HTC Sees Profit Drop as Samsung Eats its Android Lunch

Samsung wasn’t the only smartphone maker which revealed its quarterly earnings today. HTC also posted its Q4 2011 results, but unlike Samsung which had a record quarter, it actually reported a drop in its operating profit, for the first time in the last two years. Its net income in Q4 dropped 26% to $364 million, below analyst estimates. Its revenues were down 2.5% to around $3.35 billion.

Apparently, its unit sales dipped more than expected, due to the increasing competition in the smartphone space. Its smartphone shipments in Q4 were down to only 10 million units, and are expected to slip further to 8.5 million units in Q1 2012.

“Severe competition at the high end from Apple and Samsung forced their sales lower during the quarter. The key is when they can find their competitive edge, which may not happen until the second quarter at the earliest,” said a Nomura analyst.

HTC is slated to launch some new devices at CES 2012, which will start next week. If any of those devices turn out to be a hit, they could boost HTC’s sales in Q2 2012. However, given the very competitive nature of the smartphone market, that seems increasingly unlikely. While Apple has its own platform, Samsung has become the preferred manufacturer for the Android platform, and Nokia has become the flagship manufacturer for Windows Phone. HTC runs a real risk of becoming irrelevant fast, if it doesn’t move soon.

Smartphone Platforms: Google Consolidates on Its Lead, RIM and Microsoft Slip Further

Android went from strength to strength in 2011, as Microsoft struggled to play catchup and RIM fumbled, suggests a new report by comScore. At the end of November, Android accounted for 46.9% of smartphones in the US, which is a 3.1% increase from August. Apple’s iOS is the only smartphone OS that is still offering some sort of a fight to Android. It gained 1.4% user share in the past three months to finish with 28.7% user share. Unsurprisingly, the biggest looser was RIM, which slid by 3.1% to 16.6%. Microsoft and Symbian were also amongst the losers.


Samsung was the top device manufacturer with 25.6% market share. LG, Motorola, Apple, and RIM were the other brands featuring in the top five. ComScore surveyed 30,000 phone (smartphones as well as dumbphones) owners in the US for the report.


Although, Samsung was the top handset manufacturer, it registered only 0.3% growth, while LG, Motorola and RIM lost marketshare. Apple was the only mobile phone manufacturer to register significant growth with a gain of 1.4%.

Based on its current growth trajectory, Android should manage to conquer more than half of the smartphone market pretty soon. However, it’s worth noting that Android’s growth isn’t coming at the cost of its biggest competitor – the iOS. iPhones are still selling like hotcakes, as Apple continues to be one of the few OEMs registering growth in the smartphone segment.

Apple Could Obtain $10 Per Android Device Sold

Apple logo
Oh boy, while Apple is trying to save their intellectual property from not being stolen, analysts are telling what Apple should do. Apparently,  Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an  interview with  Bloomberg  that he believes Apple could probably collect up to $10 in royalties for every Android device sold. In fact, that would be twice per unit Microsoft is believed to be receive for each HTC Android device sold. You can read the entire article on Bloomberg‘s website, but here I’m going to go off on a little rant…

I disagree with this argument. Forget the fact that Apple never listens to analysts (be glad they don’t) and analysts can never predict anything correctly when it comes to Apple, but what Rivette forgets is that Apple doesn’t need the royalty money from Android phones. Nope, not one bit. In fact, Apple isn’t Microsoft. Period. What I mean by this is that Microsoft only makes software, while Apple makes hardware and integrated systems. This allows Apple to make money on hardware it develops and take control year after year on the product it develops (iPod, iPhone, iPad). The money lies here. With over $80 Billion in cash, it is very apparent that Apple is not in the game for a few bucks, but instead in the game for the big bucks.  Also, by taking this route Apple would lose one key  competitive  advantage over its competitors  â€” innovation.  In fact, the key reason why companies are copying Apple is so they can take advantage of their success. The copying is so accurate that Samsung lawyers couldn’t even tell their products apart. Apple’s battle with Samsung is only one of the countless number of cases Apple is fighting against copycats.

