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Mobile Technology News, May 1, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Apple Hits New High with 8.8% of Worldwide Mobile Phone Market in 1Q 2012
    Research firm IDC today released its estimates of global mobile phone and smartphone shipments for the first quarter 2012, revealing that Apple set a record high in taking 8.8% of the overall mobile phone market. The performance just barely topped Apple’s 8.7% share in the previous quarter, which was the launch quarter for the iPhone 4S.

    Worldwide Mobile Phone Shipments in 1Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

    Apple’s year-over-year growth of 88% in an overall market which shrank by 1.5% enabled the iPhone maker to solidify its hold on third place in the overall mobile phone market behind Samsung and Nokia. Nokia had been the market leader for well over a decade, but Samsung surged into the lead for the first time during the quarter.

    Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 1Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

    Looking at the narrower smartphone market, which now comprises 36% of the global mobile phone market, IDC pegs Apple in second place, with its 88% year-over-year growth easily topping the overall segment’s growth of 42.5%. But Apple’s growth was easily overshadowed by Samsung, which rode the strength of its portfolio of Android-based devices to year-over-year growth of 267% and the top spot in the smartphone rankings.

    “The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. “Apple launched its popular iPhone 4S in additional key markets, most notably in China, and Samsung experienced continued success from its Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet and other Galaxy smartphones. With other companies in the midst of major strategic transitions, the contest between Apple and Samsung will bear close observation as hotly-anticipated new models are launched.”

    Samsung’s shipment numbers suffer from significant uncertainty, however, as the company no longer releases official data on its sales for competitive reasons. Consequently, analysts have had to resort to rough estimates for Samsung’s numbers, and IDC believes that Samsung registered 42.2 million smartphone shipments to easily top Apple’s publicly-released number of 35.1 million units.

    Research firm Strategy Analytics last week offered a similar estimate of Samsung’s shipments at 44.5 million units for the quarter, but IHS iSuppli painted a very different picture with its estimate of only 32 million smartphone units for Samsung, which would have left Apple atop the rankings for the quarter.

  • Apple’s New Highland Village Retail Store in Houston Hit by Gunfire [Mac Blog]
    Houston NBC affiliate KPRC reports that five businesses along Westheimer Road in Houston were hit by random gunfire early Monday morning, with Apple’s new Highland Village retail store being one of the targets.

    The Houston Police Department confirms it is investigating five random shootings at business in southwest Houston.

    Between 4:40 and 5:40 a.m. Monday, several windows were shot out. The targets were from gas stations to swanky furniture store Cantoni, officials said. […]

    The brand new Apple store at 4012 Westhiemer was also hit.

    Glass pane left of Apple logo shattered by gunfire (Source: KPRC-TV)

    No one was injured in the shootings, although an employee and a customer at a Valero gas station narrowly escaped the gunfire.

  • Upcoming Saskatchewan Apple Retail Store Fills Huge Void in Coverage [Mac Blog]
    ifoAppleStore reports that Apple is planning to open a new retail store in the Cornwall Centre shopping mall in Regina, Saskatchewan. The location is a notable one for being the first in the vast province in the heart of Canada, with no other Apple retail stores located within a 700-mile radius.

    Cornwall Centre is located in city center and has 90 retailers in an enclosed mall. City planning documents mention the new store, but the exact location within the mall isn’t known. Based on construction schedules, the store could open by November 2012.

    Regina, the provincial capital with a population of roughly 200,000, is the second-largest city and part of the second-largest metropolitan area in Saskatchewan, just behind Saskatoon.

  • Engineer in Google’s Street View Is Identified
    A former state investigator looking into Google’s Street View has identified the so-called Engineer Doe.

  • Scott Forstall and Mickey Drexler Net Millions in Apple Stock Sales [Mac Blog]
    A pair of filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Apple executive Scott Fortsall and board member Mickey Drexler each sold off tens of thousands of shares of Apple stock on Friday, netting millions of dollars each.

