Tablet Sales Declined in 2015, Detachable Devices Offer Hope

The overall tablet market shrank last year, but promising sales of detachable devices offer an opportunity for future tablet market growth. According to a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), total shipments of tablets in 2015 were 206.8 million, 10 percent less than the 230.1 million shipments in 2014. Apple still maintains the lead in market share, but competitors such as Samsung, Amazon and Lenovo are catching up as more consumers opt for more affordable tablets. Continue reading Tablet Sales Declined in 2015, Detachable Devices Offer Hope

Netflix Earns Spot in the Top 10 Grossing Apps Worldwide

Netflix has become one of the world’s top grossing apps after the streaming company introduced an in-app subscription option. Netflix placed ninth in App Annie’s Top Grossing Apps chart for November 2015. This marks the first time that Netflix has made the list, joining the ranks of other streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, HBO Now and Hulu. Netflix’s reluctance to sell subscriptions through its app in the past may have been due to Apple’s steep cut of in-app purchase revenue. Continue reading Netflix Earns Spot in the Top 10 Grossing Apps Worldwide

Apple Needs to Secure Key Music Deals Before Beats Launch

Apple is expected to launch its Beats Music streaming service at next month’s developers conference, but the tech giant has not been able to finalize deals with several of the major music labels yet. Originally, Apple tried to negotiate favorable deals with music labels that would allow the company to sell Beats Music for $2 to $5 less per month than the industry standard $10. Meanwhile, Jay Z’s new streaming service, Tidal, claims its deals give artists four times the royalty rate of Spotify. Continue reading Apple Needs to Secure Key Music Deals Before Beats Launch

Amazon Faces Growing Competition in Lucrative Cloud Business

Amazon is the current leader in the cloud computing business, with its Amazon Web Services division bringing in $1.57 billion in just the first quarter, but Microsoft and Google have their eye on a market that is projected to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. To maintain its lead, Amazon has rushed to provide other software and analytics services and increased its network of resellers. The real winner, though, will be determined by what company hosts established enterprises. Continue reading Amazon Faces Growing Competition in Lucrative Cloud Business

Google’s Search Criteria Now Includes ‘Mobile Friendliness’

Google has revamped its search criteria to make sure sites at the top of its search rankings are mobile friendly. The change went into effect earlier this week, along with other criteria that could dock a site for having hard-to-click links or a lopsided layout that requires too much scrolling. Google announced the new search criteria two months ago to give companies time to improve their mobile performance. The secret algorithm has about 200 factors that determine a site’s ranking. Continue reading Google’s Search Criteria Now Includes ‘Mobile Friendliness’

Streaming Services May Revive Falling Music Industry Revenue

Worldwide recorded-music revenue fell below $15 billion in 2014 for the first time in years, but the growth of streaming music services may have helped slow the decline, according to a new report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time, digital music sales exceeded CD sales. Revenue from streaming services rose 39 percent, and if the trend continues, the music industry might start to see a rise in revenue as early as next year. Continue reading Streaming Services May Revive Falling Music Industry Revenue

Cyanogen: Microsoft Plans to Invest in New Version of Android

Microsoft is planning to invest in Cyanogen, a startup that is building another version of the Android mobile operating system independent of Google. While Google requires smartphone manufacturers to feature Google apps and Google search, Cyanogen’s new operating system does not plan to have any similar requirements. For Microsoft, that means its Bing search engine and other software has a better chance of succeeding on smartphones with the alternative Cyanogen-built operating system. Continue reading Cyanogen: Microsoft Plans to Invest in New Version of Android

Hachette and Amazon Continue to Battle Over E-Book Prices

As Amazon and Hachette continue to battle over the prices of e-books, Hachette’s authors have decided to appeal directly to Amazon’s board. Authors United is warning the board of the reputation that the retailer will develop if it blocks the sale of books, a tactic that may prove helpful considering the significance Amazon places on its reputation. Authors United members have until Wednesday to sign the letter, which will be sent to Amazon’s 10 board members. Continue reading Hachette and Amazon Continue to Battle Over E-Book Prices

Analysts Credit “Gravity” with Bringing 3D Back to the Spotlight

“Gravity” brought in 80 percent of its debut haul from 3D engagement, leading analysts to credit the film for bringing the format back into the spotlight. For studios and exhibitors, this is a plus because 3D tickets carry a large surcharge, potentially bringing in million of dollars. The recent increase in 3D interest can be partially attributed to the directors, including Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) and Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), who have been encouraging fans to see their films in 3D.  Continue reading Analysts Credit “Gravity” with Bringing 3D Back to the Spotlight

Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost global market share for the first time in four years, falling to 31.2 percent of the market. Samsung’s profit margin on smartphones remained at the same 19.8 percent from last year, but the rising costs of smartphone component parts will make it difficult to maintain the same profits. Meanwhile, Apple’s market shares are also slipping, as affordable alternatives from Lenovo and Huawei are on the rise in the smartphone market. Continue reading Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Yahoo and Yelp Partner in Hopes of Optimizing Local Search

In an effort to better compete with Google and Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo has paired up with Yelp to optimize local search engine results. Yelp’s listings and reviews of local businesses will be integrated into Yahoo’s search functionality. The partnership follows in the footsteps of Microsoft’s recent deal with Foursquare, a mobile check-in software maker. As consumers become increasingly dependent on smartphones to navigate the world, data about local businesses in search engines has become more important. Continue reading Yahoo and Yelp Partner in Hopes of Optimizing Local Search

After a Decade, iTunes Continues its Market Dominance

According to fourth quarter estimates released this week by the NPD Group, Apple’s iTunes continues its stronghold with a 63 percent unit share of the U.S. market for digital music downloads. Amazon.com’s MP3 store held second place at 22 percent. Notably, the NPD “Annual Music Study 2012” indicates that eight out of 10 consumers downloaded digital albums or tracks during the fourth quarter from iTunes. Continue reading After a Decade, iTunes Continues its Market Dominance