Personal technology

Samsung Galaxy S5 (Getty)

South Koreans consumers will be able to jump the global queue for Samsung Electronics’ new flagship smartphone, after mobile operators put it on sale two weeks ahead of the official launch date. Read more

Sirgoo Lee, chief executive of the South Korean mobile messaging company Kakao, chuckles when asked about Facebook’s acquisition of rival WhatsApp for $19bn. “All I can say is that’s a lot of money,” he says.

While it has a strong presence in India and Hong Kong, WhatsApp is a marginal player in many parts of Asia writes Simon Mundy. Kakao, Japan-based LINE and China-headquartered WeChat dominate mobile messaging in their respective home territories, and are fighting for control of the market in southeast Asia. The Japanese internet company Rakuten, meanwhile, last month spent $900m on Viber, an Israeli company that provides similar free calling and messaging services. Read more

Credit to CaixaBank.

While its counterparts still mainly “interface” with customers on-the go through basic ATMs, the Spanish lender has come up with apps for the latest smartwatches and Google GlassRead more

Have we been taking too many tablets?

It seems markets are reaching saturation point with growth in the category slowing to 28 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter – down from 87 per cent a year earlier. Read more

Apple doesn’t do down-market.

We’ve always known this about the premium device maker, but its first quarter results hammered home how this is becoming a problem for the iPhone creator. Read more

Richard Waters

Forget the formal estimates: what Wall Street was really hoping for from Apple’s latest quarter was an acceleration in growth that would blow away the “official” forecasts.

The figures released on Monday failed to impress. At 51m, the number of iPhones sold in the quarter came in 2m short of estimates, though the 26m iPads topped most estimates. Within minutes, Apple’s shares had slipped more than 5 per cent.

Read below for our coverage of the earnings report and the company’s analyst call.

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Are phablets more phabtastic now that Apple appears to be showing an interest?

The signs are that a product of unwieldy phone size and ugly monicker is winning at least some admirers. Read more

Here’s the perfect Christmas present for the ultimate Apple fan – the Cupertino, California company has just announced a computer featuring perhaps its most striking design to date is available to order from tomorrowRead more

Chris Nuttall

The PlayStation 4 is a key element of Sony’s attempt at a turnaround under Sir Howard Stringer’s successor Kaz Hirai, and the first reviews are now in on the new console, which goes on sale in the US on Friday. Read more

Industry watchers scrutinise Apple announcements as hard as a customer might look at its high-resolution Retina displays, trying to see the individual pixels that are supposed to be indistinguishable to the human eye.

Thus, this morning’s announcement – that the iPad mini with its own new Retina display is now on sale – will be subject to the usual intense analysis. Read more