Feeds

WP7 vs Android: a struggle for supremacy

Microsoft must not throw away its best chance to outwit Google

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.