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Sprint CEO takes pay cut as investors voice concern about cost of iPhone deal

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Sprint CEO takes pay cut as investors voice concern about high cost of iPhone deal

Sprint Nextel’s $15.5 billion gamble on Apple’s iPhone will apparently lighten CEO Dan Hesse’s proverbial wallet by $3.25 million this year. That’s how much compensation Hesse agreed to give back to help placate investors unhappy about the high cost of the company’s iPhone deal. Securing the iPhone has already paid dividends for Sprint in terms of sales. The company sold 1.5 million iPhones in the first quarter while posting a net subscriber growth of 263,000. That didn’t stop Sprint from posting an $863 million net loss during the same period, however, causing some investors to grumble about the cost of subsidizing Apple’s phone. The subsidy Sprint pays for each iPhone is 40 percent higher — about $200 — than what the company pays for other competing devices. Don’t feel too bad for Hesse, though. Apparently, the financial gesture basically brings back his “compensation target opportunities” to 2010 levels.

Sprint CEO takes pay cut as investors voice concern about cost of iPhone deal originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 05 May 2012 16:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T posts better-than-expected profit in Q1, sells record 5.5 million smartphones

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

AT&T on Tuesday reported its results for the first quarter of 2012. Following a record holiday quarter that saw the nation’s No.2 carrier pull in $0.42 per share excluding one-time charges on sales of $32.5 billion, analysts were expecting first-quarter EPS of $0.57 on revenue totaling $31.85 billion. The company beat expectations, posting a profit of $0.60 per share on in-line sales of $31.8 billion. AT&T activated 3.6 million iPhones during the first quarter last year, and that number climbed to 4.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, down seasonally from a record 7.6 million during the holiday quarter. Total smartphone sales for the first quarter this year came in at 5.5 million, in line with the 5.5 million smartphones it sold in the first quarter of 2011, though AT&T says that its first-quarter smartphone sales set a new record this year. The carrier added 726,000 net subscribers last quarter as its total subscriber count reached 103.9 million, up from 103.2 million in the December quarter. AT&T’s stock is trading up 0.5% ahead of the bell. The company’s full press release follows below.

Solid Growth in Earnings, Revenues and Margins, and $4.7 Billion Returned to Shareholders Highlight AT&T’s First-Quarter Results

Wireless Margins Expand and Smartphone Sales Set First-Quarter Record; 30 Percent of Smartphone Customers are on 4G-Capable Devices

DallasTexasApril 24, 2012

  • $0.60 diluted EPS compared to $0.57 diluted EPS in the first quarter of 2011
  • Consolidated revenues of $31.8 billion, up $575 million, or 1.8 percent, versus the year-earlier period
  • Wireless operating income margin up to 27.2 percent; wireless EBITDA service margin up significantly to 41.6 percent even with strong smartphone sales
  • More than $2 billion in stock buybacks; 67.7 million shares repurchased
  • AT&T’s growth engines — wireless, wireline data and managed services — represented 78 percent of total revenues and grew 6.2 percent versus the same quarter a year ago, led by:
    • 19.9 percent growth in wireless data revenues, up more than $1 billion versus the year-earlier quarter
    • 19.0 percent growth in strategic business services revenues
    • 38.2 percent growth in consumer U-verse revenues
  • Smartphone sales of 5.5 million, exceeding the previous first-quarter record, with about 30 percent of all postpaid smartphone subscribers on 4G-capable devices
  • 726,000 total wireless net adds, with gains in every customer category
  • Postpaid wireless churn of 1.1 percent, lowest level in seven quarters
  • Record first-quarter branded computing (tablets, tethering plans, etc.) net adds of 460,000 to reach a total of 5.8 million, up almost 70 percent versus a year ago
  • Postpaid wireless subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber), up 1.7 percent to $64.46
  • Wireline business year-over-year revenue comparisons continue to improve
  • Wireline consumer revenues up 1.0 percent versus the year-earlier period; seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth
  • AT&T U-verse® subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) top 6 million; U-verse TV subscribers reach 4 million in service

Note: AT&T’s first-quarter earnings conference call will be broadcast live via the Internet at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at www.att.com/investor.relations.

