Flexible OLED displays launched in January
In January 2013 Samsung officially launched their flexible OLED displays, calling them YOUM displays. YOUM panels are bendable – but it’s likely that the first products to use those displays will actually be rigid. The display can be “curved” thought. A plastic based AMOLED will also be shatterproof, and also lighter and thinner compared to glass based OLEDs.
1st product using flexible display in October
In October 2013, Samsung announced the world’s first product to use a flexible OLED display – the Galaxy Round curved smartphone. This is an Android 4.3 smartphone similar to the Galaxy Note 3, with the major feature being the 5.7″ Full-HD curved flexible display; samsung simply refers to it as a flexible Super AMOLED, strangely they are not using the YOUM brand.
Flexible OLEDs are lightier and thinner compared to glass-based panels, and they should also be much more durable. In fact in the past they were said to be shatterproof, although Samsung did not mention this during the Galaxy Round release.
When will we see the first YOUM product?
As we said, in October 2013 Samsung finally launched the first flexible OLED product, although this was not branded as YOUM. Samsung announced they have started to mass produce flexible OLEDs – 5.7″ Full-HD panels.
Samsung currently capacity is about 8,000 5.5-Gen sheets, which is about 1-1.5 million 5″ panels a month assuming 100% yield. But they are producing larger panels, yields won’t be that high and the line is also used for R&D which means that actual production will be a few hundreds of thousands of panels a month.
As you can see, Samsung’s capacity is very limited; consider the fact that they currently make around 10 million 5″ AMOLEDs in a month for the Galaxy S4. So at first Samsung will not use these panels in a mass market phone. As we said, some reports suggest that Samsung will unveil a Galaxy Note 3 variant with a flexible OLED – this phone will be lighter, thinner and more durable than the regular Note 3.
- The Samsung Galaxy Round: Why the Curved Smartphone Display is Truly Innovative (thedroidguy.com)
- Samsung Galaxy Round with flexible display likely to debut soon (thenewstribe.com)
- What you should know about flexible displays (FAQ) (news.cnet.com)
- Flexible Displays: FAQ (business2community.com)
- Samsung Galaxy Round tipped to come this week with flexible display (androidcommunity.com)
- LG begins mass production of flexible OLED smartphone displays (androidos.in)
One of the best ways for Microsoft to jump-start its lagging mobile business is to buy struggling BlackBerry. Why buy a mobile company quickly going south? There are plenty of reasons — here are the top six why Microsoft should pay up and take over BlackBerry.
Reason 1: Microsoft’s enterprise focus
Microsoft’s core business is in the enterprise — Windows, Office, servers and tools, Exchange, and more. BlackBerry’s core business is in the enterprise as well. But Microsoft has been hurt by the BYOD movement, because it allows iOS and Android devices to make their way into enterprises. BlackBerry is valued by enterprises for its secure networks and servers. The New York Times reports that “In its most recent quarterly report, BlackBerry reported having roughly 72 million users worldwide, most of whom were still generating monthly services fees by sending data over the company’s special closed network.” There’s clearly great synergy here for Microsoft.
Reason 2: increase market share
The latest figures from IDC show Windows Phone with a 3.7% worldwide market share, up from 3.1% a year ago. BlackBerry has 2.9% market share. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a 6.6% market share. Given that it took Windows Phone a year to grow by only .6%, this would be a big increase. Over time, Microsoft would switch users from the BlackBerry to the Windows Phone platform, and grow Windows Phone that way, especially in enterprises.
Reason 3: hardware engineers
Steve Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft is to turn it into a devices-and-services company. Microsoft has not primarily been a hardware company up until now, and so it is not rich in hardware engineers. It takes a long time to recruit and hire them. Buying BlackBerry would immediately bring to Microsoft a sizable core of experienced mobile engineers and designers, who could work not just on smartphones but on other Microsoft devices.
Reason 4: increase intellectual property
The Times notes that “Analysts generally suggested that BlackBerry’s most attractive asset is its intellectual property, including some of its software and its various cellphone patents.” In today’s litigious tech world, patents can be used to harm competitors and get very serious licensing revenue from them. Microsoft uses its patent to extract licensing fees from many Android device makers. It’s not clear that BlackBerry has any patents that could be used in this way. But it’s certainly possible, and growing your patent war chest is always a good thing.
