Connect with us

Research

OPPO to invest $1.43bn in smart mobile technology research

Published

on

Mobile communications and social networking concept: row of touchscreen smartphones with cloud of application icons isolated on white reflective background

OPPO has disclosed plans to spend at least $1.43 billion on research and development in 2019, so as to improve the company’s technological capabilities. 

OPPO is an innovative smartphone brand, ranked fourth in the world, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). OPPO provides cutting-edge smartphones to 200 million people all over the world. It is popular for its stylish designs, quality photography experience and the status symbol it provides to its users.

Founder and CEO of OPPO, Tony Chen, has emphasised the company’s commitment to leverage artificial intelligence to develop a wide range of smart devices, including smart watches and smart home technologies, to explore and meet the increasingly rigid demands of consumers in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT).

5G is a trend OPPO is already embracing and, as a technology company, OPPO is striving to become the first manufacturer in the world to launch 5G smartphones. OPPO will fully integrate 5G with applications and user insights, and continuously innovate to provide users with revolutionary, necessary, convenient and seamless experiences. Interestingly, OPPO had established a 5G team as far back as 2015 and continued working backstage till a major breakthrough was achieved in October 2018.

To further improve its reputation for creating more personalised experiences through technology, OPPO has applied AI technologies across a range of applications, including photography, facial recognition and fingerprint identification, while introducing many innovative features such as an AI-powered beauty camera, 3D portrait lighting and intelligent recognition scenarios.

The brand envisions a future where smartphones will become intelligent personal assistants and as such are already investing in research and design to make this happen. OPPO will actively embrace artificial intelligence while dedicating focus and resources to cutting-edge AI technologies and applications.

The vision is to dare to explore, dare to make breakthroughs and dare to innovate. In the future, OPPO will fully integrate technological innovation with art and humanity, to develop smart devices and smart homes with the smartphone at their core.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Research

HOW APPLE MAKES BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SELLING SERVICES

Published

on

By

 focus is shifting. In recent years, iPhone sales have begun to plateau, and now Apple’s services business — which encompasses everything from the App Store to licensing deals — is being positioned as its next big frontier for revenue growth. More than ever, Apple wants to sell people constant, ongoing subscriptions for things they can do on their phones.

That new direction is going to be thrust into the spotlight next week at Apple’s “It’s Show Time” event, where the company is expected to unveil two big new subscription services: a TV service for original shows and movies, and an Apple News service that will bundle together premium news sources and magazines.

Apple’s services business brought in over $10.9 billion during the most recent quarter, setting records in “every geographic segment” in the process, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Cook also said that Apple is on track to double its services business from 2016 to 2020. Last quarter saw a 19 percent increase year over year.

It’s a substantial figure compared to Apple’s other business segments: services already brings in more per quarter than the Mac ($7.4 billion last quarter), iPad ($6.7 billion), or the collected “Wearables, Home, and Accessories” group of products ($7.3 billion). And that balance will likely only continue to shift as Apple starts to push services harder and introduces new services to which people can subscribe.

So what’s already bringing in all that services revenue, and how healthy are those businesses? Apple doesn’t break down how much money individual services make, so there’s a large extent to which we just can’t say. But we do know what businesses the segment is composed of, how much they charge, and whether they’re any good. With the services business entering a new era, here’s an overview of where it stands today.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

APPLE MUSIC

 Music is arguably the highest-profile entry in Apple’s new services business, due to it being one of the most modern (it launched in 2015, after Apple bought and rebranded Beats Music) and one of the most interesting (sorry, extended warranty programs).

The music subscription service had 56 million customers as of December 2018, according to the Financial Times. For comparison, Spotify had 96 million paid customers as of February 2019.

It’s unclear how many of Apple Music’s customers are actively paying. The company offers free trials, and its service also comes bundled with some Verizon wireless plans.

Assuming all customers are paying $10 per month (with family plans, annual discounts, bundles, and student deals, they’re not, but this is ballpark numbers here), that puts Apple Music at a high-ball estimate of $6.7 billion per year brought in.

Cost: $10 per month ($5 per month for student plans, $15 per month for family plans)

How Apple makes money: Subscription fees, carrier partnerships.

APP STORE / MAC APP STORE

 one of the biggest contributors to Apple’s revenue is the massively popular App Store, which was estimated as of May 2018 to have seen upward of 170 billion downloads in its 10-year history.

Most of those aren’t straight-up paid purchases — a massive percentage of the App Store’s revenue comes from in-app purchases in free-to-play games like Fortniteand Candy Crush and subscription apps like Netflix, Tinder, and YouTube. According to App Annie’s latest estimates, every single one of the 50 top grossing apps on the platform is either a major service that relies on subscription fees or a free-to-play game. Even the most popular paid apps like Minecraft or Facetune just don’t make the same kind of money as free apps that rely on in-app purchases, even with in-app purchases to help bolster their numbers. And Apple takes a cut of each of those in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Those “free” apps have resulted in some pretty big sales: as of June 2018, Apple had paid out $100 billion to developers from the App Store. If you work off of Apple’s 70 / 30 revenue split (which is usually, but not always, the cut it takes from purchases), you get total sales of roughly $142 billion, with $42 billion of that going to Apple in the decade it’s been running the App Store.

That said, Apple has recently come under fire for the App Store model in the past few months: the Supreme Count is hearing an iOS App Store antitrust lawsuit that alleges Apple has an unfair monopoly on iPhone apps. And Spotify has filed another antitrust complaintover Apple’s 30 percent cut with the European Union, complaining that it gives Apple an unfair advantage when promoting its own streaming service, Apple Music.

Cost: Depends on content purchased.

How Apple makes money: in-app purchases in games, app sales, app subscriptions.

ICLOUD

 every single Apple customer who owns an iPhone, iPad, or Mac is an iCloud user, because Apple gives a paltry 5GB of storage to all customers for free. But for revenue, the important part here is the paid plans, which give users additional storage for a monthly cost.

iCloud may not have the same brand recognition as Dropbox or Google Drive when it comes to storing and sharing files, but it does have some big advantages in getting users to subscribe: it’s the only way to back up iPhones and iPads to the internet. And that storage pool counts toward nearly everything on your phone. Take too many pictures, for example, and your phone stops backing up, which creates a real incentive to shell out for more than the scant 5GB Apple gives for free.

Apple seems to know that, too: the cheapest iCloud plan is just 99 cents per month for 50GB of storage, making it an easy sell to users, but that $12 per customer per year starts to add up across the billion-plus iOS devices out in the world, even if only a fraction of them subscribe. A 2016 interview with Apple SVP Eddy Cue revealed that at the time, there were 782 million iCloud users, but Cue’s comments referred to all users — Apple has never broken out how many paid subscribers it has.

Cost: $0.99 per month (50GB), $2.99 per month (200GB), $9.99 per month (2TB). The 200GB and 2TB plans can be shared as a family plan.

How Apple makes money: subscription fees.

Mac-apps-report-verge-Amelia Krales-03

ITUNES / APPLE BOOKS

 iTunes store isn’t the juggernaut it once was — with streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix, and Hulu, people just tend to buy fewer songs, TV shows, and movies nowadays. But it still does bring in money: it’s a one-stop-shop for a huge range of content, and like all of Apple’s other services, it’s front and center on all its devices. Want to rent a movie on your Apple TV for a movie night? iTunes is right there, ready and waiting. And with Apple expanding iTunes to other devices, like Samsung smart TVs, it seems like iTunes is still a big part of Apple’s revenue strategy going forward.

Also included here is Apple Books, which is basically iTunes, but for books. Apple Books has the issue of Amazon and its massive Kindle library as competition, which Apple infamously tried to solve in a price fixing scandal that cost the company $450 million. Even so, it’s still one of the biggest ebook stores around, and is another easy source of service revenue.

Lastly, iTunes also includes Apple’s less popular iTunes Match subscription service, which costs $25 per year and syncs users’ iTunes music across their devices, sort of like a private cloud music service where you have to buy all the music.

