Gartner: iPhone worldwide sales topped Samsung in holiday quarter, but Samsung won the year

iphones

Gartner is out with its latest report tracking smartphone movement during the previous year and more specifically the holiday quarter.

Headlining the report is news that over 1 billion smartphones were sold in 2014, a data point IDC first said was hit in the previous year, adding that two out of three phones sold last year qualified as smartphones.

Gartner’s data shows Apple topped Samsung in worldwide smartphone sales with 74,832,000 units shipped during the holiday quarter, just 1.8 million units more than Samsung, giving Apple 20.4% market share for the quarter, a virtual tie with Samsung’s 19.9%. Read more

Apple constructing outdoor building next to Yerba Buena, likely demo area for Watch event on March 9th

yerba-beuna

We have received images of a white building under construction behind the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, the venue for Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event on March 9th. The tipster said that security guards are patrolling the scene, wearing ‘Apple Security’ shirts, confirming the connection between the building and Apple.

Apple built a similar external structure for the Apple Watch’s original unveiling in September, which acted as a demo hall for the products (iPhone 6 and Apple Watch) that Apple had announced at the event prior. Given the similarities, it is likely that this is the purpose of this new building as well.

It is worth noting, however, that in the past Apple has simply used side rooms inside Yerba Buena for its demo areas. Unlike the Flint Center, previous events show that there is space for indoor demos if Apple wanted to use it.

More images after the break …

Read more

Tim Cook says terrorism should not scare people into giving up their privacy

Tim Cook White House Summit on Cybersecurity

In the second half of The Telegraph’s interview with Tim Cook, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reaffirmed his position on privacy. Cook says that whilst currently consumers do not understand the ramifications of sharing their data with third-parties, “one day they will”.

Moreover, Cook openly objects to governments that say data sharing is required to combat crime and terrorism. There has been pressure for tech companies to offer back-doors into encryption mechanisms, but a clear implication of this interview is that Apple will strongly oppose this view. Cook describes privacy as a ‘basic human right’. Read more

Sesame is a $99 smart lock that lets you unlock your current deadbolt from your iPhone

Sesame iPhone smart lock

Note: Kickstarter currently appears to be down possibly because of a certain new smartwatch

The iPhone-connected smart lock market is getting a new player today as Candy House introduces a new, competitively priced device called Sesame—a play on the phrase “open sesame”—that retrofits your existing deadbolt lock with modern smarts.

While current smart lock options carry higher price tags and require replacing existing hardware, Sesame starts at $99 ($89 early bird special) and adds smart lock features to most existing door locks. Check below for an excellent video demo and more info: Read more

Mercedes-Benz chairman not losing sleep over Apple Car, compares it to car guys making a smartphone

Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche

It happens each time there is talk that Apple is preparing to enter a new product category: industry leaders issue the standard statement that they’re unfazed by potential Apple competition because 1) Apple makes computers and 2) this is their turf, their expertise.

Almost like fulfilling the prophecy, head of Mercedes-Benz cars Dieter Zetsche recently did just that while discussing the rumor with Australian publication motoring.com.au:

“If there were a rumour that Mercedes or Daimler planned to start building smartphones then they (Apple) would not be sleepless at night. And the same applies to me.”

Zetsche added that his position in saying that Apple building a car would be like Mercedes building a smartphone is “full of respect” for the iPhone maker. Read more

Samsung remains a key supplier for Apple’s iPhone despite patent disputes, competition

a9

No matter which way you cut it, it remains remarkable that Samsung continues to serve as a key component supplier to Apple for the innards of the iPhone and iPad line while also being a major competitor in the mobile phone space. In fact, to this day, it is hard to argue that there is a bigger Apple component partner than Samsung.

Just as Samsung prepares to unveil its latest flagship Galaxy S6 next week, The Korea Times reports that Apple and Samsung have struck a deal for the latter company to supply the former with at least 50% of the mobile DRAM chips used it Apple’s followup to the iPhone 6 expected later this fall. But that’s the tip o’ the iceberg as they say… Read more

Virgin Mobile drops complete iPhone lineup from its online store

Virgin Mobile iPhone 6

Since the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last fall, we’ve noticed that Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA has offered limited-to-no stock on its iPhone lineup with “out of stock” messages on each of their iOS device and seemingly no plans to replenish inventory. Specifically, the pre-paid carrier went head first into the holiday season without any iPhone inventory for shoppers.

Virgin later confirmed that it had no specific plans to carry the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the time, and now the prepaid carrier has completely scrubbed the entire iPhone lineup from its online store. Read more

Motorola president responds to Ive criticism in New Yorker profile, says Apple charging ‘outrageous prices’

AT&T-Moto-Maker-Design-Studio

In an amusing retaliation to Jony Ive’s opinion of Motorola’s Moto Maker, Motorola president described their company as a ‘different philosophy’ as well as directly attacking Apple’s product lineup, describing iPhone prices as ‘outrageous’ in a conversation with the BBC. Read more