HTC to face a tough time in Q3 considering other big players are about to showcase their smartphone offerings

htc profit___

HTC really can’t catch a break. They’ve been facing financial loses for a long time now and have finally managed to turn profit in Q2 this year, their first profit since Q2 2013. It seemed like their financial situation is getting better, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

HTC One (M8) boosted their profits in Q2 and is the main reason why they turned profit. However, considering Galaxy Note 4 and rumored Galaxy Alpha are coming soon along with Apple’s iPhone 6 offering HTC is going to face further problems. HTC’s CFO Chialin Chang said that they’ll have to “trim sales and marketing expenses” in order to avoid serious financial loses. It seems they can’t rely on HTC One (M8) sales any longer and are getting ready for some rough time in Q3. HTC’s CFO also added:

“Some of our products, after the initial excitement, have settled at a lower level. But the good thing is it is stabilized,” Chialin Chang claimed. “For HTC, to start gaining market share is important. We have gone through a transition period in 2013.”

We hope that HTC will manage to squeeze through the coming months just fine and then come back stronger than ever, although it’s hard to believe they will be able to join Samsung and other manufacturers up top. What do you think HTC needs to change in order to rise up? I personally think they’re on the right path but need to invest more on marketing.

Source: Wall Street Journal
Via: PhoneArena


AndroidGuys

1st reaction to 5G promise for London by 2020

Charles Russell LLP reckons laws probably need changing

extremely ambitious goal – dowden

An interview given to the UK newspaper, Daily Telegraph, here by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has caused quite a stir. He appears to have promised 5G mobile data will be available for all  in London by 2020. Let’s hope he didn’t mean just the City of London, which is only a square mile. Anyway, it is one hell of a pledge and could prove a major headache for his partner which appears to be the University of Surrey – which is based near GoMo Towers in Guildford. However, leading law firm Charles Russell LLP, believes that the regulatory environment will have to change for this deadline to be met.

As GoMo News previously reported here,  earlier in the year [March 2014], British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had announced that the UK government was going to commit some £73 million.

Given the speech was at Cebit in Hanover, Cameron also said that the UK would work closely with Germany. This was supposed to be on 5G but the emphasis was on the IoT.

Vincenzo Lanni, partner, and Malcolm Dowden, both consultants with Charles Russell LLP, claimed, “2020 is an extremely ambitious goal.”

They continued, “Meeting it will require governments and regulators to play their part by undertaking a rapid, comprehensive and radical review of the laws and licensing regimes that may lag behind technological development.”

In order to be better than 4G, of course, 5G must promise “massive capacity and massive connectivity.

It will have to be able to serve the vast data demands of Smart Cities; social media; cloud-based enterprise; and the inevitable Internet of Things [IoT].

They argue, however, that any concerted move towards 5G requires not only substantial technical innovations, but also legal and regulatory reforms.

Lanni/Dowden, say, “5G requires a fundamental rethink of spectrum management – propelling a current system based on the close management of licensed spectrum to [an alternative model].”

And what would that be? They argue that it will be “one concerned primarily with the prevention or management of interference between networks and devices designed to latch on to any available, probably non-contiguous frequencies.”

In layman’s terms, the UK government allowing EE to use existing spectrum to roll out desperately needed 4G connectivity before freeing up the required spectrum that the other players such as Vodafone needed, was a massive cock up.

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He’s a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.


GoMo News

The road from Nokia MixRadio to just MixRadio to ???

Published by at 9:18 UTC, July 28th 2014

MixRadio has seen quite a bit of activity in the last four months, since our last mention back in March (with v4.3), not least a token name change and uncertainty over the service’s future. With this being baked into the new Windows Phone 8.1 that’s being acquired or updated to, I thought it might be appropriate to see what has been added and to muse on where MixRadio might go.

The latest version, 4.5.1.448, has, over the previously reported v4.3:

  • The automatic refresh of offline mixes. These will try to refresh after 20 days when the app is open and connected to WiFi, ensuring that they don’t lapse.
      
