Los Google Pixel no venden tan bien como se esperaba

Google Pixel 3

Los Google Pixel son una de gama de teléfonos algo particular en Android. La tercera generación de los mismos se presentaba el pasado otoño y se ha lanzado en más mercados que nunca. Esta gama de teléfonos ha estado caracterizada por los diversos fallos de funcionamiento que han tenido. Google no ha revelado nunca datos de ventas sobre estos dispositivos. Aunque la firma no se muestra del todo satisfecha.

En su presentación de resultados del primer trimestre, la firma nos ha dejado con un dato de mucho interés. Ya que han dicho que estos Google Pixel no están vendiendo todo lo bien que la empresa desearía. Una información que sin duda supone una importante revelación por parte de la empresa. Y que deja claro que no está funcionando del todo bien.

Esto es además un anuncio que llega cuando falta apenas una semana para que se presenten los llamados Pixel baratos, que se espera sean oficiales el 7 de mayo. Estos nuevos modelos, cuyas especificaciones se han ido filtrando estas semanas, suponen la entrada de la empresa en el segmento de la gama media en Android. A diferencia de los teléfonos actuales, que llegaban todos a la gama alta.

Problemas del Google Pixel 3 (2)

Google ha confirmado que las ventas de la tercera generación de los Google Pixel han sido inferiores en este primer trimestre del año, en comparación con las ventas del año pasado. Aunque, como es habitual en su caso, no han dado datos concretos de ventas. La empresa nunca nos ha dejado con datos de ventas sobre sus teléfonos. Pero el hecho de que reconozcan que las ventas están siendo peores de lo que esperaban, es un paso de importancia.

Una de las razones que se han dado para las malas ventas de estos Google Pixel 3 son las presiones en la gama alta en Android. Hay que tener en cuenta que la gama alta del mercado de los smartphones está dominada por cinco marcas, siendo tres de ellas las que más cuota tienen: Apple, Samsung y Huawei. Por eso, para una marca como Google no es sencillo hacerse con un hueco en este segmento de mercado con sus teléfonos. Esto es algo que se acaba reflejando en estas malas ventas.

Artículo relacionado:
Trucos para sacarle más partido a los Google Pixel 3 y 3 XL

Uno de los problemas a los que se enfrenta la empresa, es la dificultad de vender estos Google Pixel como smartphones premium. Sobre todo si tienen que competir con modelos como los iPhone, los Samsung Galaxy S10 o la gama de los Huawei P30. Parece que en estas comparaciones no siempre salen bien parados. Además, hay muchas marcas en Android cuyos modelos de gama alta pueden superar a los teléfonos de Google y tienen precios más bajos, como OnePlus o Xiaomi.

Cámara Google Pixel 3

Por eso, la empresa va a probar ahora suerte en la gama media. Ya que dentro de una semana se presentarán los Pixel 3a y Pixel 3a XL. Suponen la entrada de la firma americana en un nuevo segmento de mercado, en el que esperan tener mejores resultados que los que se están encontrando hasta ahora en la gama alta en el mercado. Aunque pese a las malas ventas en su gama alta, la empresa ha mostrado su compromiso a seguir lanzando teléfonos. Por lo que podemos esperar todavía nuevas generaciones de Google Pixel. Al menos esto es lo que han dicho ahora.

Sin duda, será interesante ver cómo se orientan estos Google Pixel de cara al futuro. Viendo las dificultades que tienen en esta gama alta, no sabemos si Google va a introducir cambios de importancia en su gama de cara a este año. Ya que en otoño deberíamos tener nuevos modelos. Cada año nos dejan con una gama en el mes de octubre. También es importante ver cómo funcionarán sus teléfonos de gama media. Unas buenas ventas seguramente animen a la firma a lanzar más teléfonos en dicho segmento. Por eso, estaremos atentos a los planes de la firma en estos meses.

Ilegalizar los deepfakes: una opción que las autoridades chinas han puesto encima de la mesa

Ilegalizar los deepfakes: una opción que las autoridades chinas han puesto encima de la mesa

El Comité Permanente del Congreso Nacional Popular de China está debatiendo una reforma del Código Civil para proteger mejor el derecho a la propia imagen ante la amenaza que representan los deepfakes.

