Category Archives: Smartphones

AAA road safety campaign shows real videos of teenage car crashes while using smartphones

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has put online video clips from real car crashes caused by 16-19 year old drivers using smartphones while driving. The videos, which show both the view through the windscreen and a view of the driver, are designed to make real the dangers of distracted driving.

None of the crashes featured in the above clip feature injuries, but almost 3,000 people a year are killed in crashes involving drivers in this age-range, the majority of them caused by the driver being “inattentive or engaged in some other non-driving-related activity.” A further 383,000 people a year are injured.

Researchers at the University of Iowa examined carcam footage from 1,691 crashes involving drivers aged 16-19 to determine the cause. Distracted driving was found to be the cause in 58% of crashes, with 12% of them due to using a phone while driving. For crashes involving the car leaving the road, a full third of crashes were attributed to cellphone use.

UK tests conducted earlier this month suggested that smartwatches are even worse than smartphones for driver distraction.

The full AAA report can be downloaded here.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Distracted driving, iPhone, Mobile phone, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Smartphones, Teenagers, Traffic collision

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Apple will offer Android switchers gift cards to trade-in rival smartphones for iPhones

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Apple is preparing to launch another program to boost iPhone sales in its stores, a stated goal of CEO Tim Cook.

According to sources, Apple will soon introduce a new recycling and trade-in program that will accept non-Apple smartphones, notably including Android and BlackBerry devices, in exchange for gift cards to be used toward the purchase of new iPhones. In continuing to court Android switchers, Apple will use a similar system to the one it uses to repurchase iPhones, whereby Apple Retail Store employees determine trade-in values for devices by considering their cosmetic and functional condition.

The new program will begin in the coming weeks, following extensive training programs for retail store employees that will begin later this week. Apple employees will be able to transfer address book contacts from the rival smartphones to the iPhones, but other data will have to be moved by customers…

Apple originally launched the iPhone Reuse and Recycle trade-in program in mid-2013 to encourage upgrades from older iPhone models to the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and the iPhone 5c. Over the past couple of years, Apple has offered upgrade events to boost sales, and rapidly expanded the program from the United States to Canada, Europe, and Australia. The results have been marked upticks in iPhone sales, including multiple record-breaking quarters. Last summer, Apple rolled out a version of the program centered around the iPad.

While Apple’s iPhone trade-in program is known for its consistency and convenience, the pricing is typically not up to par with some of Apple’s competitors in the smartphone trade-in space. Amazon’s trade-in program provides instant online quotes and a free shipping label for phone trade-ins, covering a wide variety of different smartphones and other electronics. Apple does tweak its algorithm with partner BrightStar for iPhone trade-in prices, however, so it is likely that rival smartphone prices will be adjusted over time.


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: Android, Apple, Apple Store, Recycling, Smartphones, switchers, trade-in

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IDC: Xiaomi’s growth tops Samsung in China, but Apple is making a dent too

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According to the latest numbers from IDC, Xiaomi—the rising star of the smartphone industry—has managed to pass up Samsung in China. In 2013, Xiaomi trailed Samsung’s almost 19% market share by a solid 13 percentage points (at just 5.3%), and was only the 5th largest maker of smartphones in China. Things changed in 2014. Last year, Xiaomi finished off with 12.5% of the market, almost a half-point more than Samsung at 12.1%, taking the top spot and passing not just Samsung, but Lenovo, Huawei, and Coolpad as well.

Interestingly, though, the latest numbers also show that Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus contributed to a decent size dent in both Samsung and Xiaomi’s market footprint in Q4 of last year.

Apple’s market share grew from 5% to 12.3% in one quarter, while Xiaomi fell by 1.1% and Samsung fell by 3.1% over that same time period. Year over year, Samsung was down to 7.9% share compared to 18.8% in Q3 of 2013—coming out to a -49.9% growth over just 12 months.

The smartphone market in China, though, regardless of who holds the reigns, is growing. 107.5 million smartphones were shipped to China in 2014 Q4, which is a 2% growth compared to the quarter before. 420.7 million smartphones total were shipped in China in 2014, and there was a year-over-year growth of 19% for Q4.

Recently, Xiaomi held an event in San Francisco, and while it didn’t come with the launch of any of the company’s flagship products on American soil, the point of it was to introduce the brand to North America. The company is planning to bring its Mi.com marketplace website to the US before the end of the year, but for now the only thing you’ll be able to buy are accessories—like fitness trackers, power packs, and headphones.

The China Smartphone Market Picks Up Slightly in 2014Q4, IDC Reports - prHK25437515 2015-02-17 14-22-12


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, china, IDC, iPhone, Samsung, smartphone market, Smartphones, Xiaomi

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T-Mobile launches Smartphone Equality, expanding base of customers qualified for financing & special deals

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T-Mobile often rolls out “Un-carrier” initiatives that intend to challenge its competitors (which sometimes get copied), and John Legere’s latest announcement for the company is no different. The T-Mobile CEO shared today that the carrier soon start offering the same financing options to customers with weak credit as it provides for well qualified customers. The program is called Smartphone Equality, and here’s how it works…

The gist of it is this: customers who otherwise may not qualify for financing plans like $0 down options due to poor credit can now avoid hefty deposits just by being a loyal T-Mobile customer for a full year. The program even extends to T-Mobile customers on pre-paid plans, which is especially useful, and only requires that you pay your bill on time for 12 months.

Even if you don’t have any credit history, T-Mobile will qualify anyone with a monthly voice plan paid on time for a year for its best device and plan prices without requiring a credit check. Furthermore, the carrier says customers which already meet the new requirements to avoid a credit check will immediately qualify for the new financing options when the Smartphone Equality program begins.

You can see Legere introduce the new initiative in his own words below:

As for T-Mobile’s reasoning, Legere says payment history is more indicative of making future payments on time than a credit rating. The program kicks off for all T-Mobile customers on January 25th.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: credit, financing, John Legere, Offers, Smartphone Equality, Smartphones, T-Mobile, un-carrier, uncarrier

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