Lenovo Motorola, Apple, Samsung

Lenovo CEO on Apple, Samsung: 'Our mission is to surpass them' - Fortune Tech: "We will fully leverage the Motorola brand in the U.S. and Latin America, just like we leveraged the ThinkPad brand in the PC space. Motorola will be our smartphone product. So there will be no Lenovo-branded phones in the U.S.? We haven't made a final decision. Most likely we will leverage the Motorola brand, but it could be something like "Motorola by Lenovo." In China, certainly we will keep the Lenovo brand, but it is possible that we will reintroduce the Motorola brand as well. We have a full range of channels to sell our phones, so for different channels we could use different brands to maximize our sales volume. Regarding the product portfolio, we don't want to be playing just in the entry level or to be viewed as a cheaper brand. We want to compete in the full range of the product line, including the premium segment. Both Lenovo and Motorola have the DNA of innovation. I believe we can develop a very innovative or very premium product. Meanwhile, we should be more competitive in the entry level given that Lenovo has global scale in our manufacturing capabilities and operational efficiency." (read more at link above)

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Global Smartphone Shipments Top 1 Billion, Cheap Android Devices

Global Smartphone Shipments Top 1 Billion For The First Time Thanks To Cheap Android Devices, Says IDC | TechCrunch: "... Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, noted that the top two trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low-cost, with the latter being “the key difference maker.” “Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.”..."

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Net Neutrality, Developing Countries, Google, Facebook

In Developing Countries, Google and Facebook Already Defy Net Neutrality | MIT Technology Review: "... Internet access is expensive in developing countries—exorbitantly so for the vast majority of people. In Kenya the top four websites are Google, Facebook, YouTube (which is owned by Google), and the Kenyan version of Google. That pattern is fairly typical of Web usage in dozens of developing nations. And free services like Facebook Zero and Google Free Zone don’t have many critics among users, says Erik Hersman, founder of iHub, a tech-startup incubator in Nairobi. Asked if it’s seen as problematic, he says, “Not at all.” “In the United States it’s practically free for you to get on Google and Facebook, as Wi-Fi is almost everywhere or cheap relative to income. Here, that’s not the case,” he says. “It’s a different relationship to the Internet when you only get it on your phone, and you don’t have a traditional Internet connection at home or work.”..."

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US Internet service, 2014, better or worse

How US Internet service might get better—and worse—in 2014 | Ars Technica: "...Wheeler's reference to "a wireless environment" is potentially important, because the Open Internet Order's rules generally apply to wired Internet rather than cellular service. Still, he hasn't quite answered the question of whether Netflix could be forced to pay ISPs for better access to consumers of fixed Internet service, even though such a scenario would likely violate the FCC's rules. We've asked an FCC spokesman for a more specific answer or an interview with Wheeler, but no further clarification seems to be coming. All of this is to say that there are many reasons to watch what happens in the US Internet market in 2014 and beyond. We don't know just how far fiber deployments will advance next year or how the regulatory questions will be resolved, but the issues we've described are sure to have a big impact on broadband prices, competition, and quality of service..."

2014 is the year smartphones hit $20 - Quartz: "This is how technology works: In 2007, the iPhone debuted at a carrier-subsidized price of $500. Seven years later, mobile rewards company Jana predicts that in 2014, Chinese-made, Android-powered smartphones of comparable functionality will be available for consumers to buy for $20 unsubsidized in China...."

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