Category Archives: Android

Tim Cook: 60+% of iPhone 4s and 5c buyers are ‘Android Switchers’

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The success of Apple’s low end phones, the 3.5-inch iPhone 4s and the colorful plastic 5c, has been questioned since the current lineup was launched last year. But in today’s earnings call,  Tim Cook might have just explained why Apple keeps the lower end devices in its stable: They bring in the lower-end Android crowd. Specifically Cook said 62% of iPhone 4s, which is usually free (or cheaper) with a plan in the US buyers and 60% of iPhone 5c buyers were switching from Android.

Cook previously compared Android to Europe in its fragmentation and had some harsh words for some of the low end Android tablets in enterprise saying Apple would never produce or label products of that low quality. 


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Android, Apple, Cook, Handhelds, iOS, iPhone, Smartphones, Tim Cook

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Google agrees to defend Samsung, pay some of its costs in patent infringement case against Apple

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While testifying in the Samsung vs Apple case on Tuesday, it was revealed that Google has agreed to help Samsung defend itself against Apple in its current patent-infringement case. According to a report from Re/Code, citing deposition testimony from Google lawyer James Maccoun, Google has also agreed to partially or fully indemnify Samsung for any loses it may suffer on its claims.

Apple is suing Samsung for infringement on five patents for upwards of $2 billion. Samsung, of course, claims that its products do not infringe on any of Apple’s patents, nor are any of Apple’s patents even valid in the first place. Samsung also says that the $2 billion sum is absurd and that any damages should be significantly less than that.

Most of the patents Apple is suing over do relate to software features initially created by Google, which is the reasoning behind Google’s agreement to defend Samsung and compensate it for any damages. Patent law allows lawsuits to be filed over the end products that contain infringing code. Samsung also presents a larger target for Apple in terms of damages as it profits off of products infringing on patents, whereas Google simply gives Android away to free.

Google is also obligated to defend Samsung as part of the “Mobile Application Distribution Agreement” that Samsung signed, agreeing to distribute various Google services on its devices, some of which Apple claims infringe on its patents.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Tech Industry Tagged: Android, Apple, Google, iPhone, Patent, Patent infringement, Samsung

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Apple and Google offer game makers app store promotion in exchange for exclusivity

Phone giants Apple and Google are striking deals with companies that make popular mobile games, offering them coveted marketing space in their app stores in exchange for the game maker offering early releases on the iOS or Android platforms.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the push to obtain a window of exclusivity resembles what occurs in the world of console-based video games, where platforms like X-Box reward game makers for exclusive distribution. In the case of mobile games, including a sequel to “Cut the Rope,” which was released on iOS in December and on Android in March, this reward comes in the form of app store promotions, which can dramatically boost downloads:

The company and Apple agreed to about a three-month window of exclusivity for Apple’s App Store, in exchange for the store prominently promoting the game [...] Prominent display in an app marketplace can produce as much as a tenfold spike in daily downloads, depending on the location of associated banner ads and how long a promotion runs

Apple reportedly does not offer cash incentives for exclusivity, but only marketing support.

The fight for exclusivity comes at a time that Android continues to grow in popularity, and when it has become easier for developers to make games and other apps for Google’s platform. For Apple, the decision to promote games in return for exclusivity represents a change to its longtime policy under which an editorial team would choose apps  to promote without taking business decisions into account.

The Journal reports that Amazon and Microsoft, which are much smaller players in the mobile hardware market, are likewise offerings promotions to mobile game makers in exchange for a window of exclusivity.

The article also cites a study that says $16 billion was spent on apps last year, and that 70 percent of that went to games.While games are very popular, there is no indication yet that they are enough of a factor to persuade a consumer to switch from one mobile platform to another.

Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
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Apple enticing games publishers with promotion deals in return for exclusivity

Game Center WWDC 2013

The Wall Street Journal has published a report saying that both Apple and Google are actively pursuing exclusivity deals with game developers. Whispers of these type of arrangements surfaced last year, with reports highlighting a partnership between Apple and EA for Plants vs Zombies 2.

The Journal confirms that Apple’s exclusivity deals do not include monetary payments. In return, the companies offer “premium placement” (such as featured spots on the home page) for launching first on their platform.

In regard to the Plants vs Zombies’ deal, the report says EA gave Apple agreed about two months of exclusivity.

Last August, for the launch of “Plants Vs. Zombies 2,” a highly anticipated sequel to a popular zombie-survival strategy game, publisher Electronic Arts Inc. struck a deal with Apple, which promoted the game prominently in its App Store, according to people familiar with the matter.

In exchange, one of these people said, EA agreed to give Apple about a two-month window of exclusivity for the title, which wasn’t released on Google’s Android software until October.

The article also notes that a similar agreement was in place for the launch of Cut the Rope 2, which was only exclusive to iOS for approximately three months. Gameloft said they turned down an exclusivity agreement with Apple, opting to launch on both iOS and Android simultaneously.

The Journal claims that Apple’s App Store editorial team will give more weight to apps that are iOS exclusives. It will also favor apps recommended by its “developer-relations staff”.

Alongside Apple and Google, Amazon also seems to be negotiating similar agreements, exchanging exclusivity for promotional deals. This reflects the video-game industry, where console manufacturers push hard for exclusive titles, although often these deals involve large cash sums.

Not surprisingly, Apple declined to comment on the matter. EA told The Wall Street Journal that it “works closely with both Apple and Google”.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Developers, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Android, App Store, Apple, Electronic Arts, Google, iOS, plants vs zombies, Wall Street Journal

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