Altabel Group's Blog

Archive for August 2010

Given the ever-expanding lineup and ever-increasing popularity of Android-powered smartphones, it was inevitable that the Google-backed mobile operating system would surpass sales of Apple’s rival iPhone sooner and later. And that time is now.

According to the Nielsen Company Android devices accounted for 27 percent of U.S. smartphone sales in the U.S. during the first half of 2010, four percentage points higher than the iPhone. However Apple’s iPhone is still the dominant smartphone in Europe, accounting for more of the market than any other provider. The rise and fall of each of these platforms are determined by major product announcements/launches.

But even though Android sales are skyrocketing, the iPhone remains in the center of consumers’ attention. Nielsen notes that 89 percent of current iPhone users plan to remain loyal to the iOS platform when the time comes to upgrade to a new device, with 21 percent of Android owners feel inclined to move to the Apple smartphone. Only 71 percent of Android users plan to stick with their current platform. Android may be closing the gap in terms of market share, but it still has some distance to go to catch the iPhone in terms of consumer mindshare.

Best regards,
Aliona Kavalevich

What I mean is both in respect to what a user can manage effectively and of course to what the system can manage …

Some of us download apps like sugar-mad children let loose in a sweet store. But who can actually tell when do you cross the line from being an explorative app user to becoming addicted to these little software packages? And what do your apps say about you?

15 apps – why did you buy this phone in the first place? This is like having a Rolls Royce and only driving to the corner shop in it. I guess it is the right time to pick up some new ones.

16 to 30 apps – you’ve made an effort, you know what the app store is, but you might be missing out on some application treasures.

31 to 60 apps – this is probably a good happy medium. You probably can find the app you want when you need it.

61 to 100 apps – be careful! You are at the threshhold of app-mania. But if you’re a power-user, love your iPhone to pieces, maybe you do know what’s on page 6 ;)

100 to 180apps – you ought to stop while you still can. Do you even use those tetris spin-off games on page 8? It’s not good for your bank balance, your concentration, your self-esteem or your iPhone battery.

One question is still in the air and that is – what is your smartphone is thinking about it? I am wondering how many you can load your device down with before it bogs the system down? Should people kill the applications they don’t use much? Or if they aren’t hurting anything then there’s no harm to keeping them onboard “just in case.”

What is an optimal amout for the smartphone system to be able to multitask and manage all these apps ?

Best regards,
Aliona Kavalevich
Altabel Group

A recent study shows that the latest sales numbers for Android-based phones are larger than those for the iPhone. But RIM’s BlackBerry beats them both. Sounds so strange for me because as the smart phone wars rage on, one thing has become eminently clear: Consumers are in love with fruit flavors – especially Apples and Blackberries :)

That’s why I was interested in learning someone else opinion.

“Currently, RIM has a solid market share because of their history. That gives them the benefit of loyal customers in the face of newer technologies being implemented and released. Ultimately though, RIM is in last place technology-wise. They took longer than everyone else to incorporate high speed internet, touch screen functionality, etc.

Android is the current leader because they have a solid product, an even more solid marketing scheme and most importantly, diversity and availability. The partnership with companies like HTC and Motorola allows Google to focus on the software and leverages other capable hardware manufacturers to do the work of building the handset. They were smart enough to avoid carrier exclusivity which means their handsets can be enjoyed and used by customers of any network. That alone opens them up to more of an international consumer base and a greater domestic one as well.

Apple and its iPhone have done themselves a great number of disservices. First off, by locking themselves to one carrier, they lose a portion of their consumer base that isn’t willing to ditch a carrier just for a phone. Secondly, they lose the international audience because they solely develop one piece of hardware that connects to one type of network and its one set of frequencies. Europe, Asia and Australia (who all use different frequencies) are left out in the cold. Lastly, the iPhone has consistently been a letdown with each new release. The first one was slow with no features. The second one added some features but they were weaker than every other phone out there. The third iteration was a glorified remodel of the second with cut and paste thrown in. The fourth release was plagued with yellow screens and the “grip of death” fiasco. Apple’s greatest power is its marketing machine but unless they expose themselves to more of the market by dealing with other carriers (especially internationally), they’ll never be able to maintain a true lead in the industry.

Ultimately, phones are subjective instruments that have as much to do with the user as they do with the device itself and you can’t really declare a winner so much as you can say who has the best outlook for the near future. I wouldn’t expect Android to lose much momentum in the near term and it remains to be seen whether or not Microsoft has any hopes of making a dent when they release Windows Phone 7. Good question, by the way.”
Jonathan Younie

“I think “winner” is a vague question. It does appear that the latest numbers show Android outselling iPhone, but I really don’t think that includes the numbers of iPhones sold in their most recent release (there’s debate on whether it does).
No matter what, Android is the hottest and fastest growing architecture. iPhone loyalists feel their UI is best as do Android loyalists.

