BlackBerry and Boeing are working together on a new super-secure smartphone. The announcement came at an earnings call at which BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, revealed scant details about the collaboration. What we do know is that the partnership is designed to create a secure device that can be used by US defense and homeland security workers.
Everybody's paranoid nowadays, but the defense sector is one that has a particular need for security. Boomberg reports that the phone is known as the Boeing Black, and it runs on top of BES -- a platform already known and trusted by many enterprise customers.
Microsoft is keeping its promise of delivering Lumia Denim in the last quarter of 2014, as the firmware update is rolling out now. However, most devices which are slated to get it will only receive it starting early next year.
"The Lumia Denim update has started rolling out to a limited number of devices in selected markets, and will continue arriving in waves by device", says Microsoft's Adam Frasier. "A wider rollout of Lumia Denim to all Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to begin in early January, following partner testing and approvals". I wouldn't be surprised if the roll-out ends very late in Q1 2015.
With Windows Phone still struggling to gain considerable traction, Microsoft is trying to boost its operating system's market share by focusing on the low-end of the market, which has real potential of attracting consumers, especially those in emerging markets. And, so far this year, Microsoft has introduced quite a few affordable Windows Phones, with the latest of the bunch being the still-Nokia-branded Lumia 638.
Lumia 638 is a new Windows Phone 8.1 handset that is designed for India. It is touted to be one of the most affordable smartphones with 4G connectivity available in this Asian market, which is sure to attract the attention of price-conscious local buyers. What else does it have to offer?
Windows Phone is a great operating system. If you disagree, you are wrong. Sure, it has frustratingly low app availability, including a lack of Google apps, but the underlying OS is wonderful. Live tiles are useful, and the UI is smart and attractive. Hell, the hardware is wonderful too, and it is often sold at very affordable prices.
Today, Microsoft and Sprint are joining forces to bring the Lumia 635 to Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile USA and Sprint's own network. Believe it or not, this is the first-ever Lumia handset for Boost and Virgin USA -- two of Sprint's sub-carriers.
Avast has long been a favorite with home PC users thanks to its free antivirus offering, and protects 175 million computers worldwide. It also launched a free mobile product in 2011 and now protects around 50 million smartphones too.
In 2015 it's looking to move into the business market and is seeking beta testers to help perfect its product before launch.
Samsung, the largest smartphone supplier, has had a surprising year and reported losing over 20 million sales, compared to 2013.
Samsung sold 7 million less units in Q3 and 23 million less overall in 2014, compared to the previous year. The Galaxy S5 has been a huge letdown for Samsung, selling less than 20 million units in 2014, a number Apple’s iPhone 6 has already surpassed.
Whenever I read about a company deploying a certain number of smartphones for internal use, it is usually Windows Phones which are given to employees. And Microsoft is the company that proudly does the official announcement on behalf of (or together with) its customer. This time around things are (very) different.
US airline United Airlines has announced that it will deploy iPhone 6 Plus to over 23,000 flight attendants, with the initial goal of giving them the ability to access company resources -- like email, Intranet, policies, and procedures manuals -- and also to handle retail transactions during flights.
Xiaomi has enjoyed great success in its home market of China, becoming the largest vendor in the country in Q2 2014, beating Samsung for the title. The company also was the third-largest smartphone maker worldwide in Q3 2014. And things appear to only be looking up for Xiaomi, with shipments expected to grow at a still rapid pace.
One of the reasons why Xiaomi has managed to reach the top spot in its home country is the permissive local legal system, in relation to patents. The company hasn't really been challenged locally by any of the big non-Chinese players, as quite likely any suits filed against it for patent infringement would be lost by the plaintiffs. Western companies have been dealing with this problem for (too) many years. However, as Xiaomi expands into India, it has to deal with a different legal system, one which just sided with Ericsson in a case of patent infringement. The outcome?
For Nokia to get any real traction with HERE outside of Windows Phone and its former brands, the Finnish company must make its app available to as many potential new users as possible. And that means offering it on the biggest mobile app stores around today -- Apple App Store and Google Play.
Today, Nokia is taking a step in the right direction by making HERE for Android available on Google Play. The app's availability on the largest Android app store comes more than three months after the initial launch, for Galaxy smartphones. HERE still sports the beta label, but continues to offer the same lovely features we have come to expect from it.
Coming to the end of 2014, it's time to start looking to what the year ahead may have to offer. After gazing into its crystal ball, Juniper Research has compiled a list of what it expects to be the biggest technology trends of 2015. Topping the list is a focus on security. Juniper Research predicts that there will be greater interest in encryption and tokenization, as cloud storage providers battle to regain customer trust.
The launch of Apple Pay will help to drive an increased interest in biometrics to help with security, but 2015 is also predicted to be the year that wearables really take off. Now that Apple has entered the arena, there should be a greater focus on aesthetics and smaller players will increase in popularity. Tied in with both security and wearables is a predicted jump in the use of NFC -- for payments, authentication, health and more.
More than two months after it introduced Passport in black, BlackBerry today announces that its latest smartphone is now also available in red and white. The two new color options were introduced for pre-order in late-November, but are only just now shipping.
Both the red and white Passport are officially available from Amazon and BlackBerry's own online store. Both companies list the smartphone as being in stock; taking the Amazon route coupled with one-day shipping will get you a new Passport tomorrow, December 9.
Most consumers who buy one of Apple's latest smartphones end up with the smaller model. In fact, iPhone 6 is outselling its bigger brother, iPhone 6 Plus, by a ratio of three to one in US, and an even higher ratio of four to one in Britain. However, Apple shouldn't be worried that its first phablet is nowhere near as popular as the "standard" iPhone 6.
That is because iPhone 6 Plus is actually a hugely popular device in its category, accounting for 41 percent of phablet sales in US in the three months ending October 2014, despite being on sale only from mid-September onwards. What does that mean in the grand scheme of things?
You know how a slice of bread always falls on the buttered side? Or how a cat, when dropped onto its back, always somehow manages to turn around mid-air and land on its feet?
Well, basically, Apple has been awarded a patent that does just that -- makes sure its products, when dropped, land exactly how they want them to land. Of course, this desired landing will be one that is the least likely to damage crucial components.
Samsung is not as fast as rival makers HTC or Motorola when it comes to rolling out software upgrades to the latest version of Android, but the company appears to be finally cleaning up its act. Not too long after Google released Android 5.0, Lollipop is now available for Galaxy S5.
The epicenter for the Android 5.0 Lollipop roll-out is Poland, a market Samsung has frequently used to commence roll-outs of new major software upgrades. The company is currently targeting users of the SM-G900F version of Galaxy S5, which, as some of you may know, is the model featuring a Qualcomm processor (Snapdragon 801).
Apple will have a record quarter for iPhone sales, if analyst estimates are to be believed. The company is expected to ship more than 70 million units in the last part of the year, nearly 20 million units more than the 51 million units it moved a year ago. It wouldn't surprise anyone if these estimates turn out to be accurate, considering the successful launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, coupled with the high consumer demand for the two devices across the globe.
Today, research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech adds more credence to the estimates. Its latest report, on the three months ending October 2014, reveals record market share for Apple's smartphones in Britain, strong performance in continental Europe, and marginal improvements in market share in US and China.