Only one in three Samsung smartphone sold are comparable to the iPhone

Apple Insider reports that only one third of Samsung sales are in the same class as Apple’s iPhone.

The Bloomberg report stated that “the company, which overtook Apple Inc. (AAPL) in smartphones, has used sales of cheaper handsets in emerging markets to stoke earnings in mobiles as growth in high-end devices slows amid market saturation.”

As its high-end sales stagnates, Samsung has chosen to expand its low-end sales to boost overall smartphone sales.

In stark contrast, Apple’s iPhone sales were up 26 percent over the year ago quarter, setting a new volume record for the September quarter. All of Apple’s smartphones are “high end,” unlike the outdated, 2008-era Galaxy Y model Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston cited as an example of the “mass-market models” he said were helping to “lift” Samsung’s volumes.

That report described Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 as having “sluggish sales this year,” and referenced the firm’s “the low-end model-driven business strategy.” The company originally projected that the Galaxy S4 would sell 100 million units a year on its own, before sales collapsed this spring shortly after its launch.

It is important to understand that Samsung targets different segments of the market. For a better picture of the market, the sales of Samsung’s high-end model should be used to compare with iPhone sales.

Samsung’s current sales and future plans consistently describe that only around one third of Samsung’s “smartphones” are actually comparable to Apple’s current iPhones, albeit being a generation behind.

IDC data shows 66% of Android’s 81% smartphone share are junk phones

AppleInsider takes a look at the IDC’s smartphone market figures.

IDC reported that overall “smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have continued to decline as the appetite for more affordable devices grows. ASPs were down -12.5% in 3Q13, accounting for an average price of $317.”

Apple’s iPhone ASP for the quarter was $635, down from the company’s year ago figures of $675. The company reported selling 33.8 million iPhones, resulting in about $21.5 billion in gross revenues.

At $317 each, IDC’s estimate of 261.1 million smartphones results in nearly $82.8 billion in total revenues. However, these numbers include Apple’s much higher iPhone ASP. Subtract Apple’s $21.5 billion and you’re left with $61.3 billion.

That means phablets accounted for a whopping 54.8 million of the total number of Q3 smartphone shipments, 1.6 times as many phones as Apple sold in the quarter. Multiplied by IDC’s $443 ASP, these phablets account for $24.3 billion in total revenue. That’s more than Apple’s total revenue, but there’s far less profit there because the ASP per premium device is whopping $192 less.

So what does all these figure mean?

This reinforces that about two thirds of the overall smartphone market is represented by extremely low end “mass market” devices that are really only called “smartphones” because the industry has decided that running Android makes a device “smart,” even if it is a product like the Samsung Galaxy Y, with a hard to read, low resolution screen and such anemic processing power and limited memory that it can’t really run apps and can’t be upgraded, with hardware specs inferior to Apple’s iPhone 3G from five years ago.

It is a reminder that the mobile market is made up of different segments. Apple targets a specific segment of the market where it can maximise its profits. Its competitors have to go into all segments of the market to increase the volume they sell to make up for the significantly lower profit margin.

Carl Icahn’s shares worth $2.5 billion

AllThignsD reports that Carl Icahn owns 4.7 million Apple shares.

But in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, released to shareholders last month, Icahn disclosed that his stake has grown to 4.7 million shares, which, as of yesterday’s closing price, would be worth $2.5 billion.

Then again, he did say that it was not personal when he demanded Apple for a share buyback.

European Commission approves internet surfing in the sky

The European Commission announced that airlines will be permitted to deplay 3G and LTE networks on their planes.

The Commission has adopted new rules that allow the latest wireless communication technology to be used by passengers on board aircraft flying over the European Union.

This means that from now onwards, spectrum for 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE) communications may be used above an altitude of 3000 metres. Until now only 2G (GSM) has been permissible on-board aircraft flying in the EU, which is impracticable sending large amounts of data (for example sending large attachments, downloading eBooks, watching video).

This comes just a day after the EASA allowed the use of electronic devices during take-off and landing.

Bill Gates on being the editor of WIRED

Bill Gates blogs about his experience as the editor of WIRED for their December 2013 issue.

For me, it was a chance to extend a conversation I’ve been having when I travel to universities and great research companies. How can we harvest additional brainpower to tackle the problems of the poor? What are the problems that are being ignored and need attention? How do we encourage people who are making great progress? The WIRED audience was a great group to continue that dialogue. They’ve already got a bias toward technology and innovation. Could I convince them to channel some of that capacity for the poor?

He also shared some of his thoughts on WIRED.com.

JPMorgan’s Twitter fail

Business Insider reports on JPMorgan being burned by its Twitter campaign.

