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#409529 - 20th May 2010 5:01pm Android Hot, Windows Not
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Who's winning the smartphone wars? Android, Apple and Blackberry - according to new figures from the research firm Gartner. Its figures for the first quarter of 2010, shown below, will be immensely cheering for most makers of high-end phones - though they may cast a pall over Microsoft's Redmond headquarters.



The first good News is that sales for the whole smartphone sector are rising at the highest rate since 2006 with consumers around the world apparently willing to pay more to do more with their mobiles. But let's look at the smartphone league and work out who's hot and who's not...

(1) Symbian
Nokia fans often testily point out that Symbian phones - mostly made by the Finnish giant - still dominate this sector while getting little credit from Apple- and Android-obsessed journalists. That's fair enough: as these figures show, Symbian is still streets ahead, having created the sector with the Nokia Communicator over a decade ago. The trouble is that Nokia is no longer a "thought leader" in smartphones - it always seems to be one step behind the innovators, and that means lower margins and a deal of nervousness in Helsinki.

(2) Research in Motion
This morning, I got a press release telling me that a waste-management firm is giving Blackberries to binmen so that it can keep track of rubbish collections. More evidence that the clever Canadians at RIM, the makers of the e-mail device, have pulled off one of the great marketing tricks of recent years. They've turned a dull but essential business device into the phone that, its fans say, every teenager - and binman - wants. The Blackberry has gone mainstream but hip at the same time by offering a simple and cheap way to communicate for one sector of the market, while retaining high-end business customers. It's only when it tries to make devices that are a little too smart that it appears to stumble.

(3) Apple
Remember the cynics who said back in 2007 that the iPhone would be a niche gadget that would have no major effect on the mobile industry? Just look at Apple's share price today - and the way other manufacturers have rushed out their own touch-screens and app stores - to see how wrong that judgement was. With more than twice as many iPhones sold in the first three months of 2010 as in the same period last year, the success story continues. But look at number four in the chart for proof that Apple needs to keep "thinking different".

(4) Android
And a year ago, the cynics still thought Google's Android operating system was going to be a niche geeky platform. But a rash of new phones - from the Motorola Droid to the HTC Desire - has given Android lift-off, with nearly 10% of the market in the first quarter of 2010. In the United States, Android phones actually outsold the iPhone. The open nature of the platform, and the fact that Google does not act as a gatekeeper to its app store, has made it very attractive to developers. Mind you, next month we should see the iPhone 4g - and that will make Apple v Android all the more interesting.

(5) Windows Mobile
Poor old Microsoft, relegated to fifth place as consumers ignore the reliable old stager in favour of newer, shinier operating systems. At Mobile World Congress, the company unveiled a new operating system, Windows Phone 7, which appeared extremely impressive, imitating and perhaps surpassing the kind of innovations we've seen from Apple and Android. Major phone manufacturers were all supportive, promising to work with Microsoft on compelling handsets with the new system - but by the time they hit the market at the end of this year, consumers will have seen new iPhone and Android models. Maybe Microsoft has already missed the smartphone bus?

Source - BBC News dot.Rory Report

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#409537 - 20th May 2010 5:25pm Re: Android Hot, Windows Not [Re: MattLFC]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10791
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks Matt, as an outsider to this corner of technology, its good to see compact comprehensive summaries from someone in the know.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#409561 - 20th May 2010 6:12pm Re: Android Hot, Windows Not [Re: diggingdeeper]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Twas written by Rory btw, thought it was a great article. But I should point out (im a self-confessed WinMo fanboi) that Windows Mobile is a 10 year old OS, and the kernel is 6 years old - people just seem to want new and flashy OS's.

Microsoft missed the boat imho, cancelling Photon (Windows Mobile 7) and instead changing the entire OS, which meant Windows Phone 7 as the new OS will be called, is over a year late to market. They did introduce Windows Mobile 6.5 as a stop-gap product, but it just wasnt modern enough to make people notice. Im running the 6.5.5 BETA on my HTC, and the major difference between that and 6.5.1 is you can use your fingers for everything, on the official Windows Mobile 6.5, it is still reliant of the stylus/fingernail for a lot of basic tasks.

