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Q1 2014 smartphone market share report shows strong performance for Apple

While increasing market saturation and fierce competition in the smartphone space may be a concern, the latest market share stats from IDC show no evidence of both Apple and Samsung slowing down. Numbers published for the first quarter of the year show Apple closing the gap between itself and the rather dominant Samsung.

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Samsung and Apple still lead global smartphone market, but smaller rivals are chipping away at their share

The titans of the smartphone space — Samsung and Apple — are still the titans, but smaller competitors like Huawei and Lenovo are chipping away at their market share. That's the latest from Strategy Analytics, whose numbers of the global smartphone marketshare for the first quarter of this year saw the combined smartphone marketshare of Samsung and Apple dip to 46.5% from 49.9%. That said, their total shipments were up massively from the year prior: 89 million from Samsung (up by 19.6 million units) and 43.7 million iPhones from Apple (up 6.3 million units). So neither company is in 'trouble' just yet, they're just claiming a smaller percentage of a much much larger pie.

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Samsung takes aim at iPad again with new ads for the Galaxy Pro series tablets

Samsung's Galaxy TabPro and NotePro tablets have been available for some time, but that doesn't mean it's not too late to start advertising them. In that spirit, Samsung today pushed out four new ads touting the software and hardware features of the Galaxy Pro Series tablets, including bits on Multi Window, the "4 megapixel display" pixel density, and support for multiple users.

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Why Samsung's fingerprint sensor needs to face the same scrutiny as Apple's Touch ID

Last week the new Samsung Galaxy S5 was introduced and along with it, Samsung's take on the fingerprint identity sensor. Apple, of course, introduced Touch ID fingerprint identity scanner alongside the iPhone 5s back in September of 2013. From launch Touch ID received considerable scrutiny over its implementation and its implications from the media, from security groups, and from the government. So, roughly 3 nano-seconds after the Galaxy S5 was swiped on stage, Apple enthusiasts began wondering out loud about just when exactly that same scrutiny would hit Samsung. Some felt it won't and that that's unfair. Others felt it won't and that that's perfectly reasonable. My take is that it has to, and not just for the sake of Apple/Samsung fairness, but for consumer confidence and the future.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint swiper, heart-rate monitor, gold option, and... a 6-month lead on iPhone 6

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has just been announced and it includes a 5.1-inch 1080p screen along with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, 16 or 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and specs aside, a swipe-style fingerprint scanner, a heart-rate monitor, and more.

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Samsung unveils Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. World still waiting for iWatch...

Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are Samsung's second-generation smartwatches. They've lost both the Android operating system and the "Galaxy" brand, but gained Samsung's own, home-grown, Linux-based Tizen operating system instead. What exactly that means will take a while — and a series of reviews — to figure out. Jerry Hildenbrand for Smartwatch Fans:

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Apple mocked again by latest Samsung advertising, but does it have a point?

Samsung USA has pulled the wraps of its latest Apple-mocking ad campaign today, but does it have a point this time? The ads in question — one up top, one down below — show the Galaxy Note 3 and brand new Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. LeBron James is "running away from this (i)Phone" because of its small, non-HD display, while the Tab Pro is chosen over the iPad Air on its multitasking and display quality. The question is, are Samsung's points valid? Are they mocking Apple based on features that iPhone and iPad owners really do desire?

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Vector 29: Microsoft's new CEO and Lenovo's new Moto

Ben Thompson of Stratechery joins Rene to talk about Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella and the challenges he faces making money in mobile, why Motorola was so important to Lenovo, what it means for Samsung and Apple, and why good products aren't enough.

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Samsung tells Olympians to cover their Apple logos during opening ceremony [Update]

As part of giving free devices to athletes, Samsung is insisting that no Apple logos appear during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. A sponsor for the games, Samsung gave athletes Galaxy Note 3 smartphones in their gift bags, with the condition that, even if they used an Apple device, the logo could not be displayed during the opening ceremonies.

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Why Lenovo could be a far bigger threat to Samsung than Apple

It's no secret that both the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5 will be battling it out later this year, but the two most popular phone makers on the planet, Apple and Samsung, have already shown markedly different trends as of late. Both sold a ton of phones, none more than Samsung. However, while Apple's average selling price rose by nearly $60 quarter-over-quarter, Samsung's fell by $30. Likewise, while Apple's 0% share of the under $400 phone market remained unchanged and their share of the over $400 market rose to 65%, Samsung's under $400 share dropped to 21% and they were left precious little space on the top end. Ben Thompson writes on Stratechery:

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