DevTopics is a high-level and sometimes satirical look at software development and computer technology. When we occasionally dive into the details, it's usually about C# and .NET programming. DevTopics is written by Timm Martin, a software developer and entrepreneur. (More)
Distimo has released its Full Year 2011 Publication on the mobile app market. This report provides data on how the leading app stores grew in 2011, indicates which store generated the most revenue, and lists the most downloaded apps of 2011. The free report covers the app stores during the period of January through November 2011 in the United States.
Following are some of the key points in the Distimo 2011 report:
I recently discussed how Microsoft is charging Android phone manufacturers a $5-$15 fee per smartphone to license Microsoft patents. Now Oracle has its hand out and is asking for a whopping $15-$20 per Android smartphone for royalties on its patents. So far none of the major phone manufacturers have coughed up any money to Oracle, but it’s only a matter of time before the Oracle lawyers get involved, and the money starts flowing.
A new study by Gartner shows that 94% of newly purchased PCs run Microsoft Windows 7, four percent run Apple OS X, and two percent run Linux. This number is boosted by corporate IT departments, which are conducting massive rollouts of Windows 7. Many enterprises are still running Windows XP because they had decided to skip over Windows Vista, which was widely panned due to software incompatibilities and overzealous security.
But the immediate future is not looking good for Windows Phone. The most recent data from comScore shows that Microsoft’s share of smartphone subscribers is only 6% and continues to fall. Whereas Android’s share is 38% and rising at a fast clip. Apple’s 27% share of smartphone subscribers is also growing, though at a slower rate.
The Android explosion is not all bad news for Microsoft, however. MobileCrunch reports that Microsoft is earning 5 times more revenue from its patents on components of the Android operating system than it is from Windows Phone. That’s $150 million from Android versus $30 million from Windows Phone.
Microsoft will soon be launching an approved Windows Phone unlocking service as part of ChevronWP7 Labs. This allows developers to immediately launch apps on the Windows Phone 7 platform, without waiting for official Microsoft approval. This also allows users to run these “homebrew” apps on their Windows phones.
The ChevronWP7 service will require developers to pay a small fee via PayPal to offset costs, but it should be much less than the $99 annual fee to release apps in the WP7 App Hub.
ChevronWP7 comes with Microsoft’s full blessing and support, which means homebrew apps shouldn’t break in future Windows Phone updates. Microsoft should be commended for opening up Windows Phone 7. This leaves Apple as the only smartphone developer that does not officially support homebrew apps.
In spite of having a decade head start with Windows Mobile and the Pocket PC, Microsoft somehow completely missed the initial smartphone wave and is now playing a desperate game of catchup.
Apple released its first iPhone in 2007, essentially defined the smartphone ecosystem, and jumped to an impressive early lead. But with a more open platform and cheaper hardware, Google Android has grabbed a commanding 35% share of smartphone subscribers. Apple is holding flat around 25%.
Microsoft entered the smartphone market late in 2010 with Windows Phone 7 (WP7), which was already generations behind competing platforms and lacked key features like copy/paste and multitasking. WP7 is also incompatible with previous versions of Windows Mobile, so existing users have no allegiance to the new Windows phones, and hence are just as likely to switch to iPhone or Android. As a result, Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market is only 8% and dropping.
Apple Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit against “the world” for violating its U.S. Patent 3,141,5926 “Removing a Booger by Performing Gestures with a Finger.” Apple is demanding licensing royalties from all world citizens who pick their nose, and a cease & desist order against Kleenex tissues for providing citizens with an alternate method to jailbreak boogers and avoid Apple’s patent.
This new legal action follows a similar lawsuit that Apple filed against rival phone maker HTC for allegedly violating 20 of Apple’s mobile phone patents. The Apple patents include “novel” inventions such as U.S. Patent 7,657,849 for unlocking a phone with a finger swipe.
The Ranter is a bit tired of the “coolest app” conversation that inevitably occurs when he talks with another iPhone user. It seems like there is a time-wasting iPhone app for just about everything except making a phone call, which is the true reason most people buy a mobile phone in the first place.
Check out this funny fake iPhone commercial that addresses this problem: