Will Android strive for a common "denominator"?

There are a great many Android-based devices. In this abundance, it is easy to get lost not only for developers, but also for users. What trends have already emerged and what does Android expect in the near future?

Android is an open platform on the basis of which devices from a variety of manufacturers can work. In less than 3 years, Google has come out on top in the production of smartphones. More than 550,000 new Android devices are activated daily. This rapid rise resembles the situation when in the 90s Microsoft began to dominate the personal computer market due to the fact that many PC manufacturers used the Windows operating system.

It’s worth looking into any mobile phone store to discover many Android-based devices. Moreover, potential buyers do not always understand which versions of Android are used in these devices and how they differ.  What are the differences between, for example, Samsung Galaxy S II and Motorola Defy? Or between Samsung Tab 10.1 and Acer Iconia A500 tablets?

A lot depends on the device itself, and Google does not control this process. And although technical specifications are important when choosing a particular device, many buyers do not know why, for example, a dual-core Motorola Atrix processor is better than the basic characteristics of LG Optimus One.

According to analysts, this situation will change soon. Microsoft has insisted on developing devices that will perfectly match their Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

Google did the same with Nexus phones. Rumor has it that now that Google has acquired Motorola Mobility, they will do the same with their smartphones.

The approach when all kinds of devices, including not very high-quality ones, work on different versions of Android, proves its non-viability.  Therefore, for example, Android versions 2.3 (Gingerbread) and 3.0 (Honeycomb) are planned to be combined into version 4.0 called Ice Cream Sandwich.

And despite the ridiculous names of the OS versions, Android-based devices have clearly flooded the market. This strategy is the opposite of the one chosen by Apple.

The iPhone is the only smartphone manufactured by Apple. A new iPhone model appears once a year. Functions are changing, the operating system is being updated, but what remains unchanged is that there are a very limited number of models. As soon as a new model is released, the previous model automatically becomes “obsolete”.

It can be assumed that with the advent of Ice Cream Sandwich, Google will take control of the choice of devices running on Android. Perhaps Google will not take such strict measures in relation to Android, as, for example, Apple in relation to iOS. But switching to the same operating system with small differences in versions for smartphones and tablets will be a big step forward in the competition against the iPhone.

And despite the fact that Google, RIM, Microsoft and Nokia work for a wider audience than Apple, which has always sought to produce only very high-quality and expensive products, Apple’s example proved that trust in the brand solves a lot. Android, in turn, will greatly affect the communications market. Over time, manufacturers will not need to talk much about their devices, and buyers will be able to choose what they like on more favorable terms.

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