Nokia Technologies Hires Samsung North America CEO As President


Nokia today announced the appointment of Gregory Lee as President of Nokia Technologies and as member of the Group Leadership team, with immediate effect. Prior to Nokia, Lee served as President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, North America, with a focus on driving fast growth, profitability and operational excellence.

In this capacity, Lee led all of Samsung’s businesses for North America, managing a portfolio of products including mobile phones and consumer electronics, as well as those in new market segments such as digital health, virtual reality devices and digital content.

“We have chosen the right leader to take Nokia Technologies forward at a time of renewed excitement about the Nokia brand around the world,” said Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia. “Gregory’s passion for innovation and operational excellence, along with his proven ability to build and lead global consumer technology businesses, make him well suited to advance Nokia’s efforts in virtual reality, digital health and beyond.”

Lee will be based in California, reporting to Suri. Accordingly, the Group Leadership would, effective as of June 30, 2017, consist of the following members: Rajeev Suri (Chairman), Basil Alwan, Hans-Juergen Bill, Kathrin Buvac, Ashish Chowdhary, Barry French, Bhaskar Gorti, Federico Guillén, Gregory Lee, Igor Leprince, Monika Maurer, Kristian Pullola, Marc Rouanne, Maria Varsellona and Marcus Weldon.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead Nokia Technologies,” said Lee. “The Nokia Technologies team has produced innovative products and solutions in dynamic, high growth segments of the consumer technology market, and I am honored to be in a position to help build on this success in the future.”

A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, Lee has held numerous product, technology and marketing leadership roles over the course of a career spanning nearly three decades. He previously served as Samsung’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, as well as President and CEO of Samsung Electronics Southeast Asia and President and CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America. Prior to his time at Samsung, Lee led product development, sales and strategic initiatives for global consumer brands including Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble.

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India To Register 1.9 Bn Networked Devices In 2020: Cisco

Cisco – VNI

India-To-Activate-1.9-Bn-Networked-Devices-In-2020:-CiscoIndia will have 1.9 billion networked devices in 2020, up from 1.3 billion in 2015 according to the predictions of 11th Annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI).

According to Cisco, 69 percent of all networked devices will be mobile-connected in 2020. PCs will account for 2 percent (43.8 million) of all networked devices in 2020, compared to 3 percent (44.5 million) in 2015. Tablets will account for 2 percent (44 million) of all networked devices in 2020, compared to 1 percent (12.1 million) in 2015. Portable devices such as smartphones and tablets accounted for 17 percent of IP traffic in 2015, and will be 48 percent of IP traffic in 2020. 4K TVs will account for 18 percent (9.5 million) of all flat panel TVs in 2020, compared to 2.1% (246,025) in 2015.

According to Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast, Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will quadruple, year-on-year between 2015 and 2020. IP traffic in India is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34 percent – as against a corresponding global CAGR of 22 percent. In India, IP traffic will reach 5.6 Exabytes per month in 2020, up from 1.4 Exabytes per month in 2015.

In India, total Internet video traffic (business and consumer), combined will be 75 percent of all Internet traffic in 2020, up from 51 percent in 2015.

In India, mobile data traffic will grow 12-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth of 63 percent. The mobile data traffic will reach 1. 7 Exabytes per month in 2020, up from 149 Petabytes per month in 2015.

In 2015, India’s Fixed-Wi-Fi was 38 percent of total IP traffic and will decrease to 34 percent of total IP traffic in 2020.

In India, IP video traffic will grow 5-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent. Consumer IP video traffic will be 83 percent of consumer IP traffic in 2020, up from 68 percent in 2015 whereas business IP video traffic will be 66 percent of business IP traffic in 2020, up from 37 percent in 2015.

In India, Internet video traffic will grow 6-fold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent. Consumer Internet video traffic will be 76 percent of consumer Internet traffic in 2020, up from 53 percent in 2015 whereas business Internet video traffic will be 66 percent of business Internet traffic in 2020, up from 39 percent in 2015.

In India, the average Internet user will generate 6.1 gigabytes per month in 2015, up 21 percent from 5 gigabytes per month in 2014.

According to Cisco, global IP traffic is expected to reach 194.4 exabytes per month by 2020, up from 72.5 exabytes per month in 2015. The global annual run rate will reach 2.3 zettabtyes by 2020—up from 870 exabytes in 2015.

Sanjay Kaul, managing director, Service Provider, Cisco India & SAARC said, “The continued increase of mobile data traffic, networked devices and M2M connections will impact healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, retail, transportation and other key industries, substantially, as the next decade dawns. Considering this, network architecture must be programmed to meet the requisite demands and manage the data volume. Deploying advanced network infrastructure requires a next-gen approach to withstand the digital vortex.”

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Why IP Traffic will Jump 3X between 2014-2019?

Doug Webster-VP- SP Products and Solutions Marketing, Cisco
Doug Webster, vice president, SP Products and Solutions Marketing, Cisco

According to the 10th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, annual IP (Internet Protocol) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, when it will reach a record 2 zettabytes.

Factors expected to drive traffic growth include global increases in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services.

Collectively, these variables are expected to create a global IP traffic compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent – the first global CAGR increase in consecutive VNI forecasts in nearly a decade.

Cisco predicts that global IP traffic will reach 168 exabytes per month by 2019, up from 59.9 exabytes per month in 2014. In 2019, nearly as much traffic will traverse global IP networks than all prior “Internet years” combined (from 1984 to the end of 2013).

Factors which will help in tripling of IP traffic are:
Increase in Internet Users: In 2014, there were 2.8 billion Internet users, or 39 percent of the world’s population of 7.2 billion. By 2019, there will be about 3.9 billion Internet users, or 51 percent of the world’s projected population of 7.6 billion.

Proliferation of Devices and Connections: With 24 billion networked devices/connections expected online by 2019, compared with 14 billion in 2014, service provider networks must adapt to an influx of sophisticated devices. These devices include tablets, smartphones, and Internet-enabled ultra-high definition (UHD) TVs, as well as M2M connections and wearables (including new smart watches, health monitors, etc.).

Globally, there will be 3.2 networked devices/connections per capita by 2019, up from 2 per capita in 2014. These advanced devices and connections will need to be authenticated to gain access to fixed and mobile networks, which require enhanced intelligence, network management and security. A comprehensive IPv6 strategy will be imperative for carriers to accommodate the volume and complexity of next-generation devices and connections.

Faster Fixed Broadband Speeds: Globally, the average fixed broadband speed will increase two-fold from 20.3 Mbps in 2014 to 42.5 Mbps in 2019. From a regional perspective, Western Europe and Asia Pacific continue to lead the world in fixed broadband network speeds. North America and other regions are also updating their network resources to accommodate more bandwidth-intensive content and applications. By 2019, 33 percent of all global fixed broadband connections will be faster than 25 Mbps, up from 29 percent today.

New and Advanced Video Services: IP video will account for 80 percent of all IP traffic by 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014. The evolution of advanced video services (e.g., UHD and spherical/360 video) and increasingly video centric M2M applications are anticipated to create new bandwidth and scalability requirements for service providers.

Residential, business and mobile consumers continue to have strong demand for advanced video services across all network and device types, making quality, convenience, content/experience and price key success factors.

Mobility Momentum: By 2019, more than 14 percent of monthly IP traffic will derive from cellular connections, and 53 percent of monthly IP traffic will come from WiFi connections globally, making differentiated and monetizable mobile strategies more important for all service providers. On the other hand fixed traffic will account for 33 percent of overall traffic.

In 2014, fixed traffic accounted for 54 percent of IP traffic, while Wi-Fi accounted for 42 percent and cellular 4 percent.

Statistics on Cisco Virtual Networking Index
By 2019, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the US (45.7 exabytes/month) and China (21.9 exabytes/month)
Consumer IP video traffic will be 84 percent of consumer IP traffic by 2019
Business IP video traffic will be 63 percent of business IP traffic by 2019
Internet video traffic will reach 105 exabytes per month by 2019, up from 25 exabytes per month in 2014
By 2019, HD and ultra HD Internet video will make up 63 percent of Internet video traffic
VoD traffic will increase nearly 2-fold between 2014 and 2019.
Overall business IP traffic, which includes web, backup, VoIP, etc., will double between 2014 and 2019
By 2019, global mobile data traffic 291.8 exabytes annually and will grow 10X from 2014 to 2019
Source: Cisco VNI

Growth of IoE and M2M: The IoE trend is showing tangible growth as M2M connections will more than triple over the next five years (growing to 10.5 billion by 2019). There will be significant IoE adoption across many business verticals (e.g., agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation) as well as connected home deployments (i.e., video security, smart meters, lighting/temperature control, etc.). Connected Health consumer segment will represent the fastest M2M connections growth at 8.6-fold from 2014 to 2019. Connected home segment will represent nearly half of M2M connections by 2019.

Annual global M2M IP traffic will grow 15-fold over this same period—from 308 petabytes in 2014 (0.5 percent of global IP traffic) to 4.6 exabytes by 2019 (2.7 percent of global IP traffic).

Gaming Impact: Cisco predicts a marked increase in network traffic associated with game downloads driven by availability of storage capacity on gaming consoles, an increase in upstream cloud traffic and increasing fiber connections.

Advanced Service Adoption: Online music will be the fastest growing residential Internet service with a CAGR of 7.7 percent from 2014-2019, growing from 1.2 billion users to 1.7 billion users by 2019. Mobile location-based service (LBS) will be the fastest growing consumer mobile service with a CAGR of 27.5 percent from 2014-19, growing from 597 million users in 2014 to over 2 billion users by 2019.

Desktop and personal videoconferencing will be the fastest growing business Internet service with a CAGR of 23.5 percent from 2014-2019, growing from 76 million users in 2014 to 220 million users by 2019.

Doug Webster, vice president of SP Products and Solutions Marketing, Cisco said, “As consumers, businesses and societies alike head towards the Digital Era with the Internet of Everything gaining momentum, VNI is even more relevant now in its 10th year than it was in its first. For our customers and the industry ecosystem as whole, we look forward to continuing to report on these trends, the challenges they bring, and the immense opportunities ahead.”


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Globally 7 bn Mobile and 3.2 bn Internet Says ITU


Globally-7-bn-Mobile-and-3.2-bn-Internet-Says-ITUToday, there are more than 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, up from 738 million in 2000 and 3.2 billion people are using Internet, of which two billion live in developing countries says ITU.

The new figures released by ITU track ICT progress and show gaps in connectivity since the year 2000, when world leaders established the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“These new figures not only show the rapid technological progress made to date, but also help us identify those being left behind in the fast-evolving digital economy, as well as the areas where ICT investment is needed most,” said ITU secretary general Houlin Zhao.

“ICTs will play an even more significant role in the post-2015 era and in achieving future sustainable development goals as the world moves faster and faster towards a digital society,” said Brahima Sanou, director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU.

“Our mission is to connect everyone and to create a truly inclusive information society, for which we need comparable and high-quality data and statistics to measure progress,” commented Sanou.

Between 2000 and 2015, Internet penetration has increased almost seven fold from 6.5 to 43 per cent of the global population. The proportion of households with Internet access at home advanced from 18 percent in 2005 to 46 percent in 2015.

ITU figures also indicate that four billion people in the developing world remain offline. Off the nearly one billion people living in the least developing countries (LDCs), 851 million do not use the Internet.

Mobile broadband is the most dynamic market segment, with mobile broadband penetration globally reaching 47 percent in 2015, a value that increased 12-fold since 2007. In 2015, 69 percent of the global population will be covered by 3G mobile broadband, up from 45 percent in 2011.

There is also a rapid extension of 3G mobile broadband into rural areas, and ITU estimates that 29 percent of the 3.4 billion people worldwide living in rural areas will be covered by 3G mobile broadband by the end of 2015. Among the four billion people living in urban areas, 89 percent will have access to 3G mobile broadband.

Fixed-broadband uptake is growing at a slower pace with a seven percent annual increase over the past three years. While the prices of fixed-broadband services dropped sharply between 2008 and 2011 in developing countries, they have been stagnating since then and even increased slightly in LDCs.

The figures indicate that broadband is now affordable in 111 countries, with the cost of a basic (fixed or mobile) broadband plan corresponding to less than five percent of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, thus meeting the target set by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

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245 mn 4G LTE Connections in Latin America by 2020

GSMA-Latin America

245-mn-4G-LTE-Connections-in-Latin-America-by-20204G will account for 245 million connections in Latin America by 2020 as per GSMA report on Latin America.