Cost: Depends on content purchased; $24.99 per year for iTunes Match (iTunes Match is included with Apple Music).

How Apple makes money: Purchased content, subscription fees.

APPLE PAY

 Pay is Apple’s overarching payments system — it includes using Apple Pay to make purchases on websites and inside apps, conducting contactless payments at retail stores, and sending money using Apple Pay Cash (Apple’s Venmo-style person-to-person payment system).

Apple says it doesn’t charge “users, merchants, or developers” to use Apple Pay, but reports indicate that it still receives a small fee from each transaction. That cut appears to come from the bank that issued the card with which Apple Pay is being used. Reports from 2014, when Apple Pay launched, said the fee for US banks was 0.15 percent, or 15 cents on every $100 spent.

Last quarter, Apple said there were 1.8 billion Apple Pay transactions, more than twice as many as the same quarter a year earlier. We don’t know how much those transactions are worth, and it’s likely that the vast majority of them happened outside the US, in countries where mobile payments are more popular. But that’s still a large volume of transactions where Apple takes a cut.

Apple also makes money off of Apple Pay Cash. The service is free to use when sending money with a debit card, but it charges a 3 percent fee for any funds sent using a credit card.

Cost: Three percent of any funds sent using Apple Pay Cash tied to a credit card.

How Apple makes money: Transaction fees from users, banks.

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

APPLECARE

 is Apple’s extended warranty service: it lets customers get longer and more comprehensive warranties for their Apple products, usually with things like discounted screen or device replacements, depending on the device.

AppleCare+ is also included as part of the monthly cost of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. Like many of the other Apple services, the company hasn’t said how many users opt to buy the extended warranty.

Cost: Depends on product, ranges from $129 to $199 for iPhones, $249 to $369 for MacBook laptops, and $99 to $249 for iMac and Mac desktops.

How Apple makes money: Warranty fees.

LICENSING

 isn’t quite a consumer-facing service like everything else on this list, but it’s a big business. Apple sells licenses to companies to get their services built into iOS, like how Google is the default search engine or The Weather Channel provides weather data. That kind of front row real estate on all of Apple’s devices is worth a lot, and it provides a big chunk of Apple’s services revenue.

Licensing agreements are a particularly opaque area of Apple’s business. The last clear numbers we have are from 2014, when court documents revealed that Google paid Apple $1 billion to stay the default search bar on iOS as part of the company’s revenue sharing agreement. But recent estimates from analysts have put Apple’s fee at roughly $9 billion — a number that, if true, would make it one of the biggest parts of Apple’s entire service group all on its own.

Cost: Nothing, unless you prefer Bing for search.

How Apple makes money: Licensing payments from companies like Google to be featured on Apple products.

MAPS, SIRI, FREE ICLOUD

 is where things get weird: As of its most recent quarter, Apple now takes part of the sale price of every iPhone, iPad, and Mac and converts it into money for services, which it then spreads out across multiple quarters. Basically, Apple counts “free” services like Maps, Siri, and parts of iCloud (like iMessage), and considers them to be built into the cost of its devices.

It’s a meaningful shift, too: when Apple started factoring in payments for these free services, its total service revenue for Q1 2018 jumped 7.7 percent, from the originally reported $8.47 billion to $9.13 billion.

Cost: Free? But also you’re technically paying for it when you buy your iPhone.

How Apple makes money: Hardware purchases.

Correction: Only Samsung smart TVs will have the iTunes app, not LG TVs (although those will have AirPlay 2 and HomeKit).

Continue Reading

Innovations

Google Stadia Gaming Service ‘Will Not Have Any Adults-Only’ Content, Executive Says

Published

on

By

A Google executive offered new details on Wednesday about the company’s upcoming video game streaming service, telling Reuters that game makers may use competing cloud providers and must avoid some inappropriate content.

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, unveiled Stadia on Tuesday, saying the service launching this year would make playing high-quality video games in an internet browser as easy as watching a movie on its YouTube service.

