Jordan Kahn

@JordanKahn

Senior Editor, 9to5Mac – 9to5Google – 9to5Toys

Contact Jordan with news tips and long-winded complaints at Jordan@9to5mac.com.  

Jordan writes about all things Apple as a senior editor for 9to5Mac. He also covers Google for 9to5Google.com and the latest gear and deals on 9to5Toys.com.

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January 28, 2013

According to the latest numbers from Strategy Analytics that measure global smartphone operating system shipments and marketshare for the fourth quarter of 2012, iOS and Android together accounted for 92 percent of all shipments. Both iOS and Android were able to significantly increase market share over Q3, while global smartphone shipments over the entire year reached a record 700.1 million units.

As for iOS, Apple grew 29 percent annually by selling 135.8 million iPhones throughout the year. The company captured 22 percent of the market in Q4, down from the 24 percent it held in the year-ago quarter, and its share of the smartphone market for the year comes in at 19.4-percent. According to Strategy Analytics, that is up slightly from the 19 percent it took during 2011.

With the “others” category shrinking from 32.3-percent of the market in 2011 to just 12.2-percent in 2012, Android was able to post the largest gains jumping to 70.1-percent of the global market during the fourth quarter from 51.3-percent a year ago. The other category of course includes other platforms, such as BlackBerry, Symbian, Bada, and Windows, all of which together only grabbed 7.9-percent of the market in Q4 2012. That’s down from 25.1-percent in Q4 2011. Android’s gains are clearly at the expense of the “others,” as Apple continues to slowly gain marketshare as well.

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January 25, 2013

new report from Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge provided us with what he claimed is a few details on the upcoming fifth-generation iPad based on hands-on time with a “supposedly accurate” physical model. He also claimed to have details on upcoming iPhone releases.

Horwitz noted he has inspected what he believed are casings for the iPad 5, and he described a completely redesigned device with “virtually no left or right bezels, and only enough space above and below the screen to accommodate the mandatory camera and Home Button elements.” As previously rumored, Horwitz claimed the fifth-gen iPad as iPad mini-like in its physical design with similar “chamfered edges and curves” along with the slimmed down bezel.

He also speculated that Apple could go with an IGZO display to achieve what he said is a much thinner design compared to previous generations:

Beyond that, it’s noticeably thinner, as well, which is to say the the fifth-generation iPad will be smaller in every dimension than its predecessors. As it will have the same chamfered edges and curves, calling it a “stretched iPad mini” is very close to entirely accurate… The changes are so considerable that a new screen technology, such as IGZO, seems like a given. Going Retina for the third-generation iPad forced Apple to make that tablet a little thicker than the iPad 2, in part to seriously beef up the battery.

The report also said that Apple is now targeting an October release for the iPad 5, “give or take a couple of weeks,” after originally planning for a March launch.

Horwitz, who has been accurate with details of unreleased Apple products in the past, also claimed to have new details on the upcoming iPhone releases:

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YouTube Capture version 1.1: Google has updated its newly released YouTube Capture app with some welcomed features including 1080p video uploads:

· 1080p uploads!
· Improved audio sync
· More detailed upload feedback
· Share to networks after uploading
· Bug fixes & stability improvements

Vine — Make a scene version 1.0.2: Just released yesterday, the app for sharing short video clips (and recently acquired by Twitter) today updated with improvements to profiles and more reliable Twitter integration:

* Logging in through Twitter is more reliable
* You can now update your profile photo from your Camera Roll
* Character limit for usernames and bio field
* International keyboards have better support
* Various bugs that caused crashes have been fixed

Google Currents-01Google Currents version 2.0: Google is updating another one of its apps today, its magazine style news reader for tablets and smartphones now sports a new catalog design. The update also includes an Edition sidebar for quick access to categories, a new fast scan feature (Vertical swipe to scan an edition, horizontal swipe advances to next edition), and a new breaking stories section ranked by Google News. You can also now star to save stories for future reading: expand full story

Apple last night released its annual Supplier Responsibility Report that outlines the progress being made for everything from empowering workers to labor and human rights issues within its supply chain. It also highlighted audit results for 393 audits performed during the year—a 72-percent increase over the number of audits it performed in 2011. Apple said its worker empowerment program providing education on local laws and the company’s supplier code of conduct was extended to 1.3 million employees during 2012. That’s double the amount of workers trained in the program since 2008.

As noted by Bloomberg, Apple’s report has information about a Chinese labor agency that had forged documents for underage employees to work in Apple-connected suppliers. Underage workers have been a big focus for Apple since news reports and Fair Labor Association audits last year exposed some of the issues with the conditions of Apple’s supply chain. Since discovering 74 cases of workers under the age of 16 during an audit of a circuit board supplier last January, Apple has terminated its contract with the company and is now going after the agency that did the hiring.

