Every market research company known to the world plus her or his dog is pointing to the inevitable. There’s no compelling reason to buy another tablet once you’ve got one or two and a smartphone as well.
And that view is underlined by Taiwanese market research company Digitimes Research (DR), which knows what it’s talking about because Taiwan is the engine room of hardware and has been since the mid to late 1980s.
DR is forecasting that global tablet shipments will fall by 15 percent in the third quarter of this year – that’s the quarter we’re in, folks.
Apple, DR suggests won’t bother launch a new iPad Air for the nine inch size, but will just carry on selling the iPad Airs it’s already selling.
Nevertheless, the analysts believe – and we believe with some justification – that Apple will ship a 12.85 inch iPad later this year.
Apple will not fare well against mainstream Android vendors and Windows 10 isn’t going to necessarily make the world a better place.
DR forecasts the top four players in the quarter wil be Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and Asustek. That might cheer Intel up a bit, like Microsoft the chip giant is trying to sail its boat through the doldrums.
Oracle long-running legal battle with Google over Google’s Android looks like it will run for years, with a new trial not being heard until the middle of next year.
The case involves how much copyright protection should extend to the Java programming language, which Google used to design Android.
Oracle wants royalties for Google’s use of Java language, while Google argues those parts of Java should be free.
The US Supreme Court declined to end the case in Google’s favour and sent the case back to San Francisco federal court for further proceedings. In 2012, a jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s copyright but deadlocked on Google’s fair use defence.
US District Judge William Alsup reviewed a series of legal issues that must be resolved before a retrial on fair use and damages.
Google’s Android operating system is the world’s best-selling smartphone platform. Oracle sued Google five years ago and is seeking roughly $1 billion in copyright claims.
Alsup said his trial calendar likely precludes another trial until spring of next year. He also asked whether mediation would help the companies settle the case. Google attorney Robert Van Nest said he thought mediation would be “premature.”
Alsup ordered the companies into mediation “whether you like it or not.”
Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry is considering pulling out of the smartphone business which made it a household name.
BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen revealed the Canadian company was looking to further reduce the phones they release a year, dropping it from about four phones a year to about one or two.
While this is done as a means to cut costs, the signs are the decline of BlackBerries might not stop there.
BlackBerry has hinted that it is willing to exit the smartphone market should its turnaround efforts fail. Already the company is shifting its strategy, moving beyond hardware and starting to concentrate in software and security.
Chen also notes that competing with Chinese and Indian OEMs for the lower-end market isn’t ideal.
He said the low-end phone is not BlackBerry’s “sweet spot” and that high-end gear aimed at the working professional would be more profitable.
Blackberry recently announced plans for an Android handset. This could be the company’s last-ditch try at creating hardware and oddly mirrors the approach taken by Nokia before it sold itself to Microsoft.
More than 95 percent of Android phones are open to an attack delivered by a simple multimedia text.
Mobile security expert Joshua Drake, from Zimperium zLabs warned that sometimes phones parse the attack code before the message being opened. This makes the exploits silent and the user would have little chance of defending their data. The vulnerabilities are the worst Android flaws ever uncovered, Drake claimed.
Drake had warned Google about the six bugs and Google has sent out patches to its partners. However most manufacturers have not made fixes available to protect their customers.
“All devices should be assumed to be vulnerable,” Drake said.
He believes as many as 950 million Android phones could be affected, going on figures suggesting there are just over 1 billion in use. Only Android phones below version 2.2 are unaffected.
The bug is in Stagefright which is an Android media playback tool. All attackers send out exploits as mobile phone numbers. From there, they could send an exploit packaged in a Stagefright multimedia message. This allows them to write code to the device and steal data from sections of the phone that Stagefright controls.
Recording of audio and video, and snooping on photos stored in SD cards would be possible. Bluetooth would also be hackable via Stagefright.
The victim might never know they had even received a message. Drake found that when the exploit code was opened in Google Hangouts it would “trigger immediately before you even look at your phone.”
Chip giant Intel is set to dump Android as its primary focus and instead hopes Windows tablets will make the grade in the future.
Intel has spent hundreds of millions of pounds aiming to be a player in the tablet and smartphone markets but so far has seen little for the money it’s spent.
Digitimes Research believes that Intel will more or less dump Android and drop its subsidy for tablets using the OS and incorporating its own microprocessors.
But that is a gamble that could well be based on over-inflated estimates for the success of Windows 10, which starts to ship at the end of this month.
In a separate report, the Digitimes wire said that Microsoft is unlikely to make headway in the smartphone market or the tablet market.
Instead, Windows 10 is likely to be the choice for people using traditional notebook designs.
However, as we reported elsewhere today, shipments of notebook PCs are in decline and it’s by no means certain that Windows 10 will boost sales by a significant amount. Commercial organisations, in any case, prefer not to go for a new iteration of a Windows operating system until all the bugs have been ironed out.
Businesses and developers are worried that Android is unable to cope with IPv6.
