Apple iPhone 5 Will Cut Android Adoption in 2011: 10 Reasons Why

News Analysis: As rumors continue to swirl around the iPhone 5, it's becoming clearer that Apple's upcoming smartphone could take a bite out of Android adoption this year.

Apple's iPhone has been nothing short of an unbridled success in the mobile market. Since its launch in 2007, Apple has sold millions of smartphones to customers around the world, and several companies, like Motorola Mobility and HTC, have tried to jump on that bandwagon and generate the same kind of cash Apple has been able to tally.

In some cases, those competitors, who opted in most cases to run Google's Android platform, have been successful at achieving success in the mobile space. In other cases, they have not. But with each passing year, Apple's competitors seem to believe that with the right product, they can supplant the iPhone as the top smartphone in the market.

However, in 2011, that won't happen. When Apple releases the iPhone 5 later this year, it will likely achieve even greater heights. Perhaps most importantly, it will cut into Android adoption for the duration of the year.

Android might eventually become the top mobile operating system in the marketplace, but through 2011, Android adoption won't be as high as some think.

Here's why:

1. The possibility of a slimmer, cheaper iPhone is huge

Recent rumors suggest that Apple is considering offering a slimmer, cheaper iPhone that will offer those on a budget an opportunity to get into the smartphone game. Currently, there are several cheaper Android-based devices available to consumers. The only issue is, those cheaper Android options lack some important functions, and if Apple offers a cheaper version of the iPhone 5, Android alternatives will likely lose their commercial appeal to Apple's new product.

2. There is too much fragmentation in the Android ecosystem

The Android ecosystem is a bit of a mess right now. There are a countless number of devices that are running several different versions of Android. There are also several applications stores that are compatible with varying devices. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, will offer a more uniform experience that customers have grown accustomed to. As more people start trying out different Android devices, they might realize that such uniformity really is better.

3. There aren't enough "killer" Android smartphones

Let's face it: When one considers all the Android smartphones on the market right now, there aren't nearly as many outstanding devices as Google would like the market to believe. Motorola Mobility's Droid X and the HTC Evo 4G are among the top Android-based devices on the market. But they compete in a space that's also inundated with subpar devices, like the Motorola Bravo and the HTC Aria. Even the Nexus S isn't as appealing to customers as the Droid 2. Meanwhile, Apple keeps churning out highly sought-after products that sell extremely well. If nothing else, consumers will know later this year that opting for a device like the iPhone 5 won't be as big of a risk as choosing an Android-based smartphone that might or might not work well.

4. The rumors suggest more choice

As with any Apple product, rumors surrounding the iPhone 5 are everywhere. Some are more plausible than others. But so far, there is a single persistent rumor that makes quite a bit of sense: There will be more iPhone model options available to customers. Granted, that might only mean that Apple offers up the iPhone 5 and a slimmer, cheaper version of the smartphone, but the company might also offer the previous-generation iPhone 4 at a reduced price. After all, this strategy worked quite well with the iPhone 3GS. Later this year, consumers might be able to choose from a reduced iPhone 4, a new iPhone 5 and a cheaper iPhone alternative. With three devices on store shelves, Apple will be able to attract more customers. This could definitely cut into Android adoption.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...