Google has stepped up its efforts to cater to users in a multi-screen environment with a cloud-based entertainment portal, Google Play, that pushes music, movies, books and apps on the web and Android phones and tablets.
Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft has begun to bear fruit as sales of its devices running on the WP7 platform have outstripped Nokia’s Symbian handsets in Great Britain. The Lumia 800 handset accounted for 87 per cent of WP7 sales in the market, according to latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, while Germany remains the strongest market for WP7, with market share for the OS now up to 3.1 per cent.
MWC 2012 provided further evidence of an escalating war between operators and device manufacturers, according to analysts at Informa Telecoms & Media. Apart from those launched by Nokia, there was only one device unveiled that ran on the Microsoft Windows Phone platform, which was one of the many launched by ZTE. Meanwhile, one of the announcements that caused waves in the industry was Telefónica’s news that it has teamed up with Firefox browser-maker Mozilla to create a new mobile platform, B2K.
Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt has said that there will be an Android device in every pocket if the search and advertising company “gets it right”. Delivering a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Schmidt said that this would be accomplished through significant cost reductions, as this year’s US$400 phone would be next year’s US$100 phone. The aim he said was a US$70 smartphone as this was an inflection point where a new market of opportunity arose.
The European Commission (EC) has given the go-ahead to Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility. It said that the deal “would not significantly modify the market situation in respect of operating systems and patents for these devices.”
Google has confirmed that it is ready to start building its Google Fibre network in Kansas City (Kansas) and Kansas City (Missouri).
Google has announced the availability of a beta version of its Chrome web browser for its Android platform. The browser is available on handsets and tablets running the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and is downloadable via Android Market in select countries and languages.
Google has announced new hardware manufacturers that have joined it as partners for its IPTV service Google TV. LG is the biggest name to join the Google TV ecosystem this year and will unveil a new line of Google TV sets running on its own L9 chipset at CES in Las Vegas next week.
The ongoing patent war between smartphone players is showing no signs of abating in 2012, as it has been revealed that Google acquired more patents from IBM at the end of last year, some of which are likely to be used to protect its Android handset ecosystem.
Since mid-2008, when Apple first opened the doors of its genre-defining App Store, the concept has swept the mobile industry and become the primary means for consumers to discover content. While there are some who believe the devices space has become a two horse race in terms of platforms, with Apple and Google’s Android as the only runners, the software side of the mobile experience is in a state of flux, and 2012 may still be too early to place confident bets.
Web giant Google is waxing lyrical about the potential for mobile advertising, predicting that 44 per cent of UK searches for last minute Christmas gifts will be from mobile devices, up from 20 per cent this time last year.
UK incumbent BT has taken legal action against Google for alleged patent infringement. The two firms have commenced legal proceedings in the US District Court of Delaware.
Google’s takeover of Motorola Mobility has hit a stumbling block as the European Commission (EC) has suspended its review of the merger. An EC spokesperson confirmed to Telecoms.com that it “needs certain documents from Google that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction”.
US carrier Verizon Wireless will not be supporting Google’s m-commerce app Google Wallet when it launches the first Android 4.0 device. Verizon is rumoured to be launching the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the US market later this week, but Google has confirmed that the carrier has asked it not to include the mobile app in the handset.
American programmer and entrepreneur Paul Buchheit has a CV that reads like Silicon Valley by numbers in terms of employers. Prior to his joining Google in 1999, Buchheit worked at Intel, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. When he joined Google, he was employee number 23 and is credited with the creation and initial development of Gmail, as well as the prototype of AdSense.
Google has launched a music service to give users access to their music collections from their Android devices. The service, Google Music, allows users to buy, share and stream music on the go for free.
Global mobile operator Telenor has teamed with Google to launch a personalised Android App store for its customers. Telenor will offer its Android users access to a portal within Android Market that contains a suite of apps tailored to the local market.
The return of Android devices by consumers is costing operators around $2bn per year, as they struggle to manage consumer expectations, according to research released this week.
Internet film subscription service Netflix has announced that it will launch in the UK and Ireland in early 2012. The service offers unlimited TV shows and films that can be streamed instantly to PCs, consoles, TVs and a range of mobile devices, for a monthly subscription. Meanwhile, Google has also launched a new film rental service for its Android mobile operating system, and is preparing to launch a music service too.
Consumers are now prioritising mobile operating systems more than ever in their purchasing decisions, which is worrying news for handset manufacturers which have traditionally relied on strong customer loyalty, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.