4G currently accounts for a single digit share of mobile connections in Latin America, but GSMA Intelligence expects 4G to account for more than one in four connections by 2020. Total mobile connections in Latin America are forecast to grow from 709 million at the end of 2014 to 889 million by 2020, with 4G accounting for 28 percent by this point.

4G LTE networks will cover more than three-quarters of Latin America by 2020, according to new data from GSMA Intelligence published at Mobile World Congress today, a result of accelerating 4G deployments across the region. The new data calculates that 4G coverage will be available to 76 percent of the Latin American population by the end of 2020, up from 35 percent at the end of 2014.

Capital Expenditure (Capex) by mobile operators in Latin America is increasing significantly and is forecast to reach a cumulative $193 billion in the seven-year period between 2014 and 2020. Latin American operators invested almost S$8 billion in spectrum licenses in 2012-2015, primarily to support 4G deployments.

The total amount of spectrum assigned to mobile services since 2012 was 1,472 MHz, in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, AWS (Advanced Wireless Services- 1700-2100 MHz), and 2.6 GHz bands.

As well as expanding 3G/4G coverage reach, the migration to higher-speed mobile broadband networks is also being driven by increasing smartphone adoption. Smartphones accounted for 32 percent of Latin America connections in 2014 and is expected to account for 68 percent of the total by 2020. By this point, Latin America will have the second-highest installed base of smartphones in the world, behind only Asia Pacific.

Mobile is considered the primary method of accessing the Internet for many of the Latin American population, particularly for those in rural areas. The number of mobile broadband connections surpassed fixed broadband connections in the region in 2011. This is the case in the five largest Latin American markets, including in Brazil, where there are over five times more mobile broadband than fixed broadband connections.

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One Billion Additional Mobile Subscribers by 2020 Says GSMA


One-Billion-Additional-Mobile-Subscribers-by-2020An additional one billion people will become mobile subscribers over the next five years, according to a new GSMA report published at Mobile World Congress today.

The new report, ‘The Mobile Economy: 2015’, forecasts that the number of unique mobile subscribers will increase from 3.6 billion at the end of 2014 to 4.6 billion by 2020, increasing by four percent CAGR per year over this period. By 2020, almost 60 percent of the global population will subscribe to mobile services, up from half of the population at the end of 2014.

The study also highlights a rapid migration to 3G/4G mobile broadband networks and rising smartphone adoption, which is fueling growth in new mobile data services and applications. As the mobile ecosystem continues to expand in reach and size, the mobile industry is forecast to make an increasing contribution to global GDP, public funding and employment, as well as improving the lives of billions of citizens around the world.

“A decade ago, just one in five of the global population was a mobile subscriber – we have now surpassed the 50 percent milestone and can look forward to connecting a billion new subscribers over the next five years,” commented Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA.

“Mobile sits at the heart of a new ecosystem that is uniting the digital and physical worlds, and powering economic growth. At the same time, mobile operators continue to deploy networks to all corners of the globe, connecting unconnected citizens and addressing socio-economic challenges in areas such as digital and financial inclusion, healthcare and education,” added Bouverot.

Mobile penetration varies widely by global region. In Europe, nearly 80 percent of the population were mobile subscribers at the end of 2014, while in Sub-Saharan Africa the figure is only 39 percent.

Global subscriber growth over the next five years will therefore be concentrated in the developing world, driven by the increasing affordability of mobile devices and services and rapidly expanding mobile coverage that serves to connect currently unconnected populations, especially those in rural areas.

The number of global SIM connections (excluding M2M connections) is forecast to grow from 7.1 billion in 2014 to 9 billion by 2020. This implies that every unique mobile subscriber will continue to account for roughly 1.8 SIM cards each, on average, during this period. Cellular M2M connections are forecast to reach 1 billion by 2020, bringing the total number of mobile connections to 10 billion by this point.

The period out to 2020 will see a rapid migration to mobile broadband technology as 3G/4G network availability and affordability increases. Mobile broadband accounted for 40 percent of SIM connections in 2014, but will increase to almost 70 percent of the total by 2020 as subscribers migrate away from 2G networks and devices. As well as expanding 3G/4G coverage reach, this trend is being driven by the rising number of smartphone connections. Smartphones accounted for 37 percent of SIM connections in 2014, a figure forecast to rise to 65 percent by 2020.

