Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, one of the world’s largest telecoms equipment makers, on Monday posted a 40 percent increase in first-half sales revenue and announced it would “maintain current momentum” this year.
Sales revenue reached 245.5 billion yuan ($36.8 billion) in the first six months of 2016, the company said in a statement. Operating margin fell to 12 percent from 18 percent in the previous half-year, it said.
The Shenzhen-based private company, which competes with Sweden’s Ericsson for the top spot in the global market for telecoms equipment, did not elaborate in its brief statement.
“We are confident that Huawei will maintain its current momentum, and round out the full year in a positive financial position backed by sound ongoing operations,” Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Meng said in the statement.
“We achieved steady growth across all three of our business groups, thanks to a well-balanced global presence,” Meng said, referring to the company’s telecom, consumer device and enterprise business segments.
The company earlier this year set a revenue target of $75 billion for 2016.
Last year, Huawei reported a 30 percent rise in first-half revenue.
A bunch of tech firms including ARM and Symantec have joined forces to create a security protocol designed to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The group, which also includes Intercede and Solacia, has created The Open Trust Protocol (OTrP) that is now available for download for prototyping and testing from the IETF website.
The OTrP is designed to bring system-level root trust to devices, using secure architecture and trusted code management, akin to how apps on smartphones and tablets that contain sensitive information are kept separate from the main OS.
This will allow IoT manufacturers to incorporate the technology into devices, ensuring that they are protected without having to give full access to a device OS.
Marc Canel, vice president of security systems at ARM, explained that the OTrP will put security and trust at the core of the IoT.
“In an internet-connected world it is imperative to establish trust between all devices and service providers,” he said.
“Operators need to trust devices their systems interact with and OTrP achieves this in a simple way. It brings e-commerce trust architectures together with a high-level protocol that can be easily integrated with any existing platform.”
Brian Witten, senior director of IoT security at Symantec, echoed this sentiment. “The IoT and smart mobile technologies are moving into a range of diverse applications and it is important to create an open protocol to ease and accelerate adoption of hardware-backed security that is designed to protect onboard encryption keys,” he said.
The next stage is for the OTrP to be further developed by a standards-defining organisation after feedback from the wider technology community, so that it can become a fully interoperable standard suitable for mass adoption.
About 3.9 billion people, or 53 percent of the population still remains offline at the end of this year, according to the International Telecommunication Union estimates. Even in Europe, the most connected region, 20.9 percent of all people aren’t online. In Africa, the least connected continent, 74.9 percent are offline.
Those figures are part of the annual statistical report from the agency, which is part of the United Nations. The report also showed there’s still a huge divide between rich and poor countries, and a growing gap between men and women, when it comes to internet access. It shows that efforts by companies like Google and Facebook to get all people connected could take a long time.
While more than four out of five people in developed countries use the internet, just over 40 percent of those in developing countries have access. In the ITU’s “least developed countries” — places like Haiti, Yemen, Myanmar and Ethiopia — just 15.2 percent of the people are online.
Also, fewer women than men are on the internet, and that difference is getting worse. The worldwide difference between internet user penetration for males and females is 12.2 percent, up from 11.0 percent in 2013, the ITU says. It’s shrunk significantly in developed countries, from 5.8 percent to just 2.8 percent, but grown in poorer places.
Cost makes it harder to get online in some countries. The ITU says entry-level internet access has become affordable in many developing countries since 2011 but remains unaffordable in most of the poorest countries. By the ITU’s definition, that means internet service costs more than 5 percent of average monthly income.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission urged major U.S. phone companies to take immediate steps to make technology that blocks unwanted automated calls available to consumers at no charge.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in letters to CEOs of major phone companies, said so-called robocalls, automated pre-recorded telephone calls often from telemarketers or scam artists, continue “due in large part to industry inaction.”
Wheeler’s letters went to chief executives of companies including Verizon Communications Inc, AT&T Inc, Sprint Corp, US Cellular Corp, Level 3 Communications Inc, Frontier Communications Corp, Bandwidth.com Inc, and T-Mobile US.
Wheeler said in a blog post on Friday that he wants answers from the companies “within 30 days with their concrete, actionable solutions to address these issues.”
The letters, reviewed by Reuters, noted that the FCC does not require phone providers to offer robocall blocking and filtering but the FCC has “strongly encouraged providers to offer these services” at no charge to consumers.
Tom Power, general counsel at CTIA, the wireless trade association, said on Friday that “unwanted calls and texts are a consumer issue the wireless industry works hard to address and we look forward to working with the FCC to help address this challenge together.”
