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comScore, Inc. today released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. smartphone industry during the three month average period ending December 2012. Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 36.3 percent share, while Google Android led as the #1 smartphone platform with 53.4 percent share.

Smartphone OEM Market Share

125.9 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (54 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in December, up 5 percent since September. Apple ranked as the top OEM with 36.3 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 2 percentage points from September). Samsung ranked second with 21 percent market share (up 2.3 percentage points), followed by HTC with 10.2 percent share, Motorola with 9.1 percent and LG with 7.1 percent (up 0.5 percentage points).

Top Smartphone OEMs 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Sep. 2012 Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 13+ Source: comScore MobiLens

MacDailyNews Note: This comScore report covers the period of October 1, 2012- December 31, 2012. iPhone 5 was released in the U.S. and Canada on September 21, 2012 and faced severe supply constraints for much of the period covered by this report.

Smartphone Platform Market Share

Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 53.4 percent market share (up 0.9 percentage points), while Apple’s share increased 2 percentage points to 36.3 percent. Blackberry ranked third with 6.4 percent share, followed by Microsoft (2.9 percent) and Symbian (0.6 percent).

Top Smartphone Platforms 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Sep. 2012 Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 13+ Source: comScore MobiLens

Source: comScore, Inc.

“After a dustup over pornography showing up on Vine, the Twitter-owned video-sharing app has added an age rating for possible adult content,” Steven Musil reports for CNET.

“The app for iPhone and iPod Touch, which lets anyone create and share six-second clips, quickly became a popular venue for pornography after its release last month,” Musil reports. “Twitter responded by trying to make it harder for users to find the adult videos, blocking a number of porn-related search terms such as “#porn.””

Musil reports, “As first noted by The Verge, Twitter released a new version today that requires users to confirm that they are at least 17 years of age; the previous version described itself as suitable for users 12 and older.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The odd thing is that Twitter and the Vine team didn’t seem to anticipate that the app could easily and obviously be used for porn.

MacDailyNews Note: For those unfamiliar with the app/service, our quick and dirty test video (iPhone porn) remains on Vine here (via Twitter).

“As predicted, the headlines reporting Apple’s (AAPL) quarterly earnings last week — and the market’s immediate and violent negative reaction — failed to take into account that Q1 2013 had one less week Q1 2012,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “Even Tim Cook did lousy job explaining it.”

P.E.D. reports, “It fell to the Braeburn Group’s Robert Paul Leitao, an independent investor who writes a blog called Posts at Eventide, to put the situation into plain English: ‘Apple’s fiscal quarters are usually 13 weeks in length and always end on a Saturday. Every 5 or 6 years, depending on the number of leap days in the multi-year period, Apple adds a 14th week to its first fiscal quarter to align fiscal quarters closer to calendar quarters. On a weekly basis, Apple’s revenue was $4.2 billion in the recent December quarter versus $3.3 billion in the prior-year period. On an equal week basis, revenue in the quarter rose 26.7%.”

“What Leitao is too polite to mention is that the companies that make up the S&P 500 grew their revenue a comparatively anemic 3.8% in the same period, according to Capital IQ, and that without Apple’s contribution that growth would have been even lower,” P.E.D. reports. “Yet the trailing PE ratio of the average S&P stock is 17.5, and in the past week the market — driven in large part by computer algorithms that respond to ‘sentiment’ (i.e. headlines), not fundamentals — has pushed Apple’s trailing PE down to 8.6.”

Much more in the full article here.

“Brazilian electronics maker IGB Electronica SA has announced a new line of Android phones under the IPHONE brand, a trademark that was originally applied for in Brazil in 2000,” Jordan Golson reports for MacRumors.

“Apple will either file a lawsuit, or perhaps more likely, begin negotiations for a settlement deal,” Golson reports. “Apple was involved in a similar trademark issue in China, with Proview owning the “iPad” trademark. Apple ended up paying that company $60 million to gain control of the ‘iPad’ trademark.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: ‘Tis a quality company that positions itself to extort a worldwide innovator and/or attempt to confuse its would-be customers with a bait-and-switch of inferior wares.

“Much has been written about the brilliance of Steve Jobs and the iconic company that he built,” Paul Spiegelman writes for Inc. “Many say that it was Steve Job’s laser focus on the beauty and simplicity of product design that was the key to Apple’s success.”

“Of course, Tim Cook’s the new sheriff in town at Apple, and he is doing things that were blind spots during the Jobs era,” Spiegelman writes. “He’s focusing on people. As far-fetched as it might seem, I believe that strategy will contribute to Apple making even more money than it already has. (Of course, plenty of Apple engineers will also continue to make cool stuff.) “

Spiegelman writes, “I applaud Tim Cook for the small changes he is making, not because he wants to be different than Jobs, but because it is how he is wired, and he knows it is the right thing to do. I’d bet we’ll see it’s good for Apple’s business too.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: In the full article, Spiegelman credits Cook for “praising employees in public” as if it’s something new. The late, great Steve Jobs praised and thanked Apple employees in public many times.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scott M.” for the heads up.]

“According to our sources, Apple’s already announced plans for November and December launches of the redesigned 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac lines are still on track,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5 Mac. “This refutes a report from French site MacBidouille which claimed that both the new 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs would see their respective launches delayed until 2013.”

“Our sources say that Apple is already shipping new 21.5-inch iMacs to its distribution hubs across the United States and several other countries across the world,” Gurman reports. “These sources also expect the 21.5-inch computers to be available to order from Apple’s online store by the end of this month. It is also likely that the new models will reach Apple’s physical retail stores by the end of November.”

Gurman reports, “The 27-inch version seems to still be launching in December, as Apple announced…”

Read more in the full article here.

“When did Scott Forstall know he was in trouble at Apple? His share sales may provide a clue,” Owen Thomas reports for The Business Insider. “In late April, he sold 95 percent of his holdings of Apple shares, clearing $38 million after taxes.”

“Forstall is serving as an advisor to Cook until he leaves the company “next year”-no date specified,” Thomas reports. “In November 2011, Forstall got a grant of 150,000 shares in the form of restricted stock units, vesting in two tranches. Half the shares vest on June 21, 2013. At current prices, those shares are worth about $45 million before taxes.”

Thomas reports, “The second half of his 2011 bonus doesn’t vest until 2016. He has another 100,000-share grant which doesn’t vest until 2014. Those total $105 million at today’s share prices. We assume he’s losing those shares, though it’s possible Apple might accelerate his vesting or otherwise provide some partial compensation.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analysts: Momentous Apple shakeup could be just what the doctor ordered – October 31, 2012
Can Apple exec Eddy Cue work his magic on Apple Maps? – October 31, 2012
Jony Ive’s minimalist design sensibilities likely to reshape the future of iOS, OS X – October 31, 2012
Now the real Jony Ive era begins at Apple Inc. – October 30, 2012
Analysts: Apple’s executive shakeup a consolidation, not cause for concern – October 30, 2012
Apple: Forstall pushed out by Cook, source says; news met with ‘quiet jubilation’ inside Apple – October 30, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook executes major management shake-up at world’s most valuable company – October 30, 2012
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
Apple software designers sick of doing things Scott Forstall’s way; ‘civil war’ said breaking out – October 10, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
Apple newbie John Browett brings Dixons to Apple Retail Stores – August 17, 2012

An Apple CEO-in-waiting, Scott Forstall, sells 95% of his company shares – May 2, 2012