However, Android has an advantage in that it’s not locked to one network, or even one device for that matter. For the most part and with their history of releases, Apple can only release a new device once a year. However, a new hot Android device is coming out almost monthly. That’s a pace that Apple will struggle keeping up with going forward.
However, RIM, though they haven’t kept pace with technology or a new interface (even with their most recent release yesterday), has tremendous loyalty from IS support/infrastructure staff because of its proven security model. Apple and Android are still catching up there, so I wouldn’t count Blackberry out….probably won’t be a lot of growth, but I doubt they’ll have a rapid loss of user base either especially within the corporate world.

So the winner? Who knows? Personally, I think Android has the most potential for growth (both in terms of numbers of devices and use within corporate infrastructures), but I could definitely be wrong.

All I know is it’ll be exciting to watch.”
Rich Kneece

“The winner is the consumer, because we have choices and because competition among these technologies results in greater innovation and better value.”
Bob Kalsey

“It all depends what you mean by winner of course. Although RIM has the largest market share currently, Android is catching up very quickly. What is much more interesting though is the desires of BlackBerry owners. According to a Nielsen report (see link below), 50% of BlackBerry owners say they will switch OS at the next upgrade. Just 11% of Iphone owners said they would switch.”
Mark Brill

“It will be very early to say …who is winner?
What I say is… mobile market is growing as well as changing rapidly and it required time to finalize who is winner as all are trying HARD enough to save the current position/market share and after that only the question come how to be number one… :-)
Sandeep Choudhary

Who is the winner in your opinion?

Kristina Kozlova

Lots of articles are dedicated to iPad. As a rule they contain pretty much criticism. I read tons of this smart stuff by tech folks and should admit got quite inspired by that and all. So, while the conversation on the topic with one guy who had his own IT company I started sort of reproaching Apple for such a clumsy device. I expected kind of agree-feedback from the guy, but to my amazement the thing he said was actually: “Hey, girl, you read too many tech blogs :)”

Hmm. Numbers speak for themselves. [Apple sold 3.3 million iPads in Q2, the product’s first quarter on the market. That was more than the number of MacBook laptops (2.5 million) that the company sold in Q2. Plus, the two products combined catapulted Apple from No. 7 in the global notebook market to No. 3.] So, looks like today’s world has definitely decided that it needs iPad as is.
Moreover, [all of the other top five notebook vendors saw their growth slow during the same period, suggesting that the iPad cut into their sales]. The time will show what it has been: [a short-term bump based on the hype and anticipation for the product], or [even further amplified phenomenon during the back-to-school and holiday seasons]?

iPad has been long claimed to provide one-sided experience, namely being poor for content editing and creating. That is the reason for many technicians’ criticism. But are these guys average users? The 90-9-1 principle still applies across most of the Web: only 1% of users are actual content creators, while 9% are commenters and modifiers, and the remaining 90% are simply readers or consumers. So, a huge market share is left to be picked by iPad.

What else makes iPad more attractive in consumers’ eyes are features like long battery life, massive centralized platform for third-party apps and their updates, simple interface and friendly size. These are what laptop manufacturers can learn from iPad to make their products more competitive in the market.

And what do YOU think right now? Will iPad audience grow really big? Are iPad applications already among your products ? Has development for iPad already become a must-have for your company?
Welcome to share your points of view here. All are highly appreciated.

BR, Helen
Altabel Group

Smartphone app development is exploding, leaving developers confronted with a plethora of choices. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your mobile apps.

First of all study your application. For this purpose you should ask yourself the following questions:

- Is it a free application?
– Is it a commercial one?
– How do I want it to be distributed?

For free applications, I recommend Android, as it has a very nice marketplace and it’s inexpensive to publish.

For commercial applications, iPhone is the best target. iTunes is a great distribution system, and an average user is more inclined to buy an iPhone app than an Android one.

For a closed business self-distributed application, Windows Mobile is a good choice. Actually for this type, any of the three platforms are good.

Once you get to know your applications target and distribution system, you should think about your knowledge/resources:

- What do I know to program?
– What does my programming team know?

And finally, once you know your target language, you must check if the selected platform meets your software/hardware requirements:

- What type of hardware peripherals do I need?
– Which processor do I need? And so on.

Android and Windows Mobile have quite a wide range of devices, while iPhone only three. If you want to ensure the correct development of your app without caring for the hardware, iPhone is the best choice; all models are nearly the same. But if the iPhone hardware doesn’t have what you need you can do nothing about it. In this case a platform like Windows Mobile can be better.

So much depends on your application. All the application types have distinct hardware/software requirements, so you should study them well before taking a decision.

If you have answered all those questions above and have a clear vision of an app you wish to have, then the platform which answers your wishes to the fullest extent, is the best for your app.

Altabel Group specialists are currently programming for those three platforms, so from our own experience we can state that each one has its advantages:

On Android the hardware is used easily, the nice Eclipse Java IDE, and the market.

On iPhone, iTunes is the best of all, easy distribution channel to make money (but expensive if you’re targeting for low profile apps).
And Windows Mobile is a more friendly platform for the programmer; it lets you do nearly everything with the hardware/OS.

And what’s your opinion on this topic?

Kristina Kozlova
Altabel Group

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