updated 02:55 pm EDT, Thu October 9, 2008
Android could signal shift
Google's Android platform could be the cause of a major concept shift in the smartphone market, not because subscribers call for features, but because wireless operators and phone makers see the value of standard platforms, argues ABI Research. The firm predicts that the success of Android rests with the ability to first convince phone builders that they need to replace the operating systems shipping in today's phones, and second, convince wireless operators that having numerous phones in a line-up, with each running a standardized operating system, is the best business model. For wireless carriers, the positive side of a standard operating system is simplified technical support and marketing.
With the smartphone market inching its way toward standardization, but accounting for only 14 percent of the overall cellphone market, a large success for Android could be the push the market needs for major change, claims ABI Research director Kevin Burden.
Android was developed through the Open Handset Alliance, with over 30 technology and mobile companies working to develop the underlying technology, which is being marketed as the first complete, open and free mobile platform. The first phone to use the technology will be the G1, a collaboration between HTC and T-Mobile.