A few weeks ago we shared Agawi’s first touchscreen responsiveness test, which found Apple’s iOS smartphones to be more responsive than the Android competitors. Agawi is back with TouchMarks II, comparing touchscreen latencies in flagship tablets from Apple, Android and Microsoft’s Windows RT platform, and once again Apple seems to have topped rival devices by a healthy margin. Agawi used the same method to test the tablets as it did with the smartphones, “by measuring the time between when the user touches the screen and the device updates the display.” More →
Evidence keeps piling up that American consumers really do want an alternative to traditional wireless carriers. A new report from Kantar Worldpanel shows that T-Mobile’s share of American carrier smartphone sales grew to its highest in a year during the quarter ending on August 2013. In all, T-Mobile sold just over 13% of all smartphones between June and August this year, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from the previous quarter. Kantar says that the carrier has benefited from finally getting to sell Apple’s popular iPhone to its customers and from its “uncarrier” plans that offer popular smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One for little to no money down. T-Mobile in August posted a quarterly net addition in postpaid subscribers for the first time in four years so it seems that the company has continued to build its momentum all summer.
It’s not just about the second-quarter earnings which showed a near $1 billion write-down for unsold BlackBerry Z10 phones. It’s not about the fact that the BlackBerry PlayBook, the company’s first and only tablet offering, failed. It’s not about the fact that CEO Thorsten Heins, who took over Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, was stiff and never resonated with consumers, the media or investors. BlackBerry’s downfall stems from much more than that, going back six years. More →
The iPhone has gone through seven iterations since its launch in 2007, some more drastic than others. There have been software updates, hardware redesigns, a screen expansion, and countless other changes that have altered everything about Apple’s smartphone. During the iPhone 5s and 5c event in September, as with every iPhone unveiling, Apple talked a big game in regards to the numbers. In fact, the iPhone 5s CPU is supposedly 40x faster than the first-generation iPhone — but how do vague numbers like this actually affect the speed of the phone? More →
Mobile apps linked to messaging services are taking over the two most important Asian app markets, Japan and Korea. Today, nine out of the ten biggest revenue generators on South Korea’s Google Play app chart are Kakao apps. It is effectively becoming impossible to launch a major hit in the Korean app market unless you use Kakao’s messaging app as your platform. This in turn means that everyone interested in mobile apps is using Kakao. The messaging app has turned into the dominant platform for game distribution. LINE’s role in Japan is not quite as strong, but games for this messaging app regularly hold about half of the positions in Japan’s top-10 iPhone and Android app revenue charts. According to several industry sources interviewed in Tokyo during the Japan Game Show last week, “LINE Pokopang” is widely expected to become the top revenue generator in Japan sometime in the new year when the “Puzzle and Dragons” juggernaut finally fades. This is the first reason messaging is the most important trend in mobile right now — here are three more: More →
Now that the new Surface tablets have made their debut, Microsoft might be looking to add one more incentive to its trade-in program later this week. According to Forbes, “an inside source at Microsoft” said that the in-store exchange program will expand this Friday to include the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 at some Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada. Microsoft will reportedly offer its customers a minimum of $200 for Apple’s phones, which is identical to the iPad promotion already in place. Keep in mind Microsoft is already offering to buy back Android and iOS devices via an online program, so it would appear that the company will soon have all its bases covered.
With occasionally unreliable autocorrect software and periodically clumsy fingers, typing on a virtual keyboard has never been easy. Take these issues and couple them with slow response time, and it’s no wonder so many of our text messages end up riddled with errors. Cloud gaming company Agawi wanted to know which phones responded the fastest, and so the company set up a series of benchmarks (called TouchMarks) to measure touch responsiveness. More →
A recently discovered patent filed by Apple in Europe seems to have revealed a new feature coming soon to the iPhone’s Notes app. Patently Apple uncovered evidence on Thursday of text-to-speech conversion which will allow users to translate written text into another language, and then convert the translated text to speech. A photo within the patent filing clearly displays an added “Speak” option when text is highlighted within the app. There is no indication whether or not the text-to-speech feature will integrate Siri, as Siri is not mentioned in the patent. A photo of Apple’s flowchart “depicting a method for performing text-to-speech conversion” can be seen below. More →
Every time Apple announces a new iPhone, there is an inevitable backlash over the exorbitant price. How does Apple get away with charging such a significant premium for its phone when there are plenty of other affordable, quality phones out there? More importantly, why do buyers keep paying so much for Apple’s hardware? Asymco‘s Horace Dediu believes he has the answers to both of those questions and a few more that might explain how the entire operation works. More →
We’re not likely to get many surprises from Apple’s big iPhone event, mostly because we’ve gotten an endless stream of leaks detailing both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. A new online survey from Polar bears this out: 70% of users surveyed think the new iPhone will have a fingerprint scanner, 54% think Apple will show off a gold iPhone model and 87% think the new iPhone will be almost the exact same design as the iPhone 5. Polar’s survey doesn’t completely demonstrate the wisdom of crowds, however, as 53% think that Apple will show off new iPads even though the company likely won’t release new tablets until later in the fall. 50% also think there will be a new version of Apple TV while only 36% think there will be a new version of the iPod Touch revealed at the event.
As Apple prepares to unleash its latest round of iPhone devices, it appears that the company is also in need of some new creative talent. Ad Age reports that Apple is in the market for between 200 and 300 new hires, which would double the size of the current in-house marketing team. An unnamed executive said that the marketing team had capped growth during Steve Jobs’ tenure as Apple CEO, which forced the company to rely more on outside firms. Apple will continue to work with other ad agencies, but the expanded team will be “tackling more projects, doing everything from site design to tutorial videos for Apple products to maintaining a large internal commercial-production facility.” The report also suggests that this move might not be an entirely monetary one, but instead a decision to have more control over the creative work Apple produces.
It’s no surprise that the messaging app behemoth WhatsApp generates 95 times as much Google search volume as BlackBerry Messenger. But what’s pretty fascinating is that second-shelf apps like Kik and Viber also now generate 10 times more search interest than BBM. Whereas Kakao reigns as the supreme messaging app in Korea, LINE in Japan and WeChat in China, Kik and Viber are kind of puttering along, trying to steal slivers of market share in many regions. Yet despite the fact that these two B-listers are battling for the No.5 messaging app position at best, they have started generating massive search volume growth over the past year. More →
In case you thought your smartphone might be a last bastion of safety for your private information, it appears that the NSA has complete and total access to data on devices from each of the leading manufacturers. Spiegel reports “that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.” That information includes contact lists, SMS messages, notes and any location data stored on the phone. More →