Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Oracle vs Google Round 1 Almost Over

It seems that Microsoft is taking the next step in developing an ecosystem of apps around the next version of its operating system for smartphones with a developer conference at which it is suspected that the company will debut its Windows Phone 8. So save June 20-21 and plan on being in San Francisco.

iPad still hot as Kindle Fire cools?
Market research firm IDC has reported that Apple’s iPad tablet is still the tablet to own to most consumers as it gained market share in the first quarter of 2012, primarily at the expense of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The drop is rather sharp for Amazon, which at the end of 2011 it had a 17% market share which dropped to 4% in the first quarter. At the same time the iPad grew from 54.7% at the end of last year to 68%, according to the firm.

IDC said that it expected the drop because the iPad has international sales while the Fire is only available in the United States so that it was helped by the holidays and then the slump hit, but the drop was still larger than expected.

Did Kindle sales really die last quarter?
However its seems that the reports are overstated about the drop in Kindle sales, which while real to a degree seem to be overstated due to how the numbers are being looked at, or rather people are comparing apples to oranges.

Stephen Baker, NPD’s Group’s Vice President of Industry Analysts points out that people are mixing units shipped with units sold, and that not all of Amazon’s huge shipment numbers in the 4th quarter of 2011 were sold in that quarter, some of it leaked over into 2012, so that fewer units were shipped. To read his full comments go here.

Facebook buys another mobile developer
Facebook has purchased Glancee, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup that develops apps that help connect users with other people based on their location. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The app helps connect people by allowing them to examine profiles of people who are in their vicinity and who have either mutual friends or mutual interests.

Use you smartphone as a PC? Yes you can
While this is a bit old it is certainly interesting. Canonical is preparing to release a program called Ubuntu of Android that will allow users to connect a smartphone to a display and have a full Ubuntu desktop computer.

The two programs will work side by side, with the phone operating as a traditional Android phone. When connected to a monitor the Ubuntu OS takes over and the device displays a full desktop for the user.

The two will share data and services so that both run simultaneously on the device. With Canonical’s developer conference starting this week hopefully more information will come out about this effort.

Partial Verdict reached in Google vs Oracle Java battle
The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that the jury has reached a partial verdict in Oracle’s lawsuit against Google. It is reported that there is still one issue that it is divided on and they were sent home for the weekend.

The Boston Globe reported that it sounds like the split might be permanent as the jury sent a note to the judge asking what would happen if they could not agree on a verdict and said that some jurors appear to not be willing to budge from their position, making a split likely.

An interesting side note in the case is the discussion that went on last week over how much money Google has actually made from Android, an issue that will go to the heart of any remedy if Oracle prevails in the case, and one that rival OS developers are watching with interest.

Google presented numbers in the case that reportedly showed what it had earned from the technology and the judge questions if those numbers were ‘manufactured’ for the trial. He asked for the original documents to be presented today.

This is just the first of two stages in the trial, it being concerned with Oracle’s claims of copyright violation and the second, which is expected to start immediately, will have to do with patent violations.

Samsung’s Galaxy S III is here
Samsung, the new king of handset sales has expanded its lineup with the release of the Galaxy S III smartphone as its new top of the class offering. I would say the long awaited release, but it has been less than a year since the Galaxy S II was released.

The phone features a 4.8-inch HD Super Amoled screen with 720p resolution. It will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. According to market research firm NPD Group, Samsung already accounts for a quarter of all US sales of smartphones and now it looks like it might increase on that lead.

Apple’s iOS device sales by quarter
A look at Apple’s smartphone and tablet shipments by quarter from the Boston Globe.
Quarter ending March 31, 2012: 35.1 million iPhones, 11.8 million iPads
Quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011: 37 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads
Quarter ending Sept. 24, 2011: 17.1 million iPhones, 11.1 million iPads
Quarter ending June 25, 2011: 20.3 million iPhones, 9.25 million iPads
Quarter ending March 26, 2011: 18.65 million iPhones, 4.7 million iPads