Telling Signs About Social Media Trends

Telling Signs About Social Media Trends
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Social media is here to stay. Early this year, The Next Web released a 376-page slideshow about the social media trends for 2015. The report issues significant highlights and telling signs of what we should expect from the global social media.

Global Internet in Numbers

The report showed that out of the 7.2 billion global population, there are 3 billion active internet users, 2 billion have social media accounts, 3.6 billion are unique mobile users and 1.7 billion have active mobile social accounts. All these figures have increased from the previous year.

In the Americas, 633 million are active internet users, 482 million have active social media accounts, 1.1 million have mobile connectivity and 399 million have active mobile social accounts.

On the global average, internet usage is estimated at 42 percent. The highest internet penetration is in North America with 88 percent while the lowest is in South Asia with 18 percent.

The time spent on the internet is around 4 hours and 25 minutes. South Asians registered the highest average daily use. In the Philippines, internet users spend an average of 6 hours per day followed by Malaysians, Thais, Vietnamese and Indonesians with a daily average of more than 5 hours of internet use per day.

Another study states that one quarter of the world’s population uses social media.

Another study showed that a quarter of the world’s population uses social media. To give you a more detailed description, it means that 1.730 billion are using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Instragam and other social networking sites. Easily translated, this means that every minute, an easy 4.7 million posts are posted on Tumblr; almost 280,000 snaps are shared on Snapchat; and more than five million videos are viewed on top video sharing site YouTube.

Social Media Figures

social media statsInstagram is still the number one mobile-photo sharing app with an active base of 300 million IG users.

It is also the social network of choice for image and photo-based social media marketing. Companies and marketers are planning to increase their presence on Instagram by as much as 49 percent this year compared to last year’s average of 40 or more hours per week.

According to a study, Instagram posts receive a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 percent or 120 times more engagement per follower compared to Twitter and 58 times more than Facebook.

Facebook is slowly but surely rolling out to paid models this year. In short, Facebook wants to handle your money.

Twitter sits high on the top 5 social media networks. It has an active user base of 288 million monthly with 77 percent outside the U.S. and 80 percent of active users on mobile.

As analysts expect that video will be the social media platform of choice for 2015, Youtube will continue to face constant challenges from rival social network Facebook. Some even regard this year as the start of the post-Youtube era as more videos are viewed and shared outside the Youtube ecosystem.

 

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Images: Facebook and Social Media from Pixabay.com

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A Girls’ Guide to Gadgets

A Girls’ Guide to Gadgets
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Who ever said that gizmos are only for guys got it totally wrong. In this age of high technology, women are suckers for devices – gaming hardwares, tech toys, smart phones, notebooks, GPS gears and other stuff.

Many women get the natural high when in contact with tech products. Brosix has gathered a list of the must have tech gear for women. (The guys can have them too or better yet, they can buy the goodies for their girls).

For mobile moms: 2-in-1 ultraportable devices

Laptops and notebooks are becoming a necessity especially for working moms and telecommuting single individuals. Depending on your nature of work, laptops and other mobile computing devices are indispensable. Many lug them around not only for work-related purposes or to use spare time productively.

One that’s worth checking out is the Asus Transformer Book T200, a 2-in-1 detachable that is both a laptop and a tablet. This 11.6-inch baby is the big sister version of Asus’ tablet-laptop hybrid. It costs less than an Apple iPad and it is equipped by a quad-core intel Atom CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. It boasts of 8 hours of battery life. Just detach the tablet to work and play and return to dock for more productive time.

It’s common for most modern homes to have a desktop PC, but if working moms need to carry their work tool to important business trips, the Asus Transformer is just perfect.

