IDC released its second quarter smartphone numbers this week. The firm reported that 343.3 million smartphones were shipped worldwide, which InformationWeek reports was “essentially flat” compared to the same period last year.
Perhaps the most significant result was a 15 percent decline in iPhone shipments compared with the year-ago quarter. In real terms, unit shipments fell from 47.5 million to 40.4 million phones.
Samsung remained in the lead, the firm said. Huawei used strong sales in China and Europe to score a year-over-year gain of almost 9 percent. Shipments rose from 29.6 million in the second quarter of 2015 to almost 32.1 million in the recently concluded quarter. IDC Research Manager Anthony Scarsella suggested in a statement released by IDC that affordable devices proved to be a ripe area for vendors.
Verizon Has Plans for Yahoo
The purchase of Yahoo by Verizon for $4.83 billion is a big deal, literally and figuratively. Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said that Verizon would use Yahoo to gain views and advertising, and to drive revenue and profits. The goal, he is reported to have said, is to take Verizon to the same level as Google and Facebook, according to Light Reading.
Tactics aimed at fulfilling that strategy are to leverage the Yahoo Sports unit and build stronger partnerships with major sports leagues. McAdam also wants to use Yahoo Finance to provide wireless, wireline and online content. Finally, the company plans to consolidate the four email platforms – Yahoo, AOL, Go90 and Verizon – to drive traffic.
Telecom Giants Seeking Brighter Horizons
Network World’s Matt Hamblen makes a very astute point about the Verizon-Yahoo deal: Telecommunications companies, driven by saturated and increasingly lower margin core businesses, are going farther afield in what they offer in the search to generate revenue.
Verizon now owns AOL as well as Yahoo, while AT&T owns DirecTV. It’s simply a matter of going where the money is. The deals:
…came about because the carriers realized more than two years ago that traditional wireless services are becoming saturated in the U.S. As a result, wireless services revenues have shrunk or remained flat in recent quarters.
Telecommunications services will continue to be each carrier’s core business. It is interesting to note, however, that each sees the writing on the wall and is actively hedging its bets.
Sailfish Sails – and Sales – On
At one time, not too long ago, a serious race was being run to be the third mobile operating system (OS) behind Android and iOS. That race is over, with no real winner. Other OSes are in use, but none of them command enough market share to actually have “won.”
One of the wannabees was Sailfish by Jolla, which is still with us. Intex Technologies has released the Aqua Fish smartphone, which sports Sailfish 2.0. The device has 5-inch, 720p display, 16 GB of storage, a 1.3 GHz quad core processor and front (2-megapixel) and rear (8-megapixel) cameras. Computerworld likens the specs to an entry-level Android, and sums up the non-iOS, non-Android universe:
On a global scale, it’s tough going for alternative OSes. The Firefox OS has been discontinued, and Ubuntu is struggling. The biggest competitor to Android and iOS is Windows Mobile, which had a meager 0.7 percent market share in smartphones during the first quarter of 2016, while Android held an 84.1 percent share and iOS had a 14.8 percent share.
Microsoft Ups Security Requirements in W10
In an effort to bolster security, Microsoft is telling PC makers to include Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0) in Windows 10-based PCs, smartphones and tablets.
TPM 2.0, which could be in the form of a chip or firmware, manages and stores cryptographic keys in a trusted container. Microsoft wants its Windows Hello feature to enable PC login via fingerprint, face or iris recognition. TPM 2.0 isn’t needed for that feature, but can enable two-factor authentication and act as a safeguard for biometric login data, according to CIO.com.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.