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TIZEN to Rival Android and iOS

TIZEN LOGO

2013 has been a very successful and a special year for smart phone market. For the first time in smart phone history, worldwide shipments surpassed the 1 billion mark for the first time. When looking at the reports released by IDC (International Data Corporation), it can be seen that Android and iOS has contributed 95.7% of these shipments. Android has had a market share of 78.1% of the smart phones, while iOS has had 17.6% of the market chare at the end of the year 2013.

When looking at the year by year pattern, it is quite evident that trend is an upward and with more and more innovations and R&D, the trend would definitely be a positive one for smart phones.

This might be the reason why a global collaboration of tech firms have started developing a new smart phone OS to rival Android and iOS. The new OS has been given the name ‘TIZEN’. Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo has announced that new OS will be launched in the next few months. Rumors say that the OS will be available in some mobile phones which are expected be released after end of March 2014. It was reported that Samsung has had a dedicated booth for TIZEN OS powered Samsung devices at the Mobile World Congress 2014, Barcelona, Spain.

TIZEN Report

TIZEN Version of Brand New Samsung Galaxy S5 Was Seen At the World Mobile Congress 2014, Barcelona, Spain

Though TIZEN has the backing of a strong collaboration of tech firms – Intel, Fujitsu, Samsung, LG, HUAWEI, Vodafone and Orange, will it be possible to challenge Android’s dominance and iOS’s quality? Only time will tell.

One would argue, TIZEN being an open source platform and can be developed freely by anyone around the world, there is a huge chance that it would bring up more innovations than Android and iOS. And on the other hand, Chinese government has already banned a few Google products. That has brought down the relevance of Android vastly in world’s biggest smart phone market. Hence, TIZEN has a huge opportunity in China. Another plus point for TIZEN would be the expected planned mobile network charing between NTT Docomo, China Mobile and KT, with the idea of internationalize their businesses and stimulate the Asian market. All 3 countries in this collaboration support TIZEN and there is every chance that these 3 huge operators would use TIZEN as a business promotional media.

TIZEN_Association

Tizen Association is steered by a Board of Directors including representation from up to 10 companies.

The promotion strategy used by TIZEN Association would be very critical, since Blackberry and Windows Mobile OS, which were the number 3 and 4 in the IDC list, are also very strong and viable Oss with the backing of strong R&D teams and tech giants. But there is something wrong with these two Oss, because they did not make the expected revolution.

Only time would tell the fate of TIZEN. Looking at the trends, it is hard to believe Android or iOS would lose their market shares as TIZEN would like.

For further information about TIZEN, please visit,

https://www.tizen.org/

https://www.tizenassociation.org/

Reference : Telecom Review Asia Pacific

Google Teams Up With Audi for Another Android Revolution

Android_Audi

Until present day Apple dominated the automobile automation with iOS in the Car (iOSitC), the standard introduced by Apple to enable working with manufacturers’ built-in in-car systems. This system aims for several functions such as Siri, Satellite navigation, telephony instruction and controls, music controls and iMessage controls. Apple is already in partnership with a number of leading automobile manufacturers including BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Hyundai, Kia, and Infiniti.

Now Google is stepping up their competition with Apple iOS by teaming up with Audi to develop in-car entertainment and information systems based on the Android operating system. This partnership will allow in-car integration of music and navigation apps currently available on smartphones. Other companies, such as graphics and application processor maker nVidia, are also expected to join the initiative to develop Android-based “infotainment” systems.

The difference of the strategy of Apple and Google is in the method of implementation.Apple’s initiative is designed with the iPhone as the base of the system — that is, many system functions would not be available until an iPhone was connected, either via a wired tether or wirelessly through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Google in contrast, wants to run the software off of dedicated hardware inside the car.

The strategy of Google has both positives and negatives. On one hand, the system is more likely to function seamlessly with important in-car systems like navigation or suspension settings. But, on the adverse side, users won’t have all the information in the same place as they will have with the Apple set up.

While the partnership is expected to step up Google’s competition with Apple, it will be strengthening Audi’s brand name on many levels. Having a trusted brand name attached to new cars can be a big attraction to consumers. For instance, Ford experienced a significant rise in its sales in 2007 after the introduction of Microsoft Sync infotainment system to its vehicles. In addition the synergies in terms of financial strength and technical know-how of the two partners would make the venture more probable to be successful against already established Apple solutions.

Google and Apple are not the only prestigious players in the connected automobile space – Their latest competitor (ironically), Finnish firm Nokia is also an eminent challenger, with their Here Auto initiative that was announced in August 2013. It has been a pattern of any of the three players finding a breakthrough idea and the other two are following the path. But at the end competition leads to a product which world is going to benefit in big time. That has been the pattern during last 6 years. Mainly Android and Apple came up with more innovative products than Nokia.

According to reports, Nokia is hoping to build upon their mapping and navigation experience to build car-integrated infotainment systems, with the goal of eventually up scaling Here Auto to autonomous driving as part of future “smart city” networks.

By Darshika Fernando (Undergraduate, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya)

Smartphone Market Behavior in 3rd Quarter of 2013

IDC_2007

This post will give you an idea about the smartphone market behaviour in quarter 3 of 2013. In an earlier post we provided an overview about the smartphone market bahaviour of quarter 2 of 2013. Telco.lk will continue to put up posts related to smartphone market behaviour, since it will help you to deciding on a buying decision of a smartphone.

IDC (International Data Corporation) has played a huge role in getting the stats sorted and releasing them on time for reference of general public. This post is also based on statistics taken from IDC’s website. As per my view, if anyone interested in reading about trends in market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets IDC is the best place to visit.

A total development of 38.5% has shown year over year in the 3rd quarter of 2013 showing approximately 258.4 million of smartphones have been shipped in the entire world. It shows a production improvement of 21.4 million units by the 3rd quarter with respect to second quarter of 2013.

The 3rd quarter shows an instantaneous growth in smartphone shipments mainly because of reduction of price boundaries for the customers by the overall vendors. Low cost Android devices helped for this development a lot.

All vendors of smartphone manufacturers show frequent development of their sales in the 3rd quarter, basically most sale growing companies of smartphones can be named as Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Lenovo, LG respectively. 

Samsung has shown a huge development in shipments because of their smooth performance devices compared with other Android devices from other vendors. Even Samsung is having problems with battery power management. Performance wise Samsung is better than all other Android smartphones. Apple has increased their shipments with the release of 5S with the newly finger print protection and also 5C lead for the development of their market. Huawei also managed to achieve the market with the release of low budget packages for their customers expanding for their shipments for the European regions too since they have achieved their goals in Asian market. It’s not surprising to see that Huawei’s new smartphone is selling well. They offer a super slim design with iPhone like finishes, a beautiful 4.7 inch display and one that could operate when wearing gloves. Whether Huawei has the steam to go on to challenge Apple’s second spot remains to be seen, but for now, they’re a formidable competitor in China. If Apple would have had a 4.7 inch display out this year it is an uncertainity that Huawei would have enjoyed such a spike. On the other hand, Huawei made the right moves to impress the Chinese consumer. Lenovo has managed to overcome the shipments and expanding their market more comparable with LG getting a high demand for their devices in European regions.

 

huawei-ascend-p6-ofic2

HUAWEI has been a revolutionary vendor in world smartphone market. They have come up to the status they are in through continuous innovations. World’s slimmest smartphone at 6.18 mm – HUAWEI Ascend P6 is a classic example for this.

 

When looking at the trand HUAWEI can be considered as a huge achiever with its introduction of low cost smartphones with high end features. HUAWEI Ascend series has been a success in low end markets.

Explained demonstration about distribution and their development is illustrated in the following table.

