IDC: Apple stays atop worldwide tablet sales as leaders lose share to “other” brands

IDC-Q414-tablets-01

IDC is out today with its numbers on tablet shipments for Q4 2014 showing Apple remained on top of the market both last quarter and throughout 2014 despite a slight drop in overall market share.

Apple sold 21.4 million iPads during the holiday quarter last year, which gave the company around 28% market share compared to 33% with 26 million units sold during the same quarter last year. Apple beats out number two Samsung, according to IDC, which grabbed 14.5% of the market in Q4 with 11 million units shipped. Samsung also dipped in overall market share from 17.2% with 13.5 million units shipped in the year ago quarter. Read more

FiftyThree announces gold version of its popular ‘Pencil’ stylus for iPad

Pencil Gold

Earlier this month FiftyThree’s popular Pencil stylus for iPad joined the accessory lineup in Apple’s retail stores, and today FiftyThree is unveiling a new gold brushed and anodized finish variant of its Bluetooth stylus. FiftyThree’s Pencil Gold color matches that latest iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 which are both available in gold versions, while the new Pencil holds the same $59.95 price tag at the existing Walnut option.

Read more

Sprint targeting T-Mobile customers w/ $200 min. trade-in offer for switchers

iPhone 6

Just one day after T-Mobile unveiled its Smartphone Equality program letting loyal customers avoid credit checks, Sprint has announced a new promotion specifically targeting T-Mobile customers with an offer to make switching carriers easier. Sprint’s latest buyback and trade-in offer joins the carrier’s existing ‘Cut Your Bill in Half’ promo which encourages AT&T and Verizon customers to switch; T-Mobile was notably missing from that offer. Here’s how Sprint details the new promotion for T-Mobile customers: Read more

Amazon releases Kindle Textbook Creator for Mac, a cross-platform iBooks Author competitor

Kindle Textbook Creator Beta Mac

Apple first released its iBooks Author Mac app for creating interactive textbooks for the iBooks Store back in 2012, and now Amazon is delivering its own textbook composing Mac app for publishing to the Kindle Store. Kindle Textbook Creator, announced today, is available in beta for both Mac and PC with the competitive benefit of publishing to the cross-platform Kindle Store, which is available on iOS, Mac, Android, and more. Read more

T-Mobile launches Smartphone Equality, expanding base of customers qualified for financing & special deals

code_mobile_20141027_195237_9701-20141027_19-52-37_114

T-Mobile often rolls out “Un-carrier” initiatives that intend to challenge its competitors (which sometimes get copied), and John Legere’s latest announcement for the company is no different. The T-Mobile CEO shared today that the carrier soon start offering the same financing options to customers with weak credit as it provides for well qualified customers. The program is called Smartphone Equality, and here’s how it works… Read more

BlackBerry CEO thinks Apple should be legally required to bring iMessage to BlackBerry

BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (it's OK to laugh)

BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone (it’s OK to laugh)

If you can’t beat ‘em, tell the government to force ‘em to let you beat ‘em. That’s the approach BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to take to mobile software development. Today Chen wrote in a blog post on the BlackBerry website that he believes the issue of net neutrality requires the government to not only promote and protect neutrality not only among wireless and broadband carriers, but also among app and content providers.

Chen argues that it’s pointless to tell Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and other carriers that they can’t discriminate against certain data while still allowing applications and content providers to discriminate against certain platforms.

Read more

Apple grabs 33% smartphone marketshare in South Korea, a historic record for foreign manufacturers in Samsung’s home turf

iphone-6-plus

Apple’s marketshare in South Korea has skyrocketed in the last quarter, driven by strong demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, according to data by Counterpoint. Apple increased its share of sales from 15% to 33%, more than doubling its market power in one quarter.

Historically, Samsung has dominated South Korea, largely due to geographic advantages, but Apple’s gains now threaten the #1 spot. Apple is the first foreign smartphone company ever to surpass 20% marketshare in the region, taking the number 2 spot. Samsung’s marketshare fell from 60% in November to 46% and (now third-place) South Korean LG Electronics fell to 14%.

Read more

Apple commemorates Martin Luther King on its homepage, encouraging employees to volunteer through gift matching

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.12.24Apple has updated its homepage today in commemoration of Martin Luther King, which Apple CEO Tim Cook has often noted as an inspiration for his work. Cook says he has pictures of Martin Luther King on his desk. However, this is the first time Apple has recognised Martin Luther King day (which happens on the third Monday of every January) so openly on its website. Read more

KGI: Apple likely to sell stylus accessory alongside 12-inch ‘iPad Pro’

applestylusitisapplied

According to a new report by KGI, Apple will soon introduce a stylus accessory for its iPad products, targeted at the expected (but still officially unconfirmed) larger-screened ~12 inch iPad Pro. Both products are quoted for release sometime this year, with KGI most recently quoting a Q2 launch window. The stylus would apparently charge using a Lightning cable.

Although KGI reports tend to be based off of supply-chain sources, which have proven very reliable in the past, Ming-Chi Kuo does not allude to any such indicators for the stylus prediction report. Instead, he highlights a number of patent filings in recent years by Apple on tablet styli and a need to differentiate the upcoming more premium iPad aside from screen size.

Read more

Intel CEO says relationship with Apple strong amid rumors of Apple-designed Mac processors

Apple Intel

As we reported earlier this week, often reliable KGI is predicting that Apple will bring its in-house designed A-series processor to an entry-level Mac sometime in 2016 with TSMC and Samsung expected to fab the potential A9X and A10X chips, respectively. As the move to put non-Intel chips in the Mac lineup would be a departure for the company, CNBC asked Intel CEO Brian Krzanich about the chip-maker’s business plans with Apple… Read more

Samsung brings in new design chief from Apple designer Jony Ive’s former firm

Glam_Galaxy-S5_Group

Samsung announced last year that, after negative reviews of the design of its Galaxy S5, its head of mobile design Change Dong-hoon was being replaced by then VP of mobile design Lee Min-hyouck. Today, however, it was revealed that the company is bringing in an outside designer to help refresh its product lineup. A report from the Korea Herald states that Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae to be its new head of design. Don-tae would lead design of all Samsung gadgets, including smartphones.

Read more

Bank of America announces 1.1 million cards using Apple Pay, new grocery stores add support

apple-pay copy

Bank of America, which partnered with Apple to rollout Apple Pay at launch last October, has announced new customer data on adoption of the iPhone-based mobile payment service. The bank’s most recent quarterly earnings reveal that nearly 800,000 of its customers have begun using Apple Pay with a total of about 1.1 million debit and credit cards activated.

In addition to the latest customer data from Bank of America, support for paying with Apple Pay is popping up in another grocery store chain… Read more