comScore released their latest market share numbers for February 2014 for the U.S. smartphone market. Android continued to maintain a dominant position as the leading platform for smartphones with 52.1% of the market, a small increase of 0.2% compared to November 2013. Apple’s iOS also improved, by half of Android’s growth, moving from 41.2% to 41.3% of the market. The big winner in terms of percent growth was Microsoft’s platform which jumped from 3.1% to 3.4% of the market. Combined with a major slide by Blackberry, dropping 0.6% to only 2.9% of the market, Microsoft has taken over the third spot behind Android and iOS.
As the Apple v. Samsung trial starts to move along since starting earlier this week, we may be treated to some interesting bits of information about how the two companies viewed each other and how that guided their strategy. As part of his opening statements on behalf of Samsung, attorney John Quinn indicated that,
“We will show you internal Apple documents, documents that haven’t been made public before, and showed how Apple was really concerned about competition from Android, and in particular Samsung…This new, edgy marketing strategy…it drove Apple crazy.”
As we noted yesterday, Samsung and Apple locked horns once again in court today. Samsung’s opening arguments were presented today and no time was wasted. Rather than talking about Apple’s issue with the company, Samsung very clearly stated that Apple has an issue with Android.
Apple and Samsung were scheduled to return to the courtroom today in the latest round of legal disputes between the two smartphone giants. Unlike the first trial that focused heavily on hardware issues, this new round will emphasize software, especially features found in the Android and iOS operating systems. That focus on software features found in Android means Google will play a much larger role this time around.
It seems like it will never end. Patent wars between Samsung and Apple are set to continue, with the second trial between the two companies beginning tomorrow. The end of the first trial saw Apple winning $928.8 million from Samsung, which is $450 million less than the original amount. Both companies are appealing that decision.
This next trial will likely have more on the line because the devices involved will also include newer models. According to Apple, the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Tab 2 also violate five patents each. These patents include “slide-to-unlock” and universal search.
Last week it was reported that the White House was testing both Samsung and LG smartphones for what could be the end of BlackBerry. You really didn’t think that would happen did you? I am almost certain that if the White House ever dumped BlackBerry, it would be in favor of the iPhone. Even so, it doesn’t look like either is up for the challenge because a White House spokesman has made it clear that the Executive Office of the President is not testing non-BlackBerry phones.
I think the White House is BlackBerry’s last customer. The Pentagon, Capital Hill Offices, the State Department, the National Security Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security all allow employees to use a Samsung Android phone or iPhone. I guess we will have to wait until 2016 for BlackBerry to leave the White House.
source: Washington Post
Apple is apparently considering launching an iTunes store for Android to combat declining music sales, according to a report from Billboard. The same report also says that Apple executives are in talks with record label executives about launching an on-demand music streaming service.
Launching an on-demand service could make iTunes much more similar to platforms like Spotify. Currently the iTunes Store is available on OS X and iOS, as well as Microsoft’s Windows. In fact, Steve Jobs was asked about bringing iTunes to Android back in 2011. Hit the break to see what he had to say:
It’s time for another episode of the Samsung vs Apple war. If you remember, back in December, Apple asked Judge Lucy Koh for a permanent injunction againt Samsung that would ban the sale of over 20 phones and tablets in the U.S. This was after Apple was finally awarded a total of $930 million in damages from the original landmark verdict back in August 2012. Judge Koh denied the injunction, but the future doesn’t look all that bad for Apple.
The two giants will face each other in court again later this month, but it’s on a different set of patents that involve newer devices such as the Galaxy S III. Many industry experts think more damages will be awarded to Apple since these newer products were bigger sellers. Apple and Samsung did try to settle things with a mediator, but unsurprisingly, that didn’t go so well.
Will this war ever end?
Echoing earlier research, Gartner announced today that worldwide sales of tablets in 2013 totaled 195.4 million units with Android laying claim to 62% of the market. The big beneficiary of Android’s growth, driven by users snapping up smaller, lower-end devices, was Samsung who sold just over 37 million units. Meanwhile, Samsung’s biggest rival, Apple, saw their market share slide from almost 53% to only 36% despite selling 9 million more units compared to the prior year. The silver lining for Apple was that they continue to retain the title of largest tablet manufacturer. Although Samsung is closing the gap quickly, Apple still sold about twice as many tablets as Samsung.
Meanwhile, Asus, Amazon and Lenovo rounded out the top five manufacturers. Of those three, Lenovo saw unit sales increase by 198% to 6.5 million units. Microsoft managed to increase their tablet shipments from 1.2 million to 4 million units during 2013, continuing to hold 2.1% of the market.
Android handset manufacturers typically don’t only release one flagship device per year, which Sony recently told us all in pretty blunt terms. Sony releases Xperia Z successors pretty quickly, and that’s not counting things like the Xperia Z Ultra. Samsung tick tocks their product launches with a Galaxy S in the early part of the year and a Galaxy Note towards the end of the year. It’s a fairly common practice now.
However, one company that hasn’t bitten on that concept has been Apple. According to the Wall Street Journal, though, Apple may be looking into a way to launch multiple products per year (we’ve already seen them dabble in it with the launch of the 5C, anyway) to help boost their growth in Asian markets, specifically in China. To accomplish this, Apple has been hiring on tons of engineers in Asian markets, many of them from HTC. Some of these engineers are put to work with supply chain logistics as well as product development.