iPhone Was Most Activated Smartphone in United States Last Quarter According to Survey

Apple increased its share of smartphone activations in the fourth quarter of 2017, following the release of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, according to data shared with MacRumors by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.


iPhones accounted for 39 percent of activations in the United States between October and December, up from 34 percent in the year-ago quarter, based on CIRP's survey of 500 people who activated a new or used smartphone during that period.

Samsung was the runner-up with a 32 percent share of activations during the quarter, trailed by LG at 13 percent. All other smartphone vendors, including Motorola, HTC, and others, accounted for the remaining 16 percent share.


The survey findings are rather unsurprising given a trio of new iPhones launched between late September and early November, while Google's Pixel 2 and LG's V30 were essentially the only major Android smartphones to debut during the quarter.

CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz:
Apple's iOS increased its mobile operating system share in the US in the most recent quarter. While Android still leads, the launch of the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X models, without similar new Android phones, allowed Apple to increase its share of activations in the quarter, relative last quarter and to the year-ago quarter.
The survey also shows that Apple and Samsung continue to form a smartphone duopoly in the United States, with no sign that'll change any time soon.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X

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Samsung Announces Exynos Chip for Galaxy S9 Series With iPhone X-Like Features

Samsung today announced the launch of its latest flagship mobile processor that's expected to power the firm's upcoming Galaxy S9 series devices. Called the Exynos 9810, the 9 series CPU is built on a second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process and, apart from being faster and more energy efficient, includes advanced AI and deep learning capabilities that will power a new breed of facial recognition features in the smartphones.

The Exynos 9810 has a neural engine that can recognize people and objects in photos at very high speed, and will enable apps to use realistic face-tracking filters, according to Samsung – perhaps in a manner akin to Animojis which use the TrueDepth camera found in Apple's iPhone X.


Armed with the Exynos 9810, which has a separate secure processing unit for handling sensitive personal and biometric data, the new Samsung phones will also be capable of scanning and creating a 3D image of a user's face. The obvious suggestion here is that the Galaxy S9 range will have a facial authentication system similar to Face ID in the iPhone X.

Last year's S8 also had facial recognition capabilities, but it was limited to 2D tracking, making it less secure than Face ID and easy to fool. Despite the jump to 3D scanning though, it doesn't look like Samsung will be relying on facial recognition as the sole authentication method in its 2018 smartphones.

Image via @OnLeaks

CAD leaks and rumors suggest the S9 will retain the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, now located underneath a new-dual camera setup instead of being positioned alongside a single lens, as it was on the S8. The change of location is presumably to make accidentally smudging the lens with fingerprints less likely, but as expected, Samsung will not be building fingerprint recognition into the OLED display. Otherwise, the general design of the Galaxy S9 looks largely similar to the S8.

For over a year leading up to the iPhone X, rumors ran rampant about Touch ID being placed under the display, or on the back or side of the device, but Apple has said those reports are untrue. In perhaps the biggest signal of its confidence in the security of its authentication method, rumors suggest Apple will remove Touch ID on all iPhones launched in 2018 in favor of Face ID.

When it comes to facial recognition, Apple's TrueDepth camera is said to have given Cupertino a solid technological lead throughout 2018, and perhaps beyond. Indeed, Samsung and other Android competitors could require up to two and a half years to replicate the functionality and user experience of the TrueDepth Camera in Apple's iPhone X, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

As with previous years, Samsung's new Galaxy Sx series of phones are expected to debut at the annual Mobile World Congress in February.


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Samsung Announces First QLED Curved Monitor With Thunderbolt 3

Last month, LG announced a new set of Thunderbolt 3 monitors to be officially unveiled at CES 2018. Not to be outdone at the January event, Samsung today unveiled the first curved display with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

The 34-inch CJ791 monitor features a 3,440 × 1,440 UltraWide QHD resolution with a 21:9 aspect ratio, while the single Thunderbolt 3 cable delivers a connectivity speed of up to 40 Gigabits per second to a range of docks, displays, and peripheral devices, including Macs and external GPUs. The Thunderbolt 3 interface also allows the CJ791 to supply up to 85 watts (W) of charging power to USB type-C compatible MacBooks.


The specs can't quite match LG's upcoming 34-inch UltraWide 34WK95U, which has a 5K resolution of 5120 x 2160 pixels, but apart from multi-peripheral connectivity, Samsung is eager to promote the CJ791's QLED display as ideal for gaming and entertainment. With "precise" performance across 125 percent of the sRGB color spectrum, a 4 milliseconds response time, and a sharp 1,500R curvature and ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle, the CJ791 should still turn some heads at this year's CES. The company is also touting the monitor's built-in Game Mode, with a dynamic gamma setting that allows the CJ791 to adjust the color and contrast of individual scenes as they're displayed.

