September 22 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication Year: 2008 Rating: 7 Hot
For all those out there wetting their pants for Google’s new Linux-based phone operating system, Android will be unveiled tomorrow to much hoopla. And while delay after delay has done some damage to the egos of salivating Googlephiles, anticipation is still high.
For one thing, nobody likes a monopoly. The iPhone has become the standard when it comes to hip smart phones which for some reeks of domination. The hope is that the Android mobile phone operating system will do some damage to take down the iPhone juggernaut. Although many expect there to be an assortment of bugs since it’s the first release (as well as having choppy graphics), it’s still an attractive alternative for users who don’t want an iPhone or are sick of Windows Mobile (or anything Microsoft).
Secondly, the operating system is based on Linux. Many PC users have been switching to Linux due to problems with the Vista OS. Linux has it’s own culture about it that’s more dedicated than Apple users. They’re fiercely proud of it, it’s free, and anyone can alter it. The idea of a Linux-based mobile phone operating system will be irresistible to any Linux fan.
In keeping with the Linux spirit, all applications for Android will be free of charge for it’s debut. “Whereas many Apple apps cost money (typically anywhere from $.99 to $9.99), at launch all Android Market apps will be free.” So despite that these might be offset by advertising in the applications, free sounds a lot better than not free (and in truth, Google ads are never too intrusive to the user to begin with). Google apps may be enough to cause users to switch from iPhone.
What will this mean for the future of mobile phones? Android will increase competition on the global market. With Google offering developers free access to developing their own Android app, Apple will likely follow suit if they want to stay competitive. On top of that, prices of phones will most likely drop in an effort to railroad users onto one platform or the other (much like Windows or Mac users are reluctant to switch their OS). Free applications will also hurt the iPhone and their share of the market.
Android promises to change the face of the mobile phone world. It may not be instant (heck, Linux has been around for over a decade and it only took off in the last five) but at least the groundwork is there. Google hopes to imitate what they did with web-based applications such as Google Docs and Calendar in getting users to switch to their software.
iPhone may be facing the truth of the global market soon and if they fail to adapt they just might find themselves losing ground in the mobile world.