The FCC gets hundreds of thousands of complaints annually about robocalls and unwanted text messages.
Wheeler’s letters also said providers can do more to ensure that incoming calls are not “spoofed,” when callers falsify the information transmitted to caller-ID displays to disguise their identity.
Scam artists often try to appear to call from a bank or a government phone to trick consumers into disclosing confidential financial or account information. Other scams pitch phony vacation or mortgage offers.
In the letters, the FCC said the phone industry should create a “Do Not Originate” list that would allow government agencies, banks and healthcare providers, among others, to register their phone numbers and would allow providers to block calls from outside the United States. Many phone scams based overseas target Americans.
The FCC said last year it agreed that phone companies should not block calls without customers permission. Wheeler noted that providers “have suggested that blocking should wait until new Caller ID authentication standards are in place, but that is not a valid excuse for delay.”
The FCC has brought 13 enforcement actions to combat robocalls since 2013. In 2015, the FCC fined a Florida company nearly $3 million for illegal calls promoting travel deals.
Nokia is reportedly getting ready to make a smartphone comeback with two high-end Android 7.0 Nougat devices.
We already know that Nokia is plotting a return to the mobile market. The company revealed in May that it has signed an exclusive agreement with HMD Global, a new company also based in Finland, to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next 10 years.
Nokia’s comeback might happen in just a few months’ time, as NokiaPowerUser has heard that the firm is plotting the launch of two high-end Android 7.0 smartphones at the end of this year, or Q1 2017 if things don’t go exactly to plan.
The website’s “trusted sources” explained that the two unnamed devices will have premium metal designs complete with IP68 certification, which means they’ll be as water resistant as the Galaxy S7.
The report also claimed that the devices will offer “the famous Nokia feel”, which we guess points to brightly coloured options.
Expect 5.2in and 5.5in QHD screens, according to the anonymous sources, along with fingerprint scanners and “innovations” in the camera department.
“We hear that sensors on these two smartphones may be the most sensitive ever and will be based on Nokia’s extensive research on wonder material graphene,” the report said.
The two smartphones also look set to run Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat software, providing features such as split-screen mode, enhanced notifications and improved gaming thanks to support for the Vulkan API.
Nougat will reportedly come topped with Nokia’s Z-Launcher software, as seen on the Nokia N1 tablet. Improvements to the skin could bring “elements of touch and hover interaction”, hinting that the devices could offer 3D Touch-like technology.
We don’t know much else yet, but Gizmodo China reported that the smartphones will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip.
There’s no word on prices yet, but Gizmodo’s report claimed that the bigger, and presumably more expensive, model will cost around $500 SIM-free.
Qualcomm has had a better than expected results in its Q3 earnings, beating street and even its own estimates.
Qualcomm offered $5.2 billion to $6 billion revenue guidance and it managed to make $6 billion. Non-GAAP diluted EPS was projected at $0.90 – $1.00 and Qualcomm actually managed to make $1.16.
The MSM chip shipments were guided at 175 million to 195 million while the company actually sold 201 million of these chips.
Total reported device sales was expected to be between $52 billion and $60 billion and in reality Qualcomm scored $62.6 billion. Qualcomm shipped between 321 million to 325 million 3G/4G devices and estimated reported 3G/4G device average selling price was at $191 – $197.
There are a few reasons for such good results, the first being Samsung. The company chose Snapdragon 820 for some markets with its flagship phones. The Snapdragon 820 ended up in 115 devices and it looks like one of the strongest high end phone chips in a while.
The introduction of the Snapdragon 821 will rekindle the fire and will make some additional sales for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and a few other high end phones including some phones from LG and others. The 4G modem business is in good shape but one has to be careful as Qualcomm might lose some of the iPhone business to Intel. Everyone wants carrier aggregation capable modems these days, that is Cat 6 and up and Qualcomm offers this from Snapdragon 430 to the Snapdragon 820.
It is interesting to notice that while Apple iPhone sales were down, Qualcomm did better mainly as when Apple declines at the high end, Qualcomm can make money from its high end Snapdragon chips.
We expect to see the announcement of Snapdragon 830 before the end of the year while devices shipping with the new chip in late Q1 2017 or early Q2 2017. As far as we know this might be the 10nm SoC but we will have to wait and see.
Qualcomm is investing heavily in improvements of 4G, current and future generations as well as a concentrated focus on 5G. From where we stand, Qualcomm still has the best chances to dominate the 5G market, especially due to the fact that 5G is an evolution of 4G with some new wave length and concepts added to it.
