Apr 02 AT 8:56 PM Dustin Earley 101 Comments

Time and time again, Android’s demise is spelled out by bloggers all across the globe. Whether it’s because of a lack of revenue generated by Android itself, fragmentation, a new iPhone or a patent lawsuit, someone, somewhere is always predicting Android is on the way out. Well if you haven’t noticed, that’s far from reality. Android is doing just fine. But it may not always be the super behemoth we’ve come to know in the past two years.

The mobile technology industry could see some major changes as 2012 plays out, all of them affecting Android in one way or another.

Nokia Lumia, and what it means for Windows Phone

With the Nokia Lumia 900 available for free to new AT&T customers, with a two-year contract, set for release on April 8th, Microsoft may just finally see a substantial gain in smartphone marketshare.

Until the Lumia 900, one of the most obvious things holding Windows Phone back was the devices the OS was being slapped on. They were essentially all older Android phones. There hadn’t been a single Windows Phone device that didn’t have a better Android equivalent. And then came the Lumia 900.

The Lumia 900 has everything needed to become a blockbuster hit. The internals are good enough to last the average smartphone user a couple years, the display is top notch, it has 4G LTE and it looks absolutely fantastic.

It’s totally unique in design. The Lumia screams for attention. It’s how a smartphone should look in 2012. Bright, bold, masterfully crafted. Windows Phone fits the Lumia 900 like a glove. And it’s available to new AT&T customers for free on contract. If you’re upgrading to the Lumia 900, it’s still only $99.

Nokia is going to bet the farm on the Lumia 900. AT&T will be pushing the Lumia, Microsoft will be pushing the Lumia and Nokia will likely drop everything they have into ads and marketing campaigns for the Lumia 900.

When the Lumia 900 launches on April 8th, and you can find it sitting among the Galaxy Note and iPhone 4S, for less than half the cost of either of those devices, consumers will finally struggle to pick between three operating systems. Not just two. And someone will lose marketshare to it. The question then becomes, who?

The iPhone is still on the rise, and that’s just the 4S

No matter how the readers of this site view Apple’s iPhone, there is absolutely no denying it is the most popular phone in the entire world. The 4S has shattered previous sales records held by earlier models of the iPhone, and Apple is far from done.

According to some recent reports available online, the iPhone is outselling all other smartphones combined on both Sprint and AT&T, and is neck-and-neck with all Android phones combined at Verizon. It’s been this way since October of 2011. That’s half a year of iPhone domination, with no end in sight. And its design dates back to nearly two years ago.

Apple is set to release the iPhone 5 this year, sometime between June and October. Not much is known about the iPhone 5, but rumors indicate that it might see some sort of radical redesign and feature access to the three largest carrier’s LTE networks in the US. Whatever it ends up looking like, and whether it’s LTE enabled or not, it’s still going to be an iPhone. And realistically, that’s all it needs to keep selling well. Although a new design and LTE access will definitely help.

With AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all selling the iPhone 5, there’s reason to believe Apple will take back some of the market share it once lost to Android. Android certainly won’t just shrivel up and die, but one way or another there’s going to be a shift in the numbers.

RIM for sale?

If Microsoft and Apple spend all of 2012 gobbling up market share in the US, will Android simply see a sharp decline? I believe there will be a decline, but it will be closer to a leveling out than a sharp decline. There’s still plenty of ways for Android to build and maintain market share, like feature phone users turned smart phone users, and the business sector who previously relied on BlackBerry devices. Recent studies do show the adoption rate of iOS devices in corporate America skyrocketing, but Android could easily jump to the head of pack with one simple move: buying RIM.

There’s no way RIM is going to survive the next two years at the absolute most. RIM is hemorrhaging money and losing market share on a daily basis. The next big thing from the company isn’t due out until the tail end of 2012. And by then, we’ll see the next iPhone, next generation Windows Phones and a new breed of Android phones as well. So what is the company going to do? If they’re smart, they’ll sell now while they might still be worth something.

RIM still owns some good software. They’ve talked about licensing it in the past, but it may be time to just get rid of it. I doubt Apple would be interested, and Microsoft has their own enterprise solutions. Google’s the only one I could see being really interested.

Imagine a line of Android devices built around everything Google would acquire from buying RIM. Imagine being able to merge your BlackBerry Messenger account with Google Talk. Or Google Talk with all the best parts of BlackBerry Messenger thrown in.

It could work. Giving Google not only access to the most well known tools in business, but access to some great consumer software as well. Whatever RIM ultimately decides to do, it will undoubtedly impact every industry the company has touched on. I can’t help but wonder just how involved Google will be.

Between Amazon and Google, something’s got to give

The Android tablet market is sad to say the least. From where things are sitting right now, it looks like Apple has turned the tablet industry into another iPod scenario. But there’s still hope yet. Amazon proved they can move some hardware with the Kindle Fire, and Google is looking to get into the tablet game themselves. Could this spell success for Android tablets in 2012?

iPad sales didn’t exactly suffer in 2011. In fact, they were quite the opposite. That doesn’t mean other tablets didn’t do well either. The Kindle Fire was a huge success. Amazon sold a boat load of Fires during the holiday season, and they certainly aren’t done yet.

2012 will see the introduction of Amazon’s newest tablets. A larger Kindle Fire that’s priced accordingly could make a killing in 2012. The 7-inch Kindle Fire sold well for just $200, but a $300, or even $250, 10-inch Fire could possibly sell even better. If there are two things consumers care about when purchasing things like electronics, it’s the name and price. Amazon has both going for them. Look for another big year for Amazon in 2012.

Google isn’t done trying to make their mark on the tablet market either. During CES, we saw the unveiling of a Tegra 3 powered 7-inch tablet from ASUS that was marked as coming to retail at about $250. There’s good reason to believe that very tablet will end up coming to market at around $150(!), with Google Nexus branding.

Between a new Kindle Fire, Google’s tablet, Motorola and Samsung’s continued tablet efforts, Android just might see a considerable gain in tablet market share this year.

Galaxy S III, Razr 2, G4X, EVO One

Android has plenty of momentum pushing the platform forward. Google is constantly working to improve the software side of Android, and manufacturers are always working on new hardware.

We already know the Samsung Galaxy S III is almost upon us, but what other kinds of Android devices can we expect in 2012? The Motorola RAZR, T-Mobile G2x and HTC EVO will all see follow up devices. And they’ll probably all be some of the most popular Android devices launched in 2012 too.

There’s also another Nexus coming in 2012, a million Galaxy S III variants and some more DROIDs in the works at the very least. There’s still another trade show to get through before summer is underway, which always ends up revealing some of the hottest Android handsets of the year, and we can’t even begin to predict all the Android handsets that will leak from now until Q3 2012.

There’s going to be a lot of awesome Android phones coming out this year, and as usual, they’re guaranteed to be on the bleeding edge of technology.

Wrap up

Of course, I’m no psychic. For all I know Android could totally bomb, or see another huge gain in market share and leave the competition in ashes. But I don’t think either of those will happen.

I really don’t think 2012 is going to play out like 2011 did for Android. Android exploded in 2011. For the most part, it totally dominated the competition. 2012 is going to be the year where things start to level out. Windows Phone gains in popularity, iOS takes a little bit of its pie back and Android comfortably settles in as one of the top operating systems in the world.

What do you think will happen to Android in 2012? What kinds of major industry events will shape the future of Google’s mobile operating system? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.

Image via LadyDragonflyCC – BDay Weekend, Holland, Michigan with Creative Commons

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • WlfHart

    I’m still convinced Android tablets are going to make a rise. Especially with Apple being anti stylus and Android having native stylus support. Manufacturers are getting more and more stylus friendly, and that may just change things (for the better)!

    • sunrise

      The stylus reminds too many people including myself of the Palm Pilot days. I don’t think the stylus, outside the realm of the Galaxy note is going to make a huge comeback.

      • Alexandre Andrade

        I think the problem with the stylus on old devices is the NEED to use it. The new S-Pen is an extra, that works great, but it is not necessary to operate the device. The need of the stylus was a downside on those devices like Palm, but today, with good and sensitive touchscreens, it’s a great plus!

      • fc1032

        I’m actually waiting for the Note 10.1 just because of the wacom stylus.

        I’m sure many uni students will appreciate the stylus. I’m in a degree where we do alot of writing, not typing. This would be much better than a laptop (IMO)

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      Sadly, I disagree. Looking back, we can find quite a few reasons why Android managed to beat the iPhone in the total market share of the smartphone market. One thing that keeps coming up in my mind is that with a smartphone, Google does not need to convince a consumer why he needs a smartphone. Most people know why they want one. No, Apple did not define a smartphone — the buyer did. Back at the date before there was iPhone, people were talking about the inevitably merge of a phone and the iPod. So clearly, people knew what they want. This helps Google enormously because, let’s face it, Google sucks at the consumer space. It basically has no clue how to sell to consumers — otherwise, it wouldn’t create such a chaotic ecosystem. Look, consumers aren’t smart, as many people suggest. Most people have no clue what they want. That’s why it gave rise to advertisement. With a clearly defined consumer product, Google can focus on making the product itself, instead of telling the potential customers why they want one.

      The tablet market is a totally different market. I can say with confidence that even up to this point, many people still don’t know why they want a tablet. The success of the Kindle Fire tells us one thing — a tablet is not an iPad. There’s clearly a market beyond what the iPad defines, and it’s up to the tablet makers to convince consumers that their tablet is what the consumers want. Needless to say, Google completely failed in this challenge. If I could only make one prediction on tablets, I would bet on that Microsoft would ultimately succeed in this space, not by selling tons of tablets, but by redefining what a tablet is — it will try to convince everyone that a tablet is nothing more than an ultra mobile touchable PC, which you may or may not need one.

      Android’s biggest enemy is itself — with the current strategy, we can start to predict what comes next. OEM will want to provide their own versions of content store (why do you think HTC bought a streaming music company?) We cannot blame them. After all, Google isn’t sharing revenue with the OEM when an user buys something from Google Play. It’s time for Google to re-think its strategy. Otherwise, one day, all Android devices might be like a Kindle Fire — the Google Play entities are nowhere to be found.

      • dcds

        Mostly agree. However:

        ” I can say with confidence that even up to this point, many people still don’t know why they want a tablet”

        A tablet does some things that are too cumbersome to do with a notebook. That’s it. People may not be aware of the fact, but _intuitively_ they know it. Like you said, the general public may need to be educated: the iPad is a success on this front. You may not _need_ a tablet (like a smartphone), but you love its convenience. Bed, airport, living room…
        __________

        “OEM will want to provide their own versions of content store (why do you think HTC bought a streaming music company?)”

        Good luck to them. History does not favor them.

        Truth is, they don’t add anything the consumer values as added value. History shows they were just trying to differentiate for the sake of differentiating and locking-in people. Now, now… if they truly reinvent themselves and start _specializing_ into content (Kindle), making that another business front (and not just a lock-in tool), I can see it happening.
        __________

        “We cannot blame them. After all, Google isn’t sharing revenue with the OEM when an user buys something from Google Play.”

        And why should they do that? I still think OEMs need Google more than Google needs the OEMs, albeit not by much more, and the divorce would hurt them all. They add manufacturing experience, which helps drive content. They don’t add anything in the content front directly. And they already have their share of rewards for what they do.

        In short, in these days of MS pseudo-buying-out Nokia, it’s definitely easier to buy an OEM than it is to create a successful mobile operating system. What happens to Nokia when other OEMs goes fully into WP also? Software companies will dominate the OEMs just like they did in the PC era. It started just like that. We even had a share of the same players doing most of the same thing back then. Nokia is still going to be the biggest loser in the end.

