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Samsung is still the king of smartphones but continues to lose market share

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Worldwide_Smartphone_Market_Share_By_Manufacturer_IDC_June_2014

It’s been quite a party for Samsung. Ever since the Galaxy S was introduced, they never looked back as they stream rolled over the competition. Getting to the top is no easy task, but sometimes it’s actually easier to get there than to stay there. Samsung is definitely feeling it as their market share has dropped significantly over the last year. Are consumers starting to get sick of Samsung’s dominance? Or is this just a bump in the road?

IDC is reporting worldwide smartphone market share for the 2nd quarter 2014 and Samsung dropped 7.1 (25.2% vs 32.3%) percent and sold 3 million less units as compared to the same time last year. Their biggest competitor also dropped market share, but they happened to sell more phones. Apple shaved 1.1 percent of their market share (11.9% vs 13.0%), but they sold an additional 3.9 million units.

Huawei has been the 3rd manufacturer for a while now and that continues. They also showed growth of 2.6% (6.9% vs 4.3%)  of their market share and sold 9.9 million more phones. Lenovo, who is in the 4th spot also showed modest growth. They gained 0.7% market share and sold an additional 4.4 million smartphones. Coming in at 5 was LG. Their market share was about the same, but they did sell a few more phones.

Missing from this list again was Motorola. The Moto G is their best selling smartphone of all time, but they are still not big enough to get out of the “others” category. And how about HTC? They are also stuck in the “others” category. This doesn’t bode well for either company since the 3, 4, and 5 spots seem like “miles” away from Samsung and Apple. You can see how difficult it is to gain any ground.

I wonder what the picture will show this time next year. Will Samsung still be the king? Or will they be dethroned?

source: IDC

 

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Samsung shipments hit, as smaller manufacturers continue to prosper

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Figures collected and published by research firm IDC show that is has been another 12 months of strong growth for the global smartphones market. Shipments have grown by 23 percent compared with the same quarter last year, with total smartphone shipments reaching 295.3 million in Q2 2014, compared with 240 million in Q2 2013. However, it seems that the biggest players in the market are starting to lose out to smaller vendors.

Out of the industry’s five largest manufacturers, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo, and LG, Samsung is the only company to have shipped fewer smartphones in the second quarter of this year than they did in the same quarter last year. Samsung’s worldwide shipments fell by 3.9 percent year-on-year, which is expected to be reflected in Samsung’s earnings report due out tomorrow.

idc-smartphone-share-q2-2014

Chinese manufacture Huawei couldn’t be painting a more different picture, the company managed to increase its shipments by an astonishing 95 percent. Huawei’s growth stems from strong homeland support and global demand for its lower-cost Y-series products. LG’s L Series helped spur shipments up by 20 percent, whilst Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola and strong presence in China saw shipments increase by 39 percent. Apple is also reportedly having some success in the BRIC nations, and continued appeal in the premium market saw global shipments grow by 12 percent.

Whilst this initially seems like particularly bad news for Samsung, we can see a slightly broader trend by looking at shipments over the course of the past year.

Smartphone Shipments Q2 2014

Samsung was experiencing steady growth until the second quarter of this year, suggesting that its new flagship Galaxy S5 hasn’t quite performed up to expectations, but it is far too soon to call this a downward trend yet. Apple has also shown a similar drop off in shipments over the past two quarters, indicating a fall in momentum after the iPhone 5S, which was released last September. However, Apple is leading up to the launch of its new iPhone 6, and the company typically has more cyclical sales than Samsung, which has a more constant stream of new products.

On the other hand, smaller manufacturers, particularly low-cost Chinese vendors, have experienced consistent growth over the past year, see Lenovo and Huawei. Manufacturers outside of the big five have also seen extraordinary growth in smartphone shipments over the past 12 months, and particularly in the second quarter of 2014. According to IDC’s Ryan Reith, “right now we have more than a dozen vendors that are capable of landing in the top 5 next quarter”, reaffirming assumptions that consumers are continuing to move away from the big two, when you look at the global picture.

Smartphone Market Shares Q2 2014

Turning finally to market share, we can see that that Samsung has experienced a rather large drop in its global share of the market, with Apple also experiencing a slight decline in its share compared with last year. Again we can see that Lenovo and Huawei have increase the size of their market shares over the past year. Importantly, the big five combined now account for less of the total market than they did a year ago.

Smartphone Market Share Q2 2013 to Q2 2014

Samsung’s share is also at its lowest point in the past five quarters, as is Apple’s. As we saw from regional sales statistics back in early July, the majority of smartphone growth is coming from Android manufactures. This trend is particularly strong in emerging markets, such as China, where manufacturers that are well established in the West and Japan are not performing as well as home-grown vendors, such as Huawei.

The Android explosion currently taking place in Asian and South American markets has opened the door for new manufactures to grab themselves substantial portions of the global market. Samsung will need to find a way to better fit its products to the demands of these growing markets, or else this trend in vendor diversification is likely to continue.


