Irina Sandu

on mobile and Mozilla

Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 42

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.

  • 7.9-inch iPad mini launched
  • Nexus 10-inch tablet rumored to be revealed at Android event on the 29th of October
  • Chrome OS has been ported to ARM architecture
  • Nokia launching $199 entry-level Lumia smartphone aimed at emerging markets
  • Mobile phones to overtake PCs as most common Web access method in 2013, according to Gartner
  • Nearly 2 out of 3 smartphones shipped in H1 of 2012 were on Android, according to Vision Mobile

Read the rest of this entry »

Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 40

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.

  • 2012 stats: 38% of phones sold are under $39, average price of phones went up to $143, in 2013 more than 50% of all phones sold will be smart, 9% of all phones in use have dual-SIM support
  • Asia reached 1 billion Netizens, of which 794 million will be mobile users by the end of 2012
  • US Congressional report recommends away from business with Chinese network equipment manufacturers
  • LG rumored to be next Nexus OEM
  • Windows Phone 8 device line-up from Nokia and HTC expected to be available soon
  • Nokia introduced data compression app in App Store aimed at emerging markets
  • Amazon opened Japan as a market for app submissions


2012 estimates for the handset market have been published by Tomi Ahonen. Highlights include:

  • 11% of all handsets shipped this year will cost over $450 (premium smartphones), 13% are between $150 and $449 (mid-price smartphones), 17% between $80 and $149 (low-cost smartphones), 21% between $40 and $79 (feature phones) and 38% under $39 (ultra low-cost phones)
  • in 2012 there will be 1.75 billion phones sold that will generate revenues of 250 billion
  • the average price of a phone has gone up to $143, although the average price of feature phones went down to $40 and of smartphones also dropped to $289
  • the rise in average phone price is due to more smartphones being sold this year than last year, from 30% in 2011 to 41%
  • in 2013 we can expect that more than 50% of all phones sold globally will be smartphones
  • there are 5.5 billion phones in use, 1.2 billion of which are smartphones
  • 9% of all phones in use have dual-SIM support, 23% have a touch screen, 25% have WiFi, 41% support 3G or faster, 79% have Bluetooth and 81% have cameras
  • install base for Android at the end of 2012 is estimated at 53% of smartphones, iOS at 20%, Symbian at 11%, followed by Blackberry with 8%, bada with 3% and Windows with 2%


Asia has reached 1 billion Netizens, for many of which mobile is the primary mode of accessing the Internet, according to We are Social, a digital ad agency.

  • Asia has a 22% smartphone penetration and is home to more than 3 billion mobile subscriptions
  • there will be 794 million mobile Internet users in Asia by the end of 2012
  • 18% of all Web traffic in Asia comes from mobile devices
  • in China, mobile Internet users (388 million) outnumber PC-based ones (380 million)


A US Congressional report recommends that US businesses do not work with Chinese network equipment manufacturers, the biggest of which are Huawei and ZTE, due to potential influence of the Chinese government in the companies. The report focuses on networking equipment (towers and routers), not on handsets. The 2 organizations denounced the recommendations of the report. Huawei is the world’s second-biggest maker of routers and ZTE is the 5th. In the smartphone market, ZTE ranked 5th biggest OEM by shipments in Q2 of 2012, according to IDC.


Rumors point to LG as the OEM behind the next Android Nexus device, who would possibly share the launch with Motorola. Specs are believed to be a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm CPU, Adreno 320 GPU, 2 GB of RAM and a 4.7-inch screen that will run Jelly Bean. The device is expected in market for the winter holiday season, the biggest sales period in the phone business.


2 new series of Windows Phone 8 devices, each with a high and a low-end unit, have been announced, from Nokia (Lumia 920 and 820) and from HTC (8X and 8S). They are expected to be available in Europe and the US ahead of the holiday season, with pre-orders beginning on the 21st of October, according to The Verge. Features of Windows Phone 8 are expected to be revealed on the 29th of October.


Nokia introduced its Xpress App for the Lumia line in the Windows Phone Marketplace, an app that is aimed at reducing data usage and with it, costs. The app monitors data and bandwidth consumption, compresses data by up to 85% for browser sessions and allows users to download files to a SkyDrive account instead of on their devices. This is aimed at consumers in emerging  markets, that are particularly sensitive to data costs and also includes an instant translation service, which is a feature that is popular in these markets.


Amazon announced that it now allows developers to submit apps for distribution through its Android app store in Japan. The company usually first opens its app store for new markets ahead of making its Kindle Fire line available.

Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 39

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.


