Windows Phone holds steady at one percent; BlackBerry not counted in survey
The latest Good Technology Mobility Index Report on the mobile enterprise space, based on a survey of Good's customer base for its own enterprise-level email services, shows iOS gaining ground by taking away share from Android in calendar Q4 2014, with the former growing by four percentage points to hit 73 percent share of global enterprise activations. Android fell by the same amount to 25 percent, while Windows Phone held steady at one percent.
Samsung grabs lion's share of shipments, but Apple takes 90 percent of profits
Based on shipment data, analyst firm IDC has determined that Apple and Samsung have effectively gained full control of the smartphone market, splitting 96.3 percent of all smartphones shipped -- up nearly a full percentage point from the same period last year. All Android phones combined account for 81.5 percent in 2014, a slight increase from 2013. The percentages flip, however, when talking about money rather than units -- with Apple said to get 90 percent of the profits in the industry.
Glass front and back, metal sides expected with Samsung Galaxy S6
Images of what is believed to be one of the Samsung Galaxy S6 variants have leaked, giving what could be an early look at the smartphone before its expected launch on Sunday. Reports are also coming in that Samsung could also be having some trouble manufacturing one of its new flagship devices, with the curved-screen version apparently having yield issues with the display.
Moto E gains larger screen and speed boost, on sale now
Motorola has made some updates to its entry-level Moto E smartphone, the Lenovo-owned manufacturer has announced. The new Moto E will have a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor with an Adreno 306 GPU, an update from the dual-core version the original had, with Motorola also preparing two variants of the device, giving consumers the option of a 3G-only model or one with LTE connectivity.
Smartphones joined by trio of Kazam Windows tablets
British smartphone producer Kazam has introduced a number of new devices ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress. The Trooper range of Android smartphones has been bolstered with six new models, with the company also preparing to show off three Windows tablets and two Windows Phone devices at the Barcelona-based tradeshow.
LG Magna, Spirit, Leon, Joy all borrow G3 physical design
LG has unveiled four smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress, in a similar move to its Watch Urbane launch. The four mobile devices, named Magna, Spirit, Leon, and Joy, are all said to be mid-ranged smartphones that borrow much of their design from the LG G3 including their rear-mounted volume controls, with LG creating LTE-equipped and 3G-only variants of all four models introduced today.
German online store posts supposed images, details of next HTC flagship
The next in the series of HTC's flagship smartphones has been subject to a major leak over the weekend, one week before its reveal at Mobile World Congress. Promotional renders of the HTC One M9 have been spotted on the pages of German retailer Cyberport before being removed, with accompanying specifications claiming it to have a five-inch 1080p-resolution display.
Verizon installing 400 small cells to improve San Francisco LTE coverage
Verizon subscribers in San Francisco will be seeing improvements in 4G service in some areas before the end of the year, thanks to a new project to install small cells. Typically used in high-demand locations and previously used in New York and Chicago, GigaOM reports that 400 LTE-equipped transmitters will be added to utility and light poles in the SOMA, Financial District, Market Street, and North Beach neighborhoods as part of the project, with the miniature masts said to cover a radius of 250 to 500 feet each, smaller than macro cells usually used.
Sony aiming for $4.2B annual profit within three years
Sony's survival could involve Sony pulling out of more business areas, in order to concentrate on its imaging and entertainment divisions. Seemingly confirming earlier reports, CEO Kazou Hirai's new strategy will now depend on its camera sensor sales and the success of the PlayStation gaming arm to increase its operating profit 25-fold within the next three years, at a cost of minimizing its other businesses.
Mazes without walls
Lyne, by Thomas Bowker, is 250 levels of puzzles, where the player connects shapes on a grid with lines that may not intersect (mostly). It's by no means a new game -- the game got its last update about a year ago -- but it's still a pretty good diversion for anybody looking to unwind with a puzzler while waiting in line (see what we did there?) or while traveling.
CEO claims T-Mobile now third-largest US carrier
T-Mobile managed to post great results in its fourth quarter financial report, with the carrier's $101 million profit equating to 12 cents per share, reversing the 12 cents per share loss in the previous quarter. Revenues are also up 19.4-percent year-on-year, reaching $8.15 billion, with the company overall beating analyst expectations of a 5 cent EPS and revenues of $7.89 billion.
Cross-platform LoopPay PIN-based; data stored locally, not in the cloud
Samsung Electronics today confirmed that it has agreed to acquire LoopPay, the mobile wallet solutions provider that turns existing magnetic stripe readers into contactless receivers. LoopPay's technology has the potential to work in approximately 90 percent of existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals, according to Samsung research, with no investment in new infrastructure required by merchants.
