Android Is Not Dead, Will Live On After 2015 (Opinion)

By Vamien McKalin email: v.mckalin@mobilenapps.com | Dec 31, 2012 06:29 PM EST

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Not too long ago I came across an article claiming that Android is dead and come 2015, Windows Phone 8, along with BlackBerry 10, are the platforms that would send it six feet under. I'm a huge fan of Windows Phone, but to think the platform is capable of killing Android is ridiculous.

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Google is constantly adding new and exciting things with each Android update. With this kind of support, the platform is poised to stay ahead of the game for a long time to come. Windows Phone 8 is a splendid operating system with many pronounced features; however, the platform's late coming out party will see its growth slowly climb which, however, won't be enough to "kill Android."

I really do appreciate J.M.Mannes' analysis of Android's future; however, he believes it is possible for Android to find itself at the bottom of the pile by 2015, which is totally irrational and baseless.

Mannes compiled the following list; it represents the top four smartphone operating systems by 2015.

  1. Apple's (AAPL) iOS (the iPhone)
  2. Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone 8 (or next version)
  3. Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerry
  4. Google's (GOOG) Android (and fading)

Mannes claims that Android will hit rock bottom because it is not free and that it is a haven for malware. First of all, solid proof of malware plaguing Android heavily is non-existent, and if such is the case, why are many Android users not being affected? This is a question that needs answering. The companies that release findings on Android's malware problems are mainly those who want to stuff anti-virus applications down the throat of users and, therefore, they shouldn't be taken seriously.

Secondly on the matter of Android not being free. Yes, Android is no longer free due to all the lawsuits that were brought against it and manufacturers that invested in the platform. It is said that Android in its current form is more expensive to license than Windows Phone, but does anyone seriously think OEMs are frightened of this to the point where they would abandon Android?

Here is my theory vis-a-vis the one that Mannes came up with.

RIM's BlackBerry 10 will struggle for being too late to market, but may find small success in the enterprise where the BlackBerry platform is strongest. Windows Phone 8 will continue being the third ecosystem; however, its growth would depend solely on Nokia. Why? When Symbian had control all those years ago, Nokia cannibalized the market. It is safe to say the same thing will happen with Windows Phone 8. Microsoft realizes that it is losing control, which is why the company is cozying up with HTC again, hoping that the Tawain-based company is up to the task of stealing some shares from Nokia.

Apple has a strong following and a powerful ecosystem. The ecosystem alone will ensure that it stays ahead of BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone come 2015. Android's ecosystem is just as strong, users have invested a lot of time and money into it, which means many of them would be too reluctant to switch.

Due to Android's strong ecosystem and following, OEMs will have no choice but to support the platform regardless of whatever problems they are facing. On another note, Android brings more opportunities than any other platform on the market right now, just take a look at the Ouya Android based game console and the support it has received and still receiving.

Here is my own (wild) compiled list for 2015:

  1. Google (Android)
  2. Apple (iPhone)
  3. Microsoft (Windows Phone)
  4. RIM (BlackBerry 10)

I am no fan of Android, iOS, or the BlackBerry platforms, but being a fan of Microsoft and Nokia do not blind me from the simple truth that Android is here to stay. Therefore, to conclude, I must say that Android is not dead and won't be dying, come 2015. Sorry J.M. Mannes.

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