Windows XP replacement activity helped ease PC shipment declines in 2014
It wasn't that long ago when analysts had the PC market pegged for extinction in favor of tablets. Somehow they envisioned us all getting real work done on iPads and Android slate -- not even in a parallel universe where everything is topsy-turvy could such a scenario exists. Fast forward to today and things look quite a bit different. According to IDC, pressure from tablets seems to be waning, while smartphones and phablets are beginning to compete with PCs for disposable income.
Opens up exciting possibilities for cross-device interplay
The population of mobile devices that are almost all screen has exploded in recent years to a point that it is now common for a single person to have many such all-screen smart devices. This brings us to the question: Why is there no app and/or hardware solution for seamlessly combining multiple smartphones and tablets — even if those belonging to the same platform — into one giant display on the fly?. While a mainstream solution has yet to show up, a partnership between the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the University of Konstanz, the Intel ICRI Cities at University College London (UCL), and the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC) has yielded something that ought to please some passionate and adventurous developers.
Do you fear that one day we'll all become servants of our robotic overlords? If you want to fuel that fear, think about how they might communicate with each other, and then consider that the number of active mobile devices is higher than the human population, marking a milestone that electronic gadgets have never reached before. Many of these mobile devices also happen to be considered "smart."
The next generation of Surface tablets might get a name change to Lumia
After successfully acquiring Nokia's Devices and Services business (basically the company's mobile division) for around $7.2 billion, Microsoft's next task is to figure out how to juggle its different brands. The Redmond outfit might already have it figured out -- word on the web is that Microsoft is planning to market its smartphones as "Nokia by Microsoft" and use the Lumia brand for its tablets.
Hardware makers are in a mad rush to cash in on the mobile craze, including smartphones, which are hot ticket items right now. However, growth in the smartphone sector won't always be astronomical, as has mostly been the case up to this point. Instead, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that smartphone growth will drop to single-digit territory within the next few years.
Mobile DRAM will soon become the most popular type of DRAM around
Samsung is closing out the year by introducing what it claims is the industry's first 8-gigabit (Gb), low power double data rate 4 (LPDDR4), mobile DRAM built a on 20nm-class manufacturing process technology. Using the new chips, DRAM players can cram 1 gigabyte (GB) on a single die, which is the largest density available for DRAM components today, Samsung says. The chips are also fast and power efficient.
Decline in average selling prices encouraging sales, IDC says
The IDCsays that smartphone shipments should be more than 39 percent higher than those in 2012 by the close of this year with totals exceeding 1 billion units. By 2017, the number is expected to approach 1.7 billion units worldwide. The major culprit is a steady decline in average selling prices (ASPs).
ARM has "no plans" for chips because they "aren't needed"
Rumors have buzzed surrounding ARM Holdings' possible release of 128-bit chip designs to power various new smartphones. Most recently, via PCPro UK, the company was cited by the Korea Herald to promise 128-bit architecture "within the next two years."
Every PC builder faces the same question when picking out new parts: Should I buy Product X or wait for Product Y? That's because there's always a faster graphics card around the corner, a more capacious solid state drive on the horizon, or a new CPU architecture on the verge of being announced. No matter how long you play the waiting game, it's impossible to stay ahead of the curve for any real length of time. The same is true for consumer electronics, though would you have guessed that three months is the average lifecycle of a mobile device?
Smartphones are prevalent no matter where you go, and the reason for that is because there are so many of them in the wild. According to CCS Insight, global smartphone sales will surpass 1 billion units by the end of the year even though overall growth in the mobile phone sector has been slowing down as of late. By the end of 2013, smartphones will account for 55 percent of total mobile phone shipments, leaving plenty of room for growth as feature phone holdouts upgrade their handsets.