The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, January 29

Samsung's mobile profits slide as Apple catches up ... Amazon has an enterprise mail service up its sleeve ... and more

Snapdragon logo

Snapdragon logo

Samsung's profit slides as mobile power wanes

Samsung Electronics' smartphone business saw a slide in operating profit of 64 percent in fourth quarter results reported Thursday, as competition from Apple at the high end and Xiaomi and Lenovo at the low end cut into business. But its semiconductor business improved thanks to increased demand for its DRAM. Overall, net profit fell for the third quarter in a row, this time by 27 percent from a year earlier.

Apple ties with Samsung for smartphone market share

The iPhone 6 has sold so well that Apple tied with Samsung for the top position in the smartphone market in the fourth quarter, closing the gap with its South Korean competitor. Both Apple and Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones during the period, each claiming close to 20 percent share of the market, research firm Strategy Analytics said.

Qualcomm issues a warning as "major customer" defects

Samsung may be fending off competitors on all sides but it's still a hugely important customer in the mobile space, and its rumored decision not to use Qualcomm's 64-bit Snapdragon 810 in its upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone may be hitting the chipmaker hard. Qualcomm said revenue from its chip division will be lower than expected in the second half of the year, in part because the 810 "will not be in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device."

Amazon takes the email fight to Google and Microsoft

Amazon.com is getting ready to jump into the online hosted apps space, with an email service that will go up against Gmail and Microsoft's cloud-based email. The offering is said to be called WorkMail, and targets the enterprise.

Tech firms balk at new Chinese cybersecurity rules

The Chinese government will require companies that sell IT gear to Chinese banks to turn over source code and build back doors into their systems, and foreign tech companies have registered their concern in a letter to the authorities, the New York Times reports. Copies of the rules, not yet public, have been circulating, and companies believe they are also intended to force them out of one of the world's biggest markets.

Bill Gates drops hints about secret Microsoft project

During an "ask me anything" session on Reddit Wednesday, Bill Gates dropped an intriguing hint about an unreported Microsoft project. Asked about future technologies, he said he's working on a "Personal Agent" which will "remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to." Sounds like it could be related to some of the machine learning stuff that Microsoft Research has been deep into?

Write privacy into cyberthreat laws, advocates say

Planned U.S. laws that would encourage companies to share cyberthreat information should include strong privacy protection if they are to pass without too much controversy. Representatives from Microsoft and the Center for Democracy and Technology told lawmakers Wednesday that they should require companies and government agencies to strip out personally identifiable information before sending cyberthreat information to other organizations.

Supersecure phone was not so supersecure

If you go to the trouble of buying a communication device that promises to protect you from eavesdroppers, you would expect the thing to be free of serious security holes. Unfortunately for users of the BlackPhone, the SilentText secure messaging application bundled with it had a serious vulnerability that would have allowed attackers to decrypt messages, read contact information, gather location data and even execute malicious code on the phone. The issue is fixed, but if a device built with security in mind can be flawed, consider the holes left behind when security features are an afterthought.

Watch now

In case you hadn't heard, a big snowstorm blew through the northeast of the U.S. this week. You can watch 40 hours' worth of snow pile up just outside The Upload's offices in this quick time-lapse video.

One last thing

Operating outside the law has always left criminals vulnerable to shakedowns, and that's true in the virtual world as well. Testimony in the Silk Road trial ongoing in New York revealed that the online black market had a particular business expense: paying off hackers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMicrosoftinternetbusiness issuesApplequalcommamazon.comSamsung Electronicsblackphone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
IDG News Service staff

IDG News Service staff

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?