Apple's Share of Profits Among Top Mobile Phone Vendors Hits 75%

asymco's Horace Dediu has released his latest calculations of revenue and profits in the global mobile phone industry, finding that Apple has increased its share of the top vendors' profits to 75%. Samsung followed in second place with 16% of industry profits while no other vendor accounted for more than 4% of profits.

Apple reached 75% of profit share, nearly 40% of revenue share and 9% of units share. 

Apple and Samsung combined for about 91% of profits with RIM third at 3.7%, HTC fourth at 3.0% and Nokia last at 1.8% of a $15 billion total for the quarter.
Dediu's analysis covers eight top mobile phone vendors: Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Research in Motion, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson. While the numbers do not include a few major players such as China's ZTE for which public numbers are not available, his analysis does provide a relatively solid picture of the industry. 

According to Dediu's numbers, Apple has held the top spot in profits for 13 quarters in row since overtaking Nokia, and now dominates the industry with its 75% share of profits. Apple succeeds by generating high profitability on high-end devices, enabling it to take the majority of profits while still controlling less than 10% of unit sales.

Source: macrumors

Apple wants to 'rethink' how people use Maps for iPhone, iPad

Apple is once again adding to its iOS Maps software development team, calling for job candidates who will help "rethink" how iPhone users rely on maps, location and geographical information.

Location services on the iPhone and iPad have been an area of great focus for Apple for some time. That interest continues to grow, as Apple this week posted three new job listings for iOS software developers focused on the native Maps application and discovered by AppleInsider.

"We want to take Maps to the next level and rethink how people use maps, location and geo information," one listing reads. "We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We've only just started!"

The description is very similar to a job listing posted by Apple in late 2009, which also mentioned taking Maps "to the next level" and an effort to "rethink" the software. But the 2011 version found in the new job postings makes additional mention of location services and geographical data.

The new employees are asked to be familiar with navigation, along with GPS and location-based services. The three job listings only add to the mounting evidence that Apple could be working on its own turn-by-turn navigation service for the iPhone, perhaps similar to the free Google Maps Navigation available on Android devices.

The latest job postings come only days after separate listings by Apple revealed the company is working on "exciting new features" for location-aware software on the iPhone. For that role, Apple also seeks an employee who has experience with "navigation algorithms."

Apple has been on something of a hiring spree related to location services in 2011. In March, the company put a call out for more than two dozen positions related to iOS development, with a particular focus on location services. More job listings from that same month revealed that the company wants to "radically improve" the native Maps application for iPhone.

Apple's forthcoming iOS 5 will add alternate routes to Maps.

News of a forthcoming navigation service was publicly disclosed by Apple in April, when the iPhone maker revealed to the U.S. government that it is working on a "crowd-sourced traffic" service for the iPhone. It was said that the location-based traffic service was planned to become available in "the next couple of years."

Apple has even made key acquisitions to expand mapping software for iOS, with the purchase of Google Maps competitor Placebase in 2009, while another online mapping

Source : Secondary Research

Apple launching contract-free iPhone for $350 this year?

Apple is reportedly launching a contract-free iPhone this year for the low price of $350. Typically, an out-of-contract iPhone model fetches anywhere between $600-700, so this is a pretty big deal for those who want the Apple smartphone without the burden of signing a contract. Last month, Apple decided to start selling the iPhone 4 contract-free in the U.S., so it’s nice to see a less expensive option possibly on the horizon.

According to BGR, an off-contract or prepaid iPhone might be the iPhone 3GS. If there is plenty of stock left over, this makes sense, although users will be limited to only 8GB of storage space if we’re talking about the current 3GS model being sold by AT&T.
BGR also happened to confirm that the iPhone 5, or the next generation Apple smartphone we might see this fall, is a radical new design.
We reported that we were able to independently confirm that the iPhone 5 featured a radical new design, however this source of ours isn’t quite sure that will be the next iPhone. Whether it’s the iPhone 4S or 5, it will be coming out or “at least announced by the end of Summer, late August-ish.” They theorized that we’d have seen new 3rd party cases by now if the upcoming iPhone featured a different exterior, though Apple has surely been cracking down on their case specification leaks.
At the end of summer or early fall this year, we expect to hear word of the new smartphone from Apple. For those of you getting tired of all the iPhone rumors and speculation, or you just can’t wait for the new model to come out already, the end is near and the new phone approaches.
Are you currently off contract looking for a decent smartphone to fill your prepaid or month-to-month needs? Would this be of interest to you at all? Let us know what you think, and whether you think the price is a fair deal in the comments.

Source : Secondary Research.

Apple's App Store economics: Average paid app sale price goes for $1.44

App prices on Apple’s App Store are rebounding 14 percent in 2011 compared to an 18 percent decline in 2010 and the company’s average selling price is $1.44. Of that sum, Apple’s gets an average of 26 cents per download, according to Piper Jaffray.

In a research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster took a look at the economics of Apple’s App Store. The revenue doesn’t amount to much—at least in terms of Apple’s overall sales—but the App Store is a competitive strength that drives device sales. Munster’s analysis didn’t guess at how the App Store factors into a device buying decision, but those figures would boost the value considerably.
Munster’s report connects the dots between Apple’s statement last week that users have downloaded more than 15 billion apps. Munster then looked at Apple’s statistics in June at the WWDC powwow to cook up some figures.
Among the key data points in Apple’s App Store economy:
  • Munster estimates the average iOS user will download 83 apps in 2011, up from 51 in 2010. That’s a 61 percent gain year over year.
  • Roughly 82 percent of apps on the App Store are free. The other 18 percent represent paid apps with an average selling price (ASP) of $1.44. That ASP is below the $1.61 average of Apple’s top 50 paid iPhone apps.
  • Munster said that ASPs on the App Store are likely to rise as iPad apps become a larger part of the mix. The ASP of the top 30 paid iPad apps is $6.32, up 36 percent from $4.66 a year ago.
  • iOS users are downloading 32.3 million apps a day, triple the 11.9 million a day rate for iTunes music tracks.
Add it up and the App Store will be about 1 percent of Apple’s gross profit, or $538 million, in calendar 2011 and be about 24 percent of iTunes revenue.

Source : Secondary Research.

Apple plugs iOS security holes to thwart exploit

08:32 by Arun Kumar 0 comments

Apple has rushed out a patch for multiple security holes that allowed ‘drive-by download’ jailbreaking of iPhone and iPad devices.
The flaws, exploited by the project, essentially allowed remote code execution attacks via specially rigged fonts and escalation of privileges to escape the iOS sandbox.  The project used rigged PDF files to deliver the malformed fonts.
Here’s the skinny on the three vulnerabilities patched by Apple with the iOS 4.3.4 software update:
  • CoreGraphics (CVE-2010-3855) – Viewing a maliciously crafted PDF file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution Description:  A buffer overflow exists in FreeType’s handling of TrueType fonts.
  • CoreGraphics (CVE-2011-0226) – Viewing a maliciously crafted PDF file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution Description:  A signedness issue exists in FreeType’s handling of Type 1 fonts.
  • IOMobileFrameBuffer (CVE-2011-0227) – Malicious code running as the user may gain system privileges. An invalid type conversion issue exists in the use of IOMobileFrameBuffer queueing primitives, which may allow malicious code running as the user to gain system privileges.
The iOs 4.3.4 update is available for iOS 3.0 through 4.3.3 for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (GSM); iOS 3.1 through 4.3.3 for iPod touch (3rd generation) and later; and iOS 3.2 through 4.3.3 for iPad.

Source : Secondary Research.

Apple Makes Jailbreaking More Challenging On IOS 5

When Apple announces the release of iOS 5 late this fall, consumers who’d like to jailbreak their devices might find the process more difficult than natural.

While examining the code for iOS 5 beta 2, the members of the iPhone Dev Team revealed Apple is putting actions into place to make it more challenging for iOS 5 users to rollback to previous versions of iOS.

It isn’t unusual for more progressive users to want to try out the latest non-jailbroken software and then revert back to a former version so that they can benefit from their jailbroken features. The recent workaround is for customers to back up their SHSH blobs before upgrading the software. This guarantees that an older version of the OS and firmware can be restored later.

With iOS 5, Apple is shifting the way that the blobs are created. The blobs will be renovated every time a device is rebooted, meaning that solely having an old version of the key won’t permit users to install an older version of the software.

While this doesn’t avert groups like the iPhone Dev Team from finding deeds and making tools available so that users can jailbreak their pieces of technology, it might make maintaining a device in a jailbroken state more difficult.

With iOS 5, Apple will also be viewing doing over-the-air OS advancements, meaning that the software can upgrade itself without needing to connect with iTunes. In principle, this means that Apple could push out small updates to cover exploits, avoiding a user who has agreed to install said update from jailbreaking their device.

Source : Secondary Research.

Leaked images show Apple's new Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display

12:35 by Arun Kumar 0 comments
Images discovered on Apple's own servers show a new Thunderbolt-equipped LED Cinema Display, suggesting the new hardware is set for an imminent launch.

The images were identified via their URL as part number "MC914" by MacRumors. That part number was previously and incorrectly claimed to be both a Mac Pro and a white MacBook, but the pictures uploaded by Apple appear to confirm otherwise.

In the pictures, the display sports a galaxy wallpaper that is found in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple's forthcoming operating system upgrade set to go on sale this month. The pictures also show the display paired with a number of Apple devices, including a MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Mac mini.

In one of the images, two Cinema Displays are connected to a MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt. Such a configuration is only available with the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros equipped with Thunderbolt that were released by Apple earlier this year.

None of the pictures show the back of the device, so it's unknown what kind of ports or options might be included, but one image discovered by AppleInsider shows the side of the display.

Cinema 1

The images show a Cinema Display that maintains the same look and form factor as the existing units sold by Apple, which pack a 2,560-by-1,440 pixel resolution and 178-degree viewing angle. That 27-inch display went on sale last September for a $999 price tag.

Cinema 2

AppleInsider first revealed Apple's new Thunderbolt-equipped LED Cinema Display last month. With the new displays appearing to have an imminent launch, they could appear alongside Apple's soon-to-be-released updated MacBook Airs as well.

Cinema 3

The new thin-and-light MacBook Airs are also expected to include the high-speed Thunderbolt port, which can send picture to a display and also transfer data over its 10Gbps connector. The new MacBook Airs will also sport Intel's latest-generation Sandy Bridge processors and backlit keyboards.

Source: Secondary Research.