Follow-up to Nuclun believed to launch later this year
Samsung may not be the only one trying to compete against Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor with its own devices, with LG apparently doing something similar. A report claims the electronics manufacturer will be following on from its Nuclun processor with another self-produced processor, this time as a 64-bit octa-core chipset.
Amped Wireless shipping TAP-R2 router shortly, preorders commencing now
High-power, long-range wireless solutions provider Amped Wireless is shipping the next model in its TAP Series of Touch Screen Wi-Fi devices, the 802.11ac TAP-R2. Equipped with a total of six high-power amplifiers and two high-gain antennas (external and internal), the TAP-R2 delivers up to 800mW of Wi-Fi output power, with setup entirely on the device's touchscreen. The new router will be available on February 23, and will cost $160.
Initial camera components for modular smartphone have 2MP, 5MP, 13MP sensors
Project Ara, Google's quest to create a modular smartphone, has received two significant boosts. Toshiba has revealed a trio of camera modules that can be inserted into the back of the smartphone and exchanged for other modules, while smartphone manufacturer Yezz has confirmed it will be creating its own modules for the project, with its first modules set to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
AT&T to start selling BlackBerry Passport, Classic from February 20
BlackBerry fans in the United States will soon be able to pick up the manufacturer's latest devices on AT&T. The BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport, redesigned specifically for the carrier, will be going on sale from February 20. The Passport, complete with rounded edges, will cost $650 off-contract, $200 with a two-year agreement, or for between $21.67 and $32.50 under AT&T Next. The Classic will cost $50 on a two-year contract, $420 off-contract, or under AT&T Next's various plans, between $14 and $21 per month.
New toy basically a plastic Google Cardboard, requires smartphone
Google and Mattel have taken the wraps off of their partnership, and have unveiled a new View-Master toy for the 21st century. The new View-Master, when coupled with a "compatible Android device," gives users a 3D VR panorama, which the toy manufacturer is calling a "360 degree photosphere." In essence, the new View-Master is a mass-manufactured Google Cardboard VR peripheral.
Bug-laden, incomplete version made available for public test, comment
Microsoft has expanded its Windows Insider program to Windows Phones. As part of the expansion, the company yesterday made a Windows 10 Technical Preview build available for select devices. Microsoft is exhorting caution about the release, reminding users that the release is "the earliest publicly available preview we've ever done for Windows on phones."
FreedomPop, Ting, Virgin Mobile, more preparing to offer iPhone 6, latest Androids
New reports indicate that Sprint has dropped a previous requirement that resellers of its network -- FreedomPop, Straight Talk, Boost Mobile, Virgin, and some others -- wait more than a year before offering support for the latest models of Android and iOS devices. The change allows the mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to immediately begin offering the current iPhone 6 line from Apple, the top-selling smartphone worldwide.
Three-year investment program aims to provide 4G to more than 99 percent of population
British carrier EE has pledged to spend £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) over the next three years to spread LTE service across the United Kingdom. The carrier plans to flood the country with 4G/LTE coverage, and is aiming to cover more than 99 percent of the population with the higher-speed service by 2017, exceeding its current footprint for its aging 2G service, and blanket 90 percent of the UK geography with the high-speed wireless connection.
Carriers must now unlock consumer's cellphones, with caveats
The deadline for wireless carriers to fully comply with the CTIA's consumer code regarding cellphone unlocking, mandated by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has arrived. Starting today, carriers must unlock consumers' devices on request, assuming certain provisions on ownership time or contract fulfillment have been completed.
Sony unveils Xperia E4 weeks before Mobile World Congress
Sony has announced the follow-up to its Xperia E3, weeks ahead of an expected launch at Mobile World Congress. The price-conscious stablemate to the anticipated Xperia Z4, the 10.5mm-thick Xperia E4 sports an "OmniBalance" physical design, with curved edges and a premium-in-appearance aluminum power button, surrounding a five-inch 960x540-resolution display, featuring scratch-resistant glass.
Deal likely reverts to 2011 patent agreement between MS, Samsung
Microsoft and Samsung have ceased the most recent round of legal hostilities over unpaid Android patent royalties due to the Surface maker. As expected, very few details are known about the deal, with both companies identically saying little more than "Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in US court as well as the ICC arbitration. Terms of the agreement are confidential."
OnePlus starting regular invitation-free sales windows tomorrow
Chinese smartphone producer OnePlus is going to make it easier to acquire its OnePlus One, by opening it up for purchase by anyone who wants one, though in a time-limited fashion. The company will be offering its flagship smartphone to everyone, including those without invitations, for 24-hour periods every Tuesday from tomorrow onwards.
