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19 May 12 Android in enterprises ‘severely limited’ by weak management support from Google


Computerworld -

Adoption of Android tablets and smartphones in large businesses has been “severely limited” because of the complexities of managing the wide variety of Android-based devices and versions of the operating system, research firm Gartner said in an evaluation of 20 mobile device management (MDM) software vendors released Friday.

In a survey conducted in April, Gartner found that 58% of enterprises have made or plan to make Apple’s iOS their primary mobile platform in the next year. In comparison, 20% of enterprises will standardize on RIM’s BlackBerry platform and 9% will choose Google’s Android.

Google offers “weaker management support” for Android than Apple does for iOS or Research In Motion does for BlackBerry, Gartner added in its new 34-page study.

The broad-ranging study said the explosion in consumer smartphones and tablets used in workplaces is making MDM the “fastest-growing enterprise mobile software ever in terms of number of suppliers, revenue growth and interest from Gartner clients.”

MDM license revenues were about $200 million in 2010 and $350 million in 2011, and are expected to reach $500 million in 2012, Gartner said. Research firm IDC recently pegged 2010 MDM revenues at a higher level, $300 million, and it expects the market will reach $1.2 billion in 2015.

A big part of the reason why it’s difficult to manage Android systems, Gartner said, is that Google hasn’t opened many application programming interfaces (API) to the dozens of MDM vendors, which means they can’t connect their management tools to Android. In Android 4.0, Google only provided 16 APIs, compared to more than 500 APIs for the latest version of BlackBerry.

Some MDM vendors have built their own APIs for Android devices, but that process “is time-consuming and expensive to do for each device and version of Android,” Gartner said. “This [problem] has severely limited Android adoption in the enterprise, and even today, very few enterprises provide [Android] support.”

Google didn’t respond to a request for comment about Gartner’s report. However, Android vendors such as Motorola Mobility — which Google is acquiring — have defended the security and management features in Android for enterprise use. Those capabilities are mainly available through software from 3LM, a software vendor that Motorola acquired in 2011.

In January, Christy Wyatt, general manager of Motorola Mobility’s enterprise business unit, said: “We have to get Android as a whole at a stable and secure place, and once Android is behind the firewall [with 3LM], that helps. There’s a lot of mythology around Android and whether it’s secure or not.”

Other Android device makers, such as HTC and Sony, have struck agreements to license 3LM software, she said at the time.

Gartner’s report noted that Google hasn’t disclosed what it plans to do with 3LM as part of Motorola, adding that enterprises Gartner works with are hoping Google will use 3LM as part of an enterprise version of Android for device makers.

Earlier in May, 3LM announced Version 3.0 of its Mobile Device and Application Management platform for handling smartphones and tablets that run Android 4.0, as well as managing iPhones and iPads. Other new features include an easier interface for IT managers and tools to prevent users from copying data from corporate systems to noncorporate systems.

Gartner didn’t rank 3LM in its latest review of 20 MDM vendors because it doesn’t consider 3LM a true MDM vendor. Gartner analyst Phillip Redman, one of three authors of the report, said in an email interview that 3LM builds APIs and doesn’t provide actual MDM capabilities, and he added that those APIs serve as a “layer between MDM and a mobile device.”

Claims that Android is broadly secure are “not true,” Redman added. “All Android is not created equally.” He didn’t elaborate.

Enterprise use of BlackBerry smartphones, which have been widely regarded as secure and manageable through RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server, is on the decline. In April, RIM released an MDM platform called Mobile Fusion that provides management for iOS and Android as well as BlackBerry. Gartner didn’t evaluate Mobile Fusion for its report because it’s too new. But the research firm did say that the software “could be a force if [RIM] decides to invest more in this area.”

Of the 20 MDM vendors that Gartner studied, it ranked these five as leaders: MobileIron, AirWatch, Fiberlink, Zenprise and Good Technologies. SAP and Symantec were listed as “challengers,” while BoxTone and IBM were described as “visionaries.”

Gartner described the other 11 MDM vendors it studied as “niche players.” They are McAfee, Sophos, Soti, Trend Micro, Tangoe, OpenPeak, Silverback MDM, Amtel, Landesk, Smith Micro Software and MyMobile Security.

In all, there are probably more than 100 vendors globally that offer some form of MDM capability, Gartner said. To qualify for the group of 20, the MDM vendors had to have a well-rounded set of mobile management tools. For security management, each of the 20 had to have IT tools that were capable of the following: enforcing passwords; wiping data off of a device; remotely locking a device; creating an audit trail for logging in of a device and verifying a device’s configuration from a central console; and detecting jailbreaks and rooting. They also had to support at least three mobile operating systems. Other required security components included support for antivirus software, encryption, firewalls and mobile VPNs.

Other requirements included tools to block use of flash cards or other external storage media, and tools to audit changes made on the hardware. For software, the 20 MDM vendors had to support the ability to push or pull apps on a device and to verify the origin of mobile apps. The software also had to support app updates, patches and an enterprise and third-party app store.

All 20 MDM vendors in the Gartner group had to have MDM-specific revenue of at least $1.5 million. The average price for MDM software is about $60 per user per year, Gartner said, and that price should drop to $40 per user per year by 2015 as more cloud-based MDM systems emerge.

covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at Twitter @matthamblen, or subscribe to Hamblen RSSMatt’s RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227282/Android_in_enterprises_severely_limited_by_weak_management_support_from_Google

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17 May 12 Samsung Dominates Global Android Smartphone Sales


Approximately 40 percent of the Android-based smartphones sold during the first quarter were produced by Samsung, according to new stats from Gartner. No other vendor nabbed more than 10 percent of the global market.

Overall, some 81 million Android-based smartphones were sold during the quarter for 56.1 percent of the market, up from 36.4 percent during the same time period last year. Apple’s iOS came in second place with 22.9 percent of the market, up from 16.9 percent last year.

Symbian held on in third place with 8.9 percent, but that was a drop from 27.7 percent last year. RIM also took a dip, from 13 percent in 2011 to 6.9 percent in the first quarter. Samsung’s bada platform bested Microsoft, with 2.7 percent to 1.9 percent, respectively.

In terms of overall cell phone sales, Samsung topped Nokia with 86.6 million units shipped and 20.7 percent of the market, a 25.9 percent year-over-year increase. Nokia sold 83.1 million for 19.8 percent of the market, down from 25.1 percent last year.

Apple landed at number three thanks to sales of its iPhone 4S. Cupertino sold 33.1 million smartphones during the quarter for 7.9 percent of the cell phone market, up from 3.9 percent last year.

Gartner said Apple sales were particularly strong in China, where it sold more than 5 million units to become the company’s second-biggest market after the U.S.

RIM sold 9.9 million handsets in the first quarter, with its global share dropping over the last year from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. “RIM desperately needs to deliver winning BB10 products to retain users and stay competitive,” Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “This will be very challenging, because BB10 lacks strong developer support, and a new BB10 device will only be available in the fourth quarter of 2012.”

Overall, cell phone sales dropped 2 percent during the quarter, the first time Gartner has seen a decline since the second quarter of 2009. The firm attributed the drop to lackluster sales in Asia, where the first quarter normally sees a pickup thanks to Chinese New Year. This year, however, there was “a lack of new product launches from leading manufacturers, and users delayed upgrades in the hope of better smartphone deals arriving later in the year,” Gupta said.

Things were a bit brighter on the smartphone front, where overall sales jumped 44.7 percent year-over-year.

Samsung’s next big release will be the Galaxy S III, which hits Europe later this month and the U.S. this summer. For more, see PCMag’s hands on with the device and the slideshow below. There are rumors, meanwhile, that Apple is prepping a 4-inch iPhone for a late 2012 release.

For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.


View Slideshow
See all (19) slides


Samsung Galaxy S III


Samsung Galaxy S III Home


Samsung Galaxy S III Back


Samsung Galaxy S III Top


For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404497,00.asp

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15 May 12 Google’s Android gains share in smartphones-survey



Tue May 15, 2012 5:00am EDT

* Android share surges in Spain, Italy, Germany

* Apple gains in US, Britain; slips in Europe

* Windows Phone share jumps to 3-6 pct on Nokia switch

* Nokia’s Symbian, RIM fall most

By Tarmo Virki

HELSINKI, May 15 (Reuters) – Google’s Android
smartphone software stretched its market lead in early 2012,
helped by new models from handset makers like Samsung and HTC
and piling the pressure on rivals like Research In Motion
and Nokia.

