Displaying items by tag: coronavirus

Chinese tech giant Huawei announced that its new smartphone will include built-in sensors that can measure body temperature.

The fever can be an early indicator of infection during times like these where the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern. Huawei intends to integrate this thermometer in the Honor Play 4 Pro phone.

The infrared technology built into the smartphone will have the ability to measure temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius.

In a video posted on Chinese social media site Weibo, Huawei demonstrated the phone and how the built-in thermometer would work on a person, via pointing the sensors at the individual’s forehead for a few seconds.

While IR sensors are not as accurate as thermal cameras, it is cheap to use and was in fact already integrated into most smartphones for facial recognition unlock and other camera effects. It was due to this that the tech giant was able to react to the pandemic very quickly.

The phone is expected to be available in China for around $420.

Published in Devices

Smartphone shipments plummet worldwide

Written on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 09:44

Global shipments of smartphones have dropped 38 per cent year-on-year in February, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market, in-line with forecasts of a sharp decline due to the impact of the global Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

61.8 million units were shipped during the month compared with 99.2 million during February 2019.

This trend is cited to both production issues, as factories were forced to close in an attempt to limit Covid-19 cases, along with a drop in consumer visits to retailers.

In a statement, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said: “Supply and demand of smartphones plunged in China, slumped across Asia, and slowed in the rest of the world.”

The company expects weak demand to also be reflected in its March figures.

Despite the grim forecasts, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf was last week confident on global outlook after a slight rebound in handset demand in China.

The CEO noted the company is working towards the future: “I think the biggest issue you have to be prepared for is when this thing snaps back it snaps back hard, and make sure you’re in a position to take advantage of it. And so we’re trying to do the best job we can to be prepared.”

His comments came as cases of Covid-19 virus appeared to be improving in China, with handset and component production also beginning to return to normal.

Published in Devices

Twitter warns of Covid-19 impact on Q1 results

Written on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 08:58

Twitter has announced it expects operating loss in the first-quarter, and quarterly revenue to be down on a year-over-year basis, as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Twitter had a strong start to the year before the effects of COVID-19 began spreading more broadly...... it has impacted Twitter's advertising revenue globally more significantly in the last few weeks," said Ned Segal, Twitter's Chief Financial Officer.

Despite this, the crisis has significantly expanded its average daily user base — with a net gain of 12 million so far in the current period. The COVID-19 outbreak have boosted Twitter’s overall daily active users (DAU): According to the company, year to date average total monetizable DAU are approximately 164 million, up 23% from 134 million in Q1 2019 and an increase of 8% from 152 million in Q4 2019.

In the current quarter, “We’re seeing a meaningful increase in people using Twitter, and our teams are demonstrating incredible resilience adapting to this unprecedented environment,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement. “We’ll continue to navigate this environment focusing on supporting our employees, customers, and partners, while strengthening our service for everyone around the world and adjusting to a new operating and economic environment.”

While announcing the fourth-quarter results, Twitter had expected operating income to be between break even and $30 million, and total revenue of $825 million - $885 million for the first-quarter.

The company said it withdrew its prior operating income and revenue guidance for the first quarter of 2020, due to the profound changes on the global operating and economic environment and the effect on advertiser demand.

Twitter expects to release financial results for the first quarter on April 30, 2020.

Published in Finance