Via: Sammobile; Source: IDC;

Apple drops cross-appeal against Samsung in apparent sign of court fatigue

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Apple-vs-Samsung-lawsuit1

After years of battling in courtrooms around the world, it appears Apple and Samsung may be starting to grow weary of litigation. In the latest sign of this, Apple has filed a motion to drop a cross-appeal against Samsung on a matter related to the first California case decided a couple years ago between the two companies. The motion, filed with the Court of Appeals, ends Apple’s attempt to secure a permanent injunction against Samsung over multi-touch functions.

Apple had previously appealed to the Court of Appeals regarding Judge Koh’s denial of a permanent injunction. That initial appeal was partially successful and resulted in Judge Koh reconsidering the matter. However, for a second time, Judge Koh denied Apple’s request. The present appeal, which Apple just dropped, was based on Apple’s position that Judge Koh used a standard that was too high in rendering her decision.

In addition to this move by Apple, both parties agreed last month to drop their respective appeals of an ITC ruling on Apple’s complaint. In general, it seems the parties are slowly letting various avenues for litigation fade away. In addition, no new complaints have been filed for close to two years now.

Apple has not entirely dropped the concept of securing a permanent injunction against Samsung. Their focus now though is to try to secure such an injunction as a result of the second California case that was held a few months ago.

source: FOSS Patents

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Conan O’Brien makes fun of the iPhone 6

Posted by wicked July - 24 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Conan_Obrien_Mocks_iPhone_6_july_22_2014_opening_monologue

Samsung recently released a commercial telling iPhone fans to stop waiting for a bigger iPhone, and apparently Conan O’Brien saw it as well, and is continuing the razzing.

It is widely expected that Apple will offer a bigger 4.7-inch display on the upcoming iPhone 6. In yesterday’s opening monologue, Conan said the new iPhone 6 will be called, “Last year’s Samsung Galaxy.” Actually if you think about it, he should have called it the “2012 Samsung Galaxy” since that phone had a 4.8-inch display, which is much closer to the rumored 4.7-inch display that the iPhone 6 will sport.

If you want to check out the video, head on past the break. It starts at about 1:33 in.


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Galaxy S5 ad mocks Apple’s rumoured bigger iPhone screen

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

In continuing with its tradition of pulling no punches when mocking its competition, Samsung’s newly-released ad for their Galaxy S5 has once again chosen rival Apple to receive its barbs. The ad entitled “Screen Envy” pokes fun at the rumoured bigger screen of the upcoming new iPhone, and saying that Samsung users have had their bigger screen devices for the past two years.

The ad shows two men, one using an iPhone 5s and the other one a Galaxy S5. The iPhone user mentions that the rumours about the soon to be launched “iPhone 6” or “iPhone Air” for some, will have a bigger screen. The Samsung owner smirks and asks, “That hasn’t happened yet?” and then shows off his Galaxy S5′s bigger screen and puts it next to the iPhone. The voice over says the big screen “has been here the whole time,” but also takes a dig at iPhone users, saying “But maybe you like waiting.”

Rumors swirling about over the next-gen hardware for Apple puts the new iPhones to be at a 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. The Galaxy S5, with its 5.1-inch screen is somewhere in between those two, but there are also other Samsung devices with bigger screens, like the Galaxy Note 3 (5.7-inches), Galaxy Mega 6.3 (6.3-inches) and the Korea-only Galaxy W, a 7-inch tablet phone (or phablet).

This is of course not the first time that Samsung has bragged about its advantages over Apple, albeit in humorous ways. Their previous Galaxy S5 ad called “Wall Huggers” took potshots at the notoriously fast-draining batteries of the iPhones. They portrayed the iPhone users as wall huggers, since they are always glued to walls with power outlets, charging their gadgets, while looking on with envy at Galaxy S5 users who have all the freedom to walk around, especially with its Ultra Power Saving mode.

Siri and Google Now duke it out, which is better?

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Siri-vs-Google-Now

The war between Android and iOS isn’t just about smartphone or tablet market share. How about Google Now vs Siri? Which is better? Well Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted a study that answers the question.

He threw 800 questions at both apps, and half of them were asked indoors, while the other half was outdoors. The questions were about local information, commerce, navigation, general information, and OS command.

Back in December 2012, Munster conducted a similar test and Siri came out on top answering 83 percent of the questions correctly, while Google Now answered 81 percent correctly. This year was much better for Google, but the spread was the same. Google Now got 86 percent of the questions correct while Siri was able to get 84 percent of the questions correct. Google Now received a grade of B while Apple got a B-. Google Now is the winner, but I guess you have to ask yourself if 2% better is really going to be all that noticeable?

