Research

Apple to open R&D center in Shenzhen next year to boost China ties

Apple plans to set up a new research and development center in China’s manufacturing capital Shenzhen, reports Shenzhen Economic Daily (via Reuters). The outlet says Tim Cook announced the plan during a meeting with senior city officials while attending a nation-wide event on innovation. Apparently Foxconn CEO Terry Gou was also in attendance.

iOS continues bleeding share to Android as smartphone market slows considerably

Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report is a treasure trove of surveys and predictions on the global trends concerning our industry. I found out this morning that half of the searches will be either through images or speech by 2020 and that Siri was handling more than one billion requests per week through speech as of June 2015.

I’ve now compiled the report’s most interesting tidbits regarding Internet usage around the world, the iOS vs. Android battle and more.

Both iPhone 7 models to include 256GB version, replacing 64GB with 128GB SKU?

Leaked components and sketchy rumors have led us to take for granted the theory that only the flagship, pricier iPhone 7 Plus model will exclusively include a new capacious 256-gigabyte model.

That assumption is now being challenged by researchers at TrendForce.

The research firm reported on Wednesday that the rumored 256GB SKU will actually extend to both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, possibly even replacing the most popular 64GB storage model.

Slice Intelligence: Apple Watch sales taper off to 30,000 units per day

Slice Intelligence, an opt-in service that scans receipts of two million online shoppers’ inboxes, estimated Friday that Apple Watch sales have cooled off and currently stand at or below 30,000 daily units in the United States, following the launch day spike that saw an estimated 1.5 million U.S. pre-orders of the wrist-worn device.

As noted by Quartz tech editor Dan Former, that suggests that Apple Watch orders fell sharply after the first day and haven’t grown since.

Apple looking for Apple Watch feedback via market research survey

Apple has begun emailing Apple Watch owners, asking for their feedback on the just-released wearable. The email requests that users take a lengthy (took us about 15 minutes) survey, in which it asks a wide variety of questions regarding their reasons for purchasing the device, and satisfaction with it thus far.

The survey is interesting because Apple doesn’t typically employ market research—we have seen questionnaires in the past, but it’s not a frequent thing. Steve Jobs famously loathed the practice, telling Fortune in 2008 “We do no market research. We don’t hire consultants. We just want to make great products.”

Apple working with researchers to build ResearchKit apps for gathering DNA data

Apple is collaborating with US researchers to launch apps that would allow iPhone owners to get their DNA tested, according to a new report from MIT’s Technology Review. The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps researchers gather data.
If true, Apple would join a growing battle for genetic information. Everyone from Google, to the government, to top universities are spending millions of dollars to amass large databases of DNA info in an effort to uncover clues that would help identify causes and possible cures for diseases.

Nearly 1-in-5 iPhone 6 owners plans to buy Apple Watch, survey finds

A new survey finds that nearly 1-in-5 iPhone 6 owners are planning to buy the Apple Watch when it launches later this year. ZDNet points to the data, published by marketing research firm Credit Suisse, which shows 18% of iPhone 6 or 6 Plus owners polled said they would “definitely” be buying Apple’s new wearable.

Additionally, 11% of those queried said that they would “probably” be purchasing the Apple Watch when it’s released, and another 27% described the likelihood that they would be getting one as “maybe.” Out of those in the “no” category, 27% said they would “probably not” be getting it, and 18% answered “definitely not.”

Apple building massive R&D center in Japan

In addition to its existing research and development centers in Israel, Taiwan and Shanghai, Apple is now looking to build another facility in Japan, Reuters reported Tuesday. The “cutting-edge” R&D center was confirmed by Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

The facility “will be formally announced soon,” he told local media, as confirmed by the Jiji and Kyodo News.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch drives record accessory sales

Records keep piling for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which according to research firm NPD, were responsible for driving accessory sales in the US to new highs, reaching a quarter of a billion dollars in the two weeks that followed the launch of the devices:
U.S. mobile phone accessory sales reached record levels following the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Accessory sales for the two weeks after the launch were 43 percent higher than the two weeks prior, reaching $249 million, according to The NPD Group Weekly Tracking Service.
For more details, read the full press release here.

Apple now number two online retailer behind Amazon

According to data from e-commerce research firm Internet Retailer, Apple is now the number two online retailer in the world. Amazon, of course, still has a large lead in the number one spot, but the Cupertino firm recently surpassed Staples to take over second place.

The jump in position is due to a couple of factors. For one, Staples saw flat online sales of $10.4 billion over the past year, representing just a 1% increase over 2012. And two, Internet Retailer is accounting for both hardware and digital content sales for the first time…

Samsung one step closer to commercializing ultrathin graphene screens for wearables

Samsung has been the world’s largest maker of LCD panels since 2002. By 2004, the conglomerate was the world’s top manufacturer of OLED panels accounting for a 40 percent market share worldwide and as of 2010 has a commanding 98 percent share of the global AMOLED market.

Small wonder that Apple used to source most of its screens for iOS devices from Samsung up until 2012, when Tim Cook & Co. began slowly shifting display orders away from the Galaxy maker amid the ongoing patent spat.

But Samsung is not standing still. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal Friday, the Galaxy maker has claimed significant progress on graphene, described as the next wonder material…

Apple named most valuable ‘billion dollar brand’ in the US

A new report was released yesterday by brand consulting agency Brand Finance, naming the top “billion dollar brands” in the United States. The list was compiled estimating the royalty rate that would be charged to use a company’s brand and combing that with expected future revenue.

Unsurprisingly, Apple was ranked number one by a long shot, with a value of $104.7 billion. The iPad-maker is the most valuable company in the world in terms of market cap, and has taken the top spot several times in other brand value lists. Google came in second place at $68.6 billion…