For busy working girls: Sony Walkman portable digital audio player

Nobody likes stress, especially during that time of the month when we become suddenly grouchy and irritated. If you think you’ve tried everything to control a bad case of mood swings, the entire audio package is all you need to perk up and stay upbeat. If your phone isn’t cutting it, check out Sony Walkman’s latest line of portable audio players. Walkman, Sony’s iconic music player was launched over 35 years ago. The past couple of years have saw the return of the Walkman.

sonywalkmanIf you want nostalgia, go for the Sony Walkman NWZ-A17SLV or simply A17, a flash-memory based digital audio player. It supports various file formats including MP3, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, WAV and more. Launched at the CES last month, the A17 has an FM tuner, a 64GB of internal storage with a slot for expandable memory. It also supports video play back and photo viewing. This audio companion can play high-resolution audio files for 30 hours or more on a single charge. Playing MP3 files can last you a lenghty 50 hours of non-stop music on the go.

If you’re an audiophile who prefers high-resolution audio, go for the Sony Walkman NW-XZ2 or XZ2, a super high-end audio player that claims to “reproduce master quality recordings just as the artists originally intended.” However, at almost $1200, it’s definitely a splurge.

This unit of the latest Walkman delivers superior audio quality, runs on Android Jelly Bean and has Wi-Fi connectivity. It can play digital files up to 192 kHz/24 bit in formats including MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, WAV and ALAC. Transfer your entire music library to teh 128GB of built-in storage. A single charge can deliver up to 60 hours of listening pleasure.

For the fitness enthusiasts

Functional can be fashionable too. Jumpstart your fitness regimen with these selected fitness gadgets and gears:

  • Cielo Pill Holder. These little functional but trendy accessories come straight of the pages of Vogue Magazine. Cielo’s creative and thoughtfully-designed pill holders offer beautiful ways to carry your medicine and pills. Choose from a wide array of three collections – Royal, Peacock and Slate. Now that’s function and art.
  • UP by Jawbone. UP is not your ordinary fitness tracker. It has advanced sensors that can capture your daily activities like walking, eating running, sleeping and other movements. It can also track your diet with features like healthy food scores, water drinking logging, popular restaurant menus and enhanced calorie tracking. FitBit and Cuff are also two good alternatives.

Of course, these are just a few of the many great gadgets out there, no matter your lifestyle or workload. There are many more gizmos out there that girls can tinker with and maximize to make their urban and mobile life more fun and productive.

 

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Images: Sony Walkman and Girls Gadgets from Flickr.com.

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Enjoy Personal Chat Without The Worries

Enjoy Personal Chat Without The Worries
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We have had private chat conversations on more than one occasion. We use chat services to talk to family and friends and sometimes we even chat with strangers.

Chat rooms, private chat, and instant messaging are common features of social networking and online dating apps. Chatting is one way of getting to know more people. Chatting and engaging in conversations is one way to know if the person behind the username and profile could be interesting or even worthwhile to meet offline.

Users of dating sites chat to find their ‘match.’ If the odds are good, then the online chatmate can be a real-world friend or a potential partner. Chatting can actually lead to dating.

Enjoy Personal Chat Without The WorriesWhen indulging in this kind of communication, keep in mind some online safety precautions:

  • If you are chatting anonymously on a chat service or an online dating site, there’s no need to share or divulge personal information that is not on your social or account profile.
  • Don’t share your home and work address, your social security number, birthday and other information that can be exploited by online predators and hackers.
  • Don’t share racy photos. Whatever you post or send online are almost permanent.
  • Private chat conversations are always optional. You can accept or reject a private chat request. Choose who can send you private or direct messages.
  • Chat only if you are at ease. If a user hits on you, wanting to chat about topics that you are not willing to discuss or talk about, politely decline. There’s always a choice and free will especially in the digital world.
  • If a chatter becomes hostile with you and starts sending offensive messages, leave the chat room. Block if you must.

Chat, have fun, but keep safe and be responsible.

Images: Woman with Smartphone and Creative Netbook from Pixabay.com

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Have a Healthy Heart

Have a Healthy Heart
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Heart disease, including stroke and other cardiovascular diseases is the leading cause of death in the US, killing almost 800,000 people a few years ago. The rate of a heart attack occurrence is one every 34 seconds, causing more deaths that all forms of cancer combined.

