Low-cost iPhone could launch soon; Apple execs hope to settle patent disputes

By on August 5, 2011 at 2:05 PM.

Low-cost iPhone could launch soon; Apple execs hope to settle patent disputes

RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky recently sat down in a meeting with Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer and chief operating officer Tim Cook to discuss a range of topics, from Apple’s patent battles to the possibility of a budget-priced iPhone. “Apple’s primary criterion for launching a lower-end iPhone is an innovative, category-killer experience,” Abramsky wrote in a recent note to investors. The execs said that the components sector is currently a “buyers market,” which means it has the upper hand when it comes to negotiating for parts. In addition, Abramsky said Apple is interested in settling a number of patent lawsuits against Android phone makers such as Samsung and HTC, in an effort to strike favorable agreements in countries like China that have less firm patent protection. We recently reported exclusively that Apple has plans to launch a $350 contract-free iPhone, which could very well be the iPhone 3GS. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone in the coming months for a September or October launch.

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IDC latest to proclaim Apple world's top smartphone vendor

By on August 4, 2011 at 3:30 PM.

IDC latest to proclaim Apple world's top smartphone vendor

Apple was once again reaffirmed as the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor on Thursday as market research firm IDC released its data for the June quarter. Smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year totaled 106.6 million according to IDC, up from 64.4 million in the same quarter last year. Of that total, Apple owned 19.1% with 20.34 million smartphones shipped, making it the top vendor by volume and by profit in the quarter. “Apple’s success can be directly attributed to its distribution (more than 200 carriers in more than 200 countries), increased manufacturing capacity, and solid demand within emerging and developed markets from both consumers and business users,” IDC said. “Apple’s emergence as the number one smartphone vendor worldwide comes at a time when former worldwide leader Nokia is in the midst of a major transition. However, Apple has yet to top Nokia’s single-quarter volume record of 28.1 million units. But given Apple’s momentum in the smartphone market, it may not be a question of whether Apple will beat that milestone, but when.” IDC noted that Samsung was the No. 2 smartphone vendor last quarter with 16.2% and Nokia slid to No. 3 globally with 15.7% of the market. Several other market researchers have released estimates placing Apple at the top of the smartphone totem, including Strategy Analytics, which recently said Apple beat out Samsung (19.2 million smartphones shipped) and Nokia (16.7 million) to take the top spot. It noted, however, that Samsung’s 520% growth year-over-year far exceeded Apple’s 140% growth during the same period.

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Apple fined by South Korean regulator following 'Locationgate' scandal

By on August 3, 2011 at 10:35 AM.

Apple fined by South Korean regulator following 'Locationgate' scandal

Apple has been fined by South Korea’s telecommunications regulator following the “Locationgate” scandal that caused public outrage earlier this year, Dow Jones reports. This marks the second time Apple has had to pay penalties resulting from the iOS location-tracking snafu. A South Korean lawyer sued Apple and was awarded $1 million won, or approximately $945 at the time, by a court this past June. It was discovered in April that the iPhone and some iPad models were secretly tracking users and storing their locations in a local file. Apple determined that a software bug was responsible for the collection of location data, and it promptly issued a fix. The damage had already been done, however, and lawsuits were filed. Apple’s prompt attention to the matter likely limited the damage, and Wednesday’s fine levied by the Korea Communications Commission is the first penalty we’ve seen issued by a regulatory body. So what’s the damage this time around? $3 million won, or approximately $2,829. More →

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Canalys: Android shipments balloon 379% in Q2, iOS now No. 2 smartphone platform

By on August 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Canalys: Android shipments balloon 379% in Q2, iOS now No. 2 smartphone platform

