Tech news you might have missed this summer
Smartphone Sales Grew 46.5 Percent in Second Quarter of 2013 and Exceeded Feature Phone Sales for First Time
Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 435 million units in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 3.6 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide smartphone sales to end users reached 225 million units, up 46.5 percent from the second quarter of 2012. Sales of feature phones to end users totaled 210 million units and declined 21 percent year-over-year.
“Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions.
Samsung maintained the No. 1 position in the global smartphone market, as its share of smartphone sales reached 31.7 percent, up from 29.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Apple’s smartphone sales reached 32 million units in the second quarter of 2013, up 10.2 percent from a year ago.
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Millennial Media (mobile advertising) Acquires US-based Jumptap (mobile ad network) for around $209m
Under the terms of the agreement, Jumptap’s shareholders will receive approximately 24.6m shares in Millennial Media, a 22.5 per cent stake in the company. At the current share price of $8.50, that’s worth $209.1m.
Following the acquisition, Jumptap’s offering – which includes 100m unique user profiles, 44m of them multiscreen, and a portfolio of 55 issued patents and 50 pending – will be incorporated into Millennial’s platform.
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Amazon to Offer Mobile Web Apps
Amazon to Offer Mobile Web Apps Tweet!
Yahoo Buys US-based Mobile Browser Firm Rockmelt for $60 to $70 m
Yahoo has acquired Rockmelt, a content discovery app that started life as a web browser build with heavy social network integration. The latest purchase by Yahoo, speculated to be in the region of $60 million and $70 million, means that all of its apps and the web service will be shuttering at the end of the month, with users being encouraged to export their data before closure.
Rockmelt originally started as a web browser that connected to a large number of social networks. Based on the open-source Chromium engine from Google, the browser for computers and mobile provided status updates for Facebook friends, and a second sidebar for RSS feeds, notifying the user when a site updated. AllThingsD reports that it later changed to become a mobile-only offering, though even then it did not seem to be a highly-popular app.
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Facebook Acquires US-based “Mobile Technologies”, Developer Of Speech Translation App Jibbigo
Facebook’s latest acquisition could help it connect users across language barriers. It has just announced that it’s acquired the team and technology of Pittsburgh’s Mobile Technologies, a speech recognition and machine translation startup that developed the app Jibbigo. From voice search to translated News Feed posts, Facebook could to a lot with this technology.
Facebook tells me “We’ll continue to support the [Jibbigo] app for the time being.” Jibbigo launched in 2009, and allows you to select from over 25 languages, record a voice snippet in that language or type in some text, and then get a translation displayed on screen and read aloud to you in a language of your choosing.
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Google Play Revenue Up 67% Over Past 6 Months, Fueled By Japan & S. Korea
Google’s Android app marketplace, Google Play, has seen significant revenue growth this year, fueled in large part by Japan and South Korea. In a new report released today by app store analytics firm Distimo, the company found that Google Play’s revenue grew by 67 percent over the past six months, while Apple’s App Store revenue grew by just 15 percent during the same time frame.
While these numbers reflect the impact Android’s massive market share is having on the app industry, it’s worth noting that of the two app stores, the Apple App Store’s market is still the largest, and continues to see more than two times the revenue of Google Play.
That latter figure varies a bit from an earlier report put out by competing analytics firm App Annie in April, which found that Apple’s App Store earned around 2.6 times more revenue in the preceding quarter. But not only do the firms’ methodologies differ in general, Distimo looked at the earnings of all ranked apps in the 18 largest countries over 6 months, while App Annie’s data was, as noted above, for the quarter.
That being said, Google Play’s revenue growth is notable. While only 25 percent of the revenue from the two stores combined came from Google Play in February 2013, this went up 8 percentage points to reach 33 percent by July.
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Apple has acquired mass transit software tracking developer Embark
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired mass transit software tracking developer Embark, signaling the computing giant’s latest step to enhance its much-criticized Apple Maps platform. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the deal but declined to supply additional details, including the transaction price.
Embark, a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2011, creates free iOS applications designed to simplify mass transit usage, offering consumers step-by-step instructions tailored to their specific metropolitan area. Embark estimates arrival times and alerts users when their train is running late or faces track advisories and closures. The service works with or without a wireless network connection, enabling access even while underground. There are 10 Embark apps in all, spotlighting cities including New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.
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