About my Android prediction

My comment on a Google Reader shared item in Jan 2009:

“As I said months and months ago – “jiska koi nahin uska Android”. No product line to convince MS to license you WinMo? There’s Android. No cash to pay for licenses? There’s Android. Want to convince market and customers that you have something up your sleeve? There’s Android”.

WIRED Magazine today takes stock of Android today and its future “explosive growth”.

The manufacturers of the 12 Android devices on the market are Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG, Dell, Huawei and Acer. Except for the first three, none of the manufacturers had a product line with a mainstream mobile OS – they’ve hitched their smartphone fortune to Android. The case with Moto, HTC and Samsung is more dramatic – they’re all developing a strong Android product line (Moto in particular) in spite of their Windows Mobile backgrounds. I cannot find one smartphone manufacturer that is betting on Windows Mobilee, and I strongly suspect that most of Android’s growth will come at WinMo’s expense.

But my comment was to point out that a commitment to Android implies a lack of coherent strategy for manufacturers. That certainly seems true with Moto, HTC, Samsung and LG. In my opinion, Moto has suffered from terrible hardware design. HTC and Samsung have tried without success to hide Windows Mobile’s ugliness under their customizations. LG’s proprietary OS strategy means few, if any, third-party apps.

For the rest, Android *is* their first strategy. That’s brave. But it’s also evidence that Android’s features are exactly what smartphone users want today – touch-screen support, strong integration with Google’s applications, a capable browser and support for other installable applications. This is also true of Mac OS X on iPhone, but what if you want another phone? Android’s looking like a very, very attractive alternative.