Android Could Overtake Nokia in 2011

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2010-11-10 Print this article Print


When one considers the global impact of this scenario, it's easy to see that it is a huge coup for Android. Many smartphone users in the U.S. are not primarily motivated by price, but, in parts of the world that aren't as affluent, a smartphone for the masses can make a huge difference in commerce and access to knowledge-something that the iPhone and its base of elite users will never know. 

Because of Verizon Wireless's broad reach in the U.S. and T-Mobile's global reach, low-priced Android smartphones are more than just an interesting idea for Christmas. Devices such as these can transform how business is done everywhere. 

Cell phones have already been a major business influence beyond the confines of the U.S. and Western Europe-from allowing market pricing for fishermen as they bring in their day's catch to providing communications for small businesses that previously depended on foot traffic. Imagine now how a truly low-cost smartphone might further transform such businesses. 

None of this is to suggest that the iPhone and its high-priced competition are the wrong choice for companies; it's just that it's not the right choice for everyone. As new access to information and services using smartphones becomes wide spread, it will change lives in many ways, from providing such routine information as local bus arrival times to the ability to search for a merchant that handles the products you are in need of. These capabilities are already available to most of the smartphone market, but, until now, many people have been frozen out of that market. Not anymore. 

So, how does all this account for Android blowing past iOS devices this year, and Nokia perhaps next year? It's fairly obvious. Once you open up a new, very large market, and create the resulting demand, you're going to sell a lot of smartphones.  

Nokia has had the edge in global markets for a long time, mainly because it sells a lot of inexpensive phones everywhere in the world. But its smartphones aren't particularly cheap. These new Android phones are very inexpensive and they will no doubt satisfy what is sure to be a huge, unsatisfied, demand for such devices. Apple doesn't stand a chance here, unless it finds a way to be something besides the phone for the elite. There's a great big world out there ready to be connected, and these low-cost smartphones might just be the way to do it.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

Submit a Comment

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

Rocket Fuel