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Women in Tech
What's Wrong With Apple?
September 16, 2019
Apple held its huge product announcement event last week, and what once had people besides themselves with excitement has become a near pointless program of copied features and missed expectations. It is a shame to watch -- much like it was when Apple fired Steve Jobs. It appears that the firm has forgotten what Steve did to turn Apple into a unique company.
Apple Debuts Triple-Cam iPhone, New iPad, and Aggressively Priced Game and TV Services
September 11, 2019
Apple raised the curtain on its latest iPhone models, introduced a new iPad, refreshed its watch, and announced pricing for its subscription game and premium TV services at an event in Cupertino, California. The highlight of the presentation was the new iPhone lineup: the iPhone 11, the 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 comes in six colors -- black, green, yellow, purple, red and white.
Samsung May Have New Foldable Phone in Wings
September 4, 2019
Samsung's first-generation foldable phone isn't expected until later this month, but reports of a second-generation device to be released in early 2020 already have started appearing online. The next-generation model is rumored to be a luxury phone that folds into a square. Already dubbed the "Galaxy Fold 2" in some reports -- it will have a clamshell design.
Verizon Steps Up Fight Against Rampant Robocalls
August 29, 2019
Verizon, the No. 1 mobile carrier in the United States, this week introduced a free version of its robocall-blocking app, which will be standard on all new Android devices. The company further announced that it will auto-enroll eligible Android users to its Call Filter service and block what are seen as "high-risk" calls. This includes calls from numbers that have been reported as fraudulent.
Apple, Tesla, IBM: Only One Has Gotten the 'Unique' Model Right
August 26, 2019
I'm struck by the way Apple and Tesla are executing a model very similar to IBM's. While IBM has evolved to put the customer at the center always, Apple and Tesla are nuanced in that respect, much like IBM was in the past. I worked at IBM when it imploded in the early 1990s, so I can speak to what is in Apple and Tesla's future unless they learn the easy way what IBM learned the hard way.
Will Consumers Balk at 5G Phone Prices?
August 23, 2019
Consumers could suffer from sticker shock when it comes time to buy a 5G-enabled phone, suggests a new report from IHS Markit, based on a poll conducted in the U.S. Although consumers expect to pay more money for 5G smartphones, the prices may exceed their expectations dramatically, with some devices selling for as much as 29 times more than what the average buyer might anticipate.
Samsung Announces Monster 108MP Smartphone Sensor
August 13, 2019
Samsung and Xiaomi have announced a new sensor for smartphone cameras comparable to those used in high-end DSLR shutterboxes. The new Isocell Bright HMX packs 108 megapixels on a three-quarter-inch sensor, similar to the sensors found in digital cameras that use interchangeable lenses. The new sensor could "enable smartphones to capture images that rival DSLR cameras," said analyst Charles King.
Galaxy Note10 Sharpens Samsung's Mobile Experience Vision
August 8, 2019
Samsung announced new devices and a deepening of its relationship with Microsoft at Samsung Unpacked, which showcased innovative new mobile experiences that work seamlessly and continuously anywhere and anywhen. "The line between work and play has pretty much disappeared, and that means we need technology that can seamlessly flow between the two," said Samsung exec Drew Blackard.
Apple to Jump on 5G Bandwagon in 2020
July 30, 2019
Apple's 2019 crop of iPhones haven't been released yet but there's already talk about its 2020 plans, largely because that will be the first year the company's mobile lineup will support 5G. Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst known for his accurate predictions, believes all three iPhones introduced in 2020 will support 5G. Kuo gave three reasons for Apple's decision.
Qualcomm Gives Speed Boost to New Mobile Gaming Platform
July 16, 2019
Qualcomm Technologies aims to push the speed limits of mobile gaming with the added features in its Snapdragon Mobile Platform. The Snapdragon 855 Plus Mobile Platform, its newest processor, performs graphics functions 15 percent faster. It will show up in new devices later this year. Snapdragon 855 Plus is an update to the flagship Snapdragon 855, released earlier this year.
