According to malware researchers at F-Secure Labs, the number of active mobile threat families and variants initially spiked in the winter quarter, with Android’s share jumping from 49 out of 74 known threats to 96 out of 100, with the balance being related to Nokia’s essentially mothballed Symbian platform.
That was enough to rouse a tweet from the rarely used account of Apple’s head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who linked to the report with the brief admonition “be safe out there.”
However, F-Secure’s new report for the latest quarter shows Android now accounts for 136 out of 149 known threats, or 91.3 percent of all malware activity (up from 79 percent in 2012).
The other threats remained related to Symbian, with zero discovered for Blackberry, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile/Phone or Apple’s iOS. The research noted that mobile threats are overwhelmingly motivated by profits, with 76.5 percent designed specifically to con users out of money, rather than seeking to just cause damage.
First, Android isn’t really growing at all in the USA, at least at the big two operators. (‘Other smart’ is almost all Android now). All the growth is coming from iPhone.
Second, there’s near-zero seasonality in Android phone sales. People decide they want a phone and go out and buy whatever’s in the shop at the time that looks good. Launches of ‘hero’ Android phones appear to have no impact at all – they may take share from other Androids, but not from iPhone and they don’t increase overall sales.
Even with its shares in decline as they are now, Apple is still the most profitable technology company in the world. It sold 47.8 million iPhones, 22.9 million iPads, and 4.1 million Macs last quarter. Sold, not shipped. Apple has sold more than 100 million iPads since it launched the device two and a half years ago. Again, sold, not shipped. And while the company has some formidable competitors in the mobile industry, it continues to outshine them in both revenue and operating profits. According to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, last year Apple captured 69 percent of the handset industry’s profits.
Yet if Apple hopes to ever reclaim its glamour stock luster, it supposedly “needs” another industry-transforming product. The fastest-growing PC maker in the world, the company that generated $35.903 billion in operating income from mobile devices in 2012, the company that holds top mind share in virtually every category it plays in “needs” an encore to the iPod, iPhone and iPad. That’s a bizarrely pessimistic outlook to take on Apple, whose fundamental business obviously remains very strong.
Here are the questions on everyone’s lips: Who’s right? And where does it go from here?
And here are the answers: I don’t know. You don’t know. Nobody on CNBC knows. And if they try to tell you they do know, run for the hills with your hand on your wallet.
What we can say, however, is that the sentiment and stock action related to Apple offer a perfect study in how conjecture and misunderstanding can trump actual knowledge when it comes to evaluating a company. When the company is as much the focus of worldwide attention and as uncommunicative about its own plans as Apple, the effect is even sharper.
The peculiar stock market action and the vacuum in information have combined to generate a wave of news articles and market reports suggesting that Apple has lost its zip and is running as fast as it can just to keep up with Samsung, the maker of its own line of popular smartphones. Yet the notion that Apple is “ceding its crown” (Reuters’ words) in smartphones to Samsung or anyone else, however, is wrong or, at the very least, hopelessly premature.
For the ninth consecutive time, J.D. Power & Associates has rated Apple number 1 in smartphone customer satisfaction.
For the ninth consecutive study, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 855 and performs particularly well in physical design and ease of operation.
Apple has managed to nab three of the top 5 spots for the top-selling mobile phones in the U.S. during Q4 2012 according to the NPD Group, with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 ranking first, third and fourth, respectively. Apple also retained the crown for best-selling overall smartphone maker, accounting for 39 percent of smartphone sales in Q4 2012, compared to Samsung’s 30 percent.
iPhone 4 sales rose 79 percent compared to Q3 2012, and iPhone 4S sales grew 43 percent sequentially, while the iPhone 5 accounted for 43 percent of all iPhone sales in Q4 2012, which is roughly in line with the numbers we’re seeing out of carrier data as well. It also made up nearly two-thirds of all smartphone sales on post-paid plans with a value over $200, NPD says. Samsung made considerable gains on the year, going up to 30 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales in Q4 2012 from 21 percent in the year ago quarter, but the gains were mostly at the expense of other Android OEMs, including HTC, while Apple’s overall share remained constant.
According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, mobile phone shipments grew 4 percent annually to reach 52 million units in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2012. Apple became the number one mobile phone vendor for the first time ever, capturing a record 34 percent market share.
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We estimate Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent share of the United States market in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in Q4 2011. Apple has become the number one mobile phone vendor by volume in the United States for the first time ever. Apple’s success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model.
Everyone “knows” that the iPhone is currently suffering from intensifying competition and that it is too expensive.
However, AT&T has released its earnings and announced that of the total 10.2 million smartphones it sold in the fourth quarter of 2012, 8.6 million iPhones. So the iPhone captured “only” 84% of all smartphones sold by AT&T.