In emerging markets, smartphones are gaining ground based on crazily low pricing. Check out this Gadget piece about recent figures from South African retail giant Pep. In the second half of 2013, 1 percent of the pre-pay phones Pep sold were smartphones. That was up to 13 percent in the first half of this year, and soon it will be 30 percent. Much of this is down to the arrival of super-cheap, WhatsApp-centric Android phones priced as low as R399 ($38). Now consider that Microsoft just killed off Asha, the low-end Nokia line that’s been its big contender in markets such as this. Those cheap new Lumias had better be really cheap.
Qualcomm EVP Peggy Johnson is leaving the company that’s been her home for 24 years, a source tells Gigaom. And according to a report in Re/Code, she’s departing for Microsoft to take on a high-level executive post. Johnson is the highest ranking female executive at Qualcomm, and she’s also part of the inner circle. She’s on Qualcomm’s executive committee and has headed up key divisions of the company. As President of Qualcomm Internet Services, she launched BREW, a predecessor of the moden mobile app store. In her current role she’s in charge of developing new markets for Qualcomm’s core wireless technologies as well as overseeing Qualcomm Labs.
Apple has doubled the RAM in its Retina MacBook Pros across the entire line, while also adding slightly improved processors and price cuts for select models. Read more »