Another hint of Samsung's decline, further proof of the dominance of the iPhone 6, or just pure luck? It is probably a case of all three as Apple outsold Samsung around the world during the fourth quarter of 2014. It is the first time since 2011 that Cupertino has positioned itself as numero uno in the global smartphone market.
HTC really didn't hit a home run with the One M9 flagship launched earlier in the week, but the company has been on a roll for some time now. The company's revenue continued to rise during February, while profits will likely increase through this quarter too.
Every year, at the end of the Mobile World Conference, the group that runs the expo (GSMA) holds an awards ceremony that names some of the best of the of the mobile industry over the previous year. Now being held for the 20th year, the Global Mobile Awards were held in Barcelona and named some of the best devices in the industry.
Huawei has finally made the decision to enter the US market according to Reuters. The company has never officially launched smartphones in the United States, but that is now going to change. The news comes after Huawei's MWC even where CEO Richard Yu was in controversial form and had plenty to say about which companies he sees as Huawei's main rivals.
Sony has been reportedly thinking of selling its smartphone division. The company has been rumored to be doing just that since last year, and the rumor resurfaced at the start of this year. Sony has never really spoken about it, but it has been clear for some time that the company's mobile output is struggling. Finally the Japanese company has spoken on the subject, but the message seems to be mixed.
Samsung is apparently discussing the ins and outs of mobile payment with PayPal with a view to launching the so-called Samsung Pay alongside the Galaxy S6 next week. With Apple already in the mobile payment market with Apple Pay, it seems that now is the right time for Google to enter the fray too. The Search giants will apparently announce Android Pay at the Google I/O developer conference in May.
I have written before that the continuing decline in Samsung's smartphone business will ultimately have an impact on the company's employees. Certainly, rumors have been circulating for some time that the South Korea giant will cut jobs during 2015. That would follow up on 30% of the smartphone division being cut last year, but Samsung has taken another drastic action of freezing employees' salaries this year.
The more cynical would say it was inevitable that Samsung would explore a payment system, especially now that Apple has one. Samsung is known to be interested in setting up its own Apple Pay style product and Samsung's heir Lee Jay-yong met with PayPal founder Peter Thiel yesterday about linking together on Samsung's payment system.
Apple is of course a US based band and the company ploughs a lot of investment into its home country, while the company's aspirations in Asia have also been well documented. However, Europe is a major smartphone market and it is one where the consumers have been good to Apple. Does that mean Cupertino does not show much love in Europe? Maybe, but that is changing.
Is Apple falling behind its Android rivals in terms of innovation and pushing the smartphone further? It is certainly an interesting debate with some thinking yes, the iPhone has become stagnant and its best new features have been on Android devices for some time. The other side of the argument points to recent firsts, like a 64-bit processor, an intricate fingerprint sensor, and other recent developments as evidence that the company very much remains an innovator.