Phones are getting so expensive that users are going to have to prioritize which devices they buy in the future.Read More
An article in 9-5 Mac outlines Apple's iBeacon technology very comprehensively. In many ways, iBeacon is Apple's answer to its open standard equivalent NFC - the obvious difference being that Apple owns this core technology. Apple is taking advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). It would allow customers to not only make contacts payments (as NFC can only be activated in extremely close proximity) but connect to the "internet of things" and get a much more personalized shopping experience.
The one-sentence summary is that you can think of iBeacon as like GPS for indoor locations, your phone able to pick up the iBeacon transmissions and work out where it is with a high degree of accuracy. You could, for example, drive into an iBeacon-equipped underground parking garage, park your car there and then have an iPhone app direct you back to your exact parking space when you’re done shopping...
Things get a step more interesting with personalised offers. If you’re a member of that store’s loyalty program, it could know what you usually buy there and offer a discount tailored specifically to your tastes. Or a department store might know you’re a gadget addict and alert you to the arrival of the latest new toy, the app offering to direct you through the store to the exact location of the gizmo. When you get there, it may offer to show you a video on your phone of the device in use.
The idea is that Bluetooth LE ties into Apple's existing technology/ecosystem better. In-store payments could be authorized via the new fingerprint reader or PIN code, wirelessly. Customers wouldn't even have to purchase their items at the register. The only barrier for Apple is adoption. 9-5 Mac explains that NFC is an established technology shipping in many devices. Is there room of an NFC competitor? Well Apple certainly has the cash to put behind the technology. If enough people own iOS devices, banks and retailers will have to adopt the technology due to demand.
Apple has one major advantage, however. The iPhone 4s to present, more recent iPod touches, and newer iPads all have Bluetooth LE built in. Apple planned this long in advance. NFC has been "expected" to be mainstream since 2010, but only now are devices shipping with this technology built in. In contrast, Apple can literally "flip a switch" and have 150 million iOS users using iBeacon.
As both 9-5 Mac and Tech Bytes have mentioned in the past, NFC vs iBeacon (or BT LE) is not unlike VHS vs Betamax.
As a society, we increasingly depend on our smartphones for payments, boarding passes, web browsing, and all forms of communication. However, much of the information we store on these devices is extremely private. Pass codes/phrases, patterns, and face unlock are not sufficient security measures.Read More
Apple will almost certainly announce a more affordable version of its popular iPhone, which is speculated to be the "5c." According to an article from Apps Gone Free, this might be bad news for Samsung, and push Apple to the number one handset maker.
A deal with China Mobile, the world's largest phone carrier (with over 400 million subscribers), combined with the 5c could gain Apple upwards of 20 percent more market share in China, bringing its total to 30 percent.
There are a lot of good arguments why Apple should release such a device. Its current handsets are too expensive for the developing world, which is where the majority is smartphone growth is occurring.
Take this chart with the smallest grain of salt possible. This is bound to start a comment war somewhere on the internet. A recent article from Business Insider suggest that iPhone buyers tend to be younger than Samsung suggests.
For some time Samsung has been mocking Apple in its television spots, suggesting that iPhones are for your parents; the cool kids have Galaxy phones. It's a great ad, but apparently not entirely true. Apple has actually more customers from the age brackets of 18-24 and 25-34 than Samsung. Their devices also attract (not surprisingly) more people from higher income brackets, as well as buyers with higher levels of education.
These statistics follow another recent report suggesting that there are considerably more smartphone owners switching from Samsung phones to iPhones - three times as many to be precise.
It might be that Samsung's "unstoppable" growth has been fueled by first-time smartphone buyers. While that's great for short-run profits, it may spell trouble for Samsung if they plan on retaining their customers. Apple is by far the leader in customer satisfaction, so it's possible they will start to regain market share, at least in the US.
There has been a lot of talk, over the past year especially, about how Apple is being obliterated by the imminent Android takeover. Generally, these points are backed by the various global market share statistics which show Android approaching almost 80 percent. These points are valid, insofar that Apple has not kept to the same release cycle of Android. But, it is important to look at the bigger picture. Nobody should be declaring a "loser" at this point, since both platforms are very successful.
There is a good chance Apple will regain some of its lost market share, according to an article in Read Write Web, by Matt Asay. Despite Android's success, it's unlikely that it will "displace" the iPhone in the near future. Asay is careful to note market share doesn't equal profit share (as has been mentioned here before). Apple still maintains a very solid 33% percent profit margin, compared to its closest rival Samsung at 19%. To date, Apple still has approximately $150 billion in cash assets.
It also appears the "lock in" factor is much stronger among iPhone users. Only 1 percent of the 300 million plus wireless customers in the US switch to a different carrier. Furthermore, according to a Retrevo Analytics study, 81 percent iPhone owners plan to stay with Apple; contrast this with Android, where only 63 percent of users planned to stay with the platform, with 12% percent planning to switch to the iPhone.
Asay notes that despite all the great Android and Windows phones coming to the market, we're all still eager to wait for the next iPhone. Android tends to appeal more to first-time smartphone users, often for price reasons.
Based on these statistics, there's a possibility that Apple is far less vulnerable to Android market share than previously thought. In fact, in the long run, the iPhone might very well see a resurgence of market share.
Check out the full article in the source below