Apple and Samsung make up two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone market

Apple and Samsung make up two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone market

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Motorola, LG, and HTC are getting left in the dust, according to new data from research outfit NDP Group.

According to a study, Apple and Samsung account for a huge 68 percent of the smartphone market in the United States — and that’s a trend that’s only being magnified as time goes by.

You want a chart? We got a chart:

SmartphoneOEMShareOwnership1-16-14

As you can see above, wins for Apple and Samsung add up to losses for exactly everyone else.

iPhones alone captured 42 percent of the market, up from 35 percent in 2012. Samsung bumped up 4 percent year over year from 22 percent to 26 percent.

In terms of OS market share around the globe, however, Android is still the clear winner, capturing a whopping 81 percent.

HTC saw the biggest losses in terms of market share, and the all-time loser of 2013 was — drum roll — BlackBerry.

The report also shows a correlating spike in data usage from 5.5 GB to 6.6 GB per person a month between 2012 and 2013.

Also, more smartphones and more data usage mean one more big increase: streaming media. For streaming music alone, the percentage of people who stream media on their smartphones rose from 41 percent at the end of 2012 to 52 percent at the end of 2013.

“It’s not surprising that hardware manufacturers such as Beats are leveraging partnerships with carriers like AT&T to break into the streaming music market,” said John Buffone, an executive director, industry analyst, for connected intelligence, in a statement on the results.

“This allows AT&T to offer subscribers more of what they want in the way of innovative music apps and provides Beats a partner capable of driving trial in a market where consumers already have an affinity for the music services they use.”

full story: http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/16/apple-and-samsung-make-up-23-of-the-u-s-smartphone-market/

Bumps on a Road to Revival for Yahoo

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Marissa Mayer of Yahoo introduced changes in store for the company at a trade show in Las Vegas this month. Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — It looks as if the Google pixie dust isn’t so easy to spread around.

Marissa Mayer’s arrival at Yahoo as chief executive a year and a half ago was widely hailed as an opportunity to infuse the struggling Internet pioneer with the smarts and cachet that had helped her succeed as a top executive at Google. She was one of the earliest employees at Google, with a reputation for inventiveness and

Henrique de Castro Tobias Hase/Picture-Alliance, via Deutsche Presse-Agentur, via Associated Press Images

While Ms. Mayer took the public spotlight — for example, she personally introduced Yahoo’s new consumer technology site at a trade show in Las Vegas this month — Mr. de Castro was charged with the less sexy but equally vital task of reviving Yahoo’s advertising business. While that would be a herculean task for anyone at a company whose fortunes have been declining for a decade, Mr. de Castro was particularly ill suited for the job, according to ad-industry executives, analysts and people who worked with him at Google and Yahoo. When Ms. Mayer hired him, the choice mystified people both inside and outside the company. And tension quickly developed between the two leaders, according to the company insiders, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to not upset business relationships.

Mr. de Castro, a former consultant at McKinsey, was fond of using spreadsheets but was weak in his knowledge of Google’s products, said a person who worked with him at Google.

Additionally, he was not a charismatic salesman willing to schmooze with Madison Avenue marketers to persuade them to spend their ad dollars on Yahoo instead of on rivals like Facebook and Google.

“Henrique wasn’t as market-facing as his predecessors or competitors,” said Amanda Richman, president of investment and activation at Starcom USA, which buys billions of dollars of ads a year on behalf of big consumer brands like Kraft and Kellogg’s.

Mr. de Castro did not respond to phone and email messages on Thursday.

attention to detail. If anyone could fix Yahoo, it was believed, it was Ms. Mayer.

But the announcement on Wednesday that she had tossed out her top lieutenant, Henrique de Castro, was her first public acknowledgment that turning around Yahoo would be far more difficult than has sometimes been suggested by the media attention she has received.

“That was Marissa’s first big hire,” said Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “You can imagine how difficult it would be to admit a mea culpa.”

Bringing on Mr. de Castro, who was also a longtime Google executive, was just one of many prominent moves Ms. Mayer has made, including buying the blog site Tumblr for $1.1 billion, hiring the television host Katie Couric to be the anchor of a new online news operation and starting an online food magazine.

full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/technology/yahoo-seeks-to-regain-its-touch.html?_r=0

Write a tune, get it 3D-printed with Music Drop

The new service Music Drop lets you compose a little 16-note tune and have it immortalized in the form of a 3D-printed music box.

 

 

(Credit: Left Field Labs)

Though they only allow simple tunes, there’s something rather fascinating about music boxes and turning their handles and watching their pin-and-comb mechanisms produce their clear, chiming notes, like a tiny piano. The first music boxes started arriving toward the latter half of the 18th century, but a company called Left Field Labs has offered a modern — and personal — twist.

A new project called Music Drops asks you to compose your own 16-note tune using a grid. Clicking the squares indicates which notes are to be played (as far as we can ascertain, the scale starts at A at the top of the grid, and descends nearly two octaves), and you can create chords.

Then the company converts the music to a 3D-printable file using WebGL, and you can order a 3D-printed, drop-shaped music box that plays your tune when you turn the little handle.

(Credit: Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

“We are all about using technology to help humans be, well, more human, and so we updated this small device with some of the emerging technologies of our time,” Left Field Labs wrote. “We wanted to create a modern day adaptation to put tech and cheer right in your hand.”

Initially, the team planned the more usual cylinder design, but quickly found that the shape dampened sound, and the softness of the plastic could not hold up against the metal of the comb. This led to the disc design, which could withstand the metal better, with a drop-shaped case to provide a natural amplifying effect.

And, at this point, it’s free — although, thanks to a high volume of orders, new orders are currently disabled. You can still sign up, create your tune, and save it. Left Field Labs is creating a backlog, and will e-mail new orders when it is getting ready to do another print run.

Meanwhile, you can head over to the Music Drop Web site, have a play with the software, and save a tune for a rainy day.

(Source: CNET Australia)

full story: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57617365-1/write-a-tune-get-it-3d-printed-with-music-drop/