In Q2 of 2012, Apple managed to grab 84 percent of Mobile PC shipments. Tablet markets will remain strong in the year 2013

NPD DisplaySearch has released a report which says that Apple accounted for 84% of the mobile PC shipments in the second quarter of 2012. This became possible due to the success of Apple’s iPad. LG is leading the mobile PC shipments in the year 2012.
According to OEM, the Apple’s success in the market of mobile PC shipments is due to the rise in production of iPad 2 and iPad 3.the new iPad or iPad 3 was launched in the first quarter of 2012 after which its productions had to be increased due to increase in demand.The iPad 2 productions also boost up due to increase in its demand following the reduction in its price. It seems that recently iPad 2 is very popular among consumers as it contributed a major portion to the sales of iPad in the year 2012. But this is not certain because the company does not reveal its sales of individual device models while reporting their quarterly sales.

According to NPD, in the year 2013 the competitors of Apple will look forward to build stronger relationships with ultra slim PCs and touch notebooks. Jeff Lin, an analyst at DisplaySearch said that Samsung will try to decrease the Apple’s display manufacturing shares. They will add other customers like Noble, Barnes and Amazon in order to diversify their efforts.

NPD has predicted after the end of 2012, the growth of notebook PCs will be about 2% and there will be a fall of 28% in the category of mini-notebook year over year. It is expected that the growth of tablet will rise to about 75%. NPD has also predicted that in the year 2013, there will be a rise by 16% in the notebook PC shipments. It seems that Apple will play a key role in this growth but it will be interesting to see that whether other OEMs will have any effect on shipment volume.

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Apple’s Developer Center Is Back After Over A Week Offline

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Apple’s Developer Center is finally back online, after taking a break for over a week. The developer site went down after a hacking attempt mid-week last week, and stayed down without any kind of return for multiple days. The hack was reportedly one that only affected developer accounts, after an intruder attempted to secure personal information.

Apple said at the time that it was possible personal information including developer names, mailing addresses and email addresses could have been accessed, but no credit card data was leaked. Apple offered no time-table for return at the time, but did create a system for tracking the status of the site after a week of downtime, and started bringing things back online slowly.

A researcher reported that he’d possibly prompted the down time after probing the dev center and reporting bugs regarding vulnerabilities in it and the iAd Workbench site, but we’ve reached out to Apple for more specific information about the return and what steps led to it, and will update with a response if we receive one.

Update: Here’s the full text of the email sent to developers by Apple about the outage.

We appreciate your patience as we work to bring our developers services back online. Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, software downloads, and other developer services are now available. If you would like to know the availability of a particular system, visit our status page.

If your program membership expired or is set to expire during this downtime, it will be extended and your app will remain on the App Store. If you have any other concerns about your account, please contact us.

Thank you for bearing with us while we bring these important systems back online. We will continue to update you on our progress.

Apple’s shares drop by 6.4% due to Uncertainty and Volatility

Few days back Apple’s share fell by 6.43 %to about 538.79. This corresponds to $34.8 billion loss. That day the analysts were finding the reasons that resulted in the drop of Apple’s share but they failed to find a reason for this.
We have seen a rise in Apple’s share since the last twelve months. The shares rose by 42.7% due to the launch of two new devices in the market; iPad mini and iPhone 5. With not too many new devices coming in the market and with a new CEO, the chances of volatility increases. A smallest decline can lead to the downfall of the company.When we report about variations in stock we often focus on short term activities of the company. There are few things that might explain the decrease in Apple’s share. Bloomberg is blaming China Mobile, Reuters is blaming taxed=s on capital gain and IDC tablet report whereas Fortune is blaming DigiTimes article for this. It seems that this is a combination of the above mentioned reasons but still no one is sure about this. In case of Apple we can use the strategy of VUCA which can lead to bigger changes in stock. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.

