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Google phones unseat BlackBerry as top sellers in US

Smartphones capable of data connections such as e-mail and Internet browsing made up 25 percent of the US market at the end of June and Nielsen predicted they would surpass the number of feature phones by the end of 2011.
by Staff Writers
San Francisco, Usa (AFP) Aug 4, 2010
NPD Group on Wednesday reported that smartphones running on Google-back Android software unseated BlackBerry devices as top-sellers in the United States during the second quarter of the year.

Android phones continued an "upward climb" in the US market, accounting for 33 percent of all smartphones purchased from the start of April through the end of June, according to the market tracking firm.

BlackBerry devices made by Canada-based Research In Motion were second with 28 percent while 22 percent of smartphone purchases were iPhones from Apple.

"While the Google-developed (operating system) took market share from RIM, Apple's saw a small gain this quarter on the strength of the iPhone 4 launch," said NPD executive director of analysis Ross Rubin.

The most popular Android phone was the Motorola Droid, followed by the HTC Droid Incredible and the HTC Evo 4G.

RIM hopes it will have a hit on its hands with a freshly-unveiled Torch smartphone running on its new BlackBerry 6 software.

"Blackberry 6 will soon offer features that have been popular in recently launched Android handsets, such as support for capacitive touch-screens and a WebKit-based browser," Rubin said.

"However, the Blackberry Torch lacks the large screen allure that has characterized the best selling Android devices at its price point," Rubin said.

The NPD report supports figures released this week by Nielsen Company showing that Android smartphones are gaining ground in a hot US market.

"While the iPhone has been the headline grabber over the last few years in the smartphone market, Google's Android (operating system) has shown the most significant expansion in market share among current subscribers," Nielsen said in a release.

BlackBerry handsets continued to rule with 35 percent of the market while iPhones were second with 28 percent at the end of June, according to the results. Android smartphones had grown to 13 percent of the market.

Smartphones capable of data connections such as e-mail and Internet browsing made up 25 percent of the US market at the end of June and Nielsen predicted they would surpass the number of feature phones by the end of 2011.

earlier related report
French watchdog warns of iPhone hacker glitch
Paris (AFP) Aug 5, 2010 - French authorities and experts warned Thursday hackers could gain control of iPhones and other gadgets made by US tech giant Apple through the Internet, plundering users' data and tapping their calls.

"Two vulnerabilities have been discovered" in Apple's operating system for the iPhone, iPad tablet computer and iPod music player, the French government computer security agency CERTA said on its website.

Apple did not immediately respond when asked on Thursday to comment on the alert, which was issued by CERTA following a warning by experts at the computer security firm Vupen Securities.

One of the soft spots is caused by a glitch triggered when a user views data in PDF-formatted documents, they said.

Hackers could lure web users on their Apple devices onto special websites where they could exploit the PDF glitch to gain access to the device remotely, Vupen's chief executive Chaouki Bekrar told AFP on Thursday.

A second soft spot involves a data error in one of the devices' components which could allow hackers to increase their control once they have gained access to the device, he said.

The two glitches combined could allow a hacker "to access all of the information" on the device, including contacts, emails, documents and functions such as the camera, microphone and GPS navigation, CERTA said.

CERTA said the problems affected iPhones running versions 3.1.2 to 4.0.1 of Apple's operating system, iPads with versions 3.2 to 3.2.1 and iPod Touch devices with version 3.1.2 to 4.0.

"Pending corrective measures by Apple, great care is recommended while opening PDF files," for example by only opening files from known senders, the government watchdog warned.

Apple devices "are generally very secure," but "are becoming a popular target for hackers," who could tap users' telephone conversations or send messages from their mailboxes, Bekrar said.

He said the glitches were brought to light by the online service Jailbreakme which allows owners of the gadgets to download applications other than the ones sold by Apple in its official "App Store".




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TECH SPACE
RIM unleashes BlackBerry Torch to take on iPhone
New York, Usa (AFP) Aug 3, 2010
Research In Motion (RIM) on Tuesday unveiled a BlackBerry Torch to take on the hot-selling iPhone, avoiding comment on a plan in the United Arab Emirates to snuff out data service there. RIM's first mobile phone with a slide-out keyboard and touch-control screen debuted at a press event in New York City. RIM executives did not make themselves available after the gathering to field questi ... read more

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