A blog about computers, open source, software and other perceptions gained over the years as a sysadmin.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Android, the game changer for mobile phones?

Im pretty interested to see if Google can make Android into a catalyst for how mobile phones are sold. Right now there seems to be an uphill battle against the old way of releasing mobile gadgets.

Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola etc have all released a phone and then at best fixed bugs in the software but rarely introduced any major updates. For new functionality you have to buy a new phone.

Android can change that if Google succeds in pushing HTC and the other vendors into updating their phones. The backside for the OEM handset manufacturers are that the software becomes more important than the hardware. The upside is that users becomes more interested in what hardware a phone has than before. Instead of looking at a phone like a brick you look at it like a piece of hardware that should accomodate the software of you choice.

While i can understand some handset manufacturers trembling with fear out of being the new PC OEMs, completely in the hands of Google i dont think there is any chance of that, especially thanks to the open source nature of Android. Anyone can take the android code and run away with it laughing hysterically and Google couldnt do a thing. But, it wont be neccesary as its really just an insurance of mutual destruction. Google knows that if it goofs up people will just fork it and the others know that if they fork it they will still have to sync up to Googles code if that code is the one most worked on because its still more popular.

Interesting times indeed as its impossible to predict how the handset manufacturers think right now. One thing is for sure though, Windows mobile is dead, buried and gone with a fork in the forehead. The game stands between Apple, Symbian, Palm and Android. Hopefully nobody wins and a common format for applications can be brought forward...

I can dream cant i?

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