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Jan 28
One-in-four to buy new TVs in 2015 (and spend more...

Year-over-year survey results from FatWallet.com show consumers flip flop on when to find best TV deals, ranking Black Friday just ahead of Super Bowl sales this year, while 1 in 4 now choose to stream TV programming.
 
The survey reports 26% said they will purchase a new TV this year (38% under age 30) and only Black Friday ranks higher than Super Bowl sales when asked when they’re most likely to make a TV purchase. The survey also reveals that their purchasing decisions are influenced most by price (45%), and one-in-four now stream the majority of their TV programming.

Key survey results for those that said they will purchase a new TV this year:
° 25% will buy during Black Friday; 17% will buy during Super Bowl sales (32% in 2014); 4% during Cyber Monday.

° 53% will spend $500+ (up 18% over 2014); 28% will spend $700+ (up 17% over 2014), 43% with annual income +$75k; 19% will spend less than $300 (up 26% over 2014), 33% with annual income under $30k....

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Jan 26
Annual IT spending by Western European healthcare...

According to a new IT spending forecast report published by IDC Health Insights (www.idc.com), IT investment by the Western European healthcare sector is forecast to grow from US$13.2 billion in 2013 to $14.6 billion in 2018.

Growth will be driven especially by software (4.6%), while investments in IT services will grow more slowly (1.6%). Hardware spending is expected to decrease over the 2017 horizon (-1.0%), according to the IDC research group. The Western European healthcare provider market continues to show moderate IT spending growth.

"Financial constraints in the market are still a major barrier to sustainable growth, but health authorities and decision makers are turning to digital transformation to reform healthcare systems, with the objective of achieving a balance between ensuring access and quality of healthcare services and ensuring long-term financial sustainability. Integrated care initiatives and...

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Jan 26
Global embedded telematics increasingly appearing in...

Market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) finds the penetration of embedded telematics in new vehicles will increase from 13.4% in 2014 to 52% in 2020.

"While penetration levels of embedded connectivity in vehicles continue to grow steadily, it remains challenging for car OEMs to convince users to pay for built-in connected car services," says says vice president and practice director, Dominique Bonte. "While initiatives such as allowing adding connected car systems to shared data plans by GM in the United States are definitely going to boost uptake, full penetration is unlikely to be achieved solely through consumer-led drivers."

Perceived value of safety services or in-car Wi-Fi hotspots simply aren't big enough (yet), especially with free smartphone integration "tethering" standards such as CarPlay and Android Auto expected to become widespread in the next years, he adds. ABI...

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Jan 23
SIM card market reached 5.2 billion units in 2014

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that global SIM card shipments will reach 5.2 billion units in 2014, marking a revitalizing 5.32% increase from 2013. LTE, NFC, and M2M have successfully paved their way into the industry and are considered the trends for the next few years.

The research group says that large markets like India, China, and Saudi Arabia are currently among the last countries to undergo ID registration regulations. Among them only India saw a massive decline in shipments during 2013 but data from 2014 show that the market has successfully stabilized and steady growth is expected from 2015 onwards.

The era of technological advances brings forth renewed competition while the market share battle rages on. In one of the major highlights of 2014, European Union (E.U.) vendors are pushing forward with new product developments in an effort to claim a bigger portion of the market...

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Jan 22
Ease of use is vital for companies to communicate with...

A new survey from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) revealed that the most important characteristic to ensure satisfaction in communicating with a company is the ease of use/simplicity of process.

According to the survey, on average, 65% of respondents said they were satisfied with the communication options available. The 18-24 and 25-34 year age groups were the least satisfied, both with 62% satisfaction with the breadth of channel options compared to 65% overall. Seventy-one percent of respondents said that communicating with a company using their preferred channel is very important.

"Companies need to support the communication needs for all of their customers as they have a wide range of preferences. This means ensuring customers are supported on 'newer' channels, such as social media, as well as on 'traditional' channels, even as newer channels grow and evolve," says Melissa O'Brien, research analyst,...

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Jan 20
Business needs to reset its purpose to attract...

Business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits in the 21st century according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited's (Deloitte Global) fourth annual Millennial Survey. This and other findings from the survey suggest businesses, particularly in developed markets, will need to make significant changes to attract and retain the future workforce. 

Deloitte Global surveyed tomorrow's leaders, from 29 countries, on effective leadership, how business operates and impacts society. Millennials overwhelmingly believe (75%) that businesses are focused on their own agenda rather than helping to improve society.

"The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today's Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits," says Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global. "These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community,...

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Jan 19
TV, movies drive the online video market

User-generated content (UGC) or more broadly speaking, short-form video (from services like YouTube and Dailymotion), has become far more than cats playing the piano, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Companies are using viral ads to extend brands and reach a wider breadth of customers than traditional media channels. Professionally generated short-form content also allows consumers to view video (e.g. news) in bit-sized manageable chunks, ideal for today’s hectic lifestyle. The revenue potential for short-form video is expected to approach US$13 billion by 2019, carrying a six-year CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 18.5%.

"As the overall online video market evolves we anticipate the value for short-form video will rise in kind. Multi-channel networks (MCNs) that work with content contributors and advertising agencies targeting services like YouTube are finding suitors and...

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Jan 19
Market for IoT analytics to reach US$5.7 billion in...

A new market analysis by ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) finds that the revenues from integrating, storing, analyzing, and presenting Internet of Things (IoT) data will reach US$5.7 billion in 2015. In the next five years, the market will expand dramatically, to an extent that in 2020 it is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all big data and analytics revenues.

"About 60% of this year’s revenues come from three key areas: energy management, security management, as well as monitoring and status applications. Within these segments, we can generally find analytic applications that reduce the cost base of asset-intensive operations (condition-based maintenance), automate routine workflows (surveillance), or even enable new business models (usage-based insurance)," ABI Research principal analyst Aapo Markkanen says. "These early growth drivers also have in common the fact that the economics of IoT...

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Jan 16
Worldwide semiconductor spending to increase 0.8% this...

Despite strong growth of 12.9% in 2014, worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to only grow 0.8% in 2015, to US$65.7 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Capital equipment spending will increase 5.6% in 2015, down from 11.3%in the third quarter 2014 forecast, as the largest spenders adopt conservative investment strategies, notes the research group.

"Equipment spending outperformed capital spending in 2014 and will continue to do so in 2015, a situation that will reverse in 2016. Total capital spending will grow 0.8% in 2015, compared with 8.8% in our previous forecast," says Bob Johnson, research vice president at Gartner. "As we get better visibility into individual company spending plans for 2015, it is apparent that caution is a prevailing sentiment, with the exception of memory where manufacturers are adding capacity in response to favorable market conditions."

In 2015,...

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Jan 15
Mobile broadband modem volume to Slide 27% in 2014

Mobile broadband modems used in mobile devices and computing outside of smartphones continued to decline over the first half of 2014 (1H 2014), according to the latest study from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The market intelligence firm anticipates a 27% drop in unit shipments from full-year 2013 to 2014 to 53 million. Forecasted to be valued at US$3.5 billion in end-user revenues from the sale of modem hardware, vendor ecosystem consolidation continues with some modem makers shifting focus to M2M modules, while other suppliers have been acquired or divested their R&D effort entirely.

"Earlier last year, we predicted the decline based on an evolving market for both business and consumer adoption of computing solutions," says ABI Research Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr. "Increased form-factor choices from tablets to 2-in-1 ultraportable PCs have pushed mobile broadband modems further...

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Jan 14
Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW dominate ADAS market

According to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and BMW continue to comprise the top three players in the consumer Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) market. They outperform competitors either in terms of the degree and significance of their innovation, or in how effectively they make their systems available to consumers – sometimes in both, according to the research group.

As mass-market OEMs [original equipment manufactureres] have strived to offer affordable ADAS solutions to their customers, luxury brands have sought to distinguish themselves either by increasing the sophistication of their systems, or by offering their systems across more of their model range. Most have adopted a combination of these approaches.

Western Europe maintains its position as the largest market for ADAS, due in no small part to the inclusion of such systems as criteria in Euro NCAP ratings...

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Jan 13
Survey: workplace etiquette, ethics lacking in...

Kessler International (www.investigation.com) — provides forensic accounting, digital forensics and investigative services — has released the results of a nationwide survey that outlined the state and fate of workplace manners, etiquette and ethics.

Kessler conducted a survey by polling upper and mid-level management at 40 professional services firms, and found that the respondents indicated by an 845 margin that their staff was inconsiderate and rude in the workplace. In addition, the same respondents cited by 65% that they felt a majority of their staff lacked a moral compass.

The survey was conducted by asking individuals to anonymously comment on their employees' use of personal electronic devices, dress, manners, ethics and level of respect for other employees. In fact, some respondents expressed disgust of certain individuals on their staff, as well as their own inability to say something...

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Jan 12
Gartner: weak mobile customer service harming customer...

Weak mobile customer service is harming customer engagement, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). No rallying principle in the enterprise matters more than the creation of superior customer engagement and IT leaders will need to innovate in engaging customers on all channels and have the metrics to choose the right projects. 

"Marketing may fill the sales funnel, and the sales department can close a deal, yet it is the overall impression of the enterprise generated by the quality of customer service that differentiates one enterprise from another," saays Michael Maoz, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Translating this general and departmental customer engagement concept into operational components across the enterprise is transforming the definition of customer service from an isolated function into an enterprise objective delivered across all points where the customer "touches” the...

