Displaying items by tag: technology

US tech giant announces recruitment cutback

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:26

US technology giant Apple has announced that it will impose a recruitment cutback - which has been primarily forced due to weak sales on the company’s iPhone devices in the lucrative Chinese market.

Bloomberg has reported that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced the recruitment cutbacks just a day after he sent a letter to Apple investors that warned the company was bracing itself for a year-on-year decline in revenue for its fiscal Q1, which would shave $5bn from its guidance. 

In a series of meetings that were held following the disclosure, it was reported that Cook informed some staff that a number of divisions would reduce hiring, but stated that he didn’t think a complete freeze in recruitment would be an appropriate solution to take.

In addition to this, it has been further disclosed that the CEO is also yet to determine which divisions will face hiring cutbacks. However, it is believed that divisions such as Apple’s AI team will not be affected due to the leverage of investment made by the US tech company into the emerging technology.

The move will also not affect plans to open a state-of-the-art new office in Austin, Texas or its expansion plans in Los Angeles, where the company is fleshing out its original video content ambitions.

Bloomberg also pointed out that Apple has hired new staff at a significant rate over the past decade. The company recruited 9,000 workers in its most recent fiscal year, taking the total up to 132,000, while adding 7,000 a year earlier.

Published in Devices

SK Telecom and Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) announced they have developed a 5G antenna control technology and have filed for a patent.

SK Telecom is preparing for the rollout of 5G in March in South Korea with compatriots KT and LG uplus.

It is collaborating extensively with ally Samsung Electronics in 5G equipment research, as well as Hyundai and Trimble to develop construction monitoring solutions that improve overall efficiency. The company excluded Huawei equipment from its list of vendors in September 2018.

The call quality is maintained in ultra-high 28GHz spectrum 5G by controlling the electrical characteristic of the antenna. Ultra-high frequency reception sensitivity can be affected by how users hold their smartphones or the angle of their head but the new technology has been developed to offset that. Power consumption of smartphones also decreases due to increased reception sensitivity.

Ultra-high spectrum such as 28GHz requires components to be placed in a smaller area compared to LTE, with SK Telecom and POSTECH.  This was taken into account when finishing testing for commercial launch.

It follows news that SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group will invest $33 million into a joint venture that will develop next-generation broadcasting solutions, will allow faster data transmission for high resolution broadcasting, as well as the combining of broadcasting and telecommunications spectrum.

Published in Telecom Operators

Apple executive blasts Qualcomm during antitrust lawsuit trial

Written on Thursday, 17 January 2019 10:28

A prominent Apple executive has testified that Qualcomm refused to let the US technology behemoth use its chip technology in their latest line of iPhones due to an ongoing dispute between the two companies over licensing fees.

The admission was made by Apple COO Jeff Williams, during court proceedings in relation to an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Williams told the court that the global smartphone manufacturer expressed a desire to use both Qualcomm and Intel chips in its 2018 iPhones, but stated that Qualcomm withdrew support for Apple by refusing to sell them chips.

In addition to this, he disclosed that Apple has not been able to reach an agreement with the US chipmaker in relation to a new design since it filed a lawsuit in January 2017, which accused Qualcomm of using anticompetitive licensing tactics.

Williams also detailed the company’s fee negotiations with Qualcomm, noting Apple repeatedly traded exclusivity for a lower chip cost in order to keep the latter’s technology in its devices. Williams said, “We needed their chip supply, and we didn’t have a lot of options.”

Qualcomm has yet to mount its full defence in the litigation proceedings. However, it must be said that the claims made by Williams come in stark contrast to testimony provided by Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf last week.

Reuters published a report which claimed that the Qualcomm CEO declared that the chipmaker had sought an exclusivity arrangement not to shut out the competition, but instead to ensure it would recoup a $1 billion “incentive payment” made to Apple in 2011 in an effort to help cover technical transition costs incurred in switching chip suppliers from Infineon.

Williams’ statements were also contradicted by comments made by Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon during an earnings call in July 2018 noting the company would gladly be an Apple supplier again if the opportunity presents itself.

Mollenkopf also stressed that there was no reason the pair could not work together again noting that it makes sense that the technology leader in mobile should partner with the product leader.

Published in Devices

Epiroc, a leading productivity partner for the mining, infrastructure and natural resources industries, has signed a cooperation agreement with Ericsson to jointly help mining companies achieve optimal wireless connectivity in their operations through LTE and 5G technologies.

Mining companies are increasingly seeking to digitalize and automate their operations to increase productivity, enhance operator safety and lower cost. This includes, for example, remotely operating machines from a control room, and collecting machine performance data to optimize use of the equipment. This creates a need for reliable, high-performance wireless connectivity at the mines. Epiroc and Ericsson have agreed to work together to provide mining customers with high-performing LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and 5G mobile technology solutions.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, says: “We are happy to team up with Ericsson so that our mining customers can get the most reliable and high-performing wireless connectivity possible. This is a crucial step in our ongoing work to ensure mining customers reap all the benefits, including higher productivity and better safety, made possible by digitalization and automation.”

Åsa Tamsons, Ericsson’s Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses, says: “Cellular technology and the introduction of 5G is critical to realize the full value of digitalization and automatization for smart industries. This will open up for new business models and ecosystems across the mining industry, telecom services providers in each market, and Ericsson. By combining our expertise in connectivity and Epiroc’s cutting-edge technology in mining equipment, we will be able to ensure stable and secure mining operations, leading to increased utilization, improved productivity and reduced costs.”

