Posts tagged ‘mobile phones’

The Rise of Mobile & Internet Video Watching

Original Post: Direct SAT TV

July 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM Leave a comment

5.3 billion mobile subscribers sent 6.1 trillion text messages in 2010

5.3 billion mobile subscribers sent 6.1 trillion text messages in 2010

During the first decade of the 21st century, information and communication technologies (ICTs) came within reach of most of the world’s people. As part of World Statistics Day, the United Nations commissioned the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for current data and statistics on ICTs. The resulting report: The World In 2010: ICT Facts and Figures provides an insight into just how phenomenal the growth of ICTs have been over the past few years.

According to the ITU, internet users have grown from under 400 million in the year 2000 to having now surpassed 2 billion. The world now has an estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions, with 90 percent of the world’s population having access to a mobile network. Over 6.1 trillion text messages were sent in 2010 – that’s 200,000 text messages every second!

The mobile market in the developed world, which the UN commonly refers to as being North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, is reaching saturation levels with an average of 116 subscriptions per 100 people. The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing strong growth in mobile subscriptions chiefly due to India and China adding over 300 million subscriptions in 2010. Developing countries are estimated to have 76 percent of the world’s mobiles, up from 53 percent at the end of 2005. Of the world’s 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions, 17 percent are 3G connections.

Looking at the global picture, one in three of the world’s population is now online. The ITU says the number of people online has doubled in the last five years to exceed two billion, of which 60 percent are in developing countries. China has the most internet users with more than 420 million people connected, while 65 percent of Europeans are online compared to 9.6 percent of Africans. The emergence of 3G networks and now next-generation wireless (4G) networks are expected to progressively allow developing countries to access the internet where fixed broadband infrastructure is limited.

The ITU reports that an estimated 1.6 billion people have internet access at home, with an estimated 555 million wired broadband connections globally. Demand for higher speed connections is rising with more and more high bandwidth content and applications available driving further demand. In the developed world, 65 percent of households are online. In some countries, namely South Korea, the Netherlands and Sweden, more than 80 percent of homes have internet access, and virtually all of these connections are broadband. In the developing countries 15.8 percent of households are connected, with 4.4 percent of these connections broadband. In Africa, less than one percent of internet connections are wired broadband.

There are still large differences between countries when talking about broadband affordability, especially those countries with lower per capita incomes, and this is certainly affecting subscriber levels. An entry level wired broadband connection in a developing country costs on average 190 PPP$ per month as opposed to 28 PPP$ per month in developed countries (PPP stands for Purchasing Power Parity and is a is a theory of long-term equilibrium exchange rates based on relative price levels of two countries).

The ITU asserts over 80 countries, including Australia, Afghanistan, Chile and the United States, had adopted or plan to adopt a national broadband strategy. These policies focus on building nationwide broadband infrastructure with the plan to provide public services online, including e-health, e-education and e-government. The ITU claims that over 40 countries now include broadband in their universal service/universal access definitions and a number of countries, including Estonia, Finland and Spain, have already declared access to the internet as a legal right for their citizens.

Via @GizMag

August 1, 2011 at 4:03 AM Leave a comment

Samsung W9600 with Pico projector

Samsung are another company with a thin presence at CES 2010, but they are at least there and have been showing off the Samsung W9600. This little beauty isn’t a smarpthone and certainly isn’t a superphone, but it does have one neat trick up it’s sleeve – a built-in projector.

Now projector phones aren’t new, but the technology is clearly getting smaller and better. The W9600 no longer looks an unholy fusion of phone and pico projector (as they’re called) it just looks like a phone.

You can beam anything from the phone onto a suitable surface (i.e. a wall). Not just pics, but even the phone’s user interface.

More pics of the Samsung W9600 after the jump.

Samsung W9600 projector phone
The phone itself is pretty ordinary otherwise, with a 5 megapixel camera and AMOLED display, and is destined only for South Korea. The technology clearly works, but it’s not exactly proved itself, which is a shame as it has a lot of potential. With the latest trend being smartphones with 4″ screens and super-slick touch control, though, projector phones might not be the solution to the phone’s tiny screen that everyone thought it would be just two short years ago.
Samsung W9600 projector phone
Samsung W9600 phone

January 13, 2010 at 3:37 PM Leave a comment

With a New Phone, Google May Challenge Apple

SAN FRANCISCO — Two titans of the tech world, Google and Apple, may soon be engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Or, more precisely, handset-to-handset combat.

