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Myth 6: iPhone Developers will Flock to Android

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Continuing upon the five iPhone myths in the previous segment, another myth relates to idea of Apple losing its iPhone platform to Android as developers defect to Google’s more open mobile platform. That’s wrong, here’s why.

iPhone Myths
Five More iPhone Myths
Myth 6: iPhone Developers will Flock to Android
Myth 7: iPhone Buyers will Flock to Android
Myth 8: iPhone will lose out to Steve Ballmer’s Windows Mobile 7 in 2010
Myth 9: iPhone Unable to Penetrate Europe Due to Symbian Dominance.
6. iPhone developers will flock to Android

Tagging along with myths two and three, which complained that Apple’s half dozen rejected iPhone apps will doom the App Store and that rivals should easily be able to offer a suitable alternative platform to take its place, myth six says specifically that iPhone developers will flock to Android the moment it begins to take off.

Of course, even in the minds of those who think this is likely, the possibility of this happening is still a ways off; as original Android phone, the T-Mobile G1′s introduction was a hugely disappointing wake up call for everyone expecting an iPhone killer. The myth weavers hope that Android’s other hardware partners will deliver something more impressive than HTC has in its first (albeit months overdue) attempt with the G1.

Add in Motorola, the company that couldn’t sustain any interest in its horrific ROKR and boring RAZR line, and Samsung and LG, neither of which could manage to copy the iPhone in nearly two years of trying, and you end up with the sad realization that Android isn’t going to single handedly turn brain dead mobile hardware into vibrant, innovative competitors to the iPhone. But Android was never intended to kill the iPhone; it set out to slay Windows Mobile.

Breakdown: Android G1, iPhone share little in common
Google’s Android Market Guarantees Problems for Users
Google’s Android Platform Faces Five Tough Obstacles

Why Competition Is Good For Strong Products.

Android will either successfully obliterate Windows Mobile, rival it for years as an intense competitor, or simply fizzle out in its efforts to sap and take down Microsoft as a free alternative mobile platform. Either way, this can only be good for the iPhone, as intense competition among iPhone alternatives will prevent an inferior platform from pushing Apple off of the smartphone stage with a dominant critical mass.

Recall that one major reason why Microsoft was able to rapidly marginalize Apple in the early 90s was that Windows faced no competition. That, ironically, was in large part Apple’s own fault, due to the fact that Apple sued to stop development of HP’s NewWave graphical environment and GEM/1 for the PC from Digital Research. Along with Windows 2.0 (which Apple also sued over), all three of these environments were terrible and vastly inferior to the Macintosh. Had Apple simply competed against them, none would have rose to ascendancy against the Macintosh.

However, by killing off Microsoft’s competitors with legal threats and then failing to stop Windows (due the to fact that Apple itself had granted Microsoft a poorly phrased license to unspecified Macintosh inventions), Apple cultured Windows into a resistant strain of super bug that was then free to populate the DOS PC world without any competition.

Once Windows developed a critical mass on the PC, something nobody at the time though possible, Microsoft dumped its OS/2 partnership with IBM and then prevented IBM from entering the PC market, a trick it repeated against NeXT, Sun, BeOS, and every other attempt to rival Windows. That positioned Apple against one extremely powerful market rival, a position that made Apple’s superior product irrelevant.

Apple’s Billion Dollar Patent Bluster
Office Wars 3 – How Microsoft Got Its Office Monopoly
1990-1995: The Rise of Windows NT & Fall of OS/2
Why OS X is on the iPhone, but not the PC

Why Android Will Hold Back iPhone Threats

Imagine a world where Microsoft’s software has to compete on technical merits rather than simply being carried by a swift current of market inertia. Actually, you don’t have to imagine anything, because there are plenty of real world examples of how well the company does when presented with real competition, including Microsoft’s poor showing in MP3 players and among mobile phones.

Android will obviously help keep Windows Mobile from attaining critical mass market power. At the same time, it will also push mobile WebKit browser development, likely with a focus on HTML 5 rather than Adobe Flash. Both impacts will be a boost to Apple, not the iPhone killer many had hoped for, as I described even before Android was officially released.

In addition to derailing Windows Mobile and likely doing nothing to promote Flash, Android will also drain the life from Java ME, a third possible threat to the iPhone. Android development is essentially Java development without any licensing fees for Sun. This will sap official Java ME development by providing a royalty free alternative that is more attractive than the problematic “write once, debug everywhere” mobile Java platform Sun has unsuccessfully worked to build out as a common denominator for mobile phones (despite Sun’s success in collecting licensing revenues for its efforts).

