By the end of this year
, mobile multi-factor authentication software and services will be worth $1.6 billion by the end of this year.
The reason is that user names and passwords to identify people aren’t secure enough, according to ABI Research.
And attacks against organisations, of whatever size, continue to flourish with many breaches made because of weak passwords.
That means there’s considerable market demand for authentication technology that gives an additional layer of security.
ABI thinks that one time passwords and tokens are emerging as the favourite way of authentication.
They offer better security because passwords generated only work for a single session or transaction.
Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter already use two factor authentication methods. And one type of two factor authentication uses hardware based security tokens.
Companies like MobileIron, Gemalto, Entrust,, Centrify, CA, Symantec and others are competing for market share.
ABI believes the market is so ready for this kind of secure technology that by 2020 the authentication market will be worth $13.2 billion.
There are now 649 million
Chinese people with internet access, according to a government report.
And, significantly, a large percentage of those people use smartphones or mobile phones to access the net.
At the end of 2012, there were only 564 million people able to access the web, said the China Internet Network Information Centre.
While the 2014 figures showed a modest growth, there is still room for vendors because internet penetration is only 47.9 percent of the population – with many of those people living in rural areas.
Reuters reports that smartphone sales aren’t doing so well. It quotes government figures that showed 389 smartphones shipped in China in 2014, a drop from 423 million in 2013.
Some players like Google, Facebook and Twitter have practically no presence in mainland China.
The authorities there routinely censor many web sites and keep a sharp eye for blogs related to politics or to pornography.
Data 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.
Over 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.
Massive South Korean
combine Samsung said its earnings fell for the first time in three years.
And it’s blaming the decline on mobile phone sales, which fell by 21 percent in its financial year.
The company’s net profit fell to $21.3 billion for the year, down by 27 percent compared to its previous financial year.
Many are agreed that competition from homegrown Chinese manufacturers have nibbled into Samsung sales in the country.
It also missed a trick in the second half of last year by not having anything to compete with Apple introductions.
Samsung is predicting an increasing decline for smartphones in the first calendar quarter of this year.
Where once the
global flat panel industry focused on unit growth, it appears that it is now taking a bigger interest in area demand.
Market intelligence company IHS said that last year, display panel shipments grew to 168.9 million square metres.
That’s up by nine percent compared to the year before, and will grow at five percent CAGR to reach 223.6 million square metres in 2020.
Bigger is now better, according to Yoshio Tamura, director of research for IHS. “There were four major driving forces,,, consumer demand for larger LCD TVs, soaring demand for five inch and larger smartphones, larger automotive display screens, and larger tablet PCs.”
Major players in the PC business including Apple, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Asus have launched notebooks with larger screens.
Smartphones, particularly in the Chinese market and developing market, are fuelling demand for bigger screen sizes.
Foxconn will slash jobs because of falling demand for Apple gear.
That’s according to Reuters, which has spoken to a company representative who confirmed the cuts will come.
The representative who works to the chairman of the board, said labour costs had doubled since 2010.
Foxconn currently hires 1.3 million people and came under fire in 2010 after a number of its workers killed themselves.
The Reuters report said
revenue growth for Foxconn fell to 1.3 percent in 2013.
Analysts are predicting that the massive growth in sales of smartphones and tablets is bound to decline as saturation levels increase.
Both Apple and Samsung now face intense competition from own brand Chinese smartphone vendors offering units at rock bottom prices and with rock bottom margins.
managed to sell 453.4 million smartphones in 2014 – and total global shipments of the devices amounted to 1.167 billion units.
That’s a growth rate of 25.9 percent, according to market intelligence company Trendforce.
Samsung continued to be the global leader in smartphone market share in 2014, although its growth rate fell, eroded by the Chinese manufacturers at the lower and mid end of the market, and at the high end of the market by Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple managed to grow by 24.5 percent in 2014, shipping a total of 191.3 million units.
Combined, Apple and Samsung shipped 518 million units.
Apple’s success is attributed to the large size smartphone, the iPhone 6 Plus.
LG was the “dark horse”, making progress with its flagship smartphone the G3.
Software giant Google
will introduce a modular mobile phone that it says will be affordable for the five billion people who don’t yet have a smartphone.
Google is increasingly moving into the hardware business.
It will build the machines in Puerto Rico.
According to the BBC
, the Google modular phone will include a 3G chip, with a pilot arriving in the second half of this year.
There will be between 20 and 30 clip on modules that connect to a frame, with modules including screen, batteries and cameras.
The modules will connect to the frame using magnets.
There’s no news yet on pricing, but to appeal to the five billion people that don’t have smartphones it will have to be cheap.
The arrival of Windows
10 and the introduction of 14 nanometre microprocessors are unlikely to stimulate much demand for PCs in 2015.
That’s the view of Digitimes
– which has interviewed sources in the supply chain that make kit using the software and components.
