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(Newsweek) How Android is Transforming Mobile Computing.

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Ripclawe

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http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/05/android-is-numero-uno-among-us-phone-buyers-over-the-last-six-mo/

Android is number one OS among US phone buyers over the last six months




http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/03/how-android-is-transforming-mobile-computing.html


Nobody ever imagined how quickly the Android mobile-phone platform would take off–not even Andy Rubin, the Silicon Valley engineer who created it. Five years ago Rubin was leading a startup that had just been acquired by Google and was trying to develop software that could power a smart phone. Two years ago the first Android phone hit the market and, frankly, it was a bit of a dud. But the software kept getting better, and top handset makers like HTC, Motorola, and Samsung jumped on board, rolling out dozens of Android-based devices.

What began as a trickle now has turned into a tidal wave. In August Google announced it was activating 200,000 Android phones each day. On at least one day since then, that number surged to more than 250,000, Rubin says. Android now has leapt past Apple to become the biggest smart-phone platform in the United States, the third-biggest worldwide, and by far the fastest growing.

Android is the kind of runaway smash hit that techies spend their careers dreaming about. Rubin, a 47-year-old über nerd–he has a retina scanner on the front door of his house and robotic helicopters cruise his backyard–has helped build a string of tech companies over the past two decades. But nothing he’s done so far compares to what’s happening with Android. “This,” he says, “is the most fun I’ve ever had.”

The software was written by a small team of engineers tucked away in a nondescript building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. While it contains 11 million lines of code, the whole program takes up only 200 megabytes of space, about as much as 40 MP3 songs. Yet despite its tiny size, Android is changing the mobile industry in profound ways, shifting the balance of power from Europe and Asia, the previous leaders, to Silicon Valley and reshaping the fortunes of the world’s biggest tech companies.


Android has also transformed Google and its longtime ally Apple into fierce rivals. Until recently, Apple seemed destined to rule the mobile Internet, thanks to the popularity of the iPhone, which was introduced in 2007 and quickly began grabbing market share. But Android has enabled handset makers like Motorola and Samsung to develop credible rivals to the iPhone.

This year, as those companies have gained traction, Apple’s momentum has stalled. Rubin credits the fact that Android is an open-source program used by dozens of phone makers, while Apple goes it alone, developing its own proprietary hardware and software. In September Apple CEO Steve Jobs got a little hot under the collar of his mock turtleneck and told reporters he didn’t believe Google’s sales figures. He claimed that if you added together sales of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, Apple is “ahead of everybody.”

But by 2014 Android will have 25 percent market share in smart phones, more than double Apple’s 11 percent share, according to high-tech researcher IDC. And the first Android-based tablets will begin to ship later this year. (Apple declined to comment for this article.)


This is no mere squabble. The mobile revolution may be the biggest wave ever to hit the world of computing. Just as mainframes gave way to minicomputers, which in turn gave way to personal computers, the PC now is being displaced by smart phones and tablets. By 2013, a decade after smart phones were launched, there will be 1Êbillion of them in the world–roughly the number of PCs that exist today, three decades after that machine’s introduction.

These devices will reach into the furthest corners of the world. By next year 5 billion mobile phones will be in service, out of a total world population of about 7 billion, according to Yankee Group, a high-tech research firm. Most of those will be “feature phones” with limited capabilities. But over the next decade the technologies will become so cheap that virtually every phone sold will be what we, today, would call a smart phone. “This is a battle for literally every person on the planet. That’s why these markets are worth fighting for,” says Carl Howe, a research director at Yankee Group.

Most important, every one of those smart phones will be constantly connected to the Internet. If you own a smart phone, you know how extraordinary that linkage can be. Scott Adams, the author and creator of the comic strip Dilbert, last year argued in an essay that smart phones represent a kind of “exobrain” that augments our regular brain, giving us the ability to store and retrieve mountains of information and to perform tasks like navigating unfamiliar terrain.

