Google is expected to announce the most anticipated phone since the advent of the iPhone. The announcement would be timed to preempt many of the announcements planned for this week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Android-based phone, “Nexus One”, is based on Google’s open source mobile OS that has received strong support from manufacturers such as Motorola and HTC, and operators such as Verizon and T-Mobile. In releasing its own Android handset, Google steps into the device manufacturing fray to produce an unencumbered vision of what Google would like a mobile device to be.
Market researcher, In-Stat believes the stakes are high. Gone are the days when the basis of competition was solely defined by hardware. Software is becoming the key in determining the user experience. Even within the software stack, however, the focus is shifting from the OS to the software and even more importantly, the applications. In fact, the new focus on enabling third party applications ratchets up the importance of the competitive mobile OS landscape. If the growing army of professional and amateur software developers develop or port applications to a particular OS, the success of the handset platform and opportunity for the carrier could be high. If, however, a particular OS does not garner developer support, then the result could be disastrous.
The building market momentum behind Android is unmistakable. “In-Stat believes new OSs such as Android will cut away at Symbian’s market share,” says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. “Although there are relatively few open source OS-based smartphones in the market today, the open source OS momentum is difficult to ignore. After years of hype, it is easy to see that 2010 will be the year of Android.”
Points to consider:
- The total smartphone market in 2014 will be 412 million units.
- In-Stat’s research predicts the number of smartphone-devices for which developers can create native applications will increase rapidly in the coming five years. By 2013, In-Stat projects nearly 30% of smartphones representing over 100 million unit shipments will be based on an Operating System that supports app stores.
- Verizon introduced Android phones in 2009 with a major marketing blitz. In-Stat assesses that Verizon has given up on the prospect of selling the iPhone anytime soon, and it’s likely that AT&T and Apple will extend their exclusive iPhone agreement at least another year. Verizon, looking toward LTE, needs to get its ducks in a row not next year but now.
- The variety of mobile devices is exploding, making the mobile OS and mobile applications opportunity broader than just smartphones. The total available market (TAM) for Internet-connected devices is projected to grow at a 22.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2013.
In-Stat’s market intelligence combines technical, market and end-user research and database models to analyze the Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems. Our insights are derived from a deep understanding of technology impacts, nearly 30 years of history in research and consulting, and direct relationships with leading players in each of our core markets. In-Stat provides its research through reports, annual subscriptions, consulting and advisory services to inform critical decisions. Technology and semiconductor vendors, infrastructure and device manufacturers, service providers and media companies worldwide rely on partnerships with In-Stat?s tenured, experienced staff and on our in-depth market intelligence to support critical business, product and technology decisions. In-Stat is a strategic segment of the $9 billion Reed Elsevier global information network, with access to an expansive worldwide electronic network, extensive technology databases and well-informed personnel. As a member of Reed Business Information, In-Stat is a division of the largest business-to-business publisher in the U.S.