Device operating systems

OS Watch: Samsung, King of Androids

Samsung Corp. has wrested the Android crown from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), according to the latest numbers from Gartner Inc. The handset maker, the largest in the US, sold 32.1 percent of all Android phones here in the third quarter.

That's up 300 percent from 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. Gartner didn't break out numbers for the rest of Android's device makers, but it's a safe bet that Moto -- the one-time champ with its line of Droid phones -- is a close second. (See Motorola Brings More Droids to VZW .)

Samsung has the Galaxy S series, available on six US carriers, to thank for its growth. It says it has sold 3 million Galaxy S phones in the US so far, and its tablet follow-up, the Galaxy Tab, has sold 1 million worldwide. (See Samsung's US Galaxy Quest, Verizon Fascinates With Samsung, and US Cellular Gets Samsung Galaxy.)

  • Frag Watch: Each month Android succeeds in becoming temporarily a little less fragmented. This month it's doing 6 percent better with 83 percent of its devices using either Android 2.1, Éclair, or the latest Android 2.2, Froyo. The total is made up of 43.4 percent using Froyo and 39.6 percent using Éclair.

    But, now, Android 2.3, Gingerbread, is right around the corner, meaning we'll have another new set of stats next month. (See OS Watch: Developers Rally for Symbian , OS Watch (Out): Here Comes V Cast Apps, OS Watch: Android's Fragmentation Makes Friends, and OS Watch: Android Earns Its Reputation.)

  • Massive WP7 overhaul planned: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) will fill in some major gaps in its mobile OS. Rumored to be released next month (perhaps at CEO Steve Ballmer's CES keynote), an update to Windows Phone 7 could bring features like cut-and-paste capabilities, support for tethering, multitasking, turn-by-turn directions on Bing, custom ringer support, and -- most importantly -- support for CDMA wireless operators Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Verizon Wireless .

  • Dell joins WP7 parade: Updated or not, Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) will be the next handset maker to launch a WP7 device, the Venue Pro, debuting next Thursday on T-Mobile US Inc. . Acer Inc. 's CEO, Gianfranco Lanci, confirmed to AllThingsD that it too will carry a WP7 phone, even though it's "mainly Android" these days. (See iPad Passport Stamped in 11 More Countries.)

  • Moto Mobility CEO talks tablets: Motorola is big on tablets, but knows it's not one size fits all. The device maker will develop both seven-inch and 10-inch tablets in the near future, CEO Sanjay Jha told attendees at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference. He's expecting these form factors to be big retail sellers. While he didn’t mention what OS they'll run, it's well known Moto is vying to take the Android top spot back. (See TelcoTV 2010: Future of TV Is Tablets, Moto Says.)

    Jha's tablet chatter was largely overshadowed in his keynote address by his assertion that there will be a new "competitive dynamic" developing over at Verizon that might challenge Moto's first-quarter performance. Place your bets on what that might be.

  • Skype's mobile hiring frenzy: Skype Ltd. is hiring 20 to 30 new mobile engineers with an expertise in developing for Android and iOS, GigaOm learns, suggesting a more aggressive mobile push in terms of devices and features supported is in its future.

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

  • sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:16:47 PM
    re: OS Watch: Samsung, King of Androids Gartner didn't break out more numbers, that I can find, but did rank the top four slots. Moto was second, followed by HTC, then LG.
    Sign In