Point and shoot cameras have been negatively impacted by the popularity of smartphone devices, and the industry is now scrambling to competed with the powerful handheld devices by adding web-friendly features and upgrading technologies.
But it isn’t only the sales of digital point and shoot cameras affected by the smartphone craze. Video consoles as well as portable music players are also taking a hit, as most of new devices like the iPhone or Samsung Android phones combine similar music applications and photo features allowing for an “all-in-one” selling point - a computer, a camera, a phone, and a music player built in a sleek frame.
The Japanese companies like Nikon, Sony, and Canon are all seeing a decline in sales for the compact phone market as most consumers turn to the convenience of camera-equipped smartphones. With image-quality for the new devices also improving, the camera sector is now facing an increasing challenge to find new ways for buyers to consider a point and shoot device.
South Korean tech giant Samsung may have lost the patent battle to Apple but the legal blow has been softened as its premier device, the Galaxy S3, surpassed the iPhone 4S to become the world’s best selling smartphone.
The research firm Strategy Analytics released the latest study before the launch the iPhone 5. If combined however, the two Apple device had higher sales than Samsung’s flagship smartphone. Still, the reports were impressive. The S3 overtook the 4S during the third quarter, selling over 18 million units in just three months.
Samsung said that sales weren’t as fast as most people assumed as many consumers temporarily withheld from purchasing the S3 with the expected launch of the iPhone 5. Apple sold 16.2 million 4S smartphones, while the iPhone 5 which was launched mid-September, sold around six million.
Experts attribute the S3’s success to Samsung’s extensive distribution of the device across several countries outside of the US. Supper through operator subsidies also contributed to the success of the Galaxy smartphone.
Norsat’s Satellite Locator Mobile application is now available for free download to Android smartphones as well as tablet devices running on Google Play. The application has been downloaded by thousands of users since its release for the iPhone, allowing people to locate geostationary satellites and point to satellite ground stations with a touch of their fingertips.
The NorSat applications renders an accurate arc of the satellites orbiting the earth and also provides necessary information about them through a satellite almanac. Users simply point their handheld devices to the sky and the application will give details on a range of birds where their smartphones are pointed. A graphical display of information comes up which would include the elevation of the satellites, its specific location and direction, orbital position, as well as possible obstructions.
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The CEO of Australia’s mobile operator Vodafone, admitted the company’s network was unprepared the handle the increased demand and use of powerful smartphones. According to Bill Morrow, Vodafone Australia, there was no investment in place for network upgrades, which saw the system collapse back in 2010.
Morrow pinpoints the network’s crash as the prime cause of the company’s present financial woes. The lack of any investment, and foresight, has cost the mobile operator millions in losses.
Six months into his new position, Vodafone Australia is looking to regain consumer trust through a multi-phase approach in upgrading the company’s networks. Morrow explained that the company is slowly trying to turn things around, despite lagging behind other operators like Optus and Telstra both of which have already moved ahead by offering 4G networks.
The rise of smartphones have posed challenges to telecom operators across the globe. The powerful, handheld computing devices rely on bandwidth-intensive mobile applications, which in turn, has added significant traffic load to backhaul networks.
Bill Morrow remains optimistic about Vodafone’s future. Its merger with another operator, 3, presents other opportunities for high-speed services including LTE, and not so far ahead 4G. He also said that the national broadband project was a great solution to help meet the growing demand in business and government sectors.
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Last month, Hewlett-Packard’s CEO, Meg Whitman, caused quite a stir with a remark indicating the company needed to offer smartphones as the devices are becoming the primary computing device across the globe.
Whitman said that HP had no plans to offer a device by 2013 but also insisted the company was working on it. She further explained that although HP had no plans to offer a mobile phone by next year, it was paramount for the company to develop such devices if they want to be involved in a huge segment of the market.
Under the previous head of HP, Leo Apotheker, smartphones and tablets were launched under the webOS but development of the devices has since then stalled.
The multinational computer hardware, software and services corporation has been working around a restructuring plan to resolve financial issues plaguing the company. Analysts reveal a mediocre financial performance for HP, with expected earnings per share lower than estimated by Thomson Reuters.
Whitman also said that the current consumer tablets was already well served by Apple, but they were currently looking to have a Window-based device to meet demands from CIO’s.
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The iPhone 5 features an improved system on chip (SOC), an integrated circuit (“IC”) that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system into a single chip. It is dubbed the Apple A6, designed by Apple Inc., introduced on September 12, 2012. Apple says it will achieve twice the performance of the “Apple A5,” and “A5X,” systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) designed by Apple Inc. and manufactured by Samsung to replace the Apple A4.
The cameras improved low light performance, and is 40% faster than its predecessors. The front camera—FaceTime, a video calling (video telephone) software and related protocol developed by Apple Inc. for supported mobile devices running iOS, in addition to Macintosh computers running MacOS X 10.6.6 and higher—has a higher resolution at 1.2 megapixels.
The built-in rechargeable “lithium-ion polymer”/”polymer lithium ion,” or more commonly “lithium polymer” (secondary cell) battery is rated at 225 hours of standby time and 8 hours of talk time. The display is 1,136 x 640 pixels with an aspect ratio of a display (the proportional relationship between the width of a display and its height) of approximately 16:9.
The iPhone 5’s operating memory (“Mobile DDR”, a type of double data rate synchronous DRAM for mobile computers—LPDDR2-1066 eDram “embedded DRAM,” a capacitor-based dynamic random-access memory integrated on the same die as an ASIC or processor) was doubled, from 512 MB to 1 GB. Storage capacities remain at 16, 32 or 64 GB (gigababyte, a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage), as the 4S before it. The two color options are black (with black glass and slate-colored metal trim), and white (with white glass and silver-colored metal trim); again the same color options (though differently implemented) as its predecessor the 4S had.
The SIM, or “subscriber identity/identification module,” an integrated circuit that securely stores the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and the related key used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers), is a nano-SIM, which is 44% smaller than the micro-SIM fitted to the iPhone 4 and 4S.
Despite news of the much-awaited iPhone 5 hitting the shelves soon, Apple is still lingering behind South Korean competition Samsung. This, in spite of the decreasing global demand for mobile phones.
Just two months since its release, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 already sold 10 million units, boosting the total number of mobile devices sold by the company to a staggering 90.4 million units for the second quarter alone. The numbers exceed the previous quarter and suggests a 29.5 percent increase in sales.
Apple’s share of the market is at 6.9 percent after selling 28.9 million iPhones. The American company’s share is dwarfed by the East Asian company’s 21.6 percent cut. European mobile phone manufacturer Nokia on the other hand, holds on to second although it comes with a declining market share. It’s hold of the mobile phone industry has decreased to 14.8 percent.
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