Yes, you read the title correctly. For the first time in history, global smartphone market has shipped over one billion units in a single year. International Data Corporation in their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report states that vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide. That is a staggering 38.4% increase from the 725.3 million units in 2012.
Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team says ”The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013. Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.”
The premier vendors have, as anticipated earlier have performed well during the last year. Samsung ended the quarter the same way it began the year: as the clear leader in worldwide smartphone shipments. Apple posted record shipment volume during the last quarter of 2013, driven primarily by the addition of multiple countries offering the iPhone 5S and 5C, and sustained demand from its initial markets that saw these models launch at the end of 3Q13. Huawei maintained its number three position worldwide, attained the highest year-on-year increase among the leading vendors. Lenovo, despite having no presence in North America nor Western Europe, finished the quarter in the number four position. LG though, finished just behind Lenovo and edged out ZTE for the number five position, with just five millionunits separating the two companies.
Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions) Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2014
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company.
Small Scale Entrepreneurs will be awarded by Sarvodaya Fusion at the fourth annual Fusion Awards 2013. Isura Silva, Manager of Sarvodaya Fusion said this would be the first time they are awarding entrepreneurs in Fusion Awards history.
The Facebook cofounder and CEO’s net worth increased by $12.4 billion last year, the largest gain of any current tech exec, not counting Bill Gates, according to data released this week fromBloomberg Billionaires Index. Zuckerberg is currently worth more than $24.5 billion.
That increase in his net worth was driven by Facebook’s stock, which doubled for the year. Facebook stock started the year at $27.44 a share and ended at $54.65, thanks to renewed optimism for the company’s ability to monetize on mobile and growing confidence in the social space in general.
To his credit, Zuckerberg has taken steps to give some of that money back. For the second year in a row, he and his wife Priscilla Chan donated 18 million shares of Facebook to charity. This year, those shares were worth nearly $1 billion. Zuckerberg also signed a pledge in 2010 to give away most of his wealth to charity during his lifetime.
Other tech execs did quite well for themselves last year, too, according to the Billionaires Index. Gates, the former Microsoft CEO who now focuses on philanthropic efforts, saw his net worth increase by $15.8 billion, thanks to a surge in Microsoft stock. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s net worth increased by 233% during the year, the largest percentage increase of any billionaire on the list, resulting from a huge spike in Tesla’s stock price.
In a year that saw Google Play finally pass the one million milestone in terms of live apps, it’s fair to say there’s a deluge of file-managers, smart calendars, funky cameras, games and more to sift through to get to the real gems.
So here’s a quick snapshot of some of the more notable apps to launch for Android in 2013. For the most part, these are all available globally, though a handful are restricted to certain markets – these are clearly marked.
It’s worth noting that although it is indeed a ‘standalone’ app, insofar as it’s a separate entity to Any.DO, there is actually a fairly tight integration between the two apps – so you will be asked to sign-in using your Any.DO credentials.
Cal syncs with all the major calendars, including Google and Exchange, but it’s when you start adding items to your calendar where things get interesting. It asks to use your current location, so it can deliver additional details for each entry. For example, if you enter a location name such as ‘Concert at Finsbury Park’, Cal detects it. It will even plot it out on a map for you and offer to help you navigate your way to any event.
After seeing success on the iPhone, Buy Me a Pie finally arrived for Android in August, delivering a sweet way of creating shopping lists. These lists can be shared via SMS, email or via other apps installed on a device.
It has a cloud synchronization feature, so if you’re an iOS and Android user, you can sync lists between accounts and devices.
Simplenote, the popular productivity app acquired by WordPress-ownerAutomattic, finally landed on Android earlier this year.
Like the iOS version, the Android app is free, but those who download it can get started from the get-go, without the need to create a Simplenote account. Users who do go to the trouble of signing up and logging in will see their notes synced and maintained across the iOS, Kindle and Web versions of the service.
It connects with Gmail, Google Drive and Dropbox, though there is scope for opening this up to additional cloud-based services in the future.With FindIt, you can opt to search for things by person, time or file-type and, crucially, you can search universally across all compatible services in one fell swoop.
Currently still in open beta, Themer offers much more than just skins – the ‘themes’ give your phone a whole new identity. To access it, simply enter your email address here and you’ll instantly receive your access code.
Aviate is a stunning, smart new Android homescreen built for the age of context. It is still in private beta though, available by invite-only, but it does offer a fresh take on what a mobile homescreen should look like.
