Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / smart phone

  • Apr 22 / 2014
  • 6

Intel Desperately Struggles To Maintain Relevance Against ARM

Intel, despite Moore’s Law advantages, and serious price-cutting, still has difficulty competing against ARM.“Intel is currently offering its dual-core Atom Z2520 for 7-inch models and Atom 3735G for 8-inch ones, while MediaTek is mainly pushing solutions such as 8382 for the white-box tablet market, the sources said.
Intel’s 7-inch tablet solution is currently priced at about US$20 and the 7.85-inch one around US$27. With a LTE module, which raises the overall cost by about US$20, a 7-inch Intel-based white-box tablet currently has an ex-factory price of about US$50, the sources detailed.
A 3G white-box tablet using MediaTek’s solution has a competitive ex-factory price of US$39.9, the sources added.”
They even have ASUS going exclusively with Intel thanks to huge discounts.

OEMs are paying attention. They will demand similar sharp price-cuts for desktop/notebook PCs and M$’s price will stick out like a sore thumb. GNU/Linux, here we come…

See Intel, MediaTek become favorites in China white-box tablet industry.

  • Mar 31 / 2014
  • 12

Small Cheap Computers Win China

The number os users of smartphones in China greatly exceeds the number of legacy PCs.“There were 1.24 billion subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of February 2014, growing 0.36% sequentially and 9.52% on year, and 429.79 million (34.67%) of them were 3G users and 839.05 million (67.68%) mobile Internet-access users, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The number of subscribers in February accounted for 90.8% of the country’s population.”
Clearly, these smartphones are the new PC for many. They are replacing legacy PCs for communication and browsing. The legacy PC is too expensive, bulky and immobile to give these folks what they want.

See China has 1.24 billion mobile phone users in February, says MIIT.

  • Feb 27 / 2014
  • 5

Android/Linux Overtakes XP on Weekends

The title says it all. Folks are using their Android/Linux smartphones a lot everywhere, even at work. Same with tablets. The personal computer has been redefined by consumers, employees, everyone but the sycophants of Wintel. The small cheap computers flooding the markets are computers and people, real people, love them. They are personal. Since “7″ is on borrowed time and declining while Android/Linux usage shows higher growth than M$’s other offerings, it looks like in a year or two, Android/Linux will be the top dog in a sea of “others”.

Speaking of others, they are a fragmented mess with none able to gain huge share. Even the OS with few salesmen, GNU/Linux, trumps M$’s Phoney OS. It looks as if the future will soon be Android/Linux with a huge share and everyone else getting something like a few percent each. iOS is losing ground to Android/Linux. The only thing that’s sure is that there is competition for operating systems on retail shelves, something we did not have a few years ago. It’s all good.

“Linux server demand continued to be positively impacted by cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue increased 14.4% year over year to $4.1 billion in 4Q13. Linux servers now represent 28.5% of all server revenue, up 4.6 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2012.”I do have fond memories of each new PC being more powerful than the one before but I don’t miss the fact that Wintel sucked up that power every few years pressuring people to buy anew. Apparently more CPU power will shift to servers/clouds. We have plenty on the small cheap computers for doing everything but drying hair. According to IDC, GNU/Linux is doing great on servers.

  • Feb 26 / 2014
  • 5


I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Nokia is producing some Android/Linux smartphones “Within Microsoft what I see happening is that the company will start backing off Windows Phone. Kendrick’s right, you see. It is too much to ask Microsoft to support two mobile operating systems, so I think they’ll slowly and quietly drop the least-profitable of them: Windows Phone.”that look and feel like “phoney 7″ smartphones. Certainly, it is interesting that Android/Linux apps will run on them, but this is just like GNU/Linux distros that look like XP or “7″. No one is very excited about those…