So what happens when most of the residents of planet Earth carry a device that gives them instant access to pretty much all of the world’s information? The implications–for politics, for education, for global economics–are dizzying. In theory, the mobile revolution could enable citizens to demand greater openness and accountability from their governments. The reverse might also be true: governments could more easily spy on citizens. “You also have the prospect of having 5 billion surveillance points,” says Jonathan Zittrain, codirector of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

The proliferation of low-cost handhelds will enable people in developing economies to see the rest of the world–and join it. “I can’t imagine anything since the invention of the spinning jenny that will so profoundly change the lives of people in the deepest rural parts of the emerging market. This is the knowledge revolution coming to them, finally,” says Sanjay Jha, the co-CEO of Motorola. Jha credits the return to profitability of Motorola’s mobile devices–after three years of losing money–to an early bet on Android-based phones.

Geeks like Rubin aren’t spending a lot of time mulling the philosophical implications of the mobile revolution. For them the excitement comes from building the coolest devices they can imagine–and tapping into what may be the biggest technology market that has ever existed. Sales of Apple’s iPad tablet have already cut into sales of traditional notebook computers.

By 2013 the mobile Internet ecosystem–money spent on access fees, online commerce, paid services, and advertising–will be worth more than half a trillion dollars per year, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker. As users keep downloading services and apps, every device sold generates an ongoing revenue stream.

The top companies in desktop computing–Apple, Google, and Microsoft–must shift their focus to mobile devices to remain competitive. But that pits them against traditional phone makers like Nokia and Research in Motion. Nokia, which has developed its own smart-phone software called Symbian, remains the industry gorilla. There are already 1.3 billion Nokia phones in use, and 200 million of them are smart phones.

The huge customer base is a big advantage, according to Tero Ojanpera, an executive vice president at Nokia. By collecting location information from mobile phones, for example, Nokia can make traffic predictions. “There is a huge opportunity for us to create a feedback loop and provide data to consumers,” Ojanpera says.

But Google has a few advantages of its own. Instead of trying to modernize an older system originally created for voice-centric phones, Rubin and his engineers started with a clean slate, developing a modern mobile operating system for a new kind of device–a small computer that happens to make phone calls. Unlike older operating systems, Android was created to be good at rendering Web pages and to run many applications at the same time.

Google also counts the very nature of Android as a strength. The company does not make money from Android directly. It gives the software away to hardware partners. Google reckons that Android gets more people onto the Internet, where Google can show them ads. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says Android-based phones already generate enough new advertising revenue to cover the cost of the software’s development.

Google could make money in other ways too, for example, by opening an online store to sell music and videos to Android users. Schmidt envisions a day when there are 1 billion Android phones in the world and notes that if Google could get just $10 from each user per year, it would be a $10 billion business. That’s real money even for Google, whose revenues this year will be $21 billion.

In addition to making Android available for free, Google also lets phone makers change the code and customize it so that an Android phone made by, say, Samsung has a different user interface than an Android phone from Motorola. Rubin believes this open-source model gives Google an advantage over rivals selling closed systems, like Apple, which also operates its own online stores. Apple’s tight control enables it to deliver an exceptionally smooth user experience, where everything works seamlessly together.

The Android model is messier, but by putting Android into so many hands at so many companies, Rubin believes he has created an accelerated form of evolution, where the species diversifies and improves at hyperspeed. The struggle between Google and Apple today looks a lot like the battle between Apple and Microsoft in the PC era.

Back then, Apple leapt out to an early lead with the Macintosh, whose revolutionary operating system ran only on Apple machines. But Microsoft came up with a version of Windows that could compete with the Mac. Because Microsoft licensed its software to all of the world’s computer makers, it eventually controlled 90 percent of the market. “The industry is repeating itself,” Rubin says.


