Google buys a webmail service, forces rapid improvements in the competition.
Google builds a browser, forces rapid improvements in the competition (Firefox).
Google buys a smartphone OS, competition already doing ok but probably tweaked some things.
Google starts building an inexpensive fiber network, makes incumbents sweat a little.
Google buys a smartphone manufacturer, forces competition to improve.
Next up, probably a mobile telco provider.
Google's thing seems to be improving the transfer and display of ads. Somehow they've turned that into a benefit to technology as a whole. It's a business model built on disruption.
Android played a huge role in pushing the mobile web to consumers. How long was the iPhone exclusive to AT&T, like 3 years? Without Android all those other wireless providers would be hawking much less functional Blackberries, Windows 6.x, Nokia handsets.
That said, my guess is that for the average consumer, things like that are far less important than having lots of easy to get apps, and a general look and feel that work well.
And I have to say that from that point of view, my cheap Samsung Android phone is just night and day ahead of the Nokia with Symbian that I had. The Nokia had Google Maps, Gmail, and some other stuff, but it was extremely clunky in comparison.
In mobile OS, I think they can avoid being classified having 70% or anywhere near it since Android is technically open source and anyone can fork it, and several flavors such as the kindle version of Android aren't under their control.
In the carrier space, they'd be far from owning a lot of market share.
They just need to make sure that if they acquire such power that they restrain from anticompetitive practices afforded to them by their position.
http://www.exeloo.com/ is the company that makes them.
Under some conditions (good visibility, easy-to-see lane markers, etc.)
I've always found raw naked Android much nicer to use than the silly re-skinning every manufacturer wastes time adding. Sense and blur are bad, but Sony's Timescape was absolutely the low-point.
One thing I learned from HW manufacturer is that they absolutely don't get SW development
Zero, zilch, nada, NULL
Hence, this results in wasting (a lot of) time with BS projects, lots of NIH syndrome, design by committee, etc
I've heard and seem a lot of stories, I've worked in certain companies and I vowed never to work again there.
They waste million of dollars thinking CrapCase and other "irrational" tools are ok.
And that's why Cyanogenmod releases upgrades quicker than the manufacturers.
None of the companies have any clue whatsoever when it comes to UI design, software development, etc. The majority of the process is usually centered around putting some kind of brand-specific skinning on the OS as a "differentiator". It only gets worse when the carriers request their own specific branding on a handset. Usually the designs are put together by one or two designers and the emphasis is often on visual impact as opposed to usability. Flash tends to win over function, and often times things are redesigned for no good reason between product releases.
It's no surprise then that Apple is eating their lunch, at least they have a coordinated effort.
Oh God, yup. The last place I interned for was using CVS, and the devs wanted to switch to Git. This desire percolated up a few levels, and a couple months later it's announced that we're switching to ClearCase. Two months before a major version of our product drops. Cue 3 weeks of mayhem as ClearCase manages to mangle everything, then the same people who made the ClearCase decision are furious that we are so far behind target and begin to "question the competency" of the devs at out site.
Yeah, thanks but I'm staying the hell away from HW companies in the future.
But hey, ClearCase is from IBM, so it has to be good, right? It was made by a team of experts, not some pudgy Finn. Clearly the codemonkeys just don't understand business, which is why we're building our web app in Java over their objections. Java is what Enterprise uses, and this is Enterprise software. Makes perfect sense.
And then some manager will find out and fire someone for wasting valuable company time and resources hacking on some irrelevant side project or hacking the companies security system or something.
Some places are just broken politically and no amount of technical cleverness can fix it. At places like that your only option is to learn to live with it, learn to play the political game or quit.
So theoretically it could work, but you would waste some time
Not to mention people related to CC are usually rude, ignorant, afraid to be made redundant so they rely on blackmail and threats to keep their position (yes, I'm generalizing)
I really hope the "new Motorola" will use only stock Android from now on. It doesn't even make sense to me to do it otherwise.
I'd love it if that were true, sounds like an excellent rebuttal to the usual 'android gets spam' retort.
As I understand it most of the time the problem is the user themselves, the app requested some permission and the user granted it.
For you. For AT&T, it says they can come into your house and take any and all children of yours whenever they want. They wrote the contract and you have no choice but to agree, so they're certainly not going to go out of their way to be nice to you. (Their logo is the frickin' Death Star, after all!)
they actually told a roomful of hackers to ask permission.
Apple are very good at making premium products, they have a greater than 94% market share for computers over $1,000USD. They all but own the tablet space despite their significantly higher retail price. The only competitors that succeed against Apple are the ones willing to have razor thin margins producing commodity products - this is where Android comes in, the bulk of Android devices are budget conscious. Google tried the premium Android approach originally and it failed enough for them to abort the approach completely.
