Apple explores moving 15-30% of production capacity from China


Malaysia among countries eyed by Apple to move production capacity

The countries being considered include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. India and Vietnam are among the favorites for smartphones, Nikkei said, citing sources who did not want to be identified as the discussions are private.
The countries being considered include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. India and Vietnam are among the favorites for smartphones, Nikkei said, citing sources who did not want  to be identified as the discussions are private.

 

TOKYO: Apple Inc has asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15%-30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a restructuring of its supply chain, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report on Wednesday.

Apple’s request was a result of the extended Sino-U.S. trade dispute, but a trade resolution will not lead to a change in the company’s decision, Nikkei said, citing multiple sources.

The iPhone maker has decided the risks of depending heavily on manufacturing in China are too great and even rising, it said.

Earlier this month, credit rating agency Fitch said it views Apple, Dell Technologies Inc and HP Inc as potential blacklist candidates if China blacklists U.S. companies in retaliation for restrictions on Huawei.

Key iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Pegatron Corp, Wistron Corp, major MacBook maker Quanta Computer Inc, iPad maker Compal Electronics Inc, and AirPods makers Inventec Corp, Luxshare-ICT and Goertek have been asked to evaluate options outside of China, Nikkei reported.

The countries being considered include Mexico, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. India and Vietnam are among the favorites for smartphones, Nikkei said, citing sources who did not want to be identified as the discussions are private.

Last week, Foxconn said it had enough capacity outside China to meet Apple’s demand in the American market if the company needed to adjust its production lines, as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap further $300 billion tariffs on Chinese goods.

Analysts at Wedbush Securities said in a best case scenario Apple would be able to move 5%-7% of its iPhone production likely to India in the next 12 to 18 months.

Given the complexity and logistics involved, brokerage said, it would take at least 2-3 years to move 15% of iPhone production from China to other regions.

“We believe this is all a poker game and Apple will not diversify production out of China overnight and certainly a long-term US/China trade deal is key for Cook & Co to sleep well at night,” Wedbush analysts said.

China is a key market for Apple as well as a major production center for its devices. The company got nearly 18% of its total revenue from Greater China in the quarter ended March.

Earlier in June, Trump met with Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to discuss trade and other hot-button issues facing the tech company as Trump deliberates whether to make good on his threat to hike tariffs on imports from China.

A group of more than 30 people from Apple’s capital expense studies team have been negotiating production plans with suppliers and governments over monetary incentives that could be offered to lure Apple manufacturing, the report said.

A deadline has not been set for the suppliers to finalize their business proposals, Nikkei said, adding that it would take at least 18 months to begin production after choosing a location.

Apple and Foxconn did not respond to requests for comment. – Reuters

Related posts:

 

 

Advertisements

Huawei CEO Vows to ‘Protest’ If China Retaliates Against Apple ..


Video:

 

The founder of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, has said in an interview with Bloomberg that he would be “the first to protest” if Beijing retaliates against the US-based tech giant Apple.

A Bloomberg reporter has asked the Huawei CEO in an interview whether he would retaliate against Apple amid “calls by some in China” to take countermeasures against the US company.

“That will not happen, first of all. And second of all, if that happens, I’ll be the first to protest. Apple is the world’s leading company. If there was no Apple, there would be no mobile internet. If there was no Apple to help show us the world, we would not see the beauty of this world. Apple is my teacher. It’s advancing in front of us. As a student, why should I oppose my teacher? I would never do that”, Ren Zhengfei has told Bloomberg in an interview, published on Sunday.

Huawei has been accused by several countries of being sponsored by the Chinese state and spying on its behalf through its devices.

Visitors walk past Huawei's booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017Visitors walk past Huawei’s booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017
© REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
Huawei Crackdown: China Prepares Law That May Ban US Tech Firms From Its Market − Report

US President Donald Trump issued an executive order earlier in May that added Huawei and its 70 affiliates to a trade blacklist, thereby restricting its activity in the country. US companies are hence required to receive permission before trading with the telecom company.

As a result, Google had to suspend business operations with Huawei, including the transfer of all hardware, software and technical services, except those publicly available via open source licensing. This move has already impacted the telecom giant, with several mobile carriers, such as UK Vodafone and EE suspending their launches of new Huawei products.

