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Entries in iOS (3)


Asian CIOs love and fear iOS

Apple’s iOS is the platform Asia-Pacific CIOs are most keen to deploy. Yet when it comes to security, it’s also the one they’re most anxious about.

That apparent disconnect shows up in IDC’s latest survey of regional IT decision-makers.

A hefty 43% said they most preferred iOS as the system to support their mobile apps and solutions; just chose 28% Android.

Yet when it comes to security iOS is the one they’re “most worried about.” Open-source, fragmented Android and its often-unpatched security holes comes in fourth.

The explanation probably lies in Symbian’s ranking as the OS that enterprise IT guys are least worried about. As IDC’s Claus Mortensen puts it, that’s because they aren’t planning to use it.

So the high nervousness about iOS most likely reflects its growing popularity as an enterprise platform.

From that perspective, the poll is a spot of good news for BlackBerry. It’s the fourth most preferred OS, chosen by 12% – just behind Microsoft/Windows Mobile.

But in the security anxiety rankings the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry 7 come in second and third respectively. Asian enterprises at least seem to have plans for BlackBerry.


China Mobile, MTK lead China's mobile web 

Two things stand out in the latest quarterly survey of China’s mobile web by search firm Easou.

First is the dominance of China Mobile. Sure, it’s the 800lb gorilla, with over 700m subs, or 69% of the market.

But when it comes to the mobile web its share actually rises to 83%, according to Easou, China’s third largest mobile search provider.

Yet in the 3G market it has just a modest lead, with 37% of customers.

China Mobile is still mainly a 2.5G operator. Even today, more than four-fifths of China’s 1.02 billion mobile users carry a 2G device, and some 80% of online visits are via WAP, according to the Easou survey (in Chinese only). Many sessions are via multiple platforms, with WiFi accounting for 16% and non-WAP for 36% of visits.

The positive for the other two operators is that Mobile's market share is down six points over last year, thanks mainly to their 3G gain.

Bearing in mind that this survey is drawn from Easou's search traffic, which accounts for more than a fifth of the market, the other striking point is the two biggest mobile operating systems. They’re not the usual suspects.

The largest in fact is MTK, a platform offered by Taiwan chip firm Mediatek and which is popular among local brands such as Bird and Lenovo. Between them the many shanzhai firms have racked up just under 30% market share, well ahead of Nokia (25%) and Android (22%). iOS is well back in fourth spot on 5.77%.

Not to write off the latter two - Android added 4.8 points this quarter and is on track to overtake Nokia, which shrank, while iOS grew 1.3 points.

The success of MTK should give pause to global handset players, especially those eyeing developing markets. You wouldn't bet against it.


Just what do Android users do with their phones?

Good question raised by Business Insider blog.

Androiders vastly outnumber iPhonistas but when it comes to internet use it’s the iPhone and then daylight.

At least in the US, where Android leads iOS in market share 53% to 34%. Yet some 60% of mobile web visits came from iOS devices and only 20% from Android.

An IBM analysis of Black Friday online sales found an even bigger skew: iOS (iPads and iPhones) accounted for nearly 20% of transactions, Android 5.5%.

One partial explanation is that Apple totally owns the tablet segment. Although its dominance is slipping, the IBM study showed 88% of the tablet traffic was iOS.

But it still leaves the poser about why Android owners keep their phone in their pocket. The answer, of course, has huge implications across the mobile value chain.

The most plausible explanation I’ve seen far comes from Josh Marshall, publisher of Talking Points Memo - a political blog with a watching brief on tech. TPM’s own traffic figures site illustrate the trend. Around 23% of visitors are on mobile devices and of those 77% are iOS and just 21% Android.

Marshall thinks it might be “some mix of affluence and power-use."

If you’re really focused on living through your mobile device — shopping with it, constantly accessing news on it, getting really focused on apps, you’re far more likely to buy an iPhone. The demographics of affluence clearly play a significant factor as well. I suspect that’s why our audience for instance is even more tilted toward iOS than most.

Or maybe it's all about price.

As Marshall points out, handset brands have upgraded a lot of the mobile population onto smartphones in the past 18 months. Most of those are Android users. By definition they're not early adopters, and they may have upgraded for reasons of price, or fashion, or the ability to cut costs with OTT apps.

What will it take to make tham active on the mobile web? Is there a ‘killer app’ (a long time since I’ve written that phrase) out there? Or is US data pricing playing the key role in suppressing usage? 

Which is a prompt for a post on iOS vs Android in Asia. Let me fossick around.