The smartphone adoption rate is already at 60 percent in the developed world, ranging from 51 percent of SIM connections in Europe to 70 percent in North America. The developing world will lead smartphone growth over the next five years as the average selling price of smartphones continues to decline, adding a further 2.9 billion smartphone connections by 2020.

Mobile operators are making significant investments in next-generation mobile networks to meet capacity demands and expand coverage reach. In 2014, mobile operators invested around $216 billion in capital expenditure, a nine percent year-on-year increase. Investment levels are forecast to reach a cumulative $1.4 trillion in the six years from 2015 through to 2020.

In 2014, the mobile industry contributed $3 trillion to the world’s economy, equivalent to 3.8 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By 2020, it is estimated that the contribution from the industry will increase to $3.9 trillion, representing 4.2 percent of projected global GDP by this point.

The mobile industry directly employed 12.8 million people globally in 2014 and indirectly supported a further 11.8 million jobs, bringing the total to 24.6 million. By 2020, this figure is forecast to reach 28.7 million, with 15.3 million men and women directly employed by the industry.

Even without factoring in spectrum fees – which generated more than $14 billion in revenue for governments worldwide last year – it is estimated that the mobile industry contributed $411 billion to public finances in 2014 via taxation and social security contributions. This public funding contribution is forecast to rise to $465 billion by 2020.

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1.7 bn Women do not Own Mobile Says GSMA

GSMA Gender Gap

1.7-bn-Women-do-not-Own-MobileThe research showed that over 1.7 billion women in low and middle income countries do not own mobile says GSMA.

Women on an average are 14 percent less likely to own a mobile than men, creating a gender gap of 200 million fewer women than men owning mobile.

“The ubiquity and affordability of mobile presents us with the unprecedented opportunity to improve and enhance social and economic development; however, as our study shows, women in particular tend to be left behind as owners of mobile and as consumers of mobile services,” said Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA.

“By addressing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and use, we will deliver substantial benefits for women, the mobile industry and the broader economy,” added Bouverot.

This new large-scale study looks at how, in the five years since the benchmark study was launched, access to mobile has increased substantially and mobile penetration rates are accelerating rapidly in the developing world. However, the study also finds that despite the progress that has been made, women continue to be left behind and challenges remain in ensuring that women are included in an increasingly connected and internet-enabled world.

In particular, women in South Asia are 38 percent less likely to own a phone than men, highlighting that the gender gap in mobile ownership is wider in certain parts of the world.

Interestingly, even when women own mobile phones, there is a significant disparity in mobile usage, with women using phones less frequently than men, especially for more sophisticated services such as mobile internet. In most countries surveyed, fewer women than men who own phones report using messaging and data services beyond voice.

The top five barriers to women owning and using mobile phones from a customer perspective are cost; network quality and coverage; security and harassment via mobile; operator or agent trust; and technical literacy and confidence issues.

Social norms and disparities between men and women in terms of education and income influence women’s access to and use of mobile technology, and often contribute to women experiencing barriers to mobile phone ownership and use more acutely than men.

The report found that achieving parity in ownership and use between men and women in low and middle income countries could bring socio-economic benefits, such as the availability of new education and employment opportunities, to an additional 200 million women; unlock an estimated $170 billion market opportunity for the mobile industry by 2020.

In Mobile World Congress 2015, GSMA released ‘Bridging the Gender Gap: Mobile Access and Usage in Low- and Middle-income Countries’, a report that examines mobile ownership by women, as well as the barriers to mobile adoption and usage and identifies actionable opportunities for stakeholders across the mobile ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of mobile technology by women.

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American Mobile Operators Record Highest Capex per Subscription


American-Operators-Record-Highest-Capex-per-SubscriptionAmerican mobile operators have invested twice as much capital expenditure (CAPEX) per subscription vis-a-vis their global counterparts.

In 2015, ABI Research forecasts North America CAPEX per subscription to be $63 in comparison to Western Europe which is at distant second with $34.

For North American mobile operators, 39 percent of the CAPEX is spent on radio access networks. At the same time, 26 percent of the spending is on in-building wireless, which now handles 80 percent of the mobile traffic.