I don’t often disagree with SJVN but I think his argument that M$ makes $billions from Android/Linux taxes is extreme. If that were happening, there would be some mention of it in M$’s SEC filings. There’s only this, “D&C Licensing, comprising: Windows, including all original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) licensing (“Windows OEM”) and other non-volume licensing and academic volume licensing of the Windows operating system and related software (collectively, “Consumer Windows”); non-volume licensing of Microsoft Office, comprising the core Office product set, for consumers (“Consumer Office”); Windows Phone, including related patent licensing; and certain other patent licensing revenue;”. Would M$ dare risk not mentioning something substantial here? I don’t think so. Their case against Motorola is still up in the air: “Motorola litigation
In October 2010, Microsoft filed patent infringement complaints against Motorola Mobility (“Motorola”) with the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) and in U.S. District Court in Seattle for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android devices. Since then, Microsoft and Motorola have filed additional claims against each other in the ITC, in federal district courts in Seattle, Wisconsin, Florida, and California, and in courts in Germany and the United Kingdom. The nature of the claims asserted and status of individual matters are summarized below.
International Trade Commission
In May 2012, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order against Motorola on one Microsoft patent, which became effective on July 18, 2012. Microsoft appealed certain aspects of the ITC rulings adverse to Microsoft, and Motorola has appealed the ITC exclusion order, to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In October 2013, the Court of Appeals ruled in Microsoft’s favor on one additional patent (since expired) and, in December 2013, affirmed the ITC’s exclusion order.
In July 2013, Microsoft filed an action in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. seeking an order to compel enforcement of the ITC’s May 2012 import ban against infringing Motorola products by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), after learning that CBP had failed to fully enforce the order.
In November 2010, Motorola filed an action against Microsoft in the ITC alleging infringement of five Motorola patents by Xbox consoles and accessories and seeking an exclusion order to prohibit importation of the allegedly infringing Xbox products into the U.S. At Motorola’s request, the ITC terminated its investigation as to four Motorola patents, leaving only one Motorola patent at issue. In March 2013, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) ruled that there has been no violation of the remaining Motorola patent. Motorola sought ITC review of the ALJ’s determination, which the ITC denied in May 2013. Motorola has appealed the ITC’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
U.S. District Court
The Seattle District Court case filed in October 2010 by Microsoft as a companion to Microsoft’s ITC case against Motorola has been stayed pending the outcome of Microsoft’s ITC case. In November 2010, Microsoft sued Motorola for breach of contract in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleging that Motorola breached its commitments to standards-setting organizations to license to Microsoft certain patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory (“RAND”) terms and conditions. Motorola has declared these patents essential to the implementation of the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard. In the Motorola ITC case described above and in suits described below, Motorola or a Motorola affiliate subsequently sued Microsoft on those patents in U.S. District Courts, in the ITC, and in Germany. In February 2012, the Seattle District Court granted a partial summary judgment in favor of Microsoft ruling that (1) Motorola entered into binding contractual commitments with standards organizations committing to license its declared-essential patents on RAND terms and conditions; and (2) Microsoft is a third-party beneficiary of those commitments. After trial, the Seattle District Court set per unit royalties for Motorola’s H.264 and 802.11 patents, which resulted in an immaterial Microsoft liability. In September 2013, following trial of Microsoft’s breach of contract claim, a jury awarded $14.5 million in damages to Microsoft. Motorola has appealed.
Cases filed by Motorola in Wisconsin, California, and Florida, with the exception of one currently stayed case in Wisconsin (a companion case to Motorola’s ITC action), have been transferred to the U.S District Court in Seattle.”

There’s not much there, IMHO. Even M$ calls Motorola’s patent charge “immaterial”. Those are on the same magnitude as M$’s patent claims are they not? The fact is that the producers of Android/Linux devices that have settled with M$ did so to avoid litigation and the amounts are likely less than the cost of litigation, $millions not $billions. Google is not backing down and could well win against M$ in a big way. M$ is not considering that revenue in its manipulation of Nokia. This is all about the applications, nothing more. That UI looks like M$’s phoney OS to me and to users. M$ doesn’t charge itself licensing fees so using Android/Linux is not about saving money on licensing just cost of production and importing apps. When they ship standard Android, then we can believe that M$ plans to migrate to */Linux one way or another, not before. That isn’t going to happen as long as Gates and Ballmer are around. That isn’t going to happen until the whole house of cards falls.

See Hello, MS-Android. Good-bye, Windows Phone.

  • Feb 25 / 2014
  • 7

Even Smaller Cheaper Computers Running FLOSS

On the one hand folks are talking about $25 smartphones running FLOSS and on the other hand folks say it’s not possible.“Spreadtrum has announced WCDMA and EDGE turnkey reference designs for Firefox OS as well as the industry’s first chipset for US$25 smartphones, the SC6821, that redefines the entry level for smartphones in key growth markets. These solutions are already creating a stir, with global operators such as Telenor, Telkomsel and Indosat, and ecosystem partners such as Polytron, T2Mobile and Thundersoft expressing interest.” Whom are you going to believe? The old guard or the young dogs that are going to do the work?