VOLATILITY: In terms of trading volatility means the rate at which the change in price occurs. In the month of November the volatility of Apple was 104%. This much volatility also occurred in the month of May and this was the time when many people predicted that the shares will fall. The prediction turned out to be wrong.

UNCERTAINTY: Apple has changed its product release cycle. This year two devices were released and the updated version of some other devices were released. It is always hard to predict the next device that Apple will launch. The uncertainty can lead to bigger stock movements which mean volatility.

COMPLEXITY: it is difficult to predict the actual worth of Apple. Apple is not performing incredibly well. It seems that Apple is a company which has disappointed people but it has still managed to gain larger profit.

AMBIGUITY: sales can help to indicate the position of company in the market. Now the question arises that whether Apple’s sales are good or not. Samsung is the biggest competitor of Apple. But the sales of ipads and iPhones are still growing.

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Following a recent fatality, Apple publishes Chinese web page encouraging use of official chargers

154438180 520x245 Following a recent fatality, Apple publishes Chinese web page encouraging use of official chargers

Following two back-to-back accidents in China believed to be iPhone-related, Apple has added a page to its China website dedicated exclusively to informing consumers about its chargers.

A message at the top of the page states that Apple has always placed the safety of its consumers as a foremost concern, and that all of its products, including the iPhone and iPad, must go through rigorous testing for safety and reliability.

The passage then reads (translated from the Chinese):

When you charge your iPhone or iPad, we suggest that you use all USB power adapters with correspondingly-labeled USB cables. These adapters and cables can be purchased as individual items from Apple and authorized Apple retailers.

Below the message, the page features detailed pictures of the power adapters for some of Apple’s latest devices, with specifications for the each adapter’s corresponding power cord and red arrows pointing to the official Apple guarantee labels on each device.

AppleAdapterChinaPics 730x332 Following a recent fatality, Apple publishes Chinese web page encouraging use of official chargers

The appearance of the page, which is unique to Apple’s China site, is almost certainly in response to two life-threatening incidents in China purportedly involving counterfeit Apple device chargers. Earlier this month Ma Ailun, a 23 year old woman from Xinjiang, died tragically from electric shock when she allegedly used her iPhone 5 while connected to an unauthorized charger. Just days after that, a man from Beijing fell into a coma after allegedly inserting a third-party charger into his iPhone 4. Both incidents made international headlines.

Following Ma’s death, Apple issued a statement expressing condolences to the Ma family, and pledged to investigate the matter and cooperate with authorities.

By publishing the webpage, Apple is making a concerted effort to show support for its customers in a year in which it received several towel-whippings from the Chinese media. The company came under scrutiny in April, when the People’s Daily (China’s foremost party-mouthpiece newspaper) issued reports accusing the company of shirking on its warranty policy in China. The incident prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to issue a formal apology.

In its latest earnings report Apple revealed that its revenues in China dropped 14 percent year-on-year, but this statistic is best understood as a temporary lull. The company remains bullish towards the Middle Kingdom, with Tim Cook stating earlier this year that China is Apple’s most important market, and that the company intends to double the number of Apple stores in the country within two years.

Top image credit: Feng Li/Getty Images

European Commission accepts Penguin’s proposals to scrap Apple ebook agency agreements

154977547 520x245 European Commission accepts Penguins proposals to scrap Apple ebook agency agreements

The European Commission has accepted book publisher Penguin’s proposals to scrap all of its existing ebook agency agreements – including its deal with Apple, most importantly – and refrain from adopting any similar partnerships for the next five years.

Penguin, along with competitors Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette, Holtzbrinck, were all criticized for working with Apple and damaging the European ebook market by switching to an agency model.

This allowed the publisher, rather than the retailer, to set the sticker price seen by consumers in digital storefronts. Given that Apple takes a 30 percent cut of each sale regardless, this suited both the publishers and iBookstore vendor just fine. It also prevented other retailers, such as Amazon or Google, from undercutting these prices.

