Samsung overtakes Apple in Q3 in smartphones


Samsung overtakes Apple in Q3 in smartphones

Samsung beat Apple to the top position in the smartphone market in the third quarter taking a 23.8 percent share of the global market to Apple’s 14.6 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Strategy Analytics.

Nokia was third with a 14.4 percent share.

Apple became the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume with 18.5 percent market share in the second quarter, ahead of Samsung and Nokia, according to Strategy Analytics. Samsung also overtook Nokia in the second quarter to become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor with a 17.5 percent share to Nokia’s 15.2 percent.

Samsung shipped 27.8 million units, up from 7.5 million units in the same quarter last year, while Apple shipped 17.1 million units as customers and operators waited for the fourth-quarter launch of the iPhone 4S amidst stiff competition from Samsung’s Galaxy S2 model, and volatile economic conditions in several key countries, Strategy Analytics said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Global smartphone shipments grew 44 percent annually to reach a record 117 million units in the third quarter, the research firm said.

Apple launched the iPhone 4S on Oct. 14, and said it had sold over four million units in just three days after the launch.

Samsung’s rise has been driven by a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution, according to Strategy Analytics. In the third quarter of last year, Samsung had a 9.3 percent share to Apple’s 17.4 percent. Nokia, which had a 32.7 percent share in the third quarter of last year, has been losing share because of competition from Apple and phones running the Android operating system, as it transitioned to the Windows Phone operating system.

Apple and Samsung are caught up in patent litigation relating to their smartphones and tablets in a number of countries.

The worldwide mobile phone market grew 12.8 percent year-over-year to 394 million units in the third quarter of 2011, as smartphone growth declined in key mature markets, IDC said. Strategic Analytics estimated a growth of 14 percent to 390 million units, mainly on lower estimates of shipments by smaller vendors.

Adobe lets freelance UK snappers take it to the Bridge


Adobe lets freelance UK snappers take it to the Bridge

Adobe has at last provided codes that enable UK freelance photography members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to join its photography directory.

Adobe’s photography directory is a resource that’s available from within Photoshop and InDesign and is supported by Adobe Bridge. The directory provides access to work and contact details for photographers, and was launched in conjunction with some of the world’s largest photo agencies.

The directory is searchable by city, state and country as well as by photography specialty. It can be accessed directly via the Favorites tab in Adobe Bridge located in Creative Suite 2 and Photoshop CS2. The Adobe Photographers’ Directory will also be available on Adobe.com and Adobe Studio.

In order to join the directory, NUJ members must contact the NUJ Freelance Office, secure an authentication cod,e and visit the directory website. Once the code is entered in the ‘Become a member’ field, photographers can begin to create their entry, after which they can begin to upload images to their site.

The Adobe deal was organised by the NUJ’s Freelance branch.

Adobe’s decision to enable UK freelance photographers to join the directory reflects its original commitment for the same. The company launched the service in conjunction with professional photography associations and major image libraries, but said: “Adobe is aware that there are many photographers who are not members of a professional association; therefore we will also be working with the industry to find ways to create a directory that truly reflects the composition of the professional photography community.”

Shadowrun: Hong Kong releases for PC, Mac, Linux | Shadowrun: Hong Kong


Shadowrun: Hong Kong releases for PC, Mac, Linux | Shadowrun: Hong Kong

The latest installment of the Shadowrun franchise brings the dark and gritty, magic-meets-tech world to life in a new city – Hong Kong.

After a hugely-successful Kickstarter campaign, Harebrained Schemes has finally released their latest installment in the Shadowrun series – Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

With a new crew, this latest PC title once again brings to life the seedy, cyber-fantasy future that the original tabletop RPG has always been known for: this time in the magically-awakened city of Hong Kong in the year 2056. 

Like Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Dragonfall before it, Shadowrun: Hong Kong promises a rich and diverse narrative that has the feel of a gritty cyberpunk novel and beautiful, highly immersive cityscapes.

Also like in previous games, you command a crew with a diverse array of skills, strengths and weaknesses. You can guide their stories by following up on their personal challenges, or leave them be in favor of pursuing the game’s main story goals.


Shadowrun: Hong Kong brings another thrilling cyber-fantasy future to life on your PC.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong brings new elements to the series as well with expanded magic and cyberware, a completely revamped Matrix, and an upgraded release of the Shadowrun editor.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong is currently $19.99 on Steam, GOG, and Humble. If you’re willing to shell out an extra $9.99, you can get the deluxe edition, which offers the game’s soundtrack and a PDF of the game’s artbook.

Are you a fan of the Shadowrun tabletop or computer RPGs? Are you already enjoying the latest game? Let us know in the comments!

Watch Apple’s iPhone 5 event


Watch Apple’s iPhone 5 event

Apple has released a video of last night’s iPhone 5 event so you can watch the entire keynote, which ended with a performance from the Foo Fighters.

At the event, CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives took to the stage to unveil the iPhone 5, which, as the rumours predicted, is taller, thinner, lighter, with an aluminium back, A6 chip, 4G capabilities and iOS 6.

Apple didn’t stop there though. The company also announced a new iPod touch, which now comes in a variety of colours. It also has the taller, 4in display that the iPhone 5 has, as well as an A5 chip, improved camera and thinner design.

Alongside the iPod touch is a redesigned iPod nano, which also comes in a variety of colours, has a 2.5in touchscreen and also has a home button.

All three new devices will ship with Apple’s EarPods, the redesigned headphones launched by the company last night.

Apple also unveiled a redesigned iTunes for Mac and PC, which is set to be released in October.

You can watch the keynote on Apple’s website here.

Microsoft Won "PS3 vs X360" War, Next-Gen Xbox rivals are Apple, Google and Samsung says Molyneux


Microsoft Won “PS3 vs X360” War, Next-Gen Xbox rivals are Apple, Google and Samsung says Molyneux

Microsoft has won “This Generation Concole War” against Sony and Nintendo and with next-generation of consoles on the horizon, Microsoft will be competing with Apple, Google and Samsung and not with Sony and Nintendo, according to former MS exec and Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux.

Next-Gen XboxIn a recent interview to BBC (via OXM), Peter Moyneus said, “2013 is proving to be the year of the console hardware refresh,

“Although it’s exciting, it’s not nearly as exciting as when the Xbox 360 exploded onto the gaming scene just over seven years ago.

“Back then, the 360 represented a huge leap forward in gaming, with a tangible increase in performance and fantastic multiplayer support. Gamers and game-makers were justifiably super-excited.

“Now it is that time again, but the world has changed. Tablet, mobile PC and smartphone makers are refreshing their hardware on what feels like almost a weekly basis. And on the horizon looms Valve with its PC-based Steam Box. Thereby hangs the problem for Microsoft: how to justify its new console, how to get us all excited.

“Its competition is no longer Sony and Nintendo, but rather Apple, Google and Samsung. Rightfully, Microsoft can claim it won the last console generation. However, it has always targeted the living room as the big prize. That’s why it packed the 360 with an array of “living room” features to try to persuade us that the machine could be a mix of set-top box, internet music streamer and Facebook browser.”

Molyneux further added that he wants next-gen Xbox console to just focus on videogame. When I used to work at Microsoft the key phrase that I used to hear bandied around was the next Xbox should be “input one” on people’s living room screen. Nowadays I’m an independent designer and I just want the next Xbox to be a great gaming machine.

“It should have great connectivity, so I can play spectacular games with my friends and be sold at a reasonable price, perhaps around $300 (£200). That should be Microsoft’s goal rather than persisting in trying to make it a box for everyone.”

Do you agree with Molyneux, Microsoft won this generation console war against Sony? and with next-gen Xbox console they will be competing with Google, Apple and Samsung?.

Let us know your views in the comment section below.

Source: OXM

Bumped Off: Bump and Flock to shut down this month


Bumped Off: Bump and Flock to shut down this month

When Google bought Bump in September, Bump CEO and co-founder Dave Lieb told users of its Bump and Flock apps to “stay tuned for future updates.” That update came New Year’s Eve, and it wasn’t welcome news for fans of the mobile file-sharing apps: Bump and Flock are going away.

Specifically, the two apps will disappear from both the iOS App Store and Google Play on Jan. 31, according to an announcement on the Bump blog that posted on Thursday. The Jan. 31 shutdown date aims to give users enough time to retain any data stored in either Bump or Flock. At the end of the month, neither app will work any more, with all user data deleted, according to Bump’s Lieb. Both apps contain instructions on exporting your data.

Bump and Flock are being discontinued as the Bump team turns its attention elsewhere. “We are now deeply focused on our new projects within Google,” Lieb wrote.

The photo-sharing Flock app let users combine photos shot on multiple phones into a single album. As for Bump, it let users share contact info, photos, and files by bumping their phones together. It also enjoys a place in App Store lore–it was the one billionth download from Apple’s mobile app outlet.

“In many ways, Bump was a revolutionary product that inspired many subsequent advances and helped push the world forward,” Lieb wrote. “We hope our new creations at Google will do the same.”

Apple’s iPad Air 2 chip paves the way for new devices


Apple’s iPad Air 2 chip paves the way for new devices

Apple’s iPad Air 2 is faster than its predecessors thanks to the A8X chip, which could pave the way for the company to put its homegrown silicon in large-screen tablets, TVs, cars and even laptops.

iPad Air 2 review

The A8X, an ARM architecture chip built by Apple, has enough horsepower for the company to bring 4K screens, better cameras and advanced sensors to its tablets, industry observers said. The 64-bit chip was specially designed for the new tablet and is not simply an adaptation of its cousin, the A8, which is in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple doesn’t share information about future devices, but there have been rumors about a larger iPad and an Apple TV set-top box. The company is also chasing opportunities in the automotive and health markets.

“As long as they can be competitive with their silicon development, I see no limit to where they can put their chips,” said Jim McGregor [CQ], principal analyst at Tirias Research.

Apple has made chips for iPhones, iPads and the Apple TV set-top box, but has relied on Intel for chips in Mac computers. Apple combines homegrown chips with software to ensure that mobile devices deliver the best performance and battery life.

