News Scan: Microsoft unveils Enterprise Mobility Suite; BlackBerry chief to speed up cuts; more


>> Microsoft unveils Enterprise Mobility Suite

Microsoft unveiled this week its Enterprise Mobility Suite along with its Office for iPad, Network World reports. The suite is a "bundle of services that addresses how to protect devices, applications and data with the long-term goal of providing integrated management across Windows, Android and iOS devices," the report explains. Its three components are identity and access management, mobile device and application management, and data protection. Read more.

[More on Microsoft: Microsoft snubs channel partners in Surface deal with Delta | Microsoft to drop Windows Phone 8 fees]

>> BlackBerry chief to speed up cuts

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is speeding up cuts in expenses in light of a steep profit and revenue decline announced on Friday, AP reports. The firm reported a loss of $423 million, or 80 cents per share, in its most recent quarter. Its quarterly revenue fell below $1 billion for the first time since late 2007. Chen "is on the move fast. He can control expenses but you can't magically make revenue happen," Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, tells the newswire. Read more.

[More on BlackBerry: Finally, a way for BlackBerry to make money | BBM coming to Windows Phone, Nokia X]

>> Tablet penetration reaches 37% in U.S., says Kantar

Tablet penetration reached 37 percent in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 54 percent year-over-year, according to the latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. However, a majority of U.S. consumers interviewed by Kantar said they would not buy a tablet in the next 12 months, while another 34 percent were unsure whether they would or not. "For mainstream consumers tablets are still a nice to have and not a must have," says Carolina Milanesi, chief research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Read more.

[More on tablets: Infographic: Mobile policies fail to keep pace with device use in healthcare | Tablets to fuel growth in European smart connected device market, says IDC]

>> Outdoor small cell gear revenue to jump by one-third this year

Outdoor small cell equipment revenues are expected to increase by one-third this year, reaching $1.8 billion, according to ABI Research. Major operators, including AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Telefonica, Softbank, SK Telecom and Sprint, are driving demand for outdoor and metrocell deployments. "We see multiple solutions for backhaul, power, permitting and siting employed by the operator community throughout the rest of 2014 and which will increase small cell momentum in 2015," says Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI. Read more.

[More on small cells: Enterprises to make up 97% of the femtocell market by 2019, predicts ABI | Huawei pushes past NEC for second place among microwave gear vendors]

>> More than half of headphone owners connect to smartphones

More than half of headphone owners connected to a smartphone in 2013, an increase of 36 percent in 2012, according to NPD. Headphone connections to tablets grew to 35 percent of users last year, from 15 percent of users in 2012. A full 61 percent of premium headphones connected to a smartphone and 49 percent to a tablet in 2013. Overall, the premium headphone market--those that cost more than $100 a pair--topped $1 billion last year, a 21 percent year-over-year increase, according to NPD stats. Read more.

[More on headphones: Beats Electronics unplugs HTC partnership with $265M buyout | Spotlight: Cambridge Audio Minx M5]