Category Archives: Featured Articles

The featured articles at Techie Buzz

Predictions For MWC 2012

Mobile World Congress, popularly known as MWC, is the biggest mobile consumer show held every year at Barcelona. In the last couple of years, some of the best Android phones like the Galaxy S II, HTC EVO 4G and others have been announced at the show.

This year’s MWC promises to be no less exciting than previous years. However, this year’s most anticipated handset – the Galaxy S III – would be missing from MWC, which definitely is a deal-breaker for many. Nevertheless, HTC, LG and even Microsoft have got some major announcements coming up at MWC, and should keep tech enthusiasts intrigued.

Below are my expectations from MWC this year -:

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 – Last year at CES, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 SoC was found powering the majority of Android handsets and tablets announced. This year I expect a majority of Android devices to be unveiled at MWC to be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 Soc – the world’s first Quad-core processor.

Even though the Tegra 2 was the world’s first dual-core SoC, it was by no mean the fastest. However, Nvidia has learnt from their mistakes, and Tegra 3 does indeed looks promising. The fifth companion core, NEON support, some architectural tweaks will make sure that Tegra 3 is worth the hype. Expect Nvidia to show trailers of some games and apps, which will utilize the full potential of the SoC and demonstrate its graphical prowess to the whole world

Windows 8 – Microsoft had released the WP7 SDK at MWC in 2010. The following year the company announced the NoDo and the Mango update for the platform, which added quite a lot of missing features to the OS. This year Microsoft should, or rather is expected to, announce a new minor update for WP7, dubbed as Tango. The Redmond based company will also announce the next major update for Windows Phone 7, codenamed Apollo. The company will also be providing users with more information about Windows 8 for PCs as well as for ARM based devices, and will be releasing a Consumer Preview version for downloading and testing.

HTC Next-Gen Smartphone – HTC had a pretty dismal 2011. The company’s profit fell throughout the year, and none of the handsets from the company could make an impact on the sale of Galaxy S II. HTC has promised to bounce back in 2012, and will go back to its strategy of releasing a Hero device – which will represent the best of what the company can do technologically.

While not yet confirmed, the leaked Endeavor might just be the company’s flagship phone for 2012. The Endeavor is going to the first HTC phone is quite sometime to come with a non-Qualcomm SoC. It will also be the first phone in the world to come with a quad-core SoC.

Cheap Android Tablets and Smartphones – Expect companies like Acer and LG to announce new Android tablets and smartphones, equipped with a high-resolution screen, an improved 3D technology, and a faster – possibly quad-core – SoCs. Pictures of Acer’s A700 tablet with a Full HD screen, and a Tegra 3 processor had also leaked on the Internet, quite a few months ago. Hopefully, these companies will also price their tablets competitively against the iPad, instead of charging an arm and a leg for it.

Nokia’s Major Announcement – Many of the loyal Nokia users are expecting the Finnish giant to announce its next-generation camera flagship and the successor to the N8 at MWC this year. Nokia announced the N8 nearly 2 years ago, and it still has the best camera ever found in a handset. Rumors suggest that the N8 successor will come with a 4-inch screen, a faster processor and more RAM, and an improved camera sensor as well. The handset will also come with an NFC chip, and will be running on the latest version of Symbian – Belle.

I hope, and am pretty much sure, that we will definitely see some more innovative products, and gadgets which are pushing the boundaries of engineering.

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Geeks

Valentine’s Day quickly approaches! If you’re like me, you have a hard time trying to come up with something unique for that special someone. If you have a Geek in your life, this can be a real challenge. Today, I would like to show you some unique and fun gifts that you can get for your Geek and not break the bank!

 

Geek Love Poem T-shirt – by ThinkGeek

Show them your undying devotion by giving them this HEX encoded love poem shirt. This is especially good for the graphic designer/web design Geek in your life.

Star Wars Valentines – by Starwars.com

For the Star Wars fan in your life, here is a great place you can print your own Star Wars Valentines. How cute is this! Plus, it’s free! I call that a win win!

Star Wars Han Solo Carbonite Chocolate – by ThinkGeek

Speaking of Star Wars, what Star Wars fan wouldn’t want a Han Solo in carbonite chocolate bar? Let’s just hope they don’t make a Jabba the Hut if you know what I mean. Yuck!

I Love My Geek Babydoll Tee by ThinkGeek

This shirt is perfect for the girl who appreciates her Geek!

