It’s Friday, and before we head off to enjoy our 3 day weekend, we thought we’d leave you guys with a roundup of the week’s biggest mobile stories. We have everything from a potential shake up at RIM to the potential of an Apple device free US marketplace. What? Check out the roundup to peep the details.
Windows Phone Marketplace Reaches 25,000 Apps
This might not seem like a big deal on the surface, especially considering the fact that Apple and Android boast hundreds of thousands of apps, but this really is news. It’s no secret at this point that apps are the dominant force in determining what mobile OS will be popular amongst the masses. And developers are going to focus on what makes them the most money. So the fact that the pace at which new apps are coming to the WP7 platform has nearly tripled in the past few months is a strong indicator that there are some signs of life for Microsoft in the smartphone world. WP7 still hold less than a 1% share of the total US smartphone market, but there have been more and more positive developments lately, which is polar opposite of how Microsoft came out of the starting blocks.
Smartphone Sales Eclipse Feature Phones Sales According to Nielsen
Nielsen surveys US cell phone users every quarter and compiles a bunch of statistics. This past quarter, for the first time ever, smartphone sales outpaced feature phone sales 55% to 45%. In addition to that, it broke down the various smartphone platforms. Android remains the dominant force with 38% of the market. Apple comes in second with 27% of the market, a two percent increase. Blackberry’s remains in 3rd with 21%, but has shown consistent losses in that area for a year now. The remaining 14% is split between Windows Mobile, Symbian and Web OS, and Windows Phone 7. To date, only 38% of Americans are using a smartphone, so there is plenty of room for Blackberry to turn things around, Microsoft to become a major player, or for Android and Apple to completely runaway with smartphone marketshare.
Samsung Files Injuction Against iOS Devices with the ITC
Samsung and Apple are in a major patent war, tied up in multiple courts in multiple countries. The most recent salvo was fired by Samsung as the filed an injunction against Apple with the International Trade Commission asking for a stop to the import of Apple devices into the US. Samsung cites four patent infringements in the case that if awarded, would halt the importing of iPhones, iPods and iPads into the US. While it is highly unlikely that Samsung will win this fight, it is interesting to note that Samsung also happens to be the supplier of chips for Apple devices. It’s pretty safe to say that at this point, both companies are content to walk away from each other as business partners and fight each other to the bitter end in court.
RIM Looks Into Restructuring Management
Faced with mounting pressure from investors, and what appears to be the early stages of a company revolt, the RIM board of directors has agreed to look into restructuring from the top down. That includes replacing co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. This week a letter supposedly written by a high ranking executive in RIM absolutely ripped the company’s current structure, philosophy and products. The agreement gives the board until the end of the year to essentially provide evidence that the current structure is the best way to go about things. RIM’s shares have been plummeting on the stock market and profits and revenues have been steadily declining for several quarters now. The prevailing fear is that RIM has lost touch with the mass consumer market at exactly the same time that the business world is starting to become more receptive to other options.
HP Looking to License WebOS to Third Party Manufacturers
HP, which purchased Palm last year, is faced with the hard reality that they can’t survive on their own in the competitive smartphone market. As such, they are looking for third party manufacturers that are interested in licensing their proprietary mobile OS and created devices. Samsung has been the name most mentioned, though HP says they are in conversations with several potential licensees. This would be the first time that a company cell phone manufacturer has licensed its proprietary OS to another manufacturer. Microsoft and Google don’t actually manufacturer their handsets. Should HP find some success in this area, it could signal possible avenue for RIM to follow. It’s no surprise that the Android competitors in the business space have more or less copied the Blackberry design. If they could offer up the Blackberry OS in addition, it could be a potential win/win for all parties involved.