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Here’s some good news: research firm comScore Wednesday announced that during a three-month average ending January 2013 Apple crushed Samsung in United States smartphone sales. Specifically, the iPhone maker was the top US smartphone vendor with a 37.8 percent market share in January 2013, which was up 3.5 percentage points from October 2012. Samsung was second with a notably lower market share of 21.4 percent, a slight 1.9 percentage point increase from October 2012. All told, Apple’s 3.5 percentage point gain was Android’s loss as we see Google’s mobile operating system dropping for the first time. So much about the supposedly “weaker than expected” iPhone 5 demand…

I wonder whether the Wall Street Journal will care to spin this as bad news for Apple.

Per data, HTC ranked third with a 9.7 percent share, Motorola came fourth (8.6 percent share) and LG rounded out the top five with a seven percent share of domestic smartphone sales. Furthermore, HTC was down 1.7 percentage points and Google-owned Motorola lost 1.4 percentage points of smartphone share versus October 2012.

Android of course remains the top mobile platform as it is available across a vast range of form factor devices from a bunch of vendors, whereas iPhones are only made by Apple. But even though Android in January 2013 took 52.3 percent of the US mobile OS share, its share slipped 1.3 percentage points versus October 2013.

Apple’s iOS during the same period increased by 3.5 percentage points from a 34.3 percent share in October 2012 to a 37.8 percent share in January 2013.

BlackBerry (5.9 percent), Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform (3.1 percent) and Symbian (0.5 percent) all lost ground to Apple as well.

The data is derived from an online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and older and refers to a respondent’s primary mobile phone. It does not include data related to a respondent’s secondary device, like a tablet.

Another research firm, Strategy Analytics, previously found that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S each outsold Samsung’s Galaxy S III during the 2012 holiday quarter, making both devices the two most popular smartphones on the market in Q4 2012.

Furthermore, as comScore’s data examines the three-month period between October 2012, when Apple launched its iPhone 5, and January 2013, it brings into question suggestions by crazypants analysts that Apple is facing “weaker than expected” iPhone 5 demand.

These estimates are purely based on supply chain reports and Apple CEO Tim Cook warned that one should not take rumors about order cuts at face value.

“The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things”, he told analyst on a conference call. “Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business.”

That’s not to say that iPhone 5 demand won’t weaken.

iPhone sales are prone to seasonality. Apple typically sees the strongest sales during the first two quarters of new model’s availability. Demand then tappers off in the following quarter, and especially the fourth quarter of availability as production of a next-gen model starts ramping up.

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War Between Russia And Ukraine: Smartphone Sales Forecasts Lowered

Russian Smartphone Market

As said, many brands (including tech companies) left the Russian market. Apple was among them. On March 1, the Cupertino company announced that it would suspend the sales of Apple products in Russia and limit the function of Apple Pay. In addition, apps from Russia Today and Sputnik have also been removed from the Apple App Store outside of Russia.

But there are always two sides to the coin. We mean these sanctions are not one-sided. At least, they will affect the economies of those countries that launched or supported these sanctions.

Recently, we learned that the entire smartphone market doesn’t perform well in the first half of this year. The main reason lies behind the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Moreover, many smartphone makers have made adjustments to their forecasts.

No One Knew About The Possible War Between Russia And Ukraine

In early February this year (before the war between Russia and Ukraine), the consulting agency TrendForce estimated that in 2023 the output of smartphones will be about 1.39 billion units. As for the separate brands, Samsung will ship 276 million, Apple 243 million, OPPO 208 million, and VIVO 149 million units.

But the market got earth-shaking changes. And we guess none of these numbers will be reached.

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Not surprisingly, none of the analysts is trying to make assumptions at the moment. The situation in the frontline changes hour by hour. So if anything seems trustworthy for the moment, it will be senseless at the next moment. However, that’s not difficult to guess that the demand will be much lower in comparison to the expectations. The situation will worsen because the number of countries and companies that support sanctions against Russia will raise.

