BlackBerry has today announced the formation of a special committee that will “explore strategic alternatives” for the company to increase its value and speed in BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives include, but aren’t limited to, new partnerships and joint ventures, possible mergers or a sale of the company.
(Image Credit: berryforme.com)
After disappointing sales numbers for the first quarter, BlackBerry has planned a round of layoffs for the company. according to Mashable. The handheld device manufacturer has already fired one of its key executives, Vice President of Sales in the U.S., Richard Piasentin.
A few days ago, rumors circulated after a tweet from T-Mobile UK stated that Blackberry’s “BBM” direct messaging software will be released for iOS and Android on June 27th.
Since then, T-Mobile UK has taken down the tweet. But Blackberry confirmed its plan to develop apps for other mobile platforms, which would launch some time this summer.
Editor’s Note: Sho Masuda is vice president of marketing at mobile-social gaming giant GREE. Here’s look into what will be talked about at the “Platform Opportunities for Social Apps” session at Inside Network’s Inside Social Apps conference June 6 to 7.
Inside Mobile Apps: iOS and Android have remained the two top mobile platforms. Is there no more room or opportunity for another competitor to reach a similar market share? Is Windows Phone and Blackberry’s days numbered?
Sho Masuda: iOS and Android have absolutely dominated the market and have done a fabulous job of building an ecosystem of mobile content. Specific to gaming, smartphones and tablets are now the primary devices for gaming-on-the-go, Where before players couldn’t see past the traditional console first parties for gaming outside of the living room, we are now seeing mobile studios generating millions in revenue daily.
I do believe the market is cyclical and the audience is always looking for the next best thing so there is definitely room for another competitor to swoop in with something completely unexpected. That said, Apple and Android have been leading the market and will likely continue to lead and innovate how people use their devices. I don’t see them losing that market share anytime soon.
As for Windows Phone, Blackberry, or what may be coming — there is potential for them all. This industry is so young and just at the start of what it can do. To put it numerically — there are one billion smartphone users out there and six billion mobile subscribers worldwide — we have just scratched the surface and there is so much more to come.
IMA: Where do you think the relationship between Samsung and Google is heading?
Google and Samsung have had an exceptionally strong relationship to date and it is clear that Samsung has built some of the best Android-operated hardware on the market. One thing we are missing when it comes with Android is the one tablet that owns the Android market — the one that can truly go head-to-head with the iPad. That is definitely something we — as gaming developers — are looking forward to.
Although Google’s Android operating system remained the top smartphone platform, Apple once again gained market share, according to ComScore’s March 2013 Mobile Subscriber Market Share report. Also, the Android OS and Apple’s iOS combined for 91 percent of the U.S. smartphone user base of 136.7 million.
During the three month period from the end of December 2012 to the end of March 2013, the smartphone market penetration was up 9 percent to 58 percent, translating to 136.7 million users owning smartphones, with 71.1 million users who own Android smartphones and 53.5 million who own iPhones.
The Reston, Va.-based analytics firm reported that Apple claimed the No. 1 spot as the top smartphone original equipment manufacture (OEM) with 39 percent — up 2.7 percent — of the U.S. smartphone OEM market share. Samsung nabbed the No. 2 position with a 21.7 percent market share, up 0.7 percent. Keep in mind that it won’t be another month or two before Samsung’s market share sees an effect from the recently launch Samsung Galaxy S4. Rounding out the bottom of the top smartphone OEMs chart was HTC with a 9 percent market share, Motorola with 8.5 percent and LG with 6.8 percent.
As per usual, the Android OS was the top smartphone platform with 52 percent market share, down 1.4 percent. Apple’s platform share rose once again, increasing 2.7 percent to 39 percent. BlackBerry came in at No. 3 with 5.2 percent share, falling 1.2 percent. Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS increased 0.1 percent to 3.0 percent and Accenture’s Symbian OS dropped 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.
Apple increases lead as top U.S. smartphone manufacturer, Google’s platform market share falls again
Once again, Apple increased its lead as the top original equipment manufacturer, while Google’s platform market share fell for a second month in a row, according to ComScore’s February 2013 Mobile Subscriber Market Share report.
Among the top smartphone OEMs, Apple held a 38.9 percent share of the U.S. mobile market, up 3.9 percent during a three-month period from November 2012 to February 2013. Samsung held down the No. 2 spot with a 21.3 percent market share, up 1 percent. With the imminent release of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the South Korean company’s market share could increase further in the coming months. HTC’s OEM market share dropped by 1.7 percent to 9.3 percent, but the launch of its HTC First handset on April 12, the first smartphone with Facebook Home baked into a device’s operating system, could turn around the company’s market share in the future. Motorola as well as LG saw its market share drop to 8.4 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
According to the analytics firm, 133.7 million U.S. citizens own smartphones, which translates to a mobile market penetration of 57 percent, up 8 percent since the three month average period ending February 2013.