How many years did it take non-Apple laptop manufacturers to figure it out after Apple proved you could make a nice laptop that people would buy?
Wait, what? Do you have a source for that? I'm pretty sure these numbers are not correct.
If you click through to the story this is based on, you find this:
1. They're talking about revenue-share, not a share of units. That 91% revenue-share is very likely to translate into a somewhat smaller share of units because Apple's Mac ASP is probably substantially higher than the overall Windows ASP, even when you're restricting both to the $1000+ segment.
2. They're talking about PCs sold "at US retail". I'm not sure what their definition of that is (I couldn't easily find the original report), but there are two things it almost certainly does not include: sales to businesses and direct sales from manufacturer websites.
I find that unsurprising. I think it would be hard for NPD to gather that sort of data. However, both segments are important in $1000+ Windows PC market. Business buy plenty of $1000+ PCs (I'm sitting in a room of them). And the best price for a $1000+ consumer PC is almost always at the manufacturer website. I strongly suspect that, for most manufacturers (except Apple), the majority of $1000+ PCs are sold directly from their website.
Who are you replying to? The comment you replied to makes the arguable point that vendor add-ons are a problem. That is a debatable point as each iteration of Android has essentially usurped functionality pioneered in those skins.
but you need to understand why it's so popular - it lets just about every phone maker produce incredibly cheap handsets
Gah! Where are all of these "incredibly cheap" handsets? ZTE? Huwei? The overwhelming bulk of Android handsets (edit: I realize this is worded poorly, but I mean relative to sales -- the top selling handsets are predominately the top tier devices) are priced similarly to the iPhone. And why are you making uninformed comments about Android on a board where the overwhelming majority of participants are very informed on the market?
And ignoring the fact that Samsung, HTC, and Motorola probably spend more on software developer, per handset, than a Windows Phone license, even if they went for Windows Phone licenses is that $5-$15 license fee going to really be the difference between "incredibly cheap" and not incredibly cheap?
This Android == the low end nonsense is garbage. It is hubris of the worst kind.
Terrible. Just terrible. I'm going full jerk now, threatening my glorious Avg:5 score, but save comments like that for Engadget stories.
Not even close to true. Having a look at my favorite purveyor of phones (www.katshing.se) I see that, by far, the most expensive phone they sell is the 64GB 4s and the only phones that are close to the price of a 16GB 4s is HTC One X, the Galaxy Note and the preorder for the Galaxy SIII.
In the half-the-price-of-the-4s category you have some pretty decent phones like the HTC OneV, Experia Arc S and Samsung Galaxy S plus. Halving the price again (~$250) and you can get a Samsung Galaxy Ace, HTC Explorer or Wildfire S or Motorola Defy Mini.
The simple truth is that probably half the people I know with android phones have android phones because they where a lot cheaper than the iPhone. The fact that you can buy a great smart phone from a brand name like Samsung for $200 unlocked and off contract is incredibly enticing to a large number of people, and Android helped make that happen.
I didn't put a specific disclaimer for Sweden, I suppose.
the most expensive phone they sell is the 64GB 4s
Incredibly few people buy the 64GB variant. Since we're so fond of anecdotes, I know zero people who bought the 64GB iPhone 4S. I see no reason, at all, why that data point has any relevance.
The top selling Android phones, worldwide, are the Galaxy Notes, SII's, Razrs, and other premium devices. Low cost devices -- despite your anecdotes -- haven't even made a dent in the top 10 yet. It is a completely irrelevant aspect, thus far.
That will change, of course, but when someone buys a Razr or an SII or a Note or a One X, they aren't choosing a discount option.
But there are a million low-end models with little to differentiate them, so it's not surprising at all that none of them are in the top 10. That by itself doesn't mean that the "Non-Top 10" category isn't 99% of the market. (It's not, of course; I'm just saying that looking at the top 10 doesn't give you any more info on the total makeup of the market than the comment you're so vociferously responding to.)
Looks like you did not put US specific disclaimer. A lot (most?) of people from outside the US pay full price for their phones. And price is important to them.
Also, I would like to see your source for the wordwide top selling Adnroid phones.
While the top 10 most popular devices are all high end, just look at how much of the market the low-end, low-volume devices make up. It's at least a fourth of all devices, and I imagine if you count former top-end devices which sell for cheaper now, half the market was sold below the high-end. Even among the popular devices there at lots of cheaper ones in there, Samsung along have a raft of lower cost devices that are quite popular on there (Ace, Marvel, Galaxy Y)
A review of the IDC data shows that 'other' brands make up 27%, that's a share larger than Apple's, and testament to just how many fringe product brands there are out there, let alone the listless number of smartphone models that exist under each of those fringe brands.
