Saturday, May 18, 2013, 09:57 pm
This week’s Google I/O saw no announcements of any new versions of the company’s mobile operating system, Android, and that may be because the team that is building the system is working to address the platform’s biggest problem: fragmentation.
via Garee’s Blog
The issue of fragmentation arose this week in a panel discussion with assorted members of the Android team in attendance, according to Ars Technica. In the course of a forty-minute question and answer session, the team spoke on a number of topics related to Google’s overwhelmingly popular operating system.
“This is something we think about a lot ,” Dave Burke, Google’s Android engineering director, said of fragmentation. Part of the problem, Burke said, lies in the fact that Android device vendors are able to take the open source code and create their own Board Support Packages specific implementations of an operating system to ensure compatibility between their devices and a certain build of Android.
“We do a lot of iteration,” said Burke, “so that we try to build a system that works really well on a broad range of hardware.”
Google was widely expected to release a new version of its operating system at this week’s Google I/O, but the Android team’s comments seem to indicate that the search giant has taken a different track this year, focusing more on honing what already exists on the platform rather than leaping ahead to new versions with new features and new architectures.
The team also discussed emerging markets where Android has become popular due to its ability to run on lower-specced hardware.
“We’re looking at ways to make Android more efficient for the entry-level smartphones to help improve that situation,” Burke said.
Fragmentation in the Android operating system is both a blessing and a curse for the platform. Reliance upon older versions of Android allows device manufacturers to put low-specced, low-cost devices into the hands of consumers in developing markets, but it also means that many consumers are unable to access some of the latest apps on the platform.
The issue also presents a problem for many Android developers. Having to write across multiple versions around 40 percent of Android devices are running a three-year-old version of the OS presents a challenge for smaller developer groups, which has led some observers to believe smaller groups will be squeezed out of the platform as it progresses.
In recent months, Google has changed the way it calculates the distribution of Android versions. While the company acknowledges that many devices are still on Gingerbread, first released in 2010, it now publicizes proportions only related to the users that access its Google Play Store, meaning that many Android device users essentially go uncounted with regard to developers.
By comparison, Apple’s iOS 6 already accounts for 83 percent of web traffic from Apple devices in North America.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/2c1b8050/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C130C0A50C180Cgoogle0Eengineers0Etalk0Efragmentation0Ehow0Eto0Emake0Eandroid0Ework0Efor0Eemerging0Emarkets/story01.htm
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 06:05 pm
Given that Apple now sits on well over $144.7 billion in liquid resources, there’s lots of discussion about how the company could or should be spending it. What Apple is already doing with its cash is actually more interesting.
Apple’s growing cash, cash equivalents, and securities, via Asymco.
The Apple cash machine
Steve Jobs built Apple into a cash generating machine. In 2000, just as Apple was beginning to recover from its 1990s beleaguerment, the company reported just $786 million in net income on revenues of $7.8 billion for the entire fiscal year, and it sat on a “mere” $4 billion in cash.
Additionally, nearly half ($367 million) of Apple’s income that year was attributable to selling off portions of its investment in ARM, the mobile chip design it had co-created with Acorn for the Newton Message Pad, resulting in the world’s most popular architecture for embedded devices, which would subsequently power the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, iPad and virtually every other smartphone.
Fast forwarding to its most recent earnings call, Apple noted that in just the first half of the 2013 fiscal year, the company had revenues of $98 billion and net income over $22 billion. And rather than relying on selling off old investments to pad its books, Apple’s profits are now coming from the sales of innovative, profitable new products.
Apple’s revenues grew by $13 billion over the first half of fiscal 2012, which chief executive Tim Cook stated was like adding in the performance of “five Fortune 500 companies.”
Apple’s annual revenue growth could also be compared to creating about half of a new Google in the space of a year; in comparison, Google own revenue growth over the past year has only been less than a third of its current self.
