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Jul 07
Consumers want more flexibility when shopping online

Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, according to comScore (www.comscore.com), a company that "measures the digital world." Consumers also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns “free” is a driving factor to complete the sale.

Earlier this year, comScore asked 5,800 consumers about their online shopping experiences. Respondents said they want more options in searching for items, checking out, enhanced security and alternate delivery locations. While smartphones play a big role in the online experience, user interfaces have some catching up to do to win over consumers.

Online shoppers who use multiple devices said they would prefer to shop on a desktop computer over mobile because larger and...

| Read more »
Jul 03
The Northern Spy: gone phishing

By Rick Sutcliffe

This month's column will be short but not entirely sweet. Following much ado about something in the two columns filed here from WWDC, the Spy has less to say this month, but that is not to suggest it has been a slow time.

WWDC

Upon reflection, the Spy remains convinced that the Swift programming language is a major step forward in developer tools. The language has a slight air of being unfinished, as a few spots (the role of modules, for instance) need a little work. However, he believes developers will be using it and its descendants for a long, long time. Of the other announcements for developers, the Home and Health Kits probably represent the greatest opportunities for making new products, and expanding the Apple ecosystem. These will be very big. You heard it here first.

Hacked

Far too much of the Spy's time afterwards was taken up by fixing vandalism. Under another hat he...

| Read more »
Jul 03
Annual digital payments to reach $4.7 trillion by 2019

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) finds that the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach US$4.7 trillion by 2019, up from just over $2.5 trillion this year.



The report says that the largest net increase in spend would occur through remote physical goods purchases. However, while there was organic growth in the overall transaction levels due to increased purchasing on tablets and mobile, a significant proportion of tablet usage represented migration from desktop activity, according to Juniper Research. Combined transactions on mobile handsets and tablets will exceed those on desktops and laptops for the first time this year.



The report also notes that there's accelerating migration from physical format (DVD, CD) to digital (stream, download) across all core content sectors. These included a marked trend...

| Read more »
Jul 02
Newlyweds, new parents most likely victims of identity...

LifeLock (http://www.lifelock.com), provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and fraud and risk solutions for enterprises. has announced newly commissioned research conducted by Forrester Consulting about consumer attitudes, behaviors, and exposures related to identity theft.

The February 2014 survey revealed that individuals who experience life milestones related to "new beginnings," including getting married, becoming new parents, buying a home or entering the dating scene, are more likely than the average population to become victims of identity theft.

"Life milestones in this day and age are often accompanied by significant sharing of personal data. Whether you’re getting married or buying a new home, you’re filling out many different forms both digitally and on paper – and you may have very little control over where your highly personal information goes," says...

| Read more »
Jul 01
Enterprise mobility solutions to shift from device to...

Mobile application management (MAM) is seeing increased adoption levels as enterprises seek solutions more flexible than traditional mobile device management (MDM)., according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Currently, MDM solutions comprise over 60% of enterprise mobility management solution users; however, by the end of 2019, MDM share will drop to a bit more than 30% and MAM will command the lion’s share at over 60%. Thanks to large growth in the Asia-Pacific region, MAM will supplant MDM as the preferred enterprise choice, notes the research group.

"MDM is a tool being reserved more for corporate-liable devices, while MAM is a mobility solution for the masses, or employee-owned devices associated with BYOD," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Jason McNicol. "For employees to embrace enterprise mobility initiatives and more importantly policies, more flexible yet secure solutions are...

| Read more »
Jun 30
New materials, better processes spur touch sensor...

Both glass-based and film-based sensors are evolving to improve performance, while at the same time becoming thinner and lighter, and increasing optical quality, according to new data from NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com).

The research group forecasts that the total touch sensor area yield of projective capacitive, in-cell, on-cell, and resistive sensors, will reach 23.3 million square meters in 2015, up from 18 million square meters in 2014. Capacity for sensors for film substrates will be higher than for glass substrate, due to expected area growth of each type of film structure.

"Metal mesh, sliver nanowires, and other new materials will be used in the production of larger displays with better sheet resistance at affordable prices, and these new materials might be used for curved or flexible-touch sensors soon," says Shoko Oi, deputy director of touch panel and emerging display...

| Read more »
Jun 27
Third generation of LBS to capitalize on location...

The LBS [location based services] market continues to grow strongly and with the arrival of always-on ubiquitous location, ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) believes that the market is ready to truly support location based advertising efforts.

In Western Markets, a third generation of location based services is now underway. It has forecast retail/shopping, ambient intelligence, hyperlocal social and personal asset tracking/BLE beacon applications to emerge as the next wave of important location based services over the next five years, with ABI Research forecasting a four-fold increase in revenues by 2019. In emerging regions the value of location is not lost with strong local deals/offers markets already emerging.

