The Apple Rollercoaster: iPhone goes up while iPad goes down

Apple is preparing its iPhone 6 much awaited launch. It is assumed that about eighty million units will put on sale, to start with. Ramy Inocencio, writing for the Wall Street Journal explains why it took Apple such a long time to enter the market of over-sized phone screens.

Before the release of its new version of iPhone 6, Apple reported a 12% per cent increase in the sales of its current model, the iPhone 5, especially on markets located quite far from the US. On the other hand, the sales in iPad experienced an unwanted decrease not only for the first but also for the second quarter. This aspect raised lots of questions concerning the Apple tablet, especially now that big screen phones are about to hit the market.

The company says that the quarter which had its end on the 28th of June 2014 turned out to be a highly profitable one for the iPhone. During this period Apple managed to sell about 35.2 million iPhones. This figure represented an increase with 12.7% in comparison with last year’s sales. The electronics giant explained that the sales were boosted by the increasing demands coming from the Russian, Chinese, Indian and Brazilian markets, named the BRIC markets. Here the sales in iPhone 5 increased with an outstanding fifty-five per cent.

Due to the iPhone boost in sales Apple managed to obtain a profit of 7.75 billion US dollars for the third quarter of 2014. This is quite an achievement considering that the figures for the third quarter of 2013 were equal to 6.9 billion US dollars. Thus, the company revenues rose to 37.4 billion US dollars, which in percentages means 6 %.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, expressed its excitement with the increase and his hopes that the company would stay on the ascended trend.  On Tuesday (the 22nd of July, 2014) the shares of Apple had a value equal to 94.72 US dollars.

The electronics giant is experiencing times of steady growth and has the capacity to produce billions of dollars every quarter. However, it will definitely need to start producing new items in order to preserve its market position and outstanding profits.

Apple fans are eagerly expecteing the new iPhone 6 and a smart watch to complete the Apple offer. The products are supposed to be released towards the end of the month of September. The June quarter has been the less productive for the company in the past. This is due to the fact that Apple prepares the products to be launched before the year comes to its end.

Although Luca Maestri, the new Chief Financial Officer, believes that the rumors about the new product have determined clients to refrain from buying an iPhone 5, the figures show that the sales of this particular smart phone exceeded all Apple forecasts.

However, not everything goes smooth for the company. Apple has made serious efforts in order to sell its iPads, which experienced a drop of 9.2 per cent, after another previous drop of 16 per cent which took place in spring. This is quite upsetting for the company since in 2012 the iPad was a must have gadget with sale up to 84 per cent.

Not only Apple, but also other tablet producers are facing hard times because of the decreasing demand on the US and European market. On the other hand these gadgets are highly required on the Middle East and the Chinese markets. In spite of the decreasing sales in the Western world, Tim Cook declared that the company was not worried at all about this aspect.

The Macintosh sales also experienced an important growth for the third quarter in a row. Apple sold 4.4 million units. The profit gap between the Mac and the iPads is being closed extremely fast. Thus, during the last quarter, the company sold Macs with a value of 5.44 billion US dollars and iPads valued at 5.9 billion US dollars.

The problem with iPads is that they are not as portable as smart mobile phones. Moreover, they are less useful for office work than desktop personal computers. In order to boost its iPad sales, Apple decided to team up with IBM in order to conquer the enterprise market with its office applications.

Apple hopes to obtain revenue between 37 and 40 billion US dollar. This is below the estimations belonging to various analysts who have credited the company with revenue equal to 40.44 billion US dollar.

The company’s officials declared that Apple’s gross margin for June was of 39.4% a bit higher than the 36.9% reported last year. For those who do not know, gross margin represents an indicator which measures in percentages all the revenue remained after leaving aside the production costs. Apple estimates a September gross quarter equal to 37%. Apple also announced that it has obtained cash holdings equal to 164.5 billion US dollars at the end of the month of June.

Furthermore, the increasing demand in Apple products on developing markets should compensate for the decrease experienced on the mature Western markets. Apple has made lots of efforts to reach the emerging markets and its price sensitive customers. It seems that the iPhone is the winning product which will bring lots of new opportunities for the American company.

Thus, on the Chinese market the sales went up with 26% (5.94 billion US dollars). This increase is enormous if we compare it with the meagre 1% increase experienced on the US market and the 6% increase determined by the sales in the European stores. Statistics have pointed out that iPhone sales increased with 48% on Chinese territory. The Asian buyers have shown a particular interest in Apple’s first product.

