Android seemed set to take over the world this year – not the ones Stephen Hawking is trying to stop – but the mobile operating system. According to data released this spring Android phones had claimed 65-percent of US market share. On the heels of the release of the Samsung Galaxy S6 in April, Google’s smartphone system was kicking ass and taking names.
But now the latest news out of the Android camp has phone users more on edge than a lobster at a hot tub party.
Josh Drake of Zimperium zLabs discovered a security flaw that makes pretty much every Android susceptible to a virus. The Stagefright bug, as the kids are calling it, can infect your phone just by sending you a malicious MMS message, even if you don’t open it. The malware would than have access to all your phone’s date, and you would be full-on boogie boarding up the proverbial shit creek.
There are no known viruses exploiting the security hole yet, but after announcing it to the world, that will probably change. Luckily Google has worked out a patch on to the hole; however getting the patch is not that simple, because why would it be?
The responsibility will fall on companies like Samsung, LG and Motorola, to distribute the patch to everybody using an Android version after 2.2 (so basically every Android user not currently holed up in a retirement home).
Since the companies move at different speeds, it could be awhile before your phone gets its fix. Luckily, some helpful internet folks are offering solutions on how to protect yourself from the virus. (My personal solution would be to stop using your phone altogether, and send those dick-pics by good ol’ fashioned US Post.)
This announcement certainly puts a damper on what has been a fantastic 2015 for Android up to this point. Moving forward you have to wonder how much, if at all, this bug will affect Android sales? Granted, all phones from here on out will already have the patch. But with Apple set to roll out the new iPhone 6s this fall, could this tech scare send more mobile users to the other side?
Last year, according to Kantar World Panel, iOS actually edged out Android for market share in the US at the end of last year. Will they be able to close the over 30-percent gap again this year?
We’ve got odds for that and more Android related news below.
Odds for how much Android’s market share falls to by year’s end (Dec 2015):
- No drop, or increase – 32/1
- Between 0 and 5 percent – 13/2
- Between 5 and 10 percent – 4/1
- Between 10 and 15 percent – 5/3
- Over 15 percent – 8/3
Odds Apple overtakes Android for market share by year’s end:
- Yes – 3/2
- No – 3/5
Odds that Samsung S7 is released before March 1: 9/1
Odds that your phone will be infected by a Stagefright virus: 100/1
Odds that my phone will be infected by a Stagefright virus: 0. I don’t think the virus works on Nokia 3310 phones. (Only Blendtec Blenders can destroy it.)