There is a direct link between stress and heart diseases.  If you are working too hard at the computer (or elsewhere), relaxing too little and not engaging in any form of exercise and physical activities, then your risk of developing heart-related ailments is higher.

We often feel stress in different ways – we feel stress at home, at work, even inside the elevator. We also react to stress in different ways. The way we manage stress may increase the risk factors of having an unhealthy heart. We cope with stress through smoking, drinking and emotional eating. When we are stressed, our blood pressure and cholesterol levels shoot up.

Heart diseases are dangerous and fatal. It can end your life in an instant, without you even feeling any symptom or indication that you have a heart problem. Having a healthy heart is equivalent to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few reminders:

Maintain a healthy weight

heart healthOverweight and obesity can lead to heart diseases and a string of other health problems like diabetes and hypertension. Being overweight also increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, particularly a fatal heart attack.

Keeping your weight in control and within your Body Mass Index (BMI) has an overall effect on your body, health and well-being. Excess weight and body fat is linked to high lipid and cholesterol levels in the body. Give particular attention to your visceral or abdominal fat. Your waistline measurement is a quick indicator if you are overweight. Waistline over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women indicates that you are beyond your ideal weight.

Regular exercise

There’s nothing you can do with that excess body weight but to shake it off. Get on a regular exercise routine. You can combine cardio with running, do different levels of workouts and fitness training and toning exercises.

Exercising is a good way to keep stress and mood swings at bay. It is also an effective way to shed off some unwanted pounds.

Find time to exercise in between work hours. You can even exercise in the office. If you are already fit, exercise to maintain your ideal body weight. Exercise will also decrease your stress levels.

You are what you eat

Changes in your eating and dietary habits can also effect changes in your body and mind. Not all of us have the luxury of time to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals but you can be always be mindful and selective of your food choices.

Review your diet and eating habits. Consult a dietician or a nutritionist and seek advice on what to eat. Eating too much and eating the wrong types of food can result to excess body weight.

Ditch the quick, convenient fast food and eat you way to a healthier life. Include more of the following in your diet: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, low-fat protein in small portions. Know the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. A low fat, low sodium and low cholesterol diet can be ideal.

Cut the vices

It’s a universal knowledge that prolonged smoking and drinking contributes to heart diseases. If you can’t quit, then be in control of your smoking and drinking. Consume in moderation.

 

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Images: Heart Fruits and Diet Exercise from Pixabay.com

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Are You Ready To Swipe Right? Online Dating Site Security

Are You Ready To Swipe Right? Online Dating Site Security
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Will you swipe to the left or to the right?

Does dating in the digital age mean you are dating an online profile or a real person who is capable of real and honest relationship without the frivolities provided by online dating sites and mobile dating apps?

There are a million and one answers to that question depending on how you view and appreciate the convenience and consequences of online dating.

It’s the love month and it’s inevitable to discuss this topic on how technology plays a vital role in our personal and romantic relationships.

Back in the days when online dating was just a trend, it was viewed as an impersonal way of finding love and relationship. Now, online dating is one of the most common ways to meet future partners and spouses. Online dating has become a mainstream activity, perhaps, the only explanation why most of the single people we know are on Tinder while half of our friends are either or Grindr or Blendr.

Dating websites and apps have made meet-ups and dating more efficient. Online dating has also interwoven into social networking. People who meet new friends in online dating sites or apps are likely to add them to their social networks. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are also effective platforms for finding potential dates.

Users can spend hours building their online dating profile to make it more attractive and desirable for potential friends and partners. But a study showed that participants in online dating are more likely to look for a ‘humble, real profile’ whose online persona could be traced to a real person.

holdhands

Love stats

There are thousands of dating apps out there. Each one created based on specific target audience, geographic coverage, sexual preferences and dating styles. Dating apps have also different business models. Most sites and apps are free or with one-time membership and additional paid features.