While Apple owns the largest share of handset shipments and profits among the world’s top smartphone vendors, Android is still the No. 1 smartphone operating system on the planet by a wide margin. Market research firm Canalys on Monday released its second-quarter smartphone figures, reaffirming impressive growth across the global smartphone industry. The firm says the worldwide smartphone market grew 73% year-over-year to more than 107.7 million units shipped last quarter, and Android lead the market in 35 of the 56 countries Canalys tracks. According to the firm’s estimates, Android shipments in the second quarter ballooned 379% over the same quarter last year to 51.9 million units. This impressive growth helped Android gain 48% of global smartphone shipments in the quarter. With 20.3 million iOS smartphones shipped in the June quarter, Apple’s mobile OS topped Symbian to steal the No. 2 spot with a 19% share of the global market. BlackBerry shipments grew 11% in Q2 though RIM’s global share slid, and Microsoft, still waiting for Nokia to launch its first batch of Windows Phones, shipped fewer than 1.5 million devices last quarter to take just 1% of the market — down 52% year-over-year. Canalys also notes that Apple was the top smartphone vendor in the second quarter, while Samsung grew 421% year-over-year to take the No. 2 spot with 17 million smartphones shipped. Canalys’ full press release follows below.

More →

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Apple's iPhone accounted for 66% of Q2 smartphone profit among top vendors

By on July 29, 2011 at 3:15 PM.

Apple's iPhone accounted for 66% of Q2 smartphone profit among top vendors

With just two smartphone models available for sale, Apple took in two thirds of profits from smartphone sales in the second quarter among the top eight vendors in the world. The news comes following Strategy Analytics’ confirmation that Apple is also the world’s top smartphone vendor by volume. Four of the eight major smartphone vendors were profitable in the June quarter — Samsung, Apple, RIM and HTC — while Nokia, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson all reported losses. Total profit from sales of smartphones among these eight companies declined overall in the second quarter, but Apple’s profit share jumped from 50% in the second half last year and 57% in the first quarter of 2011 to 66.3% this past quarter. Samsung’s profit share hit 15% in the June quarter, RIM stayed level at 11% and HTC grew from 6% in the first quarter to 7.4%, a new high for the company. Another graphical representation of smartphone profit can be seen below.

Read

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SA agrees: Apple now top smartphone vendor in the world with 140% growth

By on July 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM.

SA agrees: Apple now top smartphone vendor in the world with 140% growth

BGR reported last week that Apple had passed Nokia in the second quarter of 2011 to become the world’s top smartphone vendor by volume. The Cupertino-based company had already been No. 1 in the world by profits for quite some time. On Friday, market analysis firm Strategy Analytics released its second-quarter smartphone shipment figures and reaffirmed Apple’s new position atop the market. Apple shipped 20.3 million smartphones last quarter, up more than 140% from the 8.4 million iPhones it shipped in the same quarter last year. The only company to show more impressive gains: Samsung. The South Korea-based vendor slid into the No. 2 spot by growing a remarkable 520% year-over-year to ship 19.2 million smartphones last quarter. Falling to No. 3 on the global market share list is Nokia, which shipped 16.7 smartphones in the second quarter of 2011, down from 23.8 million devices in the same quarter last year. Strategy Analytics reports global market share distribution in the June quarter at 18.5% for Apple, 17.5% for Samsung, 15.2% for Nokia and 48.9% for other manufacturers. The firm’s full press release follows below. More →

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Nielsen: Apple top U.S. smartphone vendor, Android top OS in Q2

By on July 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

Nielsen: Apple top U.S. smartphone vendor, Android top OS in Q2

Android continued on its warpath this past quarter, once again showing gains as it retained its position as top smartphone platform in the United States. Nielsen on Thursday issued its second-quarter smartphone market share data for the U.S., and Android finds itself atop the list again with 39% of the market. IOS remains in the No. 2 spot with 28% and RIM slid to 20% in the second quarter. Windows Mobile and Windows Phone combined to take 9% of the market, while webOS and Palm OS combined to account for just 2% of the market. Nokia’s Symbian OS also held a 2% share in the June quarter. On the list of top vendors last quarter, Apple held its lead by a wide margin with 28% of the total U.S. market. HTC devices accounted for 14% of Android market and 6% of the Windows Phone/Windows Mobile market, making it the nation’s top vendor in both categories and No. 2 overall. Samsung owned 8% of the Android market and 2% of the Windows Phone/Windows Mobile market in the U.S. last quarter, while Motorola topped Samsung’s Android share with 11% to slide into the No. 2 spot among Android device manufacturers. More →

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Apple to sell 27M iPhones in Q3, 40M in Q4 according to Macquarie

By on July 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM.

