Posts Tagged ‘Dominance’
With Android landing on all-in-one computers and Windows extending its reach deeper into the mobile world, the platform world is tightening into three key teams: iOS and OS X, Windows, and Android.
Chrome OS, BlackBerry, and the other minor players have derivative unit volume, and can therefore be discounted in our larger image of the market.
To compare those three groups yields an irksome, yet interesting, picture. Gartner recently released a set of statistics and prognostications along those operating system niches, stacking the groups against one another. The fine folks over at Redmond Magazine did us the favor of graphing the results.
Here, in a single chart, is the rise of Android, the slippage in the PC market, and Apple’s rising tide:
Microsoft manages to stay atop Apple, but the chart makes it plain that if Microsoft doesn’t want to fall even further behind Android — recall that Android is now being deployed across device classes — it will have to grow its mobile base at a far more rapid pace than it has thus far. Put another way, for Microsoft to chase Google, it can’t lean on the PC market, even as that market category stabilizes.
We can presume that Apple’s growth is mostly iOS-based, given that its OS X offerings are dealing with similar headwinds as Microsoft’s Windows platform.
In July 2013, my colleague Josh Constine and I called Android the new Windows. Recently, Paul Thurrott made the point that 2013 was “the year that Android became the Windows of the mobile world.” In an increasingly multi-modal computing market, where the difference between device classes is blurring, operating systems are becoming more diversely deployed. So, we can’t keep Android unit volume in one bucket, and Windows PC numbers in a separate class.
Microsoft, if it wants to regain the mantle of the leading platform company, has to do more than end the decline in the PC market: It has to ignite its own mobile growth.
Top Image Credit: Flickr
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has just crossed off one of the biggest goals of his operating system’s development: removing Microsoft’s dominance in the PC market. While it wasn’t Ubuntu that made the difference, Shuttleworth doesn’t seem to mind which OS ultimately changed the market. He’s citing iOS and Android as having solved the problem, which he listed as “Bug #1″ in Ubuntu’s development logs back in 2004. The bug report was finally marked complete this Thursday with a note from Shuttleworth, “I think it’s important for us to recognize that the shift has taken place. So from Ubuntu’s perspective, this bug is now closed.”
Jamen Shively spent six years working at Microsoft, where he served as corporate strategy manager before leaving the company in 2009. Now, he’s set his sights on an entirely different industry — legal marijuana.
This week, Shively announced plans to create the first national brand of retail marijuana for both medical and recreational users. As Reuters reports, Shively has already acquired a Washington-based company that operates two Seattle medical marijuana dispensaries, and is close to purchasing others in California and Colorado. He’s also calling for the US government to legalize weed trade with Mexico, underscoring the bold (and perhaps unrealistic) scope of his vision.
Shively outlined his plans at a Seattle press conference…
Windows Phone owners can lastly delight in all the advantages of Uber and order cabs on need through their own native app. The fundamental attributes are all present, simply presented in the stark color blocks and straight lines Microsoft prefers. You’ll have to have either variation 7.5 or 8 of the OS installed to download the app and, obviously, you’ll should reside in a city where the service is available to take benefit. The growth to Windows Phone follows last week’s quiet launching on BlackBerry (which the company only announced today), though it’s currently just available on older gadgets and not compatible with BlackBerry 10. It was likewise just last week that Uber introduced a revamped Android customer that was rebuilt from the ground up with enhanced performance, Foursquare integration and a fare estimator. It appears like Uber is wanting to establish an overwhelming lead in the market before any rivals get any marvelous concepts.
Chinese Ministry Critical Of Android’s Dominance — But How Much Power Does Google Really Have In China?
China’s technology Ministry is worried about the dominance of Google’s Android platform, according to Reuters. The news agency links to a whitepaper authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology which contains the above graph — so it’s not difficult to see what the Ministry’s issue is: Android has grown from a standing start in 2008 to saturate the local market, taking 72.4 per cent in Q3 2012 (Gartner sourced data).
According to Reuters, the Ministry’s whitepaper is critical of China’s dependency on a platform it argues is ultimately controlled by Mountain View. “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android. While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google,” the whitepaper states.
It also claims that Google has deliberately impeded the progress of some Chinese companies seeking to develop their own operating systems (presumably by forking Android) by delaying code sharing, and accuses Google of using commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies. The paper goes on to pile praise on homegrown companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei for creating their own systems.
Google declined to comment on the allegations in the whitepaper when contacted by TechCrunch.
Alibaba’s Aliyun OS was going to be used by Acer to power a Chinese smartphone planned for launch last year — but cancelled, at least in part, after Google intervened. (Google argued that Acer was building what it described as a “non-compatible” Android device, having previously committed to building compatible devices.) Presumably this is the sort of commercial pressure the whitepaper is critical of.
Alibaba also declined to comment on the Chinese whitepaper when contacted by Techcrunch.
Another graph in the whitepaper pegs the Aliyun OS’s share of the 2012 Chinese market at around one per cent — versus 86.4 per cent for Android:
Reuters speculates that the Chinese government could be planning to impose regulations on Android to try to rein it in and give Chinese companies a chance to take some a greater share. That could also be good news for smaller foreign players such as Finnish startup Jolla, which is using the MeeGo open source OS as the foundation of its new Sailfish platform. Jolla is targeting its debut smartphone at China first, as well as setting up a base in Hong Kong to build an alliance around Sailfish. It has also attracted investment from China.