The A8X is a monster chip for a tablet — it has 3 billion [B] transistors, compared to 2 billion [B] in the A8, and more than two times the 1.3 billion [B] transistors in Intel’s latest Core M chip for tablets and hybrids. Transistors are the fundamental building blocks for any electronic system, and the more you have, the more you can do with one chip. With more transistors, it’s possible to add larger, higher-resolution screens and better cameras to tablets, which is what Apple aimed for the A8X chip.

A strong visual experience is becoming important on large-screen devices, at home or traveling. Graphics in the iPad Air 2 are 2.5 times faster than in its predecessor. Meanwhile, the A8 chip in iPhones — which doesn’t provide the level of graphics of the A8X — is more about balancing performance and battery life.

“That is a reflection of Apple looking at the market more holistically and not only do they want to hit the high-end, but they also want to take a nuanced approach to targeting the market,” said David Kanter [CQ], analyst at The Linley Group.

Meanwhile, a new Apple TV set-top box could be on its way, and the strong graphics in A8X could add support for 4K TVs, said Nathan Brookwood [CQ], principal analyst at Insight 64.

“Apple wants to make sure it operates with 4K displays,” Brookwood said.

Apple’s mobile devices and laptops don’t stand out for gaming, but the A8X could lead to a separate product that enables 4K gaming on TVs, Brookwood said. And while it’s not yet clear whether Apple will ever release a TV set, the chip lays the groundwork for the company to build a 4K TV, Brookwood said.

There’s nothing to stop Apple from taking the A8X chip, packing more graphics cores and cache around it, and using it in a desktop or laptop, said Dean McCarron [CQ], principal analyst at Mercury Research, though he added that the possibility is remote.

Apple has shown a willingness to switch architectures and has internal resources committed to ARM. In 2006, the company stopped using Motorola’s PowerPC chips and transitioned to Intel chips in its Macs.

A transition to ARM in Macs, though, would require wholesale software changes since the architectures are different. Intel chips are still considered superior in handling applications such as Final Cut Pro X, which are critical to high-end users.

Tirias Research’s McGregor said the A8X could lead the way for Apple to develop custom chips for in-car entertainment systems. Apple’s CarPlay in-car entertainment software is already compatible with hardware from Pioneer Electronics. But if Apple gets deeper into this market, it most likely would want its software to be used with its chips. This could be a problem for car makers who might be wary about relying on Apple for software and hardware.

Meanwhile, Apple has the resources to develop custom chips for a variety of devices, but also wants to make sure the products sell in volume before committing, Kanter said.

An example is the wearable market. Apple will ship the Apple Watch early next year, but it’s unclear whether it developed its own chip for the smartwatch. Industry experts said extremely low-power chips are difficult to make, and need to blend with sensors. Apple likely acquired the chip technology from an outside vendor.

Apple is still testing the market with the watch, and won’t commit to making a chip until the device ships in the millions, Kanter said, adding that even some chip technology for the first-generation iPhone was borrowed from Samsung.

“That’s a sensible approach to take when doing a device when the volume is not clear,” Kanter said. “When I look at the Apple watch — the jury is still out on [wearables].”

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam’s e-mail address is [email protected]

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Announced


Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Announced

Namco Bandai today suprised everybody at Tougeki fighting game tournament as they officially reveal a new Tekken game for arcades in Japan.

Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament Sequel, Tekken Tag Tournament 2

A sequel to 1999 arcade original, Tekken Tag Tournament will be coming out in Japan arcades sometimes in 2011.

For time being neither United States nor console release date is given out but it is sure that it will be out sometime soon as the debut trailer in end states the same, “other region release dates are TBD.”

Grand Theft Auto Online Heists coming in early 2015


Grand Theft Auto Online Heists coming in early 2015

Rockstar Games announced GTA Online heists will be making its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Grand Theft Auto 5 when it receives its first major update. And today, the publisher has announced heists will finally be available in early 2015.

As previously promised, GTA Online will allow would-be criminals to plan, prepare, and execute multi-tiered heists across both Los Santos and Blaine County. Heists will require players to have tight communication and coordination as they play out specific roles at each point in order complete multiple objectives. Completing each objective successfully will lead up to the heists epic finale.

When heists is made available, it will bring new gameplay, vehicles, weapons, clothing and more along with it. At this time, Rockstar hasn’t gone into specifics, although I’m sure we’ll hear more about these inclusions the closer we get to the release of heists. For now, enjoy the trailer Rockstar released showing heists in action.

Jagged Alliance Online: Closed Beta Sign-Up 


Jagged Alliance Online: Closed Beta Sign-Up 

Gamigo’s online reincarnation of the classic turn-based strategy game Jagged Alliance will begin closed beta testing during the final quarter of 2011. Impatient strategists can already sign up for closed beta testing now. The developers from Cliffhanger Productions will also provide answers for the community in the official forum.

Registration for beta testing of Jagged Alliance Online and the official forum can now be found at jaggedalliance.gamigo.com.