Google’s Android operating system could represent a tipping point in attitudes toward smartphones, according to ABI Research.
“If Android is to become the ubiquitous mobile phone platform that Google and the Open Handset Alliance hope it will be, it will be because operators and handset OEMs recognize the value to their own business models of using standard platforms, not because wireless subscribers clamor for feature-rich phones, much less an Android-based phone,” said Kevin Bruden, ABI Research director, in a statement.
The current smartphone market represents a small but growing percentage of worldwide handsets (14%). The research firm contends that Google needs to convince handset makers to replace the real-time OSs in today’s mobile phones. In the smartphone market of the future, users won’t always be aware of what they’re buying; they will buy simply because they’re in the market for a phone, not specifically a smartphone.
The challenge is to convince operators that having more phones in their lineups and more subscribers using those phones based on standardized OSs is good for them. Standardization delivers easier manageability at the technical level and greater ease in marketing services to all their subscribers.
“The smartphone market has been moving in this direction for some time now,” Burden continues. “If Android is a success, it may be the tipping point that marks the start of a profound change in the smartphone market.”