MORE MOBILE DOLLARS: Yesterday was a big day for mobile numbers, as some of the biggest companies on the consumer Internet announced their results for the last three months of 2013. Twitter said mobile accounted for more than 75% of the company’s total ad revenue. At Internet music service Pandora, revenue per thousand listener hours on mobile and other connected devices showed steady improvement, jumping more than 10$ year-over-year to $US34.98. Meanwhile, Yelp reported 53 million unique visitors on its mobile apps and mobile websites in the fourth quarter and said about 30% of its reviews were contributed on mobile devices. These services are now not simply “mobile-first,” they are mobile companies through-and-through. (Twitter, Pandora, Yelp)
SAMSUNG PLANS A LOW-KEY GALAXY LAUNCH: Samsung is going to rein it in for this year’s launch of the new S5, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to The New York Times. The company plans a more buttoned-down launch than last year’s event for the S4 in New York, which was widely panned. The S4 launch was meant to be a Broadway-style musical spectacle, but featured actors in the role of clueless housewives and was memorably described as “tone-deaf and shockingly sexist” by CNET’s Molly Wood. The New York Times also reports that the new Galaxy will not have ultra-HD, or an eye-scanner. (The New York Times)
HTC TURNAROUND? Troubled Taiwan-based phone maker HTC says it hopes a new wearable device, an overhaul of its flagship One smartphone, and a marketing blitz will revive its fortunes this year, after two years of revenue declines, Bloomberg reports. (Bloomberg)
DATA HOGS: Hear that giant sucking sound? It’s the sound of gigabytes-worth of data being consumed by smartphone users over LTE networks. Mobile users in North America were responsible for an average data consumption of 1.38 GBs a month in 2013, nearly double what they consumed in 2012, according to reporting by Kevin Fitchard at GigaOm, based on Cisco statistics. Western Europe’s data consumption was about half the North American amount. (GigaOm)
MORE PC INDUSTRY WOES: Sony announced that it would exit the PC-manufacturing business as losses mount, and spin off its TV division, according to Reuters. The company also announced 5,000 layoffs. The Vaio PC division will go to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners. Results at Sony’s smartphone division have also not met expectations. PC maker Dell is also in slim-down mode, with Re/code reporting that the company will layoff 2,000 to 3,000 employees, which means a loss of about 2% of its worldwide workforce of 109,000. Meanwhile, Panasonic reported what were probably the best results of any of its consumer electronic peers earlier this week. But that may be because Panasonic is turning away from business tied to the bruising, margin-pressured smartphone and PC industries, and focusing more on supplying other industries, including batteries for car makers like Tesla. (Reuters, The Next Web, Re/code, BBC)
ANDROID DISTRIBUTION DILEMMA: Android’s latest distribution numbers are out, and the three-year-old Gingerbread version of the operating system is still running on one out of every five Android devices worldwide. Also, the newest version, Kit Kat, has only been deployed on 1.8% of devices in three months of existence, just narrowly edging out Froyo, the oldest version of the software that’s still running on Android handsets. (Android Developers Blog)
TABLET SHRINKAGE: The tablet market is expected to slow significantly in the first quarter as it comes off the fourth quarter seasonal peak, according to Digitimes Research. Taiwanese suppliers to the tablet manufacturers estimate a sequential contraction of 15% to 20%, and as much as a 23% downturn for Apple’s iPad line (Digitimes)
KIK BROWSER: Messaging app Kik is going all-in on in-app mobile Web browsing, so that users can share and browse Web content without leaving the app. Kik is looking to capitalise on the multitude of HTML mobile Web apps out there and entice developers to build for Kik’s browser. It’s a win-win for Kik and HTML5 mobile web developers — developers can easily showcase their websites on a massive messaging network, and Kik can relax, knowing their users have less reason to leave the app. (TechCrunch)
CHINA’S 3G POPULATION: China now has 402 million 3G users, according to new government statistics. (Digitimes)
Cops with glass — Officers with the New York Police Department are testing Google Glass.
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