Apple & Google End Bitter Mobile Patent Litigation Chapter

apple-google-featured Late last week, Apple and Google's (soon to be Lenovo's) Motorola Mobility settled their mutual mobile patent claims against one another. However, the companies declined to do a cross-licensing deal, which is often customary in these situations. While the agreement ends the often bitter litigation between Motorola and Apple, it has no impact on the ongoing Apple-Samsung dispute(s). In that litigation, so far, Apple has won a majority of the courtroom battles, but Samsung is winning the market-share battle out in the world. Perhaps more significant than the Apple-Google settlement, the c [...]


Report: Chrome The World’s Top Browser, Safari Now Second

apple-safari-featured How things have changed. Chrome is the world's top browser, and Safari is number two. That's according to Shareaholic’s most recent browser share report. The company says the data are collected from a base of more than 250 million users and over 200,000 publishers. While Chrome is the undisputed browser leader (35 percent), Shareaholic says that mobile growth has helped propel Safari to the number two position. Safari's combined mobile and desktop share is now 26 percent, says Shareaholic. The company reports that Internet Explorer and Firefox have both lost ground. The two now co [...]


Italian Regulators Take Aim At “Freemium” Apps

mobile-web-apps-featured Claiming that so-called "freemium" mobile apps mislead consumers, Italy's competition regulator is taking aim at Google, Apple, Amazon and French game developer Gameloft. According to the Wall Street Journal, Italian authorities have begun to investigate the companies and the issue. Previously, the EU argued that freemium apps are potentially deceptive because they're initially free to download but generate revenues within the app, possibly without full awareness of users. The EU, and now the Italian authorities, worry that consumers may not know they're being charged for items within apps [...]


Chip Vendor Predicts $20 Smartphones This Year

moto x A $20 smartphone -- really? Yes, according to mobile devices chip vendor ARM. AnandTech reports that at its recent "tech day" event, ARM predicted the appearance of a $20 smartphone later this year. To be clear (and fair) that's the lowest possible cost for an Android-based smartphone, the rock bottom, according to ARM. More likely, the vendor said, the segment of entry level smartphones retailing for under $150 would dramatically grow to be twice the size it is today by 2018. That prediction is highly plausible and even inevitable. Today the cost of premium, unlocked smartphones is s [...]


Patent Verdict: Apple Wins The Round But Fails To Land A Blow Vs. Samsung

apple-google-featured You have to wonder what Apple and its lawyers are now thinking. Last Friday's patent victory did almost nothing for the company and nothing to deter or stop the momentum of chief rival Samsung. After a hard fought and widely publicized trial, Apple extracted a jury verdict of just $119 million against the Korean company. It's a far cry from the roughly $2 billion Apple was seeking. As a financial penalty it's trivial; as a "moral victory" there may be some satisfaction there -- but not much. Apple won roughly $1 billion in damages -- a landmark in patent litigation -- from Samsung last J [...]


Google+ Breaks Into The Top 15 Mobile Apps — comScore

google-plus-app-mobile-600 Yesterday afternoon comScore released its US smartphone and mobile app rankings for March. Interestingly the company appears to have discontinued its ranking for mobile websites and is now only reporting on the top apps. In terms of smartphone marketshare, the story remains largely unchanged over the past six months, except that Samsung continues to incrementally gain share among Android OEMs. The firm gained almost a point since December. On the operating system front, Apple lost some share in the last quarter while both Android and Microsoft gained share. In October 2013 Android ha [...]


Smartphones To Reach 90 Pct. In US, UK By 2016 — Forecast

smartphone-shutterstock An analysis by The Guardian, relying on Kantar ComTech data, asserts that the UK market will reach 90 percent smartphone penetration in 2016. The publication cites a separate analysis by Horace Dediu arguing something very similar for the US market: smartphone adoption will reach 90 percent by the end of 2016. These now sound like common sense or even bland predictions. But there was a time a few years ago when they would have sounded quite radical. But costs have come way down for smartphones (especially Android devices), and the culture has changed as well. The future of global interne [...]


Report: Android Beats iOS In Mobile Ad Traffic But iOS Still Leads In Mobile Ad Revenue

sma_q1_2014_2 Opera Mediaworks released a report showing mobile ad traffic and revenue, where for the first time, Android has overcome iOS in mobile traffic impressions. The report shows Android with a 42.83% share in mobile ad traffic, with iOS trailing at 38.17%, followed by Blackberry with 1.14%. On the revenue end, iOS has 52.27% followed by Android with 33.46% and then 1.15% for Blackberry. On the tablet end, iOS is still by far the winer both on ad impressions and ad revenue. Here is a chart showing the data, click on it to enlarge: Here is a breakdown showing the UK data, showing iOS sti [...]


Download Index: Android Beats iTunes But Not In Revenue

Google Play iOS app store App Annie Index App Annie's new Q1 Market Index shows Google Play beating iTunes in terms of app downloads by a significant 45 percent. However, Apple's App Store still generates 85 percent more revenue than its Google-owned rival -- though the gap is closing. App Annie said that Google Play download growth was largely driven by emerging markets, while Apple revenue growth came from China and the US. The top download market for Google Play was the US but the top revenue market was Japan. For iOS the US occupied both positions.  Currently in the US, Android controls 52.1 percent of the smartphone [...]


With Cover Buy Twitter Joins Battle Of Android Homescreens

Cover acquired by Twitter First there was Facebook Home, then Yahoo with Aviate and now Twitter with Cover. Cover is another Android launcher or intelligent homescreen. Yesterday Cover announced it was being acquired by Twitter. Terms weren't disclosed. Cover says it will be business as usual, at least for the time being. Like Aviate, Cover will show different apps in different locations, at different times of day. It's a personalization tool essentially. It's possible that the Cover team will be deployed to create more personalization and contextually relevant experiences on Twitter for mobile devices general [...]


