| Cult of Mac

iPhone dominates sales of $400-and-up phones

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iPhone shipments grow while Android tanks
Android makes up most cheap smartphone sales, but anyone able to pay more usually gets an iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

High-end Android models sell in much smaller numbers than iPhones, according to a market research firm. Apple handsets that cost over $400 outsold all Androids in that price range almost two-to-one.

The data shows that while Androids with cutting-edge features like folding screens and very high-res camaras draw a lot of attention, they don’t attract many buyers. But pricier iPhone models do sell well.

Mobile gaming rakes in far more money than PC and console

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PUBG Mobile
Revenue from iPhone and Android games like 'PUBG Mobile' dwarfs traditional gaming.
Photo: PUBG

Games played on iPhone and Android represents 61% of the overall gaming market, according to two market analysis firms. And mobile’s lead over PC and console gaming is growing.

The total gaming market is set to hit $222 billion in 2022. For comparison, global film revenue for 2019 (the last pre-pandemic year) was $42.5 billion.

Today in Apple history: Apple embraces over-the-air iOS updates

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ios 5
Over-the-air iOS updates took iTunes out of the equation (and leveled the playing field with Android).
Photo: Apple

May 4: Today in Apple history: Apple embraces over-the-air iOS updates May 4, 2011: Reports circulate that Apple is negotiating with carriers to bring over-the-air updates to iOS, beginning with iOS 5.

Such a move would free iPhone owners from using iTunes to get updates for their devices. That means no more plugging an iPhone into a computer via USB to download the latest version of iOS.

iPhone owners are pickier about apps than Android users

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iPhone owners are pickier about apps than Android users
iPhone users have higher standards for third-party software than Android users.
Image: Cult of Mac

Third-party iPhone apps scored significantly lower than their Android counterparts, according to an analysis of user reviews of 4,400 top mobile apps.

This does not necessarily mean that Android offers better third-party software, though. iPhone users simply expect more from their apps.

“The data shows iOS users are more critical of mobile apps than Android users are,” said David Kravets, senior content marketing manager for unitQ, the company that did the research, in an interview with Cult of Mac.

And after going through nearly 122 million reviews, unitQ analysts say there’s “lots of room for improvement” in mobile software.

iPhone shipments grow while Android tanks

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iPhone shipments grow while Android tanks
iPhone shipments increased in Q1 2022. Android did not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The global market for Android phones shrank considerably in the first quarter of 2022, even as iPhone shipments rose.

Shipments from every major Android maker declined, from Samsung on down. Their combined drops were enough to reduce world smartphone shipments in Q1 by around 10%.

Google lets Android devs test third-party payment options (unlike Apple)

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Google tests third-party payments on Android
Spotify will be first to offer its own billing method.
Image: Google

Google on Thursday confirmed that it will give “a small number of participating developers” the ability to implement third-party payment methods in their Android apps as part of a pilot program called User Choice Billing.

Spotify, first to take advantage of the change, will offer Google Play’s billing system as well as its own. The move puts even more pressure on Apple, which has been fighting hard to block third-party payment systems on iOS.

Apple TV app blocks purchases and rentals on Android TV and Google TV

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Sony TV with Apple TV+
And they probably won't be coming back.
Photo: Sony

It’s no longer possible to purchase or rent new content through the Apple TV app on Android TV and Google TV. The block comes less than a year after Apple’s service made the leap to Google’s big screen platforms.

It is believed Apple removed purchasing after failing to strike a deal with Google over in-app commission rates. You can still use the Apple TV app to watch content you’ve already purchased.

A15 Bionic finally gets real competition from an unlikely source

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MediaTek rivals A15 Bionic
Another blow to Qualcomm.
Image: MediaTek

MediaTek looks set to become the first mobile chipmaker to finally give iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic chip a run for its money in processing performance.

The Taiwanese company’s new Dimensity 9000 chipset, announced late last year, is yet to make its way into an Android device. But early benchmarks suggest it will easily outpace rivals from Google, Samsung and Qualcomm.

Guess which brand consumers find most relevant to their lives

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Prophet's annual brand relevancy result is starting to sound like a broken record.
Prophet's annual brand relevancy result is starting to sound like a broken record.
Photo: Prophet

Spoiler alert: For the seventh year in a row, Apple topped consumers’ lists as the most relevant brand to their everyday lives. Seems like the Cupertino tech giant can’t lose in this particular race.

You have to wonder who placed 293rd. That’s how many companies the annual survey evaluated, in 27 categories.