Google plans to begin selling its own smartphone early next year, company employees say, a move that could challenge Apple’s leadership in one of the fastest-growing and most important technologies in decades.

Google’s new touch-screen Android phone, which it began giving to many employees to test last week, could also shake up the fundamentals of the cellphone market in the United States, where most phones work only on the networks of the wireless carriers that sold them.

The company, using

the power of its brand, plans to market and sell the new phone directly to consumers over the Internet, and buyers would be able to sign up for service from any compatible provider, the employees say.

The introduction of a Google phone — manufactured to its hardware and software specifications by an Asian maker of handsets — would be an important and risky departure for Google. Until now, it has made software to power cellphones that are built and marketed by partners, and it has largely avoided selling hardware.

The apparent shift underscores the fact that mobile phones are quickly becoming the biggest technology battleground of the future, as consumers increasingly rely on their phones to browse the Internet and perform other computing tasks.

It also indicates Google’s determination to make its mark on yet another industry, as it has done previously in advertising, books and online videos.

But analysts say it is not clear that Google’s success on the Internet will carry over into the design, marketing and distribution of hardware. Many companies have tried to make similar shifts and stumbled. Microsoft turned the Xbox into a hit, but when it pushed aside its partners in the music-player business in favor of its own Zune, it failed to gain traction against Apple and its iPods.

The phone’s success could also depend on how Google chooses to price it. Most Americans buy phones that are subsidized by wireless carriers, which recoup that cost by locking customers into contracts. IPhones that cost consumers $199 actually cost AT&T about $550, analysts say.

Katie Watson, a Google spokeswoman, declined to comment on the company’s plans. She referred reporters to a blog post published Saturday in which Google said that the new device was a “mobile lab” that would let employees test out new technologies.

Google employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because plans for the phone were supposed to be confidential said that the device, manufactured by the Taiwanese company HTC, was thinner than Apple’s iPhone, with a slightly larger touch screen. It could be available as early as January, they said.

Employees say the phone will be sold unlocked, meaning that buyers will be able to choose a service provider, and will be based on G.S.M. technology, which is used by AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States and by most other carriers around the world. It is named Nexus One, according to various reports and to digital traces that the phones have been leaving on Web sites.

Google had long insisted that it was not interested in building and selling phones, saying it preferred to rely on hardware partners and wireless carriers to market a wide variety of phones powered by Android, the operating system that it offers free.

In October, Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android at Google, scoffed at the idea that the company would “compete with its customers” by releasing its own phone, according to the technology news service CNet.

Analysts say that the apparent shift signals a recognition by the company’s executives that Google needs to take more control of its destiny in the wireless world.

“They perceive mobile as the next major opportunity,” said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “It is too big a risk to drive the strategy through their partners. They want more say and more control.”

In addition, analysts say that the iPhone, despite prominently featuring some Google services, makes the company nervous.

“They don’t want to have access to Google being controlled or influenced by one player like Apple,” said Ben Schachter, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech, a research firm.

Google wants to get more people using Web-friendly phones in part because it depends on the growth of search advertising, which is slowing on PCs. On cellphones, however, use of Google’s mobile search engine grew 30 percent in six months this year, Mr. Schachter said. “That’s huge, and a majority of that growth is coming from the iPhone,” he said. “When that happens, Apple has a lot of power over influencing users’ behavior.”

Until recently, Google and Apple were considered close allies with a common enemy: Microsoft. They shared two board members, Eric E. Schmidt, the chairman and chief executive of Google, and Arthur Levinson, the former chief executive of Genentech.

December 15, 2009 at 11:41 AM Leave a comment

Nexus One, The Google Phone, Captured In The Wild (Picture)

Last night, we started seeing some Tweets from Google employees and others about a new Android-powered Google phone that was apparently handed out at an “all hands” meeting. Now Google is confirming that it is indeed “dogfood” testing a new Android device with employees around the world.

