Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Android Invasion: New Devices, Technology and Opportunities

1. an automaton in the form of a human being.
Origin: 1720–30; (source:

2. the wireless industry's best chance to compete with the iPhone
Origin: 2007 (source: Google, Open Handset Alliance).

And then their was DROID. (2009)

If you work in the wireless industry, you've probably been aware of Google's initiative to penetrate this space with their open-source operating system for smartphones. After all, the first "Google phone" was introduced by T-Mobile over one year ago. Know anybody who uses one? There hasn't been much consumer awareness.

But suddenly, Android™ smartphones appear to be everywhere. Estimates are that Verizon Wireless is spending $100M on their DROID advertising campaign. As Advertising Age has said, this is a saturation campaign that will make DROID impossible to avoid - on TV, the internet, in magazines, newspapers.. all forms of media.

I've been following this sudden flurry of activity which began shortly before the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment show in San Diego in October, with Motorola's announcement of the Motorola Cliq
and MOTOBLUR. The pace of announcements then took off, starting with Verizon announcing their strategic partnership with Google just before the show opened, followed by Samsung's big splash for the Moment on CTIA's opening day joining the HTC Hero™ in San Diego. Suddenly the count of Android™ smartphones available in the U.S. went from 1 to 4, and then quickly to 8 devices with no signs of slowing down.

The rapidly developing Android™ ecosystem presents a great opportunity for application developers, hardware manufacturers and wireless operators. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile collectively account for more than 170 million U.S. cell phone users, greater than twice the subscriber base of iPhone-dependent AT&T. To grow the market even further, Android™ is expanding to e-book readers and netbooks, and can be expected to show up in other consumer electronics devices as the internet and digital media converge further into the digital living room.

I recently published a comprehensive report that describes the opportunities and resources that are available to take advantage of this "Android Invasion". You can download a free excerpt, and purchase the complete report at

Here is an outline of the report:

•Section 2: Android™ invades CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment, provides a hands-on review of the Android™ smartphones on display at CTIA wireless from Samsung, HTC, and Motorola. Since Verizon began their DROID campaign shortly after CTIA Wireless, the new Motorola DROID and HTC DROID Eris are also included in the review. A detailed feature list is provided in a 1-page table to facilitate a direct comparison of the new Android™ handsets.

•Section 3: Opportunities and Tools for Android™ Developers, describes opportunities to engage with the major players in the Android™ ecosystem that are sponsoring developer communities to feed the Android™ Applications Market. This guide provides information on how to take advantage of resources provided by the wireless operators, handset manufacturers, and semiconductor vendors who are facilitating apps development by providing tools and assistance to developers at little or no cost.

Though most of the wireless industry technology focus is now on Android™, there were other significant product announcements and new technologies on display at CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment that will impact mobile devices rolling out now and in the near future.

•Section 4: Nokia N900 and Maemo, reviews the newest “tablet” device from Nokia which marks the company’s move away from the Symbian operating system to a new Linux-based application platform. Opportunities are also described here that are available to developers who wish to join Nokia’s Maemo community for marketing of applications in the Ovi store.

•Section 5: Qualcomm and FloTV™, includes a review of the company’s new PT 350 and their strategy to promote adoption of mobile TV through this dedicated handheld device along with in-car entertainment systems.

•Section 6: Qualcomm mirasol® Displays, describes a promising new technology beginning to emerge from Qualcomm’s R&D labs that may allow for color eBook readers to be built with passive reflective displays, similar to the Amazon Kindle.

•Section 7: Summary, starts with a wrap-up of the Android™ smartphones that are currently available in the U.S., including a brief guide for consumers who may be considering purchase of one of the new devices.

In “Opportunities and Challenges for Android™”, some of the issues facing the development of the Android™ ecosystem are described, along with a summary of the opportunities and incentives for participating in this wireless industry campaign to displace Apple and the iPhone.

Finally, a summary analysis of the two key developments from Qualcomm, FLO TV™ and mirasol® displays, is provided.

The Android Robot reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

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