Tim Cook and friends are no doubt celebrating over the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel, which states that iPhones have taken a greater share of the U.S. smartphone market than Android phones for the first time since 2012. Elsewhere, there's a strange car leased to Apple that's prowling the streets in and around San Francisco, and Universal Pictures finally announces a release day for Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic.
Apple (Slightly) Overtakes Android's U.S. Smartphone Market Share
The list of statistics showing just how awesome Apple's October to December 2014 quarter was continues to grow, and here's perhaps the best one so far. According to Kantar Worldpanel (via TechCrunch), Apple's massively successful quarter allowed iPhones to take a greater share of the U.S. smartphone market than Android-based devices for the first time since 2012.
Mind you, it's by a tiny, tiny margin. Based on Kantar's data, iPhones accounted for 47.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone market while Android-based phones accounted for (get this) 47.6 percent. Windows Phone took up most of the rest of the slack with 3.8 percent.
"While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market."
Apple Testing 'Mysterious' Camera-Equipped Car in Bay Area
Apple has a modified Dodge Caravan running around the San Francisco Bay area, and no one's really sure what it's for. San Francisco's KPIX caught sight of the vehicle and its white contraption on top that sports 12 cameras, and later confirmed via California's DMV that the humble vehicle was, in fact, leased to our favorite Cupertino company.
The most obvious response seems to be that the white device is an imaging tool that could be used for an Apple version of Google's Street View, although the fact that most of the cameras point downward has prompted some more outlandish suggestions.
According to technology analyst Robe Enderle, we may be seeing a self-driving car designed by Apple. The Claycord blog, which has some of the best pictures of the Caravan, also supports the theory, claiming that it looks extremely similar to an (alleged) self-driving car seen in Brooklyn last September.
Sounds cool, but there are some problems with the theory — the most notable being that Apple simply hasn't received the permits necessary to test self-driving units. Also, Enderle's dismissal of the vehicle as a "street view" device hinges on his assertion that 12 cameras is "too many cameras," even though Google's apparatus for Street View actually has 15 (via AppleInsider).
Universal Pictures Reveals Release Date for Steve Jobs Biopic
According to an announcement via CNBC's Twitter account, Danny Boyle's upcoming biopic based on key moments in the list of Steve Jobs will hit theaters on October 9 of this year. The film stars Michael Fassbender in the role of Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen in the role of Steve Wozniak. Key scenes are currently being shot in the Silicon Valley area.