IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
32.4K views | +12 today
Follow
IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scoop.it!

Apple Watch Gets Another Competitor in the Android-Based LG Watch Urbane

Apple Watch Gets Another Competitor in the Android-Based LG Watch Urbane | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

LG Electronics today announced a new device in the line of Android Wear smartwatch products, called the LG Watch Urbane. Planned for a full unveiling at Mobile World Congress next month, the watch is said to combine the traditional aspects of a luxury timepiece with the "high-tech flare" of a modern smartwatch.

The LG Watch Urbane follows in the footsteps of LG's previous foray into the world of smartwatches with the LG G Watch R, launched last October. LG says while the G Watch R was designed with a more active lifestyle in mind, the Watch Urbane has taken a more formal, classic route that will suit both men and women. Despite the formal look, the Watch Urbane is powered by a smartwatch-style touch-based interface that is compatible with any smartphone running Android 4.3 or above.

“The LG Watch Urbane’s classic design and smart features make it the perfect smartwatch to complement our G Watch and G Watch R, which were designed as more casual and active devices,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “LG Watch Urbane is an important part of our strategy to develop wearable devices that are worn and viewed as everyday accessories, not electronic gadgets.”

The LG Watch Urbane includes the same 1.3-inch full circle P-OLED display as the LG G Watch R - which was the first smarwatch to include such a display - but features a narrower bezel this time around, offering it that more formal, sleeker look touted by LG. The watch comes in gold and silver options with a natural leather strap that can be replaced by any 22mm wide band, according to the company.

Not many specific details were given on the device's smartwatch capabilities, but LG confirmed the LG Watch Urbane will be able to measure a user's heart rate for fitness purposes thanks to a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor built into the device. Other key factors, like pricing and whether the new Android-based smartwatch will hit around the Spring launch of the Apple Watch, was not yet disclosed by LG.

Key Specifications:

- Chipset: 1.2GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400
- Operating System: Android Wear™
- Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320, 245ppi)
- Size: 45.5 x 52.2 x 10.9mm
- Memory: 4GB eMMC/ 512MB LPDDR2
- Battery: 410mAh
- Sensors: 9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass) / Barometer / PPG (Heart Rate Sensor)
- Colors: Gold / Silver
- Other: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67)

LG's newest foray into the increasingly crowded world of smartwatches is the latest in a long line of companies announcing new iterations of older products, or new products altogether, preparing to do battle with Apple's April launch of the Apple Watch.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Motorola sales double in 2014 as the brand re-enters China

Motorola sales double in 2014 as the brand re-enters China | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Lenovo reported its earnings for the past quarter on Tuesday. During the quarter, the company officially completed its $2.91 billion acquisition of Motorola from Google.

Lenovo announced its smartphone brand sold over 10 million handsets in the most recent quarter. Sure, that pales against sales figures from giants like Apple and Samsung, but at least it’s going in the right direction.

When Lenovo and Motorola smartphone sales are combined, the company is one of the top five smartphone makers in the world, behind Apple and Samsung and in fierce competition with Huawei and LG.
Get all the news you need about Mobile with the Gigaom newsletter

Lenovo Group’s revenue includes laptop and desktop sales, in which Lenovo is the world market leader. Lenovo reported that total revenue was up 31 percent to $14.1 billion. But Lenovo has thin margins, around 2.8 percent, and managed a net profit of $253 million.

Motorola sales were up 118 percent to $1.9 billion. Lenovo once again confirmed that it plans to sell Motorola phones in China, and said it believes Motorola can become profitable in the next year.

Lenovo also completed its purchase of IBM’s server business for $2.1 billion in October.

More importantly, it appears that the Motorola brand resonates in massive and growing smartphone markets like China and India. Motorola announced Monday on Weibo that it had seen 1 million reservations for the decidedly high-end Moto X. In India, Motorola previously said it had sold 3 million smartphones last year, probably mostly the more affordable Moto E and Moto G models.

Because Lenovo didn’t officially complete its acquisition of Motorola until the end of October, much of this success isn’t from Lenovo’s input — it most likely stems from decisions made while Motorola was a Google company, such as the decision to streamline and simplify its main product line under the Moto moniker. Motorola was the hardware partner for the Nexus 6, Google’s reference device for the latest version of Android. Motorola also produces one of the better-received Android Wear smartwatches, the Moto 360.

more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Slow Android Wear sales underline the challenges Google's smartwatches face

Slow Android Wear sales underline the challenges Google's smartwatches face | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The Android smart watch’s time may not yet have come: Despite heavy promotion of Android Wear, Google’s hardware partners, including LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics, only shipped 720,000 of the devices last year.

