1）Tough at the top: Has Android’s US share peaked?
by Chris Kerr
As Android continues to grow on a global basis, it would appear its share in the US may have peaked.
The latest numbers published by comScore suggest Android’s dominant share of the smartphone market in the United States – Google’s platform holding a 52 percent share – is now stagnant.
Indeed, while the sector as a whole continues to attract a growing number of consumers, movement between both the operating systems and the manufacturers is almost non-existent.
Two at the top
Apple and Samsung are the only manufacturers to report share growth, with Apple topping the table on 40 percent as the largest OEM in the US.
However, while Samsung trails by some distance – the Korean giant holding a 23.7 percent stake – the firm enjoyed a higher rate of growth than Apple over the report’s three month period
The Galaxy S manufacturer saw it’s market share increase by 2 percent, overshadowing Apple’s 0.9 percent growth, helping to narrow the gap between the two.
The rest of the market, however, appears to have suffered as US consumers are increasing drawn to either Samsung or Apple, with HTC, Motorola, and LG all suffering a drop in share.
No BlackBerry bounce
As you might expect, the battle between operating systems mirrors the tussle between manufacturers, with two platforms – Android and iOS – dominating the market, well ahead of their rivals.
As a result, both BlackBerry and Symbian saw their share decline – the former dropping by 0.8 percent despite the much publicised launch of BlackBerry 10 devices in the region.
Indeed, the only operating system to gain share other than iOS is Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which comScore claims grew by 0.1 percentage points over the three month period.（source：
2）Cheap smartphone shipments to pass 750 million by 2018
by Phil Tottman
Lower costs give emerging markets the opportunity to experience a better device.
The cheap smartphones – which are defined as being a device with a wholesale price under $200 – are appearing more often in manufacturers portfolios, both pin the emerging and developed
Shipments of the cheaper handsets are forecasted to increase from 238 million this year, to 758 million by 2018 driven mainly by BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) who have low
penetration of smartphones and large subscriber bases, reports ABI Research.
Nokia recently released a £200 Lumia 625, in a bid to battle the lowering prices of Android devices. The 4.7inch screened smartphone, along with other lower cost devices, opens up the world of high-end devices to more consumers, giving them the opportunity to experience the benefits of a better phone.
Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI Research, said: “We are increasingly seeing low cost smartphones appear as a solution for prepaid operators in developed markets. By 2018, ABI
Research believes low cost smartphones will account for 44 per cent of all smartphone shipments as the market looks to capture the next billion smartphone users.”
Cheap device developers such as Huawei – whose revenues hit $18.4 billion in the first half of this year – and ZTE are pushing their market share to increase brand recognition in a bid to move up the market – a move which could put significant pressure on the higher end OEMs (Original equipment manufacturers) such as Samsung and Apple.（source：mobile-ent）
3）Amazon rumored to be developing Android console for release this year
Rumor has it Amazon is developing its own Android console, say sources close to the situation.
Speaking with Game Informer, sources with “knowledge of the in-development hardware” confirm the console will be released by the end of the year, and will mostly likely be available
before Black Friday in November, the official start of the holiday shopping season.
The rumor states that Amazon will leverage its own Amazon App Store, which provides access to many Android games and apps already, many of which may be available for free on Amazon during limited time promotions. The console will also reportedly have its own controller.
This news follows the rocky launch of the Ouya earlier this year. That Android console has been met with lackluster sales and reviews, along with controversy over its launch, which saw
Kickstarter backers being forced to wait for their promised consoles while the general public could freely purchase a device in stores.（source：insidemobileapps）
4）PC and mobile games drive 60% revenue growth for Nexon
Nexon, the maker of huge online games like MapleStory, reported strong second-quarter revenue growth thanks to good demand for its free-to-play online PC and mobile games in Asia.
Revenues were $379.7 million in the second quarter, up 60 percent from $237 million a year ago. Net income was $117.8 million, up 54 percent from $76 million a year earlier. Mobile revenue was $75.6 million, up 40-fold from $1.87 million a year ago. Operating income grew 21 percent.
“We are pleased with our solid second quarter results, which exceeded the high end of our outlook. The strong performance of new and existing titles in China and Korea drove significant
growth and Korea returned to a year-over-year growth trajectory,” said Seungwoo Choi, president and chief executive of Nexon, in a statement. “We also recently announced strategic investments in two best-in-class U.S.-based developers, enhancing Nexon’s Western reach and scale. With a robust portfolio of top-ranking PC games across major markets and an extended
mobile presence in Japan and abroad, we are well-positioned to capitalize on the continued industry momentum towards free-to-play across all platforms.”
In the second quarter, China revenues grew by 44 percent over a year ago, while Korea returned to year-over-year growth with revenues up 38 percent. On a constant currency basis, China
revenue was up 15 percent while Korea was up 9 percent. FIFA Online 3, which Nexon jointly publishes with Electronic Arts, and Sudden Attack continued their strong performance in those
markets. Dungeon Fighter Online also exceeded expectations in China, while mobile game KartRider Rush Plus topped 10 million downloads in China.
But the 10th anniversary of MapleStory did not perform as well as expected in Korea. Mobile game Fantasy Runners for Kakao topped 1 million downloads in one week in Korea.
In Japan, revenues were up 233 percent from a year ago thanks to mobile acquisitions. Top titles included Three Kingdoms Guild Battle. Gloops’ first native app, Euro Club Team Soccer Best
Eleven+ was ranked in the top ten grossing apps in Apple’s App Store in Japan.
North American revenue was down 5 percent from a year ago. Nexon invested in two U.S. studios, Brian Reynolds SecretNewCo and Rumble Entertainment.（source：venturebeat）
5）Mobile the one silver lining to Disney’s $58 million loss
by Matthew Diener
Disney Interactive – the video game focused wing of the massive international Disney empire – reported that its quarterly revenue was below expectations for Q3 2013.
But strong and growing sales in the mobile sector, particularly in the Asian markets, helped offset the red ink.
Still, overall revenues for Disney Interactive during the quarter decreased 7 percent to $183 million, and the segment operating results decreased by $16 million to an overall loss of $58 million.
Disney cited “a decline in console game sales” as a possible explanation for the loss – the firm put out no new releases in the third quarter of the year – but a social gaming slump was also highlighted by the entertainment giant.
Indeed, it’s the problems the firm is having with its social gaming business that might set alarm bells ringing for those banking on Disney being a major force in the mobile market, though the company claims the drop in revenue was actually caused by a “favorable acquisition accounting adjustment recognised in the prior year quarter”.
Additionally, the overall operating income loss didn’t come without a silver lining.
In its earnings report, Disney notes that the decreases were “partially offset by growth at our Japan mobile business”.
Disney Interactive is currently ramping up for the launch of the massive Disney Infinity crossover line of toys and games, due out in North America and Europe later this month.（source：pocketgamer）