Apple has to handle the pressure coming from its rival, Samsung which has invaded the market with quite cheap smart phones.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Highly Requested Before its Official Release

The much awaited Samsung Galaxy Alpha has gone into the pre-order phase across the UK days before its official market launch. The smart phone retailer known as Mobilefun has already begun to take pre-order for the soon-to-be-here Galaxy Alpha. The metal clad phone is sold at the price of 549 pounds.

The official launch date is not mention on the Mobilefun website. However, the page dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy Alpha contains specific information on the new phone and on its features.

The smart phone also referred to as the Galaxy S5 prime or the Galaxy F is going to hit the market together with the Samsung processor known as octa-core Exynos 5 and with the Google mobile operating system known as Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

There are plenty of rumors around that claim that the new phone will try to rival the screen of the LG G3. However, the Mobilefun webpage says that the Galaxy Alpha will come equipped with a screen having 4.7 inch and a resolution of 1280×720. The screen will function on the Super AMOLED technology having a pixel density of 320ppi. The phone will have a fingerprint scanner similar to the one of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The site also claims that the new Samsung phone will have a rear-facing camera of twelve megapixels, equipped with autofocus and LED flash. There will also be a front-facing camera having 2.1 megapixels. Other important features are the Bluetooth 4.0, the thirty-two gigabytes of storage and the support of the 4G LTE type. The phone will not have a card slot of the microSD type.

The unofficial presentation confirms that the new Samsung Galaxy Alpha will have a metallic design. However, Mobilefun has not presented a phone of the device yet.

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha will probably be launched on the 13th of September 2014, but the new reports say that it is possible for the smart phone to be launched the following week.

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LG brings High End Features to the L series

LG Electronics has decided to make a new move. It will bring some of the features of its high end smart phones to its low-end mobile phones. The electronics company has presented L Bello and LFino, which run on Android and have some design aspects that remind buyers of the LG G3.

This new phones are equipped with buttons at the back in the manner of the G3 while the plastic back of L Bello is very similar to the one of the LG G3. It is true that the material is different but it has a similar metallic skin look. The phones that have just been announced have a more sophisticated aspect than the previous LG phones.

The new phones also have the G3 QuickCircle. This gives fast access to functions such as text messaging, camera or calling directly from the window. All these improvements hint that the company has decided to pay more attention to the low-en of the smart phone market. There is lots of competition in this sector of the market as more and more people are interested in purchasing a low cost smart phone.

The two phones presented on the 21st of August 2014 are quite well equipped. Thus, the L Bello has a processor of the quad core type which has a power of 1.3 GHz. It has got a screen of five inches and a resolution equal to 854×480. There are two cameras: one at the front having a megapixel and one at the back having eight megapixels. The storage is equal to eight gigabytes and the random access memory is equal to one gigabyte.

The L Fino also has a quad core processor which is a bit weaker having 1.2 GHz. The screen has 4.5 inches while the resolution is equal to 800×480 pixels. The main camera has eight megapixels but there is not autofocus. The random access memory is equal to one gigabyte while the storage is equal to four gigabytes.

The phones are Android based and function on the 4.4.2 version. A very useful feature is the Knock Code which permits users to unlock their gadgets just by tapping a pattern on the screen. Photos can be taken just be tapping anywhere on the screen. The shutter needs three seconds to trigger.

The L Fino and the L Bello will be first sold across Latin America and then in European and Asian countries. The final price has not been established yet, but the phones will probably be under 200 US dollars without any contract agreement.

LG is going to show its new cheaper phones at the IFA show, taking place in Berlin. LG will probably launch its smart watch and other new smart phones during the trade show.

20+20 LTE Presents in Important Metro Areas

The wideband LTE has been brought into discussion several times during the present year. This has been owed to the fact that T-Mobile has in plan to make a Data Strong network with the ability to offer very high speeds to all users located in the right place. It is supposed that there will be two alternatives: the 15+15 one and the 20+20 one. In order to make things clear it is important to point out that the 20+20 LTE will be much faster than the 15 one. Both of them will be using the same bands and obviously the same frequencies.

