The Apple/Google relationship has been become increasingly sour recently. The latest manifestation of this seems to be the censorship of the word ‘Android’ in apps in the iphone appstore. According to a report in Mobile Crunch, one developer had a reference to their entry into the Android awards removed from their appstore review.
Apple has previously censored words on the grounds of profanity, but have been largely ridiculed for removing ‘boobs’, ‘booty’ and ‘piss’ from apps such as dictionaries. The censoring of other brands appears to be a new step for Apple.
A report by market research firm points to Google’s Android taking second slot behind Symbian (used widely by Nokia). Whilst Symbian currently holds the top OS slot, second place is RIM’s Blackberry followed by the iphone. I have blogged about the potential of Android previously and with the release of the Droid and Nexus One phones, there are some serious handset contenders. When combined with Google’s more open source approach to the OS and app stores will drive them into second place within just three years.
It seems like Android handsets are appearing on the market quicker than I can keep up with them. Today Motorola announced a partnership with SK Telecom, a Korean company to develop the Motorai. It will be an entirely new Andorid handset and quite different to their much-praised Droid.
In spite of slow sales of the Nexus One, it still looks like Android will win in the battle of the mobile OS. It may take a few years to get there though.
In my predictions for 2010 I said that Android would become a significant OS this year. At the end of 2009 and start of this year there were some decent Android hansets appearing in the market: The Droid and the Nexus One. Perhaps they may not have the ice cool factor of the iphone, but in terms of pure functionality they certainly match, if not beat Apple’s offering. In the meantime, a number of frims from Samsung to Acer committed to Android. Recent announcements by Dell and Lenovo demonstrate a further committment to Google’s OS.
It’s not just about manufacturers adopting Android. Google has taken a more open approach to development, particularly apps and app stores. Apple’s more draconian approach to their appstore could see developers switching their energies to developing more for Android, especially where there is a growing user base.
Ultimately though, there is no threat to the iphone. Apple have taken a different approach to Google, and as with their PC’s it’s about offering both OS and hardware together. The iphone will remain a significant handset for many many years, but Apple will not dominate the mobile OS … but that never was their intention.
What of Windows Mobile? It would not suprise me if it becomes subsumed into a more generic Windows aimed at the portable computing market.
Now if only Nokia were interested in Android, then we would see a real unstoppable force in the handset/OS market.
Analytics firm Flurry has revealed that the new Android handset, Nexus One sold 20,000 units in its first week. Not bad, but not great when compared to Droid’s 250k and insignificant when compared to the iphone 3GS first week sales of 1.6 million. It is worth keeping in mind that the Nexus One is currently only available through one source: Google’s website. The iphone 3GS launch was across all territories to an existing and vociferous customer base.
It looks like the Nexus One could be a bit of a slow burner.
There’s an excellent comparison betweeen the Motorola Android phone, the Droid and the iphone in Mobile Crunch.
In short, the Droid looks like a superb phone. Like the iphone, it has great a design, an excellent OS and high quality screen. I would probably go for the Droid because it has a pop out keybaord – I never got on with the touch screen keyboards.
Mobile Crunch found it hard to name an outright winner in their comparison. Basically it’s a personal choice of what suits you best. Certainly Motorola have created successful phones before – the Razr, which the iphone has not yet outsold – so it certainly looks like a winner in the handset market.
Interestingly, the name Droid is trademakred by Lucas Films, and licensed to Motorola (if you believe everything your read on Twitter). Europe, the Droid will be called ‘Milestone’. Weird. I prefer the name Droid.