  • You can now search for mixes, in addition to  in the integral (Nokia) music store and in the gig/tickets database.
      
  • Mixes will now ‘be recommended to you, based on your unique music profile’. I suppose it’s good that someone’s tracking what music I like to play in association with my Microsoft account, but it’s a tiny bit creepy, of course(!)
     
  • The ‘Nokia’ name has been removed from the name, i.e it’s just “MixRadio” from here on in.
      
  • The usual ‘Bug fixes and performance improvements’.

Screenshot, MixRadioScreenshot, MixRadio

Long pressing on an offline mix lets you take it offline – and now auto-refreshed, with new content, at least every 20 days. Sooo cool.

Screenshot, MixRadioScreenshot, MixRadio

Searching within mixes amd within the gig database – looks like Mr Bonamassa’s on tour!

All well and good, though with massive Microsoft/Nokia job cuts in progress, plus the obvious overlap between MixRadio’s commercial side and Microsoft’s existing Xbox Music, there’s definitely talk of spinning MixRadio off as a totally separate company. In an interview, MixRadio boss Jyrki Rosenberg spoke to Music Ally:

What does this mean for Nokia’s well-regarded MixRadio streaming music service? We’ve been wondering whether it would be merged with Microsoft’s own Xbox Music or even shut down since the acquisition was announced.

It’s neither though. “Basically, we’re planning a spin-off… Microsoft is going to focus on developing and maintaining the best operating system for consumers to use music and entertainment with their choice of third-party applications”.

Rosenberg stressed that Microsoft and MixRadio will maintain strong links, including continuing to preload its app on Windows Phone smartphones. But as an independent company, MixRadio’s horizons have suddenly got much, much wider.

“For me personally it’s very exciting. I’ve been meeting with potential investors around the world in the last few weeks. We have very strong interest from investors in the US, Europe and Asia, and we remain open for further discussions,” he said.

Rosenberg declined to give specific details on how MixRadio’s service might evolve now it’s independent. Its current focus is personal radio: mixes (playlists) curated by its in-house team of “mixologists”, which can be streamed and/or cached on users’ devices.

The kicker, if independent, will be how MixRadio makes money. Things will have to be rethought. At the moment there are tie ins to the (presumably to be phased out) Nokia-run music store and to gig/ticket listings, plus there was the MixRadio+ programme, and also heavy funding from Nokia. All of this is up in the air to some degree. 

If I had to guess, I’d look for a separate company but with official tie ins to the Xbox music store and the ramping up of the ‘+’ service in term of promotion and competition.

Interesting all round!

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store

Filed: > >

Platforms: Windows Phone 8
Categories: Apps
 

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All About Windows Phone

Microsoft and Nokia X

Memos have been flying around like crazy over at Microsoft. Satya Nadella and Stephen “Hello there” Elop have been trying to synergize with their employees to maximize efficiency and leverage…whatever. It’s like a Weird Al song over there. Recently, Elop made it clear in no uncertain terms that Nokia’s devices and services division, now living under the Microsoft umbrella is no longer in the Android phone making business. Of course anyone who has even tangentially been paying attention to the smartphone landscape over the past few years should have seen this coming, but it does beg the question – is this the best idea for Microsoft?

On the face of it, it’s a no brainer. Microsoft is competing with Android in every way. Windows Phone is trying to make inroads in places where the Nokia X line of phones was targeted – emerging markets, the next billion or whatever you want to call all those customers just begging to buy. It simply doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to compete with itself. It’s healthy on the softball field, not so much in the boardroom.
After all, the only way to grow the Windows Phone brand is to do so by eliminating competition. Microsoft in this case happens to own some of the competition, so it’s easy enough to shut it down. All that great hardware that was in the pipeline to run the Nokia X line can just as easily be repurposed to run Windows Phone. So from a hardware/manufacturing standpoint, this is still a pretty easy call.

