Articles about Consumer Electronics

WTF ... makes mobile phone batteries explode?

Explainer It has been a bad month for Samsung. Following the release of the dual-curved, 5.7 inch-screen, water-resistant Galaxy Note 7 phablet, the number of fires have increased thanks to its reportedly explosive battery. A number of lawsuits relating to alleged mobile phone combustion have since been filed. The Korean tech giant …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Sep 2016

TV industry gets its own 'dieselgate' over 'leccy consumption tests

The idiot box is smarter than it seems: a spat has broken out between America's Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Consumer Technology Association about the energy consumption of televisions. The NRDC reckons TV makers are configuring sets to perform well on government tests, while in the living room they become …
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65 expert speakers reveal secure identity management solutions at Biometrics 2016

Promo Need to know to more about the role of biometrics, such as fingerprint, DNA, facial and iris recognition, in identity management? Sign up now for Biometrics 2016, three days of expert insight and discussion in the heart of London from 18 to 20 October 2016. You can get more information and sign up at Biometrics 2016 but here …
David Gordon, 14 Sep 2016
Samsung SUHD 5K TVs

Phones exploding in kids' hands, shares tanking – but it's not all good news at Samsung

Samsung is continuing to take a beating in the market as it staggers from the global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 handset. The Korean consumer electronics giant saw its stock price plummet 6.98 per cent on Monday to 1.46m Korean won per share. This resulted in roughly $15.9bn of value trimmed from Samsung's market cap on the …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016

The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Interview Yesterday TomTom announced seven new consumer products (eight if you count the two SatNav units) with four fitness and three navigation products, its highest High Street profile for some years. Corinne Vigreux Corinne Vigreux Tech pundits were preparing the last rites for the SatNav pioneer a few years ago, but it has …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Sep 2016
UK pound crashes after Brexit

Brexit? We have heard of this, says Dixons Carphone CEO

The UK's vote to leave the European Union has not dampened UK shoppers’ gadget lust, according to Dixons Carphone, which has reported a four per cent year-on-year hike in Q1 sales for the 13 weeks ended 30 July. The consumer electronics and mobile tech borg, created in 2014, saw sales bounce across the entire group – led for …
Paul Kunert, 08 Sep 2016
An artist sketches with Yoga Book

Lenovo's tablet with a real pen, Acer's monster laptop, Samsung Galaxy S3 watch

IFA 2016 August 31st was press day one ahead of the IFA event in Berlin, which means vendors lining up to show off their latest efforts in (mainly) consumer electronics. Acer kicked off the madness, unveiling the "world's first laptop with a curved screen," though you should think twice before letting the 8 kg Predator 21X gaming …
Tim Anderson, 01 Sep 2016

Sharp's new CEO warns of job losses amid 'optimization'

The new CEO of Sharp Electronics has warned that there will be job losses at the consumer electronics company amid a broader restructure. Tai Jeng-wu now heads the company following the takeover by Foxconn for $3.8bn, which saw the giant take a 66 per cent ownership stake. The job losses have long been rumored, and Foxconn …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Aug 2016
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Oh dear, Xiaomi: '$46bn' winner's phone shipments tumble 38%

Only nine months ago China’s Xiaomi was being touted as “the next Samsung” - a consumer electronics giant with the breadth and ambition to create platforms or "ecosystems". The markets valued Xiaomi at an astronomical $46bn, twice the valuation of BAE. But this year, Xiaomi forgot to do something quite basic: sell enough phones …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2016
Tim Cook, photo2 by JStone via Shutterstock

Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Apple’s plan to tackle the great iPhone sales slump is for it to produce, yes, more iPhones. CEO Tim Cook, in a scripted Q&A with the Washington Post, dismissed the six-month drop-off in sales of iPhones – and slowing smartphone sales in general. Apple is now expected to release the iPhone 7 in September. Cook reckons …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Aug 2016
Falling profits

Foxconn profits plummet 31%

Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology, aka Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, has suffered a dramatic fall in profits. The factory giant is still very profitable, according to figures out today, with net income of 17.7 billion New Taiwan dollars ($566m) in the second quarter of 2016. But that's down 31 per cent from the …
Iain Thomson, 12 Aug 2016

Apple gets judge to hit ctrl-alt-delete on $625m FaceTime patent troll

A US District Court judge has thrown out an earlier $625m verdict against Apple in a long-running patent trial over FaceTime – and ordered a new trial. Judge Robert Schroeder of the Eastern Texas US District Court issued an order [PDF] granting Apple's motion for a retrial on the grounds that the jury was not properly …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Aug 2016
Slipway

Seagate scoops a revenue boost off back of its 8TB drives

Seagate has beaten its own preliminary fiscal 2016 fourth quarter estimate of $2.65bn revenues with a $2.7bn quarter. Still, this was 6.9 per cent less than a year ago, although 3.8 per cent up on the third quarter. Profits were $70m, 49 per cent less than a year ago but a whole, thumping lot better than last quarter's $21m …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2016
Gold Plate My BlackBerry Passport

New phones rumoured as BlackBerry cans BB10 production

Federal government staff in Washington DC have their own private underground metro system but they might not be getting any more BlackBerrys. A recently uncovered memo appears to tell United States Senate staff they’ll no longer be equipped with the once ubiquitous BlackBerry phones because they are to be discontinued. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Jul 2016
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

Amazon has slashed the cost of its mobile handsets in return for customers eyeballing more personalised spam – its latest attempt to foist more e-commerce tat on consumers. The deal is open to Amazon Prime members who will have to sign up to "personalized offers and ads displayed on the phone's lockscreen." Customers will be …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2016
Raspberry, image via Shutterstock

Raspberry Pi 3 tops SBC poll for self-brew hackers and Linux folk

The 64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 has topped a poll of 81 single-board Linux and Android systems among Linux folk. The 2016 Single Board Computer (SBC) Survey saw the Raspberry Pi 3 slide into the number one slot ahead of the Odroid-C2 and BeagleBone. A Raspberry Pi 2 topped the SBC poll in 2015, only this time organisers reckoned …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jun 2016
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Huawei taps ex-Nokia devs for 'secret phone OS project'

Just when you thought the platform wars had settled down into a cosy duopoly, Huawei is reported to be working on “an alternative mobile operating system”, according to reports. “The team working on the project is based in Scandinavia and includes ex-Nokia employees,” The Information scooped. The secret project is said to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2016

Apple pollutes data about you to protect your privacy. But it might not be enough

Comment At its WWDC developer event last week, Apple strongly emphasised the difference between data harvesters such as Google and Facebook, and its own privacy practices. It isn’t a new line, as Apple hasn’t been on reliant on digital advertising as these consumer data processing giants. But with Microsoft joining Google and Facebook …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Jun 2016
Facepalming statue

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY

Updated Samsung is advising customers against succumbing to Microsoft’s nagging and installing Windows 10. The consumer electronics giant's support staff have admitted drivers for its PCs still don’t work with Microsoft's newest operating system and told customers they should simply not make the upgrade. That’s nearly a year after …
Gavin Clarke, 31 May 2016
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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
Coconut face by https://www.flickr.com/photos/22327649@N03/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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