The smartphone market in China is undoubtedly huge — Jolla’s CEO describes it as a “300 million device market”. China also passed the U.S. as the world’s top country for active Android and iOS smartphones and tablets last month so it’s also a growing market. But while Android undoubtedly dominates the OS landscape not all Chinese Android-powered device are equal since a large proportion of homegrown mobile makers heavily customise Android and do not carry any of the standard Google services such as its Play store.
Analyst Enders Analysis created the below chart last year depicting Android page view data, sourced from Baidu, which illustrates how smaller Chinese device makers are increasingly dominating China’s device landscape — accounting for 39 per cent of the page views on Baidu properties in September 2012 vs just 22 per cent for the otherwise globally dominant Android OEM Samsung:
“Almost none” of the ‘other’ category of devices in this chart have Google services on them, according to Enders analyst Benedict Evans — so you could say that while Google’s platform is huge in China, Google itself may have far less influence than Android’s spread suggests because such a large swathe of locally made Androids are cut off from its services and thus can’t generate advertising sales for Mountain View.
In a recent blog post discussing Google’s failure to deliver any Android activation data since September 2012, Evans also notes that: “The great majority of Android devices sold in China, which are probably a third of total Android sales, come with no Google services installed, including no Google Play, and hence are not even included in Google’s activation numbers, since signing into Google Play is what counts as ‘activation’.”
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HTC revealed its newest flagship phone, the HTC One at a special press event in NYC and London today, and the drastically different design marks a departure from an approach of trying to beat various other Android OEMs (read: Samsung) at their very own game. Rather, HTC looks to be taking cues from Apple to better contend, in more methods than one.
HTC ’ s latest Android smartphone has a physical design that can ’ t aid however be contrasted to the iPhone 5. There ’ s aluminum all over the location (it ’ s a unibody framework with chamfered edges), it comes in both white and black, and a rounded rectangle look that ’ s sure to remind iPhone 5 owners of their very own hardware. It even has the iPhone 4 ′ s external cordless, edge-running antenna. And the focus this time around wasn ’ t on specifications, speeds and technical information, however on features and software: HTC ’ s tacit acknowledgement that a battle over who could develop the best Android hardware isn ’ t one it can win against Samsung. Customers need to view these gadgets as operating in various categories, with HTC doing something Samsung can ’ t or won ’ t.
The central piece of the HTC event today was everything about what the One is that all other Android phones aren ’ t. That ’ s why HTC put its “ BoomSound ” front-facing speaker system on display, highlighted the Ultrapixel camera with its low-light capabilities, and displayed the Sense 5 UI with its BlinkFeed automatic, live-updating material feeds. That ’ s why it emphasized content partners, another page out of Apple ’ s book. In many means, HTC ’ s event was more like the introduction of a brand-new mobile OS than an iteration on an Android smartphone design. The business has put a strong focus on software at previous gadget launches, but here it seemed more worried with making this about OS skin updates.
HTC also downplayed the internals, which remarkably aren ’ t as leading-edge as they might be. The screen was a big tentpole of the presentation, but that ’ s an additional Apple strategy, because it impacts user experience in a much more direct manner than internals. And the quad-core Snapdragon 600 chipset is brand-new, but not the top-of-the-line model. 2GB of RAM is basically table stakes, and 32 or 64GB of internal flash storage is absolutely nothing to write house about. It did bring up design directors, however, to discuss exactly what entered the creation of its software and hardware, and showed videos highlighting technical advancements like the UltraPixel camera sensor and body design, all Apple-style moves.
This isn ’ t about competing against Apple or Samsung, it ’ s about fielding an excellent phone.
It ’ s pretty clear that HTC ’ s approach here isn ’ t to develop a better Android smartphone than Samsung and beat it that means. That ’ s arguably exactly what the whole HTC One line has been until now: basically a different however comparable method to the Galaxy approach. Now, we get a back-to-basics simplified naming scheme, a physical case that better estimates Apple ’ s high-market industrial design, and an emphasis on user experience and software, rather of crowing loud and long about the specification race that has been popular amongst Android OEMs int the past.
This is a pivotal launch for HTC: It should be seen by consumers in non-relative terms to Samsung in order to attract attention, because it hasn ’ t been able to prosper when lumped in with the general mass of Android OEM device-makers. To achieve that it has to stand apart, and there ’ s no much better instance of a smartphone-maker that ’ s been able to do that than Apple. But taking a specific niche in the face of the ascendant Samsung will show hard without Apple ’ s first-mover benefit, so while HTC ’ s technique is arguably vibrant, by no method does it assurance success.
Distributing your OS digitally certainly makes for an easy upgrade, but what happens when your hard disk spontaneously combusts — taking Lion’s recovery partition with it? Unless you planned ahead and rolled your own install image, you were stuck taking an arduous and painful detour back to Snow Leopard before being given the chance to re-up with Cupertino’s latest. That changes today, with the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, a utility that duplicates the OS’s recovery partition onto an external drive of your choosing — allowing you to boot directly into an installer which’ll re-download the latest jungle cat, sans sojourn to 10.6. To do so, you’ll need an external drive larger than 1GB, a machine running Lion, and the 1MB assistant we’ve linked below. Godspeed Apple fanboys, but to the rest of you — now would be a pretty good time to verify those backups are still in working order, yeah?
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Android Poised For Dominance In China, With Global Implications
Despite Androidâ€™s growth since 2007, many refuse to declare a winner in the battle between Apple and Google for supremacy in the West. However, Android seems ready to leapfrog competitors to grab dominance in China, the worldâ€™s largest mobile market. A combination of drastic price drops on Android phones and custom Chinese mobile applications supported by the massive domestic market will push …