Lookout ZTE and Huawei: Here come NEC, Sharp and Kyocera

Sony Ericsson, NEC and Kyocera are among the other Japanese handset makers also betting on Android as their path to international sales.

via Japanese Phone Makers Look to Ride Android’s Surge – NYTimes.com.

The Japanese positioning is based on the notion that current Android phones are not good enough and that they can bring “great hardware, great R&D and great engineers” to solve the existing problems with Android portfolio phones.

That’s an interesting observation by Google’s own director of Android Global Partnerships. The idea that the market can still reward hardware innovation would also imply that Apple could benefit from that demand.

So is the message that there is still room for device innovation?

Perhaps not. Perhaps Android’s pursuit of Japanese vendors (and vice-versa) is just evidence of the rush into smartphones by those possessing excess hardware R&D and manufacturing capacity and a deficit of software assets.

It’s still striking that there are hundreds of hardware vendors and supposedly “only two” platforms.