It seems that invitees to Google's big not-yet-officially-about-Google-Music-event have just received a second invitation - to the after party. Oh, and Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes, Dirty South, R3hab, and Drake will all be in attendance - and so will we. We'll be watching the earlier event via livestream along with most everyone else (space is apparently very limited), but Android Police will present for the post-event-event Wednesday night, below. We're excited.
Android has a mysterious case of gigantism, and I'm not entirely certain why manufacturers keep feeling the need to have a bigger phone than the next guy. The size war (all male anatomical euphemisms aside) is on, and we're not sure when it's going to end. Take a look at these device charts for the three major Android manufacturers in (pretty much) chronological order of release:
High-end phones only. No QWERTY devices.
Android’s massive worldwide popularity has, in large part, the availability of cheap, low-end handsets to thank. We all know this. In developing markets in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, Android powers almost all of the smartphones that are being purchased by growing numbers of prepaid subscribers.
Cheap Android phones are, for that reason alone, a great thing. They’re empowering consumers in developing economies, giving them access to the full web wherever they go - something that has generally been the privilege only of the wealthy and of Western nations in the past decade.
OK, before I even get into this post, let me be clear: this is based on old news. However, it was news that no one seemed to pick up at the time, and when we discovered it, we thought it was quite interesting.
If you're unfamiliar with Lodsys, let's start with a history lesson. They're better known as the shell corporation offspring of a company called Intellectual Ventures LLC, a patent clearinghouse owned by a group of, shall we say, enterprising individuals.
There's been some discussion of late that, perhaps, Android phone manufacturers are iterating handsets at a pace which is detrimental to product polish and subsequent software support. In fact, a couple of days ago I took a look at the state of Android phones on US carriers with a few simple charts.
I also promised to write another post looking at how quickly, as opposed to how prolifically, Android handsets are moving in the US marketplace.
After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.
*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.
I’d like to start by stating I am not a rabid Android “fanboy.” In fact, I heavily considered the iPhone 3GS back in the day (er, last year), before deciding to pick up my Nexus One instead. Admittedly, I was a bit bedazzled by the concept of a “Google phone” and, as a confessed mega-geek, I found the bleeding-edge experience Android offered to be more exciting for some reason.
So I chose an Android device.
It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
All I could think after reading the announcement for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet this morning was: "this is what we've been waiting for." Because it is. Amazon gets tablets, believe it or not. And despite the flagging success of the Amazon Appstore, the company has done what no other tablet manufacturer has even come remotely close to: matching access to Apple's curated content library (iTunes + App Store) at a price nearly everyone can afford.