Posts tagged Apple

Apple Watch sales more than halved so far this summer

apple-watch2.JPG

Apple has been unable to keep interest in its smartwatch high during the summer season, according to new smartwatch sales data from IDC.

The report claims that Apple Watch sales fell to 1.6 million in the second quarter of 2016, a 55 percent decline from the 3.6 million sales recorded in the same quarter last year.

See Also: Apple drives wearables to $6 billion in first quarter sales

Part of the reason for the decline, according to IDC, may be rumors of the Apple Watch 2 launching this fall. Buyers may be waiting for the improved second edition, which is expected to feature a faster processor, higher resolution display, and a FaceTime camera.

Apple is still ahead of the pack in the smartwatch market, even at 1.6 million quarterly sales. Samsung came second with 600,000 sales, a slight increase on the 400,000 sales last year.

Apple Watch strap on market loosening?

That said, Apple’s hold on the smartwatch market is starting to dwindle. It went from 72 to 47 percent market share in the past year, as more devices from Lenovo, LG, and Garmin hit the market.

“Despite a down quarter, Apple remains far and away the market leader in smartwatches,” said IDC in a press release. “Apple faces the same challenges as other OEMs, but the pure exposure of the device and brand through tactical marketing gives it a leg up on the competition.”

Apple introduced a host of new updates to the Watch at WWDC 2016 last month, including a much faster load time that pleased app developers. That, bundled with the upgraded specs, may be enough to keep investors and wearable fans happy.

In the wearable market, the Apple Watch is a big player, but does not control the market like it does with smartwatches. It remains firmly behind Fitbit and Xiaomi, both sell a range of fitness trackers.

The post Apple Watch sales more than halved so far this summer appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Apple drives wearables to $6 billion in first quarter sales

apple watch store display Flickr Shinya Suzuki.jpg

Wearables continue to display strong growth in the first quarter of the year, reaching $6 billion in revenue on a 133 percent yearly growth.

The main factor for pushing wearables passed the $6 billion mark is the Apple Watch, which is already the most successful smartwatch on the market, despite being less than a year old.

See Also: Ericsson sees a wearable future that’s easy to swallow

Value per wearable grew at a rate of 50 percent yearly to $218, according to research firm Futuresource Computing, another potential factor of the Apple Watch growth in the first quarter.

If reaching the top of the smartwatch market wasn’t enough, the Apple Watch has also supposedly passed Casio, Citizen, and Fossil. Major watchmakers Swatch and Rolex are still ahead, but the insurgence of a non-watchmaker into the market may change in the industry’s perception on smartwatches.

Competition drives down fitness tracker prices

Activity trackers from wearable manufacturers like Fitbit and Jawbone surpassed 10 million in sales, but only noticed 18 percent growth in volume and an average price slump of 40 percent from 2014 to 2015.

That is mostly due to the Xiaomi Mi Band, sold in China for less than $30, alongside Fitbit, Jawbone, and other fitness providers expanding wearable options to include more economical options.

Due to the slump in wearable average price, spend in this area only grew by two percent in 2015 and Futuresource expects similarly underwhelming figures in 2016.

What we are seeing from market leader Fitbit leads us to believe that smartwatches with central fitness functionality may be the future. It launched the Surge last year, a fitness tracker with basic smartwatch functionality, and the Blaze is a continuation of this trend.

Despite the lack of spend in the fitness and health tracker realm, we are seeing large acquisitions take place in the industry for talent and tech. Nokia acquired Withings, the French wearable health firm, for $191 million; Fitbit acquired Coin for an undisclosed amount.

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Is NVIDIA outpacing Apple, Google with its self-driving tech?

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As the race to master self-driving car technology accelerates, some investors say Tesla Motors partner NVIDIA Corp. may have the edge over competitors Apple and Google.

