Every so often, with all the new device releases, lawsuits, feature scandals, and scathing editorials that fly back and forth across the tech world, it's nice to step back and take a look at the state of the industry from the comforting safe haven of numbers. ComScore's recent round of stats shows an unsurprising yet telling look at the US mobile industry. Predictably, Android remains the top dog with iOS following closely behind.
A couple of days ago, we ran a story about a circulating rumor that Google had expressed strong concerns with the launch of an Acer phone powered by Chinese Internet firm Alibaba's Aliyun OS. As the post explained, Alibaba claimed that Google had warned Acer that releasing the CloudMobile A800 could result in the search giant "terminating its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with [Acer]." These rather strong words led to speculation over just what the issue could be with Aliyun, and whether Google had issued the warning at all.
Earlier this evening, Nasdaq reported that Taiwanese manufacturer Acer decided to cancel a press conference scheduled for Thursday, which would have seen the announcement of Acer's CloudMobile A800.
The smartphone, which would have been unveiled in Shanghai, was set to run on Aliyun, a mobile OS developed by a Chinese Internet firm called Alibaba Group, the largest internet firm in China by transactions. Acer indicated that the press conference was canceled after Google, according to Nasdaq, "expressed concerns about the smartphone."
An anonymous official at Acer commented that "Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software."
When crowd-favorite zombie shooter Dead Trigger decided to drop its price from $0.99 to free, citing concerns over piracy, the tech world renewed its interest in an age-old debate: how bad is piracy for developers? Of course, any lost sale is money out of a developer's pocket (though it's important to distinguish between downloads and lost sales). However, the question should and needs to be answered: just how bad is the piracy problem on Android?
When we last heard about Google's deal to buy Motorola, the EU and the US had approved the deal. The one major market we were left waiting on is China and now, according to the Associated Press (known around here as "the other AP"), the country's regulators have given Google the green light. The deal is now expected to close next week.
The biggest asset of the deal is, of course, Motorola's 17,000+ patents.
After tons of leaks (mostly ridiculous), we're finally starting to hear some concrete information about the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III, this time directly from the source: Samsung China CEO Kim Young-ha.
In a recent interview, Young-ha stated that Samsung is aiming to boost sales by 40% in China by launching an aggressive marking campaign for products such as TVs, laptops, home appliances, and, our favorite, smartphones. Since the Galaxy Note is already wildly popular in the Chinese market, Young-ha said Samsung is "considering rescheduling the rollout of the Galaxy S III from May to April," which makes this the first confirmation that we've heard from Samsung regarding any sort of potential GSIII launch timeframe.
That glut of quad-core awesomeness that Nvidia claimed was to begin this August didn't exactly happen. While this is a disappointment, it is clear that the second doubling of cores is on the not-so-distant horizon.
Today, Chinese manufacturer Meizu announced the pricing and specs of its newest handset: the MX. The Meizu MX comes in two flavors, the 16GB dual-core variety and the 32GB model with a quad-core processor. Both devices sport 4.3" qHD displays and A9 CPUs, but they do vary in price.
A few days ago, Harvard Business Review writer James Allworth posted on the HBR blog and argued that Google has effectively shot itself in the foot by making Android such an open system. To boil the 800 word post down, Mr. Allworth's argument is that the openness of the system has led to competitors taking the Google out of Android - namely, Baidu in China and Bing on Verizon. The issue is that Google's revenue comes from the ads on their services; consequently, a de-Googled Android would result in no income for Google.
HTC issued a press release today announcing four HTC-branded phones (HTC phones were previously branded Dopod in China) are to be released in China in a deal with China Mobile and electronics retailer GOME Electrical Appliances (the largest electronics reseller in China). Three of those phones run Android. One, the Tianxi, looks to be a rebranded HD2 running Windows Mobile, which as we all know, can run Android.
Unfortunately, it appears removal of Google branding from Android devices (including the Market) in China will continue with these new phones.
Ars Technica, via TechCrunch, published an article yesterday on the state of Android in China. The good news: Android is set to explode in China – just check out these facts (direct quote from TechCrunch):
- Number of Mobile Internet Users in China (start of 2010): 233 million
- Number of Mobile Internet Users in China (projected for 2014): 957 million
- Population of USA + EU (2010): roughly 800 million
The number of mobile internet users in China today is roughly 80% of the population of the US, and according to TechCrunch, Android is gaining market share fast.