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Survey finds 50% of phones activated last quarter came from Apple, 26% from Samsung

Posted by wicked January - 24 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

cirp_phone_brand_share_of_activations_q4_2014

Apple trumped all other smartphone manufacturers last quarter based on consumers activating a device. The usual Android foes were all far behind Apple with Samsung leading the way. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) conducted a survey with five hundred subjects in the United States and aimed to find which phone brands were most popular among activations. The devices, both old and new, were activated between October and December of last year.

Samsung trailed Apple by 24% and that was the closest any company came to catching the clan in Cupertino. After that, the numbers dropped off significantly. The third place company was LG with 11% and Motorola finished fourth at 4%. Rounding out the bottom was HTC (2%), Nokia (2%), Amazon (1%), and “other” with 4%. BlackBerry, who may or may not be facing an acquisition in the near future, had no activations from the survey.

Josh Lowitz, the co-founder of CIRP, explained that the loyalty of Apple customers is far greater than that of Samsung and LG’s. He said:

“iPhones drew from loyal Apple customers, with 86% of buyers upgrading from an older iPhone. Samsung and LG saw far lower loyalty rates, with 25% of Samsung owners and 18% of LG owners who activated a phone in the quarter switching to an iPhone.”

Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (PDF)
Via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Survey finds 50% of phones activated last quarter came from Apple, 26% from Samsung

Motorola offering two back panels for free with the purchase of the Moto E in the U.S.

Posted by wicked January - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

motoefreeshell

American customers who are looking for a budget device might want to turn their attention towards the Moto E today.

As part of a new promotion, Motorola is now offering two free back panels or shells for free along with the smartphone. The pricing has been at $119.99 for the unlocked and contract free version of the handset which comes with 4GB of native storage.

The listing on Motorola’s site mentions that the smartphone has received a discount of $29.98, down from the original pricing of $149.97. So there are multiple reasons to check out the Moto E.

To run you through the hardware of this budget device, it comes with a 4.3 inch 960 x 540 resolution display, a 5-megapixel camera on the back, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, a 1,980 mAh battery and Android 4.4.4 KitKat with an update to Android 5.0 believed to be on the horizon.

Source: Motorola
Via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Motorola offering two back panels for free with the purchase of the Moto E in the U.S.

Moto G (2nd Gen) Lollipop Update Starts Up Again, Rolling Out Now in US

Posted by Kellex January - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Shortly after Google announced Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Motorola was quick to begin pushing an update of it out to the Moto G (2nd gen) and Moto X (2nd gen) “Pure Edition.” The update most definitely made its way onto the Moto X, as we went hands-on immediately and have since been running it for months. The Moto G, on the other hand, may not have been receiving it for long. Our readers have been vocal in letting us know that the update stopped almost before it began and few had actually received it. 

Well, friends, the update has started again, at least according to Motorola’s Twitter account. Last night, at 8PM Pacific, Motorola announced that the Lollipop update is rolling out “in phases” to the Moto G (2nd gen) in the US and both Moto G variants (1st and 2nd gen) in India.

Be sure to jump into Settings>About phone to see. Let us know if it’s live!

moto g lollipop

Via:  @Motorola

Moto G (2nd Gen) Lollipop Update Starts Up Again, Rolling Out Now in US is a post from: Droid Life

Deal: Buy a Moto E From Motorola, Get Two Free Shells

Posted by Kellex January - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

I don’t know if it’s because the weekend is upon us or if today is just a day for deals, but we have another to kickstart your morning with. Motorola is currently hosting a deal that will land you two free Shells in any color ($30 value) if you buy a Moto E ($119). The Moto E, as you know, is Motorola’s ultra-affordable smartphone meant for emerging markets, to be a starter phone for someone leaving a feature phone, a first phone for anyone, or maybe even just for those looking for an incredibly affordable phone that still has decent specs for its price.

Motorola Links:  Moto E ($119) | Moto E Shells

Deal: Buy a Moto E From Motorola, Get Two Free Shells is a post from: Droid Life

Lollipop rolling out to Moto G (1st gen and 2nd gen) in India, 2nd gen in US

Posted by wicked January - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

new moto g first look aa (20 of 46)

Motorola first began pushing out Lollipop to some Moto G users in December, followed by another trial earlier this month, but a wider rollout is beginning just now.

According to an official update from Motorola, Lollipop (5.0.2) is now rolling out to both generations of the Moto G in India, as well as to the 2nd gen Moto G in the United States.

However, while only the US and India are specifically mentioned in the tweet, 1st gen Moto G Reddit and XDA users from other parts of the world, including Brazil and Europe, are reporting that they received the OTA update today. So it’s a good idea to check for yourself from Settings>About Phone>System Updates.

The update will bring the stock Lollipop experience to users of Motorola’s wildly popular budget device, including a new way of handling notifications, new recent apps interface, and many visual changes.

Have you received the Lollipop OTA yet? Share in the comments.

