News Scan: Apple regains smartphone momentum; Comixology ends iOS in-app purchases; more


>> Apple regains smartphone momentum, while Windows struggles

Apple regained smartphone sales momentum in the first quarter, helped by rebounds in the European, Japanese and Australian market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "Apple regained ground in the first quarter of 2014, primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5S, By contrast, Windows had a tough start to the year as a result of its entry-level Nokia models facing fierce competition from low-end Motorola, LG and Samsung Android smartphones," says Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Read more

[More on smartphones: New Malware targets jailbroken iOS devices | Mobile manufacturers, carriers to provide kill switches]

>> Comixology ends in-app purchases of comic books on iOS devices 

Following its acquisition by Amazon, Comixology has announced it is ending in-app purchases of comic books on Apple's iPhones and iPads, Re/code reports. Prior to the acquisition by Amazon, Comixology offered iOS in-app purchases of comic books directly from publishers, which made those sales subject to Apple's 30 percent surcharge on in-app purchases. But now Comixology's new iOS app is a reader with no in-app purchase capabilities. Read more

[Read more on in-app purchases: Apple to refund $32.5M to consumers | NPD: Teens spending seven hours per week on mobile gaming]

>> LG used failed mobile OS for successful smart TV

LG used an orphaned mobile operating system, webOS, and turned it into a successful smart TV platform, according to a report by Digital Trends. LG decided to buy webOS from HP's Palm, which had failed to make it a successful for mobile devices, and use it to power its 55-inch smart TV. "We wanted to make TV simple again. It's a very simple battle cry, and that was the goal of what we did for webOS," Itai Vonshak, vice president of design and product management for webOS at LG, tells Digital Trends. Read more

[More on LG: Android fragmentation challenges enterprises, app developers and manufacturers | Tablet LCD panel shipments are expected to slow after vigorous December, says IHS]

>> Angry Birds maker Rovio is not happy about falling profits

Angry Birds maker Rovio is not happy about slowing revenues and falling profits, notes TechCrunch. The firm reported $215.9 million in revenue last year, compared with $210.6 million in 2012. But net profits fell by more than half to $37.3 million in 2013, compared to $76.8 million in 2012, due in part to the addition of 300 more employees. Read more

[More on Angry Birds: Most BYOD firms are clueless about common mobile security threats | Rovio's ToonsTV channel tops 1B views, 'Angry Birds Toons' Season 2 on tap]

>> Apple preps for $17B bond sale to fund share buyback

Apple is planning a $17 billion bond sale in order to fund its share buyback program, which could total as much as $90 billion, AppleInsider reports, citing a Financial Times story. While it has $130 billion in cash overseas, Apple said it does not plan to repatriate the cash to fund the buyback because of the high U.S. tax rates. Read more

[More on Apple: iPhone subsidies drag down profits at China Mobile | Will Apple become 'irrelevant' without an iWatch soon?]