Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–January 26, 2015

Apple Captured Half of U.S. Mobile Phone Activations in Q4
One out of every two mobile phones activated in the U.S. from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 were iPhones, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey of 500 buyers. Second-place Samsung took 26 percent of the market, with fellow South Korean firm LG in third place at 11 percent. Apple’s share was up significantly from the 28 percent the company booked in the prior quarter. CIRP attributes the jump to consumers who were waiting for the iPhone 6 release before purchasing a new device, a pattern that has repeated itself throughout the iPhone’s life. Those numbers look to continue, as some 56 percent of consumers who plan to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days said they have their sights set on an iPhone. Story by Sam Oliver for Apple Insider.

Google’s Entry Could Shake Up the Entire Wireless Industry
Google may be planning to sell wireless service by partnering with Sprint and T-Mobile, according to numerous media reports this week. If this does take place, it could be the beginning of a significant price war in the cell phone industry, putting some extreme pricing pressure on the two largest carriers, Verizon and AT&T. A partnership with Sprint and T-Mobile, the industry’s third and fourth largest carriers, would enable Google to enter the market almost immediately. The search engine giant would not have to build an expensive network of cell phone towers throughout the country. Google would probably become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), and purchase excess capacity from Sprint and T-mobile, reselling it under the Google brand name. They might leverage both carriers’ networks to create a mega network that would compete better with the stronger networks of Verizon and AT&T. Story by John Oldshue for SaveOnPhone.com.

Bill Gates Says Cellphones Are The Key To Solving Poor People’s Banking Problems
Over the next 15 years, digital banking will give over 2 billion people an unprecedented level of control over their financial assets, according to the Gates Foundation. The key to this access will be mobile phones. In its annual letter published Thursday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation outlined its goals for the next 15 years, one of which is to help the poor transform their lives by giving them access to mobile banking. The letter states that roughly 25 billion adults in the world do not currently have a bank account, which prevents them from effectively using what little assets they have. Story by Natasha Bertrand for Business Insider.

A Third of Americans Would Forgo Sex to Keep Mobile Phone
Almost a third of Americans would rather give up sex for a year than part with their mobile phone for that long, according to a survey by The Boston Consulting Group. In other signs of Americans’ love affair with their mobile devices, more than 55 percent said they would forgo dining out for 12 months rather than give up their phone, while 45 percent said they would put off going on vacation. More than three in 10 would stop seeing their friends in person, while 46 percent would be willing to give up a day off per week. Story by Rich Miller for Bloomberg.

India to Have the Largest Number of Facebook Users on Mobile by 2017
India will surpass the US to lead the global tally of the largest Facebook userbase on mobile by 2017, market research firm eMarketer said in a report. Nearly 1 billion users worldwide will access the popular social network through their mobile phones at least once each month in 2015. India, the world’s second largest Facebook audience, will surpass 100 million mobile phone Facebook users for the first time this year and by 2017, will have more mobile Facebook users than the US. Story in The Economic Times.

Windows 10 for Phones Coming in February for ‘Insiders’
Windows 10 is meant as Microsoft’s bridge for all platforms. Rather than imagine the desktop differently from the tablet and/or phone, Microsoft wants to put all their digital eggs in one Windows basket. When will you be able to get your hands on the new Windows, though? That much we don’t know. What we do know is that Windows 10 for PC is coming out next week. then, in February (after the Super Bowl), Windows 10 for phones will be released to Developers. Story by Nate Swanner for SlashGear.

Governor Scott Pushing Tax Cut on Cellphones, Cable and Satellite
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who tried unsuccessfully during his first term to dramatically cut back taxes for the state’s businesses and corporations, is now pushing for tax cuts aimed directly at consumers. Last year, Scott targeted rolling back fees charged on auto tags. On Tuesday, Scott rolled out his latest idea: A nearly $500 million cut in the taxes that Floridians pay on various communications services including cable television, cellphones and traditional phone lines. Story by Gary Fineout for the Associated Press.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.