Apple now sits on a staggering amount of resources, much of which has been earned (and remains) outside the United States. The company is now generating so much new cash that it has jumped to the front of the line both in paying its shareholders the most dividends and in paying the U.S. the most taxes (in part because it doesn’t evade taxes by routing domestic sales through other countries as many of its competitors do). Even so, it’s amassing new cash faster than its spending it.
What’s Apple going to do with all that buying power?
While pundits and analysts like to focus attention on how Apple is now appears incapable of growing at the same historical pace simply due to the laws of physics and the finite size of certain markets (limited by factors such as the world’s population), it’s simply unquestionable that Apple has incredible buying power, and that power isn’t going to fade away.
What is Apple doing with its cash? First off, take a look at what it isn’t doing. Apple isn’t attempting to buy its way into new businesses. Unlike Google’s $12.5 acquisition of Motorola’s hardware business or Microsoft’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype for a video conferencing product, Apple built its own mobile hardware business and then crafted FaceTime in-house.
Apple’s has only made a couple dozen, smaller acquisitions over the past decade, rarely spending more than $250 million on any of them. In contrast, Google has made more similarly sized acquisitions than that in just the last couple years since it splurged on Motorola!
Comparing iOS with Android, it’s hard to understand what Google is getting from all its acquisitions in comparison to the key strategic features growing on Apple’s platforms, from Siri to iAd to Maps to HDR and facial recognition.
It appears that Apple’s corporate DNA is not programmed to simply go out and merge with or acquire other large, existing businesses. Instead, it has created new businesses, some in a virtual vacuum of market space (like the iPod), others within mature markets rife with entrenched competition (like the iPhone), and sometimes (like the iPad) in the fallow ground left idle behind by competitors who couldn’t figure out how to make any money in them.
The same pundits who doubted every new product Apple ever released are now, in hindsight, attributing Apple’s success entirely to “lucky” blockbuster products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, and somehow drawing the conclusion that Apple can’t replicate its historical success because there’s either no more obvious opportunities left, there’s too much competition, or because other companies haven’t been able to figure out how to make money in a given field.
What they are missing is that Apple’s product success isn’t a matter of lucky products or of marketing magic. Apple is a cash machine because Apple has invested in building great products. And that means building the talent to conceptualize, develop, orchestrate, deliver and support those products. That’s something Apple’s competitors don’t currently seem to be doing.
Samsung gets a $9 billion taste of Apple’s forbidden fruit
Closest behind Apple is Samsung Electronics, a Korean powerhouse conglomerate with incredible global reach (through resellers more numerous than Apple’s) and capacity (via its internal component manufacturing). Samsung is also spending incredible billions on increasing its production capacity, but those capital investments are now cooling off.
In 2012, Samsung invested about $21 billion in expanding new chip and panel production, but that was about 10 percent less than it expected to spend. This year, the company said it plans to spend about the same as last year rather than growing at all, after years of tremendous growth.
Samsung is about to copy Apple again, because its spectacular recent growth will also become the baseline for measuring its future growth, something that will be increasingly unflattering.
Apple’s planned investment spending for 2013 is, coincidentally, up $2 billion from what it expected to spend in 2012, a total of $9 billion outside of its retail expansions. And last year, Apple’s actual capital expenditures were also $2 billion more than it expected to spend.
Chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said Apple’s fiscal 2013 $9 billion in cap ex would be “spent in a variety of areas,” detailing that “we’re buying equipment that we will own that we will put in our partners facilities. Our primary motivation there is for a supply, but we get other benefits as well.”
While so much attention has been placed on Apple’s lack of continued growth at historically exponential rates, Samsung is about to copy Apple again, because its spectacular recent growth will also become the baseline for measuring its future growth, something that will be increasingly unflattering. Samsung has already started to warn its investors of this.
Conversely, Samsung’s significant chip rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company announced a $9 billion increase in capital investments for 2013, which happens to be about the same as what Apple announced it would be spending this year to guarantee component supplies, and about half the size of Samsung’s production budget (which correlates with the size of Apple’s business relative to Samsung’s own).
