Gartner: iOS down, Android doubles share

The delayed iPhone launch gave Android vendors additional three months to gain market share whilst negatively affecting Apple, sending shares down ten percent over the past month. Worry not, though – strong iPhone 4S launch and price reductions for both the iPhone 4 and 3GS models are seen as catalyst enabling Apple to regain lost share from Android manufacturers during the current quarter.  Also, remember Apple is still taking more than half of all smartphone profits.

The gist of today’s report from Gartner pegged Apple’s share of the global smartphone market at 15 percent on sales of 17.29 million units, a 21 percent annual increase. But the smartphone market grew at an even faster clip so Apple actually recorded a decline from the 16.6 percent in Q3 2010 on sales of 13.48 million units. Android, meanwhile, has gone from 25.3 percent in Q3 2010 to 52.5 percent in Q3 2011, more than doubling its market share. Together, iOS and Android accounted for more than two-thirds of all smartphones sold (talk about duopoly).

Apple is also under pressure as quarterly iPhone sales decreased compared to the 20.34 million iPhones shipped during the June quarter. Principal research analyst Roberta Cozza said some consumers “were waiting for a rumored new iPhone and associated price cuts on older iPhone models; this affected U.S. sales particularly”.

Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter because of its strongest ever preorders for the iPhone 4S in the first weekend after its announcement. Markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to Apple, representing 16 percent of overall sales and showing that the iPhone has a place in emerging markets.

iPhone 4S launches in India, the world’s second-largest market, on November 25. Pre-orders sold out in Hong Kong in 10 minutes and the online Apple Store is now offering unlocked iPhone 4S units. The company pledged to roll out the handset to a hundred carriers in 70 countries by the year’s end, the fastest iPhone roll out yet. Supply chain sources claimed Apple cut holiday quarter iPhone 4S orders, but analysts rushed to dispute that report. How does Apple fare in the whole handset market? Read on…


Source: Gartner (November 2011)

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The competition: Google introduces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus

The keynote went a little bad over in Hong Kong with both the Facial Recognition and the Quick Response features not working or crashing the device. Overall though, there are some interesting new features that certainly differentiate Android from iOS and Windows Phone 7.

As for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone, it has a 5-megapixel camera which has to be a letdown when compared to 8 megapixel cameras that are standardizing on the high end across the industry. Its most impressive feature (unless you are trying to squeeze it into your pocket) has to be the 4.65-inch 720P display. Although Pentile, which means not every pixel gets RGB dots, it does get close to Apple’s 326 PPI Retina display with a 316 PPI density. Like the as yet unpopular Honeycomb tablets, it doesn’t have any front facing buttons but has screen buttons that shift around as well as all of those new Android 4.0 features.

Check 9to5Google.com for ongoing coverage.

Curtains come off early at flagship Hong Kong Apple Store at IFC Center, revealing beautiful inside

Last week, we posted a picture from the same vantage point of the un-opened flagship Hong Kong Apple Store at IFC Center. Today however, one of our wonderful tipsters has sent over a first look at the new Hong Kong Apple Store with the curtains taken down. As you can see, this Apple Store is looking absolutely beautiful!

In the inside, you’ll notice employees beginning their training for the grand opening this Saturday, September 24th. Notice that glass staircase running through the center?

Thanks Tim!

Check out the full gallery after the break:

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‘Apple is only scratching the surface in China’ with 6X growth and $3.8B quarter?


Apple’s beautiful Bejing Retail Store

Apple felt incredibly bullish on China in today’s conference call, rattling off numbers that even Tim Cook admitted they wouldn’t have believed if they had been told a year ago.  How big is China for Apple?

In the year ago quarter, Apple counted $630 Million in revenues from China.  Today, Apple grew that by a factor of six to $3.8B of the total $28+B of their total revenues for the quarter.  That’s 13.3% of Apple’s total business by revenue which now comes from China.

To put that in perspective, $3.8B would have been over two-thirds of Apple’s 2007 (iPhone release) same quarter revenue and more than Apple’s whole global revenue for June ’05.

But ‘we’re only scratching the surface’.

Cook talked again about pre-paid phones (which are dominant in China) and a deal with the 600M-user China Mobile which is said to be in the wings.  Apple is also said to be exploring a cheaper iPhone offering which would appeal to a much broader swath of the Chinese market (Indian too).  This comes against a backdrop of Google Chairmen Eric Schmidt who is also bullish on Asia for Android.

Apple is also being aggressive in their China retail stores, choosing to open larger flagship stores which take more time to build.  CFO Peter Oppenheimer mentioned that the Hong Kong Flagship store at the IFC would be opening this quarter.  But Apple has an order of magnitude more stores opening up across China.  Apple now sells through four stores.  They have over 30 planned just for the next year.

If Apple’s growth in China stays on the current pace, which ‘scratching the surface’ seems to at least partially imply, China will account for over $20B in revenue at this time next year – which could start approach Apple’s US revenues even if Apple continues to grow globally as it has.

Below is an edited transcript of Cook’s remarks on China from Macworld: Read more

Monster Apple Store in the heart of Hong Kong’s IFC center to open this fall? (update: new California store, too!)


The gigantic glass display spans three 6 lanes of traffic.

Apple’s Hong Kong Flagship store just got the curtain treatment according to a 9to5mac reader Nastypenman.  The IFC center is the gateway to Hong Kong from the Airport rail link (ferry terminal, subways, etc) and is in the heart of Central, Hong Kong’s premiere shopping and business district.  The IFC had evict or relocate about 20 stores on two-three levels, circled below in this Macrumors report from March.  It could be Apple’s most expensive store to date (rent-wise) as Hong Kong’s prices are some of the highest in the world and this is about the most sought-after spot in Hong Kong.

Apple is also rumored to be building another local store, possibly in Pacific Place a short walk away.

A very Apple-like internal picture below: Read more

Foxconn closes all of its electronic parts polishing workshops for up to 2 days


scene from Foxconn explosion

According to the WSJ, Foxconn has suspended production across many of its plants in China for two days while the government investigates the explosion that killed three people and injured many more.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., a Taiwan-based company better known by the trade name Foxconn that operates dozens of factories across China, said it closed all of its workshops that handle polishing for electronic parts and products pending further inspections.

At issue appears to be the flammable aluminum dust that comes from polishing parts like the iPad 2’s aluminum back.  A student group out of Hong Kong called Sacom published a report on the dangers of flammable airborne aluminum dust in a report on May 6, saying workers complained about inhaling the dust and about poor ventilation. It isn’t clear whether the workshops referred to in Sacom’s report include the site of the accident.

The news is another setback for Foxconn, which is barely past a recent outbreak of public suicides.

Should the Chengdu production capacity not be restored anytime soon, Hon Hai may have to hire more expensive labor in Shenzhen, said Arthur Hsieh, an analyst at UBS.

While Foxconn has dominated the contract manufacturing industry until now, analysts say Hon Hai competitors like Singapore’s Flextronics Inc. and Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc. could try to woo some of its customers, including Apple.

The prospective plant closures and their affect on Apple’s iPad were assessed by Digitimes earlier todayRead more