    Forstall, who serves as senior vice president of iOS Software and has been a fixture in Apple’s keynote presentations and media events, sold off 64,151 shares of Apple stock on Friday, netting roughly $38.7 million. Forstall gained 120,000 shares of Apple stock last month as a 2008 retention bonus of restricted stock units converted to actual stock. 55,849 shares were immediately sold off at that time to account for the taxes due on the conversion, and Forstall held on to the remaining shares until last Friday.

    Following Friday’s transaction, Forstall holds 2,988 shares of Apple stock, worth roughly $1.75 million at today’s share price and the same number of shares he held prior to last month’s vesting of his 2008 retention bonus. Forstall is also in line to receive a number of other stock grants should he remain with the company over the next several years, including a 150,000-unit grant that will vest in equal portions next year and in 2016. A separate grant of 100,000 units will vest in 2014.

    Meanwhile, longtime Apple board member Mickey Drexler, who serves as Chairman and CEO of J. Crew and was previously President and CEO of The Gap, has cashed in on stock options dating back nearly a decade in order to reap a substantial windfall.

    Drexler exercised a set of 20,000 options from 2003 priced at $9.16 each and a second set of 20,000 options from 2004 priced at $14.205 each, selling off all 40,000 shares on Friday for $24.1 million. After accounting for the exercise prices on the options, Drexler netted close to $23.7 million. Drexler continues to hold 584 shares of Apple stock worth roughly $384,000 at today’s share price.

  • Meet The Big, BIG New Jambox
    What is the Big Jambox? Well, it’s like the Jambox…but bigger. Much bigger. The original Jambox, for those who don’t know, is a highly-stylish portable…
  • Obama Administration Embraces Video Games To Promote Fitness
    WASHINGTON — Video games, long demonized by public health officials and parents for contributing to sedentary habits and obesity among children, scored a big win…
  • Today is deadline to apply for Innov8 for Health accelerator
    The application stage for the Innov8 for Health digital health accelerator ends today with the first class slated to start June 11th.
  • Report: Hulu Could Start Requiring Cable Subscription
    If you love watching TV shows on Hulu but don’t have a cable subscription, things could get a bit more complicated in the near future….
  • DealBook: Microsoft’s Nook Deal, Aiming at Amazon, Sets Up Battle in E-Books
    The deal gives Microsoft a 17.6 percent stake in Barnes & Noble’s Nook division and bolsters the bookseller’s efforts to make its digital business the linchpin of its future growth.

  • Readers Reveal Why They Cheated
    In honor of National Honesty Day Monday, we asked readers to divulge whether or not they’ve cheated on their spouses, and if so, why they…
  • What Happens When Facebook Doubts Your Identity
    Facebook suspects that I am not who I say I am. I don’t know what provoked its suspicion, but every time I try to log…
  • Digg rumored to be in buyout talks with the Washington Post
    Longtime buyout rumor monger Digg is once again said to be on the auction block, this time in a potential deal with the Washington Post.
  • Microsoft invests in Nook e-books
    Microsoft invests $300m in Barnes and Noble’s digital business, providing a boost to the Nook e-book reader.
  • Angola beats most of Europe to 4G
    Post-war African state beats most of Europe to 4G
  • iPad ‘4G’ claims face UK scrutiny
    Apple is facing a wider inquiry over its “4G” advertising of the latest iPad in the UK, the BBC understands.
  • TECH-CERCISE: Stationary Bike Charges Smartphones While You Pedal
    Technology has made life easier and humans lazier. But that’s created a market for entrepreneurial inventors who want to use technology to get people to…
  • Josh Levy: A Victory for AT&T’s Shareholders
    Today, in an unprecedented move, AT&T shareholders voted on a proposal calling on the telecom behemoth to publicly commit to Net Neutrality on its wireless networks.
  • Brad Spirrison: Bearish Apple Analysts Follow Long Line of App Doubters
    There were more than a few notable prognosticators that we respect that clearly had it wrong. Here are some of our favorite predictions of the death of apps that now seem greatly exaggerated.
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