So it would appear that the most significant thing Apple is doing with its cash is pulling Samsung’s knife from its back, cutting itself free from its former three-legged race partner, and planting the knife firmly in its former partner’s chest.
Given that Apple’s been running the smartphone race really well despite harboring that Galaxy S knife over the past three years, it will be interesting to see how well Samsung does in the 2013 lap as the course heads uphill into even more difficult terrain, now that it has its knife back and is no longer inextricably bound to the world’s fastest consumer electronics sprinter.
Another $1 billion of retail palaces
Another big thing Apple is spending its money on in 2013 is retail expansion and enhancements. The company intends to open around 30 new stores and replace 20 existing locations with larger ones, allocating about a billion dollars for this purpose.
Apple currently has 402 stores, 151 of which are outside the United States. With average revenue per store at $13.1 million (up from $12.2 million one year ago), that indicates that having 30 new stores will generate at least another $393 million in revenue, a pretty incredible, immediate return on that retail investment even if the other 20 new expansions do nothing to raise per-store average revenues.
Unlike other companies that are also opening retail outlets, including Microsoft and Samsung, Apple isn’t opening new stores simply to showcase that it has products to sell. Apple’s executives speak about store openings as strategic to product launches. Jobs remarked that stores were integral to the iPhone’s launch, and Cook recently made similar comments linking Apple Stores to new iPhone launches in China.
“Going forward,” Cook said in the last quarterly earnings conference call, “we still see significant opportunity in China. It’s a great market. We have 11 stores there. We expect to double those in less than two years. We have added about 8,000 iPhone point-of-sales in the indirect channel to about 19,000 today, and we obviously have a plan to add more and further grow our distribution. This number is, obviously, too low currently.”
While pundits like to search for Apple’s potential problems and spin every fact in the most dramatically negative way possible, it’s simply a readily observable fact that Apple can build lots of new stores for many years, and effectively print money as it does so, reaping immediate new revenues and growth in product sales. It’s less clear that any of its rivals can do the same.
Compare Microsoft’s retail initiatives for a stark contrast: the company started building its own stores in late 2009 and currently has 36. Another seven are planned for this year. Unlike with Apple’s stores, it’s hard to correlate the presence of these stores with any launch successes, particularly given such flops as the Zune, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Surface.
It’s simply a readily observable fact that Apple can build lots of new stores for many years, and effectively print money as it does so.
Further, rather than establishing Microsoft as a brand that supports its products through actual brick and mortar retail stores with live “genius bar” like staff, Microsoft has opened holiday popups that, like the Manhattan Times Square store, vanish as soon as the holiday sales do.
Microsoft also clearly lacks Apple’s virtually insatiable consumer demand for new stores. In 2011, Microsoft said it planned to have 75 retail outlets open within a couple years. One year later, it shifted the goalpost to now expect to have just 44 stores open by the summer of 2013. Microsoft isn’t out of capital to build new stores, it just isn’t seeing a similar return on investment comparable to Apple’s retail store performance.
Samsung similarly made headlines when it announced it would rapidly open 1,400 retail spots within Best Buy locations this year, far more mini stores than Apple operates with the retailer, and more than three times the number of Apple’s own chain of retail stores.
But if such mini-stores within Best Buy were money makers, it calls into question why Apple itself doesn’t operate that many dedicated mini-stores with Best Buy after more than a decade of partnership. Samsung isn’t spending a billion dollars to roll out the mini-stores, but it certainly will be paying a lot to staff the dedicated areas with employees. At the same time, dedicated mini kiosks in Best Buy didn’t do much for sales of Windows Phone, Windows 8 PCs, or various 3D TVs either.
$4 billion in software development incentives
While its certainly not the end of what Apple’s spending its money on, a third significant expenditure that the company is making as an investment in its future is its payments to software developers.
Oppenheimer recently stated that “we are now paying very happily our developers more than $1 billion every quarter,” a rapidly increasing number that just one year ago was the total amount the company had paid out to iOS developers since opening the App Store four years prior.
Apple’s iTunes revenue. Chart by Asymco.
Of course, Apple isn’t digging into its cash reserves to send developers charity funds in a desperate plea for new iOS apps. Those billions in revenues are coming directly from consumer demand for apps. However, there wouldn’t be any substantial demand for apps if Apple did what Google, Microsoft and every other mobile developer had done (and continue to do) on their platforms.
In Google’s case, it set up a poorly managed outlet for Android apps that encouraged lots of junk but did very little to attract valuable development. It is so easy to steal Android apps that there is very little value to developers in creating them, apart from “ad supported” titles and ports that exist only to minimally address the volume market. This makes Android apps much like the web itself: lots of dubious content littered with ads and malware threats, but so difficult to monetize that it can’t really compare with a real platform ecosystem like iOS.
Rather than looking at the more than $4 billion Apple will pay its developers this year, one can also direct attention to the roughly $1.7 billion Apple will earn from the sales of App Store titles.
Microsoft similarly started with a Windows Mobile Marketplace that appeared to have Apple beat in leveraging the development tools and numbers of desktop Windows developers.
But that market not only never took off, but was shuttered and replaced with a new store for incompatible new Windows Phone apps, closely pattered after Apple’s App Store. Microsoft also learned first hand that it is impossibly expensive to pay developers directly to build apps for which there isn’t any consumer demand.
In the realm of developer payments, rather than expecting “the community” to create value in chaos as Google has, or trying to bankroll speculative development without demand as Microsoft has, Apple has carefully tended a market for apps, reinvesting billions in iTunes and iCloud to create a market where voracious consumers are matched with prolific, creative developers.
Apple’s curation of iTunes is notable because the company dedicated itself to reinvesting its 30 percent cut on app sales back into iTunes infrastructure, resulting in a market that keeps handily outpacing competing mobile platforms.
Rather than looking at the more than $4 billion Apple will pay its developers this year, one can also direct attention to the roughly $1.7 billion Apple will earn from the sales of App Store titles, which will fund new development in the future of iTunes and App Store infrastructure.
What’s a few billion when you need new digs?
A fourth significant investment Apple is making in its future is the billions being spent on its new Apple Campus 2 project (speculatively estimated to cost as much as $5 billion by Apple’s critics) and a series of the world’s greenest data centers for iCloud, each of which may cost as much as the $1 billion funding its Reno Nev., project.
Apple desperately needs new office space, so it seems foolish to second guess the value of investing long term in even the most extravagant new headquarters complex drawn up by the company for occupancy in 2016.
That hasn’t stopped the tech media from wondering out loud if Apple’s new project is an expensive harbinger of doom, even if they don’t also concern themselves with the bleakest of possible future prospects related to the construction plans of far less profitable and capital rich companies like Facebook, Nvidia, Google and Samsung, who are also building lavish new buildings.
Given Apple’s cash-rich ability to source and shift global production of component supplies, expand its globally leading retail operations, enhance its position as the world’s most important digital storefront and orchestrate vast construction projects, it shouldn’t be surprising that the company is aiming at the future, not at short term gimmickry to prop up the appearance of its stock price or its standing in the arbitrary market share graphics of research companies that are paid to express various ineffectual opinions on the future of the industry.
Looking at the spectacular payoffs on investment Apple has previously earned with its capital, it’s hard to take serious the commentary that the company should instead be trying to acquire dubious social app fads or duplicative or complementary larger businesses like Netflix, DropBox, Twitter and so on.
If there were someone better equipped than Cook and Apple’s Executive Team to be spending Apple’s money, those persons would have accumulated vast capital of their own to spend, and would already have the global power and influence that Apple has earned for itself.
That makes it all the more interesting to see what the company that Jobs built will be doing next. The company’s upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference should reveal quite a lot along those lines.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/2c1a95e7/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C130C0A50C180Ceditorial0Eapples0Ebillions0Eare0Ebuilding0Ean0Eempire0Efor0Ethe0Efuture/story01.htm
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 07:14 am
Designed by m has managed to craft one of the most exquisite and well designed iPhone bumpers we’ve ever seen in fact “bumper” seems too unrefined a descriptor but one flaw could mar for some people what is otherwise a nearly perfect companion to Apple’s smartphone.
