Samsung extends lead over Apple in U.S. smartphone sales
Apple will almost definitely see a significant surge in iPhone sales after it announces the iPhone 6 in September, but for now, Samsung leads the U.S. market in smartphone shipments. According to latest data from Conterpoint Research, Samsung's share of the smartphone market in the U.S. grew to 36.1 percent, up from 33.9 percent in the same quarter a year ago. It also topped overall mobile phone shipments with a 37.3 percent share in Q2.
Since the beginning of time (or thereabouts), Intel has dominated the x86 scene, even when AMD blazed a trail into 1GHz territory (Athlon) and 64-bit computing (Athlon 64) on the consumer side several years ago. Both of those architectures represent design wins for AMD, and if we fast forward to today, AMD has done well to get its hardware inside all three major game consoles, especially the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, both of which feature x86 foundations.
International Data Corporation is forecasting a 4 percent year-over-year growth rate for the worldwide mobile phone market in 2012, which would be the lowest it's been since 2009. Why the slow growth compared to previous years? IDC says it's because of the decline in feature phone shipments, as owners of older devices cling to their phones, which serve them just fine for talking and texting. Meanwhile, smartphone shipments will pick up some of the slack and are forecast to grow 38.8 percent year-over-year to 686 million units in 2012, at precisely the time Android peaks in terms of market share.
The geek community at large seems to be pretty loyal to the Google brand, however, out what seems like nowhere, Bing is finally picking up steam. According to a Hitwise report, Bing now accounts for 30% of all U.S. web searches, and most of their gains seem to have come at the expense of Google.
For the past few years, it looked like Microsoft's Internet Explorer was well on its way to being usurped by spunky fan favorites. Early on it was Mozilla's Firefox that presented the biggest threat to IE's reign in the browser market, but more recently it's been Google's shiny Chrome browser that appeared to be on its way to the top, perhaps taking the lead this year. But then a funny thing happened. IE's share started to rise while Chrome's has been eroding.
Google's Chrome browser failed to increase its market share last month for just the second time in two years, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer added more than a percentage point, according to data by NetMarketShare. That's not the start to 2012 Google was hoping for, though there are still reasons to be optimistic about Chrome's future.
Break out the Apple cider if you live in/near Cupertino, California, and toast your hometown PC representatives for dethroning Hewlett-Packard as the worldwide client PC vendor in the fourth quarter of 2011, but only if you're willing to include tablet shipments in the overall tally. If you are, then congrats, Apple's iPad put your home team over the top and was three times more responsible for the achievement than Macs.
The silver lining when you hit rock bottom is there's no place to go but up (actually, you can move sideways as well). Flip those words of wisdom upside down and you have a situation where Android, which has been sitting on top of the world, suddenly has to deal with its first ever decline in market share, according to data released by market research firm ABI Research.
It appears that PCs are just not the hot gift idea they once were. According to Gartner, U.S. PC shipments were down almost 6% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple, however, continues to grow its market share with sales up nearly 21% in the same time. This pushes Apple to the number 3 spot in the U.S. computer market.
Mozilla Firefox is still the world’s second most popular desktop browser ahead of Google Chrome, as per Net Applications. But as far as Mozilla is concerned, that’s probably the only positive to have come out of the analytics firm’s latest monthly browser usage data.