Wealthy smartphone users are more likely to own an Apple iPhone and less likely to play games or post on Twitter than average users. According to research from The Luxury Institute, 62% of U.S. consumers earning at least $150,000 per year own a smartphone. 45% of people falling to that category own an iPhone, 35% use an Android-powered device and 25% have a BlackBerry. More than 80% of wealthy smartphone owners download mobile apps, with the most popular categories being weather (63%), news (51%), travel (42%), business/finance (39%) and sports (34%). Facebook, Angry Birds and Words With Friends are the most popular apps, however higher-income consumers use far less entertainment apps than the average smartphone user. “As you get older and have family and significant others, aging parents, and a lot more assets and investments, you’re going to need apps for far more relevant things than playing games and chatting with your peers,” The Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza noted. More →
Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. More →
Market research firm Nielsen on Thursday announced that as of February 2012, about half of all mobile subscribers in the United States own a smartphone. In the same month last year, only 36% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones. Almost half of all smartphones, or 48%, are powered by Google’s Android operating system, with Apple’s iPhone representing 32% of the market and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform capturing an 11.6% share. Of those who recently acquired a smartphone, however, 48% chose an Android device while 43% purchased an iPhone and just 5% purchased a BlackBerry. Smartphone adoption has increased rapidly over the past year, with more than two-thirds of those who purchased a new mobile device in the last three months choosing a smartphone over a feature phone. Read on for Nielsen’s press release. More →
Research In Motion holds a presentation for financial analysts each year during its BlackBerry World conference in May, but the company has said that it will delay the meeting this year until after it launches its next-generation smartphones. “We decided to make BlackBerry World more focused on customers, developers and partners,” RIM spokeswoman Tenille Kennedy said to Reuters. “We will hold a separate session targeted at the interests of the investment community later this year, once BlackBerry 10 is launched.” The Waterloo-based company will hand out as many as 2,000 prototype BlackBerry 10 smartphones to developers in early May, although its next-generation smartphones are not slated to be released until late in the third quarter. BGR exclusively reported in January that RIM’s BlackBerry London is on track for a September launch and will be the first BlackBerry 10-powered handset. More →
According to a recent job posting, Research In Motion may be looking to enter the iOS app market. The posting, which was spotted by AllThingsD, has since been removed, but a screen grab indicates that the company is seeking a Senior iOS Mobile Developer to build enterprise applications. More specifically, RIM needed “an experienced iOS/Objective-C developer capable of architecting, designing, developing and testing complex applications for iPhone and iPad devices.” Along with 7 to 10 years of programing experience, the job requires at least two years of professional experience in writing iOS apps, which candidates “must be able to show application from the App Store that they have written at interview.” It isn’t clear why RIM is looking for an iOS developer, however the company may be looking for help bringing its services to other platforms. BGR exclusively reported in May that RIM was planning to bring its popular BlackBerry Messenger app to Android and iOS.
UPDATE: Looks like the wait for BBM on iOS continues. A RIM spokesperson provided AllThingsD with the following comment: “In order for BlackBerry Mobile Fusion to perform advanced management functions for iOS devices, RIM will develop an on device client to be included as part of the overall solution.”
Research In Motion has been delivered a another blow from Apple and the iPhone in the company’s home country of Canada. Bloomberg, in conjunction with IDC, on Thursday reported that RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone line shipped 2.08 million units in Canada last year, compared with 2.85 million iPhones shipped by Apple. In 2010, BlackBerry sales topped the iPhone by half a million units, and in 2008, a year after the iPhone’s debut, RIM outsold Apple by almost five to one. “For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important,” said Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking. “It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone.” In the past year, RIM has seen declining sales in both Canada and the United States. Canadian sales, which account for about 7% of RIM’s revenue, fell 23% in the third fiscal quarter and U.S. sales dropped 45%, bringing the company’s worldwide revenue down 5.9% compared to the prior year. More →
Appcelerator, in conjunction with market research firm IDC, on Tuesday announced the results of a recent joint survey of 2,173 app developers from around the world. The report found that developers are more interested in Apple’s iOS platform than any other mobile operating system. 89% of respondents said that they were very interested in developing for the iPhone, and 88% were interested in the iPad. Google’s Android operating system, which was once neck-and-neck with iOS in terms of developer interest, has decreased “due to continued fragmentation of the platform.” Interest in the platform dropped nearly five points to 78.6%, while Android tablets dropped 2.2 points from the previous survey to 65.9%. Windows Phone 7′s appeal, on the other hand, remains high and it is clear that the platform is the “number three OS in terms of priorities,” while interest in Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform continues to fall. The study found that developer interest in the BlackBerry OS declined from 20.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 15.5% in the first quarter of 2012. Read on for Appcelerator and IDC’s press release. More →
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook may be down, but it’s definitely not out. Over a year ago, the company revealed plans to release an LTE-compatible PlayBook as well as a 3G model that will work on HSPA+ networks. Details surrounding these variants have been few and far between, with some assuming they were simply canceled. As it turns out, two tablets from Research in Motion recently passed through the FCC equipped with HSPA+ connectivity and AT&T compatible LTE radios. BGR in January exclusively reported details about RIM’s plans to introduce a new PlayBook tablet around May or June that will be equipped with a 1.5GHz processor, built-in HSPA+ and NFC support. More →
Following the much delayed BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update, the tablet finally has a native email client, other PIM apps and a larger selection of apps thanks to its Android player. Research in Motion is now looking to further boost interest in its debut slate, and it has announced the BlackBerry Mini Keyboard for those users looking for a physical keypad option on top of the virtual one. The accessory retails for a lofty $119.99 and is available for pre-order starting today, with shipments going out on March 23rd. The concept of the keyboard is similar to the competition. It includes a multitouch trackpad for browsing, a keyboard for easy input and a battery that last up to 30 days. Unlike the ASUS Transformer Prime, RIM’s accessory does not have a docking feature and is just a carrying case with an integrated Bluetooth keyboard. RIM’s video demonstation follows below. More →
Pew Research Center on Thursday released a report stating smartphone owners now outnumber feature phone owners in the United States. Nearly half of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone as of February 2012, the firm said, up from 35% last May. 53% of cell phone owners indicated that their handset is a smartphone and since 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone, a total of 46% of all American adults are smartphone users. 20% of smartphone owners said they own an Android-power smartphone, up from 15% in May 2011, while 19% owned an iPhone, up from 10%. BlackBerry ownership dropped four points from 10% in May 2011, to 6% last month. “Nearly every major demographic group — men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well off — experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration,” the report said. Seniors, however, have the slowest adoption rate, with only 13% of people 65 or older owning a smartphone, up from 11% in May 2011. Pew’s press release follows below. More →
Analytics firm Chitika on Tuesday revealed the findings of a recent study that shows the latest Blackberry PlayBook operating system update is already running on 43.7% of devices after just one week. “It would seem that this rapid rate of adoption is expected given that the upgrade was free and in many cases automatic,” Chitika said in its report. “If the use of the OS continues to grow at this rate with 50% decay, market majority will be achieved in two weeks, and by three weeks 75% of all PlayBook OS eligible devices will be running the upgrade.” The highly anticipated update to Research In Motion’s struggling tablet brought a number of much needed improvements to the PlayBook. Perhaps the most important additions were native email, contacts and calendar functionality, while BlackBerry Messenger support is still nowhere in site. After the update, PlayBooks also benefited from the addition of RIM’s Android app player, which allows repackaged Android applications to run on RIM’s tablet. Read on for Chitika’s press release.
InMobi, the largest independent mobile advertising network, on Friday announced its “Mobile Insights Report: North American Edition” for the month of January, reports AppleInsider. Thanks to the launch of the iPhone 4S, Apple’s iOS mobile platform surged 12 points to surpass Google’s Android operating system in North American ad impressions. Apple’s share of 23.2% in October of 2011 increased to 35.3% in January, with Android losing 3.2% in the same time frame for a 32.7% share in January. Research in Motion’s BlackBerry mobile platform dropped 8.9% from October to January to an 11.6% share. “The iOS growth we are seeing may be attributed to the tremendous success of iPhone 4S and iPad in the ecosystem,” said Anne Frisbie, vice president and managing director for InMobi’s North American operations. “Overall, we are excited to see InMobi’s available impressions exceed 55 billion in North America, and look forward to continuing our rapid growth through 2012.” The data comes from InMobi’s advertising network, which serves more than 93.4 billion ad impressions around the world each month. More →
Netflix on Thursday revealed that it has no plans to bring its streaming service to Research In Motion’s mobile platforms. With the release of the Playbook 2.0 update, it was not immediately clear whether the company would port its existing Android app to the platform or perhaps create a native app for RIM’s tablet OS, however neither will be the case. “We don’t have any current plans to support BlackBerry devices, including PlayBook,” the company confirmed on Twitter. Netflix has more than 24 million U.S. subscribers and it recently expanded its streaming-only service to make it available in Canada and parts of Latin America. Read on for a screen capture of Netflix’s confirmation. More →