Vendor 3Q13 Unit Shipments 3Q13 Market Share 3Q12 Unit Shipments 3Q12 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Samsung 81.2 31.4% 57.8 31.0% 40.5%
Apple 33.8 13.1% 26.9 14.4% 25.7%
Huawei 12.5 4.8% 7.1 3.8% 76.5%
Lenovo 12.3 4.7% 6.9 3.7% 77.6%
LG 12.0 4.6% 7.0 3.8% 71.4%
Others 106.6 41.3% 80.5 43.2% 32.4%
Total 258.4 100.0% 186.2 100.0% 38.8%

[Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2013 (Units in Millions)]

References: http://www.idc.com

Prepared By: Asela Ekanayake (Undergraduate from SLIIT, Sri Lanka, Electronic Engineering)

North Korea Boasts About a ‘Home – Made’ Smartphone

Arirang

North Korean Made Arirang Smartphone

North Korea is a country which appears in the ‘political’ category more often in international media. To be honest I haven’t seen North Korea producing any notable news related to any other category such as Entertainment, Technology, Economy, etc. But country has been a hot topic in the category of ‘Technology’ since last week in international media. That is because, The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has released several photos showing leader Kim Jong-un inspecting a North Korean Smartphone factory, as well as taking a look at the country’s first smartphone, the ‘Arirang’. The most notable feature of Arirang seems to be the built-in camera it has, because KNCA reported that the leader praised the “high pixels” of the built-in camera.

North Korea has been a mystery land for most of the outsiders. Opposite is also the same. The people of North Korea have very limited access to news outside the country. Until 2008 North Korea didn’t have a national mobile network. Mobile phones were introduced to North Korea in 2008. The national network is maintained thanks to a joint operation by the North Korean government and Egyptian telecoms company Orascom.

Though mobile network is deployed, the serviced delivered to the people are very limited compared to the services experienced by the subscribers of most other countries with better political environment. In North Korea phones on the network are heavily restricted. As per the news coming from international media subscribers do not have the luxury of connecting to internet and can only make calls within North Korea. For a short time, foreigners in the country were able to use mobile internet. But it was also restricted to a golden period of 1 month.

As per the reports coming out, Arirang has Google’s Android OS running on it. This might be a result of Google’s Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent visit to North Korea on behalf of Google.

Earlier in the year North Korea boasted about a home – made Tablet names ‘The Samjiyon’. But later it was found out that it is not a device made in North Korea.

The concern is, what would be the use of a Smartphone running Android OS in it, without access to internet.

Android Continues to Dominate World Smartphone Operating Systems Market

In one of my previous blog posts I wrote about the negative effect Windows 8 operating system had on the sales of personal computers. But it has lifted the sales of Nokia smart phones for sure. It is evident from the latest report released by International Data Corporation (IDC). But the question is how long will it take for Windows RT to break the dominance of Google’s Android operating system. When looking at the stats, I feel like Nokia would never go back to its golden old days where they dominated the mobile phone market. In 2007 Nokia dominated the world smart phone market. In the third quarter of 2007, Nokia’s market share was 48.7 percent. By the third quarter of 2012 the company’s market share had slipped to just 3.5 percent.

According to the IDC, vendors shipped a total of 236.4 million smart phones in 2Q13. The quantity has gone up from 51.3% when considering 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. Second quarter shipments grew 9.3% when compared to the 216.3 million units shipped in 1Q13. Despite the rise of Nokia’s smart phone sales there is another notable decline. That is the decline of market share of iOS.

Despite the drop Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team stated “Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple’s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share.”

iphone_5c_hr0-800x535

Leaked image of the so-called low cost Apple iPhone – iPhone 5C

These days a rumor is going around about a low cost Apple iPhone. According to the rumor the low cost phone will be named as ‘iPhone 5C’. If such a phone would be released, then Apple would be able to catch a fare percentage of market share in all over the world. A big reason for Android’s success is the availability of Android smart phones for very low prices. The best example I can mention from Sri Lankan smart phone market is the success of ‘Dialog i43’ (~$135) and ‘Dialog i35’ (~$70), two smart phones introduced by Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka.

