No doubt that Apple revolutionized how we think about smart phones. While hardware and OS are important, the ability to offer a robust selection of applications is so much more important to creating a successful platform. Google's engineers are software experts and they understand the needs of developers. Google's Android OS has seen a tremendous growth in the number of developers and more importantly the number of applications. At last check, there were well over 70,000 applications in the Android Market, Google's version of Apple's App Store. One of the significant differences between the two stores is the approval process. Google's App Market is completely open and applications do not require any sort of approval process. A $30 application fee is all that is needed to begin selling applications. Google's easy to use SDK and open App store have helped foster a bustling App Market.
It goes beyond apps and Google knows this. Customers crave the latest and greatest hardware. Google has partnered with leading manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Google doesn't charge a license fee for Android OS, making easier for these manufacturers to make money. By having a few manufacturers, Google has created competition between them. Ultimately, this has led to a specifications war. Since they all run a version of Google's Android OS, they need to compete on features. Consumers will ultimately choose their Android phone based upon the number of megapixels offered in the camera, the type of display used or the speed of the processor. In the past year, we've seen companies like HTC and Motorola push the envelope with 4.3 inch screens.
With an install base that increases daily, there is more incentive for developers to write apps for the Android OS. By the end of 2010, the Android Market will likely have over 100,000 available apps. With hardware manufacturers pushing the envelope and a healthy application store, expect more demand among consumers for Android phones. While RIM struggles, Google's Android OS is slowly taking over the smart phone market.
Michael is a writer for Everything Android where he writes reviews of Droid X cases and provides daily news coverage on all things Android. When he's not writing, you can often find him helping out new users in the site's Android forums.
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