Thursday, 16 May 2013

Apple continues to slide - drops to 17% Q1 smartphone market share

Apple's worryingly fast drop in sales continued through Q1 2013 as Android platforms relentlessly chip away at the market share of iOS.

(Source: Apple Insider)

Some will point towards the Android saturation of launches in Q1 and they would be correct, but with most release dates being in March/April, these sales won't have had a significant impact upon the IDC results. Samsung Galaxy S4 sales are reported to be record-breaking and HTC are pleased with the progress of the One, Android will tighten the grip on the market before the end of Q2. With Apple reportedly stalling on a release of the iPhone 5S, and planning it for late Q3-Q4, the damage could be significant. Despite impressive, immediate sales of the iPhone 5, Apple seem unable to retain these levels of unit sales under pressure from rivals. This won't help share prices either!
     We must also credit Windows Phone for their quiet, but steady rise in market share. This will be helped by the release of the Nokia Lumia 925 and 928. They are playing the game patiently, and effectively.

The importance of Apple demonstrating the innovation they were once famed for, is becoming ever more paramount. However, if the iPhone 5S is the 'saviour', they could be in serious trouble.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

BlackBerry's BBM coming to Android & iOS - but is it too late

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced at BlackBerry Live that BBM will be available on Android and iOS globally from the summer. This will be in the form of a free app with only messaging and group features available initially. Heins said that the rest of BBM; screen sharing, BBM voice and the just-announced BBM channels will eventually make its way to the Android and iOS versions.

Heins confidently said: “The BB10 platform is so strong and the response has been so good that the time is right for BBM to become an independent mobile messaging platform.”

However, with Whatsapp and other messaging apps taking over text messaging with Informa saying almost 19 billion messages were sent per day on chat apps in 2012, compared with 17.6 billion SMS texts. Does this leave BBM too far behind? Perhaps. They've completely missed the boat.

What do you think? Can BBM help save BlackBerry?

Monday, 13 May 2013

Nokia's Lumia range goes premium with the 928

Nokia are set to launch the new Lumia 928 which will take over from the Lumia 920
as the flagship model - and it looks bloody good.

The main difference between the 920 and the 918 is the outer shell. Nokia have adopted a more premium feel to the handset with the addition of an aluminium shell. Personally, I’m delighted to hear this because I’m not someone who loves novelty colours on my phone. This could bring the Lumia range to a completely different audience and continue the admirable growth.

So what are the other changes? Well in truth, not much. The 928 is very much a slight upgrade to the 920. It's a 23g lighter than the 920 at 162g (which is good because the Lumia range has attracted criticism because of its weight). The screen also extends to the edge of the phone, which makes the most of the 4.5" screen. It has the same 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm processor and the same 8.7MP camera as the 920.

Here's the teaser video from Nokia:

What do you think of the new look? Would it make you #switchtolumia?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Incredible footage of London in 1927 - in colour!

How this hasn't hit the limelight before, I don't know - but this is an incredible video of London in 1927, in colour. Really extraordinary so just enjoy!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Are flexible and curved screens technology’s next important race?

Technology is constantly on the search for the next consumer interest trend and I believe curved, and flexible screens are just what they've been looking for. LG seem to be currently leading the way, as they just announced the 56” curved OLED TV screen. Samsung are hot on their heels though.

Since November last year, Samsung have promised to deliver flexible screen smartphones during 2013, and at CES in January Samsung unveiled a prototype flexible smartphone, interestingly running Windows Phone 8. 

With Corning the makers of Gorilla Glass, confirming that they are in the process of creating a flexible version of the screen, the ball is certainly rolling. Several reports have suggested that any consumer form will be delayed to the tail-end of the year (just before Christmas no doubt) because of issues with ‘Encapsulation technology’ that stops displays getting damaged by water or air pockets. Rumours of Samsung Galaxy Note becoming the first flexible screen phone seem wide of the mark but there should be a couple of offerings from both LG and Samsung by Q1 of 2014. Perhaps the most interesting of these rumours regards the next Nexus 5 from LG which is reported to be aiming for a 5.2" flexible screen. There have been no noises from other manufacturers like Apple, HTC, or Motorola on this so far but they are sure to be closely monitoring developments.

We are still a little way from the likes of digital paper but it certainly won’t be long. What a flexible screen does allow for is to put a computing device on any object – not just our bodies. When we’ve already focused upon designing technology around our ergonomic requirements, screens are the one piece of the puzzle that remains restricting. The opportunities the flexible screens open up to developers is staggering and that’s what makes it so exciting. Who knows - we could see life like this in 2020 (well it's the dream, right?):

     Whatever we end up seeing from the initial consumer flexible screens, it’s likely to begin in a similar fashion to the first camera phone. The technology is unlikely to be ready for mass consumer consumption, and there certainly isn’t the burning desire to have it. This is technology for the sake of it, but then again – as always, I can’t wait.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The most cringe-worthy marketing gimmick ever? You have been warned...

Samsung have had a few fails when it comes to marketing the S4. When you thought 'Jeremy' delivering the Unpacked box was bad, Samsung have topped it - or perhaps it's dropped it...

*Spot the sarcasm*
Creatively renaming 'Gangnam Style' (which has absolutely not been overused...) 'Samsung Style' it appears that Samsung have gone and attempted to create their very own Bollywood top 40 hit.
Keep your ears open for "*****"

Some have suggested that this could be deliberately bad, just to generate a media storm but surely, surely, Samsung are better than that. They have a good product - just back it up with effective, intelligent marketing and not gimmicks.