Google's Android platform took a bite out of Apple -- and Symbian -- during the third quarter of 2010 in terms of global smartphone sales, according to market research firm Gartner.
With 20.5 million Android units sold in Q3, Android jumped into second place for the quarter with a 25.5 percent share of the smartphone market. Symbian maintained its position at the top with nearly 29.5 million units sold and a 36.6 percent market share, while iOS sat in third place place with around 13.5 million units and a 16.7 percent chunk of the smartphone pie.
"Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Any platform that fails to innovate quickly — either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity — will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users."
Innovation hasn't been a problem for Google, which continues to update its Android platform at a breakneck pace. On top of it all, the Android Market has come into its own with nearly 100,000 apps and over 2 billion downloads to date, according to AndroLib.com.
SkyFire is a browser available on various smartphone platforms. It's claim to fame is that it can pull down Flash videos on the web, and stream them to your phone. The result is Flash video playing on phones that don't have access to the actual plugin. The app is free everywhere except on Apple's iOS platform, where Flash is forbidden. In its first weekend, SkyFire has managed to make almost $1 million, just $2.99 at a time.
All this is happening in the midst of SkyFire pulling the app in the face of a massive onslaught of users hitting their servers. The app returned, and the users were not deterred. After Apple's share, SkyFire will be making about $700,000. Hopefully they will be able to upgrade their backend.
They'll probably need it too. Apple doesn't look to be backing down from their no-Flash policy. For the time being, the only way to get Flash video on the iPhone is with workarounds like SkyFire. Have you tried SkyFire on iOS? Is it worth the $2.99 price tag?
Market analytics firm NPD has just finished culling the last quarter's data, and the results are great news for one search company out of Mountain View. Apparently, the Android operating system is now far and away, the fastest selling mobile platform for smart phones. In the third quarter, Android took a 44% share of all sales, Apple took 23%, and RIM only had 22%.
Just as startling as the current numbers, is the change from last year. Android was at a mere 3% in Q3 2009. Blackberry was at 45% and Apple was at 39%. Clearly, Android is taking off like a rocket, and the competition is feeling the hurt. RIM's once massive sales are slumping as users finish out their contracts and move to other platforms. Apple might not have taken a big hit, but the platform's growth has effectively been stopped.
Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S, Droid X and Evo 4G have been big sellers. Do you think a Verizon iPhone would turn the tables on the little green robot?
If you're a user of iOS devices like the iPhone or iPad, you might want to snap up VLC for your chosen device before it's gone forever. Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the principal developers of VLC, explained that VideoLAN (the foundation that supports VLC) is not pleased with how the app is distributed. They have filed a notice of copyright infringement with Apple that may force the removal of the app.
As it turns out, VLC for iOS is developed by a 3rd party developer called Applidium. Apple's iTunes terms allow VLC to only be installed on 5 devices. This is a form of DRM, and as you may know, VLC is open source and distributed under the GPL. That means Apple's DRM scheme is unacceptable to the VideoLAN foundation.
Apple has, in the past, simply removed apps that fall into a similar category. It's spectacularly unlikely that they'd modify their terms for this one app, even if it is so high profile. Denis-Courmont contends that open source software would not be where it is today if not for licenses like GPL, and perhaps users should be looking for apps on more open platforms.
Should you misplace your iPhone, you can forget about any warm fuzzies you might have had from setting up a passcode to prevent unauthorized access. As 9to5mac.com discovered, a flaw in iOS 4.1 makes it ridiculously easy to skip the passcode screen and start making calls willy nilly.
All a person has to do is tap Emergency Call, enter a non-emergency number, tap the call button, and then immediately hit the lock button. Timed right, this easy workaround opens up the iPhone app putting your contacts in plain view, as well as allows for calls to be made.
The latest global PC shipment numbers from Gartner and IDC have probably confirmed recent fears that tablets (effectively the iPad for now) are eating into secondary PC sales. Gartner expects media tablets to get even more ravenous as time goes on. The market research firm has forecast that media tablet sales will touch 19.5 million in 2010.
Next year might be 2011 according to the Gregorian calendar, and the year of the Rabbit as per the Chinese, but it’d truly be the year of the media tablet if Gartner’s sales forecast is proved correct. It expects tablet sales “to total 54.8 million units in 2011, up 181 percent from 2010.”
“Mini notebooks will suffer from the strongest cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices drop below $300 over the next 2 years,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, is quoted as saying in a Gartner release.
“The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalization of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media player.”
With the drives being DLNA certified, streaming content to DLNA compatible devices like the Xbox 360 and PS3 is a cakewalk. The same applies to iOS devices, thanks to a couple of free iOS apps the company launched recently. Available now in capacities ranging from 1TB to 8TB, and prices ranging from $189.99 to $1039.99, the drives are covered under a limited one-year warranty.
It seems like we've waited forever for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform to launch, and now that it has, the big question is whether or not it can cut into the smartphone market and compete with the likes of Android and iOS. The answer? Probably not, according to some skeptical smartphone makers in Taiwan.
Those whose business it is to make and sell smartphones aren't expecting Windows Phone 7 to be a bust. After all, Microsoft has lined up an impressive collection of companies willing to support the platform, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, O2, Telefonica, Dell, HTC, Samsung, and LG, to name a handful. But they just don't expect Windows Mobile to be a dominant force. Instead, Taiwan-based smartphone makers predict Windows Mobile will increase its market share from 5 percent in 2010 to 10 percent in 2011, and then level off.
One of the roadblocks, they say, is the high hardware requirements for WP7 devices, which will limit the platform to enthusiast smartphone models.
Do you agree with their assessment, or do you think Windows Phone 7 will finally get Microsoft's mobile business back on track?
If you read our recent "Smartphone Face-Off," then you know exactly where we stand in the mobile OS wars [SPOILER ALERT]. As far as we're concerned, "Android is the more flexible and powerful operating system" out of the the bunch (Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Maemo), and as it turns out, we're not the only ones in love with Google's open-source OS.
Appcelerator, which makes the Titanium cross-platform mobile development software, recently pinged 2,363 developers and asked them to rate which mobile OS has the best long-term outlook. The result? Some 58.6 percent pointed to Android, compared to iOS at 34.9 percent. That's a 10.1-point widening of the gap since the last survey back in July, in which 54 percent of developers were betting on Android compared to 40.4 percent believing in iOS.
The gap widens even further when breaking down the findings. For example, 72 percent of developers said Android "is best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future," compared to just 25 percent for iOS.
This isn't limited to just smartphones, either. When looking at connected TVs, 44 percent indicated they are "very interested" in developing for Google TV, versus 40 percent for Apple TV.
There's a whole bunch more to this survey, which you can read here (PDF).
Spatial will also be providing 3D content through a smartphone app called 3DeeCentral.The app will be available first for Apple devices and then in the Android Marketplace.
“Watch stereo 3D content on your iPhone and iPod touch with Spatial View's 3DeeSlide. It's an easily installed lens holder with Spatial View's lenticular lens technology for high impact viewing of stereo 3D image and video content. Works in portrait and landscape mode and supports touch-through. Available this fall,” reads the official product page.
Having just watched a 3D movie on an iPhone, the Business Insider folks are going gaga over Spatial's glasses-free 3D solution that is “expected to cost under $20.” But as it turns out, this is not the company's first attempt at providing an autostereoscopic 3D experience to iPhone owners. It is also responsible for the woefully bad protective skin called the Wazabee 3DeeShell, which “consists of a two-part durable protective skin and a removable lenticular lens for seeing content in stereo 3D,” and which gives us plenty of reason to remain skeptical.