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Called the Ativ Q, the convertible "tabtop" can boot either the Microsoft operating system or run Google’s Android 4.2.2, with users able to share data between the two operating systems.

Its great to see there are companies with so much cash for innovations targeted at large market segments like those who won’t be confused by having to interact with two distinct user experiences all day.

Despite that there’s likely to be a flood of Tabtops in the market in the next 12 months as other hardware vendors try to extend their product umbrella.

I’ll place a bet now that not only will their sales be modest, but it will quickly become apparent that of those who purchase most will use one or other of the Operating Systems on offer depending on how they use the devices the most.

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Our Survey Says #2: Mobile Market Share by CNET

Aside

That I’d never heard of Kantar WorldPanel ComTech until Cnet Australia published a post using their data to prove that Android was the leading Mobile OS in Australia means nothing. I’m sure they’re a great organisation delivering insightful market currency to brand owners and owners and others.

Perhaps Android is, as the Cnet Article claims and the data seems to back up, the leading OS installed on smartphones in Australia. But when the author neither links to the data he’s basing his entire article on nor the method used to derive the numbers, my suspicions are raised.

So I’ll do Mr. Hanlon’s job for him, here’s the PDF describing the results.

I’ve previously written my suspicions of surveys used to determine the market, and was criticised for inferring a valid sample was too small. However, unless I’m missing the wood for the trees on this one, it seems to me the Australian – or any other regions – data is not backed by any reference to the methodology used to derive it.

There’s plenty of journalists doing great things with data, it’s pretty sad to think that in the technology space, most of it appears to be shallow attempts at linkbait for their advertising driven site. As with any information used to write a story, something to back up the claims either from the originator or better another source would be valuable.

Otherwise, as in this case. there’s no story.

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The summary of AV Test’s March 2012 Malware Protection for Android Tests includes the following:

Close to two thirds of these scanners are not yet suitable for use as reliable products and identify less than 65% of the 618 types of malware tested”

Though I think the most damning quote was about one of the large number of “free” – mainly ad supported – services:

“…showed no detections in our tests and crashed several times. The advertisements worked properly”

Disclaimer: In my current role I promote Lookout Mobile Security which was in the top 7 tested applications

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In his post You Sense It Or You Don’t the creator of Mars Edit Daniel Jalkut comments on the recent sparring between Joshua Topolsky and M.G. Siegler following Siegler’s recent Galaxy Nexus review.

A most excellent post which could almost be distilled to the following line:

For whatever details a given person appreciates and values, far more people will be disinterested and be unlikely to even distinguish differences.

So Android users, if you can just accept the iOS is for the discerning we’ll happily accept and appreciate your testing of the kinks in the upcoming features of iOS 6 for us.

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As if the Carrier IQ issue wasn’t enough of a challenge for the Android platform, a new permissions compromise has been found by boffins at North Carolina State University in the USA.

The challenge for smartphone vendors is that many of their customers aren’t aware they are actually buying a mobile computer. There’s an onus on the vendor and those of us in the industry to continue to remind less tech savvy users of the threats this might entail.

For most people Android or any other platform is as safe as a bank. As long as you keep your eyes and ears open and follow some key steps to protect yourself online.

I did note in the video the phone receiving the SMS appeared to be protected by Lookout. My friends there advised yesterday they protect against GG Tracker which is used to send Premium Rate SMS. I’ll be asking them if this compromise, which can also facilitate sending SMS, is also protected by Lookout.

Droid RAZR and The Verge

With the Motorola Droid RAZR review  in The Verge I learnt two things

1. The Droid RAZR is typically full of a number of compromises which are unsuitable to challenge the market leader and will therefore be nothing but a success in markets where you must have LTE.

2. The Verge is not only a site full of well written and well edited content, but also with a great design beholden to neither web traditions nor print stasis

I’m backing the Verge to outlive the Droid RAZR.

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Motorola’s overall mobile phone market share declined 3 percentage points, from 12 percent in Q2 2010 to 9 percent in Q2 2011. The company’s share of the smartphone market also declined from 15 percent to 12 percent. Motorola’s year-over-year unit share of Android OS sales halved from 44 percent in Q2 of last year to 22 percent in Q2 of 2011, as Samsung and LG both experienced substantial gains.

via The NPD Group: As Android Solidifies Lead, Google Acquisition Has Potential to Revitalize Flagging Motorola.

The piece uses an Andy Rubin quote to claim Motorola has great opportunity in Prepaid Smartphone Market. As do Samsung and LG, I assume – both of whom have had huge YoY growth in the space.

On the Patents of Motogoo

…if Motorola’s patent portfolio were really that dangerous, Apple would have settled quickly, not dragged out patent countersuits of its own. Apple settled with Nokia pretty quickly, and Nokia, like Motorola, has patents primarily in network technology, not the kind of usability and OS technologies Apple has the most strength in…

Daniel Eran Dilger rarely holds back at Roughly Drafted. And even if he is being objective (read the even more dismissive commentary in the full article), those who he describes as “deciding Google’s strategy”will go “ha, fanboy” and ignore what he writes.

So lets see what everyone else is saying. Nilay Patel at This is my next makes an interesting point that perhaps the Motorola patents might be more valuable in the Google v Oracle Battelfront of The Great Patent War of 2011:

…Oracle case is probably the most significant to the Android ecosystem right now, and it’s also the one in which Google is doing the most poorly…Motorola owns plenty of patents on networking and video encoding as well. That’s the sort of easy cross-license that makes sense, but it all depends on whether Oracle decides it stands more to gain from collecting license fees from Android or more to lose from a Motorola patent lawsuit.

I haven’t been able to find any evidence of any knowledgeable patent lawyers clarifying the quality of Motorola’s patents yet. I imagine that commentary will come later. If you were a Google shareholder, though, you’d have to be happy that the experts had done their collective jobs and found a few tasty ones in the Motorola portfolio. Which they’d be happy to welcome into the “defence of Android” in this Great Patent War of 2011.

If you were a shareholder, though, you might get a bit nervous when you read this (albeit unvalidated) comment from a former member of staff who claims he worked with their patents:

…having worked with Motorola patents for many years as a Member of the Technical Staff, I can assure you that of the 17,000 Google has gotten their hands on, no more than 5 or 10 are worth anything….

I’m not sure if Standard and Poor’s are allowed to be trusted again, but they sure don’t rate the buy as helping increase the value of the stock:

despite MMI’s extensive and valuable patent portfolio, we are not sure it will protect Android from IP issues. We also believe the purchase of MMI would negatively impact GOOG’s growth, margins and balance sheet

Whatever happens, the next 18-24 months are going to interesting. How long the Great Patent War drags on might just depend on how good a buy this Motorola deal is for Google and their business.