All posts by Parth Dhebar

Parth Dhebar is a 18 year-old entrepreneur. He is the founder of Simple Reviews, a blog focused on reviewing iPhone and iPad applications. Parth is a recognized name in the industry, known for covering Apple news. He is an editor at Techie-Buzz covering news on Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @pdparticle.

T-Mobile to Offer Official Support for Unlocked iPhones

A year ago, T-Mobile revealed that it had over a million iPhones running on its network (probably more now). Not only was it surprising, but also revealed the amount of desperation T-Mobile has to support the iPhone. Currently, the iPhone does not support T-Mobile in the US. In addition, it was also reported that the carrier would officially start selling the micro-SIMs that are compatible with the iPhone.

Today, a reportedly leaked employee memo revealed that T-Mobile will begin to offer official support for subscribers using unlocked versions of Apple’s iPhone on its network. Pretty mind boggling for a phone that nobody wants, isn’t it? The memo was published by T-Mobile blog TmoNews.com. T-Mobile employees will start offering support for the iPhone beginning January 30th.

Leaked T-Mobile iPhone support memo

Earlier this month, T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm said that the company’s wireless operating frequency was the main reason as to why it doesn’t yet sell the iPhone. Apple’s iPhone is known to help a carrier grow significantly, and carriers have even reported poor customer-sign up rates due to not being able to offer the device. In fact, just a few days ago, Verizon reported that over 55% of the smartphones it activated were iPhones. Then yesterday, AT&T reported that over 80% of the smartphones it activated were iPhones too! Going by just these numbers alone, I can only imagine the amount of hit T-Mobile is taking, but dang, they sure are desperate to offer a phone that’s “losing.”

Apple is Once Again the World’s Largest Smartphone Maker

Earlier this week, Apple reported a massive blowout holiday quarter. With over 37 million iPhones sold, it was the company’s best quarter yet. Turns out, last quarter’s results also helped Apple dethrone Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker. Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, revealed that the company pass Apple just by a little bit. However, Samsung shipped an estimated 36.5 million units worldwide in the fourth quarter.

Samsung declined to comment on how many smartphones it shipped last quarter, but it did note a 30 percent growth. Oh Samsung, if numbers were higher than Apple’s, I’m sure they would have revealed that too. In 2011, Samsung was first able to claim the first spot for annual smartphone shipments with an estimated 97.4 million units, compared to Apple’s 93 million iPhones in 2011.

Q4 2011 smartphone shipped chart

Nokia took third place with an estimated quarterly shipments of 19.6 millions, which was apparently enough for a 12.6 percent market share. That company has seen its market share significantly reduce since its decision to transition from Symbian to Windows Phone. In the year ago quarter, Nokia shipped 28.3 million smartphones.

The report also reveals that total smartphone shipments for the quarter increased by 55 percent year over year to reach a record 155 million, while annual shipments were an estimated 488.5 million units. Now, these numbers may sound insanely large, but it should be noted that there is a huge difference between number of devices “shipped” and number of devices “sold.” The latter is the one which generates the money for a company, and that’s all that matters in the end.

iPad Takes 96% of Tablets Activated in Enterprise, iPhone Takes 53%

Good, a company that provides secure mobility solutions, reports that according to new figures Apple’s iPad makes up 96% of the tablets activated at the 2,000 companies that use its services. They reported that of the top ten devices it saw activated in the last quarter, Apple’s five iOS models accounted for the top five slots.

Good graph

The phone that nobody wanted (iPhone 4S) took the lead, quickly jumped to 31% of all activations in the quarter. iPhone 4 was next, followed by iPad 2, the original iPad, and iPhone 3GS. Good also said that Android activations had initially gained some ground in October but “trailed off as activations of the iPhone 4S rapidly ramped up.” It seems to me that Android is “winning” in all areas indeed.

Good graph 2

The company also pointed out that businesses related to Life Sciences  “witnessed the highest rate of growth” and an increase in iPad deployments.” In addition, while Android fell back in the fourth quarter during the launch of the iPhone 4S. It seems to me that Android’s growth stalling due to the iPhone’s growth is becoming a trend now. Pretty amazing how only three iPhone models are beating Android in every area possible.

Over 80% of the Smartphones AT&T Activated Last Quarter Were Apple’s iPhone

AT&T logo

 

Just a couple of days ago, it was reported that the iPhone represented 55% of Verizon’s last quarter smartphone sales. Today, AT&T announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011, and revealed that the carrier reached a new record sale numbers for smartphones. AT&T reported that it saw sales of 9.4 million smartphones, which is double the previous quarter’s sales and 50% higher than the company’s previous record.

