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it roundup

September IT Roundup: The future of mobile devices

September 02, 2015
By Vanessa Ulrich

R.I.P. tablets?

Though the iPad burst onto the market only five years ago, sales trends show its popularity is waning. I was an early adopter of the “netbook” in 2009 (remember those?) and I kicked myself when the iPad was introduced a year later. Though the iPad currently still leads the tablet market, its market share decreased by about 18 percent in the past year, while the overall tablet market shrank by 7 percent.

An article in Fortune hypothesizes this decline is because consumers tend to use their tablets mainly for Web-browsing and watching TV, passive activities that don’t warrant constant upgrades. Meanwhile, both Apple and Windows are marketing their new tablets as productivity tools for work, not play—whether or not that catches on could determine if the tablet goes the way of the netbook.

A paradigm shift for carriers

Tomorrow Motorola will debut the Moto X Pure Edition, a smartphone that might pave the way for serious change within the wireless industry. The device will only be sold through Amazon, Best Buy or directly from Motorola, and will enable the consumer to use any of the four major carriers simply by switching out the SIM card. The Moto X Pure Edition is at the vanguard of a sales model that eliminates phone subsidies, asking the user to either pay for the phone’s full cost up front or through a monthly payment plan, effectively breaking the chains that have traditionally locked consumers into two-year carrier contracts.

Phones that think

Someday our phones could process information just like our brains do—IBM’s cognitive computing group has developed a new system of computer chips that function like neurons. Rather than executing instructions like traditional microchips, these “neuromorphic” chips transmit spikes of energy, just like electrical pulses in the brain. This architecture also consumes much less power, only about 70 milliwatts, compared to the 35-140 watts used by a traditional computer processor. The ability to do more with less holds a lot of promise for small devices that we demand a lot from—like smartphones. Especially if our phones become the multi-sensory devices of the future.

Does the future of mobile get you excited? Check out the news around CTIA Super Mobility, a conference that showcases how mobile innovation is evolving. TEKsystems will attend the show next week at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Representatives from TEKsystems’ Communications team will be available at booth No. 2849 to discuss best practices from addressing current and future communications, networking, mobility and connectivity needs.

Related reading:

The IT Roundup: News we’re still talking about in July

As part of TEKsystems’ public relations team, Vanessa Ulrich reads everything she can about the technology industry and emerging trends. Vanessa blogs about where technology and society collide, giving context and commentary to top news stories. You can reach her with questions and comments @vanessulr via Twitter.

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