California public utilities commission investigating AT&T’s T-Mobile acquisition

By on May 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

California public utilities commission investigating AT&T’s T-Mobile acquisition

The Public Utilities Commission in California will investigate AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Golden state is one of three states that Sprint has asked to investigate the deal — the other two are West Virginia and Louisiana. “We believe a thorough investigation will reveal the negative implications for pricing, choice, and innovation critical to California’s economy,” Sprint’s public affairs manager, John Taylor, said. “Sprint is pleased that the commission will open up a proceeding to investigate the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T.” AT&T originally filed its informal notice with California’s Public Utilities Commission on May 3rd, and Sprint protested the filing on May 19th when it asked for a review of the merger. The regulators will consider three options, one of which is a choice to notify AT&T that its purchase is not “pre-approved” after the standard 30-day time period after an application is submitted. Sprint has opposed the acquisition from day one, and its CEO Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. More →

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Back to business: RIM will lose consumer market, analyst says

By on May 27, 2011 at 2:01 PM.

Back to business: RIM will lose consumer market, analyst says

“We no longer anticipate Research in Motion recovering to participate in the mainstream of smartphone industry growth.” Those are the words of Matthew Robison, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities, which recently downgraded RIM’s stock. Robison argues that RIM is going to lose the consumer interest that it has built over the last few years. “Our long-term forecast anticipates a role supplying business-oriented devices, both mid-range and high end, as well as cloud-based services via the BlackBerry Network.,” Robison said. “We expect the consumer mix gained over the past two years to churn off, and that earnings will decline after 2013 and eventually grow again on demand that is largely associated with business users.” Robison said the PlayBook is selling well relative to other tablets, “other than the iPad,” but that “there’s little indication that the PlayBook has registered with consumers outside the loyal BlackBerry installed base.” We’ve leaked and had hands-on time with most of RIM’s 2011 lineup, and while there’s a definite spec boost across the board, the phones lack the appealing features of more robust iOS and Android devices. Worse yet, the company only revealed one new device during its annual BlackBerry World 2011 conference, and even that offered very little in the way of innovation that might attract the consumer market. More →

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Nokia to release new Windows Phones quickly and frequently

By on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM.

Nokia to release new Windows Phones quickly and frequently

Nokia could launch its first Windows Phone some time this year, and when it does, the firm plans to set a quick pace to get more phones into the market. Speaking in an interview with PCMag, Nokia’s executive vice president of smartphones, Jo Harlow, discussed Nokia’s roll-out strategy. “We should be launching new devices in a rhythm that might be every couple of months, every three months, something like that,” Harlow said. Unlike HTC and Samsung, which see Windows Phone as a “secondary platform,” Harlow argues, Nokia will use the operating system as a primary platform. “We’re going to keep coming with new devices in order to have something to talk about,” she explained. Earlier reports have suggested that Nokia will launch as many as 12 new Windows Phone handsets next year, including a few with dual-core processors. More →

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Microsoft sells 1.6M Windows Phone handsets in Q1

By on May 19, 2011 at 8:18 AM.

Microsoft sells 1.6M Windows Phone handsets in Q1

According to research firm Gartner, although Microsoft shipped 2 million Windows Phone units during Q4 of 2010, it sold 1.6 million units during Q1 of 2011.”Windows Phone saw only modest sales that reached 1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011,” wrote Gartner. “Devices launched at the end of 2010 failed to grow in consumer preference and CSPs continued to focus on Android.” Gartner is, however, predicting big things for Microsoft’s smartphone operating system. By 2015, the analytics company predicts that Windows Phone will see shipments in excess of 215 million units — thanks in large part to its partnership with Nokia. This would put Microsoft in second place in global market share — behind the open-source smartphone-overlord Android and ahead of the not-so-open-source iOS. More →

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Android grabs 53% of global smartphone market share; iOS 50% of application revenues

By on May 19, 2011 at 6:01 AM.

