Android's Surging Popularity: 10 Factors Driving Its Growth

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-12-09

Android's Surging Popularity: 10 Factors Driving Its Growth

Google's Android platform cannot be called anything other than a downright success, as the operating system is running on some of the most popular devices in the world. And, according to the latest reports from Google, 300,000 Android devices are being activated every single day. The result is an operating system that is easily outpacing Apple's iOS and could eventually go on to become the world's top mobile OS. 

Of course, Android's success didn't come overnight. And there were some missteps along the way that held the platform back from being this popular from the start. But Android has caught its stride now, and the chances of the platform suddenly losing its standing as the go-to OS in the smartphone space are becoming slimmer by the day. Simply put, Android is an unbridled success

And here's why: 

1. Google 

Although Apple supporters might not want to hear it, Google is every bit as powerful in the mobile software space as their beloved company. Consumers look to Google to deliver better software than most other providers. And they believe that the company can come through for them. So far, at least when it comes to the latest versions of Android, Google has done just that. 

2. Android 2.2 

Android 2.2 has proved quite convincingly that Google can deliver an effective software platform to consumers and it knows what it takes to be successful. Android 2.2 is easily the best version of the mobile OS, and vendors are chomping at the bit to get the software on their devices. Consumers are keen on using it as well, thanks to several of its new features, including Flash 10.1. Simply put, Android 2.2 has proved to be the best competitor to iOS yet. 

3. HTC 

If there is any vendor that can be most closely associated with the success of Android, it's HTC. Not only has the phone maker been a key supporter of the mobile OS from the beginning, but it continues to offer devices that are compelling to consumers. HTC has yet to lose sight of the value of Android, and it's a key reason why the mobile OS is as popular as it is today. 

4. Motorola 

If HTC contributed most to Android's success, Motorola is a close second. The company's Droid devices, starting with the Motorola Droid and continuing on with the Droid 2 and Droid X, have been the best competitors yet to the iPhone 4. The company's Droid Pro is arguably the best enterprise-focused Android device on the market. Combine all that, and Android's success can be attributed in large part to the popularity of Motorola products. 

Developer Support Was Decisive


5. Its community 

Google has built a huge community around its Android platform that has the same level of intensity that Apple enjoys with its own fan base. Although it might not be pleasant to those who don't support Android, it's a key factor in the success of Google's mobile OS. With such a rabid fan base to lean on, Google can count on those folks, who are likely the go-to tech people in their respective social circles, to push Android over all other platforms. It has worked for Apple for years. And now, it's working for Google. 

6. Developers 

Android would have been dead on arrival if Google wasn't able to attract developers to its platform. But thanks to the success of Android-based devices and the realization that there is money to be made in the Android Market, developers are fully supporting the platform. They're enriching the experience of using Android. It's certainly a page out of Apple's book, but it's one that definitely works. 

7. Carrier support 

One of the main reasons why Android has been selling so well is that it's readily available no matter where consumers go. Regardless of which carrier network a user subscribes to, they can find at least one viable, compatible Android phone. That's a key aspect of Android's success. If devices weren't readily available, consumers would opt for other devices. But they are readily available, and Android is benefiting heavily from that. 

8. Apple's AT&T-based iPhone 

Apple's iPhone is undoubtedly the biggest competitor to Android-based devices. And although it's one of the most coveted products on the market, the fact that it's available exclusively to AT&T customers is playing into Google's favor. After all, millions of people around the United States don't want to switch to AT&T. And although they might want the iPhone, they can't have it. That typically pushes them to Android. 

9. Touch functionality 

Apple might have the best touch-screen functionality of any mobile OS provider, but that doesn't mean that the company is alone in that space. Quite the contrary, Android devices feature outstanding touch functionality that in some cases come close to (but not entirely) matching Apple's iPhone offering. That's an important consideration. And it's something that undoubtedly affects buying decisions. 

10. Dedication 

Google didn't simply release Android and wait to see what would happen. The company spent time trying to break into the mobile market, while cultivating relationships with key third parties. The plan worked. And in the process, it proved that Apple wasn't the only company that could pull off a next-gen product in the mobile market.

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