googleandroid header Google Android Rivaling Apple?

By Tara Lane, Staff Writer

Google’s revolutionary Android platform for Smartphone devices has been a hit from the start, however it has a long way to go in order to surpass the popularity of the iPhone. Still, good news is continually being released in Android’s favor, the latest coming earlier this week when mobile advertising company AdMob released data and metrics showing a significant increase in Droid-powered devices, specifically from the newly released Motorola Droid.

AdMob’s stats detail the number of requests – such as data or phone calls – made from any Android device. These numbers increased by 97 percent from October to December, with more than 1 billion requests made in December alone. The Motorola Droid is actually a latecomer to the Android scene – the HTC’s Magic, Dream and Hero models have all been on the market for a while – but the Motorola Droid has really helped the entire Android market to stand out. Despite hefty competition, including the newly released Nexus One from Google, the Motorola Droid has been well received. Only two months after it’s release, the Droid (the phone itself) has become the top-selling device running the Android platform throughout all cell phone providers.

Android vs. iPhone debates will continue to go on as long as both are in existence, though each has its superior features. Android has a physical keyboard, while the iPhone has talk and surf capabilities. One of the biggest myths about the Android relates to multi-touch features (the ability for the screen to read multiple inputs at once). Though the Google Maps feature does not support “pinch zoom” like Apple products do, it does indeed have multi-touch capabilities. Surprisingly, the Nexus One does not have multi-touch functionality.

In technology, we often see things downsized – CD players replaced by iPods, and desktop computers replaced by laptops or netbooks. It’s unusual, however, to see things get bigger, but that’s exactly what is happening with Android platform. Many PC companies are looking into taking the cell phone platform and upgrading it to be the primary platform for their netbook products. GigaOm’s Stacey Higgenbothom wrote about this in November, saying “Widespread adoption of Android could lead it to become what Windows was for the PC world, an operating system that can be licensed on any underlying hardware and ensure that a variety of applications run on the machines. There will be room for other players in this multibillion-dollar device market, of course, but for the most part, the computer makers have already settled on Android.”

This week’s release of the Nexus One was a breakthrough for the wireless industry — the first phone to be sold unlocked, and not limited to a single carrier. This too is where Android devices are headed; with this power behind them, any number of them — the Motorola Droid especially — will have a definite shot at overtaking the iPhone in the very near future. The Android application market is growing extensively, giving even more evidence to platform’s successful and sustainable progress.

The numbers from AdMob clearly show its successful growth, in only a few short months. After preliminary user numbers of the Nexus One are released, the public will be able to see an even clearer picture on Android-platform use and adoption. With Droid’s success, we should anticipate even greater growth from the Nexus as well.

Image by Thomas Picard from Stock.Xchng