Articles about Consumer Electronics

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Tech spending in Europe is slowing, a fatter Tech Data belches

Tech Data has said it is countering the slowdown in IT spending across Europe by nabbing market share from Ingram Micro rivals, though it stopped short of naming those leaky ships it is pinching business from. The IT distie titan reported group sales of $6bn, up one per cent year-on-year for Q1 ended 30 April; revenues in the …
Paul Kunert, 27 May 2016

Apple: Another bug fix. Er, thanks, GCHQ

GCHQ’s CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) assurance arm was behind the report of an OS X bug to Apple that the consumer electronics giant patched last week. The UK’s signals intelligence is perhaps better known in security circles for finding and exploiting software vulnerabilities in order to spy on foreign …
John Leyden, 23 May 2016

Kobayashi Maru gets real: VR and AR in meatspace today

Three years ago few people other than hardcore gamers and those working in specialist industrial fields were still talking about VR. It was a gimmicky technology cursed by the “P” word (“potential”) and huge, ungainly headsets that generated a flurry of interest in the late 1990s that quickly evaporated. Today, it’s big news …
Alistair Dabbs, 13 May 2016

Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

An Italian "microscopy, consumer electronics and micro-optics" outfit is offering smartphone and tablet owners the chance to get up-close and personal with the world via "an ultra portable and very affordable set of 2 mini lenses which turns your smartphone or tablet into a digital microscope". Working with the Istituto …
Lester Haines, 11 May 2016
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Watch it Apple: time has come for cheaper rivals' strap-ons

Apple Watch started 2016 on a losing streak, ceding market share* to a range of cheaper rivals. Q1 is a hangover quarter across the entire consumer electronics sector, and particularly in wearables, which can be expected to suffer a post-Christmas slump. Strategy Analytics has estimated that Apple shipped 2.2 million in Q1 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2016
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

Trouble at t'spinning rust mill: Disk drive production is about to head south

+Comment A sea change is looming in the disk drive industry as drive spindle motor maker Nidec reduces its total disk drive demand number. Nidec is a Japanese company and has the largest market share of any such manufacturer. It foresees demand for about 400 million units in 2016, down 13 per cent from its previous October 2015 …
Chris Mellor, 26 Apr 2016
Charis Tsevis's icon montage of Steve Jobs

Done making the big stuff better? The path to Apple's mid-life crisis

Apple at 40 Forty years ago today, Yasser Arafat was on the front page of The New York Times, the cover of Time magazine was screaming about "The Porno Plague," Johnnie Taylor sang "Girl you ought to be on T.V. on soul train" as his "Disco Lady" topped the US pop charts, and the Apple Computer Company was born. Apple co-founder Steve …
Rik Myslewski, 01 Apr 2016

Apple mulled gobbling its Brit GPU designers – but didn't like the taste

Apple was considering buying Imagination Technologies – designers of the PowerVR graphics processors in its iPhones and iPads – but walked away from the deal. In a statement today via Imagination and the London Stock Exchange, the Cupertino giant said: "From time to time, Apple talks with companies about potential acquisitions …
Chris Williams, 22 Mar 2016
Promo pic of Intel-acquired Replay Technologies FreeD product.

Intel in 3D and virtual reality dash

Comment Intel and Qualcomm are increasingly extending their reach beyond their core chip technologies and into surrounding technologies and even applications. Both seek to enhance their revenues and account control with end-to-end offerings in key emerging areas of technology such as virtual reality. Last week, Intel acquired Replay …
Wireless Watch, 21 Mar 2016

Apple iPhone GPU designers Imagination axes 20 per cent of staff

Brit chip design house Imagination Technologies will shed a fifth of its workforce in a £27.5m ($40m) cost-cutting spree. The Hertfordshire-based biz said on Thursday it will lay off about 200 people in addition to the 150 it said in February it would make redundant. That adds up to 350 or 20 per cent of its 1,700 headcount …
Chris Williams, 17 Mar 2016
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

LCD price fixing settlement helps sweeten Tech Data's bottom line

A $35m settlement from LCD vendors over price fixing coupled with some general belt tightening on operating costs helped Tech Data bank a double digit profit bounce in Q4 of fiscal ’16. The world’s second largest tech distributor reported sales of $7.48bn for the three months ended 31 January, up two per cent year-on-year. In …
Paul Kunert, 04 Mar 2016
Hiker checks dead battery on smartphone... against wild valley backdrop. Photo via Shutterstock

