Lithium ion battery life could double according to new study

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Researchers at Stanford, led by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, report they think they have discovered a way to double and perhaps even triple the battery life of a lithium ion cell. This is good news for owners of smartphones, tablets, electric vehicles, and any of the hundreds of other devices that use lithium ion batteries. The researchers turned to nanotechnology in trying to find a way to protect the lithium anodes in a typical cell from degrading as quickly as they do. They discovered that coating the anodes with “a monolayer of interconnected amorphous hollow carbon nanospheres helps isolate the lithium metal depositions and facilitates the formation of a stable solid electrolyte interphase.”

Besides helping to keep the lithium in better condition for a longer time, thus extending the life, the new technique also helps with safety issues resulting from the decay of the lithium in a battery. As the technique is perfected, this should also allow for the use of denser lithium. Of course, the challenge now will be for battery manufacturers to figure out how to incorporate this into current manufacturing techniques if further testing bears out the benefits to be gained.

source: Nature Nanotechnology
via: Engadget

Are the latest Android flagship phones female friendly?

I’m sitting here today with my Galaxy Nexus by my side with its wonderful 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED display and I’m feeling a bit of tech envy towards the 4.8″ display that’s set to arrive when the Galaxy S III hits the shelves. I’ve had some hands on time with the HTC One X and its 4.7″ screen and Motorola’s current flagship device, the Droid RAZR, offers up a 4.3″ display. It seems that most Android phone manufacturers are of the view that bigger is better and with the runaway success of devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note, it would appear that they might be right.


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Glare-Free, Self-Cleaning, Water-Repellent Glass Of The Future From The Minds At MIT

How would you like your future smartphone screen to be completely glare-free, water-repellent, and self-cleaning? Researchers at MIT published a paper describing how they selectively removed parts of the glass to create microscopic cones, which apparently gives the glass the ability to resist fogging and glare. The MIT news site states the following:

“The new ‘multifunctional’ glass, based on surface nanotextures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare, the researchers say. Ultimately, they hope it can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process that could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings.”

The lack of glare or fog would make the glass nearly invisible. Also, water would literally just bead and bounce right off, taking any dust along with it, making it super easy to keep dust-free. Check out the video of water droplets  rolling off the glass after the break.


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Poor performing SD cards to blame for smartphone lag?

Is there anything more frustrating than purchasing the latest and greatest smartphone, booting up and loading all your favourite applications only to find that performance is sluggish. You took the time to ensure that your new pride and joy has the latest dual core processor, more RAM than you could ever need and a state of the art GPU yet still certain processes show notable lag. Well according to recent research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and NEC Corp, it may well be your flash memory that’s to blame.

The research tested 16GB cards from eight of the leading flash card manufacturers using several leading Android handsets. The tests covered the use of popular applications such as WebBench Browser, Facebook, Android Email, Google Maps, App Install, Pulse News Reader and RLBench SQLite. Results showed that performance over WiFi declined on average between 100% to 300% with one test showing a shocking 2000% decrease in performance.

Hyojun Kim, a Ph.D. student in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech, stated “A good chunk of time for users is spent waiting for websites to load … [and for] applications to load, why would anyone want to see a 20-second wait time on their phone, particularly if the network is not the problem,”  Kim and his team working hard to find a solution to the problem, one path they’re exploring is the use of phase-change random access memory (PRAM) to store performance critical data. On the subject of PRAM, Kim stated “We find that changes to the storage subsystem can significantly improve user experience; our pilot solutions demonstrate possible benefits and serve as references for deployable solutions in the future”

So there we have it, perhaps there is some logic to the omission of SD card expansion slots in recent, flagship smartphones. For those of you who just can’t live without that expandable memory slot, check out the test results below.

 

source : computerworld

 

Kantar: Apple Smartphones More Popular Than Android Phones

The Apple iPhone has taken over as the smartphone in highest demand in the U.S. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, the latest iPhone model helped Apple beat all phones using Google’s Android platform in the U.S. smartphone market in Q4 2011, according to data presented Wednesday. It states “Apple’s share of the U.S. market doubled from a year ago to 44.9 percent in the October to December period, just beating Google’s Android smartphones, which slipped to 44.8 percent from 50 percent”.

In addition, Kantar believes Apple gained strong momentum and it looks to overtake Android smartphones as the most popular among consumers moving forward. This is demonstrated by Apple phones outselling Android manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson, HTC and Motorola. According to global consumer insight director Dominic Sunnebo:

“Apple has continued its strong sales run in the U.S., UK and Australia over the Christmas period. Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover”.

Naturally, Kantar’s recent findings don’t come without question. We saw as recently as last week that established research and measurement firm Nielsen highlighted Android not only having the most market share, but it also holding a whopping 16 percent advantage over Apple phones in Q4 2011. It’ll be interesting to see how Kantar came up with its findings and what its methodologies were used for its research.

Kantar also includes some minor information for some of the less popular devices in its report as well. Kantar mentions how the Windows Phone share in all of the nine key markets it measured remained at less than 2 percent, despite the high-profile launch of the Lumia range from Nokia. Sunnebo adds “The Nokia Lumia 800 still needs to be joined by a number of other competitive Windows Phone handsets before we are likely to see the OS (operating system) providing any real challenge to the likes of Apple, Android and BlackBerry”. Guess the consensus among research firms is not many people are interested in Windows Phones just yet.

I’m sure you all may have a lot of questions or comments about Kantar’s findings, I know I do. Be sure to hit the Comments section, sound off and give your 2 cents.