READ MORE: LG Mocked After Bragging About ‘Strong’ Ties With Google Amid Huawei Crackdown

The standoff between Huawei and Apple was sparked by the December arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder in Canada, for alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran. Beijing decried the move and demanded that Canada immediately release the Chinese national.

In January, the Chinese telecom giant punished staffers who used an iPhone to send an official company tweet amid a standoff between the two tech giants. In an internal memo, published online by Chinese media, Huawei said those responsible were demoted and had their salaries slashed by $730.

People walk past the front of an Apple store in central Shanghai on May 8, 2019
Apple Warned of Troubles in China Amid US Crackdown on Huawei

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on Thursday that the Chinese tech giant allegedly had close links to not only the Chinese government but also to the Chinese Communist Party. He said that these ties significantly threatened any US-related information that passed via Huawei’s devices. Pompeo also said the State Department expected more companies worldwide to cut ties with Huawei in the future.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday that Pompeo’s remarks were made in an attempt to stir up ideological resistance against the company.

READ MORE: Huawei Threat Artificially Inflated by Radical US Politicians — Pundits

Last year, the United States, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand banned the company from participating in government contracts due to security concerns. Huawei has vehemently denied all allegations of spying.

Huawei has  repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

Ren also responded to critics who claim that Huawei got to where it is currently through intellectual property (IP) theft and government support.

The US has not developed that technology so from where should I steal it?” he asked.

“We are leading the US. If we were behind, Trump would not need to make so many efforts to attack us.”

As the number of companies supplying Huawei with components and software falls, Ren added that Huawei would use its own products instead.

“The US manages its own companies. The US is not the international police – they can’t manage the whole world. The rest of the world decides whether they should work with us based on their own business interests and positions,” he said.

“If the US imposes further restrictions on us, we will reduce our purchases from the US and use more of our own chips. If American companies have permission from Washington to sell to us, we will continue to buy from them.”
Last week, Trump also, for the first time,linked a dispute over Huawei, which he views as a threat to American security, with a deal to resolve the US-China trade war.

“Huawei is something that is very dangerous,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, a military standpoint. Very dangerous.”

Ren told Bloomberg that there was no need for negotiation over the issue.

“The US has never bought products from us. Even if the US wants to buy our products in the future, I may not sell to them. There is no need for negotiation.”

Source: Reuters/CNA/aa(mn)

 

Read more:

 

China’s stand against US bullying helps Japan

It seems the world is spiraling into turbulence. All countries need to act prudently. They need to make as many friends as they can and avoid becoming tools of other countries. They should also cast aside illusions of using geopolitical methods to realize
development goals that can’t be achieved economically.

Europe pressed between China-US trade spat


As Huawei is pinned in the eye of the China-US trade war, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed Europe won’t capitulate to US pressure to block the Chinese tech company. What is Europe’s attitude toward US demands? What impact has the trade conflict caused for Europe?

 

US national security apparatus shows a grim face

Why does the West fail to understand China? The West misreads, China is rising, said Cambridge Prof


https://youtu.be/oiGm2E8BaC4

Martin Jacques
Martin Jacques (2012)
Born 1945 (age 73–74)

Coventry, England, Great Britain, U.K
Nationality British
Education King Henry VIII School, Coventry
Alma mater University of Manchester (B.A.)

University of Cambridge (PhD)

Occupation Editor, academic, author
Website MartinJacques.com

Inside HUAWEI after Trumps BAN – HongMeng OS is coming !


https://youtu.be/lnVKcbDPsho

Apple vs Huawei: The Fall of a Giant

“What China Will Be Like As A Great Power” : Martin Jacques Keynote (32nd Annual Camden Conference)

中國是世界上唯一的文明

 

Related posts:

Huawei could end up challenging Google

 

https://youtu.be/hRv0QMEwdas https://youtu.be/dtT0rHgJ9-I 《今日关注》是CCTV中文国际频道播出的时事述评栏目。该栏目紧密跟踪国内外重大新闻事件,邀请国内外一流的专家和高级官员梳理新闻来龙去脉,评论新闻事.

 

  https://youtu.be/nzhZGUfaZhI China-U.S. trade tensions | Mideast tensions take turn for worse    https://youtu.be/eQbQbvGBDaM

Huawei Technologies CEO Ren Zhengfei says Huawei would be “fine” even if Qualcomm and other American suppliers
would not sell .

