BARCELONA, Spain--BlackBerry is going to flesh out its future device strategy tomorrow here at Mobile World Congress, but in the meantime the company is offering more of its core software and services to larger smartphone platforms, including Google's Android, Apple's iOS and Microsoft's Windows.
A top Google executive said the company is seeing interest from Chinese Android application developers, and is working on ways it can reintroduce its services into the country.
Google is working to make its Android operating system more salient for business users with its new Android for Work program. Initially unveiled last year at its annual I/O developer conference, Google this week took the wraps off the program, promising Android enterprise users more security and flexibility.
Google is going to unveil a new API called Android Pay at its I/O developer conference in late May, according to an Ars Technica report, and the platform will enable payments in brick-and-mortar stores and in-app payments for third-party applications.
Google's Android and Apple's iOS continued to thoroughly dominate the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to research firm IDC, with Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus driving Apple to gain share at Android's expense. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform continues to be an also-ran in the market, though the company as vowed to introduce a range of new phones this year running its new Windows 10 software.
Google has acquired Softcard, the mobile payments joint venture backed by Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US. As a result, Google Wallet will now be pre-installed on Android phones (running KitKat or higher) sold by these carriers in the U.S. "later this year," Google said.
Around 720,000 smart watches running Google's Android Wear platform were shipped in 2014, according to research firm Canalys, or just 15.6 percent of the 4.6 million shipments in the overall smart band market. The news of the relatively sluggish start comes just months ahead of Apple's launch of the Apple Watch, its first wearable, which is expected to jumpstart smart watch sales.
Yota Company, the Russia-based manufacturer of the dual-screen YotaPhone smartphones, said a deal to supply devices to Chinese company Potevio is one of the largest covering technology between Russia and China.
Microsoft and Samsung Electronics agreed to settle a dispute over how much money Samsung would pay to Microsoft to license the software giant's patents that Samsung uses in its Android smartphones and tablets. Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Apple's share of smartphone sales grew across Europe, the U.S. and China during the last three months of 2014 due to a strong portfolio of devices based on the iOS operating system (OS), according to smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for the fourth quarter.