Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / smart phone

  • Jul 16 / 2014
  • 5

Smartphones Shipping – 1.2 Billion 2014, 2 Billion 2018

“ABI Research expects 1.25 billion smartphones to ship in 2014 and forecasts smartphone shipments to pass the 2 billion mark in 2018. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period from 2014 to 2019 is 12%.”

ABI Research says the 60% penetration of smartphones in the developed markets could be possible in the developing markets thanks to lowering prices… Wow! Just Wow! This makes “the PC revolution” seem like a rummage sale. Soon, more smartphones will ship per annum than legacy PCs extant.

See Over 2 Billion Smartphones to Ship in 2018, 1.25 Billion in 2014.

Need a second opinion? See Smartphone Sales Volume to Touch 23.6% Growth in 2014 on the Back of Emerging Markets

  • Jul 15 / 2014
  • 8

Mozilla On Track To Sell 10M Firefox Smartphones

“Mozilla will launch a series of inexpensive Firefox OS smartphone models in the India market in July, with retail prices of up to US$50, according to company COO and Mozilla Taiwan CEO Gong Li.
Mozilla initially launched Firefox smartphones in the Latin America and Europe markets in July 2013 and has sold about one million units, Gong said. Mozilla has been able to cooperate with only 1-2 mobile telecom carriers in each country in the two regional markets, but will instead cooperate with more than 10 retail chains in India.”
Learning the ropes, Mozilla has signed up a few telecoms and retail chains to shift millions of smartphones with FireFox OS. This shows that while Google/Android/Linux seems to be a monopolistic juggernaut, there is still plenty of room for competition as long as price/performance is good enough for consumers. Who would have thought such a going concern would arise from the ashes of Netscape destroyed by M$ so many years ago. It shows that corporations can be killed but not ideas.

See Firefox smartphones to be launched in India in July, says Mozilla COO.

See also, Firefox OS ecosystem continues expansion and redefines the entry-level smartphone

  • Jul 07 / 2014
  • 23

Gartner On Personal IT – 2013 to 2015

According to Gartner, the legacy PC shows little or no growth compared to tablets and smartphones. That makes sense:

  • the legacy PC is too expensive, noisy and it’s hard to maintain,
  • those small cheap computers allow most folks to do most tasks simply, and
  • they are portable. Yeah!

To put it into perspective, more small cheap computers will ship this year than all the legacy PCs that exist, by a factor of 1.2, and that factor is increasing, year to year. As the digital divide is being bridged, the legacy PC is falling into the chasm. No one is interested in buying a mainframe when a small cheap computer will do. That was true when the legacy PC came to be and it’s true today when the legacy PC can do more than most people need: drying hair, making noise, supplying unused expansion ports, taking up lots of room, wasting natural resources, costing several times as much to buy and to own, etc. The industry and the employment of huge resources for maintenance of the legacy PC is threatened. With it will die the mindshare and necessity for Wintel. */Linux on ARM can do the job better for a lot less money.

See Gartner Says Worldwide Traditional PC, Tablet, Ultramobile and Mobile Phone Shipments to Grow 4.2 Percent in 2014

  • Jun 25 / 2014
  • 2

It’s Official. SCOTUS Considers Small Cheap Computers As Computers

For years now, proponents of Wintel being the one true way to do IT, have held that smart thingies and other small“Cell phones differ in both a quantitative and a qualitative sense from other objects that might be carried on an arrestee’s person. Notably, modern cell phones have an immense storage capacity. Before cell phones, a search of a person was limited by physical realities and generally constituted only a narrow intrusion on privacy.
But cell phones can store millions of pages of text, thousands of pictures, or hundreds of videos. This has several interrelated privacy consequences. First, a cell phone collects in one place many distinct types of information that reveal much more in combination than any isolated record. Second, the phone’s capacity allows even just one type of information to convey far more than previously possible. Third, data on the phone can date back for years. In addition, an element of pervasiveness characterizes cell phones but not physical records. A decade ago officers might have occasionally stumbled across a highly personal item such as a diary, but today many of the more than 90% of American adults who own cell phones keep on their person a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives”
cheap computers while having a CPU, networking, memory and storage are somehow less than PCs (Personal Computers). The Supreme Court has just ruled that smartphones and other electronic gadgets are worthy to require search warrants to search just like real computers. Their big issue is the depth, breadth and volume of data stored on smartphones but that is just one function of a smartphone. The Supremes also mention browsing histories, and “apps”, all providing information about people to police just like other evidence.

What’s important to me in this is not just that they ruled that smartphones should have a warrant to search but that these definitely non-techie types agree that smartphones work just like PCs. When this concept spans generations from teenagers to old fogies and people actually think of capabilities in terms of numbers of gigabytes and so on, it’s real.
See The Ruling in RILEY v. CALIFORNIA

  • Jun 25 / 2014
  • 27

PC In Your Pocket, But Only In China

Poor Beast… Except for his huge hard drives and gigabit/s networking, Beast has nothing on this new smartphone:
“The new Huawei Honor 6 is packs with 5 inch screen, 3GB of RAM and this is the first smartphone that powered by Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 920 octa-core processor made of four A15 cores and 4 A7 cores which Huawei thinks compares to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset.The Huawei Honor 6 has officially release in Beijing on June 24th, 2014.”

