Google's Android mobile operating system platform has outsold the iPhone in the first quarter of 2010, according to NPD. Those figures were helped by HTC's Incredible, as well as the platform's availability on several different carriers.
Regardless, the figures speak for themselves. And although Android is still far behind the iPhone in terms of overall market share, it might only be a matter of time before the search giant's platform starts moving toward a dominant share of the mobile OS market.
Of course, Apple can't be happy to hear that. The iPhone maker has been soaring in the mobile market for years. As other devices have come and gone, it has been the iPhone that has enjoyed the staying power that the competition could only hope for.
But that is changing. The market is starting to realize that Android really is a viable alternative to Apple's smartphone. Google is quickly realizing that if it can stay the course and keep appealing to vendors, carriers and consumers, it will be only a matter of time before its overall market share trumps Apple's.
Believe it or not, Android is well on its way to dominating the mobile market. Here's why:
1. The momentum is shifting
Six months ago, the very idea that Android would be able to dominate the mobile market was ludicrous to most analysts. Google's platform was still trying to gain ground in a space where both Apple and RIM were strongly entrenched. But with the help of vendors and carriers, Google has been able to make its mark. And the momentum that was once decidedly in Apple's favor has slowly shifted to Google. Going forward, that momentum will only grow as more consumers realize that if they don't want to be on AT&T's network, going with an Android-based phone on another carrier's service isn't such a bad idea.
2. Carriers believe in Android
When Google's open-source platform first launched, it was met with some skepticism among carriers. They didn't know if it was another in a long line of operating systems that would attempt to be an iPhone OS knockoff or if it really would be different. During the first quarter of 2010, they got their answer. Android is here to stay. And it's quickly revealing itself as the most viable alternative to iPhone OS. That means everything to carriers like Verizon Wireless and Sprint. They know that they can't have the iPhone, so they will do everything they can to promote its next-best alternative. That should only help Android's market share.
3. Consumers are moving to Android
Thanks to those promotions and the effort Google and its partners have put into the software, consumers are finally starting to warm up to Android. Arguably, the first big breakthrough Android-based phone was Motorola's Droid. But now that the Nexus One and Droid Incredible are on sale, consumers have many more options available to them, further bolstering Android sales. That doesn't necessarily mean that a single Android-based device will be able to beat the iPhone, but it does mean that the overall market is warming to Android. The combined Android sales should easily outpace the iPhone's going forward.
4. It's Google, remember?
Google might not be developing the smartphones, but we can't forget that it's the brains behind the entire Android operation. That means something to consumers. If any company can compete with Apple in the mobile space and potentially give Steve Jobs a run for his money, it's Google. It has the same track record as Apple, enjoys a similar standing in the market and is generally beloved by the mainstream. Google has the name recognition and the respect it needs to dominate the mobile market.