        Besides, let’s assume that each one create their own feuds. What if Google reacts and decides to pull the plug on the GApps for those OEMs? After all, Google is in for marketshare and to avoid being locked-out o the mobile space. If they lose even that, why continue to bother with them? Will they risk losing GSearch, GMail, GMaps and GNav? Sorry, except for Bing in Search, I don’t see any other Map or Mail API taking over. Hotmail is a joke. And that is just changing Lords. Perhaps for worse and in all fronts.

        Replicating Amazon model? I doubt. Amazon is just the greatest seller in the world, IMO. Awesome infrastructure and API. Samsung and HTC doing it? Very unlikely.

        Anyway, not saying that you’re wrong… just brainstorming with opinions… After all, we’re in the right story for that. :-)

      • sez1

        Droid,
        You’re right about Microsoft

    • spazby

      oh they will make a rise for sure as cheap tablets are introduced everywhere… however, the content, the ability to be upgraded to the new software as soon as it is announced will be missing from google unless google changes the current process… it has been very frustrating… we’ll see what windows does with their tablet later on this year…

    • CaptainBuck

      I’m still completely convinced Android is more efficient for users than iOS.
      I ‘believe’ that all of the ideas ‘fit to print’ for iOS were in the first iPhone. If it wasn’t there, it wasn’t intended by Jobs.
      Therefore, the notification bar… Score 1 for Android.
      Homescreen Widgets displaying data in real time without ‘opening an app’. Score 2 for Android.
      JUST those 2 things alone, way better from a UI perspective than IOS.
      Score 3 is different form factors, though it brings the negative of non standard implementations.

      And now, for Tablets… Honeycomb… different notification system in the lower right corner… that DOESN’T take up half the screen… again, Score 1 more for Android allowing things to be ‘different’.

  • thaghost

    What will happen is that android will still be the best and more people will begin to recognize it.

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      The problem is that it’s not the best in all categories. There are things that other OSes do better than Android, and Android needs to learn from the competition in some ways. I think Windows Phone will become slightly more relevant, largely at RIM’s expense, and the gap between Apple and Android will shrink a bit.

      • virexed

        I own an HD7 as my secondary phone. I was just curious about the WP7. Love the Xbox Live integration and games for mobile. It’s a solid OS but didn’t do enough for me to switch. There are just so many things you can do with Android.

        I do agree with WP being slightly more relevant.
        For me, the OS is what pushes the device. Android is here to stay.

  • jak2rocks

    Nice article. I agree that RIM would benefit Google/Android. I know a lot of people that are always complaining about certain things that RIM did/does better than Android and I’m sure they’d be extremely excited if they joined forces. I really can’t wait for the One series to come out. I love the One X, but I’d be perfectly fine with the One S.

    • Postal Jim

      I was soooooo wanting this One X…. and then they took away the quad core, and not even giving it a newer dual core. Then, no SD. I know many don’t mind this, but I do. Then, no replaceable battery, again, some are fine, but I dont work at a desk nor am I in a car periodically. I have no problem with an extra juice box slipped in my back pocket. This still is an amazing phone, just not the flagship phone of the summer for me. G SIII will be for me.

      • Klaus

        Uh…the S4 IS a new dual-core processor and has been shown to outdo the Tegra 3 in most benchmarks.

        • Richard Yarrell

          I agree dualcore S3 or dualcore S4 simply equal dualcore been there done that. Galaxy S3 will be the device for 2012 who beats quadcore/exynos/Lte/Verizon. All these are great things for the future of 2012. As far as the upcoming iphone 5 you won’t see NO MAJOR DESIGN CHANCE. Same old 3.5 inch screen look at the new ipad quadcore gpu instead of cpu. The incremental update in the iphone 5 will be LTE and a bigger battery plus quadcore gpu nothing special here that’s for sure. Nokia Lumia 900 WHO WANTS that devices any way??? Even for free it’s going nowhere. Android will always be fine as long as apple continues to be apple WHY because the innovation comes from Samsung-Htc-Motorola.

          • Steam

            “LTE and a bigger battery plus quadcore gpu nothing special here”. You really do thrive on wanton stupidity.
            We know, Richard. You *claim” to have a GNex, Verizon, and LTE is (fill in something a 3-year-old would say, like “Boss”), yet LTE isn’t a big deal? You are so screwed up, you can’t keep track of your own bullshit. Actually, I thibnk that even you can remember what you say from day to day, you’re just looking to make yourself look increasingly stupid. Do try to not get yourself killed before February 2014, I have money riding on you neve4r learning anything. Actually, I’m going to see if I can make anopther bet that you’ll actually get worse. It’s a safe bet, especially after reading your regurgitated nonsense fro almost two years.
            I’m sure your son is proud; “Look what my dad does! He is by far, the most ignorant, hypocritical, insulting, stupid, know-nothing on the internet, there are billions of people, and he has more issues, lies and bullshit than anyone! He even believes what he says!”

          • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

            Dude…have you seen the new Nokia 900? That thing is beautious. I will be buying one for testing. I wish Nokia would have went to Android. The design, heft, and build quality are damn near perfect. I remember my old 6150 took a beating, and still ran like a champ. I can only imagine that their build quality didn’t go to crap in the past years.

            I am really hoping that they can port android onto the Lumia 900. I would be a happy man if that happened. It would make me purchase another one just to tweak/hack. (have to keep one stock for testing purposes)

            I am an Android fanboy, but I do recognize quality when I see it. To not see how the 900 is a bad ass phone is very short sighted. I bet if this was running Android (and you owned it) we couldn’t get you to stop talking about it. No hate involved here. Jus’ Sayin’.

  • txbluesman

    I think Android gets its biggest gains in Q4 and moving into next year. Phones, tablets, and OS.

    • Nathan D.

      I’m with Dustin in which how things will play out since it is very logical thinking.

    • sunrise

      The big gains you speak of will be temporary only to be crushed by the upcoming new iPhone. I personally don’t see SGS3, HTC One, or any other Android phone pulling major market share away from iPhone. In fact, I would say if Apple puts a larger screen into the next iPhone, then even die-hard Android fans like myself may very well make the switch.
      Google is losing the ball on their Nexus line with slow updates, and personally I’m ready for a phone with stellar hardware that is backed by awesome support and OS updates…something Apple has proven to excel in.

      • AsakuraZero

        apple lacks in something, innovation, they are not innovating anymore they are just imitating Aos and WP7, and the ui is soo simple that is stupid imo apple need a lot of rethinking or bring something new to the table

        “bigger screen”. “more resolution’ and even “more graphics” in computeres now days its like talking about how to do a toast.

        what i like about android its the UI, and the (sadly fragmented but yet nicee) ecosystem, google its a dangerous company in the long run look how android evolved over a few years… give more time to google to polish the edges, its like making a katana, every fold makes it stronger…

      • http://nickvettesephotography.com Nicholas Vettese

        I read somewhere that the reason Apple has not introduced a new screen is due to the fact all their apps are designed for the size of the current models. If they were to move to a bigger screen, then their apps would look stretched and squeezed, giving the bigger iPhone’s users a mess to look at.

        Analysts say that this is where Apple shot itself in the foot. I wish I can remember where I read t his.

        • dcds

          Me too. I don’t have experience with iOS development, but for what I’ve heard, they don’t have anything remotely as efficient as the scalable API that Android offers.

          You know, all that abstracted density stuff. And even if they change that, there comes the legacy issue.

          • dcds

            Of course, I’d like to be proven wrong. It’s that I really don’t know.

        • sunrise

          That may be possible, I’m not sure. I do know that developers have to update their apps to look correct on the new iPad Retina screen. Same might be true for a larger iPhone screen. Regardless, the developers are updating their apps to accommodate the new iPad, I assume they would do the same for a larger iPhone.

          Personally, I don’t see that as a reason for Apple to avoid a larger screen, but who knows.

      • dcds

        “The big gains you speak of will be temporary only to be crushed by the upcoming new iPhone”

        That’s the problem with people. They say things so peremptorily. People said that the new amazing iPhone 4, the most advanced piece of hardware ever invented, would crush and leave no space for competition. The Mac media were even worried about Apple monopolizing the smartphone market! The retina display would kill everything else, and nothing would come close. Form and function blended like never before in History.

        Sorry, I’m not being an a**. I actually remember reading those words.

        Now, fast forward. Where was the iPhone 4 market share again?

  • Da

    Android is available on many different phone forms, carriers and prices. It’s similar to the way Windows dominates in desktops and laptops.

  • boldoliver

    you are being way too pessimistic. with GS3, HTC one X and ICS/Jelly bean, this will be another booming year for android.

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Yeah, ICS was a boom for Android. And yet it’s only on 1% of devices and the general public has no clue what Android 4.0 is.

  • Postal Jim

    Fragmentation will result in android becoming the new Blackberry. Windows phones will take over 2nd place by 2014…….if not sooner.

    • Postal Jim

      I know this is not going to be a popular comment, but I feel this will come true. I have a SII and plan on getting the SIII as soon as it hits the states, but unless Google can obtain/retain developers who are running for the hills to get away from 3-5 OS’s and just as many UI’s, progress appears to be stagnating.

      Meanwhile, back at Microsoft, tons of money and a real desire to succeed in the cell phone arena, (finally!), will cause a rift in their California Cousin’s (Apple/Google) universe. Windows Phones will become the new Blackberry. Government and businesses will jump on the bandwagon to be able to seamlessly utilize MS PC software with a Windows phone.

      Apple for sure, and most likely Android will survive, but Android has the most to lose in this scenario. MS and Nokia are going to continue to flood the market with discounted high quality devices and slowly (or more quickly) take bigger and bigger bytes out of the Apple OS Pie and Android’s Key Lime Pie…….

      Now, vote my comment down, call me names, and tell me how stupid I am……And I will repost this in 18-24 months and we will see if I was even remotely accurate, or really as dumb as you are thinking I am now! lol

      • walt

        I see what you did there: “bytes out of apple OS pie and android key Lime pie” , clever

      • dcds

        I’m sorry. I think all your reasoning fail because of how you started:

        “progress appears to be stagnating”

        If there is one thing, is that Android progress is NOT stagnating lately. It’s in fact accelerating. Not saying anything Market share, I’m talking about OS advances.

    • thel0nerang3r

      What do you think “fragmentation” means to the average user? This seems more of a pissing contest among people. I doubt the average user knows or cares what version of Android they are running.

      • Sgb101

        Once HTML5 is fully adopted , fragmentation will not be an issue for devs, your app will work on every platform.

        As you say the average user does not care nor even know it exists. Most I speak to don’t call them android phones, it’s a moto, HTC or sammy. They dont care .

        It’s only us geeks that do, and we make up such a small percentage these days (no thanks for being here from day one) there not bothered what we think .

        • http://www.nexsoftware.net Justin Shapcott

          HTML5 is not a native app killer. True, it will eventually make it “easier” to be cross platform, but native apps will still very much have a place for the foreseeable future.

      • Jake

        They may not know what version of Android they’re running, but they’ll care when they replace their current Android phone with whatever Android phone is free with their next two year contract renewal and they have problems. They may not know what fragmentation is, but they’ll be frustrated when their app data and Angry Birds levels don’t seamlessly transfer to their new phones. They’ll also be upset when their new phone isn’t as compatible with their new phone as was with their last phone.

  • Max.Steel

    Not a single day goes by without one “Android is dying…” article popping up on my Google News stream. I wonder how much is crApple paying them to write this stuff.

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      Yep, we get paid to write our article$$$$

      • Max.Steel

        I wasn’t referring to you guys. I was talking about zdnet, cnet, pcmag, engadget etc…

  • yyyy

    not too bright

  • ion orov

    I hope Google and gang wakes up in 2012. They completely dropped the ball last year in the tablet space.

    Really wanted a decent Android tablet to go along with my GS2 but … they all sucked (honey-lag, high-prices, heavy unattractive designs, etc…). Ended up with the new ipad instead.

