World Tech Update: March 5, 2015

Network World | Mar 5, 2015

Coming up on World Tech Update we're at Mobile World Congress where Samsung debuted its new flagship S6 smartphones, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich detailed the company's mobile strategy and new designs cater to new clients. Follow host Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

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Thanks for joining us here on WTU, I'm Nick Barber. We're here in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress and we'll start with the big news from Samsung. The company announced two new smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The more interesting of the two includes a curved screen that wraps around both sides of the device.
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The phones have 5.1 inch screens and incorporate glass and metal instead of plastic cases. They use a version of Samsung's own Exynos processor with four cores running at 2.1GHz plus another four running at 1.5Ghz.The phones also support wireless charging out of the box. One thing that's a big departure for Samsung is that the batteries in the phones are not removable and there's no longer expandable storage via a microSD card slot. Both phones will be out in April.
Intel has had lots of success with PCs and tablets, but it's really struggled when it comes to smartphones. Cracking the challenging market is the next big task for Intel CEO Brian Krzanich who has an aggressive strategy to get its mobile processors into more handsets. The company rebranded its Atom line with, the X3, X5 and X7 chips in a good, better, best order much like its core lineup. We sat down with Krzanich this week to ask him about the company's mobile strategy
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While Intel exceeded its goal of shipping 40 million tablets with company chips in them, Krzanich wouldn't set a goal for smartphones.
Microsoft's two new phones, the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL will run Windows 10 later this year. The two-midrange phones have 5 and 5.7 inch displays. They'll both be available by April in the 2 to 300 dollar range.
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Microsoft's Windows Phone is fighting a losing battle. Both Android and iOS are pulling away from Windows Phone, whose market share slipped from 3.3 percent in 2013 to 2.7 percent in 2014 according to IDC.
Like Microsoft, LG is also targeting the mid-tier smartphone market with two new phones. The Magna has a 5-inch 1280x720 pixel screen and 1 gig of RAM. It runs an unspecified 1.2 or 1.3 gigahertz quad core processor and has an 8 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front facing one. With the exception of the high-resolution camera on the back, the specification mimics what you get when you buy the second generation Moto G, which Motorola launched last year. A strategy of targeting emerging markets, many of which have smartphone penetration of less than 40 percent could work out well for LG Markets like Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are expected to experience double digit percentage growth over the next few years, outpacing the saturated North America and European Markets.
There's a new way to unlock your smartphone and you don't need your finger. China's ZTE is using a type of retinal verification from eye verify it calls eye print ID. Available on its Grand S3, the technology takes about 20 to 30 seconds to set up initially, but can then unlock the phone in a second or two. It can replace swiping a pattern to get into your phone, but where we can really see it being successful is being used in place of a mixed case alphanumeric password required for most banking and credit card sites. The phone is already on sale in china for 480 dollars and will be available in global markets later this year. ZTE isn't the only one with this idea though. Fujitsu showed off similar technology, though it relied on an add on piece of hardware, while the ZTE version used the phones front facing camera.
A memory card the size of a fingernail can now hold a whopping 200 gigabytes of data. The new microSD card from SanDisk will cost $400 and be available worldwide in the second quarter. The 200 gig card represents a 56 percent increase in storage from the 128 gig model. SanDisk said it used a proprietary design and production process that allows for more bits of memory per chip.