Some fear that if anyone has the ability to give the iPhone a good run for its money it is Google, but others are now not so sure. AppleInsider, for example, has an excellent post that highlights some pretty big obstacles that will make it very hard for the gPhone, or Nexus-One, to go head-to-head with the reigning iPhone.
For one thing, AppleInsider points out that the gPhone, or the Nexus-One, is not really Google's, but rather its an just another HTC phone that is designed to directly to take on another Android phone, the Droid! In other words it is more of a Droid killer, than that of an iPhone killer! It will have Google branding for sure, but its not quite the gPhone that has been rumored since late 2007 either.
What we could end up seeing, as AppleInsider also clearly pointed out, is rather much more cannibalization within the Android platform as various and competing Android partners create an ever more confusing plethora of different phones, all of which are basically the same, but yet, at the same time, all basically different from one another. This is because even though they may all have Android at their heart, the various and fiercely competing manufacturers will be forced to differentiate their Android models from one another, much like those in the Windows Mobile category have done, with various different software and hardware specs, all of which will make them less compatible not only with one another, but also making them much harder, if not impossible, for software developers to write consistently good apps that will run well on all devices. Not too many developers are going to have the time, resources or interest in modifying each of their various individual apps to run well on each and and every single, but slightly different Android phone, due to their different hardware and software specs.
Proof of this can already be seen in Flurry Analytics' graph seen below, via AppleInsider, which clearly shows that in spite all of the talk and boasting coming from within the Android camp, the iPhone developer ecosystem is still by far a stronger and better system to develop for, as its APP STORE download growth rate shows - which by the way, is some 2.5 times greater than that of Android!
As AppleInsider states:
"With a much smaller unit installed base and a library size of around 15,000 apps compared to Apple's 100,000, Google should find it easier to increase its percentage of growth faster than Apple, but that simply isn't happening. Google was left behind in the busiest holiday season of the year.
Google will now have to struggle through 2010 as Apple launches its slate product and the expected 4G iPhone and iPhone 4.0 software this summer."
So, in light of that, is the Android and its upcoming Nexus-One platform really that big of a threat to the iPhone?
Well, currently, no! Not yet anyway.
However, that could all change in the future, but, for the here and now, and in the foreseeable future, I sincerely doubt it ever will. Apple, after all, didn't get where it is now by sheer luck, but rather by a combination of good planning, vision, imagination, skill and resourcefulness. Also, you can bet your last can of spaghetti-and-meatballs that Apple is watching Android very, very closely, and as well, that of the rest of the competition, and is planning to counter them all accordingly, and rather aggressively at that.
This is why I firmly believe that the next version of the iPhone's hardware and its software is going to be a really big deal, and will be a lot more than just an incremental advancement as was the case in past updates. Whether, or not, that means that the iPhone is finally getting a physical keyboard (I doubt it, but I'm dreaming of one anyway), or whether or not it gets an OLED screen, that I really don't know. However, the one thing that I firmly believe is that the next iPhone - we'll just call it the G4 for now - will be a lot faster, a lot more powerful and will include a lot more cool and spiffy features that its competition is going to find it a hard to match.
Not only do we have the now mystical Apple tablet to look forward to in 2010, but we can also look forward to, I believe will be, most likely, the second coming of the iPhone, and one on steroids. This new iPhone on steroids, in the end, I believe, is going to easily neutralize any threat from Android or the Nexus-One and, as well, the rest of the competition.
However, in conclusion, with that said, the main reason why I believe that the iPhone will continue to reign as the king-of-the-hill of smart phones, won't be just because of any new planned iPhone features or strengths, but also simply because of the old fundamental weakness's that is already baked into the Android platform, the very same weakness that hindered the adoption of Windows Mobile, namely - too many people doing their own individual thing, and thus making the whole platform less compatible with one another, leading to more phone models, but with less choice in high quality apps and features, both of which should continue to grow and improve in the iPhone!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Opening pic of Nexus-One via: Engadget