Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–July 27, 2015

Samsung Still Tops Apple in Smartphone Market Share
The early results from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that there were 337.2 million smartphones shipped worldwide in Q2 of 2015. That’s an 11.6 percent increase from the same quarter in 2014, which is the second highest quarter to date. Samsung is still shipping out the most units, totaling 73.2 million for the quarter, but it still struggled with some of its units. As for Apple, the company sold 47.5 million iPhones in the quarter, which was its biggest fiscal third quarter ever, and it continued to see very strong growth in China. Story in PYMNTS.

Lindsey Graham Responds to Trump by Destroying Cellphones
Lindsey Graham appears to have a newfound vendetta against cellphones. In a video released Wednesday, Graham destroys cellphones in increasingly violent ways, including cutting one in half with a meat cleaver, setting one on fire, dropping a block of wood on one and throwing one off a building. The video, accompanied by a dramatic orchestra, was in response to a speech given by Donald Trump in South Carolina on Tuesday in which Trump said Graham “doesn’t seem like a very bright guy” and then gave out Graham’s phone number. Story by Joshua Alexrod for The Washington Examiner.

Microsoft Feels the Pain of a Failed Mobile-Phone Business
Microsoft is hurting after shifting its smartphone strategy–leading it to report the biggest quarterly loss in company history. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday that reflected a $7.5 billion writedown related to its failed acquisition of Nokia’s phone and services business. Microsoft also said it will incur additional charges, for combined writedown costs of $8.4 billion. Microsoft paid $9.5 billion in April last year for Nokia’s handset business, including the $1.5 billion in cash Nokia had on hand. It’s just the latest in a series of expensive after-effects of the software maker’s ambitious plan to compete against Apple and Google in the mobile arena. Microsoft plans to lay off about 7,800 people, mostly from the Nokia division. Last year it laid off 18,000 employees–its largest workforce reduction ever–including 12,500 former Nokia employees. Story by Nick Statt for CNet.

Samsung Phones get iMessage-Like Texting on T-Mobile
T-Mobile is upgrading its text messaging service by adding features like read receipts and large file transfers. The Uncarrier is calling the new service Advanced Messaging, and it brings with it a host of enhancements including near real time chat. Users will be able to see when their correspondence is busying typing along with whether or not they’ve read your message–and subsequently count up the minutes until they finally, freaking reply. The new feature will also allow T-Mobile subscribers to send high-resolution photos and video up to 10MB in size. Story by Kevin Lee for Tech Radar.

Data Shows 94.5 Percent of Chinese Use Mobile Phones
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement that China saw 6.88 million new mobile phone users in the first half of 2015. Data shows that the figure is bringing the country’s total mobile phone users to 1.29 billion. That is more than the smartphone users in Brazil, the U.S. and Indonesia combined, according to Chinese news media. The GSMA study predicted that 4G smartphone connections in China would reach one billion by 2020, up from 100 million at the end of last year, due to the surging popularity of brands like Apple, Samsung and homegrown players including Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei. The ratio of mobile phone users to population was higher than 100 percent in nine provincial-level regions, including Beijing, Shanghai, as well as provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang. Story by Nimfa May Idea for Yibada.

Gallup Finds Mobile Wallets Low Priority for Consumers
It should come as no surprise a Gallup poll released last week found just 13 percent of more than 17,000 consumers surveyed have a digital wallet on their smartphone. We’re approaching 15 percent of consumers now with a mobile wallet on their smartphone. What’s more concerning for providers about Gallup’s poll results is how consumers continue to view certain aspects of mobile wallets such as Apple Pay/Passbook, Google Wallet, PayPal, and others. Security concerns top the list of reasons why consumers shy away from proximity mobile wallets. Obviously, that’s not a surprise because we’ve known this for quite some time. Some 55 percent of respondents were concerned about some kind of security issue such as a hack or losing their phone. Some 21 percent of respondents don’t know enough about mobile wallets to make a decision about them. I found it a bit surprising that as much as companies (and the media) hype things such as Apple Pay and PayPal, consumers have no idea how any of those products fit into their everyday lives. Story by Will Hernandez for Mobile Payments Today.

President Obama Encouraging Families to Put Down Cellphones
Speaking at a press conference for his Connect Home Initiative, President Barack Obama encouraged families to put down their cellphones and engage with one another. “There’s nothing wrong with every once and a while, putting the technology aside and actually having a conversation,” Obama said. Obama said he banned cellphones at the dinner table and thinks others should make an effort to communicate face-to -face. The amount of time people spend on technological devices is growing. According to Mobile Statistics, the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone—a total of 23 days a year. Story by Meghan Mistry for Click 2 Houston.

Smartphones Can Improve Health of Poor Urban Women
With a large majority of poor urban women having access to cellphones, the device can be used to improve the health of those at risk of diabetes and other diseases during their childbearing years, says a new study. In the survey of a diverse group of almost 250 young, low-income, inner-city pregnant and postpartum women, the researchers found that more than 90 percent use smartphones or regular cellphones to give and get information. The findings suggest that public health care services can reach poor urban women through personalised cellphone and internet-based approaches. Previous studies had shown that many of these women do not return for obstetric or preventive health visits after delivery. Story in The Economic Times.

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.