Smartphones have accounted for the majority of mobile phone sales in the U.S. for a few years now, but now a new report from multinational technology company Ericsson has revealed that smartphones now account for 55 percent of all new cellphone subscriptions globally, up from just 40 percent a year ago. Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach two billion globally this year, and will potentially quadruple again by 2019!

High-speed LTE connections grew by 25 million subscribers in the third quarter, helping to bring the estimated worldwide total to 150 million. Ericsson predicts that the number of LTE subscribers will hit 2.6 billion by the end of 2019, with 85 percent of subscribers in North America having LTE capability. In just six years, they believe 5.6 billion of the 9.3 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide (around 60 percent) will be for smartphones.

Perhaps most surprising of Ericsson’s report is their projection that phones will consume more mobile data this year than PCs, tablets and other devices. Check out the chart they release alongside their report below. Do you think  their predictions will prove accurate by 2019?

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Entrepreneurs, it’s time to face what might be a harsh reality – the success of your startup business depends very highly on your ability to successfully pitch your idea or product to potential clients and investors. Your pitch makes or breaks the interest in your company; in just a few sentences, you need to create a lasting impression and inspire faith in your goals. If you find yourself at a loss for words when trying to explain the merits of your startup, be sure to follow these simple tips and make your pitch one to remember.

  • Make sure you’re taking a stand. Adjust your pitch to make sure it’s clear not just what your product is, but also what exactly your business stands for and how it can help change the lives of those who utilize your product. Commit to a specific niche or purpose, in order to bring clarity to who you are and what your business will do.
  • Speak the truth. If you seem authentic, people will both hear and feel your passion and faith and buy-in to your mission. Don’t claim your business will solve everyone’s problems – clearly explain who your target consumers are, what those consumers are in need of, and how exactly you can help that specific group of people satisfy their needs.
  • Push, don’t pull.  Present your business’ accomplishments in a modest way, and allow audiences to figure out themselves how your proposition could help them. Let it be their idea to jump onboard and invest in your business.
  • Keep it simple. Use proof points, metrics, and anecdotes that your audience can grasp, instead of potentially confusing industry jargon – they shouldn’t need a dictionary to understand what you’re saying. Speak in layman’s terms whenever possible so they can listen to your ideas and not focus too much on your words.
  • Constantly update your pitch. Don’t just recite the same exact pitch for months or years on end, or it will be built on old information and experiences. As you and your business go through changes, change your pitch. Evolve the story about your career path to include recently acquired leadership and management roles, so people are listening to the impressive you that you are today and not the novice you may have been when you first started making pitches.

 

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Despite the fact that Samsung launched their Galaxy S4, the follow-up to the Galaxy S III, in April of this year, rumors are now beginning to circulate that the company is already making plans to release the Samsung Galaxy S5 in January 2014!

The Galaxy S5 coming a mere 9-months after the S4′s release seems strange, but since Samsung’s recently unveiled Galaxy Note 3 has been overshadowing the Galaxy S4, the South Korean electronic giant apparently wants to refresh their flagship smartphone.

Korean website Naver, which is run by former Samsung employees, cites internal sources who claim the Galaxy S5 will be announced at the January Consumer Electronics Show, with an anticipated market release in February. The report claims that the phone would be powered by a 64-bit Exynos 5430 chip and will sport a 16-megapixel camera with enhanced low-light performance and Optical Image Stabilisation. More rumors point to dust and waterproof capabilities, an all-metal case instead of the usual plastic one, and a fingerprint scanner, to directly compete with Apple’s Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5s.

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Look out, Pandora and Spotify, personalized radio service Rdio is finally ready to compete for your users. Starting today, a free version of Rdio will be available on iOS and Android… and its free of advertising!

Rdio’s radio feature, Stations, is now free to non-subscribers on its mobile apps in the United States, Canada, and Australia. New users signing up on mobile will have access to the company’s on-demand music selection during a 14-day trial, before having to switch over to free stations after the trial ends. The company believes that by offering unlimited music during the trial, listeners will become hooked on Rdio and decide to buy the full experience. 

“We don’t need you to subscribe right away,” stated Rdio’s vice president for product Chris Becherer, in an interview with The Verge. ”You can live inside Stations for a long time. We think that over time, you’ll start building up your collection, building up your favorites. And whenever you do subscribe, all that stuff is ready to go.”

To get the complete Rdio service, which includes on-demand listening of tracks and offline song storage, users have to pay $9.99 a month or $4.99 for the firm’s Web-only plan. Rdio executives acknowledge that Stations won’t attract an enormous user base by itself, but since free radio is anticipated to becomes a standard feature in every music app, this change is one that the company absolutely had to make in order to compete with Pandora and Spotify.

Rdio should have even more free options coming later this year; a recent deal with radio operator Cumulus Media will see the two collaborate on an ad-supported version of its service.

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The Republican party’s plan to reopen portions of the U.S. government has been officially shut down by the White House, continuing the first government shutdown in 17 years, which began at midnight. Until an agreement regarding health care between President Obama and Republicans can be made, national landmarks like the Statue of Liberty will be closed, and countless federal employees will remain out of work.

Obama has accused Rebulicans of taking the government hostage in an attempt to sabotage his signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Also known as “Obamacare,” the ACA is the most ambitious U.S. social program that’s been created in fifty years.

“They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” stated Obama in the White House Rose Garden.

The Republicans in the House of Representatives consider the Affordable Care Act a dangerous extension of government power, so they have tried to undermine it with continued government funding, despite repeated rejections from the democratic-controlled Senate. Republicans have voted more than 40 times to repeal or delay “Obamacare,” but they failed to block the launch of its online insurance marketplaces this morning.

When the Republicans proposed a plan earlier today that would restore funding for federal parks, veterans programs and the District of Columbia, and would also raise the debt limit, the White House immediately rejected the offer – White House spokesman Jay Carney stated that the proposal “shows the utter lack of seriousness that we’re seeing from Republicans.”

We can’t yet be sure if the shutdown will merely be another bump in the road for a Congress or a sign of a more alarming breakdown in the political process until we’re able to see the reaction among voters and on Wall Street, but so far, the market appears to be taking the news in stride and investors are confident a deal can be reached quickly. U.S. stocks were higher in afternoon trading with the S&P 500 up 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite gaining 0.8 percent. However, the U.S. Treasury was forced to pay the highest interest rate in 10 months on its short-term debt, as many investors avoided bonds that would be due later this month, when the government is due to exhaust its borrowing capacity.

According to Goldman Sachs, a week-long shutdown could potential slow U.S. economic growth by about 0.3 percentage points. A longer disruption could weigh on the economy more heavily, as furloughed workers start to scale back on personal spending. Congressional researchers believe that the last shutdown in 1995 and 1996 cost taxpayers $1.4 billion.

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