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Who will be the Winner?
The iPhone, as a phone is probably the best
right now but that should change quicker than
you can and here's 10 good reasons why we
think Android, as a platform, will displace
Apple's iPhone by the end of 2010.
Reason 1: Telecoms Secretly Dislike Apple
• Apple has played hard balls with telecoms giants ever since the
iPhone was released. Its stubbornness (some will say arrogance) is
what potential Chinese customers to miss out on the iPhone v1.0
• Google on the contrary will almost certainly sweeten the pill with
the five/six major telecom companies worldwide by offering a slice
of the overall advertising revenues, through a potential Adsense
solution for telecom companies.
• This could add to several hundred of millions of pounds of fresh
revenue per annum and it will offer a new path for unexplored
markets with huge mobile phone audiences (Brazil, China, India,
Nigeria etc). The other bonus cookies is that Android will make
mobile Internet almost compulsory bringing in some more
Reason 2: Google to have more marketing clout
• Like Microsoft with Windows, Google will
almost certainly depend on phone
manufacturers and mobile phone networks to
evangelise the Android platform. This will not
only give Google a headstart compared to
Apple but it also means that Google will be
able to dedicate more financial and human
resources to developing applications and
improving the backend.
Reason 3: Android will have more Hardware
• Although Android is currently marketed as a Handset
solution, nothing will/should prevent Google (and its
partners) from thinking outside the box and planning
for other non‐handset devices. Just like Linux and
Windows CE, Android has the opportunity to spread its
wings across areas as varied as Set top Boxes, Game
Consoles, Embedded computers, Netbooks,
• You name it, Android can cover it. As for Apple... Well,
the iPhone is a phone and it can't spill on other
hardware segments. Apple has a tricky time trying to
convince people to choose the iPod touch when the
iPhone offers so much more.
Reason 4: There will be an Android Priced for
• Because Google gives manufacturers freedom to
design, one can expect Android to appear on
cheap and expensive smartphones to cater for all
budgets. Google will not charge a penny for the
license and will allow extreme customisations as
• As for the iPhone, well, unless Apple makes a
major concession on price ‐ which is highly
unlikely ‐ its phone will still remain an object of
Reason 5: Developers will love Android
• Google allows industry players to add proprietary functionality to
their products without having to contribute anything back to the
platform since Android uses Apache license ‐ which doesn't have a
copyleft clause ‐ rather than GPL. Google has also pledged to build a
marketplace for developer based on Apple's model.
• Unlike the Apps store though, this one will be an open content
distribution system and will give all the revenues to the developers.
In contrast Apple keeps 30 percent of all revenues for itself.
• Google is also planning on using community based moderation to
weed out suspicious/dodgy software rather than Apple often
controversial judgmental system. It has removed Podcaster from
the App store without any reasons.
Reason 6: Android Thrives On Open‐ness
• Google has been criticised because it was not as forthcoming as one
could expect with the developer community during the
development phase of the Android platform. Android SDKs are
partly proprietary and closed source. But that's way better than the
rest of the mainstream mobile phone platforms (with the exception
of OpenMoko or LiMo).
• iPhone's platform is off limits and Microsoft allows very limited
interaction with its platform. At least one can reverse engineer
Android. As for the hardware side, well, expect Google to be as
open as it can be, without any real restrictions on what
manufacturers can do.
• Android also uses Davlik, a Java layer brought in by Google to
improve compatibility which makes it hardware agnostic and opens
a wide range of possibilities
Reason 7: Apple has agenda/set dates
• Apple generally releases iPhone every year; the iPhone v1
was launched in June 2007 and the 3G version was released
in July this year. Obviously, Apple has to keep significant
gaps between releases to plan ahead for further product
• Google on the other hand does not have a set agenda and
this means that you can expect to see cutting edge
technology in Android based phones much faster. Product
launches will happen much more frequently than on the
iPhone and the competitive landscape of the mobile
market means that manufacturers will trim down the "time
to market" of new technologies to a minimum.
Reason 8: Android is Build for the Net
• Because Google is behind Android, you can
expect the platform to have internet access at its
core and while Apple pushes the iPhone as a
"Jack of all trade" that does phoning on the side
Google partners will flog their Android
smartphones as the mobile internet devices.
Make no mistake, the fact that the HTC Dream G1
smartphone has a keyboard and a touch screen
clearly points in that direction.
Reason 9: No reliance on related product
• Apple has to care about the iPhone not killing the iPod
touch altogether and has to make sure that iTunes is
properly tied in; plus there's the Mac Book and the rest
of the iPod range.
• Google does not have any hardware products to care
about (except perhaps Google Mini but that's a
different ballpark). Whether Android ends up in a
phone, laptop, desktop, media server, a MP3 player or
as a platform for a multimedia marketplace, Google
shouldn't really care as long as the devices have access
to the internet and Google's products/ads are
Reason 10: Deeper integration
• Although Google will provide developers with full
freedom with regards to Android development, it
will also present manufacturers with a template,
a foundation that uses off the shelf, easily
available, widely acceptable products. GTalk,
Gmail, Youtube, Google Apps, Google Gears and
Android are some of the products that Google is
set to offer on Android from the onset. gOS
provides with a good indication of what a fully
fledged, mature Android platform might look like.
• We reckon that it is the optimum amount of
time (13 months) before Android really spread
its wings. Unless Apple decides otherwise, we
will be greeted with one more iPhone v3 with
marginal improvements on v2 while Google
will hopefully have more than one hundred
products based on Android.
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