Consolidated Statements of Income
Statements of Segment Income
Consolidated Balance Sheets
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Supplementary Operating and Financial Data
Reconciliation of EBITDA
Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow
Net-Debt-to-EBITDA Ratio
Non-GAAP Discussions

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today reported first-quarter results highlighted by strong 4G mobile data sales and wireless margins, and solid revenue and earnings growth. “We continue to capitalize on our terrific momentum in mobile Internet,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. “Smartphone and branded computing device sales continue to set a record pace, mobile data revenues were up nearly 20 percent, and we achieved this growth with expanding margins. These results add confidence in our outlook for the year.”

First-Quarter Financial Results
For the quarter ended March 31, 2012, AT&T’s consolidated revenues totaled $31.8 billion, up $575 million, or 1.8 percent, versus the year-earlier quarter.

Compared with results for the first quarter of 2011, operating expenses were $25.7 billion versus $25.4 billion; operating income was $6.1 billion, up from $5.8 billion; and operating income margin was 19.2 percent, compared to 18.6 percent.

First-quarter 2012 net income attributable to AT&T totaled $3.6 billion, or $0.60 per diluted share, up from $3.4 billion, or $0.57 per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter.

First-quarter 2012 cash from operating activities totaled $7.8 billion, and capital expenditures totaled $4.3 billion. Free cash flow — cash from operating activities minus capital expenditures — totaled $3.5 billion. During the first quarter, AT&T began repurchasing shares under its outstanding 300 million share buyback authorization. The company repurchased 67.7 million of its shares for $2.1 billion in the quarter.

WIRELESS OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Led by mobile data growth in the first quarter, AT&T delivered strong smartphone and branded computing device sales with solid data revenue growth, lower postpaid churn and expanding margins. Highlights included:

Wireless Data Revenues Increase $1 Billion. Total wireless revenues, which include equipment sales, were up 5.4 percent year over year to $16.1 billion. Wireless service revenues increased 4.3 percent, to $14.6 billion, in the first quarter. Wireless data revenues — driven by Internet access, access to applications, messaging and related services — increased by more than $1 billion, or 19.9 percent, from the year-earlier quarter to $6.1 billion. First-quarter wireless operating expenses totaled $11.7 billion, up 3.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, and wireless operating income was $4.4 billion, up 11.3 percent year over year.

Wireless Margins Expand Even With Strong Smartphone Sales. First-quarter wireless margins grew significantly, driven by improved operating efficiencies and further revenue gains from the company’s 41 million high-quality smartphone subscribers. AT&T’s first-quarter wireless operating income margin was 27.2 percent versus 25.8 percent in the year-earlier quarter, and AT&T’s wireless EBITDA service margin was 41.6 percent, compared with 39.0 percent in the first quarter of 2011.(EBITDA service margin is operating income before depreciation and amortization, divided by total service revenues.)

Subscriber Gains in Every Category. AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers of 726,000 in the first quarter to reach 103.9 million in service. This included gains in every customer category. Subscriber additions for the quarter include postpaid net adds of 187,000. Prepaid net adds were 125,000, connected device net adds were 230,000 and reseller net adds were 184,000. First-quarter net adds reflect continued adoption of smartphones and sales of tablets.

Smartphone Sales Exceed First-Quarter Record. AT&T sold 5.5 million smartphones, exceeding a first-quarter sales record set last year. Smartphones represented more than 78 percent of postpaid device sales. At the end of the quarter, 59.3 percent, or 41.2 million, of AT&T’s postpaid subscribers had smartphones, up from 46.2 percent and 31.5 million a year earlier. AT&T’s ARPU for smartphones is 90 percent higher than for non-smartphone subscribers. About 88 percent of smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk® or business plans. Churn levels for these subscribers are significantly lower than for other postpaid subscribers. About 30 percent of AT&T’s postpaid smartphone customers use a 4G-capable device.

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.

Strong Branded Computing Sales. AT&T had its best-ever first-quarter sales for branded computing subscribers, a new wireless data revenue growth area for the company that includes tablets, tethering plans, aircards, mobile Wi-Fi hot spots and other data-only devices. AT&T added 460,000 of these devices to reach 5.8 million, up almost 70 percent in total subscribers from a year ago. During the quarter, 240,000 tablets were added, about three-quarters of which were postpaid.

61 Percent of Smartphone Subscribers on Tiered Data Plans. The number of subscribers on tiered data plans also continues to increase. About 25 million, or 61 percent, of all smartphone subscribers are on tiered data plans compared to 38 percent a year ago, and more than 70 percent have chosen the higher-tiered plans. AT&T’s postpaid wireless subscribers on data plans increased by 15.1 percent over the past year.

