January 27, 2012

Kindle Fire Boosts Android Tablets to 39 Percent of Market

Kindle Fire Boosts Android Tablets to 39 Percent of Market

New numbers show Android-based tablets are gaining on the reigning champ, Apple’s iPad. Although Android owns 39 percent of the tablet market, some question whether there’s a ringer: Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The device is the first non-Apple tablet to lay a hand on the iPad, but uses a highly-customized version of Google’s mobile operating system. How much of Android’s gains are due to its barely-recognizable distant cousin, twice removed?

According to Strategy Analytics, which released the numbers this morning, Android tablets captured a record 39 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of 2011. That’s up from 29 percent over the same period in 2010 – a 10 percent jump. Meanwhile, Apple’s lead has been shaved to 57.6 percent, down from 68.2 percent in 2010. Microsoft is just getting on the scoreboard, registering 1.5 percent of the tablet market, an increase from goose egg in 2010.

The researchers lumped the Kindle Fire in with other Android tablets, although the version of Google’s software powering the Amazon device would not be mistaken for the heart of a Samsung or Motorola tablet. The Kindle Fire’s Android is optimized for Amazon’s services, such as e-books, cloud storage and simple video. That sort of customization helped the Kindle Fire become the No. 2 tablet, the first to make Apple even breath a bit heavier. It’s questionable whether Android tablets would see a 10-point jump in market share without help from the Kindle Fire.

The one factor in the Strategy Analytics report: it’s numbers are based on actual sell-through rather than simple shipments. The difference is that sell-through counts the number of products that reach customers’ hands, rather than what’s unloaded onto the shelves of your local electronics retailer.

(Via Cult of Android.)

Cult of Mac

Apple maintains dominance of global tablet market with 58% share in Q4 2011

By Josh Ong

Published: 03:00 AM EST (12:00 AM PST)
Shipments of 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter of calendar 2011 gave Apple a commanding 58 percent of the market, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire helped heat up Android tablet shipments to a record 39 percent, according to one analysis.

Strategy Analytics released on Thursday the results of its latest research for the tablet market in the December quarter. The data showed global shipments jumped up to an all-time high of 27 million units during the period, up 150 percent from 10.7 million in the year ago quarter.

“Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong,” said Peter King, Director at the market research firm, adding that “Apple shrugged off the much-hyped threat from entry-level Android models this quarter.”

Apple stunned Wall Street on Tuesday when it announced record sales of 15.43 million iPads, a 111 percent increase year over year. The analyst consensus leading up to Apple’s announcement of its quarterly results had stood at 13.5 million.

Though some industry watchers had predicted that Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which came out in November, would affect sales of the iPad, Apple executives said there had been no “obvious effect” of the device on sales of its own tablet.

Google’s Android operating system did reach a high last quarter, however, fueled largely by the Fire. The platform’s 10.5 million units represented a 39 percent share of global tablet shipments during the fourth quarter. As such, the firm’s findings show that Android managed to push the iPad below the 60 percent mark as had been previously projected.

“Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem.”

Amazon said last month that it had sold millions of Kindle Fire units, but declined to provide more specific sales figures. Even without concrete numbers to go off of, analyst believe the Fire jumped quickly into second place in the tablet market in its first quarter of availability.

In third place was Microsoft, which managed a paltry one percent share of the tablet market in the quarter.

“The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space,” the report read.

Tablet shipments for the whole year reached 66.9 million units, up 260 percent from last year’s 18.6 million unit figure. The firm’s research also showed that consumers are increasingly preferring tablets over netbooks and entry-level notebooks or desktops.

While non-iPad tablets are only now beginning to gain a foothold in the market after several embarrassing flops from early entrants, Apple has watched its touchscreen tablet surpass PC sales. The company sold more iPads in the fourth quarter than estimates say HP, the world’s largest PC maker, sold computers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that he believes the iPad is not threatened by low-end, limited-function tablets and instead poses a threat to PCs.

“There will come a day when the tablet market in units is larger than the PC market,” he predicted.

That day could come sooner than later, as sales of PCs declined by nearly six percent in the fourth quarter, according to research group Gartner, though Apple’s Mac lineup remained impervious and posted more than 20 percent growth.


