Device operating systems

OS Watch: Samsung Tabulates a Record Quarter

Samsung Corp. sold 2 million Android Froyo-based Galaxy Tab tablets in the fourth quarter, a figure perhaps more encouraging than Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices shipped. That's because Tab sales have nearly doubled since last month when it announced 1 million in sales. (See Sprint's Galaxy Tab in a Subsidy Orbit, Device Watch: T-Mobile Gets Galaxy Tab Sans HSPA+ and 4G World: Verizon Picks Up the Tab.)

Broken down by country, Samsung sold 500,000 units in Europe, 350,000 in North America and 330,000 in Asia.

Unlike its South Korean rival LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , which struggled in the fourth quarter, Samsung reported a record-breaking fourth quarter. Owing to its success in smart phones, it grew its total revenue to $139 billion, net income to $14.5 billion and operating profit to $15.5 billion. All three were records for the company. (See Samsung Reports Q4.)

The vendor also shipped a record 280 million devices in the quarter, up 23 percent from the year prior. It reaffirmed that a refresh to the Samsung Galaxy smart phone sporting a super AMOLED Plus screen and running a dual-core processor is coming in the first half of the year. (See Samsung's US Galaxy Quest and Samsung Gets Epic With WiMax Smarty for Sprint.)

  • Frag Watch: It's time to embrace the frag. According to a report from Deloitte Development LLC , there will be no dominant smart-phone OS by the end of the year. Some will capture 5 percent market share, but a de facto standard won't emerge as it has for other computing systems in the past. A single OS would reduce costs and make life easy for developers, Deloitte notes, but having more choices is ultimately good for competition and consumers.

  • ZTE uproots Apple: ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)'s U.S. push is paying off, as the Chinese vendor has ousted both Apple and BlackBerry in IDC 's vendor rankings. ZTE grew 76.8 percent in the fourth quarter and shipped 16.8 million phones, compared to just 9.5 million in the previous year's fourth quarter. Overall, the worldwide mobile-phone industry grew 17.9 percent in the fourth quarter. (See ZTE Sees Mobile Growth in the US & Europe.)

  • Moto Atrix out Feb. 11: Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s Android-based Atrix could be released on Feb. 11 with a price tag of only $150 on contract, according to leaks today. As interesting as the low price point, however, is the fact that it could be sold through third-party retailers like CostCo and Amazon. The phone will likely cost more through its carrier partner AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and the docking station could have a separate fee attached. (See CES 2011: Hands On With Motorola's Atrix 4G and Moto, AT&T Intro Atrix 4G.)

  • "As cool as HP": HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, wants people to start using HP as the barometer of "coolness," not Apple. He told the BBC that HP's new devices, most likely tablets and smart phones that will be announced on Feb. 9, will get a new name, likely not one associated with Palm Inc. , and that he will focus on speeding up ship times to have products available when the announced. Apoktheker also promised more details on HP's overall strategy on March 14. (See Palm Plots Beyond Phones.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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