Explosive growth. That’s Android. Google’s mobile platform is up 250 percent over last year and, according to Andy Rubin, SVP, Mobile and Digital Content, Google is seeing 850,000 activations every day. In all he states there are 300 million Google-sanctioned Android devices roaming the world, 12 million of them tablets. That number doesn’t even include devices like the Kindle Fire that do not use Google services.
It’s all about the ecosystem, notes Rubin on the Google Mobile Blog. Last year at Mobile World Congress, there were more than 150,000 apps in the Android Market. Now, in the early months of 2012, there are more than 450,000 apps available. Schmidt might have been right. Android is getting so large that devs might start producing apps for Android first rather than iOS.
Mobile World Congress is currently underway in Barcelona and Android is now the driving platform. Google’s OS is behind the wheel and steering the mobile industry back toward Mountain View.
In many ways the mobile platform war feels like the desktop race of the early ’90s. Apple had a huge lead, refused to license and is now about to be overtaken by hordes of nondescript clones. But in this race the main competitor is Google rather than Microsoft and the devices are smartphones instead of beige desktops. It’s just a matter of time until Android overtakes iOS now.
Android is a software platform for mobile devices based on the Linux operating system and developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in Java that utilizes Google-developed software libraries, but does not support programs developed in native code. The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 hardware, software and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards.