Shipments of tablets running Google Inc’s Android will overtake the iPad this year for the first time, research house IDC predicted on Tuesday, as Apple Inc cedes more mobile market share to hard-charging rivals around the globe.
Microsoft Corp launched two new phones aimed at young people on Monday, marking a fresh assault on the low end of the growing smartphone market, where BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd and Apple Inc now dominate.
The software company’s first foray into designing its own phones comes six months before it rolls out its new Windows software for phones made by handset makers HTC Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and others, which should be a more direct challenge to Apple’s iPhone and Google Inc’s Android phones.
“Kin is an interesting attempt to target the 15 to 25 market,” said Ross Rubin, consumer electronics and wireless industry analyst at market research firm NPD Group.
Success will depend heavily on the pricing of data plans, said Rubin, which is not expected for a few more weeks. Microsoft did not say how much the phones would sell for.
Microsoft Corp is set to announce its long-awaited “Project Pink” phones early next week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, as the world’s largest software company attempts to gain traction in the growing market for young smartphone users.
The mobile phones, to be sold by top U.S. mobile operator Verizon Wireless, are being targeted at heavy users of social network sites, according to sources. They will have a different name when the launch is officially announced.
In photos leaked to a tech blog last month, the new phones appear to be stylish, updated versions of Microsoft’s Sidekick device, which is popular with the youth market.
The new phones, which likely won’t be on the market until summer, are to be made by Sidekick manufacturer Sharp Corp, sources said.
Microsoft has sent invitations to media to attend an event in San Francisco next Monday, but declined to comment further. A representative of Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between U.S. phone company Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group plc, also declined comment.
The new phone does not appear to be a central part of Microsoft’s main thrust in the mobile phone market, which is centered on the revamp of the Windows software it licenses to handset makers, which will be available later this year.
Microsoft hopes its Windows Phone 7, launched with great fanfare in February, will win back share from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd and iPhone maker Apple Inc, and beat back newcomer Google Inc, which is making ground with Android-powered phones and its own Nexus One.
Microsoft is losing share fast in the U.S. smartphone market, according to tech research firm comScore, dropping 4 percentage points to 15.1 percent between November and February.
Ahead of it are Apple, with 25.4 percent, and Research in Motion with 42.1 percent. Google is the fastest-growing rival, now holding 9 percent of the market.
The cellphone market will rebound more strongly strongly than expected this year as improving economies boost spending on new gadgets and handset vendors push cheap smartphones, research firm Gartner said on Tuesday.
HELSINKI — Nokia Corp. may be the world’s top cell phone maker, but it’s no longer a trendsetter, as a host of inventive and alluring technologies from North America is shifting the center of gravity in the cellular universe away from Europe.
Despite efforts to boost its position in the U.S., Nokia is struggling to compete with Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. — maker of the iPhone — and Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion, which makes the BlackBerry.
“There has long been a steady stream of North American firms attacking Nokia and they are likely to encourage others, such as Amazon, to follow suit,” said Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics. “The intensity of competition can really only get tougher.
Amazon.com has released a version of its Kindle application for BlackBerry users, giving them access to their e-books without a Kindle device.
U.S. software firm Adobe and three other firms joined the wireless Linux group LiMo on Monday, underlying the growing role of the Linux computer operating system in cellphones.
In a world focused on improving business productivity, companies look to solutions like Google Apps to provide employees with seamless access to information regardless of location or device. With the rising adoption of Internet-enabled devices, employees increasingly seek access to their email, documents, and other corporate data from their mobile phone.
Bill Clinton sent only two e-mail messages as president and has yet to pick up the habit. George W. Bush ceased using e-mail in January 2001 but has said he’s looking forward to e-mailing “my buddies” after leaving Washington, D.C.
French president Nicholas Sarkozy has been given a Teorem phone which its makers claim “guarantees a very high safety level”. Photo: Getty Images
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has been presented with a super-phone with “impenetrable” encryption levels compared to commercial handhelds such as the Blackberry.
President Sarkozy got to grips with the Teorem phone, which looks like a regular smartphone, while on a visit to the Thales Communication factory in Cholet, western France.