In this regard, Strategy Analytics analyst Woody Oh said that other leading smartphone OEMs are likely to join Apple’s actions in Russia in the next few days. If the current situation persists for a few weeks or months, the Russian smartphone market will suffer a lot. Russia has been one of the top five countries in smartphone shipments in recent years, as well as the top ten countries in smartphone revenue.

According to the analysts, even in this situation, Apple will rank among the top three. But the sold smartphone units will be 34 million only. Generally, the demand for mobile phones in Russia and Ukraine is estimated to be between 40-45 million units a year. So the war between Russia and Ukraine will not bury this market completely.

Chinese Smartphone Brands In Russia

China and Russia have good relations. So it’s a sin to think that China will stop selling smartphones in Russia. According to the Russian mobile phone market shipment report released by Counterpoint Research, the country’s mobile phone market share is basically occupied by mainstream brands such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple, and Huawei.

This simply means that 2 out of four are Chinese smartphone brands. Well, Huawei doesn’t launch many smartphones currently. So everything is left on Xiaomi. But we should also point out that Honor and Realme are gaining momentum as well. They are recognizable brands and in the near future, they will become even more popular.

There is every reason to think Samsung is most likely to follow up on Apple’s suspension of sales to Russia. When this happens, Russian customers will be affected hugely. We mean it’s currently the most popular high-end smartphone brand in Russia, with a considerable share. But on the other hand, once this happens, the mentioned Chinese brands will benefit.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has greatly affected the exchange rate and caused inflation issues. So if this continues, the global economy and the entire mobile phone industry will face difficult times.

Will This Last Long?

Some analysts think this war shouldn’t last long. So if the two countries want to recover their economies, they must start from what they are doing. We mean they are good at producing natural gas. Especially for Russia, this is essential. So, not to allow people to be starved, Russia should stop the war and start making goods.

But in the worst case, Strategy Analytics said that the war between Russia and Ukraine will trigger a global energy crisis and a global economic recession. Global smartphone manufacturing and supply chains will also be disrupted on a massive scale. By 2023, the global smartphone market will shrink significantly, affecting suppliers in all regions of the world.

Samsung Says The Galaxy Fold Will Launch In The U.s. ‘In The Coming Weeks’

After years in development and wishful thinking, Samsung finally officially announced its first foldable smartphone earlier this year. The handset, the Galaxy Fold, was meant to be a summer launch, but delays struck Samsung’s first attempt at changing the smartphone industry again.

Samsung’s most recent launch window was “sometime in September”, but with no exact dates to circle on the calendar back in July when it announced the latest batch of delays for the foldable handset. Now, almost a week into September, Samsung has confirmed a round of release dates for the Galaxy Fold — just not for the United States.

Samsung says (via The Verge) the Galaxy Fold will launch first in South Korea on Friday, September 6. So no real warning there for potential customers in that neck of the woods. Looking beyond that, on Wednesday, September 18, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will launch in Germany, France, Singapore, and in the United Kingdom. In a separate announcement, Samsung says the Galaxy Fold will launch in the U.S. “in the coming weeks”.

Meanwhile, for folks in the United States who want to fork over the cash for Samsung’s first foldable smartphone, rumor has it that it will arrive on September 27. But that has not been confirmed just yet.

But, that’s not all the relatively bad news for U.S. customers. The company is also canceling all original pre-orders made for the foldable smartphone for U.S. customers. The company says this is meant to make sure that those who did pre-order have “the best possible experience” with the “revolutionary new technology”.

Here’s Samsung’s statement on that:

Ensuring that you have the best possible experience with this revolutionary new technology is our top priority. We are taking the time to rethink the entire customer experience – from purchase to unboxing, to post-purchase service – so in the meantime, we have, regrettably, decided to cancel your existing pre-order. While not an easy decision to make, we believe this is the right thing to do.

However! If you did get your existing pre-order for the Galaxy Fold cancelled, Samsung is giving you $250 to use on its online store. Which means you could just use that money to get back into the pre-order queue if you wanted, or spend it on something else Samsung-branded you might want.