Anticipating the Merger of Apple and Oracle
July 8, 2019
After reading about the departure of Jony Ive, I'm trying to wrap my head around Apple without a design focus. Now this isn't as hard as you might think, given the last truly successful Apple product came out around a decade ago and was called the "iPad." It is also somewhat ironic that Apple just effectively relaunched the iPod, the product that Steve Jobs rode to Apple's massive success.
China-US Trade Tension Is Causing Irreparable Damage to High-Tech
June 12, 2019
While trade disputes between countries are nothing new and seldom are remembered, the ongoing one between China and the United States may change the course of the electronics industry going forward. In the beginning of the dispute proposed tariffs excluded electronics for the most part. The U.S. even modified some initial proposals to avoid impacting Apple and other U.S. tech companies.
Qualcomm and Huawei: Now Things Are Just Getting Weird
May 27, 2019
Qualcomm just lost its seemingly no-lose case against the FTC, largely because it seems the judge was only physically in the room during the trial. The ruling makes it look like she and I observed very different trials. In addition, the U.S. apparently declared war against Huawei, which actually could benefit Huawei. The result of both efforts effectively could be to give the 5G market to China.
ARM Joins Firms Shunning Huawei's Business
May 23, 2019
British mobile device software design firm ARM has ordered its staff to stop working with Chinese smartphone giant Huawei, in compliance with a ban issued by President Trump. Under an executive order he signed last week, foreign companies and individuals are prohibited from buying United States technology and services without first obtaining special approval from the U.S. government.
US Mobile: Another Bait-and-Switch Disappointment
May 16, 2019
I just dumped US Mobile after less than four months, setting a new speed record for hitting my tolerance-for-b.s. ceiling. I'd had high hopes for this relatively new mobile virtual network operator, but it turns out I chose poorly. Switching wireless service providers is one of those things I don't relish doing, but every few years I find that I'm in a one-way relationship with my carrier.
Review Roundup: Pixel 3a Wins Kudos for Cameras, Battery Life, Assistant
May 9, 2019
Google's Pixel 3a smartphone, launched at Google's 2019 I/O developer conference, has wowed reviewers with the quality of its photos and other features, as well as its low price. "I like the direction Google is taking with the 3a," said Ramon Llamas, research director at IDC. "While it removes some of the features and functionalities of its cousins, it still retains the key ones."
Google Showcases AI, Preaches Privacy at I/O Keynote
May 8, 2019
Google showed off its chops in AI and ML, renewed its commitment to giving users greater control over their data, and introduced a new economically priced smartphone during a keynote presentation at its annual I/O conference. "They were there to hammer home the point that when it comes to AI, they are ahead of their peers," said Paul Erickson, a senior analyst at IHS Markit.
Red Flag Flying Over Flagship Phones
May 1, 2019
These could be the worst of times for high-end flagship smartphones. Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Alphabet shareholders that his company's flagship phones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, released last fall, had encountered some "year over year headwinds." Samsung acknowledged that Galaxy S10 sales were being cannibalized by its lower-priced models. Meanwhile, Apple saw iPhone sales plummet.
Consumers Balk at Premium Smartphone Prices
April 26, 2019
Only a fraction of consumers are willing to pay $1,500 or more for a flagship Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone, suggests an informal ECT News Network survey conducted from April 15 to 22. Fewer than 2 percent of those who took part said they'd be willing to paying such a premium for a handset. New smartphones arrive with almost disturbing regularity.
Samsung Applies Brakes to Galaxy Fold Launch
April 23, 2019
Foldable phones have been dealt a setback by Samsung's announcement that it has postponed indefinitely the release of its Galaxy Fold. Samsung pumped the brakes on the $1,980 phone's release after several reviewers reported problems. Samsung acknowledged that their experiences indicated the device needed further improvements to ensure the best possible user experience.
