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Not stupid at all. The Android OS drew the spotlight with its gigantic market share increases mostly because it started from zero a couple of years ago, was pushed by the seemingly almighty Google, and it was to be either fast growth or death. It turned out to be the former, but the saturation point, where the competition will push back, has been reached. 800% market increase is not even mathematically possible anymore.
But all this talk about the share of certain OS (or platform) in the smartphone market is more of a cheerleading internet competition. The actual players and their weight is not anything like what it looks like at first sight. The Google Android project, even with the acquired market share, hardly brings any profit to the company. A recent analysis in Fortune magazine ("Is Google Over?") points out that out of the multitude of projects, Google still lives mainly on advertising revenue through its web searching engine. Everything else accounts for a minority of their revenue, and much less of their profit. Android was singled out as one of those very hyped venues that bring little to no joy to shareholders. Google are more and more turning into the good old one-trick pony called Microsoft.
Anyway, not to go off topic, Android by itself is not profitable. It is obviously a sponsored by Google project that is supposed to increase the reach of their advertising in the mobile space. For now the winners are mostly the hardware manufacturers - LG, Samsung HTC, etc., which make the phones powered by Android. The same will be true for the Windows 7 platform - Microsoft will be doing the Android thing that Google did, and they will surely gain some market share, if the same manufacturers embrace them. In the end both platforms will hardly bring any true profit to their sponsors, so it is not impossible that they might be abandoned, or remain a niche market, or branch into OS-s of the respective manufacturers.
Nokia, Apple, and Blackberry, on the other side, are different beasts - they have the whole cake and eat it too. Nokia got dragged a little behind by their blind faith in hardware over everything else, but they are coming back online. RIM retreats, but don't seem to be giving away easily their traditional highly profitable core business. Apple seems to turn into gold and sell at jewelry prices everything they touch, and the mountains of cash will surely help in their search of new big hits. And, very importantly, third party developers are getting a lot of that cash, and won't abandon them.
Back to our friendly trash talk ;), I agree with the article that the Verizon iPhone will be the Android killer.
 

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Android has just started... now that hardware is there 1000mhz cpu's and climbing and and ever improving OS, that updates when its ready.(iphone 5 might be the next time apple puts out an improved OS?)
 

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Hilman, these numbers are what the article and our commentaries are based on - in case you are posting them to educate us that Android has gained market share this year. In case you are making some other point that I didn't understand, disregard this post.
 

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I dont agree with the G&M piece at all.

Android is still growing strongly, especially in the US given the iPhone exclusivity with AT&T which now looks to be actually hindering Apple's sales rather than helping. Sprint and Verizon are leaning heavy on Android for smart phone sales. In Canada its a mixed bag given there is no platform exclusvity, and with strong patriotic ties to RIM. RIM isnt going anywhere, given how IT chiefs love its security options. It will be hard for them to keep their regular consumer happy though. People want apps and iOS and Android have them.

HP will fill a decent niche with Palm but they will have trouble if they are the only maker using the OS for phones. HP has said they bought Palm for the OS, and not just for the phone application. The OS is well suited for being integrated into printers and other web connected devices.

Nokia and WM7 are late to the party, but come with heavy money. Mobile is the next age of the internet and its still very very young.
 

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Personally I think Google's biggest problem may be themselves. Many of the best features of Android are available on other platforms because Google makes them for other platforms. Google apps for the iPhone and Blackberry take away from the market power of Android.

All of the things listed in that article have the potential to slow Android's momentum, but I don't think any of them could stop it. A year ago today there were just as many potential obstacles in the way and yet Android continued to flourish. Heck, one year ago we were already talking about Nokia and RIM and the potential for a Verizon iPhone.
 

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Arthur, I just was illustrating how massive the Android OS has become and to show how close they are to RIM sales. Android is starting to change the marketplace and provides an option for people that do not like/want an Apple or RIM product and WM7 will never catch up due to their own lack of development. I think Android will pass RIM in the next quarter or two and will become number 2 on the list whilst Symbian will remain at number 1 (but will lose a little market share to Android). Obviously Android will not have the same explosive growth but it will still grow and by that definition it has not peaked as this thread has stated.
 

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Hilman,

First, the only thing these stats show, are the sales during quarter 2 of 2010, compared to the sales in quarter 2 of 2009. It does not mean that 17% of the current smartphones run Android OS - the majority of smartphones bought before Q2 2010 (over 99% of them non-Android) are still in use.
Second, these numbers show that the current sales of Android phones have increased to some decent share from the very small figure a year and a half ago. All kind of growth from a very small share will most likely look impressive.
Third - these numbers say that in Q2 of 2010 Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC and others combined managed to sell a total of 10,606,100 of Android smartphones, in the form of many old and new, but always the best, models, while Apple sold 8,743,000 units of the one year old iPhone 3GS. The first conclusion that can be made, is that Apple are doing much better than any other smartphone manufacturer, and that wasn't (and still isn't) their core business. Where will Android take more market share from? Certainly not Apple. Another recent poll among Verizon subscribers, the biggest seller of Android handsets, shows that 52% are willing to jump to iPhone if it's available on Verizon. Granted, not all of them are currently using Android handsets, but it doesn't look like a potential increase of the Android share will occur as a result.
The interesting stats will be for Q3 2010, which will reflect worldwide iPhone4 numbers, as well as Q4, when W7 will be released.
BTW, what do you mean by "W7 own lack of development"? If anything Microsoft seem to be very serious about this particular aspect, and the potential gaming platform integration with the XBOX360 looks more lucrative and promising than more free open source apps from the Android App store.
 

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First, the only thing these stats show, are the sales during quarter 2 of 2010, compared to the sales in quarter 2 of 2009. It does not mean that 17% of the current smartphones run Android OS - the majority of smartphones bought before Q2 2010 (over 99% of them non-Android) are still in use.
Second, these numbers show that the current sales of Android phones have increased to some decent share from the very small figure a year and a half ago. All kind of growth from a very small share will most likely look impressive.
What the numbers show is that Android has grown from a fringe OS to a big player in the market. They won't likely sustain that growth but there is a lot of momentum.

Third - these numbers say that in Q2 of 2010 Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC and others combined managed to sell a total of 10,606,100 of Android smartphones, in the form of many old and new, but always the best, models, while Apple sold 8,743,000 units of the one year old iPhone 3GS. The first conclusion that can be made, is that Apple are doing much better than any other smartphone manufacturer, and that wasn't (and still isn't) their core business. Where will Android take more market share from? Certainly not Apple.
The strength of Android is that these manufacturers will continue to put out new best models month after month. While the iPhone risks getting stale with only yearly refreshes, Android has new top models on a very regular basis. On top of that there are plenty of mid-range models for those who don't want or can't afford the latest and greatest. Android has been taking market share from everyone and there's no reason why that wouldn't continue, particularly with iPhone 4 shortages.

Another recent poll among Verizon subscribers, the biggest seller of Android handsets, shows that 52% are willing to jump to iPhone if it's available on Verizon. Granted, not all of them are currently using Android handsets, but it doesn't look like a potential increase of the Android share will occur as a result.
The interesting stats will be for Q3 2010, which will reflect worldwide iPhone4 numbers, as well as Q4, when W7 will be released.
What will interest me most is total yearly statistics, because those will reflect a full yearly cycle. However you seem to be turning this into an Android vs iPhone discussion, which wasn't the point. This is meant to be about what will stop Android. A Verizon iPhone as the major stumbling block doesn't account for markets like Europe where Android continues to sell despite wide availability of the iPhone.
 

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T-dot-o-Collin: You make a very good point about androids ability to stay fresh. The OS as we have seen keeps moving forward. Thanks to hardware that allows improvements people that started out on 1.6 are now able to run 2.1 and 2.2... The fact that the OS works on such a wide variety of models gives us alot of flexibility in what we buy. Some people just hate not having a keyboard. Some dont want a big 4"screens. Some cant afford the high end. Right now you can get what ever you want in an android phone. Small and compact-check. keyboard-check, bleeding edge power-check.

ITs almost like a mac vs a pc! without the bluescreen of death! :)
 

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First, Android hasn't come close to peaking yet. The google mobile OS will most certainly be the Next Big Thing.

Second, any writer who thinks WP7 is newsworthy simply isn't sophisticated in the mobile industry. Even epic clown Ballmer is downplaying its significance.

Third, RIM is getting tired, and shows no signs of a revolutionary turnaround. Maybe I'll change my mind when OS6 comes out for my 9700.

Fourth, putting good software like WebOS into the hands of HP (notorious for bad hardware) doesn't make for much of a threat.

Lastly, we are still months away from Verizon getting their LTE network up in any sizable way, so Android still has lots of time to grow before iPhone starts selling into that market. The only thing that might cause it to come earlier might be an SVDO version that takes some of the stink off CDMA.
 

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hehe i picked my side:

 

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The main thing I like about Android is that there are several different models to choose from. If I want a hardware keyboard, there's a device for me. If I want a large display (or maybe even a ridiculous-sized one), there's some as well. I like having options.

Of course, some analysts were saying this fragmentation is what will hinder Android, but I think otherwise.
 

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i don't think it hinders things. My wife for instance refused to get anything without a keyboard. for her it was the deal breaker, so she got an android. iphone did not have the hardware she needed. It can only help android by having fresh devices flowing through the wireless stores.
 

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Having the option of so many different phones is great for consumers and android, but it is also going to be a big problem. I am seeing this first hand with my milestone as it is not that old of a phone, but it is only going to be able to (maybe) get 2.2 and no higher, and same goes for many other phones other than the high enders. Tons of phones are going to have compatibility issues with android updates and this will be a sore spot for many people as updates are going to roll out very slowly for them or not at all. Look at Sony's xperia 10. Top of the line phone, but it is stuck at android 1.6 because sony/rogers is either having issues with 2.1 compatibility, or they just don't care.

Good for those who have compatible phones now, but what is going to happen in 6 months when new versions of the android os roll out and those with Desires and Galaxy s' can't get and update because there phone isn't powerful enough anymore.
 

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^ That's not any different that iPhone 3G having hardware limitations with iOS4. Or your 15 year old computer only being able to run Windows 95 (or linux ;) )

Seriously though, the interesting part is rewind the clock to August '09 and look at where Android was and the number of Android apps. It really didn't take off until the Motorola Droid and the heavy Verizon advertizing in November. And it's still got some legs left in it to gain market share and developer enthusiam before WM7 or HP-WebOS really hit the market.

What I don't understand is why Google doesn't charge just a nominal $5 a copy. That would be a million dollars per day which they could use to fund development and support. The answer is that Google is so big and powerful that they don't really care about $1M/day in revenue. Scary!
 
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