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Device operating systems

OS Watch: Samsung Up, HTC Down on Q2 Profits

High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) and Samsung Corp. are continuing the trend of making earnings announcements on the same day, but with growth going in opposite directions.

HTC's second-quarter net profit was NT$7.4 (US$247 million), a 58 percent drop from last year, the Taiwanese handset maker said Friday as part of its unaudited results. Revenue also dropped 27 percent from NT$124.4 billion to NT$91 billion in the quarter. (See HTC Braces for Another Quarterly Miss and OS Watch: HTC's Revenue Release.)

The biggest reason for HTC's continued struggles is competition from other handset makers building for the Android operating system, namely top dog Samsung. The South Korean giant disclosed Friday that it expects a record quarterly operating profit for the second quarter when it announces its results later this month. It's forecasting a profit between 6.5 trillion won ($5.7 billion) and 6.9 trillion won, up from 3.75 trillion won last year. (See Samsung's Big Bang: 5 US Carriers Get the S III.)

In other mobile OS news:

  • Amazon wants a smartphone too: Buoyed by the success of its Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is reportedly mulling an entrance into the smartphone market. Sources tell Bloomberg that Foxconn Electronics Inc. is building the Web giant an Android-powered smartphone that will compete with the iPhone. A big part of this strategy will also include buying patents to protect its alleged smartphone from the lawsuits punctuating the market now. (See OS Watch: Amazon Leads the Android Tablet Pack.)

  • View from the Firefox hole: We already know some key details about the Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF)-championed and operator-backed FireFox OS, but now we have the first glimpse at what the open-source OS will actually look like. A tweet and a retweet from Mozilla execs confirms ... well, just that the OS will have a lock screen. The OS was shown on a Samsung phone, but the handset maker isn't among the announced OEMs to support it at launch. (See Telefónica Bangs Its Digital Drum, An Alternative to iOS & Android? and Operator-Backed Firefox OS Gives HTML5 a Boost.)

    Meet the Firefox OS

  • Carriers want a RIM refund : BlackBerry swears it's not on a downward spiral, but evidence to the contrary keeps mounting. The latest is a blow from the wireless operators, which are pressuring the BlackBerry maker to lower the fees it charges for access to its BlackBerry server infrastructure. (See RIM CEO Denies BlackBerry Death Spiral.)

    That's troublesome because RIM makes $4.09 billion in annual revenue from those fees. Analysts suggest to Bloomberg that given the Canadian company's poor first-quarter earnings and delay of its BlackBerry 10 OS, carriers feel less inclined to pay up and can't pass the cost on to their consumers. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. estimates revenue from the fee to drop to $2.7 billion in fiscal 2014 and $2.3 billion in fiscal 2015. (See RIM Delays BlackBerry 10 Phones 'Til 2013.)
  • Frag watch: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s latest 4.1 OS update, Jelly Bean, impressed developers at the Android maker's developers' conference last week, but consumers hoping to get their hands on the update will have to wait -- some indefinitely. Jelly Bean officially goes live next week, but then it's up to the handset makers to roll out the update. Only those handsets with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich will actually get the update, and that's only 10 percent of the Android market right now. It took eight months to get to that point, too. So, if you're starving for Jelly Beans, cough up for a new device like the Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet or prepare to go hungry. (See Google's First Tablet Lights Fire Under Kindle.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

  • sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:28:26 PM
    re: OS Watch: Samsung Up, HTC Down on Q2 Profits

    Anyone tried the HTC One X? It's supposed to be one of the best Android smartphones on the market. But, so is the Samsung Galaxy S III. I wonder how much Samsung's brand cache is still helping it relative to HTC.

    joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:28:25 PM
    re: OS Watch: Samsung Up, HTC Down on Q2 Profits

    Samsung has more sci-fi woo-hoo (technical term) features like eye recognition. Camera on the HTC One and Beats Audio sound is great though.

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