    I’m hoping Samsung or Asus can turn it around. They need to release tablets that match or even beat iPads and price them competitively. And for the love of all things holy… stop launching with lagtastic Honeycomb (i.e., everyone not Asus).

    Not really looking forward to the Nexus tablet. The purported low low price makes me really worried about its quality. Also, its Google… probably the only company that has worse customer service is probably Ocean Marketing :D

    • cooldoods

      Why do you want a tablet? Just curious. I have a laptop for heavy surfing with Flash support and productivity applications. My Galaxy Note’s 5.3″ screen lets me do mobile tasks well, similar to a tablet experience.

      • ion orov

        I’m doing a PhD. I read tons of research papers, many of which are in the dreaded 2-column format.

        Reading these papers is not similar to reading a book. You don’t go page by page slowly. You’re usually moving back and forth, reading and re-reading prior pages and looking at coloured graphs. Plus the 2-column format really messes with the experience.

        I’ve tried e-ink readers but the lag and general screen sizes just make it an exercise in futility. With a tablet, I can have all my PDFs in one device. I can read and refer to individual pages within PDFs fairly quickly.

        Plus, a big bonus is the ability to annotate and scribble on the PDFs. So, I no longer have to lug around a thick binder of papers with all my scribbles and notes on them.

        —-

        Also, tablets are a god-send when organising other scribbles, notes and ideas. If I have an idea, I can easily do a rough drawing and send it to my Profs. So, instead of a mad mess of rough paper drawings strewn all over my office desk and at home, I just have everything on my iPad.

        —-

        Tablets are more portable than laptops, last far longer and have great instant-on capabilities. Sure, you can “suspend” you laptop… IME, that usually kills off the battery. They make far far better devices to go on long trips with.

        —-

        Ever since I got my SGS2, I noticed that I actually do a lot of surfing and reading and tv/movie watching on it. Often, I go to bed, start reading my feeds and boom, an hour has gone by :)

        There’s something to be said about just kicking back on the couch and just reading and surfing. I love doing it on my phone… I absolutely love doing it with the larger screen on my ipad.

        —-

        For me, laptops are unnecessary. I have powerful desktops with large monitors at home and at Uni. They are far more ideal and comfortable to work with than a cramped laptop. Plus, these desktops make kick-ass gaming machines :)

        For everything else, I have my SGS2 and my Ipad.

        • jd

          I am in a similar shoes as you are but I found myself still printing out papers instead of reading them on my iPad. The annotation is not as convenient as they could be (screaming out for better Stylus support).

          Even though I travel more and more without my laptop, but if I am serious about studying I would still carry my laptop since my major involves a lot of programming, terminal access, and latexing (or word with special math notations in there), and there is no way to do any of them on an ipad (maybe the ssh).

          And I do want an Android tab that runs Linux, failing that, a windows tab that runs win 8.

          • Ion orov

            The problem with printing out papers for me is that I am a forgetful and those papers will always go missing when I need them the most.

            You can buy styluses. I just buy really cheap styluses (10 for $5) that I put everywhere within easy reach.

            I do a lot of programming / latexing too. I just do it on my desktop. Can’t stand doing it hunched over a small screen laptop. For me, its very rare that I’m on a train and suddenly need to code something up :)

            Yes, me too. I’m hoping for an android/Linux tablet. Imagine if the TF prime could boot Linux, came with a stylus and was priced decently….

      • ion orov

        Oh, and I had a Dell Streak 5 previously.

        Reading 2-column PDFs on such a small screen is just maddening. You’re endlessly panning, zooming and moving about to read stuff.

        I think the sweet spot is 7-inches. I’m really eyeing the Galaxy Tab 7.7. More screen real-estate but not too bulky/heavy as my iPad.

        Problem is, Samsung lives in this other world where ipads and kindle fires don’t exist and pricing it _higher_ than ipads. Lol.

  • OmahaDZL

    Why didnt you touch on the ability of android phones/tablets to run Linux? To me this is the big revolution thats going to happen in the very near future. With the amount of memory and processing power available in our devices, being able to run both a full OS and a mobile OS in the same device is the killer app for any mobile device. Android is on the cutting edge of this and will likely be the first to market with it. Apple and microsoft will likely come up with a light version of their OS’s to copy the idea….but this is the future.

    • thel0nerang3r

      uhmm, they already run Linux. Did you know that Android is a version of Linux? Where do you think the kernel comes from?

      • winks

        uhmm, yes I am aware that Android is a version of Linux. I am referring to the devices running the full linux operating system…… spend your time googling instead of trolling

        • thel0nerang3r

          Ahh, cute. Err.. I mean… So, what is Linux? What do you mean by “full Linux”? Because one version of Linux is not Linux?
          But you already knew that, right?
          If you already knew that, do you keep changing user name when you post?

          • Jake

            We get it…you know stuff about Linux. Now, here (tosses a goat); Get back under your bridge.

    • Charlie

      I run Ubuntu 10.10 on my Asus Slider, runs pretty good.

  • Lox

    Did you get paid by MS to says such stupid things about the Lumia 900 ?!? It has a 2011 hardware: single core, no HD screen etc …. It can’t even compare to actual phones so how would it compare to phones coming in 2012 ???

  • mustybooks

    Yeah more competition will result in a reduction in sales but i think the “feature to smart phone” transition will play a big part in determining sales for the next couple of years. This is where windows phones will make a big dent in rim, apple and android. With android having the greatest potential loss (most devices in same price category) which also amounts to the greatest potential gain.

    It really is all up in the air at the moment. As you stated there will be a continued heavily funded marketing campaign for windows phones but whether they will make a huge dent in the market we don’t know. Personally i think that the companies currently in the market always have the advantage. Think about the amount of people who would recommend their friends or family a device based on current ownership. People are persuaded more by the opinion and experience of friends/family than ads.

    I think, dont underestimate androids capability for expansion. It has the greatest diversity which gives it a great level of adaptibility and resiliance.

  • sknoslo

    I hate to say it, but I think 2012 might be the year that the dreaded f-word actually begins to negatively effect Android. Android 4.0 is by far the biggest revision the platform has seen to date, and 6 months later only ~2% of devices have it. 4.0 broke a lot of apps but developers haven’t had much incentive to fix them because nobody is running ICS. What happens when we jump to Jelly Bean? Hopefully Google figures something out before the “Android is fragmented” folks start being right.

  • E

    This is just me speaking from experience at first I didn’t care much for an Android device and the G1 was extremely ugly compared to the BB storm and iPhone original got to experiment with all 3 and ended falling in love with Android and this was with 1.5 cupcake Android has evolved a lot since and just keeps getting much more better with 4.x and above and I know there’s others like me that can say the same because to me Android is light years ahead of the competition and don’t think I haven’t forgotten about WP either and I still choose Android till they fall

  • cooldoods

    IPads will continue to dominate the tablet space. Android tablets and Windows 8 tablets will eat up a bit of market share unless Apple comes out with a lower-priced tablet.

    As for smartphones, only Nokia will be a viable Phone manufacturer. As for market share, Windows Phones will rise a bit but only slightly, unless they target the enterprise to replace RIM as the favored phone in this space.

    Android will be livelier this year with more ICS devices and updates coming out.

  • Lucian Armasu

    I think you have way too much confidence in WP7 and Nokia. Nokia is just one company, and the others don’t try so hard with WP7. Android activations increase in a month by more than Nokia can sell Lumia’s. And isn’t Lumia 900 just a slightly improved Nokia 800, but with larger screen? It has a single core 1.4 Ghz processor and a 800×480 resolution at 4.3″, and yet you say “it can easily last for 2 years” hardware wise. I fail to see how that would be true.

    People are already starting to get bored with WP7 after using it for a few months. It’s shiny at first, and then you realize you can’t do a whole bunch with it, and it lacks in functionality compared to Android.

  • Lt Blak

    it’s high time that Google should integrate all of the apps in Android just the way they have done it for desktops

  • keion

    Hey. Dustin Early, do u play heroes of newerth??? If u do wat is ur name ???

  • anamika

    Not a day goes without seeing some Nokia Lumia ad on TV in India. Still it had not picked up. With Android moving to even lower prices it booming in India. $900 iPhone never had a chance.
    There are now numerous companies selling $100-200 Android tablets ( AllWinner A10) and their demand is picking up. Unless iPad or W8 come aroudn $300 Android is going to increase it market share at least in India.

  • Mike Hansberger

    Apple is expensive and had appeal to early adopters, but not as much appeal to the next wave of adopters because second generation adopters are always more cost conscious. Android fits this bill because you can chose a low end phone as an entry level phone and that is why 2011 was a banner year for Android.

    Windows will also have this option and Windows will seem less intimidating to new users because they are familiar with Windows on their PC. What Windows doesn’t seem to have that Android has is also the higher level phones. Those appeal to existing smartphone users that have now realized the power of a smartphone and are ready to get a phone with all the power and options they now desire.

    Customer retention is important, but right now the new customers pie is much larger and that is where Android and Windows have huge advantages over Apple with their low cost entry level phones. Windows issue is that they charge big license fees for their operating system on their phones and Nokia has nowhere else to go. Other phone manufactures are not lining up at Windows door because of that. This will continue to give Android the widest selection of phones and as a result the broadest appeal to the many different types of customers.

  • Mike Lowrey

    Hi,

    i’m really pleased how objective your view on WP7 is… Thanks for that!

  • masterpfa

    My findings on what phones and OS people finally end up with, in my own (non-scientific) observations of friends and families, has nothing to do with technology or what eco-system you wish to follow, but purely on the price.

    Most of my friends, except the hard core Android minority, would get an iPhone tomorrow if they could afford one, but instead have ended up with an Android phone, simply because that was the phone that was offered as an upgrade option by their carrier and no other reason.

    They have liked their Android phones, but to them a phone is a phone. So for these people and I guess the same may apply generally, is if offered any phone at the right price the majority of people would take any phone regardless of what OS it’s running.

    Already among the people I know, Android phones are in the minority, with absolutely everyone else (60%) owning or planning to get the iPhone as they perceive it to be the better product and for those who don’t own smartphones yet, the only smartphone they know off is also the iPhone, if they end up with one will be determined by their ability to afford one.

    So as time goes forward, Apple will still be, IMO, the most desired phone, with great marketing and the only restrictive factor being the price.

    Android may well still be the most popular device due to effective pricing and saleability for carriers.

    WM7 and Nokia hook-up (for the familiarity aspect) and low prices could see a jump in demand for the WM platform.

    I personally feel Android will remain top but with a decreasing margin. They will continue to sell but IMO only because of the numbers and an affordable option to the iPhone.

    Currently all advertising seen on TV etc for the iPhone has nothing much to do with the specs of the iPhone but what it can do and until recently with the Samsung adverts, none were readily available for Android phones (this is the responsibility of the manufacturers) with as far as I can recall only efforts for Samsung and HTC.

    For Android I believe marketing is the key, other than us users, do the general public really realise what these phones are capable of?

  • dVyper

    Cool article

  • h0ruza

    The competitors fear Android’s strategy which why they are always under attack. So they don’t have to change a thing.

    There will always be some platform on the rise or some device to beat the next but I feel Android doesn’t need to do anything but improve upon itself.

    Android needs to have a stronger, clearer identity where anyone can pick up an Android phone and use it without making a funny confused face.

    Android needs devs tools that at the very least take the strain out of creating a million and one assets for the multitude of device specs.

    And that’s it. Fragmentation, OS upgrades and the like will level out as Android matures

  • Lucky chauhan

    Yess i agree with your post… you have written a wonderful article thank you…
    http://www.tecfreak.com

  • Lee

    Google doesn’t care if Android OS is generating large amounts of revenue on it own and it a closed introverted mobile tech only mentality that thinks that it does. Google Inc has been and always will be primarily the worlds largest Advertising company. It primary aim in developing Android and everything else they do is as another platform on which to display the adds from its PPC and CPM Text and Display Ads network. This is how they generate their colossal revenues. It not comparable to Apple or Microsofts objectives as they’re eye is on a complete different goal. So in terms of its primary goal of offering search engine and a host of other services to display its cash cow adds on, it stinking rich and has left all of it competitors collapsed somewhere back near the starting blocks. Selling Apps is a sedentary symbiotic byproduct that encourages app developers and generate some income for themselves as they create customization and functionality for the Android Ad Platform OS.

  • Tariq

    Yes we have heard this before but the fact of the matter is the tide for nokia and rim is going out and for android it’s coming in. If nokia had gone android, then they would have had a chance but too little too late. Android is going from strength to strength and will dominate. Inshaallah

  • Dominic

    I predict a significant disruption to all smartphones (and tablets to a lesser extent) later in the year when Google announces a pair of Android-powered smartglasses. As an iOS developer I’d instantly drop everything in that space and dive into the Android SDK to realize all the Robocop augmented display ideas that have been buzzing around in my head since the rumors of such a device first hit.

    I’m almost bored of smartphones now. I’m ready for the wearable-tech era to arrive! It’s clearly the stepping stone to implanted biotech that we all know is coming one day :)

    Also… Apple will likely enter with an official iPod Nano wrist watch running iOS and opening that up to developers. Again, wearable tech, but not quite as exciting in my mind.

    Microsoft will continue to lag behind the innovation curve and lose out to both Google and Apple. They took too long with WinPho 7. They’re taking too long with Windows 8. I see no reason why any en-masse would jump into that space unless they can leverage Xbox more. I won’t count Microsoft out though… never do that.

    A Google purchase of RIM is an interesting prospect though. I like it. Equally, what if Apple radically decided to buy it up and signal an entry into the Enterprise space? Very unlikely but it’d worry a few Microsoft bods if they did. It’d be pocket change for them right now too.

    Anyway…2012-2013: wearable tech.

    • Lee

      Already available http://bit.ly/HGsIOJ . Rim should be using Android already with a BB Skin ala touchwiz or senseUI. Pretty much a no brainer in terms of marketing. Give the People what they want want and they they want is android…. not underdeveloped and neglected bbos

    • adityats2020

      Wearable tech does sound an improvement over the current crop of technologies. What is to follow after quad-core ?? Definitely not more cores. At least something like the Padfone is a good innovation. It’s time to think about the NEXT.

  • bolanrox

    for a good price point (an no additional contracts) I could see getting a tablet, $150-$200 for a good wifi only tablet? not bad at all.

    I still look at them as a novelty item, I mean We have desk top computers, probably a lap top, a smart phone, maybe an I touch.

    The only reason i would even get a tablet at is point is to putz around on it sitting on the couch or when i am on vacation or something. I would only use it for fun, so to spend iPad prices for it just does not make sense, but sub $200, now that is more justifiable to have a new toy for my birthday or holiday or something.. :)

  • The Sage

    Ok wait !

    Every 3-4 days come up with some such honest “android-fanboy THINKING ALOUD !” , stop , every day i see this the more i feel like visiting android-central or androidforums or something

  • Lee

    @Dominic – Already available http://bit.ly/HGsIOJ . Both Nokia and Rim should be using Android already with a BB or Nokia Skin ala touchwiz or senseUI. Pretty much a no brainer in terms of marketing. Give the People what they want want and they they want is android…. not underdeveloped and neglected bbos or an overly simplified and basic locked down wp7 experience.

  • adityats2020

    Excellent read!
    A bit of a deja vu considering the conversation I had about Microsoft and Nokia with my friend yesterday ;)

    I learn that the speculation of iPhone 5 has already started a bit too early. Apple wouldn’t really supersede its phones in such a short time. My guess is they will wait until the next Nexus comes out. They certainly have to call it iPhone 5 and that warrants a reasonable time frame before they can really make an impact. Having said that, I do believe they must have been working on it before they released 4S.

    About Microsoft, they just have to be smart. They have a huge advantage in the desktop space. All they have to do is utilize it properly while they release Windows 8.

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    Google purchasing RIM would be a slam dunk for them getting into the corporate arena. If only just for the patents, it would be an excellent purchase.

    Even where I work, Blackberries are going away and we’re starting to see lots of iPhones and Android devices popup.

  • Stigy

    Not sure if it has been brought up or not in these comments, but I think the OEMs need to slow down with the different models of phones. I understand that Android is about choice and the fact that you can get a phone with different screen sizes, from different manfuacturers, with different specs, etc. But I think the low-end phones give Android a bad name.

    I think this article does a great deal of explaining why cheap Android phones are going to ruin the platform and people’s view of Android. A lot of people go into the carrier stores and they will push low-end Android devices on them and then a few months later you are out of support or not seeing new software – that would bother me. I’m sure a lot of people don’t realize it, but when your friend or family member comes home with a Nexus running ICS and you wonder why you don’t have it you’ll start asking and complaining. http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/27/please-do-not-buy-cheap-android-phones/

    The article above is definitely a good read and this is my opinion of something that needs to change in 2012, but only time will tell. I’m glad HTC has said they will focus on quality over quantity in 2012.

    • LittleGreenDude

      That is for the most part true, but another thing to remember is that Android is popular because of variety. If there are only expensive phones, it will lose the large amount of consumers looking for cheap phones. I believe that if google would simply push out updates to all phones capable of ICS, and in the future jelly bean, within a 2-3 months of the software being released, it would solve the problem better that just getting rid of all the low end phones.

  • Realist

    The big problem is that the vast majority of people don’t actually NEED a smartphone or tablet. Sure most of them want one, but when pressed, no one really knows what they would do with one. That’s the primary reason that low end devices such as the Kindle Fire and upcoming Google Nexus tablets will sell well. Low cost of entry. The problem with that is that low cost of entry minimizes profit, and with margins razor thin, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for supply problems, marketing, or any other glitches to arise.

    For the corporate and high end users (read high end function usage), Apple will continue to dominate. Why? Because these high end users are more concerned with the Wow factor than actual functionality. The people who gave Apple its foot in the corporate door, are the ones with more money than sense. They bought the cool new Apple gadget because it was something they could show off to the other sheep who think that Apple can do no wrong.

    Don’t get me wrong. Apple has done a lot right. They put together the right interface for their user base, but Apple has been making UIs for morons for decades now. Say what you want, but ease of use makes a HUGE difference. But to say that Apple is high quality and is worth the premium they charge is just boneheaded. If Samsung or LG wanted to produce a UI that appealed to the more money than sense crowd, they could. But they would need to follow it up with MASSIVE marketing campaigns in the boutique set in order to try to catch up with Apple, and I just don’t think they will do that.

    So apple will continue to win the high end. Not because they have a better product, but because they have more cachet. It’s sad, but it’s true.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    Android’s biggest challenge ahead is not a technical one. Whether it’s the hardware or the software, Android can compete easily with its rivals. The biggest obstacle ahead is Android itself — how can Google move this army of warships and direct it to aim towards its enemy? It’s a strategical question. And sadly, we couldn’t see an answer because as far as I can tell, Google has lost control. Take NFC as an example. It would be a killer feature if Google can push NFC payment everywhere in last year — 1 year after the Nexus S was introduced. Shouldn’t we see Google Wallet everywhere? No. Google totally blew it. It doesn’t matter why and how their plan failed. The bottomline is, Google failed. There’s limited carrier support, limited NFC capable Android phones, and damn, even if your phone is capable of using Google Wallet, you couldn’t install it if you aren’t with the right carrier. Don’t blame everything onto the carriers — Apple has no problem dealing with them and force them to accept their terms. Google, however, couldn’t do a thing. If there’s not the Droid, Verizon would be destroyed by AT&T when the iPhone was only available there. Google could and SHOULD maintain a very good relationship with Verizon, but apparently, they did such a poor job that they couldn’t even convince Verizon to allow Google Wallet to be installed onto the Galaxy Nexus. The iPhone 5 will definitely have NFC, and by that time, NFC payment will bloom — almost 2 YEARS after the Nexus S was introduced. If Google played the card right, most Android smartphones should have enjoyed NFC for at least 1 year. We basically just sit here, looking at how Android’s rivals catching up.

    • bolanrox

      you would think Verizon would have learned after missing out on being the original iPhone carrier, forcing the phone makers to dumb down or limit their phones just not fly any more in this day and age.

  • Eatmode

    There will be a merge between desktop and phone. Look at what Unbuntu is doing. That is what I want. Drop my phone into a dock, and it becomes a decent desktop. I dont see why not. Linux runs on lower end computers than the smartphones people carry now. Put that tech in the Devs hands and see where it is taken.

  • Jose Gasteazoro

    The reason Windows Phone will work real well is due to what the have done to mimic the iPhone. They havent exactly gone with a single form factor device, but they have imposed minimum requirements on the specifications and design aspects of Windows Phone devices. Microsoft requires there to only be 3 buttons on the device aside from camera, power and volume. If Google could pressure Android manufacturers to do something similar, it would be a great help.

  • billc

    This is the year for Google to revolutionize the smartphone. The GNote was a good example. I believe Apple is actually chasing now and only improving. I believe moving towards the vision of a smartphone being the hub of all laptop, tablet, and smartphone functions will win in the end. Then is the time to improve.

    • JamesR624

      Again? “this year” is ALWAYS the year for “Google to revolutionize the smartphone”. It was in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. And have they ever actually done that? No. Android has always been a mess when it comes to developing and hardware. And its just getting messier and messier. Devs run from it and consumers are confused by it.

      Now. Im not an Apple fanboy but if Apple’s restrictions and small screen that android fans always use for arguments are ACTUALLY such a problem that they claim it is; why does apple still have the most successful phone on the planet? Why does it have the most dev support of ANY OS despite the limitations? It seems to me, these “problems” with the iPhone are negligible, and its easy to see that millions of consumers, developers and even governing officials would agree.

      Yes, part of it is apple’s excellent marking skills. But let me say this. I’ve switched back and forth between Android and iOS a LOT the past couple months. I HATE Apple’s OS but its the most useful as a smartphone needs to be. It has what REALLY matters in a smartphone, Apps, usefulness. Try finding me a good office suite, a way to manage my bank, a good sketching app, a good music making app, AND a good movie making app in the Android Market (Play store).

      Yes there are things I DESPERATLY wish iOS had, but the fact remains that if you need to get an app to get something done, you’ll probably find it in the App Store. I know I have. I also know I’ve looked for the same stuff on the Play Store and have shit.

  • Tariq

    Yes we’ve heard all this before but the fact of the matter is the tide for nokia and rim is going out and for android it’s coming in. One little phone isn’t going to stem the tide, especially when the boys at android are just about to really flex their mussels. Every android maker is coming up with absolutely cutting edge technology. The rest have seen their days, the future belongs to android. The tide has turned and its unstoppable. Android rules the world inshaallah, this year and for the foreseeable future ameen.

  • Darkseider

    Microsoft will gain very little with the Lumia 900 push on AT&T. Plain and simple it just doesn’t have what it takes to surpass either the iPh*ne or Android phones in power, features, functionality and most of all applications.

  • Sam

    If and only if Google starts learning how to announce and release a good phone with very good applications, I would consider switching from my iphone

    Until then, I really do not care about what samsung , htc, at&t, verizon, etc release

    All that might interest me is what comes from google

  • Thomas

    The author is actually just a troll from M$, is pushing its crap and rounding error WP. Who cares about WP? Nowadays, the No.1 of the market is Android, Apple with No.2, and RIM is running in the third one. WP is far far away from behind, please, beat a No.4 competitor like Symbian, then come here to say something. Come on!

  • Alex Belko

    Now that’s really beautiful design. Lumia 900 is ugly (imho) not a competitor to modern android devices, iphone 5 is a strong one though, but with all popular apps and developers coming to android I don’t worry much for the future of it

  • Me

    Android will live on, iPhone will die when all the sheep realize the cool aid is poisoned….

