While we “don’t do numbers” here at RedMonk, I come across many interesting numbers each week. Here are some:
In addition to the potential for Clearwire to move to LTE, its financial results were impressive. In its three most mature WiMAX markets, where it has 47 percent gross margins and 2.7 percent penetration, Clearwire said it’s taking about 18 months to get to profitability. It also said it’s reached 971,000 subscribers (it added 283,000 during the first quarter) and now covers 50 million people.
They have their work cut out. Sun’s share of the server and storage markets slipped last year as the company’s pending sale raised uncertainty about its future. It slid from second to third place last year in the $13 billion UNIX server market behind IBM and HP, while sales of its storage gear plunged 27 percent, according to IDC.
Now Ellison is looking to win back customers by boosting investment in Sun’s key technologies — including the SPARC microprocessor chip, the brain of its elite server line; the Solaris operating system that runs those computers, and the MySQL database as well as the widely used Java computer language.
“It’s picking the Sun technologies that are commercializable and focusing on those, and ignoring those that are not. They are just science projects,” said Ellison.
Software development is changing dramatically. Consumers expect exceptionally high performance for 99 cents. So if you’re investing more than 2 to 3 weeks in an app, it’s unlikely you’ll see any return on your investment unless it’s a monster hit. We build most properties in under a week.
Heroku is home to 60,000 Ruby applications and it’s used by developers of all sizes, including giants like US consumer electronics retailer Best Buy. The company claims 1,500 applications are being added to its cloud each week.
Money and growth in mainframes
For CA: CA’s mainframe software business, which still represents about 60% of the company’s $4.3 billion in annual revenue, is now growing–very profitably–at 1% to 2% a year after being flat to down a few years ago. “It funds our future,” McCracken says.
For IBM: System z mainframe revenue dropped 27% in the  fourth quarter compared to the same period in the prior year. The Q4 results followed declines of 26% in the third quarter, 39% in the second quarter and 19% in the first quarter.
The comparison is a bit apples to oranges with software vs. complete systems (from IBM).
Indeed, it happened in the first three months of the year, says The NPD Group, which conducts wireless market research. Google’s open-source operating system, which includes phones like the Hero, Incredible, Nexus One and the Flip, accounted for 28 percent of all sales. RIM’s BlackBerry remained in first at 36 percent, and Apple’s OS fell to third at 21 percent.
Disclosure: IBM is a client. See the RedMonk client list for other relevant outfits.