Industry-Leading Postpaid ARPU Continues Growth. Postpaid subscriber ARPU increased 1.7 percent versus the year-earlier quarter to $64.46. AT&T continues to lead the industry with postpaid subscriber ARPU. This marked the 13th consecutive quarter AT&T has posted a year-over-year increase in postpaid ARPU. Postpaid data ARPU reached $26.92, up 15.3 percent versus the year-earlier quarter.

Postpaid Churn Improves. Postpaid churn reached its lowest level in seven quarters. For the first quarter, postpaid churn was 1.10 percent, compared to 1.18 percent in the year-ago first quarter and 1.21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Total churn was up, at 1.47 percent versus 1.36 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and 1.39 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, due to higher reseller and connected device churn.

WIRELINE OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
AT&T’s first-quarter wireline results were led by continued improving trends in business and strong growth in U-verse revenues. Highlights included:

Wireline Operating Income Improves. AT&T’s wireline operating income totaled $1.8 billion, 2.4 percent higher than the first quarter of 2011 and down 1.2 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2011. First-quarter wireline operating income margin was 12.2 percent, compared to 11.8 percent in the year-earlier quarter. Total first-quarter wireline revenues were $14.9 billion, down 0.8 percent versus the year-earlier quarter and down slightly sequentially. First-quarter wireline operating expenses were $13.1 billion, down 1.2 percent versus the first quarter of 2011 and down slightly sequentially. Improved consumer and business strategic services revenue trends and execution of cost initiatives helped to partially offset declines in voice revenues.

Business Revenues Continue Improving Trends. Business revenues had their best year-over-year comparison in the last three years. Total business revenues were $9.2 billion, down 0.8 percent versus the year-earlier quarter. Business service revenues declined 0.3 percent year over year, compared to a year-over-year decline of 4.4 percent in the year-ago quarter, and were essentially flat sequentially. Declines in legacy products were largely offset by continued strong growth in strategic business services.

Business Data Revenue Growth Accelerates. Revenues from strategic business services, the new-generation capabilities that lead AT&T’s most advanced business solutions — including Ethernet, VPNs, hosting, IP conferencing and application services — grew 19.0 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, continuing strong trends in this area. This now represents a $6.2 billion annualized revenue stream. Total business data revenue growth accelerated to 4.2 percent year over year, the strongest showing in four years.

U-verse Drives Consumer Revenue Growth. Continued strong growth in consumer IP data services in the first quarter offset lower revenues from voice and legacy products. Driven by strength in IP data services, revenues from residential customers totaled $5.4 billion, an increase of 1.0 percent versus the first quarter a year ago. The first quarter marked the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenues. U-verse continues to drive a transformation in wireline consumer, reflected by the fact that consumer broadband, video and voice over IP revenues now represent 55 percent of wireline consumer revenues, up from 47 percent in the year-earlier quarter. Increased AT&T U-verse penetration and a significant number of subscribers on triple- or quad-play options drove 17.5 percent year-over-year growth in IP revenues from residential customers (broadband, U-verse TV and U-verse Voice) and 3.8 percent sequential quarterly growth. Consumer U-verse revenues grew 38.2 percent compared with the year-ago first quarter and were up 8.5 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2011.

U-verse Tops 6 Million Subscriber Mark. Total AT&T U-verse subscribers (TV and High Speed Internet) reached 6.2 million in the first quarter. AT&T U-verse TV added 200,000 subscribers to reach 4.0 million in service. In the first quarter, the AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet attach rate was more than 90 percent and about half of new subscribers took AT&T U-verse Voice. About three-fourths of AT&T U-verse TV subscribers have a triple- or quad-play option from AT&T. ARPU for U-verse triple-play customers was $169, up slightly year over year. Penetration of eligible living units continues to grow and was at 16.8 percent in the first quarter, and 27.1 percent across areas marketed to for 42 months or more. AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet delivered a first-quarter net gain of 718,000 subscribers to reach a total of 5.9 million, more than offsetting losses from DSL. Overall, AT&T added 103,000 wireline broadband connections. About 45 percent of consumers have a broadband plan delivering speeds up to 6 Mbps or higher versus 35 percent in the year-ago quarter.

