Tag Archives: market

Design Tips and Practice for Non-Smartphone Mobile Hardware (which still exist)

This guest post is contributed by Grady Winston. Grady is an avid writer and Internet entrepreneur from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising – implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients.

imageBreaking news: there’s an alternative to smartphones. It’s called a feature phone. You may remember them. They existed long before Android, iOS, Windows Phones and even BlackBerry. If you’ve been paying attention, which most people haven’t, you’ll notice they make up a huge portion of the global market. In fact, they’re very much alive and well.

Most developers completely overlook the feature phone market entirely, ignoring a massive market segment. In other words, there’s plenty of money to make with mass-market phones.

More About Feature Phones:

According to a recent Forbes piece, feature phones are now far more profitable than mid-market smartphones. How can this be?

As smartphones began their steady rise to dominance, popular handset makers from all over the world abandoned the feature phone market. Since most handset makers stopped development for mass-market mobile phones, it left a huge market wide open for Nokia and handful of feature phone developers throughout Asia. While the feature phone market is experiencing a decline, as of 2012, over a billion mass-market handsets are being sold annually. The bottom line: it’s time for developers to get in the feature phone development game.

Top Feature Phone Development Platforms

Brew MP

· About – The Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform, developed by the engineers at Qualcomm, has been around for upwards of a decade. To date, over a billion devices have been sold with BREW as the chief OS platform. Additionally, over $3 billion has been paid out to BREW developers.

The big idea behind BREW is that it seamlessly integrates simple applications with feature phones. The way it does this is kind of misleading. Yes, BREW-powered phones can be programmed in C+ or C++, but for all intents and purposes, BREW works as the pseudo operating system.

While the faux-OS allows you to run native code on each device, you don’t need to code applications for a specific device. This is largely because the runtime library is actually a part of each BREW-powered phone’s on-chip firmware. In other words, BREW is among the most flexible and powerful feature phone development platforms out there.

· Navigation & Basic BREW Development Concepts – Start by downloading the BREW SDK from the Qualcomm site. Once you download the SDK or DevKit from the BREW resources page, you’ll find the Brew Simulator or Emulator, depending on the SDK release.

Throughout the dev process, the simulator offers multiple levels of application signatures: one signature to authenticate you (the developer), and another signature to ensure the application has passed all BREW-related app testing.

Testing apps involves transferring them to-and-from a BREW-powered handset via USB using the Brew AppLoader tool built by Qualcomm. If the app isn’t configured correctly, BREW will automatically delete the app once you restart the phone. From here, apps can be deleted and removed from the handset via USB to free up onboard memory for further app testing.


· About – While the Nokia-owned Symbian OS has recently been re-tooled to focus on smartphone development; its history is in feature phone development. The platform is based in C++ programming, but there tends to be multiple issues with the Symbian platform to date. Essentially, Nokia had big plans for the OS – mainly to provide a development community with a repository of standardized code to work with – but third-party developers own much of the code. This essentially means that only a select number of development firms have access to the full source code.

In 2010, the development platform was switched over to open source, which marks the largest open-source code migration in the history of mobile development.

· Basic Symbian Development Concepts – The bad news is that the Symbian development platform is fairly complex. The good news is that once you wrap your head around it, it can prove to be a powerful platform for feature phone development.

For starters, the platform is fairly versatile. While the bulk of apps are programmed in C++, you can easily code with languages as diverse as Python, Java ME, Flash Lite, Ruby and .NET.

Downloading the SDK will reveal some crucial components you’ll need to spend some time with – namely the header files, library files and the Windows-based emulator.

The basics of Symbian development can be broken down into three main components: descriptors, active object and the cleanup stack. The problem with using these components is that they’re based on older, out-of-date Windows hardware components. While you can use a wide range of MobileDev languages to create apps, implementation is often limited to a small number of Nokia handsets.

Most Symbian developers use third-party tools like Carbide C++ express. With these coding tools, programmers can benefit from UI design features and other app debugging tools to get apps ready for deployment in a timely fashion.

The same development concepts that apply to smartphone apps also apply to feature phones: create an app people can use and you can make money off of. The key takeaway is this: there’s a $3 billion+ development market that many mobile developers have given up on. Don’t let that be you.


Filed under Business Development, cell phone, Connected Devices, Guest Writers

AVAST Still The Leader In The AV Market Says OPSWAT’s Latest Quarterly Market Share Report

imageIn the lucrative antimalware market, AVAST Software is still running ahead of the pack with a 16.61% share worldwide. Microsoft is no slouch in the run for worldwide market share but still has some catching up to do to catch AVG, and Avira, who control second and third place respectively.

