The back to school shopping season gave tablets a pretty solid boost in the third quarter of the year helping manufacturers to ship 53.8 million tablets over those three months. Tablets still seem as if they have more room for growth than smartphones do in an overly saturated market, although smartphones are still an extremely valuable commodity.
Year-over-year, those 53 million tablets helped market share for the devices grow about 11.5% from last year. Compared to the second quarter of 2014, tablets also saw an 11.2% sequential growth.
When Apple launched the latest versions of the iPhone in September, we all saw the typical crush of Apple fans clamoring for an updated device and we have seen the news about the large numbers of devices sold. None of this is surprising as we expect Apple to get a bump as part of their release cycle that counters the increases Android claims during the rest of the year when manufacturers release their latest flagship devices. True to form, Kantar Worldpanel’s latest numbers for market share through September show the effect of the release. What may be surprising though is that in the U.S. market, where Apple enjoys its biggest success, Android actually gained ground while iOS lost ground.
A slew of retailers are taking a stand against mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. They are blocking the mobile payment services from Apple and Google (and even SoftCard) because one of their own will be launching next year. Companies including Old Navy, Lowes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sears, Best Buy, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Wendy’s, and a bunch of gas stations are behind the CurrentC mobile payment service scheduled for 2015.
The benefit of using CurrentC will be the lack of processing fees as the credit card companies are not at all involved. CurrentC is designed to work by taking funds from the user’s checking account. With the credit card companies taken out of the equation, retailers behind CurrentC will offer exclusive promotions as an incentive.
Via: The Verge
When Beats Music finally launched their own streaming music service, playing off the name recognition of their line of headphones, AT&T managed to strike a special deal for their customers. AT&T subscribers were able to get the Beats Music service for a 90-day free trial, much longer than the standard 2-week trial period. In addition, AT&T subscribers could buy a Beats Music subscription for $14.99 per month, $5 more than the normal price, but could share their subscription with other users and devices. This special package is no longer available to AT&T customers although they can still order the standard $9.99 per month Beats Music service.
According to the latest numbers about app store downloads, Google’s Play Store sees about 60% more volume for downloads than Apple’s App Store. There were roughly 160 million downloads in Q3 on the Play Store, while the App Store only saw about 100 million. Both are impressive numbers however you slice, but Android’s enormous market share globally is really showing through here.
Teenagers use voice commands a lot and they really want to order pizza. That is just some of what Google found from its Mobile Voice Study. Google looked at 1,400 smartphone users and how they use voice commands from Google Search, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Teenagers (ages 13-18) use voice commands every day while adults are more inclined to “feel tech savvy” because of it.
Here are some notes from the Mobile Voice Study:
- 55% of teenagers in the United States use voice commands every day
- 45% of adults feel geeky when using voice commands
- 89% of teenagers and 85% of adults believe that voice commands will be “very common” in the future
- 22% of teenagers use voice commands in the bathroom
- 45% of teenagers selected “send me pizza” when told to “pick one thing you wish you could ask your phone to do for you”
- Northeasterners are the most active group to use voice commands — 50% use it at least once per day
Interbrand released a report for its best global brand rankings for 2014. Over 10 percent, out of the list of 100, were tech companies with Apple taking the top spot. The company is valued at $118.9 billion while Google, that took the second place spot, is valued at $107 billion. Google took fifth last year in Forbes’ own report. Eight out of the 13 tech companies on the list are in the top twenty with Amazon coming in no. 15 but also as the top riser for the year. Coca-Cola is still in third after being dropped out of a 13-year run in the top position.
Usually, as the year inches towards a new iPhone release, people eligible for upgrades in the summer and fall will wait until the latest iPhone is released to get their upgrades.
Apple owns Siri, but it does not own the company with the technology behind it. The company merely owns the voice assistant’s spun out company from 2010. Nuance Communications actually developed the voice recognition engine for Siri. The voice recognition engine remains in Nuance Communications’ ownership even though it may not be for much longer.
Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook was on Charlie Rose and questioned Google’s data collection practices. He said, “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” Now it’s Eric Schmidt’s turn as he appeared on CNN Money and obviously had some things to say about Tim Cook’s comments.