According to Investors Business Daily, Wedbush Securities analyst Betsy Van Hees sees Santa Clara, Calif.-based NVIDIA as nearing a breakthrough that will bring autonomous vehicles to the next level.

Van Hees boosted her stock price target for NVIDIA partly on optimism that Nvidia’s technology could allow Audi and other automakers to create autonomous consumer cars within a year. She added that this tech will be incorporated into Audi’s A8 model next year.

The firm’s technology, which uses graphics processing unit (GPU) technology, launched its Drive PX 2 system for autonomous driving this winter. The company stated that it expects consumers will begin purchasing cars equipped with Drive PX 2 within a year.

“It will most likely be used in an autopilot function,” predicted Van Hees in a report.

On the automation scale for self-driving cars, autopilot is seen as “Level 2,” which allows feet-off and hands-off driving. Google is reportedly working on “Level 4” automation, which allows driving with no human assistance.

And no one is sure what level of automation Apple’s “Titan” project is tackling, for the tech giant is staying tight lipped about what is widely assumed to be its own self-driving car initiative.

The Drive PX 2 system produces a 360-degree visual using ultrasonic sensors. Over the next five years Nvidia said it anticipates incremental adoption of the technology.

Van Hees maintained her outperform rating on the strength of the firm’s self-driving technology advances, as well as on the company’s strong PC gaming sales and on new uses for its GPUs.

NVIDIA leads now but isn’t the only game in town

Meanwhile, NVIDIA is facing increasing competition in the race to develop the technology that the next phase of autonomous vehicle development is based on.

For example NXP Semiconductors launched its BlueBox self-driving engine last month. The firm has said it is targeting 2020 as the year it develops complete vehicular autonomy.

But where NXP bases its technology on a central computing engine, NVIDIA’s use of GPUs could give it an advantage, says MKM analyst Ian Ing.

GPUs can better handle “homogeneous and repetitive computing” which autonomous vehicles will likely demand in great quantity. This type of computing has previously been used by Nvidia processors to rapidly render images for PC gaming.

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SearchCap: Apple Maps, AdWords spend & SEO trends

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Apple brings Siri to Mac, new exposure for non-Google search engines

Soon, you will finally be able to search the web from your Mac desktop — and Google won’t be a default provider.

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SearchCap: Apple news, successful PPC managers & technical SEO

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Apple news, successful PPC managers & technical SEO appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Apple Maps becomes a platform with new extensions for third-party apps

The move parallels Apple’s decision to open up Siri and Messages to developers.

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Apple to introduce search ads to its App Store

In what seems like a stark contrast to Apple’s backing away from its longstanding mobile ad marketplace, iAd, the company will instead be getting back to the ad business, allowing app developers to pay for ads to appear on top of search results in the lucrative Apple App Store.

Taking note from both Google and Facebook, Apple is making many moves to make its ad offering more open and accessible than ever.

Search Ads   App Store   Apple Developer

In the meantime, it is filling holes in its previous iterations of iAd, starting with a self-serve, second price auction-based platform with no initial minimum spends.

Apple’s plan to open up APIs for campaign creation, management, and reporting shows how the tech giant is serious about giving advertisers the tools to make a more automated and simple manual process.

Another smart move to create efficiency is Apple’s Search Match feature, which is similar to Google AdWords Universal App Campaigns in allowing an advertiser who is either more novice or strapped for time to set up a basic campaign in fewer steps.

Basic features such as age, gender, location and OS targeting are available, but they will still be much more limited than Google, Facebook and even Twitter’s capabilities.

app store search ads

Apple’s offering also include two areas that seem more limited than others: creative use and data measurement.

It seems like Apple will initially limit creative use to the assets that are already approved within the App Store. This will handcuff advertisers who are used to developing, testing and driving optimizations through custom designed creative ad iterations.

Apple’s stance to keep tight controls over its user data, however, is not surprising.