The significance of such pocket-PCs is not that they are more powerful than a good modern ATX box or even a notebook but that with many millions of users of smartphones being perfectly satisfied with performance, this kind of performance in a pocket or purse will surely end the idea that one needs a desktop/notebook PC to get “real work” done. If you hook a monitor/keyboard/mouse to one of these you will also be able to get a lot of work done, real work. Add to that the mobility people love and the lack of environmental impact and I can see a world with a lot fewer desktop/notebook PCs. Those are for slaves to Wintel, apparently.

See Huawei Honor 6 Review: new flagship smartphone with Kirin 920 octa-core processor.

  • Jun 17 / 2014
  • 2

Yes, Virginia, Smartphones Are Real PCs

One line the trolls use to try to restrain or to demean the idea of the smartphone and other small cheap computers being the “new PC” is that to do real work one needs a hair-drying big expensive piece of hardware to get “real” work done.“Using a piece of paper with a specially printed grid and a regular smartphone, Rendor may have just cracked the 3D scanning code. The system allows you to create a 3D scan of almost any object simply by taking video of it from every angle. The program interpolates the shape of the object based on how it is positioned on the grid and then generates a usable 3D file.” Here’s the counter-example that kills that attack. Replica Labs will soon release software for Android/Linux that runs on smartphones and does the kind of work that needed a mainframe in the “old days” or a powerful expensive hot noisey box a decade ago.

Now, though, small cheap computers are very powerful and 3D calculations and 3D interpolations are child’s play. OK, so it’s a cheat, but that’s just smart IT, isn’t it?
“How it Works
1. Download the application and print out a scanning grid HERE.
2. Place the object to be scanned on the grid (make sure some circles are showing).
3. Open the Rendor App, press “Scan”, and take a video of the object from as many angles as possible.
4. Once that’s done, click “Submit” to send the scan off to the Rendor servers for processing.
5. You’ll receive your rendering in a minute or less via email (depending on your internet connection).”

Using Wintel with all its costs is not smart. FLOSS on small cheap computers is the right way to do IT.

See Rendor Turns Your Single-Camera Smartphone Into A Real 3D Scanner.

  • Jun 16 / 2014
  • 14

Government of China Bursts M$’s Patent-bubble

M$ has been taxing Android/Linux distributors by threatening legal suits over software patents. “A list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft believes entitle it to royalties over Android phones, and perhaps smartphones in general, has been published on a Chinese language website.” For years, M$ has not bothered to publicize the patents in question because fear is a powerful motivator. Thanks to inquiries in China, a list is now public. This will permit M$’s competitors to organize a cooperative response rather than suffering under “divide and conquer” conditions.

For a start, one of the patents in question is for differential GPS, something that has been known for decades… This is another example of re-patenting the wheel, something that is supposed to be blocked by USPTO but is not. OEMs have been paying up because it’s cheaper than taking on a patent-troll in court. If all the OEMs get together they could sue M$ collectively and cause the empire to crumble. What’s it worth to clog the courts for a decade to drive these bastards from the market? $50 million? It would be a bargain rather than paying $billions in “royalties” to extortionists.

See Chinese gov’t reveals Microsoft’s secret list of Android-killer patents.

  • Jun 16 / 2014
  • 0

Photovoltaic Panels Reach New Low Price

In emerging markets like Africa, IT is sometimes available before electrical utilities. In such cases, silicon solar panels serve to run battery-chargers to keep the small cheap computers, lamps and networking devices running. Only a year ago, prices were ~$1 per watt. Lately, prices have reached as low as $0.40 per watt. Here’s an example of an advertised price of $0.54 per watt. A national or local government can readily import container-loads of these panels and distribute them to communities at far lower cost than running transmission lines all over. Combined with small cheap computers and wireless networking, this makes IT affordable almost everywhere. The next billion users of IT are queued up and free to choose other than Wintel for their IT because electrical power, the last barrier to entry has been breeched.

See also, an example of communities being installed of solar power in schools and clinics:
and another

  • Jun 10 / 2014
  • 31

Smartphones Are The New PersonalComputer

Small cheap computers are what everyone wants who is not in bed with Wintel.“the transition toward mobile and cloud-based computing is unstoppable, with tablet volumes expected to pass total PC volume in the fourth quarter of 2014 and on an annual basis in 2016. Even smaller tablets are facing stiff market competition from large-size smartphones (phablets)….If you look at the development of the smartphone market through today, the increased functionality of the devices has killed off the digital camera market and it has killed off the GPS device and MP3 device markets. All of that functionality has become standard across all smartphones. Now if you embed a SlimPort Pro Tx into a high-end smartphone, you can exploit the increased performance that is being supplied by the wave of new quad-core and 8-core processors hitting the market. You now have a PC in a pocket.” If you add to the capabilities of the legacy PC huge portability, low price, flexibility, GPS, good camera and connectivity to all kinds of stuff, you have a better PC, not a low-end PC. With FLOSS running the machine, you get a reasonable price for better IT. You see, all those restrictions in the EULA (End-User Licence Agreement, where you agree to slavery) cost you money. That’s why M$ and “partners” put those restrictions in there.

If you want to use your hardware to its maximum capability, you have to use Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) such as GNU/Linux or Android/Linux. Rather than pay ~$100 to M$ for permission to use the hardware you own, spend the $100 on better hardware in a competitive market not a private playground for the rich, or, buy groceries. That gives you a better deal, just what you need. It’s not in your best interest to be anyone’s slave.

See Turning a smartphone into a PC in a pocket: Q&A with Analogix.

  • May 20 / 2014
  • 34

For $163 OEMs Can Have An 8-core ARMed CPU

According to Digitimes, that’s the going price of 8 cores of ARM.“The 8-core CPUs have been in volume production for over six months, with prices of 8-core smartphone now falling under CNY1,000 (US$163), and therefore the adoption of 8-core chips may not be able to effectively lift up smartphone prices in the end market” I remember running whole computer-labs on less CPU power (my first 30-seat LTSP lab had a single 32-bit core of Intel at 1.8 gHz). Folks are putting this in a smartphone.

Intel has responded to such pressure by supplying Atom processors at ever-lower power-consumption and prices. They are now competitive in tablets. The other half of Wintel is still floundering though trying to sell the OS for less on small devices and more for big devices. How many need big devices? Chuckle. Hint: It’s not the size of the device that matters for most of us. It’s the price. Not many care what OS runs on it as long as they can figure it out. Lock-in is almost gone for consumers and many businesses.

  • Apr 25 / 2014
  • 4

Maxing-out Production Of Smartphones

I have for years touted small cheap computers as the future of IT“China-based vendor Huawei Device has set a goal of shipping 80 million smartphones globally in 2014, growing 53.8% on year

In 2013, Huawei Device shipped 52 million smartphones, up 62.5% on year”
but I never imagined they would so rapidly eclipse the ubiquity and power of legacy PCs. The small size, low price, adequate performance and an abundance of software applications has allowed Android/Linux on ARM smartphones to blow away all my expectations.

The love of mobility and capabilities of the devices have made them nearly ubiquitous. At these rates of production, nearly everyone on the planet who wants one will have it in 2014 or 2015. The installed base already eclipses the legacy PC. 3Q13 Shipments
Further, the installed base could grow to the point where the replacement production could continue to eclipse the legacy PC forever. It’s not that legacy PCs will disappear but they will become a specialty device for folks who need more CPU/storage/throughput than a small fanless device can manage. The legacy PC may become rare within a few years as folks realize they don’t need/want one or can get the grunt stuff done on a server.

Flash back to the early days of the PC. Businesses needed them as word-processors and calculators and databases and communications devices. Ordinary consumers didn’t need them at all until e-mail and the web took off, except for gaming. Now, the consumer can get all he/she needs from these small cheap computers. There are a lot more consumers than business-employees. The small cheap computers can be connected to large/multiple screens, keyboards and pointing devices to do a lot of the work businesses do on servers these days. So, the Wintel empire will shrink to a fraction of its present size. 8 quarters of declining shipments of legacy PCs shows that. M$’s desperate attempts to produce small cheap computers and still claim a tax shows that. M$’s constant advertising shows that.

The world has entered an entirely new phase with an abundance of choices and competition for consumers’ business and for businesses’ business. It will be interesting to see whether the smartphone will do it all or tablets will become giant smartphones or smartphones will dock into whatever. It’s all good.

See Huawei Device aims to ship 80 million smartphones in 2014.

See Record Smartphone Shipments Grow the Market 38.8% in the Third Quarter of 2013, Making Way For A Strong Holiday Quarter, According to IDC

  • Apr 22 / 2014
  • 13

Intel Desperately Struggles To Maintain Relevance Against ARM

Intel, despite Moore’s Law advantages, and serious price-cutting, still has difficulty competing against ARM.“Intel is currently offering its dual-core Atom Z2520 for 7-inch models and Atom 3735G for 8-inch ones, while MediaTek is mainly pushing solutions such as 8382 for the white-box tablet market, the sources said.
Intel’s 7-inch tablet solution is currently priced at about US$20 and the 7.85-inch one around US$27. With a LTE module, which raises the overall cost by about US$20, a 7-inch Intel-based white-box tablet currently has an ex-factory price of about US$50, the sources detailed.
A 3G white-box tablet using MediaTek’s solution has a competitive ex-factory price of US$39.9, the sources added.”
They even have ASUS going exclusively with Intel thanks to huge discounts.

OEMs are paying attention. They will demand similar sharp price-cuts for desktop/notebook PCs and M$’s price will stick out like a sore thumb. GNU/Linux, here we come…

See Intel, MediaTek become favorites in China white-box tablet industry.