Apple has managed to nab three of the top 5 spots for the top-selling mobile phones in the U.S. during Q4 2012 according to the NPD Group, with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 ranking first, third and fourth, respectively. Apple also retained the crown for best-selling overall smartphone maker, accounting for 39 percent of smartphone sales in Q4 2012, compared to Samsung’s 30 percent.
iPhone 4 sales rose 79 percent compared to Q3 2012, and iPhone 4S sales grew 43 percent sequentially, while the iPhone 5 accounted for 43 percent of all iPhone sales in Q4 2012, which is roughly in line with the numbers we’re seeing out of carrier data as well. It also made up nearly two-thirds of all smartphone sales on post-paid plans with a value over $ 200, NPD says. Samsung made considerable gains on the year, going up to 30 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales in Q4 2012 from 21 percent in the year ago quarter, but the gains were mostly at the expense of other Android OEMs, including HTC, while Apple’s overall share remained constant.
Net Applications also released its monthly report on mobile OS share, which found that Apple’s iOS increased slightly in terms of traffic, accounting for 60.56 percent of all mobile operating systems, while Android actually took a bit of a dip to 24.51 percent, continuing a decline that has occurred over the past two months from a peak high in November of 28.02 percent. It looks like Apple’s release of the iPhone 5 might have essentially begun to erase earlier gains made by the longer availability of the Samsung Galaxy S III, but Apple still has some ground to make up if it wants to climb back to its 2012 high of nearly 66 percent web traffic share among mobile devices.
Apple’s holiday quarter, which included 47.8 million iPhone sales and 22.9 million iPads, looks to have helped it in terms of remaining the leader in both smartphone and mobile device sales in the U.S., and in keeping the hold it has on mobile browsing. The strong quarter also accounts for Apple’s regaining the role of largest mobile phone maker by volume in the U.S., an honor it reclaimed according to the latest data from Strategy Analytics released earlier today.
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Myriam and Brad are back, tentacles and octacores in tow. This week we’re covering everything from Firefox phones to leaked HTC 5 Sense screenshots, but there’s also an Elephant in the vocal booths: the imminent BlackBerry 10 launch. Best of all, Brad’s officially renounced the term “phablet” much to Myriam’s delight — seriously, y’all, it’s just a big phone. (Is it really, though?) All that and more awaits you in episode 167 of the Engadget Mobile Podcast below.
Hosts: Myriam Joire (tnkgrl), Brad Molen
Producer: Joe Pollicino
Hear the podcast
00:11:57 – Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z announced 00:18:49 – Factory photo reveals 6.44-inch Sony display glass 00:21:10 – LG Optimus G Pro for Japan 00:38:41 – Pantech Discover review 00:46:39 – Verizon iPhone activation numbers 00:54:24 – Samsung Galaxy GSIII mini adds NFC for a premium 00:58:36 – Leaked HTC Sense 5 screenshots suggest a leaner, cleaner skin 01:11:01 – Mozilla reveals Firefox OS Developer Preview Phone 01:17:29 – RIM notes ‘remarkable’ number of app submissions, extends $ 10,000 incentive deadline
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Contact the podcast podcast (at) engadgetmobile (dot) com.
HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon & Page Plus) WiFi GPS 8.0 MP Camera 8 GB Phone $20.50 (9 Bids)End Date: Wednesday May-22-2013 17:58:09 PDTBid now | Add to watch list HTC Droid Incredible Verizon Wireless Wifi 8.0 MP Camera 8GB Android Cell Phone $64.95End Date: Wednesday Jun-19-2013 10:07:32 PDTBuy It Now for only: $64.95Buy It Now | Add to watch list New 4.0" Multi-touch Android 4.0 Dual Sim WIFI Smartphone AT&T T-Mobile Unlocked $63.95End Date: Monday May-27-2013 19:22:44 PDTBuy It Now for only: $63.95Buy It Now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
If you’ve been waiting to try out XBMC on your Android, it appears now is the time. While beta and nightly builds were already available, the team behind it has finally readied a release it says is “end user friendly,” ready to run on most any device. It achieves that feat by offloading video player duties to another app, in this case MX Player, in order to get around XBMC’s lack of hardware support for many devices. After sideloading the two necessary APKs we were able to get it up and running without any trouble, tossing in add-ins and playing back locally stored media without a problem. There’s a video to go along with the release (embedded after the break) but installing it yourself is probably the best way to get a feel for its video, picture and audio playback abilities.
Gallery: XBMC for Android
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Tagstand, the Y Combinator-backed startup intent on taking NFC mainstream, is announcing a partnership with mobile accessories maker TYLT in advance of this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The deal involves three new products, manufactured by TYLT, which use Tagstand’s NFC technology: TUNZ, a portable Bluetooth speaker; CAPIO, a universal smartphone mount for the car; and TAGZ, which are the NFC stickers you can program and place anywhere.
The products are designed to work with Tagstand’s Android application, NFC Task Launcher, which previously was made to work with NFC tags, like those Tagstand offers in its tag store. Users configure their NFC tags to perform particular tasks when tapped – like automatically activating Bluetooth, launching their navigation app or music app on their phone, connect to Wi-Fi networks, change ringer volumes, check-in on social networks, and more. The Task Launcher app has now been downloaded over 250,000 times, according to Tagstand co-founder Kulveer Taggar.
With the new products from TYLT, however, some of those use cases are now available built into the hardware devices themselves. For example, the CAPIO phone dock can now be configured to turn on your Bluetooth connection to sync with your car, launch your favorite mapping app or start playing music just by placing the phone in the mount.
