The iPhone forced Google to start over … or not, depending who you believe

The HTC Dream: the first Android handset to go on sale
The HTC Dream: the first Android handset to go on sale, a year after the iPhone

A pithy quote from a Google engineer working on Android on the day the iPhone was launched has been doing the rounds today.

As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.

The quote, attributed to Google engineer Chris DeSalvo, appears in Chapter 2 of Fred Vogelstein’s Dogfight: How Apple and Google went to war and started a revolution. It suggests that Google had to abandon a Blackberry-style smartphone in favor of a touchscreen one in direct response to the iPhone. This is seemingly supported by Android boss Andy Rubin reportedly saying in response to the webcast of the iPhone launch: “Holy crap, I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”

There’s just one small problem with this version of events – it may not be entirely accurate …  Read more

Talking Schmidt: Drop smartphones, not bombs

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

Eric Schmidt revealed today that he has figured out how to end war and conflict across the globe. His solution? Drop millions of smartphones into other countries instead of going to war. Nope, really, that’s his plan.

According to the executive, raining down smartphones on Iraq or Afghanistan could have dramatically altered the course of history and prevented war in both countries. He suggests that the United States “could have airdropped a million into Afghanistan or Iraq as a thought experiment.”

We can only thank Eric Schmidt for selflessly suggesting a deep, thoughtful solution to global conflict, which could in no way financially benefit his company (which holds a smartphone OS marketshare majority). Yeah… we’re not really expecting the Department of Defense to offer Schmidt a job anytime soon.

Android now powers almost 60% of smart mobile devices

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 12.33.19 PM

Research firm Canalys is out today with its latest report tracking worldwide smart mobile device shipments for Q1 with Android accounting for almost 60% of smart mobile devices shipped by OS. That’s compared to a 19.3% share for Apple and approximately 18.1% for Microsoft. Keep in mind Canalys’s report also includes notebooks, in addition to tablets and smartphones, which account for the majority of Microsoft’s share. When looking at tablets alone, Apple continued its lead with 46.4% share in the quarter, although Canalys warned Apple “lost share to its Android-based rivals for the third consecutive quarter.”

‘Spearheaded by Google and Amazon, the commoditization of the tablet market has happened far quicker than that of the wider PC market,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Coulling. ‘Profit margins are being squeezed and vendors without a low cost structure will find it hard to compete. A solid range of must-have accessories and a software and services strategy are vital as vendors will increasingly need to make revenue around their devices.’

When it comes to smartphones, the report has Android at roughly 75.6% of shipments with around 32% of those shipments coming from Samsung. We know Apple sold around 37 million iPhones in the quarter but, as always, we warn that the stats from Canalys don’t include shipped vs sold data.  Read more

Want a Verizon Galaxy S4? You’ll need to wait until May

Spint and T-Mobile showed their hand earlier this week. Verizon’s isn’t looking good but they do have more LTE than everyone else combined so good things come to those who wait.

Motorola and Google to release stock Android phones with less overlay and smaller form-factor in second half of 2013

via skattertech.com

via skattertech.com

Since acquiring Motorola for $13 billion last May, Google has been expected to launch a Motorola smartphone running stock Android, but the most recent Google-branded Nexus 4 device was made in partnership with LG.

Motorola’s design chief Jim Wicks tells PC Mag, though, that Google and Motorola have been working closely during that time on multiple devices running stock Android with less overlay that we should expect later this year.

Read more