Tim Cook: Tablet market will eventually exceed PC market

As part of today’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he believes tablets will eventually eclipse PCs.

“I believe there will come a day when tablet market by unit is larger than the PC market,” he said.

Cook emphasized that Apple would continue to be innovative in the tablet market, and that people want to do multiple things with them. He added that Apple does not see tablets such as iPads being in the same category as devices such as the basic Kindle and Nook. “People who want an iPad will not settle,” Cook said.

A recent report from the Pew Research Center shows that the number of adult Americans who own tablets leaped from 10 percent to 19 percent over the holiday season. While Pew cited the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet being behind the ownership surge, Apple selling 15.43 million iPads in the previous quarter certainly contributed to this as well.

As Apple continues to do more with the iPad, and whatever successors it has, it’s not hard to believe that Cook’s predictions will come to pass within the next few years. (It’s already coming true for Apple — the iPad outsold all Macs combined by nearly three to one last quarter. –Ed)

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Hand-Me-Down iPhones Are Still An Important Market For Apple

Hand-Me-Down iPhones Are Still An Important Market For Apple

PhoPhoto by Jonathan Caves – http://flic.kr/p/5KAAfR

Here’s a new cultural phenomenon: hand-me-down handsets. Owners of Apple’s hugely-popular iPhone are more apt than other cell phone consumers to either hand down their old device or sell it on the secondary market, researchers find. Indeed, Apple and carriers are discovering older iPhones are still money makers even after the latest device has grabbed the spotlight.

According to a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), 49 percent of iPhones are either given as a gift or sold after consumers buy a newer model. That compares with 21 percent of BlackBerry devices and 15 percent of handsets based on Google’s Android software.

The study broke down the hand-me-down iPhone options this way: 31 percent were given as a gift, while 18 percent were resold. Just 9 percent of Android phones were gifted and even fewer — 6 percent — were resold.

Researchers say used iPhones have always been more valuable than other devices, which were nothing more than high-tech paperweights without a carrier contract. Although reports suggest 11 percent of iPhones activated were used, “iPhones also had the advantage of having a useful second life as iPod touch substitutes, which made their value a little clearer from the start,” CIRP co-founder Mike Levin told the Wall Street Journal blog All Things Digital.

In fact, used iPhones mean extra cash that would normally go to pay Apple’s subsidies. The researchers noted AT&T iPhones can also be unlocked and used on other GSM networks. For Apple, the used iPhone means another route to grow its base of ardent followers. This was the intention when the Cupertino, Calif. company lowered the iPhone 4 price to $ 99 and made the iPhone 3GS free with a two-year AT&T contract.

While a great number of current iPhone owners were willing to pay extra fees for an early upgrade to the iPhone 4S, such a move is not always possible. For the rest of us, the secondary-market is the only way we’ll soon get an iPhone. In the case of Apple, a hand-me-down iPhone beats a pair of your brother’s old jeans any day.

Cult of Mac

Slacker Radio tries to break through a flooded streaming music market

One of our final meetings at CES last week was with Slacker Radio’s VP of Marketing, Jonathan Sasse, who sat down in a Las Vegas lobby restaurant to tell us what his company has been up to lately. Slacker Radio is one of the many streaming radio offerings that have apps available on the App Store (Pandora, Rdio, and Spotify are a few other examples), and Sasse says that after a few years of building up the service with content and technology and making sure it can be accessed almost anywhere, his main goal these days is just telling people why they should choose this service over all the others.

His first reason: Content. Sasse says Slacker Radio has more than ten times more music to play than Pandora does, which is a pretty impressive figure. Slacker’s been working hard to make content deals with record labels for quite a while, which means there’s a large library of different tunes to choose from. And in addition to all that music content, Sasse said Slacker has been making a big push for non-music to listen to as well. The service has already added in ESPN Radio and ABC News to listen to, and there’s streaming comedy stations to tune in on as well.

Additionally, while Pandora and other services also have their usual music selection systems for computer-generated radio stations, Slacker’s genre stations are actually curated by real DJs, which is a fact that Sasse said is often hard to get across to the public. Slacker’s hired former radio personalities, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Marco Collins, to actually choose, curate, and even narrate the music on its genre stations, which means that “he curates that station by hand,” Sasse said.