Rather than killing the iPhone, Android appears poised to kill a variety of proprietary attempts to monopolize mobile phone development under a Windows licensing model, whether at an OS level like Windows Mobile or Symbian, or at a middleware level such as Flash, BREW, and Java. This will further weaken the inertia behind various efforts to push iPhone-hostle mobile development. But will it result in making Android a key iPhone competitor?

Android’s Scant Threat to the iPhone

While bleeding the remaining life from mobile Java, Flash, and Windows Mobile, Android will have little impact on iPhone development. That’s because developers are attracted to the iPhone for two main reasons: the first is money and the second is the easy to use, rapid development tools of the Cocoa Touch SDK. Android offers neither of these in the near term.

Android’s developer tools are poorly documented and somewhat messy because nobody is really running the show. Google hopes to act as a conductor to orchestrate the contributed efforts of the open community, hardware makers such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and LG, and mobile partners such as T-Mobile, Sprint, NTT DoCoMo, and KDDI. The problem is that all of these groups have competing interests. None want to help out their rivals, and Google won’t be able to make hard decisions or unpopular engineering choices that would best serve the platform because it has to answer to too many different members.

Look at the problems in Windows Mobile and you’ll see a lot of the problems intrinsic to Android as a platform. Now consider that iPhone developers aren’t abandoning the iPhone for Windows Mobile due to Microsoft’s lack of restrictions relative to Apple, despite Windows Mobile currently having a larger installed base and, at least until recently, greater worldwide market share than Apple among smartphones.

Instead, Windows Mobile developers are rapidly abandoning that platform to investigate the iPhone market, where tens of millions of dollars in sales every month are attracting new development and the Cocoa Touch tools are retaining the interest of those new developers sick of a rewarmed Win32 on top of WinCE. Is Android going to turn things around by offering developers the “freedom” and lack of restrictions Windows Mobile already offers, albeit with no installed base and no existing share of the market? How ruthlessly absurd.

The Spectacular Failure of WinCE and Windows Mobile
Will Windows Mobile Play DOS to Apple’s iPhone?
Will Google’s Android Play DOS to Apple’s iPhone?
Microsoft’s Zune, Vista, and Windows Mobile 7 Strategy vs the iPhone

The Failure of Open.

Developers won’t flock to Android before users do, outside of hobbyists and the free software advocates who aren’t money motivated. However, these developers haven’t done much to make Linux on the desktop a viable alternative to Windows over a decade of intense efforts. This same “homebrew” developer base also has done nothing to successfully promote various attempt to introduce “open” game consoles such as GamePark’s, “open” mobile phones such as OpenMoko, “open” alternatives to Flash or Office or Exchange Server, “open” codecs such as FLAC or OGG, and so on.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with trying, but to expect the open community to take over top selling integrated products with a solid “open” competitor rather than just offering another weak alternative that fails to make any real impact requires more than cheerleading and advocacy, it requires overturning apparent reality.

I have successfully argued against apparent realities on many occasions. I predicted crazy things like why Vista wouldn’t storm the world stage in the manner of Windows 95, and that PlaysForSure subscriptions and later the Zune wouldn’t put a dent in iPod sales. I predicted that Apple would parlay the sixth generation iPod into a smart messaging platform with both business and consumer applications. I predicted Apple would ignore the PC Gamer industry and target casual gaming. I predicted that Blu-ray would triumph over HD-DVD but that it wouldn’t matter because consumers would largely ignore DRM discs for enhanced DVD and video downloads.

Windows 95 and Vista: Why 2007 Won’t Be Like 1995
Myth 6: Microsoft’s iPod Killer Myth
Strike 3: Why Zune will Bomb this Winter
Why Microsoft’s Zune is Still Failing
Generation 6 iPods
Blu-ray vs HD-DVD in Next Generation Game Consoles
Why Low Def is the New HD

I predicted the failure of OpenMoko even with Sun’s help, directed attention to the holes in market leader Symbian, pointed out the problems in Windows Mobile, described why Android wouldn’t have the iPhone-killing impact Apple’s critics were earnestly praying for, and laid out why Java ME and Flash Lite were marked for death. In each case, I explained why using facts rather than stating what I preferred to happen or simply making broadly generalized predictions that followed the current consensus.

