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iPhone faces rising challenge from Android handsets: analyst
by Staff Writers
Singapore (AFP) July 27, 2010

MediaTek, DoCoMo in tie-up over advanced telecom know-how
Taiwan's major design house MediaTek Inc said Tuesday it has entered into a licensing agreement with Japan's leading mobile phone operator to promote its cutting-edge next-generation telecom technology. The agreement is the first phase of MediaTek's strategic cooperation with NTT DoCoMo using its mobile-terminal platform based on the fourth-generation telecom know-how called Long Term Evolution (LTE). "Upon the completion of the LTE-PF licensing agreement with DoCoMo, MediaTek plans to integrate this LTE technology with its 2G and 3G technologies to provide solutions for Japan and global markets," MediaTek said in a statement.

Apple's iPhone will likely dominate the high-end smartphone market in the next five years but faces strong competition from handsets using Google's Android platform, a research firm said Tuesday.

By 2015, total mobile application downloads in the Asia-Pacific are forecast to reach 5.30 billion, of which 597.15 million, or about 11 percent, will be for the iPhone, technology industry consultancy Ovum said.

Downloads of iPhone applications are estimated at 62.16 million dollars in 2010, Ovum said in an analysis released four days before the launch of the new-generation iPhone 4 in another 17 countries and cities worldwide on Friday.

The iPhone 4 is expected "to face much stiffer competition than its predecessors", Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said in a statement.

"The rise of Google Android over the last two years has been phenomenal and is allowing manufacturers to create appealing alternatives to the iPhone, critically at cheaper prices," Leach said.

Handsets using the Android operating platform are more than just clones of the iconic iPhone, he said.

"The risk to Apple is that these devices offer greater freedom with available content and may prove more appealing, if it offers the right user and developer experience, than a device with Apple-approved content only," said Leach.

"This may ultimately be what puts the brakes on unlimited iPhone growth."

From July 30, customers can purchase the iPhone 4 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

It will be available for purchase through Apple's online store.


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