In battle of smartphones, Google has the right answer [telecom]

TECH LAB In battle of smartphones, Google has the right answer Company's decision to distribute Android operating system widely gives it an edge

By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff | August 19, 2010

The war for smartphone domination is pretty much over, and the reasons are sitting on my desk.

There's the Vibrant from Samsung Group, a sleek, four-ounce beauty with a dazzling color screen. Next to it sits the hulking, half-pound Streak from PC maker Dell Inc., the biggest cellphone I've seen since NBC canceled "Miami Vice.''

Each, in its own way, is delightful. And both are built around Android, the smartphone operating system from Google Inc. that's outselling Apple Inc.'s in the US smartphone market.

Apple and its excellent iPhone will do fine, but Google will seize most of the market because it has adopted Microsoft Corp.'s old PC playbook. By selling Windows software to any computer maker, Microsoft flooded the world with Windows machines.

Today, there are just three iPhone models, all from Apple, and available in the United States through just one cell carrier: AT&T. There are more than 20 Android models, made by a host of companies, and available from every cell carrier. Of course Android wins.

The Android approach encourages phone designers to create innovative devices to target particular niche markets. So we're getting products like the Vibrant and the Streak, devices that have almost nothing in common except the software they run.


formatting link

Reply to
Monty Solomon
Loading thread data ...

Yep, Android's where it's at. I don't even see anyone using iPhones here in Silicon Valley -- it's all Android.

Earlier this week I attended the first annual Plug Computer Developer Camp hosted by Marvell () in Santa Clara CA. Ugh, talk about information overload. :-) There were a ton of sessions focused on interfacing between Plug computers and Android; nothing for iPhone.

A computer I received for attending the Camp is a Globalscale ( Guruplug Server which is about the same size as my SheevaPlugs and it features both WiFi and Bluetooth. What is neat about its WiFi is that it can be quickly changed from an AP (Access Point) to a Client. Note also the Server-Plus has two gigabit Ethernet ports vs. the Server's one.

An amazing thing about these Plug computers is low power operation; I measured mine (using a Kill-A-Watt) to vary from 4 to 5 watts. From the factory the SheevaPlugs come with Ubuntu and the GuruPlugs with Debian installed. These are all based on 1.2GHz to 2GHz ARM computers which are used in many cellphones.

I don't (yet) have pictures of my GuruPlug Server but you can see one of my SheevaPlugs here (pictures from 2009):

More info about Plugs at the above URL for Globalscale and here:

, and

Another manufacturer of Plug computers is Ionics (who uses the Marvell Sheeva 2 GHz 88F6282 RISC ARMs):

, and

***** Moderator's Note *****

Ah, but _WHY_ does Google have the right answer? Is Android going to change the way consumers use cell phones? I doubt it. Will it change the functionality? No. So, where's the advantage? Compared to the cost of the phone, or the revenue cell carriers receive, the license fees for existing phone software are probably not enough of a factor to make Android a game-changer.

My 2¢.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Thad Floryan Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.