Apple iPhone vs the FIC Neo1973 OpenMoko Linux Smartphone
Sun Tries to Jump on iPhone Bandwagon with jPhone
Origins: Why the iPhone is ARM, and isn’t Symbian
Readers Write About Symbian, OS X and the iPhone
The iPhone Threat to Adobe, Microsoft, Sun, Real, BREW, Symbian

Anyone who can articulate why mobile developers will flock to Android are welcome to offer their ideas below in comments, but doing so convincingly will require more than bluster and hopeful idealism. Will a mass migration of iPhone users to Android help things? That’s myth number seven, coming up next.

Myth 7: iPhone Buyers will Flock to Android

Did you like this article? Let me know. Comment here, in the Forum, or email me with your ideas.

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24 comments

1 John E { 10.02.08 at 6:56 pm }

No argument! but i do have some related questions …

- At least Android has the solid foundation of a Linux OS to build upon. Nokia apparently wants to emulate its “open” approach with Symbian via the multi-company Symbian Foundation next year. My question is whether Symbian could ever in fact evolve into an equally capable smartphone OS foundation for the long term? or will it fade away?

- MS has delayed Win Mobile 7 until a year from now, which is amazing since it will give Android a real chance to get its foot in the door next year first. Why is it taking MS so long to update Win Mobile?

- and what about RIM? what is the long term potential of the Blackberry OS? it seems secure in its enterprise niche, but is that OS powerful enough to keep up with Apple, Android, and Win Mobile 7?

2 gus2000 { 10.02.08 at 7:26 pm }

C’mon Daniel. This is the year that Android takes the world by storm. Just like ’07 was the year of Linux on the desktop.

3 Murrquan { 10.02.08 at 7:48 pm }

@gus2000 2

C’mon Daniel. This is the year that Android takes the world by storm. Just like ‘07 was the year of Linux on the desktop.

2007 was the Year of Desktop Linux. ^.^ For two reasons!

One, it’s the year Windows Vista released. Suddenly Dell, HP and etc. were looking for Windows alternatives. Dell’s Ubuntu offerings are still little more than a pilot program, but they’re now selling Ubuntu netbooks alongside Windows XP ones. Asus is now putting a Linux-based “Splashtop” OS on its machines, and HP is reportedly developing their own OS.

Two, the netbook form factor was introduced! It’s totally inferior to the iPhone and iPod touch for just about everything, and it’s slow and clunky. But hey, it’s got a bigger screen and a keyboard, and it costs less than a MacBook Air! It’s a niche form-factor, but it’s seen remarkable success so far, and a lot of those netbooks sold to ordinary people are running some version of Linux.

Linux’s market share nearly doubled in 2007. I know that 2x zero is still zero, but really, 2007 was the turning point — the beginning of the end for Windows, and the start of Linux’s ascendance.

Is it “better” for most people than Leopard? Heck no! I want to buy me an iMac. And an iPod Touch. Apple’s the only company out there actually driving technology forward. But while big companies can’t capitalize on Linux all that effectively without giving their work to their competition, I imagine that small PC builders might be able to make it work to their advantage sometime, in offering true local PCs instead of just black boxes that run Windows. And Apple’s competitors are jumping on Linux right now anyway, just because it’s not Windows and they need something that’s not Windows.

4 pissedoff { 10.02.08 at 8:10 pm }

You make some really good points, but I wish you were a little less negative about Apple competitors. Kind of ruins your creditability.

[I think deregulation is the main problem behind today's credit ability.]

5 pissedoff { 10.02.08 at 8:50 pm }

Haha, oops!
Damn you irony.

6 lmasanti { 10.02.08 at 11:02 pm }

As usual, people is comparing a “real/delivered” product against a “promised/expected” one.
What about talking that Win Mobile 7 “is better” (present tense) than iPhone 2.1?

7 Myth 7: iPhone Buyers will Flock to Android — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 10.03.08 at 1:32 am }

[...] Myths Five More iPhone Myths Myth 6: iPhone Developers will Flock to Android Myth 7: iPhone Buyers will Flock to Android . 7. iPhone buyers will flock to [...]

8 Five More iPhone Myths — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 10.03.08 at 1:32 am }

[...] Myths Five More iPhone Myths Myth 6: iPhone Developers will Flock to Android Myth 7: iPhone Buyers will Flock to Android . 1. Verizon EVDO iPhone Just Around the [...]

