Lenovo today revealed an impressive set of results for the second fiscal quarter. In a PC market down 8 per cent from a year ago, Lenovo increased its PC shipments by 10.3 per cent, a particularly noteworthy feat given that HP and Dell saw declines of 16 and 14 per cent, respectively. The Chinese firm reported total revenue of some £5.4 billion (an 11 per cent increase from a year ago), net profit of £101 million (up 13 per cent) and gross profit of £656 million (up 11 per cent). Indeed, the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer now boasts 15.6 per cent of the global PC market, its largest portion ever and, as a result, is now the world's top PC manufacturer: Q2 2012 represents the 14th straight quarter in which Lenovo's growth has exceeded that of the PC industry as a whole.
If the PC market thinks it has fallen on hard times, it certainly has a sympathetic ear in the music industry. As the public buys fewer and fewer records and digital sales struggle to adequately make up for the ebbing of that revenue, media companies and technology ventures are increasingly putting their eggs in the music streaming basket. New services are popping up every day, but they join an already crowded field. For all of the industry's enthusiasm, will anything valuable be found at the end of the music streaming gold rush? Rawiya Kameir explores the shift in consumer attitudes towards music, the viability of the typical streaming business model, and the possibility of an Apple radio service. Click on the link above for her take on whether or not music streaming has a future.
Keeping with our miserablist steak today, it seems that even the booming market for tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices has its share of problems - namely, that not everyone is technologically adept enough to run out and further line the pockets of Messrs Google, Apple, Samsung and the like. A recent report estimates that 16 million Brits are essentially computer illiterate, and the UK's general digital shortcomings may be costing it £63 billion in earnings. But fear not, cash-hungry mobile computing moguls: Martha Lane Fox of lastminute.com fame, who funded the study, is sure that her new charity, Go ON UK, can provide some solutions to the online skills conundrum.
Another head scratcher in need of a solution is the growing threat faced by mobile platforms. Just because you know how to use a smartphone doesn't mean you are equipped to adequately protect it, and security vulnerabilities surrounding the Android mobile OS were again brought to the fore in a recent report. Today, we dipped under the bonnet of the issue to see which particular versions were most at risk. Version(s) 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jelly Bean may be the most fashionable iterations just now, but it's a relative OS relic in Gingerbread – the 2.3 Android update and still the most widely deployed system – that attracts the most malware according to Kapsersky Lab. It seems cybercriminals have little regard for fashion and instead just want to line their digital closet with as many viral skeletons as possible.
In more unsettling news, it seems that Microsoft has managed to get a patent for technology that could be used to spy on consumers and make sure that they pay for their media content. The patent granted today is for cameras built-in to TVs, PCs, and mobile phones which, coupled with facial recognition technology, would potentially enable media firms to identify viewers and charge accordingly. It's pretty clever as far as party-pooping ideas are concerned, but Microsoft still has a fair way to go before its Orwellian fantasy is a reality not easily avoided by, say, simply removing or negating the additional voyeuristic corporate hardware.
Oh, and since it's a Thursday, we'll give you one more little gem: some crazy kids over in Japan made an edible iPhone 5 case. Could it save your life in the event of a natural disaster? Maybe, maybe not but it sure looks like a good bar snack at any rate. Pork scratching iPad cover, anyone?