Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. should make it abundantly clear this week that the smartphone industry is increasingly dividing into the haves and have-nots, The Wall Street Journal reports. The two companies are expected to report record earnings for the first three months of the year, largely on the strength of smartphone sales. They together ship nearly half of all smartphones, pushing aside weakened competitors such as Nokia Corp., HTC Corp., and Research In Motion Ltd……Read More
Chromebooks have come from nowhere to grab nearly a fifth of U.S. school purchases of mobile computers, posing problems for Microsoft Corp. and possibly even Apple Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports.
The inexpensive laptops, which run Google Inc. software but are mostly sold by other companies, accounted for 19% of the K-12 market for mobile computers in the U.S. in 2013, according to a preliminary estimate by Futuresource Consulting. In 2012, Chromebooks represented less than 1% of the market, according to the research firm, whose estimate includes both tablets and notebook PCs but excludes desktop computers.
Mobile computers running Microsoft Windows slid from 47.5% of that market in 2012 to 28% in last year’s third quarter, said Futuresource, which isn’t yet providing comparisons for all of 2013……Read More
Datawind announced that it plans to sell a $38 tablet in the U.S. through as-yet unnamed online and brick-and-mortar retailers early next year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The London-based firm plans to sell three models in the United States, ranging in price from $38 to as much as $149 with varying specs and capabilities. The goal, says Suneet Singh Tuli, Datawind’s CEO, is the same as it’s always been – to bring the least expensive computers possible to schools and low-income communities. “Affordability shouldn’t be the reason people can’t get on the internet,” Tuli said in an interview. “We want to specifically reach a customer base that right now is not on the internet.” According to the Pew Research Center, 15% of American adults don’t use the internet.…Read More
The Wall Street Journal Reports: As schools rush to embrace computer tablets as teaching tools, glitches have officials in a few districts rethinking the usefulness and even security of the latest technology trend. The highest-profile snafu came in Los Angeles, where a $1 billion program—funded by voter-approved bonds—to provide Apple Inc. iPads for K-12 students came under fire after some students sidestepped the security system and accessed social media, online games and other content that was supposed to be blocked. The Los Angeles Unified School District temporarily took back thousands of tablets from students at three high schools and required the devices to remain on-campus in all 30 schools where the effort had been rolled out. School board officials called a special meeting for Oct. 29 to assess the $50 million first phase of the program ahead of votes to fund the second and third phases. Los Angeles school board member Bennett Kayser said the district’s initiative was “hastily planned” and several “red flags” were overlooked, such as the potential expense of lost or stolen devices and questions about the completeness of the installed curriculum software. Plus, he added, “There is no silver bullet or Superman here; technology is a tool, not an end unto itself.”…Read More
Some of the world’s biggest handset makers and telecom carriers are embracing alternative mobile operating systems this year in a quest to become credible challengers to smartphones run by Apple Inc. and Google Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports. These companies are hoping they can outgun attempts by Microsoft Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd. to emerge as a third alternative platform to the iPhone and Android devices, which have a virtual stranglehold on the market……Read More
Zynga wants kids to play more games in class, the Wall Street Journal reports. The San Francisco-game company’s non-profit, Zynga.org, plans to announce Wednesday that it is investing $1 million in a new program to help technology startups build games to help children learn. It has selected an initial handful of startups to join an accelerator this summer at its offices and will supply Zynga employees to help improve their products. Zynga’s non-profit is partnering with NewSchools Venture Fund, an Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit that has invested $250 million in early-stage education programs, including startups and charter schools……Read More
Microsoft Corp. seems to be serious about its foray into the tablet market – the software giant is planning large volume production of its first tablet computer, Surface, in the fourth quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to component suppliers in Asia, Microsoft has placed orders to produce 3 million to 5 million of these tablets in the fourth quarter. That is similar to the orders that were placed for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets and Google’s Nexus 7 tablets, these suppliers say. Some component suppliers to Apple in Asia say they have received orders to make more than 10 million units of a smaller tablet for the Cupertino, Calif. company in the fourth quarter. Mass production of the Surface tablets began earlier this month, according to two people familiar with the situation……Read More
President Obama said last month that America can educate its way to prosperity if Congress sends money to states to prevent public school layoffs and “rehire even more teachers,” says Andrew Coulson for the Wall Street Journal. Mitt Romney was having none of it, invoking “the message of Wisconsin” and arguing that the solution to our economic woes is to cut the size of government and shift resources to the private sector. Mr. Romney later stated that he wasn’t calling for a reduction in the teacher force—but perhaps there would be some wisdom in doing just that. Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled—to 6.4 million from 3.3 million—and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers’ aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs. Or would they? Stanford economist Eric Hanushek has shown that better-educated students contribute substantially to economic growth……Read More
Apple is preparing to launch a smaller tablet computer in the coming months in a bid to maintain its edge in an increasingly crowded market, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The Journal cited unnamed sources as saying that component parts manufacturers had been ordered to gear up for mass production of the tablets in September, indicating the launch may be drawing near. It said the new tablet’s screen would likely be smaller than eight inches (20 centimeters), compared to the 9.7-inch (25-centimeter) screen on Apple’s market-leading iPad, launched in 2010……Read More
The Justice Department has warned Apple and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them, accusing them of colluding to raise the prices of electronic books, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. Several parties have held talks to settle the potential anti-trust case, the paper cited the people as saying. It added that a successful settlement could lead to cheaper eBooks for consumers. However, not all publishers are in settlement discussions, the Journal said. The five publishers identified in the Journal report are Simon & Schuster Inc, a unit of CBS Corp, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group (USA), Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH and HarperCollins Publishers Inc, a unit of News Corp. News Corp also owns the Wall Street Journal……Read More