Feeds

WP7 vs Android: a struggle for supremacy

Microsoft must not throw away its best chance to outwit Google

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Is Samsung putting WP7 ahead of Android?

Probably the biggest blow in Android‘s hitherto charmed life came last week from Samsung, which, though never religious about operating systems, is hugely important to the success of any platform because of its market size. It has traditionally supported almost any open OS out there – Symbian, WinMo, LiMO, other Linux flavors, and more recently Android and WP7. But it has been narrowing its focus somewhat as it aims to release a few truly high impact devices, rather than take its usual scattergun approach into the smartphone market. It has backed away from Symbian and LiMO and its belated smartphone push centered on variations of a single handset, the hugely successful Galaxy S. But despite the high sales of that phone, it seems that Samsung will focus mainly on Windows Phone 7, rather than Android, in 2011.

According to a report in iMobile.com, Samsung plans for almost two- thirds of its high end models next year to run WP7, even though senior executives said, just a few months ago, that they would prioritise on Android. At this stage, WP7 had not yet hit the market, and Samsung had decided to move away from Symbian.

Samsung insiders said there was no pullback from Android, but it would greatly expand its smartphone ranges overall next year. It may be that the firm believes it can steal an early march in WP7 and dominate it more easily than Android, though previously, HTC and LG have been the closest Microsoft partners.

However its range balances out, the vendor will continue to use its scale to create a wide range of different models targeted carefully at different user profiles. Its own bada platform is also reported to be faring better than many had expected. When it was launched at the start of the year, single-vendor operating systems seemed to be on their way out, but since then the market has fragmented again, with several new options such as MeeGo and webOS 2.0 on the horizon.

And according to consultant Tomi Ahonen, in his latest quarterly update on smartphones, bada had 1.3 million active users in the third quarter, about 2 per cent of the global base for high-end handsets.

That would make bada the most successful mobile OS launch since the first iPhone iOS, achieved with only one handset, the popular Wave, and without the support of a US cellco. The Wave boasted Samsung‘s Super AMOLED display technology and a friendly, widget-based user interface at a lower price than the Galaxy S. It has now been joined by two further bada handsets.

Android remains in pole position to take second place in smartphones next year, and to usurp Symbian in some markets. But the market is a fluid and uncertain one, and Google‘s CEO Eric Schmidt needs to take a more decisive stance.

At last week‘s Web 2.0 Summit, he had his head firmly in the sand, saying the contracts made with the Open Handset Alliance (the group of Android supporters) were good enough to prevent a splintering of Android Market, and that Market apps would run across all handsets. Netflix and Rovio say otherwise, and Google needs to address the issue before it suffers the ultimate humiliation of losing out to Microsoft. ®

Copyright © 2010, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.