Industry News

IDC: Android Fuels W. European Mobile Growth

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IDC reports the W. European mobile market returns to growth in Q1 2012, following 3 quarters of decline-- with shipments growing by 1.3% Y-o-Y to reach 44.8 million units.

Smartphones marketSmartphones account for 63% of the total Q1 2012 mobile market, with shipments of 28.2m units and 37% Y-o-Y growth.

Meanwhile the feature phone segment shrinks further (by -30% Y-o-Y) and reaches 16.6m units.

IDC says European customers "are are still willing" to spend on smartphones-- the most expensive devices (priced over €400) account for 49% of total Q1 2012 smartphone shipments (up from 46% in Q1 2011), with the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II topping sales rankings.

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The Tangled Patent War Web

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Patent Wars PreviewKeeping track of the ever-ongoing patent wars is hard work-- but now keeping tabs on who is suing who is easier thanks to a Bloomberg infographic showing key cases at the International Trade Commission.

As the graphic shows, the smartphone patent wars appear to radiate from one source-- Apple. Other vendors in the various legal fights include Samsung, Motorola Mobility, HTC, VIA, S3 Graphics and even Kodak.

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Draganflyer Soars Commercially

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 Draganflyer

You’ve probably seen the toy/hobby quadracopters and remote-controlled helicopters?

Well, here’s a remote-controlled copter that goes to work. The Draganflys go to work and get professional quality aerial video and pictures in remote, hazardous, or urban areas where full size aircraft are not practical.

The largest Draganflyer, the X8, features an 8 rotor design and a payload capacity of approximately 800 grams that normally gets loaded with a video or still camera. It features a foldable "Grab and Go" carbon fibre frame for easy transport.

On the other end of the spectrum is their most affordable helicopter ever, the Draganflyer X4 (still a platform for getting aerial pictures and video).

The Draganfly Tango is the most recent airplane announced. The unique tandem wing design of the Draganfly Tango ensures that if the DF Tango is stalled the nose will gently drop and the plane will "self correct" once it has gained enough airspeed. Instead of the traditional “drop-like-a-stone” behavior that distinguishes most other unmanned airborne vehicles that stall in mid-air.

The optional camera package comes pre-installed in the aircraft and in a hardshell case for storage and transportation.

Watch The Draganfly at Work

Flexible LG Displays Launching Soon

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EReaders might soon get lighter and more flexible-- LG Display plans to launch a flexible plastic electronic paper display (EPD) in Europe for eReader use this month, a world first according to the company.

LG EPDThe LG design measures 6" diagonally and handles XGA (1024x768) resolutions. Construction is in plastic, meaning the display is only 0.7mm thick and weighs 14g (50% less than traditional glass displays). It is not able to handle colours or animation, but should offer a crisp reading experience.

The company says the EPD display is also "more durable" and is bendable by up to 40 degrees (but cannot be folded or rolled up).

Products carrying the displays should be launching in Europe by April 2012.

The technology can also go towards more future developments (such as plastic OLEDs and flexible displays) as well as find deployment in digital signage applications.

Go LG Display

The Chip for the Internet of Things?

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ARM reveals what it claims is the most energy efficient microprocessor yet-- the Cortex-MO+, a 32-bit processor the company says uses around 30% of the power a basic 8-bit processor consumes.

Cortex MOIt is the successor to the Cortex-MO, the chip carrying the smallest ARM architecture. The MO+ retains the architecture, yet slashes power consumptions to 9µA/MHz on a low-cost 90nm LP process.

ARM says the MO+ chip can find a variety of applications-- not necessarily mobile devices, but home appliances, lighting and power systems and even medical monitoring devices, before pushing towards bringing about the so-called "Internet of Things."

NXP Semiconductors and Freescale already have licenses for the design.

Go ARM Announces ARM Cortex-MO+ Processor