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Android and Apple Eat Into RIM and Microsoft Smartphone Marketshare





Nonsmartphone

Market research company comScore published their latest estimates of market shares taken by the main players on the mobile market. Apple’s share continues to slowly move upward with 11.2 percent of all U.S. Mobile Subscribers.


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Apple could collect $10 for every Android device sold



settlement

Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an interview with Bloomberg that if Apple were to abandon its lawsuits against Android smartphone manufacturers and instead negotiate licensing fees for its patented technology, Apple could collect $10 for each Android device sold. But as far as we know Apple is not interested in licensing Apple's patented technology to Android manufacturers. Steve Jobs called the Android products as the “stolen” ones and wanted “to go thermonuclear war” against Android.

"A scorched-earth strategy is bad news because it doesn't optimize the value of their patents -- because people will get around them," Rivette told Bloomberg.

"It's like a dam. Using their patents to keep rivals out is like putting rocks in a stream. The stream is going to find a way around. Wouldn't it be better to direct where the water goes?"

Such approach makes mobile devices manufacturers to modify their infringing products and work around Apple's intellectual property. For example, earlier this month, the U.S. International Trade Commission found that HTC was in violation of an Apple patent related to "Data Detectors," but only a day later HTC said it was testing new devices that work around Apple's patent.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, December 29th, 2011. 23:00

60beat Offers Dual Analog Joystic GamePad For iOS Devices



There have been a few attempts at releasing a physical game contrloller for Apple’s smartphone. ThinkGeek iCade has apparently been the most successful among them.


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Written by maxim

Thursday, December 29th, 2011. 22:31

Argentina blocks iPhone sales in bid to strengthen economy



Argentina

The Argentinean government has temporarily blocked sales of certain electronics including Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry. Such measures were attempted in order to stabilize the country's ailing economy, to slow rising inflation and correct the disparity between the pesos and U.S. dollar, while suggesting that companies must build plants in the country to resume sales.

In order to continue smartphone sales in Argentina, Apple must build a plant or partner with a local company to manufacture the iPhone. RIM is reportedly looking to partner with an existing plant so that it can continue sales in the region. Other handset makers like Motorola, Nokia and Samsung have already moved or built plants in Argentina's Tierra del Fuego free zone after the government passed the Internal Revenue Law of 2009, which added a 20.48 percent tax to the existing 21 percent VAT for certain imported electronic devices.

According to Argentinean site Fortunaweb, iPhone and BlackBerry sales comprised 60 percent of the total market in October. And to strengthen the Argentinean economy, the government made decision to support local manufactures, banning some electronics manufactures from sales in this country. The Economist reported in December article that "a slowing year-to-year GDP blamed on decreased demand for agricultural commodities and huge government subsidies have caused the country to enact tighter controls on capital flight".




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011. 14:19

Apple to launch iPhone 4S in mainland China before Jan. 23



iphone4spr

China's People's Daily reported this week that  Apple had met all of the requirements for the iPhone 4S to launch in mainland China, and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted China Compulsory Certification for the iPhone 4S on December 22. The report claims that the handset will be launched in mainland China before the Chinese New Year that takes place on Monday, January 23, 2012.

Filings with the Chinese government show a WCDMA phone manufactured by Apple was granted approval. Though it does not specifically reveal that the device is the iPhone 4S, it is listed as model number A1431, which is the same number Apple used to obtain a network entry permit for the iPhone 4S. The approval process and anticipated release of the iPhone 4S has dragged out in China as Apple has quickly launched its latest smartphone in other major markets around the world. It's been the fastest rollout ever for a new iPhone model.

Some regional branches of China Unicom have already started taking preorders for the iPhone 4S in anticipation of the device’s launch. Moreover, Siri, Apple's voice-controlled personal assistant application, is rumored to gain support for Mandarin by March of 2012 that will obviously drive sales of the iPhone 4S in China.




