Ford Motor Co.’s market share in Canada may rise to 16 percent this year, from 15.2 percent in 2009, as new models such as the redesigned Fiesta subcompact reach showrooms, the automaker’s regional chief said.

Market share in Canada will be in a range of 15.5 percent to 16 percent, David J. Mondragon, chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co. of Canada, said today in an interview in Vancouver. Ford was No. 1 in Canada through February with about 16.2 percent of sales, he said.

“As we bring new products on, there will be an opportunity to grow our share further, but we need to get that product on the ground, we need to launch it and then see how it resonates” with buyers, Mondragon said.

The Fiesta is among eight new vehicles Ford plans to unveil in Canada this year as the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker seeks to entice consumers with improved fuel efficiency and options such as the Sync voice-activated phone and entertainment system developed with Microsoft Corp.

“We are going to move our company from a niche player to a true competitor” in small cars, Mondragon said. Ford expects the price of oil to soar to $120 a barrel in the coming years, he said, without giving a timetable. Crude for May delivery rose 20 cents to $82.37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

First-Quarter Gain

First-quarter sales in Canada rose by about 25 percent from a year earlier, Mondragon said, including a 51 percent gain in February. Sales in March are up about 25 percent, compared with an industrywide increase of about 10 percent in Canada, he said.

Comparisons should be easy for the next several months with the results from a year earlier, when the deepening recession damped demand, Mondragon said.

“As we get into the summer months, though, we’re going to butt up against some very high sales volumes from last year when our sales surged while GM and Chrysler were going through tough times,” he said, referring to the bankruptcy restructurings of the predecessors of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.

Ford fell 29 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $13.28 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have risen 33 percent this year.

Through February, Ford had 17.5 percent of the U.S. market, second to Detroit-based GM.

It likely comes as no big surprise that Apple’s iPhone OS has been at the top of the mobile web space game since 2008. The company’s market share at one point approached 70% of the mobile web, and showed no signs of slowing down — until now.

Mobile advertising firm AdMob has released their latest statistics on the state of the mobile web market, and it would appear as if Apple could soon lose its crown.

That’s because Google’s Android OS is quickly finding itself more and more penetrated into the mobile web market, currently in the region of 42% market share. What’s interesting is the fact that Android may soon be taking over as kind of the mobile web market, surpassing Apple’s now-declining market share. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if Android hasn’t already surpassed iPhone OS in terms of mobile web market share.

Meanwhile, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS continues to decline, approaching 10% [mobile web] market share, along with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, under 5%.

Nokia will be expanding its business to new horizons by acquiring Novarra. It is an Illinois-based company that develops mobile web browser technologies; the company is based in Chicago. This acquisition will lead Nokia into the battle for purchasing the mobile Web browser developer.

Nokia has taken the strategic decision to purchase Novarra to keep its dominance in mobile phone market intact. Nokia has expressed its views by appreciating the mobile browser technology and services of Novarra and expects that the acquisition will improve the Internet and surfing experience on the Nokia offerings.

The drive will make Nokia’s foothold stronger in the market as it will enable Nokia to captivate customer’s interest. It is believed that the acquisition will have little or no effect on the customers residing in United States because a latest comScore survey has placed Nokia at the fourth position in the mobile phone market in the United States.

Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President of Services for Nokia said, "Connecting the next billion consumers to the Internet will happen primarily on mobile devices and delivering an optimized internet experience on our devices is core to our mission. By driving innovation in all segments of our portfolio, we are building one of the largest consumer audiences for web services and content. Novarra's Internet services technology delivered on the world's most widely-used mobile platform, Nokia's Series 40, will help us achieve this."

Dell Inc. will be designing new servers for large cloud computing environments, and is quite confident that it would keep on taking share in the server market.

As users shift move from competing platforms to x86 servers, Dell will continue to derive maximum benefit from it, according to Steve Schuckenbrock, President of Dell's large enterprise business. He said, "Customers are moving to x86 infrastructure... we're going to continue to take advantage of that".

Dell, which is the world's No. 3 server vendor by revenue, manufactures x86 servers, which are low- to mid-range servers based on standard industry components. According to IDC, it had 11.5% market share in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Dell follows International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. in the server market, but this time Dell surpassed both the rival companies by growing sales 4.5 percent, in October-December period, according to IDC.

