#android

Andy Rubin is out, Sundar Pichai is in.

This is a fascinating and surprising move given all the success Android has seen in recent months. I won’t attempt to speculate as to why this change is happening now — I’m sure we’ll get plenty of that over the next few days. What I do know is that Sundar Pichai, the Google executive who has been leading Chrome (and will continue to lead Chrome as well as Android — read into that what you will), is a great choice to take over.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Pichai a number of times over the years — thanks mainly, I can only assume, to my obsession with tracking Chrome in my writing days — and found him to be one of the most thoughtful and open-minded execs I have ever met.

This genuinely makes me excited about the future of Android — even if you’ll still have to pry my iPhone from my cold, dead hands.

I’m generally wary of these estimates (see: netbook projections from a few years ago), but even if IDC is off by a lot, this should be extremely troubling for Microsoft:

IDC said tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform would grow their market share from 1 percent last year to 7.4 percent in 2017.

Tablets running the Windows RT operating system, which is not compatible with older software that runs on Windows, will see their market share stay below 3 percent through 2017, IDC said.

The tablet market is expected to be close to 200 million units shipped in 2013. According to IDC, the iPad will control about half of that market with all the various Android tablets controlling the other half. Microsoft will be a non-player.

And even by 2017 — four full years from now — IDC doesn’t think Microsoft will control even 10 percent of the market. Yikes.

Gogo:

Apple devices are still reigning above the clouds, following the tablet trend with the iPad being the device of choice. Among all mobile devices being used to connect through Gogo, 84 percent carry Apple’s iOS operating system while 16 percent carry the Android operating system. If you look only at the smartphones our customers are using, the iPhone makes up 73 percent and all Android devices make up 26 percent, with Blackberry and Windows based devices each making up less than 1 percent of devices being used in air.

Android is winning. 

But really, the BlackBerry and Windows Phone numbers are just pathetic. 

[via Daring Fireball]

Ingrid Lunden for TechCrunch:

The new HTC One unveiled last month is increasingly feeling like last-chance saloon for the troubled Taiwan handset maker. Today HTC noted that its sales for the month of February fell by nearly 44% to 11.37 billion Taiwan dollars ($384 million), from NT$20.3 billion for the same month one year ago. Looking at the bigger picture, that NT$11.37 billion is barely higher than what HTC made in January 2010, when it reported NT$11.12 billion in sales.

This follows a quarter in which profit fell 91 percent. And that followed a quarter in which profit dropped 79 percent.

This is a two-horse race. Apple is winning the U.S. and Samsung is winning the rest of the world (with Huawei being an up-and-coming wildcard). It’s that simple.

Yes, there are other companies which help extend Android’s market share but none of them can seem to make any money. That’s not a viable long-term strategy

Kevin C. Tofel’s headline: 

Finally! More devices using Android 4 than older versions

Which reads like Android 4 is finally on the majority of Android devices (well, the ones Google tracks through the Play Store). But that’s not actually true. It’s actually still only 45.1 percent of those devices which are using Android 4.0 or later. The rest — the majority — are still using Android 3.2 or less.

Clearly, Tofel meant that Android 4.0 is finally bigger than the next largest single version of Android, 2.3 (Gingerbread), at 44.2 percent. But not only is the wording misleading, it’s a silly comparison to make since Android 4.0+ includes two different versions of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean — neither of which are actually larger than Gingerbread.

(Nevermind for a second that Android 4.0 is over 15 months old and it’s fucking ridiculous that it has taken this long to get on just 45.1 percent of Android devices.) 

But I’m okay giving Tofel a pass here considering that Google’s math doesn’t actually add up either. According to their own numbers, 45.1 percent of Android devices are using 4.0+ while 55.1 percent are using Android 3.2 and below. Yes, that’s 100.2 percent. 

bryan

bryan:

Classic DF takedown of what appears to be some awfully misleading journalism:

There are signs that Apple’s grip on tablets has been weakened among consumers, who are buying more devices made by Samsung and Amazon. Now the trend is trickling into the business market.

Stop reading there and what is the reader to think, other than “more bad news for Apple”? Two paragraphs later, we get the actual numbers:

Out of all of the tablets that installed Good’s management software during 2012, Android’s share grew from 2.7% in the first quarter to 6.8% by the fourth quarter, with the iPad grabbing nearly the entire rest of the market.

Overall, Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices made up 77% of new devices using Good Technology software last year, up from 71% in 2011, with Android-powered devices making up much of the rest.

The headline for Efrati’s story? “Report: Android Tablets Gain on iPads in Business Market”.

Never let the facts ruin a good headline.

Amir Efrati for WSJ:

But Mr. Rubin also said Samsung could become a threat if it gains more ground among mobile-device makers that use Android, the person said. Mr. Rubin said Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which makes Android-based smartphones and tablets, served as a kind of insurance policy against a manufacturer such as Samsung gaining too much power over Android, the person said. Google said Mr. Rubin wasn’t available for an interview.

I mean, how much more ground would Samsung have to gain? It absolutely dominates the Android landscape right now:

Samsung has increased its lead in Android-based smartphones, claiming 40.2% of the market in the fourth quarter, up from 38.7% a year earlier, according to IDC. Huawei Technologies Co. was in second place, with 6.6%, the same as a year earlier.

Basically everything in this article is the opposite of what Google has said publicly on the matter, but none of it should be surprising. 

Roger Cheng for CNET has the news that LG is buying the all-but-abandoned OS from HP. But:

LG has no intent to use WebOS for its smartphones, with the company largely focused on Android as its mobile operating system of choice. Indeed, much of the WebOS team members that work on the various mobile products at HP has already left, according to a person familiar with the deal.

However, Nilay Patel of The Verge has other information:

HP will indeed sell key pieces of its webOS product and team to LG for use in smart TVs, but contrary to earlier leaked reports, the deal doesn’t include the entire webOS portfolio. What’s more, LG’s plans include the possibility of eventually producing a phone or other mobile devices that run webOS, although the company remains focused on televisions in the short term.

He goes on to note that this sounds a bit like a clusterfuck, with LG seemingly not very clear about what they want to do with webOS (sort of like, well, HP):

And LG doesn’t seem to have a firm long-term plan for webOS, and all options are on the table. “In the short term, we’ll apply this to the TV only,” said Dr. Ahn. “But in the future, wherever our plans take us, we’ll consider an extension to other devices.” Asked why it made more sense to invest in webOS than to repurpose Android, Ahn said that LG would use Android “together” with webOS, but that he thinks “webOS is better in some of the user experience like card UI.”

Sure sounds like a hedging of a bet to me…

Emil Protalinski of The Next Web:

The bigger picture is still the same though: Gingerbread (released December 2010) is first, ICS (October 2011) is second, the latest and greatest Jelly Beans (June 2012 and November 2012) are third, and Froyo (May 2010) is fourth.

An OS that is 2 years and 2 months old controls over 45 percent of the Android ecosystem. An OS that is 1 year and 4 months old controls another 30 percent. 75 percent of the entire Android ecosystem is still on the non-current versions of the OS. It’s 2013.

The latest OS controls just 13.6 percent of the market, 8 months after its initial release — which is actually a huge improvement. And we wonder why developers are still going iOS-first.

We don’t own the ecosystem because we’ve chosen up to this point not to innovate in that direction.

Justin Denison, Samsung’s VP of strategy and market intelligence, talking to Michal Lev-Ram of Fortune (or CNNMoney or Money or something — who the hell is in charge of this branding?).

Obviously, he’s talking about Samsung’s strategy of partnering on mobile OSes. Most notably, of course, with Android. Just in case you need it spelled out for you, focus on: "up to this point".