Samsung’s second-quarter smartphone shipments hit 76 million last quarter – up 56 percent from the prior year, and giving the company a 33 percent share of the global market.
iStockphoto | aluxum
Apple, meanwhile, shipped 31.2 million iPhones, a 20 percent year-over-year rise, and good for second place worldwide. However, that trailed the overall smartphone industry, and meant that Apple’s market share fell to 14 percent – its lowest level since the second quarter of 2010, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.
“The current iPhone portfolio is under-performing and Apple is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between rival 3-inch Android models at the low-end and 5-inch Android models at the high-end,” Strategy Analytics’ Neil Mawston said in a statement.
Overall, smartphone shipments hit 230 million for the second quarter, up 47 percent from a year earlier, and representing 59 percent of all mobile phones sold.
“The smartphone industry’s shipment growth rate, which is higher today than a year ago, is being driven by surging demand for 4G models in developed regions like the US and 3G models in emerging markets such as India,” Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
Korea’s LG doubled shipments from a year earlier to 12.1 million units, enough to give it five percent global market share and the No. 3 spot, just ahead of China’s ZTE and Huawei, each of which shipped more than 11 million smartphones.
Over 70 percent of people who use Facebook for iPad played a Facebook-connected game in the past 90 days, so the company is helping them discover or re-engage with games through a new home page sidebar it starts testing today on its iPad app. It includes social notifications for native mobile and Facebook web games you already play, video trailers for games you don’t, plus Trending news articles and Trending videos popular with your demographic. The growth opportunities could entice more developers to integrate Facebook into their games, and Facebook plans to eventually sell ads for games in this space. By filling the extra screen space with what tablet users love, Facebook hopes its home on iPad can become a more essential part of people’s live…even if that means bouncing them into other apps or showing them YouTube videos.
Read the full story at TechCrunch.
Here’s an achievement certain to be trotted out at Apple’s next big media event. Harris Interactive on Thursday declared the company the top U.S. brand across a trio of consumer electronics categories – the only three in which it’s rated.
According to Harris Interactive’s 2013 EquiTrend survey, which polls some 38,000 U.S. consumers about their brand preferences, Apple dominated not only the tablet segment, but the mobile phone and computer segments, as well.
Quite the hat trick, and one Apple has pulled off for two years running now, beating out some serious competition. In the computer category, Apple bested Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sony; in the tablet category, it surpassed Amazon, Google and Samsung; and in the mobile phone segment, it beat HTC, Samsung and LG.
Said Harris Interactive senior VP Manny Flores, “… What really stands out is that in all three of the categories Apple brands are measured – Computer, Tablet and Mobile Phone – its Brand Momentum scores are in the top 30 of all 1,500 brands evaluated in the study.”
And that’s worth noting. Harris Interactive’s Brand Momentum category measures – among other things – ubiquity, future outlook, leadership and popularity. In the eyes of U.S. consumers, Apple clearly meets its brand promise.
What’s that? You say you’re intrigued by the notion of a Web TV box, but $35 for a Google Chromecast is too rich for your blood?
Here you go – if you live in the U.K.: Satellite TV service BSkyB has rolled out a Web TV box for 9.99.
That works out to about $15, and what that gets you is essentially a rebranded Roku HD box – BSkyB invested in Roku last year, and once again this spring – tailored to support BSkyB’s Now TV streaming subscription service. That also means that the box won’t support BSkyB rivals Netflix and Amazon/Lovefilm.
You can see more specs and details here, but the big picture is that this shows yet another approach to distributing Web-to-TV hardware: Rather than have consumers buy the gadgets directly from the manufacturer, a programmer/distributor sells the box and subsidizes the cost.
Expect to see more of this in the future. For starters, note that Roku’s other investors include 21st Century Fox, Dish Network and Hearst, which owns both TV stations and stakes in TV networks including ESPN.
Meanwhile, Apple is in talks with Time Warner Cable about an Apple TV tie-up; for now, that deal doesn’t call for the cable operator to sell Apple’s boxes, but you could certainly imagine a pact where it does.
And remember that Amazon, which tried to buy Roku last year, has its own TV box in the works, which will be optimized for Amazon’s own video offerings.
T-Mobile is continuing to shake things up.
The No. 4 U.S. carrier on Friday announced a promotion that will offer its entire lineup of phones for no upfront payment. It isn’t really dropping the price of phones, just spreading the entire cost of the phone over 24 months instead of using a mix of an initial down payment and monthly payments.
