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Nov 20
Gartner: 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use...

Gartner, Inc., (www.gartner.com) forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day.

Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015. Services are dominated by the professional category (in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate IoT systems), however connectivity services (through communications service providers) and consumer services will grow at a faster pace.

"IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors," says Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

In terms of hardware spending,...

| Read more »
Nov 19
U.K. broadband households not doing a lot of cable...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that only about three percent of U.K. broadband households cancelled a subscription to an OTT video service in the past 12 months, while 33 percent of U.K. broadband households currently pay for an OTT subscription.

In the U.S., approximately nine percent of U.S. broadband households have recently cancelled an OTT service subscription, while 59 percent currently subscribe. The research firm finds that service cancellations and switching are an evolving part of viewer consumption and buying habits in the U.S. market, a trend that is beginning to emerge in Western Europe.

"U.S. consumers who cancel an OTT service often have a subscription to other OTT video services. They also spend an above-average volume of time watching video on a connected device," Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates, says. “Their weekly...

| Read more »
Nov 18
336 million earphones, headphones expected to ship in...

Global shipments of earphones and headphones are expected to reach 336 million units by 2016, up from an estimated 324 million in 2015. In terms of revenue, the market is expected to surpass $13 billion by the end of 2016, according to new data from Future Marketing Insights (www.futuremarketinginsights.com).

FMI has segmented the global earphones and headphones market into personal, gaming, media and entertainment, corporate, and sports. Demand for earphones and headphones for personal use is the highest, accounting for US$4.32 billion in revenues in 2014. FMI estimates revenues from personal segment to surpass $5 billion by 2016.

Robust smartphone and tablet sales in Asia Pacific, combined with proliferation of music streaming services is driving demand for earphones and headphones for personal use, according to the research group. Demand for earphones and headphones is also...

| Read more »
Nov 16
Smart home device adoption highest among 25-34...

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows U.S. broadband households with a head of household ages 25-34 have the highest adoption rate for smart home devices at nearly 30 percent.

Among heads of household ages 35-44, adoption is only 21 percent, but they own the highest number of smart home product categories, with an average of two different smart products. Networked security cameras, smart thermostats, and smart door locks are the leading categories of smart home devices.

"Nearly 40% of U.S. broadband households with a security system also own a smart home product," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "Safety and security are the leading value propositions for the connected home, so we will see many innovative solutions at CES 2016 coming from partnerships among security companies, service providers, app developers, and device manufacturers.”

...

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Nov 13
Online eSports audiences expected to exceed 310...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that online eSports services, such as Twitch, will grow to over 310 million by 2020, increasing from 133 million this year and bringing in almost $1 billion in revenues from subscriptions alone. By comparison, 2020 will see eSports audiences surpass the levels of the NFL tournament and approach that of Formula 1/

Juniper Research forecasts that eSports is on the cusp of significant growth, with tournaments and prize pools expanding in size and value. Key eSports tournaments such as last year’s League of Legends World Championships final drew in over 27 million viewers.

In particular, advertisers are set to benefit, with revenues forecast to increase by almost 250% from 2015 to 2020. This will mirror an increased willingness by consumers to subscribe to online eSports channels and broadcasters, with subscription revenues...

| Read more »
Nov 12
Households very concerned about security/privacy when...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that 76 percent of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about their data security and personal privacy when using connected devices. The report shows identity and data theft are among the highest security concerns when using connected devices, but only 6 percent of U.S. broadband households have experienced those problems in the last year.

"Broadband households in the U.S. now own an average of more than seven Internet-connected computing and entertainment devices, and nearly one-fifth own a smart home device," said Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "As consumers acquire more connected devices for their homes, the more exposure they feel, either through experience or from hearing about high-profile security breaches in the media. As a result, they are seeing high value in security and privacy support either as...

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Nov 11
One-third of U.S. broadband households find smart home...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reports 30 percent of U.S. broadband households find most energy management use cases very appealing.

"Nearly all U.S. households have taken some energy-saving steps in the past 12 months,” says Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. “Many households have adjusted their thermostats, switched to CFL and LED bulbs, and bought new energy-efficient appliances to save money and energy. The energy management features available today complement these consumer activities and can therefore broaden the appeal of smart home offerings.”

The research group also found that:

° Fifty-one percent of U.S. broadband households would like to receive alerts if a fire or smoke is detected in their home.

° Forty-five percent of U.S. broadband households would like to receive an alert if there is a carbon monoxide or gas leak.

