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ANDROID US OPERATION

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Android, an open source operating system for mobile phones has emerged as the brightest feather in the cap of Google Inc. The Search Engine major acquired the smart phone software, developed by Open Handset Alliance, in 2005, to shape up its long standing dream to enter the mobile phone market. In the first quarter of 2011, Android enjoyed a share of 37% in the US market of smart phones as compared to its iconic rival Apple iPhones which held about 27% while Research in Motion's (RIM) Blackberry had 22 %.

In October 2003, Android Inc. was started in Palo Alto, California, United States by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. Each of the founder members had prior experience in business and they chose to keep their business pursuit a secret, and initially told the public that they were simply developing some software product for mobile handsets. The software platform developed by Android on user friendly Java programming could be used freely by mobile phone software developers to create any application, which could be installed by the handset manufacturers in their products.

The startup was sold off to Google when it was just 22 months old. Google not only inherited an unmatched technological edge through this deal but also gained a rich talent pool in the likes of Andy Rich, who went ahead to become the Vice President of technological engineering in the company.

ANDROID'S UNIQUE BRAND POSITIONING:
There are many who wonder why such remarkable software by Android is being given free. Many researchers believe Android is actually Google's long term vision in securing its future revenues. Their logic is simple: as high the number of Android users grow, higher will be the Gmail users and search engine users and eventually more scope to increase business of Google - revenue through advertising!

PERFORMANCE IN THE US MARKET:

In September 2008, when the first Android phone, G1, entered the US smartphone market, Apple and Blackberry were the market leaders.Blackberry held around 40% of the share and has seen a sharp fall since then. Around July 2011, Google reported that its partner mobile companies together could activate, on an average, about 200,000 Android devices daily, averaging to about 73 million users over a year, which is equivalent what Apple and Blackberry together did in the last one year.

WHERE LIES THE FUTURE FOR ANDROID:

In the present times, mobile phones are no longer a mere device for talking and texting messages. They are minicomputers where people browse for information, watch high-resolution videos, play games and run the latest apps.Most mobile manufacturers like Samsung, HTC are going the Android way. Some analysts believe Android is here to stay in the US and reshape the world of mobile communication in the near future. According to some researches, Android is likely to wipe out all its major competitors by 2014.However it should watch out for the technological advances of Apple which is soon launching its iPhone 5 and entering the CDMA market, where Android has no presence as yet.

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