Reason 5: Smartcar strategy
One massive mobile market is currently up for grabs: Automobiles. There’s no doubt that all cars will soon become rolling networks and smart devices. No one dominates that market yet. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a headstart on owning it. BlackBerry owns QNX Software Systems, which built the operating system that powers the BlackBerry 10. More important, though, is that the same operating system is being used by GE, Cisco, and notably General Motors. General Motors uses it for its OnStar service, as well as for its Audi and BMW lines.
The Times says that BlackBerry has plans to “use QNX’s automotive ties and its unique global data network to allow car companies to update vehicle software through wireless networks and to monitor vehicles’ mechanical state.” Microsoft could do that and go beyond it, looking to make Windows Phone or Windows the smartcar operating system.
Reason 6: cheapest cost
It’s clear that by itself, BlackBerry has no future. So the company can likely be bought at a bargain price, rather than at a premium. Microsoft is cash rich. It’s time to put that cash to good use, and BlackBerry would be a very good mobile investment at a reasonable cost.
- Six reasons Microsoft should buy BlackBerry (blogs.computerworld.com)
- Speed is the key: How Windows Phone jumped ahead of BlackBerry (zdnet.com)
- Report: BlackBerry Advisers Eyeing Microsoft (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Where Will BlackBerry’s American Tale End? (fool.com)
- BlackBerry’s biggest strength (news.yahoo.com)
- Verizon pushing Bing app to BlackBerry Storm (reviews.cnet.com)
- The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Should Microsoft buy Blackberry? (mayo615.com)
Despite beating Wall Street expectations in terms of shipment volumes, Apple’s share in the worldwide smartphone operating system market posted a year-over-year decline during the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13). Meanwhile, Android and Windows Phone both managed slight increases during the same period. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 236.4 million smartphones in 2Q13, up 51.3% from the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. Second quarter shipments grew 9.3% when compared to the 216.3 million units shipped in 1Q13.
Smartphone OS Highlights
Android maintained its leadership position, with strong contributions from Samsung and its Galaxy S4. Not to be overlooked were LG and Chinese vendors Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE, which each recorded double-digit shipment volumes in the millions. Combined, these vendors accounted for 62.5% of all Android-powered smartphone shipments during the quarter. Still, the remaining vendors within the Android ecosystem should not be overlooked, as many have developed a strong local presence within key developing markets.
iOS finished the quarter as the clear number 2 operating system, showing that, even without new product launches, demand remains strong. Moreover, Apple added new mobile operators to its camp, boosting short-term volumes and cementing long-term end-user relationships. What remains to be seen is how the new iOS 7 will be received once it reaches the market later this year, as much of the look and feel of the user interface has been revamped.
Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year increase among the top five smartphone platforms, and in the process reinforced its position as the number 3 smartphone operating system. Driving this result was Nokia, which released two new smartphones and grew its presence at multiple mobile operators. But beyond Nokia, Windows Phone remained a secondary option for other vendors, many of which have concentrated on Android. By comparison, Nokia accounted for 81.6% of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments during 2Q13.
- Wndows Phone shows signs of life while BlackBerry keeps crumbling (news.yahoo.com)
- IDC’s 2Q13 Smartphone Share Report: It’s iOS vs. Android, and Windows Phone vs. Everyone Else (globalnerdy.com)
- The Android Stat That Shocked the Smartphone World (mobilemarketingwatch.com)
- Apple loses ground to Android and Microsoft in smartphone operating systems (telegraph.co.uk)
Google’s primary source of profit is search-related advertising while Apple’s is consumer hardware. And Google’s five-front assault on Apple’s profit model takes advantage of that difference.
Here are five of Apple’s fronts and how Google is attacking them:
Apple lags and has lost share in high end smartphones where 426 million units were sold during the first three months of the year. Gartner reported that in the first quarter of 2013, Apple’s global share of the high-end mobile phone market declined from 22.5% in the 2012 period to 18.2%.
Apple is number two to Samsung — which supports Google’s Android operating system. Samsung’s market share increased from 27.6% to 30.8% in the first quarter of 2013.
Android has already taken the tablet market lead from Apple. IDC expects Android to control 60% of the tablet market by the end of June 2013.
It wasn’t always so gloomy for Apple’s iPad. After all in the second quarter of 2012, the iPad commanded over 60% of the tablet market — but that figure has dropped ”to around 40% in each of the third and fourth quarters of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013,” reports Venturebeat.