With the arrival of products such as Motorola’s hotly anticipated Moto 360, the smartwatch market was expected to take off. But the data from market research company Canalys shows that consumers are still far from convinced that they need buy one.

“Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so,” said Daniel Matte, analyst at Canalys.

Those improvements have to happen across the board, including a better user interface and improved battery life, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at IDC.

“I use a lot of mobile devices, and found the Android Wear interface difficult to learn. And when I finally had learned how to use it, I really didn’t like the experience,” he said.

Battery life is also a concern, and one that can’t be easily solved. The arrival of customized chipsets will help but that can’t change the size of smartwatches, which means you can only use a small battery.

“It will take several years before battery life improves,” Jeronimo said.

Some vendors are also tripping up themselves and users with their design choices. For example, users of Samsung’s smartwatches need a cradle to fill an empty battery, instead of plugging a charger directly into the device. That just adds an extra level of complexity for users, according to Jeronimo.

However, the biggest obstacle isn’t these technical constraints, but that Google, vendors and application developers haven’t come up with a reason why consumers should invest in an Android Wear smartwatch, Jeronimo said.

With these shortcomings Android Wear hasn’t been able to dominate the smartwatch market in the way Google’s platform has taken over smartphones.

Rival Pebble shipped a total of 1 million units from its 2013 launch through to the end of 2014. Continual software updates, more apps in its app store and price cuts in the fall helped maintain strong sales in the second half of the year, according to Canalys.

But all eyes are now on Apple and its Watch, which is scheduled to go on sale in April. Jeronimo goes so far as to say the future of smartwatches now rests on Apple’s shoulders.

“If Apple can’t get it right it may kill the category, because if Apple can’t succeed which company can,” he said.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook seems convinced the Watch can deliver, saying that users will find enough features to not be able to live without one, he said this week. Just as the company changed the markets for MP3 players, smartphones and tablets, Apple’s Watch will change the smartwatch market.


more...
No comment yet.
Scoop.it!

Are Smartwatches Already Dead?

Are Smartwatches Already Dead? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Do people actually want smartwatches? I'm starting to wonder. The Pebble smartwatch—a phenomenal Kickstarter success story and the darling of tech critics everywhere—has only sold 1 million copies.

Don't get me wrong, that's fantastic news for Pebble and for anyone with a Pebble on their wrist. One million units means Pebble can keep building watches that find a happy niche. But one million units sounds like jack shit compared to all the attention Pebble's been getting over the past few years. That smartwatches in general have been getting.

Let me put this in perspective. Wearables are ostensibly the new hotness. They're the tech everyone's talking about. And if you want to buy a wearable, you buy a smartwatch. (Because ain't nobody buying Google Glass till they figure the whole Glasshole thing out.) Guess what you find when you go looking for a smartwatch? Pebble. Pebble. Pebble. It's the one everyone recommends. In fact, CNET, The Wirecutter, The Verge and yes, Gizmodo recommend the simple Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatches over every other fancy wristable out there.



It feels like more gallons of (figurative) ink has been spilled about the virtues of Pebble—and the company's incredible journey from Kickstarter to Best Buy—than actual smartwatches sold. When was the last time a product was so universally recommended in a category on the tip of everyone's tongue... and yet didn't move loads of product? Despite competition and a love-it-or-hate-it design, the first Android phone only took six months to hit a million. The original Microsoft Zune (yes, the ugly one) took seven months. Pebble started shipping two years ago.

It's still early days for smartwatches. The Apple Watch isn't even out yet, and it's possible that a lot of potential buyers are waiting to see if Apple blows the doors off the smartwatch category as it swoops in for the kill. The Pebble certainly isn't a perfect device, either. I rarely wear one myself. But you couldn't buy the kind of press that Pebble has received for any amount of money, and yet the top smartwatch in the market has only sold one million units right now.

What does it mean when the best smartwatch only sells a million? Is there even a smartwatch market at all? I'm not so sure. And if the Apple Watch flops—due to battery life?—all bets could be off. Maybe this fuse has almost burned down to its firecracker, or maybe we've got a dud on our hands.


more...
No comment yet.