In January 2012, for example, we audited a supplier, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., Ltd. (PZ) that produces a standard circuit board component used by many other companies in many industries. Our auditors were dismayed to discover 74 cases of workers under age 16—a core violation of our Code of Conduct. As a result, we terminated our business relationship with PZ.

As for the Quanshun agency, one of the region’s largest labor agencies, Apple reported it discovered the company was forging papers for underage workers. Apple said in the report that it has reported the agency to officials, who in turn suspended the agency’s business license:
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Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.01.51 AM

Q4 2012 estimates from Strategy Analytics

While Samsung has conveniently left specific smartphone sales numbers out of its Q4 earnings release yesterday (as usual), today we get a look at the latest estimates for the quarter coming from research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC.

We know that Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones during the quarter, and today both research firms put Samsung just over 63 million units for Q4 2012. That means Samsung was able to capture 29 percent of the market last quarter (up from 36.2 million units and 22.5-percent of the market in the year ago quarter). Apple is of course a close second among the top five smartphone vendors with 21.8-percent—down slightly from the 23 percent it held in the same quarter last year. In Q4 2011, Apple and Samsung were neck and neck at about 23 percent of the market each.

The increasing market share for Apple, and especially Samsung, over the past year comes at the expense of Nokia. It experienced a drop from 16 percent to 5 percent of the market during the past year.  expand full story

January 24, 2013

Following Apple’s earnings results yesterday, AT&T just announced its fourth-quarter results and highlighted record smartphones sales and a record 8.6-million iPhone activations. In its results, the company said that 16 percent of iPhone activations were to new customers, while it also noted that it saw the best quarter ever for Android sales. It all added up to record sales, the most ever among any U.S. carrier, with 10.2 million units sold during the quarter. In comparison, earlier this week, Verizon reported its Q4 numbers and highlighted a record 6.2 million iPhones for the quarter, representing almost two-thirds of its 9.8-million smartphone activations.

In the quarter, the company activated a record 8.6 million iPhones, with 16 percent new to AT&T. The company also had its best-ever sales quarter for Android smartphones.

AT&T also reported its largest increase in three years for subscribers with 780,000 wireless postpaid net adds and a total increase in total net wireless subscribers of 1.1 million. As for LTE, the company said 55 percent of postpaid smartphone customers were 4G-capable devices while LTE should roll out to 250 million or more people by the end of 2013:

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Following reporting what CEO Tim Cook referred to as another record-setting quarter, today the Apple executive sent out an email to employees congratulating the team. Within the email, Cook thanked employees for their “incredible hard work and focus” and highlighted that the company sold over 75 million iOS devices during the quarter.

Like last year, when Apple held a Town Hall meeting following its Q1 results near a windshield repair Sugar Land TX company, Cook is asking employees to attend an employee communications meeting scheduled for today at 10 a.m. Pacific time. The email sent out last night following Apple’s earnings results conference call, and it noted that employees would be able to submit questions via AppleWeb in advance.

Apple will also broadcast the meeting live throughout Cupertino and other Apple locations. Cook’s full email is below:

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January 23, 2013

As previously announced, today Apple is reporting its Q1 2013 earnings results. There is much uncertainty going into today’s call with Apple shares down significantly in recent months to roughly $500 since hitting a high of over $700 per share in September. With the iPhone 5 landing in a total of 100 countries last month, as well as iPad mini making its way to new markets, Wall Street estimates Apple will report between 47.5 million and 53 million iPhones sold and iPad sales between 23 million and 25 million. Compare that with Apple’s Q1 numbers last year: 37 million iPhones and 15.43 million iPads sold. Earlier this week Verizon reported 6.2M iPhone activations for the quarter, around half of which were iPhone 5 sales.

We’ll be providing blow-by-blow coverage of the earnings call in our live blog below at 2 PM Pacific/5 PM Eastern time. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac.com’s homepage for additional coverage:

Head below for updates… expand full story

Reports surfaced in August 2009 that Steve Jobs approached former Palm CEO Ed Colligan about entering an agreement to not poach employees from each other’s company. Today, Reuters pointed us to recently revealed court documents that show Jobs threatened patent litigation if Palm would not agree to stop hiring his company’s employees. The documents include email communications between Jobs and Colligan regarding poaching of employees and come from a civil lawsuit brought by five employees against Apple, Google, and others.

“Mr. Jobs also suggested that if Palm did not agree to such an arrangement, Palm could face lawsuits alleging infringement of Apple’s many patents,” Colligan said in the statement.

Below are some of the court documents becoming part of public record after a request to keep them secret was denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California. The documents include statements from Palm CEO Ed Colligan to a District Court in California, as well as emails exchanged between Colligan and Jobs.
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January 22, 2013

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