2012

Strategy Analytics: iPhone 5/4S are world’s two most popular smartphones

Just as investors are (again) punishing the Apple stock on talk of Foxconn freezing recruitment in China amid weakening iPhone 5 demand (or perhaps because the iPhone 5S is entering production in March?) comes a new survey of the smartphone market by research firm Strategy Analytics. And the numbers look good: the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S each outsold Samsung’s Galaxy S III during the all-important 2012 holiday quarter.

This makes the iPhone 5 the world’s bestselling smartphone, but what’s really eyebrow-raising is that the 16-month old (and now discounted) iPhone 4S also overtook Samsung’s flagship device…

Apple in 2012 topped Japan’s mobile phone market

Apple may have a slight market share problem in BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China), but over in Japan the company has moved the needle in a big way. According to Hong Kong-based market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple for the first time ended Sharp’s six-year run at the top to became the first non-Japanese company to rule the Japanese mobile phone market with a fifteen percent share in 2012, a notable increase from its ten percent market share in 2011…

The iPhone is now one-fourth of the world’s smartphone market

Lost in all of the talk of Apple’s declining profits was that the iPhone now accounts for a quarter of all smartphones shipped globally in 2012.

Although Samsung’s triple-digit yearly growth-rate blinded many observers, Apple last year did eek out 47 percent growth.

It was enough to make Apple the only smartphone maker beside the South Korean firm to show any growth at all in 2012. Apple shipped 136.8 million iPhones in 2012, up from 93.1 million units in 2011, according to technology researcher IDC. Wednesday, Apple announced it shipped 47.8 million iPhones during the fourth quarter of last year…

Google posts Q4 results, comments on iOS apps, better batteries, impact-resistant phones

Google has just posted its fourth quarter earnings for the calendar year 2012. The Internet giant raked in $14.42 billion in consolidated revenue (versus estimates of $12.3 billion), up 36 percent annually and eight percent sequentially. Excluding traffic acquisition costs and Motorola Home, quarterly revenue was $11.34 billion, up from $8.13 billion. The firm earned 54 percent of the revenue outside of the United States, or $6.9 billion.

Quarterly net income came in at $2.9 billion, a 6.7 percent increase (non-GAAP profit was $3.57 billion, up from $3.13 billion a year before). The company surpassed analysts’ expectations on EPS, which was $10.65 on a non-GAAP basis versus the $10.54 consensus. So, even though revenue climbed substantially, profit was only up slightly.

Of note, Google’s Motorola subsidiary (excluding the home biz) lost “only” 353 million, or 23 percent of the unit’s quarterly revenue. Better batteries and impact-resistant design could be in the works for Motorola handsets. A live stream of the earnings call is included right after the break alongside other tidbits related to Apple, Maps, Nexus devices and more…

Verizon activates 6.2M iPhones in Q4 2012, but quarterly loss doubles

Carrier Verizon Wireless Tuesday morning posted results for the 2012 holiday quarter. The numbers don’t look good: the company posted a huge loss of $1.93 billion, despite adding a “record-high” 2.1 million new subscribers on smartphone penetration of 58 percent.

Even though quarterly revenues increased 5.7 percent to as much as $30 billion, Verizon reported negative EPS of a whopping $1.48, blaming the decline on pensions and costs associated with Hurricane Sandy. In a conference call with analyst, Verizon’s finance chief confirmed that iPhone activations hit 6.2 million units out of 9.8 million smartphones, or 63 percent. This was the first quarter with full three months of iPhone 5 sales on the Verizon network…

Survey: the iPad mini becomes ‘kid’s tablet’ for holiday gifts

We’re still gaining insights from holiday sales of Apple products. The latest finding: the iPad mini is now dubbed the “kid’s tablet” after one survey found post-Christmas usage of Apple’s smaller tablet rose 270 percent among families with young children. The new data comes from the makers of Kindertown.

Kindertown makes an app which helps parents find child-suitable apps. Among other findings culled from the software’s more than 200,000 users: while the iPad 4 was popular as a family gift, children also adopted the original iPad as a technological hand-me-down. Elsewhere, iPhone’s were not a big gift item for this demographic, after-Christmas usage of Apple’s handset not rising following the holidays…

Apple passes LG for second U.S. spot as iOS-Android duopoly tops 90%

Lots of interesting data points to chew on in the latest comScore survey pertaining to cell phone sales in the United States during a three-month period ending November 2012. According to data, having knocked LG out of the position it held, Apple rose to become the second cell phone maker in the United States, despite only making smartphones.

Furthermore, nearly one out of each five mobile phone owners in the country is now using an iPhone. Looking just at smartphones, more than one in three U.S. subscribers now own a ‘boring’ iPhone. And as Apple and Samsung remain the only two smartphone vendors seeing growth in the U.S., no wonder iOS and Android now hold 90 percent of the country’s market for smartphones. Talk about duopoly!

Angry Birds: 30M downloads on Christmas week

So much about Angry Birds running its course. Finnish developer Rovio announced today that its Angry Birds series, which just turned three, has been downloaded thirty million times during the Christmas week, raking in over eight million downloads on the Christmas Day alone. The 99-cent holiday sale of Rovio’s iPad games might have helped with that. It was an Angry New Year for Rovio indeed and the company produced a charming infographic that highlights other interesting holiday sales stats…

Apple probably sold 50 million ‘boring’ iPhones during the holiday quarter

What should we expect to hear from Apple when it announces quarterly earnings later this month? One Wall Street observer Thursday forecasts a huge December quarter of 50 million iPhones and 24 million iPads sold. Although the company could report iPhone sales 86 percent higher than the previous quarter, an aggressive roll-out of the iPhone 5 may prompt Apple to reduce production by mid-year.

According to analyst Rob Cihra of Evercore Partners, the December quarter will reveal 86 percent growth of iPhone sales, compared to the previous three-month period. What’s more, the iPad mini will sell ten million of the 24 million Apple tablets moved during the holiday period, up 71 percent over the September quarter…

Chitika: iPad rules ‘biggest ever’ holiday

How did holiday sales of tablets shake out? Although sales numbers aren’t yet available, we can get some idea of which devices were in most demand. For instance, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy tablets and Google Nexus devices were the top three non-iPad products serving ad impressions in December, according to an ad firm.

Although the iPad (both the full-size versions and the iPad mini) accounts for 87 percent of U.S. and Canadian tablet-based ad impressions, the Kindle Fire was next best with 4.25 percent of tablet traffic. The Samsung Galaxy tablets had 2.65 percent, while the Google Nexus family of tablets garnered 1.06 percent of tablet traffic, according to ad network Chitika…

T-Mobile confirms nearly half a million customers lost in Q3 over iPhone 5 launch

The nation’s fourth-largest carrier continues to experience the side-effects of remaining the sole major U.S. telco without Apple’s popular iPhone. The company this morning reported third-quarter earnings and the results are depressing. It lost 492,000 contract customers, down from the 557,000 loss in the June quarter but also up over the year-ago quarter when it reported loss of 389,000 contracts.

As a result, revenue for the quarter shrank to $4.9 billion, a 6.4 percent decline, while service revenue experienced an 8.7 percent drop…