Read  Source link: US, China: Frenemies? – World | The Star Online  Professor who predicted clash between great powers talks abo..

Tariffs won’t make US firms produce in US


“It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units,” automaker Ford Motor Company said in a statement on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump tweeted earlier on Sunday that “‘Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the US because of the prospect of higher US Tariffs.’ CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be built in the USA and Ford will pay no tariffs!” Ford quickly clarified the facts, evidently rebuffing Trump’s tweet.

Likewise, tech giant Apple Inc. wrote a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, saying that a proposed 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports would cover a “wide range of Apple products.”

In another tweet, Trump told Apple to make their products in the US instead of China. Apple hasn’t responded.

According to the US media, the price of iPhone may increase to $2,000 if the company does as told.

The multinational companies that produce automobile and mobile phones have different manufacturing and sales layouts. Car manufacturers tend to produce their products where they are sold, while mobile phone manufacturers optimize their production chain costs worldwide. That’s the natural law of economic globalization which can’t be easily changed by a country’s government.

The White House lacks understanding of the global production and value chains. “Make your products in the United States instead of China” seems naive. Instead of coercing companies to follow demands, imposing tariffs will only scare them off.

Simply making US companies produce in the US can’t deal with the complicated global industry today. We have also learnt from history that neither side will gain in a trade war.

China is the world’s largest automobile and mobile phone market. Setting tariff barriers between Beijing and Washington won’t make US companies give up on China for the sake of their own country. As long as China doesn’t make things hard for US companies, it’s unavoidable that they will place production operations in China. The Chinese market can help them make money, but the White House can’t.

Most American high-tech companies will face difficulties if they leave China. The larger the market is, the higher return the companies will get from their research and development. High-tech companies, if they can’t grow to be giant, don’t usually survive for long, and it would be fatal for many of them to lose the Chinese market.

There hasn’t been a previous US government that dares to instruct multinational companies in production layouts, and the current administration has overestimated its executive power. The global industrial chain today is formed by market rules established over decades and can’t be easily changed by one government.

It would be the White House’s dream to expect that the US is not only the world’s technology and financial center, but also the world’s factory that sells its products globally. If the US doesn’t want to wake up from this dream, then the outside world has to step in and rouse Washington.

Source:Global Times

Related:

 

Trade data shows US economy rejects trade war

The decline in trade will affect both China and the US. It is not only China that will bear the consequences.

 

China cool to Australia’s contradictory policy

China should give up the illusion of persuading Australia to stop containing China together with the US. Instead Beijing should let Canberra calm down and rethink.

 

China-Africa cooperation charts a new path of mutual benefits

The Chinese people must cherish what the country has earned them. China has no alternative but to continue to learn how to deal with the world in the 21st century.

 

Xi’s China-Africa guidelines are the keys to the new global paradigm

The “five-no” and “four-can’t” are truly inspiring. They correct the concepts of rights and point to the justice of the day. President Xi’s points will definitely leave a deep mark on the history of relations between the African continent and China, and the entire world.

 

West’s sour grapes at China-Africa cooperation

The possibility of the West leading the collaboration with the continent again always exists as long as they do not get their heads jammed by a geopolitical mind-set.

 

China-N.Korea friendship benefits whole region

The US, South Korea and Japan must clarify what exactly they want on the Korean  Peninsula. They cannot have everything, especially things that contradict each other. If the US wishes for denuclearization and peace on the peninsula, it would see the value of China-North Korea ties and support them.

The Death of the iPhone


 

When I first predicted the “death of the iPhone” in January 2016, most people just laughed.

But when Apple reported its first-ever decline in iPhone sales just three months later, many began to quiet down and listen.

Now, even Tim Cook is recognizing the slowdown, after posting a surprise sales decline in second-quarter earnings this week.

According to Apple’s own CEO:

“We’re seeing what we believe to be a pause in purchases on iPhone.”

Cook has his own theories, but he’s missing the bigger picture. Apple has failed to innovate, and it’s costing the company a fortune.

Many are banking on the iPhone 8, but the truth is even it won’t stand up to what’s coming next::

Simply put, the age of the iPhone is coming to an end…

And the age of augmented and virtual reality is just around the corner.

