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Google: Expect 18 Android Phones by Year’s End

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Google disclosed today [28-May-2009] that by end of current year, there will be at least 18 Android (Google’s mobile operating system) based phones in the market. Currently, there are only two Android based phones available in the market: T-Mobile’s G1 (available in US) and HTC-Magic (available in Europe).

The level of competition among the operating system has now intensified at never seen level before. Consider this, currently consumer can choose from Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone OS, Blackberry platform, Palm’s new WebOS (Pre), Symbian OS (mostly used by Nokia) and quite a few Linux based phone systems.

Android has a definite advantage over all other mobile platforms. Below are the reasons I think why Android is the future of mobile platforms:

A stronger and bigger developer’s community. These are the people who will actually help distinguish Android from Apple’s iPhone OS or the Palm WebOS or any other OS.

  • Being an open platform, it has more chances of being widely adopted and it definitely attracts more mobile application developers.
  • No need to learn a new language, Java developers (a strong community) can dive straight into developing applications for Android. You don’t need to learn proprietary Objective C and/or Cocoa which is needed to develop iPhone based applications.
  • Unlike Apple’s iPhone which need a MAC system to develop applications, Android applications can be built using any system be it Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.

Easier for mobile phone manufacturer to adopt Android. Device manufacturers can download a free version of Android, load onto their devices and provide access to as many or as few apps as they want. It is quite easy to integrate all Google based applications like Gmail, GTalk, Google Search, Google Maps, etc into the mobile. The handset maker has an option to provide a complete “Google Experience” on the phones.

Easily adaptable/portable. Android can be easily ported to other devices like net-books, tablets, pocket PCs, and other hand-held devices.

In short, while the carriers and handset makers battle, it is us “the customer” who are having the last laugh.

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