Coming from a Silicon Valley-based team that includes two ex-Googlers, Aviate shuns the familiar rows of app icons that we’ve grown accustomed to, and makes a big bet – that it can know what apps and information you need beforeyou do.
As with the Web and iOS version, Pearltrees for Android lets you create, share and explore mindmap-style ‘trees’ of content. So, for example, you could create a tree of articles, images and notes related to a particular theme and then if you searched Pearltrees for that theme, you’d find my tree and related ones by other people.
In a nutshell, the app lets users create documents on any compatible device, and communicate/collaborate across projects. It can be used for shared to-do lists, family shopping lists or, well, anything really.
Documents and messages are combined into a single chat-like thread, letting multiple people edit the same document. To use a somewhat crude analogy, Quip is like the offspring of Word and WhatsApp.
Tunester is a minimalist, gesture-based music-player for Android. You can’t create playlists, browse by genre, song or even album. All you get is one long list of music, ordered alphabetically by artist.
Tunester is all about usability. When you’re scrolling through your music, you can stop at any artist and click on their respective album to ‘expand’ it. This ‘auto-collapse’ interface is designed to make navigating a single list easier, with each song accessible in a couple of clicks.
Band of the Day is the perennially popular iPhone app that was pipped to pole position in Apple’s 2011 app of the year awards. And as of just a few months back, it’s available for Android users too, serving up a beautifully designed app that surfaces one new artist each day, hand-picked by the good folks working behind the scenes at 955 Dreams.
The calendar-style grid lets you jump back in time through the archives, and you can listen to a full-length, ad-free song for each artist, while perusing biographies, videos, and more. The music is streamed directly from 955 Dreams’ servers, and the company works with labels and the musicians to secure the rights to stream featured artists.
The app adopts a more playful approach than the professional suite available for PCs, and it’s clearly aimed at novices looking to mess around with different sounds and mixes, rather than those wishing to create a smash hit. But it is fun nevertheless, and could get very addictive.
You get access to around a thousand loops from four different genres: Hip Hop, Dance, Electric Jazz, and Rock Ballads. If Dubstep, Techno, Rock Pop or other genres take your fancy, you can buy more for around $1.99 each.
Rormix helps you find new music videos from unsigned artist based on bands you already like. So, a search for ‘Beyonce’, for example, will turn up artists that sound similar to the iconic singer.
The team at Rormix hand-pick the bands included to ensure a certain level of quality, and future plans include incentivizing users to become influential tastemakers within the app by offering tickets and merchandise.
The app’s design is similar to that found on iOS, with a touchscreen dial along the bottom that can be repositioned to choose from one of the BBC’s many radio stations, including Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra and Radio 5 Live. Users can also set a personalized alarm through the app, which will wake them up with a specific programme or station; a long-standing tradition with analogue radio sets.
For the uninitiated, the aim of the game is to connect as many of the same-colored dots as possible in a minute. And you can also compete against friends by connecting with the usual social networks.
The Android launch came a little over two months after Dots arrived for iPad, but the Android incarnation brought a new mode into the mix. It features a non-time-sensitive element, which basically means you can head off and make a cup of coffee and come back to it while you assess the best way forward.
Supercell’s hugely successful free-to-play game Clash of Clans hit Android in October. Available for smartphones and tablets running Android version 4.0.3 and above, Clash of Clans lets you log-in immediately and bring over your progress from other platforms (iOS).
The original 2D platformer, which was released on the SEGA Genesis back in 1991, was refreshed for Google’s mobile operating system with widescreen support and a smooth 60 fps frame rate. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released later in the year too.
Originally released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004, the game was reworked for touchscreen devices, with a more forgiving checkpoint system and two different control schemes for driving and moving around on foot.
First is built around real-time conversations. Just like a traditional message board, it’s possible for anyone in the community to start a video game-related thread by posting either a headline, photo, URL or YouTube clip. The post will then appear within the app for other users to read and comment on.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is an 8-bit builder game for iOS, Android, and Windows devices, and players find themselves on the dark side of the force helping Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader build a fully functional Death Star.
Of course, Star Wars wouldn’t be what it is without the Rebel Alliance, so players must prevent Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and others from escaping.
As with the iPhone incarnation, MixBit for Android lets users create their own sixteen-second video clips and share them with other users. It’s not like Vine or Instagram though – through the website, users can add to and remix videos made by other users, and create pastiche videos of up to 1 hour in length.