[via Reuters]

 

Global Smartphone Shipments Prove That Android is Still King

Horace Dediu, the man behind ASYMCO, has recently compiled another fact filled market analysis of the mobile device marketplace. In his latest endeavor, Dediu examines the smartphone market and breaks it down into easy to read charts and percentages, giving an estimate of the smartphone market as a subset of the overall phone market.

The smartphone market has now reached over 30% of shipments. Non-smart devices are at 69% of total. The individual phone platform shares are as follows:

  1. Android (and Android-like): 17.6%
  2. iOS (iPhone only) 4.4%
  3. Nokia Symbian: 4.3%
  4. BlackBerry: 2.76%
  5. Bada: 1%
  6. Windows Phone 0.5%

During his research, Dediu also examined the growth of each individual operating system and determined that Android has truly taken the lead over its competitors. Keep in mind that these numbers reflect units shipped and not units sold. Either way, the substantial growth of shipments should be a direct reflection of supply and demand, right? Check out these figures and tell me Android isn’t killing it. To see Dediu’s full report, hit the ASYMCO source link below.

Android (and Android-like) shipments ballooned to nearly 70 million but sell-through could be about 10 million less. Nearly one in five phones sold is now powered by an Android variant. A remarkable story since the share was zero less than three years ago.

[via ASYMCO, DroidLife]

 

IMS Research Says Global Smartphones Sales Will Top 420 Million Devices in 2011

According to IMS Research, a leading independent supplier of market research, sales of smartphones will come in at over 420 million device by the end of this year .  This will account for roughly 28 percent of the handset market as the research shows.  According to the company, with the release of more and more “entry-level” smartphones, we could see one billion devices sell by 2016.

According to IMS, despite how well mobile sales are going, not all companies will ultimately benefit from the trend.  IMS uses LG as an example, pointing to the fact that though they were the third largest OEM world wide, they barely exhibited any innovation over the past several years, subsequently causing the company to reach less than three percent of the market share in 2010.

The same source also notes that Nokia took a hit so devastating (see chart) they went to bed with Microsoft for its Windows Phone operating system, abandoning its very own Symbian platform.  Sales for the company dropped 34 percent from last year.  
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Android domination of Apple will continue to widen through 2016

The global smartphone market will double in size by 2016 and Android will destroy all competition, including Apple. Apple will be the closest competitor, but it won’t be close. According to Ovum, which provides clients with independent and objective analysis to enable them to make better business and technology decisions, Apple will be 20.5% behind Android.

Ovum expects shipments of smartphones to be 653 million by 2016 with a compounded annual growth rate of 14.5%. Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said,“The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market. We will see dramatic shifts in dominance for smartphone software platforms, with Android storming into the lead with 38% market share, compared to Apple iOS’ 17.5%, by 2016.”


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HTC has doubled profits in Q3 2010

HTC  and Android on the rise

Looks like things are on the up and up for Android and HTC. As you’ve seen us talk about recently, Android is definitely looking like its the 2nd most used mobile OS and gaining to 1st possibly sooner than most researchers expect.

HTC, a major manufacturer of Android devices, has shown considerable growth this year as well, exceeding all expected profit predictions, as well as doubling their recorded profits this time last year. Net profits of $360 million US have been reported for Q3 2010, and are still expected to do better in Q4.

Although HTC faces tough competition against manufacturers such as Apple, RIM, and Samsung, HTC’s share prices have also doubled, which gives a good indication they are on the rise.

It’s great to be part of it!

[via Reuters]

Smart Phones Helping to Move Business from the Boardroom to the Bathroom

Smart phones have drastically changed the world, putting the power of the internet in the palm of our hand. They’ve expanded our horizons, fostering relationships through social networking, keeping us informed up to the minute, and accelerating the pace at which we do business. A recent survey conducted by Kelton Research for Samsung Mobile proves that final point. The survey sample included 503 Americans ages 18 and older, all owners of a smart phone and working in an office.

The office may close at 5, but for 89% of  people business is always open.

(89%) believe it’s important to be readily available to colleagues, supervisors and clients at all times, even after business hours. In fact, almost eight in ten (79%) immediately respond to a work email on their smart phone regardless of time of day.

And when they say ‘readily available’, they mean no what matters the circumstances. An astounding 72% admit to taking business calls while on the jon, 59% during the middle of the night, 38% while on a date, 32% in church, 16% at a funeral, and 10% during sex.

The nature of the office has changed, 29% of those interviewed said they could envision work without an office computer. 51% actually prefer working through their phone, even when their computer is available to them. The survey may not have inquired beyond the office but it’s clear that this trend extends into all areas of life, and with the slew of tablets on the way you can bet the personal computer will be getting even less use.

Samsung’s reasons for commissioning this survey are made clear with one simple statistic.

More than seven in ten(71%) office workers with smart phones think companies should automatically supply the phones, rather than laptops, to all employees free of charge.

Samsung concludes the write-up with the statement below. Head past the break to read the statement in full.

Samsung Mobile has made it even easier to stay connected with its Galaxy S portfolio of devices. The Android™ 2.1-powered Galaxy S devices are currently available on AT&T and  T-Mobile, will be available on Sprint on August 31 and Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular and Cellular South in 2010. Samsung Mobile has packed powerful, cutting-edge technology into each Galaxy S device, including features such as a stunning 4-inch Super AMOLED display screen, 1GHz Hummingbird Application Processor and a multitude of entertainment, messaging and social networking features and applications.


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