Why exactly should a company that’s innovating, thinking of innovative products first, leading in design, and is extremely profitable resort to such an extreme  measure?


iOS 5.0.1 Untethered Jailbreak For iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad Released

The iOS jailbreak developers have finally got a break through and have released an untethered jailbreak for non-A5 iOS devices running iOS 5.0.1.

@pod2g – the developer who found the Jailbreak exploit – gave the exploit to both the iPhone Dev team and the Chronic Dev Team a few days ago. Both the Dev. team have updated their respective apps – PwnageTool, redsn0w and the Cydia package.  The untethered iOS 5.0.1 Jailbreak is meant only for non-A5 devices from Apple which includes the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1, and the iPod Touch 3G/4G. Interested readers can find the required download link, and the  necessary  instructions over at this link.

The developer is also working hard on trying to port this exploit to the current generation A5 devices from Apple.

I would also encourage our readers to support the developer by donating a small amount to him via Paypal. The whole exploit was single handedly found and developed by @pod2g, and he has been working hard on it for quite a few months now. The donate link can be found at the above mentioned download link.


iOS and Android See Record Breaking Sales on Christmas

The two most popular mobile platforms – iOS and Android – both saw a record breaking Christmas this year, in terms of device activations as well as app downloads. They generally see a sharp rise around Christmas every year, as device sales are boosted by people giving them away as gifts.

According to Flurry, the total new iOS and Android device activations on Christmas Day were 6.8 million, compared to just 1.5 million activations on any average day in December. The number is also much higher than the activations on Christmas Day 2010, which were just around 2.8 million.

iOS and Android Device Activations

Naturally, there was also a significant rise in the number of app downloads this Christmas. While around 108 million iOS and Android apps were downloaded on any average day in December, Christmas Day saw around 242 millon app downloads.

iOS and Android App Downloads

Note: Andy Rubin just posted on Twitter that around 3.7 million Android devices were activated on December 24 and 25. Assuming that the device activations were split equally on both days, around 1.85 million Android devices were activated on Christmas Day. This means that the number of iOS devices activated on that day were close to 5 million, much higher than Android.

Even if we assume that a majority of the 3.7 million Android devices were activated on December 25, the number of iOS device activations was likely much more than the number of Android device activations.

Apple Planning to Add Bluetooth Support for AirPlay

AirPlay logo

You know Apple’s AirPlay? That magical technology everybody loves? Well guess what, it is about to get even better! A Japanese blog Macotakar  (via  AppleInsider)  reports that Apple held a MFI conference in Shezen, China earlier this week. “MFI” is Apple’s    Made for iPod / iPhone / iPad  certification program for accessory manufacturers.

Apparently, during the talk, Apple reportedly revealed that they would be release a new certification chip for  MFi devices that will allow future AirPlay products to connect via Bluetooth 4.0. As of right now, Apple’s AirPlay can only be used via a WiFi network, but the new chip will allow access to iOS devices over AirPlay, Bluetooth, and WiFi. The  current program  seems to be limited to physical dock accessories and specific AirPlay vendors.

In fact, the low power consumption of Bluetooth 4.0 makes it an attractive data transfer  option to WiFi for battery operated devices. MacRumors has a fantastic profile on the possibilities for Bluetooth Low Energy.

Currently,  only the iPhone 4S, Mac Mini and MacBook Air offer  Bluetooth 4.0, while remaining Bluetooth-capable Apple products have chips using version 2.1 of the protocol. Back in June, Apple, the world’s most valuable tech company,  was nominated  to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group board of directors; the organization oversees the development and standards of the wireless technology.

Microsoft Releases Xbox LIVE app for iOS

Oh boy, what do we have here? Good news for iOS devices owners who also own a Xbox. First it was OneNote for iOS, now they have released an official Xbox LIVE app (free) in Apple’s App Store. This release comes just a day after the launch of a new Dashboard update to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console.

Xbox Live iOS

The new app brings a Windows 8 feel to it, which is nice, but it just doesn’t feel like an iOS app in my opinion. Xbox LIVE for iOS brings some of the functionality found on the Xbox 360 consoles besides gameplay. The app allows users to access friends lists, game data, and messages through three main menus: “Home,” “Social” and “Games.”  In addition, the user interface is a blend of iOS swipe functionality with the tiled UI from Windows Phone 7. Icons and UI animations fade in and out like Windows Phone and is smooth with transitions.