    • JamesR624

      I find it hilarious that the Apple haters give much more attention to Apple’s products than the fanboys too. Most haters talk about the “iPad 2″ or “The new iPad” and use buzzwords like “sheep” and “kool-aid”. You know the only other group that does this as much as Apple haters? Apple’s marketing team.
      Meanwhile, us “fanboys” (apparently if you use 2 or more of their products, you’re a fanboy automatically) are just using our tablets and phones. You wanna know what I call my “iPhone 4S”? I Just call it my phone.

  • Debbie K

    I think there will be a future for Android as well as other operating systems. As a long time PDA/smartphone user and nerd (used to own : Psion Revo with EPOC, to the first PocketPC’s, Windows Mobile smartphones, to Android), i have some ‘experience’ (rom cooking for WM).

    What I don’t like is the fragmentation of the Android platform (upgrading etc.), as a geek by nature, most of the time I want the new upgrade, but I don’t have the cashflow for that. I don’t have the time to do the rom cooking/porting myself.

    From a usability standpoint; Android is usable but not perfect. I know that Windows Mobile had it shortcomings too but that’s still my main platform for simple web browsing and navigation.

    Security is always an issue. Take a good hosts file and a good firewall and most users will be ‘fine’. But privacy has to be more of a priority.

    What I want; I like Meego, I also like Android, I also still use Windows Mobile 6.5, I use Ubuntu Linux on a daily basis (not Windows). For me, it is too fragmented to choose a main platform. That’s why I would like to see – in an ideal world – a good merge between Meego/Android/Linux. Like what Windows 8 is supposed to be (I don’t like Metro btw). I would love to be able to use everything I use (and tweak) on my LinuxBox on my smartphone (all hardware is capable these days). That’s it.

    I can see that Android has a bright future, but it needs to mature. Like my children (2 and 4); they use touchscreens by instinct, the interface does not matter too much to them. They like FUN. For them I want to make the switch to Android, but I cannot.

    My main phone is still my good ole PEBL U6 ;-)

  • bolanrox

    not knocking one or the other. but iphones / android / bb / dumb phones all have their place and uses. It really depends on the person and what they want or need.

    If for nothing else I would hope that the competition would lead to faster advances and lower prices in the end :)

  • http://None Javier Bastardo

    Not one word about Boot To Gecko?

  • Droid Smith

    As a beginner Android Programmer, I look forward to creating applications that are of the highest possible quality. Applications that are more intuitive, more attractive, and more useful can make a big difference in getting iPhone users to switch or keep existing Android costumers. I think that by focusing on beating Apple in each and every little detail is the way to really compete. I am somewhat puzzled how a group of cell phone manufacturers and Google are not able to slow down Apple’s advancement.

  • Thiago

    When you buy a phone you also “buy” the entire software ecosystem of the platform, windows mobile has a very weak ecosystem. Bellow you can see the total number of apps available 2012 for each operating system.

    IOS 500.000
    Android 450.000
    Windows mobile 18.000

    The amount of software available for windows is so much behind that it does not make sense to buy it´s platform. Microsoft is counting many users are unaware of this to gain some market share.

    Since there are not many users, not many software developers get interested. This vicious cycle is the hardest part to win the market.

    IOS has the largest pool of software available but android is growing faster so it will have the largest ecosystem pretty soon. Comparing software availability either android or IOS is a good choice but choosing windows mobile is simply a bad.

  • Manik Mahajan

    How about presence of Android in devices other than Mobile Phones . Do you think 2012 may have more Google TVs and smart networked appliances which may use Android?

  1. I’m still convinced Android tablets are going to make a rise. Especially with Apple being anti stylus and Android having native stylus support. Manufacturers are getting more and more stylus friendly, and that may just change things (for the better)!

    • The stylus reminds too many people including myself of the Palm Pilot days. I don’t think the stylus, outside the realm of the Galaxy note is going to make a huge comeback.

      • Alexandre AndradeGuest 3 years ago

        I think the problem with the stylus on old devices is the NEED to use it. The new S-Pen is an extra, that works great, but it is not necessary to operate the device. The need of the stylus was a downside on those devices like Palm, but today, with good and sensitive touchscreens, it’s a great plus!

      • I’m actually waiting for the Note 10.1 just because of the wacom stylus.

        I’m sure many uni students will appreciate the stylus. I’m in a degree where we do alot of writing, not typing. This would be much better than a laptop (IMO)

    • Sadly, I disagree. Looking back, we can find quite a few reasons why Android managed to beat the iPhone in the total market share of the smartphone market. One thing that keeps coming up in my mind is that with a smartphone, Google does not need to convince a consumer why he needs a smartphone. Most people know why they want one. No, Apple did not define a smartphone — the buyer did. Back at the date before there was iPhone, people were talking about the inevitably merge of a phone and the iPod. So clearly, people knew what they want. This helps Google enormously because, let’s face it, Google sucks at the consumer space. It basically has no clue how to sell to consumers — otherwise, it wouldn’t create such a chaotic ecosystem. Look, consumers aren’t smart, as many people suggest. Most people have no clue what they want. That’s why it gave rise to advertisement. With a clearly defined consumer product, Google can focus on making the product itself, instead of telling the potential customers why they want one.

      The tablet market is a totally different market. I can say with confidence that even up to this point, many people still don’t know why they want a tablet. The success of the Kindle Fire tells us one thing — a tablet is not an iPad. There’s clearly a market beyond what the iPad defines, and it’s up to the tablet makers to convince consumers that their tablet is what the consumers want. Needless to say, Google completely failed in this challenge. If I could only make one prediction on tablets, I would bet on that Microsoft would ultimately succeed in this space, not by selling tons of tablets, but by redefining what a tablet is — it will try to convince everyone that a tablet is nothing more than an ultra mobile touchable PC, which you may or may not need one.

      Android’s biggest enemy is itself — with the current strategy, we can start to predict what comes next. OEM will want to provide their own versions of content store (why do you think HTC bought a streaming music company?) We cannot blame them. After all, Google isn’t sharing revenue with the OEM when an user buys something from Google Play. It’s time for Google to re-think its strategy. Otherwise, one day, all Android devices might be like a Kindle Fire — the Google Play entities are nowhere to be found.

      • Mostly agree. However:

        ” I can say with confidence that even up to this point, many people still don’t know why they want a tablet”

        A tablet does some things that are too cumbersome to do with a notebook. That’s it. People may not be aware of the fact, but _intuitively_ they know it. Like you said, the general public may need to be educated: the iPad is a success on this front. You may not _need_ a tablet (like a smartphone), but you love its convenience. Bed, airport, living room…
        __________

        “OEM will want to provide their own versions of content store (why do you think HTC bought a streaming music company?)”

        Good luck to them. History does not favor them.

        Truth is, they don’t add anything the consumer values as added value. History shows they were just trying to differentiate for the sake of differentiating and locking-in people. Now, now… if they truly reinvent themselves and start _specializing_ into content (Kindle), making that another business front (and not just a lock-in tool), I can see it happening.
        __________

        “We cannot blame them. After all, Google isn’t sharing revenue with the OEM when an user buys something from Google Play.”

        And why should they do that? I still think OEMs need Google more than Google needs the OEMs, albeit not by much more, and the divorce would hurt them all. They add manufacturing experience, which helps drive content. They don’t add anything in the content front directly. And they already have their share of rewards for what they do.

        In short, in these days of MS pseudo-buying-out Nokia, it’s definitely easier to buy an OEM than it is to create a successful mobile operating system. What happens to Nokia when other OEMs goes fully into WP also? Software companies will dominate the OEMs just like they did in the PC era. It started just like that. We even had a share of the same players doing most of the same thing back then. Nokia is still going to be the biggest loser in the end.

        Besides, let’s assume that each one create their own feuds. What if Google reacts and decides to pull the plug on the GApps for those OEMs? After all, Google is in for marketshare and to avoid being locked-out o the mobile space. If they lose even that, why continue to bother with them? Will they risk losing GSearch, GMail, GMaps and GNav? Sorry, except for Bing in Search, I don’t see any other Map or Mail API taking over. Hotmail is a joke. And that is just changing Lords. Perhaps for worse and in all fronts.

        Replicating Amazon model? I doubt. Amazon is just the greatest seller in the world, IMO. Awesome infrastructure and API. Samsung and HTC doing it? Very unlikely.

        Anyway, not saying that you’re wrong… just brainstorming with opinions… After all, we’re in the right story for that. :-)

      • sez1Guest 3 years ago

        Droid,
        You’re right about Microsoft

    • oh they will make a rise for sure as cheap tablets are introduced everywhere… however, the content, the ability to be upgraded to the new software as soon as it is announced will be missing from google unless google changes the current process… it has been very frustrating… we’ll see what windows does with their tablet later on this year…

    • CaptainBuckGuest 3 years ago

      I’m still completely convinced Android is more efficient for users than iOS.
      I ‘believe’ that all of the ideas ‘fit to print’ for iOS were in the first iPhone. If it wasn’t there, it wasn’t intended by Jobs.
      Therefore, the notification bar… Score 1 for Android.
      Homescreen Widgets displaying data in real time without ‘opening an app’. Score 2 for Android.
      JUST those 2 things alone, way better from a UI perspective than IOS.
      Score 3 is different form factors, though it brings the negative of non standard implementations.

      And now, for Tablets… Honeycomb… different notification system in the lower right corner… that DOESN’T take up half the screen… again, Score 1 more for Android allowing things to be ‘different’.

  2. What will happen is that android will still be the best and more people will begin to recognize it.

    • The problem is that it’s not the best in all categories. There are things that other OSes do better than Android, and Android needs to learn from the competition in some ways. I think Windows Phone will become slightly more relevant, largely at RIM’s expense, and the gap between Apple and Android will shrink a bit.

      • I own an HD7 as my secondary phone. I was just curious about the WP7. Love the Xbox Live integration and games for mobile. It’s a solid OS but didn’t do enough for me to switch. There are just so many things you can do with Android.

        I do agree with WP being slightly more relevant.
        For me, the OS is what pushes the device. Android is here to stay.

  3. Nice article. I agree that RIM would benefit Google/Android. I know a lot of people that are always complaining about certain things that RIM did/does better than Android and I’m sure they’d be extremely excited if they joined forces. I really can’t wait for the One series to come out. I love the One X, but I’d be perfectly fine with the One S.

    • I was soooooo wanting this One X…. and then they took away the quad core, and not even giving it a newer dual core. Then, no SD. I know many don’t mind this, but I do. Then, no replaceable battery, again, some are fine, but I dont work at a desk nor am I in a car periodically. I have no problem with an extra juice box slipped in my back pocket. This still is an amazing phone, just not the flagship phone of the summer for me. G SIII will be for me.

      • KlausGuest 3 years ago

        Uh…the S4 IS a new dual-core processor and has been shown to outdo the Tegra 3 in most benchmarks.

        • I agree dualcore S3 or dualcore S4 simply equal dualcore been there done that. Galaxy S3 will be the device for 2012 who beats quadcore/exynos/Lte/Verizon. All these are great things for the future of 2012. As far as the upcoming iphone 5 you won’t see NO MAJOR DESIGN CHANCE. Same old 3.5 inch screen look at the new ipad quadcore gpu instead of cpu. The incremental update in the iphone 5 will be LTE and a bigger battery plus quadcore gpu nothing special here that’s for sure. Nokia Lumia 900 WHO WANTS that devices any way??? Even for free it’s going nowhere. Android will always be fine as long as apple continues to be apple WHY because the innovation comes from Samsung-Htc-Motorola.

