Problems Start To Emerge For Google Android

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Samsung who are currently developing their own Bada operating system for portable devices has said that 50% of their 2010 offering will run the Google Android operating system however problems are starting to emerge for Google and their Android operating system as they chase advertising dollars on mobile devices.

late last week US carrier Verizon Wireless scrapped plans to sell the Google’s Nexus One handset while Motorola said it had chosen mapping software other than Google’s version.


Samsung Electronics, who on Friday reported $3.9 Billion in profits, is currently developing an alternative to Android with insiders claiming that as “Bada matures” the Company will use less of the Android OS instead they will recommend Bada powered phones.

Also planning their own mobile operating system is HTC who recently looked at buying Palm which was eventually sold to Hewlett Packard. The move could cause problems for Google who are looking to compete with both Apple and Microsoft in the fast growing mobile advertising market.

Reuters recently said that after shunning the Nexus One and adding rival applications to phones, the handset makers and carriers may loosen Google’s control over how customers use wireless devices.

Analysts claim that recent setbacks may hamper Google’s efforts to replicate the success of its Web search engine in the burgeoning mobile advertising market.

The biggest challenge for Google may be to improve its software and ensure that it can adapt to the mobile market, said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research. Google is on its fourth revision of Android in the past year, in part because of software glitches and missing features, she said.


“Everybody is afraid of Google having too much power,” said Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm. “I don’t think anyone wants to say, “In addition to 70 percent of the search traffic in the world, we’re going to give them a whole lot more business.”‘

Android’s share of the U.S. smartphone market jumped to 9 percent in February from 5.2 percent at the end of 2009, according to research firm ComScore. It ranks behind Research In Motion, Apple and Microsoft.

In Australia Telstra, is currently investing in Android code development with the Company developing their own applications to run on the Google Android operating system. They are also working closely with HTC to deliver new Android based phones. 

One Telstra executive said recently that one of the problems with Google’s Android is firmware fragmentation. This results in phones running Android versions from Android 1.5 to Android 2.1. This results is users not having the same user experience at the same time.

Android 2.2, is rumored to arrive at some point after Google’s developer conference event in  May, with insiders claiming that  a major update will be announced including support for native Flash.

 

“Various people in the mobile ecosystem can choose which part of the software they want to use,” said Anthony House, a Google spokesman. “The competition is good for consumers.”

Google offers Android for free, seeking to make money from mobile advertising in searches and other applications. Sales from mobile ads in the United States will more than triple to $1.56 billion by 2013 from the end of last year, according to New York-based research firm EMarketer.

Android partners are increasingly willing to use mobile software made by rivals, giving Google fewer opportunities to sell ads. Motorola, which started selling Android-powered phones last year, said last week  that it will use location and navigation technology from Skyhook Wireless in the devices. Motorola had relied on Google’s location service.

Verizon Wireless, the top U.S. wireless carrier, told ChannelNews earlier this year that it would carry the Nexus One, adding it to a roster of Android phones that includes devices from HTC and Motorola.

Last week the US carrier dropped the Google branded phone which was not launched in Australia.

Reports are also emerging that HTC, maker of the Desire and Hero phones, are currently studying whether to create another operating system. HTC, based in Taiwan, was the first manufacturer to release an Android handset.

Keith Nowak, a spokesman for HTC, said the company still has a serious commitment to Android and its “mantra is to investigate anything.”

Google says it’s pleased with demand for phones with its software. More than 60,000 Android phones are being sold and activated a day, Senior Vice President Jeff Huber said during Google’s first-quarter earnings call this month.

 

Still, a rising number of Android versions may make it harder for developers to create high-quality applications for phones based on the operating system, diminishing the brand, Lopez said.

“This is nightmarishly complicated,” said Lopez, who’s followed the mobile industry for more than 18 years. “There’s no consistency across the platforms, there’s no consistency across devices, and there’s no consistency across the application ecosystem.”

 

 

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