Second Apple Patent Suit Vs. Samsung Ropes In Google

apple-google-featured If you're tired of news about smartphone-related patent litigation, you're not alone. However, there's more to come as Apple and Samsung's long-running patent feud appears no closer to resolution today than it was two years ago. The parties return to court this week for another round of patent-for-tat. The new case presents five Apple claims against Samsung and two counterclaims against Apple. Among the Apple claims against Samsung are "slide to unlock" and "tap to search" (on a map) or call a phone number. The damages sought by each side are curiously unbalanced. Apple wants a $40 roya [...]


Trying to Build Android Brand, Google Mandates “Powered By” Label

Credit: Android Central [caption id="attachment_78276" align="alignright" width="214"] Credit: Android Police[/caption] According to multiple sources last week, Google is now requiring a "powered by Android" indicator on all devices that use the Android operating system as a precondition of gaining access to Google Play. Geek.com was the first site to confirm the new mandate. The branding must be displayed as the phone boots up. There are a number of specs that indicate placement and size. The following image was obtained by Android Police. There was no explicit rationale provided. However there's consid [...]


Google Search Can Now Take Photos, Videos, On Your Android Phone

okgoogle So you want to take a quick photo or video with your Android phone? It just got a bit easier, at least for those who like to tell their phone what to do. Google updated its Android Search app today, giving voice-activated access to cell phone camera and video features. Yes, it's an incremental change, but points to the possibility of further enhancements for marketers. Here's how it works: either tap the microphone or say, "OK Google," then "take a photo" or "take a video" and the camera app launches in the preferred mode. Note that in my experience, "shoot a photo" or "shoot a vi [...]


Motorola, LG, Fossil First Brands To Launch Android Wear

Moto 360 watch Shortly after Google announced Android Wear this morning, Motorola, Fossil and LG came out with their own associated announcements. Engadget reports that LG's "G Watch" (presumably for Google) will arrive next quarter and be aggressively priced. Motorola, which was just sold by Google to Lenovo, is launching a watch called Motorola 360 (see video below). Of the two it appears to be the more interesting one -- because it's round faced. However Motorola says "Moto 360 will be available in a variety of styles globally," so there will probably also be rectangles. Fossil is also an early Andr [...]


Android Wear: Google Announces Smartwatch

google-android-wear-600 Google today announced "Android wear." While this could allow for a range of wearables (and probably will in the future), what the company previewed in two videos were smartwatches. The user experience appears to be based on a combination of Google Now notifications and voice search ("OK Google"). There's also a developer preview being made available today. Google anticipates that Android-based wearables (beyond Glass) will become yet another platform for Android developers. The company said that it has designed an entirely new UI "for this form factor" (watches). In addition, in a blog [...]


Apple, Samsung Gain, Windows Phone Plateaus In US — comScore

smartphones-featured This morning comScore released its latest US smartphone report. These monthly missives have become largely static documents with little change among the various players. Indeed, the OEM and OS share charts are basically consistent the past several months. Apple gained a point and Android lost a half a percentage point. Microsoft seems to have hit a share plateau in the US, while BlackBerry continues its slow, painful decline into the abyss. On the OEM side Samsung and LG gained slightly (as did Apple) while Motorola (soon part of Lenovo) and HTC continued their respective slides. Whi [...]


Samsung Devices Driving Almost 60 Percent Of Android Traffic

Galaxy S5 Samsung overwhelmingly dominates North American Android traffic, according to new data from Chitika. The findings are based on "tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Android-based online ad impressions" from February.  Chitika looked at all Android devices (tablets and smartphones) on its network and found that the Korean company has a 55.5 percent traffic share. Amazon's Kindle devices are second with an 8.2 share. However Chitika says that Kindle growth has stalled and that Google is the only company outside Samsung that saw Android traffic growth since Q4. Looking at the breakdo [...]


Google Brings Its Nexus “Launcher” To Other Android Devices

Google Launcher Google Nexus devices (i.e., Nexus 5) have featured Google Now prominently as well as "OK Google" hands free voice search. But now the company is rolling that experience out to a slightly broader array of devices. Google Play devices can now get these same features by installing the "Google Launcher" (app).  Below are the "new" features (as represented in the Google Play store): Google Now on your home screen Say "Ok Google" - when you're on your home screen, just say "Ok Google" to trigger voice input. Then say your search query. Or tell your phone what to do, like send a text messag [...]


As LG, HTC Prep Smartwatches, Samsung Ditches Android On Its New “Gear” Devices

Glam_Gear 2 1 [caption id="attachment_75011" align="alignright" width="212"] Credit: Samsung[/caption] Samsung's Galaxy Gear device was the most visible of this group of "1.0" smartwatches. However it was rushed to market (to beat Apple) and generally panned by reviews. Simultaneously too ambitious and not ambitious enough, in terms of user experience and design, many were sold but it fell dramatically short of expectations. Galaxy Gear sought, perhaps too expansively, to be a new computing platform for mobile developers. The new generation of Samsung's smartwatch is called simply called "Gear," ditc [...]


Report: New Global Internet Growth Will Mostly Be Mobile

global marketing Late last week, the Pew Research Center released the results of multiple country surveys about mobile technology adoption and internet usage. The countries in focus were 24 "emerging markets," including Russia, China, Pakistan, Philippines, various South American markets, Turkey and South Africa among others. The associated report has a lot of statistics about user behavior, demographic variables (e.g., education, income) and online activities. For example, the following chart shows mobile phone ownership and top activities across all the countries in the report. Mobile phone ownersh [...]


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