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Foxconn to double size of iPhone plant making it biggest in world



Foxconn-Production

Chinese language newspaper China Daily reported on Monday  that Apple’s Chinese manufacturing partner  - Foxconn – plans to double the size of its iPhone-producing plant at Foxconn Science Park in Zhengzhou that now produces over 200,000 iPhones a day. The company is expected to spend $1.1 billion to expand the plant that, after the massive expansion, would bring Foxconn $20 billion in sales revenue in 2012. Moreover, the plant is expected to become the largest smartphone-producing facility in the world after the $1.1 billion construction.

Apple's primary iPhone manufacturer will increase the number of production lines to 95 and add to its over 1 million mainland China employees, 130,000 of whom work at the Zhengzhou facility. Foxconn currently employs a total of 1.2 million people and supplies electronics to a number of worldwide companies.

Foxconn also owns a production facility in Brazil. The plant also produces some iPhone models. The company now tries to come to a decision with local authorities concerning a $12 billion investment to build an iPad manufacturing plant in the region. Rumors claim that Foxconn will begin producing the iPad 3 with Retina Displays in January.




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Dominant U.S. App Store may be surpassed by China in 2012



ChinaApp

According to a new study released by market research firm Distimo, despite the proliferation of handsets running Google's Android OS, which now accounts for 53 percent of the mobile smartphone market, Apple's U.S. App Store remains the top marketplace for mobile downloads. But Chinese App Store sales continue to grow and may even bypass Apple's U.S. App Store numbers in 2012.

Over the course of 2011, Apple's iPhone app sales saw a steady decline month-to month, though Distimo blames the lull on the later than usual release of the iPhone 4S. The lowest point of the year occurred in September when anticipation for the 4S was highest, and was followed by a spike upon the handset's debut. Peak revenue for the U.S. App Store came a little over a month after the newest version of Apple's smartphone was released. The same "anticipation effect" was seen in app sales for the iPad, as downloads declined in January and February only to pick up steam after the iPad 2 was released in March.

China now demonstrates a strong increase in downloads through 2011 and may surpass the U.S. App Store in 2012.


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Apple execs have discussed the 'future of TV' with major media companies



hdtv

Apple executives met with executives from media companies to discuss "their vision for the future of TV," according to The Wall Street Journal. The main aim of Apple was to discuss how users could access content "across phones, tablets and TVs," how Apple would stream content to users in new ways, allowing them to continue watching video across multiple devices like a TV, tablet and smartphone.

"The TV device Apple is working on would use a version of Apple's wireless-streaming technology AirPlay to allow users to control it from iPhones and iPads, according to people briefed on the matter," the report said. "When the company plans to start selling such a device and whether it would receive traditional broadcast or cable signals remains unclear, said these people, who say Apple may change its plans."

Apple is reportedly to have worked on would integrate DVR storage into its existing iCloud service that allows users to watch shows they have bought or recorded on multiple devices.

"The company has also talked to television-service providers about teaming up on new video services for Apple devices, according to people familiar with the matter," the report said. "It has also broached the idea of licensing content directly from media companies for some sort of subscription-TV service, resembling the packages now offered by cable operators, but the talks have been 'exploratory,' according to people familiar with the matter."

Apple TV is said to be launched on the middle of 2012, but some analysts believe that Apple will announce it in late 2012 for an early 2013 sale. We also reported that Apple TV could arrive in three sizes, including 32 inches and 55 inches.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011. 23:00

Apple sues Samsung over patented iPad, iPhone case designs



ipad2

Apparently, Apple and Samsung are not going to stop their war involving numerous lawsuits related to alleged patent and design infringement in their tablet and smartphone products. According to Bloomberg, this time Apple has sent a notice of infringement to Samsung over the company's tablet and smartphone cases. The company plans to pursue legal action

Apple Inc., which on Dec. 9 lost a bid to keep Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet out of Australia, claims the case for the device and cases for Samsung phones infringe its patents and registered design.

Apple issued the notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and will file a statement of claim, Apple’s lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney today. Samsung’s lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with the notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents.

To be honest, Samsung’s "Smart Case" for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 closely resembles the iPad 2 Smart Cover. The company quickly clarified that the product was not in fact approved by Samsung and was immediately pulled before it had begun selling. Though Samsung offers several styles of cases for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at that moment, it is not clear which one Apple is considering to infringe its case designs.




