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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...

| Read more »
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...

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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...

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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 »
May 30
Survey: 47% of consumers who’ve heard of the...

In light of the recent Heartbleed bug that left user credentials and sensitive information potentially susceptible to hackers and identity thieves, LifeLock (www.lifelock.com), a provider of identity theft protection services, has announced survey results that reveal consumers’ behavior and attitudes surrounding the security flaw.

The recent survey, conducted online April 28-30 by Harris Poll on behalf of LifeLock among over 2,000 U.S. adults who are online, demonstrated that, despite the potentially increased exposure due to Heartbleed, nearly half (47%) of consumers who have heard of Heartbleed had not taken measures to protect their personal information by changing online account passwords.

According to earlier LifeLock research conducted by Forrester, 70% of people believe they are using strong passwords. In the recent LifeLock study conducted by Harris Poll, less than half (42%) of those who use...

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May 28
Global Wi-Fi hotspots to grow to 7.1 million in 2015

Worldwide Wi-Fi deployments reached a total of 4.2 million hotspots in 2013, and will continue to grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 15.0% between 2013 and 2018, to exceed 10.5 million, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Among the global Wi-Fi hotspots, 68.6% of Wi-Fi is in Asia-Pacific, followed by 12.3% in Latin America, 9.0% in Europe, 8.7% in North America, and 1.4% in Middle East and Africa. The number includes Wi-Fi hotspots deployed by mobile and fixed-line carriers as well as third party operators.

"The mobile data growth has boosted the build-out of Wi-Fi hotspots, as it is expected that the global mobile data traffic will grow to 190,000 petabytes in 2018, from 23,000 petabytes in 2013," says Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research. "Wi-Fi helps to offload 3G/4G mobile Internet users to Wi-Fi networks, which is a more cost-effective method for both mobile...

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May 23
Market for Bluetooth chipsets set to boom

Bluetooth shipments broke an annual two billion shipments in 2012 and are set to surpass three billion shipped during 2015 and four billion during 2018, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"Cumulatively, over 19 billion chipsets will ship over the next five years," says research director Philip Solis. "Of various integration levels, standalone Bluetooth chipsets will be the largest group in 2019 followed by combo chipsets with Bluetooth and then integrated platforms with Bluetooth."

The market for Bluetooth chipsets has evolved greatly over the past decade, expanding from phones and headsets to a multitude of personal devices, accessories, and home automation devices. Of the 10 different combo chipset combinations ABI Research forecasts that include Bluetooth,

"Bluetooth + Wi-Fi + FM” chipsets will be the highest shipping combo type in 2014 as well as 2019. In 2014 this combo...

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May 22
Organizations say security is their top concern

Good Technology (www.good.com), which specializes in mobile security, announced key findings from the "Q1 2014 Good Mobility Index Report." This quarter, as organizations declared security as a top IT concern in 2014, the data shows a monumental increase in activations of more complex secure enterprise apps, most notably secure browsing. 
 
The data reported in this quarter's "Mobility Index Report" shows that the organizations across Good's diverse customer base are taking steps to mitigate security risks by leveraging secure mobile enterprise apps. Overall, secure enterprise app activations continued to see an impressive growth rate at 57% quarter over quarter, up from 54% and 43% growth from the last two quarters, respectively.

This is not surprising given recent data from the "2014 State of Endpoint Risk" report published by The Ponemon Institute, which highlights that within the IT environment, mobility...

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May 21
Worldwide fiber optic broadband subscriptions to...

The worldwide cable, DSL and fiber-optic fixed-line broadband subscriber base grew 6% in 2013 surpassing 665.4 million subscribers, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The fiber-optic broadband segment grew at a robust rate, 29% from 2012 to 126.6 million subscribers in 2013. By 2019, fiber-optic broadband subscriptions will grow to 265 million subscribers, with a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 11.7%, according to the research group.

The global cable broadband market grew nearly 7% to 161 million subscribers while the DSL broadband market contracted around 1% to 378 million subscribers in 2013. An increasing number of customers opting for high-speed fiber-optic broadband service contributed to a decline in DSL broadband subscriptions in Asia-Pacific and North America.

"Global DSL broadband service revenue dropped nearly 2% in 2013, mainly due to a declining subscriber...

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May 20
CRM software market grew 13.7% in 2013

Worldwide customer relationship management (CRM) software totaled $20.4 billion in 2013, up 13.7 percent from $18 billion in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

"High levels of end-user investment in digital marketing and customer experience initiatives were the primary growth drivers of the market in 2013," said Joanne Correia, research vice president at the research group. "CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years. This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive." 

Strong demand for software as a service (SaaS), which represented more than 4% of CRM total software revenue in 2013, was driven from organizations of all sizes seeking easier-to-deploy alternatives to replace legacy systems, implement net-new applications or provide alternative complementary functionality. 

Competition...

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May 19
Wi-Fi chipset shipments will near 18 billion chipsets...

