Tag - Wearables
Jawbone may be looking to streamline its operations, with separate rumors claiming two very different parts of the company may be on the chopping block. One rumor claims Jawbone has ceased production of its fitness trackers and sold its remaining inventory to a reseller, while another report insists that it is selling its speaker business, in order to redistribute its resources and focus on its health and wearables business.
In its latest report, industry analyst IDC has reported that Apple -- with a single product priced well above its competitors -- has already become the third best-selling wearables vendor in the world. As a result, Apple is just barely behind Chinese wearables maker Xiaomi, but presenting little threat to wearables fitness brand Fitbit, which shipped 21 million devices (estimated) compared the figure IDC believes represents Apple's first eight months with the Apple Watch, around 11.6 million units.
A new study that compared the security of user data as transmitted by the short-range Bluetooth used by the leading fitness and health wearables has found, as one headline writer summed it up, that "every fitness tracker but [the Apple Watch] is a privacy nightmare." The report, done by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab and Canadian privacy-rights group Open Effect, tested eight wearables and found that all -- apart from the Apple Watch -- leaked Bluetooth data that could be read nearby.
At a new conference devoted to the wearables market, Asymco analyst Horace Dediu said he believes Apple will sell 21 million Apple Watch units in its first full year of sales -- a figure that would amount to $8.4 billion in revenue, though it was not the most optimistic figure bandied about at the conference -- another analyst believes that the company could sell over 100 million units worldwide by its second full year of sales. Other details, including user surveys, came on the heels of sale prices on the smartwatch as Christmas approaches.
One day after Apple CEO Tim Cook debunked reports that sales of the Apple Watch were slipping by saying in a conference call with analysts that in fact, June sales had outperformed both May and April -- including the original rush of pre-orders, new data from Strategy Analytics claims that not only has Apple handily stolen the crown of top smartwatch seller from Samsung in just its first full quarter, the company has outsold all rivals combined year-to-date.
Last year at CES, Intel began its courtship with the wearables crowd, with the introduction of the SD card-sized Edison. Not long after, it purchased fitness tracker producer Basis Science. Today, at the company's CES Keynote, CEO Brian Krzanich revealed plans for the Intel Curie. The new dime-sized module utilizes the new Quark SE SoC, and is "purpose-built" for wearable devices.
Portable audio system and food storage container Kube launched Monday at CES in Las Vegas. Designed for outdoor and indoor usage, the Kube offers a Bluetooth range of 50 feet for pairing with a Bluetooth-enabled device, and can deliver sound for up to 20 hours. Its exterior is comprised of aluminum and coated polymer, with five back-lit tactile buttons for controlling audio. Kube additionally includes the ability for charging USB devices with an available port, and its interior insulated food storage compartment features LED lights that automatically engage when the container is opened.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to the T-Mobile blog on Tuesday and posted his predictions for 2015. Legere foresees a future full of non-subsidized phone purchases, wearables and phablets, and all the things he has always enjoyed "calling out" his competitors for in the unusually safe-for-work posting. As would be expected, Legere also predicts that T-Mobile's Q4 results will push it into official third-place carrier status in the US.
Two former Nike Fuelband engineers have jumped ship to join Apple, presumably to lend further support to the company's expected "iWatch" health and fitness device, according to discoveries made on the pair's LinkedIn profiles. Both hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale started with Apple last month, just two months after Nike gutted its own Fuelband team and essentially exited the wearables market.
A lot has been written about the potential explosion in the wearable computing segment, with 2014 expected to be a watershed year. Electronista was on hand at the Computex Taipei 2014 Qualcomm keynote on wearables to highlight what it thinks is going to be the a massive opportunity for the company and its technology platforms. With technology moving quickly, no one wants to arrive late to the party and miss out on what could be the next booming market segment. Yet at the same time, there are plenty of sceptics who question just how much potential there is in the segment given that computing wearables are just another device that will require recharging, while many people have long abandoned their watches in favor of just using their smartphones. Qualcomm, however, believes it has done the research and can hit the sweet spot for usability and wearability.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE