As mobile Internet usage increases, men are losing their advantage in numbers. They still account for the majority of users, but women are catching up quickly.
Mobile Internet visitors were up 34% year over year to 56.9 million in July 2009, according to The Nielsen Company. Growth among women outpaced the average rate by some 9 percentage points. Men still made up 53% of the mobile Web audience in July.
Verizon Wireless said Tuesday it will put substantial resources into developing and selling phones that use Google Inc.’s Android software.
Verizon Wireless had already said it would sell Android phones, but the announcement suggests that the carrier is positioning these “smart” phones as a main means of competing with Apple Inc.’s iPhone, which is exclusive to AT&T Inc. in the U.S.
Verizon Wireless and Google said they plan to “codevelop” Android-based devices that will be pre-loaded with their applications. They will be made by major manufacturers, they said.
The carrier now expects to sell the first Android phones in a few weeks, it said. It has already said it will be a carrier for a new smart phone from Motorola Inc., which is releasing several new devices based on Android software as a part of its turnaround effort.
Vonage Holdings Corp., a pioneer in Internet-based home phone service, is launching applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry that undercut the international calling rates of major wireless carriers.
The free programs let users place calls that are routed over Vonage’s network, at least for the international leg.
The calls are placed as local wireless calls, using up minutes on the cell phone plan, although the iPhone will use Wi-Fi instead if that’s available. (That works as well on the iPhone’s sibling, the iPod Touch, which goes online only with Wi-Fi.) Vonage then carries the calls to their overseas destination.