Online dating sites and apps are used to meet more people, find a friend, a companion, a date, or anyone in the digital world who shares your interests, someone you chat with or meet in person. Dating apps maximizes our dating potentials. It satisfies our basic social need for conversation, interaction and relationships. Online dating sites and apps are used to find hook-ups.

According to dating analyst David Evans, at least 10 to 15 dating apps are launched every week and at the end of the year, about one or two will actually still be up and running. “The market is flooded by Tinder clones. But the ideas aren’t transformative.”

The online dating world is ever-growing. One in 10 Americans or more than 31 million Americans are using a dating site or app, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study. In the UK, there are over 1400 dating sites responsible for more than 25 percent of all new relationships.

Online dating was once viewed as a ‘gamified version’ of traditional dating and even courtship. Before, it used to emulate real world dating. Over the years, it has been viewed more positively and has become a significant part of dating and relationships. In fact, sites have expanded to flirting, connecting and networking.

Instant messaging is common among dating sites or apps. A member can send a direct or private message to another member that he or she is interested in. If there are sparks then one hello can lead to another. Video chatting and video calling are enhancements to online dating brought about by technology.

Pick-up lines

Tinder is currently the most popular smartphone dating app. It has 50 million active users who check their accounts at least 11 times a day and spends an average of 77 minutes ‘tindering’ on a daily basis.

Online dating is a multibillion global industry and companies use these pick-up lines to entice users to sign-up:

  • Tinder - “It’s how people meet”
  • eHarmony – “Beat the odds, Bet on love with eHarmony
  • Plenty of Fish – “More dates, more relationships, more visits than any other dating site”
  • AYI.com
  • Match.com – “More ways to meet new people”
  • OKCupid.com – “Join the best free dating site on Earth”
  • Coffee Meets Bagel – “What’s happening at noon”

Vulnerabilities

The biggest online dating sites have transitioned into the mobile platform and a recent study by IBM revealed that dating apps are always vulnerable to hacking.

IBM can be a real spoilsport for saying that dating apps, especially those on Android mobile platforms, pose potential security risk to companies and employees.

IBM analyzed 26 out of 41 dating apps including OKCupid, Match.com and Tinder and found that 60 percent of dating apps had medium or high severity vulnerabilities that can expose users and their companies to hacking, spying and theft.

The report said that “if an app is compromised, hackers can take advantage of users waiting eagerly to hear back from a potential love interest by sending bogus “phishing” messages to glean sensitive information or install malware.”

You can try a social experiment and throw yourself into online and mobile dating. Just do it with care. ###

Images: Hand and Couple from Pixabay.com

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How to Create Better Team Communication During Projects

How to Create Better Team Communication During Projects
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Working in a team can bring out the best or worst in you. Team projects are often handled by two or more people. It can take three or even more than 10 people working on a particular project. The number of members in a team project will depend on the nature and requirement of particular and overall tasks and deliverables.

To make sure that you are on the same page with your team and in tune with them on how to get the work done, team communication and collaboration is important.

better team communication during projects: tipsA team environment needs a reliable, fast, and simple means of communication. Chat and messaging apps are often used in team projects. Through chat and messaging apps, team members can easily share ideas, monitor tasks and implement individual and team assignments.

There are many available free and paid chat and messaging apps for team projects.

Aside from messaging, apps for team projects and collaboration can also make use of other productivity functions such as task managers, note taking and file sharing.

Chat and messaging apps and software for team projects should have a project management interface, should allow multiple users at the same time and should have a decent storage space.

Choosing the right messaging tools for your team projects can save you time, effort and resources.

 

Images: Team community and Team meeting from Pixabay and Flickr.com

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How to Extend The Battery Life of Your Mobile Device

How to Extend The Battery Life of Your Mobile Device
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Vampire apps or battery-sucking applications can drain the life and juice of your mobile device.

Games, audio and video streaming apps are some of the resource-draining apps installed in your smartphone or tablet. Graphics-intensive gaming apps are also massive power drainers. They are literally battery slayers that will leave your device dead as a doornail.

