Handset-Maker Support, Marketing Put Android on Top

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-02-01 Print this article Print

5. Microsoft's decline has helped.

One of the key components in Google's rise in the smartphone OS market has been Microsoft's decline. Like Google, Microsoft offers vendors its operating system and relies on handset makers to sell the hardware. However, Microsoft took too long to get Windows Phone 7 on store shelves, and now, its market share is slipping as vendors look elsewhere to turn profits. In fact, year-over-year smartphone shipments were down 20.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Google's growth, on the other hand, was 615 percent.

6. The marketing has been outstanding.

Marketing for Android-based devices has been outstanding. In fact, Motorola has arguably done the best job at it, using its Droid branding to improve sales of its devices and other products that are running Google's platform. Like Apple, Motorola seems to understand how to market products and those efforts have helped it grow sales. The same can be said for Google. Its own advertising ideas have helped bring Android to the public consciousness. Now its efforts are paying off in a big way.

7. Nokia is lost.

Nokia's Symbian platform is far behind the competition when it comes to what consumers are looking for. Google has been able to capitalize on that issue. Rather than follow Nokia's lead, Google instead decided to try its luck with a hybrid of Apple's and Microsoft's model, delivering a next-gen platform to handset makers, rather than only creating its own handsets. The strategy worked. And in the process, Google made Nokia's platform look obsolete.

8. Blame it on Samsung, Motorola and HTC.

Much of the success of Android platform can be attributed to Google's efforts, but it's also worth noting that Samsung, Motorola and HTC have been integral to the operating system's success, as well. In fact, it's arguable whether Android could have been such a success without help from those companies. Not only have they delivered outstanding smartphones, but they have aided Google in making its operating system more popular.

9. Google's brand

After consumers have a chance to evaluate products and see the marketing surrounding them, they need to examine the company behind those offerings. Are they trustworthy? Do they have a strong track record of delivering worthwhile products? Consumers are constantly concerned with these things. Luckily for Google, its brand recognition and reputation are outstanding. Consumers trust the search giant, and they typically believe that it will deliver an experience that they will enjoy. It's a benefit that has helped Google's operating system succeed beyond some critics' expectations.

10. It left the enterprise to RIM.

One of Google's smartest movies with Android is that the company allowed Research In Motion to continue dominating the enterprise. As successful as RIM is, Google realized that there was more to be achieved by targeting consumers first and worrying about the enterprise second. Now, it can turn its attention to the corporate world. But by focusing first on consumers, Google helped cement its position as a dominant force in the mobile OS space. With the right strategy, Google should be able to match RIM in the enterprise, as well. 

Editor's note: The headline in this article was changed to reflect that the Android operating system has overtaken Symbian, not Nokia, as the top mobile OS in the world.   

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, 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 http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel