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Dec 17
Gartner: smart watches won't dominate consumer...

Despite the hype surrounding smart watches, they are unlikely to be featured on many consumers' holiday wish lists this year, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The research group says that premium pricing paired with an unclear value proposition will steer consumers' spending toward tablets and fitness bands, leading to lackluster sales of smart watches this holiday season.

Smart watches are a product subset of the wearable electronics market that caters to different industry verticals and consumer groups that include fitness, health-monitoring, monitoring the elderly and law enforcement (tracking). Smart watches themselves are not a new device but they have recently evolved from the health and fitness field with an attempt to enter the mainstream consumer market by adding communication and more smart features.

"Samsung and other well-known vendors have recently entered the smart watch space, yet...

| Read more »
Dec 16
Majority of consumers plan to shop online this holiday...

Based on a survey of shoppers completed by Overstock.com, a discount online shopping retailer, 75% plan to shop on Black Friday (Nov. 29) and of those, 57% plan to do it online. Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) will bring in 66% of shoppers online. The survey also revealed that consumers expect savings of up to 40% off during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail period.

"Online shopping allows consumers to make purchases comfortably from their home while avoiding the holiday rush, waiting in line, fighting traffic and suffering the weather," says Overstock.com Chairman and CEO Patrick M. Byrne. "Overstock offers great deals on high-quality products that can be shipped directly to your door." 

The majority of online shoppers will be younger consumers. According to a study by CFI Group, 50% of millennials intend to spend more than 40% of their holiday shopping budgets online, compared to 38 percent of baby boomers.

Overstock.com's survey also showed that 74% of shoppers...

| Read more »
Dec 12
Chip firms, OEMs to enjoy strong revenue growth as...

The semiconductor and electronics original equipment manufacturing (OEM) industries are set to enjoy significant revenue growth in 2013 — partly due to their tight management of inventory levels — according to a Supply Chain Inventory market brief from IHS Inc. (www.isuppli.com).

Among OEMs in six categories, total revenue in the third quarter reached an estimated US$493 billion, up a robust 7% from $462 billion in the second quarter. Revenue in the final quarter of the year is expected to climb at an even more blistering pace, reaching $540 billion with sequential growth of 10%.

In contrast to the strong performance for the two last quarters of the second half, the first two quarters of the year started out more quietly, with growth in the second quarter reaching only 2%. Industrial electronics was the strongest of the six segments being counted in the third quarter, but wireless communications will finish...

| Read more »
Dec 12
Android OEMs expand their enterprise smartphone...

According to a new report from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), Android smartphone OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are taking advantage of a solid presence among consumers and mobile business users to drive more business entity smartphone purchases and expand use in the enterprise.

ABI Research predicts that shipment revenues from Android smartphones used by mobile business customers will grow from US$54 billion in 2013 to over $92 billion globally by the end of 2018. ABI Research analyzed Android OEM enterprise features and market presence to provide mobile business customer adoption forecasts for six OEMs including HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola Mobility, Samsung, and ZTE.

"Despite a significant presence among employees in the workplace, businesses have not allowed or have limited the access of Android devices to enterprise applications and systems," says ABI Resesarch Senior Analyst, Jason...

| Read more »
Dec 11
26% of U.S. broadband households eyeing an Internet-...

The Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) research group finds growing consumer interest in smart home automation solutions, with 26% of U.S. broadband households planning to purchase a smart thermostat during the 2013 holiday season.

"Roughly 25% of broadband households with new home management and home entertainment equipment report experiencing problems with these devices on a monthly basis, a surprisingly high amount," says Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Robust technical support will help consumers to achieve the promise of these devices and mitigate consumer frustration."

Parks Associates research finds 30% of consumers with electronic door locks regularly experience technical problems with these solutions, including 9% on a daily basis. Over 20% of smart thermostat owners regularly experience problems, including 12% on a daily basis.

"IP-enabled...

| Read more »
Dec 10
One billion smartphones will have location-based...

As smartphones embrace always-on, ubiquitous location, location-based sensor fusion will become a standard feature, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). Location-based sensor fusion will enable the dawn of the quantified self, ambient intelligence, as well as provide huge potential around advertising and retail, says the research group.

"Sensor fusion is vital in enabling a consistent location experience, RF mapping, and the industry to scale rapidly," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly. "Unfortunately, it is not just a case of putting in a 9-axis sensor to achieve this. Highly complex algorithms are required to optimize sensor outputs, integrate with other location technologies and combine with machine learning and data-fusion algorithms. Sensor fusion will surpass Wi-Fi and BLE as the most important handset-based indoor location technology by 2017."

