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Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
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Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
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Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
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UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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Opinion Articles

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Is Android losing its impact for Google?

Mark Bridge writes:

Recent figures released by ABI Research have prompted the market intelligence company to ask whether Google is losing control of the Android ecosystem.

At first glance, Android dominated smartphone shipments for the final quarter of 2013. ABI Research says 77% of the 287 million smartphones shipped in Q4 2013 were running Android. Across the entire year, Android accounted for 78% of all smartphone shipments. (ABI’s figures show a total of almost one billion smartphones shipped in 2013, while IDC calculated that total shipments were just over a billion).

However, ABI Research notes that most of the recent growth has come from ‘forked’ Android operating systems that are based on the open-source parts of Android (the Android Open Source Project, or AOSP). These are independent mobile operating systems that share many features with other Android phones but don’t have the same level of Google integration. The Amazon Kindle FireOS and Xiaomi’s MIUI are both popular examples of a forked Android OS.

Growth in forked Android operating systems is up 137% year-on-year - mainly in China, India and other Asian markets - with forked Android or open-source Android devices accounting for 25% of all smartphone shipments (71 million units). The certified version of Android took 52% of the market, giving Android its total 77% market share for Q4 2013.

There was also growth in other operating systems, with the Apple iOS increasing from 15% market share in Q3 2013 to 18% in Q4 (but down year-on-year from 23% in Q4 2012) and Windows Phone maintaining a 4% market share (the same as Q3, with Nokia accounting for almost 90% of these devices).

The question now is whether - or how - Google will respond to the potential loss of revenue from devices that take advantage of basic Android functionality without using Google services.

As Nick Spencer, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research, puts it: “The growth of AOSP is significant for Android’s owner Google, because AOSP does not offer Google’s services (due to their unavailability in China), impacting Google’s ability to monetize the Android ecosystem.”

In the past few days we’ve seen Google selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo (whilst hanging on to Motorola’s patents) and doing a patent licensing deal with Samsung. Could this be the beginning of a new campaign that encourages manufacturers to use Google’s own version of Android... or even requires them to make a formal commitment?

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Recent Podcasts

Reviewing our 2015 mobile industry predictions... and looking forward to 2016

Podcast - 15th January 2016

Iain Graham, James Rosewell and Mark Bridge return to review their mobile industry predictions from last year. Which mergers, partnerships and developments did they forecast correctly... and which didn’t work out as planned?

Later in the programme, the team anticipates some of the topics that will be hitting the headlines during 2016.

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Podcast from Mobile World Congress 2015

Podcast - 6th March 2015

Mark Bridge learns about the mobile technology trends at Mobile World Congress 2015 by chatting to James Rosewell of 51Degrees, Dr Kevin Curran from the IEEE and Chris Millington of Doro.

They talk about wearable devices, wireless charging, mobile operating systems and much more... including some of their favourite products from the exhibition.

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Looking back at February: from security scares to multiple MVNOs

Podcast - 27th February 2015

We're taking a look back at the biggest mobile industry news stories from February 2015, including allegations that the UK's security service tried to breach SIM card security by hacking into one of the world's biggest SIM producers.

We also talk about the planned BT and EE merger, the creation of two new UK virtual networks, some acquisitions in the mobile payment arena and a new Ubuntu smartphone.

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Interview with Chris Millington of Doro about mobile retailing, wearables and technology for older consumers

Podcast - 24th February 2015

In today's programme Mark Bridge talks to Chris Millington, who's Managing Director for Doro UK and Ireland.

They discuss the state of mobile retailing in the UK, the future of wearable devices and - as you might expect - smartphones for seniors.

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A month of mobile: O2 counts on 3, Microsoft counts to 10 and Apple counts its profits

Podcast - 30th January 2015

We're back with a month of mobile industry news, including takeover talks and takeover rumours. O2 and Three are said to be discussing a merger... but is there any truth in the suggestions that BlackBerry could be up for grabs?

We also discuss Apple's record-breaking quarterly figures, the highlights of CES and the launch of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as saying farewell to the current version of Google Glass.

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