Apple has continued making gains in the US mobile and smartphone market according to the latest comScore ‘Mobile Subscriber Market Share’. Surpassing RIM, Apple jumped to being the fourth largest OEM with a share of 8.3% of the US market. Samsung remains number one with 24.5% of the market, followed by LG and Motorola.
In terms of smartphone operating systems in the US, Google’s Android leads the pack with 36.4% of the market, an increase of 5.2 percentage points over the three month period. Whilst Apple’s iOS, is still in a solid second place, and grew its share by 1.3 percentage points. RIM continues its slide, falling another 4.7 percentage points and Microsoft also managed to see its market share fall by 1.3 percentage points.
Meanwhile in terms of usage, more US consumers ar using web browsers (up 2.1 percentage points), downloading applications (up 2.4 percentage points), playing games (up 2.5 percentage points) and using social networks or accessing blogs (up 2.7 percentage points).
Launching today is HockeyApp, a new service for developers of iOS and soon Android and OS X apps. Its main function is to simplify the beta distribution process and collection of crash reports. Like other beta distribution tools and services, such as TestFlight, HockeyKit (for iOS apps) uses Apple’s over-the-air distribution process that was introduced in iOS 4.0.
HockeyApp, however, goes beyond just offering developers an easy way to distribute new beta builds. It also has a feature that lets developers automatically inform testers about a new beta version from within the app itself – even including release notes and potential to instantly update the app right then and there. Critically for developers, HockeyApp gives developers access to key data from crash reports and can optionally also give statistics on exactly what devices, iOS versions and languages were used and for how long.
HockeyApp will offer developers three plans, varying in cost but starting at $20 per month for 5 apps, 1GB storage and 100 users. Team members and testers won’t have to pay anything and there is a one-month trial for developers available. Jump the break for some screenshots of the service.
One thing I’ve always liked about the Android operating system, native Cloud Player and Music Beta apps aside, is the possibility to list all your apps and some favorite ones in the app launcher, a vertical window overlaying the “home screen” that can be opened at any time without having to move between pages. iOS allows you to organize apps in different screens and folders, the multitasking tray gives you access to recently used and paused apps, but I’d like to see a way to quickly get ahold of apps that I use a lot, are not on the first home screen, and aren’t suitable for a folder. Similarly, it’d be nice to have a way to see more apps in a single screen, avoiding being forced to constantly switch between pages. Those who decided to jailbreak their 4.3.3 iPhones might find a good solution in AndroidLoader, a $2.99 tweak from ModMyi’s repository that activates and Android-like app launcher window listing all the apps installed on your device. The launcher can display apps in alphabetical order, it can be scrolled vertically and all you have to do to open it is tap on a small icon placed in the middle of the standard iOS dock. The interface looks rather simple and the tweak is said to be very lightweight with minimal memory footprint.
Check out the demo video after the break. AndroidLoader is available now in the Cydia Store at $2.99. [via iSpazio]
Miro, the open source media player and organiser, was today updated to version 4 and it heralds in some significant improvements and feature additions. Most notably it has taken on the role of being iTunes for Android devices, challenging others such as DoubleTwist with its media syncing capabilities.
It allows Android users sync the typical music, movies and podcasts but will even allow them to download Android apps from either the Google Android Market or from Amazon’s Android app store. The other significant addition is a home sharing feature for content stored in Miro. Using the iTunes DAAP protocol, it lets users stream their Miro Library to any other DAAP or vice versa, letting you play content from other DAAP clients, even a NAS drive on your network.
The New York Times is also reporting that the Miro developers, the non-profit group The Participatory Culture Foundation, have also been hard at work developing a Miro app for the iPad, which will launch within three weeks. The app will likely support the streaming features introduced in Miro 4.0 as well as focusing on podcasts, which was the original appeal for Miro.
[Via The New York Times]
Music streaming service Rdio, quite popular in the US and Canada but currently unavailable due to regional restrictions in the rest of the world, announced yesterday the release of an API for iOS and Android devices that will allow developers to build apps that are integrated with Rdio’s music and social functionalities. The API — documentation available here and here — will let third-party devs build apps that search “all the artists, songs, albums, playlists, and top charts in Rdio’s catalog of over 8.5 million songs.” On top of that, the API will also bring playlist creation and editing outside of the official Rdio app, as well as the possibility to show a user’s Heavy Rotation, collections or follow other people. For a first release, it sounds like a solid API for iOS and Android.
Attending Google I/O 2011? Take a closer look at our Mobile API on Android devices at Rdio’s Developer Sandbox at Moscone Center in San Francisco. If you won’t be there or want to see the API in action yourself, download the Rdio Music Quiz from the iPhone App store.
While our Mobile API doesn’t yet support our affiliate program, it will soon. So make sure to sign up for it now and start building that incredible mobile app you always wanted to make.
