My week in mobile: Google Tablet, Facebook browser rumours and Apple’s Developer Conference predictions

Fragmented Android landscape by Open Signal Map

Another week in mobile and, as always, many new developments in the global platform war. It looks like Google will finally be launching its very own tablet this July. As Android is by far the most popular operating system and Andy Rubin, Senior VP of Mobile, told reporters at Mobile World Congress that ‘2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that space’, we’re expecting a big push. Somo’s Innovation Director, Maani Safa, spoke to the International Business Times about the problems with the fragmentation of Google’s operating system after OpenSignalMaps identified 3397 unique Android devices. Could this hinder Google’s attempt to disrupt the tablet market?

Google tab and Kindle Fire head-to-head?
Rumour has it that the seven inch tab will sell for just $199 – could this be a loss-leading strategy to snatch marketing share from the Kindle Fire? Amazon is yet to launch the Kindle Fire in the UK, but Brand Republic reports that the company has negotiated a deal with UK bookseller Waterstones. Although a top online retailer joining forces with the struggling publishing sector might seem counter-intuitive, Barnes & Nobile in the US is showing how a multi-channel strategy like this can work – their stores provide Nook tablets for kids to play on, and special deals for their tablet owners, to entice them in store.

Facebook to buy browser?
Facebook is rumoured to be buying the Norwegian internet browser Opera, showing yet another serious move towards becoming a fully integrated ecosystem, after a rocky week post-IPO. Microsoft, moving ever-closer to being a post-PC digital company has launched (pronounced social), its assault on the social networking space. With the ‘screen agnostic’ Windows 8 OS on the way, they may also be poised to lead in the smart TV market; VP Frank Shaw detailed that CEO Steve Balmer keeps an 80-inch in his office…

Apple Developer Conference
This multiplatform glory could be short-lived; we are all on the edge of our seats for the Apple Developer Conference on 11th to 16th June, where we expect to see iOS 6, without Google Maps, perhaps an NFC-enabled iPhone 5 and possibly the Mac TV. How much do you think it would take to get the UK’s ITV channel to sell their trademark? We want iTV!

Written for Somo and first published here:

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