Over the past month or so Microsoft, Qualcomm, Apple and others have had to deal with pushback from Chinese regulators or Chinese state-run media. To me, it's clear that the cost of doing business in China is going up--but the cost of missing out on a growing smartphone market as large as China is even higher.
During his company's second-quarter 2014 earnings call with analysts, Mavenir Systems' CEO Pardeep Kohli gave a couple of shout-outs to Apple, citing the importance of the vendor's support for operator-enabled voice over IP (VoIP) services in its upcoming products, including the iPhone 6, which Kohli said will support voice over LTE (VoLTE).
Continuing a trend that analysts have been tracking for several quarters, several Chinese smartphone vendors grew market share in the second quarter at the expense of Samsung Electronics and Apple, which continue to lead the market, according to a report from research firm IDC.
IDC predicted quarterly smartphone shipments will break the 300 million unit mark for the first time in the third quarter of 2014, following strong growth in the April to June period.
Apple will soon support in its stores the handset upgrade programs from three of the four Tier 1 U.S. carriers, according to a report from 9to5Mac. The report, which cited unnamed sources, said starting in late August "many" U.S. Apple retail stores will launch a pilot program to let customers buy new iPhones via AT&T Mobility's Next program, Verizon Wireless' Edge and T-Mobile US' Jump. It's unclear if or when Apple will support Sprint's Easy Pay program.
The worldwide tablet grew 11 per cent year over year in the second quarter of 2014 with shipments reaching 49.3 million units, according to preliminary data from IDC.
An actual device may still be months away (or longer), but as far as developers are concerned, it's already "iTime."
Apple is getting close to launching a mobile wallet for the iPhone and it may come out as soon as this fall with the introduction of the iPhone 6, according to a report from The Information. The report, citing unnamed sources, said that Apple has told some of its partners its system would use the iPhone's so-called secured element, which is a piece of hardware where sensitive information such as a user's financial credentials can be stored.
Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones in its fiscal third quarter, just below analysts' expectations but not too far off. Analysts had forecast around 35.9 million iPhone sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. Attention is now turning to the next iterations of the iPhone and whether Apple will introduce a wearable device dubbed the iWatch, as many industry watchers expect it will.
Apple is asking its suppliers to produce between 70 million and 80 million units of the next iPhone by Dec. 30, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, according to the Wall Street Journal. That volume would represent the largest ever for an iPhone launch and could indicate the demand Apple is expecting for its first iPhones with displays that would match the larger ones common on other smartphone platforms.