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PSA: AT&T now unlocking out-of-contract iPhones

Monday, April 9th, 2012
PSA: AT&T now unlocking out-of-contract iPhones
In case you’ve been living under a rock (or enjoying the weekend holidays), AT&T on Friday revealed its plans to start unlocking out-of-contract iPhones. However, customers looking to take advantage of the deal will have to meet a few requirements first, which include having an account in good standing (so pay those past due fees before inquiring), a fulfilled contract, paid an early termination fee or that a handset upgrade was done. The unlocking process can be achieved at any brick-and-mortar shop, online via chat or by dialing AT&T’s 611. For what it’s worth, we tried this and found it to be pretty straightforward. In this writer’s case, it only took about 40 minutes after the initial approval went through. The most tedious step was that required restore, after which we were greeted with a joyful “congratulations your iPhone has been unlocked” message. Still, users are reporting mixed results: depending on whose account you believe, AT&T is asking users to wait 72 hours, or telling folks the unlock will complete on April 16th. Be sure to let us know in the comments how it’s all turning out for you.

PSA: AT&T now unlocking out-of-contract iPhones originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 09 Apr 2012 14:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T to begin unlocking iPhones this Sunday

Friday, April 6th, 2012

AT&T plans to soon begin unlocking iPhones for customers with accounts in good standing who request that their devices be unlocked. Unlocking a handset allows the device to operate on any GSM network rather than just the network for which it was purchased, and AT&T does not currently provide customers customers with unlock codes for Apple’s iPhone. Engadget reported on Friday that the carrier was planning to amend its policy beginning this Sunday, and BGR was able to confirm the news with an AT&T spokesperson. ”Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “The only requirements are that a customer’s account must be in good standing, their device cannot be associated with a current and active term commitment on an AT&T customer account, and they need to have fulfilled their contract term, upgraded under one of our upgrade policies or paid an early termination fee.”

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J.P. Morgan increases Q1 iPhone and iPad estimates

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz has made “significant increases” to both his iPhone and iPad sales projections for the first quarter of 2012, raising his price target on Apple stock from $625 to $715, Apple Insider reported on Tuesday. The analyst previously estimated that Apple would ship 28.1 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2012, however he now believes shipments will reach 31.1 million units. Full-year iPhone shipments for 2012 are now expected to total 138.2 million units. Moskowitz thinks Apple’s next-generation smartphone will launch in the second half of 2012 and include a “thinner body and LTE capability.” He projects iPad shipments to reach 13.8 million in the first quarter, up from his earlier estimate of 10.1 million units, and his full-year shipment estimate was raised to 69.6 million tablets, up from 59.8 million. Apple will also “refresh its MacBook portfolio, including the Air, in the next three months,” Moskowitz wrote in his note to investors. He continued by saying that the company needs to improve its specifications and features while introducing lower price points to stay ahead of the “Ultrabook crowd.”

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‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ loser turned winner auctions prizes for charity

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Nexus user Sahas Katta found himself thrust into the technology news cycle recently after he allegedly smoked a Windows Phone but was denied his prize. Katta took part in a Microsoft contest that asked users of Android phones, iPhones or any other smartphone to compete against a Microsoft store employee with a Windows Phone in one of several challenges. When Katta won his challenge by upstaging a Windows Phone with his Galaxy Nexus, Microsoft store employees are said to have cheated him out of his prize. Read on for more.

Katta wrote about the ordeal on his personal blog, and the story quickly spread across dozens of tech blogs. When Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph caught wind of the story, he quickly offered to discuss the situation with Katta and “make things right.” Within a day of his first attempt to contact Katta, the issue appears to have been resolved.

“I exchanged emails with Ben regarding the matter earlier today and learned that a laptop and phone were aside for me at the Santa Clara Microsoft Store,” Katta wrote on his blog. “I dropped by this evening and after spending a few minutes chatting with two rather extremely friendly store managers, I walked out with a $1,049 Hunger Games Special Edition HP Folio 13 and a $899 Nokia Lumia 800 Bundle.”

The California native says that he recently purchased a new HP laptop and he’s happy with his current smartphone, so he is auctioning off his prizes instead of keeping them. As Reddit played a big role in making Katta’s story heard, he plans to donate 100% of the proceeds from his auctions to a charity of Reddit’s choosing.

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Nokia reportedly footing the bill to put Lumia 900s in AT&T employee pockets

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

While the launch date has shifted several times over the past two months, BGR reported in January that the Lumia 900 would become available from AT&T at a shocking $99.99 price point — the lowest launch price for a flagship phone in recent history. The handset’s release will be accompanied by a marketing and advertising blitz aiming to familiarize the U.S. with Windows Phone, but educating the sales staff at AT&T stores and encouraging them to pitch the handset is a crucial piece of the puzzle that could lead to the device’s success. Nokia is reportedly taking things one step further — wpcentral on Friday reports that Nokia will finance a program allowing AT&T sales staff to trade in their current handsets for a brand new Lumia 900 at no cost. The program, which will see AT&T employees turn in iPhones and Android handsets for the Lumia 900, will reportedly cost Nokia as much as $25 million. BGR took a hands-on look at the AT&T’s upcoming flagship Windows Phone during the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and we described it as a gorgeous handset that improves upon the already-great Lumia 800.

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Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience; now iPhone users can as well

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The man who counted to infinity twice is invading iPhone 4S handsets around the world thanks to an incredibly useless but fantastically amusing Siri tweak. iOS developer Wonderbread recently released an add-on dubbed “Chuck Norris Facts” for the AssistantExtensions platform that brings powerful new functionality to Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri. After installing AssistantExtensions and the Chuck Norris Facts add-on, the command “let’s chat” will activate AssistantExtensions’ chat-bot feature, and users who dare to speak his name can simply say “Chuck Norris” to hear Siri reply with one of countless faux factoids from the popular Chuck Norris facts meme. Chuck fans will need to jailbreak their iPhones in order to download and install the tweak from the Cydia app store, and caution is recommended when jailbreaking or when doing anything involving Chuck Norris — there used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.

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Sprint reveals it spent $15.5 billion to fuel its iPhone hunger

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Sprint’s SEC filings have revealed that the carrier has committed to purchasing $15.5 billion worth of iPhones as part of the long-promised $20 billion gamble. If each handset costs around $630 at trade, then we’re talking about the network holding nearly 24 million units. Given that the company most recently ate a loss of $1.3 billion, most of which was caused by carrier subsidies for the 4S, there’s a genuine fear that the company won’t be able to make enough back on each customer to offset the initial outlay. Given the Baller-style purchasing decisions of Dan Hesse of late, we’ll be watching how this unfolds with great interest and our fingers very firmly crossed.

Sprint reveals it spent $15.5 billion to fuel its iPhone hunger originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Feb 2012 16:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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There’s literally no app for this: KIRF iPhone-branded gas stoves seized by Chinese authorities

Friday, February 24th, 2012
Ordinarily, if you use your iPhone to fry eggs, it’s time to check when your warranty expires. Not so for these KIRF iPhones, which can’t make calls or download apps (let alone use Siri) but can fry your bacon rather well. 681 of these bafflingly branded gas stoves were seized by police in Wuhan, each bearing the legend “Apple China Limited.” Apparently the units did not come with flame-out protection and only ran iOS 4.1, leading to the swoop. We should probably take that as solid confirmation that the iPhone 6′s killer feature is going to involve making brunch on the go.

There’s literally no app for this: KIRF iPhone-branded gas stoves seized by Chinese authorities originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 19:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple device manufacturer Foxconn increases wages for workers

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Foxconn confirmed on Friday that it has raised wages for its factory workers by 16% to 25%, Reuters reports. The original device manufacturer, which is the No.1 maker of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, has raised wages to 1,800 yuan ($285) per month and may again raise them above 2,200 yuan ($349) for workers who pass a technical examination. In comparison, pay three years ago was 900 yuan ($143) per month. “As a top manufacturing company in China, the basic salary of junior workers in all of Foxconn’s China factories is already far higher than the minimum wage set by all local governments,” the company said in a statement. Foxconn has come under fire on numerous occasions due to allegations of poor working conditions, however the company is working to improve. “We will provide more training opportunities and learning time, and will continuously enhance technology, efficiency and salary, so as to set a good example for the Chinese manufacturing industry,” a company spokesperson said. Foxconn’s announcement comes on the heel of the Fair Labor Association’s preliminary assessment of the company’s plants, which are said to have conditions that are better than most.

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German court dismisses Motorola patent lawsuit against Apple

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

On Friday, the Mannheim Regional Court of Germany announced that Motorola’s patent lawsuit against Apple had been dismissed. The patent in question was considered essential to the 3G/UMTS wireless telecommunications standard and was used as a “method and system for generating a complex pseudonoise sequence for processing a code division multiple access [CDMA] signal.” Judge Andreas Voss claimed that Motorola failed to present conclusive evidence that Apple infringed upon its patent, however, according to FOSS Patents. Rather than demonstrating Apple’s infringement, Motorola argued that any implementation of 3G/UMTS must then inevitably infringe on the company’s invention. Last December, the manufacturer won an injunction against the Cupertino-based company to ban the sales of iPhones and iPads. The ruling was upheld earlier this month and Apple’s devices were temporarily pulled from shelves, before returning soon after.
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Ban on iPhones and iPad suspended in Germany, sales resume

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Sales of Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G resumed on Friday after a permanent injunction had gone into effect early Friday morning. ”All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” an Apple spokesperson told SlashGear in a statement. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G were deemed to being infringing on a Motorola patent this past December. A judge ordered an injunction at that time that went into effect on Friday, forcing Apple to remove the infringing devices from its German website. Motorola filed a separate complaint against Apple’s new iPhone 4S last month.

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Apple could sell as many as 40 million iPhones in China next year

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes Apple will partner up with both China Telecom and China Mobile over the next year, and will eventually make the iPhone available on all three Chinese carriers, reports Apple Insider. The move could bring sales of the popular handset to as many as 40 million units in 2013 alone. The iPhone is currently only offered by China Unicom, the nation’s second largest carrier. Through this partnership, Huberty believes Apple can only reach 10% of the 150 million “high-end Chinese subscribers” in the country. China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier, holds the majority of the country’s high-end subscribers with an estimated 120 million customers, with the final 10% of high-end subscribers carried by China Telecom, the third-largest carrier in China. Huberty also believes Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone is likely to be compatible with China Mobile’s upcoming 4G TD-LTE network, although she notes it is “still too early to know for sure.” Morgan Stanley expects the next-generation iPhone to launch in the third quarter this year — BGR reported last month that Apple will launch a redesigned iPhone this fall — and the firm believes China Mobile will release the new iPhone in late 2012 or early 2013.

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Nokia still top vendor as global handset shipments reached 1.6 billion in 2011

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Global mobile phone shipments grew 14% annually to shatter the previous shipment record in 2011. Market research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that 1.6 billion cell phones were shipped last year, representing more than one-fifth of the world’s total population, which surpassed 7 billion in late October last year according to the Population Reference Bureau. An earlier report from the GSMA estimated that there are now more than 6 billion total mobile connections worldwide. Read on for more.

Handset shipments grew 11% to reach 445 million units globally last quarter according to Strategy Analytics, 155 million of which were smartphones. Nokia retained its No.1 position globally with mobile phone shipments totaling 113.5 million units, and Samsung followed with 95 million units. With just one smartphone line that includes just three models, Apple was the world’s No.3 cell phone vendor last quarter with shipments totaling 37 million units.

Nokia was also the top vendor for the full year, having shipped 417.1 million phones globally according to Strategy Analytics’s figures. Samsung shipped 327.4 million units in 2011 and Apple sold 93 million iPhones into distribution channels.

“Smartphone specialist Apple shipped 93.0 million handsets worldwide in 2011, nearly doubling the previous year’s volumes,” Strategy Analytics analyst Tom Kang said. “Currently in just its fifth year of participation in the handset market, Apple is on track to ship well over 100 million units during 2012. China is becoming a key market for Apple this year, and we expect Apple’s share to grow rapidly in 2012, despite countless copycat rivals.” The firm’s full press release follows below.

Strategy Analytics: Global Handset Shipments Reach 1.6 Billion Units in 2011

Boston, MA – January 26, 2012 – According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global handset shipments grew 11 percent annually to reach 445 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple was the star performer, capturing a record 8 percent market share worldwide during the quarter. Full-year handset shipments reached 1.6 billion units globally in 2011, with annual growth of 14 percent.