While the rest of the world is moving to support DHCPv6 including Windows, OS X, iOS, and most of the Linux distributions, Google is sitting on its hands.
Writing in his bog, Google developer and noted IPv6 authority Lorenzo Colliti claims that the reasons for the lack of DHCPv6 implementation is that it might break legacy apps that rely on IPv4 and force developers to adopt IPv6 network address translation (with negative app performance consequences).
At the same time DHCPv6 address assignment imposes these disadvantages on users, but doesn’t actually seem to provide any advantages to users, he wrote.
However that is hacking off many business users who want to move to IPv6 but can’t because many of their mobile users are on Android.
It is also starting to backfire on Google because DHCPv6 is so important to companies that they are bar Android devices that can’t use the system from corporate networks by their legal departments.
Legal requirements for identifying the sources of traffic, including the DMCA, made DHCPv6 crucially important.
All this is having a knock on effect on the development of BYOD because many of the devices that are using this tech are android based.
A report said that an analysis of the global installed base for smartphones and tablets showed that the Google Play shop is doing better than Apple’s iOS Apple Store.
IDC’s report said that Android devices represent nearly 75 percent of the worldwide installed base, with iOS and other devices losing share.
Although people with Apple devices spend more on their apps, nevertheless worldwide spend on Google Play grew by 50 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to Apple’s growth of 30 percent.
Games, in the first quarter of this year, represent 30 percent of all downloads on Apple devices and 40 percent of downloads from Google Play.
And it’s multiplayer games that rule the roost, IDC said. They account for 60 percent of spend.
Top scoring mobile games in the first quarter are Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, and Game of War: Fire Age.
Despite figures that show shipments of tablets and 2-in-1 devices will fall by 3.8 percent compared to 2014, there is still an opportunity for vendors selling the machines.
That’s according to a report from IDC, which said cellular tablets and 2-in-1 devices are showing strong growth in some regions.
Jean Philippe Bouchard, an IDC research director, said: “Cellular connected devices fill multiple needs for vendors and carries around they world. They offer a quick solution to price and margin erosion, and when compared to smartphones they offer a less expensive way for carriers to increase their subscriber base.”
Bouchard said that these type of devices currently only represent a small part of the whole market but will grow this year and beyond, compared to wi-fi only devices.
The rise of smartphones with larger screens – so called “phablets” – are having an impact on the market because people think that they won’t need a tablet because a phone with a bigger screen fits the bill.
IDC released a chart showing tablet and 2-in-1 share by operating system, which shows a decline in the Android operating system and a gain in the Windows operating system.
Global smartphone sales are only expected to grow by 11.3 percent in 2015, a fall from 27.6 percent last year.
But the picture varies according to regions.
IDC said that many markets will show “robust growth” this year and beyond and predicts that worldwide shipments will reach 1.9 billion units by 2019.
China’s smartphone growth will only be 2.5 percent in 2015 and Android growth will also slow there this year and over the next four years.
There are still opportunities for Apple sales because much of the company’s installed base are using old models. Apple wants Android users to switch to iOS but the price difference is holding up its plans.
Here are IDC’s projections for the different operating systems between now and 2019.
Microsoft’s push into mobile might be stalled by the lack of apps as developers are only interested in writing for Android and iOS, at least that is if you really believe the Tame Apple Press.
Microsoft put the fear of god into Google and Apple by making its new version of Windows accept tweaked Apple and Android apps. But Apple’s favourite news agency, Reuters claims that will not work because Apple is great and has all the developers while Microsoft smells of Nintendo.
The posting reads like a classic Tame Apple Press hatchet job on a potential Apple rival, the only difference is that it does mention Android every time it mentions Jobs’ Mob.
Reuters talked to “a dozen” of “unnamed developers” and found few were going to convert their apps to Microsoft’s new Windows 10. Four, who already had windows apps said they would do so eventually but “eight said that they were not developing apps for Windows 10 at all”.
Buried at the bottom of the story is a line which confirms why this might be the case. Microsoft hasn’t actually unveiled its new set of tools to turn apps into a Windows format, and so developers don’t know if it is going to be easy or not.
That’s King.com, which ported its popular Candy Crush Saga game from iOS to Windows 10 “with very few code modifications” and will be installed automatically with upgrades to Windows 10.
A Microsoft spokesman said that “it is still early” and many software companies want to explore the tools over the coming months.
Also buried at the bottom of the story was a comment from Jason Thane, general manager at General UI, a mobile app developer based in Seattle who said that if Microsoft has a way for his customers to cheaply and easily upgrade Android and iOS apps for Windows 10 they will have a lot of people wanting to do it.
The rest of the story was all historical about how Microsoft has failed to interest developers in the past. The format of the story is identical to a format peddled in the early days of Android, when the Tame Apple Press would say that there was not enough Android Apps out there to compete with Apple.
Given what Microsoft is proposing, as the response from the Tame Apple Press, there is a fear that Microsoft might be on the right track and will take control of Apple and Android’s app store cache practically overnight.