To extend the battery life of your device, you can try these simple hacks:how to extend your phone's battery life

  • Use the battery saving option. Check and select the battery saving option in your device. Also install a battery monitor app to check and manage your power usage. If you’re running out of juice, activate the ultra-power saving mode on your Android device.
  • Adjust the display settings. Tweaking the screen brightness of your device can do a lot to your battery life. If you’re just indoors with ample daylight, turn the brightness control of your smartphone or device to the lowest selection to dim the backlit. Doing this will give you a couple of hours additional battery life.
  • Turn off radios. If you’re not actually using the radio signals on your device – GPS, WiFi, LTE, NFC and Bluetooth, turn them off. Keeping them activated at all times will quickly drain your device’s juice.
  • Manual sync and update apps. Do not auto-sync emails and auto-update apps. Automatic syncing and updating will not only drain your smartphone’s battery, it will also hog your processor’s resources. You can always do manual sync and updating of apps if you need to.

 

Images: Critical battery and Tablet from Flickr.com

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Tablet Sales Tumble

Tablet Sales Tumble
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The word is out – tablet sales are crashing. For the first time in five years, global shipment of tablet computers has declined, according to initial data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Although tech giants Apple and Samsung are still on top of the tablet market, worldwide shipments of tablets and other 2-in-1 devices including hybrids and phablets, accounted for 76.1 million in the last quarter of 2014 or a drop of 3.2% from the 78.6 million tablets that have hit the shelves in 2013.

This is the first time that tablet sales dropped since it was introduced in the consumer electronics market in 2010. Apple’s move to expand its iPad lineup was eclipsed by the release of new iPhones in the 4th quarter. For its part, Samsung’s mid to high-priced tablets continued to grapple with Android tablets from low-cost vendors.

The top five tablets and their corresponding sales in the market are the following:

  • Apple iPad – 21.4 million
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab – 11 million
  • Amazon Kindle Fire – 1.7 million
  • Lenovo – 3.7 million
  • Asus – 3 million

Information technology research company, Gartner, said there is a possibility that global tablet sales could not pick up this year.

“The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming,” Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner said in a report. “In the last two years global sales of tablets were growing in double-digits.

For 2015, global tablet sales are projected to reach 233 million units.

Several factors were cited in the slow movement of tablet sales.

Lifespan of tablets are extended because devices are shared and passed amongst family members. Consumers who buy new tablets (iOS devices, in particular) often give their old units to family and friends.

Consumers also don’t see significant reasons to frequently upgrade their tablet devices due to lack of innovation in hardware. Aside from superficial improvements in display size, screen resolution and speed, there aren’t many big changes in tablet devices. To realize a boost in sales, experts say the tablet category should go beyond the ‘toy phase.’

In short, the world is no longer taken with tablets. In fact, old tablets sometimes just waste away and gather dust on a heap of old devices.

What do we use our tablets for?

Tablet sales fallPeople have their laptops and smartphones as primary tech tool for daily use so tablets are often secondary devices meant for entertainment and personal productivity use.

Tablets usually function as an e-book reader, a music player, an all-around portable media player and oftentimes as a digital picture frame.

Although global sales are down, tablets are not yet doomed to extinction, at least not in the next couple of years.

We could never run out of innovative ways to use tablet devices. Here are a few examples:

  • Mounted Car Dashboard – A Do-It-Yourself mount kit can transform your old Android/iOS tablet into an integrated car dashboard that you can use to play music inside your car. You can use the touch screen display or install voice command features for easier control while driving.
  • Alarm Clock – even if you have a dedicated alarm clock, old tablets can also be useful as a bedside alarm clock. Just a few tweaks with readily available alarm apps and a cheap dock-in and you’ll have a personalized alarm clock. Depending on your tablet’s display size, you’ll be sure not to miss the time and an appointment.
  • Security monitor – if you need a spare screen to use as a monitor, a tablet could come in handy. Instead of using the more expensive LCD monitor setup, just hook your tablet to a desktop computer and you already have a security monitor that you can install outside the door or anywhere inside your house.
  • Universal Remote Control – since the the operative word is universal, you can use it to practically control every digital device inside your home – the home theater system, the desktop computer, the lights and even the coffeemaker. It can also be used to control your DSLR to produce time lapse shots. You can automate your entire house and use your iPad or Android table as a remote control kiosk. There are many available Android and iOS remote control apps that you can tinker with.
  • Dedicated video call and chat monitor – spare your smartphone and your laptop from all your multitasking and use your tablet with a front-facing camera as a dedicated monitor for your video calls and chats. Use it for Skype and Google Hangout sessions.