Oddly enough, Rubin worked at Apple from 1989 to 1992, the years when Apple was losing its edge to Microsoft. He later cofounded a company called Danger, which developed the Sidekick smart phone. Rubin was CEO of Danger but resigned in 2004 after agreeing with the board that the company needed new leadership. He was hanging out on a beach in the Cayman Islands when he came up with the idea of creating an open-source operating system for mobile phones. Back in Silicon Valley, he was looking to raise venture funding when Google cofounder Larry Page heard about Android, loved the idea, and acquired the company.

At Google, Rubin has access to virtually unlimited resources from one of the richest companies on the planet, and no need to generate revenue, at least not in the conventional sense. Rubin won’t say how many engineers work on Android, only that “it’s much smaller than you would think.” Some of the work is done by HTC, Motorola, and Samsung engineers, who work alongside Google engineers.

One of the top priorities right now is to improve the user interface to catch up with the iPhone. A bigger challenge is making sure that the same open-source model that has led to Android’s rapid growth does not also become its undoing. If phone makers do too much tinkering and customization, Android could splinter into many different versions, none of them completely compatible with the others. Such fragmentation has been the Achilles’ heel of every open-source project. To counter it, Rubin and his team have created a compatibility test suite, a list of things a phone must have in order to carry the Android brand and to run Google applications like Google Maps. Rubin believes this will induce phone makers to keep all Android phones fundamentally compatible.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is hoping such fragmentation will be the undoing of Android. It is betting that phone makers will prefer its own new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, which is due to arrive in the next month or so. Phone makers must pay license fees to use Windows Phone 7, and they can’t tinker much with the code. Microsoft is pitching it to the same companies that have embraced Android, claiming that Windows Phone 7 is more polished and will give phone makers a better tool for competing against Apple. Also, Microsoft last week sued Motorola, alleging its Android phones violate Microsoft patents. Similarly, Apple has sued HTC over its Android phones, and Oracle has sued Google, alleging Android itself violates Oracle patents. If nothing else, the lawsuits demonstrate that rivals recognize Android has become a serious threat. Right now Rubin’s engineers are putting the finishing touches on the next version of Android, code-named Gingerbread, which is scheduled to ship before the end of this year. They’re also developing a version of Android called Honeycomb, which is designed to run on tablet computers and will follow on the heels of Gingerbread.

For now, Rubin is enjoying the geeky thrill of being out in public and hearing the sound of an Android phone when it starts up and says “Droid,” in its little robotic voice. “Every time it happens, it makes me smile,” he says. Sure, nobody knows how this will play out. But who can blame Rubin for that crazy grin on his face?
 

HeySeuss

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I have an incredible and I really like Android as an operating system, but the fact that it's the fastest growing is something Ray Charles could see.

The iPhone is a single handset and Android is on many handsets spread over multiple carriers. The fact that the iPhone is even still making it a close race speaks way more for Apple than Android overtaking them.
 

Manmademan

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I have and love my android phone, and will be buying another one when my GF jumps on my plan later this month.

however, I'd be curious to see what the upcoming windows phone 7 does to android's growth. I can't see it taking much marketshare from Apple (at this point, anyone still using an iphone does so because they like the platform/hardware specifically, I wager), so will it bring new people into the market, or split Android's userbase, slowing growth?

it looks too well put together to tank outright- Thoughts?
 

Hitokage

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Apple paved the way by muscling itself into a horribly stagnant cellphone market and then forcing everyone else to catch up. Android is what's making this new world a competitive one.
 
Jan 22, 2008
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Hitokage said:
Apple paved the way by muscling itself into a horribly stagnant cellphone market and then forcing everyone else to catch up. Android is what's making this new world a competitive one.

Free market is amazing, isn't it?
 

JordanLMiller

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Manmademan said:
at this point, anyone still using an iphone does so because they like the platform/hardware specifically, I wager

...or their stuck on AT&T's fantastic network ;_;
 

out0v0rder

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Shick Brithouse said:
I have an incredible and I really like Android as an operating system, but the fact that it's the fastest growing is something Ray Charles could see.

The iPhone is a single handset and Android is on many handsets spread over multiple carriers. The fact that the iPhone is even still making it a close race speaks way more for Apple than Android overtaking them.
only hipsters would spin it like this
 

Hitokage

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Jason's Ultimatum said:
Free market is amazing, isn't it?
When it works, yes, but again, Apple had to muscle its way in and use its relatively large resources to overcome barriers to entry. Everyone else was content putting out shitty phones that couldn't hope to match foreign counterparts.
 

Burger

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This 'fight' is more about Google vs RIM & Nokia than it is Google vs Apple. Apple has said time and again that market share is not the goal they are aiming for. Profitability is, and in terms of profit, Apple makes more than anyone else in the phone game.

Think about this statement:

"Apple will generate 2X as much handset profit as the rest of the industry combined this year DESPITE SELLING ONLY 3% OF THE HANDSETS BY UNIT VOLUME"
 

carlosp

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i have an android phone and had an iPhone before. I love the phone and the platform as well. I think in a year or two the standard of android software (apps) will be so high that Apple will struggle to keep with. For example everybody says the iPhone looks so good. Just a look at this FREE Rom for almost all the "modern" android phones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or-9T44Bt7M
 

Windu

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Mar 29, 2007
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I love competition. The smartphone market is really getting interesting, and it looks like WP7 will be a serious competitor too. Now if only they could get rid of the monopolies that the Networks have.
 

zoku88

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Burger said:
This 'fight' is more about Google vs RIM & Nokia than it is Google vs Apple. Apple has said time and again that market share is not the goal they are aiming for. Profitability is, and in terms of profit, Apple makes more than anyone else in the phone game.

Think about this statement:

"Apple will generate 2X as much handset profit as the rest of the industry combined this year DESPITE SELLING ONLY 3% OF THE HANDSETS BY UNIT VOLUME"
How much Apple profits means nothing for consumers, so why even bring it up?
 
Jun 6, 2004
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Burger said:
This 'fight' is more about Google vs RIM & Nokia than it is Google vs Apple. Apple has said time and again that market share is not the goal they are aiming for. Profitability is, and in terms of profit, Apple makes more than anyone else in the phone game.

Think about this statement:

"Apple will generate 2X as much handset profit as the rest of the industry combined this year DESPITE SELLING ONLY 3% OF THE HANDSETS BY UNIT VOLUME"
i don't remember reading that in the article.
 

entremet

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zoku88 said:
How much Apple profits means nothing for consumers, so why even bring it up?
Discussion about marketshare means nothing to consumers, so why even bring that up? See how it works ;)

The article talks about marketshare, how Android is being funded, it's revenue and chief rivals--Apple, RIM, etc. Bringing up that metric is relevant to the discussion.
 

teh_pwn

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Jun 14, 2004
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Burger said:
This 'fight' is more about Google vs RIM & Nokia than it is Google vs Apple. Apple has said time and again that market share is not the goal they are aiming for. Profitability is, and in terms of profit, Apple makes more than anyone else in the phone game.

Think about this statement:

"Apple will generate 2X as much handset profit as the rest of the industry combined this year DESPITE SELLING ONLY 3% OF THE HANDSETS BY UNIT VOLUME"

Where does it say that? I'm looking at Apple an RIMM's financials on google finance, and they have about the same margins. Apple is slightly higher. Microsoft's and Google's profit margins are considerably higher than Apple's.
 
Sep 23, 2006
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I've been raving about Android ever since I got my evo. The openness of this platform is amazing and makes the iPhone feel dated and restricted.
 

zoku88

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entrement said:
Discussion about marketshare means nothing to consumers, so why even bring that up? See how it works ;)

The article talks about marketshare, how Android is being funded, it's revenue and chief rivals--Apple, RIM, etc. Bringing up that metric is relevant to the discussion.
Uhm, marketshare DOES matter (at least in some markets) to consumers. Developers are started to gravitate to Android, not because its magically better than it was before, but because there are more and more consumers using it, thus, more developers think it's more worthwhile to develop for.