Apple's Looming Nightmare
April 22, 2019
The big news last week was that Apple finally agreed to settle its fight with Qualcomm. Kudos to Tim Cook, because I've known a lot of CEOs rather who would have fought to the death than admitted they were wrong -- and not only wrong but acting disingenuously the entire time. Fighting this to the death would have been far worse. What spurred the settlement likely was he defense Qualcomm mounted.
Everyone's a Winner in Apple-Qualcomm Settlement
April 18, 2019
Apple and Qualcomm unexpectedly announced a settlement as their case entered the second day of a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Diego. In related news, Intel announced it was getting out of the 5G smartphone chip business. The Apple-Qualcomm settlement provides an unspecified one-time payment from Apple to Qualcomm, among other terms.
Apple Wants Its Credit Card in Your Digital Wallet
March 27, 2019
Apple has announced a virtual credit card built into the wallet app on iPhones. Apple Card sports a number of features aimed at helping consumers lead a healthier financial life. "With our hardware, software and services, we think that Apple is uniquely positioned to make the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The Strange Tech Wars of 2019
March 11, 2019
The tech market is defined by its battles: Microsoft vs. IBM; Apple vs. Microsoft; Netscape vs. Microsoft; Google vs. Microsoft. If Microsoft were a person, it likely would have PTSD. Then there was Apple vs. Google, and now the big one is Apple vs. Qualcomm. The screwy thing for me is that Huawei represents a far greater threat to both companies than they represent to each other.
Android Addition Opens FIDO Password Killer to Billions
February 26, 2019
The FIDO Alliance hammered another nail into the passwords coffin with the announcement that devices running Android 7.0 or higher will be compatible with FIDO2, the latest version of its authentication solution. Certification of Android 7.0+ means devices running those versions of Google's mobile operating system will support FIDO2 out of the box or through a software update.
The Latest Efforts to Make the iPhone Obsolete Could Have Teeth
February 25, 2019
The Mobile World Congress is the annual event where everyone who hates Apple goes to grouse about their profits and point out Apple's lack of real progress. That's pretty much everyone who is anyone, aside from Apple itself, which also is at the event. Much like CES often does, MWC tends to spin pretty hard toward the "I hate Apple, I'd like to be Apple" crowd of competitors.
Samsung Unveils New S10s, Pushes Envelope With Fold
February 21, 2019
Samsung held its annual Unpacked event in San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Wednesday, presenting fans with a new product lineup that includes three versions of its flagship Galaxy S10, plus the Galaxy S10 5G, the Galaxy Fold, and several new wearables. All of the devices have an edge-to-edge display that increases the amount of screen real estate available.
FTC v. Qualcomm: What Really Is Going On
February 4, 2019
I've been watching antitrust cases actively since the 1980s. I had to study historical antitrust cases going back to Standard Oil and RCA, in order to ensure compliance with a related consent decree When I worked at IBM. Each of the other cases had one thing in common: Both of the companies being charged were massively and obviously monopolies. There were many questions.
Crypto Support in Samsung Galaxy S10 Could Fall Flat
January 30, 2019
The Samsung Galaxy S10, scheduled for launch on Feb. 20, likely will incorporate a cryptocurrency wallet. "Samsung has a long history of throwing everything it can think of, technology-wise, into its flagship Galaxy S series smartphones," remarked Ken Hyers, research director at Strategy Analytics. Most users aren't fully aware of their Galaxy S phone capabilities, he noted.
Lenovo, Verizon to Reincarnate Motorola Razr as Foldable Smartphone: Report
January 17, 2019
The Motorola Razr -- once the hottest flip phone available -- is being revived as a smartphone with a foldable screen, according to reports. It will be offered exclusively through Verizon in the United States, possibly in February, although the device is still being tested and the launch date is not firm. Its starting price reportedly will be $1,500.
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