[Tech] The news to remember: Lower growth in smartphone sales in Europe, Facebook Home shunned in the US, new Apple patent

by bold-lichterman

The slowdown in sales growth of smartphones in Europe… AI Tempo raises 7.5 million euros for its smart calendar … Sony unveils its SmartWatch 2… The record unpopularity of Facebook Home… The latest patent filed by Apple… Back to tech news.

Smartphones: Europeans are starting to saturate

In Western Europe, sales of smartphones slowed down in the first quarter of 2013: they grew by only 12% compared to last year, which is their smallest quarterly increase since 2004.
This figure is hardly surprising. Indeed, in Europe, smartphones have reached a penetration rate approaching saturation, which has the effect of slowing down their adoption. This is how the stock market value of Samsung, yet the leading seller of cellphones in Europe, has dropped by 6% at the beginning of the month. Most of the growth in the smartphone market will now be in emerging countries.

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Tempo AI raises 7.5 million euros for its artificial intelligence application

Tempo AI is the start-up behind the mobile productivity application Tempo Smart Calendar. This very specific calendar uses artificial intelligence to help its users organize their schedule, and prioritize certain tasks and events. Last Thursday, the company raised 7.5 million euros to improve its artificial intelligence technology and develop new services. A fundraising campaign led by the Relay Ventures and Sierra Ventures funds.
Tempo AI was created in 2011 within the SRI International research institute, which notably launched Siri, the Apple spin-off company behind the voice assistant of the same name.


Sony unveils its new connected watch

Pioneer in the field of smart watches with its model Smartwatch, launched in spring 2012, Sony today unveils its SmartWatch 2. New features: a larger screen (1.6 inches against 1.3 inches on the previous model) and which is resistant to rain; greater autonomy (5 to 7 days), a stainless steel bracelet (that of the Smartwatch was made of rubber), and new NFC features. This new model, which still works on Android, should be marketed in the fall; for the moment, the Japanese firm has not indicated a price.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoUzM7WYlP0


Facebook Home shunned by 90% of American mobile users

Launched last April, the Facebook overlay for Android smartphones promised to be a major turning point in the apprehension of mobile by the social network. Some months later, Facebook Home is a real failure. According to a survey of American mobile users, 91% of them have no desire to own a smartphone equipped with Facebook Home, and 55% of respondents say they do not intend to download the application; reluctance is particularly strong among 18-34 year olds, who are known to be heavy Facebook users. An unpopularity so strong that the manufacturer HTC, which had planned to produce a mobile equipped with the Facebook overlay, decided to abandon the project.

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A double-sided touchscreen Apple device soon?

In any case, this is what the patent filed today by the firm at the United States Patent and Trademark Office suggests. According to CNET, Apple is thinking about a new kind of support, transparent, and tactile on both the front and back sides. Features that would make the screen visible and usable even when the device is closed. At present, it is still too early to know if this screen will actually be marketed.

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