Android 2.2 Will Decide Google's Mobile Success: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-09-13

Android 2.2 Will Decide Google's Mobile Success: 10 Reasons Why

Android 2.2 is now running on 28.7 percent of all Android-based smartphones, according to recent market estimates. About 70 percent of all Android-based devices are now running Android version 2.1 or higher. For now, that's quite good news for Google. It means that consumers are buying the new devices, and they're becoming more likely to want the latest version of the company's mobile operating system. 

But the pressure on Google to succeed in this critical technology sector is only going to increase. It has gone from being a small mobile competitor to a leader in the space. The mobile-OS market crown is now Google's to lose. Because of that, it's becoming increasingly clear just how important Android 2.2 really is. After all, it's the OS that Google and its vendors are pushing; it gets most of the attention. Perhaps most important of all: It's iOS 4's strongest competitor. 

Google might be doing well now, but Android 2.2 could very well decide the company's mobile fate.

 Here's why: 

1. The phones are running it 

The top Android-based smartphones either run Android 2.2 or are getting the operating system very shortly. Currently, the HTC Droid Incredible boasts Android 2.2. So does the Motorola Droid 2. Later this month, owners of the Motorola Droid X will get the operating system. The three devices are arguably the most important to the future success of Android OS. If consumers don't like the new OS on those devices, there could be trouble ahead. 

2. It's the tablet OS 

Android 2.2 is perfect for tablets. It offers far more functionality than does the Android 1.6 version currently running in the Dell Streak. That's precisely why so many new Android-based tablets will be running Android 2.2. But as consumers start buying those tablets, they had better like what they find. If they don't, and they find that Android 2.2 doesn't match up to the iPad's iOS 4 version, Google could have some trouble becoming the dominant mobile player so many expect it to be. 

3. It's all the talk 

The issue with Android 2.2 is that it's heavily hyped. Any time people go online or go out shopping for a new Android-based mobile device they ask whether or not the product they are interested in runs Android 2.2. It has become so bad that any device that doesn't run Google's latest OS version is a hobbled alternative. That kind of hype can be great when software works well. But if the majority of the Android marketplace decides the operating system is not right for them, that hype will come back to haunt Google. 

4. iOS 4 is looking better and better 

Android 2.2 is directly competing against iOS 4. The only issue, most would agree, is whether or not Apple's iPhone alternative, which boasts outstanding multitasking and a nice design, could be the better option. For now, that hasn't hurt Google all that much. But if Apple can continue to make iterative improvements to iOS, Google will need to respond with something valuable on its own beyond Android 2.2.

Android 2.2s Role in Googles Success


5. It will transition customers to Android 3.0 

Android 2.2 will eventually give way to Android 3.0. When that happens, Google will want to make sure that consumers are excited to see what the next version of the mobile OS will offer. That can only happen if Android 2.2 is well-liked by those customers. Android 2.2 is certainly not the last mobile OS version Google will release. But it will be the gateway to an entirely new version of the software. And its success will have a direct impact on the success of Android 3.0. 

6. Consumers are being pushed in that direction 

As HTC Droid Incredible owners know, more and more vendors are trying to get Android 2.2 to their customers. This is, in part, because it's a better operating system than is Android 2.1. But it's also because it's the next logical step for Android customers. However, when users are pushed in a direction, they expect a certain level of value. It will be interesting to see if the majority of Android customers (who currently aren't running Android 2.2) will see value in Google's latest OS when they are offered it. 

7. The old stuff doesn't work 

Android 1.5 and Android 1.6 might have been fine at one time, but, today, they are hobbled operating systems that deliver little value to customers. And the longer they sit on a user's phone, the harder it will be for Google to get folks to move to Android 2.2. It's just as important for customers to get to Android 2.2 as it is for them to like it. 

8. It's the go-to OS for future devices 

Going forward, several tablets and smartphones running Android 2.2 will be making their way to the market. As Google transitions its customer base to its new operating system, those folks will decide if they really like it or not. If they do, they will tell friends, who might be more likely to pick up one of those new devices. But if they're not satisfied, they might tell others to opt for something else. Google's success today with Android 2.2 will determine the success of future Android-based phones running the software version. 

9. BlackBerry OS 6 is just fine for companies 

Android 2.2 is being billed as the most corporate-friendly version of Android OS in years. That might be true. But it still has a long way to go if Google wants to see it take on the BlackBerry in the enterprise. However, that doesn't mean that the corporate world isn't important. In fact, it could help Android become even more successful. Google needs to start marketing Android 2.2 to the enterprise. It won't help it beat the BlackBerry, but it should help sales considerably. 

10. Sales will dictate success 

Android 2.2 smartphone sales will determine the future success of Google's mobile operating system. Although some folks are excited about Google beating Apple, Android 2.2 has yet to get into the hands of the vast majority of current customers. Once that happens, the industry will get a better understanding of what consumers like and don't like. Then device sales will either increase as consumers find value in the OS, or they will decrease, as consumers find issues with it. In the end, hardware sales will determine the success or failure of Android. And, for now, Android 2.2 will be the key to whether or not consumers choose an Android vendor's product or something else-like something from Apple. 

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