Worldwide iPhone Shipments Plunge 43.8% in Q1, Market Report Finds
Today's topics include a reported drop in global iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2016, a Microsoft Edge upgrade enables users to make Skype video calls without a plug-in, Microsoft customers can now explore their Power BI data using secure, private connections to the company’s cloud data centers, and the launch of Cricket Wireless’ $70 unlimited data plan.
Worldwide smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2016 fell by 18.6 percent to 292 million devices compared with the fourth quarter of 2015. But Apple's performance was even worse with iPhone shipments dropping by 43.8 percent in Q1.
Market saturation led to the drops in shipments, according to a new global smartphone report from research firm TrendForce, which also found that compared with the same quarter one year ago, overall smartphone shipments are down 1.3 percent.
Most significant in the report's figures is that Apple "posted its largest quarterly decline ever for iPhone shipments, plummeting 43.8 percent from 75 million units in last year's fourth quarter to just 42 million units in this first quarter," the report states.
Contributing to the lower iPhone shipments is the company's iPhone 6 design, which "lacks exciting new features," the report stated.
Microsoft announced on April 15 a new preview of Skype video calling on its Microsoft Edge browser that does away with plug-ins and other helper software.
Making a break from Internet Explorer's checkered past, Microsoft replaced IE with the newer, Web-standards-compliant Edge as the default browser for Windows 10. The new capability comes courtesy of built-in support for the Object Real-Time Communications standard in Edge.
It enables users to conduct Skype voice, video and group video calls on Skype for Web, Outlook.com, Office Online and OneDrive natively in their browsers without a plug-in or additional software such as the bundled Skype app for Windows 10.
Microsoft has added its Power BI business intelligence and analytics software to the growing list of cloud products that are compatible with the company's security- and privacy-enhancing ExpressRoute service.
Launched nearly two years ago, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute provides organizations with a private link between the software giant's cloud data centers and a customer's own on-premises infrastructure or co-location facilities.
Using this setup, Microsoft claims security-conscious organizations can bypass the public Internet, alleviating data-snooping concerns while enjoying faster, more reliable connections that aren't subject to the traffic and network congestion issues affecting public networks.
Cricket Wireless customers who need more data than their existing 2.5GB, 5GB or 10GB monthly no-contract, prepaid calling plans can now get an unlimited data mobile plan from the company for $70 a month, or for $65 if they use the company's automatic payment option.
The new Cricket Unlimited Plan, which also includes taxes and fees in the monthly $65 or $70 price, was announced on April 15. In addition, the unlimited plan features unlimited talk and texting for one smartphone line.
Cricket, a unit of AT&T, is also offering for a limited time a $100 bill credit for customers who switch over from T-Mobile. Cricket's no-contract prepaid calling, texting and data plans include service in and between the United States, Mexico and Canada for its Unlimited, Pro and Smart plans.