Report: Android Now 40 Percent Of Smartphone Market

According to the latest comScore data, Android handset penetration grew almost 6 points since last quarter and now amounts to 40 percent of the US smartphone market. Number two Apple gained modestly, and RIM, Windows and Nokia were all in negative territory. Samsung, the largest Android handset maker, also had the greatest overall share of mobile users. Extrapolating from a survey base of 30,000 US mobile subscribers, comScore says that 78.5 million people now own smartphones. That represents 33 percent of the total population. By contrast Nielsen says that 38 percent of US mobile [...]

Google’s Patent Screed Emerges As PR Blunder

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 10.38.14 AM Google's mostly ill-conceived patent screed from yesterday has opened the floodgates of discussion about Google's (Android's) vulnerability to third party patents owned by Microsoft, Oracle and Apple. Among the throng of comments and opinions about the episode are a few Google sympathizers, such as Forbes blogger Tim Lee who believes Google should advocate for the elimination of software patents: Unfortunately, the modest procedural changes being considered in the America Invents Act won’t come close to preventing the kind of abusive litigation that’s now plaguing Android. So Google sho [...]

Google Lashes Out Against Apple, Microsoft Patent “Conspiracy”

google-g-logo Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond has lashed out at rivals Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and unnamed others for waging what he says is "a hostile, organized campaign against Android," using "bogus patents." Drummond asserts that Google's rivals have joined together in an "anti-competitive" cabal of sorts that uses patent law almost as a pretext to attempt to "strangle" Android. (The phrase "anti-competitive" is self-consciously used four times in his post.) Drummond contends that Google's rivals are threatened by or unable to compete with Android's momentum (citing Android's 550,00 [...]

Google Promoting “Free” Nexus S On Homepage

Hurry, supplies are limited. If you've been to today (from a US IP address) then you've already seen the Nexus S "free today only" offer. Users can obtain the phone from US retailer Best Buy and must sign up for a two-year contract. Three out of the four major US carriers offer the phone: AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. It's not clear whether Google is subsidizing the phone or whether the carriers and Google are doing so together. Regardless it's a shrewd promotion to get the NFC-enabled device into more pockets and lock them in for two years, ahead of the launch of the ne [...]

New Android Market Better, Offers Movie Rentals

Perhaps the best thing about the new and improved Android market is movie rentals. For others it may be books and still others may like the easier app discovery. For me it's movies. The online Android market has had movie rentals but they haven't been available directly on the phone until now. The new Android Market design and content are rolling out over the next couple of weeks. However I found a source and was able to download it on my EVO and my Samsung Android Tablet this morning. The movies rental module was missing for the tablet however it was there on my handset. Getting to the [...]

Google Maps For Android Lets You Download Maps For Offline Use

The Google Blog announced that you can now download maps on your Android device so that you can access maps and directions even without a data connection. The feature is a Google Labs feature currently available for Android users who are willing to experiment with new, beta features. It is called "Download map area" and can be found within the Labs area of the Google Maps 5.7 for Android. To download a map area, all you need to do is navigate to a place page while on Wifi or a data connection and click on the "more" button. Then within the more options you will see an option to "downl [...]

Google Voice Search & Search By Image Comes To Desktops

Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 2.00.55 PM Mobile innovation is fueling Google's search offerings for the desktop, as the company today announced two new search interfaces -- Voice and Image -- inspired by mobile Voice Search and Google Goggles, respectively. With Voice Search for the desktop, which is a feature of the Chrome browser, users click a microphone icon in the search box, and then speak into their computer's microphone. Part of the idea, according to Google execs speaking at a media event in San Francisco, is to make voice search ubiquitous and increase awareness, to increase adoption. Already, mobile speech inputs t [...]

Verizon 4G Android Faceoff: HTC ThunderBolt Vs. Samsung Droid Charge

ThunderBolt & Charge When I last looked at Android phones in January, Verizon didn't have a 4G phone. That's since changed. Indeed, Verizon has three now. In this review, how I found two of them -- the HTC ThunderBolt released in March and the Samsung Droid Charge released in May -- measured up against each other. Before I get into the specifics, a refresher on how I approach phones. I'm interested in how they work for real life activities that I tend to do, rather than a head-to-head spec faceoff that often isn't that important. Can I check email with them easily? Snap a photo and make simple adjustments? C [...]

With Google Wallet Mobile Payments Era Is Finally Here

mobile-payment-cash-featured For more than a decade people have prophesied the end of cash and credit cards. And for the past two years the drumbeat around mobile payments has grown steadily louder with the adoption of smartphones. Now numerous companies are jockeying to participate in what expected to be a huge market that will eventually generate billions in fees and revenue. In the same way that Apple redefined and accelerated the development of the smartphone market with the iPhone in 2007, Google Wallet marks the beginning of the mobile payments era. Google is certainly not the first company operating in the secto [...]

PayPal Sues Google, Sees Powerful Threat To Its Future In Google Wallet

paypal-google-lawsuit In California it's almost impossible to stop a key employee from jumping ship to a rival company. The law heavily favors the employee's right to earn a living and typically won't permit the former employer to prevent the employee from working for a rival. California law does, however, protect "trade secrets" and will sometimes permit company A to block a former employee from working in an identical role at rival company B if trade secrets are implicated or at stake. This is the scenario at the heart of a lawsuit announced yesterday by eBay/PayPal against Google following the public intro [...]

Google To Unveil Mobile Payments Trial: Report

Bloomberg is reporting that Google will formally announce a mobile payments service later this week. The service will reportedly be offered initially through US carrier Sprint. The service will be initially available in five US cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. according to Bloomberg. Interestingly Sprint has its own recently launched stored-credit card payments capability. However it doesn't appear to have much adoption to date. The Bloomberg report says the Google payments program will utilize near-field-communications-enabled (NFC) Androi [...]

Android On Fire — Others Not So Much

The Q1 smartphone sales figures that were released yesterday by Gartner show that Android has surged and now leading all other smartphone operating systems. These numbers are Q1 sales figures and not reflective of overall market share but the show the direction the overall market is going. Gartner said "Windows Phone saw only modest sales that reached 1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011." It's not clear what the 3.6 million units attributed to Microsoft (in the chart) reflects vs. the 1.6 million sold in the quote. It could be older versions of Windows Mobile still being sold [...]

Google, Smartphone Contacts & Social Graphs: Has Eric Schmidt Crossed The Creepy Line Again?

Eric Schmidt Things have been a little quiet -- perhaps even boring -- since Eric Schmidt stepped down as Google's CEO to become the company's Executive Chairman. The strange quotes and not-so-funny attempts at cracking privacy-related jokes have slowed down in the past couple months. But Schmidt may have just added another one to his collection of so-called "creepy" quotes. It's in an article/interview from London's Evening Standard. The reporter asks Schmidt the obligatory question about Facebook and social networking and, in the process of explaining Google's approach to social, Schmidt appears t [...]

Skyhook Case Giving Google PR Headache

Ultimately Google will probably prevail in the lawsuit that Skyhook Wireless filed last year, but not without taking a few hits along the way. In that action Skyhook claims Google interfered with its relationships with two hardware manufacturers, Motorola and "Company X" (Samsung). Both OEMs were reportedly committed to using Skyhook's location-positioning system vs Google's and Google later prevented both from doing so, according to the complaint. (There's a related patent-infringement case, which is more technical and has been less widely discussed.) Google: We Did Nothing Wrong Google [...]

Android Has More Check-In Users Than Apple, But Just Barely

Android has almost a 10% lead over Apple in the smartphone market share race, but its lead in check-in activity is a lot smaller according to a new comScore report out today. According to comScore, Android's overall US smartphone market share is 34.7%, compared to 25.5 for Apple. But Android's lead in check-in activity over Apple is less than three percent -- 36.6% of check-in service users are on Android, compared to 33.7% who are on Apple's platform. RIM accounts for 22% of check-in users, comScore says, while Microsoft, Palm and Symbian are all less than 5% of that audience. Almo [...]

Google Launches Streaming Movies & Music

Screen shot 2011-05-10 at 11.06.41 AM As widely expected Google launched its Music beta today at the Google developer conference, I/O. Right now the service is US only and invitation only. Users can store 20,000 songs and the service is free (for the time being). By implication Google Music will become a paid-service at some point in the future. No Music Store, Google Still Hopeful There is no music store associated with the new Google Music beta. However Google made clear that it's still trying to strike agreements with record labels and that it's optimisitic that it will be able to do so in the future. Google made a point to s [...]

Skyhook Lawsuit Lives On To Fight Another Day Against Google

Screen shot 2011-05-05 at 7.39.46 AM Skyhook's lawsuit against Google, for unfair competition, interference with contract and patent infringement, has survived a substantive and procedural challenge to end the case. Google had sought to terminate the litigation  before all the factual discovery was completed. Skyhook Gets to Dig More One of the byproducts of earlier discovery in this case was the disclosure of a memo between Larry Page and Steve Lee of Google that identified location data as critical to Google’s mobile strategy: "I cannot stress enough how important Google’s Wi-Fi location database is to our Android and mo [...]

comScore: Apple’s iOS Reach Is “Double” Android’s

Android has been outselling the iPhone for many months now, and it's widely assumed that Android has all but eclipsed Apple in the market and among developers for mindshare. However today comScore released a more "holistic" look at iOS vs. Android that includes iPod Touch and iPad owners, which contradicts that conventional wisdom. When all the iOS devices are combined (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple's reach is 59 percent greater than Android's in the US market. The metrics firm says there are a combined 37.9 million iOS users in the US. By contrast there are 23.8 million combined Andr [...]

Google’s Android To Dominate Globally In 2011: Report

Tech consulting firm IDC has predicted that Google's mobile operating system will become the dominant mobile platform this year, achieving a global market share of 39.5 percent. The next in line would be former global leader Nokia with 20.9 percent. Apple comes in at 15.7 percent. Windows Phones to Overtake Apple (via Nokia) These figures are very aggressive in terms of Android's share and Nokia's decline. But they're consistent with the remarkable growth that Android has enjoyed over the past year. By 2015 IDC projects that Google will own 45.4 percent of the global smartphone market. Th [...]

Amazon Preempts Google Music With Cloud Player Streaming For Android

It would appear that Amazon is becoming Google's best frenemy. The company launched its well designed Android app store last week and yesterday surprised a lot of people by introducing Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. No, it apparently doesn't work on Apple devices. Beating Google Music to market it offers music storage and streaming via PC and Android devices. There's 5 GB of free storage (more if you buy music from Amazon) and inexpensive storage plans beyond that, starting at $20. As with iTunes users can upload and store their music collection. It also allows hosting of docume [...]

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