For the time being, just a few metro zones having the LTE wideband can benefit from the 20+20 alternative. However, most of them can take advantage of the 15+15 one. At this very moment, there are seven markets on 15+15 while other nine will be going live towards early 2015.

Braxton Carter, the CFO of T Mobile claimed that a few 20+20 LTE markets were going to be functional by the end of 2014. Braxton Carter made this statement at the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet and Communication Conference. However, the company has more ambitious plans. It aims to cover all important metro zones which have high speed networks. This means that T-Mobile’s plan is to update the remote radio head it has to such an extent so as to be capable to deliver 30+30 or even the unbelievable 40+40.

The presentation can be seen on the T-Mobile Inventor web site. Various subjects are tackled, including an extended explanation of why T-Mobile has the capacity to roll the network it has by making use of such amazing speed.

The Launch of Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 causes Stir across Markets

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 is expected to hit the markets in the month of September. The Galxy Mega family is made of various budget smart mobile phones which have as serious rivals the Lenovo and the Huawei gadgets.

This new Samsung budget phone is said to have a display of 5.9 inch and a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. The earlier versions were equipped with a 5.8 inch and a 6.3 inch screens. Some other unofficial photos claim that the gadget has a screen of 7 inch. However, these allegations cannot be backed up with solid proofs.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 comes in with a processor of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 type and a GPU of the Andreno 306 type. The internal storage is equal to eight gigabytes and the random access memory is of two gigabytes. For the time being, it is running on Android 4.4.3 KitKat but there are high chances to be upgraded soon to Android L.

The new Samsung gadget has also got a primary camera that has twelve megapixels, while the secondary camera has five megapixels. It also has additional features like Wi-Gi, vicinity sensors, Bluetooth and a micro SD slot.

Due to the success registered with the Note, the South Korean company has taken the decision to hit the market with phablets belonging to the Mega Series. The company has not announced an official release, but many believe that the gadget has high chances to make its debut in 2015.

The Samsung Mega hit the stores in the month of August, 2013. Thus, it is high time for a new device as such to hit the stores.

Google’s Fight against Child Pornography

Google searches the public profiles of yours as well as their personal data in order to identify individuals guilty of child abuse. This was made public when a sex offender was arrested by the police on the basis of the images and contest of his Gmail account. It is now clear that the immense internet company is searching its users email activity in order to identify illegal behavior.

The company identified a man who had indecent images of girl stored in his Gmail. Google reported this discovery to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children located on the US territory. The police investigation that followed this reports led to the man’s arresting.

David Nettles a detective employed by Houston Metro Internet Crimes against Children declared for the press that the suspect had been keeping the incriminatory pictures in his email account. The Police could not see the pictures, but Google had this possibility. The detective said he was glad that Google had managed to bring the necessary proofs to arrest the man.

The internet company told the media that it had no intention to make public the technical information behind any case. It also states that it would not make public the nature of the searches performed.

However, lots of people know that the automatic image search of Google functions by making a comparison between hashes of images and not between files. For those who do not know a hash is a sort of unique code which was made by running an image through a very simple algorithm. The hashes are compared with the hashes of known photos of abused children. The match points out that the respective account contains illegal photos. Thus, Google does not need to have a huge database with illegal photos, which could be a real problem when sharing the images with the third parties.

Google also co-funds the charity foundation called the Internet Watch whose purpose is to reduce the criminal internet content, mainly images of children being sexually abused, hosted on any site. They also want to reduce the illegal obscene adult contest across the UK as well.

The Internet Watch Foundation has a list of hashes belonging to known or just suspected out of the law content. This list can be given to third parties in order to check other services and search engines. The Foundation also has a hotline which people can call in order to report suspicious links and files. Google runs searches of its own in order to bring its contribution to the list.

The internet company said more or less clear in the past that it had the habit to perform searches on content. However, it has never told if the searches were performed on public or private information. Up till this arrest it has not been clear whether or not Google searches the information that was not made public.

It is true that tracking down child abusers is an extremely important work but this event will also create lots of privacy concerns. Probably there are a lot of users who do not feel at ease at all knowing that Google is performing a search on each image sent by means of their Gmail account. It is already known that Google performs scans on the email messages in order to deliver user targeted ads.

Encrypted Calling for iOS Produced by Signal

No one can deny the fact that encryption is a difficult task. All developers know that especially due to the fact that the NSA leaks increase the demand for secure applications. Encryption refers not only ta the writing of a secure code it also implies the creation of a program that can be accessed by all users.