Still, the move shows the flexibility T-Mobile has since moving to a model in which it separates the cost of the phone from its monthly service.
“The number of reasons not to switch to T-Mobile this summer is ZERO,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “This is a fantastic offer and we’re making it easier than ever for customers to get the latest amazing devices.”
Under the new promotion, which starts on Saturday, customers can get a 16 gigabyte iPhone 5, for example, for no upfront fee and 24 monthly payments of $27 per month. The Samsung Galaxy S4, BlackBerry Q10 and HTC One are all $25 per month, while the entry-level Nokia Lumia 521 is just $5 per month.
The device fee is then added to T-Mobile’s monthly service fees. Options range from a $50-per-month plan that includes unlimited talk, text and 500 megabytes of high-speed data to an option for $70 per month that includes unlimited high-speed data. Additional lines for family members cost $30 for the first extra line and $10 per additional line after that.
Though not cutting device prices, the move could nonetheless be attractive to those looking to get a new phone without a big initial cost.
Update: In a telephone interview, T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert said that the new option came in response to a move by AT&T to offer some devices for no money down.
“This is really about being fast and highly competitive,” Sievert said. “We aren’t going to cede one inch of the territory and of the momentum” it has gained from its “un-carrier” approach.
As part of its Next early-upgrade program, AT&T is offering a number of phones for no money down, with installment payments of $15 to $50 per month for 20 months. A Samsung Galaxy S4, for example, would cost $32 a month for 20 months under that program. (Customers would also pay AT&T’s standard monthly rates in addition to the device financing payment.)
Sievert did not give an end date for T-Mobile’s new offer, but said promotions such as these tend to run days or weeks, and not for months.
He also said this move was not the next step that Legere had hinted will come in the fall.
“Un-carrier 3.0 is still to come,” Sievert said.
Back in June, the Los Angeles Unified School District awarded Apple a $30 million contract to provide its students with iPads. Under its terms, the company will supply about 31,000 iPads to 47 LAUSD schools, each preloaded with a bunch of educational software. But evidently that’s just the first phase of the program.
According to an LAUSD representative, the nation’s second-largest school district hopes to provide iPads to all 640,000 students by late 2014. Which means it’s going to buy a few hundred thousand more iPads over the next year – though it’s not yet sure how it’s going to do it. “We’re hoping that we will get a lot of private donors,” Mark Hovatter, chief facilities executive for LAUSD, told CITEworld.
That’s very good news for Apple. If LAUSD is able to pull together the money to realize this plan, it will be purchasing hundreds of thousands of additional iPads. Which potentially means another big iPad contract in the offing, and the chance to expose thousands of kids to the iOS ecosystem.
Eight days after taking it down in response to a security breach, Apple has restored the website for its Developer Center.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. But the entry page of the site was clearly visible this afternoon. Some sections, like forums, were still offline. Certificates, identifiers and profiles were back online.
An email circulated to Apple developers said, “Thank you for bearing with us while we bring these important systems back online. We will continue to update you with our progress.” It has also added a system status page so members can keep track of what’s back and working and what’s not.
Access to the site had been curtailed for several days as Apple investigated the circumstances of a security incident said to have occurred on July 18.
The company said in an email to its developer community (see below) three days after the incident took place that the site had been accessed by what it called “an intruder.”
Apple said in the original email disclosing the breach that it would be “completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database.” It hasn’t gone into any further detail about the nature of the attack.
The Apple developer site grants access to iOS 7, OS X Mavericks and other software development tools. When it first went down it was marked with a notice saying it was down for maintenance. A later notice apologized that maintenance was taking longer than expected. Developers were told that memberships that would have expired during the downtime had been automatically extended.
Since extended downtime of this sort is rare with Apple, people in the dev community naturally began to wonder what was up. Apple finally came clean about the attempted attack and said that “…we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed.” Still no word on that.
Here’s the full text of the email sent around to developers.
Developer Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles Now Available
We appreciate your patience as we work to bring our developer services back online. Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, software downloads, and other developer services are now available. If you would like to know the availability of a particular system, visit our status page.
If your program membership expired or is set to expire during this downtime. It will be extended and your app will remain on the App Store. If you have any other concerns about your account please contact us.
Thank you for bearing with us while we bring these important systems back online. We will continue to update you with our progress.