9 Joel { 10.03.08 at 5:07 am }

“Developers won’t flock to Android before users do, outside of hobbyists and the free software advocates who aren’t money motivated. However, these developers haven’t done much to make Linux on the desktop a viable alternative to Windows over a decade of intense efforts. This same “homebrew” developer base also has done nothing to successfully promote various attempt to introduce “open” game consoles such as GamePark’s, “open” mobile phones such as OpenMoko, “open” alternatives to Flash or Office or Exchange Server, “open” codecs such as FLAC or OGG, and so on.”

The majority of the larger Linux projects aren’t just “hobbyists”, and are backed by serious organisations with money. I think you do a lot of open-source developers a dis-service with this, intentionally or otherwise… As an example, I doubt roughlydrafted.com would run without these “hobbyist” developers. :)

Its also a lot easier persuading someone to try Linux (usually Ubuntu) in the enterprise, and I’ve managed to successfully do this for the company I work for. (Vista isn’t certified, and it would be waste to install Xp on a brand-new workstation.) Trying to do this with Macs is a lot harder since there’s more up-front trialing costs. There’s also some skills cross-over and experience from using Linux servers for non-critical production tasks…

10 Tardis { 10.03.08 at 10:06 am }

Dan the Man notes that he has “successfully argued against apparent realities on many occasions. I predicted crazy things” including that Vista wouldn’t storm the world like Windows 95, PlaysForSure subscriptions and the Zune wouldn’t dent iPod sales, Apple wouldn’t make the iPod a smart messaging platform, Apple would ignore the PC Gamer industry, Blu-ray would triumph over HD-DVD but it wouldn’t matter, the failure of OpenMoko, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and now Android, Java ME and Flash Lite.

Soon, these will become self-fulfilling prophesies – “Daniel Dilger says Windows Seven Sucks, so I won’t be buying that then ……………… “

11 Realtosh { 10.03.08 at 2:05 pm }

On balance you provide a lot of good analysis, but you can’t have it both ways. It mights you sound like Microsoft apologists.

“While bleeding the remaining life from mobile Java, Flash, and Windows Mobile, Android will have little impact on iPhone development.”

So will Android kill off all Apple competitors, or will it be insignificant and do nothing at all in the market.

[iPhone-competing mobile platforms and middleware are already weak. The introduction of Android will only further weaken them, allowing none to take the upper hand as Android competes directly with all of them. That will give the iPhone a cleared path to grow in as a strong alternative to junkware distractions like Flash Lite and Java ME. ]

You can’t have it both ways. Unfortunately, you’ve read too many Microsoft shills, that you’re starting to take on their rhetorical techniques.

Apart from that , great writing, and some very good insights.

[both ways indeed]

12 Realtosh { 10.03.08 at 4:55 pm }

“bleeding the remaining life” is the same thing as killing.

If ” bleeding the remaining life from mobile Java, Flash, and Windows Mobile [and other iPhone competitors}” means killing off all of Android’s competitors, then it becomes iPhone vs Android, just like it was Mac vs PC (Windows,DOS) after all the PC competitors were wiped out.

That doesn’t sound so insignificant. Either Android will wipe the floor with these other competitors, in which case it will be a force to reckon with, or not. If not then you still have all these competing interests that have not been wiped out.

I’ll I’m saying is you can’t argue both sides of the same argument. You complain about the Windows shills doing it repeatedly about Apple (iPod, iPhone, Mac, etc). No significant market impact and the greatest monopoly in almost the same breath.

“iPhone-competing mobile platforms and middleware are already weak. The introduction of Android will only further weaken them, allowing none to take the upper hand as Android competes directly with all of them. That will give the iPhone a cleared path to grow.”

If Android can do all that, then it will clear a path for its’ growth as well as iPhone’s. Or another way to look at it, is Android will have knocked off all these competitors by not only clearing the path for growth but also by actually growing itself.

I’m perfectly happy to have you say Android will be a great threat which will kill everything else, and will be a challenge to Apple in a two platform race, that either of them can win.

Or I’m happy to have you say that Android is insignificant and won’t amount to much.

But saying both together seems to conflict.

Seems just like the anti-Apple shills seemed to argue every angle of every argument against Apple, even in contradiction.

Your analysis is so great that we don’t need to resort to Windows shill tactics to defend iPhone.

13 daGUY { 10.03.08 at 10:54 pm }

“Is Android going to turn things around by offering developers the ‘freedom’ and lack of restrictions Windows Mobile already offers, albeit with no installed base and no existing share of the market? How ruthlessly absurd.”

