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Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Q. What's the difference between smartphones and that fad diet you all got bored of? A. Nothing

For those wondering if we've reached Peak Smartphone: global smartphone shipments saw their first ever quarterly drop, say analysts. Research house Strategy Analytics says that shipments in the first quarter of 2016 declined by three per cent over the same period in 2015. This marks the first time analysts have recorded …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2016

Smartphone growth? Not in Q1, says IDC

Prospects for handset-makers just got worse, with the smartphone market recording its worst quarterly growth ever. Remember how at the end of March, Gartner predicted a mere seven per cent smartphone growth for 2016, the first time the market hadn't managed double-digit growth? That forecast is starting to look like rose- …
Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom

The sky is not falling. This is not as bad for Apple as 2003 or 1996. But neither does Apple walk on water. For the first time in 13 years, Apple’s reported falling revenue – down 13 per in the last three months to $50.6bn. Cruelly, it was the growth engine that was winding down: iPhone sales fell for the first time in the …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Apr 2016
Close up of etched silicon

ARM Holdings gives the thumbs-up, reports revenue and licensing uptick

Chip designer ARM has reported revenue and profit increases in Q1, with its shares trading up despite a moody FTSE 100 this morning. Q1 2016 saw a year-on-year dollar revenue rise for ARM at 14 per cent (22 per cent in £) when its results were posted today. Pre-tax profits of £137.5m are an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year …
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Gartner: Why we had to dash tech cash splash

Tech spending stats look quite respectable for 2016, but only in certain product areas or geographies and only in a constant currency basis. Performing a classic flip-flop, Gartner today downgraded earlier forecasts by a whole percentage point, and told us it now expects customers to collectively find $3.49 trillion for new …
Paul Kunert, 07 Apr 2016
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson

Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Apple at 40 Today marks the 40th anniversary of Apple's official establishment. Since 1976, the House that Steves Built has pushed out some of the most beloved personal electronics products in the world. There will no doubt be plenty of articles waxing poetic on the many successes that have dotted the last four decades for the Cupertino …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2016

Gartner: RIP double-digit smartphone growth. 2016 has killed you

Remember the rapacious smartphone growth that turned once-troubled Apple into the world’s most valuable company? That’s over. Smartphone sales will grow seven per cent in 2016, to 1.5 billion units. It’s the first time sales of this once must-have piece of personal tech has grown by a mere single digit percentage, according …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Mar 2016
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

Lenovo says bye-bye to key exec amid massive spring reorganisation

Lenovo is embarking on the mother of all spring cleans after digesting the acquisitions of Motorola and IBM’s volume server biz. The group is re-arranging execs and the business units they steer amid numerous sector challenges, including the weakened state of demand for traditional PCs, tabs and smartphones, or the sales hit …
Paul Kunert, 21 Mar 2016
Chi Onwurah MP

How will Ofcom reduce our reliance on BT if it won't break them up?

Opinion The publication of Ofcom’s 2005 Strategic Review of Telecoms was preceded by many long evenings of intense debates within Ofcom and with BT and other stakeholders. The review took 18 months and resulted in the UK having the most competitive broadband market in the world. It’s worth remembering why that happened – because Ofcom …
Chi Onwurah, 26 Feb 2016

ARM pumps fist as profits soar, warns of weaker hand in 2016

Chip designer ARM once again posted bumper annual results, with profits up 31 per cent to £414.8m on revenue of £968m, up 22 per cent. During the year the company shifted 14.8 billion ARM-based chips, up 16 per cent on 2014. But the company warned that increased economic uncertainty during 2016 "may influence consumer and …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2016
Abandoned building

BlackBerry axes 200 jobs – including a third of its HQ staff

One-time smartphone giant BlackBerry has laid off 200 of its remaining employees in a pair of cuts. The Canadian biz will eliminate 75 jobs from a manufacturing facility in Sunrise, Florida, US, and approximately 125 from its corporate headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was earlier rumored that the company was …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2016

Lenovo: China biz down, PC and mobile down

The relatively weaker economy in China and slumping demand for gadgets puts Lenovo between a rock and a hard place. The company spent last year swamped with PC stocks as it had failed to recognise the oncoming slowdown, but has of late started to clear the decks helped in part by write-downs in Europe. Evidence of this can be …
Paul Kunert, 04 Feb 2016
balaclava_thief_burglar

Masked men 'steal' £250k of smartphones from Exertis

The boys in blue are investigating a break-in at Exertis’ Altham warehouse earlier this week when three masked robbers made off with almost £250,000 worth of smartphones. According to Lancashire Police, 170 iPhone 6s mobes and 380 Galaxy S5 Neo devices were stolen by the trio between midnight and 2.30 am on 1 February. Police …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
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Samsung: Is gadget lust still a thing in 2016? Nope

