Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 31
by Irina Sandu
Every week I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.
Summary for this week:
- Dolphin HD was updated to v6.1 beta and voted No.2 on CNET’s Top 100 Android apps.
- In Q2, smartphone sales experienced 62% year-over-year growth and a re-shuffle of the top OEM positions due to Nokia’s decline from the first place to third.
- Approx. half of smartphones sold in Q2 run Android and their top manufacturers are Samsung (34%), HTC (23%) and Sony Ericsson (11%).
- Alibaba, a Chinese ecommerce giant, released its own mobile OS, which runs Android and Web-based apps.
- Phone Gap 1.0 was released and Nvidia announced tablets featuring its Kal-El quad-core CPUs to be available this fall
Two weeks after the launch of Dolphin HD 6.0, Mobotap pushes the 6.1 beta update, which includes performance and stability fixes. For the final release of v6.1 improvements to the browser’s webzine feature have been announced. Also this week, Dolphin HD was voted No.2 on CNET’s Top 100 Android apps. Mobotap also updated Dolphin Mini to version 2.2.
In Q2 there were 103 million smartphones shipped worldwide, which represents a 62% year-over-year growth, ABI Research reports. Nokia fell from the 1st place as top smartphone device manufacturer to the 3rd place with 16% (16.7 million) of all devices sold in Q2, being replaced by Apple with 19.7% (20.3 million), which is followed by Samsung in 2nd place with 18.4% (19 million). The 4th is RIM with 12.9% (13.3 million) and then come HTC with 10.6% (11 million) and LG with 5.2% (5.4 million). The cause for the radical shift at the top spots is the fall of Nokia’s share, which in Q1 accounted for 24% of all smartphones sold, a share which a year before was even higher, at 38%. Analysts from ABI Research predict that the first position will be occupied by Samsung in future quarters, as the OEM has shown an impressive 500% year-over-year growth, which overpasses Apple’s 142% year-over-year rate. Almost half (47 million) of all smartphones shipped last quarter run Android and were produced by Samsung with a 34% share, HTC (23%) and Sony Ericsson (11%).
Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant releaved its Web-centered strategy for its new mobile OS, which it launched this week. Called Alyiun, the platform can run both Android apps and Web-based ones and integrates a series of cloud services provided by the platform vendor. “Mobile users want a more open and convenient mobile OS, one that allows them to truly enjoy all that the Internet has to offer right in the palm of their hand. [...] The business model on the Web is already established. If you can bring the Web on to the phone, you can basically bring that business model on to the phone.”, a Alibaba exec declared. The OS provides the user with 100 GB of virtual storage where she can sync information like contacts, call logs, messages, notes and photos. The OS can be licensed for free and it is not restricted solely to devices aimed at the Chinese market. The first handset featuring the OS is the K-Touch Cloud-Smart produced in collaboration with Chinese handset manufacturer Tianyu and Nvidia and features a 3.8-inch display with a Nvidia Tegra 2 1 GHz dual-core CPU.
Quad-core tablets powered by Nvidia’s Kal-El chipsets are said to become available this fall, and phones to follow next year. The Kal-El family of the Tegra series features up to 1.5 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 chips, with 12-core Nvidia GPU and it is said to be 5x faster than the Tegra 2 series. Kal-El was Superman’s name on Krypton, his home planet.
PhoneGap 1.0, the open-source mobile development framework enabling developers to build mobile apps with JS, HTML and CSS, was released. With support for a wide range of mobile platforms, such as Android, iOS, webOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian and BB, PhoneGap has been downloaded over 600,000 times at ~40,000 downloads per month. The 1.0 release focused on accessing native device APIs and also included improvements on W3C DAP API compatibility, Contacts API, remote debugging tools, a unifying bridge to add platforms and platform extensions.
The acquisition of the ~ 6,000 patents concerning wireless, data networking, optical, voice and semiconductor technologies from Nortel by a consortium of companies comprising Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony, while approved by courts in the US and Canada, is being investigated by the US Justice Department among concerns that they might be used for lawsuits against other handset makers using Google’s Android.
Windows Phone 7 has a new logo: the green circle around the Windows logo has been replaced by a red square.
RIM announced the worldwide August launch of 5 new devices running Blackberry OS 7. The new phones are from the Bold and Torch series and include bar, slide, as well as touch-screen only models.