          • SteamGuest 3 years ago

            “LTE and a bigger battery plus quadcore gpu nothing special here”. You really do thrive on wanton stupidity.
            We know, Richard. You *claim” to have a GNex, Verizon, and LTE is (fill in something a 3-year-old would say, like “Boss”), yet LTE isn’t a big deal? You are so screwed up, you can’t keep track of your own bullshit. Actually, I thibnk that even you can remember what you say from day to day, you’re just looking to make yourself look increasingly stupid. Do try to not get yourself killed before February 2014, I have money riding on you neve4r learning anything. Actually, I’m going to see if I can make anopther bet that you’ll actually get worse. It’s a safe bet, especially after reading your regurgitated nonsense fro almost two years.
            I’m sure your son is proud; “Look what my dad does! He is by far, the most ignorant, hypocritical, insulting, stupid, know-nothing on the internet, there are billions of people, and he has more issues, lies and bullshit than anyone! He even believes what he says!”

          • Dude…have you seen the new Nokia 900? That thing is beautious. I will be buying one for testing. I wish Nokia would have went to Android. The design, heft, and build quality are damn near perfect. I remember my old 6150 took a beating, and still ran like a champ. I can only imagine that their build quality didn’t go to crap in the past years.

            I am really hoping that they can port android onto the Lumia 900. I would be a happy man if that happened. It would make me purchase another one just to tweak/hack. (have to keep one stock for testing purposes)

            I am an Android fanboy, but I do recognize quality when I see it. To not see how the 900 is a bad ass phone is very short sighted. I bet if this was running Android (and you owned it) we couldn’t get you to stop talking about it. No hate involved here. Jus’ Sayin’.

  4. I think Android gets its biggest gains in Q4 and moving into next year. Phones, tablets, and OS.

    • I’m with Dustin in which how things will play out since it is very logical thinking.

    • The big gains you speak of will be temporary only to be crushed by the upcoming new iPhone. I personally don’t see SGS3, HTC One, or any other Android phone pulling major market share away from iPhone. In fact, I would say if Apple puts a larger screen into the next iPhone, then even die-hard Android fans like myself may very well make the switch.
      Google is losing the ball on their Nexus line with slow updates, and personally I’m ready for a phone with stellar hardware that is backed by awesome support and OS updates…something Apple has proven to excel in.

      • apple lacks in something, innovation, they are not innovating anymore they are just imitating Aos and WP7, and the ui is soo simple that is stupid imo apple need a lot of rethinking or bring something new to the table

        “bigger screen”. “more resolution’ and even “more graphics” in computeres now days its like talking about how to do a toast.

        what i like about android its the UI, and the (sadly fragmented but yet nicee) ecosystem, google its a dangerous company in the long run look how android evolved over a few years… give more time to google to polish the edges, its like making a katana, every fold makes it stronger…

      • I read somewhere that the reason Apple has not introduced a new screen is due to the fact all their apps are designed for the size of the current models. If they were to move to a bigger screen, then their apps would look stretched and squeezed, giving the bigger iPhone’s users a mess to look at.

        Analysts say that this is where Apple shot itself in the foot. I wish I can remember where I read t his.

        • Me too. I don’t have experience with iOS development, but for what I’ve heard, they don’t have anything remotely as efficient as the scalable API that Android offers.

          You know, all that abstracted density stuff. And even if they change that, there comes the legacy issue.

          • Of course, I’d like to be proven wrong. It’s that I really don’t know.

        • That may be possible, I’m not sure. I do know that developers have to update their apps to look correct on the new iPad Retina screen. Same might be true for a larger iPhone screen. Regardless, the developers are updating their apps to accommodate the new iPad, I assume they would do the same for a larger iPhone.

          Personally, I don’t see that as a reason for Apple to avoid a larger screen, but who knows.

      • “The big gains you speak of will be temporary only to be crushed by the upcoming new iPhone”

        That’s the problem with people. They say things so peremptorily. People said that the new amazing iPhone 4, the most advanced piece of hardware ever invented, would crush and leave no space for competition. The Mac media were even worried about Apple monopolizing the smartphone market! The retina display would kill everything else, and nothing would come close. Form and function blended like never before in History.

        Sorry, I’m not being an a**. I actually remember reading those words.

        Now, fast forward. Where was the iPhone 4 market share again?

  5. DaGuest 3 years ago

    Android is available on many different phone forms, carriers and prices. It’s similar to the way Windows dominates in desktops and laptops.

  6. boldoliverGuest 3 years ago

    you are being way too pessimistic. with GS3, HTC one X and ICS/Jelly bean, this will be another booming year for android.

    • Yeah, ICS was a boom for Android. And yet it’s only on 1% of devices and the general public has no clue what Android 4.0 is.

  7. Postal JimGuest 3 years ago

    Fragmentation will result in android becoming the new Blackberry. Windows phones will take over 2nd place by 2014…….if not sooner.

    • I know this is not going to be a popular comment, but I feel this will come true. I have a SII and plan on getting the SIII as soon as it hits the states, but unless Google can obtain/retain developers who are running for the hills to get away from 3-5 OS’s and just as many UI’s, progress appears to be stagnating.

      Meanwhile, back at Microsoft, tons of money and a real desire to succeed in the cell phone arena, (finally!), will cause a rift in their California Cousin’s (Apple/Google) universe. Windows Phones will become the new Blackberry. Government and businesses will jump on the bandwagon to be able to seamlessly utilize MS PC software with a Windows phone.

      Apple for sure, and most likely Android will survive, but Android has the most to lose in this scenario. MS and Nokia are going to continue to flood the market with discounted high quality devices and slowly (or more quickly) take bigger and bigger bytes out of the Apple OS Pie and Android’s Key Lime Pie…….

      Now, vote my comment down, call me names, and tell me how stupid I am……And I will repost this in 18-24 months and we will see if I was even remotely accurate, or really as dumb as you are thinking I am now! lol

      • waltGuest 3 years ago

        I see what you did there: “bytes out of apple OS pie and android key Lime pie” , clever

      • I’m sorry. I think all your reasoning fail because of how you started:

        “progress appears to be stagnating”

        If there is one thing, is that Android progress is NOT stagnating lately. It’s in fact accelerating. Not saying anything Market share, I’m talking about OS advances.

    • What do you think “fragmentation” means to the average user? This seems more of a pissing contest among people. I doubt the average user knows or cares what version of Android they are running.

      • Sgb101Guest 3 years ago

        Once HTML5 is fully adopted , fragmentation will not be an issue for devs, your app will work on every platform.

        As you say the average user does not care nor even know it exists. Most I speak to don’t call them android phones, it’s a moto, HTC or sammy. They dont care .

        It’s only us geeks that do, and we make up such a small percentage these days (no thanks for being here from day one) there not bothered what we think .

        • HTML5 is not a native app killer. True, it will eventually make it “easier” to be cross platform, but native apps will still very much have a place for the foreseeable future.

      • JakeGuest 3 years ago

        They may not know what version of Android they’re running, but they’ll care when they replace their current Android phone with whatever Android phone is free with their next two year contract renewal and they have problems. They may not know what fragmentation is, but they’ll be frustrated when their app data and Angry Birds levels don’t seamlessly transfer to their new phones. They’ll also be upset when their new phone isn’t as compatible with their new phone as was with their last phone.

  8. Not a single day goes by without one “Android is dying…” article popping up on my Google News stream. I wonder how much is crApple paying them to write this stuff.

  9. yyyyGuest 3 years ago

    not too bright

  10. ion orovGuest 3 years ago

    I hope Google and gang wakes up in 2012. They completely dropped the ball last year in the tablet space.

    Really wanted a decent Android tablet to go along with my GS2 but … they all sucked (honey-lag, high-prices, heavy unattractive designs, etc…). Ended up with the new ipad instead.

    I’m hoping Samsung or Asus can turn it around. They need to release tablets that match or even beat iPads and price them competitively. And for the love of all things holy… stop launching with lagtastic Honeycomb (i.e., everyone not Asus).

    Not really looking forward to the Nexus tablet. The purported low low price makes me really worried about its quality. Also, its Google… probably the only company that has worse customer service is probably Ocean Marketing :D

    • cooldoodsGuest 3 years ago

      Why do you want a tablet? Just curious. I have a laptop for heavy surfing with Flash support and productivity applications. My Galaxy Note’s 5.3″ screen lets me do mobile tasks well, similar to a tablet experience.

      • ion orovGuest 3 years ago

        I’m doing a PhD. I read tons of research papers, many of which are in the dreaded 2-column format.

        Reading these papers is not similar to reading a book. You don’t go page by page slowly. You’re usually moving back and forth, reading and re-reading prior pages and looking at coloured graphs. Plus the 2-column format really messes with the experience.

        I’ve tried e-ink readers but the lag and general screen sizes just make it an exercise in futility. With a tablet, I can have all my PDFs in one device. I can read and refer to individual pages within PDFs fairly quickly.

        Plus, a big bonus is the ability to annotate and scribble on the PDFs. So, I no longer have to lug around a thick binder of papers with all my scribbles and notes on them.

        —-

        Also, tablets are a god-send when organising other scribbles, notes and ideas. If I have an idea, I can easily do a rough drawing and send it to my Profs. So, instead of a mad mess of rough paper drawings strewn all over my office desk and at home, I just have everything on my iPad.

        —-

        Tablets are more portable than laptops, last far longer and have great instant-on capabilities. Sure, you can “suspend” you laptop… IME, that usually kills off the battery. They make far far better devices to go on long trips with.

        —-

        Ever since I got my SGS2, I noticed that I actually do a lot of surfing and reading and tv/movie watching on it. Often, I go to bed, start reading my feeds and boom, an hour has gone by :)

        There’s something to be said about just kicking back on the couch and just reading and surfing. I love doing it on my phone… I absolutely love doing it with the larger screen on my ipad.

        —-

        For me, laptops are unnecessary. I have powerful desktops with large monitors at home and at Uni. They are far more ideal and comfortable to work with than a cramped laptop. Plus, these desktops make kick-ass gaming machines :)

        For everything else, I have my SGS2 and my Ipad.

        • jdGuest 3 years ago

          I am in a similar shoes as you are but I found myself still printing out papers instead of reading them on my iPad. The annotation is not as convenient as they could be (screaming out for better Stylus support).

          Even though I travel more and more without my laptop, but if I am serious about studying I would still carry my laptop since my major involves a lot of programming, terminal access, and latexing (or word with special math notations in there), and there is no way to do any of them on an ipad (maybe the ssh).

          And I do want an Android tab that runs Linux, failing that, a windows tab that runs win 8.

          • Ion orovGuest 3 years ago

            The problem with printing out papers for me is that I am a forgetful and those papers will always go missing when I need them the most.

            You can buy styluses. I just buy really cheap styluses (10 for $5) that I put everywhere within easy reach.

            I do a lot of programming / latexing too. I just do it on my desktop. Can’t stand doing it hunched over a small screen laptop. For me, its very rare that I’m on a train and suddenly need to code something up :)

            Yes, me too. I’m hoping for an android/Linux tablet. Imagine if the TF prime could boot Linux, came with a stylus and was priced decently….

      • ion orovGuest 3 years ago

        Oh, and I had a Dell Streak 5 previously.

        Reading 2-column PDFs on such a small screen is just maddening. You’re endlessly panning, zooming and moving about to read stuff.

        I think the sweet spot is 7-inches. I’m really eyeing the Galaxy Tab 7.7. More screen real-estate but not too bulky/heavy as my iPad.

        Problem is, Samsung lives in this other world where ipads and kindle fires don’t exist and pricing it _higher_ than ipads. Lol.

  11. OmahaDZLGuest 3 years ago

    Why didnt you touch on the ability of android phones/tablets to run Linux? To me this is the big revolution thats going to happen in the very near future. With the amount of memory and processing power available in our devices, being able to run both a full OS and a mobile OS in the same device is the killer app for any mobile device. Android is on the cutting edge of this and will likely be the first to market with it. Apple and microsoft will likely come up with a light version of their OS’s to copy the idea….but this is the future.

    • uhmm, they already run Linux. Did you know that Android is a version of Linux? Where do you think the kernel comes from?

      • winksGuest 3 years ago

        uhmm, yes I am aware that Android is a version of Linux. I am referring to the devices running the full linux operating system…… spend your time googling instead of trolling

        • Ahh, cute. Err.. I mean… So, what is Linux? What do you mean by “full Linux”? Because one version of Linux is not Linux?
          But you already knew that, right?
          If you already knew that, do you keep changing user name when you post?

          • JakeGuest 3 years ago

            We get it…you know stuff about Linux. Now, here (tosses a goat); Get back under your bridge.

    • CharlieGuest 3 years ago

      I run Ubuntu 10.10 on my Asus Slider, runs pretty good.

  12. LoxGuest 3 years ago

    Did you get paid by MS to says such stupid things about the Lumia 900 ?!? It has a 2011 hardware: single core, no HD screen etc …. It can’t even compare to actual phones so how would it compare to phones coming in 2012 ???

  13. Yeah more competition will result in a reduction in sales but i think the “feature to smart phone” transition will play a big part in determining sales for the next couple of years. This is where windows phones will make a big dent in rim, apple and android. With android having the greatest potential loss (most devices in same price category) which also amounts to the greatest potential gain.

    It really is all up in the air at the moment. As you stated there will be a continued heavily funded marketing campaign for windows phones but whether they will make a huge dent in the market we don’t know. Personally i think that the companies currently in the market always have the advantage. Think about the amount of people who would recommend their friends or family a device based on current ownership. People are persuaded more by the opinion and experience of friends/family than ads.

    I think, dont underestimate androids capability for expansion. It has the greatest diversity which gives it a great level of adaptibility and resiliance.

  14. I hate to say it, but I think 2012 might be the year that the dreaded f-word actually begins to negatively effect Android. Android 4.0 is by far the biggest revision the platform has seen to date, and 6 months later only ~2% of devices have it. 4.0 broke a lot of apps but developers haven’t had much incentive to fix them because nobody is running ICS. What happens when we jump to Jelly Bean? Hopefully Google figures something out before the “Android is fragmented” folks start being right.

  15. EGuest 3 years ago

    This is just me speaking from experience at first I didn’t care much for an Android device and the G1 was extremely ugly compared to the BB storm and iPhone original got to experiment with all 3 and ended falling in love with Android and this was with 1.5 cupcake Android has evolved a lot since and just keeps getting much more better with 4.x and above and I know there’s others like me that can say the same because to me Android is light years ahead of the competition and don’t think I haven’t forgotten about WP either and I still choose Android till they fall

  16. cooldoodsGuest 3 years ago

    IPads will continue to dominate the tablet space. Android tablets and Windows 8 tablets will eat up a bit of market share unless Apple comes out with a lower-priced tablet.

    As for smartphones, only Nokia will be a viable Phone manufacturer. As for market share, Windows Phones will rise a bit but only slightly, unless they target the enterprise to replace RIM as the favored phone in this space.

    Android will be livelier this year with more ICS devices and updates coming out.

  17. Lucian ArmasuGuest 3 years ago

    I think you have way too much confidence in WP7 and Nokia. Nokia is just one company, and the others don’t try so hard with WP7. Android activations increase in a month by more than Nokia can sell Lumia’s. And isn’t Lumia 900 just a slightly improved Nokia 800, but with larger screen? It has a single core 1.4 Ghz processor and a 800×480 resolution at 4.3″, and yet you say “it can easily last for 2 years” hardware wise. I fail to see how that would be true.

    People are already starting to get bored with WP7 after using it for a few months. It’s shiny at first, and then you realize you can’t do a whole bunch with it, and it lacks in functionality compared to Android.

  18. Lt BlakGuest 3 years ago

    it’s high time that Google should integrate all of the apps in Android just the way they have done it for desktops

  19. keionGuest 3 years ago

    Hey. Dustin Early, do u play heroes of newerth??? If u do wat is ur name ???

  20. anamikaGuest 3 years ago

    Not a day goes without seeing some Nokia Lumia ad on TV in India. Still it had not picked up. With Android moving to even lower prices it booming in India. $900 iPhone never had a chance.
    There are now numerous companies selling $100-200 Android tablets ( AllWinner A10) and their demand is picking up. Unless iPad or W8 come aroudn $300 Android is going to increase it market share at least in India.

  21. Mike HansbergerGuest 3 years ago

    Apple is expensive and had appeal to early adopters, but not as much appeal to the next wave of adopters because second generation adopters are always more cost conscious. Android fits this bill because you can chose a low end phone as an entry level phone and that is why 2011 was a banner year for Android.

    Windows will also have this option and Windows will seem less intimidating to new users because they are familiar with Windows on their PC. What Windows doesn’t seem to have that Android has is also the higher level phones. Those appeal to existing smartphone users that have now realized the power of a smartphone and are ready to get a phone with all the power and options they now desire.

    Customer retention is important, but right now the new customers pie is much larger and that is where Android and Windows have huge advantages over Apple with their low cost entry level phones. Windows issue is that they charge big license fees for their operating system on their phones and Nokia has nowhere else to go. Other phone manufactures are not lining up at Windows door because of that. This will continue to give Android the widest selection of phones and as a result the broadest appeal to the many different types of customers.

  22. Mike LowreyGuest 3 years ago

    Hi,

    i’m really pleased how objective your view on WP7 is… Thanks for that!

  23. My findings on what phones and OS people finally end up with, in my own (non-scientific) observations of friends and families, has nothing to do with technology or what eco-system you wish to follow, but purely on the price.

    Most of my friends, except the hard core Android minority, would get an iPhone tomorrow if they could afford one, but instead have ended up with an Android phone, simply because that was the phone that was offered as an upgrade option by their carrier and no other reason.

    They have liked their Android phones, but to them a phone is a phone. So for these people and I guess the same may apply generally, is if offered any phone at the right price the majority of people would take any phone regardless of what OS it’s running.

    Already among the people I know, Android phones are in the minority, with absolutely everyone else (60%) owning or planning to get the iPhone as they perceive it to be the better product and for those who don’t own smartphones yet, the only smartphone they know off is also the iPhone, if they end up with one will be determined by their ability to afford one.

    So as time goes forward, Apple will still be, IMO, the most desired phone, with great marketing and the only restrictive factor being the price.

    Android may well still be the most popular device due to effective pricing and saleability for carriers.

    WM7 and Nokia hook-up (for the familiarity aspect) and low prices could see a jump in demand for the WM platform.

    I personally feel Android will remain top but with a decreasing margin. They will continue to sell but IMO only because of the numbers and an affordable option to the iPhone.

    Currently all advertising seen on TV etc for the iPhone has nothing much to do with the specs of the iPhone but what it can do and until recently with the Samsung adverts, none were readily available for Android phones (this is the responsibility of the manufacturers) with as far as I can recall only efforts for Samsung and HTC.

    For Android I believe marketing is the key, other than us users, do the general public really realise what these phones are capable of?

  24. Cool article

  25. The competitors fear Android’s strategy which why they are always under attack. So they don’t have to change a thing.

    There will always be some platform on the rise or some device to beat the next but I feel Android doesn’t need to do anything but improve upon itself.

    Android needs to have a stronger, clearer identity where anyone can pick up an Android phone and use it without making a funny confused face.

    Android needs devs tools that at the very least take the strain out of creating a million and one assets for the multitude of device specs.

    And that’s it. Fragmentation, OS upgrades and the like will level out as Android matures

  26. Lucky chauhanGuest 3 years ago

    Yess i agree with your post… you have written a wonderful article thank you…
    http://www.tecfreak.com

  27. LeeGuest 3 years ago

    Google doesn’t care if Android OS is generating large amounts of revenue on it own and it a closed introverted mobile tech only mentality that thinks that it does. Google Inc has been and always will be primarily the worlds largest Advertising company. It primary aim in developing Android and everything else they do is as another platform on which to display the adds from its PPC and CPM Text and Display Ads network. This is how they generate their colossal revenues. It not comparable to Apple or Microsofts objectives as they’re eye is on a complete different goal. So in terms of its primary goal of offering search engine and a host of other services to display its cash cow adds on, it stinking rich and has left all of it competitors collapsed somewhere back near the starting blocks. Selling Apps is a sedentary symbiotic byproduct that encourages app developers and generate some income for themselves as they create customization and functionality for the Android Ad Platform OS.

  28. TariqGuest 3 years ago

    Yes we have heard this before but the fact of the matter is the tide for nokia and rim is going out and for android it’s coming in. If nokia had gone android, then they would have had a chance but too little too late. Android is going from strength to strength and will dominate. Inshaallah

  29. DominicGuest 3 years ago

    I predict a significant disruption to all smartphones (and tablets to a lesser extent) later in the year when Google announces a pair of Android-powered smartglasses. As an iOS developer I’d instantly drop everything in that space and dive into the Android SDK to realize all the Robocop augmented display ideas that have been buzzing around in my head since the rumors of such a device first hit.

    I’m almost bored of smartphones now. I’m ready for the wearable-tech era to arrive! It’s clearly the stepping stone to implanted biotech that we all know is coming one day :)

    Also… Apple will likely enter with an official iPod Nano wrist watch running iOS and opening that up to developers. Again, wearable tech, but not quite as exciting in my mind.

    Microsoft will continue to lag behind the innovation curve and lose out to both Google and Apple. They took too long with WinPho 7. They’re taking too long with Windows 8. I see no reason why any en-masse would jump into that space unless they can leverage Xbox more. I won’t count Microsoft out though… never do that.

    A Google purchase of RIM is an interesting prospect though. I like it. Equally, what if Apple radically decided to buy it up and signal an entry into the Enterprise space? Very unlikely but it’d worry a few Microsoft bods if they did. It’d be pocket change for them right now too.

    Anyway…2012-2013: wearable tech.

    • LeeGuest 3 years ago

      Already available http://bit.ly/HGsIOJ . Rim should be using Android already with a BB Skin ala touchwiz or senseUI. Pretty much a no brainer in terms of marketing. Give the People what they want want and they they want is android…. not underdeveloped and neglected bbos

    • Wearable tech does sound an improvement over the current crop of technologies. What is to follow after quad-core ?? Definitely not more cores. At least something like the Padfone is a good innovation. It’s time to think about the NEXT.

  30. for a good price point (an no additional contracts) I could see getting a tablet, $150-$200 for a good wifi only tablet? not bad at all.

    I still look at them as a novelty item, I mean We have desk top computers, probably a lap top, a smart phone, maybe an I touch.

    The only reason i would even get a tablet at is point is to putz around on it sitting on the couch or when i am on vacation or something. I would only use it for fun, so to spend iPad prices for it just does not make sense, but sub $200, now that is more justifiable to have a new toy for my birthday or holiday or something.. :)

  31. The SageGuest 3 years ago

    Ok wait !

    Every 3-4 days come up with some such honest “android-fanboy THINKING ALOUD !” , stop , every day i see this the more i feel like visiting android-central or androidforums or something

  32. LeeGuest 3 years ago

    @Dominic – Already available http://bit.ly/HGsIOJ . Both Nokia and Rim should be using Android already with a BB or Nokia Skin ala touchwiz or senseUI. Pretty much a no brainer in terms of marketing. Give the People what they want want and they they want is android…. not underdeveloped and neglected bbos or an overly simplified and basic locked down wp7 experience.

  33. Excellent read!
    A bit of a deja vu considering the conversation I had about Microsoft and Nokia with my friend yesterday ;)

    I learn that the speculation of iPhone 5 has already started a bit too early. Apple wouldn’t really supersede its phones in such a short time. My guess is they will wait until the next Nexus comes out. They certainly have to call it iPhone 5 and that warrants a reasonable time frame before they can really make an impact. Having said that, I do believe they must have been working on it before they released 4S.

    About Microsoft, they just have to be smart. They have a huge advantage in the desktop space. All they have to do is utilize it properly while they release Windows 8.

  34. Google purchasing RIM would be a slam dunk for them getting into the corporate arena. If only just for the patents, it would be an excellent purchase.

    Even where I work, Blackberries are going away and we’re starting to see lots of iPhones and Android devices popup.

  35. Not sure if it has been brought up or not in these comments, but I think the OEMs need to slow down with the different models of phones. I understand that Android is about choice and the fact that you can get a phone with different screen sizes, from different manfuacturers, with different specs, etc. But I think the low-end phones give Android a bad name.

    I think this article does a great deal of explaining why cheap Android phones are going to ruin the platform and people’s view of Android. A lot of people go into the carrier stores and they will push low-end Android devices on them and then a few months later you are out of support or not seeing new software – that would bother me. I’m sure a lot of people don’t realize it, but when your friend or family member comes home with a Nexus running ICS and you wonder why you don’t have it you’ll start asking and complaining. http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/27/please-do-not-buy-cheap-android-phones/

    The article above is definitely a good read and this is my opinion of something that needs to change in 2012, but only time will tell. I’m glad HTC has said they will focus on quality over quantity in 2012.

    • That is for the most part true, but another thing to remember is that Android is popular because of variety. If there are only expensive phones, it will lose the large amount of consumers looking for cheap phones. I believe that if google would simply push out updates to all phones capable of ICS, and in the future jelly bean, within a 2-3 months of the software being released, it would solve the problem better that just getting rid of all the low end phones.

  36. RealistGuest 3 years ago

    The big problem is that the vast majority of people don’t actually NEED a smartphone or tablet. Sure most of them want one, but when pressed, no one really knows what they would do with one. That’s the primary reason that low end devices such as the Kindle Fire and upcoming Google Nexus tablets will sell well. Low cost of entry. The problem with that is that low cost of entry minimizes profit, and with margins razor thin, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for supply problems, marketing, or any other glitches to arise.

    For the corporate and high end users (read high end function usage), Apple will continue to dominate. Why? Because these high end users are more concerned with the Wow factor than actual functionality. The people who gave Apple its foot in the corporate door, are the ones with more money than sense. They bought the cool new Apple gadget because it was something they could show off to the other sheep who think that Apple can do no wrong.

    Don’t get me wrong. Apple has done a lot right. They put together the right interface for their user base, but Apple has been making UIs for morons for decades now. Say what you want, but ease of use makes a HUGE difference. But to say that Apple is high quality and is worth the premium they charge is just boneheaded. If Samsung or LG wanted to produce a UI that appealed to the more money than sense crowd, they could. But they would need to follow it up with MASSIVE marketing campaigns in the boutique set in order to try to catch up with Apple, and I just don’t think they will do that.

    So apple will continue to win the high end. Not because they have a better product, but because they have more cachet. It’s sad, but it’s true.

  37. Android’s biggest challenge ahead is not a technical one. Whether it’s the hardware or the software, Android can compete easily with its rivals. The biggest obstacle ahead is Android itself — how can Google move this army of warships and direct it to aim towards its enemy? It’s a strategical question. And sadly, we couldn’t see an answer because as far as I can tell, Google has lost control. Take NFC as an example. It would be a killer feature if Google can push NFC payment everywhere in last year — 1 year after the Nexus S was introduced. Shouldn’t we see Google Wallet everywhere? No. Google totally blew it. It doesn’t matter why and how their plan failed. The bottomline is, Google failed. There’s limited carrier support, limited NFC capable Android phones, and damn, even if your phone is capable of using Google Wallet, you couldn’t install it if you aren’t with the right carrier. Don’t blame everything onto the carriers — Apple has no problem dealing with them and force them to accept their terms. Google, however, couldn’t do a thing. If there’s not the Droid, Verizon would be destroyed by AT&T when the iPhone was only available there. Google could and SHOULD maintain a very good relationship with Verizon, but apparently, they did such a poor job that they couldn’t even convince Verizon to allow Google Wallet to be installed onto the Galaxy Nexus. The iPhone 5 will definitely have NFC, and by that time, NFC payment will bloom — almost 2 YEARS after the Nexus S was introduced. If Google played the card right, most Android smartphones should have enjoyed NFC for at least 1 year. We basically just sit here, looking at how Android’s rivals catching up.

    • you would think Verizon would have learned after missing out on being the original iPhone carrier, forcing the phone makers to dumb down or limit their phones just not fly any more in this day and age.

  38. EatmodeGuest 3 years ago

    There will be a merge between desktop and phone. Look at what Unbuntu is doing. That is what I want. Drop my phone into a dock, and it becomes a decent desktop. I dont see why not. Linux runs on lower end computers than the smartphones people carry now. Put that tech in the Devs hands and see where it is taken.

  39. Jose GasteazoroGuest 3 years ago

    The reason Windows Phone will work real well is due to what the have done to mimic the iPhone. They havent exactly gone with a single form factor device, but they have imposed minimum requirements on the specifications and design aspects of Windows Phone devices. Microsoft requires there to only be 3 buttons on the device aside from camera, power and volume. If Google could pressure Android manufacturers to do something similar, it would be a great help.

  40. billcGuest 3 years ago

    This is the year for Google to revolutionize the smartphone. The GNote was a good example. I believe Apple is actually chasing now and only improving. I believe moving towards the vision of a smartphone being the hub of all laptop, tablet, and smartphone functions will win in the end. Then is the time to improve.

    • JamesR624Guest 3 years ago

      Again? “this year” is ALWAYS the year for “Google to revolutionize the smartphone”. It was in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. And have they ever actually done that? No. Android has always been a mess when it comes to developing and hardware. And its just getting messier and messier. Devs run from it and consumers are confused by it.

      Now. Im not an Apple fanboy but if Apple’s restrictions and small screen that android fans always use for arguments are ACTUALLY such a problem that they claim it is; why does apple still have the most successful phone on the planet? Why does it have the most dev support of ANY OS despite the limitations? It seems to me, these “problems” with the iPhone are negligible, and its easy to see that millions of consumers, developers and even governing officials would agree.

      Yes, part of it is apple’s excellent marking skills. But let me say this. I’ve switched back and forth between Android and iOS a LOT the past couple months. I HATE Apple’s OS but its the most useful as a smartphone needs to be. It has what REALLY matters in a smartphone, Apps, usefulness. Try finding me a good office suite, a way to manage my bank, a good sketching app, a good music making app, AND a good movie making app in the Android Market (Play store).

      Yes there are things I DESPERATLY wish iOS had, but the fact remains that if you need to get an app to get something done, you’ll probably find it in the App Store. I know I have. I also know I’ve looked for the same stuff on the Play Store and have shit.

  41. TariqGuest 3 years ago

    Yes we’ve heard all this before but the fact of the matter is the tide for nokia and rim is going out and for android it’s coming in. One little phone isn’t going to stem the tide, especially when the boys at android are just about to really flex their mussels. Every android maker is coming up with absolutely cutting edge technology. The rest have seen their days, the future belongs to android. The tide has turned and its unstoppable. Android rules the world inshaallah, this year and for the foreseeable future ameen.

  42. DarkseiderGuest 3 years ago

    Microsoft will gain very little with the Lumia 900 push on AT&T. Plain and simple it just doesn’t have what it takes to surpass either the iPh*ne or Android phones in power, features, functionality and most of all applications.

  43. SamGuest 3 years ago

    If and only if Google starts learning how to announce and release a good phone with very good applications, I would consider switching from my iphone

    Until then, I really do not care about what samsung , htc, at&t, verizon, etc release

    All that might interest me is what comes from google

  44. ThomasGuest 3 years ago

    The author is actually just a troll from M$, is pushing its crap and rounding error WP. Who cares about WP? Nowadays, the No.1 of the market is Android, Apple with No.2, and RIM is running in the third one. WP is far far away from behind, please, beat a No.4 competitor like Symbian, then come here to say something. Come on!

  45. Now that’s really beautiful design. Lumia 900 is ugly (imho) not a competitor to modern android devices, iphone 5 is a strong one though, but with all popular apps and developers coming to android I don’t worry much for the future of it

  46. MeGuest 3 years ago

    Android will live on, iPhone will die when all the sheep realize the cool aid is poisoned….

    • JamesR624Guest 3 years ago

      I find it hilarious that the Apple haters give much more attention to Apple’s products than the fanboys too. Most haters talk about the “iPad 2″ or “The new iPad” and use buzzwords like “sheep” and “kool-aid”. You know the only other group that does this as much as Apple haters? Apple’s marketing team.
      Meanwhile, us “fanboys” (apparently if you use 2 or more of their products, you’re a fanboy automatically) are just using our tablets and phones. You wanna know what I call my “iPhone 4S”? I Just call it my phone.

  47. I think there will be a future for Android as well as other operating systems. As a long time PDA/smartphone user and nerd (used to own : Psion Revo with EPOC, to the first PocketPC’s, Windows Mobile smartphones, to Android), i have some ‘experience’ (rom cooking for WM).

    What I don’t like is the fragmentation of the Android platform (upgrading etc.), as a geek by nature, most of the time I want the new upgrade, but I don’t have the cashflow for that. I don’t have the time to do the rom cooking/porting myself.

    From a usability standpoint; Android is usable but not perfect. I know that Windows Mobile had it shortcomings too but that’s still my main platform for simple web browsing and navigation.

    Security is always an issue. Take a good hosts file and a good firewall and most users will be ‘fine’. But privacy has to be more of a priority.

    What I want; I like Meego, I also like Android, I also still use Windows Mobile 6.5, I use Ubuntu Linux on a daily basis (not Windows). For me, it is too fragmented to choose a main platform. That’s why I would like to see – in an ideal world – a good merge between Meego/Android/Linux. Like what Windows 8 is supposed to be (I don’t like Metro btw). I would love to be able to use everything I use (and tweak) on my LinuxBox on my smartphone (all hardware is capable these days). That’s it.

    I can see that Android has a bright future, but it needs to mature. Like my children (2 and 4); they use touchscreens by instinct, the interface does not matter too much to them. They like FUN. For them I want to make the switch to Android, but I cannot.

    My main phone is still my good ole PEBL U6 ;-)

  48. not knocking one or the other. but iphones / android / bb / dumb phones all have their place and uses. It really depends on the person and what they want or need.

    If for nothing else I would hope that the competition would lead to faster advances and lower prices in the end :)

  49. Not one word about Boot To Gecko?

  50. Droid SmithGuest 3 years ago

    As a beginner Android Programmer, I look forward to creating applications that are of the highest possible quality. Applications that are more intuitive, more attractive, and more useful can make a big difference in getting iPhone users to switch or keep existing Android costumers. I think that by focusing on beating Apple in each and every little detail is the way to really compete. I am somewhat puzzled how a group of cell phone manufacturers and Google are not able to slow down Apple’s advancement.

  51. ThiagoGuest 3 years ago

    When you buy a phone you also “buy” the entire software ecosystem of the platform, windows mobile has a very weak ecosystem. Bellow you can see the total number of apps available 2012 for each operating system.

    IOS 500.000
    Android 450.000
    Windows mobile 18.000

    The amount of software available for windows is so much behind that it does not make sense to buy it´s platform. Microsoft is counting many users are unaware of this to gain some market share.

    Since there are not many users, not many software developers get interested. This vicious cycle is the hardest part to win the market.

    IOS has the largest pool of software available but android is growing faster so it will have the largest ecosystem pretty soon. Comparing software availability either android or IOS is a good choice but choosing windows mobile is simply a bad.

  52. Manik MahajanGuest 3 years ago

    How about presence of Android in devices other than Mobile Phones . Do you think 2012 may have more Google TVs and smart networked appliances which may use Android?