5. Google's branding
The fact that Google is behind Android has been a boon for the operating system. Google is well-known around the world, and celebrated by many as one of the most trustworthy companies in the space. By attaching its logo to Android and even handsets, like the Nexus One and Nexus S, the company is able to coax more consumers to its products and those of its vendor partners. Without Google, Android wouldn't be Android.
6. The lock-in strategy
Many Android handset owners like what they find in those devices, and don't want to try out other products. That's important to Android's success
. If users tried out Android and universally decided it wasn't for them, the operating system would be a loser. But as Android has been highly successful in winning converts and partisans who are content to buy Android devices as reliable alternatives to the iPhone. That has helped Android maintain its user base to best iOS.
7. Developers are helping out
Since 2008 when Apple launched its App Store, applications have been a key component in the success or failure of any mobile operating system. And for a while, Apple's iOS had an overwhelming lead in the number of available apps. But over the last year or so, an increasing number of developers have jumped at the chance to build applications for Android. Now, the Android Market is busting at the seams with applications that deliver the same level of quality and fun that iOS programs do. Consumers, happy to see that, are taking advantage of all those applications. Along the way, they're realizing that sticking with Android isn't such a bad idea.
8. High-quality smartphones
Apple's iPhone 4 is unquestionably the best smartphone on the market right now. But there are several Android-based devices, like the Galaxy S II from Samsung and the Motorola Droid Bionic, that come close. So, for those people who don't want iOS or simply like the idea of having a bigger display, these Android devices provide a compelling alternative. The iPhone might be the best, but there are Android devices that are still excellent.
9. Microsoft's troubles
Apple wants to maintain exclusivity on its OS, while Google wants to share it with any and all vendors. Microsoft also follows that strategy
. But over the last couple years, that company's operating systems, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7, have fallen short. Vendors, trying to generate the most revenue off their investments, have opted to stick with Android, rather than chance it with Windows Phone 7. If Microsoft's mobile strategy was improved, the software giant could hurt Android adoption. But it's not improved, and Google is laughing all the way to the bank.
10. Continuous improvement
Android falls short in several ways when compared with iOS. On the tablet, especially, Honeycomb has some work cut out for it to even come close to matching iOS 4. But over the past few years, Android has been improved quite dramatically. In fact, those who remember the first version of Android with all its bugs and odd quirks are shocked by how far the OS has come in such a short time. Sure, it might not be iOS, but if Google keeps up this pace of development, it might not be long before Android finally reaches the same level of quality as iOS. In the meantime, Android users are content to wait until that happens.
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