Motorola Hoping Android Can Help its business
Apple is at present king of the smartphone world. The classic iPhone has doubled in market share since 2008, rising to 10.8 p.c in the 1st quarter of 2009 from 5.3 p.c in 2008, according to Gartner. But Apple might be in for a Microsoft moment. Just as a powerful stream of well-heeled rivals like IBM, Red Hat, and Oracle are aligning themselves with Linux as a method to weaken Windows in servers and desktops, so, too, are crowds beginning to form around Google’s open-source Android in the smartphone market. Linux : the bete noir of exclusive operating system sellers. Samsung, LG, Motorola, and others are placing inflating stakes on Android.
Indeed, BusinessWeek reports that Motorola has “one bullet left in its gun” and this bullet is Android. It can’t afford to let the “iPhone killer” draw blanks. “Motorola’s handset business depends on Android,” as ZDNet’s Larry Dignan advocates.
Importantly, Android is growing in the area that outlines the iPhone’s success more than the rest : applications. BusinessWeek’s Stephen Wildstrom claims that “Android is now a contender” principally due to its growing array of third party applications:. The Android Market is amazingly well-stocked, considering the comparatively low number of Android telephones in use.[W]ith support from Google and from handset makers desperate to come up with something that may mount a heavy challenge to the iPhone, Android could become a player.
With Apple iPhone margins as high as sixty p.c by some guesses, the market already appears ready for an open-source rival to bring costs down while improving choice. I adore my iPhone, but as Android-based telephones become smarter and slicker, I just might change camps.
It would seem that I’m not alone. As with Linux in the server market, the smartphone industry is stuffed with second-place competitors. Many of these have a robust interest in banding together behind a Linux-based solution, in this example Android, though there’s also momentum for Linux-based Limousine and non-Linux Symbian. It may take a soup-to-nuts, integrated solution like the iPhone to make a market, but it takes an open-source solution like Android to foster choice and lower costs.