Rumor has it that one of the biggest disappointments on the iPhone 4S’ launch of incompatibility with 4G network will be resolved next year when Apple is expected to join the LTE club.
According to industry sources, the entrance of Apple into the 4G LTE smartphone market is believed to come at the time during the next year when Nokia, Research in Motion and Sony Ericsson will launch their respective next-generation high-speed handsets.
Reports claimed earlier this year that Apple had aimed building an LTE-capable iPhone in 2011, but purposely decided to hold back the launch until 2012. The reason given for this was that the implementation of LTE networks had not yet gotten matured enough to meet the minimum acceptable level of Apple.
Tim Cook himself said during a quarterly conference call that poor battery life and other issues with LTE technology in its present form were good enough to put off the company from pursuing an LTE iPhone at the time.
A complaint has been filed by the Openwave Systems Inc. against Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. The complaint claims the only way to protect its intellectual property used by iOS devices without an internet connection license is that of a legal action. The same patent infringement claim also takes Blackberry smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM) under its umbrella.
Ken Denman, Chief Executive Officer of Openwave, while commenting on the same issue said, “In the end, litigation is the only way we can defend our rights against these large companies that have effectively refused to license the use of the technologies we invented, are using today, and are continuing to develop for our customers.”
The complaint has been filed with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, DC and it demands the U.S. regulator to ban the smartphones as well as tablet computers import.
At present, Apple and RIM allegedly have infringed upon five Openwave patents, all of which focus technology that provides consumers with Internet access from their mobile devices.
According to Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, international carriers are reportedly dropping their iPhone 4 prices, leading to a month-over-month sales increase in markets such as Western Europe.
The device is also believed to have achieved a meek gain in sales volume from May to June in North America, although shipment numbers remained flat in some markets. Reports suggest a few of Apple’s competitors have not shown such strength in the smartphone market.
Estimates for RIM’s handset distribution point to a decline in BlackBerry sales from May into June. PlayBook sales were also expressed as “poor,” despite RIM’s promotional efforts to match up the tablet with a BlackBerry Curve in Europe.
As per a new Nielsen study, iPhone owners are leading the gaming pack, setting new standards for mobile game playing.
While an average mobile gamer plays for 7.8 hours a month on average, iPhone owners almost double that number, playing iOS games an average of 14.7 hours a month. If that sounds impressive, remember that a hardcore console gamer will play games for about 13-14 hours each week. Still, it is clear that smartphone gaming has gotten of age. Even Android with its rather paltry selection of games now averages 9.3 hours of play per month. Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and non-smartphones presently lag behind, averaging about 4.5 hours of play per month.
Perhaps the most significant statistics Nielsen gives are the percentages of new game downloads. As it can be seen above, Feature phone (non-smartphones) and BlackBerry users play mostly whatever games are preloaded on their phone. However, newer, more app-friendly platforms like iPhone, WP7, and Android have totally reversed this trend. The majority of gamers on these platforms are going out and discovering, then downloading games on their own. This is a very positive sign for the future of gaming on these platforms. It demonstrates that their user base is far more engaged and eager to try new things.
As per a recent Nielson study, Apple’s iPhone is back to driving the growth of smartphones in the US.
In a survey of recent cell phone buyers, the proportion of new iPhone owners has climbed to 17 percent from 10 percent at the beginning of the year, while percentages of new Android phone owners has stayed at 27 percent. The primary reason behind this is the introduction of the Verizon iPhone, as analysts predicted shortly after its introduction.
RIM’s BlackBerry is still going downhill, and fell from 11 percent of new sales to 6 percent in the last couple of months. Moreover, Windows phones are hovering at one percent, apparently slightly more than a blip on consumer radar.
Whatever next happens, one thing is for sure that all the brands together have made big strides for smartphone adoption as a whole: 55 percent of recent cell phone acquirers chose smartphones over feature phones, up from 34 percent only a year ago.