ABI Research has...

| Read more »
Dec 09
Smartphones, tablets revolutionize online content...

Driven by rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, international consumers of digital media — video, video games, music and books — are moving away from traditional household ownership models to individual rental models, increasing the pressure on content publishers to increase investment and innovation.

This is according to "The Age of Curation: From Abundance to Discovery," an eight-country, 6,000 consumer survey and report to be presented on November 21 at the 2013 Forum D’Avignon, by Bain & Company (www.bain.com), aglobal business consulting firm. Key findings include:
° Smartphone ownership in developed markets (the U.S., U.K., France and Germany) jumped from 49% on average in 2012 to 64% in 2013, while increasing from 24% to 37% in developing markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China)

° Tablet ownership rose from 18% on average in 2012 to 39% in 2013 in developed markets, while increasing from 13...

| Read more »
Dec 06
Americans reach for smartphones in unexpected places

With nearly 170 million Americans using smartphones today, mobile devices are now synonymous with everyday activities such as email, web browsing and communication via texts or social media. A number of Americans are actually reaching for their phones in some of the most unexpected places and using them for more than just staying in touch while on-the-go, according to results of a new nationwide survey released by LG Electronics.

Conducted by Kelton, the "Smartphone Secrets" survey of 1,152 Americans age 18 and over found that nearly one in five would never hide the fact that they are using their mobile device, no matter where they are. Some of the most shocking and surprising places in which Americans are not afraid to whip out their smartphones include:

° Places of worship: 48% of smartphone owners confess they would be comfortable using their devices in a place of worship.

° In the bedroom: 77% of smartphone owners admit they would openly use their phones...

| Read more »
Dec 05
Gartner: personal worlds, Internet of Everything are...

With the digital world upon us, digitalization will significantly change the technology market through the Internet of Things, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). While IT spending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will show an average annual growth rate of 2.2 percent through 2017, the Internet of Things (things, people, places and systems) will create new markets and a new economy, according to the research group.

"The traditional IT market is not going to grow at a faster rate any time soon, if ever. Increased growth will come from the non-traditional IT market," says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. "While in 2015 the combined IT and telecom market will hit nearly US$4 trillion, the incremental revenue generated by the Internet of Things’ suppliers is estimated to reach $309 billion per year by 2020. Half of this activity will be new start-ups...

| Read more »
Dec 04
Russia records massive mobile app growth

Game Insight (www.game-insight.com), a publisher/developer of mobile/social games, and J’son & Partners has presented new market research on the Russian mobile market, comparing growth in mobile applications and devices in Russia against global figures.

According to the study, the mobile application market volume in Russia will exceed US$330 million for 2013. In addition to calculating total mobile app market volume, the study also compares key trends and figures in the Russian mobile market against those of different countries, as well as against global aggregates. 

For instance, for the last two years, the average percentage of Russian mobile internet users has increased by a factor of 10. In fact, mobile internet expansion in Russia has outpaced that of other developing mobile markets by a sizeable margin, with penetration three times higher than in China and nine times higher than in India....

| Read more »
Dec 03
Mobile broadband modem, router markets decline

Over the first half of 2013 about US$2.5 billion worth of mobile broadband modems and routers for computing and consumer electronics connectivity have shipped. For the full year, market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts 92.1 million of these 3G and 4G modems and routers will be shipped worldwide to mobile network operators, retailers, and device manufacturers.

This represents 0% growth year-over-year from the 92.4 million modems shipped during 2012. The mix of modem form-factors is changing due to declining USB volumes, offset by increased mobile hotspot routers and embedded modem modules.

"The use of USB for the addition of mobile broadband to portable computers has peaked," says ABI Research Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr. "The diversification of choices for the new era of computing can be seen by these trends in modems sold through the aftermarket."

Modem...

| Read more »
Dec 02
The Northern Spy: curmudgeonly yours

By Rick Sutcliffe

Following up on comments in this space last month, the Spy still has had none of the issues reported by others who've adopted Mavericks. Apart from the need to upgrade a handful of programs, all continues smooth. However, iTim's elves are busy at work releasing betas of the first incremental upgrade to fix issues some have seen. Of greater interest might be what they're doing with system XI.

And, the reader will recall the troubles reported here with his own hosting company's mail server (another millisecond older and deeper in spam with faked to, from, and reply-to addresses). Enabling MCP (Message Content Protection) in MailScanner to scan and delete on specific content did blue list and refuse much of the offending mail, which on that change alone declined from 80% of all arriving messages to about 20%.

But, subject, content, and other characteristics kept changing, and even adding more block lists to the scanner only...

| Read more »
Dec 02
Mobile augmented reality users to approach 200 million...

