IDC’s latest numbers are in, and 2013 was a pretty big year for smartphones. For the first time ever, smartphone shipments passed 1 billion total phones, which is an incredible achievement. Android smartphones accounted for just shy of 800 million devices. Android and iOS were (obviously) the two major forces behind driving this growth, as both operating systems accounted for 93.8% of smartphone shipments total last year.
For the fourth quarter, we saw some pretty positive growth, too. Android shipments grew 40.3% year-over year, second only to Windows Phone. However, in terms of pure numbers, Android shipping an incredible 226.1 million devices compared to Windows Phone’s 8.8 million. iOS actually saw some pretty slow growth year-over-year, coming in at around 6.7%.
In an effort to promote the development of “beautiful design,” Google has given a pat on the back to some of the nicest looking apps on Google Play.
They’ve even put them all together in one category, “The Beautiful Design Winter 2013 Collection” on Google Play.
A lot of things happened this year. Some were good, some were bad, but we can all agree on one thing: it all happened, and the world will never be the same again.
Google culminated the most important events from 2013 in a video exploring user searches and their relevance to real world events. Hit the break for the video. Enjoy!
Google has named their best apps of 2013. It is not clear how Google went about picking the 15 titles as the best ones for 2013. The good news though is that all but two of them are free, so there is little risk in giving them a try to see whether you agree with Google. The titles include:
The Nexus 7 LTE 2013 is receiving a surprise update bringing it to Android 4.3 .1. It’s most likely an update with bug-fixes and patches, however Google had updated the non LTE version a few times with bug-fixes and had not changed the version number, so this is a bit odd. There might be more to this update than we currently know.
The update is OTA obviously, so if you haven’t received it yet, you will soon. Be patient!
According to the latest IDC forecast, tablets may not reach their previously estimated 229 million units in 2013, but it’s probably not because of the reasons most people think. The experts seem to think that when a new wave of wearable tech hits the market, it’s going to have an affect on the tablet market. Not only that, but IDC believes that phones with larger screens are functioning as both phone and tablet for some consumers, which further reduces the need for tablets. Throw in the fact that aren’t very many new tablets that will be available for the holidays and it’s easy to see how the shipments may not be as high as what was originally expected.
Now, to put this in perspective, the estimates are still sitting at around 227 million, so total units are only down about 2 million. The bigger picture here is to look at the trends of these tablets, though, not necessarily the shipment amounts. IDC has found that in mature markets, like the US, tablet sales are slowing down and losing market share to emerging markets such as Asia. Once the market gets so saturated, less new devices are going to be sold. Of course, if wearable watches and glass turn out to be the next big thing, we could see the exact reports for Google Glasses and Galaxy Gears in the next few years.
It feels as though it has been quite a while since HTC has released positive news about its sales numbers… The wait will continue.
Earlier today, HTC announced that it expects a 30% decrease in revenue in the next quarter as the company struggles to release popular mid-range devices, and as the high-cost, low-margin HTC One fails to garner the same explosive sales as its competitor at Samsung.
In its press release, the company blames its poor quarter on a “higher cost structure and a lack of economy of scale.”
Unsurprisingly, HTC announced that they have a number of mid-range and innovative products in line for release next quarter. Hopefully their future plans turn things around for the Taiwanese phone maker, which currently ranks ninth in global market share, holding 2.4 percent of the market.
In 2013, smartphones are poised to make a big leap in growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphones are expected to rise about 32.7% during this year which should reach in a total number of 958.8 million units, up from 722.5 million from the previous year. Now days smartphones aren’t considered a luxury item as it once was just a couple years back. With feature phones slowly going out of style and smartphones becoming more and more affordable (thanks to Android), many customers are making the switch. Starting this year, smartphones are expected to account for 52.2% of the total mobile phones in the world, an astonishing number if you ask me.
Cost effective and affordable smartphones is a huge reason for such a big leap in smartphone popularity. According to the IDC, smartphone vendors being able to provide cheaper and cost-effective 3G handsets alongside the more expensive 4G ones has really helped get these smartphones into peoples hands.
With smartphones becoming such a huge market in not only this year, but for the foreseeable future, I don’t see this trend ending any time soon. The smartphone market will only grow and continue to dominate the tech world.
Despite being the hottest selling smartphone on the planet right now, Samsung is apparently talking with investors to reduce expectations for the amount of Galaxy S 4s that will be sold this quarter and next quarter. This all stems from a neutral rating for stocks from companies like Broadcom, with analysts saying some component makes may not meet estimates this quarter because of slowed down sales of Samsung’s latest flagship.
Now, this doesn’t mean to say that Samsung expects their latest Life Companion to drop off the sales entirely, they’re just being more realistic about what we should expect the S 4 to do in the coming months. Samsung expects 20 million devices this quarter, and 20 million next quarter, as opposed to early estimates of 25 million and 30 million in those respective quarters. While reducing expectations by 15 million phones sounds like a lot, selling 40 million phones over two quarters will still be an impressive feat that most companies only dream of doing. Besides that, Samsung likely has some other devices in the pipeline, such as budget models and more niche devices that may steal a little thunder from the S 4.
Either way, Samsung is poised for an extremely successful 2013.
source: Tech Trader Daily
A new report from Digitimes says Samsung has set a goal to sell 500 million handset devices in 2013. This is a step up for Samsung given that they sold 420 million handset devices in 2012. The report also stated that BOE, a China-based panel maker, is supplying Samsung with a rate of 10 million panels per month for its entry-level and mid-range handset devices. Samsung is shooting for the stars, and depending on the success of their newly announced Galaxy S 4, they may very well reach their goal.