"In Asia, ABI Research sees LBS downloads breaking 4 Billion in 2019. In China, major Internet companies can see the necessity of location and are acquiring/integrating as they move to...

| Read more »
Jun 26
Worldwide monitor market undergoes a slight decline

Worldwide PC monitor shipments totaled nearly 33.7 million units in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), a year-over-year decline of -0.4%, according to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group. IDC expects worldwide shipments to continue on their current trajectory, slipping to 106 million units for the full year 2018.

"Despite the overall decline, the shipment totals were stronger than the forecast of 31 million units," says Phuong Hang, program director, Worldwide Trackers at IDC. "Geographically, Japan and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions delivered the largest gains during the first quarter while Dell and HP both experienced solid shipment growth."

LED backlight technology adoption continues to increase with a new high of 92% market share in 1Q14. This represents a year-over-year increase of 16.4%. Screen size of 21.x-inches wide has held the largest worldwide share for the last six quarters, with 20.5% share...

| Read more »
Jun 25
The Internet of Things to drive changes in the auto...

For the automotive industry the emergence of the IoT ("Internet of Things") constitutes a disruptive and transformative environment characterized by value chain and business model upheaval and a "collaborate or die" ecosystem friction reality prompting it to redefine and reinvent itself in order to capitalize on the huge opportunities in the new IoT economy, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The absorption of the automotive industry in the wider IoT is driven by new connected car use cases such as EVs as a mobile grid and vehicles used as delivery locations, says the research group.

"As this IoT revolution unfolds, automotive innovation and value creation will be shifting to the boundaries with other verticals such as home automation, smart grids, smart cities, healthcare and retail,” says ABI Research vice president and practice director Dominique Bonte.

Vehicle-to-...

| Read more »
Jun 24
Mobile game revenue will near $29 billion by 2016

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) says that 2016 total revenues from mobile games will reach US$28.9 billion, a growth of over 38% on the 2014 figure of $20.9 billion.

The report found that with the domination of casual gamers playing free-to-play games, developers’ approach has shifted from bulk acquisition of unique players. Under the new strategy, which brings mobile analytics to the fore, developers are increasing lifetime value through analyzing, (re)engaging and monetizing users, allowing for higher overall returns on investment.

The Juniper report finds that tablet users will spend more on in-game purchases and generate more revenues per device than smartphone users. The research group argues that in turn, the enhanced performance and graphical capabilities of tablet games is resulting in accelerated migration from traditional portable gaming...

| Read more »
Jun 23
Enterprises drive demand for more seamless mobile...

As the smartphone and tablet markets continue to explode, and bring your own device (BYOD) becomes more prevalent within the enterprise, mobile print subsystems are being integrated within mobile operating systems (OS). According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), mobile OSs are increasingly geared toward the enterprise and this focus is driving demand for more robust print capabilities.

"Integration of print subsystem in mobile OS architecture vastly simplifies the print workflow and print experience for users," says Dinesh Srirangpatna, research manager, IDC. "The print landscape is experiencing dramatic change and the tighter integration of mobile print capabilities is a positive sign for the entire print industry."

The mobile print subsystem offers users a uniform print experience across the mobile OS platform and will ultimately drive print volume. For example, all Android users (post KitKat) will...

| Read more »
Jun 20
Mobile apps to have significant impact on information...

With digital business blurring the line between the physical and the digital worlds, consumer-centric mobile apps are playing an important role, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com)

The research group predicts that, by 2015, most mobile apps will sync, collect and analyze deep data about users and their social graphs, but most IT leaders are failing to consider the deep impact that mobile apps have on their information infrastructure. Gartner also predicts that, by 2017, wearable devices will drive 50% of total app interactions. This includes desktop-based app interactions and mobile apps, with mobile apps making up the majority of these interactions. 

"IT leaders should ensure they have infrastructure in place that takes into account data collected, not only via mobile apps, but also from apps running on wearable devices," says Roxane Edjlali, research director at Gartner. 

To date, most...

| Read more »
Jun 19
Competition, new apps, innovation to drive smart home...

Smart home automation controllers in the form of control panels, gateways and bridges are at the center of the smart home ecosystem delivering automation in single point and whole home solutions. Smart home automation controller shipments will witness strong growth driven by ongoing mass market interest, lower cost and an expanding supplier base, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Home broadband service providers such as Comcast and AT&T seeking to expand beyond access and entertainment services are adding home automation connectivity and features to their gateways and routers. CPE suppliers are also getting into the game to replace slimmer margins from their traditional broadband access equipment sales. Cisco, Netgear, Belkin, Technicolor have been quick to deliver smart home automation solutions for service providers. Pushing both groups are new entrants such as smartThings, Revolv, and...

| Read more »
Jun 18
Organizations must prepare for security implications...