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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011. 17:23

iPhone leads competition in UK holiday smartphone sales



iphone 4s

Citing findings by research firm GfK, the Financial Times reported on Monday that Apple’s iPhone 4S accounted for nearly one out of every four smartphone sales in the UK during the lead up to the holiday season and retains the best-selling smartphone in the UK.

During the first week of December, five versions of Apple's handset, including the two and a half year old 3GS, ranked as one of the top 15 smartphones sold and took over 37 percent of a smartphone market that nearly doubled in size between Feb. 2010 and Aug. 2011. According to figures from Ofcom, the U.K.'s government-approved regulatory authority for telecommunications, 46 percent of all mobile users are now smartphone owners.

Apple’s rivals are also showing significant grown in sales. The second best-selling smartphone in the UK is Samsung's Galaxy S II and three versions of RIM's BlackBerry Curve all landing in the top ten. Noticeably absent from the top-selling handsets was Nokia. The company's new partnership with Microsoft has yet to bear fruit. The Windows Phone 7-based Lumia line failed to crack the top ten handsets sold in the UK after.




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RIM now worth less than Apple's App Store alone



appstore

Research in Motion is struggling now for its share of the mobile market. But the price of  its stocks is getting lower and lower, so the company is worth less than the estimated value of just Apple's App Store. An analysis from Trefis' Brian S. Hall notes that at a price of $13.44, RIMM stock finished last week at a total value of just $7.04 billion, less than the $7.08 billion that Apple's App Store is estimated to be worth. As for the whole Apple company, AAPL stock has a market cap of $354 billion, or more than 50 times greater than RIMM.

"The App Store is probably worth more than BlackBerry," Hall wrote. "All of BlackBerry. Just the App Store. Nothing else. Not the iPhone or iPod. Not Mac. Just the App Store."

App Store is now one of the key components of Apple’s success. Just a year of Apple's iTunes Store and App Store’s operation costs Apple $1.3 billion, but last year only developers received $2.5 billion in payments in the App Store. According to a last week report, iOS applications bring in 300 percent more revenue than their Android counterparts.

RIM's stock has been showing decline in the price since the company announced last week that BlackBerry shipments reduced year over year while the company managed to ship just 150,000 PlayBook tablets last quarter. Moreover the company delayed the release of its next-generation smartphone operating system, BlackBerry 10, until the second half of 2012.




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Rumors: Apple Has Been Researching And Prototyping Small Wearable Devices



ipod nanoThe Paradox iPod nano watch kit

Nick Bilton from The New York Times, who in October wrote that large parts of rumoured Apple’s television sets appeared in the company's supple chain, now reports that Apple may be researching and even prototyping new wearable devices.


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Apple Is Predicted To Sell 4 Million Its Set-Top Boxes In 2011 Taking 32% Market Share



apple_tv_black

Today market research company Strategy Analytics reported on its research which covers «connected TV players», such as Ruku and Apple TV. The report shows that Apple is expected to reach sales of 4 million Apple TV boxes for 2011, leading the growing market with a 32 percent share.


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Written by maxim

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011. 1:20

Apple selling record 30 million iPhones in December quarter



ubs

UBS (Investment Firm) analyst Maynard Um now believes Apple will sell as many as 30 million iPhones in the December quarter, up from a previous estimate of 28 million. The firm changed its expectations for the iPhone sales because of AT&T's announcement that it expects its best smartphone quarter ever thanks to the iPhone 4S.

The firm didn’t change its predictions for the iPad. It still expects that Apple will sell 12 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012 and may achieve 13 million iPads because of seasonal boost during the holidays. UBS numbers are quite conservative due to its belief that "there might be a slight shift in consumer preference to the company's Macbook computers." Um said customers may not be able to buy multiple Apple products simultaneously and could instead elect to purchase larger ticket items with more functionality.

In light of the expected iPhone upside, UBS raised its revenue estimates to $38.5 billion, up from $37.2 billion. The firm now expects earnings per share to reach $9.90, compared to a previous projection of $9.47. For fiscal 2012, Um sees Apple bringing in $142.7 billion in revenue and $35.83 EPS.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, December 8th, 2011. 16:43