Read and send messages to friends
Manage your friends list, invite new friends
Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto)
Change your avatar features/items with the avatar closet
View and compare your achievement progress with friends

Microsoft’s new app is also optimized for the iPad, and uses a similar layout. The iPad app shows more content and detail. While Google releases crappy WebView apps for iOS, Microsoft releases polished apps for iOS. Just sayin’…

Apple’s Secret iOS Code Names Inspired by Ski Resorts

Apple logo

Apple is known to be an extremely secretive company. However, sometimes tidbits from others regarding the company do get revealed somehow. The company has a habit of giving code names to its projects. For example, its rumored Oregon data center project is code named “Maverick.” Also, unlike with new builds of Mac OS X, where Apple makes the OS’s code name part of its branding, the approach for iOS is completely different. Apple uses a numeric approach to name its new iOS builds.

Turns out, the full list of iOS names has been published on TiPb after developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who we interviewed last month, tweeted the code names on Twitter. Apparently, the code names are named after ski resorts.  They begin with the first version of iOS in 2007, when version 1.0 was known as “Alpine,” in reference to California’s Alpine Meadows.

iOS 2.0 is internally known as “Big Bear,” in connection with Big Bear Lake, Calif. Another California resort, Kirkwood Mountain, also inspired the codename for iOS 3.0 and so forth. The entire list of iOS code names can be found below:

  • 1.0: Alpine
  • 1.1: Little Bear
  • 2.0: Big Bear
  • 2.1: Sugarbowl
  • 2.2: Timberline
  • 3.0: Kirkwood
  • 3.1: Northstar
  • 3.2: Wildcat
  • 4.0: Apex
  • 4.1: Baker
  • 4.2: Jasper
  • 4.3: Durango
  • 5.0: Telluride
  • 5.1: Hoodoo
Much better than being named after desserts, don’t you think? ;-)

12 Of The Top Movies In Android Market To Be Available for $0.99; All Gameloft’s iOS Game Go On Sale!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday – the best time of the year for consumers to shop around in the United States. All big retailers like Walmart and Best Buy along with online shopping sites like Amazon have huge sales on electronic items, and other household stuffs.

Google has also jumped in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon by offering 12 movies in the Top Movies category in the Android Market for only $0.99 for the next two weeks! The big-G wants to make sure that you spent some quality time with your family this weekend by watching some of the movies from the Android Market.

Gameloft, one of the most popular gaming titles publisher for Android and iOS, has also put its game on sales. iOS users can get 20 of Gameloft’s most popular games for only 0.99$ each. The company is touting this to be its biggest sale ever.

Sadly, the offer for Android users is not as tempting enough. The company will be offering one random game for the Android platform for only 0.99$ every day until next week.

Readers should keep in mind that all these deals are only for the people living in the United States and Canada. If you live in any other region of the world, you are out of luck!

iOS May Dominate App Sales; But Android Leads Mobile Ad Impressions

Millennial Media, one of the largest mobile ad networks, released some platform statistics for the month of October 2011, which show that Android is dominating mobile ad impressions on its network.

Android accounts for around 56% of the total ad impressions on Millennial’s network, while iOS comes a distant second with only a 28% share of total ad impressions. RIM has a 13% share, while Symbian, Windows and the others all have a 1% share each.

Mobile Ad Impressions October 2011

Apple was the leading manufacturer with a 24% share of all smartphones and connected devices, while HTC came second with around 18% share. Samsung is closing in fast, and had around 17.2% share of all devices.

These figures are in line with our expectations that Android app developers are much more dependent on advertising to make money. This is precisely why it is grossly inaccurate to count only revenue from app sales when comparing the total revenue earned by developers on each platform.

Android has been topping the charts when it comes to mobile ad impressions for the Millennial network for almost a year now. Being one of the largest ad networks, it provides a reasonably accurate sample size for the entire mobile advertising market.