I do not think there is any question that Google Android will prove to be a huge hit. But in order for it to actually take on the iPhone will not only require an intuitive UI and plenty of compelling applications to download, it will also require not locking themselves into a single mobile provider. For me, this will make Android into something truly unique. Failing to do so will merely indicate to me that the Android phones are just another marketing toy to be gobbled up by those who enjoy being locked in to one single provider.
The strongest things that Android has going for it include:
- It’s open source – this generally mean that boneheaded mistakes can be confronted head-on as they develop vs begging some benevolent overlords in hopes that they eventually bother to issue some patch to fix a problem.
- The marketplace for apps – The application marketplace looks promising.This does not automatically mean that it will out do the volume or quality of apps seen with Apple’s storefront, but it should at least be competitive.
- Locked in vendor deals are unlikely – Due to the nature of collective open source licensing, I really do not see Google making the vendor lock in mistakes made by Apple. Yet by the same token, we have been down this open source mobile road once before – a success? Depends on what you consider to be successful I suppose.I consider it to be successful when I am able to actually purchase a phone without relying on a waiting list. For me, that is a complete turn off.