Turns out, the iPhone was the driver behind these smartphone sales for AT&T. The carrier reported that it saw 7.6 million iPhones activated during last quarter. Majority of these activations were iPhone 4Ses. That’s pretty surprising for a phone nobody wanted. AT&T also promoted its lead over Verizon in iPhone activations, noting that it has continued to outspace Verizon every quarter since AT&T lost exclusivity on the iPhone last year.

AT&T also noted that it has continued to improve its voice and data network. The carrier reports that more than 80% of data traffic is now coming over the carrier’s enhanced network that allows for “4G” speeds on devices supporting at least HSPA+, such as the iPhone 4S. In addition, the carrier also reported that “call retainability” has continued to increase.

Apple Passes by Android in Fourth Quarter U.S. Smartphone Sales

Android is “winning” is something you hear everyday in the press, but in reality that is just not the case. Usually, people make this judgement due to Android having the larger marketshare, but now that’s quickly changing. Just yesterday, it was reported that Apple reported its best quarter ever. During yesterday’s quarterly earnings call, it was revealed that Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones. You know the phone that was considered a flop by pundits. In fact, even Verizon revealed that more than 50% of the smartphones it sold last quarter were iPhones.

Now, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, with just three different iPhone models available for sale, Apple has reached a 44.9 percent share of the U.S. smartphones sales last quarter. Apparently, that was enough to just sneak past the Android platform. Remember, the Android platform has hundreds of devices while Apple only sells three. It should also be noted that these three iPhones lack 4G. Apple’s 44.9 percent share was twice that of a year prior, according to Reuters.

“Apple has continued its strong sales run in the U.S., UK and Australia over the Christmas period,” Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the research firm said.

“Overall, Apple sales are now growing at a faster rate than Android across the nine countries we cover,” Sunnebo added.

Turns out, Apple’s gains were Android’s losses. Android slipped from 50 percent of sales to 44.8 percent.

iCloud Now Has 85 Million Users

iCloud logo

 

Today, Apple announced its best quarter ever and its share price soared past $450 in the after hours. In addition, Apple also revealed some interesting numbers during their financial conference call. A little over three months ago, Apple launched iCloud. The company announced that over 85 million users are syncing their devices through iCloud. This comes from Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, during today’s Q1 2012 financial earnings call.

It goes to show that the growth rate is incredible and eclipses the total number of iOS devices sold during the same time frame. During that time frame, 64 million iOS devices were sold! In fact, that’s also more users Dropbox reported in late 2011. I remember, when the service first launched, people said nobody would use it, but look who’s talking now!

iCloud is a free service that stores all your content and seamlessly syncs it across all your devices. It replaced the company’s predecessor paid subscription service called MobileMe with a more seamless and free service. The service being offered for free would probably explain the tremendous growth iCloud is seeing.

AAPL Soars Past $450

Today, Apple announced its best quarter ever, and the figures are incredible! In the after hours, Apple’s share price has soared past $450. At $450 per share, AAPL’s market cap goes to over $420 B, again passing Exxon. Last September, the company’s share price touched $413.23 late in the after market, but closed at $411.63. Then, just a week ago, Apple’s share price has closed at an all-time high of $429.

Apple 450 after hours

If Apple closes any higher than $429 tomorrow, it will be a new all time high. In addition, if AAPL’s market cap exceeds $420 billion, then it will become the world’s most valuable company again! Currently, Apple is the world’s most valuable technology company. Its last quarter’s earnings surpassed $40 billion and sold over 15 million iPads, up 111 percent over the year-ago quarter. In addition, Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones, up 128 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company also sold 15.4 million iPods during the quarter, which represents a 21 percent unit decline over the year-ago quarter.

The company’s guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 includes expected revenue of $32.5 billion and earnings per diluted share of $8.50.

Apple Reports Best Quarter Ever

Today, Apple announced its financial results for the fourth calendar quarter of 2011 and first quarter of 2012. The street and analysts suggested a $40 billion quarter, but even their predictions were off. The company reported revenue of $46.33 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $26.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $6 billion, or $6.43 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. A massive Q1 blowout and this is the company’s best quarter ever. The company’s last quarter revenue was 2x of Microsoft’s and nearly 4.6x of Google’s!

