The future of Nokia’s Z Android launcher is uncertain

In 2014, when Nokia introduced its Android-based N1 tablet, it also released its very own Android launcher. Called Nokia Z, the launcher was made available to download via Google Play, where anyone can still find it (and get it for free). However, the Z Launcher is not exactly a finished product, as it’s in beta stage.

With Nokia getting ready to start selling multiple Android smartphones this year, we were thinking that the Z Launcher would perhaps be updated, improved, and made ready to be installed on the upcoming phones out of the box. But that’s not going to happen. NokiaMob contacted …

Affordable LG X230 gets certified, global launch seems imminent

LG launched a couple of entry-level Android smartphones earlier this week, such as the X300 and Aristo. The former has been introduced in South Korea, while the latter made its way to the United States via MetroPCS and T-Mobile.

If we are to compare the two devices, they are almost the same aside from the fact that the LG X300 packs 2GB RAM and the LG Aristo comes with only 1.5GB RAM inside.

Now, a new affordable smartphone from LG is about to hit the shelves, the X230. Judging by its name alone, the LG X230 could be an even lower version of the X300.

LG X230 has been recently …

Sony Xperia X and X Compact get January Android security updates

After delivering the January Android security updates for the Xperia XZ and X Performance earlier this week, Sony Mobile has done the same for the Xperia X and Xperia X Compact. After installing the updates, the handsets run software version 34.2.A.0.292. All versions of these phones are eligible for the update, but security patches aside, it’s not known what else it contains.

While the Xperia X remains on Android 7.0 for the time being, Sony already has an Android 7.1.1 concept build out for the smartphone. Among the new features available in the upcoming update to 7.1.1 are a new Restart …

Is Apple Prepping a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone?

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Apple is fully expected to launch a smaller (iPhone Se) this month, but what about the company’s upcoming flagships that will launch at the end of year? The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus should be a near total overhaul of the current iPhone 6 range, and that could mean an even larger screen for the Plus, according to some reports.

Digitimes (up and down on reliable content) says that Apple is working on an iPhone model that will sport a 5.8-inch OLED screen. Considering the iPhone Plus is the company’s large screen driver, we expect that any such 5.8-inch handset would be the iPhone 7 Plus.

However, while that would be the logical thinking, Digitimes stresses that Apple is not ready to launch an OLED packing smartphone just yet and one will not show up until at least 2017. Some analysts predict it will be longer than that, pegging 2019 as the earliest for an iPhone with a large OLED panel.

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Apple Is Working On VR

Apple diversityWe think of Apple like this. It is not the innovative company some would have you believe, instead Apple enters an existing but nascent market and makes defining products within it. That’s pretty admirable in itself, think how the iPod, iPhone, and iPad impacted their respective markets and you get the picture. Apple is now looking to do the same with virtual reality.

Cupertino will certainly not be the first when it finally dips its toes in the VR market, but one way to show it still has the mojo that many think has gone is to define this growing tech niche. Oculus has already laid a major claim to having the defining VR product of the first generation, but Apple will look to be the defining company in taking VR to the masses.

We will see, but at the moment Apple is even playing catchup to mobile rivals Sony, Samsung, HTC, and Google, who all have excellent VR headsets of varying price tags (ahem, Google Cardboard). Cupertino is ok with this latecomer stance and has actually been working on its own VR project for some time, likely to be a VR headset.

Cupertino has been snapping up its fair share of companies in the virtual and augmented reality field, including the recent $6 million acquisition of emotion tracking software startup Emotient. Apple also apparently has a secret team numbering in hundreds that is working on the VR headset, while recently the company employed Doug Bowman, someone who is a noted expert in the virtual and augmented reality industry.

To add some more fuel to the fire, Apple CEO Tim Cook seems extra enthused (Cook is rarely someone who gets publically enthused about a niche), stating during the company’s Q4 earnings call this week:

“In terms of VR, I don’t think it’s a niche. It’s really cool and has some interesting applications,” Cook said when asked about virtual reality technology.

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Hermes Apple Watch Available on Apple Online Store

og_hermes
The Hermes Apple Watch is something of an exclusive variant of the company’s first ever wearable. So exclusive in fact that it has only been available through some high end boutique shops, but that is about to change. Cupertino is now selling the Hermes Apple Watch Edition through its online Apple Store, meaning you can get the smartwatch from your own home.

As you may know, the Hermes Apple Watch is hardly affordable, the “Single Tour” Hermes will set you back $1100, the “Double Tour” comes in at $1250, and the highest end model, the “Cuff” costs $1500 and is only available in the largest 42mm size.