HTC have worked wonders on the "flashiness" of the Windows Mobile interface, with their TouchFlo3D (now HTC Sense) GUI, which is in many peoples opinions, better than the iPhone GUI and the Android varient of HTC Sense - but there has been so little publicity surrounding it, people are simply not aware of it.

One thing I do love about Windows Mobile (the core-OS) is after 6 - 10 years of development, it has been ultra-stable and reliable for many years now, and has a catalogue of "applications" (I use the word applications here, because "apps" on the iPhone and Android seem very cheap and quickly designed products, WinMo apps have far more depth because of the high cost of them and the fact their aimed towards the corporate enviroment) that pretty much every other OS could only dream of (practically all PocketPC/Windows Mobile, and many Windows CE applications will work on it) and I still cannot find alternatives for many of the apps on Android as yet.

Out of the box, Windows Mobile has always managed to do things like unrestricted multi-tasking and flash since its inception, again things other handsets can't yet manage. I also like Microsoft liberal way with WinMo - they know people like XDA Developers flood the market with illegal ROM's and yet they are not bothered. Software developers can also release what they want, and don't have to pay Microsoft a penny or get their approval beforehand - the same as Windows desktop OS's.

The biggest drawback of the Windows Mobile OS for me, is because the kernel is so old, it is unable to take advantage of all the new CPU optimization technologies etc, and being derived from Windows CE5.2, it is also very prone to memory leakage. A restart a day, keeps the memory doctor away lol.

Personally, I see Android as the future, but its a long-term thing. Microsoft have killed Windows Mobile by letting it run out of steam, people like me still use it because its so stable and does so much more than other phones, but once Android gets into gear, it will soon surpass WinMo. Windows Phone 7 is set to remove almost everything thats good about Windows Mobile - no multi-tasking, silly hardware spec rules (min 1Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM etc), software needing to be approved by Microsoft and paying a fee to them, 10 years worth of PPC/WinMo applications not supported at all, a very strange "social networking orientated" interface, and even worse, no start menu!!

Fortunately, there are already Android ROM's available for my TouchPro2, and XDA Developers are starting to push this as an equal to WinMo instead of a backburner, so within a year or so, I forsee I may be running Android instead. There is also the option to run Android within WinMo, on a virtual system, and it works extremely well!!

The best smartphone OS to me, overall though, is not making any ground outside of the US, and that is WebOS from Palm. Within the EU, Palm have sold exclusive rights to Telefonica O2, and there is certainly some sort of underhand business tactics taking place between o2 and Apple, to avoid the same situation in the US, where the Palm Pre started eating into the iPhone's market share rapidly. In the US, the Palm Pre was released on Sprint, and later Verizon, whilst the iPhone was on AT&T, so there was an all-out sales war. With o2 having tied up the iPhone deal, by taking on the Palm Pre, they pretty much killed any competition between the two - I tried getting a Palm Pre a few months back, and in the store and over the phone, o2 kept pushing me towards the Blackberries and iPhone, despite the fact I was insisting I wanted a Palm Pre - it was as though they had no interest in allowing me to have one, despite the iPhone carrying higher tariffs and costs to them. Unfortunately, with the financial troubles Palm are experiencing and WebOS's uncertain future, the sales in the US have died - Microsoft and Dell are both said to be interested in the OS, but nothing has happened as yet. It could be a great move for Microsoft, but it is also a warning to them imho - Palm handsets always did well because of PalmOS - it wasnt the best of funkyest of OS's, in fact it was basic compared to WinMo, but it supported years of apps and had a very loyal userbase as a result of long-term usage. But Palm let its development fizzle out, and they ended up switching to Windows Mobile whilst the arrival of WebOS was delayed time and time again. Upon its release, WebOS was lightyears ahead of all other OS's in terms of functionality, but by this time, Palm had not only lost masses of market-share, but the GUI was totally different to PalmOS, and worse than that, it too, does not support any legacy applications, so had to start from zero. Admittadly, its very easy to write apps for WebOS, one developer said it took them 4 days to write the same app on WebOS, as it took them 6 weeks on iPhoneOS for instance - but the loyal Palm userbase struggled to adjust to the radical changes, and stayed on Windows Mobile, so whilst the OS was doing well in the US, it lost its most loyal following.

