OPTIMISTIC ANALYSTS: Official Apple earnings do not come out until next Monday, but Fortune has surveyed 44 prominent institutional and independent analysts on where they believe fourth quarter iPhone sales will land. The average turned out to be around 55.3 million for the quarter, with the range coming in between 50 million and 57.1 million. Should the official number hit that 55.3 million-unit target, that would mean iPhone sales were up 16% year-over-year. What’s more, as long as the official number lands somewhere in the analyst range, it will still be a new record high in quarterly iPhone sales for Apple. (Fortune)
But Apple’s performance last year likely sets the stage for a new seasonality trend in the smartphone market going forward. We don’t have any numbers yet, but it’s likely that Samsung mostly kept pace with Apple in terms of volume and that the overall smartphone market reached another record high last quarter. But new analysis from research firm TrendForce estimates that in the opening quarter of 2014, smartphone shipments will fall 5% compared to the previous quarter, marking a sequential decline for the first time ever. TrendForce does say that shipments will rebound and grow the subsequent three quarters in 2014. However, this may be the beginning of a new trend in the smartphone market where the seasonal impact of the fourth quarter makes the subsequent quarter’s drop-off in shipments appear much more dramatic. (ZDNet)
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NETFLIX CROWDS OUT PREMIUM CABLE: A new report from the NPD Group shows that U.S. consumers are leaning toward Netflix and other standalone Internet content streaming options over subscribing to premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime. The share of U.S. households subscribing to premium cable channels dropped six percentage points while the share of Internet streaming video subscriptions increased four percentage points between March 2012 and August 2013. Netflix is intent on creating original content to challenge the HBO and Showtime establishment, and it seems to be working. (Variety)
ANDROID iBEACON COMPETITOR: Frank Nuovo, ex-designer for ultra high-end smartphone vendor Vertu, has created a new beacon service called Datzing that will initially launch on Android. If Datzing becomes the go-to beacon technology for Android-centric businesses, it may quickly become the main challenger to Apple’s iBeacon. Remember, more than seven out of 10 global smartphones run on Android. (The Verge)
APP NEUTRALITY: Businessman Mark Cuban lays out his opinions on the recent net neutrality ruling with a mobile twist. He thinks net neutrality is just as important as neutrality in the app market as well. Namely, with Apple and Google gaining app dominance, he wants to prevent an app duopoly such that the app market stays open and allows for creative, third-party developers to reach audiences. (Maverick Blog)
OPEN SOURCE NEST: Google just spent $US3.2 billion for home automation company Nest, cementing the importance of the Internet Of Things (IoT) going forward. But, the people at Spark have built their own open source version of Nest’s connected thermostat for about 75% cheaper than the average market price for Nest. One of the reasons IoT devices will explode is their relatively cheap price. Though Spark’s device is just a DIY version of a cheap connected device, it still may lessen Nest’s first-mover advantage. This is especially true considering that more prominent device manufacturers with scale and operating prowess, like Samsung or Apple, will likely come into the IoT and home automation fold with even more competitively-priced products. (Spark GitHub)
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