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Gadget

With Tablets and Smartphones Eating the PC, What Can Microsoft Do?

April 11, 2013


These are very dark days for people who work for many divisions of Microsoft as tablets and smartphones have absolutely decimated the PC market as evidenced by a decline of 14% in sales of PCs last quarter. This news comes on the heels of the Windows 8 launch, the new OS which fuses the best of the tablet and Windows experience in one platform. The only problem is the new OS with all its marketing and slick new form factors isn’t cutting it, as consumers gravitate towards smaller screen devices.

Expect many calls for Steve Ballmer to be fired and when you consider how many markets Redmond has squandered since 2000 you could make a solid case for pushing him out.

IDC: PC Sales Decline Substantially

April 10, 2013

According to IDC, PC sales are in a tailspin with 76.3 million units sold in the first quarter of 2013. This number represents a decline of 13.9% compared to the forecast decline of 7.7%. These are the worst numbers since IDC started tracking in 1994 and it is the fourth quarter of year-on-year shipment declines.

iCharts

 

Google, YouTube, Apple and Beats: Music Options Galore

March 6, 2013

There is good and bad news for Pandora today. The streaming radio leader has for the first time found itself in a position to compete for radio advertisers on an equal footing thanks to its inclusion in an influential ratings network run by Strata Marketing. The potential in the streaming radio market has brought new competition.

It's worth noting the news recently broke that Apple has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC about collaboration and/or investment in a music service called Daisy – apparently these talks go back a decade but Steve Jobs wasn’t ready to act when they began. Although Apple hasn’t been announced as an investor in the deal, Daisy has just secured $50M from a group including Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass, and Australian financier James Packer.

Apple's Magic Dependent on iWatch Success?

March 5, 2013

At this point we are all aware Apple has a new watch in the works and it is even thought to be released later this year. Pundits have even determined this product could be vastly more profitable for Cupertino than even the much-anticipated Apple TV. They call it a $6B opportunity!

One wonders however how different this product will be from the iPhone.

Mobidia Tackles Bill Shock at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

 

Chris Hill (pictured) the VP of Marketing at Mobidia was euphoric in telling me about the growth of the company's new app My Data Manager which has had 3.5 million downloads in the past 12 months. As bill shock becomes a larger problem which is amplified by the speed of 4G networks, users - especially when roaming, are literally a movie away from being hundreds of dollars above their typical monthly costs if they aren't careful.

The app runs in the background on iOS and Android and monitors app usage and cellular usage anonymously sending data back to the company if the user agrees to it. To date, over one million people have signed up to allow their data to be tracked meaning Mobidia has some incredible information about mobile use trends.

Altair Semiconductor's 4G Chip Bet Pays Off

February 26, 2013

As wireless markets globally move to 4G, Altair Semiconductor has targeted this newer network standard with a single-mode line of chips which cost less and use less power than mult-mode solutions which have to grapple with 3G and older standards. As consumer electronics devices become more price-competitive, choosing a streamlined solution means OEMs/ODMs can reduce their costs and pass part of the savings on to customers allowing more inexpensive solutions to be marketed.

The big news for the company at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona was the release of a new chipset for LTE-A, the 3800/6300 FourGee line which can download at 150Mbps and upload at 50 Mbps. The chips support carrier aggregation and a wide frequency band span of 400-3800MHz with 6 concurrent LTE bands for both primary and diversity antennas, enabling global band combinations. There is further support for VoLTE and HD-voice as well as interference cancellation an peripheral interface support for a wide variety of applications from consumer electronics to M2M.

The company hopes it becomes the go to source for connectivity in an "internet of things" world and spokesman Matthew Krieger (pictured) brimmed with excitement about how their solutions are replacing competitors in the market.

Thank You Amazon, Retailers May Now Merge at Will

February 18, 2013


When reports surfaced regarding Office Depot merging with OfficeMax, the first thing which may have occurred to many, is regulators wouldn’t let this approximately $2 billion happen because the resulting store would be too large and create antitrust concerns. Much of these worries in retail however have decreased as of late because of the strength of Wal-Mart, Costco and of course Amazon. Let’s also remember that Staples is a major player in the space. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon in particular can be used by just about all retailers to justify industry consolidation.


The Offspring of Siri and Raspberry Pi Controls Your Home

February 15, 2013

For those of you dreaming of the day when your voice can control your home, your wait is over – almost. There are a few demos floating around online showing how Siri’s responses to your commands can trigger the Raspberry Pi-based SiriProxy. The first demo below runs a garage door opener, a NEST thermostat and a cable box while the second video just opens and closes a garage door opener for now.

As Apple and investors took for the next big thing, it seems like home automation is a natural extension for the company. Ironically I tweeted an article today about NEST trying to get into the home automation space too which means the company may eventually be on a collision course with Apple.

Is Apple Too Sexy for MWC?

February 15, 2013


In deciding not to exhibit at the Macworld events, CES and MWC, Apple has shown the world that it doesn’t need others to be successful. It can control the conversation far better when it holds its own press conferences which are invitation-only by design.

While this philosophy was very successful for a number of years, what Apple didn’t count on was the innovation gap between its products and the rest of the market closing to the point where a large-screen Android smartphone is actually preferable by the masses to the company’s iOS based phone offerings.

In other words – the “Apple attitude” we’re too sexy for your trade show was a great marketing concept for a number of years but now it seems like a bad choice.

John Sculley Mesmerizes Audience at ITEXPO (Video)

February 11, 2013

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