Tuesday, January 3, 2012

comScore Reports November 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share

Posted January 3, 2012
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending November 2011. The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6 percent market share. Google Android continued to capture share in the smartphone market to reach 46.9 percent market share.
OEM Market Share
For the three-month average period ending in November, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by LG with 20.5 percent share and Motorola with 13.7 percent share. Apple strengthened its position at #4 with 11.2 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 1.4 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 6.5 percent share.
Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Aug-11Nov-11Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Smartphone Platform Market Share
91.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in November, up 8 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 46.9 percent market share, up 3.1 percentage points from the prior three-month period. Apple maintained its #2 position, growing 1.4 percentage point to 28.7 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.2 percent) and Symbian (1.5 percent).
Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Aug-11Nov-11Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Mobile Content Usage
In November, 72.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.1 percentage points. Downloaded applications were used by 44.9 percent of subscribers (up 3.3 percentage points), while browsers were used by 44.4 percent (up 2.3 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 33.0 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 29.7 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.2 percentage points), while 21.7 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.0 percentage points).
Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Nov. 2011 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Aug. 2011
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Aug-11Nov-11Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers100.0%100.0%N/A
Sent text message to another phone70.5%72.6%2.1
Used downloaded apps41.6%44.9%3.3
Used browser42.1%44.4%2.3
Accessed social networking site or blog30.9%33.0%2.1
Played Games28.5%29.7%1.2
Listened to music on mobile phone20.7%21.7%1.0

About MobiLens
MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and above. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondent's primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent's secondary device.
About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

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Banking Industry Investigation Finds More Fees Already on the Way

Is it time to switch banks? Consumer Reports offers tips on what to expect.
YONKERS, N.Y.Jan. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers who say they're furious at behemoth banks for their lending practices, fees, account requirements and various other reasons, can get ready to vent some more, says Consumer Reports latest cover story investigation.
Among the findings of the consumer organization's investigation:
Fee hikes and tougher account requirements will probably continue, especially while the economy remains weak. For example, some banks, like Chase and PNC, are now charging a $25 fee even to close certain accounts.
Customers with a lot of accounts at one bank might avoid some fees, but they're not immune. Banks may try a spectrum of charges even for good customers, including fees for paper statements and higher safe-deposit costs.
Consumers are more likely to find lower fees and better rates at community banks, larger credit unions, and online institutions. Banks are trying to make up billions in lost revenue due to the bad economy, new regulations, and in some cases perhaps even their own inefficiencies. But you don't have to be the one to pay the price.
The complete investigative report, includes a detailed look at many of the fees big banks are charging and advice on what consumers can expect in the future, is available at www.ConsumerReports.org or on newsstands starting January 3, 2012. 
Should you switch banks?
Does it make sense for you to switch banks? Consumer Reports shows you what to expect and what your options are. If your bank plans to stick you with new fees or tougher account requirements, your first thought might be to find a new one. That might be your best option, but switching banks can be a hassle. So it's important to weigh your options before making a decision to move.
  • Check the terms. If you're facing a single new fee, see what it would take to avoid it. Increasing your account balance by a few hundred dollars or signing up for direct deposit might work.
  • Change your habits. For example, plan a weekly visit to an ATM in your bank's network to withdraw cash instead of going out of network. And check your statements more carefully so you don't rack up overdraft fees.
  • Try to negotiate. You might be able to get a fee waived if you tell your bank you're thinking about moving your accounts.
  • Consider convenience. Banking is about much more than rates and fees. It's also about the day-to-day banking experience. Does the bank have adequate ATM locations and local branches with convenient hours, or give you privileges to use out-of-network ATMs?
  • Do your homework. Check with competing banks and credit unions, starting with their websites. That's where you'll find complete information about rates, fees, terms, and conditions.
  • Plan your getaway. If you've decided that moving your money is the best solution, make the process as smooth as possible. Check to see whether your new bank offers a "switch kit" to help you streamline the process. Or you can check out Consumer Reports step-by-step guide at www.ConsumerReports.org/bankaccount.
  • Make your move. Open up the account in your new bank or credit union with a small deposit. Then you can transfer funds from your old bank to the new institution electronically. Arrange to switch over your automatic payments and deposits to the new account.
  • The grand finale. Leave at least a small amount of cash in your old account and close it once you're sure all checks and transfers have cleared.
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.  Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
FEBRUARY 2012The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®,ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.
SOURCE Consumer Reports

Harbortouch Announces Major Enhancements to Industry-Leading Free Point-of-Sale System Program

Company Debuts Harbortouch POS Elite, New Best-in-Class POS System for High-End Businesses