Lower-specification Windows Phone devices could gain feature-limited WIndows 10
Microsoft is still working on allowing owners of lower-specification Windows Phone devices to use Windows 10. Concerns that owners of smartphones including the Lumia 520 would miss out were allayed by a Microsoft executive, though it appears that they may miss out on some of the functionality expected to arrive within the mobile operating system.
How to use the To Do app you should be using
Three times a week, MacNN stops reporting or reviewing for a few minutes, and instead tells you straight how to do the things you need to do. You've got this software, you've got that problem, do this, this, and that, and you're flying. So far, we've concentrated on the software that we all have, that comes on our Macs, but this time Pointers is about software you should have. Specifically OmniFocus, the To Do app.
Employee claims Xiaomi event intended to introduce brand to US media
Xiaomi could be preparing for a debut in the United States, by holding its own media event in the country. A report claims the Chinese smartphone producer will be holding an event for members of the press on February 12 in San Francisco, California, though a company employee suggests that the event will not be a US launch at all.
Accessory helps you manage business card clutter and contacts
Business cards are a convenient way to give and gather information about others without having to waste time writing down names, numbers, companies, and more. However, once you get a real-world business card, you're usually left with the tedious task of entering the information into your phone or contact list. What if there was a better way to put those little slips of paper to use before they get lost or destroyed in the washer? We checked out the WorldCard Mobile Phone Kit, which combines a phone holder with a tiny photo studio -- simply use your phone to take a picture of a business card, and the WorldCard Mobile app does the rest.
More Everything alterations start tomorrow, Edge discount changing
The price war between the major carriers continues, with Verizon making some data changes to its plans. While it isn't going to follow AT&T and T-Mobile in providing rollover data, it will be providing more data to More Everything plans on the lower tiers, effectively cutting costs by $10 per month, as well as introducing a number of new higher data tiers.
Combined leasing plan saves $17 on equivalent separate schemes
Sprint is offering its customers the option of switching over to iOS devices wholesale, with a promotional bundle that leases just Apple products. The carrier is putting together its current iPhone for Life and iPad for Life schemes into one single leasing plan, which will let users have both an iPhone and an iPad all on the same mobile plan for $100 per month.
Samsung hints at next flagship reveal ahead of Unpacked event
Samsung has teased its next flagship, due to be unveiled at the Unpacked event on March 1 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The teaser, posted to Twitter as well as sent to the media, cryptically shows a metallic curved line, which could signify either the expected Galaxy S6 will have a wrap-around side display similar to the Galaxy Edge, or Samsung is planning a second Edge device launch alongside a more conventional Galaxy S6 design. Earlier rumors suggest Samsung is planning to use a fixed battery and a glass-covered metal casing in the smartphone.
Apple might be late to the party, but delivers a much better phablet experience
The Nexus 6 is the latest flagship Android smartphone from Google that is designed for developers and Android fans who prefer Google's stock iteration of its popular Android operating system. The massive six-inch device is meant to stand as a testament to the Android platform, its capabilities, and where the technology is currently heading. In the other corner, we have Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, the first "phablet" from Apple, which has famously resisted pushing into this segment in the recent past. Like the Nexus 6, the iPhone 6 Plus represents all that is currently state-of-the-art when it comes to iOS-powered smartphones. The two devices are undoubtedly two of the leading heavyweights in this segment, but which stands tall over the other in a head-to-head fight?
Now cards pull info from apps at user's convenience
In a post on Friday in the Google Inside Search blog, Director of Product Management Apama Chennapragada announced the company's predictive-search app, Google Now, would be rolling out integration with third party apps to help users keep abreast of important information on their devices.
Dish Network spends $13.3B on spectrum licenses, Verizon $10.4B
The latest spectrum auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has raised $44.9 billion. Of the bidders looking to acquire what has been termed AWS-3 spectrum, the FCC revealed AT&T spent more than any other carrier or organization, using $18.2 billion to acquire almost half the total number of licenses up for grabs in the auction.
CRTC rules data caps can't be used to give an unfair advantage to carriers' own services
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a decision on Thursday, acting on a complaint regarding data caps and preferred traffic. Wireless carriers Bell Mobility and Videotron both have their own subscription mobile television services, neither of which count towards the data caps written into subscribers' contracts, while competitor's services -- such as Netflix -- do, providing the carriers with incentive to sell larger data plans or favor their own offerings. With today's ruling, that practice must end.
Largest switch rate in company's record-keeping happened for iPhone 6
During its conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook noted that "the current iPhone lineup experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches," which he later clarified was how long the company has been measuring the metric rather than that switching rates were higher in 2011. Further analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that most of the switching is happening overseas rather in the US.
Cyanogen investment may be ploy to weaken Google control of Android
Microsoft may be planning to make an investment in an Android-related startup, a report claims. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will allegedly take part in a funding round as a "minority investor" of Cyanogen, creators of the CyanogenMod Android ROM, with rumors that the round will bring in a total of $70 million to the ROM maker.
