Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Has Google Already Lost The Smartphone Wars?
Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:49 PM
I recently ran across an interesting article written by Sascha Segan from PCMag.com asking an interesting question, "Has Android Already Failed?" Personally, like Steve Mueller from Mobility Site, I feel it is way too early to write the Android platform off. Let's face it, when Google and HTC teamed up to release the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) the handset wasn't really built around the needs of the average consumer. Sure the HTC Dream is a great little handset on its own, but you would have to be blind to not see that this device was built for the sole purpose of having development hardware on the market for individuals interested in the platform as a whole. It is, after all, a dream device for the open source junkie in your life. You can build almost anything you want for it or install any of the various homebrew Android operating systems out there in the digital realm that are ready and waiting to be flashed to the handset.
What annoys me about these articles however is just the assumption that Android is a failure because it has sold so few handsets over the course of its first six months on the market. I personally consider selling 1 million handsets a success and I seem to remember all the Windows Mobile fanboys out there, myself included, shouting from the rooftops when the HTC Touch Diamond sold its first million handsets.
There are other points in these articles that bother me as well such as assuming Android is a failure because everyone has announced a handsets to be released on the platform and only HTC has produced one at this moment in time. Handsets take device manufacturers a while to build. HTC didn't build the Dream in only one day and I bet their second Android handset, the HTC Magic, was in development either during the development of the Dream or shortly after its release. New Android handsets will come and when they do I would not be surprised to see them come in bulk from different carriers and ODMs at once and chances are non of them are going to show up before Google officially releases, what everyone considers, to be the first consumer ready version of the operating system - Android 1.5. That is just how the mobile game goes and we see it happen all the time with Windows Mobile handsets.
All of that above though is just speculation and opinion, just like the article that triggered this response, so as to not flood the Interwebs with even more speculation and opinion based stories, here are the reasons as to why I think Android is a sleeper success story that should have Microsoft, Apple, and Palm shaking in their boots, if not paying really close attention to the next upcoming 6 to 12 months.