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The Android Wave – 75 reasons why the Android platform is about to sweep the world


androidicon small The Android Wave   75 reasons why the Android platform is about to sweep the world

For the past few months I’ve been living with a selection of Android handsets, different makes, models and network owners. The HTC Hero, The T-Mobile Pulse, the HTC Magic and from my experience of this new computing platform I’m going to predict that Android is destined to be the biggest thing to hit computing since Windows hit the PC. Yes it’s that big.

It’s not that these early products exhibit anything spectacular in the way of features, applications or style, in fact quite the opposite. Apart from the occasional stand-out such as the free turn-by-turn GPS navigation included with Android 2.0, the releases have to date been fairly ordinary, workable and fun, but not mind-blowing. Much of what we’re seeing is just catch up to the iPhone, which is hardly world shaking stuff (Motorola’s Droid included!).

androiddroid small The Android Wave   75 reasons why the Android platform is about to sweep the world

No, it’s not the current situation that is so exciting, it’s the promise of the platform that is starting to grab people’s attention. The main thing is the Google of course. Attach the name of the hottest tech company in the universe to a raw hamburger and you could IPO the company for a billion tomorrow, so the fact that Google is so publicly supporting, guiding and driving development of this platform has literally set the tech arena alight.

If you want a comparison, just look how hard it’s been for good old Palm, another great name from yesteryear, to drive the sales of the Pre phone to date. Or look at how fast Android has eclipsed the stalwart but extremely stodgy Symbian and Windows Mobile phone systems and it’s clear that there are more forces at work here than just technical ability. One of the keys to this rapid take-up of course is Google’s focus on open systems. Compare and contrast this with the traditional closed wall attitude of Apple and the rest of the mobile phone industry and suddenly the possibilities are endless.

androidchart thumb The Android Wave   75 reasons why the Android platform is about to sweep the world

Sure, it’s not completely open. Android may be based on Linux and Java roots, but the crucial Dalvik virtual machine interface is definitely not completely open source, yet. But the whole platform is still a heck of a lot more open than anything else out there right now. And crucially, oh so crucially, Google gets the Web. Better than just about anyone around, and like it or not, the world is moving to a web-centric milieu, where networked technology serves as the backbone for every day functionality. Web applications like Google Docs, Internet communications like Skype and Google Voice, location aware services like Google Maps. Can we spot a trend here?

And to top it all off, Google loves engineers. They respect developers, nurture them, speak to them, encourage them (mostly!). Watch out as the 10,000 applications for the platform literally explodes over the next year, to catch and surpass all but the Windows PC platform. The reason for this is the fact that Google don’t hold all the strings to this development effort. Open Source drives its own agenda, and once developers get wind of a potential gold mine, they’ll jump on in force, and then we’ll see how open vs closed works in realtime.

The driving force for all this action of course will be the massive increase of devices using the Android system which we can expect to see arrive over the coming 12 months. And so here’s a list of the 75 devices now available or which will arrive very shortly.

The Android Phone List [source] (bold = available now!)

  1. Acer Liquid – A1 – November 28th
  2. Compulab Exeda
  3. Dell Ophone mini3i – Benzine
  4. Geek Phone One – December
  5. General Mobile DSTL1
  6. Haier H7
  7. HKC Pearl
  8. HighScreen PP5420
  9. HTC Click – Fiesta – Tattoo
  10. HTC Desire 6200 – Verizon Droid Eris
  11. HTC Dragon – Zoom 2 – Passion
  12. HTC Dream – T-Mobile G1
  13. HTC Hero – G2 Touch
  14. HTC Lancaster
  15. HTC Magic – Sapphire – T-Mobile myTouch 3G – Google Ion – Dopod A6188
  16. HTC Predator
  17. Huawei U8220 – T-Mobile Pulse
  18. Huawei U8230
  19. Innocomm Skate
  20. Kogan Agora
  21. Koolu Freerunner – Openmoko GTA02
  22. Lenovo O1 Ophone
  23. LG Etna
  24. LG GW620 Eve
  25. LG GW880
  26. Motorola Calgary
  27. Motorola Devour
  28. Motorola Droid – Sholes – Tao – Milestone
  29. Motorola Heron
  30. Motorola MB200
  31. Motorola MB300
  32. Motorola Morrison – Cliq – DEXT
  33. Motorola Motus – 2010
  34. Motorola Sholes Tablet – 2010
  35. Motorola Zeppelin – 2010
  36. Philips V808
  37. Qigi i6
  38. Saygus VPhone V1 – 2010
  39. Samsung Behold 2 T939 – November 18th
  40. Samsung Bigfoot
  41. Samsung Galaxy i7500
  42. Samsung Galaxy Lite i5700 – Spica – November
  43. Samsung Houdini
  44. Samsung m850 Q
  45. Samsung Moment – InstinctQ m900
  46. Samsung Saturn i6500 – 2010
  47. Sciphone N12
  48. Sciphone N16
  49. Sciphone N17
  50. Sciphone N19
  51. Sciphone N21
  52. Sony Ericsson Sunny
  53. Sony Ericsson XPERIA x10 – Rachael – Infinity – January 2010
  54. Sunno S880
  55. Tiger G3
  56. ZTE Android

