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Google, Apple gain in US smartphone market: survey
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Jan 3, 2013


Value of New Year Apple heist in Paris cut by over half
Paris (AFP) Jan 03, 2013 - The final value of Apple phones and computers stolen from a store in central Paris on New Year's Eve has been slashed by more than half, a source close to the investigation said on Thursday.

Initially estimated at about one million euros ($1.3 million), the revised figure lies somewhere around 300,000-400,000 euros' worth of iPhones, iPads and lap-top computers, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

Late on Monday, "four or five" armed robbers wearing masks overpowered a security guard and a maintenance worker who were taking a cigarette break outside the shop, located behind the Palais Garnier Opera, about three hours after it closed, the source said.

They slightly injured one employee and loaded several cartons of goods stolen from the basement into a truck parked near the store.

Thousands of police were deployed on the streets of Paris at the time, but were focused on maintaining security among crowds gathered on the Champs Elysees for traditional New Year's Eve festivities.

Apple and Google extended their dominance in the US smartphone market as 2012 neared its close, industry tracker comScore said on Thursday.

The share of smartphone service subscribers relying on Google's Android software inched up to 53.7 percent in the three months leading up to December, while Apple's portion grew to 35 percent from 34.3 percent, comScore reported.

The most popular mobile phones were made by South Korean consumer electronics titan Samsung, whose handsets were used by 26.9 percent of US telecom service subscribers, according to comScore.

Apple's coveted iPhones accounted for 18.5 percent of subscribers in the overall mobile phone market, up from 17.1 percent at the end of August.

Figures showing that the California companies are tightening their grips on the smartphone market were released as London-based Canonical weighed in with a business-oriented smartphone platform.

Canonical announced a smartphone interface version of its Ubuntu desktop computer operating system based on open-source Linux code.

Ubuntu smartphones will be able to dock with keyboards and monitors to provide personal computer capabilities, according to Canonical.

"We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions," Canonical chief executive Jane Silber said in a release.

"We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email."

Dell, Lenovo, and Hewlett Packard are listed among computer makers who build Ubuntu into machines for the global market. Ubuntu runs on more than 20 million desktop computers, according to Canonical.

Smartphones powered by Ubuntu are not expected to be available until late this year or early next year.

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