On Wednesday, the iPhone marked its fourth anniversary. The first smartphone of the company was sold on June 29, 2007 and was the official start to what would become iOS and arguably Apple’s key business. Apple sold only 273,000 devices that opening weekend on one carrier and one country but today it ships almost as many every day to dozens of countries and has 200 million iOS devices on the market.
At the time, Apple had targeted to move 10 million iPhones in its first year and to claim one percent of the total phone market. It now has four times as much share and has outpaced many of the companies others had presumed would defeat it in growth, including Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and most recently RIM. Nokia still outsells Apple at least for now but primarily blames the iPhone for pulling its market share down immensely and forcing the company to ultimately switch to Windows Phone. Palm’s failure and selloff to HP has also been mostly credited to Apple.
One this you all would agree to is that the iPhone is the pioneer in establishing the modern smartphone business model. Apple was the first to make a genuinely optimized, intuitive touchscreen phone. It also single-handedly popularized mobile apps after many years of slow performance from Microsoft, Palm, and RIM.
Adobe Flash Builder 4.5.1 platform can now be used by programmers all across the world to develop applications for iOS devices, such as iPad and iPhone, as well as for the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
The new functionality was announced on the company’s official blog, where Adobe Product Marketing Manager Puneet Goel unveiled that App Store software could be created “using one tool chain, programming language and code base — a first for developers.”
The support for iOS applications happens to come in addition to the ability to create software for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Initially, application support was only offered for Android software.
Last September, Apple decided to revise its policy on third-party development tools for iOS, and allowed developers to use Adobe’s Flash, Sun’s Java and Microsoft Silverlight as well as its open source counterpart Mono, in creating apps for the iOS platform. Since that restriction no more exists, there shouldn’t be any reason why apps created with this updated software toolkit would face difficulty getting into the Apple app store. Nevertheless, debates about the quality of the applications themselves might still ignite.
iPhone 4, in spite of seeming pressure, is the top-selling smartphone at AT&T and Verizon by a broad margin, Canaccord Genuity said in a new research note. Checks demonstrated that the Apple phone was still “by far” the most admired in May and June, even after the arriving of phones like Samsung Infuse 4G and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play on shelve.
The iPhone 3GS has also kept its place above Android at AT&T because of its price. Furthermore, Apple also had the definite lead in tablets. The iPad 2 had an extensive lead at AT&T and Verizon where the BlackBerry PlayBook was “weak,” and neither Motorola nor other tablet manufacturers had more than meek sales.
RIM has once again faced the most damage. The BlackBerry phone line saw “ample” losses in share at all four major US carriers and was out of the top three in each case. Phones resembling the BlackBerry Bold 9900 weren’t due to appear until late in July or in August and would mostly draw upgrades in the corporate world, not regular smartphone buyers.
While Apple’s iPhone has outsold Research in Motion’s BlackBerry line for quite some time now, a recent survey discovered that Apple’s handset has now surpassed RIM in terms of active U.S. users.
The new numbers from comScore rank both smartphone platforms, according to which Apple’s iOS is second only to Google’s Android, and hardware usage, where Apple took fourth. Both of Apple’s rankings for the first time narrowly defeated RIM, which took third in platform, and fifth in hardware.
Apple’s U.S. platform share recorded between February and April was up 1.3 percent from the 24.7 percent in January to 26 percent in May. While Apple’s presence rose, RIM lost 4.7 percent in platform share during the same period, letting Apple to edge its 25.7 percent share in April 2011.
Apple may be launching a low-cost iPhone, most likely the 3GS, in order to tackle emerging markets, midmarket customers and prepaid plans. If this working class iPhone gets launched, it will be highly disruptive to Android as well as Research in Motion, which is already living off its low-cost Curve.
One thing is for sure that a working class iPhone could be a huge hit with some significant fallout as:
Android phones are increasingly going down market. Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, noted Android’s pricing was killing its margins.
Nokia is already having trouble moving feature phones ahead of Windows Phone 7 device launch.
Research in Motion has mainly lived off Curve volume, especially in emerging markets.
Indeed Apple will be a huge headache if it enters down market.