The new PowerEdge C-series servers, were revealed by Dell on Tuesday, which are targeted at dense, complex cloud computing environments such as Web service providers, social networking firms like Facebook. It also aims at those who are building "private clouds" that are used internally by individual companies.

The word "cloud" refers to accessing applications or information stored remotely on servers in data centers, rather than on a personal computer locally.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in advanced digital imaging and office solutions, today announced that the Company has earned the top position for total U.S. copier/MFP market share for 2009 with 18.4 percent of the market, according to Gartner's Printer, Copier and MFP Quarterly Statistics Database for fourth quarter 2009.(1)

"Canon's commitment to developing advanced digital imaging solutions has made the Company the preferred choice of businesses seeking to improve productivity," said Junichi Yoshitake, senior vice president and general manager, Imaging Systems Group, Canon U.S.A. "Through innovative technologies that enhance end-user performance and extraordinary customer service, Canon continues to move business forward and help end-users navigate the changing economic landscape."

Gartner's research focused on market share for color and black-and-white copiers/MFPs of both digital and analog technology, including personal copiers (1-10 pages-per-minute (ppm)) and copiers in Segments 1-6, which range in speed from 11 to 91+ ppm.

Those who thought Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch would not live up to the promise of being a great mobile gaming platform are in for a big surprise.

Apple sold 19 percent of all portable game software in the U.S. in 2009, up sharply from 5 percent in 2008, according to a new report released by Flurry Analytics on Monday.

It's clear that Apple is taking share from Sony's PlayStation Portable, and to a smaller level, the Nintendo DS. According to Flurry's report, Sony fell from 20 percent in 2008 to 11 percent in 2009, and Nintendo fell from 75 percent in 2008 to 70 percent in 2009.

The success of the iPhone and iPod Touch isn't the end of the story. With the iPad being released to the public in less than two weeks, things could get even worse for the traditional gaming companies.

"Apple has already established broad third-party game publisher support," wrote Flurry analyst Peter Farago. "With the iPad featuring a larger screen and more processing power, games on the tablet take a step closer to PC and console gaming. Unless the other major video game platform providers (i.e., Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft) respond accordingly, Apple could continue to roll up video game market share."

Using data from market research firm NPD, Flurry calculated that iPhone game revenue was $500 million in 2009 compared with $115 million in 2008.

The recent launch of the Microsoft browser ballot for Windows in Europe has largely helped Norway’s small Web browser Opera to gain notable ground in terms of browser market share.

The implementation of the browser ballot, which is an upshot of a deal between Microsoft and the European Commission for ending an antitrust battle and for expanding browser choice for users, now has Microsoft offering 12 options, namely: Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, Sleipnir, Maxthon, FlashPeak Slim Browser, GreenBrowser, Avant Browser, Flock, and K-Meleon.

As per the information forwarded by Opera, the number of downloads of Opera 10.5 browser have increased over two-fold, following the introduction of the browser ballot. Statistics further reveal that the downloads have witnessed a three-fold increase in Poland, Spain, and Italy.

Commenting on Opera’s gain of market share, HÃ¥kon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software, said that the implementation of the browser ballot “confirms that when users are given a real choice on how they choose the most important piece of software on their computer, the browser, they will try out alternatives. A multitude of browsers will make the Web more standardized and easier to browse.”

Though there are currently no results that reveal which browser is being used the most, it is almost certain that Microsoft has apparently lost some of its browser market share ever since the randomized browser selection ballot has been introduced.

Mar 21, 2010

Palm Sales Plunge 29%

Palm says smartphone sales fell dramatically in its fiscal third quarter, as the company lost ground against Apple and phones built on Google's Android operating system.

The company on Thursday reported that it shipped 960,000 smartphones to stores and distributors in the quarter ended Feb. 26, an increase of 23% over the same period a year ago. However, the number of phones actually sold to people plummeted 29% to 408,000 units. By comparison, Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones in its most recent quarter.

Palm's latest numbers confirmed the company's warning in February that sales to consumers and orders from carriers were lower-than-expected.

On Thursday, Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive of Palm, remained upbeat, saying Palm could still recover.

"Our recent underperformance has been very disappointing, but the potential for Palm remains strong," Rubenstein said in a statement.