However, it is an interesting prospect because it gives those who want something better than the standard models a high end Apple Watch without have to spend $10,000 or more for the Apple Watch Edition. As for specs, there is no difference between the Hermes and the standard basic entry level Apple Watch.

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Apple iPhone 6s Plus was the best performing smartphone of 2015

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How the taste of irony must taste sweet for iPhone fans this morning. The iPhone 6s Plus has been named by benchmark software AnTuTu as the best performing smartphone it tested throughout 2015, beating all of its Android competitors by a fairly huge margin.

Of course, many reading these pages will know that a criticism often levelled at Apple’s smartphones by Android fans is that the iPhone cannot compete with Android flagships in terms of raw performance. A comparison of specs between an Android flagship and the iPhone 6s Plus is usually used to try to embarrass owners of the iPhone.

It is an easy bat to hit with as on paper the 6s Plus does seem weedy. Apple A9, a chipset that integrates a 1.84GHz dual-core Twister CPU and a PowerVR GT7600 GPU, paired with 2GB of RAM. Huawei’s Mate 8, the second best device of last year boasts blistering specs that read as 4GB of RAM and a Kirin 950 SoC with four Cortex A72 CPU cores clocked at 2.3GHz, four Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at 1.8GHz, and a Mali Mali-T880 MP4 GPU.

Both also sport 1080p screens so the drain in that respect is the same, so how then does the apparently under-spec’d iPhone 6s Plus get a AnTuTu score of 132,620 while the Mate 8 92,746? It’s simple, specs are not everything and the overall package and software are! As for the rest of the list, it is largely made up of devices powered by Samsung’s admittedly good Exynos 7420.

So Apple fans, when your Android rival says that the specs of the iPhone 6s Plus are poor, this should give them plenty of food for thought.

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Apple Dominates Enterprise Activations in Q3

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Apple is continuing to make significant strides in the enterprise market and through the third quarter of this year (June 1 to September 30) the company was responsible for 66% of all enterprise devices activated. The company’s iOS platform, which includes iPhones and iPads, led the way in the market and rose 2% compared to the 64% enterprise activations in the second quarters.

Interestingly Apple made the most headway in the tablet market, with the company’s iPad accounting for 71% of all enterprise slates activated in Q3. That is stark contrast to the consumer side of the iPad business, which has been in decline for over a year, mirroring a general market trend for all tablets. Apple CEO Tim Cook has long argued that the iPad would recover based on enterprise and it does seem the future of the tablet lies more aligned with business.

Certainly Apple putting out the iPad Pro this month further suggests that, while last year’s link with IBM will have wider implications in the enterprise sector the more the two companies work together. Compared to Android Apple is leading the way, Google’s platform was responsible for 31% of devices activated in the third quarter, while its tablet activations slipped to 21% from 25% in the second quarter.

Apple fans waiting to gloat that the company may be raising the stakes on enterprise giants BlackBerry and Microsoft should think again. Those two companies hold vast positions in other areas away from hardware, with both companies thriving in terms of software coverage and in BlackBerry’s case security.

Source: MobileBurn

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Apple Dominating Mobile Profits (95% of all Money)

Apple Q3 2014 earnings
When you look at smartphone sales charts you will see Samsung leading Apple at the top of the market by a significant margin, while the result is even more emphatic if you compare Android sales to those of iOS. However, in terms of making cold hard cash (which of course is the reason why all companies are in the industry) Apple is simply unstoppable.

Research from Canaccord Genuity revealed that Apple brought in 94% of all profit generated in the mobile industry through the third quarter of 2015. While this could be described as one piece of research, it is representative of market research as a whole that has shown Apple to be raking in around 90% of mobile profits all year.

It is a truly staggering number and up from 85% last year, which shows Apple has been dominating the market for a long time and is actually increasing margins. It is mind boggling when one considering that the company is responsible for around 15% of mobile sales on a global level but makes virtually all of the money.

This is precisely the reason why we say Android’s market dominance is of little concern to Apple as long as the company’s sales impress. They do impress and often grow, so in this market Apple has carved a unique space for itself and in terms of making money the company is cleaning up.

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Apple Creating PayPal Rival?

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Last year Apple put itself into the finance sector with Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment system that has been well received by consumers. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Cupertino has wider aspirations and is going to launch a rival to PayPal during 2016.

The outlet says that Apple is meeting with financial heavyweights JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Capital One Financial and U.S. Bancorp with a view to starting a PayPal rival. Of course, Apple would be getting into this market late and eBay owned PayPal already dominates the space, with other rivals like Google also in place.

Whether Apple can make a major impact remains to be seen, but the company is adept at entering spaces and revamping them, so if any company can then Apple can.

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