 

 

Google lists the Motorola Turbo Charger as “coming soon” in the Play Store

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

motorola_turbo_charger_google_play_coming_soon_012114

Devices like the Nexus 6, Motorola DROID Turbo, and HTC One (M8) are capable of enhanced charging with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology. The special chargers, when paired with supported devices, powers them much quicker than ordinary chargers. Both Motorola and HTC have released their own Quick Charge 2.0 chargers, but availability has been somewhat limited. The Motorola Turbo Charger will soon be available in the Play Store. When? No one is sure. It is a good sign, however, that its status reads “coming soon.” The price listed is $34.99.

In the meantime, you can purchase the Turbo Charger directly from Motorola.

Source: Google Play

Come comment on this article: Google lists the Motorola Turbo Charger as “coming soon” in the Play Store

Motorola Turbo Charger Hitting Google Play for $34.99

Posted by Tim-o-tato January - 21 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

For owners of compatible devices, Motorola’s Turbo Charger has landed on Google Play, but is not quite yet available for purchasing. When it does go live for buying, it is priced at its normal MSRP of $34.99, the same price as it is on Moto’s website

We have previously dove into why turbo charging is the way of the future, simply for the fact that charging your device to full juice takes not nearly as long as it does with old conventional chargers.

If you need a Turbo Charger for your compatible device, keep your eye on Google Play if ordering it from Motorola does not interest you.

Play Link

Motorola Turbo Charger Hitting Google Play for $34.99 is a post from: Droid Life

Video: DODOcase Moto 360 Watch Bands First Look!

Posted by Kellex January - 21 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Immediately after we broke news of DODOcase leather watch bands being available for the Moto 360 last week, we purchased a handful. With their premium price tag ($60), we wanted to get them in house as fast as possible to share thoughts on in case some of you were thinking about picking them up, but were hesitant to spend that kind of cash. Thanks to semi-quick shipping, ours have arrived! 

We have on-hand the red, blue, and green bands, although we swear we ordered the tan option instead of green. Anyways, this is what we have, so we’re going with it.

In the short time spent with these DODOcase leather bands, all of which have been hand-crafted in the USA (but randomly ship from China), you can tell that there is certainly a high level of quality here. The watch clasp is made of stainless steel (likely the same clasp as is found on the Horween straps), there is stitching at each end of each band, and the texture on the leather adds to the overall aesthetic.

I can’t exactly say that these feel better out of the box than the Horween leather straps (which are half the cost), but they do feel like thick strands of leather that should sustain some wear. They will most definitely take time to break in, as they are a bit stiff and rough around the edges to start, but I’m willing to give them enough time to see how the leather loosens and ages.

In the video below, you can see more angles and the packaging, talk of each band in hand, and see how one looks on-wrist.

If you want to buy the DODOcase bands, you can do so at Motorola’s shop.

Any questions?

dodocase moto 360-10

dodocase moto 360-5

dodocase moto 360-6 dodocase moto 360-7 dodocase moto 360-8 dodocase moto 360-9 dodocase moto 360-11

dodocase moto 360-16

dodocase moto 360-17

dodocase moto 360-18 dodocase moto 360-15 dodocase moto 360-14 dodocase moto 360-13 dodocase moto 360-4

Video: DODOcase Moto 360 Watch Bands First Look! is a post from: Droid Life

Deal: eBay Selling Moto X (1st Gen) 32GB Developer Edition for $199

Posted by Tim-o-tato January - 21 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

For a limited time, you can pick up the Moto X (1st Gen) Developer Edition smartphone through eBay for just $199. This model of the Moto X comes unlocked, perfect for developers and users who enjoy tinkering. 

While you would not hear me walking around the streets and recommending 2013’s Moto X, for only $199, this could be a solid deal for anyone who does not mind older phones. The device comes with a 4.7″ HD display, Snapdragon dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 2200mAh battery, and should receive a timely update from Motorola to Lollipop at some point.

If you are interested, follow the link below.

eBay Link

Cheers Keir!

Deal: eBay Selling Moto X (1st Gen) 32GB Developer Edition for $199 is a post from: Droid Life

Report: Chinese OEMs accounted for 40% of phone sales in 2014

Posted by wicked January - 21 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off
flagship smartphones aa (13 of 18)

They might all frolic together, but they are most certainly not birds-of-a-feather when it comes to sales.

These days it seems like there is a lot of focus on two big issues in the mobile world: China and Samsung. Specifically, Chinese mobile brands and their explosive growth, and the gradual sales decline that Samsung is facing as a result. Names like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo have little brand value (if any) to people residing outside of Asia, but inside the continent things are a very different story, especially in major developing countries like China and India. The latest bit of news only confirms this.

Now is a very good time to be a phone maker, according to a report by IT analyst firm TrendForce. Specifically, in 2014, global smartphone shipments increased by 25.9% over those in 2013, totaling 1.167 billion units. Now is also a very good time to be an OEM in China, as the same report indicates Chinese makers comprised almost 40% of that total, with combined shipments at 453.4 million units. Take a look:

trendforce Trendforce

Let’s examine the major components of this chart.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (2 of 7)

These two devices are key to Samsung’s international success, but perhaps not so in China or other developing countries, where their high price point makes them a prohibitive purchase.

Samsung: While the Korean conglomerate has obviously held onto its #1 position for the past three years, it’s no small print to read the writing on the wall: its market share is eroding, having fallen from 32.5% at the start of 2013 to 26.6% at the start of 2015. While sales of the flagship Galaxy S5 were anything but stellar, the handset still managed great results in the USA. In Asia, however, where Chinese OEMs are stealing the thunder with extremely low prices and nice hardware, things are a bit different. This is exactly why Samsung was so eager to release the all-metal Galaxy A series there last year, and soon the Galaxy E series as well. While Samsung will definitely turn heads should it be able to release a truly flexible product this year, the assumed high price point won’t exactly save its market share.

iphone 6 and 6 plus drop test aa (25 of 27)

Apple’s first phablet was certainly what the doctor ordered.

Apple: Interestingly enough, Apple hasn’t really seen any semblance of change, especially in the past year. This may be in part a result of the company’s increased efforts to add new carriers around the world each year. With respect to the past year, the iPhone 6 Plus saw Cupertino’s first phablet, which released to a very warm reception. This is no doubt a cause for concern for Samsung as the iPhone 6 Plus is a direct competitor to its Galaxy Note series, even without the stylus; all those iOS users who might have migrated to the Note could very well have (or are planning to) returned to Apple to procure its phablet.

motorola lenovo logo

Expect some big things from Motorola now that it has Lenovo’s full attention and financial support.

Lenovo: Despite it taking almost an entire year to complete the acquisition of Motorola, Lenovo remains the #3 vendor despite the fact that few of its products are available to markets outside of Asia. With Motorola now in tow, the company has direct access to the company’s comfort zone in North America, and can now benefit from products such as the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E, not to mention the Nexus 6, thus offering the potential for next year’s results to show growth. It should be noted that Motorola and Lenovo are listed together in 2014 because the merger had been announced, though as mentioned, it wasn’t completed until more recently, hence 2015 reading just one company.

lg curved edge display (4)

With products like this dual-edged display, LG may very well have another big year in 2015.

LG: Perhaps the biggest non-Chinese success story here, the other Korean company has seen its market share increase due to products such as the LG G2 and G3, not to mention some more creative offerings such as Flex (though how much of a difference that made on the balance sheet is another matter). As the first major company to offer a 2K display on a mobile phone, for all intents-and-purposes, LG’s G3 out-speced the Galaxy S5 given that only the Korean Category 6 Broadbad LTE-A variant S5 made use of a 2K panel: the rest of the world had to make due with a lowly 1080p. With the Flex 2 coming out soon, and the G4 around the bend, the company is potentially set to have another good year. And considering the company’s flexible situation that is supposed to unfold, it might end up being a period of increasing growth.

Sony Logo

It’s truly regrettable, but these days, Sony’s slogan (minus the period) seems to offer a summary of the company’s business plans

Sony: Despite flagships like the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact receiving heaps of praise from critics around the world, Sony just can’t seem to keep its head above water. The company lacks the marketing presence that Samsung has (perhaps a result of its management, perhaps a result of its financial situation) and seemingly makes more news about its mishaps and price points than it does anything smartphone related. Then again when you release a new flagship every six months, even the most die-hard of supporters may call it quits. Although Sony is allegedly going to slow down its product cycle this year, with rumors floating around that it might be looking to offload its smartphone business, there is also a possibility it won’t even be on the charts come this time next year.Xiaomi's latest high-end offering, the Mi Note.

Xiaomi’s latest high-end offering, the Mi Note.

China: With a whopping six companies in the top ten spot, the OEM collective in China is absolutely on fire. Let’s take a more in-depth look at its domestic figures via another chart from TrendForce:

834869001421738733 Trendforce

The big force to be reckoned with here is actually Xiaomi, for its astounding rise to 15.8% market share in just a couple of years. With head-turning products like the just-announced Mi Note series, it’s easy to see why. Assuming the trend here continues, a similar increase in 2015 might actually put it ahead of even Lenovo/Motorola, come next year’s report. Much has been made of various Chinese OEM’s business models, wherein they sell devices primarily (or exclusively) online, and for an extremely low cost despite providing relatively good-or-better specs. This has allowed them to access a large number of users within the country who might live hours away from any kind of flagship store, but who may have internet access.

Chinese Google Play Store Android

One country to rule them all…China’s Android dominance has begun.

2015 will very likely see these companies take more market share away from external rivals, with the most likely culprits being Samsung and Apple, but with LG also potentially at risk. This is true not only inside China, wherein the country is rapidly modernizing and holds the world’s largest potential market of customers, but also around Asia where companies like Xiaomi and Huawei are very eager to get a stronghold on the other major Asian customer explosion: neighboring country India. Should Samsung cede even more Chinese and Indian market share to Huawei or Xiaomi, its 2015 financial results could very well make 2014’s look like a walk in the park.

Wrap-Up: So there you have it: 2014 was a fantastic year for smartphones and Chinese OEMs, but not so much for Samsung or Sony. Any thoughts on the results? Surprised? Not?