It differs from the wholesale model, whereby retailers are able to negotiate with publishers for the general rights to an ebook and then sell it at whatever price they like. The European Commission has concluded that Apple may have been trying to control ebook prices – a breach of antitrust rules in the European Union.

Under the new agreement, a two year “cooling-off” period will be instigated, by which all retailers will be able to discount Penguin ebook titles as they see fit.

The book publisher is also banned from using the so-called Most Favored Nation (MFN) clause – which meant publishers had to price ebooks on Apple’s services at least as low as the cheapest price offered by any other retailer – in all necessary renegotiations.

Joaqu n Almunia, Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “After our decision of December 2012, the commitments are now legally binding on Apple and all five publishers including Penguin, restoring a competitive environment in the market for ebooks”.

A similar antitrust case in the United States came to a close in May this year when Pearson, Penguin’s parent publisher, confirmed it would pay $75 million in consumer damages. A US federal judge has since ruled that Apple truly did conspire to raise the price of ebooks across the market.

Apple has since confirmed that it plans to appeal the decision. “Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations,” company spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.

“We’ve done nothing wrong and we will appeal the judge’s decision.”

Image Credit: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

IDC: Apple, Samsung lose smartphone market share as Lenovo and others see greater growth

162767334 520x245 IDC: Apple, Samsung lose smartphone market share as Lenovo and others see greater growth

Apple and Samsung have both reported their financials for Q2 2013 so, as is customary, analyst firms are now putting out their estimates for the quarter. IDC is out of the blocks, noting that Samsung and Apple remain the market leaders but greater growth is coming from lesser companies.

The research firm estimates that Samsung – which hasn’t provided figures publicly since Q3 2011 – shipped 72.4 million smartphones during the quarter. That number is 44 percent higher than the estimate one year previous, but IDC says Samsung’s share of the market has receded slightly, going from 32.2 percent last year to 30.4 percent in Q2 2013.

Looking at things quarter-by-quarter, the Galaxy S4 launch pushed Samsung’s sales total up by 1.7 million units over its Q1 2013 figure. Its share of market is also down 2.4 percent on the previous quarter.

Apple’s 31.2 million shipments (which were actually sales) represent a 13.1 percent share of the market, which is down on 16.6 percent in Q2 2012 even though its shipments grew by 20 percent over the 12-month period. The US firm saw market share drop from 17.3 percent in the previous quarter.

Indeed, LG, Lenovo and ZTE – which round out the top five – each enjoyed greater year-on-year and quarterly growth than either Apple or Samsung.

LG’s record haul of 12.1 million smartphone shipments represented a 130 percent year-on-year improvement, which IDC estimates to have grown its market share from 3.1 percent to 4.7 percent.

Lenovo is back in the top five after a six month absence. The Chinese firm charted 130.6 percent year-on-year shipment growth, the highest of any top-5 vendor, after shipping 11.3 million devices for an estimated 4.7 percent market share. Fellow Chinese phone-maker ZTE saw its shipments jump 57.8 percent to 10.1 million units, or 4.2 percent market share, according to IDC.

Nokia, RIM, HTC, Sony and the rest of the competition are bundled into ‘others’, a category that accounts for 42 percent of IDC’s Q2 2013 shipment estimates.

idc figs q2 2013 IDC: Apple, Samsung lose smartphone market share as Lenovo and others see greater growth

We know that sales of the discounted iPhone 4 help boost Apple’s figures for the quarter, and IDC says that Samsung enjoyed a similar boost from the Galaxy S3, which received price cuts following the launch of the Galaxy S4.

While Samsung remains out in front, the progress of LG is promising for the Android ecosystem. IDC credits Korea’s LG for “realiz[ing] a profit from its steady diet of Android-powered smartphones,” and it is certainly a different story to HTC which – though still posting slim profit – has seen its figures decline significantly over the past year or so.

IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas says the data is proof that “the competition refuses to be shut out altogether” despite Apple and Samsung’s dominance.

