BlackBerry Messenger will be available for download on the iPhone and Android smartphones later this summer. According to a BlackBerry executive, however, the popular messaging service could soon be preloaded on rival devices. BlackBerry chief operating officer Kristian Tear revealed in an interview with CNET that the company is in talks with a number of rival handset manufacturers to include the service right out of the box. The executive noted that there is a certain level of interest from other manufacturers, however no specific partners were revealed. There are currently 61 million BlackBerry Messenger users around the world, Tear said, with some 70% using BBM daily. BlackBerry still has a long and difficult road ahead, though, since rival services like cross-platform favorite WhatsApp have accumulated more than 200 million users.
Apple is once again the top-selling smartphone vendor in the United States. According to the latest numbers from research firm comScore, the company’s iPhone was found to have a 39.2% market share, up 1.4 percentage points from January. Samsung experienced only marginal growth prior to the release of its Galaxy S4 smartphone, increasing from 21.4% to 22% in April. HTC’s market share declined from 9.7% to 8.9%, likely the result of poor sales from the DROID DNA and delays to the HTC One. Rounding out the top five smartphone vendors were Motorola and LG, which respectively accounted for 8.3% and 6.7% of the market. More →
Trademob has a fascinating piece on the cost of launching a top-10 app in various markets. In America, you need 80,000 downloads over a 72-hour period to land a place in the top-10 chart on iOS. In Germany, 15,000 downloads will do. It’s an interesting snapshot of the relative sizes of major iOS markets. Of course, if your app is extremely viral, you don’t need to pay for people to download it. If it’s not, you need to buy it an early audience. More →
If half a dozen reports from several well-sourced reporters are to be believed, Apple has a huge redesign coming in iOS 7. Gone are the textures that have characterized iOS for six years now, replaced by a flatter user interface that will still maintain the overall feel of the operating system. While much remains a mystery, we already know what several redesigned elements in iOS 7 look like — not from a leak or a bunch of rumors, but because Apple has already shown them to us. More →
Apple hasn’t launched a new iOS device since last November but it still managed to increase its “market share” in May by 0.45% to 59.49%, according to a new report. Net Applications uses Web traffic measured across 40,000 difference websites in order to determine its market share figures each month, and the firm saw an up-tick in May for iOS after the platform lost nearly 1.5 points in April. Meanwhile, CNNMoney notes that the blockbuster launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 did nothing to increase Android’s share despite shipments hitting 10 million units in under a month. According to Net Applications’ data, Android’s share actually dropped nearly a point and a half in May to fall to 24.4% globally. BlackBerry gained under one-tenth of a point to climb to 1.64% in May and Symbian, the mobile OS that refuses to die, climbed to 2.06% last month from 1.73% in April. More →
You may want to think twice before using someone else’s charger next time your iPhone’s battery life is running low. Three researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology claim to have invented a charger that can install malware on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The team will show off a proof-of-concept of the hack at the BlackHat security conference in late July, however until then they are revealing little about the method. The hack apparently does not require a jailbroken device or user interaction and works on any Apple device running the latest version of iOS. At the conference, the team will “recommend ways in which users can protect themselves and suggest security features Apple could implement to make the attacks we describe substantially more difficult to pull off.” The BlackHat security conference is scheduled to take place between July 27th and August 1st in Las Vegas.
A new report suggests that Apple and Microsoft’s mobile platforms are growing faster than Google’s in the United States. According to data released by Kantar Worldpanel, iPhone and Windows Phone sales have increased 2.3 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points, respectively, in the past year. Sales of Android smartphones which grew 1.4 percentage points year-over-year during the same amount of time. In a three-month period ending in April 2013, the research firm found that Android devices accounted for 51.7% of smartphone sales in the U.S., compared to 41.4% from the iPhone and 5.6% from Windows Phone devices. More →
The new Distimo report on mobile app spending patterns offers some interesting regional tidbits. Globally, Google Play continues steadily chipping away at the huge lead Apple has built in mobile app revenue generation. In April 2013, the Google Play vs. iOS app revenue balance stood at 27% to 73%. One year earlier, it was 19% to 81%. There is still a long way to go before we see a 50/50 split, but it’s now looking as though Google might get there in a couple of years. However, in certain major mobile markets, Google has already caught up with Apple. Perhaps the most fascinating set of figures concerns WhatsApp. More →
Among the announcements Android and Chrome boss Sundar Pichai had in store for D11, he announced that Google’s new All Access streaming music service will soon be available on iOS devices. Google does not currently offer a Google Music app for iOS, and users instead rely on a variety of available third-party apps. Within the next few weeks, however, Pichai said that Google will finally be rolling out its own app for the iPhone and iPad, and it will include Google’s All Access functionality, which allows users to pay $9.99 per month (or $7.99 per month for those who started their free trials in May) for unlimited access to Google’s entire music library.
Growth at the high end of the smartphone market might be slowing, but it seems like nothing can stop the low-end smartphone market. Smartphones out-shipped feature phones for the first time in Q1 this year and according to market research firm DisplaySearch, smartphones will continue to dominate basic cell phones for the rest of 2013. The firm sees smartphone shipments hitting 937 million units this year, handily topping the 889 million feature phones expected to ship. By 2016, smartphones shipments will hit 1.45 billion units thanks to growth in emerging markets, and smart handsets will make up an estimated two-thirds of the global cell phone market at that time.
One of the most annoying traits of many technology fans is their conviction that their favorite technology platform should by all rights crush rival operating systems and become the dominant OS in the smartphone or tablet market. In their narrow-minded little worlds, all rival technologies should go the way of webOS so that everyone can bask in might of their favorite operating system, thus proving that their personal preference for a particular type of technology was right all along. More →
If you purchase a Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10 smartphone, don’t expect to download the same applications your friends are using on their iPhones and Android devices. A new report from research firm Canalys has found that a majority of the top Android and iOS applications still aren’t available on Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10. When combined, the two operating systems were found to only support 34% of the top 50 free and top 50 paid applications in the App Store and Google Play in the United States. More →
Google took the wraps off of its subscription music streaming service last week at its I/O Developers Conference. To the dismay of many, Google Play Music All Access was only available for Android smartphones and tablets. This isn’t the first time Google has initially ignored iPhone and iPad users — the company’s music upload service, known as Google Listen Now, was also never officially made available on iOS. Luckily enough, third-party developers are creating applications to access the services on Apple devices. More →