Top 10 Mobile Products of 2011
Looking back on 2011, it may be remembered as The Year Of Mobile. Sure, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and all the other platforms existed in previous years but historians will look back at 2011 and say that it was the year that the way an entire populace interacts with information fundamentally changed. Mobile is not just for the early adopters anymore. Smartphones are everywhere.
What made waves in the mobile realm this year? We take a look in our third installment of ReadWriteWeb’s top products of the year.
Carrier IQ: What it is, what it isn’t, and what you need to know
Carrier IQ has recently found itself swimming in controversy. The analytics company and its eponymous software have come under fire from security researchers, privacy advocates and legal critics not only for the data it gathers, but also for its lack of transparency regarding the use of said information. Carrier IQ claims its software is installed on over 140 million devices with partners including Sprint, HTC and allegedly, Apple and Samsung. Nokia, RIM and Verizon Wireless have been alleged as partners, too, although each company denies such claims. Ostensibly, the software’s meant to improve the customer experience, though in nearly every case, Carrier IQ users are unaware of the software’s existence, as it runs hidden in the background and doesn’t require authorized consent to function. From a permissions standpoint — with respect to Android — the software is capable of logging user keystrokes, recording telephone calls, storing text messages, tracking location and more. It is often difficult or impossible to disable.
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Why can’t any of them compete?
On Monday, Research In Motion announced that it is slashing the price of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. For a limited time the device will be available for $199 at Best Buy, Wireless Giant, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart. The discounted price hadn’t gone into effect when CNET reported the story on Monday, and as of this writing only Best Buy and Staples had rolled out the deal for a $199 16GB PlayBook on their websites. OfficeMax, Wal-Mart and Radio Shack were listing the PlayBook at the higher price, and Wireless Giant’s website didn’t have the PlayBook listed…
Android Still Most Popular Smartphone OS, iOS Holds Steady In Second Place
According to new data from Nielsen, Android has continued to pick up steam in the United States, and retains its crown as the most-used smartphone OS during Q3 2011. Google’s mobile OS now accounts for 43% of U.S. smartphones, up from the 39% we saw back in July. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, has remained lock-steady at 28% this whole time, putting it at a distant second.
Despite their lack of growth on the software front, Apple still rules the roost when it comes to hardware. Apple’s iPhones are used by a full 28% of all smartphone customers, making them the top manufacturer for yet another quarter.
Meanwhile, use of RIM’s BlackBerry OS has slowly begun to slip: while it previously accounted for 20% of the smartphone OS market, it now accounts for 18%. Certainly not a drastic dip, but the Q3 report doesn’t take into account some of the more recent unpleasantness that the folks in Waterloo have been dealing with.
Surprisingly, Windows Phone’s adoption rate seems to have slowed down as well, as it now only accounts for 7% of smartphones, down from the 9% figure we saw last time. Microsoft and Nokia certainly aim to change that come next year, but we’ll soon see how well their grand designs pan out.
The Q3 results are definitely interesting, but I think the Q4 report is really the one to look out for. New hardware (and OS) announcements are coming at a blistering pace, and it’ll be a hoot to see how the landscape changes after the holiday retail wars have come and gone.
HOLY COW: RIM Has Totally Collapsed In The U.S.
HTC and Samsung have both grown their market shares more than 50%, while Apple’s has shrunk slightly. But RIM? It’s down by almost two-thirds.
Full Story: Business Insider
BlackBerry-Maker Handing Out Tablets—For Free
If you were thinking of buying more than one BlackBerry PlayBook, then today is your lucky day. RIM has announced a Buy Two, Get One Free offer on its poorly-selling PlayBook tablets, from now through the end of 2011, so long as you buy through one of RIM’s “Valued Added Resellers” like CDW, CompuCom, or PC Mall. The offer also includes one “premium accessory”; buyers have their choice of a leather PlayBook sleeve, charging pad or 6 foot HDMI cable. The Buy Two/Get One deal comes after a string of bad press for RIM’s struggling tablet: First, the company recently…
ABI Research’s latest app stats show that both Apple and Google are winning in the race for developer affections
The intense competition between iOS and Android means any statistics that seem to shed light on the two platforms’ respective performances are quickly seized on by journalists and bloggers, especially if they lend themselves to claims about who’s “winning” in the smartphone and tablet wars.
The truth is that both Apple and Google are winning if judged on momentum, with BlackBerry sliding - admittedly from a high market-share starting point - and Microsoft still awaiting a sales surge from its new Mango software and the first Windows Phone handsets from Nokia.
Even so, analyst firm ABI Research’s latest report fuels the debate around iOS versus Android, claiming that Google’s platform overtook Apple’s for mobile app downloads in the third quarter of this year. The company estimates that Android accounted for 44% of overall downloads, while iOS took a 31% share.
The company has hailed Google’s strategy of making Android free for manufacturers to use (well, free as long as you don’t count the patent-related payments a number of manufacturers are making to Microsoft). …