Research from Kantar WorldPanel on Tuesday showed Android
gaining share strongly in most of seven major markets -
Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United
States – in the 12 weeks to mid April.

In Spain and Italy, its market share more than doubled
year-on-year to 72 percent and 49 percent respectively, while it
almost doubled to 62 percent in Germany.

Strong demand for the iPhone 4S helped market No.2 Apple
narrow the gap with Android in the United States and
Britain, but its share slipped in continental Europe.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone began to show some signs
of growth thanks to Nokia’s decision to swap its legacy Symbian
platform for Windows.

Windows’ share in Germany more than doubled to 6 percent
over the past year, and climbed to 3-4 percent in Britain,
France, Italy and the United States.

These gains came at the expense of Nokia’s Symbian platform
and Canadian BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the biggest
market share losers. RIM’s share in the U.S. market dropped to
just 3 percent from 9 percent a year earlier.

Kantar said HTC’s One X model made a strong start in
Britain, making the Top 10 list for the 12 week period even
though it was on sale for less than a week.

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/15/cellphones-survey-idUSL5E8GEILV20120515

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14 May 12 How money matters when luring developers to RIM, Windows Phone


Apple’s iOS and Google’s
Android are where all the users are, but Windows Phone and BlackBerry may be where the money’s at.

It isn’t enough to have extensive outreach programs, or even to give out free test devices anymore. With Android and iOS far and away dominant in the market, companies outside of the iOS-Android duopoly need to go the extra mile to lure in developers.

So, of course, it comes down to financial incentives. Microsoft has long paid high-profile developers to port their apps over. Last week, Research in Motion guaranteed developers that they would make $10,000 in their first year, or be compensated by the company directly. While not going so far, Nokia said it would offer developers a business development kit, or the financial equivalent of an SDK.

“Developers feel like a number with (the iOS and Android platforms), but we’ll be a partner with them,” Richard Kerris, vice president of global developer relations for Nokia, told me last week at the CTIA Wireless show.

The moves highlight the lengths these companies will go to ensure that they have a healthy following of developers. More and more, applications are making and breaking operating systems, and lack of developer support can deal a crippling blow to one’s cause. The stakes have never been higher for Microsoft’s Windows Phone and RIM’s BlackBerry 10, both of which are desperate to rally developers to their standards.

Nokia wants to work with developers in bringing their apps to market. It’s not just a matter of giving them code and walking away. The company will provide business education, in-app analytics, and teach them how to make websites, put up videos, and promote their apps. The key is to increase the percentage of developers that make a profit.

“We want to work with developers on a one-on-one basis,” Kerris said.

Nokia has been slowly rolling out a BDK to its developer partners over the last few months, and plans to a more extensive expansion of its support over the next few months. The BDK was formed from several conversations with developers, identifying what they needed to have a successful app.

RIM is taking its outreach program even further, guaranteeing developers $10,000 in sales in the first year on the BlackBerry 10 platform. There are, of course, some conditions, including the requirement to make an actual quality app. But for those that qualify, RIM will pay the difference if their app doesn’t meet that threshold.

That’s a bold move that should get some developers are least curious about the BlackBerry 10 platform. Of course, RIM said it isn’t a huge risk, as it claims that most of its apps already make a ton of money.

“We can tell you from our experience that if someone has an app with a good business model, it won’t be difficult for them to reach $10,000 in revenue the first year,” Christopher Smith, vice president of application platform and tools for RIM, told CNET last week. “The $10,000 guarantee program is more of a statement of confidence to our developers.”

In fact, that’s been RIM’s message for a while. Alec Saunders, vice president of developer relations, has long maintained that BlackBerry World is the second most profitable app store after Apple’s App Store.

Even Nokia won’t go where RIM is willing to in terms of financial support. The company won’t pay for support or even guarantee revenue.

“Writing a check is not the same as working with a developer,” Kerris said.

While iOS and Android offer a huge customer base, there are also proportionally way more flops on those platforms. With so many apps, it’s difficult to stand out unless you already have an extensive marketing strategy prepared or a track record of great apps. Which might make the fringes of the mobile business a more attractive place to be — or at least start.

“There is real money to be made here, unlike some of our competitors,” Smith said.

CNET senior writer Marguerite Reardon contributed to this story.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57432991-94/how-money-matters-when-luring-developers-to-rim-windows-phone/

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02 May 12 BlackBerry 10 unveiled as RIM aims to challenge Apple


RIM, which is counting on its redesigned BlackBerry 10 lineup to reverse a sales slump, faces a quandary. Smartphone users have embraced virtual keyboards, evidenced by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. accounting for more than 80 percent of the market. Even so, taking away RIM’s physical keypad removes a feature that distinguishes it from the competition.

“Some will lament it, but others will embrace it,” said Nigel Hughes, a vice president in charge of sales at Ashburn, Virginia-based SteelCloud Inc., which builds BlackBerry- compatible security software and hardware for customers such as the Department of Defense. “It’s a recognition that the future is without a keyboard.”

Shares Fall

Investors didn’t have a warm response. RIM shares declined 4.8 percent to $12.83 at 10:21 a.m. today, following a 5.7 percent drop yesterday. The stock has lost almost three-quarters of its value over the past year.

Sales at the Waterloo, Ontario-based company tumbled 25 percent last quarter, with U.S. revenue plummeting more than 50 percent. And RIM’s share of the smartphone subscribers shrank to 12 percent in the period, making it a distant third in the industry, according to ComScore Inc. Google’s Android operating system accounted for 51 percent of the market, while Apple’s iPhone had 31 percent.

The iPhone’s debut in 2007, followed by Android devices a year later, showed that users were willing to embrace phones without a keyboard. While RIM made a foray into the touch-screen market in 2008 with the BlackBerry Storm, most of its lineup kept the keypads. The Storm was criticized for buggy software and was outsold by the BlackBerry Curve and Bold models, which both feature keyboards.

‘Risky’ Endeavor

For Mousser Jerbi, a longtime BlackBerry fan, the new prototype’s lack of a keyboard is a deal killer.

Jerbi plans to keep his current BlackBerry Bold rather than upgrade to the touch-screen phone. The keyboard makes it easy to tap out e-mails — something that sets the old BlackBerry apart from a sea of iPhones and Android devices.

Jerbi, who runs corporate sales for Groupe Tunisie Telecom, Tunisia’s biggest wireless carrier, is skeptical the new model will catch on with loyalists. Even the name “BlackBerry” evokes the device’s black keys, which resemble seeds.

“Getting rid of the keyboard is risky,” said Jerbi, who once tried switching to an iPhone, only to switch back. “Especially for the e-mail user, the BlackBerry experience is very good.”

RIM began releasing the prototype to developers yesterday, saying it would be representative of the device’s hardware — even if the final design is different. Features, such as word prediction, will make it easy for BlackBerry fans to adjust to a touch screen, Heins said.

Head to Head

Scrapping the physical keyboard from the initial BlackBerry 10 device will put it in closer competition with the iPhone and Android models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S. That could be tough for RIM, said Stephen Beck, a managing partner at the technology consulting firm CG42 LLC in Wilton, Connecticut.

“If you’re forcing a migration to non-keyboard, you’re going to get people asking, ‘What’s the best of breed of those devices?’” Beck said. “Given the momentum of iPhone and Android, that’s going to be a tough argument for RIM to win.”

Michael Clewley, director of handheld software product management at RIM, reassured BlackBerry World attendees that the company will eventually offer something for everyone with the BlackBerry 10 operating system. That may include slide-out keyboards, as well as traditional keypads.

“RIM has always had a wide range of devices,” he said yesterday. “We’re dedicated to having a form factor that fits your needs.”

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/blackberry-10-unveiled-as-rim-aims-to-challenge-apple/2012/05/02/gIQA9ZUswT_story.html

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02 May 12 RIM CEO Bets on BlackBerry Without Keyboard


When Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) Chief
Executive Officer Thorsten Heins unveiled a prototype of the new
BlackBerry 10 phone yesterday, it lacked a feature that has kept
legions of users loyal to the platform: a physical keyboard.

At the BlackBerry World expo in Orlando, Florida, he showed
off a sleek touch-screen device that more closely resembled an
iPhone or Android smartphone than the keypad-equipped
BlackBerrys of old. While RIM still plans to produce models with
keyboards, the demonstration was the biggest signal yet that the
company was shifting to a touch-screen world.

