The Irresistible Rise Of Android

Glyn Moody | Computerworld | November 6, 2012

In the wake of the news that Android sales now represent around 75% of the global smartphone market during the most recent quarter, there's still some surprise that this has happened. After all, this was a sector that Apple absolutely dominated just a few years ago. Some find it hard to understand how Android has pulled this off in just five years.

Of course, many of us in the open source world have been predicting precisely this kind of rapid rise to dominance. Android's open ecosystem, which allows all kinds of handsets to be created, for all price points, meant that smartphones employing it were able to explore niches unavailable to Apple. In particular, there was no barrier to producing ever-cheaper handsets, which are crucially important in developing markets like Asia and Africa.

To be sure, Apple is still making huge profits, and will continue to do so. Even Samsung, the most successful Android manufacturer, cannot touch Apple in that respect. But that's a problem for Samsung, not for the Android world. In particular, the huge growth in user base has started to impact the app ecosystem: there are now reportedly as many apps for Android as for the iPhone...