The company is also working on deals with partners to make sure that users can find and access it anywhere. Slacker already has a deal with Ford to show up in the company’s cars, and there are also deals being worked out with phone carriers for special data access, as well as other possible partnerships. Slacker’s plan, Sasse said, was to learn to monetize first and then grow, and it’s time for the company to really make a marketing push and grow that audience. “We’re kind of ready to step on the gas,” he said.

One of the biggest obstacles, so far, has been a boogeyman that we’ve heard a lot about during this year’s CES: Apple’s subscription rules. Slacker Radio also was originally bound by Apple’s rule that you can’t sell subscriptions on the App Store without paying a 30% cut — Slacker at first decided to not sell subscriptions through the app at all, which led to just a login screen being shown when users opened up the app. But the call of Apple’s audience was too much for the company, and Slacker is now able to sell its Radio Plus subscription (the cheaper of two offerings) via an in-app purchase. Users still can’t subscribe to the Premium Radio service through just the app, however. “That margin is still too high,” Sasse said.

In addition to a big marketing push later this year, Sasse said Slacker is still beefing up its library and trying to figure out ways to differentiate its offerings even further. One goal is to work with users to tag and respond to content while they’re listening to it, so the company can provide an even better experience. Already, users can customize ESPN Radio content with their favorite teams and shows, and Sasse wants to bring that kind of customization to other content as well, so listeners can hear exactly what they’re looking for. Slacker is also working on more original content, like band-curated radio stations, and maybe even podcasts, Sasse said.

Finally, Sasse said the last goal is to create a “unified, clean experience” across the entire platform, so that users see the same setup on the website as on the company’s various mobile apps and platforms. Slacker Radio has already done a lot of work on its service, and while the streaming radio market is already full (and growing even more crowded almost by the day), time will tell if the company can push itself in front of the other choices out there and really find a majority audience.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Secondary iPhone market is thriving

We often hear about iPhone sales during Apple’s quarterly earnings report, but we don’t talk about secondary sales very much. This is the market where used iPhones in various conditions are bought and sold. I’ve been an active participant in this exchange, often selling my old iPhone or iPad to get the current year’s model.

AllThingsD details a recent Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) report which reveals that 53 percent of iPhone 4S owners got rid their old handset to buy the new one. These re-purposed handsets were predominantly iPhones (49 percent), followed by BlackBerry (21 percent) and Android (15 percent) phones. Interestingly enough, a lot of the iPhones (31 percent) were gifted, and a smaller percentage (18 percent) were sold.

It’s not only advantageous for customers who can get an iPhone for less than retail (I sold my 16 GB iPhone 4 for $ 275), but carriers benefit, too. Over 89 percent of these gifted iPhones will likely be activated on a wireless carrier. Since the launch of the iPhone 4S, CIRP believes almost 11 percent of iPhone activations are second-hand phones.

CIRP co-founder Mike Levin says secondary sales of the iPhone is a mixed blessing for Apple. The company loses sales because people buy used instead of new phones. Apple, however, gets fresh new customers who will purchase content from the iTunes and the App Store. They may also stay iPhone customers and buy the next model when it’s released.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Today At Cult Of Android: Motorola XOOM To Get Ice Cream Sandwich, MADDEN NFL 12 $.99 In The Android Market, And More…

Today At Cult Of Android: Motorola XOOM To Get Ice Cream Sandwich, MADDEN NFL 12 $  .99 In The Android Market, And More…
What’s this? Android news on Cult of Mac? Who cares? Maybe you don’t, maybe you do. Point is: these are a few of the popular topics going on in the Android world today. Maybe you’d like to know what the competition is up to, or perhaps your aunt received a Kindle Fire she needs to update. Regardless of the reason, having a resource such as Cult of Android allows you to learn more about what’s going on with the competition. You know what they say: the best way to beat the enemy is to know which way they’re moving!/em>

Motorola XOOM To Get Ice Cream Sandwich Soon, Soak Test Happening Now

The guys over at Android Police have confirmed that Motorola’s recent “project” for the Motorola XOOM is, in fact, Ice Cream Sandwich. It seems one of the lucky testers didn’t understand the word “confidential” and spilled the beans on the project. More…

