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October 03, 2016



It's good there is something stable in constantly changing mobile business, mobile Windows remains to be dead from year to year. I don't know if Android still exists in 2030 but there must be some mobile Windows that is in its dead spiral. ;-)


So yeah. 200 million here or there, best source for any mobile stats, always.


@kk && jj

You are mocking Tomi for something no analyst can ever predict. Nobody can predict when Microsoft will stop wasting money on this already dead platform. Hopefully Microsoft will never give up and will continue to throw good money after bad until Microsoft itself dies in pain. Meanwhile Android is fine, thank you very much.

Wayne Borean

Microsoft has huge amounts of money offshore. If they move Windows 10 Mobile development to a place awash with cash they can keep it going forever.


My Android phone decided to stop working and I didn't want to spend a huge sum on the current batch of premium Android phones and happen to be near a Microsoft store and grabbed a cheap Acer Liquid M330 Windows Phone figuring it would hold me over till I'm ready for a new expensive phone(Google Pixel).
I have to say, for the basic stuff, it works alright. Phone, text, Bing Maps with GPS and the phone even has a radio integrated which surprised me since expensive phones don't tend to have it. Now I'm not gonna sell you on a Windows Phone because it's obvious glaring problem is the lack of apps which was even pointing here with Pokemon Go leaving. The one shining light on Windows Phone as far as I understand it is that as far as updates go, unlike Android phones I won't need to worry about it happening or not as Microsoft controls that end rather than manufacturers like Samsung, LG, etc... and do a terrible job of offering long term support.

This has been my pet peeve on Android as long as I've used it and stuck to the Nexus line for that reason. Now I'm not trying to say people should support Windows Phone instead but I certainly feel that if Windows Phone could hold a higher percentage maybe Google would get more serious at fix this problem. As it stands, there's just not enough competition to press them to get this done.


@Jonathan & Wayne Brady

On the ++ side you can get flagship phones for just $199 no contract, like I got my Nexus 5X in April. It's is with project Fi so I only pay some $25 per month (depending on how much data I use). The contract is $20 unlimited voice in US plus $10 per GB which overflows to the next month if not used.
And Android is more open than what you wrote. You can install any after-market ROM like those provided by CyanogenMod if you don't like the original OS. I did that with my Samsung Galaxy S2 back in the day and it worked just fine. Why do we have such options with Android? Because it is open source so that anyone can get the source code and make an after-market ROM. Do you have this option with iOS? As long as iOS remains as closed as it currently is, you should not talk about how open Android is.


@Wayne Brady
Right, so all you have to do is choose wisely. Those who make uninformed choices should suffer the consequences. With Android the user has tons of choices. It's up to the user to take advantage of them.


Correction: I meant "uninformed decisions"


Thanks for the posts everyone. A couple of problems in the responses I need to address.

@Cornelius. I'm glad you could get the Nexus 5X for such a decent price. For me being in Canada seems to mean you can't get a deal. Pixel just came out and it's starting at 899$ Can (Outch!!!). I was looking at the Nexus 5X a few months back on the GoogleStore and while I don't recall the price, it certainly didn't sound as cheap as your deal. The only other option is to get the phone on a 2-year plan and pony up the difference after selling my soul.
Yes the savvy can update their phones with CyanogenMod but that's not most people and shouldn't be the case. You don't buy a Windows PC and expect to be unsupported within 6 months or a year of having purchased it. This shouldn't be the case here either.
@Wayne Brady, yes I do understand that problem but it just makes it even worse to see Windows Phones have no footing. Again no great love for it but that one update feature should be on Android and won't be if no other competitor is there for people to point to and say 'See, it can be done'.
And yes we can get new phones on the cheap side. Problem is that you'll never see them with the latest and greatest version of Android. They are always 1 to 2 revisions behind and again most people wouldn't know how to update themselves which is a real issue in my mind because on top of what I mentioned so far here, there is the security issues that are left unresolved. Lord have mercy on anyone using these for banking online.


