Other Analysts Weigh In

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-07 Print this article Print

This deal could also help support Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney's forecast that Android will own 14 percent of the global smartphone market in 2012, surging past the iPhone, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry smartphones. Nokia's Symbian platform, which currently commands half the smartphone market, will fall to about 39 percent by then, Dulaney told Computer World.

Dulaney believes Android will chomp market share at Apple's expense on the strength of its search and cloud computing applications for consumers and businesses, as well as its ability to find itself on dozens of Web-enabled devices. By contrast, Apple's iPhone lives in a closed environment, restricting innovation.

Google stands to benefit from having a broader footprint for its search and Web services, which will carry the company's mobile advertising tools. Andy Rubin, Google's director of engineering for Android, said Google expects mobile advertising will boost Google's bottom line because such ads will be tailored products and services based on users' physical locations.

Google just launched AdSense for Mobile, which offers larger ads for high-end smartphones such as the iPhone, Palm Pre and Android gadgets.

Bernstein Research's Jeffrey Lindsay noted in a recent research note that mobile advertising could become a $2.2 billion opportunity by 2013, led by search and display ad segments.

Interestingly, AT&T and Apple aren't the only vendors Google and Verizon Wireless are threatening with their pact. Microsoft in January agreed to provide mobile search and advertising for Verizon Wireless devices. While Verizon Wireless claimed the mobile Web market isn't a zero sum game, and that its deal with Google shouldn't impact its existing partnerships, IDC's Ellison noted that Microsoft is not a major player in the U.S. consumer mobile market, and Google Docs on Verizon Wireless Android devices could peck away at Microsoft's enterprise business.

Conversely, Verizon Wireless acknowledged Oct. 6 that while Google's search engine is the default search service on Android phones, some Verizon Android smartphones could feature Bing as their default search engine.

No zero sum game, indeed. Verizon Wireless is demonstrating a willingness to wheel and deal with whoever has the hot hand. Android, it seems, is pretty hot right now.  

Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin said phone carriers and OEMs are paying a lot of attention to the next wave of connected devices, which include not only smartphones and netbooks, but e-readers and navigation devices. Golvin told eWEEK:

"The Android platform is a good one for a lot of those, potentially. It makes sense that if you were carrier X and you were looking to expand the range of devices, Android looks like a good platform to bet on, but as one of your collective platform strategy components, not as an exclusive, I'm-putting-all-of-my-eggs-in-one-basket deal."



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