Last year’s loss of Samsung Galaxy S6 design win hurt a lot, and now the big customer is back, it seems that investing in a custom ARM Kryo core and dominating in Adreno graphics paid off.
The smartphone has a 6-in. screen and is available only through MetroPCS in the U.S. It weighs about 175 grams and is 8.9 millimeters thick.
It has some top-line features found in the latest smartphones, like a USB Type-C port. It also runs on the latest Android OS 6.0 code-named Marshmallow.
The Gorilla Glass 3 screen shows images at a full HD resolution. The handset has 32GB of internal storage and a micro-SD card for expandable storage. That’s a lot of storage for a handset under $100.
The handset is comparable to the new fourth-generation Moto G handset, which is now available unlocked on Amazon.com for $199.99 for a 16GB model. The Zmax Pro has a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera, along with an eight-core Snapdragon 617 processor, all of which are also packaged in the Moto G.
The ZTE phone also has a 3,400 milli-amp-hour battery, which provides about 25 hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby time. It also features a fingerprint reader, which isn’t commonly found in low-cost handsets.
However, the smartphone lacks some other features. It includes 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, not the latest 802.11ac, which offers a wider range and faster speeds.
The smartphone succeeds last year’s ZMax 2, which sold for $149. The handset may be available unlocked and through other carriers in the future, but the company wasn’t ready to share details.
The company’s second annual sales event, which was held Tuesday, saw customer orders surpass Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the U.S., the company reported.
“It was a huge success,” said Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, an analyst with Forrester Research. “It was a big day, by all accounts, with enormous growth. It reinforces that e-commerce continues to grow and that Amazon is a significant part of that growth.”
Amazon’s Prime Day is a one-day sales event for members of Prime, the company’s membership program. Products in nearly all of Amazon’s copious shopping categories were put on sale.
Despite some reports of customers’ having problems checking out after making their purchases, more than 90,000 TVs were sold, along with more than 2 million toys, 1 million pairs of shoes and hundreds of thousands of Kindle e-readers.
Amazon also received twice as many orders via its mobile app than it did during Prime Day last year. More than 1 million customers used the Amazon app for the first time during the sale, the company said.
For U.S. sales alone, Amazon reported that device sales were three times higher compared to Prime Day 2015. It was also the biggest sales day for Amazon’s Echo personal assistant and the company’s e-readers.
When it came to techie purchases, Amazon sold U.S. members more than 14,000 Lenovo laptops and more than 23,000 iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuum cleaning robots.
While it was a big day for the online retailer, one day does not outshine the rest of the year, especially with back-to-school sales, and then holiday sales, coming up.
“No single day is going to change the fortunes of any retailer,” said Mulpuru-Kodali. “It’s one day of 365 or 366 days in any given year.
If you look at adverts for Samsung’s new Galaxy you would be forgiven for thinking that the smartphone is waterproof. Unfortunately according to US consumer reports, it isn’t.
The Samsung advert shown in Italy ends with the dramatic placing of a Galaxy into a glass of water. Which looks impressive.
Consumer Reports performs an immersion test when a manufacturer claims that its product is water-resistant and the Galaxy S7 Active failed.
While the phone performed extremely well in other tests. Consumer Reports is refusing to recommend it because the water resistant claim is incorrect.
Samsung says its phone follows an engineering standard called IP68 that covers both dust- and water-resistance, and that the phone is designed to survive immersion in five feet of water for 30 minutes.
Consumer Reports placed a Galaxy S7 Active in a water tank pressurised to 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch, the equivalent of just under five feet of water, and set a timer for 30 minutes. When it removed the phone, the screen was obscured by green lines, and tiny bubbles were visible in the lenses of the front- and rear-facing cameras. The touchscreen was borked.
A second Galaxy S7 Active also failed the same test and neither phone worked properly again.
Samsung says it has received “very few complaints” about this problem, and that in all cases, the phones were covered under warranty. A spokes Samsung sang:
“The Samsung Galaxy S7 active device is one of the most rugged phones to date and is highly resistant to scratches and IP68 certified. There may be an off-chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be.”
The company says it is investigating the matter.
Advances in technology suggest they aren’t too far off in the future. Such devices could start showing up as early as next year or 2018, said Jerry Kang, senior principal analyst for emerging display technologies and OLED at analyst firm IHS.
Manufacturers are trying to launch them in devices like tablets that can fold into a smartphone-size device. It’s possible to use these displays in wearable devices, but reliability, weight and battery life need to be considered, Kang said.
Small folding screens will likely come before larger ones, mainly due to the economics of making such displays, Kang said.
The displays will be based on OLED (organic light-emitting diode), considered a successor to current LED technology. OLEDs don’t have lighting back-panels, making them thinner and more power efficient.
