As the tech world turns: Mobile sales fall, Apple smartwatch talk, Adobe PDF attack and Australia prices

A grab bag of tech tidbits:

• Overall global mobile phone sales fell 1.7 percent last year from 2011 despite a rise in smartphone sales, according to Gartner. The research firm cited “tough” economic conditions, changes in consumer preferences and “intense” competition as factors for the first overall sales decline since 2009.

Key tidbits from Gartner’s report about manufacturers: In the fourth quarter, Samsung was the top overall maker of cell phones as well as the top smartphone maker. Together, Apple and Samsung commanded 52 percent of the global smartphone market, compared with 46.2 percent in the third quarter.

Operating systems: Android’s fourth-quarter worldwide market share was 69.7 percent, while iOS had 20.9 percent. Next was Research in Motion with 3.9 percent and Microsoft with 3 percent.

Is there hope for much change in the mobile world? “2013 will be the year of the rise of the third ecosystem as the battle between the new BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone intensifies,” Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst, said in Gartner’s press release.

• Time to add more fuel to the Apple smartwatch fire. Bloomberg reports that the rumored watch may be coming to wrists near you sooner rather than later, because Apple has a 100-person-strong team working on it. And yes, some are dubbing it the iWatch.

• Careful opening up those PDFs, especially if they’re from an unknown source. Adobe acknowledged Tuesday that it is investigating a security issue involving the latest versions of its Reader and Acrobat software. Researchers at security firm FireEye wrote Tuesday that they found evidence of zero-day attacks that could install malware on victims’ computers.

In other Adobe news, the San Jose software maker dropped some of its prices in Australia this week after reports that the Australian government wants to know why its citizens seem to be paying more for the company’s software than customers in other parts of the world. Adobe dropped prices on its software-as-a-service offerings, but prices for software that comes in a box will remain the same, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Monday, Adobe Systems, Apple and Microsoft were summoned to appear in March before an Australian parliament committee investigating pricing levels.

 

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