There's no word yet on the price of the 34-inch CJ791, but hopefully more should be revealed when CES opens its doors on January 9 for four tech-filled days at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Stay tuned to MacRumors for all the highlights.



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iPhone X Plus Should Lead Apple to Significantly Increase OLED Display Orders Next Year

Samsung Display will supply Apple with between 180 and 200 million flexible OLED displays for the iPhone in 2018, up from an estimated 50 million this year, according to The Korea Herald's sister publication The Investor.

While the report focuses on the iPhone X, it's likely that a portion of the OLED displays will go towards the "iPhone X Plus" rumored to launch alongside the second-generation iPhone X in the second half of 2018.


Like the Galaxy Note 8, the iPhone X Plus is expected to have a 6.4-inch display, but its overall physical size will likely be closer to an iPhone 8 Plus. Meanwhile, the next iPhone X will likely retain its 5.8-inch display.

With both a full year of iPhone X sales and the addition of the iPhone X Plus to the lineup in 2018, Apple will undoubtedly need many more OLED displays, so today's report about Samsung quadrupling its production next year makes sense. Samsung could reportedly gain an extra $22 billion in revenue from the orders.

The report also claims Samsung has achieved around a 90 percent yield rate, compared to around 60 percent earlier this year, meaning it is getting more efficient at making OLED displays that live up to Apple's strict quality standards. This could lead to improved shipping estimates for next year's launch.

The new iPhone X and iPhone X Plus will likely launch around the usual timeframe of September to October, potentially alongside a new 6.1-inch mid-range model with an LCD display that is predicted to start at around $649 to $749.

There's no word on how much the iPhone X Plus could cost yet, but given the iPhone X starts at $999, the larger version should have a four-digit price tag. Apple charges a $100 premium for other Plus-sized iPhones, so it's possible the iPhone X Plus could start at around $1,099, but it's too early to say.

Apple is likely to remain dependent on Samsung for supply of OLED displays next year, but the company is reportedly investing billions into LG building OLED display production lines dedicated to the iPhone by 2019.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Samsung to Announce New Flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Smartphones in February

Samsung is planning to unveil its next-generation Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones in February of 2018, just a few months after the launch of the iPhone X, reports Bloomberg.

The two devices could be introduced as early as late February with a launch following in early March. Last year, the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus were unveiled in late March and released in April.

Samsung's Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are said to be similar to the current Galaxy models that are available, but with upgraded camera systems.

The two smartphones will likely also include upgraded processors and will continue to offer features like fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, and iris scanning. A feature equivalent to Face ID is not likely to be available, however, as Android manufacturers are further behind on development of 3D facial recognition techniques.

Samsung's upcoming smartphones will directly compete with Apple's latest flagship iPhone, the iPhone X.

Tag: Samsung

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Samsung Aiming to Release Smart Speaker to Compete With HomePod in First Half of 2018

Like Apple, Samsung has been working on a smart speaker that will compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and the South Korean company is aiming to release it in the first half of 2018, reports Bloomberg.

Samsung's smart speaker sounds similar to the HomePod, with a "strong focus" on audio quality. Apple aimed to make the HomePod stand out with sound quality that beats out competitors like the Amazon Echo.

Apple's HomePod

One prototype in testing is said to be "between the size" of the newest Echo and the HomePod. It could come in different colors, including a matte black shade, and it has no screen but offers a light-up area on the top for visual feedback like the HomePod.

Similar to other products, the Samsung smart speaker will be able to control smart home accessories, and it will be controlled via voice assistant. It will feature built-in Bixby support, Samsung's voice-based AI solution.

Amazon's latest Echo

Samsung confirmed its work on a smart speaker to compete with the HomePod back in August of 2017. At the time, Samsung mobile president DJ Koh said the aim was to provide a "fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices."

Samsung is considering a price of around $200 for the smart speaker, which would make it more affordable than Apple's $349 HomePod. If Samsung is indeed aiming for an early 2018 release, the smart speaker could come out around the same time as the HomePod.

Apple originally planned to introduce the HomePod in December, but has since delayed its release until 2018.

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iPhone X Should Push Apple Ahead of Samsung as World’s Largest Smartphone Maker

Apple will dethrone Samsung as the world's largest smartphone maker in the fourth quarter of 2017, on the strength of strong iPhone X demand, according to Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce.


TrendForce estimates Apple will record 19.1 percent market share in the quarter, encompassing the busy holiday shopping season, which would be slightly ahead of Samsung's estimated 18.2 percent market share. Chinese vendors Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi are expected to round off the top five.


The feat would be impressive as always given that Samsung sells over a dozen different smartphone models, including some as cheap as $200, whereas Apple primarily caters to the high-end market beyond the iPhone SE for $349.
Samsung is expected to slightly scale back the production of its high-end models in the fourth quarter as the brand is seeing the sales of its smartphones being squeezed by the strong demand for Apple's latest iPhone devices. TrendForce estimates that Samsung's fourth-quarter total volume will come to 77 million units, a 5% drop from the third quarter.
The fourth quarter has always been the strongest for Apple, given it launches new devices in the fall, allowing it to surpass Samsung in the year-ago quarter as well. Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ were released back in April, so sales momentum is likely beginning to decline for those devices.

Meanwhile, market research firm Canalys estimates the iPhone 8 Plus outpaced the iPhone 8 last quarter with shipments of 6.3 million units and 5.4 million units respectively. Canalys said the iPhone 8 Plus is the first Plus-sized iPhone to out-ship its smaller 4.7-inch sibling in a single quarter.

Apple doesn't disclose iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis, but chief Tim Cook said the iPhone 8 Plus has "gotten off to the fastest start of any Plus model," which came as "a bit of a surprise" to the company.

As far as iPhone X sales are concerned, Apple's guidance of $84-$87 billion revenue for the holiday quarter suggests that demand for the device will be significant. Apple should easily beat its all-time record for revenue in a single quarter of $78.4 billion, achieved in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Galaxy S9 Will Likely Still Have Rear Fingerprint Scanner as Apple Rumored to Ditch Touch ID Entirely

Samsung has decided not to include a fingerprint scanner under the display of its next-generation Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones due to continued technical difficulties, according to South Korea's The Investor.


Instead, the fingerprint scanner will likely remain positioned on the back of each device, just like the current Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ models.

Fingerprint scanning is one of three biometric options for unlocking the Galaxy S8 alongside iris scanning and facial recognition. Samsung says all three solutions provide "defense-grade security" around the clock.

Shortly after the Galaxy S8 launched, however, videos surfaced showing that Samsung's facial recognition system could be fairly easily duped with a picture of someone. The iris scanner was also tricked with contact lenses.


In fine print on its website, Samsung admits that its facial recognition system is "less secure than pattern, PIN, or password." Facial recognition can't be used to authenticate access to the Galaxy S8's Secure Folder or Samsung Pay.

"It is important to reiterate that facial recognition, while convenient, can only be used for opening your Galaxy S8 and currently cannot be used to authenticate access to Samsung Pay or Secure Folder," the company told Ars Technica in March.

Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate Touch ID under the display on the iPhone X, or even on the side or back of the device, but the company's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio suggested it ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face ID.

Samsung's facial recognition system is unquestionably less secure than Face ID, which uses significantly more advanced 3D facial recognition and has a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of being duped by a stranger, according to Apple.


Apple is so confident in Face ID that it is planning to abandon Touch ID in favor of the TrueDepth system on all of its new iPhone models released in 2018, according to well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple says Face ID only has a possibility of being less reliable for identical twins, siblings who look alike, and children under 13 years of age, the latter because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed.

Apple's Face ID security paper explains how the TrueDepth camera projects and reads over 30,000 infrared dots to form a depth map of your face, along with a 2D infrared image. This data is used to create a sequence of 2D images and depth maps, which are digitally signed and sent to the Secure Enclave.

Face ID is designed to confirm user attention, ensuring a lower false match rate, and mitigation against both digital and physical spoofing.


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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Samsung’s Appeal in Years-Old ‘Slide to Unlock’ Lawsuit With Apple

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected Samsung's request to appeal a $119.6 million verdict awarded to Apple in an over six year old "Slide to Unlock" patent infringement lawsuit, according to Reuters.


In October 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstated Apple's award after a lower court found Samsung to have infringed upon several popular iPhone features, including slide-to-unlock and autocorrect.

The lawsuit, from 2011, is so old that slide-to-unlock isn't even used on iPhones anymore. Unlocking an iPhone on iOS 10 or later requires using Face ID on iPhone X, and Touch ID or pressing the Home button on older iPhone models.

This case is not to be confused with another 2011 lawsuit in which Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design with its Galaxy-branded smartphones. A damages retrial in that lawsuit is scheduled for next May.


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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Samsung’s Appeal in Years-Old ‘Slide to Unlock’ Lawsuit With Apple

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected Samsung's request to appeal a $119.6 million verdict awarded to Apple in an over six year old "Slide to Unlock" patent infringement lawsuit, according to Reuters.


In October 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstated Apple's award after a lower court found Samsung to have infringed upon several popular iPhone features, including slide-to-unlock and autocorrect.

The lawsuit, from 2011, is so old that slide-to-unlock isn't even used on iPhones anymore. Unlocking an iPhone on iOS 10 or later requires using Face ID on iPhone X, and Touch ID or pressing the Home button on older iPhone models.

This case is not to be confused with another 2011 lawsuit in which Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design with its Galaxy-branded smartphones. A damages retrial in that lawsuit is scheduled for next May.


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