Thursday, December 9, 2010

300,000 Android Activations Daily: But For How Much Longer?

Google is proudly boasting that it is now activating over 300,000 Android Phones daily!

Wowsy-wow....... wow! Now that's what I call a lot of phones, no two ways about it.

The big question is: how did Android get there?

First of all, as you can see in the opening picture, via Wikipedia, Android was originally designed as a BlackBerry clone, but now-a-days it barely resembles anything but that, so just where did Android get its radically different and current UI ?

As you can see in the two pics below, it's quite obvious from where and from whom Android got all its inspiration from...... it simply stole its present form factor directly from Apple's iOS! At least that's the way that it looks to me, and as you can plainly see below by the two phones side-by-side.

Of course, many factors go in making any product a success, and as far as I can tell, Android success comes mostly from the four main factors:

- more models, from more manufacturers

- more carriers

- buy one, get one free schemes

- and the single most important factor of them all, and as stated above, is that Android really only really took off once it decided it to apply any or all of Apple's intellectual properties to Android, namely Apple's 'multi-touch' patents. It was the later factor, more than any other that eventually resulted in Android's spectacular raise in the marketplace, and its 300,000 activations per day!

Larry Page might have claimed that Steve Jobs was trying to rewrite history when he stated that, "they (Google) decided to compete with us", but the sad truth is that Android was a far different beast until it decided to virtual rip-off and steal the iPhone's, well..... everything! As noted by Engadget, Larry Page is is being anything but truthful here. Ok, he's right about Android being started two years before the iPhone came out, but that's about it.

Andy Rubin, Android's creator, (and a former Apple fellow) apparently thinks that Android can justify itself by admitting that, “Everybody Is Embracing the iPhone.” Well, for me, that is an admission on his and Google's part that Android, and virtually every other smart phone for that matter, are all nothing but blatant rip-off of the iPhone if ever there was such an admission. Even though Windows Mobile 7 was designed to copy iOS in many ways, at least they made their UI a little more original and different than Android ever thought of doing, so kudos to them.

Even though Android might now be activating some 300,000 Android phones daily, the question is: for how much longer? Yes, once the iPhone comes to Verizon, and possibly even TMobile and Sprint as well, I think that things could really change for Android's continued adoption and not in a particularly positive way either.

The truth is that there is a lot of envy out there on the part of consumers, on other carriers, for the iPhone, but only if their carriers would allow it. Google can boast all it wants about its 300,000 daily activations, but the sad truth for Android is that studies have proven, time and time again, that at least on Verizon, a commanding 54% or more of what people really want is an iPhone, and not some Android copy cat version!

One of the biggest problems, of course, with buying an Android phone is that a few years on down the road, well the legal system may not only catch up with Android's theft of iOS patents, but it could effectively shut it down completely, leaving Android either to start completely over from scratch, or to shut down completely and forever, while, at the same time, leaving their customers ripped off from buying their ripped off iPhone clone!

Not only is Apple a much bigger, richer and more powerful company than any other tech company out there, including Google and its Android, Steve Jobs personally promised that they would protect their intellectual property at all costs. Not only that, but Oracle's apparently poses an even bigger legal threat to Android's very existence, as they claim it violates its recently acquired JAVA patents. Apparently, Google has lot of big legal problems, on the horizon that pose a very real and direct to Android's very existence.

Apparently, Google is the new Microsoft that thinks it can just publish every book in the world, with or without their owners permission, or take any Apple patent it so desires, but, in the end, it just may find that it can't just wiggle itself out of all of the legal mess that it is now mired in, so its 300,000 daily activations may not worth very much in the end. Pretending that its all for being open, while refusing to open up its search engine just ain't going to cut it.

In conclusion, from where I sit Android is not what it may seems to be and not just because of its claimed fragmentation and other issues, either. I can see more negatives for the platform than positives, but what do I know? I guess we'll just have to wait it out and see what happens when the iPhone's AT&T exclusivity ends, and Apple, Oracle goes for Googles and Android's juggler in the near and long term future.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this December o9, 2o10

Nexus S photo via: PocketLint; iPhone via: Apple


ObamaPacman said...

It surprising that Google only announced 214,000 on Monday. It grew to 300,000 in 2 days? Seriously? I call BS.

I am a lover of children's literature said...

Thanks Obama, and I must agree, that deep down inside I feel it most likely is a lot of BS, but since I can't confirm it, one way or the other, I keep that mostly to myself.