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As Google CEO Larry Page took to the Web on Thursday to talk about his first year as the company’s leader, he called out many of the company’s accomplishments. None were as impressive as the traction Google’s Android smartphone platform has gained around the globe.
“Android is on fire, and the pace of mobile innovation has never been greater,” he wrote. “Over 850,000 devices are activated daily through a network of 55 manufacturers and more than 300 carriers.”
Android smartphones are sold by nearly every wireless network operator in the U.S., even those that offer only pre-paid and no-contract services. According to the latest numbers from Nielsen, Android accounts for more than 50% of new smartphone purchases in the U.S. Consumers are hungry for Android smartphones, there’s no doubt about that.
“Android is a tremendous example of the power of partnership, and it just gets better with each version,” Page continued. “The latest update, Ice Cream Sandwich, has a beautiful interface that adapts to the form of the device. Whether it’s on a phone or tablet, the software works seamlessly.”
[ Android's popularity will be a big challenge for Microsoft Windows Phone. See Windows Phone's Big Problem: Google Ignores It. ]
Android 4.0 is a significant improvement over previous versions of the platform, but it has yet to reach many end users. It is available only on a small number of new handsets and has been pushed out to only a few existing smartphones. Most recently, Sprint and Google made Android 4.0 available to the Samsung Nexus S 4G. Once more people get their hands on Android 4.0, I think the excitement for Android will only accelerate.
Page recounts the dark days, too, explaining how painful it used to be to develop mobile software.
“I remember first meeting Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, back in 2004. At the time, developing apps for mobile devices was incredibly painful. We had a closet full of over 100 phones, and we were building our software pretty much one device at a time. Andy believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry. At the time, most people thought he was nuts.”
Rubin’s ideas obviously took hold and have spawned a massive ecosystem that has resulted in more than 300 million Android devices sold/distributed in the last 3.5 years.
Looking to the future of its mobile efforts, Page is clearly excited. He references Google’s current bid to acquire Motorola Mobility. (The deal has been approved by U.S. and European regulators but is awaiting approval from Chinese regulators.) Page reiterated the company’s plans to keep the Android ecosystem open with the spirit of partnership, innovation, and growth of paramount importance. “Android was built as an open ecosystem, and we have no plans to change that.”
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Article source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/232800413