Архив метки: RIM

Android And iOS Still Lead In Smartphone Market Share, But The Race For Third Rages On


Nielsen released another of their periodic looks at the U.S. smartphone market today, and aside from the revelation that two-thirds of U.S. phone purchasers went for smartphones in Q2 2012, the results are as you’d expect.

Android still leads the pack in terms of pure penetration — as of this past June, it accounts for 51.8% of smartphones in use (up from 50.4% in Q1 2012) with Apple’s iOS right behind it at 34%. Don’t feel too bad for Apple though, as they still have the highest manufacturer share by far (34% in Q2), with Samsung at a distant second.

That those two platforms still hold first and second place shouldn’t come as surprise, and their slight gains come at a cost. Nielsen has RIM still clinging to third place despite another quarterly drop, as it now accounts for 8.1% of smartphones in use. Meanwhile, the rest of the competition languishes below 5% as of Q2 2012.

It’s that part of the market that seems the most interesting right now, as there’s still plenty of room in the market for a third strong mobile ecosystem to emerge while Apple and Google continue to slug it out. The question though is what that third platform will be, and there are no clear indicators to be found in Nielsen’s data.

RIM looks like a possibility, considering it has managed to hold on to a its tenuous third, though it’s tough to say how their recent performance will affect this figure going forward. CEO Thorsten Heins noted during the company’s somewhat contentious shareholders meeting that their current and forthcoming BlackBerry 7 devices would comprise the company’s low and mid-range product tiers until it can push out a full slate of BB10 hardware next year.

Still, RIM had best gird itself for a long(er) transition period, as its split focus between platforms may not do it any favors. The process of shifting users from older devices to new ones will take a considerable amount of time, especially as the company focuses on getting existing BlackBerry users to upgrade right now.

Of course, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is set to make its official debut this fall, putting it well ahead of RIM’s nascent “computing platform.” That’s not to say a head start is all that it takes to win in a race like this — there’s something to be said for how well a company can capture new customers (or upgrade older ones), and Microsoft seems to have had some issues with that. Nielsen’s data still puts Microsoft’s aging Windows Mobile platform (3% of the market as of Q2 2012) ahead of the much-newer Windows Phone (1.3%). With any luck, Microsoft has learned a few things and garnered enough developer support to put Windows Phone 8 higher up in the rankings, but only time will tell whether or not either of these companies has the savvy to make real contenders of their forthcoming mobile operating systems.

Android And iOS Still Lead In Smartphone Market Share, But The Race For Third Rages On

Leaked Slide Sheds New Light On RIM’s First BlackBerry 10 Devices


To say that RIM has a lot riding on their new BlackBerry 10 platform is a hell of an understatement, but to date the company has generally kept quiet on what consumers can expect from their first BlackBerry 10 devices.

As anticipation builds for a launch slated for later this year, N4BB has gotten their hands on an internal slide that reveals a few new details about RIM’s first BlackBerry 10 phones.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed at this year’s BlackBerry World event that the first BlackBerry 10 device to hit the market would be a touchscreen-only model, and RIM has been getting developers ready for it by doling out thousands of their Dev Alpha devices.

While company representatives were quick to note that the Dev Alpha was nothing close to the touchscreen device they would eventually ship, the slide notes that the L-series BlackBerry (previously known as the London) would sport an OLED display running at the same 1280×768 resolution as the alpha hardware. That display manages to cram 356 pixels into every inch, which also confirms that the L-series device will have a 4.2-inch display panel.

The slide also offers up a few details about what RIM has planned for their forthcoming keyboard-toting N-series model, perhaps most notably that the phone’s OLED display will run at 720 x 720 with a pixel density of 330 ppi. Crunching the numbers points to a screen that’s just a shade under 3.1 inches diagonal, making it the largest display to go on a more traditionally designed BlackBerry (the touch-friendly Torch series had larger 3.7-inch displays).

Just when these first devices will begin to trickle out of Waterloo is still a carefully-guarded secret, but sources have told N4BB in the past that an August announcement for the first BlackBerry 10 device would be followed by an October release.

Interestingly, the leak comes hot on the heels of rumors that RIM was pondering the outright sale of their handset business, something that doesn’t seem terribly outlandish considering CEO Heins’ past statements on corporate strategy. That said, The Globe and Mail reported earlier today that sources close to RIM have denounced the rumors as short-sighted and untrue.

Leaked Slide Sheds New Light On RIM’s First BlackBerry 10 Devices

BlackBerry PlayBook Update Adds Improved Android Compatibility


The RIM PlayBook by just received a developers update that adds some interesting new Android functionality to RIM’s tablet. This new version now supports Android apps running in their own windows, improving compatibility with the general Android app universe.

From Crackberry:

Improved HTML5 support
Portrait support for Email, Calendar and Contacts
Improved folder support including IMAP folder support
Full device encryption is now supported, so that the whole device and personal partition can be secure.
Screenshots are now saved in lossless PNG format.
Each Android app will now run in its own window. This greatly improves the user experience and consistency among the other application runtimes.
Access to the Camera hardware is now supported for Android apps, allowing many more application types to work on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.
In-App Payment is now supported through the BlackBerry Payment SDK, so Android applications can include virtual items for sale in their applications.

This version is butting up against the incoming BB10 OS that will soon appear on phones and tablets, but, as the Verge notes, the BB10 PlayBook should be able to run apps written for previous OS versions.

Oddly, this version seems like a bit of a dead end but it’s nice to see Android functionality getting fleshed out more concretely.

via RIM

BlackBerry PlayBook Update Adds Improved Android Compatibility

As Layoffs Loom, RIM’s Chief Legal Officer Steps Down


There goes another one — RIM announced today that Chief Legal Officer Karima Bawa will soon be leaving the company. This is RIM’s second major departure in as many weeks, with RIM sales head Patrick Spence leaving the ailing smartphone maker last Wednesday.

At the time, sources pointed to audio electronics company Sonos as his likely landing spot, though neither Spence nor Sonos have officially commented on the situation.

Unlike Spence, who reportedly jumped ship after being passed over for the company’s vacant COO spot (Sony Mobile EVP Kristian Tear eventually got the job), Bawa’s situation seems much less contentious. After spending nearly twelve years with the company (two of which were in her current spot), she’s finally looking to retire.

According to Reuters, Bawa’s departure was no surprise — she apparently revealed her desire to leave months in advance, and will be sticking around long enough to get her successor up to speed.

Still, a loss is a loss, and if recent reports are to be believed there are plenty more to come. Rumblings of a new round of layoffs have making the rounds lately, with the Financial Post reporting yesterday that nearly 6,000 employees are said to be on the proverbial chopping block.

RIM laid off 2,000 employees as part of a drastic cost cutting measure in July 2011 which acccounted for 11% of the company’s total workforce at the time. If these latest layoffs indeed come to pass, RIM will (for better or worse) be smaller than it has been in years. The Waterloo-based company needs to put as much of their effort as possible into crafting their forthcoming BlackBerry 10, and it remains to be seen whether or not this new, lean RIM is up to the task. Their early focus on luring developers to the platform with developer-friendly hardware and tools was a smart one, but market share shrinking and a launch window that could put it up against stiff competition, RIM can’t really afford for it to be anything other than a homerun.

As Layoffs Loom, RIM’s Chief Legal Officer Steps Down

Big Apple Leads Millennial Q1 Device Ranks By Wide Margin: 28% For Brand, 15% For iPhone


Mobile advertising company  Millennial  Media, one of the biggest in the U.S., has released its quarterly ad impression report, and the results show that Apple continues to remain the single-biggest brand, and most popular phone maker, on the Millennial ad network — with the rest of the list largely dominated by Android.

Apple has a clear lead in the field of device makers based on brand: the popularity of Apple’s iPhone handsets, iPad tablets and iPod music players gave the company a share of 28.32 percent of all devices on the network, with its closest competitor, Samsung, picking up a share of 18.25 percent of the overall market impressions. Millennial also notes that non-phone devices are continuing to see a growing impact on the overall mix.

RIM slipped down to number-five in the list of top manufacturers, and  with 10.16 percent of all devices, and Nokia, once the leading vendor of mobile handsets, is now down to 10th position, with a 0.91 percent share of mobile devices.

When considering individual handset models, you can really see the strength of Apple’s strong portfolio essentially built around one device. Apple only had the iPhone (unspecified which precise model; perhaps all three) in the top-20, but usage of iPhones was enough to give it 15.1 percent of the whole market. The next-closest competitor was BlackBerry Curve with a 4.44 percent share of the market.

In contrast to Apple, other handset makers are still relying on several handset models, which all do moderately well, so that in aggregate they are gaining better market share. For example, RIM has five handsets in the top-20, the biggest number. Together that accounted for only 12 percent of impressions. Samsung had four handsets, which together made eight percent of impressions. HTC also had four models in top-20, with Motorola listing three.

Although the usage of tablets is really taking off — Millennial notes that is up by 33 percent over last year, with iPad very much in the lead — smartphones are still accounting for the vast majority of traffic. Collectively, they account for 73 percent of all ad impression traffic, versus 62 percent the year before. Traffic from tablets and other non-smartphone devices went up as well, t0 20 percent from 15 percent, while feature phones are really in decline. Lower end devices not account for only seven percent of ad impression traffic, compared to 23 percent a year ago.

When it comes to platforms, although Apple leads in terms of single brand, the sheer aggregation of Android device makers continues to push Google’s OS into the lead. Android now has 49 percent of all impressions, with iOS at 33 percent. Millennial notes that Android overtook iOS as the dominant platform in 2011. BlackBerry is at 14 percent to round out the top three.

In terms of popular apps, Millennial says that games were the most popular category, and it grew by 10 percent over last year. Music and entertainment took the number-two position. The full rankings for popular app categories are below:

Big Apple Leads Millennial Q1 Device Ranks By Wide Margin: 28% For Brand, 15% For iPhone