Emerging vs Mature Market Smartphone Growth

August 29th, 2014

idc.gifI have often mentioned how smartphone growth is mainly in emerging markets. Well, now we have information from IDC that puts some numbers on current and forecasted smartphone growth…


I am amused with the way IDC classifies very low end Android devices as "borderline junk" - something that Google is hoping to change with Android One. However, I suspect Android One is as much about keeping control of the platform and discouraging forks of Android as it is about improving low end hardware standards.

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Shuttle Mini Android PC

August 28th, 2014
shuttle.pngShuttle, the Mini PC maker has a new ARM-based Android PC. It runs Android 4.2.2 on a ARM Cortex-A9 Freescale i.MX 6 DualLite processor with two 1GHz cores and uses only 4-watts when in idle.



Shuttle are under-selling it as a ‘digital signage player’ when in fact it’s suitable for a large range of projects. Specification (PDF).

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Android Growth

August 27th, 2014

idc.gifIDC has a great chart and table that shows how Android smartphone shipments have increased over time. You can also see how iOS shipments oscillate as new devices become available…


Will Android continue to increase in market share? At the moment the only threat is that Chinese OEMs are outpacing the market coupled with the news that China is developing its own desktop and mobile OS. As a result, the growth of China-supplied Android devices for use in China might subside sooner than expected.

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Mitigating Tap Jacking

August 26th, 2014

usenix.pngYou might have heard very recent press saying it’s possible to hack into apps such as GMail. The source of this is a presentation from the 23rd USENIX Security Symposium on Peeking into Your App without Actually Seeing It: UI State Inference and Novel Android Attacks.

While the use of shared memory to discover app use is novel, the use of overlaid windows isn’t new and is known as tap jacking. You can learn more and discover mitigation techniques on my security site.

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Listening in on Android Apps

August 21st, 2014

fireeye.pngFireEye has a new post on Android man in the middle (MITM) vulnerabilities on Android. While it covers Android, the coding flaws are just as applicable to iOS. FireEye found that 68% of 1000 most downloaded apps had one of three SSL vulnerabilities. For the avoidance of doubt, these are vulnerabilities introduced through app coding, not vulnerabilities in the Android OS. FireEye also found that of a random sample of 10,000 free apps, 40% used trust managers that didn’t check server certificates.


Even if you have coded your own app correctly, there’s the possibility that an included library has a vulnerability. For example, Flurry, up to v3.4, had such a vulnerability.

If you need further guidance, take a look at my security site:

There’s also a follow up FireEye article on why these issues are also applicable to enterprises, even when they are using a mobile device management (MDM) solution that silos apps.

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App Market Peaking

August 19th, 2014

mobileworldlive.pngMobile World Live, brought to you by the GSMA, has a new article on how the app market is close to peaking in the UK and Deloitte says this trend could become global over the next few years. Apparently, there’s an increasing number of ‘casual users’ who are less interested in downloading app releases.

I see this as the market maturing. I suspect there will be fewer apps, more app rot and fewer indie developers as the good apps get better (and cost more) and the poorer, no value ‘web site in an app’ and ‘advert in an app’ apps fall off the end of the app stores.

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Google Play Revenue vs App Store Revenue

August 15th, 2014

strategyanalystics.gifYesterday I posted on how Android now has 84.7% of the Smartphone market. However, Android users are less affluent than iOS users and tend to be less inclined to pay for apps or in-app purchases. So when might there be enough Android users to counteract Android users’ unwillingness to pay?

Strategy Analytics has new research that shows that this is as far away as 2016. This will also be driven by additional downloads due to newer connected devices such as wearables and cars. In-app purchases currently account for the majority of revenue. In app-purchases currently represent about 20% of the market and this is expected to decrease to to 16% by 2018.

Interestingly, average selling prices have increased from a low of $2.07 in 2010 to $2.69 last year. It seems as though those few apps people are willing to pay for are making the most of their position and commanding better prices.

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IDC Q2/2014 Smartphone Shipments

August 14th, 2014
idc.gifIDC have details on smartphone shipments for Q2 2014. Android and iOS now account for 96% of the market. Total shipments were more than 300 million in Q2.


Windows Phone and Blackberry are just about dead. iOS market share is starting to become worryingly smaller. However, most of Android’s growth is in developing countries. Having said this, only yesterday, on my trip up to London, I observed that so many people had Samsung phones. Only a short time ago everyone seemed to have iPhones. Things are changing.

Android really is getting huge. Cue European anti-trust investigations.

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