For a while, Apple’s iPhone has done best in the United States where it’s routinely posted a higher market share than in the rest of the world where a larger majority of smartphones run on Google’s Android platform. But The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone fever has reached new heights in Japan, where its estimated 37% market share by some measures eclipses the device’s market share in the U.S. More →
September marked the first Apple event in which two iPhone models were announced concurrently. Considering the endless stream of rumors, it failed to shock anyone, but it might be the first step to a more frequent release schedule for Apple devices. AppleInsider reports that after meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes that Apple will use the introduction of multiple iPhones to start staggering announcements throughout the year rather than piling them all up during the holiday season. More →
Smartphone service is expensive, and wireless carriers will do everything in their power to keep it that way. Even comparatively cheap plans often have shortcomings that require pricy supplemental add-ons, or they have limitations such as poor 4G wireless coverage or a weak selection of smartphones. This is why plans like T-Mobile’s somewhat secret $30 unlimited option are so intriguing, but that plan only includes 100 monthly voice minutes which can dwindle very quickly and lead to overage charges. As it turns out, however, there’s a simple and free way to add unlimited talk to that dirt cheap plan, likely making it the best value in America right now, pound for pound. More →
There is absolutely no way that the recent launch(es) of BlackBerry’s famous BBM app for Android and the iPhone could have embodied BlackBerry’s dramatic history any more perfectly. First and foremost, the company’s cross-platform offerings are launching years later than most industry watchers believe they should have. Then, when BlackBerry finally did manage to debut its BBM for Android and BBM for iPhone apps, it had to halt their rollout due to some major technical issues. More →
Apple’s personal assistant has received some significant upgrades in its transition over to iOS 7, but is anyone actually using Siri? According to a survey by Intelligent Voice, a surprisingly small number of people on iOS 7 have used Siri even once, much less used it on a regular basis. Intelligent Voice interviewed 2,330 people for the survey, and only 15% of respondents said that they had used Siri. In a related survey, nearly half of a much smaller pool of respondents said that they believed Apple had “oversold Siri’s voice recognition capabilities.” Smartphone manufacturers have been attempting to perfect voice commands for years, and no matter how effective Siri truly is, many users just don’t want to take the time to learn a new method of interaction.
It might be a year or three late, but BlackBerry’s world-famous BBM application is now finally available for Apple’s iPhone and Android devices… almost. Because a BlackBerry launch isn’t a BlackBerry launch without a little bit of drama, the company had to halt its initial BBM rollout after an influx of Android devices using a leaked version of the app caused issues with BlackBerry’s BBM servers. Curiously, however, the rollout didn’t continue as planned even after the leaked app was blocked, and BBM is instead rolling out to Android and iPhones on a slower schedule than BlackBerry had initially announced. More →
I have kind of had this infatuation with gold phones… In fact, after my good friend Pharrell got a solid gold BlackBerry, I had to have one in 2006 (even if it didn’t work properly). Way back in October of last year, I found out about a company that was anodizing iPhones in practically any color, and as soon as I saw that they offered a gold option, well, it was on. I also had a couple friends who I knew would love a gold iPhone. So, I arranged for two to be sent to Jonathan Cheban and Kim Kardashian. Well… this became the anodization company’s most popular color choice, by an incredible margin. It actually wasn’t even close, and the streets soon became flooded with gold iPhone 5 devices thanks to Kim and Jonathan’s tweets about it, and the phone also appeared on the TV show. It’s now being reported that the gold iPhone 5s, the phone Apple has released today, was jokingly referred to internally as the “Kardashian iPhone” but this isn’t a surprise because the publicity of the gold iPhone started in December and gold iPhone 5s parts didn’t start leaking until around 5 months later. It’s entirely possible that Apple wasn’t even planning on making a gold iPhone until the company saw how popular the color was because of the BGR post, and the Cheban, Kardashian, and Wiz Khalifa (yeah I added that one in there, too) tweets.
Verizon on Thursday reported impressive third-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s expectations. The communications giant earned more than $2.2 billion in profit on revenue that inched up to $30.3 billion, and it is now home to 101.5 million total retail connections. Verizon also said that it sold 7.6 million smartphones during the third quarter, and it said 51% of activations were iPhones. We can’t directly compare activations and sales, of course, but estimates suggest Q3 iPhone activations fell between 3.9 million and 4 million units — which is flat compared to the 3.9 million iPhones Verizon said it activated in the second quarter this year. This is a bit perplexing considering Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched at the tail end of the quarter. When taking into account how dramatically new iPhone sales smashed earlier records through their debut weekend, however, Verizon’s activation figure could indicate that iPhone 5 and 4S sales had slowed substantially leading up to the new models’ debut.
Late last week, BGR covered a rumor that the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program would be making its way to Europe “in the coming months.” As it turns out, the coming months wasn’t soon enough. Whether or not that was the original plan, the program was made available in the UK and other European countries beginning Monday for anyone looking to save money on an iPhone upgrade at the Apple Store. Apple has yet to provide a list of all the countries which will be able to participate in the program, but Apple Stores in both the UK and Germany have been reported to be taking trades now. The iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program will presumably make its way throughout Europe in the weeks following this initial launch.
Dropping a phone is a tragedy. An investment worth several hundreds of dollars can shatter in an instant, even when equipped with a sturdy case — so Evolutive Labs wants to make your smartphone nearly indestructible with the Rhino Shield. The Rhino Shield is a screen protector that aims to keep your iPhone or Android smartphone safe from impacts, scratches, water and even fingerprints while also remaining practically unnoticeable on the phone’s surface. More →
Even though sales of the new iPhone models have already rocketed to the top of every major wireless carrier, Best Buy might be looking to convert any stragglers that are still reluctant to switch to Apple. According to an internal document leaked by TechnoBuffalo, Best Buy will be running a promotion from October 13th to October 19th which will offer anyone who trades in a working smartphone a minimum $100 Best Buy gift card in order to purchase an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c with a two-year activation. The offer states that the smartphone being traded in “must be undamaged (no cracked screen or liquid damage) and in working condition to qualify.” If no iPhones are in stock, the offer is still valid for reservations as well.
Back in August, Apple launched the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program in the U.S. that allows iPhone owners to trade in old iPhone models in order to save on new ones. Although the program is currently only available at U.S. Apple Store locations, a source has informed 9to5Mac that Apple is bringing the program to Europe in the coming months, and Apple has already begun to prepare “training materials for its United Kingdom retail staff.” 9to5Mac points out that the U.K. has the second most Apple Store locations behind the U.S., so the expansion will likely start there, but will only be the first step in the international growth of the iPhone Reuse and Recycle Program. Brightstar is expected to handle trade-ins in Europe as it does in the U.S.
Although iPhone sales are still trending upwards with every new release, market saturation may begin to have negative effects on Apple in the coming years. Fortune shared a report on Wednesday from Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi that predicts Apple will lose 26% of first-time iPhone buyers by 2015 after a notable 8% drop this fiscal year. By next year, a majority of iPhone purchases will be upgrades for buyers that have purchased an iPhone before. According to Sacconaghi, unless Apple inks a deal with China Mobile or releases a legitimate budget iPhone, his forecast only leaves “a slim margin of error that Apple will attract sufficient first-time iPhone buyers going forward to meet consensus forecasts for FY14 and FY15.” The chart can be found below. More →