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Jul 08
Social networking/M2M to play key role in Internet of...

A new study from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) finds that integration with social networks will add significant value to enterprises’ M2M strategies in the coming years.

Initially, this trend will concern companies’ internal social channels, such as Salesforce.com’s Chatter, which is forecasted to be actively used by 60,000 enterprises at end-2013. Going forward, the emphasis will shift towards Facebook and other consumer-facing networks, which ABI Research forecasts to cover 2.9 billion users by end-2018.

"There’s an intriguing intersection developing around social networks and M2M services," says senior analyst Aapo Markkanen. "At this stage the activity is nascent, but over the next five years we expect the relationship between the two to become increasingly synergistic. The innovations it results in will add a strong social ingredient to the decade’s true megatrend: the Internet of...

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Jul 05
Americans not happy with brands that have poor...

SOASTA (www.soasta.com), which specializes in cloud and mobile testing,has announced the findings of its "2013 Website and Mobile App Survey." Conducted online by Harris Interactive, the SOASTA survey questioned 2,046 American adults. 

The survey found that almost nine out of 10 Americans associate negative feelings with brands that have poorly performing websites and mobile apps (88%), and have a negative reaction when a website is too slow (83%). 
 
"Just as brick-and-mortar businesses invest heavily in their store front to represent their brand image, our research shows that ecommerce retailers need to create a similar high quality online experience in keeping with the brand perception," says Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO.  "If companies want to remain competitive in the modern landscape, they need their web and mobile websites to engage the user and work as expected.  Those that are creating a seamless...

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Jul 03
Shipments of NFC-enabled handsets grew 300% in 2012

According to a new research report by Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), global sales of handsets featuring Near Field Communication (NFC) grew 300% in 2012 to reach 140 million units. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.2%, annual shipments are forecasted to reach 1 billion units by 2017.

Wider adoption of NFC in mobile phones began in 2011 and accelerated in 2012 when the top 10 handset vendors released nearly 100 NFC-enabled models. NFC technology enables numerous applications such as information exchange, device pairing for establishing Bluetooth or WLAN connections, access control, electronic ticketing and secure contactless payments.

However, Berg Insight anticipates that it will take some time before the stakeholders agree on business models for payment networks and access to secure elements that store the sensitive user information in NFC-enabled handsets. Once developers...

| Read more »
Jul 02
DAS is the solution of choice for large corporations

There is a fierce battle raging between Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), Wi-Fi, and licensed small cells for coverage and capacity in enterprise wireless systems, according to ABI Research (www.abirsearch.com).

Each type of system has its strengths and weaknesses with Active DAS systems the choice for large corporations which we define as over 100,000 square feet and with more than 100 employees. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have the choice between Wi-Fi and small cells. There are two business models for DAS in large corporations: neutral-host or carrier-led.

"Neutral hosts are increasingly popular for multitenant situations since multicarrier DAS systems can add value with either carrier-led, venue-led or third party business models," says Nick Marshall, principal analyst, ABI Research.

Today, adding Wi-Fi is an attractive option for businesses since these systems are probably...

| Read more »
Jul 01
Smartphones to account for about half of 802.11ac, 802...

The growth of 802.11ac and 802.11ad will occur in very different ways. 802.11ac will explode into devices, including smartphones, from the start while 802.11ad will see a more modest and staggered growth, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

802.11ac is being pushed into smartphones by key carriers’ device requirements that are in sync with 802.11ac hotspot plans for more robust Wi-Fi offloading.

"The push towards 11ac adoption overpowers the minor additional cost of dual-band 802.11n/802.11ac chipsets that will be used in smartphones," says research director Philip Solis. "Perhaps surprising even to industry insiders, we will likely see 2X2 802.11ac implementations in smartphones in a few years."

The proportion of various 802.11ac-enabled products will remain relatively consistent from 2013 to 2018, with smartphones making up 40% of those in 2013 and 46% in 2018, where over 3.5...

| Read more »
Jun 28
Demand for mobility will boost global Wi-Fi hotspots...

Worldwide carrier Wi-Fi deployments reached a total 4.9 million hotspots in 2012, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"Despite the successful adoption of 3G and 4G mobile data services, the number of Wi-Fi Hotspots has continued to proliferate and are anticipated to surpass 6.3 million by the end of 2013," comments industry analyst, Khin Sandi Lynn. The number includes Wi-Fi hotspots deployed by fixed-line and mobile carriers as well as third-party operators (e.g., Boingo, iPass, etc).

Wi-Fi has very much become a complement to 3G and 4G services and is now a mainstay of connectivity for the majority of smartphone, tablet, and laptop users because it is often free in many public Wi-Fi locations. This is particularly the case when a mobile user is roaming - Wi-Fi networks can help the user save a significant amount on mobile data roaming charges.

As mobility is increasingly...

