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Android/Linux Not Far From 90% Market Share and Why It’s Good News

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s fine when a pack of Linux backers controls the market


Summary: A roundup of statistics and news about Android, which is now far ahead of its competitors

WITH SALES and/or activations measured in terms of millions per day, Android has clearly become the market leader. Android might not be super-profitable for Google, but it does give this company a lot of power and it also spreads Linux. That’s all fine. Some criticise Android for attracting more and more proprietary software which is widely used [1], but this is probably inevitable when a platform becomes the primary target for developers. Some key people leave Android because of lack of adherence to freedom/openness (there are also other departures [2,3]), but this platform commands the lion’s share of the market [4]. A new release called KitKat is coming [5] and more companies are building their business around Android [6], which is liberally licensed. Even new companies emerge which basically fork/branch Android [7,8] and they attract investment, showing that Android is not a one-horse race. Support for 64-bit is being facilitated [9] in an age of fewer restrictions in phones (the phones with less restrictions can be more attractive to buyers). Once upon a time this was unforeseeable for phones, which basically came with just one platform ‘baked’ in (like Apple’s hypePhone).

“Diversity is more or less assured and secured here, provided the hardware and software are free to modify.”Those who don’t see the benefit of Linux taking over the mobile market may simply prefer to let some giant companies like Nokia (in the past) or Apple make all the choices, even when these choices are customer-hostile and driven only by the business interests of some wealthy shareholders.

Sure, it would be nice if platforms like Sailfish and Firefox OS gained market share, but any time a platform like Android takes away market from proprietary counterparts it should be considered good news. Diversity is more or less assured and secured here, provided the hardware and software are free to modify [10].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. BlackBerry Messenger App arriving on Android

    The BlackBerry Messenger is slated for a Friday release on the Android platform, though will be exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices for the first three months. The confirmation of the popular IM client coming as an app to Android, after a very long wait, comes from Samsung Nigeria, which tweeted the Friday release date and the three months exclusivity of the app to Galaxy devices. Though BlackBerry has been known to distance itself from exclusive deals, no confirmation, or more importantly, denial has been issued from their side.

  2. Android VP Hugo Barra leaves Google for Chinese Android maker Xiaomi

    The front face of Android during many Google events Hugo Barra is suddenly leaving the company. He will be joining the fast growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Barra joined Google in 2008 and was in charge of Android product development as a vice president. Barra came second after Andy Rubin, who also stepped down from his position recently.

  3. Former! Android! Open! Source! Boss! Takes! Job! At! Yahoo!

    The former head of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) at Google has jumped ship to the competition.

  4. Android controls 71% market share in Western Europe

    Android continues to gain the market share in the Western Europe while Stephen Elop dragged Nokia to the bottom line.

  5. Android KitKat unveiled in Google surprise move

    Google is calling the next version of its mobile operating system Android KitKat.

  6. Quasar IV Cipherphone: The smartphone with encryption built in

    Worried about the NSA and other online eavesdroppers? Then startup QSAlpha is working on the smartphone for you.

  7. Open source Android fork Cyanogen becomes $7m company

    Independent Android firmware project CyanogenMod has become a company, thanks to a $7m Series A financing round led by Silicon Valley venture firms Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

  8. CyanogenMod becomes a company, gets $7 million funding

    CyanogenMod is a bridge between users and Android experience which continues to get spoiled by carriers and hardware manufacturers who take forever to bring updates (most of the times these updates never come). CyanogenMod is also known as the open source community around Android where anyone can contribute to the project.

  9. Android 64-bit support might be already there

    With the recent release announcement of the iPhone 5S, which, among other things, sports a fast A7 processor that has the capability of processing 64 bit instruction sets, the community was set abuzz with the prospect of Android’s support for 64 bit. Though Samsung has promised to provide 64 bit support in its mobile devices, Google has been quiet on that front.

  10. Rooting the LG Optimus L3 (and just about any Android model, really)
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