Apple with iPhone (running iOS) is the highly vertically integrated establishment that brings just a few types of smartphones to market. Google’s Android is the establishment that works with multiple handset manufacturers to bring an unending list of smartphones to market. In the last year or so, Android phones have become very popular and sometimes even outselling iPhones 2 to 1. However, with the recent introduction of the iPhone 4S and the Siri voice control service, iPhone sales are now neck-to-neck with Android sales, indicating how powerful the iOS 5.0 operating system and the Siri voice command application have become.
According to NPD, iOS devices account for 43 out of every 100 device sales and increasing, while Android devices account for only 47 out of 100 device sales and decreasing.
And this is only data from October/November 2011, a mere few months since the iPhone 4S was launched. The jump in sales-shareof iOS for September, October and November 2011 is astonishing.
By December and Christmas time, I fully expect iPhone 4S to be outselling Android devices and will probably continue doing so over the next 6 months or till Android comes with a viable competitor to Siri.
The battle for smartphone dominance between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android continues.
Recently the NPD group reported that 65% of tablet users have a Wi-Fi tablet (as opposed to a cellular tablet). This couldn’t be music to the cellular carriers’ ears.
Here are some reasons why WiFi tablet Sales far outstrip Cellular Tablet sales:
The High Cost of cellular data plans & lock-in
Availability of Wi-Fi in the majority of locations where tablets are used, providing ‘good enough’ Internet access.
The vast majority of tablet users already own a smartphone, so one could use a Mobile Hotspot instead.
There are also many more tablets hitting the market that do not provide cellular connectivity, such as the Kindle Fire.
At the same time, AT&T reports that the majority of Tablet customers purchase a cellular tablet with 3G connectivity
This is significant, given that AT&T apparently has 70% of the tablet market share among the top U.S. Wireless Carriers.
However, all this means is that the carriers just haven’t figured out a way to effectively sell WiFi enabled tablets.
Then again, if you’re buying a Wi-Fi tablet, there’s hardly a reason to buy from a cellular carrier.
According to Gartner, worldwide tablet sales will skyrocket to 326 million units. Apple or iOS will still lead the way, followed by an up and coming Android OS tablets. The following chart shows the leading OSs, namely, iOS, Android, Microsoft, and QNX
The following table shows the forecast for all major (and minor) OSs.
Imagine meeting someone new or a friend a colleague after a long time and you decide to exchange phone numbers with that person. Exchanging a phone number the usual way would mean asking the other person for his/her contact information, typing in his/her name and phone number, storing it in the phone’s address book, calling the other person, and then having the person type in your name and storing your information.
A Boston-based company called MobileSphere has just announced a service called Slydial to send a voicemail to any mobile phone in the U.S. without having the risk of the called party answering the call. Anyone can send a voicemail by calling 267-SLYDIAL (267-759-3425) and entering the phone number of any U.S. mobile subscriber. The service is free, but you have to listen to a 10-second audio advertisement.
What MobileSphere has done is to figure out a way to connect you directly with different U.S. cell phone providers voicemail systems.
Ericsson Chief Marketing Officer Johan Bergendahl is predicting that as Mobile Broadband takes off (and it is growing faster than mobile or fixed telephony ever did), Wi-Fi hotspots will become as obsolete as telephone booths. The reasoning is simple – As more and more cellular subscribers start using wireless broadband otherwise known as Wireless WAN (WWAN) technologies (e.g CDMA2000 EV-DO, HSPA/HSDPA/HSUPA, WiMAX, LTE) and it becomes available in many areas, WiFi hot spots will no longer be needed. In fact, Bergendahl says that “Hotspots at places like Starbucks are becoming the telephone boxes of the broadband era”.
T-Mobile USA has launched a wired phone service for $10 a month, plus taxes and fees, to its wireless subscribers in the Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth areas. The service, called “Talk Forever Home Phone”, comes with unlimited local and domestic long distance calls. This is a VoIP service that runs over a broadband connection, and in that sense, it is similar to VoIP offerings from the likes of Vonage. Talk Forever Home Phone will likely be available nationally in a few months. It works via a special Wi-Fi wireless router that you must buy, with a two-year contract, for a $50 one-time fee . The router has two phone jacks to connect 2 standard corded or cordless phones.
Verizon Wireless introduced an unlimited calling plan for $99.99 a month on last week. Verizon Wireless is the first major carrier to make an “unlimited” plan available nationwide with no domestic roaming or long-distance fees. At that time, it must have seemed like a good plan to upsell subscribers to “move up” to the unlimited level, including possibly getting new customers from the other cellular carriers, and to create some extra ‘buzz’.
The cellular market in India is growing rapidly. In 2007 alone the Indian cellular added more than 80 million cellular subscriptions. By end of 2008, India will have more than 300 million cellular customers, according to estimates by Wireless Intelligence. In comparison, the USA is expected to have 270 million customers by the end of 2008. At this level,
AT&T Mobility says it will step up its 3G buildout, expanding its high-speed mobile service to more than 80 additional cities in 2008. The planned expansion will provide AT&T 3rd generation (3G) high-speed data services to nearly 350 leading U.S. markets by the end of 2008, including all of the top 100 U.S. cities. The initiative will entail rolling out 1,500+ additional cell sites in the U.S. The AT&T 3G network now delivers downlink (download) speeds between 600 and 1,400 Kilobits per second (Kbps) and uplink (upload) speeds between 500 and 800 Kbps.
AT&T also plans to complete the deployment of High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) by the middle of 2008. HSUPA provides higher uplink speeds and is the next step in the evolution of AT&T’s 3G network that will the transition to High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) standards. With this change, AT&T will catch up to Verizon and Sprint in terms of high speed wireless coverage. In fact, AT&T may even have faster uploads with HSUPA than Verizon or Sprint has with their EV-DO Rev A network.
Currently, there are multiple 3G technologies used by different wireless carriers in the U.S. AT&T uses HSPA that is based on W-CDMA technology, while Verizon, Sprint, Alltel, and U.S. Cellular, use CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology. Sprint is also building another high-speed wireless network based on WiMAX, which was recently classified as a 3G technology. For 4th generation (4G) services, AT&T will use a technology named Long Term Evolution (LTE), a 4th generation technology that is still in the ‘development’ stage. Verizon too has announced that it will use LTE as its 4G technology, which will align it closely with its half-parent Vodafone, which mainly operates in Europe and Asia.