Tag: apple

ARM does better than expected

ARM-Cortex-A15-chipIt seems that the British chip designer ARM has done a lot better than the cocaine nose-jobs of Wall Street have predicted.

ARM posted a 25 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, ahead of expectations, helped by a strong year end in companies licensing its technology and growing royalty revenues.

The Tame Apple press  claims that the ARM success has all been down to Apple’s iPhone 6, although ARM powers most of the world’s smartphones.

ARM reported pre-tax profit of 118.9 million pounds on revenue of 225.9 million pounds, up 19 percent.

Licensing revenue was up 27 per cent on the year mainly based on 53 licences signed for processors.

“We anticipate that total group dollar revenues for Q1 will be up about 10 percent year on year, based on strengthening royalty revenue growth, and our expectation of the profile of license revenue through the year,” the company said.

Analysts were predicting pre-tax profit of £113 million, according to a consensus compiled by Thomson Reuters.

 

Dating applications expose businesses

1930s-couple-620x400Big Blue is warning that millions of people using dating apps on company smartphones could be exposing their employers to hacking, spying and theft.

IBM security researchers said 26 of 41 dating apps they analysed on Google Android mobile platform had medium or high severity vulnerabilities.  Curiously the IBM team did not look at dating applications on Apple gear, probably because the company signed a deal to push Apple gear in the workplace.

Unfortunately IBM did not name and shame the vulnerable apps but said it had alerted the app publishers to problems.

Apparently Tinder, OkCupid and Match have become hugely popular in the past few years due to their instant messaging, photo and geolocation services. In 2013 it was estimated that 31 million Americans have used a dating site or app.

IBM found employees used vulnerable dating apps in nearly 50 percent of the companies sampled for its research. By using the same phone for work and play or “bring your own device,” it means that companies are wide open for such attack vectors.

Am IBM report said that while BYOD was seen as a way that companies could save cash by allowing employees to use their home gear on corporate networks , if not managed properly, the organizations might be leaking sensitive corporate data via employee-owned devices.

IBM said the problem is that people on dating apps let their guard down and are not as sensitive to potential security problems as they might be on email or websites.

If an app is compromised, hackers can take advantage of users waiting eagerly to hear back from a potential love interest by sending bogus “phishing” messages to glean sensitive information or install malware, IBM said.

A phone’s camera or microphone could be turned on remotely through a vulnerable app, which IBM warned could be used to eavesdrop on personal conversations or confidential business meetings. Vulnerable GPS data could also lead to stalking, and a user’s billing information could be hacked to purchase things on other apps or websites.

Strangely, despite its dire warnings to Android users, IBM said it had not so far seen a rash of security breaches due to dating apps as opposed to any other kind of social media.

Meanwhile, it recommends that dating app users limit the personal information they divulge, use unique passwords on every online account, apply the latest software patches and keep track of what permissions each app has.

Biometric spending on the up

fingerprintRevenues for biometric identification to access computer systems will be worth as much as $13.8 million this year.
So said market intelligence company ABI Research.
Spending on biometric technology is because both consumer and enterprise segments are rapidly catching up with spending by governments.
A growing perception of terrorist threats in both Europe and the USA are also accelerating sales of biometric identification gear.
Fingerprint identification remains the dominant type of system and is more acceptable to people than other methods, although it is not the most accurate type of system.
Demand from enterprises and the use of smartphone and wearable technology is also increasing the trend.
3M Cogent, MorphoTrak and NEC are the leaders in the field but Apple and Samsung are also prominent as companies that will support these kind of technologies.

 

Samsung edged out by Chinese vendors

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picA report said Samsung faces increased competition from mainland China.
And that will affect Apple’s bottom line too, according to a survey by Taiwanese market research company Trendforce.
It published figures that showed that in 2014 home grown companies Huawei, Xiaomi and others managed to ship 453 million units – nearly 40 percent of total smartphone shipments worldwide.
Samsung is being squeezed by Apple as well as Chinese smartphone brands but Apple itself is showing signs of losing the brand loyalty it largely depends on.
The company predicts that during 2015 the Chinese branded smartphones will account for shipments of 531 million units. That will be a growth, year on year, of 17.2 percent.
But the Chinese brands showed a growth last year of 54.8 percent.
One of the reasons for the smaller growth is because Chinese telcos have been cutting subsidies, making handsets more expensive.
But that is also likely to affect Samsung and Apple too.
When Samsung released its financial results recently, it reported smaller profits on its smartphone devices in the face of increased competition from Apple and others.

 

Intel thinks it has Apple by the short and curlies

Intel Q4_14_ResultsIt is rare that a company claims to have control of Apple, but it seems that Intel believes that it has Jobs’ Mob wrapped around its little finger.

After ten years working with Apple, there are rumours that Jobs’ Mob is considering ditching Chipzilla and will start making its own Mac chips.  After all Apple already creates its own chips for the iPhone and iPad based on designs from ARM and then has manufacturers like Samsung build them.

The Tame Apple Press thinks that eventually Apple’s ARM chips will be so powerful, Apple won’t need Intel anymore.

But in an interview with Business Insider, Intel’s CFO Stacy Smith brushed off those concerns and  claimed that Intel is so far ahead of the competition when it comes to PC processors that Apple – and just about every other PC maker – has no choice but to use Intel chips.

Smith said that Apple was a  “great partner of ours” and like Intel they like bringing really cool stuff to the market.

Intel’s leadership over the rest of the industry is extending. We’re not delayed relative to the industry. Intel is ahead of the industry, Smith said.

For Jobs Mob that means that if it abandons Intel it will have to lose lots of performance in its new Macs.

Intel thinks that Apple customers would have to take such a big step off performance if Jobs’ Mob abandoned Intel it is not worth it.

Of course, Smith fails to understand that if Apple decided to walk away from Intel, it would simply tell its customers its solution was better and the Tame Apple Press would agree with it. Apple has never been about performance, it has always been about the design and the Apple logo.

 

 

Tablet makers rethink their plans

cheap-tabletsDisappointing shipment numbers for tablets last year are forcing vendors to contemplate their marketing navels and come up with new ideas.
According to Digitimes, one way vendors want to turn the market round is to persuade their suppliers to slash the cost of their components so they can cut prices on production.
And Apple, the wire reports, had disappointing sales of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, which were launched last autumn.
Sales of HTC products and Xiaomi products haven’t been that brilliant either.
Apple is rumoured to be introducing a 12-inch iPad that it hopes will cause waves of excitement.
The problem is that once you have a tablet, there isn’t much desire to get a new one that’s shinier unless you’ve more money than sense.
Apple appears to believe it can launch all sorts of new applications for the 12-inch iPad when it appears.

It’s the internet of everything

Internet of ThingsSome call it the internet of things (IoT), some call it the internet of everything (IoE) and some even call it the internet of fangs (IoF).
These terms are not, as yet, perfectly defined and there is a complete lack of standards defined, just like in the “cloud” space.  But there’s one thing for sure, and that is it’s going to be worth a lot of money so as many vendors as possible are getting on board the gravy train.
Future Market Insights (FMI) prefers the IoE and said that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4 percent between 2014 and 2020.
It will be the Asia Pacific market which will kick off the growth, synched to the arrival of big data. That’s because there will be investment in so called “smart cities” and smart grids, financed by the Indian, Chinese and Japanese governments.
FMI divides the market into business to business (B2B) and IoE vertical markets.
The verticals include manufacturing and public sector, but the health care sector will grow by 20.6 percent CAGR during the period, followed by utilities.
The major players in the market are Cisco, Samsung, IBM, Apple and Accenture – these vendors had over 50 percent market share in 2013.

 

Swatch gets into the smart watch market

Swiss Watches the BrandIf Apple thinks it will have its own way in the smart watch category this year, it had better think again.
Swatch is planning to introduce a smart watch in the next three months and it’s going to have some advantages over the Apple device.
According to Bloomberg, the watch can communicate with the internet without needing to be charged, will work with Windows and Android and will let you make mobile payments.
Swatch has something of an advantage over Apple too in that it’s been in the market for decades and has had touch screens since the end of the 20th century.
It also knows its market and has distribution deals that Apple cannot possibly match.
Further, attempts by companies like Intel and Google to launch TV services haven’t exactly been the dish of the day.
While some analysts are predicting huge sales of smart watches, others are more sceptical.  Young people, by and large, don’t tend to wear watches and use their smartphones for telling the time.
People need to be convinced that spending money on duplicate functions makes any sense at all.

 

Apple PCs make a dent in the marketplace

windows-10-technical-preview-turquoiseWhile the conventional Windows PC market continues to decline, it appears to be losing market share to Apple’s range of PCs.
That’s the conclusion of Taiwanese vendors who have told local wire Digitimes that global PC shipments are expected to fall by over three percent during 2015.
Apple, on the other hand, is set to do much better, with growth of between 10 and 15 percent during 2015, amounting to shipments of between 20 and 23 million worldwide.
Apple is gaining additional traction from more competitive prices and Digitimes said it expects the company to drop prices on its 11 inch and 13 inch notebooks when it launches a 12-inch Macbook Air this year.
While traditional PC sales have been hit by smartphones and tablets to some extent, Microsoft’s delays in shipping Windows 10 will also not help sales.
Microsoft is responding to vendors’ complaints about the excessive price of licensing its operating system by introducing aggressive pricing in a bid to boost the market during 2015.