The brainchild of Designed by m founder Lester Mapp, AL13 is the culmination of many days in the lab and one immensely popular Kickstarter campaign. Demand was so high that AL13 quadrupled its funding goal on the way to becoming the highest backed iPhone bumper in Kickstarter history, quite the goal for those not familiar with the crowd funding site and its many fledgling iOS device accessories.
Mapp told AppleInsider the mantra of his company is to create products with a “clean, simple but awesome design.” Sounds a bit like something Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive would say.
“When we designed AL13 we wanted to make something that looked like it came with the iPhone,” Mapp said. “We were pretty anti-case when it came to our own iPhones. Why would anyone want to cover up anything as awesome as the iPhone?”
Upon receipt of AL13, a clever homage to aluminum’s symbol and atomic number, we were impressed at how closely the thin piece of metal mimicked the shape of the iPhone it was built to protect. For reference, the model under review is AL13 for iPhone 5, in slate black. Designed by m also has an identical offering scaled down for the iPhone 4/4S.
Most bumpers on the market today tend to stand out, at times intentionally so, with bold colors and designs that seem to contrast and diminish the sleek profile of the original device. Mapp agrees.
“[W]e found other cases were doing just that; either covering the phone up, or changing its silhouette,” he said. “AL13 is slim, extremely lightweight and built to blend in with the look of the iPhone.”
Design cues were obviously cribbed from the iPhone 5, like chamfered edges and an anodized, lightly textured surface. The finished product lends itself nicely to the handset.
Using aerospace-grade aluminum, weight is kept down to around 14 grams, a specification Designed by m’s website says is nearly half that of the average bumper. The iPhone 5′s 112 grams, said by many to be surprisingly light, is veritably obese in contrast. When taking AL13 out of the box, its heft, or lack thereof, was noticeable. The bumper is very light.
Despite the weight, AL13 is substantially rigid. Taking care of padding is a strip of dense anti-scuff rubber material which lines the inner walls. The medium also serves to keep the iPhone snugly in place during use.
With all the prettiness going on, one could easily overlook what is probably the most ingenious attachment methods on the market. Instead of using screws, snaps, or other cumbersome forms of installation, AL13 harnesses aluminum’s ability to undergo flexure. Simply lift the edge of rear cover, slide it out of the main chassis, slip in an iPhone, and replace. The assembly glides back into position with a satisfying “snick.”
Despite being easy to put on and take off, the attachment mechanism stays in place when dropped. We were unable to force the bumper off with drop tests onto wood and tile from three feet to five feet. The front and rear of the bumper are raised just enough to keep any exposed areas of the phone away from the ground.
“The initial design featured an almost invisible rear cover, but we found that in cases of falls it wasnt staying in place, putting the phone at risk. So we altered the design slightly,” Mapp said. “We made the rear cover a little wider, not wide enough to mess with our goal of not covering up the phone, but enough to increase its stability and eliminate the problem of it coming loose during falls.”
Tolerances are extremely tight, though we found that the iPhone would shift back and forth a touch if the included protective backing film was not used. No such slippage or rattling occurred with the film in place.
Importantly, AL13 doesn’t take away from the iPhone’s thin design, adding just the right amount of girth to the handset. Buttons are easily reachable, as are the Lightning connector and headphone jack.
Friday, May 17, 2013, 10:06 pm
Samsung earned industry praise for estimating that it expected to ship 10 million units of its flagship Galaxy S4 to carriers in its first month on the market, six months after the same journalists voiced disappointment that Apple had sold “only” 5 million iPhone 5′s in its first 3 days.
Source: Business Insider
A report by Philip Elmer-DeWitt of the Fortune Apple 2.0 blog drew attention to the stark contrast in media coverage on the two companies after one of Samsung Electronics’ three chief executives told reporters that the company had shipped 6 million units to carriers globally and expected shipments to hit 10 million next week, the fourth week the new phone has been available for sale.
The report cited the Korea Times as describing the shipment numbers as making the new phone the “fastest-selling selling smartphone in Samsung’s history.” The story was picked up around the world with headlines like Business Insider, which ran “Samsung’s S4 Starts Strong: 10 Million Units In Less Than A Month.”
But as Fortune pointed out, that same outlet responded to Apple’s 3 day launch weekend of 5 million units sold with the all caps headline “IPHONE 5 OPENING WEEKEND SALES COME IN WORSE THAN EXPECTED.”
Source: Business Insider
As Elmer-DeWitt observed, “That kind of coverage must drive Tim Cook crazy.”
Sales vs Shipments
On top of the disparity in slant on coverage, Apple’s announced numbers were not just channel inventory shipments to global carriers; they were actual sales to customers, and those sales were constrained by supply issues.
As Apple’s sole chief executive Tim Cook noted last September, “Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible.
“While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”
Samsung’s channel vastly larger
Additionally, Samsung’s inventory deployment counted shipments to carriers in 60 countries, including Korea, China, India and the U.S.
Samsung’s inventory deployment counted shipments to carriers in 60 countries, including Korea, China, India and the U.S. Apple launched iPhone 5 in just 9 countries.
Apple launched iPhone 5 in just 9 countries: U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. A week later, long after selling those first 5 million units, it added 22 more countries, mostly in Europe.
That was still less than half the launch countries Samsung shipped its initial Galaxy S4 units to, but Samsung also has more carriers in those countries than Apple. That includes carriers like T-Mobile, which didn’t get iPhone 5 until April 12, six months after its original launch.
Despite the late start, the carrier still reported half a million iPhone 5 sales in its first month of selling the iPhone.
A research note by Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research observed that “distribution for the iPhone, at ~240 carriers is significantly lower than Samsung and Nokia, which have essentially global distribution, and Blackberry, which is distributed by 2x the number of carriers.”
Apple’s country launches much slower than Samsung
Additionally, despite the fact that iPhone 5 marked Apple’s fastest global release ever for a smartphone, the new smartphone didn’t reach many large markets, including India, until November 2, a launch date for several additional countries that was actually delayed a week due to supply issues.
iPhone 5 didn’t launch in Samsung’s home of Korea until December 7, and didn’t reach the huge market of China until December 14. In total, another 50 countries got iPhone 5 in December, nearly a quarter after its record setting launch weekend.
Samsung still mostly sells cheap, old smartphones
Samsung does continues to sell more mobile devices than Apple. While it refuses to say how many, IDC estimates that Samsung shipped 70.7 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, compared to Apple’s announced sales of 37.4 million iPhones.
Shipments of Samsung’s high end Galaxy S4 therefore only account for about 14 percent or 1/7th of its smartphone shipments. That compares unfavorably to Apple’s estimated mix of iPhone models, which, while Apple doesn’t detail figures publicly, analysts have complained that “only” about half of Apple’s iPhone sales are its latest iPhone 5 model.
Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners
Samsung’s smartphone sales are dominated by low end, low profit models that run outdated versions of Android that aren’t updated and that aren’t even capable of running some of the latest software from Google.
Not only are all models of Apple’s iPhone shipped with the latest version of IOS, but users can expect to get regular updates for at least 3 years after a model hits the market.
Hype around Galaxy S4 “complete nonsense”
In response to the tech media’s flawgic fawning over the Galaxy S4, analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets noted last month that Samsung’s latest phone was “heavier, fatter and less refined than the iPhone 5.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, who called the model merely “evolutionary” and wrote “we view the S4 as unlikely to meaningfully impact iPhone share of the high-end over the full year, but do expect it to take share from other Android phones.”
White added, “we are amazed by how analysts and the media have turned on Apple during the recent stock downdrafts with statements that Samsung is ‘out-innovating’ Apple. One would believe that Samsung is crushing Apple in the mobile phone market. We believe this is complete nonsense.”