Phablets, on the other hand, are taking the sweet spot in the consumers’ digital world. But that is a different story for another time.

Note: This report was quoted in this article.

Images: Tablet clock and Mobile worker from Flickr.com

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All In The Cloud

All In The Cloud
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If you’re familiar with ‘cloud concept’ or everything related to cloud computing, then maybe you know about the cloud-based messaging platforms or cloud messengers.

These cloud messengers are part of the ‘messaging as a service’ applications that provide messaging service implementation to start-ups, independent developers and corporate accounts.

all in the cloudMessaging apps hosted in the cloud can also be considered as cloud messengers. Cloud messengers are part of an entire network of cloud-based infrastructure that includes hardware, operating systems, and required application stacks to host services.

Companies make use of cloud messengers and similar applications and platforms to deploy effective messaging systems for projects and clients.

Cloud Messaging is considered as one of the challenging of all cloud computing business models. For a cloud messenger to be considered effective, the following factors must be in place:

  • A reliable and safe cloud infrastructure
  • Security issues such as authentication, authorization, integrity and privacy of messages and data sent over the cloud
  • Effective messaging model

Would you use a cloud messenger?

Images: Folder and Cloud Computing from Pixabay.com

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Apple Soars High

Apple Soars High
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Cupertino-based tech giant Apple recorded its quarterly net profit at a staggering $18 billion, the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company.

The 38% jump in profit is equivalent to a record-high revenue of $74.6 billion. Do some quick math, and you’ll realize that that Apple had been making $8.3 million in profits every hour of the day.

The company enjoyed a surge in sales during the holiday quarter and Christmas season. In fact, it sold more than 74.5 million iPhones in the last three months until December 27, knocking every other forecast on iPhone sales that was pegged by analysts at 65 million. Translate the figures and this is what you’ll get — Apple sold 34,000 iPhones every hour.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that the “demand for iPhone has been staggering, shattering” even their own expectations. He added, “We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high.”

The sales of other Apple products like the iPad were down from the previous year by about five percent or 21.4 million iPad units sold. But Macintosh sales reached an all-time record revenue performance with 5.5 million units sold. Products from the App Store also did well during the quarter.

China contributed to the high volume of sales with a total sale of $16.14 billion for the first fiscal quarter. Apple is now leading the smartphone market in China, followed by Xiaomi and Samsung.

Watch out for Apple Watch

Cook also eagerly announced that the much-anticipated Apple Watch is due for worldwide shipping starting March.

He revealed no more about the flashy wearable aside from saying that the Apple Watch is “incredibly exciting.” The Apple Watch is the company’s most personal device to date.

“We can’t wait for our customers to experience them when Apple Watch becomes available,” Cook said.

The Apple Watch was launched in September last year.

Here are the dibs on profits earned by other tech companies:

  • Facebook: $701 million for the last quarter of 2014, or a 34% increase from the same period a year ago. Total profits for the 2014 were $2.9 billion or almost double from 2013 figures.
  • Microsoft: the company announced revenues of $26.5 billion for the last quarter of 2014.
  • Samsung: the Korean tech giant’s profit dipped by almost 36% at $4.87 billion. Last quarter revenues were at $48.6 billion.

Images: iPhone and iPhone 5 original from Pixabay.com

Note: This official statement from Apple was quoted in this story.

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