Nokia XAnd yet…

Microsoft is a software company, first and foremost. Its new philosophy of mobile first, cloud first can be served by grabbing a slice of the 80% Android pie. Plus Microsoft was doing it in a way that controlled the market it was trying to gain. By releasing a phone with what amounts to a Windows Phone skin, and by removing Google Play and Google services, Microsoft was in a position to build upon two of the biggest brands in smartphone world “Nokia” and “Android”. Plus it could do so in a way that wouldn’t compromise its position as a software services provider.

It’s true that a little hackery would result in Microsoft’s work being undone by a custom ROM and installation of the Google Play store. In fact, if not for the job loss, that’s probably about the only thing Joe Levi would miss with the Nokia X line being cut. But introducing a phone filled to the brim with Microsoft services, running on top of a Microsoft “skin” could have helped introduce Microsoft’s services to a large group of people who otherwise wouldn’t give it the time of day.

NokiaLumia630__DSC6067Bird is the word, but the next word is “Android”

Never underestimate the power of “Android”. By that, I don’t mean the operating system. I mean the actual word “Android”. “Android” is a powerful name in and of itself and many users will undoubtedly start there when shopping for a phone. As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Microsoft could have done that, but in a way that preserved Microsoft’s vision.

Let’s be real here though. This is Android. This is Google’s mobile operating system. There was no way Microsoft was going to let this continue, skinned or no. And it’s for the very reason I just mentioned – a little bit of hackery and all of Microsoft’s brand and identity are gone. Then Microsoft is not helping itself at all. It’s basically doing Android One’s program for it. Microsoft would simply be providing quality hardware onto which a user could run a stock Android experience. The updates probably wouldn’t have been as timely, but did I not just describe Android One?

That is not what Microsoft signed up for. Why Nokia even bothered to pursue this project is really beyond comprehension. Why development of a second generation continued to the point where the hardware would need to be repurposed for Windows Phone is mind-boggling. Such is the way with larger corporations I suppose. There’s an argument to be made for keeping the Nokia X line of phones intact. I personally don’t think it’s a very strong argument, but we try to look at both side of the issue on the weekend.

Survey says…

So, what do you think? Was Nokia crazy for thinking Microsoft would run with this? Was Microsoft crazy for not running with it? Sound off below and let’s see if we can figure this out.


Pocketnow

Freeway Product Discovery App Gives You a Chance to Win Real Prizes

freeway 650

Product discovery platform Freeway has had a great first month on iOS devices, attracting users with the chance to win free real-world products via simple scratch games. The app was supported by 12 partners and $ 30,000 in products for its first month of launch, and users have played Freeway’s games over 1 million times in less than a month.

With Freeway, users receive 100 points each day when logging in. These points are used to play games for a chance to win free products. Users swipe through a selection of products, like earbuds, cameras, skin care products and more, and when they find something they’d like, they can spend some points to see if they’re an instant winner.

These games are scratch cards, so players simply swipe their finger across the screen to discover what’s underneath the original image. Even if they don’t win the product outright, some offer coupons for discounts on purchasing the items outside of the Freeway app. Or, gamers may win more points so they can keep playing games.

“We see ourselves as match makers, creating an environment that helps foster the initial connection between consumers and brands,” said Freeway’s Bryan Hawkins. “Our goal is to provide users with an entertaining means of discovering new products while also helping our partners break through the clutter and gain exposure.”

Freeway is available to download for free on iOS and Google Play.


Inside Mobile Apps

GoMo kind of likes the WOMAD festival app

Improvement on previous years

We should actually be in a field in Wiltshire right now but circumstances beyond our control meant we haven’t gone to the WOMAD world music festival this year [2014]. Nonetheless we decided to review the events’ Android app anyway. Especially since our gut feeling is that the app is a lot better than previous years. Once again it has been created by App Majik and it only appeared a few days before the festival started. Our view is that apps like this should be released a few weeks in advance and it should be left to users to download the updates.
What do we like about this app? Well, full marks for attempted social media integration with links to Twitter and Instagram but no direct link to Facebook.

We also like the diary/planner feature which will prove very useful for sorting out just where and when you should be standing in front of one of the many stages.

The list of artists does, however, display the hallmarks of having me assembled at the last minute.

