Linking: sound, Intel’s results, digital generations, Apple-IBM

A selection of five links for you. Use them wisely.

There’s life above 20 kilohertz! A survey of musical instrument spectra to 102.4 kHz — Caltech

Trumpets and even violins make noises well above hearing range, and if you have the right equipment then people can tell a difference in playback. Maybe Neil Young is right after all?


Intel beats estimates, raises forecast on improved PC market — Re/code

Chipmaker Intel said on Tuesday that an improved PC market helped it to deliver quarterly earnings that exceeded its initial estimates. The company also hiked its full-year sales outlook.

Intel reported second-quarter earnings of $2.8bn, or 55 cents per share, on sales of $13.8bn for the three months ending in June.

The company raised its expectations last month, saying it expected sales to be about $13.7bn, up from its original April forecast of $13bn. At the time, the company said that the improved health of the business PC market was largely responsible for the improved outlook.

OK, so the business PC market – in line with business generally – is up. But part of the driver of that business PC market growth has been the end of life of Windows XP – launched in October 2001. Vista was released in 2005, so there’s a long time to wait for the same uplift.

Oh, but there’s also this:

After essentially missing out on the early days of the tablet, Intel has set an ambitious goal of powering 40m tablets this year, the bulk of them likely to run Android. The company also sees a growing business in selling laptops running Google’s Chrome OS.

Intel’s mobile unit, though, posted quarterly revenue of $51m, down 83% year on year and off 67% from the first quarter. (CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement that Intel remains on track to hit that goal.)

Mobile is barely a pimple on Intel.

And here’s another thing: try finding any correlation between Intel’s revenues in its PC Client group (which is separated out from its Data Center group, Internet of Things group, Mobile, and Software & Services revenue) and worldwide PC shipments, either in the same quarter or for the succeeding quarter.

You won’t find it. It’s about 0.33 – where perfect correlation is 1, and “it’s random, man” is 0. Given that Intel provides the processors for the PC business, you’d expect to see it hovering at least around 0.75.

But the “PC Client group” revenues are both microprocessors, and “motherboards and other chips” – where the latter seems to inject enough variability (read: noise) into the data that it overwhelms the signal.


Digital Generation Gap — Tech.pinions

Bob O’Donnell on a study of 2,500 people from around the world; this takes in about 1,000 respondents in the US and UK:

As expected, the younger you are, the more you use your smartphone. The older you are, the more you use your PC. The degree of differences between age groups and the nearly perfect tracking with age was somewhat surprising however. Of course some of this has to do with using the devices we are most comfortable with. Younger people have grown up with smartphones and older people grew up using PCs. However, there’s also a difference in the type of activities and the amount of time spent on them between the different groups. Some of the activities older people do are arguably better suited to PCs and vice versa.

A big unanswered question is, how will this chart look in 5 years? Will the 18-24 year olds maintain this split of device usage as they age into the 25-34 group (and so on), or will their likely shifting of activities as they get older adjust their device usage? (Of course, there’s also the strong possibility we’ll have more device categories to add to the mix in 5 years, but that’s a topic for another column.)

This is part of why commenters get so grumpy when you talk about a shift away from PCs towards smartphones and tablets: they’re all on PCs.


Apple and IBM forge global partnership to transform enterprise mobility — Yahoo Finance

The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple’s legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform. The combination will create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction—faster and easier than ever before.

As part of the exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific solutions to business clients worldwide.

Well that might goose iPad sales a little. It’s all in the execution, of course. You can see two scenarios: IBM executes this incredibly well, and Microsoft and Android devices find themselves effectively locked out of the enterprise market for tablets and phones.

Or IBM screws it up, and it’s all just the same as it was before.

One could expect it will be somewhere in the middle – which still isn’t good for Microsoft and Android OEMs. Nor, indeed, BlackBerry.


Top 10 smartphones in May 2014 – Galaxy S5 fails to displace iPhone 5s — Counterpoint Technology

According to Counterpoint’s channel survey across 35 countries, Apple’s iPhone 5s continues to be the bestselling phone in the world, a spot that many expected to be taken by Samsung’s Galaxy S 5. The highly anticipated Galaxy S5 comes in at second place but still a quite distant number two in terms of (sell through) unit sales. The iPhone 5c shipments continue to decline but Apple continued clearing excess inventory for the iPhone 5c during the month. Apple iPhone 5c sales put it behing Samsung’s last year’s flagship Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note III.

The top ten goes
Apple (5S)
Samsung (S5)
Samsung (S4)
Samsung (Note 3)
Apple (5C)
Apple (4S)
Xiaomi (M3)
Samsung (Galaxy S4 mini – a cut down version of last year’s flagship)
Xiaomi (Hongmi Redrice)
Samsung (Galaxy Grand 2 – a 2013 phablet, lower-priced, 5.25in screen).

The key point is that the iPhone 5S is doing the same numbers that the iPhone 5 was last year. Now, that might not be encouraging – that’s stalled growth, right?

But Samsung is selling fewer S5s than it was selling S4s last year. That suggests that the premium market for Apple is still staying the same, while that for Samsung is falling away. Or did it overshoot the market in terms of features it provided with the S3 or S4?


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