The TUNZ speaker can be tapped to start playing music, and perform other tasks, like connecting to Wi-Fi, for example. So hopefully, a better alternative to the poorly received Nexus Q? (At least it looks like a speaker, not a ball.) The speaker includes a built-in noise canceling microphone that lets you switch from music to hands-free calling, and offers up to 20 hours of battery life. You can get 30 hours if you play the volume at half status, the company claims.
Although NFC doesn’t have widespread adoption in the U.S. at this point in terms of mobile payments – the technology it is often most associated with – Tagstand has been betting big that its integration into new Android phones will pave the way for startups that take advantage of the technology in other ways. TYLT is also investing in NFC, with plans to ship at least 100,000 NFC chips in six products in 2013. (In addition to the speaker and smartphone dock, they have four others on the roadmap. Some of the products were previously announced, but Tagstand’s partnership was not.)
Taggar adds that Tagstand’s NFC Task Launcher app has now seen over 10 million actions executed, which is up from the 1 million it was reporting back in June 2012. At the time, the company had just transitioned the app from a $ 2 paid version to a free offering, so the drop in price (to zero), has likely helped increase adoption.
The new NFC-enabled products will debut at CES, and TUNZ will be available for purchase immediately. CAPIO and TAGZ will launch next month.
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Tribal Tribe Pattern Retro Vintage Hard Back Case Cover Skin for iPhone 5 5G 5th $4.25 (8 Bids)End Date: Wednesday May-22-2013 17:47:00 PDTBid now | Add to watch list Apple iPhone 4S - 16GB - Black (Verizon) Smartphone Clean ESN $284.98End Date: Saturday May-25-2013 16:18:47 PDTBuy It Now for only: $284.98Buy It Now | Add to watch list Apple iPhone 4 - 16GB - Black (AT&T) Smartphone (MC318LL/A) $250.00 (0 Bids)End Date: Wednesday May-22-2013 17:47:12 PDTBid now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
Editor’s note: Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research and blogs at Techspressive. Each column will look at crowdfunded products that have either met or missed their funding goals. Follow him on Twitter @rossrubin.
High-quality videoconferencing was once the exclusive province of rich institutions with dedicated high-speed connections. These days, a pair of iPod touches can get you started chatting up your remote friends or colleagues. In February, Starii raised nearly $ 25,000 to create what would be renamed Swivl, a pan-and-tilt mechanism for iPhones that could track you as you moved. And a follow-up called Galileo, launched in March by Motrr, raised over $ 700,000 in providing remote access for a similar proposition. But two recent Kickstarter projects take iPhone video interaction to places it has never been before.
Backed: Romotive Romo. Through its extensive use of sensors, your iPhone may know a lot about where it is, but can’t do much to change where it is without being carried there (even though many seem to seek out the back seats of taxis). The Romo robot by Romotive addresses this by imbuing the iPhone with wheels along with a software-developed personality.
Speaking to Kickstarter second-timer Romotive reinforces the point that, at this stage, man seems to be doing at least as much to serve robots as vice versa. For example, citing the power of the Kickstarter community, after raising more than triple its goal for the original Romo, Romotive CEO Keller Rinaudo relays how an early backer of the effort based in Germany offered to upgrade the firmware, which involved disassembling the robot for all of the backers in Europe and return them to their original owners.
Romotive, which had its first Romo robot exceed its funding goal in a manner of days, hopes to avoid such issues with its third-generation set of wheels for iPhones that surpassed its $ 100,000 funding goal a few weeks ago. In addition to checking in on and playing games with kids of all ages, which it can recognize through cloud-based face tagging, and pets, the new Romo charges faster (a way for it to find its own charger a la iRobot vacuums is being looked into), lasts longer on a charge, tilts the iPhone in order to record and view at a range of angles, and smokes its predecessor in a race. But it’s not all fun and games. Rinuado notes that Romo has applications in fields such as real estate — where it could quickly take photos of many rooms — stringing cable through walls for residential installers, and even going into dangerous environments.
Backed: Altia Systems PanaCast. A basic webcam will do if you’re just looking to see grandma’s face, but the UFO-like PanaCast promises to deliver some alien technology to conference rooms across the world. Project owner Altia has more than doubled its modest $ 15,000 funding goal with 30 days left in the campaign, giving the impression that the startup is using Kickstarter more for publicity than as a material source of funding.
Using a modern iPhone-class ARM processor to stitch together images from its camera array, the Altia PanaCast is described by Altia as an “ultra-low latency panoramic-HD multi-imager video camera and integrated streaming server.”
The device creates a 200-degree video image but packages it in a standard HD frame for compatibility with existing video software. The benefit of the wide-angle is that it can allow a remote viewer to see more of a conference room, concert, or other environment at once; PanaCast achieves this without the fisheye effect common (and getting somewhat played out in) action cameras such as those from GoPro and Contour.
Indeed, PanaCast technology could be applied to a wide range of uses, including capturing extreme sports. The first-generation product, though, with its stand that makes it look like a miniature Space Needle, seems designed for stationary tasks.
Altia has committed to it selling for less than $ 700 without any microphones. The company says it thinks customers will want flexibility in choosing the best microphone option for their needs; these could include lavaliers or the one on a Polycom station. It should find an audience with businesses that are looking for dedicated video conferencing but are not ready to step up to something from Logitech-owned LifeSize.
PanaCast optimizes its output for mobile networks; the company has demonstrated its IMAX-like experience running over 3G connections. The iOS apps for remote conference viewing that Altia has developed allow you to slickly pan and zoom in on whoever may be talking, but it would be even slicker if that were automated based on who was talking. That is surely in the queue.Related Posts: