Cell Phone Evolution Gets Tougher

According to In-Stat/MDR (http://www.instat.com), the last few years have been very good ones for handset chip makers, as new technology hasquickly been integrated into many handsets, prompting users to upgrade. This, combined with continued subscriber growth, worldwide, especially in emerging nations, means the number of new handsetsproduced each year continues to increase at a rapid rate. However, the high-tech market research firm finds that supplying components for this market can be challenging for handset chip makers,because not only can consumers’ tastes change at a rapid pace, but also because handset component content can vary greatly from one region to the next.

“The cellular handset has been going through a complete evolution in the last few years, keeping handset chip makers on their toes while they attempt to forecast what will be the next big thing,” said Allen Nogee, a principal analyst with In-Stat/MDR. “When a technology does take the fancy of consumers and carriers, history shows us that the content of a handset can change quickly. For example, cameras in phones went from zero to over 150 million in just two years. Other technologies can, and will, move just as fast.”

Behind the trends in handset components are the trends in the handsets themselves. These trends, in many cases, are not driven so much by what consumers are demanding in their phones, but by what carriers want consumers to have in their handset, so that the carriers can reap the services revenues from these features. At the very least, carriers want their handsets to be attractive to potential customers, so that these carriers can steal away business from their competition. “This ‘phone-feature tango’ has been very tough on both handset makers and handset chipset makers alike, since each carrier wants a list of features that are different from the features offered by their competitors,” said Nogee. “Since both chip makers and device makers lower their prices by standardizing a set list of features and producing them in high volumes, the carrier’s need to differentiate can be in direct conflict with the hardware maker’s need to standardize.”

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

— The number of application processors used in handsets is expected to increase dramatically, from 18.725 million this year to 92.070 million in 2008.

— The MPEG-4 chip market for handsets is ripe for growth. With not only video and camera functionality driving demand, but, eventually, Direct Broadcast (DB) services will start to appear in handsets as well, MPEG-4 chips fill the need for those mid-tier handsets supporting these services.

— By 2008, roughly 56% of all handsets shipped will have Bluetooth capability.

— Overall, while unit numbers are steadily increasing, ASPs are dropping, and add-on components to the core handset chipset won’t be able to offset this decline.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Watch this lab-grown heart tissue beat just like the real thing

A team of researchers in Germany have used stem cells to create a lab-grown human heart tissue which actually beats, as well as responding to drugs in the same way as the real thing.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.