There was plenty of optimism at this year’s Droidcon, the UK’s largest android event. Among the big hitters at the show was Intel, which showcased its Clovertrail-based Atom processor on several smartphone devices (ed: check out our reviews of the Motorola Razr i and the Orange San Diego, both of which run on that platform).
“We are running on six different handsets” said one Intel stand representative. “The processor just makes it quicker and more enjoyable for users to interact with their phones. I don’t think there’s any other android device that can offer this level of speed.”
The world's largest chip maker has plenty to be optimistic about. It recorded big revenue gains this year and remains the top dog in the semiconductor market for the 20th consecutive year. It has also secured its biggest slice of market share ever against arch rival AMD.
A lot of that financial success is clearly being pumped back into the development of amazing chips but Intel is currently facing its most formidable challenge ever, the rise of ARM-based rivals that threaten to topple it from its pedestal.
Another fast growing company that impressed the crowds at Droidcon was UK app developer Novoda. Its successful creations include plugins for Timescape UI, an integrated social media tool developed by Sony Ericsson, and WeeMee, an app that allows users to create unique avatars to contact images or share with friends. “The demand for our app developments mean that we are hiring more people in the UK and opening an office in Berlin,” said Ronan Schwarz, Novoda’s Business Director in Germany. “We are really excited about our prospects and our market continues to grow.”
US Mobile ad provider Airpush shared a similar level of confidence. “There are so many opportunities for our sector at the moment,” said marketing representative Bob Jackson-Fantel. “We are just getting off the ground in the UK and we are working to get our business growing here as quickly as possible.” Airpush allows developers to serve ads up to user’s notifications bar, and claims that developers can earn up to ten times higher ad revenue than competing services.
Russia’s number one search engine, Yandex, was also spreading a message about expansion across Europe. “We are focusing on growing our business outside Russia at the moment and we consider the UK to be a very important market for us,” said Eugene Ter-Avakyan, Head of International Developer Relations. The company has begun to focus on various markets outside home including Turkey, where it currently has gained one per cent market share since entering the country last year. Asked whether they think they can take on Google, Ter-Avakyan replied. “I can’t speak on behalf of another company’s prospects or speculate about their growth. All I can say is that we are focusing on expansion and we are still the biggest search engine in the biggest country in the world.”
US book store Barnes&Noble is another company taking on massive global rivals. Despite the omnipresence of Amazon and Apple, the company stressed that the strength of its products and services will help to penetrate the UK’s profitable market.
The company’s Nook eBook reader was a popular attraction at Droidcon and with decent performance and good looks, it’s not hard to imagine Barnes&Noble using it to woo customers away from Amazon and Apple.
“I am always optimistic about opportunities,” said Colin Campbell, the company’s business development manager in Europe. Barnes&Noble is currently launching a campaign to promote its NOOK Simple Touch reader and NOOK Bookstore in the UK.
The android Simple Touch device is a beautiful, touch screen product that’s light, fast and easy to use. It costs £79 – the same price as Amazon’s Paperwhite e-book. Barnes &Noble Simple Touch Glowlight Nook is also available, but at £109, it costs a little more than Kindle but features touch screen – which its rival doesn’t. The NOOK Store is now open to consumers in the UK and provides access to more than 2.5 million titles and NOOK apps.