And Android has been gulping iPad’s market share. Venturebeat notes that between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, Apple swapped the lead with Android — in 2012 Apple outsold Android by 11.8 million to 8 million; while in that same period in 2013, Android trumped the iPad by 27.8 million to 19.5 million.
Moreover, IDC expects skies to darken for the iPad. In the second quarter of 2013, IDC believes that Apple will ship fewer than 19.5 million units because Apple is not launching what CEO, Tim Cook, called its “amazing” new hardware until “fall 2013 and throughout 2014.” Thus IDC expects Apple to ship between 17 million and 18 million iPads — leaving Android tablets with 60% of the market in Q2 2013.
When it comes to competing with Android smartphones and tablets, Apple can either cut price and slash its profits or hold its prices and win fewer new customers. Cook has yet to prove that Apple can innovate its way out of that profit-growth dilemma.
3. Apple Maps
Under a year after Apple removed Google Maps from the iPhone, Google introduced a new version that is simpler and can be customized to each user.
By sharing what Google knows about each individual from other services, Google can customize maps. According to the New York Times, “When users who are logged into Google visit Maps, they will see the places they frequently visit highlighted, like restaurants, museums and their home. Google learns the places they go by drawing information from all of Google’s services — including search and Maps history, Google Plus posts and information in users’ Gmail in-boxes.”
Bernhard Seefeld, the product management director for Google Maps, bragged to the Times, “We can build a unique map for every place and every click.” For those who are worried about Google knowing too much about them, this new service is creepy — but potentially useful.
Meanwhile, the memory of Apple Maps six most epic fails lingers.
Google is going after music streaming through the introduction of Google Play Music All Access (GPMAA) — a service that lets users stream music using Google Play for Android. For $9.99 a month, GPMAA combines “users’ current Play collections with access to millions of additional songs,” according to Fortune.
Meanwhile, Google was able to secure content deals with three major record labels—Universal Music, Sony, and Warner Music Group — and beat Apple to market with the streaming service that iTunes has long-been rumored to be developing, says Fortune.
The most important front where Google is trouncing Apple is innovation. To be fair, under Steve Jobs, Apple’s approach to innovation was to introduce a much better product in an established industry. The result was big success from great products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iTunes.
But Google Glass’s big media splash suggests that creating entirely new categories of products can also be a way to spur growth. We can also speak about the Google Cars that can for sure impact also IT solutions.
Google certainly needs help there — since its traditional markets are slowing down.But it looks like Google is winning the war for the future: Google is offensive and Apple only defensive.
- Google’s Five-Front Assault on Apple (forbes.com)
- Who can rescue Google Wallet? Apple. (sivag1.wordpress.com)
- Google’s Five-Front Assault On Apple (soshitech.com)
- Google’s Getting Its Game (Console) On (newsy.com)
- Report: Google developing an Android-powered console (polygon.com)
- Why Apple, Google want to make consoles (stuff.co.nz)
Facebook revealed more detail on how frequently it gets information requests from government agencies in a public statement late Friday.
In a post on the company’s press site, Facebook General Counsel Ted Ullyot said it received between 9,000-10,000 requests over the six-month period ending on Dec. 31, 2012. That adds up to roughly 1,500 requests per month. . Ullyot said the nature of the requests from “government entities” is quite varied, including things like a local sheriff trying to locate a missing child to national security agencies investigating terrorist activity.
Ullyot said Facebook was only permitted to disclose the number of requests after negotiations with “U.S. national security authorities,” where Facebook urged for more transparency around the orders the company is required to comply with. Going forward, Facebook will now include the number of national-security requests (including FISA-related ones) in a transparency report, and is the first company to be allowed to do so, Ullyot wrote.
Although he said the change was “progress,” Ullyot said Facebook will continue to push for more transparency.
With the disclosure, Ullyot said he hopes it will give people a better idea of just how much of Facebook’s user base is affected by government requests. Those 9,000-10,000 requested data on between 18,000-19,000 Facebook accounts, or 0.002% of Facebook users.
Ullyot reiterated some of what Mark Zuckerberg said in his denials about government accessing Facebook data over the past couple of weeks: that Facebook scrutinizes every government request for user data, and that it rejects them “frequently.”