Additionally, as you've noted top 10 is restricted to a certain time period, again not a good indicator for total sales of a handset.
The revenue figures for each company paint a clear picture of what their average phone sale is, and a better clue to where the bulk of the phones are predominantly sold.
Where is that picture clearly painted? You conveniently jumped a massive chasm in your other post, inventing numbers, and came up with "75% the price of an iPhone". Again, "incredibly cheap"? This is a ridiculous conversation.
Samsung have a 29.1% marketshare of smart phones by volume. (IDC)
Apple has a 24.2% marketshare of smart phone by volume. (IDC)
The others don't crack 10% each.
Samsung won't reveal revenue for Android, for reasons that will become obvious shortly, but they do reveal their entire mobile division has 17B revenue.
This division shipped 144.4M mobile phones, 42M of those were smart phones, a figure slightly lower than that belong to Android. We can be lenient and pretend that the bulk of the 17B revenue were from pricier Android devices, even though this would be fallacious.
Apple's iPhone business (not iPod/iPad) has revenue of 23B, already exceeding Samsung's entire mobile business.
Samsung lead Android sales commanding ~40% of the Android market share.
Meaning that the largest seller of Android smartphones, who sells more smartphones than any other producer including Apple is making 75% the amount of revenue of Apple, on not just their Android business, but their total mobile division where Android makes up a fraction of it. This can only mean one thing. The average selling price of those Android devices is well below 75% of the average iPhone sale. (Rather likely far lower when you consider that the 17B figure comprises of all of Samsung's sales.)
These are the facts, they speak for themselves. The data is the latest from May IDC, and the revenue results are the publicly announced data from the last quarter from both Samsung & Apple.
The only thing you're burying is your head in the sand.
How very conspiratorial. So what, exactly, are they hiding? They want the price per unit to seem high? Or maybe they simply don't feel those are relevant numbers or numbers they want competitors knowing.
This can only mean one thing. The average selling price of those Android devices is well below 75% of the average iPhone sale.
I went along with your logic open minded, but you do realize there is a giant unknown in your claims, right? I suppose this links back to the conspiratorial claims about revenue numbers, however you have no idea what Samsung's average unit price is for Android phones. None whatsoever.
But let's pretend that the average Samsung smartphone sells for 75% the price of an iPhone. Does that qualify as "incredibly cheap"? That is a laughable notion.
I recently got the HTC One X and have been very happy with its usability and performance, but then I don't have access to a stock Android ICS phone so I can't make the comparison.
Manual set up of Exchange accounts was flat out broken on my Droid 4 the first 3-4 months it was on the market, despite being something that works perfectly fine in vanilla Android. The breakage happened because Motorola decided to implement their own "corporate account" feature rather than just use the one that was baked in.
For Google's sake I hope they can successfully run this business, or recognize early enough that they can't. If it turns out that it isn't in their DNA to run a hardware biz then it is important to re-spin it out before it dies from mismanagement.
However, this could also be a first step in a process of Google creating a vertically integrated phone offering.
Larry Page seems to be borrowing from Apple's playbook recently - first by focusing on a set of core products and cutting away Labs and other experimental peripheral stuff, second by integrating all of Google's offerings with G+ as the hub.
Adding a vertically integrated Android phone that competes directly with iPhone on design, UI/UX, build quality, etc. could be the next step in that.
Google can leave Android licensing as is for a few more years, but if their vertically integrated offering succeeds in the market, they may even eventually end the licensing deals, similar to how Apple ended deals with the clone makers when SJ returned as CEO.
Not saying that will happen, just observing that the Moto purchase could allow them to take that route in a few years if they so choose.
Not because google suddenly wants to start making margin on the phone business. (That failed the first time, and they definitely didn't need motorola to try it again.)
This, IMHO should be the top comment here.
So the question is: will Google sell the Home division? If they do, this may have huge ramifications for the US cable landscape.
Earlier this year, Google got regulatory approval to offer video over their fiber service. 
Google TV and their fiber service could be a pretty amazing combination. Getting to integrate the Motorola knowledge may make it better.
Or, Google could try to push Google TV onto the companies who buy the Motorola boxes (through discounting/subsidies).
Nokia's problems have nothing to do with Windows Phone. They're still offering lots of Symbian handsets [http://www.nokia.com/us-en/products/products/] to compete head to head with iOS, Android, and WP7. A renaissance for the brick format or Symbian was no more likely a year ago than it is today.
For me, it's hard to see how betting on a MeeGo app ecosystem would have given them a growing market share over the long term.
Android rose because it was cheap and available as an alternative to iOS. Google realized a first mover advantage in the "not Apple" segment of the market. Now with Motorola Mobility purchase, they have the opportunity to bring more of the profits back in house.
I suspect that Google's long term hardware strategy, if they have one, is to go head to head with Nokia in the developing world by deploying the next generation of feature phones and collecting data in rapidly developing markets like Africa.
I think the implied alternative was Android, not MeeGo.
All the other Android vendors license Windows for some other area of their business. These two do not and Microsoft has no leverage to force them. (Yes, I know about Microsoft suing Motorola and Motorola suing Microsoft back).
Amazon may have the strength to open its own app store for the Kindle. But it can only do so because the Kindle is just a means to a purpose, which is consuming stuff from Amazon's store.
Apple may have the strength to build their own alternative to Google Maps, but they are Apple.
On the other hand, did anybody here ever used the Samsung App Store? (http://www.samsungapps.com). I didn't think so. And what's an Android phone without Google's apps and Google's Play? It's just a shitty smartphone.
Actually I think it's great news that Google buys Motorola, because maybe, just maybe, these phone manufacturers will drop those silly enhancements and start getting in line with the official updates.
This isn't a surprise for anyone, though. They have been working towards this purchase for a while, so if any of the manufacturers were likely to baulk at it, they already would have done so.
Here's hoping that google puts out some great handsets, and makes this a real game-changing move.
This is purely for their own phones too, not mentioning the parts they produce which go into others (original iphone processor etc.)
I don't see how this is going to change.
Mostly I think Google's gunning for the carriers at this point. Carriers seem to keep enjoying getting in Google's way.
A more likely worst-case is that we get more companies supporting alternative OSes, marketshare evens out a bit from second place on down, and generally the world keeps on turning. If people like Android now, people won't stop liking it because Google is now making it themselves. Even in a worse-case scenario.
If the Google Glasses are successful, that sort of loyalty to Google will only increase, like it did for Apple with the iPhone, then with the iPad, and so on.
I think this whole Apple Cult thing is pretty overblown. Sure there may be a noisy minority who give that impression but I sure don't know any. I have an iPhone because I considered it the best choice but I'm hardly a raving iPhone zealot. I hate the closed ecosystem too, and resent that I have to chose between a high quality user experience (by my taste) and a more free environment.
I don't really know anyone who fits into the stereotype of an unconditional raving iPhone fan, and this amongst a social circle which is basically exclusively iPhone.
This has almost nothing to do with your point, just that there are rabid fans for everything you could think of.
If Windows Phone wasn't locked down I might give it a try, but until there's an alternative phone that's at least as open as Android I'm not moving.
Among my less technical friends, Android and iPhone devices are more or less equal.
iPhone 4s 16gb AT&T - $150 subsidized
HTC One X AT&T - $200 subsidized
Sure, there are cheaper Android phones, but there are also cheaper iPhones (3gs/4).
Believe it or not, there are real Android fans. I used to be one, not so much anymore. The carriers and manufacturers have ruined it with their delayed updates, bloatware, and modifications to the UI.
If Apple raised the iPhone screen to at least 4", I would consider getting one. If Microsoft released a WP7 device with good specs, I would get that. But at the moment, Android has the best balance of hardware and software.
I understand where you're coming from, and I'm not denying the fact that Android offers a wider range of devices in different price ranges. I just don't like this concept that many people seem to have stuck in their heads: iPhone = expensive. Android = cheap. All of the high-end phones are expensive, and high-end phones are what we should compare when talking about Android vs iOS because they are in the same price range.
So yes, there most definitely are Android fans out there, but they are most likely using a high-end Android device and not one of the cheap handsets that you couldn't pay me to use.
It's almost impossible that would happen, but I'm just saying I wouldn't miss them if they left Android. If they think they can just replace Android with Tizen or whatever, and people will follow them, they are very wrong. Google would just get most of the business then with Motorola, and it would get a lot closer to Apple's profits.
[ ... ]
> I see only good in this.
This makes zero logical sense.
Closing the business to Motorola would simply make it trivial for Apple to walk all over them.
Motorola is currently holding a patent on push technology. One of our courts in Germany stopped iCloud from pushing due to patent infringements. Now that Google bought Motorola Mobility do they own they patent?
If this would be the fact I would predict that we will see more lawsuits against Apple regarding this one patent. Sounds like a great weapon - forcing your competitor to kill one of the interesting parts of a service they use for advertisement.
Best case scenario: Googles new weapons will lead to a series of broad cross-license agreements, which will end the mobile patent wars.
Wasn't Google making more money with patent payments from Apple than they make with Android?
They have already made strong investments in developing geo-thermal power.
And lets also hope that Google allows to update Kernels of old Motorola phones, also.