Smartphones are now a 95% Android-iOS global duopoly w/ Android closing in on 80% by itself

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Research firm IDC is out today with its latest report on the worldwide smartphone market highlighting shipments and marketshare by operating system for last quarter and all of 2013. Together Android and iOS made up around 95.7% of all smartphone shipments in the last quarter of 2013 (up from 91.2% in the year ago quarter), but the real story is how much Android has grown compared to iOS. As of last quarter, Android made up almost 80% of that 95.7% and shipped close to 800 million of the billion smartphones shipped during 2013. Read more

Apple to hold fiscal Q4 earnings conference call on Monday, October 28th

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Update: Live webcast will be at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq413

Apple will hold its quarterly earnings call to announce results on October 28th, as noted on Apple’s investor website. Typically, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer will read prepared statements about the company’s performance, before opening the call to a question and answer session for analysts. The call will begin at 2PM Pacific / 5PM Eastern time. Apple will publish a press release reporting their results about half an hour before the call is due to begin.

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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

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Microsoft Surface: ‘a car that flies and floats?’

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At Apple’s Q4 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked his thoughts on Microsoft’s new Surface tablet PC. Cook called it “a fairly compromised, confusing product,” and he compared it to a car that flies and floats:

 “I haven’t personally played with a Surface yet… what we’re reading about it is… it’s a fairly compromised, confusing product… the toughest thing you do with a product is make hard trade offs.. we’ve really done that with the iPad.. the user experience is absolutely incredible… i suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but i don’t think it would do all of those things well.. i think when people look at the iPad over competitive offerings they are going to really want an iPad

Cook also noted that iPhone 5 is still seeing delays but supplies are getting better: Read more

Analysts revise estimates ahead of Apple’s Q4 earnings call

Apple is all set to announce its fiscal Q4 financial earnings today, during a conference call with company executives scheduled for 2 p.m. PST/ 5 p.m. EST. iPhone 5 sales are expected to be a topic of conversation, of course, while recent predictions from 59 analysts provided an average estimate of 26.3 million iPhones total for the quarter. Today, Forbes posted revised estimates from 36 of the analysts that also includes predictions for iPhone, iPod, Mac, and other product sales.

A few things we already know from CEO Tim Cook’s announcements during the iPad mini event: 5 million iPhones 5s sold during opening weekend, 3 million new iPod nano and touch units sold, and 200 million iOS 6 devices. Cook also noted the company has now sold 100 million iPads in 2.5 years and more iPads in June than any PC manufacturers’ entire PC lineup.

In Q3 Apple reported revenues of $35 billion. As for Q4, Apple predicted during its last conference call that revenues for the fourth quarter would be around $34 billion with diluted earnings per share of about $7.65. Today, Forbes pointed us to updated estimates from Wall Street showing a consensus of $8.81 on sales of $36.02 billion.

Forbes has also posted revised estimates from 36 analysts (below). Among the 20 pros in the group, the average estimate is $8.75 on sales of $35.51 billion. The independents, on the other hand, have earnings of $9.66 on sales of $37.23 billion.

As you can see from the chart of the 36 analysts below (pros in blue), the high-end of iPhone estimates hit the 32 million-unit mark, while one independent has Mac sales as high as 5.70 million units:

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Digitimes’ latest rumor: new iPhone coming September, 7-inch iPad in August, and new 10-inch iPad in Q4

The ever-sketchy DigiTimes does not have the best reputation when it comes to predicting Apple product launches, but today the publication is reporting Apple OEM Pegatron began receiving orders for a new iPhone and a next-generation 10-inch iPad. It also reported Apple plans to release a 7-inch iPad in August:

Pegatron Technology reportedly has landed orders for a new-generation iPhone to be launched in September and a 10-inch iPad to be launched in the fourth quarter, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Pegatron is currently an OEM for the iPhone 4S and new iPad… A 7-inch iPad, which reportedly will be released in August, will be manufactured by Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry).

With the release of Apple’s new iPad last March, we find it hard to imagine Apple plans to break its yearly release window with a new 10-inch iPad, in addition to a 7-inch variant in August. We heard many rumors lately about a 7-inch or 7.85-inch tablet, indicating Apple could be experimenting with smaller screen sizes. In April, a translated report from a Chinese publication claimed Apple was prepping 7.85-inch iPad minis to launch in Q3 for $250 to $300, but we have not heard anything concrete on Apple’s plans to release a 7-inch tablet. As for iPhone, we are still expecting an October launch at this point.
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Apple to blow past HP and become top personal computer vendor on strong holiday sales of Macs, iPhones and iPads

Counting tablet PCs as personal computers, Apple is about to overtake Hewlett-Packard and become the world’s top personal computer vendor. All should be known soon when Apple reveals holiday quarter earnings in a conference call with analysts scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24.

HP CEO Meg Whitman was first to admit that such a turn of event neither would nor be entirely unsurprising given Apple’s lead in the post-PC world. Whitman said back in November, “It’s possible if you integrate tablets.” Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote that, based on a poll of 42 analysts, iPad sales could hit the 14 million mark, a notable increase over the 11.12 million iPads sold during the September quarter.

Fortune’s estimates range from 11.7 million (Hendi Susanto of Gabelli & Co) to 19.47 million iPads (Alexis Cabot of the Apple Finance Board). According to research firm Gartner, HP shipped 14.7 million PCs in the last quarter, down 16 percent from a year ago.

Now, Apple in this last quarter cleared 4.89 million Macs, and its holiday sales are estimated to exceed 5 million units. Combined, iPad and Mac will have sold over 20 million units during the holiday quarter, enough to give the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology powerhouse a few million units lead over HP, the world’s leading computer vendor.

Estimated unit sales translate into a 17.6-percent market share for Apple versus 13 percent for HP, representing a landmark achievement by any measure. Again, that’s assuming tablets are counted as personal computers. As noted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu, Apple has never held the top spot. Its Apple II system peaked at 15.8 -percent share in 1984 and the Mac peaked at 12 percent in 1992. Interesting that Lenovo CEO praised Apple last week, saying about Android on tablets that “We still need to learn something, we still need to improve something”.

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Apple announces Q4 earnings call set for October 18th

Apple has just confirmed via press release that they will be holding their Q4 (fiscal) earnings call for October 18th (found on investor page last month). The call will be held at 5 PM EST, and we’ll be covering it as it happens.

Apple will also be streaming the call over the web. There’s sure to be a lot of iPhone 4S and iOS 5 talk. Stay tuned!