With new smartphones and new smartwatches hitting the market over the past couple weeks, one new person in the mix is Idris Mootee who is taking over as HTC’s chief marketing officer. HTC has has their share of trials in recent years to develop a coherent, effective marketing campaign for their smartphones which frequently rate high with reviewers, but struggle to attract buyers. With a big job ahead to turn things for HTC, Mootee took time this week to snipe at Samsung, a company he says “doesn’t stand for anything except for profit.”
After forming their own corporation with a round of funding, partnering with OnePlus, and now Qualcomm, things are looking up for Cyanogen. CEO Kirt McMaster sat down with Business Insider to talk about the company, and one interesting tidbit came out of the interview.
Kirt believes that Samsung and Apple won’t be able to stay at the top for long. It won’t be companies like Huawei, LG, Motorola, or HTC that will knock them off their perch though, it will be various startups making low cost handsets. Cyanogen could actually be part of that craze as their software will be part of Qualcomm’s Reference Design (QRD) devices that will release in April. Basically it’s the complete software and hardware package that any startup can use to bring a phone to market within 60 days.
Gartner, a research firm, claims that in Q4 of 2014 Apple slightly edged out Samsung as the world’s number one smartphone distributor with 74.83 million sold as opposed to Samsung’s 73.03 million. It is also noteworthy that this is the first time Apple has been atop of Samsung since 2011 and Gartner correlates that with Apple’s success with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. While Samsung still outsold Apple for the entire year of 2014, the drop in Q4 is still a cause of concern for the company according to a Gartner rep:
If there’s one thing Samsung is good at, it’s flooding a potential market with tons and tons of devices. The smartwatch market has been no exception, and the company has deluged consumers with multiple options to pair with their Galaxy devices. Remember, the Galaxy Gear launched at the end of 2013 with the Galaxy Note 3, and since then we’ve had the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Fit, Gear S, and Gear Live. For those of you keeping count at home, that’s about 6 devices in 18 months, which means they’re releasing a new watch roughly every quarter.
With 2014 in the books, we’re finally getting the numbers to see how each manufacturer and OS did over the past year. The good news for Google and Apple (and bad news for the likes of Microsoft and BlackBerry) Android and iOS accounted for a whopping 96.3% of all smartphones shipped. That leaves a very small 3.7% for Windows Phone and everything else that’s competing for scraps.
When you break the numbers down between Android and iOS, though, Android came out a clear victor in the market share battle. Android devices accounted for 81.5% of all phones shipped, finally breaking the 1 billion mark for smartphones. Compared to those 1 billion Android smartphones, Apple shipped 192 million phones for 14.8% of the market.
A user on reddit has posted about his experience as a new employee with a company that has access to voice recordings that he claims are commands given to mobile devices. According to this individual, some of the recordings specifically refer to Siri, Apple’s voice-activated search and command app. The reddit poster also implicates Microsoft’s solution, Cortana, and other posters have pointed out that Google is also saving Google Now commands. Although this user has access to the recordings, the employer is none of these major companies.
Apple kicked some serious butt with the iPhone during the 4th quarter of 2014 after finally increasing the display size to something respectable. One the other hand, Samsung hasn’t been doing so well. It’s no surprise that their market share has dropped, but you might be shocked at how much.
According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s worldwide smartphone market share dropped to only 10% for the 4th quarter 2014. That’s the lowest it has been since the 4th quarter 2011. Apple came in at a whopping 48.9%.
According to a report published by The Korea Times earlier today, a number of Samsung’s engineers, who happen to be experts in image processing, signal processing and battery development, have been “aggressively” poached by Apple. The Cupertino company lured them away from the South Korean technology giant by offering highly-competitive benefits together with large annual paychecks.
Xiaomi continued its inexorable rise in China, rising to 13.7% of market share in Q4 of 2014, while Samsung’s ongoing decline in China continued through the last quarter, slipping to 7.9% of the market, down to fifth place behind Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei, and Lenovo.
The Harris Poll has released the results of their annual poll of corporate reputation and Samsung has moved all the way up to number 3 in the rankings, surpassing Apple along the way for the first time. Samsung moved from seventh in the prior year while Apple fell from third down to ninth. Some other notable tech companies also made the top ten including Amazon at number two and Google slid in to the tenth place.