When I first foretold this among my friends and community of industry pundits, I never got confidence motion. However, with the progression – and the way its heading towards – it’s been confirmed that Google’s Android is indeed a strong contender in smartphone market, standing on the grave of one time leader Symbian and making the move tougher for other OSs like Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Apple’s iOS.
At a side when Google is claiming that more than 850,000 Android devices are getting unlocked every day, such activations is also making smartphone makers anxious from ‘sort-of-ownership-claim’ from many other giants.
I am sure; if you are one of them who follow Android industry attentively then you must be aware of how such smartphone makers – Samsung, HTC, LG – are already compromising their profits from Android with Microsoft. These companies are not only bound to pay Android license fee to Google but also making Microsoft to earn millions – much more than company is making from its own Windows Phone OS.
With the latest claim by Apple, the situation is only worsening for smartphone makers who are riding high with the sales number of Android devices. Besides Google and Microsoft, now Apple is demanding anything $5 to $15 on each Android sale against the patent’s claimed over Android.
With one after another claim, apparently, Android is turning out be a stolen product rather than a full-fledged innovated product from Google. According to Steve Jobs biography, he was willing to spend each and every penny of Apple to fight against ‘copycat’ competitors. However, with the latest move by Apple, the stand seems to be softening now – probably post affect of leadership change, so the mindset.
But, after all such developments against Android the comfort factor is just squeezing among major smartphone makers who have significant adoption of Android for their customers. The patent claim has become a black-box which can blow up against whole profit margin as there could be many other similar claims in future by several companies too – afterall Android is ultimately an open source OS.
The explosive growth of smartphones in many countries has triggered the intense competition, resulting in constant reducing cost of smartphones. However, the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of Android is growing up due to latest twist of patent claims over Google’s lone smartphone OS. Such scenarios are tending to shrink the net profit on each Android sale for smartphone makers.
Despite, constant growing trouble of excessive data usage by Android apps, security concerns and few other inherited challenges are making smartphone makers to re-evaluate the challenges against profit peanuts.
Microsoft is desperate to expand its Windows Phone OS – even beyond the boundaries of Nokia. Apple too is exploiting many other markets aggressively. Besides, major smartphone makers, like Samsung, have either developed their own OS ecosystem – Samsung has got “Bada” – or looking further to develop it. Many local markets are slowly being driven away by domestic players who are primary cutting the deal with any OS that provides minimum license ownership cost with highest level of flexibility and control – Android will surely not be the right choice in current situation atleast.
Though, stats and sales figures looks impressive of Android but one should not forget that these numbers belongs to Google alone and the driving force behind this are smartphone makers. It’s time when Google really should think about it seriously and stand by its driving force. If missed, then it won’t be much challenge for competitors to beat Google, especially when Android is making self-goal !