Gartner: iPhone worldwide sales topped Samsung in holiday quarter, but Samsung won the year

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Gartner is out with its latest report tracking smartphone movement during the previous year and more specifically the holiday quarter.

Headlining the report is news that over 1 billion smartphones were sold in 2014, a data point IDC first said was hit in the previous year, adding that two out of three phones sold last year qualified as smartphones.

Gartner’s data shows Apple topped Samsung in worldwide smartphone sales with 74,832,000 units shipped during the holiday quarter, just 1.8 million units more than Samsung, giving Apple 20.4% market share for the quarter, a virtual tie with Samsung’s 19.9%. Read more

Samsung and HTC unveil 2015 flagships, events ripe with Apple jokes and comparisons

From 9to5Google: 

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As Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona, Samsung and HTC have both unveiled their respective 2015 flagship devices. First off, HTC this morning unveiled the One M9. The device features a Snapdragon 810 processor under-the-hood with a 2,840mAh battery to go with it. HTC infamously ditched Megapixels with its One M8 flagship, but this time around, the company is touting that the One M9 feature a 20MP rear-facing shooter with a f/2.2, 27.8mm sapphire lens and 4k video recording.

Visually, the One M9 looks almost identical to its predecessor…

Read more

Ericsson asks ITC to block iPhones from U.S. market in patent negotiating tactic

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Ericsson, an early pioneer in cellphone technology, has upped the ante in a patent dispute with Apple by asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the import of iPhones into the country.

Ericsson owns patents to a number of fundamental technologies used in all cellphones, including LTE, and Apple had been paying royalties for these up until mid-January when the license fell due for renewal, reports Bloomberg …  Read more

Report: Apple poaching Samsung engineers w/ chip & battery expertise

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While Apple has notably been engaged in a back-and-forth poaching war with electric vehicle maker Tesla in recent months, a new report from The Korea Times claims that Apple has also been targeting “experts in next-generation technology” from Samsung Electronics. Citing an anonymous official from Samsung, the report highlights that the iPhone maker has a history of picking off chip experts from the Korean company using competitive compensation and “greater independence” as engineers. Read more

IDC: Xiaomi’s growth tops Samsung in China, but Apple is making a dent too

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According to the latest numbers from IDC, Xiaomi—the rising star of the smartphone industry—has managed to pass up Samsung in China. In 2013, Xiaomi trailed Samsung’s almost 19% market share by a solid 13 percentage points (at just 5.3%), and was only the 5th largest maker of smartphones in China. Things changed in 2014. Last year, Xiaomi finished off with 12.5% of the market, almost a half-point more than Samsung at 12.1%, taking the top spot and passing not just Samsung, but Lenovo, Huawei, and Coolpad as well.

Interestingly, though, the latest numbers also show that Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus contributed to a decent size dent in both Samsung and Xiaomi’s market footprint in Q4 of last year. Read more

Apple granted patent for Google Cardboard/Samsung-Oculus style VR headset for iPhone

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Apple is about to go head-to-head with Google on smartwatches and also encroaching on Google’s territory with research into electric and possibly autonomous vehicles, but what about virtual reality? Today we get a look at yet another area in which Apple might compete with Google as the US Patent and Trademark office grants a patent to Apple for a Google Cardboard/Samsung-Oculus style VR headset for iPhone (via PatentlyApple). Read more

The iPhone and iPad reportedly captured 93% of mobile device profits in holiday quarter, 79% across 2014

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Apple reported the largest profit ever recorded by a public company in the holiday quarter, mostly driven by sales of 74 million iPhones with an average selling price of $687. According to Cannacord, this meant Apple captured 93% of handset smartphone profits. Perhaps more staggering is that it claims Apple dominated on similar levels across the entire of 2014 — with 79% of mobile device profits.

The analyst expects continued growth for the iPhone for the next few users, with an estimated 650 million iPhone users by the end of 2018.

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

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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

Apple ties for title of world’s largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2014

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Following on the heels of a record-breaking quarter for Apple, Strategy Analytics has crunched the numbers and crowned Apple the king of the smartphone vendors for Q4 2014—or rather, one of the kings. It seems the Cupertino company managed to tie rival Samsung for the title.

Both companies shipped 74.5 million handsets during the quarter, though Samsung still outsold Apple in terms of the annual total by a hefty margin. Those quarterly sales gave both companies an equal marketshare of 19.6%.

Read more

Anticipated iPhone numbers would see Apple threatening Samsung’s smartphone lead

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If Apple does indeed report iPhone sales in line with analyst expectations of 66.5M units, the company could be closing in on the market share lead Samsung has held in the smartphone market since 2011, reports the WSJ.

Research company Canalys notes that Apple’s anticipated growth in iPhone sales coincides with a dramatic drop in sales of Samsung smartphones.

Samsung’s share has been falling, hurt by lackluster sales of its flagship models and the rise of homegrown brands in fast-growing emerging markets. In the third quarter, Samsung shipped about 78 million smartphones, about 25% share of the global market, down from 34% a year earlier, Canalys said.

While that still leaves Samsung well ahead for now, it’s a trendline which could see Apple regain the lead it once held …  Read more

Korean report supports KGI prediction that Samsung will make 75% of A9 chips for next iPhone

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Korean news site MK Business News (via Reuters) is reporting that Samsung will make 75% of the A9 chip for the next iPhone. This matches an earlier detailed prediction by KGI Research, which stated that the balance of the chips would be made by Global Foundry, and is in line with a statement by Samsung which last year confirmed it as a major supplier of the new chip.

The Samsung-fabbed chips will, says the report, be made in the USA …  Read more