Are almost 50 percent of the world's smartphones running Google's Android? According to Monday data from Canalys, Android ended the second quarter with 48 percent of the market, with Asia Pacific leading the charge.
Globally, the smartphone market is up 73 percent from last year, with 107.7 million devices shipped in the last quarter. Of the 56 countries tracked by Canalys, Android topped 35 of them, with 51.9 million shipments overall.
Why the boost? Canalys pointed to strong Android support from major handset makers like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, and Huawei. Android holds 85 percent of the market in South Korea and 71 percent in Taiwan alone.
Apple came in second place with 20.3 million iPhones sold and 19 percent of the market, which was enough to overtake Nokia's Symbian platform and make Apple the world's top smartphone vendor.
On Friday, Nokia and Microsoft held a press conference to announce a new partnership. It's well known that while Nokia is still the top handset maker worldwide, their main business is at the low and medium end. Their high-end smartphones have had a difficult road lately, especially in the US. Both Android and the iPhone are eating their lunch. After following a failing strategy with Symbian and MeeGo, now Nokia has decided to partner with Microsoft for their upcoming phones. In the announcement, they revealed that this is a broad strategic initiative to make Windows Phone 7 the main smartphone platform for Nokia. They also said a new leadership team would be leading this at the company. It's clear that both companies will benefit from this partnership, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to compete with the two current market leaders.
It's no secret that Android phones are growing in popularity at an amazing rate, with new phones being introduced all the time. In North America, it's already the most popular smartphone platform, beating out iOS and Blackberry. However, in the rest of the world, it's a different story. Phones based on the Symbian system rule the market, but Symbian marketshare has been going down steadily. This week, the research firm GfK reports that in the third quarter, Android overtook Symbian for the first time in Asia.
According to the firm: "Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note the difference in OS trends when we look at findings in North and Southeast Asia separately."
Definitely nice to see that the mobile OS competition is heating up across the globe.
Read More | GfK
Sorry to all you hopefuls out there, but Nokia won’t be releasing an Android-based smartphone later this year. Where would such a thought come from, you ask? Well, earlier this morning, The Guardian said it would happen, and that a Nokia Android phone would be announced in September. Seemed odd, since Nokia is the full owner of the Symbian OS, but stranger things have happened. However, soon after the article was posted, Nokia show it down anywhere they could, including on Twitter:
“re: Nokia’s rumored Android phone and you can quote me on this: We (Nokia) are NOT making an Android smartphone. Symbian is our platform…”
While we take most denials with a grain of salt, we believe them. At ease, Symbian fanatics.
Gear Live has long been a fan of BluePhoneElite, and the new version 2.0. BluePhoneElite allows users to send and receive SMS messages via Bluetooth from the comfort of their computer, dial and receive calls, and generally provide solid integration between Apple’s iLife applications and a Bluetooth phone.
The new version fully supports Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, but sadly only supports the headset profile on the iPhone due to the closed nature of the platform. A new license BluePhoneElite 2 costs just under $25 and offers a 2 week trial so you can take it for a test spin. Current BluePhoneElite version 1 customers will get the new functionality as a free upgrade.
Computerworld just published its in-depth usability test of the Apple iPhone, the HTC Touch running Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and the Nokia N95 running the Symbian operating system. The tests involved a number of participants who had never used any of the three devices, and had measurable results (i.e. the time it took to accomplish various actions). Apple’s famed information architecture and interface design skills seem to have paid off as the iPhone bested it competitors by a factor of two in some of the tests.
The study praises the iPhones information architecture and consistent user experience as a strong benefit to any user be it someone new to the iPhone or a power user. At Gear Live we have noticed several inconsistencies in the user interface, for instance, the new message button being in different locations in the mail and SMS clients for instance. We do however agree with the general consensus of the study that overall the user experience with the iPhone is far more unified that it’s competitors.
Things were not entirely positive for Apple - some users found the lack of tactile feedback a little disorienting, however all users were able to finish each of the tasks with the iPhone. The also iPhone fell behind it’s competitors in the sheer count of features. The N95 managed to edge out the iPhone in this category with GPS, voice activation and the ability to record movies with it’s camera. Considering that the Nokia is $100-300 more expensive in the United States than the iPhone many users have elected to splurge for Apple’s $400 easy to use wonder device.
Read More | Computerworld
With disappointing 4th quarter profits and it’s RAZR phone starting to look “old-school”, Motorola has upped the ante with a unique design concept for its new MOTORIZR Z8 phone. Introduced at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, one of the largest wireless technology trade shows, the RIZR slides up to reveal a keyboard, but also has a hinge that locks the phone into a V-shape, bringing the microphone closer to the user. As if that weren’t cool enough, the RIZR utilizes Symbian software, boasts TV-like video playback, and has a slot for a 4GB memory card. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but we’re betting the RIZR lives up to its name and raises Motorola’s profits when released in April.