Android phones rule the marketplace. According to comScore, as of February 2011, 33 percent of Smartphones subscribers own an Android phone. This is compared to 28.9 percent market share for Blackberry and 25.2 percent for iPhone. I am not sure what the numbers were after the February release of Verizon’s iPhone, but the Android is definitely making headway in the market place.
Google needs to stay on top. That being said, there are some challenges to being the top selling Smartphone OS. As with all markets, once you are on top, you cannot sit back and rest. Google is facing some tough challenges. In order to stay on top, Google will need to address these issues. According to an article written by Jared Newman, PCWorld, there are 5 main challenges that the Android system needs to solve.
Fragmentation: Android phones are shipping with outdated software. Even the newest phones ship with a version of Android OS that became outdated 4 months ago. Phone makers and wireless carriers are slow to include Google’s updates with their own software updates. This is frustrating to say the least. I remember when I got my Droid X and it took months to get the Android OS update so that I could have Adobe Flash.
Non-fragmentation Clause: It is rumored that Google is forcing phone makers to sign a non-fragmentation clause. This means that phone makers can’t differentiate their handsets with software overlays. In addition, wireless carriers won’t be able to load up the phones with what Jared Newman calls “crapware.” Newman maintains this is a risky move for Google, as other Smartphone OS’s may be friendlier, like Windows Phone 7.
Malware Issues: With more and more Android apps on the market, the threat of malware is increasing. Google promises it is addressing this issue. We’ll have to wait and see. Apple has higher restrictions for their iPhone app marketplace, so perhaps Google needs to get tougher.
More Android Apps: The Android Market is certainly trying to catch the iPhone market, but so far the revenue for Android apps is lagging behind. According to a report by IHS Screen Digest, the iPhone App Store accounts for 82.7 percent of app sales revenue, compared to 4.7 percent for Android.
Smoother User Interface: There is no question that the iPhone interface is slicker. Android needs to come to the party. For example, just tapping the top of the screen to return to the top of a Web page makes iOS easier to use for web browsing. Android could definitely use a little improvement on their user interface.
All-in-all, the Android OS is still gaining on the iPhone. With more and more Android Smartphones being released in 2011, Google hopes to dominate the Smartphone market. I like the Google cloud integration with the Android phones. Using Google Docs at our company, the interface with my Droid X is convenient. Apple is releasing the iPhone 5 later this year. The Smartphone war is still alive and well! Which side will you be on, iPhone or Android?
Mobile Maiden, a writer for CellPlaza.org, shares the latest and greatest information in mobile smartphone technology. CellPlaza.org is provided by batteries4less.com, the leading online retailer of cordless phone batteries, cell phone batteries, camera replacement batteries, HTC Droid Incredible Battery, chargers and mobile accessories.