Giant Color Changing LED Desklamp – by ThinkGeek

This lamp will surely set the mood for you and your Geek. Gaze into each others eyes under the soft glow of this color changing LED lamp. It has bendy legs so you change it to look just the way you want.

I hope I have inspired you to think outside the box a little. Most of all, Geeks just want to have fun. You don’t have to throw away tons of money this Valentine’s Day. Just add a touch of quirkiness to your gift and I am sure your Geek will enjoy it! Good luck!

Why Windows 8 tablets Are Going to Have a Tough Time Toppling the iPad

A new report by Digitimes suggests that the first generation of Windows 8 tablets powered by Intel could be priced at $599 to $899. We can safely assume that the $599 ones will be the budget equivalents with low end hardware configurations, while the $899 ones will be the high-end ones, which will compete with the iPad 3 (or the iPad 4 if it is launched in October, as rumored) and Google’s flagship Nexus tablet.

Windows 8

Going by notebook pricing in the past, this seems increasingly likely because of a multitude of reasons.

1. Windows: The average cost of a Windows license has been around $150 in the past. We don’t expect Microsoft to slash prices of its most profitable offering significantly.

2. Intel processors: Intel desktop and notebook processors are much more expensive than the standard ARM processors currently used in notebooks and smartphones. It’s very likely that they won’t be able to undercut ARM processors to attract manufacturers.

Apple currently makes the iPad 2 for around $325, and likely spends another $25 for shipping, retail, marketing etc. After all expenses are accounted for, it makes a profit of $150 on each iPad 2 16 GB unit, and more on the 32 GB and 64 GB variants.

However, Apple outsources all its manufacturing to ODMs like Foxconn and Pegatron, and controls all aspects of its supply chain to procure components at a much lower price than any other manufacturer.

Given this dynamic, it is reasonable to assume that any other manufacturer would have to spend much more to make a device that would rival the iPad.

Add the cost of a Windows 8 license and the additional cost of using an Intel processor, and it’s easy to see how any Windows 8 tablet by Intel would be priced in the $599 – $899 range.

However, as we have seen already, tablets that expensive don’t really sell much. When Apple is already offering an excellent tablet at $499, there is no way customers will try anything else that is priced much higher without any compelling reason.

To reduce prices a bit, manufacturers could go with ARM processors, but then their tablets wouldn’t support x86 Windows software, which is currently one of the major selling points for Windows 8 tablets.

If Microsoft does decide to bring down the license price for Windows 8, it would be leaving money on the table for each notebook or desktop sale. If it doesn’t, it won’t be able to gain the traction it needs to be successful in the tablet market.

With Android tablets now focusing on the low-end tablet market, and the iPad dominating the $500 price point, there is no way manufacturers would be able to sell enough Windows 8 tablets at a much higher price range.

This is why I think that Windows 8 is much better suited to touchscreen ultrabooks than standalone tablets. It’s hard to see a win-win scenario for Microsoft in the tablet market – one in which it beats the iPad in terms of market share as well as profit generated.

Five Things I Learned from My First CES Experience

CES Keynote stage

Ah, what a fantastic experience CES 2012 was! Now that it is over, here are the five most important things I learned from my first CES experience. I had always dreamed of attending this event, which became a reality this year. Attending CES was as amazing as I ever imagined.

1. Plan way ahead in advance.

I think, both the locals and cabbies of Las Vegas will agree with me on this that CES is probably the biggest show which happens in the city during this time of the year. Hotel and airplane ticket prices are increased significantly, and prices everywhere are much increased.. My advice would be that you should plan your trip months in advance and find a nice hotel to stay in. Word of advice: Don’t stay at “Circus Circus.” The place has lost its charm and it is pretty far away from where all the CES events happen. Luckily, I had booked my plane tickets and hotel room months in advance so it really made a difference financially.

2. Plan out your time wisely.

Not only is planning way ahead in advance important for CES, but planning out what you want to do at CES is crucial. At CES, there is simply too much to see and not enough time. The CES Expo itself is huge and the amount of people traffic-jam you encounter is insane! In addition, while the Expo is going on, press conferences and keynotes also occur during the same time.

If you are a blogger, setting up your appointments should be done as early as possible and try your best to make a day without any appointments. By doing so, you are ensured to meet some great people, but more importantly, you get a hands on experience without anyone else around to interrupt. Also, have any questions and comments ready beforehand since they only have so much time.

One mistake I made was not to plan out my schedule beforehand. I was just making up my schedule on the spot, which resulted in me not getting a hands on experience at a lot of the booths and missing a couple of events.