UK broadcaster gets closer to offering quad-play services to customers
British pay-TV provider Sky will be moving into the mobile phone business, it has announced. The satellite broadcaster confirmed earlier reports that it would be working with the Telefonica-owned carrier O2 to have wholesale access to its 2G, 3G, and LTE mobile phone network and provide carrier functions to its subscribers, as part of a multi-year deal.
Giants cross paths with different trajectories
The timing of Apple's surge during the last quarter and Samsung's respective slump has put the two corporations in a dead heat in terms of smartphone marketshare, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates that the companies each shipped about 74.5 million smartphones worldwide; while only Apple has announced that figure specifically, Samsung says that of the 95 million handsets it shipped in total, the number of smartphones went into the "high 70 percent range." That could mean anything between 71 and 75 million units.
Chip segment strong, but not enough to make up for lagging smartphone segment
Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago quarter. The news comes on the heels of a record-shattering report from its main rival, Apple.
Carrier must pay $40M in refunds to customers for restricting unlimited data plans
A carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints it offered mobile phone contracts that claim to have "unlimited" data, but turn out do not. TracFone was accused by the FTC of capping and throttling customers on the "unlimited" plans, with the carrier agreeing to pay out $40 million in refunds to consumers as part of its settlement.
Vulnerability found in Silent Text app included with BlackPhone
A flaw in a security-focused Android smartphone's software caused it to be susceptible to attack, according to a security researcher. A now-patched vulnerability in an app included on the BlackPhone allowed attackers to read encrypted messages, contacts stored on the smartphone, and to also remotely control device functions.
Mid-ranged $250 ZTE smartphone triggers apps by gestures
Chinese device producer ZTE has introduced a new mid-ranged smartphone in its Blade series, this time with an octa-core processor. The Blade S6 uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and an Adreno 405 GPU, all packed behind a 5-inch HD IPS In-cell display within a 7.7mm-thick body.
Motorola details online store discounts for early February
Motorola will be offering multiple discounts on devices in its mobile store, as part of a Valentine's Day promotion. From February 3 until February 14, the manufacturer is discounting pre-tax purchases worth $500 by $100, or $35 off $250 purchases, though an customers registering for the promotion within a one-hour window on February 2 will get codes worth $140 and $50 off the $500 and $250 respective purchases.
Remarkable reversal in Korean maker's fortunes benefitting Apple
On Tuesday, Apple will reveal its latest figures on its overall sales and general health, but analysts will again focus on one key segment -- Apple's best-selling device, the iPhone -- as the only metric that matters. Two key aspects of that metric, however, may have larger implications than just the quarterly revenues, or a temporary change in Apple's stock value. According to analysts, it is now likely that Apple is selling more iPhones to China now than it is in the US market (where it is market leader by a long way) -- and even more remarkably, that Apple is close to rivaling the total smartphones sales of rival Samsung.
Galaxy S6 with curved display named in code for pre-order page
Rather than wait until March for Samsung to introduce it's newest Galaxy phone, Dutch smartphone enthusiasts at Galaxy Club may have discovered an encouraging bit of information while viewing the page source on Vodafone's Dutch website.
Acquisition of AuthenTec by Apple prompted removal of planned Nexus 6 function
The Google Nexus 6 was going to have a fingerprint sensor, but Apple forced a change in the phone's design, the ex-CEO of Motorola claims. The Android smartphone was initially going to have a fingerprint reader on the back, where a Motorola-branded dimple now resides, but Apple's acquisition of AuthenTec is said to have put a stop to those plans completely.
Cable service moving into mobile phone business with Wi-Fi carrier
Cablevision is moving into offering mobile phone services, albeit without cellular connectivity. Launching in February, Freewheel is said to be mobile phone operator that works on Wi-Fi alone, with customers able to use public hotspots while away from home in order to use the service for phone calls, texts, and using the Internet.
Sprint offers T-Mobile customers $200 minimum trade-ins for switching
Sprint is refocusing its trade-in offer directly against main rival T-Mobile. Running until April 9, Sprint will offer T-Mobile customers a minimum instant trade-in value of $200 for their smartphone if they transfer their number over. Sprint is also allowing the offer to work alongside another promotion, granting up to $350 per line to cover early termination fees or installment billing balances.
Nearly doubles rival Samsung's sales, equals all combined competition
Apple's share of the US mobile phone market has nearly doubled following the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 in October, a new study has revealed. The report, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, finds that the iPhone went from 28 percent of the market in the July-to-September quarter to just over 50 percent in the final three months of the year, an improvement even over the same time the year before, when the iPhone 5s was released.