For investors, that means a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you don’t want to miss.

 

Good Investing,
Stutman sig

Microsoft buys Nokia’s phone for $7.2 Billion


Microsoft buys Nokia SmartphoneBallmer: Nokia Deal Accelerates Share Position

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-03/microsoft-to-buy-nokia-s-devices-business-for-5-44-billion-euros.html

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is spending 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) to buy Nokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s handset unit so it can gain ground on Apple Inc. and Google (GOOG) Inc. in a smartphone market it let get away — gaining a possible new chief executive officer in the process.

Nokia’s devices and services unit, which accounted for half of the company’s 2012 revenue, along with 32,000 employees, will transfer to Microsoft, the companies said. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, 49, will return to Microsoft after a three-year stint running the Finnish manufacturer. The move stoked speculation he may be a successor to CEO Steve Ballmer, who said last month he’d retire within 12 months.

Microsoft is deepening a push into hardware as dwindling computer sales sap demand for the programs that made it the world’s largest software maker. Nokia shares jumped as much as 48 percent in Helsinki as the sale removes a money-losing handset business and lets it focus on higher-margin networking gear. Even combined, the companies have less than 4 percent of the smartphone market, leaving them far behind Apple and Google.

“The question is whether combining two weak companies will get you a strong new competitor — it’s doubtful,” said Paul Budde, a telecommunications consultant in Sydney. “Both Nokia and Microsoft really missed the boat in terms of smartphones, and it is extremely difficult to claw your way back from that.”

Market-Share Decline

Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, racked up losses of more than 5 billion euros over nine quarters as Elop’s comeback efforts failed to eat into the dominance of Apple (AAPL) and Google’s Android platform in the smartphone market. The stock has lost more than 80 percent in the five years through yesterday.

The shares rose 34 percent to 3.97 euros in Helsinki, valuing Nokia at 14.9 billion euros. The shares of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft fell 4.6 percent to $31.88 at the close in New York, wiping out more than $12.6 billion in market value. The company’s market capitalization is now about $265.6 billion.

As part of the agreement, Microsoft will pay 3.79 billion euros for Nokia’s devices division and 1.65 billion euros for patents, according to a statement from the companies. The all-cash transaction, subject to Nokia investors’ approval, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. JPMorgan Chase & Co. advised Nokia on the transaction, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. worked with Microsoft.

‘Big Transformation’

Nokia said it will book a gain of 3.2 billion euros, with the sale “significantly” accretive to earnings. It also said it aims to return its debt, which is ranked junk by all three major rating companies, to an investment grade. Chairman Risto Siilasmaa, who will become Nokia’s interim CEO, said the company may return excess capital to shareholders.

“It’s a big transformation, but that’s what you’ve got to do in the tech business to move forward,” Ballmer told Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”

Microsoft said it is confident of getting the deal approved by early next year. The transaction will shave 12 cents a share off earnings in the current fiscal year, or 8 cents excluding some items, the company said. In 2015, the cost will be 6 cents based on generally accepted accounting principles. Excluding some costs, the deal will add to profit that year.

Microsoft also expects to get more profit for every device sold — more than $40 a unit for smartphones, compared with the less than $10 in gross profit it currently gets for Windows Phone sold by Nokia. That doesn’t include the costs of marketing and development, though.

Cost Savings

Based on generally accepted accounting principles, the transaction will add to earnings in fiscal 2016, Microsoft said. The company expects to have annual cost savings of $600 million 18 months after the deal closes.

The Microsoft purchase was the second major deal to be announced during the U.S. Labor Day holiday yesterday. Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to pay $130 billion for Vodafone Group Plc’s stake in their U.S. wireless venture in the biggest transaction in more than a decade.

The Microsoft-Nokia deal is the largest for a wireless device maker after Google’s purchase of Motorola’s handset unit in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For Microsoft, the deal including the payment to license Nokia’s patents is its second-biggest behind the $8.5 billion purchase of Internet telephone company Skype in 2011.

Motorola Comparison

Microsoft agreed to pay about 0.35 times annual revenue, compared with the median of about 1.4 times for 60 wireless equipment-maker deals tracked by Bloomberg. That also compares with the 0.77 times revenue Google paid for Motorola Mobility, the data show.

