On Wednesday, Qualcomm confirmed that a large customer had dropped its Snapdragon 810 processor. While it did not confirm who that customer was, reports state that Samsung was the smartphone manufacturer who decided to pull the processor from its upcoming Galaxy S6 due to heat issues.
Whoever it is, it’s probably not LG since that company has announced that the Snapdragon 810 would be used at least in its Flex 2.
While Qualcomm’s expects revenue for this quarter to be between $6.5 billion to $7.1 billion, it projects that revenue for the entire year will be estimated at $26 billion to $28 billion. This is down from a previous forecast of $26.8 billion to $28.8 billion. This is in part because of the aforementioned customer and a probe by China’s government into its business practices.
In a later update to its post, Re/code reported that CEO Steve Mollenkopf believes the “Snapdragon 810 is performing well” and “working the way we expected it to work.” Although, it is worth mentioning that Qualcomm opted to use a licensed core for the processor so it could get 64-bit variants out faster. It’s next top-of-the-line chip will use the typical, Qualcomm-customized core.
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According to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics, over one billion Android smartphones shipped in the year 2014. Now we’re not talking about Android devices as a whole, just smartphones. To be a bit more exact, the number is upwards 1,042,700,000 Android devices overall. That’s not even the craziest part. The total number of smartphones shipped in 2014 totaled 1.3 billion, which means Android smartphones made up roughly 81% of all smartphones sold last year. The total number of smartphones shipped in 2013 totaled one billion (781 million of those were Android handsets), so we’ve seen a 30% increase in total smartphone sales year over year. Strategy Analytics explains that Apple’s iOS platform remains the only “serious” threat to Android for now, which sold 193 million smartphones in 2014.
As you can see in the chart above, Android smartphones equated to about 81.2% of the market in 2014, iOS took up about 15%, Microsoft (Windows Phone) grabbing only around 3% of the market and the ‘other’ operating systems (BlackBerry, etc.) claiming only .7% in 2014. The research firm also explains:
Emerging markets, such as China and Indonesia, drove the industry’s growth last year and they will continue to do so through 2015.
So which Android phones and manufacturers were responsible for this massive growth? We reported about a month ago that Chinese OEMs (Xiaomi, Oppo, ZTE, Huawei, Meizu, and a few others) made up almost 40% of all smartphones shipped in 2014.
Jolla, the company behind the Sailfish OS-powered smartphones, created a tablet concept that made its way to Indiegogo last month. It became apparent that the company had something big on their hands after the tablet reached its goal of $380,000 in less than two hours. After raising a total of $1.8 million overall, the tablet is back on the crowdfunding site with some new goals. The company is now offering the Jolla Tablet in a 64GB variant (up from 32GB), along with a 4450mAh battery (up from 4300mAh), and support for MicroSD cards up to 128GB. Jolla has also added a fully-laminated display, as well as a gyroscope and compass..
Other than the updated specs, the Jolla Tablet has a 7.85-inch IPS display with 2048 x 1563 resolution and a pixel density of 330ppi. It also brings a 5MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, a 64-bit 1.8GHz Intel quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and measures 203 x 137 x 8.3mm. Aside from running Sailfish OS apps, the Jolla Tablet can run Android apps. You can download these directly through the Jolla Store and other Android app marketplaces.
If you’ve already invested in the first crowdfunding campaign, you can add $25 to your order to upgrade to the 64GB variant. Jolla has added a new perk to the already huge list called The Combo, which gets you a Jolla smartphone and 32GB Tablet ($419) or a Jolla smartphone and 64GB Tablet ($449). If you’re interested in anything Jolla Tablet-related, here are the perks the company is offering:
- Jolla Tablet (32Gb) – $219
- Jolla Tablet (64GB) – $249
- 64GB upgrade for early birds – $25
- Shipping – $20
- The Combo: Tablet 32GB & Phone – $419
- The Combo: Tablet 64GB & Phone – $449
This tablet is shaping up to be a big hit thanks to the abundance of funds the company has received so far. And considering the price for some high-end Android tablets out there, a 64GB tablet for only $249 doesn’t sound half bad. If you’d like to pledge, head to the Indiegogo link below for some more info.
Most of us like to blast a collection of inspirational tunes during a workout, and with its latest iOS update, RunKeeper is making that a bit easier. Runners who also have a Spotify premium subscription can now access saved playlists inside the fitness app. You’ll need to connect the two services first, but once you do, swiping over to your fine-tuned collections and suggested workout playlists is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of Android users getting the integration as part of future updates. However, RunKeeper says this is the beginning of its foray into music, so perhaps those upcoming tools will cross over.
Ahead of any major product release, we often see part leaks and case molds, which give us hints on the sizing, features, and design of the forthcoming product, and the “iPad Pro” is no exception. We’ve previously seen what’s said to be an iPad Pro dummy model for Apple’s upcoming large-screened tablet, and today, French site Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] has shared an image of a case that may be designed for the device.
According to the site, the image of the case originated from a reliable source that the site has been in contact with “for many years.” Though the case in the photo is not depicted next to an object to provide a size reference, it is clearly quite large and could fit a tablet in the range of 12.2 to 12.9 inches.
The case appears to have two speaker cutouts at both the top and bottom, which would accommodate the stereo speakers that have been rumored for the device. There are also cutouts for a headphone jack at the top left of the case, volume buttons at the right, a camera cutout at the back, a Lightning port cutout at the bottom, and a power button cutout on the top right, all of which is in line with previous iPad Air and iPad mini designs.
The one unknown is a cutout on the left side of the case, which could possibly be for a SIM tray, suggesting that this is a case for a Cellular iPad Pro. Previous design drawings have not suggested that there’s another port in that particular location.
Because case makers often create molds based on leaked design specs and information that may not be accurate in an effort to be the first to come out with accessories for a new product, some of the design elements could be slightly off. There have certainly been a few misses over the years when it comes to case design, mainly when rumors of a tapered iPhone were circulating, but for the most part, case leaks have been highly accurate.
The “iPad Pro,” as it has been named by the media, is rumored to include a 12.2 to 12.9 inch screen, an A8X or A9 processor, and a design that is similar in style to the iPad Air or iPad mini, with a thin body and a high-resolution screen. Recent rumors have suggested that it could be the first Apple tablet to ship with an included stylus due to its size.
A launch date for Apple’s larger iPad remains unclear, but rumors have suggested that it could be released in the second or third quarter of the year.
Update: Bloomberg Business is now corroborating the earlier WSJ story, adding that the two companies are in talks to create “a version of the Android mobile-operating system that’s more friendly to Microsoft services”.
Original Story: According to the WSJ, Microsoft may be one of a handful of companies investing in Cyanogen. Cyanogen started off as a customized version of the Android operating system named CyanogenMod back in 2009 but has grown to a business of 80 people named Cyanogen, Inc. starting in 2013. The company co-launched their version of the Android OS on the OnePlus One smartphone in 2014.
Now, Cyanogen is looking for money, and Microsoft is reportedly putting cash into the company as a minority investor.
Exclusive: NASA recaps Project Tango-equipped Smart SPHERES, hints at next-generation of free-flying robots
Back in July of last year, crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) received a very special payload of devices from Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects team. The prototype devices, codenamed Project Tango, were meant for NASA’s microsatellites, the SPHERES, that have been accompanying the astronauts on their voyage around the planet since 2006.
I recently had the incredible luxury of corresponding with Maria Alberty of the Ames Research Facility, the group inside of NASA in charge of overseeing the SPHERES and their experiments, with the goal of revisiting Project Tango’s involvement with the SPHERES and adding to the continuity of Talk Android’s reporting on this milestone.
Last year, Talk Android’s Jared Peters and Jeff Causey had reported on the events leading up to the Google prototypes being delivered to the ISS (which you can view here and here for some great back-story), with Brendan Lynch delivering the most recent article discussing Project Tango’s upcoming departure to the space station. It was from their work and my own personal interest that most of my knowledge of the whole Project Tango affair was derived.
It was not enough. Poor Maria really had to get me on the same page before we could even start discussing Project Tango…
Maria initially guided me, gently, through the background of what SPHERES are and what they are after a device, like the Project Tango prototype, is added (dubbed “Smart” SPHERES).
The microsatellites called SPHERES (an acronym for Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) are, as NASA describes them, bowling-ball sized instruments that provide a test-bed for research and development in the field of multi-body formations, flying, multi-spacecraft control algorithms, and free-flying physical and material science investigations. These satellites are used as a platform for these experiments inside the unique environment offered in the ISS.
These SPHERES are, as Maria says, self-contained. They each have their own units of power, propulsion systems, basic computers, navigation equipment, and adapters and ports that allow researchers to upgrade them to test specific investigations.
[SPHERES] are used inside the space station to test a set of well-defined instructions for spacecraft performing autonomous rendezvous and docking maneuvers. Basically SPHERES can act alone, or with the addition of other hardware mounted to SPHERES act as a free-flying platform that is capable of accommodating varying mounting features and mechanisms in order to test and examine the physical or mechanical properties of materials in microgravity.
It’s these adapters that allowed SPHERES to have their first taste of being “Smart”. In 2011, on the final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA rocketed up a Google Nexus S (designed by Samsung) to be plugged into the SPHERES. The Nexus S was the first commercial smartphone to be approved for use and to fly aboard the ISS.