Android grabs 53% of global smartphone market share; iOS 50% of application revenues

A new report published by Millennial Media paints a picture of the global smartphone landscape in April of 2011. The company found that Android continued its domination in pure market share, holding a 53% of impressions on the company’s network. Apple’s iOS came in second with 28% and RIM’s BlackBerry OS came in third with 16%; Symbian, Windows, and “other” totalled under 4% of impressions. While Google continues to maim and destroy in terms of handset numbers, Apple continues to hold the crown when it comes to application revenues. “Revenue generated from applications on the iOS platform grew 6% month-over-month and represented 50% of the Application Platform Mix on our network, ranked by revenue, in April,” reads the report. Android is in a close second with 39% of app revenues and RIM ranked third with 9%. What are users downloading? The report states that games, mobile social networking, and music/entertainment applications are the top application categories. Millennial Media sees over 142 million unique mobile impressions on its network each month from over 5,500 different devices. More →

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Xperia PLAY game sales have been unimpressive

By on May 14, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

Xperia PLAY game sales have been unimpressive

According to a report by CVG, Android Market downloads of games specifically designed to run on Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY handset have been extremely low. As evidence in its case, the report hones in on five Play titles that all have under 1,000 total Market downloads: Cool Boarders 2, 100–500; Destruction Derby, 500–1,000; Jumping Flash, 50–100; MediEvil, 100–500; and Syphon Filter, 100–500. Despite this, the handset’s creator is undeterred. “There’s no concerns, it’s a revolutionary device, it’s shaking up the market, we’re very pleased with it,” said Dominic Heil-Dwyer, head of market development at Sony Ericsson. “In terms of getting the PlayStation Certified program out, generally, we’re very happy. I think we’ll make a full assessment of if it has achieved our expectations fully, further down the line, so we’re very happy.” Launched in early April, the device pairs classic gaming controls with the now familiar large-touchscreen smartphone form factor. The Xperia PLAY is scheduled to make its Stateside debut on Verizon Wireless in the coming months. More →

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Apple’s iPad isn’t hurting PC sales, NPD finds

By on May 12, 2011 at 6:00 AM.

Apple’s iPad isn’t hurting PC sales, NPD finds

Market research firm NPD Group this week revealed the findings of its recent report entitled, Apple iPad Owner Study II. Among the interesting findings contained within NPD’s research is the revelation that the iPad isn’t responsible for the current decline in the traditional consumer PC market — at least, not according to NPD and its respondents. Research firm IDC estimates that the PC market dipped by over 10% in the U.S. last quarter, and 3.2% globally. In reporting its estimates, IDC said that these declines were due to factors other than the rising popularity of the iPad and other “media tablets.” NPD Group’s new report jibes with that sentiment, as the firm claims that only 14% of early iPad adopters decided against purchasing a traditional PC as a result of their tablet purchases. “The explosion of computer sales when Windows 7 launched, as well as the huge increase in netbook sales at that time, are much more to blame for weak consumer PC sales growth than the iPad,” said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD, in a statement. “Overall it appears that the vast majority of iPad purchases to-date have been incremental to the consumer technology industry.” Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Google enhances Android Market with new app discoverability options

By on May 11, 2011 at 6:45 PM.

Google enhances Android Market with new app discoverability options

Google on Wednesday announced more ways for Android users to discover fresh applications on its Android Market website. A new “Top apps” chart is now country specific and provides the newest content across top new free, top new paid, and top grossing lists. Google also added an “Editor’s Choice” section that displays the best applications as chosen by the Android team. Other enhancements include a “Top Developers” section, improved recommendations of related apps, and a “trending apps” feature on the home page that shows applications that are particularly hot based on the number of daily installs. The changes are live now at http://market.android.com. More →

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Windows Phone will beat Android in 2013, analyst explains

By on May 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM.

Windows Phone will beat Android in 2013, analyst explains

Late last week, BGR wrote about a recent report suggesting Microsoft’s share of the global smartphone market would overtake Google’s share in 2015, and Windows Phone would become the best-selling smartphone platform in the world at that point. On Tuesday, the Pyramid Research analyst responsible for the report published a follow up explaining that her findings were misinterpreted. Pyramid’s Senior Analyst Stela Bokun explains that Windows Phone is poised to overtake Android’s massive market share much earlier than that — as soon as 2013, in fact. Beginning this year, Bokun sees Windows Phone popularity exploding even faster than Android adoption has since its introduction in 2008. The analyst attributes the coming Windows Phone boom to Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia; the Finnish cell phone giant is set to bring the end user cost of Windows Phones down, thus accelerating adoption dramatically. Bokun also notes that other manufacturers will continue to support Windows Phone, which will help make the devices widely accessible. “With the change in the price of WP devices, and the multivendor strategic approach of Microsoft, the main advantage of Android – scale – may be removed,” she wrote on Pyramid Research’s blog on Tuesday. It certainly seems like a long shot, but Pyramid Research forecasts smartphone sales individually in 51 separate markets, and the firm stands by its findings. We also shouldn’t forget that it only took Google 2.5 years to get its Android OS where it is today, so it’s quite clear that anything can happen. More →