RIM, which is counting on its redesigned BlackBerry 10
lineup to reverse a sales slump, faces a quandary. Smartphone
users have embraced virtual keyboards, evidenced by Apple Inc. (AAPL) (AAPL)
and Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG) accounting for more than 80 percent of the
market. Even so, taking away RIM’s physical keypad removes a
feature that distinguishes it from the competition.

“Some will lament it, but others will embrace it,” said
Nigel Hughes, a vice president in charge of sales at Ashburn,
Virginia-based SteelCloud Inc., which builds BlackBerry-
compatible security software and hardware for customers such as
the Department of Defense. “It’s a recognition that the future
is without a keyboard.”

RIM could use a boost. Sales at the Waterloo, Ontario-based
company tumbled 25 percent last quarter, with U.S. revenue
plummeting more than 50 percent. And RIM’s share of the
smartphone subscribers shrank to 12 percent in the period,
making it a distant third in the industry, according to ComScore
Inc. Google’s Android operating system accounted for 51 percent
of the market, while Apple’s iPhone had 31 percent.

BlackBerry Storm

The iPhone’s debut in 2007, followed by Android devices a
year later, showed that users were willing to embrace phones
without a keyboard. While RIM made a foray into the touch-screen
market in 2008 with the BlackBerry Storm, most of its lineup
kept the keypads. The Storm was criticized for buggy software
and was outsold by the BlackBerry Curve and Bold models, which
both feature keyboards.

For Mousser Jerbi, a longtime BlackBerry fan, the new
prototype’s lack of a keyboard is a deal killer.

Jerbi plans to keep his current BlackBerry Bold rather than
upgrade to the touch-screen phone. The keyboard makes it easy to
tap out e-mails — something that sets the old BlackBerry apart
from a sea of iPhones and Android devices.

‘Risky’ Endeavor

Jerbi, who runs corporate sales for Groupe Tunisie Telecom,
Tunisia’s biggest wireless carrier, is skeptical the new model
will catch on with loyalists. Even the name “BlackBerry”
evokes the device’s black keys, which resemble seeds.

“Getting rid of the keyboard is risky,” said Jerbi, who
once tried switching to an iPhone, only to switch back.
“Especially for the e-mail user, the BlackBerry experience is
very good.”

RIM began releasing the prototype to developers yesterday,
saying it would be representative of the device’s hardware –
even if the final design is different. Features, such as word
prediction, will make it easy for BlackBerry fans to adjust to a
touch screen, Heins said.

Investors didn’t applaud the day’s news. RIM shares
declined (RIMM) 5.7 percent yesterday, marking their biggest drop in
almost a month. The stock has lost almost three-quarters of its
value over the past year.

Head to Head

Scrapping the physical keyboard from the initial BlackBerry
10 device will put it in closer competition with the iPhone and
Android models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S. That could be
tough for RIM, said Stephen Beck, a managing partner at the
technology consulting firm CG42 LLC in Wilton, Connecticut.

“If you’re forcing a migration to non-keyboard, you’re
going to get people asking, ‘What’s the best of breed of those
devices?’” Beck said. “Given the momentum of iPhone and
Android, that’s going to be a tough argument for RIM to win.”

Michael Clewley, director of handheld software product
management at RIM, reassured BlackBerry World attendees that the
company will eventually offer something for everyone with the
BlackBerry 10 operating system. That may include slide-out
keyboards, as well as traditional keypads.

“RIM has always had a wide range of devices,” he said
yesterday. “We’re dedicated to having a form factor that fits
your needs.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Hugo Miller in Toronto at
hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

Article source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-01/rim-ceo-bets-on-blackberry-without-keyboard-to-challenge-apple

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26 Apr 12 iPhones, iPads Preferred to Android by Enterprise Users: Report


Apple devices hold far greater appeal for enterprise users than Android smartphones or tablets, Good Technology concluded in a new report on the first-quarter activations of its customers.

Good, a provider of multiplatform support for mobile devices, found that of the top 10 devices its customers deployed between January and March 2012, the top six were Apple devices. The Apple iPhone 4S was by far the most popular overall, accounting for 37 percent of activations during the quarter (rising up to even 40 percent in February alone), compared with the quarterly average of approximately 18 percent for the iPad 2, the next-most-frequently-activated device.

In seventh place, the top-activated Android device among Good customers was the Motorola Droid, accounting for just 1.6 percent of activations during the quarter.

Tablets and smartphones combined, Apple had an 80 percent share of activations to Android’s 20 percent. Looking at smartphones alone, Apple’s share dipped to 74 percent to Android’s 26 percent. Tablet activations split things still more sharply in Apple’s favor, wrote Good, accounting for 97 percent, compared with Android’s 3 percent.

“While the majority of Good’s customers support a dual-OS [bring-your-own-device, or BYOD] model, the 30 percent or so of companies that exclusively support a ‘company-owned’ or ‘corporate-liable’ device model are standardizing on iOS vs. Android devices in these environments,” states the report.

The industries most aggressively deploying tablets, Good found, are financial services, accounting for 36 percent of deployments during the quarter; business and professional services, at 17 percent; and health care—which showed the greatest increase in deployments of any industry since the fourth quarter of 2011—at 7 percent.

“Apple seems to have cornered the tablet market in 2011 and Q1 2012; however, the arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets later this year should have an effect on tablet-activation numbers,” the report noted. “But for now, the iPad remains the de facto enterprise tablet standard—especially when it comes to the large company-driven deployments …”

While Good released support for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 in April, the Nokia Lumia, it said, “didn’t have a chance to make the top 10 list in Q1.” Going forward, Good plans to include Windows platform activations in similar reports.

In early April, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, with Mobile Fusion, also expanded its offering to include support for mobile devices running iOS and Android. The figures in the Good report suggest RIM customers may well have their bases covered now, but with mobile carriers very interested in supporting a third mobile ecosystem, and Microsoft with Nokia and other manufacturers getting behind the Windows Phone platform, analysts have frowned at RIM’s decision to leave out support for Windows Phone.

“From a software-integration standpoint, it’s a mistake for them to delay adding support for Windows Phone to Mobile Fusion,” Ken Hyers, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research, told eWEEK. “By the time they get around to it, enterprises will have had to make a choice for another mobile-device-management system.”

Good noted in its report that it’s enjoying the spoils of an industry that’s not only activating devices at a rapid clip but quickly adopting the BYOD trend and support for multiplatform environments.

The number of Good customers deploying iOS or Android devices grew by 50 percent over the last 12 months, it reported, while the average size of customer deployments more than doubled during that period.

“Even more impressive,” it added, is that from just the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012, its customers’ activations grew by 50 percent, “nearly double the [growth of] the two previous quarters combined.”

Notably, the Apple iPhone 4S—again, the most-activated device of all—became available Oct. 14, 2011.

 



Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Midmarket/iPhones-iPads-Preferred-to-Android-by-Enterprise-Users-Report-117604/

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20 Apr 12 Larry Page says Android is important but not critical to Google’s success



google, android, oracle, larry page, ja

During questioning in an ongoing legal battle with Oracle, Google CEO Larry Page said that Android is important but not critical to the company’s success. He further proclaimed that he would have preferred to enter a business partnership with Sun Microsystems rather than going down their own path.

The lawsuit stems from Google’s use of certain parts of Java in their Android mobile operating system. Oracle, who acquired Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion a few years ago, claims that Google didn’t obtain the necessary licenses to use Java in Android. The search giant says that Oracle can’t copyright certain parts of the “open-source” programming language.

When asked if he could cite another company that had used the “free” part of Java without licensing, Page replied that he was “not an expert” on the subject.

Oracle was initially seeking damages as high as $6.1 billion but Google narrowed the claims down from seven to only two patent violations. Oracle is now seeking around $1 billion in total damages from the search giant.

In a bit of related news, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was on the stand the day before where he told the court that his company considered entering the smartphone market but didn’t have the in-house expertise to create their own device. They looked at RIM and Palm as acquisitions but determined the BlackBerry maker was too expensive and Palm wasn’t competitive enough. In hindsight, those decisions likely were the right ones.

Reuters expects the trial to last up to eight weeks under US District Judge William Alsup in the District Court, Northern District of California.