Yes, the price of Pixel is really high. I think right now the Motos offer the best value for the money and they receive fast updates and are very close to vanilla Android. If I were you I'd buy a Moto X Play. If Moto X is too much then go with Moto G. My wife needs a new phone and I think I'll go with Moto X Play.


As for Android security, if you install apps from the official app store, it is highly unlikely that you'll get a virus or other security problem. Almost all, if not all viruses come from unofficial apps or pirated apps or affect Chinese versions of Android that do not have official Google support and do not use Google's app store.



I'm sorry, with all due respect, that's a foolish way to look at vulnerabilities. Android Nougat rebuild the Media Stack to avoid a malicious attack from taking total control by sending an MMS message. That has nothing to do with Apps and that's only one in many patches that could be exploited without loading any apps.

Also thank you for pointing out the Moto X Play. I'll certainly look it up.



Also of note. They found malicious code hiding in over 400 apps on the Google Play store too. And that's an article from today.
I don't see how sticking to the official store is safer.



All operating systems have vulnerabilities. Any piece of software as complex as an operating system has vulnerabilities. That's why it is important to get updates. But these OS vulnerabilities are much more rare than viruses installed through pirated or unofficial apps.


The official app store is the safest thing that you can do. It is not perfect but in case you want to be perfectly safe, I guess you should stop using a smartphone. The odds of being attacked in case you use the official app store are not greater than a brick falling on your head as you walk on the street.



Agreed we should get the updates which comes right back to my complaint about not being able to get these because of the way Google set this up with vendors and Telcos. Those of us able to flash our phones can get around this. The rest of us get the shaft sadly.
As for being rare, well the problem is that they often remain unpatched for a long time and even after they do get patches chances are you won't get it from the vendor. So they may be more rare but while apps with malicious code can be removed from the store if Google finds them, unpatched issues seem imo to stick around longer just because of the way this is all setup. I guess we'll just have to see one of these make the news a couple of times before something changes.

Yes, Google Play store is safer than an unofficial store but the article is pointing to well know app stores which suggests official stores and not pirate or unofficial sites. Of course we can't live under a rock so we have to manage as best we can. I just haven't been using my phone for purchases or banking so I figure that should limit the damages should the phone be compromised. Not perfect, I'm sure someone can point a flaw in my thinking but still...


Has anybody looked at the link from Tomi?

This "ARM Qualcomm 1401MHz (8 cores)" specification looks like a Snapdragon-SoC from the 600 series (or even lower). These are no high-end phones, they cannot compete with the plethora of Snapdragon 820/ 821 devices out there (LG G5, SGS7, HTC 10, OP3, Pixel etc.).

What do they want to charge for this low-end stuff? You can get an LG G5 or One Plus 3 for less than €400 now. Even the outdated 2015 models like the LG G4, Nexus 5X/ 6P or Sony Z5 are much faster.

I wonder where Nokia is planning to sell this, and for which price. Oh, and for which target audience.

Note that even Qualcomm admits that 8-core SoCs with slow CPUs are crap, they only sell them because of the "8 cores" checkbox feature which customers like. This is why the 820/ 821 have a 4 core bigLITTLE architecture instead.

I don't understand the strategy of the new Nokia. Does anybody here on this board?


@Jonathan: "Agreed we should get the updates which comes right back to my complaint about not being able to get these because of the way Google set this up with vendors and Telcos."

You can complain at your vendor and at your provider, but not on Google:

- Google provides weekly security updates for Android 4.4 and up (not only for the newest iteration!). It's not Google's fault that vendors/ carriers ignore them or deliver a security update each leap year

- On top of it, everybody running Android 2.3 and up gets the Google Play services updates (independent of carrier/ vendor). These updates also contain security-related parts, but of course Google can only do so much here as long as teh core OS is outdated. But still, better than nothing.

- The Google Apps (like Playstore, Chrome, Google Play games and whatnot) can be updated independently of the OS. So even with a stone-old original Samsung Galaxy S from 2010 you get your Maps/ Chrome etc. updates

Apple has a completely different approach here, it's like Google in 2011: You get your newest iOS version with the newest versions of Safari, iTunes etc. When your device cannot run the newest version of iOS anymore, you don't get _anything_ anymore. No security updates, no new Safari version, no new iTunes version, nothing.

