Enter the smartphone viruses.

Smartphone share current
Global smartphone market share for Q4 2010
Graph by Eraserhead1

They’re here!

It was bound to happen. After all, smartphones are computers, and computers can be programmed to perform helpful tasks and . . . unhelpful — nay, malicious — tasks. “Droid Dream”, a piece of malware that attacks Android phones, had infected almost 50 apps in the official Google Android app store (called Android Market). (I don’t know how many users’ phones were infected.)

Last week Google quickly removed the offending apps from Android Market, but I’m sure that this is just the beginning of a long war against the bad guys. This time the battleground is smartphones, not PCs. This obnoxious struggle has a deja-vu character, unpleasantly reminiscent of the endless virus/anti-virus war in the PC arena.

One attraction of the Google-backed Android smartphone is its open character, as opposed to Apple’s strict control of what apps may be downloaded from its iTunes store. The public has responded: Android’s market share nearly doubled in just six months, from 17 percent to 33 percent.

Once again, the conflict between proprietary and open systems appears. For the moment, until strong defenses against Android-based phone malware are in place, Apple’s proprietary iPhone would seem to offer users more security from theft of their data.

David Coursey, writing in PC World, discusses how the appearance of Droid Dream could cause nightmares for businesses, individuals, their banks . . . and Google. Did you know that in the last quarter of 2010, smartphones outsold PCs?.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com

© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

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