Top Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 Q3 (Units in Millions)

Operating System

2Q13 Unit Shipments

2Q12 Unit Shipments

Year-over-Year Change

Android

187.4

108

73.50%

iOS

31.2

26

20.00%

Windows Phone

8.7

4.9

77.60%

BlackBerry OS

6.8

7.7

-11.70%

Linux

1.8

2.8

-35.70%

Symbian

0.5

6.5

-92.30%

Others

N/A

0.3

-100.00%

Total

236.4

156.2

51.30%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, August 7, 2013

To root or not to root…thats indeed a question!

The geeks will tell you that the best way to get the most out of your android is to root it. The operators and Google might just tell you otherwise. Ask your friends and they will give a million opinions skewed by the level of their expertise and experience. So is this rooting business really that good? Lets list down some stuff that will help you decide…for yourself.!

What is rooting?

Android, is build upon the almighty linux kernel. The applications run on top of a virtual machine called “Dalvik”, which is a tweaked (and cooler than oracles ;) ) version of the Java Virtual Machine. So like all other linux operating systems, the android’s has a root account. For those of you who dont know what that means; the root account is the administrator’s account for a linux OS. Just like you login as Administrator, or run as Administrator in Windows, you do that with “root” in linux.
In the stock android you get from the manufacturor, this root account is locked to the user. Thus, you can’t use it. (Prisioner of your own device ;) ) Rooting, is the process of making that account available for apps, and for you.

How is it done?

Rooting is done by exploiting loopholes in the system and mechanisms placed to block you from gaining access. Exactly how? That level of expertise escape my brain. (I’m a minion, not the boss ;) papoi…). There are popular software which do it. I personally have used a software called SuperOneClick. It does what it says, one click root!

 

Is it good?

Rooting can bring you the riches of the (android) world. But it does not mean that its all good.

 

Pros

  • Using great apps

Rooting your device will enable you to use applications which use the root capability and perform great utility tasks. e.g.: moving apps to the sd card, even if your native android does not allow you to do so. You can even get the ability to replace system apps.

 

  • Removing bloatware

OEMs pack a handful of bloatware in the device. And if your phone is an operator branded phone, you will have useless apps from the operator installed, which the OS does not let you uninstall.! Well, death to the bloaters with root! You can hand pick these apps from the device and remove the cancers right  from the source, the filesystem!

 

  • You can install custom ROMs.

This is the main reason most people root the device for. A ROM is the actual operating system of the device. You can install customized versions, which use either cyanogenmod or MiUI as the base. The functions which these offer are vast, and these are open source developments. Which mean there are some very advanced features which are not with the OEM do not offer. (Tip: Even Google sometimes ‘burrow’ features from CM). You can use android versions which are well above the specified limit by the manufacturer. (I used to run 2.3.7 on a device which SonyEricsson only did 2.1)

And there may be many more reasons…

 

Cons

  • Risk to the device

When you root your device using a software like superoneclick, the risk of damaging the device is less. But there are methods which require you to alter the existing firmware before rooting. Some Samsung devices need to do that in order to root. So if you don’t follow the right instructions and get into trouble, you device may come to an irrecoverable state, nicknamed “bricked”.

There are two bricked states; soft-brick or hard-brick. Soft brick is where a software glitch has crashed the phone and there may be a way to recover it using some other software. Hard-brick is when you kill the beast for good! There are no methods to recover the phone.

 

  • Risk of running root

If your device is rooted, a root controller app will ask you each time an application wants to run as root. But there might be loopholes in those apps, and there might even be cases where you set up an “allow root for all” rule. If some malicious app gets installed, it can get the full privileges of your phone. I’ll let your imagination run wild to figure out what happens when the admin account gets to the wrong hands.

 

On final thoughts, rooting might not be for the faint of heart, it might require you to do things that are risky in terms of the device. And people who don’t get whats what in android, should not root for the sake of doing the wrong stuff.

So should you root? totally up to you.

P.S. you might find guides and applications on how to do it on xda-developers.com

Make sure you READ EVERYTHING before acting!