  • Mobile devices account for more than 10% of page views in the US and select European countries
  • The average tablet users in the US does not generate more page views than the average phone user, despite longer browser sessions
  • Difference in data tracking at infrastructure and device levels exposed in US study
  • Upgrade to 4G speeds increases data demand of users
  • Rumoured announcement of 7.8-inch iPad Mini in October
  • 55% of Androids are on Gingerbread, 23% on Ice Cream Sandwich and 12% on Froyo
  • Chrome is default browser on the Motorola Razor M
  • 25% of Americans own a tablet, half on iOS and half on Android
  • Device with 1.7 GHz quad-core CPU soon available in Europe and North Asia


Mobile devices account for 13.3% of page views in the US, a growing trend from twice less just a year ago. Europe is also seeing good shares of mobile traffic, with the UK seeing 16.4% of its traffic on mobile, followed by Ireland with 11.5%, Russia with 10.4% and Norway with 10%. The rest of Europe nations have less mobile traffic and are spear-headed by Spain, Switzerland and Sweden in the 9% range down to Portugal, Poland and Turkey with 3-1%.


Inside the US, 9% of the 13% mobile traffic comes from phones and 4.3% from tablets, a ratio which is proportional to the penetration of the 2 form factors in the country. This means that while browsing sessions on tablets are longer than those on phones, they don’t happen as often and an average tablet user does not account for more than 1 phone user in terms of page views.


A study in the US exposed differences in data usage measuring at the device level and at carrier tower level, where there was more traffic counted than it reaches the device. This comes from the fact that data is measured when it comes out of the infrastructure and does not account for lost signal or have a check at the device level, in the region that was used for the study.


20-30GB / month of data is required to meet the needs of the average 4G user, according to CiQual Research. 33% of the data is being used to upload, compared with 11% for 3G customers. Social Media and sharing videos and pictures is changing the balance of downloaded versus uploaded traffic.


Rumors point to the announcement of an 7.8 inch iPad Mini at a press event in October. This release would open up a new market segment for iOS on tablets that has been relatively small and uncompetitive until a few months ago, when the Nexus 7 tablet was launched, followed by a new wave of Kindle Fires


New Android version distribution numbers: Gingerbread at 55.8%, Ice Cream Sandwich at 23.7%, Froyo at 12.9%, rest amount to 7.6%.


Motorola bundles Chrome as the default browser on the Razor M device.


25% of Americans own a tablet, half on iOS and half on Android.


New speed records achieved: the 1.7 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 HTC One X+ will be available in Europe and north of Asia this month.

Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 37

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.


  • New iPhone launch will maintain Apple at ~20% shipment marketshare for 2012
  • Amazon continues tablet strategy with new Kindle Fire releases
  • Foxconn, Samsung to build factories in Brazil, Indonesia
  • Chrome accounts for 2.7% of iOS Web traffic
  • First Motorola Intel-based smartphone announced for Europe and Latin America
  • Android reached 500 million activations


Apple released the latest version of its iPhone, version 5, a bigger, thinner, lighter and LTE-enabled improvement on the 4S version which will run on iOS 6. The device has been welcomed with positive reviews, although the lack of NFC or USB 3.0 have been mentioned to let some early-adopter audiences down. The new iPhone is expected to sell well and keep in line with previous launches to allow Apple to grow at a similar pace with the market and maintain its ~20% marketshare of shipments it has had for the past years. Q4 sales, which is the biggest season for smartphones, are expected to amount to 58 million iPhones and 25% of the segment, which would help put Apple at 21% of yearly shipments, a 1 % increased from 2011. Samsung is still expected to be the top smartphone device vendor for the year with a forecasted 70 to 75 million devices sold in Q4. The whole Samsung range of devices for the Christmas season is yet to be announced, although the Samsung Galaxy Note II will be out in the US market by mid-Novemeber.



Amazon announced the next devices in its Kindle Fire tablet line, a 7-inch and a 8.9-inch HD version of the first generation Kindle Fire, launched in the autumn of 2011. The new tablets feature dual-core 1.2 to 1.5 GHz chipsets with 1 GB of RAM. With this launch Amazon extended availability beyond the US to Western Europe for the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This announcement confirms that Amazon is continuing the strategy of producing low-cost and loss-generating hardware to act as a portal to Amazon services and generate content sales. Availability in non-English speaking countries, where the amount of content is more limited, is a bold move for the company. Reviews of the devices are conservative in the context of increased competition in the lower-end Android tablet from the latest flagship tabled launched by Google in co-operation with Asus. The first generation Kindle Fire is expected to have sold between 6 to 7 million units in the US.



Foxconn will be opening an industrial park in Brazil. Construction is set to begin in 2012 and the factory will be online 2 years after that, adding to its existing 2,500 workers facility in Sao Paulo. Foxconn is also rumoured to be planning a presence in Indonesia, another of the high growth BRIC economies, with Samsung already having declared interest in setting up production in the country.



Chitika mobile advertising agency released stats on usage of browsers on iOS claiming that Chrome accounts for 2.7% of traffic. Safari is the dominant browser with 85.1%, leaving the reminder of 12.1% to other unnamed clients.



