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Tuesday
May102011

Older iOS Devices Outselling Newer Android Devices

John Paczkowski at All Things D posted an interesting article today.  It seems Apple's older iOS devices are outselling newer Android devices.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley says his retail checks show continued strong demand for the iPhone 3GS at AT&T and iPad 1 at Verizon, even as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 continue to fly off the shelves. At AT&T, for example, the iPhone 3GS is outselling newer Android phones like the HTC Inspire and Motorola Atrix.

The article speculates that—just as Apple is already the winner at the high end of the market—they are poised to possibly be the winner at the low end of the market too.

Thursday
Apr282011

Most iPhone/Android Comparisons Flawed

In an article at The Loop, Jim Dalrymple argues that you can't compare the iPhone to Android.

Here is the first giant flaw — you may have noticed in the headline of this story. You cannot compare Android to an iPhone. That’s comparing an operating system to a hardware device.

The man has a point.  He correctly points out that you wouldn't compare a single model of Mercedes against all cars that GM makes.  The same is true for the iPhone/Android comparison.

Dalrymple points out that it is more appropriate to compare operating systems.

Now, let’s take a look at the operating systems in the U.S. According to reports released this month by comScore, if you factor in all of the devices that use iOS including iPhones, iPads and iPodtouches, Apple reached 37.9 million people. Android, according to the data, reached 23.8 million on phones and tablets.

That’s a 59 percent lead for iOS over Android.

Logical and true.

Thursday
Apr282011

Mobile Sales: iPhone Gains, Android Slips

Market research company The NPD Group has announced their analysis of mobile phone market share in the United States.

In the first quarter (Q1) of this year Apple's mobile phone sales reached 14 percent of the U.S. market. Apple outranked HTC, Motorola and RIM as the third-largest handset brand in the U.S., behind Samsung at 23 percent and LG at 18 percent. After launching on Verizon's network in February, Apple's iPhone 4 further solidified its position as the top-selling mobile phone in the U.S., while iPhone 3GS, Motorola Droid X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC Droid Incredible rounded out NPD's top-five mobile phone handset ranking.

The report goes on to state that Apple's launch of the iPhone 4 on Verizon's network is what allowed the iPhone to expand its market share, previously held back by AT&T exclusivity.

At the same time, Andoird OS lost ground in market share, falling to 50 percent of smartphone unit sales compared to 53 percent during the previous quarter.

Sunday
Apr242011

BlackBerry PlayBook: No iPad Competitor

Galen Gruman at InfoWorld has reviewed the BlackBerry PlayBook, Research in Motion's new 7" tablet. In what might be the most negative product review I've ever read, Gruman doesn't pull any punches in his assessment of the device.

After spending a couple of days with the final product, it's clear that the PlayBook is a useless device whose development is unfinished.  Not only can it not compete with the Apple iPad, it can't compete with the second-best tablet, Motorola Xoom, nor even the marginal Android tablets such as the Galaxy Tab that use the smartphone version of Android OS rather than the Honeycomb tablet version. In fact, if my choice were between a PlayBook and a Windows 7 tablet -- my benchmark for unusability -- I think I'd rather go sans tablet.

Ouch!

But wait... like Android OS, the PlayBook supports Flash, so it has to be better than an iPad, right? Um, no!

On the bright side, the PlayBook supports Flash, with no need to download a player as on Android. But Flash objects are often slow to load, and some would not function. That's an issue Flash also has on Android, as my colleague Neil McAllister discovered in his extensive Flash tests. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that Flash and mobile don't mix.

Hmm, I seem to recall someone else saying that Flash and mobile don't mix. Who was that? Oh yeah, it was Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his April 10, 2010 open letter titled Thoughts on Flash.

Thursday
Apr212011

iPhone 4 Tracking Brouhaha

Yesterday, a pair of security researchers (Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden) announced the discovery that the iPhone 4 and iPad 3G are regularly recording the position of the device to a hidden consolidated.db cache file.  Their "discovery" spawned a whirlwind of controversy, including this morning's news of a letter sent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs by Senator Al Franken (D-MN).

Today, network security and forensics expert Alex Levinson stepped forward to explain that the hidden consolidated.db cache file is neither new nor secret.  In fact, the existence of the file was mentioned in iOS Forensic Analysis: for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, a book to which Levinson was a contributor.  The book was released on December 5, 2010.

For me, it's much ado about nothing.  Anyone carrying any sort of mobile phone can be tracked by their mobile provider.  I guess if I was engaged in criminal activity or I was cheating on my spouse, I might have more reason to be concerned.  But the moment I started carrying a mobile device that relies on cellular towers or WiFi hotspots, and features a GPS chip to determine its position, it was pretty easy to figure out that my movements could be tracked.

By the way, Android OS device owners should take note that their devices are tracking position into a similar cache file.  Though, it appears the Android OS does not keep a very long record.