ANDROID: THE SUCCESS STORY CONTINUES
According to Research Firm Gartner, Android Phones worldwide performed outstandingly in the second quarter results of 2011. Its market share in the smartphone segment grew from 17.2% in the same period in 2010 to a staggering 43.4 % in 2011.
Since the launch of Android Phones in 2008, the operating system has won many fans and that is apparent in the market share figures. Coming into the smartphone market which was dominated by several strong players like iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia's Symbian and Windows Phones Android has not only braved strong competition from them but wooed the mobile manufacturers with its free software and user friendly platform.
In October 2003, Android Inc. was started in Palo Alto, California, United States by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. The founder members chose to keep their business pursuit a secret initially and told the public that they were simply developing some software product for mobile handsets.
Android is an open source operating system for mobile phones. The software platform developed by Android is on user friendly Java programming. This could be used freely by mobile phone software developers to create any application, to be installed by the handset manufacturers in their products.
In 2005, the founders of Android took a strategic decision to sell off the 22 months old startup to Google Inc., which was on a look out to enter the mobile phone segment around then. While Android gained the leadership of Google, they later got a much needed technological edge to enter the smartphone segment along with a rich talent pool.
REASONS FOR GROWTH
Analysts said that the prime reason for Android's growth was the strategy of open source and free software that attracted more manufacturers to develop new handsets and reach a wider segment of customers. This is something that was very different from its prime competitors who continued to serve only a niche customer base. Moreover Google's able leadership ensured that Android dealt with the right set of manufacturers.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Android's popularity is growing everywhere including the Asian countries. Even though researches say that most of its competitors would be washed out by 2014, it has to look out for innovations from iPhone that can topple the dynamics anytime. Android is also looking forward to enter the tablet market with its 'Ice cream sandwich' version due in the last quarter of 2011. Android should continue building its market base and continue to offer great apps in Android Market. A question that remains unanswered before Android is that how will it go on to woo the brand loyal iPhone users in the near future to gain a complete supremacy?