Wow. This is an excellent point, and one that everyone seems to be glossing over. Android’s main appeal is supposed to be the “openness” that it affords developers. Yet Windows Mobile has used this same “open” model for years, and what’s happening? Developers and users are flocking FROM Windows Mobile to the iPhone.

Also like Windows Mobile, “Android” alone is not a full product, but rather just an OS that runs on a variety of hardware, each with different capabilities, specifications, and input methods.

Why would people move from the iPhone to a new platform based on the same model as Windows Mobile, when clearly those same people are moving *away* from WM in favor of the iPhone? It makes absolutely no sense.

People will most likely move from WM to Android, because if they like the “open” model, then Android is basically offering a modernized version of the same thing. But I don’t see anyone moving from the iPhone to Android, since if these people wanted “open,” they would’ve stayed on WM in the first place!

14 Realtosh { 10.04.08 at 12:39 am }

@ daGUY

“Android’s main appeal is supposed to be the “openness.”

I don’t see that at all. Android’s main appeal is Google’s backing.

People are moving away from Windows Mobile because the software sucks and is hardly usable.

People are moving to the iPhone not just because it is beautiful. The iPhone’s strongest appeal is its’ software. It is truly intuitive. It is functional and easy to use. The iPhone’s easy to use browser has resulted in the highest mobile browser utilization rates ever.

Some of this functionality is based on Google technology. Remember Google is an Internet Company. Google in the Internet Company of the moment. Search is Google. Maps is Google. Over the years they will create all kinds of ways for us to interact with information on the go. They will want to their software available everywhere on all platforms, but they’ll introduce features on their own platform.

As I’ve predicted, Google introduced some new mapping features first on Android, with the introduction of the G1.

Don’t get me wrong. Apple is leap years ahead of anyone else at the moment. Google may just have the incentive to try to catch up.

None of this depends on Android being open. Google could choose to close Android and keep pushing the envelope. Google will get their return on their investment when they sell advertising. Apple gets the return on their investment when they sell the iPhone. Both have a vested interest to continue to invest in their platform.

The only difference is that Google gives away their platform for all takers free of charge. Apple keeps their platform to themselves so that they can market a best in class product, namely the iPhone, and do so profitably.

People will move from Window Mobile to Android because Google will make the software actually usable. Apple has some interface innovations that are patented that Google and others will not be able to copy, so Apple will be the innovation leader for the foreseeable future.

Google however will provide others the ability to deliver iPhone clones based on Android instead of OSX.

Google need only make Android a good usable product that carriers can develop into low-cost versions of an iPhone look-alike. Carriers can than carry both iPhone and their lower cost private label clone. They would likely push their own private-label phone with stips for their salespeople because the carrier has financial incentives to sell their own phone with no subsidies for Apple, RIM or Nokia or licensing fees to Microsoft.

Apple’s iPhone will attract walk-in traffic. Some of this traffic will be of undecided and or unknowledgeable folks who can be persuaded to accept the Android phones. These will in most cases, if not all, be much cheaper. So far I’ve heard pricing on G1 from $179 on T-mobile to as low as FREE on some carrier i Believe in the UK.

Apple iPhone will always be best in class, and the phone to which everyone else compares their phone models. Android may be the phone for everybody else.

Android will likely start with the carriers and the lower-end manufacturers. As of now, with Motorola, LG and Samsung already on board, only Nokia and RIM, as leaders in their geographic areas, are hold outs.

If and when Android takes off and sells many handsets, then developers will move to develop for Android,as they are now fawning over the iPhone.

15 eldernorm { 10.04.08 at 12:44 am }

Daniel,
I think you hit the nail on the head. Everyone buys for their own wants and needs. I meet a young teen female that received an early iPhone and later she changed it for one of those mini flip with a camera.

Why. ?? Cause it fit in her purse better. Period :-)
.5% want freedom. 89% want the phone to work.
Price is important, but everyone has a different idea of what is right.
Coverage is coverage. Period. If you live in east texas, you use Altel or you put up with what you get. When I go to a bigger city, its not an issue.

Real world people. 85% vs 2-3% on these decisions. Its just like where you put the McDonalds. One place works, one does not.
So, just look at sales based on correct catagories, month after month and see where things go.
Nuff said.

Just a thought.

en

16 The Mad Hatter { 10.04.08 at 12:55 am }

Pardon me, I’m going to argue with everyone. Daniel first:

However, these developers haven’t done much to make Linux on the desktop a viable alternative to Windows over a decade of intense efforts.

