ARM have announced that the $20 smartphone is coming, possibly within the next few months, making ultra-low-cost smartphones a reality for emerging markets in India, parts of Africa and south-east Asia. Emerging markets continue to be a major focus for tech brands, with Chinese low-cost handset manufacturer Xiomi expanding into south-east Asia and India, and Google planning to lease balloon-powered cell towers to telecoms companies in developing countries.
To keep costs as low as possible, handsets will be limited by slower single-core processors and relatively few features, creating opportunities for mobile operating systems like Firefox OS, which require less powerful handsets to run. The frugal handsets will support 2.5G EDGE networks which are more common in developing countries than 3G, but are too slow for modern media-rich apps. Although there is no comparison to current smartphones from Apple and Samsung, consider this: the Cortex A5 processor used in the $20 phone is comparable to the ARM11 in the original iPhone, which retailed for $599 in 2007.
You couldn’t make it up
Grace Choi, a Harvard Business graduate, has created a way to 3D print make up. ‘The Mink’ is able to print a range of powder based cosmetics including eye shadows and foundations, with intentions to extend the range to lipsticks, creams and more. The substrates used are FDA approved and come from the same sources as known and trusted makeup brands, but The Mink offers unique benefits; it allows the user to choose any colour at all, using an eye dropper tool to select the perfect shade, allowing you to customise your colours at home. The beauty industry is often criticized for not offering colours to suit every complexion and ethnicity, and the options that are available are often priced out of the pocket-money range of teenagers. Given that’s the age range which The Mink is targeting, we hope to see it succeed. With the global beauty industry forecast to be worth $265 billion by 2017, there’s surely room in the market for a new player.
Antivirus software is dead. Long live antivirus software.
Symantec has given up on antivirus software, with their senior vice president making the bold statement that antivirus software is dead and “doomed to failure”. Symantec first pioneered internet security in the 1980s, but have since lost their effectiveness, resulting in a loss in earnings (reportedly down 5% from last year) as reports find that Symantec software currently only catches 45% of malware attacks. This is forcing Symantec to have an overhaul of its products and services, moving the business into the “detect and respond” sector, with response teams acting on cyber attacks, rather than trying to stay effective through protective measures only. This latest move is an effort to bring the Symantec offering up to date with the real situation of internet security; a world where protection is no longer enough, as essentially, the ‘bad guys’ will always find a way to get in.
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