Alex Spektor, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Despite continued macroeconomic difficulties in major markets like Western Europe, global handset shipments grew a reasonable 11 percent annually to reach 445 million units in Q4 2011. Apple was the star performer, shipping 37.0 million iPhones worldwide and capturing a highest-ever 8 percent market share. Apple’s growth was fuelled by intense demand for its refreshed iPhone 4S, as well as the availability of three generations of iPhones at a variety of price points at operators like AT&T in the United States.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Nokia’s global handset shipments declined 8 percent annually to 113.5 million units in Q4 2011. Volumes were buoyed by the sales of Nokia’s low-end dual-SIM models in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, but were a little soft overall, as initial shipments of Microsoft Lumia phones could not offset declining Symbian sales. Hot on Nokia’s heels, second-ranked Samsung captured 21 percent share with shipments of 95.0 million units. Samsung’s 18 percent annual growth was fuelled by robust shipments of its broad Galaxy-branded 3G portfolio, headlined by the Galaxy S2 superphone.”

Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Smartphone specialist Apple shipped 93.0 million handsets worldwide in 2011, nearly doubling the previous year’s volumes. Currently in just its fifth year of participation in the handset market, Apple is on track to ship well over 100 million units during 2012. China is becoming a key market for Apple this year, and we expect Apple’s share to grow rapidly in 2012, despite countless copycat rivals.”

Exhibit 1: Global Handset Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2011

[See chart above]

The full report, Global Handset Shipments Reach 445 Million Units in Q4 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3tbnzb6.

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Nokia still top vendor as global handset shipments reached 1.6 billion in 2011

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Global mobile phone shipments grew 14% annually to shatter the previous shipment record in 2011. Market research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that 1.6 billion cell phones were shipped last year, representing more than one-fifth of the world’s total population, which surpassed 7 billion in late October last year according to the Population Reference Bureau. An earlier report from the GSMA estimated that there are now more than 6 billion total mobile connections worldwide. Read on for more.

Handset shipments grew 11% to reach 445 million units globally last quarter according to Strategy Analytics, 155 million of which were smartphones. Nokia retained its No.1 position globally with mobile phone shipments totaling 113.5 million units, and Samsung followed with 95 million units. With just one smartphone line that includes just three models, Apple was the world’s No.3 cell phone vendor last quarter with shipments totaling 37 million units.

Nokia was also the top vendor for the full year, having shipped 417.1 million phones globally according to Strategy Analytics’s figures. Samsung shipped 327.4 million units in 2011 and Apple sold 93 million iPhones into distribution channels.

“Smartphone specialist Apple shipped 93.0 million handsets worldwide in 2011, nearly doubling the previous year’s volumes,” Strategy Analytics analyst Tom Kang said. “Currently in just its fifth year of participation in the handset market, Apple is on track to ship well over 100 million units during 2012. China is becoming a key market for Apple this year, and we expect Apple’s share to grow rapidly in 2012, despite countless copycat rivals.” The firm’s full press release follows below.

Strategy Analytics: Global Handset Shipments Reach 1.6 Billion Units in 2011

Boston, MA – January 26, 2012 – According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global handset shipments grew 11 percent annually to reach 445 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple was the star performer, capturing a record 8 percent market share worldwide during the quarter. Full-year handset shipments reached 1.6 billion units globally in 2011, with annual growth of 14 percent.

Alex Spektor, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Despite continued macroeconomic difficulties in major markets like Western Europe, global handset shipments grew a reasonable 11 percent annually to reach 445 million units in Q4 2011. Apple was the star performer, shipping 37.0 million iPhones worldwide and capturing a highest-ever 8 percent market share. Apple’s growth was fuelled by intense demand for its refreshed iPhone 4S, as well as the availability of three generations of iPhones at a variety of price points at operators like AT&T in the United States.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Nokia’s global handset shipments declined 8 percent annually to 113.5 million units in Q4 2011. Volumes were buoyed by the sales of Nokia’s low-end dual-SIM models in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, but were a little soft overall, as initial shipments of Microsoft Lumia phones could not offset declining Symbian sales. Hot on Nokia’s heels, second-ranked Samsung captured 21 percent share with shipments of 95.0 million units. Samsung’s 18 percent annual growth was fuelled by robust shipments of its broad Galaxy-branded 3G portfolio, headlined by the Galaxy S2 superphone.”

Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Smartphone specialist Apple shipped 93.0 million handsets worldwide in 2011, nearly doubling the previous year’s volumes. Currently in just its fifth year of participation in the handset market, Apple is on track to ship well over 100 million units during 2012. China is becoming a key market for Apple this year, and we expect Apple’s share to grow rapidly in 2012, despite countless copycat rivals.”

Exhibit 1: Global Handset Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2011

[See chart above]

The full report, Global Handset Shipments Reach 445 Million Units in Q4 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3tbnzb6.

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