"Made for Google" Certification on the Way?

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Google Phone9to5Google reports Google has a "Made for Google" program in the works-- an accessory certification scheme presumably similar to Apple's MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) scheme.

The unnamed sources speaking to the news site don't have any further details on the program, but the aforementioned MFi program provides accessory makers with “hardware components, tools, documentation, and technical support,” and allows the promotion of accessory with Apple certification logos.

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IFA 2017 Highlights, According to mm1

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According to David B. Hofmann, mm1 Managing Partner and IoT Expert, voice assistants and smart home were this year’s IFA focus topics.

MM1LVoice Assistants: "The most prominent trend of this year’s IFA is the integration of voice assistants, such as Amazon‘s Alexa, featuring a growing number of speakers and household devices. Whereas other providers such as Google, Microsoft and Samsung position themselves claiming their share of the market, Amazon presented a dedicated booth in IFA’s start-up area eager to further develop its dominance in this Segment. "

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IDC: Improvements Ahead for "Challenging" PCD Market

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According to IDC, W. European PCD (Personal Computing Device, covering both traditional PCs and tablets) shipments will total 79.2 million units in 2017, a -2.6% decrease.

The analyst combines desktop PC, notebook and workstation shipments with slate and detachable tablets. Some products, such as convertibles, ultraslims and detachables, are to expand until at least 2021, making 43.3% of the overall PCD market by then, compared with 21.9% at end 2016. This is the result of users across both consumer and enterprise segments going for thinner and lighter devices, instead of traditional solutions.

IDC Forecast PCD

As a result, the traditional PC market will still decline over the next 5 years, wheras the tablet market will show "some" resilience and stabilise over the forecast period.

The commercial PCD segment is to perform well, with a "slight" decrease by end 2017 before a return to positive growth by 2018 (1.2%). Growth should reach 6.4% in 2020, with SMBs as main driver. On the other hand the consumer segment should decline further until 2021, even if "not significantly." The longer lifespan of devices affects the consumer market, although some new form factors will be adopted, such as convertibles.

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December Launch for Next-Gen Surface Pro?

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A Microsoft employee revealed the launch date of the next-generation LTE-enabled Surface Pro tablet at the Ignite 2017 conference, Neowin reports-- 1 December 2017.

Surface ProAt the session, Surface Pro program manager Tim Golik said the Surface Pro carries a Snapdragon X16 LTE modem able to work in any country in the world. This means one can buy the Surface Pro with LTE in any country and expect to use data across the globe. However this was the only detail gleaned at the session, and Golik refused to answer questions about a new Surface Book.

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Futuresource: STBs Remain Household Fixture

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Traditional pay-TV STBs remain a fixture in consumer homes worldwide, Futuresource Consulting reports, as operators add new features to counter the enhanced functionality of media streamers.

Pay TV STBThe analyst says global media box shipments (combining STBs and media streamers) total 339 million units in 2016, with STBs making 86% of the total. The total value of the 2016 media box market is up to $21 billion.

However, while the share of STBs making the media box market is "unlikely" to dip in 2017, the traditional STB is under threat by many competing connected devices-- such as media streamers, games consoles and smart TVs-- all able to access content from a variety of sources. Thus more desirable features are being added to STBs, including SVoD services, voice search and smart home functionality, as well as 4K/UHD upgrades.

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