“The opposite end of the spectrum is just as, if not more, interesting [than Apple and Samsung],” Llamas adds. “Lower-priced smartphones continue to gain traction, but the key for vendors will be to keep prices low while still offering premium devices and services. We fully expect to see large-screen smartphones and other flagship devices establish a presence within the lower-priced smartphone segment as well.”

IDC says that LG, Lenovo and co are performing well with high-end devices, as well as lower-priced offerings, but it will be interesting to see how they perform as and when Apple launches a much-anticipated new iPhone model, which is expected in the coming months – particularly if older iPhones are discounted.

We crunched IDC’s numbers since Q3 2011 to come up with this chart. Unfortunately it appears that the company regularly updates its figures without noting the changes, so the estimates for Q2 2012 are different to the comparative figures that were published today. Equally data is only released on the top 5 firms each month, but we think it is an interesting visual resource all the same.

Smartphone market share according to IDC | Infographics

Headline image via JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

Apple is reportedly creating its own speech tech for Siri to eliminate dependence on Nuance

apple iphone4s top 520x245 Apple is reportedly creating its own speech tech for Siri to eliminate dependence on Nuance

We may now know why Apple quietly set up shop in Boston earlier this year, if a report from Xconomy is to be believed. According to the site, Apple is developing a team of top speech technologists in Boston to eventually eliminate its dependence on Nuance for Siri.

The likelihood of this is actually extremely high – we’ve illustrated why below.

As a reminder, Nuance is the Boston-based multinational software maker which powers Apple’s voice recognition feature in Siri. Nuance has recently seen at least two of its speech scientists leave the company and join Apple. In other words, Apple is pulling talent from Nuance and putting them to work in its own backyard.

Currently, as Xconomy details, Apple’s Boston team publicly includes former Nuance employee Gunnar Evermann, who has a history of developing speech recognition technology; Larry Gillick, whose title is “Chief Speech Scientist, Siri at Apple;” and Don McAllaster, another ex-Nuance employee whose title at Apple is simply “Senior Research Scientist.” There are also a handful of other former Nuance employees currently at Apple, but not based in Boston, including Caroline Labrecque and Rongqing Huang.

Given how clear these titles are (again: “Chief Speech Scientist, Siri”), Apple is certainly developing some sort of speech technology in Boston. The only thing that’s currently unconfirmed is if Apple is strategically distancing itself from Nuance. Apple has a history of eliminating third-party ties to become self-reliant, and Nuance just might be next on Apple’s list.

Microsoft Releases Outlook Web App for iOS

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft is releasing another Office app for iOS, kind of. The new Office Web App for iPhone and iPad is designed for businesses who use Office 365 to access the full functionality of Outlook Web App. Although Microsoft has been supporting a web version of this previously, the software maker has packaged it up into a “native” app for iOS. If your work place subscribes to Office 365 then the benefits are clear, but if it’s not then it’s useless for those thousands of Exchange servers that run in enterprises today. The app does package together Mail, Calendar, and people into one neat package though. There’s also a navigation screen that includes Live Tiles of information. Microsoft has built in voice input too, allowing users to executive commands like “open Calendar for tomorrow.” Most of the UI is very similar to the existing Outlook Web App for Office 365, and apps for Outlook will work here too.

Read the full story at The Verge.

Over 90% of iOS Apps are Free, Average Cost is 19 Cents

App Store

There’s an emerging view among iOS developers that both the amount of work involved and value created by app development merit higher prices for apps. But a new study shows that developers test pricing tend to lower the price of their apps – or even charge nothing at all. New research published Thursday from mobile analytics firm Flurry, which looked at app pricing over the past four years for 350,000 apps using Flurry’s mobile analytics service, found that developers are charging less for their apps over time, and many times, end up going completely free. (The results are weighted to account for number of users for each app.) The result is more ad-laden apps. But Flurry says purchase habits show that user demand is higher for apps that will cost them nothing, even if there are ads as a result.

Read the full story at Giga OM.