° Thirty...

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Nov 10
One-in-20 apps on private U.S. personal computers are...

New data from Secunia Research (www.flexerasoftware.com), a provider of software vulnerability intelligence, reveals the state of security for PC users in a total of 14 countries, including the US.

The report shows that: one in 20 applications on private US PCs are end-of-life; 12 percent of Windows operating systems are unpatched; and for the first time in four consecutive quarters, Oracle Java isn't topping the list of most exposed programs – Apple has purportedly taken the lead. Findings in the US Country Report include:

° 5.5 percent of applications on the average US PC have reached end-of-life, meaning they are no longer supported by the vendor and do not receive security updates. End-of-life Adobe Flash Player 18, which was end-of-life as of September 22, 2015, is found on 80% of the PCs.

° Apple QuickTime 7.x and Apple iTunes 12.x tops the list as the US' most exposed...

| Read more »
Nov 09
Fifty-one percent of customers surveyed would likely...

CCG Catalyst (www.ccg-catalyst.com), a management consulting firm offering strategic advice to banks, has released the results of its recent study, “The Age of Mobile Wallets: What Banks Need to Know When Considering the Creation of a Bank Branded Mobile Wallet.”

The study focused on examining the customers’ use of mobile wallets to help banks recognize opportunities, decide whether to create mobile wallets and realize unmet customer needs. Administered through AskYourTargetMarket, was issued to a panel of 25 million U.S. consumers (18 years of age to 65 years plus) it measured consumer attitudes and behaviors toward mobile wallets vs. non-bank mobile wallets.

Respondents answered a series of questions segmented in three key themes: usage, behavior and habits. Of the 2,000 completed surveys generated, the key findings are as follows:

° If their bank offered a mobile wallet, 51 percent of...

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Nov 06
Tablet owners like their data plans

 The share of customers who purchase tablets with mobile data plans is on the rise due to their ability to stay continuously connected to the Internet, and satisfaction among these customers is higher than those with Wi-Fi only connections, according to new data from J.D. Power.

The gap in satisfaction between owners with data plan-connected tablets and those with Wi-Fi only devices is 26 points (833 vs. 807, respectively), up from 22 points in J.D. Power’s 2014 study. The research group says the proportion of customers who purchase tablets with mobile data plans is 31 percent, a higher share than in any previous J.D. Power study and a three percentage point gain from six months ago.

The increased popularity of subscribing to data plans is attributable to customer interest in staying connected and using a tablet for activities such as browsing the Internet, streaming music and videos, playing games, using apps and communicating on social media sites. The convenience...

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Nov 05
Regular Netflix users watch 10 TV shows per week

Regular (monthly) Netflix users in the US have grown even more dependent on the service for viewing TV programming, saying they watch 10 shows per week via the platform – as well as four movies during the same timeframe, according to the GfK research group (www.gfk.com). For TV content, this represents a doubling of the level (five shows per week) found in the same survey three years ago.

Projected to the full population, this means that the average US consumer ages 13 to 54 watches roughly 5 TV shows and two movies per week via Netflix using one or more platforms. The findings come from “Over the Top TV 2015: A Complete Video Landscape” – the latest study in GfK’s ongoing The Home Technology Monitor series tracking media technology and services. The new report includes trends from five prior “over the top” (OTT) studies conducted since 2010.

Watching via Netflix on mobile devices has also more than doubled in three...

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Nov 04
Ten percent of Spanish broadband households own a...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that 10 percent of Spanish broadband households own a smart watch, followed by eight percent in the U.K., seven percent in Germany, and six percent in France.

"Form factors such as the smart watch are creating new opportunities for wearables in the connected home, with home controls and health applications near the top of the list for potential use cases," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "At CONNECTIONS™ Europe, we will highlight the business opportunities for service and technology providers, component suppliers, and software designers.”

The research group says that 10 percent of Western European broadband households plan to purchase a smart watch within the next 12 months. Broadband households in Spain have the highest purchase intentions with 12 percent, followed by 10 percent in France and Germany, and nine...

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Nov 04
Smart watches to trump other wearables win smart home...

The smart home market, projected to reach US$34 billion in 2020 is becoming the center of activity for multiple IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystems, including wearables. 

A report from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) says that smart watches will drive the most interest for wearables integration into the smart home even though fitness trackers were approximately two-thirds of all wearable device shipments in 2014.  Recent announcements of Android Wear from Google and Apple Watch are driving integration efforts from various smart home platform vendors such as iControl, Alarm.com and Samsung's SmartThings.

