Web giant Google is facing a lawsuit in the US over in-app purchases made without the bill payer’s permission. The case is similar in scope to charges filed against Apple in January, in which the company agreed to pay $32.5m in refunds to consumers to settle a complaint made by the US Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
Almost three years after Amazon got into the Android device game with the Kindle Fire, the giant etailer has finally decided to take the plunge into handsets with a smartphone simply named Fire. The Fire has many novel features but the main point of it, surely, is to encourage as many people to conduct as much m-commerce as possible through Amazon. So the decision to position it as a high-end device is a strange one.
A study published this week by F-Secure has found that 99 per cent of mobile security threats that emerged in the first quarter of the year are targeted towards the Android platform.
The number of Android devices to ship in 2014 is expected to surpass one billion, while Apple could be losing ground in the smartphone space, according to two separate research reports.
Ensuring that smartphones and tablets can be updated is one of the most important features of mobile devices today because successful updates directly correlate with the daily performance of the device and a positive user experience.
Smartphone operating system Windows Phone has seen its most successful quarter in five major European markets, according to research published this week. The platform won 9.2 per cent smartphone market share across Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain for the three months ended August 2013, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
Finnish start up handset manufacturer Jolla has announced that its Sailfish mobile operating system is now compatible with the Android ecosystem, in terms of application and hardware compatibility. Android applications can now run directly on Sailfish OS without any modifications, the firm said.
Open source software developer Canonical has established a Carrier Advisory Group for its Ubuntu smartphone OS. The group is to be led by David Wood, a former Psion engineer and one of the founder members of the original Symbian collaboration.
Microsoft’s Windows OS now has 8.4 per cent of the UK smartphone market, while demand for lower cost devices in Southern Italy is being exploited by Sony and LG. Macro economic conditions and increasing diversity in operators’ subsidy strategies are creating contrasts in device vendors’ performances market by market.
Industry Analyst Strategy Analytics has released estimates for the size of the Android smartphone market during the first quarter of 2013, declaring that Korean device vendor Samsung captured 95 per cent of profits from Android devices in the period.
Much like how Nokia became the largest manufacturer of digital cameras in 2008, when the mobile handset became the primary camera, Google’s Android platform is well on its way to becoming one of the most popular gaming platforms in the world.
Almost two-thirds of the handsets sold in China in 2012 run on the Android OS and China is Google’s largest market for Android devices, according to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media. A third of Android handsets sold in 2012 were sold in China, figures from the research firm show.
UK Android smartphone users access almost 80 per cent of their mobile data over wifi networks, according to research from Nielsen. In a study of some 1,500 Android users with a metering app installed on their devices, Nielsen found that wifi offload varied considerably depending on the time of day, but averaged 78 per cent.
In a surprise move for the industry, smartphone player Google has launched its latest handset, the Nexus 4, without support for LTE. Instead customer will have to make do with HSPA+.
The Android platform continues to dominate the European handset market, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Google’s mobile OS has increased its market share by 20.2 per cent over the past year and now hold two-thirds of the market share.
The ongoing patent wars between mobile device manufacturers featured a decisive battle late Friday, when the jury deliberating on the argument between US company Apple and South Korea’s Samsung found against the Android-focused firm. The US jury awarded Apple damages of $1bn, after ruling that Samsung did indeed infringe several of Apple’s patented designs and features.
Apple has unveiled a new operating system for mobile devices, iOS6, which sees the firm ending its reliance on Google’s mapping software. Instead Apple has created its own mapping application in a move to take more control of the assets on its devices. One analyst warned that this announcement could have a negative knock-on effect on the operator community.
Facebook has announced that it will shortly launch its App Center, a new portal for its users to discover and rate smartphone apps.. Due to be launched “in the coming weeks”, the App Center will showcase iOS, Android and HTML5 apps. Facebook will use indicators such user rating and engagement to select the apps it feels are of the highest quality.
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.
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.