Article source: http://www.techspot.com/news/48271-larry-page-says-android-is-important-but-not-critical-to-googles-success.html

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15 Apr 12 BlackBerry Still Beats Android on Security, Analysis Finds


RIM’s BlackBerry remains the clear leader in mobile security with market share leader Android lagging badly, a “strengths and weakness” analysis of the four big platforms has concluded.

Enterprise Readiness of Consumer Mobile Platforms rated each platform on the basis of a number of criteria, including general device security, app security, code signing, authentication, device wipe ability, firewalling, and virtualisation, assigning each category a score out of five. (See also “Smartphone Security: How to Keep Your Handset Safe.”)

BlackBerry 7.0 came top with an average score of 2.89, ahead of Apple’s iOS with 1.7; Windows Phone 7 at 1.61; and Android 2.3 with 1.37; an order that corresponds roughly to the age of each platform.

Given how long it has been around, Android scored relatively poorly, the younger Windows Phone relatively well. BlackBerry has a long history in the business market — the others emerged as consumer platforms — but will nevertheless feel affirmed by its strong showing in manageability and corporate device control.

“Although Android is now available in more recent versions (4.x), version 2.x is still the most widely deployed on existing and new handsets. This is a security risk in itself; there is no central means of providing operating system updates, meaning that many users remain unprotected from critical vulnerabilities for a prolonged period,” note the authors, echoing a sentiment that Google must have grown exhausted hearing from around the industry.

Importantly, the report has no direct connection to any of the platforms discussed and was researched by Altimeter Group and Bloor Research on behalf of security company Trend Micro.

“Against the growing, unstoppable backdrop of consumerisation and BYOD [bring your own device], every mobile device is a risk to business,” said Trend Micro CTO, Raimund Genes.

“There is still a strong ‘consumer marketing’ legacy in some quarters and this is negating some of the progress made on the enterprise front. Indeed, some of the attributes we have examined in the report are still firmly ‘enterprise-unready.’”

What matters now is the extent to which each platform can continue to evolve and mature. Android undoubtedly can while the BlackBerry’s market struggles open its future to some doubt.

RIM recently botched an announcement which appeared to draw back from consumer device development in favour of its traditional business market. The question is whether such a division is any longer meaningful in an age driven by the BYOD Trend Micro’s report highlights. The once distinct consumer and business markets could have merged into one.

One winner could be Microsoft, a company with decades of experience serving businesses and plenty of popular enterprise software to help it push Windows Phone.

Both Windows Phone 7.5 and Android 2.3 remain weak in core applications such as business messaging, however, scoring zero is almost every category analyzed.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/253717/blackberry_still_beats_android_on_security_analysis_finds.html

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14 Apr 12 RIM Chief Wanted to Support iPhone, Android


[Clint Boulton]

Former Research in Motion Co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s exit was precipitated by his proposal, vetoed by other executives,  to allow RIM’s Blackberry network to support Apple’s iPhone and handsets based on Google’s Android software, reports Reuters’ Alastair Sharp.

The news would surely have CIOs slapping their foreheads in disgust, if only they weren’t so focused on figuring out how to securely deploy iPhones, iPads and Android handsets and tablets. With RIM’s BlackBerry handset sales waning and the company’s stock price falling 75% in 2011, the BlackBerry business network is perhaps the company’s biggest remaining asset because it offers security and management tools CIOs crave. RIM charges carriers to use the network to secure mobile data for each BlackBerry handset they sell.

Balsillie reportedly wanted to open this network up to support other devices, allowing the company to boost its revenue stream by making some of the money back Apple and Android handset makers have taken from RIM. But RIM’s executive management wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of sharing its network with the competition. Most CIOs we’ve spoken with love the security and manageability of RIM’s secure network and enterprise software, but acknowledge employees prefer iPhones or Android devices with large, handsome touchscreens.

“RIM is a dying platform,” one CIO of a global manufacturer said, under condition of anonymity because he is still supporting thousands of BlackBerry devices. Balsillie clearly felt the same, which is why he suggested RIM open its network up to rivals. CIOs would likely embrace the application of security from RIM’s network for their Apple and Android devices.

Ironically, new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins suggested he’s open to exploring such deals on the very day Balsillie “cut his last professional tie to the company,” writes Sharp.

Article source: http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2012/04/13/rim-chief-wanted-to-support-iphone-android/?mod=google_news_blog

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