JPMorgan had a bit of a public relations nightmare Wednesday when the #AskJPM hashtag it designated for its planned Twitter question and answer session was hijacked by a storm of users furious with the bank for its perceived role in the financial crisis of 2008.

Sean Womack, SVP of Marketing and Production at Touchstorm, points out something that many organisations are guilty of:

“Twitter is like a party where you can’t just show up and say it’s yours and take over. You don’t walk in and say ‘Hey, JPMorgan in the house! Ask me a question.’ without first looking at who’s in the room.”

Time to give up on Windows?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes on ZDNet how he has given up on Windows.

Troubleshooting is costly, time-consuming, and frustrating, and while I once used to relish the challenge, I now try to avoid it whenever possible.

I found that I could do more and more with less and less. Tasks that once required a full-blown desktop or notebook PC could be carried out faster and more efficiently on a smartphone or tablet. Unless I want to use full-blown applications such as Microsoft’s Office or Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, then I can make do with post-PC devices. What’s more, I can usually get things done faster since I’m not tied to my desk.

Need a new app? Download it on a smartphone or tablet and leave it to install itself. Mobile apps simply work out of the box without having to worry about compatibility issues. Compare this to when you buy software for a PC. You need to check the minimum requirements needed to run it. While this applies to a certain extent for OS X, the Mac App Store has made the process of installing new apps on OS X just like on iOS.

He also makes a point about the shift towards console gaming. Many people I know cite gaming as an important reason they still use Windows. While consoles have gobbled up a large share of the gaming pie, there are still power gamers who prefer the ability to tweak and custom their games on Windows.

I used to be in the PC gaming camp. But the recent years of being pampered with mobile gaming that simply works, I find myself less patient when it comes fiddling with the game, preferring to just focus on playing the game. Now I find myself more inclined to invest in a PlayStation 4 instead of getting a new PC.

The only times I use Windows nowadays is at work. When large corporations finally shift from using Windows, it could probably be the final nail in the coffin for Windows.

F-Secure offers online file storage, stands up for privacy?

With the increased interest in privacy, it’s no surprise that new services are springing up to attract users. The question remains: How many of them actually offer true privacy?

F-Secure Launches A Dropbox For the Dark Web And A VPN That Could Erase Content Borders Everywhere

As well as being an online file locker, F-Secure spent a considerable amount of time securing Younited, having worked on development for a number of years now. Quite simply, everything is encrypted, with the purpose of transferring the most basic data ownership and levels of privacy back to the control of the user, even when sharing through Facebook .

Why did Snapchat turn down three billion dollars?

Let’s not forget that Instagram was sold for “only” a billion dollars or so. So would would Snapchat turn down three times that amount?

Why did Snapchat turn down three billion dollars?

One of Snapchat’s investors, Institutional Venture Partners, is quite explicit that it invested in a zero-revenue company because its “growth and engagement metrics are off the charts,” and because it is used largely by the young.

This week’s must-reads: Apple Maps, Bill Gates, The one Coin, and more

It’s been an interesting week. Aside from officially launching BakingPixel today, we’re also compiling the most interesting and popular posts from this week for you.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 review: Unapologetically content-driven
People buy the Kindle to consume content. It is no surprise that Amazon makes it the focus of the Kindle Fire HDX.

Why an 80% market share might only represent half of smartphone users
Charles Arthur explains on The Guardian why an 80% market share might only represent half of smartphone users.

Thoughts on the Google Nexus 7 from the perspective of a longtime iOS user
This pretty much sums up my experience when I switched from my iPhone 5 to a Nexus 4. There are pros and cons, but it takes a while to get used to the change, for better or worse.

Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won
Charles Arthur reports on The Guardian how Google maps lost to Apple maps when everyone thought it had won.

Bill Gates: Here’s My Plan to Improve Our World — And How You Can Help
Bill Gates shares on Wired his plan to improve the world. The article is a very good read. Take the time to go through it. And then sit down and reflect upon yourself.

Tired of a fat wallet? Coin lets you hold all your cards in a single, connected card
Aside from the cheeky, and possibly misleading name, Coin is a product that could go a long way to helping us solve the issue of fat wallets. After all, why carry so many pieces of plastic when you can just carry one? It’ll have additional hurdles in countries where security chips are implemented in cards, instead of just relying on the magnetic stripe. The good news is that the folks behind Coin are already aware of this and working to offer support for chip and pin future versions.

The Google Books decision is good for authors and readers
Not everybody is going to be a fan of a judge’s recent decision to approve Google’s book-scanning activities, however an author has penned a short article on why he thinks that the ruling is a good one.

Next Up for Evernote: Learning Your Habits
This is something all apps should strive towards. Having an app that knows my habit well will make it very hard for me to want to switch to a different app. This will be great for user retention.