For a while now we got to see the huge improvements Android has been releasing to us everyday users and the great new devices coming to this platform have assured ever increasing figures for the platform. There have been rumors according to which the Android platform will be losing some ground in 2011, mostly because of Verizon, probably the carrier which pushed the largest amounts of money into marketing Android smartphones in the US, might add the iPhone as well to its list of products, thus decreasing the sale of Android devices on the network.
Research firm Canalys, shows that the Android platform will not just simply grow in sales, but double the figures of its competitors, like the iOS or Blackberry OS within this year. Bold statement by the company, but according to them, despite the fact that fragmentation is large across the platform as a whole, this lead to a lot of diversity as users could get mid-range devices with great specs for a lot less than the competition was charging. Also as the Android OS is becoming more and more stable, and software updates have increasingly beneficial effects on smartphone performances, this fragmentation will slowly fade away as well. This will lead to a much more solid look to the segment represented by your Android smartphone.
The most important aspect when considering the growth predicted by the research firm Canalys, is the fact that Google powered smartphones managed to reach in Q3 of 2010, 25 percent of the global market, with over 20 million shipments of Android smartphones worldwide. Still when taking a look at the fragmentation the analyst firm was talking about, it’s easy to note that since Android OS’s launch in September 2008, counting Gingerbread, we have 8 versions already of the operating system. This fast pace Google is leading the smartphone industry by, has assured users that they will constantly get updates to their devices, giving them more and more features, while manufacturers are racing to make the quickest and the “smartest” (see what I did there) device out.
Surely this will slowly calm down with time, and once that will happen a large part of the fragmentation will dissipate, but we must consider that unlike the iOS platform, Android is spanning across a huge number of manufacturers and specifications. By setting new standards for newer versions of the operating system, Google is trying to create classes within Android. Considering statistics taken from carriers, Android smartphone sales have increased by 1000 percent within the first 3 quarters of 2010 when compared to the same time period in 2009.
Android OS has been beneficial to the establishment of Samsung and HTC as major manufacturers on the smartphone market, each of the two giants offering some great devices over the past few months, but the OS has helped out newer manufacturers to enter the market. No matter if we are talking about smartphones or tablets, new companies in this field, like Acer, still manage to get a piece of the action. The race between manufacturers has been truly phenomenal, as Acer showed us a while back their plans for a 4.8 inch Android phone while LG was the first to put a dual-core processor out on the market with their South Korean launched smartphone. Whatever the future holds, all things are pointing towards a steady growth of the market, a solid evolution which will bring us great new devices and huge improvements on the operating system itself. Until next time, I’ll be doing graphs to see if my spelling improved just as quickly as Android sold phones – I doubt it.1