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Jan 09
Flash-based array market more than just a flash in the...

The storage industry continues to evolve and the flash-based array market – including all-flash arrays (AFAs) and hybrid flash arrays (HFAs) – is showing explosive growth. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC.com), the emergence of more robust offerings that can handle a wide range of increasingly complex workloads helped drive the worldwide flash-based array market to US$11.3 billion in 2014.

The impact that flash-based arrays will have on the datacenter is undeniable as more flash-based platforms are delivering enterprise-class data services, including snapshots, clones, encryption, replication, and quality of service (QoS) as well as storage efficiency features. Once dominated by storage startups looking to carve out a niche with flash-optimized solutions, the promise of flash in the datacenter is driving traditional enterprise storage vendors, such as Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp and Oracle, to all get on board and offer flash-optimized...

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Jan 08
Younger 'Smart Home' audiences reinvigorate...

Younger home and apartment dwellers are a surprising new buyer of appliance insurance because of the technology now embedded in everyday appliances. Why? Insurance today is designed for replacement, not repair.

"The Internet of Things now digitally connects people to their appliances, including their washing machine and dryer, refrigerator and other technology that controls the home experience with the tap of a phone," says David Anderson, director of Product for nationwide appliance insurance company, Protect Your Bubble. "This advanced appliance technology, coupled with the fact that we simply replace our appliances instead of repairing them, is a catalyst for why younger home dwellers are embracing what their parents once thought of as unwise – appliance insurance."

In 2015, around 38 million homes across the world are expected to have a Smart Home system. Connected home shipments are expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 67% over the next five...

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Jan 07
Cyber security attacks are top concern for companies

As data breaches, malware and cyber attacks increase, leading tech companies are racing to develop improved and secure mobile payment measures for consumer protection, according to NXT (www.nxted.com), a biometric authentication company.

Sony is reeling from the effects of its recent massive breach, in which hackers were able to penetrate the company's systems at a deep level -- and make Hollywood insiders blush by releasing troves of internal data and private emails. The scope of the breach, and the extent to which Sony was targeted, appears shocking to the public.

However, cybersecurity experts say this is happening all around you; there's a much wider world of ongoing major hacks, with government-sponsored groups or "hacktivist" collectives mounting attacks against financial institutions, private companies, infrastructure and the military.

"From a critical infrastructure and economic perspective, we'...

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Jan 05
Hybrid smart card adoption to lead to e-passport/e-...

Increase in cross-border travel has led to growth in the global e-passport and e-visa Market, which is expected to post a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 30.17% from 2014-2019, says research firm TechNavio (www.technavio.com).

The global e-passport and e-visa market is also experiencing high adoption of hybrid smart cards. These smart cards have shared storage and processing of information, which eliminates the need for multiple cards and ensures easy handling.

"Hybrid smart cards not only secure user information, but also have the option for MIFARE functionality, which is a technology owned by NXP Semiconductors," says Faisal Ghaus, vice president of TechNavio. "MIFARE functionality increases transaction speed, has enhanced security features, is reliable, easy to use and is expected to drive the Global E-passport and E-visa Market in the coming years."

Furthermore, third generation e-...

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Jan 02
The Northern Spy: some thoughts on 2014 … and 2015

By Rick Sutcliffe

Cash away the old year passes as Cupertino has to be a happy place given the wild success of the iPhone 6. Only now are wait times reverting to normal after the most successful product launch in tech history. Apple is once again in ascendancy, Samsung and other rivals descending.

The question is, what does iTim do to keep the momentum going, or will 2015 be a relative disappointment by comparison? Try iPhone 6s and 7, refreshes of Apple TV and across the entire Mac line, plus the long awaited sales launch of the Apple Watch, the latter of which will be successful solely because of its brand cachet--another product the Spy can't see himself buying for lack of a use case. But then there's the vast reservoir of new products under development in the Cupertino labs--many of which will never see the light of rumour, much less a store shelf (a TV screen), but some of which may be either game-changing, or game-inventing....

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Dec 31
62% of US broadband households never back up their data

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 62% of U.S. broadband households never back up their data to an online storage service, despite options available from companies such as Carbonite, Acronis, and Backblaze.

This finding reveals a huge addressable market for cloud-based storage in 2015, as consumer consumption of digital content is on the rise. Smartphone users in U.S. broadband households spend 18 minutes on average per session when using streaming music apps, which exceeds time spent on gaming, social media, or video apps.

