Android hits historic sales landmark: one billion smartphones shipped last year

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We noted 18 months ago that Android could be on track to ship a billion devices in 2014, tablets included, and Strategy Analytics has just revealed that the tablets weren’t needed: more than a billion Android smartphones were sold last year.

Android shipped 1.0 billion smartphones worldwide in 2014, rising from 0.8 billion units in 2013. Android has become the first ever smartphone operating system to ship more than 1 billion units in a single year. Android accounted for a huge 81 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in 2014.

Putting the number at 1.0427B handsets, the research company said that emerging markets like China were key to the growth. The figures show that the Android smartphone market has doubled in size since 2012 …  Read more

Huawei has record-breaking year: 75M phones, over $12B revenue

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Chinese manufacturer Huawei has announced record-breaking results for 2014, with smartphone sales up 45% to 75 million and revenue up 30% to $12.2B. The numbers aren’t too great a surprise, as Reuters came pretty close to calling them in a piece posted on New Year’s Eve.

The dramatic growth in sales could see Huawei threatening the rankings of both LG and Xiaomi in the next round of market share estimates after recently being knocked down into fifth place …

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New leaked photos show purported ‘Hima’ HTC One (M9), moved hardware buttons

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The upcoming HTC flagship is probably one of the most exciting smartphone launches scheduled for the next couple of months, and today Phandroid has shared photos that claim to show the rumored “Hima” device in the flesh. There’s nothing crazy or exciting to see here, but we do now have a bit of corroboration of things we knew previously.

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This is what’s new in Spiral 2 of Project Ara

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The second developer conference for Google’s Project Ara is happening today, and the ATAP team took some time this morning to show the world the second iteration of the modular smartphone—dubbed Spiral 2. While the hardware for the updated prototype is said to be complete at this point, the firmware still needs a bit work, as mentioned on stage by ATAP’s Paul Eremenko. But that aside, this new version continues to usher in the Project Ara mentality that consumers should be free to use hardware (much like we use software) to build a phone based on their needs—not the needs a company has determined they likely have.

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Roundup: Find all of 9to5Google’s CES 2015 coverage in one place

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If you’ve somehow missed the overflow of coverage from CES 2015 last week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. During the show we took a look at the latest devices and accessories that are expected to be released throughout 2015. The show was packed with new smartphones, home automation tools, cases, and some unexpected surprises. If you didn’t catch all of the coverage from the show, check out the roundup below with links to everything that we found interesting…

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CES 2015: Noke is a Bluetooth padlock that can be unlocked with your Android smartphone

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It is the second day of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and we’re back on the show floor to discover the diamonds in the rough. Noke, the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled padlock, is one of those hidden gems. Noke replaces the nuisances of losing your keys or needing to remember random combinations with convenient unlocking over Bluetooth technology when your Android smartphone is within close range. Read more

Archos announces two new 4G devices: Diamond smartphone, 80b Helium tablet

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It’s not unusual for companies to announce what they have in store for CES in the days leading up to the show, as they would love to get as much attention as they can before the flood of announcements come next week. That’s what Archos has done today, announcing a couple of super-affordable new devices they say will help “strengthen its 4G range”: the Diamond smartphone and the 80b Helium tablet.

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What we expect to see from Google in 2015

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It has been a pretty exciting year for Google in a lot of ways. Android Wear has started to ignite excitement behind the future of wearable technology, the best version of Android ever—dubbed Lollipop—was released, a couple of brand new Nexus devices (one of which we leaked) came to fruition, and the Mountain View corporation’s new Material Design language has taken the Play Store by storm. Everything that was already great was made better in 2014, and the company has been sprinkling a bunch of exciting innovations in along the way to keep things interesting—like the self-driving car, for example.

In 2015, Google is probably going to do much the same. Android “M” (milkshake, maybe?) will likely be unveiled at Google I/O this upcoming summer, we’ll probably see a round of new Nexus hardware come later in the year, Google will likely keep pushing Chromebooks in the affordable segment of the PC market, and Android Wear devices from countless manufacturers will continue to get thinner and have better and better battery life. But Google surely has some drastic innovation planned in a variety of areas, as well, with the potential return of Google Glass on the horizon and the second spiral of Project Ara to be unveiled in a couple of weeks.

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Huawei smartphone sales up 40%, revenues up almost a third, says Reuters

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Reuters has pre-empted Huawei’s financial results, due to be released next month, citing an internal memo showing a 40% year-on-year increase in smartphone sales, with divisional revenue up almost a third to $11.8B.

The division shipped about 75 million smartphones in 2014, according to the year-end memo to employees sent by Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business. Although that represented a more than 40 percent year-on-year increase, the figure lagged behind Huawei’s previously stated sales target of 80 million units.

While the company started life making low-end handsets, it later branched out into high-end smartphones, including the recently-announced Honor 6 Plus, closely modelled on Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus …  Read more

HTC says to “always Desire more,” teases new Desire smartphone launch for CES

HTC DESIRE CESAs we reported yesterday, there are several rumors floating around that HTC intends to announce a new device of some kind at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, an event that’s typically fairly quiet for the Taiwanese corporation. But while many believed that the upcoming device might be the company’s next flagship, codenamed “Hima,” a new teaser image posted to the company’s official Weibo account would suggest otherwise. The image makes direct reference to the company’s “Desire” line of affordable phones.

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Moto G (2nd generation) with LTE shows up on Brazilian Motorola site

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According to the Moto G page on the Brazilian Motorola website, there appears to be another model of the company’s affordable Moto X alternative in the works, sporting LTE and a variety of other minor changes (via Android Police). It was only a matter of time before this device popped up consider its predecessor had 4G capable model, and now it’s (almost) here.

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