Android is the best thing that happened to mobile industry. Of course, Apple is the company that brought a design that changed the smartphones and phones in general. As always though, the product itself was a covetable but not feasible for everyone to have. It is a high-end, highly priced gadget. The only way it has maintained a $200 mark is by contract which means the networks are paying Apple.
Android on the other hand is an open source project. Although, most of coding and control over its looks and direction of progress is held by Google, at the end of the day, everything is present on the internet to be used freely. Amazon showed and proved it already. Aside from that, due to Open Handset Alliance, multiple companies have taken part in it and thus we have seen phones ranging from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 50000.
There is something for everyone in the Android world. Unlike Apple, which although strong and cheap (relatively) in US is killing everywhere else. Especially India!
There are many companies that have taken advantage of this OS. Be it Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, Motorola or the Indian companies like Micromax, Lava or Karbonn. Looking at the picture shows a very rosy one and as it always is, the cracks are only visible to one looking beyond the rosy picture.
Android has risen phenomenally in the past few years. Nokia and Blackberry both were completely thrown off the picture and in recent years, with products like Galaxy S3 and Note II, Android has even managed to win the hearts of its customers over Apple.
There is a slight problem for Android though. The two products I mentioned above come from the same company- Samsung! And while there are other companies that are creating good products, Samsung has been able to capitalize on the Android wave more than the rest.
Recently, we heard about Motorola consolidating itself (it moved out of India) and now, HTC is showing a huge slump in its profits for 2012. HTC, mind you, was one of the first companies to jump the Android bandwagon (Nexus One). It had a great run as well initially, producing phones that were phenomenal and liked by all. Now, it is all in the past.
HTC hopes to change the course in 2013 but the problem is that Samsung has left everybody too far behind. It alone accounts for the majority of growth of Android in the smartphone market and holds nearly 50% of the Android market.
Other companies like HTC or Sony are either growing very slowly or not growing at all. This is not a good sign for the consumer as it is the competition that accelerates the growth best. I am not saying Samsung has started making bad phones. Right now, Samsung is on a roll with Note II and S3 being the best Android phones out there but if the other companies lose interest in fight (Dell did) or lose out anyways the competition will die out.
Of course, there are other OSes out there like BB OS10 and WP8 of the veteran and Firefox OS and Ubuntu of the new breed. Apple will be there as well, true, but the idea of an Open Handset Alliance will die out.
What are your views on it? Has Android also become Samsung-Android like Apple-iOS? Will the other companies bounce back?