Size does matter: larger iPhone 6 brings the smartphone war to Samsung’s home ground

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For years, consumers have been demanding larger screens and have placed their buying power behind original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) willing to give them what they want. Apple, slowly accepting the consumer demand despite the vocal minority’s laments, has finally delivered a modern screen size to its iPhone products with the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

This news is old and has been talked about for months now, obviously. What is new, though, is the data showing that Apple’s size upgrade with the iPhone has hit Android OEMs in an unlikely location: their home countries. Counterpoint Technology Market Research, an Asian-based consulting firm that delivers data-driven analyses of market trends, has released a report detailing Apple’s newest attack on the Asian front. Read more

Google’s Play Store eclipses Apple’s App Store in number of apps and developers for first time

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Given the differing business models being employed by Google and Apple in getting their mobile operating systems into the hands of consumers, it should be no surprise that despite a jump start by Apple, Google is ahead in many measures. Even in areas where Apple has a lead, Google is steadily marching toward dominance. An example of this occurred in 2014 according to app metrics tracking firm AppFigures whose latest numbers show Google’s Play Store has surpassed Apple’s store in terms of both number of apps and developers. Read more

Messaging apps face potential ban in the United Kingdom

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In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting and its succeeding events in France, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has expressed concern over the encryption of messaging applications. David Cameron, who has held the position since 2010, made it clear he would serve a ban to messaging apps that failed to uncover messages even with the inclusion of a warrant. The government wants access to the data because it provides the chance to prevent, identify, or act on a crisis.

Snapchat, Apple iMessage/FaceTime, and WhatsApp are just some of the services to encrypt their data. Those services, and others, are highly unlikely to give access to the government; therefore, expect this situation to drag out for months before any actual progress is made.

Source: The Independent
Via: Phone Arena

Apple processor order for smartwatches appears to be with Samsung

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There is certainly no love lost between Apple and Samsung after years of contentious courtroom battles. In a sign of how severe the dislike between the companies was, at one point Apple decided to seek other manufacturers of processor chips for their mobile devices instead of continuing with one of the biggest suppliers on the block, Samsung. Despite that enmity, which has been cooling recently, business is business. In this case, Apple is trying to get a smartwatch out to market and that means they need chips for the devices. A new report indicates Apple has decided to utilize Samsung as the supplier for their forthcoming wearable. Read more

Samsung beats quarterly profit expectations thanks to component division

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_4_Front_Samsung_Logo_TASamsung has been struggling to stay competitive in the smartphone market this past year, but thanks to the component division of the company, they beat analyst expectations for 4th quarter profits in 2014. Their operating profit took a 37% dive from the year earlier, however.

On the high end, Samsung competes with Apple’s premium iPhones, and on the budget side of things the company is dealing with competition from OEMs like Xiaomi that sell devices at razor thin margins. Samsung has had a hard time adapting to that kind of competition, and the company’s stocks and revenue have fallen accordingly. The company does have an ace in the hole, though, and that comes from its component business. Read more

Google, HTC, LG Back Samsung in Patent Melee with Apple

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The old proverb has resulted in such unlikely alliances as the United States and the Soviet Union vs Germany, or the former aligned with China (yet-to-be-communist) against Japan. This is the nature of international relations. It’s sometimes also the nature of business, when two or more rivals put down their gloves to turn their sights on a bigger fish.

This is what’s transpiring in Samsung’s ongoing patent feud with Apple.  Though they are competitors in the Android market, HTC, LG, and Samsung all have a united interest in fighting Apple on intellectual property. Google itself is also deep in the mix, having been in Samsung’s corner for a bit longer already.

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Monster sues Beats Audio over allegations of fraud

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Monster LLC which helped kick start the Beats line of headphones back in 2008 has now sued the Apple owned Beats by Dr. Dre brand over allegations of a “sham” transaction. The company has filed an official complaint at the Superior Court in San Mateo County, California. Apple hasn’t yet been named in the suit filed by Monster as the issue pertains to the change in ownership of Beats since it was partially acquired by HTC in 2011. Read more

Chinese phone maker, Xiaomi, now valued at a whopping $45 Billion

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While most American’s probably haven’t heard of the Chinese phone manufacturing company Xiaomi, their immense success in China has propelled the company into new heights. With the company being previously valued at $4 billion (2012) and $10 billion (2013), rounds have now valued the company at a whopping $45 billion.

How did Xiaomi gain this much success in such a quick time you ask? Clever on-line marketing coupled with cheap/affordable high-powered devices have made them a household name in China. Not only has the company knocked off both Apple and Samsung as the the #1 smartphone manufacture in China, but they are also now #3 world-wide. With over 500 million smartphones expected to be sold in China next year (more than double that is expected to be sold in the US), one can only expect Xiaomi to grow even further. With China clearly under their belt, the Chinese company has their eyes set on the rest of the world starting with India and Brazil, and I’m sure they have hopes of someday being a household name in Europe and possibly even the United States.

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Patent portfolio sale sign of détente for smartphone industry?

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In another sign of the continuing end of hostilities between the world’s smartphone manufacturers, Rockstar Consortium, Inc. has announced the sale of 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. The portfolio was originally obtained by Rockstar in a bidding war that took place during 2011 between Rockstar and Google to obtain the intellectual property from Nortel Networks. Rockstar is a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. RPX licenses patents to companies that join their syndicate, including Google and Cisco Systems. Read more

Apple and Samsung face off in Appeals Court

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Samsung and Apple are back in court again as Samsung looks to appeal the $930 million jurors awarded to Apple for intellectual property infringement. During the oral argument hearing yesterday, discussions were technical in nature, and discussed whether or not portions of the iPhone’s design was functional or ornamental. But that wasn’t the only aspect that the three-judge panel discussed.

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