“Lin explained that currently, the absolute lowest smartphone BOM in China is estimated to be around US$22 (and most are significantly more than that) and that manufacturing costs are highly unlikely to go below US$20 this year, which would be the cost needed to deliver a US$25 smartphone to end users. The cost would need to get to US$15-20 FOB in order to get a selling price of US$25, Lin said.”I think that if this is impossible today, someone will make it possible during 2014. After all, the big dogs have a lock on high-priced smartphones and they can’t touch a little mouse scurrying around in the grass making $25 smartphones. That leaves a huge emerging market with perhaps hundreds of millions of smartphones to be sold. The little guys are not going to turn down an opportunity to avoid deadly competition. They’ll gladly settle for stiff competition. Let them go at it.

See Firefox OS Unleashes the Future of Mobile.

See Is a US$25 smartphone possible?.

  • Jan 03 / 2014
  • 2

Happiness In USA – 2013

A lot of people opened their Christmas presents early in USA it seems and they were loaded with */Linux.
Every */Linux OS increased share dramatically in a single month. Every */Linux OS had highest usage on Christmas Day.

  • Dec 02 / 2013
  • 0

Mobile */Linux

Of course, */Linux is on the move everywhere but the latest triumph is mobile computing. China and India typify emerging markets where many are buying IT for the first time and the affordability, mobility and functionality of small cheap computers are irresistible. The Linux kernel which is supported by most hardware-makers to run on almost anything is a great base. The GNU system or the Android system are both advantageous: they are Free Software and come with few restrictions and all the right permissions to promote global proliferation, they cost about $0 so any OEM large or small can use them and they are made by users for users so millions like it.

The uptake of Android/Linux has been amazing. A bit of salesmanship by Google and a few front-runners setting a good example was all it took. Retailers everywhere are cluttering shelves with Android/Linux smartphones and tablets. Even ISPs and other businesses are getting in on the act by offering customers freebies or discounted products as inducements. Google’s business-plan is audacious: offer free services that promote their core business, advertising. It worked beautifully with e-mail and search and video. Now it’s working with mobile connectivity.

GNU/Linux is a little late to the show but OEMs know that clinging to a single source of supply can be dangerous. M$ taught them that. So, OEMs welcome a second mobile OS, GNU/Linux, in distributions like Tizen. They are showing a bit on a logarithmic graph but there is growth. That other OS is down there in the weeds, too, after years and $billions of trying. Given a choice, the world prefers Free Software like */Linux.

Data supplied by StatCounter: China, India, WorldWide.

  • Nov 29 / 2013
  • 0

FLOSS Inspires Diversification In Hardware For Small Cheap Computers

Never has IT been more diverse. All kinds of units are shipping today with single, dual, quad and penta 32bit cores, but soon 64bit cores will be everywhere and there will be a few octal cored chips. It took Intel decades to reach that level of performance but ARMed CPUs fueled by low cost FLOSS software have advanced far in just a few years. Diverse companies in a highly competitive market can diversify to explore different niches to hold or grow market-share instead of a single company giving us what they want to do comfortably ensconced in their blanket of monopoly. Unlike monopoly where there’s one winner and a bunch of slaves, everyone can win today with a market that’s huge and growing rapidly. Even when the market matures and doesn’t grow so rapidly there’s still room for many suppliers to meed diverse needs. Many more people can afford IT now.


  • Nov 27 / 2013
  • 9

Monopoly of Client PC Market Died in 2013

I hate to beat an old drum but, according to Canalys, “The worldwide client PC market grew 18% in Q3 2013, despite desktop and notebook shipments continuing to decline. Tablet PC shipments accounted for 40% of PC shipments in Q3 2013, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments. Tablet domination is set to continue, with Canalys forecasting 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million units in 2017.”

See Tablets to make up 50% of PC market in 2014.

M$ took 2% of the growing market for tablets and might grow to 5% according to Canalys. That’s not monopoly. That’s being another competitor. How does it feel, M$? Expect that to continue as your anti-competitive tactics have finally died of natural causes and a few governments suing you.

Not only is this a story about tablets and smartphones either. ChromeOS has taken a few percent share of legacy PC shipments, mostly notebooks and there are some Android/Linux and GNU/Linux PCs shipping. That will only increase as the market explores new possibilities without M$.

The world can and does make its own operating system software and shares the load amongst millions of developers, hundreds of millions of users and hundreds of corporations/organizations. That’s FLOSS in action. No one can make software at lower cost and distribute it at lower cost than FLOSS. The GNU system and the Android system atop the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is $free for all manufacturers, developers, and users of IT. Millions of developers have written software that works with Linux. In a competitive market free from lock-in FLOSS always wins because everyone has a stake in it and it works for all of us, not just a few. With FLOSS the cost of having software for a computer drops from ~$100 to near $0 as does the cost of upgrading the software because anyone can find and fix bugs and write software to work with FLOSS using open standards.