3.  Know the layout of CES beforehand!

Did you notice something different with this piece of advice? Yeah, that “!.” Turns out, getting around CES is a super confusing maze! Not only a lot of walking to do, but when you are inside a hotel, every entrance looks the same so it is very easy to get lost. While I was on the expo floor, I was getting lost too because it was difficult reading the paper maps they provide. Becoming familiar with the layout of both CES and Vegas is very important beforehand.

Getting around in Vegas usually consists of waiting in long cab lines or for the bus. CES usually does provide a few shuttles that run on the strip to get you to and from the show. Oh, and travel time should be counted too. Sometimes it can take an hour just to get from hotel to hotel or from your hotel to the show.

4. Things to bring.

I carried around my Nikon D3100 DSLR to take some fantastic shots. While an iPhone 4S would have been sufficient, I needed to save battery. Turns out a DSLR’s battery last for an entire day or more! I think carrying around a good camera with you at all times is important. You can view the picture I took from CES 2012 here. In addition, battery packs for all your devices is a must.  You may think your devices may last the entire day, but in reality they will only last a few hours due to the amount of usage you’ll be doing on them. I also brought a power strip since hotel rooms don’t provide enough power outlets.

In addition, I brought five extra battery packs for my devices (iPhone 4S and iPad). The battery packs weren’t needed for my iPad 2 since the battery goes on and on, but my iPhone 4S’s battery would only last me a few hours since I was using it a lot.

One device I should have brought this year but didn’t bring was a mobile WiFi hotspot. Since the number of people trying to access the WiFi network available at CES at once is tremendous, the networks crashed instantly. However, it seemed that Verizon’s MiFi was working out well for many.

5. Have fun. 

It seems that this year there was an increase in the amount of people that didn’t want to be at CES.  Even though CES is a hectic experience, it is important to have fun at CES. Luckily for me, I had the time of my life. My entire trip consisted of having a blast and by choice got very little sleep.

CES is an amazing experience and you should at attend it at least once. But with that being said, it is important to plan out the trip carefully.  I got to meet a ton of new people in Vegas, attend keynotes and hangout with friends, and learned a lot regarding where the market is headed. Oh, and I smoked a Windows Phone at the Microsoft booth! It really was all I hoped for and more.

Why Facebook Doesn’t Need to Go Public, But Will Have To

Facebook is expected to go public in early 2012, according to the word on the street. Here’s why Facebook doesn’t really need to go public, and shouldn’t.

Losing control

The biggest advantage of being a privately held company is the tremendous amount of control that the management team has over the company. Mark Zuckerberg has been postponing a public offering for this very reason. Going public would not only loosen his grip on Facebook, but also force him to focus on appeasing shareholders in the short-term, by focusing on profits, instead of making long-term decisions to compete with Google and its other competitors.

Less privacy

Private companies have one significant advantage over public ones – secrecy or privacy. They don’t have to reveal anything at all. Keeping your financials and other information give you a slight edge over your public competitors, an advantage Facebook will lose once it goes public.

It doesn’t need the cash

According to a report by Gawker, Facebook is rolling in cash. It made a net profit of $714 million in the first three quarters of 2011, and currently has around $3.5 billion cash in the bank.

It has enough cash to maintain its high growth rate and continue its startup acquisition spree.

Despite these reasons, it will still be forced to go public. Here’s why:

SEC Rules

Facebook has long surpassed the 500 shareholder limit, which requires it to go public by April 2012. By SEC rules, it will have to publicly disclose its financials then. If it has to reveal all its internal financial data to the world, why not go public and raise some cash while it’s at it.

Pressure from investors for an exit

Around 30% of Facebook is owned by early investors and VCs, who put in a lot of cash and funded Facebook in its earliest stages. Facebook has been the best investment for those who got in early. The only way they will make an exit is if Facebook goes public, which is what it will eventually be forced to do.

Allowing employees to cash in

All the employees have been waiting, for years now, for Facebook to go public. More than 1000 Facebook employees will become millionaires if Facebook goes public at a $100 billion valuation. Facebook will eventually have to go public, if they are to cash in their employee stock options.

Companies generally go public when they need to raise money for operations or expansion. Facebook doesn’t really need to go public because it has tons of cash already and is generating more every quarter, but it will have to.

Apple Gets Into Bed With a Patent Troll

If there is something which everyone in the tech industry hates right now, it’s patent trolls.

Patent Troll: A person or company who buys and enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered by the target or observers as unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to further develop, manufacture or market the patented invention.