Indeed, Palm reported revenue of $350 million for the quarter, which was above the company's forecast last month of between $285 million and $310 million. However, the company reported a loss of $22 million, or 13 cents a share. If an accounting effect due to a drop in stock price were excluded, then Palm's losses would be $102.8 million, or 61 cents a share. The company a year ago reported a loss of $98 million, or 89 cents a share.

Palm's earnings report drove its stock price down almost 13.5%, or 77 cents, to $4.88 a share in after hours trading. The stock had ended the day in regular trading up more than 5%.

Palm, a smartphone pioneer, had hoped to gain market share following the release a year ago of a new operating system, called webOS, that was the foundation of a new line of smartphones, led by the Pre. Instead, Palm has lost share to smartphones built on Google's Android operating system, a relative newcomer in the market.

The Pre has been generally well-received, but as one reviewer put it, "it needs to be a smash."

Some analysts have said the window of opportunity for Palm may be closing, as Android phones continue to gain ground, RIM's BlackBerry retains its hold on the corporate market and Apple's iPhone grows stronger in the consumer market.

Nike Inc. shares rose in Thursday premarket trading after the world's biggest athletic shoe and clothing company posted third-quarter results above Wall Street's expectations.

Late Wednesday Nike said its third-quarter profit climbed, helped by strong sales in emerging markets. Its profit of $1.01 per share and revenue of $4.7 billion beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who predicted earnings of 89 cents per share on revenue of $4.6 billion.

Analyst Mitch Kummetz of Baird said in a client note that Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., also surpassed his earnings estimate of 82 cents per share. The analyst said Nike's running shoe and apparel orders are starting to improve, which is critical to its continued momentum.

Kummetz added that the company's renewed focus on core athletic segments have allowed it to continue to gain market share, while its global presence has buffered it somewhat from the weaker dollar.

Kummetz lifted his price target on the stock to $92 from $77.

Shares rose 3.7 percent, or $2.62, to $73.50 in premarket trading.

The rapidly growing Google's Android Market now has around 30,000 applications to offer to their users.

The Android Market
The length of their apps list is increasing at a fast rate, with approximately 14,000 applications developed in the last three months alone. Around 60% of the applications offered in the Android Market currently are free of charge and the balance 40% is available at a very low cost.

The difference in number of applications between Google’s Android Marketplace and Apple's App Store is still very large but looking at the last couple of months, you can expect Android market share to catch up by the end of 2010.

Bing has increased its share of the US search market, according to the latest figures from Nielsen.

The company´s February 2010 rankings show that Google lost a one per cent share of the search market, while Bing´s usage increased by 1.5 per cent.

While Google´s share might be falling, it still easily has the largest percentage of the US market.

"An estimated six billion search queries were conducted at Google Search, representing 65.2 percent of all search queries conducted during the given time period," Nielson noted.

Queries on Yahoo accounted for 14.1 percent, followed by Microsoft´s Bing, which took 12.5 per cent of the market share.

AOL (2.3 percent) and My Web (1.9 percent) rounded off the top five.

In contrast, Com Score´s latest US report claimed that searches on Google increased by 0.1 percent during February, accounting for 65.4 percent of internet queries.

Facebook Inc. edged past Google Inc. (GOOG) to become the most visited U.S. Web site for the week ended March 13, the first time the Internet giant has been topped since 2007, according to Hitwise.

The data provider said the privately held social-networking site's share was 7.07% for the week, compared with Google's 7.03%. The market share of visits to Facebook nearly tripled from a year earlier for the week, while visits to Google grew 9%.

While it was the first time Facebook beat Google's market share for a full week, the company has reached the No. 1 ranking on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, as well as the weekend of March 6-7, according to Hitwise.

The last time Google fell to No. 2 for a full week was in September 2007, when it fell behind Myspace, another social-networking site. Myspace is a unit of News Corp. (NWS), which also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire.

Nokia has revised its estimates for the global mobile device market and its own market share for year 2009. The company has also updated its global mobile device market estimates for 2010.

In early 2009, Nokia had predicted that the number of mobile devices in the world would be 1.14 billion units and its mobile device market share would be 38% year. However, with the new estimates, it has found that the global mobile device market volumes were 1.26 billion units and its mobile device volume market share was 34% in 2009.

Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes to rise by approximately 10 percent in 2010 as compared to the previous year. It also targets to maintain 34 percent of the mobile device market this year as well.

In a company statement, Nokia says that from this year it will use the revised definition of the industry mobile device market to make estimations. The revised definition is based on improved measurement processes and tools that enable Nokia to have better visibility to estimate the number of mobile devices sold by new entrants in the global mobile device market. These include vendors of legitimate as well as unlicensed and counterfeit products with manufacturing facilities mostly in emerging markets.

ComScore issued its latest report on smartphone usage in the United States for the three months ending January 2010. Google moved up significantly, while Palm dropped a few (more) percentage points. RIM, however, remains champion.

ComScore looked at those using cell phones aged 13 and over in the U.S. There are 234 million such subscribers. Research In Motion saw a small bit of growth, swelling from 41.3% of smartphone users to 43.0%. Apple's presence grew less, climbing from 24.8% to 25.1%. Microsoft was the biggest loser, and saw its share erode from 19.7% to 15.7%. (Microsoft introduced Windows Mobile 6.5 in October 2009.) Google jumped up from 2.8% to 7.1%. Last, Palm dropped from 7.8% to 5.7%, hitting last place in the U.S. market (not counting Nokia's S60).

February search results show that Bing continues to grow as Yahoo sags.

comScore reported that usage of Bing went up from 11.3% in January to 11.5% in February, while Yahoo’s stats during the same period dropped to 16.8% from 17%. Google’s stats remained essentially unchanged.

comScore also has mentioned that the total US search volume has increased 10.4% in February 2010 for YoY data. Other search engines like Ask lost 0.1% to end up at 3.7% and AOL stayed flat at 2.5% market share.

Bing has shown a decline in search market only once since it has launched, however, this could be attributed to their recent deal with Yahoo. However, Microsoft has not been able to make a dent into Google’s market share and has been consistently eating into that of Yahoo.

It will be interesting to see how the search market pans out in the next 3-4 months and whether Bing is able to snatch some share from Google. Consider that Microsoft is pouring pocketfuls of money into advertising Bing, it is high time that they start seeing some good results too.

Ford’s stock edged past $13 per share in trading early today and reached its highest point in more than five years as the broader market saw modest gains.

The automaker’s stock hit $13.04 — its highest mark since Feb. 17, 2005 — before falling to $12.90 per share by 9:30 a.m.

Sales of Ford’s cars and trucks increased 43.4% in February and the company achieved its first annual profit in five years in 2009 as it gained market share in the U.S. and Europe.

However, Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson warned in a report today that Ford’s first quarter profits could be hurt by aggressive incentives launched last week by Toyota and General Motors.

The only important web browser to gain market share in February was Google’s Chrome, according to Net Applications. The Web-Kit browser has gained four tenths last month, reaching 5.61 percent of web use, while all the other significant browsers dropped. There was another drop for Internet Explorer to the lowest level in history, 61.58 percent. Firefox and Safari declined to only 24.23 percent and 4.45 percent respectively.

When coming to operating systems, Windows 7 gained a large market share, but not enough to change Microsoft’s overall usage share. Windows 7 went from 7.57 percent to 8.92 percent of the total market, but Windows as a whole has only slightly moved to 92.12 percent. Most of the gain came directly from users moving from Windows XP to Vista.

Snow Leopard upgrades were not sufficient to stop the drop in Leopard users and therefore Apple continued its soft decline to 5.02 percent. However, iPhone share has for the first time exceeded the 0.5 percent. The lack of activity shown by Linux resulted in a drop to 0.98 percent.

No explanation is offered by most of the studies for the changes in browser or operating system share, however. While Chrome was likely to be helped by a new beta version for Mac corroborated with the relative age of Mozilla Firefox, it is very clear that operating systems use in influenced by popularity as well as users’ regular habits. As resulted from these studies, Windows was more used in months with more work days, while holiday periods as well as vacation-heavy ones were clearly favoring personal Macs.

Microsoft finally backed their Windows 7 boasts up with numbers, and they’re quite impressive indeed.

Microsoft hadn’t provided exact sales numbers for Windows 7 until last night, when Microsoft CFO Peter Klein announced the sales figures at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. Klein revealed that Windows 7 has sold a massive 90,000,000 copies.

Not bad for slightly over four months on sale.

In conjunction with’s recently released market share numbers, these sales figures paint an incredibly positive picture for Microsoft. The Webmasterpro report pegs Windows 7 market share at approximately 14.7%, including mobile OS in overall market share. If you discount this mobile OS usage (from iPhone OS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and WebOS), Windows 7 has a 15% market share.

While everyone knew that Windows 7 would be a commercial success because of Microsoft’s massive OEM program, most people didn’t think that it would experience such rapid adoption. In fact, preliminary reports suggested that Windows Vista’s rollout in 2007 was more successful than last year’s Windows 7 launch.

Market share data soon proved that assertion wrong, though. Windows 7 sales remained strong throughout the holiday season, and the OS surged past OSX in January. In fact, according to the same Webmasterpro data, Windows 7 already has more than half of Vista’s market share.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like users are upgrading from Vista in droves, though. Since 7’s launch in October, Vista market share has declined only a few points. It seems that the majority of Windows 7’s growth has come from XP users upgrading or junking old machines, because XP’s market share has declined by roughly 10% since 7’s release.

In the end, it represents a massive turnaround from 12 months ago. With Vista’s miserable performance in the marketplace and Mac OSX’s surging market share, many pundits crowed that Microsoft was on the decline. Now Microsoft looks like it’s returned to form. Steve Ballmer finally has something to get excited about.

Firefox may never top 25 per cent of the global web browser market, if new statistics are indicative of longer term trends.

Firefox has been on a decline over the last three months, while Google Chrome continues to grow in terms of overall market share, being the only browser to show a positive growth last month.

Europe gets browser choice

The latest data from web analytics firm Net Applications shows that between January and February this year, Microsoft's Internet Explorer dropped 0.60 percentage points and Firefox slipped 0.18 percentage points, while Chrome increased by 0.41 percentage points to 5.61 percent of the market.

It is the first time that Firefox's share of the browser market has fallen three months in a row. However, the trend could well be reversed, and it should be pointed out that the cumulative drop over the last three months in Firefox's market share is still slightly under a full percentage point.

Microsoft has been forced to roll out the browser ballot in the EU, this month, so it will be interesting to see how browser use in Europe changes over the coming months and years, as those users who were perhaps previously unaware of even having a choice in the matter are now presented with one.

British publisher Pearson PLC, owner of the Financial Times newspaper and Penguin Books, reported a 45 percent rise in full year net profit on Monday, after strong growth in its U.S. higher education division outweighed tougher conditions at other units.

The company said it expected further underlying profit growth this year after revenue, earnings per share and operating profit for 2009 all beat earlier forecasts as it picked up market share in its core education business.

Net profit rose to 425 million pounds ($632 million) in 2009 from 292 million pounds a year earlier, while revenue rose 16.6 percent to 5.6 billion pounds from 4.8 billion pounds.

The closely watched adjusted operating profit figure was 858 million pounds and earnings per share were 65.4 pence.

The group said its North American education publishing arm, which is the company's biggest business with annual sales of 2.5 billion pounds and operating profits of 403 million pounds, enjoyed strong growth during the year.

That helped it overcome tougher conditions for FT Group and Penguin, where profits fell by 4 percent to 187 million pounds and 10 percent to 84 million pounds respectively.

Trading conditions in those markets brightened towards the end of the year, although Pearson said it expected some of its sectors will remain subdued throughout this year.

"Even so, we expect Pearson to produce another year of underlying profit growth, helped by the overall resilience of our company and good growth prospects for our businesses in digital, services and emerging markets," the company said in a statement.

Pearson shares rose 2.1 percent to 931 pence.

"We believe companies, such as Pearson, with strong earnings momentum will perform well in 2010 as investors reward growth," said Jonathan Jackson, head of equities at Killik & Co. "We would expect to see a further re-rating of the stock ... and further upgrades."

The 2009 earnings were also boosted by the strength of the U.S. dollar against the British pound — the group generates 60 percent of its sales in dollars — a theme Jackson said was likely to have continued into the start of 2010.

Pearson said advertising revenues were "highly unpredictable" but that it expects to see some stabilization at its FT Publishing division after the sharp declines across the industry in 2009.

Ad revenues at the operation, which includes the national newspaper and the company's 50 percent stake in the Economist magazine, now account for less than 3 percent of Pearson's total turnover.

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