Windows 10 is delayed – it’s not now expected to ship until the August at the earliest, and will make use of a future 14 nanometre CPU from Intel which is codenamed “Skylake”.
But the wire thinks that in 2015 only 200 million PCs will ship this year – with smartphones and tablets continuing to erode market share.
The manufacturers in Taiwan are more update about Apple based PCs rather than their Windows based cousins and are anticipating that while enterprises may decide to upgrade.
Windows 8 has triggered a distinct lack of excitement in the marketplace, with many enterprises hanging on to Windows 7 systems for dear life.
Windows 10 is expected to look a lot more like Windows 7 than Windows 8.x.
A report claimed
that over a billion people in the world will use a tablet this year – that’s 15 percent of the world’s population.
eMarketer said that by 2018, 1.43 billion worldwide will use tablets but that doesn’t mean that sales of tablets will increase exponentially.
While the number of tablet users will increase by just over 17 percent in 2015, eMarketer says that growth was 53.1 percent in 2013 and 29.1 percent in 2014.
In 2018 the growth figure will be just under eight percent, and there are a few reasons for that, the study suggests.
One is that tablets are seen as luxury items, and they are facing competition from ever larger smartphones and other devices. The last reason eMarketer gives is that the use of tablets is not always that clear.
By 2018, Chinese tablets will be used by around 435.5 million people, USA people will account for 172.6 million, India for 60.2 million people and the UK for 38.4 million people.
The survey predicts that Indonesia will enter the top five in 2016, and by 2018 nearly a fifth of the world’s population will be tablet users.
Gartner said that
sales of tablets in 2015 will continue to slow down.
While sales of tablets will reach 233 million units this year – which is an increase of eight percent compared to last year – the trend is downwards.
Ranjit Atwal, research analyst at Gartner, said that in the last two years global sales grew by numbers in the double digits.
He said: “The steep drop can be explained by several factors. One is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended – they are shared out amongst family members and software upgrades, especially for [Apple] iOS devices, keep the tablets current. Another factor includes the lack of innovation in hardware which prevents people from upgrading.”
Apps could help grow the market, he said. And that will be helped by advanced in the personal cloud.
Garner figures show that traditional PCs will show a decline over the next two years.
He estimated the smartphone business will grow by 3.7 percent this year, and is being polarised between high and low end market price points.
The Android OS continues to rule the roost, and units expected to ship in thousands of units in 2015 amount to 1,454,760, compared t 279,415 for the Apple operating system.
Tech giant Microsof
t started the New Year by announcing it was releasing a feature phone which will be priced at $29.
The Nokia 215 is aimed at emerging markets and for people who want a second phone and don’t have very much money.
The phone can connect to the internet but only at speeds of 237 kbps but the big selling point is its battery life which has nearly a month’s stand by time.
In addition, the Nokia 215 comes with a camera and has a screen about two and a half inches in size. The camera’s resolution is 0.3 megapixels.
Software included is Bing Search, Opera, Facebook and Twitter.
The phone comes with either one or two SIM slots and is expected to be released across the world during the first quarter of this year.
While there is still considerable demand in poorer countries for affordable phones, Microsoft cannot expect to make that much money out of this market.
And, in addition, it faces competition from Chinese companies who have started delivering phones with far more sophisticated features for not that much more money.
which is beginning to challenge smartphone players including Samsung and Apple, turned over close to $12 billion in 2014, according to its CEO.
Lei Jun, the CEO of the company, said the revenues rose 135 percent compared to 2013, in a blog on the company’s website.
The company isn’t public but that hasn’t stopped it denting sales of the global giants as well as having an impact on another Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, Huawei.
Lei claimed that Xiaomi shipped over 60 million phones in 2014, an increase of 227 percent compared to 2013.
But while Xiaomi might well be making waves and causing its competitors some alarm, it’s doing so using a model which doesn’t yield big profits. Estimates are that its margins are in the low single digits.
Although Xiaomi remains a private firm, it is receiving investment from a number of big names in Asia and Reuters claimed the market value of the company is as much as $45 billion.
ABI Research believes that by the end of this year processors including embedded security technology will reach the billion mark.
Vendors are building in the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) will reach 366 million as part of that figure.
The shipments are driven by governments, financial service companies and other enterprises largely to ensure secure ID and payments.
The market for TEE devices is still in its early stages, said ABI. But shipments are bound to increase for them and for Host Card Emulation (HCE).
ARM is integrating TruZeone architecture into every Cortex-A family processor it licenses to vendors.
Unlike TEE devices, HCE depends on the cloud and lets banks introduce mobile NFC products without relying on smartphone SIMs. ABI said that HCE support in smartphones is growing exponentially, and will account for shipments of 252 million by the end of the year.
Players in the game include ARM, Nok Nok Labs, NXP Semi, Infineon, Trustonic and Obertur Technologies.