Verizon activates 3.9M iPhones, representing 51% of its Q3 smartphone activations

The leading wireless telco in the United States, Verizon Wireless, this morning released its third quarter results revealing 3.9 million iPhone activations (which is different than the actual unit sales).

It's the same as its previous quarter and 26 percent up from 3.1 million iPhone activations in Q3 of 2012.

Apple's share of total smartphone activations at the Big Red carrier, however, has jumped from 43 percent in the second quarter of 2013 to as much as 51 percent of the 7.6 million total smartphone activations in the third quarter.

Due to iPhone supply constraints, there will be some carryover in sales to the fourth quarter, Verizon cautioned. Year-over-year smartphone activations at the carrier were up by 26 percent and revenue improved 4.4 percent to $30.28 billion, CFO Fran Shammo said in an earnings call with investors. More tidbits after the break...

Report: iPad mini to rule 2013, Retina model due in Q3

A new week brings a fresh batch of iPad rumors. According to a report out of Asia, Apple is gearing up to launch a Retina iPad mini in the third quarter of this year, alongside a redesigned fifth-generation 9.7-inch model with an iPad mini-like aluminum design, featuring a thinner bezel and lighter frame.

Despite Apple slashing shipments for its full-size iPad 4 in nearly half, from 60 million units down to 33 million units, the story notes the company has not reportedly seen any material decrease of iPad mini demand since its launch in October of 2012...

Gartner: Apple and Samsung shipped nearly half of all smartphones in Q3

As mobile phones become smarter, Samsung and Apple continue to rule the landscape as the world's best-selling cell phone brands. As for Google's Android platform, it now controls more than seven out over every ten smartphones in consumers' hands, a new report suggests. Both Samsung and Apple controlled 46.5 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter.

The iOS-Android duopoly had a commanding 86 percent platform lead in the third quarter, according to research firm Gartner. Individually, the South Korean smartphone maker held 32.5 percent of the market while Apple held 13.9 percent, the researcher announced Wednesday. Android now controls an astounding 72.4 percent of the mobile operating system market for smartphones, up from 52 percent in the year-ago quarter...

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...

Samsung’s Galaxy S III was the world’s best-selling smartphone in Q3

Following a massive retail and advertising push, Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III handset overtook Apple's iPhone 4S as the world's best-selling smartphone in the third quarter of this year, according to a Strategy Analytics survey. The Samsung phone sold an estimated 1.8 million units more than the iPhone 4S. Samsung's lead will be short-lived as Strategy Analytics estimates that the iPhone 5 will become the world’s #1 smartphone in Q4.

Analysts previously estimated that the S III outsold the iPhone 4S, but only in the United States. Samsung stopped reporting device sales last year for competitive reasons and we also don't know how many of the 18 million S III channel shipments ended up in customers hands. Still, that's a nice accomplishment for Samsung, which earlier in the week confirmed beating its self-imposed goal of shipping 30 million S III units before year's end...

IDC: Android owns 75% of smartphone shipments

We've long known smartphone owners live in a largely bifurcated world of Android and iOS. However, new research paints a dramatic picture where three out of every four smartphones shipped are powered by Google's mobile operating system. Apple's mobile OS is the only other to have double-digit market share: a hair under 15 percent.

In the third quarter of 2012, Android accounted for 136 million of the 181 million smartphones shipped, according to IDC. By comparison, 26 million iOS-powered smartphones shipped during the same period, giving Apple 14.9 percent of the market. While both OS makers grew faster than the industry's 46.4 percent, Android's 91.5 percent year-over-year growth handily overcame the 57.3 percent growth of Apple's iOS...

Amazon reports first loss in nine years, cites iPad mini in release

The people with the smile on the box had no reason to smile when their company, the online retail giant Amazon, yesterday posted third-quarter results today, reporting its first loss in nine years. Even as revenue increased by 27 percent annually, Amazon lost $274 million during the third quarter on net sales of $13.8 billion, up from $10.9 billion a year earlier.

In the year-ago quarter, Amazon reported a net profit of $63 million. Total operating expenses increased from $10.8 billion to $13.8 billion. Amazon attributed the loss to its investment in online deal site LivingSocial.

It's also understandable that a low-margin, high-volume nature of Amazon's content and books businesses affects earnings. The company is also vulnerable to exchange rates, online shopping growth and fluctuations in consumer spending. And in announcing its first-ever loss, Amazon even took jabs at Apple's iPad in - wait for it - the official press release...

Samsung dazzles with record Q3 earnings, profits rising faster than Apple’s

Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group and the world's largest technology company by revenues since 2009, reported earnings for the September quarter and the results are staggering. Year-on-year profit rose 91 percent as the company brought home $5.9 billion in net profit on $47.6 billion in sales, a 26 percent increase.

Operating profit margin also climbed to 18.8 percent. Much of the spoils came from Galaxy devices, especially smartphones where Samsung in the third quarter reigned supreme, grabbing twice Apple's market share. Apple yesterday reported $8.2 billion in net profit on $36 billion revenues.

While Samsung has a long way to go to match Apple's profitability, it's been growing at a faster clip: Apple's net profit in the September quarter grew 25 percent versus 91 percent for Samsung. No matter how you look at it, Samsung Electronics, which has headquarters in Suwon, South Korea, is evidently on fire. Does it stand a shot at beating Apple on profitability down the road?