Device operating systems

OS Watch: Sprint & Moto Unite Over Android

Motorola Mobility LLC has built its first two Android-based smartphones for Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), the Photon 4G world phone, and the Triumph, a prepaid smartphone for Virgin Mobile USA Inc. (NYSE: VM). (See Sprint, Motorola Renew Vows.)

The Photon's operating system is packed with security features, including remote wipe and VPN support, that have many, including Sprint's own execs, labeling it a BlackBerry killer. Like the Atrix, the Photon can also be hooked up to an optional HD Multimedia Dock. (See Moto Atrix Starts New Era.)

Motorola is a relatively new partner for Sprint, but the handset maker has had to branch out now that its biggest ally, Verizon Wireless , is selling the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone. Moto has promised to bring 10 more Android-based devices to Sprint, including the Xoom tablet. (See OS Watch: iPhone Steals Moto's Thunder.)

  • Bye, bye MotoBlur: Motorola has been sending mixed messages about the future of its Android user interface skin, MotoBlur. Shortly after its big debut, CEO Sanjay Jha said Moto would be phasing out the personalized UI, only to later say it'd be on all its future smartphones. The latest indication is that MotoBlur will be no more, at least in name. A spokesperson tells Engadget that the company will move away from the MotoBlur name, based on public feedback, but that future phones will retain pieces of the UI's social functionality alongside more enterprise-focused features. (See Moto Looks to Diversify, Build on Android Success and Moto Hangs in Mobility Limbo.)

  • Analysts favor WP7: Pyramid Research got its fair share of critics when it forecast Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows Phone 7 OS would overtake Android, but more analyst firms are getting on board. Gartner Inc. , and now IDC , are predicting similar success for the OS. IDC is slightly less bullish, predicting that WP7 will account for 20.3 percent of the global smartphone market by 2015, coming in behind Android at 43.8 percent and ahead of iOS at 16.9 percent. (See Windows Phone & World Domination, Why Windows Phone Will Beat Android, Symbian Is Dead. Long Live Windows Phone and Smartphones to Account for 53% of Sales.)

  • Nokia troubles continue: WP7 skeptics are quick to point out that positive growth for the OS depends on Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s ability to execute. The company has been losing market share as it readies WP7 phones; its stock has plummeted; rumors are swirling about a Microsoft takeover; and just this week it lost its CTO. Nokia's ability to pull itself out of this slump will depend on the strength of its hardware combined with Microsoft's latest OS update, Mango. And, a little more speed to market wouldn't hurt either. (See Nokia's CTO 'Quits', Euronews: Nokia Dismisses Sale Rumor, Nokia Lowers Outlook, Shares Slump , Nokia Boss Declares War on Android and Microsoft Tangos With Mango.)

  • Apple iOS impresses or infringes?: With almost a week to digest Apple's latest iOS features, most reviewers are positive on the progress even though some say not all the ideas were Apple's own. Apps makers are accusing the Cupertino giant of stealing concepts from apps it had rejected and integrating them into its new OS. But without patents, the apps makers will be largely without proof. (See Apple Borrows From Competitors for iOS 5.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

  • sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:02:23 PM
    re: OS Watch: Sprint & Moto Unite Over Android

    The Moto Photon 4G got most of the attention, but I am impressed with what I've seen of the Triumph for Virgin. Advanced phones like this will be important for prepaid brands if they are priced appropriately for the market.

    opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 5:02:22 PM
    re: OS Watch: Sprint & Moto Unite Over Android

    Nokia is suffering from the Osborne effect. They really should have downplayed the Windows phone until they had one almost ready to ship.

    As it is, why would anyone buy a soon to be obsolete Symbian phone from Nokia? Where is Nokia going to get the funding needed to stay alive until their new phones come out?

    joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:02:12 PM
    re: OS Watch: Sprint & Moto Unite Over Android

    Per WM outselling WP7.


    Well, there are a lot more Windows Mobile-powered devices out there you can actually buy out there right now. But, in general, yes, its obvious that Nokia has a long, hard slog on its hands with WP7.

    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:02:12 PM
    re: OS Watch: Sprint & Moto Unite Over Android

    The analysts also are projecting (using their numbers) that the majority of the current customer base will move to WP7.  This is just not realistic.


    Fact.  Way back when you really only had a choice of Symbian, WM and PalmOS.  WM never made a huge impact and if a Symbian user wanted WM they could have got a WM phone.  They decided not to.


    Fact. WM is still outselling WP7, so even the WM users don't want to WP7.  So even the current customer base Microsoft has doesn’t want the new OS.


    Fact.  Most Symbian users have no interest in WP7 and are looking at alternatives.


    So, if most Symbian users are going to jump ship away from Nokia/Microsoft, then how will they grow the market share of WP7?  Where will those customers come from?  They project Android to increase and slight drops from Apple and RIM.

    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:02:11 PM
    re: OS Watch: Sprint & Moto Unite Over Android

    It still shows that the current base would rather buy a deprecated OS than the successor.


    Should we look at the current device manufacturers; Dell, HTC, LG and Samsung.  Moto, SE, BenQ/Siemens sure seem to be lacking.  Even some carriers have shunned it; notably Verizon until not long ago.  Sales have been dismal for the OS as a whole from the start and things are not looking any brighter.


    WM was licensed to four of the five largest phone manufacturers and the market share of WM has been declining for years.  WM had close to 25% of the market about five or six years ago.  They are now around 4%; so they have lost about 20% of their market share.


    Nokia still had a large market share and still well above that of Microsoft at their peak.  So if WP7 is the savior for Nokia, then how did Microsoft turn around?  Clearly Nokia could have done it on their own.  Another way to look at it; switch the names around and why couldn’t have Nokia produced a worthy UI?


    As for the analysts; they predicted back in the 2004/2005 timeframe that WM would overtake Symbian by 2010.


    “Symbian had 51% market share of the mobile OS market at the end of 2005, down from 56% in 2004, The Diffusion Group says. Linux came in second at 23%, which was double its 2004 share of 11.3%. Microsoft came in third upping its 2004 market share of 12.6% to 17%. By 2010, Windows will hold the lead at a projected 29%, trailed by Linux at 26% and Symbian at 22%.”


    So while they were a few percentage points off and a year late, it also took an announcement from Nokia that they were moving to WP7; so 2010 market share numbers would be much more telling of the actual truth.  According to the IDC, for 2010 Symbian would be 40% or twice what the “analysts” predicted years earlier.  They also said WM would be at 29%; how about 6.8%.  Of course the IDC also expects WM to be at 9.8% by 2014.


    Analysts projections cannot be taken seriously; never have, never will.  They have been wrong before and will be wrong again.

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