Facebook and other major tech companies have recently been under intense scrutiny after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden made claims that the government was obtaining large amounts of user data from wireless carriers and Internet services in a program called PRISM, and keeping it secret from the public.
- Facebook reveals how often the government comes calling for data (TechInAmerica)
- Facebook reveals details of US data requests (thenewstribe.com)
- Facebook, Microsoft rolling FISA national security request numbers into transparency reports (theverge.com)
- Facebook: U.S. gov’t requested data on 18K-19K users in last half of 2012 (digitaltrends.com)
- Facebook: We can now say more on user surveillance (ktvb.com)
- Facebook: We can now say more on user surveillance (thenewstribune.com)
- Facebook And Microsoft Reveal Spying Requests (news.sky.com)
Anytime Apple announces a new piece of hardware or changes its software, we get a lot of people weighing in on those developments. The news of iOS 7 wasn’t any different. There are hundreds of posts out there, but here are seven I like.
It has been one of those weeks where I have not had time to sit down and think about the various news announcements from Apple’a annual World Wide Developer Conference.
- There’s a parallax effect for 3-D-like motion for home-screen images. Basically, your background photo responds to the angle at which your phone is being held to make it seem like your icons are floating above the picture. Control Center gives you quick access to common settings (sound, brightness, connectivity options) by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
- Multitasking has been expanded as well to include all apps instead of select ones like music apps or apps like Skype.
- AirDrop lets you quickly share photos with your friends around you wirelessly. Taking a dig at Samsung’s marketing efforts, Federighi added, “No need to wander around the room bumping your phone.”
- The revamped Photos app organizes your photos by location and date. Apple calls the feature Moments. Siri has been overhauled with a less-robotic female voice and the addition of a male voice.
- “iOS in the car” is a new initiative involving several major car companies in which they’ll build the ability to turn your car’s information screen into a stripped-down version of iOS, with access to Maps, messaging and voice-activated controls. Look for it in cars starting in 2014.
- The App Store will finally allow you to let your apps automatically update themselves.
- The long-rumored iTunes Radio feature has been realized. It functions very similarly to Pandora, letting you play custom Web radio stations based on particular artists. Songs can be purchased in iTunes or shared with friends; the service is free but ad-supported. If you’re an iTunes Match subscriber, the service contains no ads.
- Activation lock makes it so your phone can’t be used if it gets stolen, even if the thief wipes everything first.
- Apple Inc. (AAPL): No Surprises At WWDC, According To Analysts (valuewalk.com)
- 8 Apps Apple Killed Today At WWDC (cultofmac.com)
- iOS 7 vs iOS 6 - Side By Side Visual Comparison [IMAGES] (redmondpie.com)
- iTunes Radio will only be available in the U.S. at launch (thedroidguy.com)
- Apple Unveils iOS 7, 'Biggest Change Since the Original iPhone' (mashable.com)
- iOS 7 specs versus Android 4.2, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 (reviews.cnet.com)
By Derrick Harris (courtesy GigaOm)
photo: Shutterstock / Sergey Nivens
Summary:WalmartLabs has acquired a predictive analytics startup called Inkiru to bolster its ability to create better customer experiences through data. The division of Walmart was created in 2011 on a foundation of big data.
Walmart, it seems, will not go gently into that good night when it comes to the company’s fight against e-commerce giant Amazon.
Inkiru has developed an active learning system that combines real-time predictive intelligence, big data analytics and a customizable decision engine to inform and streamline business decisions
Predictive intelligence bought by WalmartLabsInkiru‘s predictive analytics platform will enable us to further accelerate the big data capabilities that @WalmartLabs has propelled forward at scale…including site personalization, search, fraud prevention and marketing. Walmart’s data scientists will now be able to work with big data directly and create impact faster than ever before.
Related VideoWalmart Labs Inkiru - A Funny Name for Serious Analytics (SiliconANGLE)
- WalmartLabs keeps getting smarter with Inkiru acquisition (gigaom.com)
- We Predict Big Data Will Move Much Faster (walmartlabs.blogspot.com)
- New Report Shows How to Turn Big Data into Big Bucks (domo.com)
- Walmart Labs Buys Data Analytics And Predictive Intelligence Startup Inkiru (techcrunch.com)
- Walmart snaps up big data startup Inkiru (zdnet.com)