By 2020, 80% of the world's adult population will own a smartphone. THE dawn of the planet of the smartphones came in January 2007, when Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in front of a rapt audience of Apple acolytes, brandished a slab of plastic, metal and silicon not much bigger than a Kit Kat.
“This will change everything,” he promised. For once there was no hyperbole. Just eight years later Apple’s iPhone exemplifies the early 21st century’s defining technology. Smartphones matter partly because of their ubiquity. They have become the fastest-selling gadgets in history, outstripping the growth of the simple mobile phones that preceded them. The bedroom is just the beginning. Phono sapiens. Viber launches Public Chats. The messaging app's latest new feature allows users to follow and chat with celebrities and personalities.
Viber describes Public Chats as a new kind of social experience, but anyone who uses Twitter might see some similarities. However, regardless of the new feature's uniqueness, it is a concerted effort to grow the messaging and voice calling app into a true social platform. As social messaging apps become ubiquitous, they are going to have to start evolving to earn greater revenues from consumers but also to retain users and attract others. For example Line, the most popular messaging app across most of the Asia Pacific region, can be used to make mobile payments, bid in online auctions and even for remotely controlling LG's range of smart home appliances. This growing trend is also why Snapchat is now offering a peer-to-peer payment service -- announced on Monday -- and why Facebook is developing a similar feature for its standalone messenger app. Mozilla to sell '$25' Firefox OS smartphones in India. 11 June 2014Last updated at 12:36 ET Mozilla's mobile operating system features web-based apps Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox browser, has announced it will start selling low-cost smartphones in India within the "next few months".
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the firm's chief operating officer suggested the handsets, which will be manufactured by two Indian companies, would retail at $25 (£15). They will run Mozilla's HTML5 web-based mobile operating system, Firefox OS. The firm already sells Firefox-powered phones in Europe and Latin America. The current handsets, which are sold via eBay, retail at £59.99 in the UK, or $69.99 in the US. The announcement comes as mobile manufacturers increasingly attempt to break into emerging markets, where smartphones are less widespread, mainly due to their high costs.
Samsung profit hit as smartphone growth slows. 30 July 2014Last updated at 21:40 ET The success of its Galaxy smartphones has seen Samsung become the world's biggest phone maker Profits at Samsung Electronics fell 20% in the second quarter, hurt mainly by a slowdown in smartphone sales and a strong Korean currency.
It made a net profit of 6.25 trillion won ($6.1bn; £3.6bn) in the April-to-June period, down from 7.77 trillion won a year ago. When compared to the previous quarter, its profit was down 17%. Samsung Electronics forecasts 60% fall in quarterly profit. 7 October 2014Last updated at 06:15 ET Samsung has been struggling to maintain sales because of an oversaturated market for mobile phones Samsung Electronics has forecast a 60% fall in quarterly operating profit from a year ago because of slowing Galaxy smartphone sales.
The world's biggest mobile phones and TV maker said it expects an operating income of 4.1tn won ($3.8bn; £2.5bn) for the three months to September. That is below analysts' expectations for earnings of 5.2tn won. The South Korean company will publish full financial results later this month. Continue reading the main story. Samsung Electronics profit falls to lowest in three years. 29 October 2014Last updated at 20:29 ET.
Microsoft stays committed to ultra-cheap phones. 11 August 2014Last updated at 07:35 ET By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor The Nokia 130 can play videos and MP3 music files on its 1.8in (4.6cm) screen Microsoft has announced a low cost mobile phone that lacks a data connection, meaning it cannot offer any of the firm's internet services.
The Nokia 130 is priced at 19 euros ($25; £15). The launch comes a month after a leaked memo revealed that Microsoft planned to kill off several of its low-cost phone families to "focus on" its more expensive Windows Phone range. But the firm said that it was still committed to its most basic range. "This is a massive market segment, and there are not a lot of players in this segment for the reason that scale is really important," Jo Harlow, head of Microsoft's phones business, told the BBC. "We have the distribution and supply chain scale to compete effectively in this market. Microsoft makes Opera default browser for budget WP devices. Asha 210 Microsoft's full Windows Phone devices running WP 8.1 have had plenty of attention this weeks as the HTC One M8 launched on the platform.
However, the company has some news for those rocking its existing Nokia feature phones by revealing that an agreement has been reached for Opera to become the default web browser on those devices. The licensing agreement encompasses Nokia feature phones and the Asha range of devices from the 30+ series and 40 series. Mozilla's first low-cost smartphone on sale in India. 26 August 2014Last updated at 04:17 ET Mozilla's Intex Cloud FX phone is only available to buy online via India's Snapdeal Mozilla, a company best known for its Firefox browser, has launched a new low-cost smartphone in India that will retail for 1,999 rupees ($33; £19.90).