Other interesting tidbits from the study was that Siri used Google as the source for only 3 percent of the questions. That is a 27 percent drop from December 2012. Siri is now relying more heavily on Bing for its search engine and Apple Maps for navigation related questions. Siri can still do somethings on its own, but not much. This year, Siri was able to answer 4 percent of the questions on its own, which is better than the 1 percent it achieved the last go around.

source: CNet

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Samsung doesn’t think iPhone fans should wait 2 more months for a bigger iPhone

Posted by wicked July - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung_Screenshot_From_Screen_Envy_Commercial_01

When it comes to the iPhone, Samsung has never beaten around the bush. They think they have a superior product and they have mocked iPhone users for a while now. In their latest commercial, it’s all about the display size.

Apple has always been behind the times when it comes to the display. It was only about two years ago, when they finally bumped up the iPhone to 4-inches from 3.5-inches. Apple is expected to finally release something that is closer to the norm in September. The iPhone 6 will mostly likely sport a 4.7-inch display. Samsung thinks that iPhone fans should stop the waiting and just go and buy a Galaxy S 5.

With only about 2 months to go, is this really an effective ad? Does Samsung really think that the diehard Apple fan will just switch now after already waiting a few years? Highly unlikely, but we love Samsung’s commercials so check it out below.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Samsung pokes fun of Apple users waiting for a bigger screen

Posted by wicked July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Samsung is known for doing what it can to preempt new Apple products, either by releasing new products of its own like the Gear series in anticipation of the still-unconfirmed iWatch, or even through aggressive advertising of its existing offerings. In this case, Samsung is employing the latter of these strategies in a new ad that takes aim at Apple’s iPhone 6, which will reportedly jump up in screen size.

In the ad, an Apple user happily says that “dude, iPhone might be getting a bigger screen”. His Galaxy S5 owning friend replies by, “that hasn’t happened yet?” Basically, the purpose of the ad is that you don’t need to wait for a big screen iPhone, you can already get a high-end big screen experience by turning to Android, or more specifically turning to the Galaxy S5 (or Note 3 for that matter).

All in all, not a bad ad, as it uses the same overall “the next big thing is here” approach that Samsung ads are known for. It’s also not surprising to see Samsung attacking the iPhone 6 ahead of its release, especially with Samsung Mobile reportedly set to post the worst quarterly earnings report the division has seen in the last two years. After all, it’s no secret that the arrival of the iPhone will slow down Galaxy S sales, as history tends to show. Should Samsung really be that worried though? Honestly, no.

The Galaxy S5 is still a solid device and will better appeal to those looking for a device outside of Apple’s walled garden, and it’s only a matter of time before the Note 4 debuts and steals the limelight away from Apple once again. What do you think, should Android manufacturers be “worried” about larger-screened iPhones? Will the iPhone 6 steal any noticeable share of Android users away, providing the rumors about it prove correct?

Europe fights against ‘free’ label for apps with IAP

Posted by wicked July - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

By the end of September, the European Union has reached an agreement with Google that it will stop using the “free app” label for programs with “in-app purchases” (IAPs) in the Google Play Store. The EU has been concerned that the label “free” is misleading for those apps that push their sales within the app itself, and has asked Google to back them on this.

European users have voiced their complaints that these “free apps” with in-app downloads have the potential to be misused by users, especially if the target audience of the said program are children. Parents have seen some of their kids charge hundreds of real-world money in charges for sales pushed within games and other such apps enough that the concern has reached the highest levels of government in Europe.

This resulted in the EU making their claims strongly to Google and indeed Apple against this kind of disingenuous labeling of programs. In response, Google has committed to change how apps with IAPs are listed – and will no longer list apps as “free” if they have IAPs.

Google is also planning to require authorization for purchases in apps with IAP content. Google is also expected to come up with new guidelines for developers in avoiding “direct exhortation” of children to download or purchase in-app sales. The last guideline should provide an interesting look on how app developers go about their in-app marketing. As for Apple? Well, the EU said that “regrettably,” Cupertino has not responded in a fashion that had “concrete and immediate” solutions.

VIA: SlashGear

Google to Rename “Free” Apps With IAPs, Needs to Scare Kids Away

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Over in Europe, a handful of companies got a slap on the wrist for not securing their app stores properly from children. The European Commission (EU) is forcing Google and others in the selling business to better label applications that are free to download, but feature hefty amounts of in-app purchases. 

Apparently, a lot of children were downloading applications that were marked free, only to find themselves spending a ton of their parent’s money on extra lives and special power ups inside of games. Once the parents found out on their monthly statements, they rallied to make sure this situation would stop happening to children and parents.

From what is stated by the EU, Google will implement these changes by the end of September, which includes the discouragement of children buying applications, as well as implementing measures to monitor breaches of EU law.

American consumers probably won’t have to worry about having their “free” button renamed, but if Google thinks this new naming scheme is perhaps better, maybe we could see it adopted over here.

Via: Engadget

Google to Rename “Free” Apps With IAPs, Needs to Scare Kids Away is a post from: Droid Life

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