Dicha protección pasaría por una prohibición total del uso tecnologías digitales para falsificar la imagen (o la voz) de otras personas si no se cuenta con el consentimiento informado de las mismas. Hace dos semanas, la reforma se sometió a la segunda de las tres revisiones que todo proyecto de ley suele pasar en China antes de ser sometido a votación.


Continue reading “Ilegalizar los deepfakes: una opción que las autoridades chinas han puesto encima de la mesa”

Amazon Prime Day in Australia: What to expect during Prime Day 2019

While Amazon Prime Day is now a well-established annual bargain-hunting phenomenon in overseas markets, Australia has had just the one so far. That’s because Amazon entered the Australian e-commerce market late, arriving Down Under in December 2017 to an underwhelming response.

Despite that, Amazon made every attempt to quickly improve its catalogue of products and has expanded its warehouse network by adding a second one in Sydney.

With its Aussie ambitions growing, Amazon finally debuted Prime Day Down Under in 2018, offering some excellent bargains across every category to its Prime members.

Amazon raised the price of its Prime subscriptions in the US by 18% last year, leaving Australia with one of the cheapest fees globally. With benefits including free expedited shipping, early access to Lightning deals, and free subscriptions to Prime Video and Prime Music, it’s well worth considering signing up for Amazon Prime even if it's not just for Prime Day 2019.

Australia wasn’t the only country to debut Prime Day in 2018 – Singapore, the Netherlands and Luxembourg joined the bandwagon as well – making it one of the most successful Prime Days in Amazon history. 

But was it worth all the hype, and will it do better in 2019? Let’s find out.

amazon prime day 2019

Image credit: Amazon

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day began in the US in 2015 as a celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, with more deals on offer than Black Friday at the time. Today, Prime Day is Amazon’s members-only sale held once a year, historically in July. While it began as a one-day sale, 2018 saw the offers last for 36 hours.

To make the most of Prime Day you’ll need to get yourself an Amazon Prime membership which, in Australia, will set you back just $6.99 a month or $59 a year. 

Signing up for Prime means you’ll have free access to Amazon’s streaming services, including Prime Video, Prime Music and Twitch. Members also get free access to Prime Reading and Prime Photos for all their ebook and storage needs. 

Most importantly, a Prime membership gets you free shipping on domestic purchases, no matter the price of the product, and free delivery for international goods costing over $49 bought from the global section of Amazon’s Aussie storefront.

Prime members are also eligible for fast shipping. That's two-day delivery on pretty much anything you buy. However, for Prime Day 2019, Amazon has promised one-day delivery for most markets. Whether that extends to Australia remains to be seen, although it may be impeded by the logistics of having just two fulfilment centres on the East Coast catering to the entire country. We can hope, though.

When is Amazon Prime Day 2019?

Prime Day may have begun as a birthday celebration for Amazon but, like Black Friday, it's no longer a one-day bash. Prime Day has grown from a 24-hour selling and buying frenzy to a 36-hour celebration that still ends too quickly for some shoppers.

Even though Prime Day debuted in Australia in 2018, Amazon kept the sale on for 36 hours to match the shopping spree in more established markets. It was the longest Prime Day ever, anywhere. So don't be surprised if Amazon decides to take it up a notch and stretch Prime Day to 48 hours.

However, last year's Prime Day, which began on July 16 and ended July 17, was held later than usual due to the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinals. Normally, Prime Day is scheduled for the second week of July, and we fully expect it go back to normal this year, meaning Prime Day 2019 could well begin on July 8 and continue into July 9.

How did Amazon perform on its first Australian Prime Day?

According to statistics from Hitwise, Amazon got over over 3.2 million visits (on both the US and Australian sites) on Prime Day 2018, with Aussies preferring the US storefront despite a ban on shopping from overseas sites after new GST laws were passed. That ban, however, has been lifted, which could be good news for Australian shoppers this year.

Data from Hitwise shows that Aussie shoppers searched for mobile phones and game consoles the most in the lead up to Prime Day 2018, with Amazon’s own Echo and Kindle products amongst the 10 most viewed items on Prime Day itself.

The high volume of visits resulted in a nice number of sales for the e-commerce giant with a conversion rate of 7.77%, the highest rate that any top Australian retailer has reached.

Prime Day 2018 earned Amazon a whopping US$1 billion in sales.

Image credit: Amazon

Prime Day 2018: the best-sellers from last year

Prime Day 2018 saw Amazon sell over 100 million products around the world and over one million smart home devices – not just Amazon ones but Philips Hue lights, Hive thermostats and various manufacturers’ smart plugs. It was the biggest day ever for Echo devices, Fire tablets for kids, Kindle e-readers and Fire TV products.

A lot of the products that went on sale globally aren’t available on the Australian storefront. According to Finder.com.au, Amazon Australia only had about a tenth of the deals offered to US customers and significantly fewer than those available to Canadian and UK members. Where the US typically offered 2,800 deals at any given time, the Australian version only had 340. On the upside, discounts were more generous.

That said, Amazon is still relatively new in Australia, so we can hope it does better this year. And despite the low volume of deals available Down Under, Amazon did sell a whole load of gaming consoles, particularly the Nintendo Switch.

The latest console from Nintendo had over 71,500 page views, followed by Sony’s PS4 Pro at over 31,000 views, according to Hitwise. In fact, the Lightning Deal on the Nintendo Switch was offered twice and both times saw the console sell out within seconds of the deal going live.

Best deals from Prime Day 2018

While the Nintendo Switch and the PS4 Pro were last year’s bestsellers, some of the discounts on other tech products were also rather significant.

For example, the Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Bundle was on sale for just $199, down from its usual $398 listed price. Bose’s very popular and excellent QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones dropped down to a low of $329 a set, although it was even cheaper over the Black Friday sale period in 2018.

Amazon’s own Echo devices saw significant price drops, with the original Amazon Echo smart speaker selling for just $109 over the Prime Day sale, while the Echo Dot dropped down to just $39 a pop. Even the basic Kindle ereader saw a great discount of $30, bringing the price down to a very affordable $79.

Image credit: Nintendo

What to expect from Prime Day 2019 in Australia

Amazon has been expanding its catalogue ever since it arrived on Aussie shores, and we’re fully expecting the online marketplace to outdo the 2018 offers.

First and foremost, though, expect to see Amazon’s own products to receive significant price drops. Prime Day 2019 would be a great time to nab yourself the 2018 range of Echo devices, including the All-new Echo Dot and Echo Plus.

You’ll also find great offers on other smart home products, including the Philips Hue starter kits and bulbs, and also on robot vacuums like the iRobot Roomba 960. Expect the Amazon-owned, and rather expensive, Ring Video Doorbell 2 to receive a discount as well.

With more TVs available on Amazon Australia now, we think Prime Day 2019 would be an ideal time to upgrade your home entertainment system, especially if you’re in the market for a good 4K smart telly.

We saw premium headphones receive great discounts on Prime Day last year, as well as over the Black Friday shopping period, meaning you’ll definitely be able to snag a pair of Bose or Sony headphones for less.

Amazon has also partnered with Samsung to offer Aussie customers an easy one-stop shop for all of the South Korean manufacturer’s products. We’re hoping that some of these, including the latest Galaxy S10 range of handsets, see a slash in prices on Prime Day this year.

And avid readers are definitely going to be able to pick up a Kindle, even the premium Kindle Oasis, at a cheaper price.

What does Prime Day mean for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Amazon has historically prioritised Prime Day over Black Friday – according to Digitalcommerce360.com, 67% of the 2018 Prime Day deals available overseas were lower than comparable deals on the preceding Black Friday.

In Australia, though, we saw some prices drop lower during the Black Friday sale period as compared to our first ever Prime Day. Perhaps Amazon was testing the waters, and we fully expect the company to outdo itself during both sales in 2019. But Prime Day is more important to the firm, and we’d expect its discounts to be deeper this year, especially on its own devices.

Prime Day: why does it matter more to Amazon?