Bringing up what Apple thinks, I believe, is mostly irrelevant.
 

entremet

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teh_pwn said:
Where does it say that? I'm looking at Apple an RIMM's financials on google finance, and they have about the same margins. Apple is slightly higher. Microsoft's and Google's profit margins are considerably higher than Apple's.
Are those company profit margins or product profit margins? That's a big difference. I'm not sure of Burger's stat, since it's not substantiated, but comparing company profits is not same as the comparison he made.


zoku88 said:
Uhm, marketshare DOES matter (at least in some markets) to consumers. Developers are started to gravitate to Android, not because its magically better than it was before, but because there are more and more consumers using it, thus, more developers think it's more worthwhile to develop for.

Bringing up what Apple thinks, I believe, is mostly irrelevant.

Okay. Makes more sense now. I thought you were talking about if it is relevant to this discussion. I misunderstood and apologize.
 

demon

I don't mean to alarm you but you have dogs on your face
Jun 8, 2004
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Gamer @ Heart said:
The droid X is awesome, but if you need a keyboard, that is the way to go.
I'd go with the Droid X. And I say that as a current Droid owner. I almost never use the physical keyboard, though, and find it only adds to the weight and thickness of the phone. The Droid X looks a lot bigger, but I found it's lighter and doesn't feel as bulky in my pocket despite being a lot wider, and it must be significantly better for stuff like reading articles because of how much bigger it is.
 

brain_stew

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What's the status with PAYG Android handsets in the US these days?

In the UK we can get a fantastic Android handset like the Orange San Francisco with a 800x480 OLED screen, 512MB RAM, 600mhz ARM11, GPS, compass, light sensor and all the rest of it for just £100. Pretty incredible really, you're not tied to any contract at all, can take advantage of much cheaper "sim only" plans (where a £10 plan gets you about the equivalent of a traditional £30 plan and can be cancelled at any time) and save over £500 compared to an iPhone 4 on contract when all is said and done.

I take it deals like this aren't commonplace in the states yet? Its surely only a matter of time though and I wonder how Apple will cope with the onslaught of fully featured, contract free Android smartphones that retail for less than their low end iPod Touch.

After getting acquainted with my Dad's T Mobile Pulse (another sub £100 contract free Android smartphone) I'm just failing to see how I could possibly recommend signing up for one of the arse raping contracts attached to an iPhone4. These £100 devices do absolutely anything an iPhone4 will outside of decent 3D gaming, though even that is improving.
 

SpecX

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I just got a Droid X last Thursday and I'm loving it so far. I love that I can have a pretty unique layout on the phone while others at work who have this same phone have something different. That's one of the things I hated with the iPhone. It's a nice phone, but they don't offer nearly anything that the Android phones do to make the phone to your personal preference.
 

entremet

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brain_stew said:
What's the status with PAYG Android handsets in the US these days?

In the UK we can get a fantastic Android handset like the Orange San Francisco with a 800x480 OLED screen, 512MB RAM, 600mhz ARM11, GPS, compass, light sensor and all the rest of it for just £100. Pretty incredible really, you're not tied to any contract at all, can take advantage of much cheaper "sim only" plans and save over £500 compared to an iPhone 4 on contract when all is said and done.

I take it deals like this aren't commonplace in the states yet? Its surely only a matter of time though and I wonder how Apple will cope with the onslaught of fully featured, contract free Android smartphones that retail for less than their low end iPod Touch.

After getting acquainted with my Dad's T Mobile Pulse (another sub £100 contract free Android smartphone) I'm just failing to see how I could possibly recommend signing up for one of the arse raping contracts attached to an iPhone4. These £100 devices do absolutely anything an iPhone4 will outside of decent 3D gaming, though even that is improving.
Most if not all of these smartphones require a contract. Their full retail prices are usually in 400 to 500 dollars.
 

