Welcome to Last Week In Tech! This weekly report will cover news from Android, Apple, Carrier updates, and all other news and trends related to gadget. Last week was packed with news from Apple, The ITC, Samsung, LG and T-Mobile. Also on board for the report are some interesting data points collected from the likes of IDG and Comscore.
LG G2 – The new G2 features a Snapdragon S800 chip from Qualcomm clocked at 2.26GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage, and a microSD slot. The phone is expected to release in Q3 of this year and should give the upcoming iPhone, Note 3, and HTC One a good run for the money. You can check out my full round up on the G2 here.
(image courtesy of LG)
Kindle Fire HD Price Drop – Amazon has given the new Kindle Fire HD 7″ tablet a price drop due to competition, making the $199 tablet now only $159. This is considerably less than the new Nexus 7 tablet that was unveiled by Google two weeks ago. This price drop could also signify that a newer Kindle Fire tablet is on the horizon. I think Amazon has the price point nailed down for the Android tablet market, but they do also have a inferior product compared to the likes of the Nexus 7 and iPad mini.
ITC Ruling – Apple has struck back at Samsung asking for a ban on certain Samsung products after last week’s ban on Apple products was vetoed by President Obama. The International Trade Commission on Friday ordered a ban on the import and sales on some Samsung products that infringe on an Apple patent. The Obama administration will now have 60 days to review the case. We’ll have to wait and see if this ban sticks. Samsung has claimed the ban will not hurt any aspect of sales here in the U.S. Although Obama let last weeks ruling slide for Apple, the fact that Samsung is a Korean company may cause these new import bans to just stick. When will these two companies learn to just get along?
Android Market Share – A recent report from IDC has Android capturing 80% of the global market, thanks to low-cost models. The new galaxy S4 from Samsung along with lower cost models from the likes of LG, Huawei, and ZTE helped Android to soar in Q2. Meanwhile Apple posted a year-over-year decline dropping from 16.6% with 26 million iPhones shipped in Q2 of last year, to 13.2% of the market with 31.2 million iPhones shipped in Q1 of this year. Many say this is due to the lack of new models. Apple will need to penetrate these markets with its rumored low cost iPhone 5C. Rumors have the device coming in at $490 which could be just a bit too high to compete with other low cost Android options. Check out the chart from IDC below for the full details.
(chart courtesy of IDG)
Samsung and Apple Remain Strong – The latest U.S. smartphone market share report from ComScore show both Apple and Samsung lead the pack due to the strong sales of the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5. Apple ranked as the top OEM just under 40 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 0.9 percentage points from March). Samsung grew its share only 2 percentage points with the release of the new Galaxy S4, ranking second with just under 24 percent market share. HTC ranked third, followed by Motorola and LG. It will be interesting to see how these numbers shift once a low-cost model from Apple enters the playing field. Although it could have a bigger impact outside the U.S, I expect it will turn up the market share for Apple here stateside as well. Check out the complete chart from ComScore below.
(image courtesy of ComScore)
Apple Roundup – For a complete roundup of all last weeks Apple news, make sure to check out my Apple Weekly Rumor Roundup here. Besides last week news just yesterday it was leaked that the iPhone 5S will indeed debut at a September 10th event. Check out our full post for complete details on the latest date leak here.
T-Mobile Drops Zero Down On iPhones – The nations third biggest carrier said it is pulling both the iPhone 5 and 4S from their $0 down promotion. The iPhone 4 will remain the only phone for T-Mobile that will carry the $0 down price tag. T-Mobile customers will have to pay $145.99 upfront for a 16GB iPhone 5, followed by payments (EIP) of $21 per month for 24 months. A representative from T-Mobile claims that the promotion was just temporary. I think that T-Mobile was taking quite a hefty hit when the promotions were more successful than planned.
AT&T Cut Next Plan Pricing – The miserable NEXT Upgrade Plan from AT&T (which ends up costing you more) has recently implemented a price cut across all models on their upgrade plans. The 16GB iPhone 5 can be had for $0 down and 20 monthly payments of $27 per month. Even with a price cut this NEXT Plan will still end up costing you more over a 2-year upgrade option with trade in.
An Australian Woman Payed $1330 for 2 Apples – A twenty year old woman from Brisbane, Australia was interested in purchasing two iPhones so she posted an ad on the Australian version of Craigslist. Soon after, she was contacted by a woman who offered to sell her 2 iPhones for 1500 aussie dollars (about $1335). The two met at a McDonald’s parking lot where the buyer was handed two sealed boxes that looked like iPhones. When the woman returned home to use her two shiny new iPhones, she realized the boxes just contained real Apples. This serves as warning when buying products from an unreliable source. Always check the packing first before you hand over your cash. It’s also another reason to skip Craigslist when buying and selling phones.