D.W. Wheeler, lead engineer in Ames’ Intelligent Robotics Group, said at the time: “By connecting a smartphone, we can immediately make SPHERES more intelligent. With the smartphone, the SPHERES will have a built-in camera to take pictures and video, sensors to help conduct inspections, a powerful computing unit to make calculations, and a Wi-Fi connection that we will use to transfer data in real-time to the space station and mission control.”
Jumping ahead to the summer of 2014, the Ames Research Facility created a new breed of Smart SPHERES by upgrading them with the Google Project Tango prototype.
As was covered in the media, researchers for the Project Tango-equipped Smart SPHERES set out with the goal of investigating the effects of giving the SPHERES three-dimensional awareness via the prototype’s 3D sensor capable of creating a three-dimensional model of its environment.
Initially, NASA researchers had hoped that the upgraded Smart SPHERES would pave the way for a series of tasks that could be delegated out to the SPHERES. Mostly housekeeping-type tasks, the researchers envisioned video surveys for safety audits, noise level measurements, and air flow and quality assessments, all of which must be routinely performed by the ISS crew members.
While not divulging specific experimental results, both past or ongoing, of Project Tango’s involvement with the SPHERES, Maria did state that the current batch of Project Tango Smart SPHERES would be succeeded by next-generation free-flying robots.
The Project Tango experiment was the last test session of “Smart SPHERES”. During the past three years, “Smart SPHERES” has provided valuable engineering data regarding the use of a free-flying robot on the Space Station. Based on this data, NASA has started developing a next-generation free-flying robot, which will be deployed in 2017-2018.
She went on to reiterate that the next generation of robots are a new project of Ames, implementing the data and analyses garnered from Smart SPHERES. These robots are still in the preliminary research phase.
So what could the Ames Research Facility be cooking up next? We’ll have to wait and see, but Maria did indicate that, up until this point, Google has not had any involvement with Ames’ use of Project Tango.
For me, it’ll be a tough two years while I wait to see what Ames assembles with the Smart SPHERES data. In the meantime, I’ll just have to satisfy myself with all things related to the New Horizons spacecraft. What can I say, I love space-dwelling robots!
Come comment on this article: Exclusive: NASA recaps Project Tango-equipped Smart SPHERES, hints at next-generation of free-flying robots
Seems there is a rather big push these last few days to sell both micro and full size SD cards. PNY had a sale the other day that offered the 128GB for $79.99, unfortunately that price is done with and is up at $96.95 now. If that is just too much space, or too much […]
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Sprint wants to apologize to the two largest wireless providers, Verizon and AT&T. For what, we have no idea. We’re guessing, however, it’s not gonna be as straightforward as the headline sounds.
Come the third quarter of this Sunday’s Super Bowl, Sprint plans to make things right. And, given the stage, we imagine Sprint is set to extend some promotions or roll out something new.
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Just last week Cyanogen found itself in the news after speaking at The Information’s “Next Phase of Android” event, where Cyanogen’s Kirt McMaster boldly stated, “I’m the CEO of Cyanogen. We’re attempting to take Android away from Google.” Now according to the Wall Street Journal, Cyanogen is making news once again, this time thanks to Microsoft. If the WSJ is to be believed, Microsoft is a minority investor in the latest round of equity funding that managed to secure $70 million for Cyanogen.
While neither Cyanogen or Microsoft has yet to comment, apparently several people familiar with the situation have spoken up about the matter. Microsoft isn’t alone in cozying up to Cyanogen either, as many other strategic investors are said to be interested in investing, mainly because they want a piece of the Android pie and are hoping to steal some of Google’s control over Android. After all, Google’s certification terms dictate what the default search engine will be used for a phone, what many of the default apps will be out of the box, and several other aspects of the OS. Although this translates to a solid experience for end-users, it makes it harder for app makers and service providers to get any attention from their own alternatives to Google apps and services (ehm… Bing).
Microsoft isn’t alone in cozying up to Cyanogen, as many other strategic investors are said to be interested in investing, mainly because they want a piece of the Android pie and are hoping to steal some of Google’s control over Android.
What exactly would Microsoft have to gain from getting in bed with Cyanogen? For one thing, Windows Phone is still a relatively small time player with about 3% of the mobile marketshare. While Microsoft is pushing forward with its mobile efforts and has big plans for Windows 10, it never hurts to have a backup plan. It is also worth noting that Microsoft has been much more Android-friendly in recent years, introducing versions of Microsoft Office and even experimenting with apps for Android Wear.
As already mentioned, investing into Cyanogen could also make it more likely that Microsoft could get their Bing search engine and other services featured in future handsets that come with Cyanogen OS out of the box. Bottom-line, Microsoft isn’t putting all of its eggs in one basket, and we can’t say we blame them. Just remember MS is a minority investor and so this won’t really give them any real power over the future direction of the Android-based ROM.