FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Google’s Android operating system reached a new milestone during the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. With a total base of 211.6 million smartphone units shipped during the quarter, Android accounted for 81.0% of all smartphone shipments, marking the first time that Android topped 80% in its short history. Despite high saturation rates in a number of mature markets, the overall smartphone space grew 39.9% year-over-year in the third quarter.
Also reaching a milestone was Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which grew an amazing 156.0% year over year. Granted, volumes started from a small base of 3.7 million units a year ago and overall market share is still less than five percent. But Microsoft’s efforts, with Nokia’s support behind it, helped drive the platform into multiple tiers and price points.
Cloud platform provider Citrix released its 4Q 2013 “Citrix Mobile Analytics Report,” offering readers insight into mobile data subscriber usage patterns and their impact on service providers’ networks. Turning to the Android mobile OS and platform, Citrix found that three apps – Media Player, Mobile Browser, and Google Play – account for 83% of Android device mobile data volume. Media Player alone accounts for more than 50%.
Mobile advertising has grown substantially along with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, according to the report. Mobile advertising now accounts for 1.6% of iOS data traffic and 2.2% of Android mobile data traffic, the report says. For 1Q 2012, those numbers were 1% and 2%, respectively.
Apple made waves during Tuesday’s media event when the company announced that its iLife and iWork suite would be free for customers who buy a new Mac or iOS device. But the apps are also free for users who already have the apps installed, and one app is free, period. Here’s our guide to demystifying Apple’s new pricing structure on its iLife and iWork apps.
How “free with purchase” works
When Apple first announced that its iOS apps would be free with the purchase of a new iPhone, I theorized that Apple might include a notification alert after you first activated your new device, with a link to download your free apps. Instead, there’s no link or alert to be found. If you want your free iWork and iLife apps—on OS X Mavericks or on iOS—you have to first visit the Mac App Store to do so. When you do, however, the “Buy” button for those apps will be replaced with “Download” or “Update” (or the iCloud icon on the iOS App Store). I’ll note that iWork and iLife apps only come free for the kind of device you’ve purchased—you won’t get the OS X versions of iLife and iWork for free because you recently purchased a new iPhone or iPad.
Though I can’t yet confirm it (I asked Apple for more details but have yet to receive a response), I suspect that Apple associates the iWork and iLife suite with your Apple ID when you first activate a new device. That way, when you visit the app’s page, it shows up as already “purchased” on your account, and you can download away.
Though the iPhone 5s won’t be available in stores until September 20, we were able to use some demo models for a little while on Tuesday after Apple’s media event announcing them. We scanned our thumbs, took pictures, and tried to imagine what part of space is gray. Here’s our hands-on first look.
The iPhone 5s feels an awful lot like the iPhone 5. It isn’t noticeably heavier in hand, nor is the look particularly different—save for its new color options.
In using the iPhone 5s briefly, we found it speedy and snappy, and iOS 7 looks great. We weren’t able to run any benchmark tests or particularly hungry apps, so there was no way to put to the test Apple’s claims of it being twice as fast as the iPhone 5 in many tasks. As we said, the iPhone 5s feels more or less like the iPhone 5. It’s truly an iPhone with an “s” at the end at its name—a whole bunch of upgraded internals built on top of a phone design that seems quite familiar.
The rumors were true: Apple really is hosting another of its flagship events on September 10, and all signs point to its using the occasion to unveil at least one new model of iPhone. My colleague Dan Moren and I have already made a slew of predictions about what new iPhones might look like. But what else might be on the docket? And what’s definitely not going to happen?
No chance: A new iPad
The iPad and the iPhone have plenty in common, so a case could be made for unveiling new versions of both iOS devices side by side. But one of their many commonalities is that both devices garner significant media attention when new versions are unveiled, and Apple would prefer to have that press spotlight shined upon itself twice instead of just once. The iPhone now owns September on Apple’s theatrical schedule, but watch this space for an iPad event in October—just in time for the ho, ho, holiday season.
Very likely: New iPods
A year ago, Apple debuted all sorts of new iPods. It seems as if each year the iPad nano scores a significant facelift, each year the iPod classic is on the chopping block, and each year the iPod touch receives an update to make it more like the latest iPhone. Any new iPhone will (rightly) get the lion’s share of the attention, but new iPods are almost certain to be on the September 10 agenda, too.
Over the next six months, nearly an equivalent percentage of mobile app developers expect to build for tablets as for smartphones: 81.34 percent vs. 84 percent, respectively. Since 2010, the number of developers focusing on enterprise apps has jumped from 38 percent to 51 percent, and the figure is further expected to rise as high as 63 percent by the end of the year.
These latest numbers come from a study conducted in April 2013, in which Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 6,046 Appcelerator Titanium developers. The duo claims this is the world’s largest survey of mobile app developers to date.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – More smartphones are forecast to be shipped globally than feature phones in 2013, the first such occurrence in the mobile phone market on an annual basis. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, or 50.1% of the total mobile phone shipments worldwide.
Smartphone prices have fallen globally, the smartphone strata are wider than ever, and the roll-out of data-centric fourth-generation (4G) wireless networks are three factors that have made these “do-it-all” devices an increasingly attractive option for users. By the end of 2017, IDC forecasts 1.5 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide, which equates to just over two-thirds of the total mobile phone forecast for the year due to these primary factors.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Android and iOS, the number one and number two ranked smartphone operating systems (OS) worldwide, combined for 91.1% of all smartphone shipments during the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12). According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android smartphone vendors and Apple shipped a total of 207.6 million units worldwide during 4Q12, up 70.2% from the 122.0 million units shipped during 4Q11. For calendar year 2012, Android and iOS combined for 87.6% of the 722.4 million smartphones shipped worldwide, up from 68.1% of the 494.5 million units shipped during calendar year 2011.
“The dominance of Android and Apple reached a new watermark in the fourth quarter,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Android boasted a broad selection of smartphones, and an equally deep list of smartphone vendor partners. Finding an Android smartphone for nearly any budget, taste, size, and price was all but guaranteed during 2012. As a result, Android was rewarded with market-beating growth.”