Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 34
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 announced 9 million downloads and a partnership with Softbank, a Japanese carrier, in launching a 3D phone featuring the Dolphin HD browser.
- Opera launched a co-branded version of the Opera Mini browser with Vodafone Essar, India’s 3rd carrier by number of subscribers.
- The Android team announced that it will bring closer its development of the Android browser and Chrome by making available a slightly modified, open source Android browser port in Webkit.
- Google has released a preview version of a Google TV plug-in for the Android SDK, after buying Motorola Mobility, an important player in the TV set-top box business.
- Microsoft filed a patent lawsuit against Motorola, which can act as a test for the protection that Motorola’s patents can provide to Android handset makers, which was the main reason declared for Google’s acquisition last week.
- HP announced that it will discontinue efforts for the hardware of its Web OS devices and focus on the platform development, which it hopes to license to other hardware makers.
- Frequent mobile Internet users are happier with their mobile operator, as consumers perceive that the quality of their experience on the device is linked to the quality of service provided by their mobile operator, a survey by On Device Research from April reports.
Dolphin announced that it reached 9 million downloads. The post does not mention which of the 2 versions of the Dolphin browser achieved this, so it can be concluded that the Dolphin HD and the Dolphin Mini browsers together reached this number, however, it is expected that the HD version got the most downloads.
Dolphin announced a partnership with Softbank, a mobile carrier in Japan, to launch a the operator’s “first ever 3D social phone”. The device, called the 3D Aquos 009SH, will feature the Dolphin Browser, together with its social media add-ons, such as Facebook, Twitter, Mixi and Evernote.
Vdafone Essar and Opera launched a co-branded version of the Opera Mini mobile browser, together with a promotional campaign. Vodafone Essar is the third largest mobile carrier in India, by number of subscribers and the partnership was leveraged by Opera’s global relationship with Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile operators.
The Android team announced that it will bring closer its development of the Android browser and Chrome by making available a slightly modified, open source Android browser port in Webkit. While Chrome and the Android browser are both based on Webkit, the Android browser was built from an earlier fork of the rendering engine and has been developed separately from the Chrome and Chromium projects. This move raises the assumption that Google might be looking to merge the development of their desktop and mobile browser into one, probably to inherit the Chrome branding. The meta bug for the Android port in Webkit is bug 66687 in the WebKit Bugzilla.
Google has released a preview version of a Google TV plug-in for the Android SDK, allowing developers to build apps optimized for the television sets. This release comes after the announcement of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which is an important player in the TV set-top box market, and thus gives more credibility to the assumption that Google is looking to accelerate its efforts to significantly enter the TV business. The acquisition is expected to be completed at the end of 2011 or early 2012, as it receives regulatory approval.
The patent wars concerning Android are continuing, as Microsoft filed a new patent lawsuit, this time against Motorola Mobility, claiming that its Android devices infringe with patents held by the Redmond company. As Google claimed that the main reason for acquiring Motorola Mobility is to provide patent protection for Android handset makers such as Motorola, this new lawsuit can act as a test towards the protection that the newly-acquired patents can provide.
HP announced that it will discontinue efforts for the hardware of its Web OS devices and focus on the platform development, which it hopes to license to other hardware makers. Following the news, already released HP Web OS devices such as the Touch Pad have had their prices reduced, which triggered record sales for the platform. Microsoft has publicly reached out to developers of Web OS applications with incentives to move to its Windows Phone platform.
There are now nearly 30,000 mobile applications available for Windows Phone in its Marketplace, which now accepts submissions for the 7.1 “Mango” update of the OS. In Q2 of 2011, Windows Phone 7 was the 6th platform in terms of shipments, with 1% of the total and going down from Q1 of 2011, when it had 2% of total shipments. The Android Market place has 250,000 applications and the iOS app store has 425,000.
Frequent mobile Internet users are happier with their mobile operator, as consumers perceive that the quality of their experience on the device is linked to the quality of service provided by their mobile operator, a survey by On Device Research from April reports. Other findings:
- As the mobile Internet becomes more important to consumers lives and is used more frequently, people become happier with their device.
- As the mobile Internet becomes part of consumers daily lives, the increased engagement with the device increases satisfaction with it, which in turn creates happier customers for mobile operators.
- Different content services have varying levels of influence on operator satisfaction, with social networking showing the biggest difference towards more satisfaction with carrier
- In India, Opera browser users are 9% less likely to state that they want to stop using their mobile operator, compared to users of other browsers