The game would operate on Google’s servers, receiving commands from a user’s controller and sending video streams to their screen. Player settings, leaderboards, matchmaking tools and other data related to the game would “not necessarily” have to reside on Google’s servers, Phil Harrison, a Google vice president, said in an interview.

Hosting the data elsewhere, however, could lead to slower loading times or less crisp streaming quality, he said.

“Obviously, we would want and incentivize the publisher to bring as much of their backend as possible” to Google servers, he said. “But Stadia can reach out to other public and private cloud services.”

The approach could limit Google’s revenue from Stadia. It has declined to comment on the business model for the new service, but attracting new customers to Google’s paid cloud computing program is one of Stadia’s aims.

If a game publisher was using Amazon for some tools, “the first thing I would do is introduce you to the Google Cloud team,” Harrison said.

In addition, Stadia will require games to follow content guidelines that build upon the system of Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory body, he said.

“We absolutely will not have A-O content,” Harrison said, referring to the ESRB’s moniker for the rare designation of a game as adult-only because of intense violence, pornography or real-money gambling.

He said Stadia’s guidelines would not be public.

Asked about growing public concerns about game addiction, Harrison said Stadia would empower parents with controls on “what you play, when you play and who you play with.”

Google views Stadia as connecting its various efforts in gaming, including selling them on its mobile app store, Harrison said. But game streaming, he said, is an opportunity to tackle among the most complex technical challenges around and potentially apply breakthroughs to other industries.

“We think we can grow a very significant games market vertical,” he said. “And by getting this right we can advance the state of the art of computing.”

Continue Reading

Internet

The number of mobile malware attacks doubles in 2018, as cybercriminals sharpen their distribution strategies

Published

on

By

Four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware; Nigeria climbs from fifth place in 2017 to third in 2018.

Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) researchers have seen the number of attacks using malicious mobile software nearly double in just a year. In 2018 there were 116.5 million attacks, compared to 66.4 million in 2017, with a significant increase in unique users being affected. Despite more devices being attacked, the number of malware files has decreased, leading researchers to conclude that the quality of mobile malware has become more impactful and precise. These and other findings are unveiled in Kaspersky Lab’s report Mobile malware evolution 2018.

As the world becomes more mobile, the role of smartphones in business processes and day to day life is growing rapidly. In response, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used. The channels through which malware is delivered to users and infects their devices is a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who do not have any security solutions installed on their phones.

The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks, but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware. In 2018 this figure rose by 774,000 on the previous year, to 9,895,774 affected users. Among the threats encountered, the most significant growth was in the use of Trojan-Droppers, whose share almost doubled from 8.63% to 17.21%. This type of malware is designed to bypass system protection and deliver there all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware.

“In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen. Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking (http://bit.do/eKudD), along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones – to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source,” said Viсtor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

Four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware – Nigeria in 3rd place at 37.72%, Algeria in 5th place (35.06%), Tanzania in 8th place (31.34%) and Kenya in 9th place with 29.72%.

Other findings in the mobile malware evolution 2018 report include:

  • In 2018 Kaspersky Lab products protected 80,638 users in 150 countries against mobile ransomware, with 60,176 mobile ransomware Trojans samples detected
  • In 2018, a fivefold increase in attacks using mobile malicious crypto currency miners was observed
  • In 2018, 151,359 installation packages for mobile banking Trojans were detected, which is 1.6 times more than in the previous year

In order to protect your devices, Kaspersky Lab security experts advise the following:

  • Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS
  • Block the installation of programmes from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings
  • Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks
  • Install system and application updates as soon as they are available — they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing). Application updates can only be installed through official app stores
  • Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud(http://bit.do/eKurx)

To learn more about threats to mobile devices, please read the blog post available at Securelist.com. (http://bit.do/eKuiq)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kaspersky.

About Kaspersky Lab:
Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) is a global cybersecurity company which has been operating in the market for 21 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.Kaspersky.co.za.

source: Africanews

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Inventrium Magazine

%d bloggers like this: