Articles about Smartphones

Apple is boring

Apple Store France

Perhaps you have seen such statement somewhere on the InterWebs sometime during the last couple of months and increasingly the past few weeks. It's a meme slowly growing -- and for good reasons. While others innovate, Apple iterates and succeeds unblushingly well. The company is mountains more successful today innovating less and taking fewer risks.

Apple is the new Microsoft, where maximizing margins matters more than innovation. Look how much more successful Apple is by being boring and following where innovators lead. Consider today's Strategy Analytics report that puts Apple and Samsung tied for calendar fourth-quarter smartphone shipments. Such scenario was all but unfathomable two quarters earlier. Yet the foundation laid long before Apple cofounder Steve Job's death, when logistics genius and now CEO Tim Cook managed day-to-day operations. Risk-to-innovation defined Jobs' management style. Cook is more tactical.

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Smartphones: Apple ties with Samsung, Android still growing, Windows Phone still failing

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Samsung is no longer the leading smartphone vendor. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, Apple caught up with the South Korean maker in Q4 2014, thanks to a record number of iPhone shipments totaling 74.5 million units. The two players now share the top spot on the podium.

How did it come to this? Well, it's simple. Apple's shipments increased from 51 million units by 46.07 percent year-over-year, while Samsung's shipments decreased from 86 million units by 13.37 percent, each converging to 19.6 percent market share. Thanks to the strong performance shown by iPhones, iOS' market share rose also, to 19.6 percent from 17.6 percent a year prior, while Android's market share dipped slightly to 76.7 percent from 78.3 percent.

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Xiaomi: Hand over your iPhone, get a Mi Note flagship for free

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

Xiaomi is going hard against Apple in 2015. CEO Lei Jun recently gave several shoutouts to the Apple's inferior design quality on the iPhone 6 when compared to the Mi Note.

And now the next step in the battle will focus on swapping iPhones for Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro at no extra cost, according to a new report citing Xiaomi's media development director.

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Xiaomi brings its Mi 4 flagship smartphone to India

Xiaomi Mi 4

Half a year after it unveiled Mi 4, Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi is bringing its "fastest & most gorgeous Mi Phone ever" to India. Starting February 10, local consumers will be able to get their hands on the flagship device through retailer Flipkart.

Mi 4 is one of the most interesting smartphones unveiled in 2014, in no small part thanks to its $320 starting price. Handsets from rival makers such as Samsung have price-tags twice as high, so it is easy to understand what makes it such an appealing option in the flagship segment. Fortunately for those wanting to get their hands on Mi 4 in India, its price-tag is still as attractive as ever.

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Microsoft Q2 FY2015: The highlights

Does a deleted Microsoft blog post show it's about to buy mobile email firm Acompli?

Microsoft has released its earnings report for Q2 FY2015 (that's Q4 CY2014 for everyone else), revealing figures that closely match analyst expectations. The software giant achieved $26.5 billion in revenue, with operating income coming in at $7.8 billion. Gross margin and diluted earnings per share were $16.3 billion and $0.71, respectively. However, in after-hours trading, Microsoft's shares dropped by $2, or 4.28 percent, to $45 per share.

Microsoft has delivered some good news through its earnings report concerning its Devices and Consumer part of the business. Surface revenue reached $1.1 billion at the end of the quarter, which translates to a healthy increase of 24 percent over Q2 FY2014. Lumia sales topped 10.5 million, which, again, is better than the same quarter from a year prior as well as the previous quarter, Q1 FY2015. And the list goes on.

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What you need to know about T-Mobile's new Score program

iPhone smartphone hand finger

T-Mobile wants nothing to do with subsidies, but it is willing to trim the cost for a price. Normally, if you want to buy a new phone from the magenta carrier you will have to pay full price, either outright or through financing. Except that now T-Mobile has a new program, called Score, which was just introduced to allow its customers to get smartphones at lower prices. Is Score a good choice for you?

For just $5 per month, T-Mobile customers who sign up for Score will be able to take advantage of lower prices when purchasing a new smartphone from the carrier, in either six months or a year after joining the program.

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Facebook Lite officially available for low-end Android devices

Facebook Lite Android

Facebook is not exactly the lightest mobile app around. In fact, it is one of the worst offenders, no matter if we are talking about Android or iOS. It uses plenty of resources, both in terms of data and processing power. We may have gotten used to it by now, but these are major pain points in developing and emerging markets, where more and more potential users are going online for the first time.

There, lots of consumers are rocking low-spec Android devices and small cellular data plans, and the standard Facebook flavor is not a great match for them. So, the social network has finally released a lighter version of its Android app, called Facebook Lite, which promises to address those shortcomings. Let's take a look at it.

