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Android market share _is_ as impressive as it looks

May 11, 2010

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I just read an interesting set of posts regarding Android market share. First NPD released a market analysis that claims that Android Handsets are now the number two smartphone, behind blackberry but edging out the iphone.

We're starting to witness Google's long term strategy starting to pay off. Fortune ran an article with the internet frothing title of Android demolishing iPhone in sales. Already people are coming out to argue that it's not a fair comparison because of "buy one get one free" deals.

What this fails to take into account is this is exactly Google's strategy. I've been arguing that they're using the ultimate weapon, price, to win the eventual handset war. They want handsets to be free. They're even pushing a business model where they're giving handset makers a cut of search revenue to use Google's official branch of Android.

Google wants people to get a free android handset with their cell plan. When all "feature phones" are running some version of Android, what platform will developers build for? Even if the platform is fragmented, not as elegant or feature rich, developers will gravitate to the largest possible audience for their apps. Google doesn't care about the revenue for handsets, they want to be the gateway for all mobile data so that they can monetize that.