Burger

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zoku88 said:
How much Apple profits means nothing for consumers, so why even bring it up?

Why bring it up ?

Because people see the chart in the OP and it looks like Google is winning. Google is winning market share. Google wants market share because it makes money when people use Android.

Apple doesn't want market share, they don't give a stuff. They want profit, and they are making buckets of profit from selling iPhones.

The article even compares Google vs Apple to the Microsoft vs Apple of yesteryear. It's such a bullshit comparison. This whole 'he who wins marketshare, wins' is a crock.

radar.oreilly.com said:
The following inconvenient facts must be an affront to the horizontal, commoditized, open, market share zealots. Apple has launched three major new product lines since 2001: the iPod (October, 2001); the iPhone (July, 2007); and the iPad (April, 2010).

The company's stock is up 3,000 percent since the launch of iPod, 125 percent since the launch of iPhone, and 20 percent since the launch of iPad.

In that same time period, the major devotees of the loosely coupled model -- Microsoft, Google, Intel and Dell -- have been, at best, outpaced by Apple 6X (in the case of Google dating back to the launch of iPod) and at worst, either been wiped out (in the case of Dell) or treaded water (in the cases of Microsoft and Intel) in every comparison period.
 

aorange999

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Burger said:
This 'fight' is more about Google vs RIM & Nokia than it is Google vs Apple. Apple has said time and again that market share is not the goal they are aiming for. Profitability is, and in terms of profit, Apple makes more than anyone else in the phone game.

Think about this statement:

"Apple will generate 2X as much handset profit as the rest of the industry combined this year DESPITE SELLING ONLY 3% OF THE HANDSETS BY UNIT VOLUME"

This is the truest statement here. Nokia and Rim are trying to counter before Google runs away with the market, Apple have limited themselves to a niche albeit a highly profitable niche.
Nokia is trying to counter with another open source software called Meego which in many ways is much more enticing than Android because they are encouraging OEMS to create their own layers on top of Meego like Sense and Motoblur etc but maintaining compatibility with apps using QT.

Rim are trying with consumer products like their tablet but I see Windows Phone 7 coming for Rim's lunch pretty soon here.
Next few years will be interesting and don't forget all the patent lawsuits going on between Nokia, Google and Apple which will probably ultimately decides who wins.
 

brain_stew

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entrement said:
Most if not all of these smartphones require a contract. Their full retail prices are usually in 400 to 500 dollars.

Well that sucks. We have it much better.

PAYG Android handsets are pretty new here but they're gaining traction and their specifications are getting eerily close to the high end handsets that require a £30+ 24 month contract. A £100 handset is only about a single generation behind the current high end (and matches it in some areas like RAM, display resolution).

Surely its only a matter of time before similar handsets hit the US? That's when the power of Android will seriously start to show. When you can buy an Android smartphone that can do anything an iPhone can for less than the price of an iPod Touch without having to sign up to any sort of contract, that's when things get seriously interesting. Its already happening here in the UK and hopefully the US isn't too far behind.
 

Ettie

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I wonder if android will ever trickle down to the non-data plan requiring sets. Seems like it could work, just require access to a net enabled PC/Mac to access the market.
 

brain_stew

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entrement said:
Discussion about marketshare means nothing to consumers,

Actually it does. The platform with the most marketshare is going to receive an increasing amount of developer support and a smartphone is only as good as the apps it runs. The insane rate of growth of Android devices means that mobile developers can't ignore Android going forward.
 

entremet

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Are their any Android competitors to the iPod Touch? That's seems like a big opening for Android, but it doesn't seem like any manufacturer wants to touch that space and let Apple run away with it.
 

Totakeke

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Ettenra said:
I wonder if android will ever trickle down to the non-data plan requiring sets. Seems like it could work, just require access to a net enabled PC/Mac to access the market.

The data plan requirement are set by carriers. You can easily use an Android phone without a data plan.
 

