Android Winning Carrier, Consumer Allies

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-17 Print this article Print

5. Google understands the consumer

Whether or not companies like Microsoft, Research In Motion and Palm really understand the consumer is up for debate. Their smartphones haven't been able to capture the kind of market appeal that Apple's has. But Google is right there with Apple as a company that fully understands the desires of the consumer. It "gets" consumers. Nowhere is that more evident than in the design and functionality of Android. The platform is simple, but useful. It's a fine alternative to the iPhone.

6. What else is there?

Android's rise in the mobile market might have much to do with Google's strategy, but the competition also contributes. Aside from the iPhone, there simply isn't another platform that can compete on any level with Android. Palm's software is subpar. Microsoft's Windows Mobile is still an also-ran. Even RIM's touch software doesn't compare. At this point, only Apple or Google are providing viable solutions.

7. Developers aren't happy with Apple

Apple's application-approval process is abysmal. Several big developers have had their apps rejected, causing them to rail against Apple and its procedures. It has also contributed to some developers moving to other platforms, including Android, to make their software available to users. The only thing stopping those developers was the size of Android's installed base. With the success of Droid and the promise of far more Android phones to come, those issues with Apple could push many more developers to Android, making Google's platform even more compelling.

8. Open source is essential

The major difference between the iPhone and Android software is open source. Google allows vendors and third parties to modify Android as they wish to create a unique alternative to the many other Android-based devices on the market. Apple, on the other hand, offers a closed platform that only it modifies. This might seem rather inconsequential, but there are several benefits to open source, including the possibility of better security, more robust offerings from developers with fresh ideas and a faster refresh cycle. It will help Google in the future.

9. Google projects brand appeal

Everyone knows Apple. But few people know whether or not Samsung or LG can provide a viable mobile experience. They don't even know if RIM can take on Apple in the cell phone space. But Google, like Apple, is a trusted household name. By attaching its brand to Android, Google has a leg up on the competition. Consumers know which company built the software they're using. They know they can trust it. That matters.

10. The carriers want competition

Google's growth in the mobile market hasn't all been its own doing. Some of its success can be attributed to Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile. Those two carriers were snubbed by Apple and the iPhone. They needed a device to get behind to make it clear that there was an alternative to the iPhone on the market. They found that in Android phones. In the process, they are marketing Android-based devices to capitalize on the touch-screen craze. It's working. And it's helping Google soar in the mobile space.

Watch out for Android. It's quickly becoming a major force in the mobile market.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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