Windows Phone sales are laughably small, Amazon rumored to be targeting Spotify, Apple recalls 12 years-worth of power adapters, Netflix gets blocked in Indonesia, and The Angry Birds Movie in all its glory.
Windows Phone Is a Dead Man Walking
Microsoft’s latest earnings report will make depressing reading for fans of the company’s mobile hardware, as Windows Phone sales are all but dead at this point. In the most recent quarter, Microsoft sold 4.5 million Lumia handsets, a 57 percent year-on-year drop over the 10.5 million it sold during the same quarter 12 months ago.
With 400 million smartphones sold in the quarter, just 1.1 percent were Lumias. Things don’t look any better when you compare lifetime sales, with 4.5 billion Android and iOS devices sold compared to 110 million Windows Phone devices. There are rumors of a Surface Phone being in the works, but it seems more hopeful than anything.
Purely in terms of sales, Windows Phone is dead, and has been for most of its life. It certainly has its fans, and Windows 10 Mobile could help reinvigorate interest in Microsoft’s mobile hardware, but it will be an uphill battle to gain a foothold from this lowly position. We stopped covering Windows Phone in September 2014, and these latest figures suggest there’s little reason to change that stance.
Amazon Wants to Beat Spotify
Tidal is the fake Spotify they'd use on an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
— I'm Gary (@noyokono) January 27, 2016
According to The New York Post, Amazon is planning to build a “Spotify killer”. This would be a fully-fledged music-streaming service to rival Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and the other options people currently have available to them.
Amazon executives are reportedly already in talks with record labels about the licensing required for such a service, which would be vastly superior to Prime Music. While that is a good option for music-lovers, it’s nowhere near as sophisticated as Spotify, and its song catalog is a fraction of the size.
While Prime Music is one of the many perks of Amazon Prime, the new service would require a separate subscription of (what’s expected to be the standard) $9.99-per-month.
Amazon is said to still be at the planning stage with this, but is considering bundling the Spotify-like service in with the Echo smart speaker. Which is sure to tempt some people into switching.
Apple Recalls Power Adapters
You can always rely on Microsoft fans to inform you of an Apple recall on social media. They’re useless for Microsoft recalls though. #tech
— Chris Redman (@manxvelo) January 29, 2016
Apple has announced a voluntary recall of a huge number of power adapters. The two-pronged Apple AC wall plug adapters affected were “designed for use in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and Brazil,” and shipped with both Macs and iOS devices between 2003 and 2015.
The reason for the recall is that if these power adapters break they can “create a risk of electrical shock if touched”. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, is a risk that applies to pretty much all power adapters. Still, Apple is taking no chances when it comes to the health of its customers.
Apple has set up a support page for you to check whether your wall plug adapter is one of those affected. And if it is you can either contact Apple Support or exchange your adapter at your local Apple Store.
Netflix Blocked In Indonesia
According to The Wall Street Journal [Paywall], Telkom, Indonesia’s largest telecoms provider, has blocked access to Netflix just weeks after the streaming media company expanded everywhere. Indonesia was one of 130 countries Netflix launched in simultaneously in an effort to grow its business into a worldwide brand.
PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk., to give Telkom its full title, claims Netflix needs a permit to operate in the country as a content provider. On top of that, the telecoms company finds some of Netflix’ content objectionable, and claims government censors should be vetting everything before it reaches viewers.
We’re sure it’s pure coincidence that Telkom is a state-controlled company which owns and operates USeeTV, a video-on-demand service only for Indonesians. Regardless, Netflix faces a fight to be treated differently from traditional broadcasters, which would be subject to all of the above and more.
The Angry Birds Movie Trailer
And finally, The Angry Birds Movie won’t be to everybody’s taste, but the new theatrical trailer should be enough to inform you whether or not this is worth a trip to the cinema. Even those who, unlike me, have never been addicted to Angry Birds, may appreciate its quirkiness.
The Angry Birds Movie, which is due to be released in theaters on May 20, tells the origin story of our titular feathered friends, and explains why they’re always feuding with those pesky pigs. This isn’t one of our movies all geeks should see in 2016, but it’s certainly another option.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you agree that Windows Phone in its current form is dead? Could Amazon beat Spotify at its own game? Do you own one of the affected Apple power adapters? Should Netflix be subject to more stringent regulations? Will you be seeing The Angry Birds Movie?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.