BLACKBERRY IS LOSING KEY MARKETS: BlackBerry has been slowly losing hold of its grip on the U.S. government market. Samsung, which has recently made a conscious effort to revamp its enterprise and U.S. government presence, just won an order to sell over 7,000 mobile devices to the U.S. Army as well as an order for several thousand devices to be sent to the National Security Agency (NSA), reports the Wall Street Journal.
This signals a changing of the guard for mobile devices used by the government, which was long BlackBerry’s bread and butter; the U.S. government represents a significant part of its remaining North American business. On top of being cramped out of the government market, BlackBerry’s 70% share of the North American enterprise market in 2010 has now fallen to 5%, according to IDC. One key point is that both the Army and NSA outfit their mobile devices with their own security software. Security was considered BlackBerry’s best feature. The change
shows that BlackBerry is no longer the unassailable force in the government market and in the enterprise market that it once was. (Wall Street Journal)
APPLE DOMINATES ENTERPRISE: Among the mobile devices activated in the fourth quarter of 2013 in the enterprise sector, Apple’s iOS platform powered about 54% of activations, according to a report from Good Technology. Conversely, Android’s share of enterprise activations dipped to 26%. Windows Phone held steady at a minimal share of activations — 1%. The enterprise market as a whole is becoming an important part of the mobile industry’s growth. Enterprise device activations soared 54% between the third and fourth quarter. (Good Technology
APPLE PASSES MICROSOFT: Analyst Benedict Evans points out that in the fourth quarter of 2013, Apple sold more computing devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) than the total number of Windows-powered PCs sold during the quarter. Adding Windows Phone on top of the Windows PC figure puts it relatively equal to Apple, but nonetheless, it’s an important illustration of how Apple’s set of mobile products have pushed the company ahead of its formative rival. (Benedict Evans)
DROPBOX NABS NEW COO FROM GOOGLE: Dennis Woodside, a 10-year Google veteran, has been hired as Dropbox’s first-ever Chief Operating Officer. Woodside most recently worked on Google’s Motorola handset division, which was recently sold off to Lenovo. Following a major round of funding at Dropbox, Woodside is expected to help the company with global expansion. (Wall Street Journal)
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I have no idea what this is about” — Viber CEO Talmon Marco vehemently denying rumours that Viber, a popular mobile messaging app, is set to be acquired by an instant messaging company in Asia (Reuters)
MOBILE ADVICE TO MICROSOFT: New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has a tough job ahead in bringing Microsoft in as a major mobile player. Ben Thompson lays out a few clear strategies that Microsoft should follow: Embrace services and abandon devices, and fork Android to build an AOSP-based app store nearly identical to that of Google Play. That way, Android developers can change just a tiny bit of code in order to get into Microsoft’s app store, rather than developing entirely different code for Windows Phone. (Stratechery)
But here’s what Microsoft might already be planning to do: The Verge reports that Microsoft may soon make Android applications compatible with both Windows and Windows Phone. This would be a radical move and may actually signal a concession in the platform wars by Microsoft. (The Verge)
CHINA’S MEDIOCRE FOURTH QUARTER: Digitimes is reporting that smartphone sales throughout China grew only 16% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year. Sequentially, sales were up 22%. Overall, China’s domestic market competition is heating up, even at the bottom, as Xiaomi and other brands are feeling pressure from secondary smartphone brands launched by Huawei and Coolpad. (Digitimes)
GOOGLE-FOXCONN ROBOTS: Foxconn, the parts supplier best known for working with Apple on its mobile products, is reportedly working with Google to ramp up its vision to bring robotics to the mass market. Google acquired eight robotics companies in 2013. (Wall Street Journal)
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