Whisper Systems is a company that has a long and reputed history in this domain. Whisper Systems has created TextSecure and RedPhone for devices running on Android. For the time being, they are working with Apple in order to produce a simple and intuitive interface.

The Signal is a free application of the iOS which aims to make the simplest encrypted telephone calls. The users have to introduce their telephone numbers and their confirmation code. The entire contact list is imported in an automatic manner when the application is used for the first time. RedPhone users will find the process extremely familiar. However, the interface is more complex and it has the flat aspect of both iOS7 and iOS 8.

Signal has decided to take advantage of the user base belonging to RedPhone. The application functions very well with the Android equivalent. All RedPhone users extant in the contact list will appear in the Signal application as well. Signal uses the RedPhone physical infrastructure as well. RedPhone has a network of servers that cover the globe in order to locally route the phone calls.

The users will definitely get more privacy than usual. Signal, unlike phone companies, does not leave behind metadata. An observer can see that a user has accessed the Signal service but he/she cannot see when and where the phone call was made. The Signal developers claim that their server does not preserve any additional information to be found after the user has accessed their application. The encryption process is performed locally on the user’s telephone. In order to prove that the privacy promises are well kept, Whisper has allowed for its code to be publicly inspected. The whole Signal codebase will be based on the GitHub account belonging to Whisper.

For the time being the application is still in the development phase. The team behind the application wants to introduce text support as well. Unfortunately, the resulting menu will be a bit too cluttered and there will be some ambiguous features. This is the case of the Inbox tab which will lose its purpose. In spite of this, the result is the easiest encryption tools extant on the market. The application is a much simpler solution to Pidgin or Silent Circle.

The Signal team has declared that its objective was to focus solely on the users’ experience.

Nokia Lumia 930- An Amazing Windows Experience

The Nokia Lumia 930 the phoned resulted after Windows took over Nokia has amazing features and characteristics that make it a viable competitor for reputed smart phones produced by Samsung, HTC, Apple or Sony.

A unique combination of glass, aluminum and plastic

The Lumia 930 Phone is the perfect example of Noki’a qualitative hardware. In spite of its slimness is solid and it can take handle several knocks without being torn to pieces.

The phone has a band made of aluminum around it. The front is made of Gorilla Glass and the back is plastic made.  The screen is sculpted at the edges that reach the aluminum component. However, users worry that the screen might get scratch easily if the phone is put down on its screen. Not all mobile phone enthusiasts might be thrilled by the Lumia’s vibrant colors and by its hard aluminum made edges.

The display has 5 inches and it is based on the HD OLED technology. The screen is bright but unfortunately a bit too reflective when outdoors and for this reason it is quite difficult to read your favorite site posts in the natural day light. It is bigger than an iPhone 5 but smaller than Samsung Galaxy S5 and other phones functioning on Android.

The weight of 167 grams makes the Lumia 930 phone heavier than most phones on the market. For example, the Sony Xperia 72 weighs 163 grams while the Google Nexus 5 has a weight of 140 grams. The phone is heavier than its forerunner the Lumia 925 which weighs 139 grams. The phone does not feel heavy in the pocket, purse or hand but some people might find it a bit too large.

In-built Wireless Technology

A great advantage of Windows Phones is that all of them are quite similar in operation. The Lumia 930 is characterized by a very powerful processor. In spite of this, it is not more complicated nor faster than the other versions.

The Lumia 930 is a multitasking phone. Some animations take a bit of time to load and therefore they slow down the process of getting into and out of various menus. The power of the processor can be perceived when it comes to picture taking and various advanced affects.

The phone’s battery is quite small when compared to its size. The Lumia 930 has a battery of 2,420 mAh. Nonetheless the phone gets through the day easily. The user can check his/her emails, can access Facebook, Twitter and Instragram, can listen to music for an hour or so and can even watch some short videos. The phone is equipped with a built-in wireless charging of the Qi type. The wireless charger allows the user to put the mobile phone on a pad and have its battery charged during the night. It has also got a saving mode for the battery which limits the number of the applications that might be active in the background. Thus, the battery gets an extended life. When the battery is almost drained the phone switches on automatically.

Windows Phone 8.1 Characteristics

The Lumia 930 functions on Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. The live tiles are amazing, giving the user the information he/she needs. Microsoft has created a very handy notification shade. The phone has quick setting to turn the Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth. There is a flight mode, completed by the rotation lock on and off. The wallpaper of the home screen has the ability to slide behind the tiles. Some of them are transparent and they have the appearance of some small windows. The keyboard can be labelled as decent. However, the list of applications is rather long and can be tedious especially if you are not a gadget fanatic.

The Windows Phone has applications developed by some important companies. Thus, a user can choose among applications like Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Instagram, Evernote or BBC iPlayer. However, Google Maps and Google Hangouts are not present in the Lumia 930. Microsoft included its own applications like Microsoft Office and One Drive. The Here Maps application developed by Nokia functions pretty well and so does the Nokia MixRadio.

Unfortunately, the games cannot be compared with the ones present on phones function Android or iOS operating systems. Microsoft can change that with a more efficient integration of its famous Xbox.

Amazing Camera Experience

The phone is equipped with a Pureview camera having twenty megapixels and a two-state shutter button. Obviously, it is not as powerful as the forty-on megapixels camera which can be found on the Lumia 1020. However, the camera of Lumia 930 is one of the best smart phones cameras that a user might find on the market. The supersampling has the ability to remove artefact from pictures but at the same time gives the user the possibility to access the entire image. The optical image stabilisation is a definite plus since it prevents picture blurs. The Pro Camera application is amazing, being easy to use and offering unique shooting experiences. The Refocus application permits the phone user to refocus the image.

How much does a Lumia 930 cost?

For the time being the Lumia 930 is the flagship of Microsoft’s present line up. The official price is 550 pounds, if the phone is purchased directly from Microsoft. But one can contact a reseller and get the phone for 440 pounds.

Final Review

The Lumia 930 is probably the best phone that Windows has managed to produce up till now. It has a unique exterior appearance and is solid built. Furthermore, it has even got an FM radio. If you do not miss the Google service, the Lumia 930 is the perfect phone for you since it has one of the most important applications. Games are not at their best, but if you are not a fanatic player, this might not be a problem.

 

All things considered the Lumia 930 is a good phone but not outstanding. It is a deal for people looking for something different but it would be an exaggeration to call the best smart phone on the market.

Galaxy S5 cannot win the Sales Competition against iPhone 5S

Samsung still strives a lot to boost its Galaxy S5 sales and win the races against Apple’s iPhone 5S. All this was revealed by the inquiry done by Counterpoint. Thus, researchers for Counterpoint pointed out that iPhone 5S was the star of star of smart phone sales throughout the month of May. However, Samsung is not in a black hole since its Galaxy S5 came in second positions. However, the South Korean company wants the golden metal and the first place on the podium.

Similar researches and studies were conducted by Kantar Worldpanel Comtech. The company noted a month before that the sales of Galaxy S5 were quite disappointing for the Korean manufacturer since they could not match Apple sales neither in the case of iPhone 5S nor iPhone 5C on British territory. Samsung’s estimated figures for the second quarter lowered down, with company blaming the global general decrease of smart phone sales.

It has to be said that the report made by Counterpoint refers to the global mobile phone market. Thus, the data point out that iPhone 5C is less appreciated in other countries, being behind Samsung’s smart phones known to users as Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. Thus, Counterpoint noted that the iPhone 5C sales were on a descending slope, with Apple clearing the entire extra inventory it had throughout the entire month.

The popularity list shows that iPhone 4S occupied the sixth position, being closely followed by the Chinese phone Xiaomi MI3 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini. The list also contained the names smart phones such as the Xiomi Hongmi Redrice (difficult to pronounce and to remember) and the Galaxy Grand 2 also manufactured by Samsung.

Xperia Z1 produced by Comtech missed the list by a hair’s breath. The same happened to Moto G belonging to Motorola and to LG G2, obviously the creation of LG. Comtech has high expectation for Nokia X to appear on the list the following months, though it was released on the market only two months ago.

This is not very satisfactory Microsoft and its operating system for mobile devices called Windows Phone. They have not even been mention for a future appearance on the list. Comtech pointed out that during the first summer month, Microsoft managed to obtain a meager 9.1 per cent of the British mobile phone market. The situation is even worse for Blackberry and its 1.1 per cent of the market share.