Lifecake is striving to set itself apart from the pack by aiming for families – parents that wish to keep other family members and friends up-to-date on their kids’ progress, but away from the prying eyes of an open social network.
JumpCam lets users compose videos and solicit clips from friends to build a well-rounded collection of any specific event. Up to 30 clips can be added, each one lasting up to 10 seconds. The app works with all devices running Android 4.0 and above.
Essentially, Vodio aggregates videos from news outlets, as well as YouTube channels you’re subscribed to and organizes them into channels within the app, and staying true to its predecessors on Apple’s platform, the Android version offers very similar functionality.
VSCO Cam is a sweet photo-editing app with subtle filters that give your shots the color cast usually reserved for RAW files spat out by a full-frame DSLR.
You can alter the intensity of the filters, contrast, temperature and crop options, and share across the social sphere. Though it has a shooting mode too, it’s really the editing features that make this worth your time.
YPlan, the app that promises to find you and your friends something to do in New York or London (for now) launched on Android back in October, with its curated list of events in tow.
It suggests things for you to do, such as going to see Chessboxing, Rebel Bingo, Future Cinema, Beyoncé, Ellie Goulding or Louis CK, and it can be booked in two taps, with no need to print out any tickets.
Google launched a standalone app for its Android Device Manager service earlier this month, one that works just like the Web-based version of the service.
It shows you any device associated with your Google Account, lets you ring to locate these devices, and protects the information stored inside by remotely adding a screen lock or performing a factory reset to erase your content.
Whisk incorporates “advanced semantic and linguistic analysis” to interpret recipes and automatically add them to an online shopping basket which can then be delivered direct to the consumer’s door. It’s an interesting concept for sure.
You can save recipes as your favorites, or go straight to the checkout. Here, you can tell it exactly how many folk you’re catering for, which serves up (pun intended) the exact amount of ingredients required. You can adjust your shopping list if you already have certain ingredients, or ‘let whisk choose items for you’.
Nextdoor is a private social network for your neighborhood, enabling people to stay connected to what’s happening in their part of town. The release of this version came several months after the launch of its iOS app. As expected, the features are pretty much the same.
Circa is different to other news readers as it uses an in-house team of editors to create each atomized story. Every segment of the article is sourced from multiple news outlets, but it’s the staff at Circa who piece them all together and manage each story within the app.
Readmil serves up a sweet, social way to read, letting you highlight quotes within a book and share these snippets across the social sphere. With that in mind, it also acts as a social network of sorts, letting you ‘follow’ other bookworms.
NowThis News launched an Android app serving up bite-sized video-clips for a range of news categories, breaking stories and events.
Videos are shown as thumbnail images and you can take a look at additional clips simply by swiping up and down from anywhere on the screen.
The home feed is a curated selection of NowThis News content, although you can switch to a different section just by swiping to the left. In addition to the traditional newspaper headers, such as food, entertainment, science and technology, there’s also a couple of dedicated channels for breaking or evolving stories.
2013 was the most intense year in the tablet war yet. Amazon and Google kept their prices low, Apple and Samsung responded accordingly, and Microsoft showed it was here to stay. Here’s our take on what happened this year and what it all means.
There are, naturally, other companies that build and sell tablets. Not only did 2013 remind us that the tablet market is large enough for many small players to fight it out, but even retailers designed and sold their own tablets in the hopes to make a quick buck. The bigger battle, however, is taking place between the big five, as each are putting in more and more resources to win over consumers.
Tablet buyers thus end up supporting Apple’s iOS ecosystem, the Android ecosystem (in its many variations), or Microsoft’s Windows 8 ecosystem. 2013 showed us that even those who want to pick one platform and stick with it, end up using more than just one at home, at work, and on the go.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the bigger picture of what each company did, and tried to do, this year.
Apple kept its pricing structure the same for the iPad and actually increased it for the iPad mini. The company showed once again that it had no problems with being beaten on price by the competition: it was still perfectly happy with losing share in exchange for keeping its profit margins.
This is a strategy Apple has employed for most of its products, with mixed results. That tablet market is so massive, however, that trying to figure out whether the company is doing the smart thing right now is frankly impossible. While the latest iPad sales numbers aren’t available yet, we do know the demand is there.
Having had decent success with the original Nexus 7 and the 3G-refreshed Nexus 7 last year, in July Google announced the 2013 model of the Nexus 7. An LTE variant was also unveiled and arrived in September.
