ABI Research

For this analyst, Apple needs both low-cost iPhone and iPhablet to stay ahead of curve

Although Apple managed to surprise investors with better-than-expected iPhone sales, some observers see a more daunting future for the flagship Apple smartphone.

Apple's global smartphone marketshare may have fallen by some estimates to as low as fourteen percent amid increasing pressure from rivals seeking higher margins and more sales.

Strategy Analytics describes the iPhone being "trapped in a pincer movement" between Android cheapos and high-end monster phones with five-inch screens. In other words, as iPhone competitors that churn out inexpensive handsets increasingly march toward the mid-range in hopes of gaining more profit, Apple's high-end rivals are now moving toward the middle, seeking increased sales...

BRIC nations to overtake US as top smartphone markets by 2018

So-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are set to dominate smartphone market share by 2018, comprising four of the top seven markets, according to research released Tuesday. As a result, smartphone shipments to the US and Western Europe are forecast to drop to 33 percent of the smartphone market share, down from the current 39 percent.

At the same time, the top five countries in 2018 will account for just over half - 51 percent - of smartphone shipments globally. BRIC nations will account for a third of the shipments, according to ABI Research. The changing landscape means smartphone makers will need to keep pace...

ABI: Android is the smartphone app winner, but Apple will rule tablets

In the never-ending quest to handicap the iOS vs Android horse race comes a new flash analysis for 2013 forecasting Android will dominate smartphone apps, while Apple remains the clear leader with tablets. According to ABI Research, Google's mobile operating system will control 58 percent of smartphone app downloads.

On the other hand, just 33 percent of apps will be for Apple's iOS. But with only two months into year, the research firm's findings are being questioned...

iPhone market share predicted peaking at 22 percent in 2014

Is the iPhone ready to join the crowd of technology has-beens? That seems to be the impression from a Thursday report from one research firm. The Apple handset, which has been pummeled by negative headlines recently, now faces its marketshare high this year, followed by flatline growth through the rest of this decade.

According to ABI Research, Apple's handset in 2013 will reach 28 percent of the smartphone market, its growth flat through 2018.  The reason: the future of smartphones is in emerging markets and inexpensive handsets, an area Apple executives say they won't chase....

It was a very appy holiday season for iOS, Android

Good news for developers: iOS and Android together accounted for a massive 1.76 billion app downloads around the world between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, per research by ad firm Flurry. That's more than a marked improvement compared to the 1.2 billion apps that were downloaded last year across both Android and iOS. Think about it, 1.76 billion downloads in just seven days.

In fact, a number of weeks since late November delivered more than a billion downloads. It wasn't that long ago that a billion downloads was considered a remarkable achievement throughout the span of the entire year, let alone weeks or months.

And if that data point didn't give you a pause, consider this: based on historical data, Flurry expects app downloads to regularly hit the one billion milestone each week going forward. Doing a quick math in your head, at that rate both iOS and Android should account for at least 52 billion downloads in 2013...

Apple’s tablet lead over Android could be shrinking faster than earlier thought

Remember the days when analysts and Wall Street observers believed the iPad would continue to lead tablet sales for years, and Android competitors still needed work? Funny how time flies. Although Apple isn't laughing, there is talk Google could overtake Apple in 2013. The problem is the iPad's lead over a pack of Android alternatives is shrinking to that when the Apple tablet was introduced in 2010.

Also, remember all those non-Android slates from HP and RIM? Yeah, neither does anyone else. That's the other problem...

Samsung’s smartphone market twice that of Apple

Samsung has become Apple's chief nemesis in court and on retail shelves. The South Korean smartphone maker now has twice the market share as the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker, new research finds. According to IDC, Samsung controlled 31.3 percent of the smartphone market during the third quarter, handily beating Apple's 15 percent share.

The two companies have the smartphone market largely to themselves, with their nearest competitor - Blackberry maker Research In Motion - controlling only 4.3 percent, according to IDC. Nokia even fell from the top five, shipping just 82.9 million handsets in the previous quarter, a 22 percent drop from the same quarter in 2011...

Is there any hope left for Nokia? (probably not)

It's not a typo: I really meant Nokia, not RIM. Look, the writing's on the wall. In the first quarter of 2012, only Apple and Samsung reaped benefits of the 41 percent year-over-year growth in the smartphone biz.

Together, the two frenemies accounted for 55 percent of global smartphone shipments in Q1 and an astounding 90 percent of the profits.

Apple shipped 35 million iPhones in Q1 while Samsung recorded 43 million global shipments. None of this is surprising. What's stunning is how sharp Nokia's decline is. Of all companies, beleaguered RIM, whose Q1 shipments dipped 20 percent, may soon surpass Nokia...