Increasing adoption of a more mobile, social, data-driven and consumer-like workplace is causing the breakdown of traditional security models and strategies, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).


The research group predicts that by 2018, 25% of large organizations will have an explicit strategy to make their corporate computing environments similar to a consumer computing experience. Security organizations and leaders that fail to alter strategies to accommodate a more consumerized workforce will be sidelined by engaged organizations.

"Significant changes that impact an organization's approach to security are underway," says Tom Scholtz, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Employee digital literacy has led to a growing consumerization movement within most enterprises, with employees using a wide variety of consumer-oriented apps for business purposes. Other workplace trends — such as out-tasking,...

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Jun 17
The Internet of Things moves beyond the buzz

While the interest and buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) has grown steadily in recent years, the seemingly endless market promise continues to become reality.

According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), a transformation is underway that will see the worldwide market for IoT solutions grow from US$1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020. IDC (www.idc.coom) defines the Internet of Things as a network of networks of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or "things") that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity – be it "locally" or globally.

Consumers continue to experience and embrace IoT in their homes, cars, and in many other aspects of their daily life. Globally, individuals are developing a high affinity for full-time connectivity, which makes consumer IoT a compelling proposition. Businesses are intrigued by the efficiencies, business process implications,...

| Read more »
Jun 13
Mobile tariffs bundled with music drive mobile music...

Mobile phone Users with access to music bundled into their phone tariffs listen to music on their phones more actively than users without music bundles, according to the Strategy Analytics report "Listening to the Listeners: Mobile Music Survey Results" (http://sa-link.cc/zW).

The study – conducted across the US, China, France, Germany, Spain and the UK — revealed that 72% of mobile phone owners listen to music on their phone actively, or at least once a week, when music is bundled into their tariff compared to 46% for users without music bundled mobile plans.

"Mobile operators and handset manufacturers have a significant role to play in enabling the music industry to grow revenue through access to music that is bundled into customers' phone tariffs, or into the price of the phone," says Nitesh Patel, Director of Wireless Media Strategies, at Strategy Analytics. "Fast growing streaming digital music...

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Jun 12
Expanding LTE coverage priming VoLTE adoption

By the end of 2013, global LTE-related cellular subscriptions surpassed 230.9 million, 3.3% of mobile subs, and will continue to grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 36.6% between 2014 and 2019, to exceed two billion, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The extensive presence of LTE networks is also stimulating the deployment of VoLTE. By the end of 2014, there are expected to be 59.6 million VoLTE subscriptions in place, and it is expected that nearly 56% of LTE-related cellular subscriptions will be using VoLTE services by the end of 2019.

"For VoLTE to be a success, there needs to be widespread adoption of the technology by handset vendors and not just the operators. There are some promising signs, though — it is anticipated that Apple will incorporate VoLTE into iPhone 6," says Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research.

The strong subscriber adoption in 2013 has...

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Jun 11
75% of mobile security breaches due to mobile app...

Nearly 2.2 billion smartphones and tablets will be sold to end users in 2014 according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) While security incidents originating from mobile devices are rare, the research group says that by 2017, 75% of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfiguration.

"Mobile security breaches are — and will continue to be — the result of misconfiguration and misuse on an app level, rather than the outcome of deeply technical attacks on mobile devices," says Dionisio Zumerle, principal research analyst at Gartner. "A classic example of misconfiguration is the misuse of personal cloud services through apps residing on smartphones and tablets. When used to convey enterprise data, these apps lead to data leaks that the organization remains unaware of for the majority of devices."

With the number of smartphones and tablets on the increase, and a decrease in...

| Read more »
Jun 10
SMBs with 11+ employees spend $3,000 annual on tech...

Parks Associates (www.ParksAssociates.com) has announced a new report that reveals U.S. small businesses (SMBs) with more than 10 employees spend on average more than US$3,000 per year on tech support. The research firm notes only 28% of these SMBs report having a support subscription but tech support spending among all SMBs will increase over the next several years as they adopt more devices and cloud services and deal with an increasingly virtual workforce.

"Small businesses are traditionally conservative with their tech support spending, but new technology products and services are increasingly complex and promise increased functional capabilities," says Patrice Samuels, research analyst,Parks Associates. "This year, SMBs will spend nearly $400 million for computer and network setup and installation services. Their need for support will continue to increase as new devices enter the workplace and...