The current API and service terms won’t let developers create paid apps that directly plug into Rdio. Still, with Spotify struggling to launch in the US and an impressive userbase and app selection after a few months, Rdio has the chance to maintain a healthy ecosystem for music streaming apps in the US, and take it from there to Europe. Rdio has big plans for sure, and it’ll be interesting to follow its developments in the next months, especially after Apple will unveil its rumored cloud music service with full labels’ support.
Research group NPD released its Mobile Phone Track consumer tracking service for the first quarter of 2011 today, and according to the data gathered by the company the release of the Verizon iPhone helped Apple gaining market share in the U.S. smartphone market at the expense of Google’s Android operating system which, however, in spite of Apple’s growth is still accounting for 50% of smartphone sales in the United States in the quarter. Apple’s mobile phone sales have reached 14% in Q1 outranking RIM, Motorola and HTC, placing the company in the third spot of smartphone sales behind Samsung and LG. NPD claims the Verizon iPhone “solidified” Apple’s position with the top-selling phone in the US — something that doesn’t come as a total surprise considering Verizon Wireless already announced the CDMA iPhone 4 launch was the most successful ever for the company, with 2.2 million activations in 2 months for the “most acquired” smartphone in February.
Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD. “While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system (OS), Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter.”
According to NPD’s “Mobile Phone Track” consumer tracking service, for the first time a majority (54 percent) of all new mobile-phone handsets purchased by U.S. consumers were smartphones. Driven by increases in smartphone sales in Q1 2011, average selling prices for all mobile phones rose 2 percent over the previous quarter to reach $102; however, average prices for smartphones actually declined by 3 percent (falling to $145).
While Android lost ground for the first time since Q2 2009, a report by Digitimes earlier today about Pegatron’s Q1 results suggested Apple was lowering orders for CDMA iPhone following low sales under expectations. Verizon Wireless announced 2.2M activations, but Apple didn’t disclose numbers behind AT&T and Verizon iPhone sales at the Q2 2011 earnings call.
As announced earlier this month, web communication service fring has released an update to their official iPhone client that brings group video calling both on WiFi and 3G. As detailed a few weeks ago, the new group video calling feature allows iPhone users to communicate in real-time with up to three other friends — doesn’t matter if they’re using an iPhone or Android device. As long as you keep adding friends to a group video call from your fring’s buddy list, the session will go through even if multiple iPhones and Android handsets are using the app. This is some serious cross-platform technology fring has implemented here, and the fact that it works on 3G as well provides an interesting alternative to Apple’s FaceTime — which is free and integrated into the iOS phone app, but only works on WiFi. Fring also promised higher video calling quality than competitors (read: Skype) thanks to their Dynamic Video Quality technology, which also runs in fullscreen mode.
If you want to test the new fring app for iPhone with group video calling, you can download the latest update from the App Store. (more…)
A new market survey by Nielson in the United States has shown Android drive ahead and gain 37% of the smartphone market share, a strong 10% margin over Apple and the iPhone which sits in second place at 27%. The figures show a significant change since the last Nielson survey, done in October that had the iPhone with the largest smartphone market share at 27.9% and BlackBerry in second place at 27.4%. Android has largely absorbed the 5.4% market share BlackBerry lost as well as the decreasing share of Symbian and older Windows Mobile devices to go from 22.7% in October to its 37% market share in March.
The survey also revealed that Android is now the most desired smartphone operating system for consumers, with 31.1% of consumers surveyed saying they would choose an Android phone compared with 30% who would go with an iPhone. In both the market share and desired operating system, Android is showing significant increases whilst Apple is seeing minor reductions compared to others such as BlackBerry or Symbian.
A final aspect of the survey was what recent smartphone acquisitions were and it reveals that 50% of all new smartphones purchased were running Android, whilst 25% were iPhones and 15% were BlackBerry phones. It is worth noting that this survey was solely focused on smartphones and as such did not include reference to the other iOS devices such as the iPod Touch or iPad. Jump the break for two more graphs.
There has been some discussion in recent times about whether iOS users are more valuable to a company than Android users may be. Evernote CEO Phil Libin weighed into the debate yesterday and talked about how their revenue varied from platform to platform. Libin used three metrics in evaluating each platform; revenue, users gained and revenue per developer. In all three, iOS was the leading platform with nearly a third of all Evernote’s revenue coming from that platform. It’s where Evernote has gained a large chunk of its users and is perhaps one of the best success stories of the iOS app platform.
Evernote is also a big fan of its Mac users who generate more revenue growth than their Windows counterparts and also stick with the service for longer – although Windows still currently brings in 24% of revenue compared to the Mac’s 20%. Libin is unsure of why Apple users are more willing to pay for their service and additionally notes that the desktop should not be ignored, reflecting upon the fact it still brings in 44% of Evernote’s revenue.
In Libin’s speech at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit he also noted that most users of his service don’t return after a short period of using the service, but those that do bring in a lot of revenue to Evernote. For example of the 31,334 users who registered in March 2008 only 11,000 remained three months later. In that month those users only brought in $700 to Evernote but by January of 2011 they ended up bringing in over $10,000. Libin attributes this to the fact that as users stick with the service they find it more valuable and end up subscribing for the premium features.