But this isn’t just another Android phone. Very trustworthy sources who have seen the phone say that it is the Google Phone we first wrote about last month (despite the uninformed saying we were dreaming). It will be branded Google and sold by Google as an unlocked phone, which could change everything. As we wrote in our original post:

Google is building their own branded phone that they’ll sell directly and through retailers. They were long planning to have the phone be available by the holidays, but it has now slipped to early 2010. The phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but will only have Google branding (Microsoft did the same thing with their first Zunes, which were built by Toshiba).

There won’t be any negotiation or compromise over the phone’s design of features – Google is dictating every last piece of it. No splintering of the Android OS that makes some applications unusable. Like the iPhone for Apple, this phone will be Google’s pure vision of what a phone should be.

The phone itself is being built by HTC, with a lot of input from Google. It seems to be a tailored version of the HTC Passion or the related HD2 (Unlocker scored some leaked pictures back in October which are of the same phone).

Here are the details we know so far about the phone: It will be called the Google Phone and will launch in early January, 2010. It won’t be sold by any one carrier, but instead will be an unlocked GSM phone. In the U.S., that means T-Mobile and possibly AT&T, whose exclusivity deal with the iPhone is about to run out. It will be running Android 2.1

The phone is “really, really fast,” says someone who has seen one in action. It runs on a Snapdragon chip, has a super high-resolution OLED touchscreen, is thinner than the iPhone, has no keyboard, and two mics. The mic on the back of the phone helps eliminate background noise, and it also has a “weirdly” large camera for a phone. And if you don’t like the touchscreen keyboard, a voice-to-text feature is supposed to let you dictate emails and notes by speaking directly into the phone.

December 13, 2009 at 6:39 PM 1 comment

Exclusive: Google to Crash Android Party

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Move over, Apple (AAPL Quote), Research In Motion (RIMM Quote) and Motorola (MOT Quote), Google (GOOG Quote) is jumping into the smartphone market with an Android phone of its own.

In what is likely to be seen as disruptive to the wireless status quo, Google is working with a smartphone manufacturer to have a Google-branded phone available this year through retailers and not through telcos, according to Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, who has talked to Google’s design partners about the plan.

The move would fulfill Google’s pledge to bring a new generation of open-standard mobile Internet devices to consumers. By bypassing the carriers, who keep tight controls over the features and applications that are allowed on phones, Google will presumably offer a device that lets users determine the functions.

Both the Chrome netbook and the Android phone will use Qualcomm (QCOM Quote) chips, with the netbook running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform, says Kumar, who has discussed the plan with original design manufacturers working with Google.

4logos

If talk of the Google phone plan is true, the entrance of a unlocked, low-cost, Web-friendly touchscreen device will probably undercut other Android phone efforts by players like Motorola, Samsung and Dell (DELL Quote).

Motorola’s entire turnaround strategy is based on the Android operating system. The company is expected to announce a ultra-thin Droid phone at Verizon (VZ Quote) next month. Both Verizon and Motorola expect the Sholes/Droid phone to be a significant challenger to Apple’s iPhone.

 

Skeptics point out that Google might have a hard time getting the phone out in time for the holidays, since it typically takes a year or more to bring a phone from design to production.

Industry analysts also argue that the move would be an affront to the U.S. carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint (S Quote) and Deutsche Telekom’s (DT Quote) T-Mobile, outfits that have been supporting the Android effort by selling or planning to sell subsidized devices.

“It’s a bit of a departure from Google’s strategy, but I think the speculation is valid,” says Michael Cote of the Cote Collaborative. And as for getting the phone to the market quickly, Google “would probably use a partner they are familiar with.”

HTC, the first developer of an Android phone, is also a no stranger to Qualcomm chips and would be the most likely manufacturer able to give Google what it wanted fast.

If Google goes through with the plan, it would point to how eager the Internet ad giant is to get Android in as many hands as possible so it can extend its search business beyond desktop computers to mobile devices. Going around phone companies to reach consumers is a bold move, but Google no doubt sees the wireless Internet market as a land-grab race with Apple, Nokia (NOK Quote) and Microsoft (MSFT Quote).

Google also has plans with computer maker Quanta to build its own netbooks that will run on a Linux-based Google Chrome operating system and be available next summer, says Kumar.

Representatives for Google, HTC and Quanta were not immediately available for comment.

Google shares were down 0.8% to $547.78 in recent trading.

October 29, 2009 at 6:01 PM Leave a comment


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