For example, the entry for Nitin Sawhney actually boasted the biog for another artist – Richard Thomson. Oops.

We also felt that the maps of the camp site and music locations weren’t in the least bit mobile friendly but then that’s more down to the event organizers rather than the app developer.

Although we really do feel users should have been able to search the Information by artist and by music stage – as in Siam tent.

Here at GoMo Towers we are trying to console ourselves with the fact that few of our favourite world music artists we in this year’s line-up. There’s always 2015.

We checked via the app to see if tickets are still available for the last day – Sunday July 27th 2014. They seem to be.

You can probably listen to some live music from WOMAD Charlton Park on the UK government’s propaganda arm. But we won’t link to those loggers.

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He’s a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.

This article was published in mobile news and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


GoMo News

iPhone 6 phablet delays, Google vs Samsung, Amazon Glass comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap

Pocketnow Daily gets an average of 300 to 500 comments a day, and sometimes even a thousand. We’d like to thank you all for participating in our question of the day, and we love your feedback so much, that we decided that since we can’t respond to ever single one of your comments, we should at least feature a couple in a weekly video.

This is the Pocketnow Daily Recap. Since we only have 3 minutes on every Daily video to go through the hottest news, the weekly recap will serve as a more extensive discussion where we also include your thoughts on the subject. Sadly, for the sake of time, we can’t guarantee that your comment will be featured, but if you want some tips on what we look for the most:

1. Keep it short
2. Stick to the point
3. Try to get some likes on your comments, which usually happen if you nail the first two tips above

We hope to make this a weekly show, and we also hope you enjoy it as much as we love reading your thoughts and comments every day.

Pocketnow Daily shows:
iPhone 6 phablet delays, Galaxy F dates, Lumia 1020 EOL & more – Pocketnow Daily
Three iWatch models, WP8.1 Lumia roll out, Amazon Glass & more – Pocketnow Daily
Apple + IBM, Android 4.4.4 R2, Samsung Level products & more – Pocketnow Daily
iPhone 6 camera/battery, Microsoft layoffs, Galaxy Note 4 UV info & more – Pocketnow Daily
Google vs. Samsung, Surface Pro 3 fix, Play Store changes & more – Pocketnow Daily


Pocketnow

Freeway Product Discovery App Gives You a Chance to Win Real Prizes

freeway 650

Product discovery platform Freeway has had a great first month on iOS devices, attracting users with the chance to win free real-world products via simple scratch games. The app was supported by 12 partners and $ 30,000 in products for its first month of launch, and users have played Freeway’s games over 1 million times in less than a month.

With Freeway, users receive 100 points each day when logging in. These points are used to play games for a chance to win free products. Users swipe through a selection of products, like earbuds, cameras, skin care products and more, and when they find something they’d like, they can spend some points to see if they’re an instant winner.

These games are scratch cards, so players simply swipe their finger across the screen to discover what’s underneath the original image. Even if they don’t win the product outright, some offer coupons for discounts on purchasing the items outside of the Freeway app. Or, gamers may win more points so they can keep playing games.

“We see ourselves as match makers, creating an environment that helps foster the initial connection between consumers and brands,” said Freeway’s Bryan Hawkins. “Our goal is to provide users with an entertaining means of discovering new products while also helping our partners break through the clutter and gain exposure.”

Freeway is available to download for free on iOS and Google Play.


Inside Mobile Apps

All About Qi (charging): interview with John Perzow from the WPC

Published by at 12:44 UTC, July 25th 2014

As something of a fan of wireless charging in general and Qi in particular, I jumped at the chance to interview John Perzow, VP of market development at the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which created and is continually evolving the Qi standard. A man to answer some of those questions I’d been wanting to ask for ages….

Hi John, welcome to AAWP!

John Perzow

Steve Litchfield (SL): It seems that we’ve been talking about Qi winning in the wireless charging standards war for several years, yet the Powermat people in the USA still seem to talk as if they’re the natural choice, with installations in travel lounges, etc. All this despite Qi being used in the vast majority of wirelessly chargeable devices. What will it take to finally make Qi the standard?

John Perzow (JP): There are over 500 different types of Qi-enabled products and an installed base of over 50 million Qi units in the market today. What makes Qi unique is that it has a presence in public venues all around the world. There are over 200 members that have adopted Qi technology, including big names such as LG, Samsung, Sony, Philips, Panasonic and Verizon.

Qi has the highest efficiency, lowest cost and the greatest variety of options available. If your car has wireless charging built in, it’s Qi. Qi continues to evolve with more products, services and technology. There is no advantage with any other approach, only more risk and higher cost. So, I think we keep doing what we’re doing. 

SL: How are we doing on QI installations around the world, in (public) physical venues? Have we moved on beyond ‘trials’ yet?

JP: The trial stage ended in 2009. Products available today are mature and effective. Qi deployment has, particularly in the last year, exploded in public venues and autos around the world. Members of the WPC have installed Qi technology into major airports, including in the U.S., China and Japan. There are over 800 charging locations in eight U.S. airports alone. Qi charge spots are also appearing in new locations, such as restaurants, schools and many other public venues in the U.S., Canada and Europe. WPC members are working hard every day to bring new products and business-friendly Qi-based systems to public locations worldwide.

SL: I’ve written in the past that Qi wireless charging is less efficient than traditional wired charging and, in my tests, have seen charging times about 30%-40% longer and greater heat generated. Do you have any accurate stats to put forward here? Surely, if everyone goes wireless then we’re wasting energy, as a species?(!)

JP: We at the WPC agree – designers have a responsibility to create the most efficient systems possible. From operating frequency to coil structure, Qi uses the most efficient design choices. Naturally, the early versions of wireless charging technology were less efficient than today’s systems. I’d say that they were running on average of 65 percent to 70 percent, which is similar to the first mobile phone chargers. But, like any good standard, Qi technology is always evolving. Qi products on the market today exceed 80 percent efficiency, which approaches wired charging. Qi has several technologies available and the close-coupled version is the most efficient and lowest cost wireless charging system available anywhere. Qi can be even more efficient than wired (according to Texas Instruments) when fully integrated into the cell phone charging architecture. 

If wireless charge spots are available wherever we need them to be, we can reduce or eliminate chargers with every new phone. We can even cut the size of the Lithium-ion battery. These changes would result in meaningful environmental benefits.

Nokia's charging pad

SL: What’s the future for Qi, technically? And will whatever comes next be completely backwards compatible with today’s implementations?

JP: Members of the WPC are driving numerous important technology advancements, including power transfer up to 2000 watts for kitchen appliances and finely-tuned resonance technology for infrastructure, furniture and other types of applications. Also in development are medium power systems for notebook computing – and there’s a lot more to come. Fundamental to any real standard is backward compatibility and interoperability. If it bears the Qi logo, it will work, today and tomorrow, no matter the manufacture. 

SL: Do you have any sense of whether Apple will ever embrace any wireless charging standard for a future iPhone? Ditto Samsung, who seem to always relegate Qi charging to a ‘special’ case? Sadly.

JP: Of course, we are not privy to the development plans of any of our members or other companies. Mobile phone makers, such as Samsung, have discovered that consumers are willing to spend a bit more for wireless charging technology. Accessories and add-on options are an important revenue generator for OEMs and service providers. But it’s only a matter of time before wireless charging is a basic feature on all portable devices.

SL: What smartphone do you use personally (please be honest!) – and does it have Qi charging?!

JP: My device of choice is the Nokia 1020 (good call! – SL) because I travel a lot and it has an excellent camera. I use a Nokia Qi case and I have Qi chargers all around me; a TYLT-vu in my office and by my bed, a Nokia charger with NFC in my car and I travel with a Qimini. 

Battery anxiety is one thing I don’t worry about.

_____________

Thanks to John and the WPC for the interview and I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear of happy Qi-using readers here. Any comments, everyone?

Filed: > >

Platforms: General, Windows Phone 8
Categories: Interviews, Comment, Hardware
 

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All About Windows Phone