Intel is making in-roads in the Android smartphone market with the first x86-powered device made by a major manufacturer, in this case Motorola. The 4.5 inch model is the Razr I and it runs on a single core Medfield 2 GHz chipset. The device is slated to launch in Western Europe and Latin America. ZTE has also announced an Intel-powered device, the ZTE Grand X IN, due to arrive this month.



New Android version distribution numbers put Gingerbread at 58%, Ice Cream Sandwich at 21%, Froyo at 14%. Andy Rubin announced that Android reached half a billion activations to date with 1.3 million added every day.


Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 35

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.


  • New hardware launches expected: Apple, Amazon, Windows 8
  • China to become the largest smartphone market by shipments in 2012
  • The Dolphin browser rumoured to be receiving second round of funding
  • Baidu launched an Android browser
  • Facebook, Google and Youtube the most popular mobile websites across Asia Pacific
  • Android top operating system in SE Asia except for Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines

Read the rest of this entry »

Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 33

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.

  • Smart updates reported on for the Google Play Store
  • Galaxy Note 2 expected to be revealed soon in Berlin
  • Jurors in the trial concerning IP on mobile devices between Samsung and Apple to begin deliberations
  • Recent shipment data shows intense competition in the Android OEM space
  • China now has more mobile internet users than desktop ones
  • China remains top producer of mobile devices; Economist briefing on Huawei
  • New announcements in the mobile payments market

Read the rest of this entry »

Android and mobile browsing insights – Week 32

Every week (or so) I post an overview on what’s been happening in the mobile (browsing) world and is relevant to Mozilla.


  • Trial between Samsung and Apple reveals more history of smartphone evolution, competitive analysis documents and user adoption motivations
  • Nokia survey shows that a device with a QWERTY keyboard is important in any platform portfolio
  • Q2 results show Android and iOS on the rise, Blackberry and Symbian in decline
  • Rumours point to a new, 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire to be released in the fall
  • Opera opened offices in SiliconValley


The patent trial between Samsung and Apple is revealing interesting and important details on the evolution of the companies’ main offerings that helped shape the overall smartphone market. An Apple employee testified in court that the iPhone design is heavily inspired from what Sony was promoting at the time (picture here). Further, internal documents or their contents are made public, two of which relate to surveys from 2011 and 2010 on iPhone and Android adoption as well as a pretty thorough competitive analysis performed by Samsung employees on the strengths and weaknesses in the user interface of the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S device. The whole document can be found here and the iPhone adoption user survey’s quoted findings include:


  • Apple’s brand and design are by far the bigger drivers of iPhone purchases than software and apps
  • trust in the Apple brand was the first or second most popular reason to buy the device in most regions
  • the physical appearance and design was also important
  • least important almost universally was the ability to transfer music and other media across multiple devices
  • another important feature for buying consideration was comfort which holding in hands
  • games were not an important category of apps to have, except in China



A similar survey on Android adoption among iPhone users from 2010 reveals that most Android buyers wanted to stay with their carrier, some of them were conquered by their trust in the Google brand and another set of them liked the larger screens offered by those devices, as well as the integration with the Android Market and Google services and yet another reason offered is wanting to be on the latest technology. The two surveys validate that the parent company of the operating system is an important factor in the purchase decision, together with design and appearance and the software offering.


Nokia published a survey of its users on preference for input methods which reveals that QWERTY keyboards are liked by a significant share of consumers. Nokia’s research is pretty representative of the world given their global penetration, but skewed to a limited extent away from touch screens, as their user base is under-represented in North America, a market that will have a string connection with touchscreen interfaces supported by the iPhone’s significant penetration. The survey is consistent with findings that the top activity on a mobile phone is not voice calling, but SMS sending, which is followed by photo taking and after that voice calling. Commentary by mobile analyst Tomi Ahonen recommends that devices with QWERTY input need to be present in any smartphone portfolio.


Q2 results reveal that overall mobile phone sales have declined by 2.3% year-over-year to 419 million units, which represents an abrupt decline in feature phone demand for which smartphones did not entirely compensate. They continued their extraordinary growth to account for 36.7% of total device sales, which represents a 42.7% growth year-over-year for the smartphone segment. Platforms-wise, Android and iOS accounted for 85% of all smartphones shipped in the quarter, both of which recorded growth, while Symbian and Blackberry had a declining evolution. Android lead the top with 68% and 105 million of all smartphones shipped, supported heavily by Samsung, which accounted for 44% of the Androids and totaled more than the next 7 Android vendors combined. iOS was on 2nd place with 26% and 20 million devices shipped, followed by Blackberry with 5% and 12.5 million and Symbian with 4.4% and 18.3 million.


Rumours point to a new Kindle Fire version with a larger, 10-inch display, that might be released in the fall.


Opera opened offices in Silicon Valley, in San Mateo, that will host more than 100 people and will be home to AdMarvel and Mobile Theory, the affiliates that deal with its advertising network and its multi-platform mobile app store.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.