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Jun 27
Smart connected devices in emerging markets to surpass...

According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) global shipments of smart connected devices (PCs, tablets, and smartphones) are expected to surpass 1.7 billion units by 2014 with roughly one billion units delivered to emerging markets.

Within the emerging markets, the BRIC countries -- China, India, Brazil, and Russia -- are expected to generate shipments of 662 million units with a shipment value of more than US$206 billion. More than 650 million units are forecast to be shipped to developed markets, with the United States, UK, and Japan capturing more than 400 million units with a shipment value of $204 billion.

With the BRIC countries expected to surpass the total shipments to developed markets by 2014, it is clear that demand for smart connected devices is quickly shifting from developed to emerging markets. The emerging markets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17...

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Jun 26
Mobile phone sales will hit 1.86 billion in 2013

Over 6.6 billion mobile phones will be in use by the end of 2017, according to CCS Insight's latest market forecast (www.ccsinsight.com). Two-thirds of them will be smartphones, up from less than 25% in 2012, according to the research group.

In the first three months of 2013, smartphone shipments exceeded those of non-smartphones for the first time ever. Sales of smartphones have been helped by new, cheaper devices, especially, but not only, in emerging markets. The mobile and media analyst firm expects 1.86 billion mobile phones to be shipped in 2013, of which 53% will be smartphones.

The blisteringly fast growth of smartphones in Western Europe and North America will see penetration levels approaching saturation point in these markets within three years, according to CCS Insight. More than 50% of the mobile phones in use in these regions are already smartphones. CCS Insight predicts this figure will...

| Read more »
Jun 25
Mobile ticketing users to approach 1 billion by 2018

Just over 950 million mobile phone users worldwide are expected to use their handsets for mobile ticketing by 2018, up from 458 million this year, according to a new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com).

Growth is expected to be driven primarily within key transport verticals, although latterly significant uptake is anticipated across sectors such as live entertainment events and cinema ticketing. Juniper Research notes that the airline industry was a particularly strong proponent of mobile ticketing, with adoption of mobile boarding passes rising sharply since the worldwide implementation of BCBPs (Barcoded Boarding Passes) in 2010.

What's more, the research group observed that while mobile has for some years been a key ticketing delivery channel across Scandinavian metros, deployments were increasing both elsewhere in Europe and in the US and were achieving strong levels...

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Jun 24
Worldwide external disk storage systems factory...

Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues posted a year-over-year decline of -0.9%, totaling just over US$5.9 billion, in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), according to the "International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker" (www.idc.com).

For the quarter, the total (internal plus external) disk storage systems market generated $7.7 billion in revenue, representing a decline of -3.2% from the prior year's first quarter. Total disk storage systems capacity shipped reached 7.8 exabytes, growing 26.4% year over year.

"Emerging markets drove growth within the global market but this was not enough to offset declines elsewhere," says Eric Sheppard, research director, Storage, IDC. "Independent storage suppliers were better positioned to capitalize on this new level of demand than their competitors, some of whom are currently working through product transitions and...

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Jun 21
Worldwide WLAN market shows continued strong...

The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments experienced year-over-year growth of 12.5% in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), per IDC (www.idc.com).

The enterprise segment continued to grow at a healthy rate of 19.3% over the same period last year, says the research group. The first quarter of 2013 was the thirteenth consecutive quarter with annual growth greater than 15%. The consumer WLAN market also started the year 2013 on a relative high note, growing 6.2% year over year.

"The explosion of mobile devices and the uptake of enterprise mobility applications continue to be top of mind for enterprise IT in terms of driving WLAN infrastructure growth across a wide range of enterprise verticals and use cases," says Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure, at IDC. "While this quarter saw some slowing of growth in Wi-Fi infrastructure rollouts for mobile...

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Jun 20
Hotels look to wireless access as key differentiator

For hoteliers to stay competitive, they need to look beyond room cost and consider improving their guest wireless experience, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Motorola Solutions (www.motorolasolutions.com) in April 2013.

This survey, which includes responses from 500 participants including North America IT decision-makers with responsibility for WLAN/Wi-Fi at hotels with 25 rooms or more, found there is a gap between expectations and performance of hotel WLAN performance. These IT decision-makers are identifying the complexity of offering guest wireless access, and the need to utilize it as a differentiator for guests in the hotel marketplace.

Thirty-one percent of IT decision-makers in hotels find WLAN infrastructure and operations to be lower than business expectations. More than half of hotel business decision-makers understand there are...

| Read more »
Jun 19
Classic video on demand vendors risk losing half the...

The shift of video consumption to tablets and smartphones is causing operator requirements for video on demand (VOD) systems to change as vendors struggle to keep up with current generation needs, according to ABI Research.

