HTC won't help its shrinking share by shrinking a phone

19 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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It used to be bigger.

Combined, Samsung and Apple are selling about half the world’s smart phones, with 30% and 19% market share respectively in 2012 according to IDC. Much of Samsung’s growth from 19% in 2011 came out of HTC’s hide. Its share was cut in half over same period, dropping below 5% and putting it more or less in a tie with Nokia and Blackberry.

At least it was still in the top five then.… More

Gigabit mobile phones teased for the 5G road map

18 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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It’s more than a 5 year mission to the next generation.

Samsung’s latest mobile technology announcement could result in faster mobile data traffic running on much higher frequency bands. Speeds of up to 1 Gbps on the 28 GHz band have been claimed, using antenna designs that are intended to mitigate the poor indoor penetration and range associated with millimeter wavelengths. It’s experimental – the commercialization target is 2020 – and intended to be a foundation for 5G service.… More

The Electric Blackberry Acid Test

5 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

I was wrong to say that Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins doesn’t seem to be the sort of CEO that might dabble in hallucinogens. First he claimed victory over Apple in the smart phone wars, and last week followed up with a declaration that tablets are dead.

We need Hunter S. Thompson. Now. He broke the ibogaine story in the 1972 presidential race and would quickly find any ambient pharmaceuticals floating through the Blackberry corporate ecosystem.… More

Smart watch might give Windows a boost in the mobile market

15 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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It’s not a smart watch unless it looks smart.

Microsoft is the latest company to get into the smart watch business, or so the latest rumors say. It could be a way to give Windows a competitive boost in the mobile OS market, if Microsoft can integrate it into the ecosystem in an interesting way.

The hot smart watch at CES in January was the Pebble. It links to a smart phone via Bluetooth, allowing users see messages and alerts or control phone functions.… More

Another week, another Apple obit

21 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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Actually, I’m waiting for the new Star Wars movie.

Traffic in major U.S. cities is snarled as lines of hopeful buyers camp out in front of AT&T stores and spill into the street, awaiting tomorrow’s launch of the Blackberry Z10. Okay, I haven’t actually seen it, but based on CEO Thorsten Heins’ declaration of victory over Apple, it must be happening. What else could explain his exuberance? He doesn’t seem like the sort to dabble in hallucinogens.… More

Here's looking at you, Samsung

5 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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Bogie knew how to do it.

You’ll soon be able to control your smart phone with just a glance. Samsung will introduce eye tracking capability in the latest version of its flagship Galaxy S-IV phone next week, according to rumors circulating today.

It’ll be bigger and faster too – a five inch screen and laptop class CPU power – but that’s nothing new.

New interfaces that just work, though, are much rarer and lead to revolutionary products.… More

Mobile OS buzz for some, deafening silence for others

3 March 2013 by Steve Blum
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Firefox hasn’t quite landed yet.

Firefox has sharpened the debate over prospects for HTML5. The open source, connectivity-centric mobile operating system developed by the Mozilla Foundation gained a lot of attention at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Sceptical attention, mostly.

When the OS landscape is so thoroughly dominated by two superpowers – Apple and Google – it’s risky to bet on a challenger. Several mobile carriers expressed support, but manufacturers lagged behind. Geeksphone, a small Spanish company, had demo units to show at Barcelona, but missed its February ship date for SDKs.… More

Tizen ready to replace Samsung's Bada OS

23 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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Doesn’t take long to browse the Bada store.

Bada is Samsung’s in-house operating system for low cost smartphones, but its days might be numbered. Tizen 2.0 has been released to developers, with a consumer version likely to be available on phones in the fall.

This Linux-based, open source operating system is also backed by Samsung, along with other major technology players. And that’s the key difference. The burden is distributed across many companies and individual developers who, for one reason or another, invest their time in developing Tizen source code and writing apps to run on it.… More

HP needs more style, less substance

9 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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First new Chevy of the 80s.

Hewlett Packard is the latest high tech company to distance itself from reported labor practices used by some Chinese contract manufacturers. It’s telling its suppliers to limit the number of student-age workers, the type of work they do and the hours they work.

The email to HP’s suppliers follows similar measures by Apple and Samsung. Two weeks ago, Apple said that a labor contractor used by one of its Chinese suppliers was forging documents in order to hire underage workers.… More

RIM backing away from hardware

22 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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For sale?

RIM is talking about getting out of the hardware business and making a living licensing its soon-to-be-released Blackberry 10 operating system. They talked about getting into the OS licensing business at the Mobilecon show in October, although they seemed pretty intent on staying in the hardware business too at that point.

They’ll have a hard time transitioning to a licensing model. RIM’s selling proposition is beginning-to-end enterprise/institutional IT network support. Consumers don’t buy Blackberries, and that’s where the major manufacturers are focused.… More