Google Making Inroads in Smartphones

Google is gaining momentum in the smartphone market, as Taiwan handset maker HTC says it will introduce three new Android-based phones this year.

It is also rolling out a second version of the G1 in the second quarter.

This on top of news earlier this year that Motorola will consolidate its handset business around two operating systems, principally Android.

ZDNet's Jason Hiner makes a good general observation about the smartphone market--that there isn't room for six operating systems and that a shake-out is coming.

But what I don't follow is his conclusion that Android and Windows Mobile will be losers in this battle. The numbers he shows actually belie that assumption, if you look at them in context. G1 has been around for less than a year, and it already matches the Apple OS (i.e., iPhone).

If you want to hypothesize that there will be only three operating systems left standing in the end, why would you bet against the one that has the biggest company in the world behind it?

And I wouldn't bet against Windows either, given the relatively high marks Windows 6.5 received and the fact that LG seems committed to the OS.

I think it's obvious that Symbian is in, thanks to support from Nokia.

The most obvious big loser is Research In Motion. Sure, its technology kicks ass and it enjoys a loyal following. But that won't stop someone from buying it out, appropriating its technology and breaking the hearts of its customers. It's never stopped anyone before.