Samsung is also announcing something called “Galaxy Fold Premier Service”. The company is not going out of its way to detail what that is, exactly, but says it will provide “direct access to Samsung experts who can provide you tailored guidance and support over the phone any time, any day. This includes an optional one-on-one onboarding session”.

That new service is actually included with the price of the Galaxy Fold, so owners won’t have to fork over even more money to get it.

Samsung’s initial design with the Galaxy Fold led to some issues with usage, with early reviewers of the handset removing what was apparently a protective layer off the display, and others getting debris stuck within the hinge, and then ultimately under the screen. As such, Samsung had to make some changes, which included:

The top protective layer of the Infinity Flex

Display

has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed.

Galaxy Fold features additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience:

The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps.

Additional metal layers underneath the Infinity Flex Display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display.

The space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.

With the changes in place, it sounds like Samsung is ready to get the Galaxy Fold out there into the world. Are you willing to hand over almost $2,000 to make this foldable phone yours?

At&T Activates 4.3M Iphones, Representing 78% Of Q1 Smartphone Sales

Carrier AT&T announced quarterly earnings this morning, revealing they activated 4.3 million iPhones during the first quarter of this year, with 21 percent new to AT&T. The figure represents a substantial decrease over the 7.6 million iPhones the company activated during the holiday quarter of last year, when the iPhone 4S launched in the U.S.

On a more realistic annual basis, it’s a healthy 19 percent growth. And with three out of four smartphones sold in the quarter being iPhones, the nation’s second-largest wireless operator definitely remains the iPhone network no matter how you look at it.

Also notable, AT&T’s quarterly iPhone activations easily beat the 3.2 million iPhones Verizon activated during the first quarter of 2012. Apple is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings today after the markets close, at 5pm Eastern / 2pm Pacific. The company will webcast the earnings call and we will be at hand to relay important tidbits as they happen…

Consolidated revenue for the quarter was $31.8 billion, a 1.8 percent annual increase. Quarterly net income was S$3.58 billion (60 cents per share), an increase over the $3.4 billion net income (57 cents per share) in the year-ago quarter.

The company noted that nearly one-third of its existing postpaid smartphone subscribers are now on 4G-enabled devices, which – in AT&T’s vocabulary, means everyone on their 3G HSDPA network and up.

Shares of Apple lost $10 on AT&T’s earnings report.

Despite the notable drop in iPhone activations, Apple’s device represented more than three-quarters, or 78 percent, of the 5.5 million smartphones (a new record for AT&T) they activated throughout the quarter. For comparison, the iPhone accounted for 51 percent of all smartphone sales over at Verizon.

Apple’s phone also accounted for nearly sixty percent of the carrier’s total phone sales that include smartphones, dumb phones and feature phones.

Most importantly, churn rate among their smartphone customers is the lowest among all of their customers. Wireless churn was 1.1 percent, AT&T’s lowest in the past seven quarters.

According to a press release:

Both Android and iPhone device sales remain strong. iPhone sales were helped by AT&T’s 4G network, which lets iPhone 4S download three-times faster than other U.S. carriers’ networks. In the quarter, the company activated 4.3 million iPhones, with 21 percent new to AT&T.

With Sprint and regional carriers thrown into the mix, US iPhone sales probably hit the 10 million mark. As international sales continue to represent well over half of Apple’s total sales, Apple could – with some luck – report first-quarter iPhone sales just shy of 30 million units.

Chart courtesy of

Current estimate for iPhone activations in the US by operator as of Q1 2012.Chart courtesy of Asymco

As Asymco’s Horace Dediu pointed out, non-US as mix of total iPhones sold has grown from 65 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 72 percent in the first quarter of last year, dropping to 63 percent in the second quarter of 2011 due to the delayed iPhone 4S launch in October of 2011.

The analyst also noted that iPhone growth in the United States appears to be around 50 percent, which is pretty consistent compared to last year’s 53 percent.

China could save the day for Apple and let’s not forget that the iPhone 4S became available in more than 75 countries by the end of calendar 2011, Apple’s fastest international roll-out for the device.

The iPhone maker will report quarterly earnings after the markets close today.

Are you surprised that iPhone activations at AT&T nearly halved in the first quarter compared to the previous one?

True, nothing compares to the lucrative holiday quarter and it only makes sense to compare sales on an annual basis, but still – it appears to be a substantial decrease.

Should we be worried?

Apple Airpods Pro Vs. Beats Powerbeats Pro: Which One Is Better?

Apple AirPods Pro Vs. Beats Powerbeats Pro: Which One Is Better? Similarities: AirPods Pro Vs. Powerbeats Pro

1. H1 Chip for performance efficiencies and faster connectivity

2. Automatic ear recognition

4. “Hey Siri” support on all iOS devices.

5. Able to answer phone calls.

Airpods Pro and Powerbeats Pro will be disconnected automatically after removing from your ear and will playback once they are plugged into the user’s ears. Users can always opt to wear one AirPod or one Powerbeats pro, or both. Both the earphones support “Hey Siri” and it is possible to answer all the calls without touching your phone.

Apple AirPods Pro & Beats Powerbeats Pro both come with sweat and water-resistant with an IPX4 rating. Users haven’t face any challenges after wearing AirPods Pro while running. Powerbeats Pro with a reinforced design and adjustable ear-hooks provides more comfort and stability.

Differences: Apple AirPods Pro and Beats Powerbeats Pro. 1. Design

Though they belong to Apple family but are different in terms of design. Beats Powerbeats Pro offers a more sporty, rugged look and comes with an adjustable ear hook. On the other hand, Apple has changed Apple AirPods Pro’s design,  the new AirPods comes with Silicon ear tip (looks like an electric toothbrush head).

Beats Powerbeats Pro have physical controls at the top of each earpiece and “b” button can be used to activate voice control by pushing it once. Apple AirPods Pro has no physical buttons on the top, however, users can tap once to Play, Pause or Answer the call, press twice to skip forward and three times to skip back or launch Siri. Though, Users can also change the controls as per their preferences. AirPods Pro uses a force sensor that allows users to switch between active Noise cancellation and Transparency modes.

2. Comfort

Apple always provides a universal fit size to every user which is comfortable for all ear types. Apple AirPods Pro offers a customizable fit that forms an exceptional covering for Active Noise Cancellation. Beats Powerbeats Pro is specially designed for workouts. Powerbeats pro is lightweight and has a great fit that’s why users feel comfortable while indulging in outdoor games and other sports activities.

3. Audio Quality

Audio quality plays an important part when it comes to earphones or headphones(Wired or Wireless). Apple Airpods Pro adopts in-ear design which allows users to hear surroundings while listening to your favorite tracks. Thanks to Active Noise cancellation and Adaptive EQ which provides much better sound as compared to Apple wired earphones. However, Beats Powerbeats Pro are powerful, balanced sound with dynamic range and noise cancellation which provides users to feel the immense and premium listening experience.

4. Battery Life

The Apple AirPods Pro provides up to 4.5 hours of listening time with a single charge( up to 5 hours with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency off). Up to 3.5 hours of talk time with a single charge. AirPods Pro with wireless charging case provides more than 24 hours of listening time and more than 18 hours of talk time. While Powerbeats Pro provides more than 24 hours of listening time with charging case and promise a huge 9 hours of battery life as well.

Specifications Compared: Airpods Pro Vs. Powerbeats Pro

Category AirPods Pro Powerbeats Pro

Battery Life 4.5 hours(24 hours with charging case) 9 hours(24 hours with charging case)

Wireless Charging Case Yes, Included NO

Water-Resistant IPX4(Not for water sports) IPX4(Not for water sports)

Case Weight 0.19 Ounce(5.4 Grams) 4.58 Ounce(20.3 Grams)

Charging case Works with Qi-certified chargers or Lightning connector Lightning connector

Color White Black, Ivory, Navy, Moss

Design One size fits all, Stem Earhooks plus ear tips

Purpose Casual use Fitness, Workout

Conclusion:

Since both the wireless earphones’ comes with similar prices and almost similar features, you can buy any of the two wireless earphones as per your preferences.

