We're frequently being told that the use of mobile devices makes our work lives easier, but it seems that a sizable percentage of people don't share that view.
Mobile sales solution company Seismic has released the results of its Salesforce Spotlight survey showing the complex relationship between business users and mobile technology.
Samsung is slowly moving away from its oft-maligned, all-plastic smartphone designs of the past, in an attempt to convince consumers that it too can make premium-looking and feeling devices. The first smartphone to reveal what the future holds was Galaxy Alpha, announced just a few months ago. Then Galaxy Note 4 came along, stepping things up even further in the high-end segment.
And now we see how Samsung's vision will impact its less expensive Galaxy devices, as the company just took the wraps off Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 today, two mid-range to low-end smartphones featuring "refined full metal unibody designs" that happen to be very, very thin (for whatever reason): 6.7 and 6.9 mm, respectively.
For a manufacturer that has only been selling smartphones for a couple of years now, Xiaomi is doing better than expected. The Chinese company, founded in 2012, became the third-largest smartphone vendor in Q3 2013, surpassing the likes of Lenovo, LG and Huawei. Xiaomi is also closing in fast on Apple, which has enjoyed a comfortable lead, in volumes, over its immediate competition.
Xiaomi's shipments have increased by 211.3 percent year-over-year, to 17.3 million units in the past quarter from just 5.6 million units in Q3 2013. That is more than eight times higher than the market average, of 25.2 percent. Meanwhile, Apple's shipments only grew by a mere 16.1 percent, which is well below the market average, to 39.3 million units from 33.8 million units.
Europeans are a conservative bunch when it comes to the form factor of their beloved iPhones, as most of those who purchase one of Apple's new handsets opt for the smaller model. In fact, iPhone 6 is so popular among consumers on the old continent that it outsells the iPhone 6 Plus phablet by a whopping five to one.
The difference in sales is to be expected, given that phablets are still somewhat part of a niche today, and the majority of those who buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- that would be existing iPhone users -- are more accustomed to less intimidating dimensions, like those of iPhone 6. However, Apple is right to jump on the phablet bandwagon, considering how big of a role such devices are expected to play in smartphone sales just a few years down the road, and the hit iPhone's market share is taking from Android handsets.
No one can deny that making handsets thinner and thinner is a persistent trend in the mobile device market. Rarely do we see a new, prominent smartphone or tablet being thicker than its predecessor. Manufacturers love to be able to tout during announcements and in ads just how insanely slim their new products are, like this is a feature that us, consumers, are dying to get. (Sadly, sometimes that may be the only thing that such handsets have got going for them.)
Still, if you are one of those who prefer insanely-thin smartphones, Oppo has just the thing for you. The Chinese manufacturer just unveiled "the slimmest phone in the world", called R5, measuring just 4.85 mm thick. To give you an idea of just how thin it is, it shames Apple's new iPhone 6, which comes in at 6.9 mm thick.
When it comes to sports, I am a born loser. New York is chock full of successful sports teams like the Yankees and Giants, but I am not a fan of them. You see, I love the Mets, Jets, Islanders and Knicks; these teams have historically been horrible and I have had much disappointment in my life.
Today, the team I love the most, the New York Knicks, selects ZTE to be its official smartphone sponsor. Unfortunately, even the basketball team's sponsors aren't winners, as ZTE is the mere fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the USA.
OnePlus One has attracted lots of attention from the media and consumers without even being generally available, as virtually every other flagship smartphone is today. Many have chosen to play by the company's rules, asking and waiting for the invites which give them the option to purchase the device. It's a pretty unusual way of selling and buying smartphones, but it seems to have only boosted One's appeal.
If you have not yet had the chance to buy One, you should know that today OnePlus is making it generally available to pre-order, as it temporarily drops its invite-only system to get One in the hands of more consumers.
The mobile device market is extremely diverse judging by the number of companies which sell smartphones and tablets today. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors worldwide. On the other hand, when it comes to mobile processors, there are only a handful of companies which make them. Of those, even fewer are also handset vendors and even fewer still are well known by the average consumers: Apple and Samsung.
