Next month will be the 24th since the first Android device launched in October 2008. The G1 was followed by another HTC device in February of 2010 and a few others in the spring. The summer of ’09 showed a steady release of up to four new phones every month. Since then the number of Android phone stock keeping units (SKUs, uniquely identifiable stockable products) increased dramatically, with the release rate increasing to 26 per month during July of this year (source: pdadb.net).
Altogether, there are have been
Smartphones, or Mobile devices, will soon become the dominant computing platform for humanity and supplant the PC which has reigned since Apple ignited the Personal Computer revolution in the late 1970′s.
via The numbers don’t lie: Mobile devices overtaking PCs – Google 24/7 – Fortune Tech.
I guess Gartner didn’t get the memo. By keeping the two categories separate, it implies no overlap in consumption and hence no need to worry if you’re in the PC business.
From a comment in the article below:
I installed HTC’s leaked version of 2.2 on my incredible last month. It has been noticeably faster, has better battery life, and the extra features are nice. As expected, Verizon put a lock down on the wifi tethering feature, and if I want to use it I have to pay an ADDITIONAL $25/month, which is completely ridiculous. Luckily, my phone has been rooted (it was the only way to get froyo on there) and I can use a number of FREE wifi tethering applications that don’t cost anything extra per month either.
It’s pretty sad that the only way to enjoy an android phone is to hack the crap out of it, and doing so requires relative technical expertise.
via Motorola’s Android 2.2 Rollout: What a Mess – PCWorld.
Reminds me of Windows Mobile in another way: the only real fans were those who could play with cooked ROMs. Conversely, imagine if the only iPhone fans were those who jailbroke/unlocked iPhones.
See also: The Android abdication
The OS market in the mobile space is dominated by other players. Is that a cause of worry?
I think it’s a temporary issue. I don’t put a lot of face and snapshot and time into what is going on. On a global basis, I see what is growing and what is shrinking. Text messaging is the fastest-growing on simple phones part of the mobile market. That’s where growth is. The smart phone part of the market, or the premium market, is in the downward part of the market. It will not be there for a long time in the future.
People want something that’s simple. The design goal for the Windows Phone 7 is that with rich experience you get simple stuff easily. Great keyboard or touch or both – so you can have that. It is too early to talk about dominating, but I’m excited about it. Android coming into the market says there is room for more innovation and we see ourselves playing a role in that space. People talked about the iPhone and thought that was the end of the world for OS. Windows Phone 7 will prove there is more room for innovation.
via Q&A: Tony Scott, Chief Information Officer, Microsoft.
In other words, Android’s entry in the market and remarkable growth, there is room for Windows Phone. And because Windows Phone is easy to use and has a keyboard and touch it will have a chance at dominating.
Microsoft’s enthusiasm for yet another mobile platform joining the fray (along with iOS, Android, RIM, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Meego, various sundry Linux and Bada) is not just delusion. I’m sure that they gathered positive feedback from operators. By this time next year there will be dozens of Windows Phone devices on the market. After all, Windows Mobile attracted 1700 licenses.
When I wrote about Android’s pursuit of the biggest losers, I made the explicit claim, backed by data, that Android was most attractive to device vendors who were in financial distress. Android is a lifeline to sustain failing business models. But underlying that claim was the more sinister implication that Android is sustaining to the incumbent operator business models. That means that Android is subject to operator manipulation and its market access as well as those of competing platforms will be throttled to maintain control.
The article below makes an even stronger case.
As a result, we now have a situation where the U.S. telecoms are reconsolidating their power and putting customers at a disadvantage. And, their empowering factor is Android. The carriers and handset makers can do anything they want with it. Unfortunately, that now includes loading lots of their own crapware onto these Android devices, using marketing schemes that confuse buyers (see the Samsung Galaxy S), and nickle-and-diming customers with added fees to run certain apps such as tethering, GPS navigation, and mobile video.
The dirty little secret about Google Android | Tech Sanity Check | TechRepublic.com.
I would not say that Android is enabling the consolidation of operator power. I would say that operator power never wavered.
The article concludes:
Despite the ugly truth that Android is enabling the U.S. wireless carriers to exert too much control over the devices and keep the U.S. mobile market in a balkanized state of affairs, Android remains the antithesis of the closed Apple ecosystem that drives the iPhone and so it’s still very attractive to a lot of technologists and business professionals.
But, the consequence of not putting any walls around your product is that both the good guys and the bad guys can do anything they want with it. And for Android, that means that it’s being manipulated, modified, and maimed by companies that care more about preserving their old business models than empowering people with the next great wave of computing devices.
That sounds about right.