Apple maintains lead as top smartphone vendor in US, hits 20 percent of worldwide PC market

Following a report from Strategy Analytics earlier this month that had Apple as the No.1 mobile phone vendor in the United States for the first time, research firm comScore is out today with its stats for the three-month period ending in December 2012. ComScore looked at the top smartphone subscribers by OEM and the top smartphone platforms, which doesn’t include mobile phones other than smartphones like Strategy Analytics’ report.

According to the report, Apple was able to increase its share from 34.4-percent in the September quarter to 36.3-percent last quarter. Samsung also increased its share—although was significantly behind Apple but still up from 18.7-percent in the quarter before—to 21 percent of the market. HTC, Motorola, and LG rounded out the last three spots in the category with 10.2-percent, 9.1-percent, and 7.1-percent of the U.S. market in December. While Apple was able to grab the top smartphone vendor position, Android maintained its lead over iOS as the top smartphone platform during the quarter.

Google captured 53.4-percent of smartphone subscribers with Android in Q4, up from 52.5-percent in September. In comparison, Apple came in at 36.3-percent and posted a slightly larger increase than Android with two points from 34.3-percent the quarter before. Growth for iOS and Android, like in previous months, comes at the expense of declines for BlackBerry and Microsoft.

Canalys also released a report today that tracked worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter—a category that also includes iPads. According to the report, Apple continued its lead in the PC market by hitting over 20 percent for the first time with over 27 million units shipped. Macs accounted for 4 million of those units, while the report estimated iPad mini made up about half of the remaining 23 million iPads:

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Today’s iPhone 5 Evasi0n Jailbreak sees record numbers: Here are 10 cool things to do with your newly-Jailbroken iOS device

If you have not jailbroken an iOS device in a while, you might wonder what all the excitement is surrounding today’s launch of the evasi0n jailbreak tool for iOS 6. (Note: Some people are having issues with the default Apple Weather app after install.)

Over the years, many features that were once jailbreak-only made their way to iOS or via third parties through the App Store. However, there are still many things you can do with jailbreak tweaks that aren’t possible on non-jailbroken devices. With over 270,000 active users at any one time on evasi0n today, we put together a list of some of the most interesting and useful tweaks that caught our attention in recent months:
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FTC recommends Apple, Google, BlackBerry, Microsoft, & app devs improve mobile privacy disclosures

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 10.51.38 AMThe Federal Trade Commission released a report today that recommends how owners of mobile platforms can better inform consumers about how their data is being handled. The FTC named a number of companies in its report, including: Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft, as well as “application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations.”

The recommendations follow the FTC updating its online child privacy law to require parental consent before collecting data from children under the age of 13. It also came as Path agreed to pay an $800,000 settlement to the FTC forviolations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protections Act. Path posted a response to the FTC settlement on its website.

In the report, titled “Mobile Privacy Disclosures, Building Trust Through Transparency,” the FTC issued a number of recommendations. The FTC recommended that all platform owners “Provide just-in-time disclosures to consumers and obtain their affirmative express consent before allowing apps to access sensitive content like geolocation.” It recommended app developers take the same measures in addition to having “a privacy policy and make sure it is easily accessible through the app stores.” The report also suggested that companies implement a ” a one-stop “dashboard” into their operating systems so consumers can easily view how their data is being handled by specific apps.

Other recommendations the FTC asked Apple and others to implement include new icons that “depict the transmission of user data” and a “Do Not Track” option for users to easily opt out of their data being sent to third parties.

“FTC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report.  Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment.  Moving forward, as the mobile landscape evolves, the FTC will continue to closely monitor developments in this space and consider additional ways it can help businesses effectively provide privacy information to consumers,” the report states.

A full list of the recommendations made by the FTC for mobile platform owners, advertising agencies, and app developers is below: Read more

Report: iOS and Android capture record 92 percent of global smartphone market in Q4 2012

Strategy-Analytics-2013-Jan-Q412

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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Report: Apple bumps Android from top spot in US smartphone market on strength of iPhone 5 sales

On the strength of iPhone 5 sales, iOS has once again reached the top spot for smartphone market share in the United States, according to new data from Research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech (via Reuters). According to the report that tracked smartphone sales over the last 12 weeks ending Oct. 28, iOS now accounts for 48.1-percent of the U.S. smartphone market. That’s up 25 percent year-over-year, and it officially bumps Android into second place, but is still just shy of the record 49.3-percent it was able to capture earlier this year.

Android was down from 63.3-percent marketshare over the same 12-week period last year to just 46.7-percent today. As for the rest of the world, you can see from Kantar’s data for other countries in the chart below that Android still dominates in most other countries, including: 54.2-percent of the market in Britain, 81.7-percent of the market in Spain, and 73.9-percent in Germany.

Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “The last time we saw iOS overtake Android in the US was when the iPhone 4S was released and Apple managed to retain its lead for three consecutive periods. This time we predict that Apple will beat its previous high of 49.3% and achieve its highest ever share of the US smartphone market within the next two periods.”

The report also provided some data on iPhone 5 sales, noting 62 percent came from existing Apple device owners upgrading. Apple also captured 13 percent of iPhone 5 sales from Android switchers: Read more

Another US government agency drops BlackBerry, plans switch to iPhone 5

Following the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announcing it would end its contract with RIM and purchase $2.1 million worth of iPhones, Bloomberg reported today that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will also make the switch. The agency said in a notice posted to its website that BlackBerrys have been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate” while announcing plans to purchase iPhone 5’s as replacements:

The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates plane accidents, disclosed its plan to switch to Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5 in a document posted last week to a federal website. The BlackBerrys have been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate,” according to the NTSB’s notice.

While the agency only has about 400 employees, last month’s announcement from the U.S. Immigration and Customs agency means RIM will lose additional 17,600 government employees to the iPhone in the near future. According to the document posted by the Transportation Safety Board, the agency “requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carry out its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations.” RIM, however, is still counting on many government customers to upgrade to BlackBerry 10… Read more