September 2013

ABI Research: Android ecosystem passing Apple
According to ABI Research, Apple's iPad family of products finally has passed leadership to the Android ecosystem, with the number of Android-powered tablets surpassing iOS-based slates for the first time, tablet-related hardware revenues reaching parity, and the average selling price of iPads rapidly approaching the market average in Q2 2013. ABI also pointed out that smaller 7-inch tablets became the majority of the shipments, and the 7.9-inch iPad mini represented about 60% of total iPad shipments and almost half of iPad-related device revenues in the quarter. [See ABI Research press release] -- Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 by chb

BlackBerry reports second quarter fiscal 2014 results
BlackBerry reported revenue for Q2 of fiscal 2014 of approximately $1.6 billion, down 49% from $3.1 billion in the previous quarter and down 45% from $2.9 billion in Q2 of fiscal 2013. There was a loss of $965 million (including a large charge against Z10 inventory), compared to a loss of $84 million in the prior quarter. While Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, expressed disappointment and the need for necessary changes to create the best business model for our hardware business, he said BlackBerry remained a financially strong company with $2.6 billion in cash and no debt. [See press release] -- Posted Friday, September 27, 2013 by chb

IHS: iPhone 5s costs US$199 to make
According to IHS, the complete bill of materials (BOM) and manufacturing costs of a 16GB iPhone 5s amount to US$199 (the original iPhone 5 ran to US$197). Of components, the 64-bit A7 processor costs US$19, the camera US$13, the battery US$4, the display US$41, the user interface part with the fingerprint scanner US$15, and a gig of LPDDR3 RAM US$11. The 32GB and 64GB models cost US$208 and US$218 to make, respectively, so it's pretty clear which 5s model makes Apple the most money. The 16GB and 32GB 5c models, by the way, cost US$166 and US$176 to make. [See detailed teardown and breakdown of the new iPhones] -- Posted Thursday, September 26, 2013 by chb

In defense of Microsoft Surface
A few days ago Microsoft introduced their second generation Surface tablets, hoping for a kinder reception. Problem is, industry expert Daniel W. Rasmus says, that the biggest issue with the original Surface tablet was not the hardware, nor was it really the software, because Windows 8 went well beyond Surface. The real issue with Windows Surface was expectations, misguided expectations that Microsoft continues to foster through its advertising. [Read more] -- Posted Thursday, September 26, 2013 by chb

Microsoft introduces second gen Surface tablets
Microsoft announced two new Surface models, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. The Surface 2 replaces the Surface RT, has a 1.7Ghz Tegra 4 processor, a full 1080p screen, dual cameras (5mp rear, 3.5mp front), a redesigned kickstand, and will start at US$449. The Surface Pro 2 comes with a 1.6Ghz Haswell Core i5-4200u chip, HD Graphics 4400, and improved battery life (8-10 hours). It will start at US$899. -- Posted Monday, September 23, 2013 by chb

Juniper Systems provides Mesa computers to help Colorado flooding
Juniper Systems reports it is shipping rugged Mesa handheld computers to Colorado to help with disaster mapping of the flooding there. The Mesa's large 5.7-inch display and ultra-rugged construction make it especially suitable for mapping and surveying deployment. [See illustrated blog] -- Posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 by chb

IDC forecasts tablet shipments to top total PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker expects tablet shipments to surpass total PC shipments (desktop plus portable PCs) in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13). PCs shipments are still expected to be greater than tablet shipments for the full year, but IDC forecasts tablet shipments will surpass total PC shipments on an annual basis by the end of 2015. Smartphones will continue to ship in high volumes, surpassing 1.4 billion units in 2015 and accounting for 69% of all smart connected device shipments worldwide. -- Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by chb

Apple event: free apps, iPhone 5c iPhone 5s
Apple held its annual Fall new product event and announced the iPhone 5c and 5s. The low-end 5c has an A6 processor, a better FaceTime camera, is black in the front and green, white, blue, red or yellow in the back. With a ubiquitous 2-year telco contract, it'll run US$99 for 16GB and US$199 for 32GB. The new iPhone 5s comes in silver, gold and grayish, has a 64-bit A7 CPU that's up to twice as fast as the iPhone 5 chip, a new M7 motion-sensing chip, a new camera with a 5-element F/2.2 lens, a larger sensor, auto white balance and exposure, auto image stabilization, dual LED flash (warm and cool). There's 120 frame per second slow motion in 720p video, and there's a fingerprint sensor built into the home button. The 5s, with 2-year contract, is US$199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, all in stores September 20. Oh, and the Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto, and iMovie apps are now free. -- Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by chb

Microsoft buys Nokia's phone business
Microsoft announced it will purchase Nokia's Devices & Services business, which includes their smartphone and mobile phone businesses, design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities, and teams handling operations, sales, marketing and support. That means that just like Google did with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Microsoft takes over a once high-flying but now struggling cell phone pioneer, thus joining Apple as an all-in-one hardware/software vendor. It should be interesting to see what this will mean to vertical market/industrial handhelds, most of which still use Windows CE or variants of Windows Mobile. What's left for Nokia? The company says it will be "focused on enabling mobility through its leadership in networking, mapping & location, and advanced technologies." [See Steve Ballmer email to Microsoft employees on Nokia Devices & Services acquisition and Nokia announcement] -- Posted Tuesday, September 3, 2013 by chb

Acer selects N-trig DuoSense for Aspire R7-572 convertible notebook
N-trig, which makes the DuoSense integrated active pen and multi-touch technology, announced that its technology has been implemented in the new/"refreshed" Acer Aspire R7-572, a 15.6-inch convertible notebook with a hinge reminiscent of some of IBM's P-Series Thinkpads from the mid-1990s. [See N-trig press release] -- Posted Monday, September 2, 2013 by chb