile payment system before a launch even happens.
"CurrentC appears to be clutching at straws," said Jordan McKee, senior mobile payments analyst at 451 Research, in a statement published by the San Francisco Chronicle. "There's a lot of internal conflict and turmoil on how CurrentC should look when it's deployed. It's a difficult time for them right now."
Microsoft expects big things from its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, and stated an ambitious goal of what can be expected over the next few years: 1 billion Windows 10 devices within three years. Windows 10 will be released "this summer," but followup details were not released during the keynote.
The so-called "new generation of Windows... built for this era of more personal computing," as noted by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, has a little bit of something for everyone. Unlike the disaster that was Windows 8/8.1 and its mobile versions, Windows 10 is designed as a single platform for PCs, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.
"Within two to three years of Windows 10's release, there will be 1 billion devices running Windows 10," said Terry Myerson, VP of operating systems at Microsoft, during the Build developer conference keynote. It's a highly ambitious goal for Microsoft, which will require the company to convince consumers and business users to migrate - which could be a neat challenge.
Samsung has overtaken Apple as the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world based on volume during Q1 2015, according to the Strategy Analytics research group. The Korean company shipped 83.2 million smartphones and has 24 percent of the overall smartphone market - which is down year-over-year, but enough to recapture the top spot from Apple.
Meanwhile, Apple shipped 61.2 million smartphones and has 18 percent market share, a three percent market share increase year-over-year. Importantly, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phone models are extremely popular among consumers across the world, especially in the United States and China, which is putting more pressure on Samsung.
"Samsung continued to face challenges in Asia and elsewhere, but its global performance has stabilized sufficiently well this quarter to overtake Apple and recapture first position as the world's largest smartphone vendor by volume," said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement.
Are your Instagram followers pressuring you into getting a boyfriend? Well you can now pledge to live a lie online thanks to this selfie stick which looks like a real human arm and hand.
If you're a fan of the selfie stick (many aren't because they keep getting banned) and are also lonely, this might be for you.
There's currently no price range attached to their website just yet nor any particular plans for optional shirt accessories - one can only dream.
With Windows 10 getting closer and closer, news of the Surface Pro 4 is starting to hit. Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro 3 successor is rumored to have quite the spec sheet, including Intel's fifth-generation Core processor.
The rumored specifications have the Surface Pro 4 featuring a Broadwell processor from Intel with a fanless design "but with tiny holes for heat radiation", and "no noise" because of the fanless logic board according to Windows Central. The 12-inch display will remain, with its 2160x1440 resolution, and of course, Windows 10.
Microsoft's use of the U-series Broadwell CPU will still generate heat, but the little holes in the Surface Pro 4 should let out most of that heat, allowing for cooler operation. We should expect Microsoft to unveil the Surface Pro 4 as part of its launch during Windows 10, which flies out the window sometime in July, according to AMD.
There were 18.3 million actively connected tablets using cellular networks by the end of 2014 in the United States, a whopping 90 percent year-over-year increase, according to The NPD Group. Tablet manufacturers and wireless carriers offered competitive pricing - and aggressive marketing campaigns - mixed with discounts, subsidies, and giveaways. The effort worked, as the industry added 8.7 million users with a cellular-connected tablet.
However, it looks like the battle has only just started, with tablet activation expected to slow down to 30 percent this year and down to 10 percent next year.
"One of the major reasons we expect to see the cellular tablet connection growth slow down over the next couple of years is the cannibalization by larger smartphone screens," said Brad Akyuz, director of Connected Intelligence at NPD.
LG Electronics is unveiling its G4 flagship smartphone during launch events in New York City, London, Paris, Singapore, Istanbul and Seoul. The phone boasts numerous upgrades over the G3, but LG hopes consumers will most enjoy the new rear-facing camera that uses a powerful sensor and captures brilliant photos.
The G4 has a 5.5-inch quad HD LCD (2560 x 1440 resolution, 538 ppi), powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB eMMC flash memory, 16-megapixel main camera, and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The flagship phone has Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and runs the Google Android 5.1 Lollipop OS with the LG UX 4.0 on top.
Customers can also choose from a leather-swathed back on the G4, or a patterned traditional phone backing. The phone is immediately available in Korea and will have a gradual global rollout.