Key advantages of LTE and 5G solutions compared with other wireless solutions include better coverage, higher reliability and stronger security, especially when machines are in the same area and share information.  The technology, which is for both underground and open pit mines, has already been tested on Epiroc’s machines at the company’s test mine in Kvarntorp, Sweden. Further testing will be done before providing the solutions to customers. 

Nokia and China Mobile Research Institute today launched the industry's first hybrid indoor radio solution with location services to meet 5G connectivity demands inside busy large buildings such as business campuses and shopping malls. The jointly developed 5G hybrid distributed indoor system is aimed at lowering operators' deployment costs.

Published in Telecom Operators

5G hotspot expected for 2019

Written on Thursday, 06 December 2018 09:11

Verizon will launch its first 5G hotspot device to consumers in 2019, it has been announced. The American telecommunications company collaborated with Inseego and features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chip and Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

Published in Telecom Operators

Lawmakers demand information about controversial software

Written on Thursday, 06 December 2018 08:54

Amazon’s facial recognition software Rekognition has come under fresh scrutiny after a group of US lawmakers demanded more information into how the tool is tested and audited.

Published in Apps

Tech giants collaborate in music streaming war

Written on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 07:49

Amazon has announced that Amazon Echo will now support Apple music.

As of December 17th, Apple music’s 50 million tracks will be available to play on Amazon's Alexa-powered speakers. It comes as a turning point for the two competing tech giants, as they broaden their service offerings to users of rival devices.

Apple – who has around 50 million subscribers to its music streaming service – is hoping the merge will bring a key service to consumers who do not have an iPhone or other Apple device, and will help the California giant's efforts to diversify its revenue base and reduce dependence on smartphone sales.

Apple currently have their own speaker device, the Homepod, which is voice activated by Siri. But with less than 6% market share, and smart speakers quickly becoming mainstream media platforms, it is hoped their collaboration will help expand its audience in its competition against market leader Spotify.

Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa -- since we launched Alexa four years ago, customers are listening to more music in their homes than ever before," said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices.

"We're thrilled to bring Apple Music -- one of the most popular music services in the US -- to Echo customers this holiday."

"Customers will be able to ask Alexa to play their favorite songs, artists, and albums -- or any of the playlists made by Apple Music's editors from around the world, covering many activities and moods," Amazon's statement said.

Published in Gadget

Huawei’s HONOR smartphones dominate Black Friday sales

Written on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 07:46

Leading smartphone e-brand HONOR, recorded an impressive sales performance on Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday in Europe, Middle East and USA. HONOR products dominated Amazon best seller lists in France, Germany, Italy and UK, with this year’s figures revealing a remarkable 250% YoY sales increase from 2017 across pan-European regions and sales in Spain reaching an impressive 300%.

HONOR smartphones’ popularity with shoppers demonstrates HONOR's continued growth and the increasing demand for its AI-Powered models. The HONOR 9 Lite was the No.1 online best-selling smartphone in the EUR150-EUR200 category, while the HONOR 10 - with its industry-leading AI-powered dual camera - ranked highly on the Amazon Top 10 list for Black Friday weekend sales. The new handset, HONOR 8X, was the best new release on Amazon Germany, and was the Best Seller in France smartphone online sales since the global launch in October. In Russia, the HONOR 8X is now the top selling smartphone online, and it has surpassed the sales of its predecessor, the HONOR 7X, with an increase of 500%.

During a Black Friday Promotion in the USA, the HONOR View 10 sold out on Amazon and Newegg, and saw remarkable sales growth over the weekend in the Middle East.  Over Black Friday Weekend, HONOR ranked No.1 in the phone category on all sales channels in Finland, while Czech Republic saw overall HONOR smartphone growth reach 200% compared to 2017, with a 300% YoY increase for the HONOR 10. In Poland, the HONOR Play recorded 500% sales growth during Black Friday weekend, completely selling out on Euronet, X-kom and Media Expert within two hours, reaching an overall 150% sales growth.

"I'm pleased and grateful for the support we have received from consumers during this year's Black Friday sales. This latest sales surge tops a successful year for the HONOR brand, and we look forward to another fast-growing year in 2019,” said George Zhao, President of HONOR.

“With continued efforts in innovative technology and cutting-edge product design, we will continue to provide the best smartphones with the ultimate user experience to all consumers around the world."

Published in Devices

Google Fi finally available to other devices

Written on Thursday, 29 November 2018 12:29

Google is set to expand its virtual telecommunication service “Google Fi” to a wider range of devices, including Samsung and iPhones. The service had been previously limited to select Android-powered smartphones, and to newer Pixel handsets made by Google.

"Our plan now works with the majority of Android devices and iPhones," Fi director Simon Arscott said in a blog post, who promises a simple pricing scheme that makes the Fi wireless experience “fast, easy and fair”.

Fi - previously known as Project Fi - works by hopping between carriers; shifting smartphone service between Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Wi-Fi hotspots to provide optimal signals, says Google. Launched in 2015, Fi offers its US users unlimited domestic call and texts, plus texting internationally, for $20.

The service will let users pay based on how much data they use and allow for international roaming in up to 170 countries and territories.

Published in Devices
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