Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Google Android roundup: Why did JBQ leave AOSP?

Jon Gold | Aug. 12, 2013
Android news/rumors: The end of an era, plus giant robots annoyed as LG removes "optimus" title from latest release, Android's continued domination and why people think it's doomed, and a Moto X engineer hates back on critics.

From a design perspective, the G2's big innovations are having lost LG's well-worn "Optimus" moniker and putting some of the controls — including the power and volume keys — on the back of the phone instead of somewhere on the side. I have no idea if this is a silly gimmick or a revolutionary answer to the problem of oversized smartphones — and I won't until I actually get my hands on one — but it's at least a creative attempt.

*

The latest smartphone market share report from IDC says that Android's global smartphone market share has risen to nearly 80% - up from just below 70% a year before. Sound like great news for Android, right?

Not so fast, says comScore. In the U.S., at least, Android subscriber numbers were flat during 2013's second quarter, while Apple's rose slightly. The Guardian also cites a Yankee Group study as saying that Android's market dynamics indicate that Apple will retake the lead next year.

While they've obviously done their homework more assiduously than I have — which is to say, they've done some homework — I still have a hard time seeing Android losing too much ground back to That Other Smartphone absent a massively successful launch of the next-gen iPhone. Given that the last couple of iterations haven't quite matched the stratospheric heights reached by their predecessors, that's far from a guarantee.

Still, the U.S. market is more heavily Apple-centric than that of the world in general — more like 52% to 40%, according to the aforementioned numbers from comScore, so Apple's still within striking distance.

*

After the Moto X took some lumps on Twitter about its slightly-less-than-cutting-edge specs, Motorola designer Iqbal Arshad slammed critics in an interview with ZDNet.

He said that comparing raw specs misses the point, asserting that the Moto X is architected so differently that such measurements are meaningless.

"So it's hard to understand because you're comparing architectures that are fundamentally different. It's kind of like people who are looking at a Tesla electric car and expecting it to have a V-8 engine. When you talk about an electric motor, it's hard for people who are used to comparing specs on traditional cars to understand how it truly compares, because it's completely different," he said.

He would say that, of course, given that his company is the one charging the same price for less powerful hardware, but he has a point — the Moto X's voice command and power-saving technologies are a bit more compelling than the avalanche of goofy camera modes. Still, if you're just in it for pure performance, the ability to say "OK Google, advise me on purchasing decisions" or whatever probable doesn't cut it for you.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.