Google paid about 1.3 times annual operating income for the handset maker, while Nokia’s device and services business reported an operating loss last year, according to the data.

With the latest sale, the original pioneers in the mobile-phone industry — Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson AB — have all ceased to be independent handset manufacturers or given up on the business. BlackBerry Ltd. said last month it’s considering putting itself up for sale. Its shares advanced less than 1 percent to $10.21 in today’s trading.

Microsoft, meanwhile, becomes the last major developer of smartphone operating systems to get into manufacturing. Apple makes its own handsets, which use its iOS operating system. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility gave it its own lineup of phones.

Surface Tablet

Microsoft’s other recent significant move into hardware — the Surface tablet — has trailed expectations and the company wrote down inventory last quarter.

To break even on an operating basis, Microsoft will need Nokia to sell about 50 million smartphones a year, it said in a presentation. Nokia has a run-rate of about 30 million units. In the second quarter, Nokia sold 7.4 million smartphones under the Lumia line.

Microsoft acquired the Lumia brand to use with smartphones, while it will license the Nokia brand to use with low-end phones for 10 years, Elop said at a press briefing today. Microsoft will later decide what to call its future smartphones.

Microsoft will face a balancing act owning Nokia and keeping its other hardware partners, including HTC Corp. (2498) and Samsung Electronics Co., committed to its Windows Phone. Aiming to reassure other phone makers that Microsoft will still support them, Ballmer said that the company was “100 percent” committed to helping its manufacturing partners.

Ballmer declined to say whether Elop would become CEO, or had been a candidate to succeed him.

Microsoft Tie-Up

Ballmer called Nokia’s Siilasmaa shortly after the new year to initiate discussions on an acquisition and the two met in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to Microsoft. Talks heated up in recent months and a deal was lined up before Ballmer announced his retirement last month, the company said.

Microsoft and Nokia have had a close relationship through Elop, who had run Microsoft’s Office unit. He left the software maker in September 2010 to take the top job at Nokia.

At the time, Elop likened Nokia’s position to a man standing on a burning oil platform on the verge of being engulfed in flames, facing the option of staying aboard or jumping to the ocean to have a chance to survive.

In February 2011, Elop struck a deal with Ballmer to switch Nokia’s smartphones from its own Symbian operating system to Windows Phone. In exchange, Microsoft ponied up more than $1 billion to pay for Nokia marketing and developing products on Windows.

Losing Share

Nokia had the largest share of the mobile phone handset market until it was overtaken by Samsung (005930) in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Still, Nokia remains a top seller of traditional mobile phones — models that are more popular in developing markets. In total shipments, the company ranks second to Samsung among device manufacturers. Samsung accounted for 26 percent of shipments last quarter, while Nokia had 14 percent. Apple came in third with 7.2 percent.

After the sale to Microsoft, Nokia’s biggest business will be network equipment, which it recently fully took over from Siemens AG (SIE) and renamed Nokia Solutions and Networks. The unit competes with Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent as well as China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. (763)

Ericsson jumped 5 percent to 82.50 kronor in Stockholm. Alcatel-Lucent, which under new CEO Michel Combes is streamlining its business, added 9.2 percent to 2.20 euros in Paris trading.

Mapping Unit

Nokia said it will also keep its mapping and location services unit, called Here, and its technology development and licensing division.

“Nokia has a highly evolved device design and manufacturing process which will benefit Microsoft greatly,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst at research firm IDC. “This is simply the fastest path in front of Microsoft to achieve something like Apple’s vision on devices.”

Contributed by Bloomberg

Related posts:
 Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is going to get even to get faster with LTE  ..
 Enter Android in the smartphone operating system titans
 Chinese smartphone innovators shrug off Android dominance

Enter Android in the smartphone operating system titans


In the clash of the smartphone operating system titans, we take a look at what Google has brought to the table.

A Google Android figurine sits on the welcome desk as employee Tracy McNeilly smiles at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

BRINGING IT: A Google Android figurine sits on a welcome desk at the new Google office in Toronto. – Reuters

FANCY having a Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, or Jellybean?

While the list above seems like a mouth-watering spread of sinful desserts, it can refer to something else in the technological world today.

For the uninitiated, those are also the names of the different update versions of the Android smartphone operating system (OS).

Before we touch on the topic of Android, let’s first start with smartphones and how they have become an integral part of our lives in this day and age.