Patents were originally devised to allow companies to protect their intellectual property. The current state of patent law in the U.S. and most other countries is pathetic, and instead of fostering and protecting innovation, hinders and prevents it.

However, in the case of companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google etc., you can at least grant them the benefit of doubt, in that they are trying to protect their innovations. Apple’s tablet design patents may be unfair, but at least Apple is using them to defend iPad sales. Patent trolls, on the other hand, have no intention of developing or selling anything, they just want to make money off acquired patents.

Most big tech companies try to avoid being linked with patent trolls. However, some patent trolls, like Intellectual Ventures, have investors like Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Sony, Nokia, Google and others, and still surprisingly sue them.

Apparently, Apple has made a deal with a patent troll – Digitude Innovations, which recently sued most of its competitors like RIM, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon, and Nokia for patent infringement.

It transferred two key patents to Digitude indirectly, after routing them through a shell company.

It’s not clear why Apple made this move. It could be to fight its competitors through Digitude, but Apple has been doing that itself – it has been involved in patent lawsuits against multiple companies like Samsung, HTC, Motorola etc.

Apple could also have been coerced into giving some of its patents to Digitude as some form of “protection money”, to avoid litigation by Digitude.

In any case, it has only aggravated the patent troll problem which needs to be fixed soon, so that companies can go back and focus on innovation, instead of trying to defend themselves against frivolous patent lawsuits by trolls looking to make a quick buck.

Check out the complete details at Techcrunch.

Logitech Harmony 650 All-In-One Remote Review

Logitech is popularly known for making speakers, gaming products and mice. The company also manufacturers all-in-one remotes under the Harmony brand. Recently, Logitech released a bunch of Harmony all-in-one remotes in India. We got the Logitech Harmony 650 remote for review. While on paper, an all-in-one remote sound very promising, read our review to find out how it actually fares in real life. At first glance, you will notice how awkwardly long the Harmony 650 is for a remote. Its almost 1.5 times bigger than a normal remote, and has lots of buttons, and I mean lots. The Harmony also has buttons, and I mean lots of them. A new user can easily get confused after seeing so many buttons.

Setup

Before using the Harmony remote, it must be connected to a computer and so that it could be setup. The Harmony houses a microUSB port, which is very common among mobile devices nowadays. After connecting the Harmony to their PC, users need to head over to Logitech’s Harmony website and setup the remote from there. Keep in mind, that downloading the Logitech Harmony software will not work. I downloaded the software, and tried to install it but the installer would exit midway without giving any error. I tried re-installing, re-downloaded the setup file, tried to install the app in compatibility mode in vain. Sadly, the Logitech Harmony website only works on Firefox and Internet Explorer. I got a compatibility error, when I visited the site on Chrome. While this might be a small issue for some, we should not forget that Chrome is rapidly gaining popularity. Hopefully, Logitech will fix this issue sooner than later. Logitech   The Harmony webpage is like a web-app, and provides you with step by step instructions on how to setup your Harmony. Before using the Harmony, users need to configure which all devices they will be using. This is a pretty tedious process, and involves finding out the model number of your device (TV, A.C etc), which can be a tough task if you have a seemingly older model. Thankfully, Logitech has a huge database of devices, and it automatically suggested me the correct model number of my LG TV. Even if you are not able to find the model number of your device, just enter the device make and type, and the Harmony should work with it. In my case, I just entered LG and TV as device manufacturer and make, and skipped all the remote setup and it worked flawlessly. logitech 2While setting up the Harmony remote, you may be instructed to point the remote of the original device towards Harmony’s infrared sensor, and press some specified keys. Don’t worry if it does not work. It did not work for my LG TV, and ultimately I just skipped the whole thing. The Harmony still worked like a charm with my age-old LG TV though.

