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MacFive: Dec 7: Top News of the Week

MacFive™ — Top News Stories of the Week: For Dec 7 we see exploding market share growth for iPhone, a possible $99 Wal-Mart iPhone, Google’s fantastic new SketchUp 7, and issues with Snow Leopard.

No. 1 – App Store Milestone: 10,000 applications

When Apple launched the App Store with the release of the iPhone G3 it did so with 500 applications. No small number. Today, there are now a whopping 10,000 applications for the popular iPhone and iPod touch models. 

More importantly however is the pace of downloads for these applications, now seeing an acceleration, an indication of both iPhone sales and the quality of and desire for top now applications for the iPhone. During Apple’s October conference call the company said it was on the verge of reaching 200 million downloads. In the span of just six (6) weeks the company has added another 100 million

No. 2 – iPhone Market Share Growth = 328% YoY

Silicon Valley Insider, one of my favorites to read, had one of the better stories this past Friday with the titled article, “Apple Blows Past Microsoft.” Specifically Apple’s iPhone is now in third place in overall market share, with Apple selling 4.7 million iPhones in most recent quarter, behind RIM at 5.8 million Blackberry’s and Nokia’s Symbian partners with 18.5 million phones. 

Between the top three in the most recent quarter they sold a total of 29 million smartphones. Microsoft’s partners sold just 4.1 million, down 3 percent YoY. Apple zoomed past its competitors with 328 percent Year-over-Year (YoY) growth. 

No. 3 – Google Talks to Architosh About SketchUp Pro 7

John Bacus, product manager of SketchUp at Google spoke to us this week regarding the new SketchUp Pro 7 and Layout 2. This discussion was very illuminating as John clarified several issues related to OpenGL rendering speed and the differences between “interactive” rendering versus pre-determined or “determinate” renders. In the case of the former, the program cannot determine with certainty where the next frame will be and hence cannot split the render pipeline ad start a pre-render process. John Bacus describes this as avoiding the violation of causality. 

No. 4 – Rumor Could Lead to New Game Field – iPhone

A rumor later in the week that Wal-Mart would deliver a $99 4GB iPhone is a deserving story for MacFive. The theory is Apple will quickly move to shed its remaining inventory following the Christmas holiday season with an exclusive and time-limited discount iPhone — as part of Wal-Mart’s new agreement to carry the device with a two-year contract. 

If Apple was to enter the discount smartphone market it could quickly lead to an iPod-level explosion of market share for Apple’s mobile platform. Already studies indicate teens are a high target market for sophisticated smartphones that blend music, gaming and texting. Such a trend would be a game changer. 

No. 5 – Snow Leopard May Drag A Bit

An AppleInsider report suggested earlier in the week that Snow Leopard may be coming along slower than the recent reports awhile back about it possibly being earlier. What is most interesting in this report is the part that puts a heavy emphasis on Microsoft Exchange support. Apple may be scheduling some significant updates to Mail, iCal and Address book that go hand-in-glove with the Microsoft Exchange support in Snow Leopard. 

I suspect that MobileMe integration in regards to Exchange support will also be included. What Apple appears interested in doing is targeting business users more and more, hence the emphasis on Exchange.

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