 

Lenovo pips Amazon at the tablet game

cheap-tabletsApple continued to be the market leader for tablets in 2014 but it, in common with other vendors, showed a drop in sales.
A report from Trendforce said that the tablet industry has no reached the maturity point with shipments globally totalling 192 million units. That’s a fall of 2.2 percent compared to 2013.
Apple fared rather worse, it shipped 63.4 million units, a drop of 13.6 percent.
Number two in the pack was Samsung, but its shipments at 41 million units dropped only 2.5 percent.
Lenovo beat Amazon to take third place, and now has 5.6 percent market share.
Both Amazon and Google trailed behind, and Microsoft hasn’t really hit the numbers with its Surface Pro 3.

 

Some analysts believe that not only has the market reached maturity, but it’s hard to persuade people to upgrade.  Others think that tablets are being squeezed on the one hand by larger screen size smartphones and others by low cost notebook PCs.

Apple transforms sapphire plant into a cloud

1338_16131017563Fruity cargo cult Apple wants to invest $2 billion to convert a failed sapphire glass plant in Arizona into a data centre.

Apple set up the plant with GT Advanced Technologies in Mesa in 2013 to manufacture scratch-resistant sapphire screens for Apple’s shiny toys.

However, GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October and closed the plant, after what appears to be a case of Apple shafting its partner by leaving sapphire glass was left out of Apple’s newest iPhones.

Since Apple owned the plant, it wants to turn it into something more useful. The $2 billion investment will stretch over 10 years with a 30 year commitment from Apple to keep the facility running.

But Apple does not really need another data centre. We have written before that it is hugely over capacity now. Jobs’ Mob said that the facility will be a data centre as well as a command centre for managing Apple’s other data centres and networks, which handle traffic from services like iTunes, iCloud and Siri.

It claims it will create 600 engineering and construction jobs at the data centre and the whole lot will be powered by solar energy.

As it wound down its Sapphire production in October, GT Advanced said it was laying off about 650 employees at the plant.

Android market share falls

330ogleData from market research company ABI Research indicates that Google’s Android operating system is losing share in the smartphone market.
The data shows that certified Android smartphone shipments fell in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter.
Cerified Android shipments fell to 205 million in the fourth quarter, down from 217.49 million – a drop of around five percent.
The clear winner in the quarter was Apple’s iOS – while it only shipped 74.50 millions during Q4, that was up by 90 percent compared to Q3 2014.
Microsoft also managed to increase its market share in the fourth quarter, rising to 10.70 millions – up 19 percent compared to the third quarter.
Others – by which we can infer operating systems by Blackberry and the like, saw growth decline by 26 percent.

 

Smartphone shipments boom

smartphones-genericOver 375.2 million smartphones shipped during the fourth quarter of 2014 – that’s up by 28.2 percent compared to the same period the year before.
Apple had been the number two vendor in 11 previous quarters before Q4 2014, but, according to IDC, it was close to a tie with Samsung, the market leader.
IDC now predicts that Samsung could well outstrip Samsung during 2015.
It’s not just Apple that is challenging Samsung – as we’ve reported before, is under challenge from small Android OEMs selling products at much lower margins.
Growth in 2013 represented 40.5 percent but according to IDC, “the market clearly still has legs”. It estimates growth will fall to a mid teen figure during 2015.
The top five vendors for the fourth quarter were Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi.  The last showed growth of 178.6 percent during Q4 2014, compared to Q4 2013.

 

Microsoft in big Office give away

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEOSoftware giant Microsoft has decided that people who use Android tablets will be able to download Office applications for nothing from today.
Office includes Excel, Word and Power Point.
Microsoft had already made versions of the software available for people with iPads.
But it has today also released a version of email client Outlook for Apple’s iPads and iPhones.
Microsoft realises that the market is slipping out of its reach and this is a gamble by CEO Satya Nadella to broaden the software offerings on mobile devices.
What it wants to do is to persuade people to upgrade to its fully blown Office 365 which costs about £5 a month if you sign up for it.
Microsoft also released a beta version of the Outlook app for people using the Android operating system.

 

People keep taking the tablets

ipad3Despite reports suggesting that the market for tablets is in decay, fresh data shows that it ain’t necessarily so.
Digitimes Research said that overall global tablet shipments in the fourth quarter last year grew by 16.9 percent to total 74.77 million units, mostly down to Apple and first tier vendors good performances.
But so-called “white box” tablets declined in the fourth quarter.
The survey said these white box tablets, using the Android operating system, offer very slim margins and many vendors have given up on manufacturing.
Apple managed to ship 21.9 million iPads in Q4 2014 and was the largest tablet vendor.
Samsung failed to introduce new tablet products in the second half of last year and so it say some stagnation.
Third in line was Amazon, displacing Lenovo from that position in the marketplace.