Microsoft is considering an investment in mobile startup Cyanogen, according to multiple reports. Cyanogen is seeking to chip away at Google's control over the Android mobile platform by offering a modified version of the software.
Apple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2014, meaning that the company further closed the gap on leader Samsung in a market that saw total global smartphone sales of more than 375 million units in the fourth quarter.
Samsung Electronics lost its crown as the world's sole top smartphone vendor to Apple in the fourth quarter for the first time in three years, according to analysts, following Apple's record iPhone sales and another drop in sales and earnings for Samsung's mobile division.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it duped millions of consumers by advertising unlimited data service and then throttling customers' speeds or cutting their service off entirely when they exceeded certain data allotments. The FTC said TracFone did not properly disclose its throttling practices.
Sony plans to slash another 1,000 jobs from its smartphone unit amid a push to get back to profitability, according to multiple reports. The cuts would come on top of 1,000 layoffs Sony previously announced for its Sony Mobile Communications business. If the reports prove accurate, Sony will employ around 5,000 people in its smartphone business by March 2016.
More than 400 million phablets will ship in 2019, a five-fold increase over the 138 million devices estimated to be shipped in 2015.
Apple posted a blowout holiday quarter with sales of 74.5 million iPhones and $18 billion in net profit. The results were way above forecasts from most Wall Street analysts. "We'd like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal."
Huawei wants to increase sales in its consumer unit this year to $16 billion from around $12 billion in 2014, in part by focusing on higher-end smartphones. The company wants to boost its smartphone unit sales to 100 million this year from 75 million last year.
Facebook wants everyone across the world to have Internet access--partly so they can log onto Facebook--and the company quietly created and launched a new app to make sure consumers in emerging markets with older and slower wireless networks can still experience the benefits of the social network on their phones.
Microsoft sold a record 10.5 million Lumia-branded Windows Phones in the fourth quarter, but is still dealing with the hangover of integrating Nokia's devices and services business.