It is tough to make a splash in the mobile processor market, as top players such as Qualcomm and Apple are so far ahead in the game that it is very difficult for a new player to catch up and compete on equal footing with the leaders. LG, however, is not afraid to give it a try, as it just unveiled its first in-house mobile processor. And the South Korean maker is not wasting any time as it has already put it to use in its new G3 Screen phablet.
A new survey conducted by Microsoft shows that more than one in four PC owners in the US is suffering weekly, or even daily, attempts by criminals to gain access to their private data. Microsoft found that 22 percent of tablet users suffered similar data access attempts, and that general levels of concern about scams has increased. While "traditional" scams -- such as those asking for upfront payments or relating to fake lottery winnings -- have actually decreased, there are now more social media-based scams than a couple of years ago.
It's not all bad news. While scams might be on the increase, web users are seemingly more aware of the risks involved in using the internet and take proactive steps to protect themselves and their data. As more people use mobile devices to get online, more phone and tablet users are taking precautions.
I will admit that I am addicted to my smartphone -- there, I said it. Quite frankly, I am becoming addicted to my smartwatch too, but I digress. You see, I am not alone in this, as many people seem glued to their devices nowadays. However, I know to put away my devices when it is time to work. Sadly, many people use their smartphones for personal reasons as they do their job. If I go to Starbucks, the barista is usually distracted by her iPhone, and I end up with the wrong drink -- I'll be like "listen lady, I wanted a venti, not a grande, hop off of that Instagram, yo!"
Sadly, this seems to be plaguing society, but businesses are getting hit hard; employees are too damn distracted! Today, a new report explains that a large amount of the workforce is distracted by technology. Should employers start banning smartphones and tablets at work?
Nokia is coming to the end of the road as a name in phone making, and the brand will likely get subsumed into owner Microsoft in the not too distant future. With Nokia phones already well and truly part of the Windows Phone stable, you won't be surprised to learn that the Lumia 735 runs Windows Phone 8.1. Nor will its general looks be any surprise -- it is a straightforward Nokia monolith.
But there are some pleasant surprises under the hood that lift this budget handset above the ordinary. A 5 megapixel wide angle front camera for taking high quality selfies is Nokia's own selected highlight, but Cortana, Microsoft's much talked about digital assistant, is also here, making a belated arrival in the UK to join Apple's Siri.
With Android 5.0 Lollipop yet to be released, some manufacturers have already revealed their upgrade plans for the latest version of the mobile operating system, effectively setting a high bar for the rest of the pack. You can thank HTC, Motorola and Sony for doing so last week. In fact, HTC and Motorola consistently rank among the first in this regard, and when it comes to rolling out those software updates to their customers' devices as well.
Not to be outdone by its far-distant competition, top maker Samsung wants us to know that it too has some upgrade plans for Android 5.0 Lollipop. But, instead of actually showing them, it has posted a rather lame teaser on Twitter, regarding Galaxy Note 4. Pundits have fallen for it, writing that the much-awaited software update is fast-approaching. Really?
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi looks set to implement a price reduction drive across a number of its devices, increasing speculation that new flagship models will be released in the not-too-distant future.
HERE's upcoming availability for Samsung Galaxy smartphones was announced in late-August, and, at first, it appeared to be an exclusive launch. But, shortly after, Nokia's arm revealed that the app would actually be made available for every compatible Android smartphone "later this year".
HERE launched in beta for Samsung Galaxy smartphones only two weeks ago. For a first public release, the amount of features available is rather impressive, even for someone like me who is used to the fully-featured HERE suite on Windows Phone. And, now, everyone with an Android smartphone running any of the three Jelly Bean iterations or newer can also test what HERE has to offer (as long as the device has 1 GB of RAM or more), as the app's availability is extending beyond Galaxy smartphones.
With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 on the horizon, as well as some great Android devices already on the market, some of you may be thinking about ditching iOS for Android. It is unquestionably a big decision, so you may want to ensure that the switch from an iPhone or iPad will be as painless as possible.
To help with the switch, Google has prepared a nifty guide that explains how you can migrate your data from iOS to Android, tackling key areas such as multimedia content, contacts, email, messaging and, of course, apps. You may recall that Apple posted a similar guide last month, detailing to would-be customers the steps they need to take to move from Android handsets to iPhones. Google now looks to simply be returning the favor.