Tag Archives: mobile

Mobile Faceoff Mid-2015: Samsung vs. Apple

Galaxy S6 phone and iPhone 6 displayed side-by-side

With the top three selling mobile phones in the United States produced by the two companies, it may seem that the rivalry between Samsung and Apple is settling in for the long haul. However, the most recent numbers provide a window into how tumultuous the market is in the highly coveted wireless industry. Apple’s newest launches, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, have enjoyed considerable success, in large part because of changes to the operating system, but more importantly, finally increasing the screen size in an effort to appeal to more business users. Samsung’s most recent launches, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, generated considerable buzz from consumers upon their release, but industry analysts speculate that this interest diminished quickly due to a lack of innovative design in the newest Galaxy models.

Despite having the iPhone 6, the number one selling phone, Apple actually lost ground in overall market presence among smartphone users in the first part of 2015. Around 80% of the American population has a smartphone, of which 31% are running a device that has iOS. Compared to this total, roughly 66% of smartphone users have a device running the Android platform. However, in terms of overall profit, Apple saw significant gains during the first few months of the year. This growth has been, in large part, sustained by foreign interest. A prime example of Apple’s profitability in a year when there are no major upgrades planned for the new iPhone is the company’s request for the production of an additional 92 million units. Most of these are destined to be sold in China, although the size of the request to Apple’s manufactures has led some analysts to speculate that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus may have more upgrades than initially planned.

Meanwhile, Samsung is scrambling to address its sales issues. Over the last thirty-six months, the company has seen its wireless profits fall every quarter. Part of the issue with the latest phone launch was related to production trouble for the Galaxy S6 Edge screens. Even worse for Samsung though was the negative publicity generated by poor reviews on social media for the S6. Complaints on Facebook and Twitter highlighted underwhelming battery life, problems with clarity when completing calls, and overall concerns that the phone itself was unreliable. While its main line of wireless phones has not lived up to expectations, Samsung’s specialty phones, particularly the Active branch that is designed to survive screen scratches, exposure to water, and the occasional drop onto the floor from table height, has seen remarkable growth. Until it can address the reliability concerns associated with its flagship phones, Samsung may turn its attention to consumers who are looking for a sturdy mobile device that does not require a bulky, limiting case.

Mobile Phone Causes Pilot to Abort Landing

We are more connected now than at any other time in the course of history; what with our cell phones and the internet and all of the various means of communication that goes along with these wonders of technologies; however I think it has also given us the equivalent of what fighter pilots call “helmet fire.”  Helmet fire happens when fighter pilots get information overload from all of the data that they have to process while flying their jets, and if not handled appropriately it can get them killed.  Granted our civilian version of helmet fire does not include having to engage the enemy and conduct evasive maneuvers, while flying at near supersonic speeds, but that doesn’t mean that ours can’t be any less deadly.  By now most, if not all of us, have learned about the dangers of trying to multitask while driving our cars.  There have been multiple studies that have demonstrated that even relatively simple tasks such as eating and drinking (in this instance I am referring to nonalcoholic drinks) dramatically reduce our reaction times while driving.  Then there are the studies that have shown that people talking on their smart phones and driving are about as dangerous as someone who is drunk behind the wheel.  Of course there is also the texting driver, who must literally take their eyes off the road to send that oh so precious “LOL,” yeah, not a very smart idea to do that.

Well, apparently there is one place where you can still use your phone and operate a vehicle at the same time, and that place is none other than in the cockpit of a passenger jet.  Sounds safe, what could possibly go wrong; right?  Imagine, while all of the passengers are banned from using their wireless devices, because I guess it destroys the physics that make an airplane fly (that’s sarcasm), you could be in the cockpit hauling those poor communication deprived schleps around the globe texting and tweeting your heart out.  As it turns out though being able to text and fly isn’t such a good idea either (duh).  A Jetstar pilot was on final approach to land his passenger filled plane in Singapore when he had to abort his landing.  Why?  Because he had forgotten to lower the plane’s landing gear.  Why did he forget to lower the plane’s landing gear?  Because he was too busy fiddling with his mobile phone to remember to do so.  Luckily no one was killed in this instance, but it certainly illustrates the dangerous distraction that our little miracles of modern communication can be while trying to do other things – like flying an airplane.