Lifestyle Gadget enthusiasts are whispering to one another the prospects of Google Android – a new OS that looks to be a strong contender against Apple’s iPhone. For years, Apple has had very little competition. The iPhone appeared to have dominated the mobile community, and to date, it’s still the most popular mobile gadget around.
One of the main reasons why the iPhone is so popular is because Apple allows third-party developers to develop applications for the iPhone. The applications are then distributed through Apple’s website. This is a highly strategic business move adopted by Apple and one that has proven to work very well.
This concept is not new. Other nonmobile platforms have adopted a similar concept, and have achieved great success as well. For example, both MySpace and Facebook, 2 immensely popular social community sites, have launched their own developer platform. Like the iPhone, developers can develop third party applications on these platforms.
The trend is rather obvious – user generated application based on an open concept is in. The iPhone’s success didn’t go unnoticed. Google is a strong player looking to compete in this sphere.
Recently, lots of buzzes have been generated on Google Android – a brand new mobile OS. The key difference between Google Android and the iPhone OS is that the Android is an open OS. That means the OS can be used on any phone, not just the iPhone. By limiting the OS to the iPhone, Apple had isolated the rest of the phone manufacturers.
For years now, Apple had the upper hand. They can charge whatever price they wish to charge, and fans will still pay because they can’t get a similar system anywhere else. Google Android is looking to change all that. By leveling the playing field, consumers now have more choices. For sure, the prices for mobile gadgets (i.e. smartphones), will plummet once the Android gets adopted by other smartphone manufacturers. Already, major brand names like HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson are working closely with the Open Handset Alliance (the company now running Google Android) to realize this goal.
Being such a new technology, and with limited developers, enthusiasts will have to bear with a great number of useless mobile apps that will be released in the first few years. This is a common trend because developers are mostly experimenting with the system to see what works and what doesn’t.
As the OS matures, and more and more developers jump on the bandwagon to release applications, there will be more and more useful applications. Consumers may then enjoy the full benefits of having an open mobile OS.
T-Mobile’s G1, based on Google Android, is already enjoying a fair amount of success. For sure, a G2 looks set to be launched in the near future. Lenovo is also looking for a piece of the pie with its very own Lenovo oPhone. Mobile enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to.