Equipment and system vendors, such as Arris (including Motorola Home), SeaChange, Cisco, and Ericsson are expected to lose ground to cloud-oriented companies such as thePlatform, Synacor, and KIT Digital (expected to emerge from bankruptcy as Piksel), according to the research group (www.abiresearch.com). VOD vendors will see less than 30% growth over the next five years, while content management system (CMS) vendors will capture the market and see nearly 100% growth to seize half of the total VOD management markets.

Classic VOD back-office systems are built around delivery to the TV via a set-top box, leveraging a single video format, a managed network, a modest number of...

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Jun 18
Hotel guests put wireless access as top demand

Wireless access is the top customer demand of hotel guests in their rooms and throughout the hotel properties, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Motorola Solutions (www.motorolasolutions.com) in April 2013.

This survey includes responses from 500 North American hotel guests, including business and recreational travelers. Among the findings:


° 90% wished hotels offered WiFi as an amenity, making it the top priority of both business and recreational travelers.

° More than 90% of hotel guests surveyed indicated they wanted WiFi in their hotel rooms, not just in common areas.

° 40% of business travelers said they would not stay at a hotel without Internet.

| Read more »
Jun 17
Mobile traffic forecast to reach 131K PB in 2018

Global mobile data traffic expanded at 69% in 2012 and is anticipated to grow at 72% in 2013 to reach 23,000 Peta Bytes (PB), according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). By 2018 total mobile data traffic will likely eclipse 131,000PB, adds the research group.

"There has been much 'doom-mongering' about this growth in mobile data traffic but mobile carriers should not panic just yet. There are indications that mobile carriers have a number of options to handle the traffic loads," says Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director for core forecasting at ABI Research.

According to the research group:

° Carriers are commercializing LTE but there are additional benefits to be gained from quickly adopting the LTE-Advanced roadmap. LTE-A’s release 10 introduces enhanced Multi-In Multi-Out antenna technology as well as interference mitigation technologies such as CoMP and eICIC. A crucial...

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Jun 17
Kool Tools: Clips 3D for iMovie, FCPX

Mosa Motion Graphics has introduced Clips 3D for iMovie and FCPX 1.0 for Mac OS X.

Clips 3D dispenses 36 different exciting animated 3D HD clips. Videos can be dragged out of Clips 3D right onto an iMovie or Final Cut Pro X shot collection "event." The video clip immediately appears in the project.

Clips 3D's iPad like interface sits atop your editing program. Its royalty free content makes this helper application a great production tool for video makers. The Clips 3D library is sorted into four categories: Illusion, Physical, SiFi and Simulated.

Clips 3D for iMovie and FCPX supplies royalty free animations that are otherwise, difficult to create. These animations are useful as title backgrounds, transitions, credit rolls -- or simply as eye candy.

The Clips 3D application contains a pictorial help file, and a help video for easy learning. Shots are up to 30 seconds in duration, and are 720P HD, at 30 FPS, MP4-H.264 .MOV files. Clips 3D videos are...

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Jun 14
Worldwide server market revenues decrease 7.7% in...

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) research group (www.idc.com), factory revenue in the worldwide server market decreased 7.7% year over year to US$10.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13).

This is the fifth time in the previous six quarters that the server market has experienced a year-over-year decline in worldwide revenue. Server unit shipments decreased 3.9% year over year in 1Q13 to 1.9 million units as consolidation continued to be a strategic focus for many large and small customers around the globe.

On a year-over-year basis, volume systems experienced a 3.1% revenue decline. This was only the third time in the previous fourteen quarters that volume system demand declined year over year. At the same time, demand for midrange and high-end systems experienced year-over-year revenue declines of 18.3% and 17.1% respectively in 1Q13. The midrange and high-end markets were impacted by...

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Jun 13
Enterprise videoconferencing, telepresence market sees...

New data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) showed first quarter 2013 (1Q13) videoconferencing equipment revenue declined 13.2% year over year and 21.9% quarter over quarter. Total worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence equipment revenue was US$563.4 million in 1Q13, its worst result since the second quarter of 2010, according to IDC.

From a market segment perspective, endpoints, which include multi-codec immersive telepresence, single-codec telepresence, and personal videoconferencing, declined 10.7% year over year and video network infrastructure decreased 20.5% year over year in 1Q13.

Regionally, Latin America declined just 3.5% year over year, followed by the 9.1% year-over-year decline in Asia/Pacific and the 10.1% decrease in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). North America was a particular area of weakness this quarter with its 20.3% year-over-year drop.

"Videoconferencing...

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Jun 12
NFC service, secure element shipments to grow 120% in...

NFC momentum continues to build despite the on-going delays affecting the launch of NFC payment services, according to new data from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). The research group raised full year 2012 shipments of secure elements to 147 million with 125 million enabled handsets being shipped.

