Device operating systems

OS Watch: Amazon Leads the Android Tablet Pack

It isn't a device maker nor even a pure form of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s operating system that's leading the pack for Android tablets. That distinction goes to Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and its own proprietary version of the OS.

The Web giant didn't say how many Android-based Fire tablets it shipped when it reported earnings this week, but comScore Inc. says the six-month-old device made up 54 percent of the Android tablet market this quarter. And, that's up from just 29.4 percent market share in December. (See Analyst: LTE Kindle Fire Coming Next Year.)

In other mobile OS news:

  • Samsung takes Nokia down a notch: Samsung Corp. has dethroned Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) as the top seller of mobile phones globally, according to new numbers from Strategy Analytics Inc. and IHS iSuppli . One of the reasons for Nokia's downfall, iSuppli believes, is its limited focus on Windows Phone, whereas Samsung has handsets running on Android, Windows Phone and its own bada OS. "By betting on all horses, Samsung is ensuring that it is backing a winner," the analysts note in the press release. (See Nokia Loses Its Mobile Crown and Euronews: Nokia Knocked Off Top Spot.)

  • Apple chomps down on Android: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) acquired app discovery startup and Verizon Wireless partner Chomp earlier this year to improve search on iTunes. Its first move with the company is to shut down Chomp for Android. No word on what it means for the Verizon tie-up yet. (See Top 10 Developer Tips for Verizon and Verizon Starts Over With Apps.)

  • RIM's five-year runway: BlackBerry 's recovery could take years, and that's according to one of its own shareholders. New board member and RIM's third-largest investor Prem Watsa told reporters at Fairfax's annual meeting that a turnaround at the BlackBerry maker may take three to five years, because it's not easy to compete with Apple, Samsung and other Android companies. When asked if RIM has three to five years left in it, Watsa said it at least has the cash -- $2.1 billion -- to keep it out of bankruptcy. (See RIM Begins Uphill Climb and RIM Scrambles to Launch Better LTE Devices.)

  • Verizon unveils smartphone lineup: Verizon expressed interest in bringing the Windows Phone platform to life on its earnings call, but a leaked roadmap suggests the operator is going to remain Android-heavy this year. The Boy Genius Report blog got hold of some papers that show that the Samsung Galaxy III, multiple Motorola Mobility LLC Razr models and a High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) flagship smartphone will be coming to the carrier this year. (See Verizon to Roll Out Sharable Data Buckets .)

    In other leakage news, more uncovered papers from Verizon suggests that HTC Rezound, Motorola Razr and Razr Maxx, Xoom 3G and 4G will be getting updated to Android's 4.0 OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, next month.

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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