Non-Phone Devices

  1. Alex Android eReader
  2. Archos 5 Internet Tablet
  3. Barnes & Noble Nook
  4. Cloud Telecomputers Glass
  5. Creative Zii Egg
  6. Dell Streak
  7. ENT ET-M4301
  8. enTourage eDGe – February 2010
  9. eviGroup Wallet MID
  10. GiiNii Movit Maxx
  11. GiiNii Movit Mini
  12. Hard Kernel ORDROID
  13. Mio MiBuddy
  14. RAmos T11
  15. Shenzhen Eston HD ENT N97
  16. Spring Alex
  17. Skytone Alpha 680
  18. SMiT Android MID-560
  19. Touch Revolution NIMble

If we remember that the very first device was introduced a mere 13 months ago, the speed and scale of the adoption starts to become apparent. And note that it’s not just mobile phones we’re seeing here, but also a growing range of other devices such as digital picture frames, media players, set top boxes and beyond. We may be on the verge of witnessing the start of the infamous ubiquitous computing platform era that has been promised since the start of the micro-computer revolution.

I’ll leave you with anecdotal evidence of how things are going to change over the next few years. Just about everyone I’ve shown Android too have said 2 things in quick succession –

a) “Ooh, that’s nice, looks just like an iPhone”.

b) “Oooh, I want one”.

And this from people who are not trend setters, fashion conscious or interested in keeping up with the crowd. They are just impressed by the feature set and ease of use of the device itself. We owe a huge – huge! – debt of gratitude to Mr Jobs and Apple for showing the world how to make mobile phones which could be ‘smarter’ and still have bags of style and fondle appeal, but maybe the baton is about to be passed to a more open platform where the promise of mobile computing can ripen properly as it should? Time will tell!

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Martin

    I'm sorry, I am planning on purchasing an Android phone within the next year, but over 50 phones? I think there's a real danger of over-saturation and buyer paralysis. Every time I put off my purchase a few months a new Android phone comes out! Slow it down. Give me a chance to make up my mind.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Dan_Ferret Dan Ferris

      You know what Martin? I think you're completely and uttely right.

      When the iPod came out it was neither the best nor the only MP3 player, but it was the most well-known amidst a sea of similar MP3 players. Heck, I think Sony is still flogging the Walkman brand, trying to be relevant as an MP3 player.

      The iPhone has done a similar thing. It's not only the best known smart phone but there's almost no choice to make except how big and what colour would you like? Nokia pushed the other direction to the point of spamming the market with millions of slightly different handsets. Where were you supposed to begin?

      Hopefully Android does rise as a smartphone OS to be reckoned with, but as we all know, operating systems aren't sexy (Symbian/Windows/Linux/OSX). Gadgets are sexy, at least in the eyes of most of consumers and for many people that will be what drives their decision.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Nigel Nigel Powell

    Hmm…I can see your point Dan/Martin, but I'm thinking that we don't really complain about the huge variety of PCs in the world, we just look for the model and make which suits our needs and budget.

    The key thing about hardware proliferation is it encourages developer interest and at the end of the day, this new generation of portable devices is going to be all about applications. Not just what it does, but what it can run. That's the key. And in that respect, choice of hardware and software is going to be vital. IMHO of course. :)

    • Martin

      When you choose a phone you're not just choosing the hardware, you're choosing the carrier and the OS too. There's just too many variables at work here. I wish phones were more like PCs, just "blank slates" you could install any software on and use on any network. *sigh*

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/joy510vkamobi joy510vkamobi

    Now sciphone N12 has been available on Chinese mobile phone supplier

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