Google’s mobile operating system, Android, is poised to make yet another huge leap in adoption. The steadily improving user-interface and native support for Google Apps is solidifying Android’s position as a leading OS for mobile devices.
Software improvements aside, Android’s growth is largely attributed to the open source operating system enabling hardware manufactures to bring down prices. For example, in China an unlocked iPhone 4 costs $1,282 USD; whereas, new Android phones could be under $150 USD.
Smartphone manufacturers and wireless service providers have been successful at penetrating developing markets with expensive 3G services. However, in order to increase the rate of adoption they plan to introduce powerful 3G enabled smartphones in the under $150 price range.
These lower priced smartphones are well positioned to reach mainstream adoption in developing markets. A recent study from ABI Research reports that there will be over 5 billion mobile subscribers by the end of 2010. The largest growth rates are expected to be in Asia and Africa.
In addition to the opportunities in developing markets, Android has been gaining ground in the US. According to The NDP Group, Android has pushed past Apple in unit sales for Q1 of 2010. RIM still leads the group with 36% market share, but Android has beaten Apple’s 21% share by increasing to 28%. On Google’s official blog they have reported 160,000 Android powered devices get activated worldwide every day.
The expanding market is opening doors for Android application developers. Last week, Google released a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) application development platform called App Inventor. Although the platform is currently in closed beta, it promises to make Android application development much easier by enabling users to create applications without writing a single line of code. This new development method is likely to push the number of applications on the Android Marketplace well past the nearly 100,000 applications available today.
At OptimusMobility we believe Android is a powerful mobile OS with great potential. That’s why we have our developers creating advanced applications for our clients.
(Photo credit: Jay Cuthrell)