Apple currently has a strong market position: the company sold more phones in the fourth quarter than any other company before. What’s more, it now wants to introduce the tracking freeze – much to Facebook’s annoyance.
Apple boss Tim Cook will be pleased: the fourth quarter of last year was more successful than ever before: for example, the company became only the fourth company ever to crack the $100 billion revenue mark during this period – total revenue was $111.4 billion. But perhaps even more interesting is what the market research company IDC has calculated:
According to this, Apple is said to have sold over 90 million iPhones during this period, which corresponds to a market share of 23.4 percent. This means that every fourth smartphone sold worldwide in the last three months of 2020 was an iPhone. According to IDC, no other company has ever sold so many smartphones in a quarter.
Apple clearly leads list of largest cell phone manufacturers at present
Thus, Apple clearly leads the list of the largest smartphone manufacturers at the moment. Samsung follows in second place with 19.1 percent, and the Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi (11.2%) and Oppo (8.8%) are in third and fourth place. Huawei has fallen to fifth place (8.4%) – probably mainly as a result of the US ban. Due to the US sanctions, the company cannot currently install Google services on its phones, which makes them much less interesting for consumers. Before the U.S. intervention, the company was already in second place on the list more often.
From its strong market position, it should also be easier for Apple to implement its promise of more data protection for its users. Thus, the company stated in a press release today that “app tracking transparency” will already be introduced in the next beta version of iOS. This means that in the future, apps will first have to get the user’s permission before they can track users and their data across apps and websites and resell that data.
App tracking transparency drives Facebook up the wall
The feature was originally scheduled to launch last year, but was then delayed again. Facebook apparently sees “app tracking transparency” as a massive threat to its business, and in recent months has been campaigning against Apple’s plan with full-page ads in daily newspapers, among other things. In a conference call with analysts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented “Apple may claim they’re doing it to help people – but their moves clearly follow their competitive interests.” Zuckerberg said Facebook views Apple’s iMessages as a clear competitor to its own messenger services, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
In fact, Apple is not planning a blanket ban on tracking. However, tracking by apps on iOS will be “opt-in” in the future – i.e., it is deactivated by default and must be actively permitted by the user. Facebook apparently fears that many users might not give this consent.
Apple now wants to show its users how tracking works in everyday life in a small example case. The document “A Day in the Life of Your Data”, which is currently only available in English, describes a father’s visit to the park with his daughter – and where tracking occurs during this everyday event.
Of course, the text also serves to illustrate Apple’s privacy features, but it is well worth reading because the case study is supported by over three dozen sources, which provides interested parties with a good starting point for their own research.