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Jun 06
First quarter consumer spending on video games at $4.6...

Spending on video game hardware grew 47% to US$983 million during the first quarter of 2014, but overall total industry consumer spending on video gaming fell 1 percent to $4.6 billion compared to the same period in 2013, according the NPD research group (www.npd.com).

The dramatic increase in hardware sales can be attributed to the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and these strong year-over-year trends are likely to continue through most of 2014, according to NPD Analyst Liam Callahan. Overall content was down 8% due to a decline in new physical format spending of 27% or $372 million. In contrast to the physical declines, digital format spending collectively increased by 4%, driven by full game downloads and DLC for consoles and portables.

"For the first quarter of 2014, content spending increased for used games, digital full games, DLC, and mobile with a modest increase in subscription revenue." Callahan said. "This...

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Jun 05
ABI Research: DIY is re-defining the home market

A new generation of smart-looking as well as connected smart home products is drawing a growing swathe of consumers into smart home device spending. Shipments of these devices will grow at a close to 30% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] between 2013 and 2019, however their impact will extend far beyond individual device sales, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

DIY is one of the stalwart segments of the smart home automation market. There have long been home automation enthusiasts with the technical ability and enthusiasm to build out home systems themselves; however, increasingly, devices like Nest’s Smart thermostats and Dropcam’s streaming video cameras are bringing simple-to-install, smart–home-DIY to a far wider audience.The popularity of these devices, that can be accessed and controlled by smartphone apps as well as the web, helps spawn wider evolution in the home automation market...

| Read more »
Jun 04
IDC: Inkjet tech continues to dominate continuous-feed...

The worldwide continuous-feed, digital production print market is experiencing significant opportunity thanks to a major technology shift. According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), the much anticipated shift from electrophotography (EP) to high-speed inkjet (HSIJ) came to fruition in 2013, and will continue through the 2014-2018 forecast period.

Placements of both monochrome and color EP equipment declined in the past year, while HSIJ installations continue on their growth path. IDC expects HSIJ to reach US$1 billion in equipment sales by 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8%.

Not only was HSIJ the only growth technology segment in the continuous feed production print market, but for the closely watched high-volume segments of 150+ ipm monochrome and HSIJ, HSIJ became the overall market share leader, achieving 54% of the placements. While the cross over in placements occurred in 2013, HSIJ...

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Jun 03
NPD: 34 million core players spend 22 hours per week...

There are 34 million core gamers in the U.S. spending an average of 22 hours per week playing video games, according to Core Gaming 2014, the latest report from global information company, The NPD Group (www.npd.com).

These 34 million core gamers, defined for this report as those individuals who play video games five or more hours a week on a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, or Mac, and who play Action, Adventure, Fighting, Flight, Massively Multi-Player, Racing, Real Time Strategy, Role-Playing, Shooter, or Sport genres on any of those devices.

"Core gamers are really the lifeblood of the industry, spending tremendous amounts of time on their hobby of choice," says analyst Liam Callahan. "With the new console generation off to a great start, we can expect the amount of time spent gaming to increase as more core gamers adopt them."

While core gamers are most likely to play on consoles and...

| Read more »
Jun 02
The Northern Spy: WWDC

By Rick Sutcliffe

Queue theory is something every programmer needs to know--especially if attending WWDC. First we entered our names in a request queue. After a wait of some weeks, The Spy and 6000 other fortunate ones received an invite to purchase a ticket to WWDC for $1700.

That taken care of, it was time to request accommodation from the convention management folk. Wait more weeks and the task became getting there. Since his wife needed a diversion, he decided to drive, abandon her to her own devices in downtown San Francisco for the five days, then holiday up the California and Oregon coasts on the way home. The arrangements for six more hotels took about the same amount of time as finding churches for the two Lord's Days involved, and in the end the tabbed paperwork filled a small looseleaf binder.

The three day drive from Abbotsford to San Francisco provided more exercises in queues--around and through Seattle, near Portland, and the...

| Read more »
Jun 02
Gartner: U.S. consumers not concerned about BYOD...

Despite the rise in the use of personal devices for business use, U.S. consumers are showing scant concern for security when it comes to bring your own device (BOYD). According to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) a quarter of business users admitted to having had a security issue with their private device in 2013, but only 27%of those respondents felt obliged to report this to their employer.

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 with 995 full or part time workers in the U.S., all of whom use a private device for work purposes.
In a blog post, Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner, said that employee use of private mobile devices to access corporate information and services is exploding and with this trend comes a series of potential drawbacks.

"The threat of cyber attacks on mobile devices is increasing and can result in data loss, security breaches...

| Read more »
 
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