DrFunk

not licensed in your state
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brain_stew said:
Well that sucks. We have it much better.

PAYG Android handsets are pretty new here but they're gaining traction and their specifications are getting eerily close to the high end handsets that require a £30+ 24 month contract. A £100 handset is only about a single generation behind the current high end (and matches it in some areas like RAM, display resolution).

Surely its only a matter of time before similar handsets hit the US? That's when the power of Android will seriously start to show. When you can buy an Android smartphone that can do anything an iPhone can for less than the price of an iPod Touch without having to sign up to any sort of contract, that's when things get seriously interesting. Its already happening here in the UK and hopefully the US isn't too far behind.

He's only half right -- we can buy unlocked devices here, it's just very expensive.
 

zoku88

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entrement said:
Are their any Android competitors to the iPod Touch? That's seems like a big opening for Android, but it doesn't seem like any manufacturer wants to touch that space and let Apple run away with it.
Samsung was making some Galaxy PMP.

There might be some others, but they're probably mostly in Asia.
Burger said:
Why bring it up ?

Because people see the chart in the OP and it looks like Google is winning. Google is winning market share. Google wants market share because it makes money when people use Android.

Apple doesn't want market share, they don't give a stuff. They want profit, and they are making buckets of profit from selling iPhones.

The article even compares Google vs Apple to the Microsoft vs Apple of yesteryear. It's such a bullshit comparison. This whole 'he who wins marketshare, wins' is a crock.
Again, why should anyone care about what you just said. It's irrelevant. Google, Apple, RIM, whoever, the only thing that affects the consumers are their marketshare and the quality of the products. The fact that Apple makes more profit with less market share means crock to anyone who doesn't have Apple stock.
 

Burger

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aorange999 said:
This is the truest statement here. Nokia and Rim are trying to counter before Google runs away with the market, Apple have limited themselves to a niche albeit a highly profitable niche.
Nokia is trying to counter with another open source software called Meego which in many ways is much more enticing than Android because they are encouraging OEMS to create their own layers on top of Meego like Sense and Motoblur etc but maintaining compatibility with apps using QT.

Rim are trying with consumer products like their tablet but I see Windows Phone 7 coming for Rim's lunch pretty soon here.
Next few years will be interesting and don't forget all the patent lawsuits going on between Nokia, Google and Apple which will probably ultimately decides who wins.

Super super profitable.

Apple made about $400 profit per iPhone 3GS (16gb) sold, I presume the iPhone 4 is about the same.

Microsoft are selling WP7 handset licenses for what, $15 per handset? There is the reason marketshare is so important to these guys.
 

Ettie

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Totakeke said:
The data plan requirement are set by carriers. You can easily use an Android phone without a data plan.


That makes sense. I guess the ultimate answer to my question is most likely no, if the carriers are barring entry.
 

brain_stew

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aorange999 said:
This is the truest statement here. Nokia and Rim are trying to counter before Google runs away with the market, Apple have limited themselves to a niche albeit a highly profitable niche.
Nokia is trying to counter with another open source software called Meego which in many ways is much more enticing than Android because they are encouraging OEMS to create their own layers on top of Meego like Sense and Motoblur etc but maintaining compatibility with apps using QT.

Rim are trying with consumer products like their tablet but I see Windows Phone 7 coming for Rim's lunch pretty soon here.
Next few years will be interesting and don't forget all the patent lawsuits going on between Nokia, Google and Apple which will probably ultimately decides who wins.

The best thing Nokia could do is just to accept the inevitable and start developing their own Android (and/or WP7) handsets. They've always sucked at the software side of things but have consistently put out some very handsets. They're just limiting the appeal of their handsets by tying them to software stacks nobody wants.

I'm convinced that they'd be able to differentiate themselves enough with their strong hardware and brand name even if they're using the same software as everybody else. Embracing Android doesn't seem to have done SE any harm, quite the opposite.
 

zoku88

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brain_stew said:
The best thing Nokia could do is just to accept the inevitable and start developing their own Android (and/or WP7) handsets. They've always sucked at the software side of things but have consistently put out some very handsets. They're just limiting the appeal of their handsets by tying them to software stacks nobody wants.

