Will Google's Android Be the Tipping Point for Smart Phones?
ABI Research analyst Kevin Burden says smart phones such as the T-Mobile G1 that are based on Google's Android operating system for mobile and wireless devices could push smart phones into standardization. Perhaps, but Apple's iPhone will continue to be a big seller even as Android, Symbian, RIM and other mobile operating systems get their share of the market. Will customers recognize a standard when they see one? I don't believe so, which makes the standardization moot unless the carriers embrace it.ABI Research analyst Kevin Burden in a new research note said he wondered whether Google's Android mobile operating system will be the tipping point for smart phones.
Burden's question comes just days after T-Mobile said it had tripled its order for the G1 smart phone, the first device based on Android. Burden wrote:
If Android is to become the ubiquitous mobile phone platform that Google and the Open Handset Alliance hope it will be, it will be because operators and handset OEMs recognize the value to their own business models of using standard platforms, not because wireless subscribers clamor for feature-rich phones, much less an Android-based phone.
Burden said because only 14 percent of the world's handsets are smart phones, Google needs to convince handset manufacturers to replace the operating systems that currently power the majority of mobile phones.