What's all this dirty talk about enterprises going gaga for iPads? During Mobile World Congress, Samsung announced that SAP will deploy Galaxy S II smartphones and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets internally. Oh my, perhaps there is a place for Android in the enterprise. But how much room alongside iPad?
SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann says the Android devices will be available to the company's "global workforce as part of our internal device-agnostic strategy. SAP software running on Samsung's Android devices will allow our workforce to do business in the moment". From an enterprise management perspective, he expressed confidence that SAP "can secure our business data on these devices using an extensive range of IT policies".
That was unexpected. This evening I tried out Vimeo for iOS 2.0 and much prefer the Android version released last month during Consumer Electronics Show. Conceptually, Vimeo for iOS offers more, so I expected to appreciate it more. Instead, I find the Android app to be cleaner and more intuitive on a tablet. Then, again, I'm not the target audience.
The new Vimeo app's big stand-out benefit is native, iPad support. The other explains why I'm perhaps tripping over perceived complexity: The app's approach and capabilities are more like Vimeo's website, where I have spent scant too little time over the last 12 months or so. If you frequent Vimeo on the web and often use features there, you might just love the app on iPad. You're the audience the video-sharing site wants to reach.
Now why is that? I want to know. Don't you?
For weeks, persistent leaks and rumors teased about Samsung Galaxy S III and how the phone wouldn't debut at Mobile World Congress. Boy Genius Report has deets that are to die for: 4.8-inch 1080p display, 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, 8-megapixel rear and 2MP front-facing cameras, ceramic case, 4G LTE and Ice Cream Sandwich.
Some companies are capable of delivering big, splashy announcements at trade shows by shattering whatever industry performance standard they can, like Nokia did early this morning with its 808 PureView smartphone with an astonishing 41 megapixel image sensor.
Other companies "go big" but don't go splashy. Marvell, for example, is targeting the biggest single mobile market on the planet with its new modems, and Microsoft is targeting the big mainstream consumer market with a low-power optimized version of Windows Phone.
Wow, Windows Phone is so bleeding-edge that Nokia's hot new 41-megapixel camera phone runs Symbian. You know, that "burning platform" CEO Stephen Elop dumped for Microsoft's mobile OS. Perhaps that burning should have had different context, as hot for high-brow hardware. Because a 41MP camera always with you is smokin'. I'm on fire. Aren't you?
The Finnish-phone maker announced the Nokia 808 PureView during Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona, Spain. The 41-megapixel camera phone might just be the showstopper -- that despite Microsoft's Wednesday event launching Windows 8 Consumer Preview. There's some real software and hardware innovation here that shows Nokia isn't dead yet and shouldn't have turned over so much research and development to Microsoft. The lost R&D is Elop's doing, and again supports my contention he's killing Nokia.
While smartphones are commonplace in the developed world, market penetration in developing countries remains poor. Mozilla aims to change that, and is leaning on two international wireless carriers to make that happen. Both Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom are pledging varying degrees of support for its Boot-to-Gecko (B2G) initiative.
Boot-to-Gecko is Mozilla's browser-based mobile operating system. It uses Web standards like HTML5 at its core peppered with borrowed code from the Android operating system. The end result is an open platform that requires little in the way of raw power to provide users with a full smartphone experience -- perfect for producing phones cheaply.
ZTE, the world's number four smartphone maker, announced another new mid-range Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress on Monday called the ZTE Orbit.
Looking almost exactly like the ZTE Tania which was launched in select global markets in January, the ZTE Orbit has a 4-inch (800 x 480) screen, a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage, and a 5 megapixel camera. The ZTE Orbit will be available in the second quarter of this year, and will likely carry the mass market price that ZTE devices have grown to be associated with.
I am seriously having Windows Tablet PC déjà vu. Today, at Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled Galaxy Note 10.1 -- a tablet with stylus (okay S Pen, as the South Korean electronics giant calls it). So much for capacitive touchscreen tablets -- really, Apple's emphasis on fingers -- liberating us from the stylus. There are reasons why Tablet PC failed, while iPad succeeded. The pen isn't mightier than the finger.
Galaxy Note 10.1 is essentially a larger version of Galaxy Note, which Samsung is promoting heavily here in the United States. Difference: No telephony on the larger Note, which display is 10.1 inches. AT&T sells the 5.3-inch Note for $299.99, although Amazon has it for half as much. I know three people who bought the smaller Note. Two returned theirs, and the other says he will this week. Reason: The pen, which is supposed to be the device's main benefit. Complaints range from accuracy problems to less need for the stylus than expected.
It has been some time since Adobe announced plans to release an iPad-specific version of the image editing tool Photoshop, and that day is finally here. Adobe Photoshop Touch arrived today, joining a surprising number of software announcements coming out of Mobile World Congress.
Photoshop Touch is a latecomer to iPad. Adobe released an Android tablet version in November.
On Friday, I talked about ZTE's "China First" strategy and how it paid off with big revenue gains at the end of 2011. Monday, chipmaker Marvell revealed the new products in its own "China First" strategy in the mobile data modem space: new Time Division data modems for the bleeding edge Chinese network protocols: TD-HSPA+ and TD-LTE
The products include the PXA1202, which Marvell bills as the world’s first Release 8 TD-HSPA+ modem, capable of 8.2 Mbps downlink speeds; and the PXA1802, a multimode TD-LTE modem chipset for TD-SCDMA and LTE markets capable of downlink speeds up to 150 Mbps.
Samsung wasted no time announcing new devices during Mobile World Congress 2012, and what a strange lot, too. There's a projector phone and successors to the original Galaxy Tab that, by the specs, are last year's models. That's right, Galaxy Tab 2 has no quad-core processor for you.
Galaxy Beam stays in the past, too, running Android 2.3, rather than newest version Android 4.0 -- aka Ice Cream Sandwich.
Chipmaker Intel is still on the cusp of making its big entry into the consumer smartphone business, but at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, the company is providing a look at some of its advancements in the field, including the first real-time graphics performance and power analysis tool suite for Medfield that will be spotlighted at the Game Developers Conference in a little more than one week's time.
The Intel GPA System Analyzer is a developer tool that can capture real-time metrics of Android games and apps running on the Medfield processor, with the ability to switch between different rendering scenarios in the app (wire frame only, no alpha, textures only, rendering distance, different resolutions, etc.) to optimally tune it for best performance.
It's Mobile World Congress, where handset manufacturers announce phones they won't ship for months. HTC will do a little better, offering the new HTC One family of smartphones starting in April. Flagship handset One X is loaded for bear, with 1.5GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and 4.7-inch 720p display.
Is it me, or does the One X look a little like a beautified HTC Titan II but running Android, packing more cores and offering higher-res display? Or perhaps these HTC phones all kind of look the same. Whatever, the One family (pictured), particularly the X, looks lots like HTC trying to regain some of its Android mojo.
In October 2009, I explained why "iPhone cannot win the smartphone wars". Many of the reasons then still hold true today. But I wrote that analysis before Apple released iPad. So, 10 months later I followed up with "Apple can still win the mobile platform wars, but it won't be easy". Now, 18 months later, as Mobile World Congress starts in Barcelona, Spain, I claim: Apple is winning the mobile platform wars, but achieving ultimate supremacy won't be easy.
In August 2010, I observed: "Pundits already are predicting iPhone's death brattle before the great Android god. I wouldn't write off Apple just yet. The mobile wars are bigger than smartphones, as Apple already has shown". Little has changed since. Android apologists still predict victory over iOS, while ignoring fundamental platform gains that put Apple in front.