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Boeing to sell phone that can self-destruct

Posted by Rattana_S On February - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

It’s the smartphone every “Mission Impossible” fan would love to have.

Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) is set to debut a new secure phone for government agencies and defense contractors that will self-destruct if it’s tampered with. It just won’t be won’t be quite as dramatic as the old television show. There won’t be any smoke or explosions, but the contents of the device will be completely erased.

“Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable,” explained a company filing with the Federal Communications Commission, posted on the FCC’s Web site Wednesday.

The company is giving few details about the phone, which will be called “Boeing Black.” Pricing and an exact release date have yet to be disclosed, though it is expected to be out by this summer. But it won’t be available your local Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) or AT&T (T, Fortune 500) storefront.

“It’s geared towards defense and security customers. It’s not aimed at the consumer,” said Boeing spokeswoman Rebecca Yeamans. The phone will use Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android operating system, but calls and stored data will be encrypted.

Yeamans said the security measure would use a combination of software and hardware on the phone.

While Boeing Black will be the company’s first foray into cell phones, the company has a long-established history of providing secured communications, according to Yeamans.

“It seems like a new endeavor for Boeing but for a long time we’ve been in business of connecting our customers and providing trusted communications to them,” she said. To top of page

Windows Phone owners have their choice of activity tracking apps, but few of those apps will tell you how to remain healthy after you’ve taken off your running shoes. It’s a good thing that Microsoft has released a beta of Bing Health & Fitness for Windows Phone, then. The software uses GPS to quantify your biking and running like many of its peers, but it also provides health advice; much like the Windows 8 app, you’ll find a diet tracker, exercise instructions and a symptom research tool. Your info will also sync across all your Windows-based gear. Those eager to slim down and shape up just have to swing by the Windows Phone Store to get started.

According to the latest IDC figures provided to Engadget, Samsung continued to perform well in Greater China — as in mainland China and Taiwan combined — in terms of smartphone shipments. In mainland China last quarter, the Korean giant topped the chart with a 19 percent market share, followed by Lenovo at 13 percent and Coolpad at 11 percent. IDC’s Senior Research Manager Melissa Chau pointed out that compared to a year ago, the top three vendors remained in the same positions, but ZTE has since slipped from fourth place to out of top five, thus letting Huawei and Apple move up one place. Chau added that Apple’s shipment was also boosted by the full rollout of the iPhone 5s and 5c to its other channels in China since late Q3.

While Xiaomi is nowhere to be seen in mainland China’s top five, it’s managed to nab 3 percent of the Taiwanese market to secure fifth place last quarter. This is no doubt thanks to the recent launch of the Redmi, aka Hongmi, budget phone there, with help from local carrier Far EasTone. But Chau cautioned that it’s still early days for Xiaomi, for it “just barely edged out LG” in Taiwan, plus it’s a long way behind HTC in fourth place. What’s more worrying is that Acer isn’t even in the top six in its hometown, which is just one of the many signs showing how it desperately needed the restructuring.

With the full rollout of TD-LTE plus Lenovo bringing Motorola back into mainland China, it’ll be interesting to see how the landscape changes again a year from now.

Two-thirds of Americans now have smartphones

Posted by Nuttapon_S On February - 12 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The US has officially become a smartphone nation — at least, if you ask Nielsen. The research group’s latest Digital Consumer Report estimates that 65 percent of all Americans owned one of the devices in 2013. That’s a big step up from 44 percent in 2011, and smartphones are now more common than game consoles (46 percent) and digital cable (54 percent). Americans are also increasingly tech-laden, with an average of four devices per person; 29 percent of them have a tablet versus just 5 percent two years ago.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours. Social networking use is declining on the desktop, too, while it’s surging in mobile. Smartphones aren’t as ubiquitous as TVs at this stage, but they’ve clearly taken hold of the public consciousness.