Duopoly Time: Apple And Samsung Combine For Almost 90 Percent Of 2012 Global Smartphone Market

iphone-android-ios-phones-featured Woe be to any mobile phone maker that isn't named Apple or Samsung. Numbers out today from IDC show the two combining for a staggering 87.6 percent of all smartphones "shipped" in 2012 on a global basis. In Q4, according to IDC, the two companies' products constituted 91 percent of all smartphones shipped. Shipped is actually a false market share metric. That's because shipments don't always equal sales or usage. However, in the case of Apple and Samsung these data are a reasonable proxy for actual sales. According to IDC, Samsung controlled 42 percent "of all Android smartphone shipment [...]

Global Handset Sales Fall But Smartphones Continue To Gain

Galaxy S3 People are starting to shun conventional mobile phones also known as "feature phones." But sales of smartphones continue to grow. According to sales data compiled by Gartner, global mobile handset sales in 2012 hit 1.75 billion units. However that was a nearly 2 percent (1.7 percent) drop from the previous year. According to the firm, "Demand for feature phones remained weak in 2012 and in the fourth quarter." Indeed, feature phone sales were off over 19 percent in Q4. By contrast demand for smartphones continues. As already widely documented Samsung and Apple were the two dominant smartpho [...]

Windows Phone, Microsoft Surface And The “Battle Of The Ecosystems”

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stood on stage at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium and ticked off the ways that Windows Phone 8 and Surface machines would make Microsoft competitive again against its main rivals Google and Apple. Before that we'd just been given an hour-long feature tour of Windows Phones by Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore: bold design, great camera, personalization, novel apps (e.g., "kids corner," "Data Sense") and so on. And while Windows Phones (8) do have some unique features and the UI is nicely done, none of those individual OS features is likely to lur [...]

Report: Mobile Safari Users Generate More Clicks, Longest Queries

Screen Shot 2012-11-06 at 2.18.20 PM Ad network Chitika provided us with some interesting data comparing click through rates (CTRs) and query lengths on the various desktop and mobile browsers based on millions of impressions on its network. It found that Opera (PC) browser users clicked-through more often than other browser users. Opera users are generally regarded as less mainstream and more tech-savvy than other browser users (e.g., Explorer) so it's curious that Opera's CTR would be highest. Next in line after Opera but ahead of all other browsers, PC or mobile, is mobile Safari with a 1.54 percent CTR. Chitika told me [...]

September Smartphone Market: Once Again The Apple-Android Show

It's getting very boring to write about the US smartphone market, which is a two horse race. Notwithstanding all the investment, splash and marketing surrounding Windows Phones US consumers aren't buying it/them. And RIM has effectively "gone dark." Metrics firm comScore reported that in September Android grew its dominant market share to 52.5 percent. Powered by the iPhone 5, Apple grew more on a percentage basis (1.9 percent) to achieve a market share of 34.3 percent. The largest handset maker in the US remains Samsung, followed by LG. Apple is a close third with a 17.5 percent sha [...]

Live Blog: The Windows Phone 8 Launch Event

Windows Phone 8 event center Live from San Francisco, it's Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 launch event. Our live blogging will begin when the event starts at 10am, so stay tuned. We'll update as things begin to happen! And we're off. Joe Belfiore, corporate VP is coming to welcome us, asking for Windows Phones to be held up. Saying have been working to improve the phones over time, working with Qualcomm to improve the processor, app store now has 120,000 apps. In fall, 191 countries will have access to the store. State of art of smart phone hasn't evolved much in five years after being "standardized" by the iPhone and [...]

Dueling Apple, Microsoft, Google Press Events Promise Onslaught Of Mobile Devices For Holiday Buyers

Screen Shot 2012-10-22 at 7.01.04 AM Hold on to your wallets folks, a new crop of mobile devices is imminent. Just in time for the ramp up to holiday shopping, Apple is expected to announce its long-anticipated 7-inch iPad Mini (or whatever it will be called) tomorrow. That event is also rumored to include an interim refresh of the flagship 10-inch iPad in addition to other a couple of other PC-related hardware announcements. Right on the heels of Apple's tablet unveiling Google and Microsoft are holding dueling press events a week from now. Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event will be held in San Francisco and Google's Android m [...]

Microsoft Revenues Soft As Company Awaits Windows 8 Rollout

microsoft-earnings-business-featured Post PC era indeed. Microsoft announced quarterly results yesterday and, although they were massive, they were flat or down compared with a year ago. Overall Microsoft reported revenue of $16.01 billion. Windows software sales were down 33 percent compared with a year ago. They came in a $3.24 billion vs. $4.87 billion in 2011. Microsoft attributed this in large part to the transition to Windows 8 and delayed enterprise and consumers purchases in anticipation of the launch. Microsoft's other cash cow business, Office, declined a much less severe 2 percent to $5.5 billion (from $5.63 bill [...]

RIM, Windows Continue To Lose Mobile Market Share, Android Near 53 Percent — comScore

Today comScore reported August US mobile market share data. Consistent with the pattern of the last several months Samsung continued to lead other hardware makers, although Apple and HTC were the only OEMs to see growth. Among smartphone operating systems, iOS and Android grew while other platforms continued their slide. Android has firmly established itself north of the 50 percent threshold  in the US among smartphone owners. The operating system now stands at 52.6 percent of all US smartphones. However the iPhone's share jumped a meaningful 2.4 points -- prior to the launch of the iP [...]

A Blizzard Of Smartphones Announced In Run Up To iPhone 5

Nokia Lumia Yesterday Nokia announced two new Lumia-Windows (8) Phones. Google's Motorola division also announced three new RAZR smartphones. Today Amazon will announce new Kindle tablets and, probably, a new smartphone (Danny will be live blogging the event). Next week, on September 12, we'll get the iPhone 5. All this is happening in the space of one week. It's something of a metaphor for how intense competition in the mobile market has become. The specs on both the new Motorola handsets and the new Lumia devices are generally impressive. However in some sense yesterday's announcements "cancel eac [...]

Where Will Surface And Windows Phone 8 Be A Year From Now?

Screen shot 2012-06-21 at 12.14.36 PM There were two big announcements this week coming out of Microsoft: the Surface tablet PC and the new mobile OS, Windows Phone 8, which will be closely aligned with the desktop version of 8. At the same time the company announced that it had reached 100,000 mobile apps for the Windows Phone. What now comes into clearer focus is Microsoft's larger integrated PC-mobile push. This is Microsoft's "one-two punch" and effort -- last ditch according to some -- to slow the iPad and deterioration of the PC market and re-insert itself into the consumer conversation. Is This "Desperation" or a Bold N [...]

Microsoft Launches Its Own Branded-Tablet: Microsoft Surface

microsoft-surface-featured-2 Saying just as it needed to build its own mice at first, Microsoft announced today that it was releasing its own branded tablet called the Microsoft Surface with integrated keyboard. "Because of Windows 8, the Surface is a PC, the Surface is a tablet, and the Surface is something new that we think people will absolutely love," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the event. Below is my live blogging from Microsoft's event in Hollywood is below. More info from Microsoft is at the end. Steve Ballmer has come out: He's talking about Microsoft transforming so many things. [...]

Data Show Tablets Gaining Importance

windows 8 metro interface Later this afternoon in Los Angeles Microsoft is expected to introduce its own entry into the tablet market, perhaps in conjunction with Barnes & Noble. The event will happen at 3:30 Pacific time. Danny is there (at LA's Milk Studios) and will be covering it live. Check out Danny's live blog of the event in progress.  The tablet will apparently offer XBox live streaming, according to various reports. Xbox is an enormously popular set-top gaming platform and the angle could work to generate attention and interest for the new tablet. There is currently no Microsoft-based tablet in [...]

Microsoft Brings Larger, More Integrated (But Still Silent) Ads To Skype Calls

2577.skype_conversation_ad_thumb_33DC1DD6 Microsoft Advertising is rolling out what it calls a "Conversation Ad" for Skype -- a 300x250 medium rectangle that sits in the Windows version of the client when a non-paying user is on a call. It's the first new advertising format since the company bought Skype for $8.5 billion last year. "Right from the start, we’ve been working together to identify ad opportunities that strike the right balance between protecting the wonderful Skype consumer experience and creating meaningful opportunities that enable you to tell brand stories," Jos Moore, general manager of advertising incubations at [...]

Microsoft Delivers Strong Quarter: $17.4B Revenue, Bing Division Sees Smaller Loss

microsoft-money-finance-earnings-featured Microsoft announced strong fiscal Q3 results earlier this afternoon. The company reported revenues of $17.4 billion, which was a 6 percent improvement from a year ago. Net income was $5.11 billion. The Online Services Division, which houses Bing and AdCenter, reported revenue of $707 million. There was another loss of $479 million, but that was a roughly $300 million improvement vs a year ago ($776 million). Entertainment and devices also showed a loss of $229 million. Microsoft said it sold 1.4 million consoles in fiscal Q3. But sales were down 48 percent over last year. The company [...]

Microsoft, Nokia Invest $24M In App Development To Help Close The Windows Phone App-Gap

As Nokia and Microsoft ready their US push for Windows Phones (Nokia Lumia handsets) in earnest, a number of things stand in the way of this "third ecosystem." Among them lukewarm consumer interest and a lack of apps. Microsoft and Nokia hope that aggressive pricing and marketing will address the former problem. To address the latter issue, the two companies are investing $24 million "into a new mobile application development program, AppCampus, at Helsinki's Aalto University during the next three years," according to Reuters. It's not clear that a developer program at a Finnish universi [...]

Google, Dell Prepare Tablet Counterattack As Apple Announces Three-Million iPad Weekend

Screen shot 2012-03-19 at 3.19.45 PM There were questions over the weekend about how well iPad sales were going. For example, on Friday gadget blog BGR asked iPad launch day: Where are all the sell-outs? On a conference call this morning about Apple's just-announced stock dividend, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We had a record weekend and we’re thrilled with it.” People immediately wondered what that meant in terms of actual sales. Around 4:00 pm Eastern Apple answered the question, announcing that it had sold three million iPads between Friday and today. Three-Million iPad Weekend Three million iPads is roughly 3X more th [...]

Google Wallet Gets Its Second US Carrier — AT&T

Screen shot 2012-02-04 at 7.59.09 AM When Verizon said in December that it was blocking Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus handset, because of "security concerns," conspiracy theories abounded. Verizon is an investor, along with AT&T and T-Mobile in ISIS, a mobile payments competitor of Google Wallet. Verizon denied that it was "blocking" customers from accessing Google Wallet. Rather the company said it was merely delaying availability until its security concerns could be resolved. Never mind that Sprint never raised any comparable security concerns about Google Wallet with the Nexus S, which has been in the market for ro [...]

Seeking To Banish “Distraction” Microsoft Replaces Hotmail Display Ads With Deals

hotmail-logo-small Microsoft is trying to make ads in Hotmail better. The company is replacing conventional display ads in its webmail service with deal ads that it believes will be more relevant and interesting to users. Not all Hotmail users will see the new ads immediately. Microsoft is doing a pilot in which it's testing consumer response to deals ads vs. traditional email display ads in selected cities. However, Dharmesh Mehta, Director for the Windows and Windows Live Business Group, believes users will prefer the new ads to the old. He's interested in delivering a "less distracting ad" to users. He [...]

Microsoft Posts $21B In Revenue, Xbox May Beat Windows Revenues Soon

microsoft-money-finance-earnings-featured Yesterday afternoon both Google and Microsoft released quarterly earnings. Google posted its highest gross revenues to date but missed analysts' Q4 expectations. Microsoft posted $20.89 billion in fiscal Q2 revenue (calendar Q4) and came in above analyst expectations. Overall, Microsoft's top-line was 5 percent above last year. All lines of business saw revenue growth vs. last year except Windows, which posted a decline. The following was the performance of the various divisions: Microsoft Business Division (Office): $6.28 billion in second quarter revenue, a 3 percent increase vs last [...]

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