Apple quarterly earnings chart

In addition, gross margin was 44.7 percent, compared to the 38.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue. Apple’s quarterly profit and revenue were both company records. Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones, which is 128 percent from the year-ago quarter. It should be pointed out that copy-cat Samsung only *shipped* (not sold) 28 million smartphones last quarter. Also, the iPhone 4S was a total flop, just like the pundits said. A miserable 37 million sold! The company also sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, up 111 percent over the year-ago quarter. During the last quarter, Apple sold 15.4 million iPods, which represents a 21 percent unit decline over the year-ago quarter. This is a new record for iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales during the quarter.

Apple quarterly earnings pie chart

Apple’s guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 includes expected revenue of $32.5 billion and earnings per diluted share of $8.50. You can listen to the live stream of its Q1 2012 financial results conference call here.

[Image credit: MacRumors]

iPhone Represented 55% of Verizon’s 4Q 2011 Smartphone Sales

Android owners, is this headline surprising to you? How can one smartphone be dominating in smartphone sales? Shocker indeed. Today, Verizon revealed its quarterly earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011, and during the call, they revealed that they sold 7.7 million smartphones. Shockingly, 4.2 million of which were iPhones. Remember, this is a phone that lacks 4G and only comes in one model, while Android phones come in all sizes and specifications. These numbers go to show that the iPhone on all carriers is clearly making a dent in Android sales and marketshare.

Verizon also reported that smartphones now account for 44% of the company’s postpaid customer phone base, which is up from 39% in the previous quarter. However, this strong growth in smartphones significantly reduced the carrier’s margins last quarter as the carrier is absorbing the costly upfront subsidies paid to manufacturers for the devices. . The carrier plans to recover these costs over the length of customers’ contracts, making it willing to take short term hits to profitability to lock in smartphone customers on profitable service contracts.

Apple will report its total number of iPhone sales for the holiday quarter at 2 PM PST this afternoon.

Gartner: Apple is Now the Largest Buyer of Semiconductors in the World

Just ahead of Apple’s quarterly earnings call today, Gartner, a researching firm, has come out with a new report today that suggests that the company is the world’s largest buyer of semiconductors in the world. Apple spent around $17 billion on semiconductors in 2011, making it the largest chip customer in the world. Shouldn’t it be a company that manufactures Android phones (the OS that’s “winning)!? You know, like Samsung!

Gartner 2011 seminconductor

Apple claimed the top position with a 34.6 percent growth from 2010, the largest surge of any other company among the top 10. The company leaped two spots from third  2010 to beat out copycat-Samsung and take the number 1 position. According to the report, semiconductor purchases for the company’s products came in at $17.3 billion in 2011, ahead of Samsung’s $16.7 billion and HP’s $16.6 billion. In fact, last June, IHS iSuppli reported that Apple had become the world’s largest buyer of semiconductors in 2010.

The leading electronics manufacturers accounted for $105.6 billion in semiconductor purchases in 2011. That was a year over year increase of $1.8 billion, or 1.8 percent, from 2010. Apple’s performance in 2011 continued its growth pattern seen over the last five years, since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007.

Early iBooks Textbooks Downloads Estimated at 350,000?

iBooks textbook

Just last week, Apple introduced iBooks 2, an updated version of the company’s e-book software for iOS devices. In addition, they introduced digital textbooks for the iPad and announced partnerships with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the textbooks. These three publishers are currently responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. Since the moment Apple announced these digital textbooks, it was considered to be a dud. However, today AllThingsD reports on a new research note from Global Equities Research analyst, Trip Chowdhry claiming that customers downloaded approximately 350,000 iBooks Textbooks from the iBookstore over the first three days of availability. Clearly, a dud indeed!

If those numbers are accurate, Apple’s textbook effort would seem to be off to a good start. Which is good news for everyone involved — particularly textbook publishers, who stand to make more money on books sold through iBooks than those sold at retail.

It is unclear how many of those 350,000 downloads were paid purchases, with seven of the eight titles being priced at Apple’s maximum $14.99 price tag. Apparently, these downloads were accompanied by over 90,000 downloads of Apple’s iBooks Author app from the Mac App Store. The eight title, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, is available for free, although it currently contains only the first two chapters of the book. Paid titles are also required to offer free samples, and Chowdhry apparently did not mention whether these are counted as downloads.

With only eight iBooks textbook titles available at launch, Apple is just beginning to scratch the surface of the digital textbook market.

Apple May Open Retail Stores in India?

Well, just last week it was reported that Apple is working on two new retail stores in France and Switzerland. Today, Indian business newspaper Mint reports that Apple may be preparing to open retail stores in India. If true, this would significantly increase the company’s presence in the country.

