As the mobile industry gets ready to wind down for a few weeks, it's time to shout (or not) about those seasonal sales figures. And there was always going to be one last storm, provided by Carrier IQ, with its generic mobile networking monitoring software, now dumped by Apple.
The Carrier IQ Rumpus Rumbles On
In case you've missed it, Carrier IQ is software installed on most smartphones that helps the mobile networks monitor their efficiency. However, few people knew it existed until an investigator found it, and some have branded it personal-data-stealing malware.
The company has since claimed its innocence, but the backlash is beginning with Apple, stating that it stopped supporting the carrier monitoring software in iOS version 5.0 and will drop it totally from a future version. Does that mean it could still be running on iPhones? Certainly if you haven't upgraded yours.
That, of course, leaves millions of other smartphones with it running, including Android and BlackBerry devices. Patching the Androids should be a whole lot more time-consuming and complex than its rivals due to its fragmented upgrade system -- if indeed Google decides to ditch the software, which carriers probably aren't too keen on, if provides them with useful information.
Amazon's Tablet Selling Like Hot Cakes
Amazon doesn't give out sales figures for its Kindle devices, but the news from Taiwan is that the Kindle Fire has gone off like a rocket, with screen manufacturer Wintek suggesting that it will have made and shipped five million touchscreens to device maker Quanta by the end of the year.
Translated into actual sales, one analyst reckons that Amazon has sold over two million already, with the company only saying it has sold "millions." That suggests that Amazon will fast-track its smartphone project to hit a key selling season in 2012.
On the flip side of the coin, BlackBerry PlayBook maker RIM is ready to take a near half-billion dollar charge against its tablet ambitions. That's according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports sales plummeting quarter-on-quarter, with just 900,000 sold. That suggests RIM will end up taking either a HP fire-sale approach, or end up giving them away to enterprises as part of larger phone deals.
Also on the Wire
Elsewhere, Apple's latest iOS 5.1 beta still doesn't fix some battery issues that iPhone users are having, it may take some time to track some of the blighters down. But it's not on its own, with some stores advertising the fact they have "new" Galaxy Nexus phones in stock after the first models displayed a troublesome volume problem.