Curiously, the Nexus 10 was not refreshed this year, although rumors suggested that it would be. It’s still not clear how much the company wants to emphasize the larger tablet offering. Google was, however, very eager in pushing new Android releases, announcing both 4.3 Jelly Bean (along with the Nexus 7) and 4.4 KitKat (along with the Nexus 5) this year.
Again we don’t have proper sales numbers yet, but the Nexus line seems to be gaining a lot of attention. Google showed in 2013 that it would do everything it could to ensure Android would become as popular on tablets as it already is on smartphones.
While Google has been pushing its Nexus brand hard, it’s still no match for Samsung, based on market share at least. The South Korean company continued to dominate Android tablets, and kept its second place position in the tablet market overall.
In April, Samsung revealed the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3. In June, it followed up with 8-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablets as well as the 10.1-inch ATIV Tab 3running Windows 8.
In September, it also revealed the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. While Samsung has been trying to simplify its tablet line, it is still difficult to keep track of, given the overlapping smartphone, phablet, tablet, and laptop brands.
Speaking of brands, Amazon continued onwards with its Kindle and Kindle Fire approach. In September 2013, the company launched 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions of the Kindle Fire HDX.
The same month, Amazon also announced the second-generation Kindle Paperwhite. In October 2013, the company refreshed the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD with a new case and price reduction.
Amazon is starting to suffer the same problem as Samsung: offering just a few too many models of its tablets, leading to consumer confusion. Yet as is typical with the retailer, it will simply continue to slash prices and replace older models as it sees fit, sharing absolutely nothing regarding sales figures.
Amazon’s Seattle rival may have been pushing tablets for ages, but the Surface line is still very much in its infancy. The company unveiled its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 refresh in September.
Microsoft continued to push its vision of a one-size-fits-all approach in the tablet space. Reviews were mixed for bothdevices, although there was certainly a notable improvement observed all across the board.
Microsoft naturally has a long way to go, especially on the software side. Talk ofmerging operating systems and app stores suggests there’s a very long-term play in the works. Throw in the acquisition of Nokia, and it’s obvious that Windows will play a major role on tablets.
In 2013, prices didn’t drop as much as they did in 2012. By and large, tablet makers were more than happy to refresh their offerings without trying to significantly undercut each other further than they already have.
Instead, they continued to invest in their respective ecosystems. Each of the big five has its own devices and accompanying services, and each are still trying to figure out how to best one-up each other: nobody’s strategy has been set in stone.
Tablets are expected to outship mobile PCs this year, and it won’t be long till they outsell all other types of computers too. They’re simply devices that offer as much as, if not more than, traditional PCs do for most people, at much lower prices.
While in 2012 it appeared that the battle couldn’t last, 2013 showed that none of the five are going to go down easy. Even though in terms of market share,Android seems to have won, 2013 wasn’t the year when company winners and losers were decided.
The WorkInSriLanka conference will bring together recent returnees, expats living in Sri Lanka as well as people considering returning or moving to Sri Lanka to discuss the opportunities and challenges in making Sri Lanka the preferred work destination. The overall structure of the day is as follows:
The first session will layout the public and private sector vision for Sri Lanka for 2020.
Next a group of returnees and expats will showcase their stories, followed by a panel discussion.
Then we discuss some of the challenges with making Sri Lanka a top work destination and bring in a panel of experts to discuss what is being done about each of the challenging areas.
Finally a panel of leading CEOs will discuss opportunities that exist in various industry segments for knowledge based work and entrepreneurial activity.
The day will end with a cocktail event to provide ample opportunity for attendees to network with each other.
NBQSA competition is an annual event organized by the BCS Sri Lanka, The competition is open to sixteen categories of software ranging from Applications and Infrastructure Tools software to Media and Entertainment Applications Software.
IFS Ostrinus were the Runners up at SLASSCOM Quizathon after displaying an amazing skill level throughout the competition.
Proving that they are a force to be reckoned with, the IFS Quiz Team (IFS Ostrinus) emerged winners of the ‘IT Category’ and runners-up of the overall quiz at the recently concluded SLASSCOM Quizathon. This prestigious quiz, which was held at the Kingsbury Hotel on the 27th of September 2013, saw 30 teams spanning several sectors including IT, Business Process Management, Banking & Finance and Education, as well as several individual teams, competing to win this battle of minds.