Growing inclusion of embedded solutions by OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] will account for the majority of secure elements in 2013 as MNOs seed the market with close to 100 million SWP SIM cards, says ABI Research. Expected NFC-enabled device shipments were increased, with 2013 forecasted to reach a minimum of 320 million units across all product categories -- an increase of 118% over last year. This will drive the market past the half billion NFC devices in use in 1H13.

"This is certainly encouraging after many years of 'will they, won’t they.'The market has now passed the tipping point and...

| Read more »
Jun 11
Software market forecast to continue on modest growth...

IDC (www.idc.com) has released the latest forecast from the Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. For 2012, the worldwide software market grew 3.6% year over year, less than half the growth rate experienced in 2010 and 2011.

The research group believes these results mark the beginning of a more conservative period of growth. The forecast growth rate for 2013 is 5.7% while the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2012-2017 forecast period is 6.3%.

The collaborative applications software category is forecast to have the highest growth in the short term (2013). This category includes social software, which is growing from a lower revenue base. The collaborative applications category is also experiencing more cloud deployments than other categories and this represents new software investments.

The structured data management software category is expected to show the strongest growth over the five-year...

| Read more »
Jun 10
Electrical Grid unprepared for cyber security threats

The use of ICTs within the electrical grid means an evolution from isolated structures into open and networked environments where the subversion of power control systems has become a reality. The restructuring of the power sector and the emergence of the smart grid has largely ignored the issue of cyber security, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Industrial control systems have poor methods of authentication, little encryption, and are not often capable of detecting intrusions, according to the research group. By failing to address cyber security, and focusing on the cost-savings and gained efficiencies of a market-oriented model, the susceptibility to cyber-attacks has grown. ABI Research estimates the spending on cyber security solutions to secure the infrastructure will total US$2.9 billion globally by the end of 2013.

"Cyber-attacks that can cause serious damage to electrical...

| Read more »
Jun 07
Software revenues grow twice as fast in emerging...

The worldwide software market grew 3.6% year over year in 2012, less than half the growth rate experienced in 2010 and 2011, according to the "International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker."

Although some deceleration was expected, the economic contraction in the mature markets of Western Europe and Japan played a determinant role in the overall market performance, according to the research group. Meanwhile, the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA), Latin America, and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) enjoyed year-over-year growth of 7.2% in 2012. This was the fourth consecutive year of solid growth in these emerging markets, enabling them to collectively gain more than two points of worldwide market share over this period.

Mature markets still represent more than 85% of the worldwide software opportunity, but in recent years the strong growth in these emerging markets has...

| Read more »
Jun 06
Mobile POS grows to $2 billion market in North America

From the C-level on down, the buzz about mobile in retail has steadily increased ever since Apple began using mobile devices in their stores. The use of tablets (such as the iPad) is growing rapidly, with shipments increasing at a rate of 38% in 2013, according to "Mobile POS: Hype to Reality," a new study from research firm IHL Group.

According to the research findings, the Mobile POS market will surpass US$2 billion in hardware/software sales in North America in 2013, and 28% of North American retailers plan to adopt Mobile POS in some form by the end of 2013. An even greater number (33%), however, do not plan to adopt Mobile POS at all within the next three years. The adoption rate is very dependent on the type of retailer and volume of transactions.

"Mobile POS continues to receive a lot of hype, and some specific announcements have received a lot of press," says Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. "But the vast majority of retailers are taking a slow and...

| Read more »
Jun 03
The Northern Spy: decisions, decisions

By Rick Sutcliffe

When all is said and done with the usual caveat that most is said and little done, people make decisions with their emotions and guts, not their brains. This has been noted here before in connection with the stock market and the purchase of cheap imitation PCs (rather than the real thing -- Macs).

Last month's Provincial election here in British Columbia illustrates the same principle in the practice of politics. (Note: in Canada, municipal, Provincial, and Federal elections are independent of one another both in timing and in party affiliations.) A tired, scandal-ridden, and seemingly unpopular Liberal government (no connection with the Federal party of the same name) was running for a re-election the pundits universally thought a cakewalk for the socialist opposition.

A new Conservative party would split the free-enterprise vote, they opined, and the NDP (New Democrat Party) would win a landslide. Every "professional"...

| Read more »
Jun 03
Consumer spending continues to pick up in May

ChangeWave's previous three monthly surveys picked up improvements in US consumer spending, and the research group's latest survey shows another uptick for May.

Importantly, the survey of 2,252 US consumers shows the best overall spending environment in the past year, along with a modest uptick in expectations and confidence. ChangeWave (www.http://changewaveresearch.com) is also seeing improvements for several categories, including travel/vacation, durable goods and consumer electronics.

Among retailers, Amazon is best positioned to outperform on the home entertainment front, while spending intentions for most other major retailers are holding steady this month, according to the research group.

| Read more »
 
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