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Cross-platform support is key to Spartan's success

Project Spartan Windows 10

Microsoft revealed earlier this week that Windows 10 will ship with a new browser, known as Spartan. The venerable Internet Explorer will still be around for enterprise duty and certain sites, but the new kid on the block is the one Microsoft wants you to embrace. However, when it is Google's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox that you have to leave behind, convincing you to jump ship is not going to be easy.

Spartan is clearly no Internet Explorer. It is designed from the ground up as a modern browser, that works well across multiple form factors. It will be found on all PCs, smartphones and tablets that ship with or are upgraded to Windows 10, which means that it, at least, will be readily available to test. But does it have what it takes to pass the test, and become your new favorite browser?

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We hate spending too much time on our smartphones, but do it anyway

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Approximately two-thirds of Britons hate how much time they spend using their smartphone, according to a new survey by Voucher Codes Pro.

A poll of 2,500 UK adults found that 62 percent resent the fact that they find it so difficult to stop using their phone.

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I'm sold on Windows 10, but are you?

Why Confused Question Mark Woman Wall

Windows 10 is shaping up to be the best Windows yet. I am still wrapping my head around it, but after going through most of the changes I think there are a ton of things to like about it, which is an astonishing achievement. Microsoft really managed to surprise me, and I didn't expect that, to be perfectly honest.

However, what seals the deal for me is how all the changes tie together. I can now say that there are clear benefits to using the latest Windows across all devices that support it. It makes total sense, for the first time. In fact, without even trying the new Preview release, I am sold on Windows 10. Count me in as one of the first to make the switch on all of my devices!

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Users and IT teams are part of the security problem says Cisco

Network security

Careless user behavior and targeted malware campaigns are putting many industry sectors in danger from security breaches with the pharmaceutical and chemical industries at highest risk.

This is among the findings of the latest Annual Security report from networking specialist Cisco. It also finds that attackers are adapting their methods to make their campaigns harder to detect.

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Of course Lumia 532 is 'Windows 10 ready' -- Microsoft isn't (that) crazy!

Microsoft Lumia 532 Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has made lots of mistakes with Windows Phone. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the biggest screw-ups is the lack of an upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to the next major installment, Windows Phone 8. The software giant basically shot itself, and its mobile platform, in the foot there. But let's let bygones be bygones, shall we?

The reason why I am bringing this up now is that there's chatter about Lumia 532 being "Windows 10 ready". And it's not just a rumor, no. Microsoft's own landing page for the Windows Phone advertises this, when doing a search for the device. Strangely enough, some are taking this with a grain of salt, like it isn't obvious. But it is. Lumia 532 will get Windows 10. Microsoft isn't going to make the same mistake twice, otherwise it will kill the platform for good.

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Get OnePlus One without invite on January 20

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Selling your first smartphone through an invite-only system is a risky business model. Lots of things can go wrong, quickly, if it doesn't pique consumers' interest. For newcomer OnePlus it, however, worked out great so far. Its One "flagship-killer", which sold half a million units by early-November 2014, has received near-instant recognition from enthusiasts, despite being backed by a company that, at the time of its launch, was less than half a year old.

Since its launch, OnePlus also made One available to those without an invite, on a number of occasions. Things didn't go smoothly every time, as lots of consumers rushed to get their hands on the device, causing issues with the ordering system. If you were among the unlucky ones, or you are just now considering getting one, One (no pun intended) will once again be available sans invite tomorrow, January 20.

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Google has lost control of Apple

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Maybe disposing of Android creator Andy Rubin was dumb. Maybe buying into the "Year of Chromebook" meme was dumber. Maybe making strategic decisions in anticipation of European Union trustbusters was even dumber. Maybe selling Motorola was dumbest. Take your pick, or add to the list, because all of the above apply. Google has squandered what should be in 2015 platform riches, ceding to Apple what shouldn't have been.

In October 2009, I asserted (before anyone else) that "iPhone cannot win the smartphone wars", as the stage was set for Android and iOS to mimic the platform battle between Windows and Macs during the PC era. By the large number of Android devices shipped that analysis is true today. But Apple's mobile platform wins the mindshare—and by other measures profit-share—wars, something Google could have, and should have, easily prevented. Time is overdue for course correction that requires smarts, not dumb-ass thinking.

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SONICable promises to charge your iPhone, iPad or Android device twice as fast

SONICable

To compensate for that bigger, higher-resolution screen, faster processor and other power-hungry components, manufacturers put larger batteries inside our smartphones and tablets. Batteries have evolved very little over the past couple of years, so increasing their size feels like a logical thing to do. After all, who wants a big and fast device that lasts only a couple of hours with light usage? It would be terrible.

However, having a bigger battery also means longer charging times, excruciatingly long if you charge your device using a PC. So what can you do about it? Well, you can get SONICable, a new charging cable which promises to charge your iPhone, iPad or Android device twice as fast.

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