Sony Xperia S Black Up For Pre-Order On Clove UK

The recently announced Sony Xperia S is already up for pre-order at UK retailer Clove. It’s only the black version for now, but you can reserve yours starting today for £389.99 (£467.99). Sony unveiled the Xperia S at the beginning of CES and if you missed it, it features: More…

MADDEN NFL 12 By EA SPORTS Only $ .99 In The Android Market [Deal Alert]

We’re only weeks away from Super Bowl XLVI, and EA Sports has a special treat to get you in the pigskin mood. For a limited time, you can head over to the Android Market and download MADDEN NFL 12 for a mere $ .99. That’s a great deal for football fans looking to enact virtual revenge against rival teams that squashed Super Bowl dreams. Whether your team is going to the big show or not, MADDEN NFL 12 By EA SPORTS puts you in the game with its authentic NFL action. MADDEN NFL 12 features: More…

Samsung Mobile USA Celebrates 1 Million Facebook Followers With A Giveaway – 30 Devices And 100 $ 50 Media Hub Vouchers To Be Given Away

Samsung Mobile USA recently surpassed one million Facebook followers and to celebrate this accomplishment, they’ve decided to hold a Facebook giveaway. Now until 8:59 am ET on Sunday, January 15, 2012, anyone following Samsung on Facebook can fill out one entry form per day. What are the prizes you ask? Let’s take a look at the amazing list of giveaways Samsung has planned. More…

DROID RAZR MAXX To Be Available January 26? Motorola’s Website Thinks So

We caught our first glimpse of the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX at CES with its added (but still irremovable) 3300 mAh battery. Instead of making things easy and allowing users the convenience of swapping out batteries, Motorola decided to create an entirely new version of the DROID RAZR, this time with better battery life for the power-sucking 4G LTE. Although everything besides the new battery remained the same, we weren’t given any sort of release date for the MAXX. The keen eyes over at Droid-Life noticed that Motorola wasn’t so coy, and in fact posted a release date of January 26 on their website. More…

Friday Night Fights: What’s Better? The 3.5-Inch iPhone or Android’s 4+ Inch Superphones?

Laaaaaaaaaaadies and Gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night Fights, a new series of weekly deathmatches between two no-mercy brawlers who will fight to the death — or at least agree to disagree — about which is better: Apple or Google, iOS or Android?

After this week’s topic, someone’s going to be spitting teeth. Our question: What’s Better? The iPhone’s 3.5-Inch Display, or Android’s 4+ Inch Superphones?

In one corner, we have the 900 pound gorilla, Cult of Mac; in the opposite corner, wearing the green trunks, we have the plucky upstart, Cult of Android!

Place your bets, gentlemen! This is going be a bloody one. More…

LG Rumored To Be Getting First Crack At Google’s Newest Google TV Software

Google has consistently teamed up with manufactures to debut new Android software versions in a pure “Google Experience,” void of any manufacturer overlays. We’ve seen this with the smartphone Nexus line, as well as with the Motorola XOOM tablet. When it comes to Google TV however, there were actually two companies that had first crack at it, and as you already know, that didn’t go so well. For Google’s next version of Google TV, they’d like to make a better impression, and rumor has it that they may team up with LG to deliver it. More…

(Can’t find Similar Posts)

Cult of Mac

The computer market with, without the iPad

It’s the question analysts have been asking since the launch of the iPad – is the iPad a PC? Some analysts believe that the iPad should be a new category of devices and its performance compared to similar offerings running Android. Others notice that PC sales are declining, iPad sales are rising and believe there’s a direct connection. If the iPad affects PC sales, then maybe it should be considered a PC.

Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore considered the notion in a recent research note. He produced a chart that showed IDC’s global computer numbers if the iPad was grouped into the PC category. While all the other PC manufacturers show a gradual decline, Apple and its iPad show an almost vertical climb to the top.

This question about whether an iPad is a tablet or PC may get even more difficult to answer when Windows 8 tablets hit the market in the upcoming year. Windows 8 will blur the line between tablet and PC because the same operating system will run on both desktops and tablet devices. When analyzing the PC market in 2012 and beyond, it may make sense to include the Windows 8 tablets and iPads along with the traditional PCs.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Mac Market Share Continues To Rise While PC Shipments Decline [Report]

Mac Market Share Continues To Rise While PC Shipments Decline [Report]

Apple has always been discounted as a major player in terms of PC market share, despite the fact that competitors try desperately to copy Apple products.