According to the report, Apple’s interest forms due to Indian regulators eliminating ownership requirements that had previously required single-brand retail outlets such as Apple Stores to have at least 49% domestic investment. However, one potential obstacle still might remai as ventures with high levels of foreign investment such as what Apple would offer will be required to source 30% of their product value from small businesses in India. Luckily for Apple, regulators may be willing to address that requirement as well, depending the official analysis of the viability of a retail effort in India.

When asked whether the 30% local sourcing clause will be a hindrance, the DIPP official said, “Let Apple finalize its business plan and the investment it wants to make. If they tell us that the 30% sourcing is a problem, at that stage we will look into it,” he said.

In 2006, Apple attempted to create an Indian presence with a tech support center, but the company quickly abandoned those plans.

Apple is Now Worth More Than Greece

Apple logo

You probably are thinking that the headline of this post is crazy, but in reality it is not. Apple’s share price and market cap has grown like a weed. Just yesterday, it was reported that Apple’s share price had closed at all-time high of $429. While the share price continues to grow, its market cap is growing too. Today, Apple’s market cap has touched $400 Billion, reports CNN Money. It is a record high for the world’s most valuable technology company.

The company’s market cap skid just below the $400 billion mark and share price fell back from an all-time high of $431.37 it set earlier in the morning. At the end of the day, Apple closed at a market cap of $398 billion. In fact, once Apple’s market cap closes at $400 billion, it will only be $20 billion away from becoming the world’s most valuable company. In the past, Apple has stolen the spot away from Exxon. Currently, Exxon claims that spot with a market cap of $420 billion.

Just a few months ago, Apple was worth as much as all Euro zone banks combined. Today, Apple’s worth is higher than the gross domestic product of Greece, Austria, Argentina, or South Africa. Holy moly, and to think the company was doomed nearly a decade ago. What’s hilarious is that Apple’s market cap is nearly twice of Google’s ($207 billion) now. You know, the company that’s dominating in marketshare. To see all the things Apple is worth more than, checkout out this blog.

So let me get this straight, a company that was nearly dead at one point has seen a growth of nearly 4000% in the past 10 years, has more cash in the bank than the US Government, is worth more than Greece, and is the most valuable technology company in the world. Mind boggling isn’t it? Next week, Apple will report its quarterly earnings for the past, and it is expected to be a $40 billion quarter for the company.

Apple Posts Video of iBooks Media Event

Apple has published the full video of today’s education-related event on their website. It requires Safari 4 or 5 on Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Lion, Safari on iOS 3 or later, or QuickTime 7 on Windows.

iBooks keynote

Thursday’s event occurred at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, and was about an hour long. The event featured Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for Worldwide Product Marketing, as well as Roger Rosner, vice president for Productivity Software. During the event, iBooks 2 for iPad was officially unveiled, which Apple pitched as a new platform for textbooks in school. The keynote shows a live demonstration of new textbooks made for the iBooks 2 software.

During the event, the company also unveiled  iBooks Author and iTunes U for iPad. iBooks Author is a new app for Mac OS X that makes creating digital books easy for iOS. In addition, Apple also introduced a brand new iPad app for iTunes U. The company turned its free educational podcast section in the iTunes store into an app. iTunes U allows college students to view course materials, receive updates from their teachers, and even sign up for classes.

Apple also released iTunes 10.5.3, which allows users of iBooks to sync their textbook purchases with iTunes.

 

Apple Announces iBooks Author

Apple sure has made a lot of education-related announcements today. In addition to releasing a revamped version of iBooks, announcing digital interactive textbooks, and an app for iTunes U, the company has also unveiled a brand new Max OS X application called “iBooks Author”. According to the company, this will simplify the process of creating and selling digital textbooks through its iBook store. More importantly, it should be noted that Apple has essentially converted iBooks from an app to a platform.

iBooks Author

Apple’s Roger Rosner, demonstrated the new software to the press during the event. He showed how the tool can easily turn a document like a Microsoft Word file into something formatted for the iBooks 2 app. In addition, users can also place images in their book, and text will flow around the pictures. Movies can also be added to an iBook too by simply dragging and dropping. He also showed how simple it is to add a Keynote file to an iBook. In his demo, Rosner showed how adding a Keynote file would add the presentation to a book as an interactive widget.

Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All you need is an idea and a Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. Add your own text and images with drag-and-drop ease. Use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps. And before you know it, you’re a published author.

iBooks Author is available for free in the Mac App Store.