At CES this year, LG showed a stunningly thin paper-like display that could roll up. The company projects it will deliver foldable OLEDs by next year.
There are advantages to screens that can be folded or rolled up. They could lead to innovative product designs and increase the mobility of devices, Kang said.
For example, it could be easier to fit screens around the contours of a battery and other components. It will also provide a level of flexibility in how a user can change the shape of a device.
Displays that can fold and roll are an extension of flexible displays, which are already in wearables, smartphones and TVs. For example, some TVs have flexible screens that are designed so that they can be slightly curved.
Samsung and LG started using flexible AMOLED displays in smartphones in 2013 and are adapting those screens for wearables. Those companies are also leading the charge to bring displays that can bend and fold to devices.
Android 7.0 Nougat will have added security to prevent malware, especially ransomware, resetting passwords and locking owners out of their device.
The long overdue security measure comes after the Android platform was invaded by a wave of ransomware, particularly Android.Lockdroid.E and its variants, in late 2015.
Dinesh Venkatesan, a principal threat analysis engineer at Symantec, said in a Security Response blog post: “These variants scare victims with a system error GUI and then reset the lockscreen password used to access the device.
“Even users who manage to remove the malware without resetting the device may be unable to use the phone because they won’t be able to get around the password the malware sets.”
The malware can reset a PIN or pattern-style password in Android by invoking the resetPassword API.
“In order to invoke this method, the calling application must be a device administrator,” explained Venkatesan.
“The upcoming Android version … will introduce a condition so that the invocation of the resetPassword API can only be used to set the password and not to reset the password.”
This ensures that malware cannot reset the lockscreen password, as the change is strictly enforced and there is no backward compatibility escape route for the threat.
“Backward compatibility would have allowed malware to reset the lockscreen password even on newer Android versions. With this change, there is no way for the malware to reset the lockscreen password on Android Nougat,” Venkatesan said.
However, the measure won’t protect people who have not set a password, and who therefore deserve everything they get.
Venkatesan concluded: “The new feature will also affect standalone disinfection utilities, which also depend on the resetPassword() API. A disinfector utility is an automated tool designed to help users whose devices are infected with malware.
“The disinfector should clean the malware [and] reset the arbitrary password set by the threat during its infection routine.
“Before Android Nougat, the disinfector calls the resetPassword() API to achieve this functionality. However, with Android Nougat’s new restrictions, the disinfector’s ability to call that API is bound to fail.”
The disclosure was made this week when a module for the widely used Metasploit hacking tool was released, making it easier for criminals to exploit the flaw.
Metasploit is used by companies that build services using RESTful APIs, such as Microsoft, PayPal, Getty Images, Intuit and Apigee, to test the resilience of systems.
Swagger is an open source project that provides a standard, language-agnostic interface to RESTful APIs, which enables humans and computers to discover and understand the capabilities of a service without access to source code, documentation, or through network traffic inspection.
Scott Davis, application security researcher at Rapid7, explained in a blog post about the CVE-2016-5641 flaw that the disclosure “will address a class of vulnerabilities in a Swagger Code Generator in which injectable parameters in a Swagger JSON or YAML [a human-readable data serialisation language] file facilitate remote code execution. This vulnerability applies to NodeJS, PHP, Ruby, and Java and probably other languages as well.”
Other code-generation tools may also be vulnerable to parameter injection and could be affected by this approach.
“By leveraging this vulnerability, an attacker can inject arbitrary execution code embedded with a client or server generated automatically to interact with the definition of service,” Davis added.
“Within the Swagger ecosystem, there are fantastic code generators which are designed to automagically take a Swagger document and then generate stub client code for the described API.
“This is a powerful part of the solution that makes it easy for companies to provide developers the ability to quickly make use of their APIs. The Swagger definitions are flexible enough to describe most RESTful APIs and give developers a great starting point for their API client.”
The flaw is caused by code generators that do not take into account the possibility of a malicious Swagger definition document which results in a classic parameter injection with a “new twist on code generation”, according to Davis.
“Maliciously crafted Swagger documents can be used to dynamically create HTTP API clients and servers with embedded arbitrary code execution in the underlying operating system,” he explained.
“This is achieved by the fact that some parsers/generators trust insufficiently sanitized parameters in a Swagger document to generate a client code base.
“On the client side, a vulnerability exists in trusting a malicious Swagger document to create any generated code base locally, most often in the form of a dynamically generated API client.
“On the server side, a vulnerability exists in a service that consumes Swagger to dynamically generate and serve API clients, server mocks and testing specs.”