There is no reason to go back to Wintel or any other monopolized software architecture these days. We can choose *86 CPUs from Intel, AMD, Via, and ARMed CPUs from many different manufacturers and install them on motherboards or SoCs (Sytem on Chip) with the same software working on all. There are many thousands of applications available for */Linux on clients and servers. No longer is there a blessed supply-chain able to charge monopolistic prices. No longer is there a single source of supply for software. We are free at last to use our computers any way we want with the greatest efficiency and ease.

This all started more than a decade ago when the world discovered that servers and other network infrastructure running FLOSS made a lot of sense. High performance computing, networks, virtualization, and embedded systems were gradually taken over by FLOSS, mostly GNU/Linux over the next few years. Then Dell, HP, and many smaller OEMs began to ship GNU/Linux on legacy PCs. The icing on the cake for consumers was the development and pushing of Android/Linux to OEMs particularly of smartphones and tablets, devices without standard keyboards and mouse-pointers. There are few consumers or retailers who remain unaware of FLOSS and its advantages today. All of the FUD, lies, patent-threats etc. of the monopolists has come to naught. The only residue of that is a tiny tax in lieu of litigation for using Linux on some devices. That will pass in a year or two as the world shrugs off software-patents. In the coming year, retailers everywhere will offer consumers FLOSS at last on every kind of PC. It’s too bad that it took so long but the struggle has been worthwhile. FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

Because the monopoly has died nearly a billion more people will be free to use IT for the first time this year instead of just a few million with deep pockets. This is also an end to the digital divide separating rich and poor, North and South, and every region on Earth will have freedom to use IT unfettered by slavery to big corporations.

See also, PC market: ABANDON HOPE all ye who enter here

  • Nov 25 / 2013
  • 0

Which Is The Accessory And Which Is The GoTo Technology?

I just read that more than 1 billion smartphones may be shipped in 2014. When about ¼ as many legacy PCs ship, which is the accessory? If you hammer all day on the legacy PC, it must be the GoTo technology, but clearly with numbers like this, for many the smartphone is the thing.

The consequence of this is that Wintel is no longer the GoTo technology. Business is tight with it but for consumers that’s so 20th century. The young folks, the mobile folks, and the newbies to IT all are loving smartphones as affordable, mobile and capable IT. It means M$ is way below 50% of shipments of bundled operating systems on personal computers. It means M$ has reached a limit to its growth and probably has a lot of reorganization to do just to remain relevant. With web-applications and cloud services business has M$ on a leash that could be cut anytime. Business will expect increasing performance/price from M$ from now on. Governments may well abandon M$ sooner rather than later with security and open standards foremost in their thinking.

Just as the notebook took charge without some of us noticing, so has FLOSS. This is probably the last year M$ will get a free ride anywhere such as retail shelves or being able to thrive without much of an advertising budget. Their margins and/or prices will plunge in the coming year for consumers and they may well abandon consumers for business where their most loyal users reside. That may only buy them a year or two before they lose those.

2014 is looking to be a very good year, even better than 2013. I’m not having to close any Windows lately. They are being shattered by waves of consumerism and thrown into the trash.

  • Nov 07 / 2013
  • 2

Linux Smartphones Take 82% of the market in Russia

According to IDC, “Android represented 73.3% share of the market in OS terms. Samsung’s Bada, a version of Linux, came second with 9.0% market share, but sales are declining. Windows held its ground in third position with 8.6% market share, slightly ahead of iOS at 8.3%. Nokia’s Symbian OS has virtually vanished from the market.”

I think it’s great to see how different the world looks in a competitive market place, devoid of monopoly.

See Smartphones on the Rise Again in Russia, Samsung Has Top Models.

  • Aug 15 / 2013
  • 6

FLOSS Owns Smartphone Sales

Android scored 177,898,200 unit sales of smartphones (79% share) in Q2 2013 according to Gartner.

Impressive? That’s only the beginning. It is possible for any OEM to produce smartphones cheaper than any smartphone made with an expensive OS like Phoney “7″, so this will continue until everyone on the planet has one or more smartphones. M$ and Apple can come closer than other OEMs because they don’t have to pay a licensing fee for the OS but they still have to pay the programmers. Samsung pays a lot of programmers but they still only do a tiny fraction of the software development in their Android/Linux phones because development of FLOSS is shared by the world. That’s the right way to do IT.

This model will catch on with all forms of computers for the same reason. In the end price/performance matter and FLOSS wins. Expect 2014 to be the year when that’s clear to retailers, OEMs and consumers everywhere. In 2013 we see Lenovo has taken top spot in shipments of PCs of all kinds, thanks to their presence with legacy PCs and smartphones. Other OEMs will notice.