Apple to sell 27M iPhones in Q3, 40M in Q4 according to Macquarie

Apple is poised to sell as many as 27 million iPhone smartphones in the third quarter and 40 million units in the fourth quarter following the launch of its next-generation iPhone handset. These recent estimates from Macquarie Securities Group would be sequential records for Apple, and would likely further secure the Cupertino-based company’s position as the world’s No. 1 smartphone vendor. Apple’s fifth-generation smartphone, referred to as the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S for the time being, is expected to launch in early to mid-September. At that time, Apple will likely continue to sell the iPhone 4 at the customary $99 price point. In an effort to attack an entirely new segment of the market, however, Apple may continue to offer its iPhone 3GS smartphone as a low-cost third option that could be free on contract or as little as $350 for prepaid customers. Such a move has the potential to dramatically impact sales of entry-level Android handsets and other low-end smartphones, and it could see Apple’s record June-quarter shipments of 20.34 million iPhones doubled in the fourth quarter according to Macquarie. The firm also believes that the cost of Android smartphones will likely be driven up due to royalties Android vendors are forced to pay as a result of judgements on patent complaints. Macquarie says this cost increase will have a notable positive impact on Apple’s low-end iPhone handset sales moving forward.

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Apple releases iOS 4.3.5 for iPhone, iPad, more

By on July 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM.

Apple releases iOS 4.3.5 for iPhone, iPad, more

Apple on Monday released iOS 4.3.5 for iOS devices to address a security vulnerability. The update comes just 10 days after Apple issued iOS 4.3.4 to address a security hole related to PDF support. The new update was released with the following notes:

iOS 4.3.5 Software Update

Fixes a security vulnerability with certificate validation.

IOS 4.3.5 is available immediately through iTunes for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and the last two iPod touch models. Apple has also released iOS 4.2.10 at the same time for Verizon Wireless’ CDMA iPhone 4.

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Apple’s full change log for iOS 5 beta 4

By on July 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

Apple’s full change log for iOS 5 beta 4

Apple on Friday released the fourth beta version of its iOS 5 operating system, and this one brings about plenty of goodies that developers have been waiting for. The fact that the update can be applied over the air is a huge addition, of course, but there’s plenty more to be found buried within iOS 5 beta4 for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, and third and fourth-generation iPod touch. Wondering what’s new in this build? Apple’s full change log for iOS 5 beta 4 follows below. More →

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Apple releases iOS 5 beta 4

By on July 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM.

Apple releases iOS 5 beta 4

On cue, Apple has just seeded iOS 5 beta 4 to developers. The biggest change? It’s an OTA update… finally! The build itself is 915274d and it comes exactly two weeks after beta 3 was pushed out to devs. There will most likely be another one or two beta releases until the GM (Gold Master) as well — iOS 5 will be released for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPad 2 around September.

UPDATE: Apple’s full change log for iOS 5 beta 4 can be found here.

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Apple passes Nokia to become world’s top smartphone vendor

By on July 21, 2011 at 10:30 AM.

Apple passes Nokia to become world’s top smartphone vendor

Continued strong sales of Apple’s blockbuster smartphone have propelled the Cupertino-based company into the No. 1 spot globally. As noted by the Financial Times, Apple shipped 20.34 million iPhone handsets last quarter, up from 18.7 million units in the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile Nokia’s smartphone shipments dropped from 24.2 million units in the first quarter to just 16.7 million smartphones in the June quarter — 3.64 million fewer smartphones than Apple. With just two smartphone models currently available for sale, Apple had already been the world’s top smartphone vendor by revenue and profits. The June quarter marks the first time the company has managed to out-sell Nokia by volume, however. More →

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