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.
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.
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.
Vodafone D2, the German arm of the UK-based carrier, has revealed that it will soon have an LTE ready smartphone from Taiwanese handset maker HTC available on its network. German publication Computer Week has said that the Vodafone press office in Germany has confirmed that the HTC Velocity 4G will soon be coming to market, though the exact launch date and pricing has not been confirmed.
Some applications available through Apple’s App Store are failing Vodafone’s internal quality standards, accessing APIs that are non-essential for the applications’ functions, according to the international carrier’s group director of content services, Lee Epting.
As the global director for terminals marketing at the Vodafone Group, Peter Becker-Pennrich holds decision making powers over a procurement strategy that deals in serious volumes. Vodafone buys between 60 and 70 million handsets each year, spending $8bn across it’s footprint, including affiliates and partner markets. In this exclusive interview Becker-Pennrich offers frank assessments of the different strategies adopted by the vendor community, their chances for success and the nature of the relationship – ever evolving – between operators, vendors and platform developers.
Telefónica’s UK operation O2 has told Telecoms.com that it is not fulfilling orders for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone until Google and Samsung have fixed a bug that sees the phone spontaneously lose audio, affecting voice calls and audio alerts. The Galaxy Nexus is the first commercially available handset to sport version 4.0 of the Android smartphone OS, which Google has dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich.
Huawei pushed the boat out when it announced its two new Android-based devices, the MediaPad tablet and the Vision smartphone. The Chinese firm hired out a lavish venue; a converted church in Mayfair, and dug deep into its pockets to entice Brit-winning UK act Plan B into performing, inviting an array of reality TV stars along to add an element of “exclusivity” to the event.
Chinese telecoms solutions provider has unveiled two new devices in an attempt to gain a stronger foothold in the smartphone and tablet markets. The firm also announced that it will open a dedicated European design centre for its mobile device business in London in Q1 2012.
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.
The ongoing patent disputes between Apple and Google and its Android partners is killing innovation, according to Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.