HAMPTON, N.J.Jan. 3, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- Harbortouch, a leading national supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, today announced the launch of Harbortouch POS Elite, the latest addition to its industry-leading free point-of-sale system program.
Featuring a sleeker look, all-in-one design and more powerful processor, Harbortouch POS Elite is designed to meet the needs of a broader range of businesses, especially those catering to higher end markets.
"Our groundbreaking free POS program just got better, with this new platform providing an ideal solution for businesses with more sophisticated needs," said Harbortouch CEO Jared Isaacman. "We've given the system a whole new look by integrating the CPU and monitor into one with a brushed aluminum finish for a more upscale appearance, but that's just the beginning. What's inside is even more powerful."
POS Elite incorporates a state-of-the-art processor, increased storage space and highly-responsive touch-screen display into a durable and attractive form factor for exceptional speed, productivity and style. The system is available with various industry-specific software packages:
  • Harbortouch Hospitality, with countless time and money saving features perfect for fine dining, casual or quick service restaurants;
  • Harbortouch Retail, featuring new and improved retail management functionality with an integrated color/size/style matrix, support for rentals and consignment, robust customer and inventory management and more;
  • Harbortouch Delivery, perfect for pizzerias, Chinese takeout and any other hospitality business offering delivery;
  • Harbortouch Spirits, featuring custom features for wine and liquor stores such as age verification; and
  • Harbortouch C-Store, designed specifically for convenience and other quick-stop stores.
To complement this high-performance equipment, Harbortouch has also announced some innovative new features, which will be released over the first quarter of 2012:
  • An integrated reservation management system, which allows restaurants to accept online reservations and track them directly through their POS system with a simple and easy-to-use interface;
  • Harbortouch Tableside, giving restaurant servers the ability to input customer orders tableside via Apple iPad on a dedicated app that mirrors the interface of the actual POS software; and
  • Lighthouse POS management portal, offering online management capabilities from any PC with an Internet connection, including the ability to make real-time menu changes and access a wide range of advanced reports.
Harbortouch offers free setup and implementation, including installation of all hardware and training for all POS customers. Complete customer service and technical support are available 24/7 by phone and email, and live chat is accessible directly through the Lighthouse portal. The Harbortouch POS Elite hardware is backed by a lifetime repair/replacement warranty for as long as the merchant maintains a merchant account. An approved merchant account and monthly service agreement are required to participate in the free POS program.
For more information about the Harbortouch free POS system, visit www.harbortouch.com.
About Harbortouch
Harbortouch, formerly United Bank Card, Inc., is a leading national supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, serving thousands of businesses across the nation. The company offers an unparalleled "free" program that supplies a full-featured POS system to restaurants and retail businesses with no up-front costs. Professional installation and onsite training are included with every order and award winning customer service and technical support are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to offering state-of-the-art POS systems, Harbortouch also delivers a full range of merchant services such as credit/debit and gift card processing. For additional information, visit www.harbortouch.com or call 866-563-3045.
SOURCE Harbortouch

Verifone Points the Way to Northern Europe

VeriFone Completes Acquisition of Point

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), today announced it has completed the acquisition of Point, Northern Europe’s largest provider of payment and gateway services and solutions for retailers.
“This acquisition supports our vision of offering retailers everywhere a managed service to easily accept all existing payment types, including the evolving alternative and mobile payment methods being offered by traditional card brands and new entrants such as Google, PayPal, Groupon and Isis”
Point, based in Stockholm, has operations in 11 European countries and serves a captive network encompassing almost 475,000 merchant contracts. Through this network, Point offers retailers a full range of multi-channel services and solutions, including point-of-sale technology and support, gateway services, card encryption services, and e-commerce processing.
“This acquisition supports our vision of offering retailers everywhere a managed service to easily accept all existing payment types, including the evolving alternative and mobile payment methods being offered by traditional card brands and new entrants such as Google, PayPal, Groupon and Isis,” said VeriFone CEO Douglas G. Bergeron. “The new entrants can take advantage of easy and accelerated access to VeriFone’s worldwide installation of more than 20 million merchant lanes.”
Point will operate as a VeriFone company. VeriFone intends to extend the Point platform throughout the region and beyond, with the aim of creating the world’s largest infrastructure for rapid deployment of alternative payments and NFC mobile commerce.
To finance the Point acquisition and refinance existing debt, VeriFone has executed a credit agreement for $1.5 billion led by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Barclays Capital and RBC Capital Markets. The facility provides VeriFone with long-term debt capital at economical interest rates. The debt consists of 5-year Term A Loans for $918.5 million, a 5-year revolving line of credit for $350.0 million, and 7-year Term B Loans for $231.5 million. The company’s previously arranged credit facility has been repaid in full; a portion of the proceeds will also be used to repay VeriFone’s outstanding 1.375% Convertible Notes due June 2012.

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