"As the connected consumer achieves greater mobility, device storage becomes a limiting factor for consumer content, prompting a shift to cloud-enabled storage and access," says Glenn However, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Starting at CES and throughout 2015, we will see CE makers and online technology companies leverage cloud-based...

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Dec 31
Tablets, ultrabooks become more affordable in emerging...

The average selling price (ASP) of ultrabooks and tablets declined by 7.8% in 2014, as the market matured and commoditized, allowing these devices to become more affordable in all markets.

According to market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the average weeks of household income needed to buy a tablet or ultrabook both declined by approximately 30% year-over-yea making these devices more affordable to a wider range of consumers.

"Across 22 different countries between 2013 and 2014, there was an 8.5% decline for the ASP of tablets and 7.1% for ultrabooks," says research analyst Stephanie Van Vactor. "This decline is allowing these devices to reach a larger audience in a wider range of countries."

Although growth is slowing for both these types of devices, affordability could help prevent a drastic decline in sales. The affordability of personal technology devices is...

| Read more »
Dec 30
Desktop display market shows signs of life

Global desktop monitor sell-in revenue rose 7% in the third quarter of 2014, as average selling prices (ASPs) rose just over 10%. According to a new report from DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com), now part of IHS, worldwide desktop PC monitor shipments declined just over 3%, to reach 34 million units.

"Sales margins for desktop displays have declined over time, and manufacturers are now trying to reverse that trend with bigger sizes and improved features, to justify higher prices," says Hidetoshi Himuro, director of PC/IT market research for DisplaySearch. "In the face of tablets and notebook computers with integrated displays, demand for desktop monitors is shifting toward higher display quality and resolution, with improved performance for professional operation and computer gaming."

In order to improve PC display penetration rates, average screen sizes have been steadily increasing. For...

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Dec 29
U.S. to drive smart/EMV payment card market

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts smart/EMV payment card shipment levels to exceed two billion in 2014; an increase of 24.7% when compared to 2013. Of the two billion units, just over 600 million payment cards will be delivered into the Chinese market (a combination of pure payment and social cards) and 181 million units to the United States as its banks and financial institutions begin ramping up efforts in EMV issuance migration.

What's more, contactless continues to gain market penetration, accounting for 42% of all shipments in 2014. Primarily this is driven by the Chinese market, where over 72% of all cards deployed utilize a contactless interface and countries such as Canada which has adopted a similar strategy and growth in Western Europe, says ABI Research.

The research group adds that all eyes this year and moving forward are firmly on the United States. Although it has been a...

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Dec 26
Indoor location deployments on course to hit 25,000 in...

It has been a breakthrough year for indoor location for retail, with ABI Research’s quarterly indoor location technology tracker forecasting deployments to approach 25,000 by the end of 2014, up more than 100% on 2013.

"Vertically, the bulk of deployments are in clothing, big box, grocery, and shopping malls in 2014, driven by a variety of applications such as customer analytics, offers/coupons, product search, staff management, and navigation," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly. "Looking into 2015, we can expect to see the quick serve restaurant (QSR) market growing with a significant demand for queue management technologies as illustrated by companies like Starbucks and Taco Bell which launched queue-skipping smartphone applications in 2014.”

He adds that we're seeing growth across all major technologies, including BLE, Wi-Fi, and audio, with 2015 being an important year for handset-based location, sensor fusion, magnetic field, and LED. Regionally,...

| Read more »
Dec 23
Mobile financial transactions valued at US$1.8 trillion

Mobile technology is transforming the global payment and banking industry, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). While recent advances in smartphone technology have accelerated the trend, mobile payments have been around for quite some time. Mobile payment applications such as mobile wallets are growing in popularity as they address changing needs of merchants and consumers.

Despite the widespread availability, current mobile payment adoption has failed to take off, says ABI Research. Security represents one of the primary points of concern with mobile payments, be it via processing services or NFC. As more consumers carry out financial activities on their smartphones and tablets, it is critical that these activities are processed in a secure environment.

ABI Research calculates the total value of transactions conducted via mobile handsets and tablets will reach US$1.8 trillion by the end...

| Read more »
Dec 22
Connected cars market to reach $141 billion by 2020

According to a new report by Allied Market Research (www.alliedmarketresearch.com) the global connected cars market is forecast to reach $141 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 32.7% during the period (2014 - 2020).

Integrated connectivity solutions segment is expected to emerge as a preferred connectivity solutions for connected cars, surpassing embedded connectivity solutions segment in 2016. North America currently garners major market share and would maintain the position throughout the forecast period.

The availability of faster communication networks, advanced connectivity solutions and a user friendly interface should drive global connected car market, says Allied Market Research. Also, an enhanced driving experience, offered by connected cars and favorable rules and regulations across numerous countries will fuel the market growth.

...

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