New findings from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) shows that the mobile Augmented Reality (AR) market, is set to increase dramatically from 60 million unique users this year to nearly 200 million in 2018.

The market will expand from the early adopting gaming segment and navigation based utility to becoming an integral part of the consumer’s ecosystem, according to the research group. Despite initial trepidation and single use applications of the technology, Juniper forecasts AR to become a key future platform for communication and commerce.

AR has a potential to engage a new generation of consumers in a unique manner, combining the personal nature of mobile devices with the Internet’s wealth of accessible information. Juniper’s report finds that as the market matures, the app ecosystem is set to expand rapidly over the forecast period.

Initial innovations will stem from...

| Read more »
Nov 27
Game consoles, tablets competing for holiday shopping...

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds tablets and game consoles are virtually tied among U.S. consumers for planned purchases in the 2013 holiday season.

Parks Associates' research reports purchase interest in game consoles has rebounded after tablets surged ahead in the 2012 holiday season. The research group's analysts say comparable percentages of U.S. broadband households purchased tablets and game consoles in 2011, and if current intentions reflect 2013 purchases, game consoles will soon be back on an equal footing with tablets.

"Tablets are poised to be a big seller this Black Friday and holiday season, with Apple, Microsoft, and Nokia announcing new models, but the launch of new game consoles from Microsoft and Sony may steal their momentum," says Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "2013 will not be a repeat of...

| Read more »
Nov 26
Enterprise small cell installations set to increase 70...

The femtocell market has continued its steady growth in 2013 with the number of installations rising by 70% over the last year in the enterprise market with some notable deployments recently, including Telefónica in Germany and Free in France, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The femtocell ecosystem is also developing with more equipment providers looking to capture a share of the market which has attracted vendors from different backgrounds including ICT, core network, and in-building/DAS providers. This is reflected by the number of femtocell shipments which will increase tenfold by 2018, jumping from 3.75 million in 2013 to 37.45 million.

Now that Wi-Fi has entered the gigabit era with the new 802.11ac standard delivering total data rate of 1.3 Gbps and femtocells migrating from 3G to LTE which offers considerably higher data rates than 3G, new applications and business models are...

| Read more »
Nov 25
Gartner: limit data centers to two per continent of...

Most global organizations have too many data centers in too many countries, according to Gartner, Inc (www.gartner.com). The research group said that in order for enterprises to save costs and optimize service delivery, they need a twin data center topology for each continent of major business activity.

"It's a fact that most global organizations run too many data centers in too many countries. This is normally the result of business expansion, either organically or through acquisition over many years," said Rakesh Kumar, research vice president at Gartner. "While the logic of business growth makes sense, having too many data centers results in excessive capital and operational costs, an overly complex architecture and, in many cases, a lack of business-IT agility." 

Many companies have stated that having too many data centers inhibits their ability to respond quickly to business changes. This is because of...

| Read more »
Nov 21
Broadband users are paying less for services

The most recent mobile broadband price benchmarking results from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) shows that while service speeds have grown dramatically over the past year, users are paying less for them.

The average monthly cost for a tablet user needing 2GB per month has fallen 4% since the same period last year, to USD PPP 17.79, while average advertised speed for the same basket has risen by a massive 123%, to 26 Mb/s. For a laptop user requiring 5GB per month, the cost has fallen by 9%, and currently averages USD PPP 25.24, while the speed has risen by 35%over the year, and now stands at just under 24 Mb/s.

"We are seeing some very dramatic movements with mobile broadband pricing," says Strategy Analytics Teligen Director Halvor Sannaes. "The impact of 4G rollouts on speed is very evident, with some providers offering download in excess of 100 Mb/s. What is perhaps...

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Nov 20
Cloud-based security services market to reach $2.1...

The cloud-based security services market will be worth US$2.1 billion in 2013, rising to $3.1 billion in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The search group says that growth in cloud-based security will remain strong, but revenue opportunities will vary.

"The cloud-based security market remains a viable one, offering providers many opportunities for expansion," says Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. "Encryption will be a new area of growth, but it remains a complex activity. The strongest interest will be in encryption products from cloud security brokers, which are relatively easy to deploy and have options for on-premises encryption management."

Gartner predicts that the top three most sought-after cloud services moving forward will remain email security, web security services and identity and access management (IAM). However, in 2013 and 2014, the highest growth is forecast to...

| Read more »
Nov 19
Notebook market's annual plunge continues

How far have expectations fallen for the mobile personal computer (PC) business this year?

So far that single-digit sequential growth in the third quarter comes as the best news the notebook market has heard in many months — even as shipments plunged on a year-over-year basis. The year-over-year decline is making it increasingly apparent that the mobile PC market is headed for a second consecutive year of contraction in 2013, according to a new PC Dynamics brief from IHS Inc. (www.isuppli.com).

Mobile PC shipments worldwide are estimated to have reached 47.9 million units in the third quarter, up 6% from the second quarter. This represents the largest sequential growth since two years ago when the market rose 7% in the third quarter of 2011, as presented in the graph.

On the other hand, the third-quarter results show the market has now shrunk for five consecutive quarters on a year-over-year basis,...

| Read more »
Nov 18
Cellular M2M device installed based to near 500...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the installed base of cellular M2M devices will approach 500 million modules by 2018, driven by more open M2M ecosystems and improved cloud-based APIs (application programming interfaces).

According to the report, the M2M space is seeing an increasing focus on the development of open platforms that simplify connectivity to a wide range of isolated devices through the cloud. It found that "Big Data" emerging from M2M service provision will, in time, allow for improved interrogation of M2M data, opening the door to new revenue streams for companies and M2M operators.
Towards the Internet of Things

The Juniper report found that M2M roll-outs have become increasingly global, with Mobile Network Operators facilitating M2M roaming and tailoring services and approaches to industry verticals.

"Mobile...

| Read more »
Nov 14
NPD DisplaySearch: there's an increased demand...

As 5-inch full-high-definition (FHD, 1920 × 1080 resolution) smartphone panels continue to gain traction and demand increases, manufacturers are beginning to implement new technologies to reduce power consumption at higher resolutions, according to NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com). More than 100 million 5-inch FHD smartphone panels will be shipped in 2013, 5% of all smartphone displays.

There are several manufacturing technologies that can produce the active matrix TFT backplane for 5-inch FHD smartphone panels: traditional a-Si TFT, oxide TFT, and low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) TFT, all of which are used with LCD. LTPS TFT can also be used as a backplane for AMOLED (active matrix OLED) displays.

"While Apple iPhone suppliers are focused on the production of LTPS LCDs, others with experience in oxide TFT are trying to address the issue and gain a competitive advantage," said Yoonsung...

| Read more »
Nov 13
Cellular connectivity to deliver nearly 60% of M2M...

M2M connectivity will be embedded in more than 2 billion devices across nine key industries by 2018, but it will be cellular that will bring the bulk of the value and the connectivity revenues, according to ABI Research.

A new generation of smart devices is set to have embedded connectivity and manufacturers have a number of technologies to select to deliver network connectivity. ABI Research has examined the demand and appeal for M2M connectivity across cellular, satellite, fixed-line and short-range wireless technologies within nine key industry verticals. Each technology has specific advantages and appeal, but cellular is the best placed to deliver the most value, he

"Looking at demand for connectivity, while cellular will not have the highest number of connections, or the highest average revenue per connection, it will provide the greatest opportunity to drive the most overall value from those connections," says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst and author of...

| Read more »
Nov 12
Mobile device platforms continue toward more...

There are many trends simultaneously affecting the market for mobile device semiconductors. Two have been the shift towards multicore application processors and the addition of x86 and MIPS to what used to be purely an ARM play. Two newer trends are the addition of heterogeneous processing functionality and 64-bit processors for mobile devices, according to ABI Research.

The trend towards more integrated platforms is the most crucial; however, it is because the revenue of standalone components is folding into integrated platforms and the revenue for mobile device semiconductors lie with the higher cost components — mostly the application processor, says the research group. So while the shift from standalone components to integrated platforms is drastic over the next five years in terms of shipments, this shift is even more radical in terms of revenue.

From 2013 to 2018, the share of integrated platforms compared to all application processors in terms of shipments...

| Read more »
Nov 07
Mobile security services to drive billion dollar...

Mobile authentication and encryption services for enterprises are growing dynamically with the saturation of cloud-based applications and BYOD trends, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Organizations are looking to maximize the benefits of these technologies while maintaining a level of security that satisfies compliance and the protection of corporate resources, according to the research group. These need to be further balanced against flexibility and manageability; without these guarantees, even the most secure solutions are useless.

For mobile encryption technology, this means effective key management. For authentication, it may be SSO or tokenless access. The field of application for mobile authentication and encryption services is wide, and the demands are varied.

ABI Research says an innovative market in mobile-specific services for authenticating users and devices has...

| Read more »
Nov 06
Gartner: cloud computing to be the bulk of new IT...

The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spending, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017, the research group says.

Gartner describes cloud computing as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered "as a service" using Internet technologies. It heralds an evolution of business in positive and negative ways. It has also become a hot industry term that has been used in many contradictory ways.

"Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals...

| Read more »
 
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