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Android sees continued growth while BlackBerry OS falters, comScore says

By on May 6, 2011 at 8:35 PM.

Android sees continued growth while BlackBerry OS falters, comScore says

Android’s U.S. market share is continuing to grow at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, and Palm, according to a new report from comScore that took a snapshot of the mobile phone market during the March quarter. The report found that Android powered 34.7% of all U.S. smartphones, up 6% from December 2010. RIM’s BlackBerry OS market share fell 4.5 points to a 27.1% share of the market, while Microsoft’s Windows and Palm’s webOS each saw a 0.9 percentage point decrease. Apple’s iOS market share jumped 0.5 points to a 25.5% share of the market, just behind RIM’s 27.1% grasp. Samsung remained the most popular mobile phone brand with a 24.5% share of the market, followed by LG (20.9%), Motorola (15.8%), RIM (8.4%), and Apple (7.9%).  The report also found that 234 million Americans above the age of 13 used mobile devices. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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Acer still sees life in netbook market, new models coming this summer

By on May 5, 2011 at 4:39 AM.

Acer still sees life in netbook market, new models coming this summer

Acer believes there’s still consumer interest in netbooks despite the surging tablet market, and the firm recently said that it’s not giving up on the mini notebooks just yet. “Tablets have impacted overall netbook sales, but we’re not stepping away from the [netbook] segment,”Acer’s senior product marketing and brand manager, Eric Ackerson, told Forbes. “We think there’s still opportunity for sales, including in the U.S.” Acer’s not ignoring the tablet market — its Acer Iconia Tab A500 recently launched in the United States — but it also has some new netbooks up it sleeves that are expected to launch later this summer. The firm believes that netbooks, which are typically priced far below tablets, are beginning to offer an experience that’s on a par with notebooks thanks to bumps in hardware specs. “The death of netbooks is overstated,” Lisa Emard, an Acer spokesperson said. “We may not see the same explosive growth as before, but the netbook price point is still killer,” she added. More →

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Apple may become the first $1 trillion company [video]

By on May 3, 2011 at 2:11 PM.

Apple may become the first $1 trillion company [video]

Giddy over Apple’s consistent staggering growth — and seemingly giddier over the iPad — Formula Capital managing partner James Altucher believes that Apple is poised to become the first $1 trillion company. In fact, Altucher thinks Apple could already be a $2 to $3 trillion company. According to Altucher, Apple can basically do no wrong — he believes demand for the iPad 2 will continue to grow and then new products like the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 will send demand for Apple devices through the roof. He goes on to state that Jobs’ eventual departure from the company won’t even have a significant impact on Apple’s future, as many analysts expect, thanks to other great innovators within Apple such as Tim Cook. Apple’s market capitalization is currently around $320 billion, so its stock price would have to balloon to about $1,000 for Apple to hit $1 trillion. Hit the break for an enthusiastic Altucher talking up Apple in an interview with Business Insider. More →

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NPD: Apple passes RIM, Motorola to become third largest phone seller in U.S.

By on April 28, 2011 at 3:04 PM.

NPD: Apple passes RIM, Motorola to become third largest phone seller in U.S.

NPD is reporting that Apple has surpassed Research In Motion and Motorola to become the third largest mobile phone vendor in the United States. Apple now holds a 14% share of the market behind LG with 18% and Samsung with 23%. “Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T,” said NPD’s executive director of industry analysis, Ross Rubin. “While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system, Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter.” Last quarter also marked the first time that U.S. consumers purchased more smartphones than not; 54% of phone purchasers ended up with phones of a higher intelligence. The iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Motorola DROID X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC DROID Incredible were the top five smartphones purchased in the States from January to March. More →

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