Daniel, this depends on your definition of “Viable”. Look at definition 5 from Dictionary.com practicable; workable: a viable alternative. According to this Linux is a viable alternative. From a sales standpoint it hasn’t done well at present due to Microsoft’s continuing efforts to lock in the OEMS, but Apple’s example has started to break this up, as shown by the Linux powered Netbook idea. Oh, most of the Netbook manufacturers also sell Windows variants, but when you read the reviews, the Linux version is generally favored. None of the OEMs are releasing break downs of OS sales figures as far as I know, but if you look at the Amazon.com list you find:

8 of the top 25 are Linux powered
4 of the top 25 are OSX powered
12 of the top 25 are XP powered
1 of the top 25 is Vista powered

Out of the top 25 only the Macs are worth more than $700.00 with the $1899.00 MacBook Pro MB133LL in 21st place. Interesting, isn’t it? You can be sure that Dell, Acer, HP, et al find it interesting too.

Now Joel:

But while big companies can’t capitalize on Linux all that effectively without giving their work to their competition, I imagine that small PC builders might be able to make it work to their advantage sometime, in offering true local PCs instead of just black boxes that run Windows.

Joel, this is incorrect. You can build proprietary components on top of GPL components legally. Read the GPL at the FSF web pages, and then read the explanations of the GPL there, they are very explicit that this is allowable.

And last but not least, John E:

- and what about RIM? what is the long term potential of the Blackberry OS? it seems secure in its enterprise niche, but is that OS powerful enough to keep up with Apple, Android, and Win Mobile 7?

That’s up to Rim. The other phone maker with a decent OS is Palm. I know that Daniel has written about Palm’s incompetence (and I agree with him). That said, the Palm OS is superior to Windows Mobile. Palm’s biggest mistake was introducing a Windows Mobile phone, as shown by the recent success of the Centro a Palm OS phone. I think that the management at Palm is counting their sales, and that we will see more Palm OS phones, and that Palm OS will, like a Zombie, rise from the crypt. As an OS it has problems (I’ve never had a Palm that didn’t lock up at annoying times), but this can be fixed by using either the BSD or Linux kernal as a base (giving it a decent multi-tasking kernel finally) with the Palm desktop. I suspect that Palm is working like mad on this right now. They can see the rats deserting the sinking Microsoft ship, and as a company they will make sure that they don’t go down with it.

All in all, the near future in the mobile phone industry is going to be interesting.

17 Joel { 10.04.08 at 3:57 am }

The Mad Hatter : “But while big companies can’t capitalize on Linux all that effectively without giving their work to their competition, I imagine that small PC builders might be able to make it work to their advantage sometime..” – where did I say this then…? And yep, I know this anyway…

18 The Mad Hatter { 10.04.08 at 12:07 pm }

Joel,

My mistake, it was Murrquan who posted that.

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21 drewwright { 10.13.08 at 11:32 pm }

Android only need sell and make news to succeed. That’s all. And its already been done.

The latest rough count today on the ‘net is 1.5 million G1 phones on pre-order. Even if this is an overestimate by say, half a million, that still leaves a sizable amount of G1 phones that are sold before ship day. One million or more Google requests and ads served up on a regular basis. That is success.

And, as we all know (and is slightly relayed above) competition is a GOOD thing in a capitalistic society. This talk about “iPhone killers” is silly, since it is unnecessary, as long as handsets continue to sell at high rates in a competitive, tiered market.

The appeal of Android’s openness is that it allows use of the same exact programs on many different hardware. The G1 is the first and only Android phone at this point. But with more than 1 million phones pre-ordered, it will not be that last. Any programmer that builds for the Android platform can know that their app can be used on any future Android phone (probably by another manufacturer), possibly exposing them to many times more sales, on many Android environments, than is possible by one iPhone environment. That’s the appeal of openness Google provides. The Android hardware need not have all the bells and whistles of the iPhone to create sales across a huge swath of users. Indeed there has been speculation and talk of hardware other than mobile phones that will carry Android. Whether that pans out again doesn’t matter, its that the possibility of that openness allows for exponentially more app sales on multiple units that matters. Google doesn’t need to hurry or be hasty or make the platform be another iPhone, the 3rd party developer will do that and innovate it with the potential to multiply or best their iPhone app sales by volume, if not by features. Any developer that wouldn’t want possibly exponentially more sales, falls under your category of “not concerned with making a buck”.

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