IFS was well represented at the competition by two teams – IFS Ostrinus and IFS Albus. IFS Ostrinus outshone their rivals to win the “IT Category” while its second team IFS Albus was placed 3rd in the same category. In a highly intriguing competition IFS Ostrinus were neck and neck with the individual team of Mr. Vindana Ariyawansa– and were equally placed at the end of the competition, requiring a tie- breaking round to determine the winners of the overall category. After a tough fight in the tie-breaker IFS Ostrinus became runners-up in the overall quiz.
Team members of IFS Ostrinus and IFS Albus which represented IFS at the SLASSCOM Quizathon.
IFS Albus won the 3rd place of the IT Company category at SLASSCOM Quizathon.
Vice President and COO of IFS World Operations Sri Lanka Ranil Rajapakse said that he is very happy with the result and is proud of the achievements of IFS Ostrinus and IFS Albus. “At IFS we encourage our staff to utilize their creativity and talents, and their success at this competition shows that we are in the forefront on many playing fields in addition to Software Development. We are proud of them”.
4th HR conference facilitated by SLASSCOM HR forum is happening at Cinnamon Grand on 10th October from 8.30am.HSBC is the platinum sponsor for the conference.
As the post war growth trajectory maintains an upward momentum, the search for talent is becoming acrucial ingredient in any company’s success story. Presently, Human Resources Management in Sri Lanka faces unique challenges as the field has outgrown the basic human capital management solutions. Growing human capital for your business or organisation’s ever expanding needs requires taking the next step in HR performance, leadership, learning, compensation and succession, from assessing and aligning a sustainable workforce, to augmenting continued productivity and profit.
The 4th SLASSCOM HR Summit brings together a unique set of thought leaders and visionaries to share with you how they have succeeded in Attracting, Developing and Retaining Talent in changing times
The Kingsbury Hotel Colombo was buzzing with enthusiasm and anticipation on the evening of 27th Friday (September), as many corporate and individual quiz teams gathered to battle it out at the ‘Quizathon’ organized by SLASSCOM. This was the second edition of the annual quiz competition that acts as a testament of SLASSCOM’s objective of acting as a catalyst for growth of the Sri Lankan IT and BPO industry.
Forty teams in total took part in this year’s edition of Quizathon, which was immensely competitive and intense compared to previous year. Quiz teams representing IT companies, BPO/KPO companies, Schools and Educational Institutes, Finance and Banking sector were present. Individual teams and teams representing ‘Other’ category too had registered for the event. All the teams appeared to have done their home work and were prepared for a closely contested Quizathon.
The Quizathon consisted of five rounds and was hosted by Imran Furkan who himself is a prominent Quiz Master in the country and also the Executive Director of SLASSCOM. Every round consisted of ten questions that ranged from general knowledge to finance and accounting, from the exact age of papa Smurf to World politics. Every round produced a winning team, which had answered most questions correctly. In case there was tie, three more questions were presented as a tie breaker.
Vindhana Ariyawansa’s team emerged as the Overall Champions of Slasscom Quizathon 2013
IFS – Ostrinus became the Runners up of SLASSCOM Quizathon 2013
After an intense competition that expanded for five rounds, the team led by Vindhana Ariyawansa emerged as the Overall Champions of Slasscom Quizathon 2013. IFS R and D International become the runners up and Nalaka De Silva’s team achieved the overall 3rd place. In addition to this, winners were selected from each team category after evaluating the aggregated scores after the five rounds.
Banking & Financing Sector – The Obvious Experts of Team Seylan
IT Sector – IFS Ostrinus
Business Process Management Sector – HSBC Team No. 1
Schools and Educational Sector – National Institute of Business Management
Individual Teams – Vindhana Ariyawansha’s team
Other Category (teams that did not belong to above categories) – Team Dialog
Most of the contestants were keen on winning another award that was exclusively presented for the ‘Best Dressed Team’ during the Quizathon. Here we saw a brilliant display of imagination and creativity from the teams and after what appeared to be a tough decision for the judges, Team ‘SoWrong’ who were dressed in sarongs was selected as the team that dressed best for the occasion.
At the end of the Quizathon, teams and the audience had the opportunity to network, to make new friends and share a word while enjoying the sumptuous dinner provided for the event. It was indeed a wonderful event that lasted throughout the Friday night and ended on a high.
Online IT magazine founded in February 2009 with 50+ contributors. Up-to-date and comprehensive coverage of IT news with focus on bringing out IT news from all corners of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan IT site that engages with an unprecedented 150,000 readers on a monthly basis. Get in touch with us if you have news that needs publishing on our site or to cover an event in Sri Lanka.