According to OPSWAT’s latest quarterly market share report, released yesterday, overall worldwide market penetration by the top 15 antimalware vendors, has remained virtually static – based on data from OPSWAT’s  June 2011 report. Except that is, for Lavasoft (the Ad-Aware people), who broke past the top 15 vendor barrier.


Graphic courtesy OPSWAT

On the North American front, Microsoft retains its leading position with a 16.33% share of the market (Microsoft’s free Security Essentials, remains at the top of the North American market) – followed closely by Symantec at 15.28%, and AVG at 14.32%. AVAST continued to push ahead in the ranks, jumping up slightly, to capture 13.28% of the North American market – just behind AVG.


Graphic courtesy OPSWAT

Report Wrap-up:

In North America, fifty-two different antivirus vendors, and 141 antivirus products, were detected in this report. The top five vendors in North America combined to control 66.22% of the market, about 2% more than in OPSWAT’s June report.

The top five vendors in the worldwide market increased their share as well, but only slightly, to 59.87%.  Sixty-four vendors and 226 products were detected worldwide.

As in our previous reports, free solutions remain at the top of the market with the highest numbers of installations. The top three products in North America and the top four products worldwide are available free for download.

Looking at the top ten products in North America, only Symantec and AVG have more than one product ranking, which helps them to become the 2nd and 3rd leading vendors in North America. Microsoft is able to dominate the market as a vendor due to the large number of installations of just one product, Microsoft Security Essentials.

In the worldwide market, only AVG has more than one product ranking in the top ten. AVAST and Avira have individual products that top the chart with more than 10% share, resulting in their positions at the top of the worldwide antivirus market along with AVG.

The full report which is chock fill of absorbing statistics is available here.

So, who is OPSWAT?

If you’re a techie then you’re very likely familiar with AppRemover, a free powerful anti-malware, antivirus application remover from OPSWAT. Regular readers here will also be familiar with the latest freebie from OPSWAT – Metascan Online – a new service which is similar in many respects to VirusTotal.

From the site:

OPSWAT is the industry leader in software management SDKs, interoperability certification and multiple-engine scanning solutions. Our solutions are simplified and comprehensive, solving complex development problems to reduce time and costs for your engineering and testing teams.

OPSWAT offers software manageability solutions to streamline technology partnerships between leading technology solutions and software vendors. By enabling seamless compatibility and easy management capabilities, we make connecting your solutions with other software applications effortless.

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Filed under OPSWAT, Reports, Tech Net News, Windows Tips and Tools

ARM and Windows 8 – The Future Of Personal Computing?

Are ARM processors the future of personal computing? Will they make the leap from powering only mobile and embedded devices, to the mainstream personal computer market? With Windows 8 support for ARM on the horizon, guest writer Erphan Al-Delgir sees some big changes on the way.

imageSince January 2011, when Microsoft debuted Windows 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show, there has been a lot of buzz about the upcoming features and capabilities in the Windows 8. One of the most significant new capabilities of Windows 8 is it’s ability to run on an ARM processor.

ARM, abbreviated for Advanced RISC Machine, processors have been prominent around smaller items over the course of the last decade, but have not been prominent in the personal computer market.

ARM-based processors are different from current PC offerings from Intel and AMD, in their way of handling instructions. ARM processors run on a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computers) architecture. A RISC architecture system processes single instructions per clock cycle, at a very high speed.

For the past few decades, this has fit perfectly with the products ARM processors serviced because they only required one task or,  a number of minuscule tasks. This contrasts with a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computers) architecture, which can follow complex sets of instructions. CISC processors (x86) processors have been more popular in PC’s because of the need for the processor to simultaneously run multiple complex operations.

Whereas CISC architecture based systems have heavy emphasis on the hardware (PCs), RISC architecture based systems have heavy emphasis on the software running. This is one of the reasons that ARM processors have received such little consumer exposure.

While ARM hasn’t been a household name over the last decade, it’s likely that each household has at least a handful of products, which are made possible through the use of ARM processors. Ranging from the first Palm Treo to the current generation iPhone – ARM processors have surely and steadily kept their market growing. ARM processors can be found in things as minuscule as digital clocks to pacemakers.

Microsoft’s announcement indicating the ability of Windows 8 primarily exposes two separate things. First, it’s intention of entering the tablet and netbook market through Windows 8, instead of a mobile operating system like Windows Phone 7. Whereas other popular tablets at the moment run “watered down” operating systems, such as the Apple iPad which runs a downplayed version of Mac OS X (iOS). Microsoft intends to integrate its amazing fully featured operating system environment onto tablets with the operating systems’ capability of running on an ARM system.