There are some crucial differences between Prime Day and Black Friday. The first is that Prime Day is Amazon’s own day. It’s right there in the name which, of course, refers to Amazon’s Prime membership program and associated services. Amazon doesn’t own Black Friday, and that means ultimately it’s just another retailer shouting for attention – a massive retailer with a really loud voice. Black Friday is a sales event for the entire retail sector. With Prime Day as its own take on November sale period, it makes it much harder for rivals to muscle in on something that Amazon has effectively created from thin air.

The second and more important difference is that Black Friday doesn’t create new spending. It just moves it slightly. As we’ve discovered in recent years, the money people spend over the Black Friday period is money they were probably going to spend anyway: all Black Friday really does is concentrates pre-Christmas shopping in the last week of November. 

Prime Day spending is different in two ways. First of all, people aren’t spending the money they’d already planned to spend on Christmas presents. And secondly, they’re buying mainly for themselves, not for others.

There’s another key benefit for Amazon. Its global bestsellers on Prime Day weren’t just Amazon devices; they were Amazon devices that connect to Amazon services. Fire TVs, Kindle Fires, Echo devices, Alexa remotes. Each one of them connecting to Amazon Prime, and each one of them requiring a Prime membership to buy in the first place. So when Black Friday rolls around, Amazon will have a whole bunch of Prime members for whom shopping on Prime is the default, and who might want to enhance their Amazon-powered smart homes with Amazon-branded Black Friday deals.

Prime Day means that for Amazon, Christmas now comes twice a year.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/amazon-australia-prime-day

UK government proposes mandatory ‘security’ labels for smart devices

Most internet-connected (IoT) devices are vulnerable to hacking, and with over 40% of homes worldwide using at least one smart device, the risk of a cyberattack is high

To curtail potential risks, the UK government has proposed a new Secure By Design code of practice that could see connected devices, like smart TVs, speakers, toys and watches, carry a security label to help inform consumers how easy (or difficult) they are to hack.

The labels, at first, will be introduced on a voluntary basis, but eventually will become mandatory. Products which fail to carry such labels could be banned, according to the new plans introduced by UK’s digital minister Margot James.

“Many consumer products that are connected to the internet are often found to be insecure, putting consumers privacy and security at risk,” James said. The proposed code of practice, which is currently being consulted on, is meant to ensure “products have safety features built in from the design stage and not bolted on as an afterthought”.

Stickler for security

The code also lays down three basic rules that the label will need to carry: consumers have to be told not to use identical passwords, they need to be informed how long the device will be supported with fresh software updates, and also provide a point of contact so users can report vulnerabilities.

It has also been proposed that retailers will be mandated to not sell any products that don’t meet the above standards.

The proposed regulations are aimed at preventing serious hacks, like distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which the UK government said “pose a risk to the wider economy”.

To ensure the success of this scheme, the UK will need to work with international partners, especially for smart devices that have global distribution, but whether other countries will adopt a similar stance on protecting their citizens from cyberattacks remains to be seen.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/uk-government-proposes-mandatory-security-labels-for-smart-devices

El Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G se lanza en Europa de manera oficial

Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G

En el pasado MWC, pudimos conocer el Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G de manera oficial. Se trata del primer teléfono 5G de la marca china, que finalmente fue presentado tras meses de rumores sobre su lanzamiento oficial. Tras la presentación del teléfono, no se supo nada sobre el mismo, sobre su lanzamiento o precio. Finalmente, ya sabemos cuándo llega a Europa.

Porque se ha anunciado ya el lanzamiento de este Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G de manera oficial. Aunque por ahora será Suiza el primer y único mercado en el que se vaya a poder comprar este gama alta de la marca china. Si bien se espera que dentro de poco haya nuevos datos sobre su lanzamiento en el resto de Europa.

Como hemos mencionado, Suiza se convierte en el primer país en el que es posible comprar este Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G. Además, no hay que esperar demasiado para poder comprarlo de manera oficial. Ya que el teléfono se pone a la venta mañana 2 de mayo de manera oficial. Sobre su lanzamiento en otros países sigue sin haber datos por ahora.

 

Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G

Los interesados en comprarlo van a tener que pagar 847 francos suizos por el teléfono. Al cambio son unos 721 euros, de modo que nos podemos hacer una idea sobre el precio que podría tener cuando se vaya a lanzar también en otros mercados en Europa, probablemente en los próximos meses.

El Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G llega en dos colores a las tiendas en Suiza: azul y negro. Mientras que nos encontramos con una única versión en cuanto a RAM y almacenamiento, de 6/64 GB, como ya se pudo ver en la presentación del mismo en el MWC 2019.

Esperamos saber pronto más sobre el lanzamiento de este Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G en otros mercados en Europa. La empresa no ha dicho nada hasta el momento en este sentido. Por eso, probablemente haya que esperar unos cuantos meses hasta que finalmente pase. Estaremos atentos a nuevas noticias.

The Valve Index headset will officially usher in VR 2.0 hardware on June 28

After accidentally leaking images of the headset last month, Valve has just officially announced how much the new Valve Index VR headset will cost and when it'll go on sale. Per the software juggernaut, it will be available in a bundle with the new controllers starting on June 28 for $749 (around £575, AU$1,060) with pre-orders opening up tomorrow. 

That said, the aforementioned bundle doesn’t include the lighthouse sensors. You’ll either need to supply your own from a previous-generation HTC Vive headset or step up to the $999 (around £765, AU$1,400) Valve Index package that includes the controllers, the headset and the trackers.

If that all sounds like a lot of money to spend at one time, however, Valve is doing something that no other company has done before: sell everything piecemeal. 

If that’s the route you want to go down, you can expect to drop $499 for the Index Headset, $279 for the Index Controllers and $149 for the new base stations. (Weirdly, from the numbers provided by Valve you can seemingly buy the $749 Valve Index VR bundle and the $149 tracking stations separately to save $100…)

Valve picked an interesting day and time to announce its headset, dropping all this information minutes before the start of today's Facebook F8 keynote where Mark Zuckerberg announced the price and release date of the company's new Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S headsets that will ship in May for just $399. 

And you thought the games were expensive…

The Valve Index's price probably requires a bit of an explanation. It's definitely pricey, but Valve has really tried to make the best VR headset on the market in terms of specs.

According to information available on the Steam Store, the Index will use an LCD RGB display with a 1440×1600 per-eye resolution – which, according to Valve,  provides 50% more subpixels than the rival OLED screen used in the Oculus Quest. 

The Index will run at a native 120Hz refresh rate, with 90Hz backwards compatibility and an experimental 144Hz mode. On top of all that, the Index VR headset has a 20-degree wider field-of-view than the other headsets on the market.

These are game-changing specs, and would help rationalize the price.

That said, picking today of all days to announce a new headset is a risky move. On one hand, Valve's new headset is giving bleeding-edge consumers a new top-tier headset to lust over, but it also shows that Valve could be out of touch with consumers who have flocked to cheaper VR headsets like PlayStation VR in great numbers. 

Regardless, more competition and more investment in VR from all sides of the aisle is a very good thing and only helps move the industry as a whole forward. We'll look forward to trying the headset out for ourselves when it launches later this year.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/the-valve-index-headset-will-officially-usher-in-vr-20-hardware-on-june-28

Tras su renuncia como CEO de Google, Eric Schmidt anuncia que también dejará el consejo de Alphabet tras 18 años en el puesto

Tras su renuncia como CEO de Google, Eric Schmidt anuncia que también dejará el consejo de Alphabet tras 18 años en el puesto

En diciembre de 2017, Eric Schmidt presentó su renuncia como CEO de Alphabet (antes Google), un puesto en el que estuvo 10 años, más otros siete como presidente ejecutivo del consejo, el cual sirvió para dar vida y moldear la enorme compañía que conocemos hoy día. Tras aquella decisión, Schmidt se integró como miembro regular del consejo, un puesto que hoy confirma dejará en junio tras 18 años.

Eric Schmidt, el primer multimillonario que forma parte de una compañía de la que él ni un familiar es fundador, fue una pieza primordial para Google y ahora también decide apartarse del consejo, esto en medio de una serie de acusaciones de encubrimientos de conductas sexuales y problemas internos en la compañía. Continue reading “Tras su renuncia como CEO de Google, Eric Schmidt anuncia que también dejará el consejo de Alphabet tras 18 años en el puesto”