MOBILE INSIGHTS: Apple Gains U.S. Smartphone Market Share As Penetration Increases To 58 per cent

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March 2013 Numbers Show Apple Gaining As Smartphone Manufacturer And Platform (comScore) 
comScore reports that 136.7 million customers in the U.S. owned smartphones for 58 per cent market penetration as of March 2013. Among manufacturers, Apple had 39% market share and Samsung had 21.7%. In terms of mobile platforms, Apple’s share was 39% and the share for Google’s Android operating system was 52%. Android slipped a percentage point since the December results, while gained nearly three percentage points. These numbers cap an impressive U.S. run for Apple on the heels of the iPhone 5’s release late last year, and T-Mobile’s release of the iPhone. Read > 


Apple Devices To Be Featured On U.S. Cellular (GigaOm)
Regional wireless carrier U.S. Cellular announced May 3 that it will begin offering Apple devices to its customer base by the end of 2013. The carrier did not specify which Apple devices would be available. U.S. Cellular plans to bring about 87% LTE coverage to its existing customers, though only about 43% of them use smartphones. Read >

T-Mobile’s ‘Contract-Free’ Pitch Is An Illusionist’s Trick (Monday Note) 
Jean-Louis Gassée punctures a hole in the idea of T-Mobile as the “un-carrier.” He says T-Mobile’s contract-free plans are really promotions meant to lure in consumers who will either pay full-price for smartphones or be tied down by subsidies and two-year obligations anywhere else. Read >  

Apple’s Control Over Mobile Accessories Boosted Bluetooth (The New York Times)    
The iron grip Apple exercised over compatible accessories and their connectivity with its mobile ecosystem led manufacturers to flock to Bluetooth and other open standards, which work across mobile platforms. Read >   

First Venture In SmartWatches Is Struggling (Bloomberg Businessweek)
A year after its initial launch, the Sony SmartWatch is struggling to win over consumers. Sony’s wearable mobile device hit the market before many similar products, and major players like Apple and Samsung also have digital watches in the development stage. Nonetheless, SmartWatch has been hobbled by various kinks in its functionality. This has inhibited Sony’s ability to win over early adopters. Many analysts believe wearables are the next major growth opportunity for mobile companies. Sony’s struggles with SmartWatch indicate the importance of execution in this relatively fresh market. Read >

Tablets Have Nearly Equaled Smartphones For Mobile Real-Time Bidding (eMarketer)
Mobile real-time bidding (RTB) advertising continues to grow and mobile RTB ad buy growth is getting a lot of help from the fastest-growing computing device. Tablets now account for 46% of mobile RTB ad buys. If this trend sustains, it could be a boon for mobile RTB, as tablet penetration is still expanding at a faster rate than smartphones. Read >

It May Be Possible To Build A Subscription Magazine Business With Tablet Readers (Mashable) 
The Hearst magazine empire has announced that it reached 1 million tablet subscribers, and is seeing healthy digital subscriptions growth. Read > 

Device News: Samsung Announces Mid-Range Smartphone, Nook Prices Drop (Android Central and TNW
Barnes & Noble has dropped prices on its 9-inch Nook HD+ to $179, which makes it more competitive with Amazon’s Kindle Fire line. This follows on Barnes & Noble’s announcement that it would support the Google Play store. Meanwhile, Samsung shows that it will continue to follow a strategy of offering multiple smartphone models for different price-points and consumer needs. 

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