Intelligent Energy secures $7.5m to develop smartphone fuel cell

Fuel cell specialist Intelligent Energy has announced that it has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with “an emerging smartphone OEM” to develop an embedded hydrogen fuel cell for powering smartphones for up to a week. The £5.25m ($7.5m) project will develop a fuel cell that will coexist with the smartphone’s existing …
Wireless Watch, 22 Feb 2016

Apple growth flatlines ... Tim Cook thinks, hey, $80bn is still $80bn

Apple has once again set a high watermark for quarterly revenues and profits, though only by a smidgen – its meteoric rise has otherwise completely stalled. The Cupertino consumer electronics behemoth said that from October through December – Q1 of its fiscal 2016 – it pulled in US$75.9bn in revenues [PDF], leading to an US$18 …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jan 2016

Eight-billion-dollar Irish tax bill looms over Apple

An upcoming European Commission ruling on tax laws could result in Apple having to pay as much as $8bn (€7.33bn, £5.6bn) in back taxes. This according to Matt Larsen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who expects the Cupertino maker of iStuffs will be found to have incorrectly reported its financial figures in Ireland and, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2016

Never mind the patent trolls. Here's a riddle: What about the inventors?

The mania for hoverboards is causing an outbreak of painful patent ignorance, says a top litigator. EIP’s Matthew Jones, who has litigated in tech and pharma cases, highlights the seizure of a Chinese hoverboard maker’s wares at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month as an example. Changzhou makes the “Surfing …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 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
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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
Smartwatches

2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

One trend overshadowed all others in 2015: there's tons and tons of everything. You probably know why. China has piles of cash, which means huge capital splurges in all directions. Which has caused a global glut of stuff. Steel, aluminium, rubber ... and consumer electronics. China might not exactly be dumping smartphones, but …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jan 2016
Toshiba

Scandal-hit Toshiba cutting 7,000 jobs, heads for $4.5bn loss

Scandal-hit Toshiba has today warned that it expects an annual loss of Y550bn ($4.5bn) and plans to shed nearly 7,000 jobs in its personal computer and television consumer electronics businesses. Toshiba said it also plans to flog its TV plant in Indonesia and end sales of TVs outside Japan. Overall, it will shed 10,600 jobs …
Kat Hall, 21 Dec 2015

CES tech show adds new security checks after fears of violence

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is renowned for being crowded – 170,000 people attended last year – but new security restrictions will mean that the traditional lines to get in are going to be exponentially worse. "Due to recent global tragedies, we have new security procedures for CES. This includes bag …
Iain Thomson, 18 Dec 2015

Samsung shoves IT arm into connected cars, hires new hands

South Korean conglomerate Samsung is setting up new organisations including a car tech component team, and rejigging some of the leadership as the company prepares for winter in tech land. The annual structural re-org this time around is to “pre-emptively respond to business uncertainties”, the company stated. The fundamental …
Paul Kunert, 10 Dec 2015
Darth Vader choking someone

Motorola’s X Force awakens a seemingly ‘shatterproof’ future

Review Here's one of the year's major surprises, and it's a nice one, in the shape of the latest high-end Motorola. It's already attracted acres of mainstream press coverage and that's before it's even generally available. It's the Motorola X Force, and it's the phone that the Daily Mail ran a truck over ... and the display came out …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Dec 2015
Milhouse Van Houten

Your 30-second guide to why Samsung is acting all Smugsun today

Samsung is getting a nod of approval from investors and analysts as the electronics giant has revealed gains in its mobile, semiconductor, and consumer electronics operations. The South Korean firm said its Android phone business managed to grow its sales figures in its third quarter of 2015, raising hopes that further gains …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2015
Raspberry Pi Official Case

Raspberry Pi grows the pie with new deal allowing custom recipes

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has decided the time is right to allow custom versions of its creation. Electronics retail and design outfit Element 14 has scored the gig as the sole, for now, official Pi customisation house. Under the deal, Element 14 will happily design and build custom Raspberry Pis that change the computer's …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2015
Unseasonal behaviour: Christmas in July

Xiaomi preps Linux laptops for the post Christmas sales rush

Pumped up by a (claimed) $1bn in profit in 2015, Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi will start selling Linux laptops early next year, according to a report. DigiTimes suggests that two models will be built by contract manufacturers, Inventec and Compal, and feature 12.5 inch and 13.3 inch displays. According to the trade paper, …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2015

Zuk it and see: China’s stealth seduction of Western phone buyers

It sounds like a Facebook tribute, but “Zuk” is one of the more significant smartphone ventures to launch this year. It's another sign that Chinese manufacturers are threatening to leave high-priced big-brand flagships stranded. Given that the mighty Lenovo is behind Zuk, it’s one should probably be on your radar. What the …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 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

Get ready to register your drones in the US – or else

The US Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are drawing up rules requiring people to register their drones. The DoT and FAA said in a joint statement Monday that they will be forming a task force to write registration guidelines, with a deadline of November 20. The 25-30 person …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Oct 2015

XCodeGhost iOS infection toll rises from 39 to a WHOPPING 4,000 apps

The number of XCodeGhost-infected iOS apps, initially pegged at 39, has ballooned to more than 4,000. The staggering increase was the handiwork of analysis by FireEye researchers who said that the apps were being hosted on the official Apple App Store. "Immediately after learning of XcodeGhost, FireEye Labs identified more …
Darren Pauli, 23 Sep 2015
Prototype Vulkan debugger from Valve and LunarG

Nintendo joins Khronos vid API standards body

Nintendo has become the latest big name to join the Khronos Group, the standards group that manages graphics APIs like WebGL, OpenGL, and Vulkan. It quietly got its name added to the list of Khronos Group sponsors at the beginning of September, without either Nintendo nor the standards club making a formal announcement. …
Fire Tablet

Amazon reveals $50 Android-ish Fire tablet it will axe in two years

Amazon has pumped out its latest attempt to stake a claim in the luggable electronics market with a $50 tablet. The retail giant said its new seven-inch Fire tablet will sport a 1.3Ghz quad-core processor – most likely ARM compatible – with 8GB of storage (and a microSD slot), a 1024 x 600 resolution touchscreen, and a seven- …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Sep 2015
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This new new chip will self-destruct in less than 10 seconds

Engineers at Xerox PARC have developed a prototype chip capable of self-destructing upon command. The Mission Impossible-style integrated circuit might be used for applications such as the storage of encryption keys. The chip is fabricated on a Gorilla Glass substrate and capable of shattering on demand into thousands of …
John Leyden, 15 Sep 2015
Toshiba MQ03ABB300

Is Toshiba mulling asset sales? HDD, TV businesses in the frame

Comment Toshiba is in trouble and could be about to exit the PC and disk drive businesses. The company is still suffering badly from a massive accounting scam, which overstated profits for seven years, and it has just reported a lousy quarter with losses of $91m. Masashi Muromachi became Toshiba’s new president (chief executive) in …
Chris Mellor, 14 Sep 2015
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Apple's big secret: It's an insurance firm (now with added finance)

Analysis Remember "Peak Apple"? It looked vaguely plausible a couple of years ago. For years, the media had stoked consumer expectations of Apple continuing to launch blockbuster, category-defining, market-making new products at regular intervals. Jobs’ biographer had disclosed that his "secret legacy" was “four years of new products …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Sep 2015
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Dixons Carphone breakdances on graves of fallen rivals

Dixons Carphone is still shaking its booty on the graves of fallen rivals as it once again reported growing sales. In the 13 weeks ended 1 August, which is Dix-Car’s Q1 of fiscal year 2016, like-for-like group turnover was up eight per cent, fuelled by a ten per cent spike in the UK division’s top line. Over in the Nordics, …
Paul Kunert, 10 Sep 2015
Pioneer Laserdisc player and projector from 1982

Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

Breaking Fad This year’s IFA gadget expo proved to be a chaotic platform for next generation TV technology. HDR (High Dynamic Range) gained traction, while 4K UHD Blu-ray took one step forward and two back. There were boys' toys and bluster a-plenty. Pioneer Laserdisc player and projector from 1982 This year's 4K telly tech is not quite …
Steve May, 10 Sep 2015
TCL's Dr Stan Hu with his 17.3" Android tab

China's TCL strokes Android with its 17.3" fondleslab WHOPPER

IFA 2015 Alcatel OneTouch, a division of the Chinese electronics company TCL, has announced the Xess 17.3" Android tablet at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin. The TCL/Alcatel OneTouch Xess is a 17.3” Android L 5.1 tablet with 10-point multi-touch, stylus, 8-core ARM 1.5Ghz CPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB Flash storage, MicroSD slot and …
Tim Anderson, 04 Sep 2015
Apple iPhone 6

