Samsung beats Apple in smartphone activations during the first quarter

Samsung has taken the number one spot for mobile phone activations in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest consumer report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Apple, on the other hand, kept first place for brand loyalty among customers.

CIRP bases its findings on its survey of 500 U.S. customers that activated a new or used phone between January and March. Of those 500 customers, Samsung accounted for 39 percent of activations — earning the title of most popular smartphone manufacturer this quarter.

Apple wasn’t too far behind as it took the second place spot with 31 percent — which is lower than the 40 percent of activations it had in last year’s fourth quarter. Meanwhile, LG came in third with 14 percent, and all brands accounted for 17 percent of activations.

But the report attributes Apple’s higher number last year to the launch of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. But with the launch of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus back in February, Samsung managed to snag the top spot while also returning to numbers it has seen in recent quarters.

As for brand loyalty, Samsung, Motorola, and LG have all increased loyalty rates within the past five quarters. Meanwhile, Apple has maintained its loyalty rate — with 80 to 90 percent or more of customers upgrading from their current iPhone to another. Samsung’s loyalty rates have reached over 70 percent for the last year, while LG and Motorola both increased several percentage points.

The report claims that while Android users remained loyal to Android, they would often switch brands because it didn’t require learning a new operating system — until now. “As fewer unique features are added to flagship phones, and brands have developed personalities with consistent user interfaces, consumers have fewer reasons to change brands, and more reasons not to when they upgrade phones,” Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP, said in a press release.

The report also notes that Samsung has been improving its share throughout recent quarters — specifically over the March and December 2017 quarters. This time last year, the company had actually lost share in comparison to the December 2016 quarter. With the anticipated release of the Galaxy Note 9, it will be interesting to see whether Samsung can keep its numbers high within the upcoming quarters.

Product Review

With the S10e and S10 Plus, do we really need the Samsung Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S10 is the middle child in this year’s Galaxy S10 range, between the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s no striking reason to buy it, but it’s still an excellent phone you’ll be happy with.
Computing

G-Sync and FreeSync can make your games look better, but which is best?

There are some subtle differences between the two adaptive refresh technology offerings, and they affect cost, performance, and compatibility. Nvidia may have released it's feature first, but in recent years AMD has stepped up to the plate…
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Computing

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.
Mobile

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.
Wearables

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!