Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. China’s “big four” vie for global customers, smartphones are replacing onboard infotainment in new cars, creating a smartphone secure enough for a president and much more.
Worldwide, Apple and Samsung dominate pricey smartphone sales, accounting for about a third of the market. But the next several names on the global bestseller list include four lower-cost Chinese competitors that collectively sell almost as many handsets as the big two.
In China’s smartphone market, the world’s largest, the four companies have been closely matched competitors over the last few years, taking turns at the number-one spot. (The figures in the chart below are from the third quarter of 2016, via research firm IDC.) Being No. 1 in China isn’t necessarily very profitable, however, as there are always new competitors willing to lose piles of money to build market share.
I was driving on I-95 from New York to Boston in a Honda CR-Vwhen I decided to go outside my comfort zone and turn on SiriusXM Radio instead of listening to the usual playlists I was streaming through my iPhone.
Clocking around 70 mph on the highway, I tried my best to select the best station without taking my eyes off the road. Except it seemed like the system was working against me — the touchscreen wasn’t responsive to my clicks, and the same music droned on.
In the interest of safety, my co-pilot attempted to take over, but frustrated with the same issue we ultimately gave up.
As President Donald Trump takes office, he has also taken up a new, digital symbol of the presidency. Before, during and since the campaign, he used an Android smartphone to conduct his business and tweet prolifically, directly reaching millions of followers. But when he was inaugurated, Trump surrendered that device and accepted in its place a smartphone that has somehow been made more secure.
It is a key move for a man who might now be, not only the 45th commander-in-chief but also the US’s first president with such devotion to Twitter. Many private companies deal with issues like this, in which employees joining the ranks already have a mobile phone they use for their personal life. Should that device be connected to company systems? Or should workers be issued a cumbersome second phone for work-only purposes? There are federal recommendations about that, but few firms are handling data as sensitive as the president’s phone might be.
Despite major IoT attacks last year, and even though most organizations are extremely concerned about getting attacked, the majority are doing nothing to prevent these attacks, according to Arxan’s 2017 Study on Mobile and IoT Application Security Report, independently conducted by the Ponemon Institute.
The majority of organizations are instead zeroing in on what is viewed as the biggest threat: Malware. Eighty-four percent of respondents are very concerned about the threat malware poses to mobile apps, while another 66 percent said they’re concerned about the threat the virus poses to IoT.
In fact, most organizations are struggling to secure IoT apps, with 58 percent of IT leaders viewing IoT hacking as a bigger threat than mobile.
The ZTE Hawkeye was hailed as a fantastic new direction for the mobile industry as the Chinese firm paraded its innovative, fan-designed phone in front of the media at CES 2017. Thing is, all is not well in the ZTE fan camp.
Cooked up under ZTE’s Project CSX, which gave fans the opportunity to design and pitch their ideal smartphone to the manufacturer with one winning design getting built, the Hawkeye was born with eye-tracking tech and an adhesive back which can stick to any surface.
Thing is, fans invested in the project thought they’d be getting a flagship smartphone, but it turns out ZTE has put the two key features into a more mid-range offering – leading to mass disappointment.
When people hear about artificial intelligence, they have one of two responses: they are terrified of a Skynet dystopia, or they are excited for the new possibilities afforded by machine learning and robotics.
While 2017 will not be the year that humanoid, Westworld-esque robots work alongside us or take over all of our jobs, we will definitely be seeing an even smarter circulation of “alternative facts”.
We will see greater capabilities from AI in facilitating business processes such as services, software delivery and IT infrastructure changes.
Google has built a hub for chatbots to fetch information from the net, Freshdesk acquired Chatimity to strengthen its customer service chatbot capabilities, and Microsoft has had another bash at its AI chatbot with Zo.
In the precommercial phase, companies invest significant time and money to recruit patients and collect real-world data as well as uncover gaps in current therapies and emerging or anticipated public health needs. That’s why pharmaceutical companies are proactively evaluating and deploying mobile apps to accomplish these goals more quickly, efficiently, and effectively. You can ping someone and get their attention immediately – faster than eliciting a response from an email. This type of engagement is also more conducive to a variety of lifestyles than any other medium.
“Where I teach at a clinic, no one goes to their desktop. They reach into their pockets for their phones,” states Pfizer’s Diana Morgenstern, MD, senior medical director, global medical affairs, women’s health. “If you want to get your message out to a younger (millennial) population, this is the way to reach them and cut through unwanted complexity or even collect relevant data.”
Last year saw a number of barriers reduced as India broke into the worldwide top five for mobile game downloads.
Not only has this inevitably caught the attention of major players from overseas, it has enlivened the local industry – the growth of which has been demonstrated by NASSCOM Game Developer Conference 2016 and our own Indian Mavens group.
One example is Gamecubator Labs, an ambitious Hyderabad-based studio targeting both the global and domestic markets.
To learn more about its match-3 title My Food Truck, Indian industry trends and predictions for the growth of the local market, PocketGamer.biz reached out to Gamecubator Labs’ Head of Operations Priyanka Barathwaj.
The payments industry loves to throw around the word innovation.
We hear it so much that some of us have a hard time determining whether a product is a breakthrough that will alter this particular corner of the market and bring true upheaval with it.
At least that’s how I view things at times.
When you’re at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, innovation is supposed to be all around you. From televisions to cars to virtual reality and little knick knacks and doodads, companies scream that their products are innovative. Some are, while others fall short in the long run.
I’m still trying to determine if what I saw at Honda’s booth with in-vehicle payments is a breakthrough. A couple of factors, including consumer adoption and ubiquity, will play into the determination whether this concept can be a success.
With their small screens and our bulky fingers, smartwatches aren’t the easiest devices to control. Researchers have invented new ways to interact with them that ease the fumbling, however.
Among their enhancements to LG and Sony watches:
- Scrolling through apps running your fingers along the watch band
- Launching eight smartwatch apps by tapping key points on the watch case (or bezel)
- Rejecting phone calls by blowing on the screen or tapping the side of the watch
- Editing dictated text message errors by breathing on the screen
- Transferring on-screen information from the watch to a phone with breaths
- Selecting numbers by tapping the back of your hand