Had Palm contracted with Vodafone for it's EU release, then it would have been big over here, but there is certainly something sinister going on between Apple and o2 to try and kill the marketplace for WebOS off.

As for Windows Phone 7 - that, and its sister OS, Microsoft KIN, will in my opinion, be the final serious smartphone OS to be released by Microsoft. They should have bought up HTC whilst they had the chance, thrown some real development money into the HTC Sense/TouchFlo GUI, slowed down the release and marketing of HTC Android devices, and most importantly, continued development of Photon/Windows Mobile 7.

Symbian is dying a slow and painful death, they have v3.0 out now, at long last, but just like Windows Mobile, Nokia have not kept up with the market, and it is just a terrible, clunky operating system to use. Nokia have tried pushing the Debian-based Maemo OS, which on paper should be the ultimate OS, being practically a full running version of Linux on a phone - but in reality, the Linux marketshare has dropped, because the only serious Linux-based contender available right now, is WebOS - Maemo is actually too near to a PC OS, and it is not suited to being used on a mobile phone.

As for RIM/Blackberry, well we all know people are only buying these outdated pieces of junk for their kids, for the BB messaging application. As "unlimited text" bundles become increasingly popular and available, the current surge of Blackberry will gradually die off.

As for Apple, well the current iPhone OS feels so outdated and stagnent, it is getting to feel like Symbian and WinMo, though being a newer core-product, it does have a prettier GUI. But Apple need to get it right, and innovate with OS4, othetwise Android will leave them for dead. They are finally going to allow multi-tasking, and seem to think that will save the OS - it won't do it on its own, it wont be true multi-tasking like on WinMo (you will be able to multi-task only what Apple say you can, and upto 3 apps at a time from what I understand), and though Apple say the multi-tasking is going to be the best on a phone... I fail to see how they are going to better the WebOS cardspace multi-tasking system - it will be awsome if they can, but I doubt it.

Now, time for me tea lol.

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#409584 - 20th May 2010 6:50pm Re: Android Hot, Windows Not [Re: MattLFC]
Hiekel_Essterol Offline
Addict

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 275
Loc: Wallasey
Matt which HTC device are you running? Im a Winmo fan myself having had one since about 2003 I think the the Xda II then the Xda IIi then the Tytn II and now the Touch Pro 2.

I find WM6.5 to be a good OS and am looking forward to seeing WP7 when its released.

EDIT: Sorry had only flashed through your previous post and hadnt seen the mention on the TP2.


Edited by Hiekel_Essterol (20th May 2010 6:53pm)
_________________________
Paul

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#409589 - 20th May 2010 6:59pm Re: Android Hot, Windows Not [Re: Hiekel_Essterol]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Aye that be the one, I took the direct route from a Universal to that, still havent found a handset with a keyboard as good as the Universal, but unfortunately I smashed the screen on it, and it was starting to feel a bit slow, only having 64MB RAM, meant the Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 hybrid I had running on it, left only 24MB free programme RAM. The CPU was also showing its age a bit. HTC should have replaced the Universal imho, but the TP2 is a very close contender.

I still have an urge to get a Palm Pre, but feel at home with WinMo and the range of apps available, and that I use for busines.

frown

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#410054 - 21st May 2010 5:33pm Re: Android Hot, Windows Not [Re: MattLFC]
Shadow_Omega Offline

Wise One

Registered: 29th Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Loc: Leasowe
someone released the ibootfree tool for the iphone recently where you can install Android and have it dualboot with the iphoneOS. the only downside to this atm is that it's really unoptimized and eats the battery within an hour.

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