So I think Google's approach is actually not too bad - when you take into account that Google can hardly force vendors or carriers to apply each security update.

Of course things would be better if the vendors would simply ship AOSP + Google Apps instead of the forked abomination which is shipped by Samsung/ LG/ Hauwai. Then applying security updates would be child's play. But no, these morons want to be "different" from the competition.

This is why I only buy unlocked devices with replacable battery and SD card support. If a working CM or AOSP ROM is available, I remove the vendor crap as a whole.
If not, I can at least debloat my device. Especially Samsung and LG are guilty of delivering dozens of bloated crapware apps no sane person needs. Of course they are all installed as system apps, so the average user cannot remove them. Installing Facebook as system app is a personal insult to me, the vendor is showing me the middle finger with this!

So overall, I blame Google with 5-10%. 90-95% of the blame goes to OEMs and carriers!



Should now Google be included in the list of phone manufacturers, like for example Nokia?



"You have no idea who these people are....not even the CyanogenMod folks themselves. Any of them could put spyware or other malicious code into these mods. Yes, it's "open source" but who is going around the millions of lines of code reading it?"

You are of course right here. But I personally trust the official CM releases. Also, on XDA members got already banned for doing shady stuff. So I would also trust a long-time developer on XDA.

Also, when you post your AOSP- or CM-version on XDA, you have to provide your sources. People do look into this, I have seen according discussions in their forums.

On top of it, I don't have really important personal stuff on my phone. But of course your mileage may vary - if you carry really sensitive information on your phone and want to be secure, use a bootloader-locked, hardware-encrypted phone with DM verify enabled and strict SE Linux. Or an iPhone.

"I'm really puzzled by this notion that Apple supporting devices for 5 years or so with updates....then not at all (not sure that's true, but let's go with it) is somehow worse than relying on volunteers supporting 5yr old devices"

We can discuss all day long which approach is better, I think that this is pointless.

Let's simply stick to the facts: Apple's approach only works when you control the hard- and the software. So this doesn't work for Google.

Google's 3-tier-approach (new OS versions, weekly security fixes for the last few outdated Android versions and the vendor-independent Google Play Services) is a way to enhance security for an ecosystem where Google cannot control everything and hence is dependent on the OEMs/ carriers.

Of course this falls flat when OEMs/ carriers don't play along. But then it's the responsibility of the customers to choose wisely. Most customer's don't care, though, so the OEMs/ carriers also don't care. Live's a bitch :-)

"Google hasn't even supported Nexus devices for the time length the Apple has achieved with iOS devices"

While this is true, put the blame where blame is due.

First of all, SoC vendors like Qualcomm could release open source Android drivers, but don't (because of a variety of reasons). So you only have the closed-source binary blobs from the vendors.

Example: Android Nougat requires Open GL ES 3.1 or Vulkan (for Daydream compatibility). Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 from 2014 only has drivers which support Open GL ES 3.0. Qualcomm _COULD_ release an updated driver, but chose not to (only Snapdragon 805 and up).

So Snapdragon 801-devices like the Nexus 5 or the Sony Xperia Z3 can't get official Nougat updates. Of course you get unofficial ones, but not from Google or Sony.

Sony has reelased a beta Nougat version for the Z3 and Google also wanted to provide Nougat for the Nexus 5, but both companies are dependent on Qualcomm. And Qualcomm doesn't care, so no Nougat for these devices period.

Only Samsung and Huawei have own SoCs (Exynos and Kiri), so these 2 vendors could provide longer support - if they would want to. Other OEMs are dependent on the SoC-vendor.

Since Apple designs the SoCs in-house (including drivers), they don't have this issue.

Also, don't forget that Apple sells their phones much longer - you could still buy the iPhone 4S in 2015 in some countries (e.g in India). Do you expect them to sell them with an OS from 2013?

Android phones usually are only sold for one year, so you can expect only 2 major OS upgrade. But note that Samsung still provides security updates for the Samsung Galaxy S4 from 2013. See here:

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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