Platform-wise, Google’s market share among the top smartphone platforms inches even closer to falling below 50 percent, dropping 2 percent from November 2012 to February 2013 to 51.7 percent. Apple, on the other hand, is closing the gap on Google, increasing its market share by 3.9 percent to 38.9 percent. BlackBerry, which probably hasn’t felt the full effect of the BlackBerry 10 OS and BlackBerry Z10 device releases yet, saw its market share fall 1.9 percent to 5.4 precent. Microsoft added 0.2 percent to its marketshare from 3 percent in November 2012 to 3.2 percent in February 2013. Lastly, Symbian’s market share remained stagnant at 0.5 percent.
Glympse is an iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry app from the company of the same name. The app originally launched back in 2009, but has undergone numerous major revisions since then — revisions which have allowed it to survive in the crowded marketplace even as other location-based mobile-social apps either withered and died or found themselves acquired and merged into other services. The current version of Glympse, which is a free download on all platforms, is currently enjoying a feature spot in the New & Noteworthy section of Apple’s iOS App Store. This review is based on the iOS version, tested on an iPhone 4S.
One of the reasons Glympse has survived so long is its fundamental rethinking of how location-based apps can and should work. Rather than creating a proprietary social network for users to share their location with friends using the service and other networks connected to it, Glympse is not reliant on any sort of traditional social functionality and does not have its own attached social network in the traditional sense. Rather, it is an app intended to allow users to quickly and easily share their current location and/or estimated time of arrival at a specific destination — and to be able to do this in a cross-platform manner that is not reliant on other people having the app installed, or on people having a compatible device.
Apple continues to increase its lead as the top smartphone manufacturer over the South Korean-based conglomerate Samsung, according to ComScore’s latest Mobile Subscriber Market Share report.
Apple’s market share among the top smartphone manufactures increased 3.5 percent to 37.8 percent from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013. No. 2 ranked Samsung also grew its market share by 1.9 percent from 19.5 percent to 21.4 percent over the the three-month period. Taiwan-based HTC’s smartphone OEM market share declined 1.7 percent to 9.7 percent, Motorola fell 1.4 percent to 8.6 percent and LG slightly increased its share by 0.3 percent to 7.0 percent.
Smartphone market penetration was up 7 percent since October 2012, which now stands at 55 percent, translating to 129.4 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones. Google’s Android platform continued to hold more than 50 percent of the smartphone platform market share, although it’s share was down 1.3 percent from 53.6 percent of handsets running Android to 52.3 percent of handsets. Apple’s iOS platform showed the most growth, adding 3.5 percent to its market share from 34.3 percent to 37.8 percent. BlackBerry saw its market share decline 1.9 percent to 5.9 percent. Microsoft’s market share came in second to last, with a marginal decrease of 0.1 percent to 3.1 percent, and Symbian also fell 0.1 percent for a 0.5 percent share of handsets running Accenture’s operating system.
Although Apple remained the top smartphone OEM, Samsung showed the most growth, moving the needle 2.3 percent for a 21 percent share of the smartphone OEM market, according to ComScore’s new Mobile Subscriber Market Share report.
The Reston, Va.-based analytics company reported that Apple once again took the top spot among smartphone OEMs, with a 36.3 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market, up two percent from Sept. 2012. Samsung, which ranked second, showed the most growth, up 2.3 percent to 21 percent. Taiwan-based HTC’s smartphone OEM market share dropped 1.8 percent to 10.2 percent. Microsoft was the other OEM to show a drop, falling 0.7 percent to 9.1 percent. Finally, LG grew 0.5 percent, grabbing a 7.1 percent share of the smartphone OEM market.
The U.S. continued to show no signs of slowing down when it came to smartphone ownership, with 125.9 million people owning smartphones, up five percentfrom Sept. 2012 to Dec. 2012. As expected, more than half of those handsets people own in the U.S. ran Google’s Android platform. Android phones racked up 53.4 percent of the smartphone market share, up 0.9 percent. To no one’s surprise, Apple was the second leading smartphone platform, showing a 2 percent increase in market share to 36.3 percent. BlackBerry, which recently lifted the lid off BlackBerry 10 and changed its name from RIM to BlackBerry, saw a 2 percent decline in its platform market share to 6.5 percent. Lastly, Microsoft’s market share fell 0.7 percent and Symbian remained the same with a 0.6 percent share.
Research In Motion (RIM) hosted a BlackBerry 10 community Port-A-Thon last Friday, resulting in 15,000 app submissions in 37.5 hours, which was confirmed in a tweet by RIM VP of developer relations Alec Saunders.
RIM incentivized developers for the event, doling out $100 for every app submitted and approved to BlackBerry App World. RIM also placed developers who had submitted more than five approved apps into a drawing for a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device.
RIM has a long way to go before they can compete with the top two platforms — Google and Apple. According to ComScore, RIM dropped another one percent (7.3 percent) among the top smartphone platforms, but remained in third place, behind Google and Apple. Three of the big four U.S. wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile — confirmed to Reuters on Jan. 9 that they will offer BlackBerry 10 devices to their customers. Sprint later told The Verge that they too will carry BlackBerry 10 handsets.
RIM’s stock was up 10.25 percent at $14.95 a share at the close of today on Nasdaq.
RIM will hold a launch event in New York City for BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30.
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