I'm convinced that they'd be able to differentiate themselves enough with their strong hardware and brand name even if they're using the same software as everybody else. Embracing Android doesn't seem to have done SE any harm, quite the opposite.
Nokia is too proud to do that. I mean, they recently said that getting Android was like wetting your pants to make yourself warm :lol

I think they're going to try to tackle the NA market again, judging from their recent hire.
 

brain_stew

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DrFunk said:
He's only half right -- we can buy unlocked devices here, it's just very expensive.

So nothing worthwile in the sub $200 category then? Nothing that's being aggressively marketed either?

That £100 Android phone I'm talking about is to be the premier PAYG handset of the largest mobile operator in the UK this Christmas, so not only is the product there but its receiving the marketing dollars to make it a success as well. Pretty much all the major networks in the UK have their own ~£100 contract free Android handset of choice now, I'm guessing there's absolutely nothing like that in the US, yet?
 

zoku88

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The premiere handsets are $500-600 here. Those are all really high end though.

T-mobile offers no-contract plans, and you probably could buy something for about $100, but it wouldn't be high end.

I'm not sure about the phones you're talking about, brain-stew. Can you link to them? A lot of the (android) phones that come out in America are available world wide (since a lot of them come from Asian companies, anyway.)
JCX said:
I've had an evo for a few weeks now and really like it. My only big complaint is the android marketplace's selection. I'm waiting for a lot of the iphone app devs to port stuff over, but I guess one issue is the non-standard nature of platforms which will use those apps.
That's mostly an issue with games (non-stand OpenGL implementation.) Regular apps wouldn't really be affected.
 

JCX

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I've had an evo for a few weeks now and really like it. My only big complaint is the android marketplace's selection. I'm waiting for a lot of the iphone app devs to port stuff over, but I guess one issue is the non-standard nature of platforms which will use those apps.
 

turnbuckle

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Burger said:
This 'fight' is more about Google vs RIM & Nokia than it is Google vs Apple. Apple has said time and again that market share is not the goal they are aiming for. Profitability is, and in terms of profit, Apple makes more than anyone else in the phone game.

Think about this statement:

"Apple will generate 2X as much handset profit as the rest of the industry combined this year DESPITE SELLING ONLY 3% OF THE HANDSETS BY UNIT VOLUME"

Notice that Android phones make up nearly 3 times the market of what they did at the beginning of 2010 while Apple, even after the release of the iPhone 4, has seen their share decline. Your chart becomes less impressive when realizing that half of it is based upon estimates.

Up until about a year ago every iphone alternative had some serious shortcomings and suffered from the perception of being "me too" devices. I know those estimates were published just a couple months ago, but I already feel they're a bit too optimistic on the apple side, and pessimistic for the competitors.

I would like to see how they isolated EBIT specifically for handsets though. Besides, since those aren't amortized much of the expense incurred developing the iphone was reported before its initial release. Companies playing catch up are sure to expense a greater proportion on R&D on handsets (to catch up, and because they develop multiple handsets) than Apple currently is.

Really not taking anything away from what Apple is doing, but there's lot of things to take into consideration when looking at the article.
 

entremet

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brain_stew said:
So nothing worthwile in the sub $200 category then? Nothing that's being aggressively marketed either?

That £100 Android phone I'm talking about is to be the premier PAYG handset of the largest mobile operator in the UK this Christmas, so not only is the product there but its receiving the marketing dollars to make it a success as well. Pretty much all the major networks in the UK have their own ~£100 contract free Android handset of choice now, I'm guessing there's absolutely nothing like that in the US, yet?
Nope. Not unlocked. Unlocked smartphones or smartphones out of contract are prohibitively expensive. It's a cartel here with the phone carriers.
 
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