It is not yet known when a patch for the flaw will be released.
Intel has run out of ideas about what it is going to do with it its security business and is apparently planning to flog it off.
Five years ago Intel bought McAfee for $7.7bn acquisition. Two years ago it re-branded it as Intel Security. There was talk about chip based security and how important this would be as the world moved to the Internet of Things.
Now the company has discussed the future of Intel Security with bankers, including potentially the outfit. The semiconductor company has been shifting its focus to higher-growth areas, such as chips for data center machines and Internet-connected devices, as the personal-computer market has declined.
The security sector has seen a lot of interest from private equity buyers. Symantec said earlier this month it was acquiring Web security provider Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in cash, in a deal that will see Silver Lake, an investor in Symantec, enhancing its investment in the merged company, and Bain Capital, majority shareholder in Blue Coat, reinvesting $750 million in the business through convertible notes.
However Intel’s move into the Internet of Things does make it difficult for it to exit the security business completely. In fact some analysts think it will only sell of part of the business and keep some key bits for itself.
Blackberry is hoping to pull its nadgers out of the fire by licencing its mobile software to other outfits.
However BlackBerry CEO John Chen had to admit that there has been zero revenue from the endeavour, which he started off last month.
Chen said he’s been in discussions with some phone manufacturers and set-top box operators who have expressed interest and “anything was possible.”
He added he’s not opposed to licensing BlackBerry’s security software either if the right deal comes along. He expects BlackBerry to break even or record a slight profit in its new mobility solutions segment, which includes device and software licensing sales, during the third quarter that in November.
Making the segment profitable this fiscal year is one of the company’s top goals, Chen said.
It’s too soon to project how much revenue the software-licensing venture can garner, Chen said, so to achieve the goal by the end of November, BlackBerry will have to ensure its devices are on track for profitability as well.
The company’s newest phone, the Android-powered Priv, has moved slower than hoped. In fact it moved slower than a student who had been up all night playing counterstrike.
During BlackBerry’s first quarter — the second full quarter to include Priv sales — the smartphone segment generated US$152 million of revenue and had a US$21-million operating loss. Chen promised that loss would be significantly smaller in the next quarter.
The company sold roughly 500,000 devices at an average price of $290 each, he said, which is about 100,000 smartphones fewer than the previous quarter and about 200,000 fewer than two quarters earlier. BlackBerry previously said the company needs to sell about three million phones at an average of $300 each to break even, though Chen indicated that may change as the software licensing business starts to contribute to revenue.
Chen said the Priv has proved unaffordable to most people, except for top-level executives.
The company plans to release two mid-range, Android-powered phones before its current fiscal year ends Feb. 28, 2017, he said. More information on the devices is expected next month, but Chen said one will only have a touch screen rather than BlackBerry’s traditional keyboard.
The company is trying to reach the market in more innovative ways. It’s currently hosting a pop-up shop in New York City, and Chen said he’d consider more of them around the world if the trial is successful.
“I really, really believe that we could make money … out of our device business,” he said during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning.
Chen previously indicated the company will stop making smartphones if the device business remains unprofitable. While he said he doesn’t believe that will be necessary, the software licensing plan could help make the transition smoother if the time comes.
BlackBerry reported a $670 million net loss in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, but said its recovery plan for the year remains on track.
Revenue was below analyst estimates at $400 million under generally accepted accounting principles, or US$424 million with certain adjustments.
Basically this means that the hardware can be used by the OPNFV collaborative open source community to accelerate the delivery of cloud-enabled networks and applications.
Nokia said the OPNFV Lab will be a testbed for NFV developers and accelerates the introduction of commercial open source NFV products and services. Developers can test carrier-grade NFV applications for performance and availability.
Nokia is making its AirFrame Data Center Solution available as a public OPNFV Lab with the support of Intel, which is providing Intel Xeon processors and solid state drives to give communications service providers the advantage of testing OPNFV projects on the latest and greatest server and storage technologies.
The Nokia AirFrame Data Center Solution is 5G-ready and Nokia said it was the first to combine the benefits of cloud computing technologies to meet the stringent requirements of the telco world. It’s capable of delivering ultra-low latency and supporting the kinds of massive data processing requirements that will be required in 5G.
Morgan Richomme, NFV network architect for Innovative Services at Orange Labs, OPNFV Functest PTL, in a release. “NFV interoperability testing is challenging, so the more labs we have, the better it will be collectively for the industry.”
AT&T has officially added Nokia to its list of 5G lab partners working to define 5G features and capabilities. It’s also working with Intel and Ericsson.