Wearables integration with smart home systems will drive more proximal network communications in the smart home, according to ABI Research. This is starting to happen as device vendors slowly start to open up their APIs (application programming interfaces) and share data to deliver more...

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Nov 03
Improving customer experience top priority for...

Improving the overall customer experience is a top business priority for companies and a main driver behind their digital transformation ambitions, according to a new study from Accenture. But the majority of businesses don’t set themselves apart yet from competitors through the digital customer experience they offer.

The study, titled “Digital Transformation in the Age of the Customer,” (http://tinyurl.com/nhyeya7) is based on a survey of nearly 400 decision-makers in companies globally. It was commissioned by Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, and conducted by Forrester Consulting. Key findings in the study include:

° “Improving the customer experience” topped the list of business priorities companies have for the next 12 months. It received the most number one rankings (21 percent), followed by “growing revenues” (17 percent) and “improving differentiation” (16 percent)....

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Nov 02
The Northern Spy: Apple’s sales saga

By Rick Sutcliffe

Apple's sales saga continues to flummox many pundits. They forecast earnings estimates too low or too high, and when they miss, they criticize--not themselves, but Apple--as if it were Cupertino's fault they aren't more prescient.

The latest take on this is that because Apple's iPhone sales generate so large a percentage of the total income, and aren't breaking records by a very wide margin these days, the company is somehow in trouble, and about to become last year's news. Really? Start your own company, and when your sales exceed Apple's, go ahead and point the finger. Are these the same people who once upon a time delighted to forecast Apple's impending bankruptcy?

Is the market saturated? Not as long as there's a billion or two potential customers out there willing to pay top dollar for a high end product in a first class industrial design. The pundits haven't paid as much attention to declining sales by...

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Oct 30
Gartner: worldwide semiconductor spending to dip one...

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to decline one percent in 2015, to $63.9 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). This is a down from the 2.5 percent growth predicted in Gartner's previous quarter's forecast. The forecast for 2016 is unchanged at a 3.3 percent decline over 2015.

"We are continuing to see weakness in end-user electronics demand in response to an uncertain economic environment, which is putting a damper on 2015 spending," said Takashi Ogawa, research vice president at Gartner. "Next year we are anticipating DRAM manufacturers to respond to oversupply conditions with dramatic deductions in their investment plans.”
\
Capital investment policies of leading semiconductor vendors have maintained a cautious attitude against the background of sluggish electronics demand. Intel has announced further capital spending cutbacks since Gartner's previous forecast...

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Oct 29
22 percent of smartwatch owners plan to use it for...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reveals home controls and automation are key use cases in the smart watch market, as more than one in five U.S. broadband households that own or plan to buy a smart watch intend to use this device for these applications. The research group notes that more than 80 percent of smartphone/tablet users who own at least one smart home device have downloaded mobile apps for these devices.

"The accessibility of a smart watch makes it a natural fit as a remote control for smart home features such as turning on lights remotely, closing garage doors, and adjusting thermostat settings," says Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "Many smart home device makers and solution providers have already moved into the wearables ecosystem, with nearly 20 having created an Apple Watch app for their technology. They have to...

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Oct 29
Adobe named leader in digital experience platforms

Adobe (www.adobe.com) has been recognized as the leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2015” report by Forrester Research, (www.forresterresearch.com).

Adobe was among the select companies Forrester invited to participate in the independent report, which evaluated the 10 most significant software vendors in digital experience platforms across 40 criteria. Adobe was positioned as the only leader, ranking highest in current offering.

“Adobe’s integrated platform leads the market,” stated the Forrester report. “Adobe has established a platform of best-of-breed technologies that support marketing activities. This portfolio includes web content management (WCM), testing and optimization, analytics, audience management, social publishing, and campaign management.”

Adobe Marketing Cloud includes a...

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Oct 28
Juniper Research: smart home revenues to reach $100...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that consumer spend on smart home services, including entertainment, health, energy and home automation will reach US$100 billion by 2020, well over twice the estimated spend for this year, at $43 billion.

Entertainment services such as Netflix and Spotify are playing a key role in boosting the smart home market size, driven by a universal appeal, and the low cost of services, according to the research group. However, emerging smart home segments, such as home automation, are expected to begin catching up, driven by falling hardware costs and increased consumer awareness.

Juniper Research found that numerous home automation subscription services, such as AT&T's Digital Life, have struggled to address the mass-market. Incremental unit-by-unit purchases, to personalize the home, are therefore the most likely entry point for...

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Oct 27
77% of Americans frightened of identify theft

Nearly eight in 10 Americans (77 percent) are frightened of having their identity stolen, according to a new Bankrate.com report, including 23 percent who are very frightened. About half of Americans (46 percent) have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who was, up 12 percentage points from 2008.

One in five Americans is not at all worried about having their identity stolen. 30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned.

Many Americans aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from identity theft. Forty-two percent don’t check their credit reports regularly and 41 percent conduct banking and other sensitive business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that do not require a password.

“With news of a data hack nearly every week, consumers are doing themselves a disservice by not checking their credit reports regularly,” says Bankrate.com analyst Janna Herron. “...

| Read more »
Oct 26
UK security experts skeptical of IoT device security

A new survey of more than 7,000 IT professionals from global cybersecurity association ISACA suggests that a lack of clarity and standards around Internet of Things (IoT) security is leading to a lack of confidence.

According to the UK IT professionals surveyed for ISACA’s 2015 IT Risk/Reward Barometer (http://tinyurl.com/pupb8kz), 75 percent of the security experts polled say they do not believe device manufacturers are implementing sufficient security measures in IoT devices, and a further 73 percent say existing security standards in the industry do not sufficiently address IoT specific security concerns and new standards are needed.

Combined with the assertion from 56 percent of respondents that their organization’s IT department is not aware of all of its connected devices (e.g., connected thermostats, TVs, fire alarms, cars, etc.) these figures demonstrate significant risk. The...

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Oct 23
Mobile banking users to exceed one billion this year

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) shows that over one billion mobile phone users will have used their devices for banking purposes by the end of this year. This global user base is forecast to reach two billion by 2020, by which time it will represent 37% of the global adult population.

Growth in adoption has been particularly aggressive in emerging markets, leading Juniper to revise adoption forecasts upwards. Under Juniper’s revised forecasts, mobile banking users will exceed the 1 billion mark this year instead of during H1 2016 as previously anticipated.

The new research notes that banking strategy in the retail space has evolved into an omnichannel approach by providing a seamless and integrated experience across multiple individual channels. However, while most consumers – especially in developed markets – prefer digital banking and virtual channels, a significant...

| Read more »
Oct 22
Two thirds of U.S. broadband households use a...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows 66 percent of U.S. broadband households use a streaming audio service.

Among all U.S. broadband households, 40 percent use a free service to stream audio, and 26% subscribe to a paid streaming audio service. Amazon Prime Music is the top subscription music service among U.S. broadband households (10 percent), followed by Pandora One (6 percent), and Spotify Premium (4 percent).

"Consumers have shown plenty of interest in streaming audio and music services, but most consumers have opted for free accounts. Music service providers have built a model around converting free users into paying customers, but this strategy has not paid off so far," says Glenn Hower, research aAnalyst, Parks Associates. "Streaming music providers will have to get creative with revenue streams if they hope to build sustainable businesses, whether through...

| Read more »
Oct 21
Wearable tech causes security, support, bandwidth...

Ipswitch's "2015 Wearable Technology Survey" (www.ipswitch.com) polled 288 IT professionals in the United States. The survey revealed that more than half of the respondents (52.7 percent) now have users wearing technology to work, a growing concern for IT pros.

IT pros’ top concerns with a high adoption of wearable technology in the workplace included security breaches (61 percent), more work to support more devices (45 percent) and decreased network bandwidth (36 percent). When asked if they had IT policies in place to manage the impact of wearable technology, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) did not while about one-quarter (24 percent) did have such a policy.

Even though wearable technology has yet to break through to the mainstream, 15 percent of all respondents noted that their companies provided wearable technology to its own workers. The most popular wearable technology in the workforce, according to...

| Read more »
Oct 20
Digital games revenue to pass $100 billion per annum...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the digital games industry will generate software revenues of just over US$80 billion this year, rising to $104 billion by the end of 2018. The majority of this growth will stem from the contributions made by the PC market, with this industry alone accounting for 42 percent of games revenues this year, says the research group.

However mobile platforms will account for ever increasing contributions, with a market share approaching 35 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, driven by consumer uptake and software purchases from the latest generation of games consoles, software revenue generated by this segment will reach $27 billion by 2018, up from an estimated $21 billion this year.

Contrary to the rumors of its impending demise, Juniper believes that the console industry will continue to evolve to take advantage of new technological...

| Read more »
 
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