Google’s Android OS Closing in on the Market Leaders

The Google smartphone operating system Android shows its strong impact on the smartphone segment through its increased sales and new available features in the past year.
The number of buyers of smart phones with the Android operating system increased considerably compared to purchasers of smart phones with other operating systems in the first quarter of this year (2010). According to data from the U.S. market researcher NPD Group, the Android operating system takes the second place at 28 percent of market share behind the market leader RIM (Blackberry) who was able to accumulate around 36 percent of the total market share. According to this sales statistic Android was able to outperform Apple’s operating system. Apple was able to gain 21 percent of the total market share and now ranges at third place behind Android.

Android was developed by the Open Handset Alliance including its founding members Google, eBay and Intel Corporation. Today the consortium includes 65 companies involved in developing the Android operating system.

Currently the Android OS is available in Version 2.1. According to the developers the release of version 2.2 will be in the near future. Basis of the operating system is the Linux kernel 2.6. used on traditional desktop PCs. Compared to the Apple operating system the Android solution is free and open source which has given this operating system additional market share gains.

A few weeks ago some details regarding the future of the Android operating system were released from the Android project leader Andrey Rubin in an interview with The New York Times. Besides a few side blows against the rival Apple he also promised additional features like for example full support for the Flash Player in the near future. He also laid open that the operating system will work quite well on Tablet PC’s like the iPad and multimedia TV’s. When asked about the interest overlap regarding Google’s Chrome OS Rubin stated that it would only benefit the consumer if they had the freedom to choose between Tablet PC’s with either the Chrome or Android operating system. The future will show if Google’s twin-track approach will be the right way to gain operating system diversity and consumer satisfaction at the same time.

For owners of an Android smartphone another interesting appearance is the first version of the Firefox browser for Android. Since it is still in Beta, the current version may still have s minor bugs but none the less this is a clear sign of the rise of the Android operating system in recent times. One may be curious how far the smartphone market will change in the near future.

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