Kantar: Windows Phone, Android see massive growth at expense of iOS, Blackberry

We’ve already heard that Nokia and Samsung had disappointing fourth quarters, and Apple’s iPhone has been slowly losing market share throughout 2013. So many may be wondering if anyone’s actually winning the smartphone wars since everyone seems to be losing.

Now the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel gives us a clearer picture who is gaining market share and which markets are the most volatile. Kantar’s data is based on the previous three months, ending in December 2013.

First up, checking the tables below, we can easily see that Android has had another phenomenal year, with increased marketshare around the world. In the U.S., Google’s OS managed to increase its presence and is now sitting just shy of 51%. China and Europe have also seen greater adoption of the OS, which is sitting comfortably at 78% and 68%, respectively. However the biggest change occurred in Latin America, where Android saw a 21 percent increase year over year, and it now pretty much owns the market with an 83% adoption rate.

Despite all this, Samsung has had disappointing results lately, mainly due to increased pressure from local manufacturers in China, and more competition in the low-end market from players such as Nokia.

Speaking of Nokia, which practically owns the Windows Phone market, it too has had a good year in terms of adoption. Windows Phone has seen growth almost across the board. The biggest change is in Europe, where Microsoft’s platform has held double digit figures for the last three months of 2013. That’s almost double compared to last year’s results, when Windows Phone only accounted for 5.6% market share. Other markets have also seen growth, but Windows Phone is still very anaemic when it comes to the U.S. and China.

Finally, the year’s biggest market share losers are Blackberry, which is clinically dead, and more surprisingly Apple. The Cupertino company has seen decreases in pretty much every market. Even in the U.S., where it holds the most sway, iOS has seen a 5.8% decrease with most of those users moving to Android. Another big drop was seen in Europe where Apple’s products lost another 5.2% compared to 2012 and are now sitting at 18.5% marketshare.

Already we know Samsung is going on the offensive with the new Galaxy S5 being supposedly launched in the next couple of months, and there are a ton of rumors as to Apple’s upcoming plans. And let’s not forget Microsoft, which now owns Nokia’s smartphone business. All in all, 2014 is shaping up to be a very interesting year in terms of the smartphone race.

via Kantar: Windows Phone, Android see massive growth at expense of iOS, Blackberry – Neowin.

BlackBerry stock climbs on news of Department of Defense contract

Just when it seems as though BlackBerry is about to flatline, the struggling handset maker shows signs of life. The Canadian company recently managed to secure a contract with the US Department of Defense that will see 80,000 smartphones put into commission in the near future according to a statement on the matter from the Defense Information Systems Agency.

BlackBerry is one of the few companies whose devices have met the high-level security demands of various government agencies but they aren’t alone in their efforts. In addition to the BlackBerry handsets, the agency said they support 1,800 unclassified mobile devices which include the iPhone and iPad from Apple as well as several Samsung and Motorola devices.

BlackBerry stock value was up more than nine percent on the news in after hours trading as US exchanges were closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Shares have rallied around 35 percent since the end of 2013 but are still down roughly the same percentage over the past 12 months.

In other BlackBerry news, the company also recently revealed plans to divest much of their Canadian real estate holdings. Specifically, they will sell more than three million square feet of commercial real estate. The company plans to remain headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, according to CEO John Chen, but the initiative will provide additional resources to support their operations as the business continues to evolve.

via BlackBerry stock climbs on news of Department of Defense contract – TechSpot.

Yahoo to shutter seven services starting April 1

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer caused quite a stir recently when she made the decision to end the company’s work from home policy. The changes continue to come as Mayer is shutting down seven products according to a recent post on the company’s official blog.
Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo will shut down the following services: Yahoo Avatars, Yahoo app for BlackBerry, Yahoo Clues, Yahoo App Search, Yahoo Sports IQ and Yahoo Message Boards website. As of April 16, 2013, the company will no longer support the Yahoo Updates API.
Yahoo said they were making the changes in an effort to sharpen their focus moving forward by continuing to hone in on core products and experiences. They believe this is the best way to go about making existing products the very best they can be.
Executive vice president of platforms Jay Rossiter said the most critical question they ask is whether the experience is truly a daily habit that still resonates with everyone. In some cases it means updating products like they have recently done with Flickr for iPhone and iPod touch, Yahoo Mail and the company’s homepage. In other cases, they had to make the decision to shut down some products.
Mayer hinted that some cuts would be coming during an investor conference last month. At the time, she said Yahoo would reduce the 60 to 75 disparate mobile apps they currently own down to a more manageable 12 to 15.
via Yahoo to shutter seven services starting April 1 – TechSpot.