Apple AirPods Pro provides active Noise cancellation with silicon tips for a secure fit, however, Beats Powerbeats Pro offers physical controls, and comes in four colors and has a bigger battery life as well. For those, who love to wear wireless earphones casually, Apple AirPods Pro is the best bet and for athletes, who need robust design and a good fit with longer battery, Beats Powerbeats Pro is a great option.

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7 Best Beats Black Friday Deals In 2023

Beats by Dre is a brand name that’s synonymous with expensive headphones. That’s right, the company has constantly been criticized for their overpriced products over the years, but their pricing strategies have still not improved as of yet. Well, if you’ve always held back from getting yourself a pair of Beats headphones or portable speakers due to the exorbitant price tag, this Black Friday is here to help you save a chunk of cash. Alright, I’ll admit that Black Friday is still a few days away, but that doesn’t mean that sellers haven’t been tempting us with some great discounts. Well, if you’ve enough money in the bank for getting yourself a pair of Beats headphones at a reduced cost, here are the best Black Friday deals so far:

1. BeatsX Wireless Headphones

The BeatsX wireless is the perfect companion for your smartphone to experience clear authentic sound throughout the day. With a battery that lasts up to 8 hours, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice pretty easily. Pick calls, control your music, and even activate Siri with the help of RemoteTalk. It’s usually priced at $149.99, but thanks to this Black Friday deal, you’ll be able to purchase it for under 100 bucks, which is a reasonable price tag for what it offers.

Buy on Amazon: ($99, $50 off)

2. Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones

Buy on Amazon: ($219.99, $80 off)

3. Beats Studio 2.0 Wireless Headphones

If you were expecting this to be the latest Studio headphones that Beats has to offer, I’m sorry to disappoint you. It’s actually the second generation Studios that looks, feels and sounds great. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, and it also has a built-in mic for hands-free calling. The maximum range of these headphones are rated at 30 feet. It’s currently available for just $219.99 on Walmart which is a discount of nearly 30 bucks on the marked price.

4. Powerbeats 3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones

This is yet another pair of in-ear headphones, but consider this to be a step up from the BeatsX in terms of sound quality and performance. The battery on the Powerbeats 3 is good enough to provide you with nearly 12 hours of listening time. Thanks to Fast Fuel, you can get 1 hour of listening time with just a quick 5-minute charge. It’s designed to resist sweat and water, so you don’t have worry about getting it wet in the rain. This Black Friday, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Powerbeats 3 by paying just $134, which is a discount of $65 on the actual price tag.

Buy on Amazon: ($134, $65 off)

5. Beats Pill+ Portable Speakers

Next on the list, we’ve got something different from the usual headphones that Beats has to offer. Yes, we’re talking about none other than the company’s popular portable bluetooth speakers, the Beats Pill+ which delivers rich sound quality in a compact form factor. The rechargeable battery that this device packs is good enough to last you for about 12 hours, which is impressive to say the least. The Beats Pill+ also lets you charge your iPhone and other devices as well. It currently costs 10 bucks lesser on Amazon, at just under $150.

Buy on Amazon: ($149.99, $10 off)

6. Beats EP Wired On-Ear Headphones

This is the least expensive on-ear headphones that Beats has to offer, and thanks to this Black Friday deal, it’s even more affordable now. The Beats EP has a lightweight frame that is reinforced with stainless steel for great build quality. With RemoteTalk cable, you can pick up calls and control music on your iOS devices. You’ll be able to get your hands on these wired on-ear headphones by shelling out just under a hundred bucks, which is a discount of nearly 30 dollars on the marked price.

Buy on Amazon: ($99, $30.95 off)

7. urBeats Wired In-Ear Headphones

Buy on Amazon: ($73.59, $26 off)

SEE ALSO: 9 Best Bose Black Friday Deals in 2023 You Should Check Out

The Best Black Friday Discounts on Beats Headphones

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