At this point, it's essentially impossible to deny that Android is beating other mobile operating systems with a big market share stick. According to a report issued by Strategy Analytics, phone manufacturers sold a combined 295.2 million smartphones worldwide in the second quarter of 2014, 249.6 million of which ran Android. That gives Google's OS a staggering 84.6% of the market share for new devices, up from 80.2% the previous year.
Update 7/21/14: In its Q2 2014 letter to shareholders, Netflix narrowed down the launch month to September of this year. The list of countries remains the same as before: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Original story from May 21, 2014 follows.
Some of our European friends might be ringing in the new year with movies and TV streamed via Netflix. The company has just announced its intention to begin rolling the service out in several European countries late in 2014.
Two more European nations are getting some Google love today. After rolling out Google Play devices to Norway and Switzerland, and making the Chromecast available in even more locales, Mountain View is making Google Play Music and All Access available in Poland and Denmark. That's pretty niesamowite/fantastisk, wouldn't you say?
Google doesn't so much hate Europe as it seems to be woefully indifferent to the plight of Android users in many of those nations who often lack choices in awesome devices. Well, things are looking up for a few more countries today. The Google Play device section is open to users in Norway and Switzerland starting now.
Norwegian Play Store
If you've been patiently waiting for carrier billing to come to your cell carrier, today might be your lucky day. Customers of Starhub in Singapore and A1 in Austria should now be able to charge app and content purchases from the the Play Store directly to their cellular accounts. A1 is the first carrier in Austria to support the feature, and Starhub is the second in Singapore.
Our Austrian friends might be in for a surprise the next time they stroll into a local retailer. Google Play gift cards are now live in Austria with no official announcement. The Google support page hasn't even been updated to list Austria yet. That's cool and all, but how about a little heads up next time, Google?
Update: at least one German gadget site has more evidence of an eminent Chromecast release, including retailers Amazon and Media Mart.
Our European readers have been waiting to get their hands on the Chromecast ever since Google announced its diminutive streaming gadget, and at least some of them will be able to soon - the UK is getting it on Wednesday. But what about the rest of the continent?
Customers of T-Mobile in the Netherlands should be able to start charging Google Play purchases to their phone bills, in addition to more traditional payment methods. Google has updated its support pages to reflect the change.
Competing mobile carrier Hi in the Netherlands got carrier billing last year. At the time, Dutch news sources were reporting that T-Mobile would be getting carrier billing soon, as it already had deals in place in many other EU nations.
Google (and Apple) representatives are having a sit-down with members of European Commission member states and the Consumer Protection Cooperation today to talk about apps. Specifically, the commission is asking some hard questions about in-app purchases following complaints from consumer protection groups in Denmark, Britain, and several other EU nations.
The issue revolves around the use of the term 'free' in the descriptions of games that push in-app purchases. The commission fears these listings could be misleading, especially to children.
Not content with being the world's biggest phone manufacturer, Samsung has decided to break into the retail space in a big way. The company already has three stand-alone Samsung stores in Spain, operated by the established retailer Carphone Warehouse. Now the two companies have announced that Samsung will expand the program, completely converting over 60 existing Carphone Warehouse retail locations into Samsung-excusive stores.
Samsung already operates "mini stores" inside many Best Buy retail locations.