Bits & Bytes: Samsung dominates Android market with solid smartphones
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Sunday, March 03, 2013
3/03/13 at 4:08 AM
Google's Android operating system has long been considered the main rival to Apple's iOS.
Although Apple executives might be less concerned with what Google's doing and more concerned with Samsung.
Over the life of Android, Samsung went from being just one of the many companies entering the Android feeding frenzy to the most dominant entity.
Smartphones manufactured by Samsung now account for 29 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to a study by the International Data Corporation. Apple now stands at 21.8 percent.
The next closest competitor is the Chinese company Huawei, with just 4.9 percent. Samsung, which represents 40 percent of all Android sales, has left every other Android player in the dust.
It's not surprising how Samsung pulled this off, as they keep releasing strong smartphones. Not all of them are best in class, but many are great and none are duds. The gigantic Galaxy Note, which had a screen topping 5 inches, was a surprise hit with sales reaching 10 million.
I suspect that Samsung's dominance also came about due to the fragmented nature of the Android market. I have a hard time keeping up with the dozens of Android phones on the market, and it's my job to write about the stuff.
Regular consumers could second-guess themselves into paralysis trying to decide on one.
Samsung's rise makes it easy. Because its phones are good to great, it's much easier to pick up a Samsung model and be done. It has become the default Google phone.
Which makes it all the more interesting to hear rumblings repeated by the Wall Street Journal that Google is becoming uneasy with Samsung's dominance.
Supposedly, Google executives are concerned that Samsung may use its growing clout to renegotiate its deal with Google to demand a slice of its ad revenue. The entire philosophy of Android is based on Google giving it away and making money off ads seen and clicked on by Android users.
A bigger worry is that Samsung could "fork" Android and completely de-Google it. The Kindle Fire already does this. Its operating system is based on Android but works differently and has most of the stock applications removed. Each manufacturer is free to modify Android, so Samsung could do this, too.
Or Samsung might decide not to throw its weight around and continue selling millions of smartphones. It's hard to tell. We should all keep a close eye on what the company does moving forward.
App of the week: 8mm Vintage Camera (iOS)
You may have heard that part of the Oscar-nominated short "Searching for Sugar Man" was shot on an iPhone. You might not have heard why - the production company filmed most of it in the old 8mm format but ran out of money before the final shots.
This is the app used to film the short. Much like apps that apply filters to pictures, 8mm Vintage Camera allows you to mix different lenses with different films with certain amounts of simulated dust and grain.
You can even add random frame jitters as if the video were playing on a balky old projector. Film within the app or import the videos you already have.Nexvio Inc., $1.99
Suggest an app for App of the Week at email@example.com
Original Print Headline: Samsung dominating Android market
Apple may give $5 credit to users suing over their kids' in-app purchases
One of the dangers of letting a kid borrow your tablet or smartphone is that they could decide to buy everything in sight and give you a massive credit card bill.
Passwords on app stores weren't always adequate protection. Huge numbers of games allowed you to buy virtual items within them. I've seen individual items go for $60, and some are even more expensive.
Apple changed that two years ago, but it didn't stop a group of unhappy customers from suing Apple, claiming the company didn't give adequate notification the apps could do this.
A settlement is in the works, with Apple proposing to give $5 in iTunes credits to affected customers and refunds to people seeking $30 or more.
The details still need to be hammered out in court, but if you've been affected by this issue, I'd keep an eye out.
A Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone is displayed at a launch event last fall. Smartphones manufactured by Samsung now account for 29 percent of the worldwide smartphone market. Bloomberg file