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/2c13bfef/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C130C0A50C170C10Am0Esamsung0Eflagship0Ephones0Ein0E280Edays0Ea0Erecord0E5m0Eiphone0E50Ein0E30Edays0Edisappointing/story01.htm
Friday, May 17, 2013, 04:28 pm
The trend that’s seen portable gaming shifting largely to devices like Apple’s iPhone continues apace, according to a new report that pegs revenue from gaming on iOS and Android devices at three times the size of revenue on dedicated portable gaming consoles.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenues for iOS gaming rose significantly, while revenues for Nintendo and Sony’s dedicated portable consoles dropped due to seasonal effects, according to a study published by IDC and App Annie. The study’s findings do not include ad revenue.
Apple’s iOS led in overall gaming revenue generation for the quarter, outpacing Google’s Android in as it already does in terms of overall revenue. Google’s Play Store continued to see its revenues grow, though, and it is expected that Google Play will move ahead of gaming-optimized handhelds in terms of revenue generation some time in the second quarter.
The study found that gaming still forms the foundation for both app stores. In both the App Store and Google Play, games accounted for roughly 40 percent of all downloads, up slightly from the quarter previous. The report has games making up roughly 70 percent of iOS App Store spending and more than 80 percent of Google Play spending.
The study’s findings put into stark relief the growing importance of mobile devices in the gaming segment, a trend that has the traditional gaming companies scrambling to adjust. The emergence of Apple’s iPhone on the gaming scene sparked an exodus of casual gamers from the dedicated portable console market, as those consumers found that one device could handle both their gaming and communication needs.
In response, portable gaming’s two giants, Sony and Nintendo, have been looking to retool operations. Sony recently cut the price of its PlayStation Vita portable console, in the hopes that doing so would attract more buyers in its native country of Japan. The electronics giant also courted developers for the PS Vita by offering free developer tools.
Nintendo has fared better in the portable segment after cutting the price on its 3DS console. The shift toward devices like Apple’s iPad, though, has meant trouble for Nintendo’s new Wii U console. In response, the longtime gaming fixture has also begun courting developers in hopes that they will bring their best selling smartphone games to the touch-capable Wii U.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/2c126a92/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C130C0A50C170Crevenue0Efrom0Eios0Eandroid0Egaming0Eapps0Enow0Ethree0Etimes0Egreater0Ethan0Eportable0Econsoles/story01.htm
Friday, May 17, 2013, 05:36 pm
Facebook-connected hookup app “Bang with Friends” was pulled from Apple’s App Store on Friday, with the removal coming a little over one week following the app’s debut.
Bang with Friends, the Facebook integrated app that lets users hookup with friends on the ubiquitous social network, hit the App Store last week Wednesday, but it seems Apple found something amiss with the title, leading to a takedown earlier today.
The Bang with Friends mobile webpage is also down with a “Be Right Back” message, though it is unclear if the two issues are related. According to cofounder Colin Hodge, Apple has not yet given an official response as to why the app was removed, reports CNET.
While the app’s title may be somewhat risqué, the service behind it is more akin to an anonymous matchmaking service limited to a Facebook user’s friends list. To use “BWF,” a Facebook account holder signs up with the service and selects friends with which they would like to have a sexual encounter. If that friend is also a member of BWF, and has likewise selected the first person as a potential match, emails are sent to each user notifying them a match has been made.
The service is anonymous, meaning users will not be alerted when a friend wants to “hookup” unless they have also shown interest.
Apple has not yet responded to requests regarding the pulling of BWF, but the company has recently taken a stricter stance on apps that contain questionable content. For example, Twitter-owned Vine was stripped of its App Store’s Editors’ Choice designation after the app’s curators mistakenly featured a snippet showing hardcore pornographic content.
Article source: http://appleinsider.com.feedsportal.com/c/33975/f/616168/s/2c12ec76/l/0Lappleinsider0N0Carticles0C130C0A50C170Capple0Eyanks0Ebang0Ewith0Efriends0Eapp0Efrom0Eios0Eapp0Estore/story01.htm