Day-To-Day Use

This particular model of the Logitech Harmony which I am reviewing (Harmony 650) supports a maximum of 5 devices only. Before using the remote with any new device, the remote must be connected to a PC and the make/model of the device must be synced to the remote. I found this to be quite cumbersome. It would have been nice if I could have directly added the device make and model no. from the remote itself. 2011-11-08 13.23.56 On a day to day basis, I found the Harmony remote to be quite useful in my living room. Sadly, if you thought that you can just sync the devices to the Harmony, and afterwards point it at the device and use it then you are wrong. Before using the Harmony with any device, you must specify which device you are going to use it with. The   small screen on the remote shows the name of all the devices synced to it, and then the users need to select the required device using the buttons around the screen. The main purpose of the Harmony remote is to unify the functions of all your remote. It will be mainly useful in living room and bedrooms, where people generally have a lot of remote controlled stuff including TV, A.C, DTH, Home Theatre and/or a music systems. After I had synced all the remote controlled devices with the Harmony 650, the remote worked flawlessly, on a day-to-day basis. There were a few hiccups like sometimes I had to press the buttons multiple times for the desired action to take place. 2011-11-08 13.25.26One really nice touch from Logitech is the in-built accelerometer. Thanks to the accelerometer, the Harmony 650’s small screen automatically lights up when someone picks it up, and switches off when its kept down on a table. The battery life of the remote also seems to be pretty good. I have been using the remote for the last 1 month to control 5 of my devices, and there have not been any low battery warnings until now. Sadly, there is no battery indicator on the remote. It will only warn you when the battery is low.

Conclusion

I got another all-in-one remote, easily available at any big electronic retail stores in India, so that I could compare it to the Logitech Harmony 650. Unlike the Harmony, this all-in-one remote actually looks like a remote. Unlike the Harmony, the all-in-one remote from Hrvatski lacks a screen. Also, the remote will only work with a TV, DTH system, DVD player and/or a VCR. It does not support other popular remote controlled devices, commonly found in a household, like A.C, Home Theatre system, Hi-Fi music system and much more. Since this all-in-one remote does not have a screen, and it was not working with my LG TV, I actually had to go through a cumbersome process of finding the exact TV code specified in the remote’s manual for my LG TV and enter it. Thankfully, it worked just fine with my Tata Sky DTH system. Nevertheless, the price difference between the Logitech Harmony 650, and the Hrvatski all-in-one remote is negligible (4.5k vs 4k), and if you are looking for an all-in-one remote, the Harmony is your best bet. The much easier setup process, build quality and Logitech’s brand name are enough to buy the Harmony over its similarly priced competitors.

How Apple’s iPad Disrupted an Entire Industry

“The Enlarged iPod Touch”

When Apple unveiled the iPad in January 2010, the first reaction from most of us was one of ridicule. “It’s only a bigger iPhone / iPod Touch” is what I first thought. In a way, I was right, but the iPad was much more for most of its target user base.

It was a huge hit; Apple has sold more than 40 million iPads to date, generating more than $25 billion in revenue from its tablet business. It revived the almost dead tablet industry, which many had tried and failed to do before. Scores of Android tablets have been launched since the iPad’s launch, but most of them have failed miserably. Android for tablets – Honeycomb – was a major disappointment. Other tablet platforms did even worse. HP was forced to discontinue webOS as no one wanted to buy the HP TouchPad, not at the price it was originally launched at. Even the Blackberry Playbook by RIM has been a failure.

With the iPad, Apple has offered the best tablet experience, at a surprisingly (by Apple standards) low price. For an entire year, no one was able to beat Apple on price, which enabled Apple to capture a majority market share in the exploding tablet market with virtually no serious competition.

The Winners and the Losers

Apple has been the obvious winner, ringing up billions of dollars in sales, thanks to the iPad.

ARM has been another major winner. With the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010, Apple redefined two industries – smartphones and tablets. Even the standard smartphones and tablets available these days are much more powerful than the average computer was a decade ago. We now have quad-core tablets and dual-core smartphones, all of which have one common factor – ARM.

Most desktop and notebook processors are based on the X86 architecture, and are made by Intel. However, Intel’s chips have traditionally been power guzzlers, which is something you absolutely don’t want in any mobile device.

Almost every mobile chip is based on ARM’s reference designs, and manufactured by Qualcomm, Nvidia or Texas Instruments. Intel hasn’t yet been able to crack the mobile processor market. Its Atom processors failed miserably when it came to efficient power consumption and performance. It’s working on a new set of processors for tablets, and is trying to push the Ultrabook onto consumers, as an alternative to tablets. It even launched a $300 million fund to encourage manufacturers to build ultrabooks.

Apple iPad

Microsoft has been another casualty of the tablet revolution. It was late to the smartphone party with Windows Phone, and won’t be launching Windows 8 until mid-2012, leaving the market open for Apple and Google to conquer.

It has also been affected indirectly by the growing popularity of tablets. Desktop sales in the last couple years have almost plateaued, and even notebook sales have slowed down considerably.

As Windows sales account for a major portion of Microsoft’s revenues, and are directly linked to global desktop and notebook sales, Microsoft has seen a slump in its revenue growth in the past few quarters, which is expected to continue until the launch of Windows 8, which will run on tablets as well as computers.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg, even DRAM manufacturers have been facing losses as sales have decreased in lockstep with notebook sales.

On the other hand, flash memory manufacturers like Samsung have seen a jump in revenue, as flash memory is being increasingly used in tablets, smartphones and notebooks (thanks to the popularity of the MacBook Air, many notebook manufacturers have starting using SSDs).

Tablets may very well be the future of computing. Desktops are almost dead, and notebooks are becoming more and more like tablets – increasingly slim, portable and fast with flash storage and excellent battery life.

Winners: Apple, Samsung & ARM
Losers: Intel & Microsoft

The Rise and Fall of HTC

HTC Losing Out to Samsung in Smartphone Race

If there was one company which benefited the most from Android’s success in the early days, it was HTC. It was the first device manufacturer to launch an Android device – the HTC Dream (T-Mobile G1), and also the first to launch the first Google branded Nexus device – the Nexus One.

It was at the top of the charts when it came to Android device sales, way ahead of Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others.

But then, the others caught up with it. Motorola launched the Droid which was a huge success, and possibly the first Android smartphone with excellent sales.

HTC was still leading the pack with the HTC Hero, HTC Desire, HTC Evo and the HTC Desire Z. But it was slowly losing its dominant position to Samsung. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S catapulted Samsung to the top of the charts globally. The Samsung Galaxy S 2 was an even bigger hit. HTC had launched the Sensation to counter it, but it wasn’t nearly as successful as the Galaxy S 2.

Samsung has also beaten HTC in vying for Google’s affections, and made the next two Nexus devices – the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus.

Even though HTC is still among the top device manufacturers in terms of shipments, it hasn’t launched a single impressive device in the last year. It seems to have ignored the Android tablet market, launching just the Flyer, which hasn’t been flying off the shelves. Samsung, on the other hand, has taken the lead in the Android tablet market too. It is beating the competition neither on specifications, nor on price.

Samsung now has Android smartphones in every price bracket, while HTC has only the Wildfire S in the budget segment. HTC has a number of impressive devices when it comes to Windows Phone, but then Windows Phone itself isn’t doing very well. Additionally, with the launch of Nokia’s new Windows Phone devices, the competition is heating up even on the Windows Phone front.

It recently cut its sales forecast for the fourth quarter, following which its stock has crashed almost 30%.

The new HTC Rezound seems impressive, and may bring it back on top, but it seems unlikely, as both Motorola and Samsung are working on similar devices.

“We will focus on the product next year, better and more competitive. Other than new LTE phones for the U.S. market, we have phones for the global market. We will launch some worldwide flagship products. We’re confident in them,” said HTC’s CFO, in an interview with Reuters.

HTC has also stated that it will be focusing on China, which is now the world’s largest smartphone market to drive sales growth.

For now, it seems hard to imagine that any manufacturer can topple Samsung from the top of the Android charts. But then no one saw it coming for HTC either, when it was on top more than a year ago.

The Death of Mobile Flash

The Beginning of the End

Apple was the first to announce that it wouldn’t be supporting Flash on iOS. At the time of the announcement, Apple was severely criticized for not offering Flash support, as Flash was almost ubiquitous on the web.

Initially, when Android was still in its infancy, it was one of the few reasons, why anyone would choose Android over iOS. Flash support on Android pretty much sucked, but at least it was there.

It was assumed that Apple would see the error of its ways, and eventually work with Adobe to include Flash support on iOS, but that day never came.

Et Tu, Windows?

When Windows 8 was launched, Microsoft announced that it wouldn’t be supporting Flash support in the Metro view of Internet Explorer, which pretty much confirmed that even Microsoft didn’t believe Flash could ever perform well on mobile devices. Since the launch of Windows Phone, it was assumed that Flash would eventually come to the platform, but even that never happened.

Adobe Gives Up

Finally, around two weeks ago, Adobe gave up on Flash on mobile. It announced that it would be ending all future development on Flash player for new mobile devices, and would instead focus on HTML 5. Here’s why: Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

Today, Google confirmed that Flash won’t be available for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android.

However, they also said this:

Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS. Google

So we don’t really know whether or not Flash is going to be available on Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s very likely that it won’t be.

With the top 3 mobile platforms – iOS, Android and Windows Phone – officially not supporting Flash anymore, it’s dead.

Maybe Steve Jobs was right all along. Flash was never meant for mobile.

Update: Adobe seems to have confirmed that it will ship Flash for Android 4.0 before the end of 2011, but that it will be its last Flash release for Android.