Samsung Electronics has forecasted weaker smartphone and tab sales for 2016 amid concerns consumers’ gadget lust is waning - well, if there’s no compelling reason to upgrade, folks don’t upgrade. “[We are] expecting challenges in 2016 to maintain earnings due to a difficult business environment and slowing IT demand,” the …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

SanDisk struggles to fatten itself up ahead of WD takeover

A final growth quarter but revenue declines on the annual compare, amid falling annual revenues, end a tough year for SanDisk as it prepares to be acquired by WD. Final 2015 quarter revenues were $1.54bn, 11.5 per cent on the year-ago quarter, although they were 6.2 per cent higher than the third 2015 quarter. This beat Wall …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016
Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Inside Intel's CPU-level multi-factor auth (and why we've got deja vu)

Analysis Intel has baked multi-factor authentication defenses into its sixth-generation Core processors. On Tuesday, the California chip giant sprung this news on the world, revealing what it seemed to be saying was a really big secret: all this time, the sixth-gen Core family, launched in September, has had brand-spanking new multi- …
Chris Williams, 20 Jan 2016
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

Intel aims for PC-style position in drones, robots and wearables

CES 2016 The need to control not just the processor itself, but the whole surrounding software and connectivity platform, was very clear in Intel’s launches and keynotes a last week's Consumer Electronics Show. While the PC and smartphone processors or SoCs have been premium products, in semiconductor terms, in the IoT the hardware …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jan 2016
Surveillance graffiti image via shutterstock

Investigatory Powers Bill: A force for good – if done right?

To its credit the draft Investigatory Powers Bill seeks to substantially increase transparency around the powers that the authorities have to intercept our communications and hoover up everyone’s private data. To some extent, the current draft of the Bill achieves that laudable goal. The bad news is that this process has …
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We're all really excited about new smartphones, laptops, tablets – said no one ever

We are all perfectly happy with our existing high-end technologies and aren't planning to upgrade any time soon. That's according to Accenture, which carried out a survey of 28,000 people across 28 countries, and found "sluggish demand" for the most popular consumer electronics. Not that we've stopped buying them: "just" 48 …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Jan 2016

Microsoft's 200 million 'Windows 10' 'devices' include Lumias, Xboxes

Microsoft has kicked off the New Year – and the run-up to the annual CES hypemare in Las Vegas – with the latest figures on Windows 10 adoption, claiming that over 200 million devices now run the operating system. "As of today, there are more than 200 million monthly active devices around the world running Windows 10," …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jan 2016

Sophos grabs ATP-thwarter tech firm SurfRight for $32m

Sophos has paid $31.8m in cash to snap up advanced threat prevention firm SurfRight, with the deal allowing traditionally conservative Sophos to integrate SurfRight’s signature-less endpoint threat detection and response tech into its line of endpoint security products and services. The UK-based company claims the two sets of …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2015
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

Windows Phone won't ever amount to much, suggests analyst house IDC. The company's latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone tracker says Microsoft's mobile OS will grab 2.2 per cent market share in 2015 and by 2019 will have added a non-colossal 0.1 per cent more to claim 2.3 per cent of the mobile market. “Despite all the …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Dec 2015
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Lenovo loses $784m in Q2. But actually things are OK

Restructuring costs downed Lenovo’s profits for a second consecutive quarter caused by the ingestion of acquired businesses and previously confirmed job cuts. Operating expenses swelled in the company’s Q2 of fiscal year 2016 to $2.36bn from $1.09bn a year ago, paving the way to an operating loss of $784m, compared to an …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2015
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Acer: Our sales promos left us nursing operating losses

Acer is back to its operationally loss-making ways again after pumping cash into promos to get the products flying out the door - but it didn’t work, as sales fell through the floor. The PC maker today reported revenue of NT$67.24bn (£1.35bn) for calendar Q3 ended September, this was down 21.5 per cent year-on-year but up on …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2015
Smartphones

World Q3 smartphone shipments: 355 million, 354m, 342m or 366m?

How many smartphones emerged blinking into the sunlight during the third quarter of 2015? It depends who you ask. IDC says 355.2 million hit the streets between June and August. That's not a million miles away from Strategy Analytics' assertion that 354.2 million machines made it out the door. Juniper Research is willing to …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2015

What upgrade cycle? Tablet sales crater for fourth straight quarter

Global shipments of tablets have fallen for the fourth successive quarter, according to data from analyst house IDC. In the third quarter of 2015, manufacturers shipped 48.7 million fondleslabs worldwide, down 12.6 per cent year on year. IDC estimates that there are 581.9 million tablets in the world, but that sales growth is …
Iain Thomson, 29 Oct 2015

Finally, with W10, Microsoft’s device strategy makes sense

Analysis Microsoft stubbornly refuses to let go of making hardware, but now the reasons why CEO Satya Nadella has not followed his clear instinct to ditch devices (except Xbox) are becoming clearer. We have analysed many times why Microsoft should not make smartphones and tablets, mainly because of conflicts of interest with the OEM …
Wireless Watch, 28 Oct 2015
Pointing finger, photo via Shutterstock

Handy results put ARM on track for a muscular year

Chip designer ARM has posted another period of growth, with revenue up 17 per cent to $375.5m (£243m) for the third quarter, when compared with the previous year. Meanwhile, third-quarter pre-tax profit climbed 27 per cent to £128.4m, compared with the same period last year. ARM appears to be on track for a record year, with …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2015
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Standards body wants standards for IoT. Vendors don't care

The Internet Society (ISOC) has added its name to the growing list of groups concerned that insecurity and a cavalier attitude to privacy pose a risk to the Internet of Things (IoT). In a paper published last Friday, ISOC notes that individual threats and vulnerabilities are, in aggregate, what's going to make-or-break the IoT …
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Microsoft's big Tuesday reveal: New mobiles and slabs? Win 10 shock?

Microsoft has scheduled one of its biggest press conferences of the year on Tuesday in New York, and The Register will be there for the show. But leaks ahead of time suggest we'll be seeing a lot of new hardware and possibly a few software tricks as well. Firstly, it's almost certain that Redmond will be unveiling at least two …
Iain Thomson, 05 Oct 2015

Gartner backpedals on device market growth prediction

A sickness hanging over the computer sector has infected smartphones and is set to drag the global device market into the red for 2015 – well, from a shipment perspective, anyway. According to the mystics at Gartner, 2.395 billion computers, tabs, ultra mobiles and smartphones will be shipped into channel this year, a decline …
Paul Kunert, 23 Sep 2015
Phone landfill

You're FIRE-D: Amazon quietly extinguishes its failed smartphone

The saga of Amazon's star-crossed Fire Phone looks to have ended, at last. The device, which was launched to much hype in June 2014, is now listed as "currently unavailable" on Amazon's e-commerce sites. A note on the Fire Phone's official product page says, "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock" – and you …
Neil McAllister, 09 Sep 2015
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Cash-happy BlackBerry slurps one-time rival Good for $425m

BlackBerry has dug deep into its lint-filled pockets to buy its one-time legal adversary Good Technology for a cash sum of $425m (£280m). BlackBerry hopes the deal will allow it to beef up its presence in the enterprise mobile management space. John Chen, BlackBerry chief exec, said the acquisition will expand its offering in …
Kat Hall, 04 Sep 2015

People bored of mobes, say magic quadrant wizards

Global spend on smartphones rose at the slowest rate since 2013 for the second quarter of 2015, according to magic quadrant wizards Gartner. Worldwide sales of smart mobes totalled 330 million, up 13.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2014. In contrast sales for the whole of 2014 rose 28.4 per cent to 1.2 billion, compared …
Kat Hall, 20 Aug 2015

A magic bracelet that unlocks PCs, dancing robot spiders, and more in Intel's circus

IDF15 It's party time at Intel. The mixtape is in the deck. The beers are chilling in tub. The chip giant has 99 per cent of the data-center market. Its profits in a single quarter can slip a few per cent, and still stand at $2.7bn. AMD is still AMD. What has Intel got to worry about? OK, mobiles, PCs, laptops, and tablets are …
Chris Williams, 19 Aug 2015
HTC One M9 Android smartphone

HTC shedding 15 per cent of workforce in 'strategic realignment'

Former Taiwanese smartphone titan HTC is to trim 15 per cent of its workforce following a 20 per cent share price tumble this week. The gadget manufacturer's share price dipped so low its market value is now below cash on hand, which has provoked the worker restructuring. In fact, the tumbling price of HTC's shares has " …
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Apple goes to crapple in stock plunge kerfaffle: $113bn wiped off in days

Peak Apple Apple is in the midst of a stock drop that has caused the Cupertino giant to lose as much as $113bn in market cap. Since posting its last quarterly numbers, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) has seen its stock price drop from $125.22 per share to a low point of $112.10. Wary that Apple's meteoric growth from recent years is slowing down as …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2015
Samsung Galaxy S6

What can't sell Galaxy S6s and keeps going down on you? Samsung and its profits

Samsung Electronics's profits fell eight per cent, year on year, in its second quarter of 2015 – as sales of its Galaxy S6 failed to gain traction. Profit for the three-month period, which ran from April to June, fell to 5.75tn won ($4.9bn, £3.2bn). Profit for the mobile division fell to 2.76tn won, from 4.42tn won a year …
Kat Hall, 30 Jul 2015
Steve Ballmer. Pic:  Aanjhan Ranganathan

Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Analysis Less than two years into Satya Nadella's tenure as CEO of Microsoft, he's already had to report a lossmaking quarter. It's only the second time that's happened in the software giant's three decades as a public company, and the $8.44bn write-off Redmond posted earlier this week is the largest in its history. Don't blame Nadella …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jul 2015

Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $4.6 million

Moneybags Google has topped the list of tech-giant political lobbyists again, spending $4.62m in the past three months alone in Washington DC and elbowing its way into an enormous range of issues. That's according to a declaration filed by Google that companies are legally obliged to submit to US Congress. The multimillion- …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jul 2015
Huawei HQ

Huawei claims 30 per cent growth for H1 2015/16

Huawei's core smartphone and network infrastructure units have driven the Chinese behemoth's revenue past $28bn for the first half of financial year 2015-2016. In a result that will chill the likes of Cisco, Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the company's revenues hopped on an elevator to grow 30 per cent year-on-year, and …

Hear that screeching sound? It's the sales brakes on distie juggernaut DCC Tech

The wheels have slowed on the distie juggernaut Exertis and mobile computing is to blame, Irish parent DCC confirmed today. In a trading update for Q1 covering the three months ended 30 June, DCC Technology which comprises Brit subs Exertis and Gem, revealed things aren’t quite going to plan. “Trading in DCC Technology was …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jul 2015
TSA gloves

EU probes Qualcomm over possible antitrust issues

The European Commission has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behaviour by chipzilla Qualcomm, including allegations of "predatory pricing". The investigation concerns Qualcomm's baseband chipsets used to process communications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices. Qualcomm is the …
Kat Hall, 16 Jul 2015
management governance3

Acer still rumbling along toward end of runway - but no sign of liftoff

Acer sales have slumped to a nine-year low, prompting senior industry figures to question if the once high-flying notebook maker is running out of runway. The Taiwanese firm has reported a 26.6 per cent year-on-year revenue decline for Q2 to NT$60.1bn (£1.24bn, $1.93bn), the lowest quarterly sales since 2006 when Acer was …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jul 2015

Arrgh! It's Device-a-pocalypse, Gartner yowls: 11 per cent drop foretold

Some 12 months ago the device market was booming on the back of the XP refresh – but fast forward to today and things are again looking very regressive. In the latest re-forecast, Gartner reckons eleven million PCs, tabs and smartphones will be stocked by retailers and disties in Britain this year: an eleven per cent fall on …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jul 2015
Windows 10 Universal Apps

The END of WINDOWS EVERYWHERE! Is that really what Nadella wants?

Comment So it's happened. Microsoft will adjust its books and its staff roster to largely erase its purchase of Nokia. Yesterday, CEO Satya Nadella announced an "impairment charge" of $7.6bn related to the acquisition, along with a reduction of 7,800 employees, primarily from "the phone business". The announcement makes sense to the …
Tim Anderson, 09 Jul 2015

HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

Analysis HTC's financial figures for its second quarter of 2015 look horrific. HTC says it lost 24 cents (or pence) for every dollar (or pound) of revenue it received. After four quarters of slender profits, the business just fell off a cliff. The Taiwanese giant's share price has halved from £146.5 ($224.63) to £68.50 ($105.03). If …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Jul 2015
Microsoft's Surface Hub

Gonna RUB MYSELF against the WALL: Microsoft's Surface Hub 84" monster-slab

Pics Microsoft will take orders for its ridiculo-sized Surface Hub, a huge wall-mounted touchscreen, from July 1, albeit at hefty prices - but it won't be shipping direct to punters. The smaller of the two debut Surface Hub models is a 55-inch, 1080p-resolution version that Microsoft says is designed for offices, small conference …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jun 2015
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

LTE will catch up with 3G by 2020: Ericsson

Here comes 5G, except for one thing: most of the world will still be on pre-4G by 2020. That's the conclusion of research by Ericsson, which finds that today's 7.1 billion mobile subscriptions are dominated by GSM/Edge services. By 2020, the biggest slice of the world's 9.2 billion services will be the 3.8 billion WCDMA/GSM …
Intel-sponsored 'DiaperPie' connected nappy

Intel imagines chips in nappies to create the Internet of sh*t things

Computex 2015 If you think the Internet of Things (IoT) is a steaming pile of you-know-what, Intel's kind-of confirmed your suspicions by backing a team that's imagined an internet-connected nappy (diaper for North American readers). Computex 2015 is full of folks spruiking the internet of stuff. On the show floor you can hardly move for …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2015

Opinion

Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Chris Mellor

IDC stats reveal who's who in the backup appliance bearpit
Carry on Cleo

Gavin Clarke

Infamy, infamy, Amazon and Microsoft have all got it in for me!

Tim Anderson

Also signals stronger cross-platform tools, access to new markets

Features

Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers
single pain of glass