Sacré bleu! Apple, Nokia, Samsung et al end their three-year sulk over 'home taping' tax

Three years after stomping out, big tech manufacturers have returned to talk to the French government about private copying levies. In France, an official working group, La Commission de la Copie Privée, sets the rules on which products will have copying levies slapped on them. Manufacturers and importers also had seats at the …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Sep 2015

Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy

IFA Sketch While the business side of the Internet of Things looks in good nick, and isn’t actually anything new, the consumer prospects look remote. Samsung is one of the few global companies that’s able to project a vision of consumer IoT: it does technology as well as consumer electronics and white goods. And it tried to give us a “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Sep 2015
Sony President Kazuo Hirai holds up the Xperia Z5

Sony's 4King with us now: Xperia Z5 mobe has UltraHD screen, cam

IFA2015 Sony announced the Xperia Z5 series mobile phones at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, including the first smartphone with 4K video playback and capture. The Xperia Z5 Premium, set for release in November, has a 5.5-inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) display with 806 PPI (pixels per inch). This is accompanied by a 23MP rear …
Tim Anderson, 02 Sep 2015
Reinhard Ploss CEO

Infineon CEO admits auto-chip biz may be a takeover target

Former Siemens chip company Infineon may find itself on the shopping list of a bigger semiconductor company, thanks to its strength in automotive. Consolidation and specialisation has been the order of the day in the semiconductor industry, with fewer companies for each type of component. Where once there were a dozen or so …
Simon Rockman, 01 Sep 2015
Honor 7 browsing and fingering the swipe button

The Honor's a defo gamechanger, but good luck buying one

Analysis China has been threatening to up-end the phone business for a while, without coming up with a convincing end product. Finally, though, it has, and I expect to see a rapid shakeout of top tier handset manufacturers, already reeling from years of losses. The doomsday scenario for established vendors was that the Chinese would do …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Aug 2015
Philips G8 range 1971

Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

Breaking Fad Online video content is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the likes of iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon. For many of us, those services make it possible to find something to watch whenever we want. With Netflix and Amazon throwing huge amounts of money at their own original productions, it's likely that more and more people …
Nigel Whitfield, 27 Aug 2015
Empty phone battery

Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

Brit-based hydrogen fuel cell maker Intelligent Energy (IE) reckons it has developed an iPhone that can run for a week after one charge of the battery - which might just help massage the loss-making firm’s bottom line. The Loughborough-based business has produced a working prototype of Apple’s sixth generation smartmobe …
Paul Kunert, 23 Aug 2015

Tech Data: screw you Wall St, we're a high flying distie

Walloping Wall Street expectations is becoming a bit of a habit for Tech Data - tighter cost controls beefed up operating profit, and higher than expected sales led to a double digit spike in the share price. The world’s second largest tech distie suffered at the hands of currency exchange rates - like the rest of the US-based …
Paul Kunert, 21 Aug 2015
A garden gnome depicted stretched out across picnic table... with a pipe in one hand while the other props him up. Has a confrontational look in his eye...

Pirate MEP: Microsoft's walled garden is no consumer pleasure park

Microsoft is trying to create its own “walled garden”, much to the detriment of consumers, Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda has told El Reg. Reda was referring to the new unified Microsoft services policy, which came into force at the beginning of this month and covers almost all of the tech goliath’s consumer services. In it, …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Aug 2015
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Lenovo CEO: We will axe 3,200 workers as our profits shrink to nowt

There’s no room for sentiment or emotion in business, as Lenovo showed today when it reported an 80 per cent crash in pre-tax profits and plans to axe 3,200 jobs across the group. Revenues for the three months ended 30 June grew three per cent, excluding the impact of for-ex conversions to $10.7bn – but the firm saw a 47 per …
Paul Kunert, 13 Aug 2015

Dead Steve Jobs' life and times are being turned into an OPERA

An opera about Steve Jobs will be premiering in 2017, titled The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Sante Fe Opera has commissioned the work, which "examines the life of one of the most fascinating figures of our time; an innovator who simplified communication with sleek devices, but who paradoxically learned that complex human …
Team Register, 10 Aug 2015
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
Slipway

It's Friday! Had a good week? It was probably better than Seagate's

In keeping with its warning, Seagate confirmed a revenue and profits decline as its mainstay desktop and notebook drive shipments tumbled for the third straight quarter. Enterprise drive shipments also declined in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, as did branded (consumer drives), although consumer electronics shipments rose …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2015