The latest market share analysis from Gartner for 2011”s Q4 reveals that Apple was the only PC vendor in the US to see actual growth year over year.

“Continuously low consumer PC demand resulted in weak holiday PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “While economic uncertainty in Western Europe had an effect on consumer PC shipments, expectations of a healthier economic outlook in North America could not stimulate consumer PC demand in that region. The healthy professional PC market as well as growth in emerging markets could not compensate for the weaknesses in mature markets, with overall growth still negative.”

It’s unclear as to how Ultrabooks will shape the global PC market this year, but all of the major players are banking on consumer adoption. Many argue that Apple started the Ultrabook revolution with the MacBook Air. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Gartner believes that “Consumers had very little understanding and awareness of ultrabooks, and only a small group of consumers was willing to pay the price premium for such models.”

Mac Market Share Continues To Rise While PC Shipments Decline [Report]

HP maintained the No. 1 position in the U.S. PC market in the fourth quarter of 2011, but Dell gained ground as HP lost substantial market share in the quarter. Apple enjoyed the strongest growth among the top five vendors. Lenovo’s U.S. PC shipments grew 40 percent year-over-year, but its shipment volume was not enough to squeeze into the top five ranking (it was in the sixth position).

In light of Gartner’s new report, Apple has seen year over year growth in Mac market share of nearly 21%. The complete PC industry suffered a 5.9% decrease in market share between 2010 and 2011. One of Apple’s biggest competitors, HP, just saw a 26.1% year over year decline in US market share.

Apple will hold its 2011 fourth quarter earnings call on January 24th.

(Can’t find Similar Posts)

Cult of Mac

Apple’s iPhone 4S propels iOS smartphone market share to 43% in Oct., Nov. 2011

By Josh Ong

Published: 02:45 AM EST (11:45 PM PST)
The release of the iPhone 4S has driven significant growth for the iOS platform, with one analysis finding that Apple’s share of U.S. smartphone sales grew from 26 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 43 percent in October and November.

According to research firm The NPD Group’s data, Android smartphone sales dropped off from 60 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 47 percent during the two-month period, as noted by TechCrunch. Research in Motion continued its decline, falling from 8 percent to 6 percent during the same time frame, while Windows Phone remained largely irrelevant with just a few percentage points of market share.

NPD characterized 2011 as the year the smartphone industry came down to a “two-horse race” between iOS and Android. A previous report from the firm had pegged combined iOS and Android smartphone market share in the U.S. at a crushing 82 percent during the third quarter of 2011.

With Apple and Google dominating the market, smartphone penetration continues to increase. According to the firm, smartphones comprised 67 percent of handset sales in October and November, compared to 18 percent for messaging devices and just 15 percent for basic phones.

As for individual phone models, Apple dominated the competition in the first two months of the holiday quarter by taking the top three spots for best-selling handsets. The iPhone 4S was the most popular, followed by the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS. The Samsung Galaxy S 4G took fourth place, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S II. Devices by HTC, Motorola, LG and Samsung rounded out the rest of the top 10.

It’s possible Apple will have caught up to Android even more when the month of December is included in market share calculations. Christmas Day iOS activations appear to have outnumbered Android activations by 1.6 million units, though those numbers include tablets and media players in addition to smartphones.

Google Android boss Andy Rubin revealed last month that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day activations totaled 3.7 million devices, while Flurry Analytics reported that 6.8 million new iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day, implying 353 percent growth compared to earlier in the month.

Though Apple’s older iPhone models have continued to sell well, pent up demand for the iPhone 4S is likely the largest growth factor for iOS in the smartphone market. After reaching a peak in the second quarter of calendar 2011, iPhone sales actually declined sequentially in the third quarter of the year as customers held off on purchasing new handsets in anticipation of a refresh.

Apple is widely expected to report soaring iPhone sales when it announces its December quarter results on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The consensus estimate among a poll of professional analysts stands at 29.74 million, while the average forecast among independent analysts and bloggers is 33.4 million units.

The iPhone’s growth momentum could also carry into 2012, as a recent survey of North American consumers revealed that 54 percent plan on buying an iPhone.