“Since large buildings have a significant impact on mobile network performance due to high user density, having sufficient coverage inside buildings can lead to improved customer satisfaction. Ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction has become an essential requisite for mobile operator competitiveness,” comments Lian Jye Su, research associate, Core Forecasting, ABI Research.

However, ABI Research believes that North American and global mobile CAPEX per subscription are on a downward trajectory. ABI Research forecasts global total mobile CAPEX to reach its peak at $224 billion in 2017, before it starts to decline mainly driven by a slowdown in CAPEX deployment, in light of declining wireless revenue.

“To reduce future CAPEX intensity, mobile operators are now looking at software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). This allows the mobile operators to transfer their hardware based network to software- and cloud-based solutions,” adds Jake Saunders, VP and practice director, Core Forecasting, ABI Research.

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4.6 mn smart wearable bands shipped in 2014


4.6-mn-smart-wearable-bands-shipped-in-20144.6 million smart wearable bands were shipped in 2014 and of this over 720,000 were Android wear devices says Canalys.

Motorola was the clear leader among Android Wear vendors despite Moto 360 remained supply constrained through Q4, 2014.

LG’s round G Watch R performed significantly better than its original G Watch, while Asus and Sony entered the market with their own Android Wear devices. Pebble meanwhile shipped a total of 1 million units from its 2013 launch through to the end of 2014. Continual software updates, more apps in its app store and price cuts in the fall helped maintain strong sales in the second half of the year.

“Samsung has launched six devices in just 14 months, on different platforms and still leads the smart band market. But it has struggled to keep consumers engaged and must work hard to attract developers while it focuses on Tizen for its wearables,” said Chris Jones, VP and principal analyst, Canalys.

Following a completely different strategy to other vendors, Xiaomi shipped over a million units of its Mi Band, the colorful and affordable basic band. This included one day of sales of over 103,000 units.

“Though the Mi Band is a lower-margin product than competing devices, Xiaomi entered the wearables market with a unique strategy, and its shipment volumes show how quickly a company can become a major force in a segment based solely on the size of the Chinese market,” said Jason Low, research analyst, Canalys.

Fitbit remained the global leader in the basic wearable band market.

In Q2, 2015 all eyes are on Apple Watch which is planned for April release. The product will dramatically grow the market for smart bands and wearables overall.

“Apple made the right decisions with its WatchKit software development kit to maximize battery life for the platform, and the Apple Watch will offer leading energy efficiency,” said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte.

Canalys defines basic wearable bands as devices serving a specific set of purposes that act as accessories to smart devices, are designed to be worn on the body and not carried, and that cannot run third-party computing applications. Smart wearable bands are multi-purpose devices that serve as accessories to smart devices, are designed to be worn on the body and not carried, and are capable of running third-party computing applications.

Bands are wearables designed to be wrapped around the body and do not include activity trackers in the form of clips.

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2.2 bn to get smartphones by 2016: eMarketer


2.2-bn-consumers-to-get-smartphones-by-2016The number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2.2 billion in 2016, according to a report from eMarketer.

Next year, there will be over 1.91 billion smartphone users across the globe, a figure that will increase another 12.6 percent to near 2.2 billion in 2016.

For the first time, more than one-quarter of the global population will use smartphones in 2015, and by 2018, eMarketer estimates, over one-third of consumers worldwide, or more than 2.6 billion people, will do so. That 2018 figure also represents over half—51.7 percent—of all mobile phone users, meaning that feature phones will have finally become a minority in the telecommunications world.

eMarketer Forecast During 2014-18
2014: China will top 500 mn smartphone users for the first time
2015: Russia will surpass Japan as the 4th largest smartphone user
2016: India will exceed 200 mn smartphone users, to become 2nd largest smartphone market
2017: The US will surpass 200 mn smartphone users, or nearly 65 percent of the country’s total population
2018: Indonesia will pass 100 mn smartphone users, to become 4th largest smartphone market

Inexpensive smartphones are opening new opportunities for marketing and commerce in emerging markets where many consumers previously had no access to the internet. Meanwhile, in mature, established markets, smartphones are quickly shifting the paradigm for consumer media usage and impressing the need for marketers to become more mobile-centric.

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