Microsoft’s other intention of supporting ARM in their newest operating system is the fact that the latest processors from companies like AMD and Intel are far beyond the needs of more than half of the PC market. While some people will need the latest variant of Intel’s offering (I confess, I will) most people will be quite happy with the features, and advantages, of ARM-based systems.

While CISC systems will continue to dominate the higher end of the personal computing world, ARM processors are only beginning to gain their share of the personal computer market. Microsoft’s stated goal is to implement ARM processors into tablets and netbooks running Windows 8. The advantages of ARM in these systems are much greater than the advantages of using CISC systems from Intel and AMD.

ARM processors require significantly less power and generate a lower amount of heat while running. Whereas a CISC processor needs to be cooled down by a fan, in most cases, a RISC processor is likely to stay much cooler and operate optimally without a fan.

ARM processors are also much less costly than Intel and AMD’s offerings. This is because ARM technology is licensed to manufacturers and developers to make their own variants of ARM processors. Whereas, with Intel and AMD, manufacturers must purchase the chips directly from Intel or AMD, with ARM they will be able to license the technology and develop the processors themselves at a cheaper cost.

Additionally, since RISC architecture is also simpler than the CISC architecture utilized by Intel and AMD, it’s likely that the overall manufacturing costs for ARM processors will be significantly less. The cost effectiveness of RISC technology is beneficial to both companies and consumers.

While I don’t see ARM as the market dominator in the next few years, I do see a lot of growth in the consumer market for this technology. With the backing of Microsoft, Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and many others – this technology has the industries biggest and best behind it.

Guest writer Erphan Al-Delgir has just set up his first website, Teenly Political – “political views from a teenager who can’t seem to make up his mind.” 

It would be hard to argue that young people aren’t the future – so, take a peek at how a smart young guy like Erphan looks at the future – take a run over to his site.

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Filed under ARM, Guest Writers, Operating Systems, Point of View, Processors, Software, Windows 8, Windows Tips and Tools

Panda Security’s Collective Intelligence Says 20 Million New Strains Of Malware In 2010

imageIt may well be, that malware creators have discovered the same principal that countries involved in the the nuclear arms race have come to know – once you have enough weapons; you have enough.

According to Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs – “so far in 2010, purely new malware has increased by only 50 percent, significantly less than the historical norm. It seems hackers are applying economies of scale, reusing old malicious code, or prioritizing the distribution of existing threats over the creation of new ones.”

Complacency though, is not in the cards , at least not yet, since Corrons went on to say –  “This doesn’t mean that there are fewer threats or that the cyber-crime market is shrinking. On the contrary, it continues to expand, and by the end of 2010 we will have logged more new threats in Collective Intelligence than in 2009.”

The evolution of malware – 2010:

The average number of new threats created daily has risen from 55,000 in 2009 to 63,000 in 2010 to date.

The average lifespan of 54% malware has been reduced to just 24 hours, compared to a lifespan of several months that was more common in previous years.

34% of all active malware threats were created this year.

20 million strains of malware have been created already this year; the same total for the year of 2009.

Many malware variants are created to infect just a few systems before they disappear. As antivirus solutions become able to detect new malware more quickly, hackers modify them or create new ones so as to evade detection.


Graphic courtesy of PandaLabs.

So, should these statistics hold any relevancy for you? Should you be preoccupied, or overly concerned, with these numbers? The answer, it seems to me, depends on how aware you are of the overall Internet security landscape, and where you fit into the following user groups.

  • Those who know.
  • Those who think they know.
  • Those who don’t know, that they don’t know.

Hopefully, you are in that small group who can confidently say – “I know”.

About PandaLabs:

Since 1990, PandaLabs, the malware research division of Panda Security, has led the industry in detecting, classifying and protecting consumers and businesses against new cyber threats.

At the core of the operation is Collective Intelligence, a proprietary system that provides real-time protection by harnessing Panda’s community of users to automatically detect, analyze, classify and disinfect more than 63,000 new malware samples daily.

The automated classification is complemented by a highly specialized global team of threat analysts, each focused on a specific type of malware, such as viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware and other exploits, to ensure around-the-clock protection.

Learn more about PandaLabs and subscribe to the PandaLabs blog here. Follow Panda on Twitter and Facebook.

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Filed under cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Reports, Online Safety, Panda Security, PandaLabs, Windows Tips and Tools