With over 2.6 billion chipsets expected to ship during 2014, Wi-Fi is currently the most ubiquitous wireless connectivity technology for Internet access. As the technology continues to adapt and expand with new protocols such as 802.11ac, 802.11ax, 802.11ad (WiGig), and Wi-Fi Direct, nearly 18 billion more chips will ship cumulatively from 2015 to 2019, according to ABI Research (www.abirsearch.com).

"There will be a roughly even split in 2019 for Wi-Fi chipsets of different integration levels," says research director Philip Solis of ABI Research. "Standalone, or discrete, Wi-Fi chipsets — increasingly targeting the Internet of Things – will be the largest group, followed by integrated platforms with Wi-Fi targeting mobile devices, followed by Wi-Fi combo chipsets."

Wi-Fi protocols will continue evolving as well. By the end of the forecast period, dual-band 802.11n/802.11ac will comprise the vast...

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May 15
Small businesses to spend $3.3 billion on content...

The Canalys research group (www.canalys.com) has announced its forecasts for small business investment worldwide in content security, highlighting an expected compound annual growth rate of 7.8% between 2014 and 2017. The global market grew 5.0% in 2013, reaching US$2.4 billion in value. This represented 28% of all content security market spend during the year.

"In 2013, IT security became more important to small businesses, driving overall security budgets upwards,’ says Canalys Senior Analyst, Nushin Vaiani. "Small businesses are beginning to understand the need to demonstrate to customers that their information is being handled securely, especially in light of numerous data breaches and the NSA scandal."

Vendors have also concentrated more on providing tailored products to suit small businesses.

"These solutions focus on simple deployment, a combination of data protection features and ease of...

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May 14
Cloud security market worth $8.71 billion by 2019

The MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com) research group says that the cloud security market will be worth US$8.71 billion by 2019.

The increase in adoption of cloud computing, and growing demand for managed security services are playing a major role in shaping the future of cloud-based security services market. Even though there are various on-premise solutions available for all types of security, cloud security has become the prime importance for business who want to reduce CAPEX and support growing number of remote work force, according to MarketsandMarkets.

Cloud vendors provide better security solutions and are compatible with the complex cloud processing. It also enables the companies to become cost-efficient, scalable and increase the business agility. The biggest players in this market which contribute to the major market share are CA Technologies, IBM, Symantec,...

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May 12
Global pay TV market surpassed 900 million subscribers...

The global pay-TV subscriber base increased over 5% in 2013, raising the total to 901.1 million, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). However the average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped slightly to $23.80 in 2013 from $24.10 in 2012, according to the research group

"In general, the pay-TV market grew both in terms of subscribers and service revenue across all pay-TV platforms. Overall pay-TV service revenue reached almost $250 billion in 2013," says Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director of core forecasting, ABI Research.

Pay-TV ARPU in North America increased around 4% to $76.00 in 2013. According to major pay-TV operators in North America, the growth in ARPU is due to a growth in the proportion of customers with advanced pay-TV set-top boxes and upgraded High Definition programming packages. Unfavorable currency exchange rates in Latin American countries have contributed to...

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May 09
Locations analytics market worth US$11.84 by 2019

Location analytics is the next revolution of business intelligence, according to MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com). Enterprises now focus on marketing effectiveness for competitive and market intelligence. Innovative technologies help them to achieve such goals, according to the research group.

Maps and location analytics provide a whole new concept to organizations, which they incorporate into their operations to achieve high sales and operational profitability. Location analytics helps in creating a profitable distribution channel by gaining insights through tracking and monitoring routes.

The high demand of location analytics has led to the invention of new technologies and solutions. Deploying location analytics by analyzing data using a Geographical Information System (GIS) within business is becoming an important core strategy for success, says MarketsandMarkets....

| Read more »
May 08
Gartner: digital marketing budgets will increase by 10...

Digital marketing budgets will rise by 10% in 2014, following a double-digit percentage increase in 2013, according to a survey of marketing executives by Gartner, Inc. The survey found that, on average, companies spent 10.7% of their annual 2013 revenue on overall marketing activities, with digital marketing spending averaging 3.1 percent of revenue.

These findings are included in Gartner's "Digital Marketing Spending" report that's based on a survey of 285 individuals located in the U.S., but answering mainly for their entire organization (only 21% reported U.S.-only data). Respondents represent organizations with more than $500 million in annual revenue (average revenue $4.4 billion) across eight industries: financial services and insurance, high-tech, communications, manufacturing, media, retail, government and healthcare. The survey took place from July through September 2013.

"Marketing leaders are securing bigger budgets to define markets, develop offerings,...

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May 07
Digital influences more than $1 trillion in retail...

Digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in the retail store, or approximately US$1.1 trillion, according to the latest study from Deloitte Digital.  By the end of 2014, that number will climb to 50%, or $1.5 trillion of total store sales.

"Mobile and online transactions represent only a sliver of total retail revenue potential," says Kasey Lobaugh, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Digital's chief retail innovation officer.  "Retailers that narrowly focus on digital commerce – rather than the full journey that leads to a purchase – often fail to recognize how their customers shop and make decisions in the store.  The result is a digital divide between what consumers do and what retailers deliver.  This gap not only threatens overall revenue, but requires retailers to reset the way they measure and invest in digital efforts."

Looking solely at smartphones, industry estimates put mobile commerce sales at roughly $40 billion today.  By...

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May 06
Femtocells markets to reach $4.8 million by 2019

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research (http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com), the global femtocells market was US$420 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $4,706 million in 2019; growing at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 37.1% from 2013 to 2019.

A femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station. In recent years, increasing femtocell deployments by a large number of mobile operators such as Sprint, Verizon and AT&T in North America, helped North America to dominate the market in 2012. Europe was the second largest market for femtocells as a large number of operators including Vodafone and Telefonica Group have rolled out femtocell services in this region.

The femtocell market is primarily driven by technological advancements and decreasing cost of femtocell devices. In addition, its increasing...

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May 05
Mobile location-based advertising will be worth € 10.7...

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the total value of the global real-time mobile location-based advertising and marketing (LBA) market will grow from € 1.2 billion in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54% to € 10.7 billion in 2018.

This will then correspond to 38.6% of all mobile advertising and marketing. Location-based advertising and marketing will thus represent around 7% of digital advertising, or 2% of the total global ad spend for all media, according to the research group.
 
The past year has seen a number of significant developments in the real-time mobile LBA space. One example is the concept of beacons based on Bluetooth low energy (BLE).

"The concept of Bluetooth marketing has been reinvigorated following Apple’s introduction of iBeacon in 2013,"says Rickard Andersson, senior analyst, Berg Insight....

| Read more »
May 02
The Northern Spy: much ado about something

By Rick Sutcliffe

… but, what are those somethings?

Rumours continue to swirl about Apple and its certain/probable/possible/mythical/impossible product introductions for 2014 (some may be all five at once). Given Apple's recent history, and that we've made it this far into the year without any major introductions, the Spy is convinced (has managed to convince himself—Nellie) that WWDC will be the venue for some significant product announcements.

Our reader may recall that by delaying two minutes after 0900 on ticket sale day in 2013, he missed by nearly half a minute the "sold-out" state for the 5000 tickets. This year, he put in his name on receiving Apple's kind invitation to do so, and was astonished to receive approval to buy after a random draw a few days later, so is one of the favoured ones--his first WWDC in several years. He anticipates interesting days in early June San Francisco. In what respect?

By all appearances Apple is...

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May 02
Almost three-fourths of app users don't want/...

Following OTT and content licensing announcements at NAB and the Aereo, Inc. case before the Supreme Court, Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) says that pay-TV penetration remains fairly steady at around 85% of U.S. broadband households but over-the-top (OTT) video use is increasing on multiple devices, particularly with younger viewers.

"Pay-TV subscriptions remain high among Millennials, but at the same time, nearly 40% in this age group consider online video the most important source for video content," says Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates. "As consumers diversify their viewing resources, the licensing process becomes more complex. Additionally, the Supreme Court case in ABC v. Aereo could drastically reshape the licensing environment for retransmission. A win by Aereo may set legal precedent for a method to rebroadcast without compensation."

Parks Associates...

| Read more »
May 01
Operators should deploy carrier grade Wi-Fi

As worldwide Mobile Broadband Traffic heads toward 200 Exabytes per year, operators deploy 4G LTE, LTE-A, plead for spectrum, and try to manage usage through policy and pricing. The physics of mobile broadband radio do not follow Moore’s Law of digital scaling, so leading-edge operators are ready to address the physical realities of small cells. Nevertheless, the question remains; why not deploy carrier grade Wi-Fi with the small cells?

Industry advocates and operators are calling for more spectrum, and with HotSpot 2.0 gaining traction, operators should consider unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum and Small Cells with Carrier Grade Wi-Fi as part of their portfolio.

“Wi-Fi is an integral part of the smartphone and tablet experience, and operators will do well to make Carrier Wi-Fi a part of that experience," says Joe Hoffman, practice director, mobile networks, ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

...

| Read more »
Apr 30
Major cloud service providers threaten smaller players...

In the last week of March, major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) in Asia dropped their prices for core services dramatically and IDC (www.idc.com) believes that this will make it very difficult for smaller CSPs to remain in business if they continue to rely on provision of basic, undifferentiated services.

"If the smaller CSPs are strong enough with decent customer bases, they will be acquired by larger providers. If not, then they're road-kill. In any case, both of the above will drive consolidation amongst the cloud vendors," says Chris Morris, AVP, Services Asia Pacific, and Lead Analyst, Cloud Services & Technologies, IDC Asia/Pacific.

Morris explains that Cisco's announcement of its InterCloud partnerships with several major SPs is based on differentiated Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - differentiated by way of linkage of the Cisco technology layers (hardware and software) to provide a network service...

| Read more »
 
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