comScore: Apple increases lead as top smartphone vendor in US, iOS steals market share from Android

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Research firm comScore is out with its usual monthly report that ranks the top smartphone OEMs and platforms for the three-month period ending in February. Apple continues to grow its lead this month as top OEM in the U.S., jumping 3.9-percent from November to 38.9-percent of the market and increasing its lead on the second biggest OEM by subscribers, Samsung:

Samsung ranked second with 21.3 percent market share (up 1 percentage point), followed by HTC with 9.3 percent share, Motorola with 8.4 percent and LG with 6.8 percent.

Feb-Comscore-Apple-PlatformsIt’s important to point out that the shipped vs. sold argument doesn’t apply to comScore’s results, as its data comes from surveys tracking smartphone subscribers and usage and not sales or units shipped. Google grabs the spot as top smartphone platform at the end of February, but Apple continues to close the gap capturing 38.9-percent of the market (up from 35 percent) compared to Google’s 51.7-percent (down from 53.7-percent): Read more

Apple closes gap on Samsung for connected device sales in Q4 as market hits 1B devices

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Research firm IDC is out today with its latest report on the smart-connected device market, and it includes worldwide shipments of desktop PCs, notebook PCs, smartphones, and tablets. IDC predicted the market in total grew 29.1-percent year over year in 2012, crossing 1 billion units shipped and hitting a total value of $576.9 billion. According to the report, Apple significantly closed the gap on Samsung during the last quarter of the year. It jumped from 15.1-percent in Q3 to 20.3-percent of unit shipments in Q4 2012. That brings the company up right behind market leader Samsung, which dropped slightly from 21.8-percent to 21.2-percent in the fourth quarter:

Looking specifically at the results for the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), combined shipments of desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets, and smartphones was nearly 378 million and revenues were more than $168 billion. In terms of market share, Apple significantly closed the gap with market leader Samsung in the quarter, as the combination of Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPad Mini brought Apple up to 20.3% unit shipment share versus 21.2% for Samsung.

Not surprisingly, Apple dominated Samsung when it came to revenue share. It took in 30.7-percent of the market compared to just 20.4-percent for Samsung by revenue:

On a revenue basis for the fourth quarter, Apple continued to dominate with 30.7% share versus 20.4% share for Samsung.

Apple’s increase is likely thanks to strong iPad and iPad mini sales, as growth in the market was “largely driven by 78.4-percent year-over-year growth in tablet shipments.” IDC expected tablet shipments to outgrow desktop PCs by the end of this year, while the tablet market could surpass the portable PC market in 2014 and provide Apple with even more opportunity to outgrow Samsung for total connected smart device shipments this year and next: Read more

Chevrolet kicks off new ad campaign highlighting Siri Eyes Free feature in 2013 Sonic

GM announced in November 2012 that it would bring the Siri’s Eyes Free feature to the Chevy Sonic and Spark vehicles in 2013, and it officially became the first company last month to offer the enhanced Siri integration in its vehicles. GM has today kicked off a new marketing campaign to highlight the feature that allows drivers to activate Siri through a dedicated button on the steering wheel in its 2013 Sonic.

Apple originally announced a number of automakers that would include support for the feature in future vehicles, including: BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. Honda confirmed earlier this year that Siri Eyes Free would be available in its 2013 Accord, Acura RDX, and ILX models.

Some more videos showing off Siri Eyes Free are below:

Read more

Report: Hon Hai source says 46 to 55-inch Apple TV set in testing, no panel supplier confirmed, 2013 launch unlikely

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Last week, a report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple’s much rumored HDTV set is now in the “early stages of testing” with partners Hon Hai Precision and Sharp. Today, we get more details surrounding the rumored product from the Taiwan national news agency’s English language Focus Taiwan. According to the report, citing sources close to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the supplier is testing Apple television designs, but the possibility of the product shipping in 2013 is “unlikely”:

Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.

While the report from WSJ claimed Sharp was involved in the initial testing of the product with Hon Hai, Focus Taiwan’s source claimed the possibility of Sharp displaying panels for the product is “not high”:

Asked whether the new Apple TV will use display panels produced by Japan’s Sharp Corp., the source said the possibility is not high.

The source also claimed that Apple is looking at displays ranging from 46 inches to 55 inches, meaning the company likely wouldn’t rely on Sharp’s plants best suited for production of 60+ inch panels: Read more