Although the company is allowing advertisers to track “clusters of users” by implementing “a few lines of code,” it is unclear if Apple will be partnering with standard third-party app attribution companies, such as TUNE, AppsFlyer and Adjust that would offer more sophisticated ad tracking to an individual user level.

Nevertheless, App marketers will now be able to fully capture search intent in both major app stores and promote their apps across both iOS and Android systems.

Though Apple Search ads will not officially launch until the fall, brands and marketers should immediately opt-in for the beta from Apple’s developer portal given participation is free and free downloads can be garnered now.

Along with Google’s announcements of updates to Google Adwords’ new features a few weeks ago, advertisers should also actively assign their agency partners to develop a smart App Store search strategy that takes advantage of all that both Google and Apple has to offer.

Tim Villanueva is the Head of Media Partnerships at Fetch and a contributor to Search Engine Watch.

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Google beats Apple to become world’s most valuable brand

Since 2011, Google and Apple have been competing to be the most valuable, according to Millward Brown Digital’s annual report. This year, Google is back on top.

For the last 11 years, Millward Brown Digital, the market research division of London agency WPP, has been analyzing financial and market data, in addition to interviews with customers, to determine the world’s most valuable brand.

In 2006, the first-ever BrandZ Top 100 ranking, that brand was Microsoft. Google was ranked seventh, skyrocketing to first place the following year and staying there until 2011. Since then, it’s been back and forth between Apple and Google, which just reclaimed the top spot.

Last year, Apple was valued at nearly $247 billion, up 67% from the previous year, while Google only jumped 9% to $173 billion. Apple’s value has since decreased 8% to $228 billion. Meanwhile, Google has had a resurgence in value, propelling 32% to $229 billion.

Microsoft remained in third place, though the next spot has seen a significant shakeup. Like Apple, IBM’s value decreased 8% year-over-year, dropping from fourth place to tenth. It’s not a significant decline; it’s just that other brands have experienced particularly explosive growth since 2015.

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“The brands that thrive, regardless of sector, are those that behave like challengers and and adopt disruptor models and mindsets,” says David Roth, chief executive (CEO), EMEA and Asia, of The Store WPP. “They’re shaking up other categories with innovation that goes beyond new products or technologies, transforming the way a service is delivered, enhancing the consumer experience or changing a format.”

For example, Amazon upped its delivery offerings and started creating its own content, while Facebook began hosting publishers’ original content. Facebook and Amazon – the value of which grew by a respective 44% and 59% – both made the top 10 for the first time. Facebook placed fifth; Amazon, seventh.

“By stretching their brands in innovative ways and expanding into new categories, the strongest brands in the Top 100 are increasing their penetration and their relevance in people’s day-to-day lives,” says Doreen Wang, Millward Brown’s Global Head of BrandZ.

Like Amazon and Facebook, Starbucks saw a big spike. Its value is up 49%, jumping from 28th on the list to 21st, in part because of its recent focus on ecommerce. Rounding out the top 10 were AT&T, Visa, Verizon and McDonald’s, all four of which maintained their spots from last year.

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Since then, Google has invested heavily in video and mobile, making Android increasingly more competitive with the iPhone. At its recent I/O conference, the search giant also announced a greater focus on artificial intelligence, an area Apple hasn’t improved much upon since the initial launch of Siri. (Though that may change soon.)

Once again, tech and telecommunications dominated the top of Millward Brown’s list. However, apparel is the fastest-growing industry. Since last year, the sector has grown 14% to $114 billion. Nike was the highest-valued apparel brand, ranking 24th; last year, the sportswear giant placed 28th.

Another bit of history repeating itself was the increasing value of Chinese brands. There was only one Chinese brand listed during the initial study, a number that has gone up significantly over the past few years.

While no Chinese brands made the top 10, there were three in this year’s top 20: Tencent, China Mobile and Alibaba. Three of the list’s seven newcomers – alcohol brand Moutai, insurance company AIA and electronics retailer JD.com – also hail from China.

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