Apple’s share of the US smartphone market grows

Apple’s share of the US smartphone market grew in 2013, from 35% to 42%, according to research and marketshare analytics firm NPD. That increase is greater than any other smartphone manufacturer. Both Samsung and LG experienced gains in marketshare, though they grew at 3% and 1%, respectively.

Thanks to the relatively high price of the iPhone, Apple’s device tends to do better in developed markets. The United States also has a history of carrier-subsidized devices, which makes the iPhone much cheaper than in other markets.

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Total Apple device sales to match that of Windows PCs this year

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The traditional desktop PC has obviously been on the decline as of late, especially that of the Windows variety (check out this piece outlining why Windows 8 actually gave customers a reason not to buy a PC). Asymco’s Horace Dediu in a recently released analysis suggests that the total number of Apple devices sold (including Mac,  iPhone, iPad, and iPod) should surpass that of Windows PCs by the end of the year. (more…)

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CES 2014: My favorite gadgets and services from the show

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CES 2014 is essentially over. While iFans didn’t offer live coverage of the event this year, I was watching as various other technology sites explored what the show had to offer. I’ve picked my top three gadgets from the show.

The first is the Pebble Steel. The first mainstream smartwatch is now, arguably, the best-designed smartwatch. Read on! (more…)

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Apple and Samsung agree to mediation for their latest patent battle

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Apple and Samsung, two companies that have a history of duking it out in the courtroom over patents, have decided to try mediation instead for their latest patent case. The report comes by way of Reuters, and was confirmed by both CEOs.

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics have agreed to attend a mediation session to be held on or before February 19, as they prepare to clash in court in March over smartphone patents.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon will attend the session with in-house lawyers only, according to a Wednesday court filing. Their legal teams had met on January 6 to “discuss settlement opportunities,” the filing read.

[Reuters]

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Samsung releases cringeworthy new TV ad for Galaxy Gear

Samsung has built a reputation for releasing both confusing and controversial commercials, but its latest TV ad for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is downright awkward. Watch above for yourself, as a man introduces himself to a girl on a ski lift and begins taking 64 pictures of her merely seconds after. If you make it through the entire two-minute spot without cringing once, that is commendable.

[TechCrunch]

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Samsung tries to hide burnt Galaxy S4 and miserably fails

Samsung Galaxy S4 S 4 FlatMeet Richard Wygand. When his Galaxy S4 suddenly caught fire while charging, he reached out to Samsung to get his smartphone replaced. As you might expect, the South Korean company respectfully asked for proof of the incident. Fair enough. But when Richard followed up on that request, posting video evidence of the melted Galaxy S4 on YouTube, Samsung responded with legal jargon that attempted to sweep the issue under the rug.

In return for agreeing to replace the Galaxy S4 with a “similar model,” Samsung explicitly demanded that Richard remove the above YouTube video from his channel. The document also prohibited him from making any future videos or statements about the burnt smartphone, in addition to releasing the consumer electronics maker from holding any liability for the situation. So what did Richard do? He posted another video, alongside a full copy of the legal document Samsung wanted him to sign.

Checkmate, Samsung. The second video, in which Richard vents about the company mishandling an important safety issue, has gone on to accumulate close to 500,000 views in just four days — about four times the number of views on the first video. If Samsung didn’t know what the Streisand effect is before, they certainly do now. And just when we thought Samsung was doing marketing right.

[The Daily Dot]

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Apple, Google, others call for online surveillance reform

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Apple and Google, along with various other technology companies, have launched a campaign calling for internet surveillance reform. These companies have co-authored a letter to the United States government (and specifically the intelligence agencies and their oversight committees), which is available for all to read.

[ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com]

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4K displays appear on the market ahead of imminent Mac Pro launch

Call it divine intervention, the imminent launch of the Mac Pro, or — most likely — the availability of graphics cards that can power the displays, but Dell is pushing forward with its plans to be among the first display maker to offer a line of 4K, 3840 x 2160 displays.

Dell will be offering three units at the following sizes: 24″, 28″, and 32″. These units vary in pricing, with the most expensive being the 32″, which will cost $3499. The 24″ is the second most expensive, at $1399. Both of these models are available now.

The  28″ panel will be much less, going for somewhere under $1000. The catch is that this model will be available starting next year. These displays are similar to what Apple may eventually ship in an updated “retina” Cinema Display. (more…)

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is cheaper and lighter than the iPad Air

If you are in the market for a new tablet, the new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 by Amazon deserves some consideration. With an 8.9-inch display that packs 1 million more pixels than an iPad Air, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is also 20 percent lighter and $120 cheaper than its competitor from Apple — starting at just $379.

One caveat to keep in mind is that the Amazon Appstore only has around 100,000 apps, whereas the App Store for iOS devices surpassed 1 million apps last month. But with an ultra-fast 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, it’s worth reconsidering which tablet you want under the tree.

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Here’s a problem with the theory that Android is taking over the world

Here’s a problem with the theory that Android is taking over the world

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Jay Yarrow, writing for Business Insider:

Both IBM and Adobe are reporting that Apple’s iOS, which powers iPhones and iPads, is destroying Google’s Android in mobile shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

IBM says it tracked “millions of transactions and terabytes of data from approximately 800 U.S. retail websites” on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

It broke out an analysis of iOS and Android:

On average, iOS users spent $US127.92 per order on Black Friday compared to $US105.20 per order for Android users. iOS traffic reached 28.2 per cent of all online traffic, compared to 11.4 per cent for Android. iOS sales reached 18.1 per cent of all online sales, compared to 3.5 per cent for Android.

This is astounding when you consider that in the comScore says Android has ~52% of the smartphone market, and iOS has ~42% of the market in the U.S..

The article goes on to present Adobe’s finding’s, which show iOS with a significantly larger lead.

In other words, there seems to be a disparity between market share and usage share, and that iOS users tend to purchase more than their Android counterparts. As Shawn King over at Loop Insight says, “Market share means nothing if it doesn’t generate revenue.”

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