It wasn’t too long ago when the sheer mention of the word ‘smartphone’ brought to mind an image of a busy businessman holding a personal digital assistant (PDA) phone to check and send work e-mail messages on the fly.

Aside from businessmen and those with deep pockets, it was uncommon to see an average consumer owning a smartphone. Among my peers during my time as a student, anyone who owned a smartphone was deemed to be a rich spoilt brat.

Fast forward to today, the advancements of technology has made it so much easier to own a smartphone.

What is a smartphone? By Oxford dictionary’s definition, a smartphone is a mobile phone that is able to perform many of the functions of a computer, typically having a relatively large screen and an operating system capable of running general-purpose applications.

The early smartphones came into existence in the 1990s, although the early incarnations of smartphones were basically mobile phones incorporating PDA (personal digital assistant) features, and not necessarily with large screens.

Throughout the years, there have been various operating systems supporting the vast multitude of smartphones that have reached the hands of consumers. Among the operating systems that we have come to know and love are Symbian, Palm OS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Android and iOS.

As the title suggests, this column will be all about Google’s Android operating system.

Meteoric rise

The first ever smartphone sold running on the Android operating system was the HTC Dream, which was released in 2008.

Since then, Android has come a long way, climbing up the ranks and capturing the biggest share of the pie in the smartphone operating system market. Aside from smartphones, the operating system is also widely used on tablet computers.

With a whole plethora of Android devices being unleashed into the market, the operating system from Google overtook long-time leaders Symbian at the end of 2010 to be the world’s most widely used smartphone operating system, according to online sources.

It is growing at an estimated 1.5 million activations per day. This means that everyday, 1.5 million Android devices are powered on by consumers for the first time. Android leads the smartphone OS world, with a market share of 75% during the third quarter of 2012.

Being a product of Google, Android smartphones come readily available with a staple of Google applications (apps), such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google+ and Google Chrome browser.

Interestingly, every update version of the operating system is named after a form of dessert, and in alphabetical order. The first system version was named Donut (1.6), followed by Eclair (2.0 – 2.1), Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.1 – 3.2), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), and Jellybean (4.1 – 4.2).

Unlike the other main operating systems in the smartphone market, Google has made its Linux-based OS open source. This means that the software can be freely distributed and modified by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and developers.

This move has successfully attracted a large community of app developers, as can be proven by the whopping 800,000 apps available for download on the Google Play store as of January.

In October 2012, the Google Play store celebrated a milestone of 25 billion app downloads.

Tailor made

Android has become a favourite choice for manufacturers as it is easy to adopt and implement, rather than having to develop a whole new operating system from scratch. We can find this operating system from Google being adopted by a diverse range of manufacturers, ranging from big brand names such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG to smaller, upstart Chinese companies.

However, not every Android smartphone provides the same experience. Different hardware manufacturers have different “skins” or add-ons, above the base Android software, to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. Samsung’s Touchwiz user interface and HTC’s Sense user interface are examples of the types of “flavoured” Android offerings by other manufacturers.

Google also collaborates with different hardware manufacturers to release their flagship Android smartphones under the Google Nexus line. The Nexus phones provide the original “vanilla” Android experience for users and are the first to receive the latest Android version updates.

Because of this diversity, we can find Android smartphones for every segment of the market. Aside from the pricier high-end smartphones, there is also a wide selection of mid- to low-end Android smartphones which are more affordable, hence making it easier for more consumers to own a smartphone.

Android has been so popular that we are seeing it in more and more electronic products and not just smartphones or tablets. There are even manufacturers who are starting to incorporate Android into their microwave ovens!

Among the advantages of the Android operating system are its ability to multitask, the huge amount of options for devices, the notification bar, homescreen widgets, and the connectivity to the Google brand. The advantages and disadvantages of the operating system will be delved into in future editions of this weekly column which will appear on TechCentral.my.

This weekly column will be a medium to share about everything Android. Expect to read about news on the operating system updates, app reviews or the new devices running on Google’s operating system. Stay tuned!

(Donovan is a full-time auditor and big-time gadget lover who discovered the wonders of the Android world after a chance encounter with Samsung’s Galaxy S back in October 2010.)
Related post:
Chinese smartphone innovators shrug off Android dominance.

%d bloggers like this: