Posts by Luke Dormehl

Pebble is going to have its work cut out for it taking on the Apple Watch. Photo: Pebble

Pebble is going to have its work cut out for it taking on the Apple Watch. Photo: Pebble

Becoming the most funded Kickstarter in history is certainly enough to boost confidence — and if you’re Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky it’s enough to get you to take some potshots at giant-sized rival, Apple.

With Cupertino’s March 9 Apple Watch event just one week away, Migicovsky has thrown out a few barbed comments about Apple’s eagerly-anticipated debut wearable. Describing the device as “definitely lacking,” Pebble’s founder noted how he’s just not that into smartwatches that are “relegated to being an accessory to your mobile phones.”

Oh, snap!

2014 was the year Apple took the lead against Samsung. Photo: HBO/Cult of Android

2014 was the year Apple took the lead against Samsung. Photo: HBO/Cult of Android

Of the smartphone stories which played out in 2014, two of the biggest were the triumph of Apple’s iPhone 6, which sold a massive 10 million+ units in its opening weekend alone, and the faltering of Samsung, which fell from the dominant position it had enjoyed since 2011.

Today, a new report from Gartner (paywall) breaks down both the 1.2 billion smartphone sales that took place worldwide last year, and also the sales from Q4 2014 — revealing how Apple leaped ahead in the smartphone category, while the South Korean tech giant Samsung started to lose its footing.

Make no mistake about it: this was the year everything changed.

Samsung's got a new Apple Pay rival on the way. Photo: Apple

Samsung’s got a new Apple Pay rival on the way. Photo: Apple

Apple’s mobile payments service Apple Pay is working out better than anyone dared hope, so naturally Samsung is keen to get in on the act.

To do this, Samsung has announced that it has come to an agreement to acquire mobile wallet solution provider LoopPay, a company it was already an investor in.

“We are excited to take our relationship with LoopPay to the next level, by bringing consumers a mobile wallet solution that is not just safe and reliable, but also widely accepted at more locations than any competing service,” said David Eun, EVP of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center. “Through this deal we can significantly accelerate our mobile commerce efforts. LoopPay’s outstanding leaders and team have deep-rooted relationships with banks, card networks and merchants that will complement those Samsung has established over the years.”

Photo: Cult of Android

Lollipop crashes less often than iOS 8. What could be sweeter than that? Photo: Cult of Android

iOS users have had plenty of reasons to crow about Apple handsets recently, but here’s one for the Android crowd: Android devices running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile OS have a lower application crash rate than devices running Apple’s much-vaunted iOS 8.

The data was pulled by mobile application performance management company Crittercism, which claims that Lollipop’s crash rate for apps is a miniscule 2 percent, compared to iOS 8 which crashes 2.2 percent of the time.

The same study also shows that iOS 8 crashes more than its predecessor, iOS 7.

It must be one of those weekdays that ends with "day" because Samsung's copying Apple again.

It must be one of those weekdays that ends with “day” because Samsung’s copying Apple again.

Unlike Apple, which is more comfortable (and lucrative) than ever with its business strategy, here in 2015 Samsung is having a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a freedom-fighting Internet of Things company making smart refrigerators and connected TVs? Is it a Xiaomi competitor, turning out cheaper smartphones than ever for the developing Indian market?

Like a deer in headlights, the company seems to be skittishly veering from one idea to the next, without any real understanding of what it needs to do to once again be competitive.

Of course, there is one idea that has worked for Samsung in the past, and with its mobile division falling on hard times, that strategy seems to be one the South Korean tech giant is more than happy to return to: copying Apple.

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