December 2011

Added: full lineup of Janam rugged handhelds
Janam is a new York-based provider of an interesting lineup of rugged handheld computers that all aim to supply tried-and-true functionality in handy, durable packages and employing mature technology, both on the hardware and the software side. On the Windows side of things, Janam offers the Windows CE-based XM60+ and Windows Mobile-based XM66 (see here), and the XG100 with a gun-style handle that includes the unit's battery (see here). For those who seek to continue using Palm OS-based applications, Janam has the XP20 (160 x 160 mono) and XP30 (240 x 320 color) using the Palm 5.4.9 Garnet OS (see here). -- Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011 by chb

Tablet PC redux at Acer?
Mobile computing historians will recall that Acer was one of the early adopters of the Tablet PC back in 2001/2002 when Bill Gates/Microsoft made another push to establish the platform. The Acer TM100 (see our 2002 report), in fact, almost singlehandedly established the convertible notebook concept that remains quite popular in vertical markets (Panasonic, Getac, Twinhead, etc. all offer them) and was the early Tablet PC leader, but Acer never seemed to fully mature the concept, and quickly dropped it. Now history seems to repeat itself with Acer on another rollercoaster ride in media tablets with aggressive claims and predictions of leadership alternating with dismissals of the tablet market. The latest news, as reported by the Taiwan Economic News, now is that Acer is likely to withdraw from the tablet market entirely. [See article] -- Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by chb

iPad continues to dominate in Q3 of 2011
It's almost two years after the iPad's introduction, and Apple's blockbuster tablet continues to rule. According to IDC, Apple sold 11.1 million iPads in Q3 of 2011 for a 61% market share. That's compared to a combined total of just six million for all Android tablets combined, for a 32.4% share, down from 33.2% in Q3 of 2010. Android, though, seems poised to benefit from the new generation of hybrid tablet/book readers such as the Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook that may boost Android market share over 40%. -- Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by chb

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
The original IBM ThinkPad of the early 1990s was a tablet and ran PenPoint, so it's only fitting that the new Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet should explore Android for business. Dan Rasmus analyzes the new Lenovo Tablet and finds much to like (superior keyboard and case), but it comes at the cost of extra weight. And Android still seeks to find an identity, in business at least. [See Dan Rasmus' review of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet] -- Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011 by chb

Need to speed bodes well for LTE
According to a report from Juniper Research, worldwide service revenues generated by speedy LTE mobile networks are forecast to grow rapidly once networks are launched, exceeding US$265 billion by 2016. [See Juniper Research press release] -- Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011 by chb

Tablet survey says connection speed is everything
European network solutions provider Brocade research suggests that while 85% of consumers in their survey use their smartphones or tablets to do their holiday shopping, almost 70% were only prepared to wait a maximum of 20 seconds for a web page to load before going to another retailer. And 13% said they'd only wait a maximum of five seconds for a retailer's web page to load before giving up and trying another site. [See Brocade press release] -- Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011 by chb

Winmate introduces hybrid 4.3-inch rugged handheld with capacitive touch
While most consumer smartphones run Android or the iOS and have capacitive touch screens, most rugged industrial handhelds still use resistive screens and Windows CE/Mobile. Winmate has now introduced the S430T hybrid device, a rugged industrial handheld with a conventional form factor, but equipped with projected capacitive touch and capable of running either Android 2.3.4, Windows CE 6.0 or Windows Mobile 6.5. The IP67-sealed device includes u-blox GPS, and can be equipped with optional WWAN, scanner or RFID. [See description and specs of the Winmate S430T] -- Posted Friday, December 16, 2011 by chb

Motorola Solution introduces MC2100 mobile computer
Motorola Solutions introduced the MC2100, a value-conscious enterprise mobile handheld computer for inventory management and similar tasks. Weighing just 8.5 ounces, the rugged MC2100 runs Windows Embedded CE 6.0 on a 624MHz Marvell PXA320 processor, has a 2.8-inch QVGA display, offers the choice of 1D laser, 1D imager, or 1D/2D imager, and includes push-to-talk. [See description and specs of the Motorola Solutions MC2100] -- Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by chb

Jon Peddie Research sees big boost in stereo cameras in smartphones
Jon Peddie Research released a new study on mobile devices. Among the findings: 80% of smartphones will have stereo 3D cameras by 2015, not just for 3D viewing, but also for gesture based controls, advanced augmented reality applications, and visualization with depth. Peddie also forecasts shipment of over 750 million smartphones in 2016, as well as almost 300 million tablets. -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 by chb

Apple's efficiency hurts chip vendors
Bloomberg reports that the iPad's low chip count (about 75% fewer than in a standard notebook) is hurting chipmakers, especially those specializing in memory chips. [See Bloomberg article] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 by chb

MobileIron 4.5 to offer comprehensive Android security platform
MobileIron announced global availability of MobileIron 4.5, which provides a deep set of security features to Android devices. With support for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), MobileIron 4.5 includes encryption enforcement, secure SSL VPN, Exchange account configuration with certificates, a single MobileIron client for all Android devices, hardware lockdown and more. -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 by chb

Essay on wearable computing
Corey Christiansen posted an interesting essay on the history and status of wearable computing on mcdm.washington.edu. See Getting Schooled in Wearables). -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 by chb

Neonode scores another zForce license win
Neonode announced that ultra-rigged phonemaker Sonim Technologies has signed a worldwide license for Neonode's zForce optical touch technology. zForce uses an infrared beam grid to detect touch and finger location, meaning there is no need for a digitizer overlay. The signing of a number of high-profile technology licences over the past couple of years represents a remarkable turn-around for Neonode, a company which initially attempted to sell its own ahead-of-their-time N1 and N2 smartphones (see our 2005 and 2007 reviews of the Neonode N1 and Neonode N2). [See Neonode press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 by chb