Tuesday, 29 May 2012

6 out of 10 Smartphones are powered by Android

Well almost. To be precise 5.9 out of 10 but that still makes Andriod the clear market leader in the Smartphone space. And not only that Android is also the fastest growing operation system for Smartphones. According to IDC their Market Share increased with 145%

The next question is when Android will have the same position in the Tablet market. But is that really a relevant question? The barder line between Smartphones and Tablets becomes more and more blurred. With more and more tablets having phone feautures where do you draw the line? Is a 5" phone like Dapeng A7 a tablet or is a 7" tablet like KDpad W1107 a phone.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A free Lunch from Google

I love everything free so I was exited when Google introduced Google Drive with 5GB free storage.

But to be honest Google are a little late to the party. Dropbox is the golden standard for Cloud Storage and Apple and MicroSoft has already launched their services.

So how is Google doing? Tech Guardian had a nice comparison of the different options out there:

ServiceFree storageCost for 25GBCost for 50GB
Apple iCloud5GB$3.33$8.33
Google Drive5GB$2.49$4.99 (100GB)
Microsoft SkyDrive7GB$0.83 (27GB)$2.08 (52GB)

And now platform support:

WebAndroidBlack berryiOSLinuxMacWindowsWindows Phone
Apple iCloudXXXLimitedX
Google DriveXXX
Microsoft SkyDriveXXX

Dropbox still supports most platforms but Google is close and with the integration with Google Docs I would bet that Google will be the winner in this space.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Apples and Barnes & Noble collude to keep high prices on Ebooks

I am probably not the only one in Africa that resorts to Ebooks when I want the latest book or a book that is not widely available (read not on the top 100 bestseller list)

Knowing that there is no printing cost or distribution cost for Ebooks I have always wondered why they are still so expensive. Now here is why:

According to WSJ

"The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter.

Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle, these people said. If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers."
Ebooks are the fastest growing business for publishers at a time when the sale of physical books is in decline. E-book sales more than doubled to $970 million in 2011, according to a survey of 77 publishers conducted by the Association of American Publishers. As more consumers migrate to dedicated e-readers and tablet reading devices, the number of consumers reading digitally will likely increase.

Apparantly these guys have not learned the lesson from the music industry. I am not a big fan of piracy but if the big players are committing crimes to have excessive profits then it might be tme that we start sharing books for free.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Alliance forms web-based rival to Android, Apple

Android has brought advanced Smartphones to the masses due to the free OS. But even Android are quite demanding when it comes to the System Specifications. You still need a powerful processor and plenty of RAM.

Now it seems like Android might get competition. According to Reuters: " An industry alliance including the top wireless chipset provider Qualcomm will step up competition in the smartphone software market on Monday, with a new Internet-based free technology for cheaper smartphones."

Telecom operator Telefonica, Qualcomm and Mozilla Foundation, creator of Firefox Internet browser, who have worked on creating the platform since last year, will show devices running it at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

The new platform combines HTML5, the preferred standard for creating mobile browser content, with some of the core elements of Linux technology, cutting the need for a separate operating system and enabling fast roll-out of smartphones.
"If you are doing Android phones now, you can bring up a machine in days," Jay Sullivan, vice president of products at Mozilla, told Reuters.
Cutting some layers of traditional operating systems allows the new platform to be used on smartphones with lower processing power and a smaller cost of materials.
Carlos Domingo, director of Product Development & Innovation at Telefonica's Digital unit, said this enables significantly cheaper prices than the low-end Android models when they come to market later this year.
"This is the way to bring smartphones to masses on emerging markets," Domingo said.
The cheapest Android Smartphones sell for around $80 in East Africa. Are we going to see smartphones selling for $40.

The secret is if there will be Apps available for the new platform. To start a new Eco system competing against Apple and Google is a challenge but by basing the new OS on HTML5 they might have a head-start.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Kenya - The twitting Capital of Africa

Anybody who has entered a bar in Kenya knows that Kenyans like to talk. Especially about politics. So it shouldn't be a surprise that Kenyans have taken Twitter to their heart.

But I have to admit that I was shocked when I saw the recent report from Portland and Tweetminster which shows that Kenyans are twitting more than even Egyptians. Total Tweets from Kenya is only beaten by South Africa but if you consider the number of tweets per person connected to the Internet Kenyans are the most twitting people in Africa:

56% of all tweets in Africa is send from Mobile Devices and 60% of tweeters are between 20 and 29 years old

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Uganda to represent East Africa at Mobile Premier Awards

The top 20 global apps from the AppCircus 2011 World Tour has been announced to pitch live for Best App of the Year at the 6th Annual Mobile Premier Awards on February 27th, in Barcelona –  coinciding with the Mobile World Congress.

East Africa is represented by MaFutaGo by Christine Ampaire, Project Manager ( Kampala, Uganda) – The app was created by a team of five university students. It helps users find the cheapest and nearest petrol station in Uganda.

Amongst the finalists, were emerging and established app developers from Brazil, Germany, Kenya, Romania, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States. Each finalist has created a winning App that represents the rapid growth and popularity of Apps the world over.

This once again confirms that Africa have an opportunity to become a center for development of Software to the new mobile devices. So get cracking with the coding and attend the Android Developer Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa