Monday, December 17, 2012

Android, China and the wild west

Android is one interesting mobile OS, tons and tons of users globally just love it and it seems to be growing, but is there more to this story? What about all those forks of Android?
techpinions has an interesting article that covers the curious case of Android and China.

"Last week, I talked about the importance for us industry observers, analysts, media, etc., to have a more informed discussion when it comes to Android. I think it is important when we analyze, from an industry and market viewpoint, that we do so with a holistic viewpoint.

My key point in last weeks column was to address the issue of Android platform forking. Android in its purist definition only refers to the AOSP or Android open source platform. Something anyone on the planet can take for their own and fork it, thus differentiating their Android platform and in many cases using the core Android source and making their own platform. Therefore, as it currently stands we have Google with a platform based on Android, we have Amazon with a platform based on Android and we have Barnes and Noble with a platform based on Android. Each of these platforms is their own unique ecosystem."


"I make this point because when we say Android has X% market share we are talking about the total including all the forks. This is a key point, because when many make the claim that Android is winning the market share game, they often make the mistake of assuming that Android equals Google, therefore assuming that Google’s version of Android has the total Android market share. This is of course false, as Google’s version of Android, the one that benefits Google in a monetary or data gathering way (a.k.a a business model), has only a fraction of the overall Android market share numbers being referred to. Exactly how much we are not sure because even Google refers to Android falsely making it sound like the total installed base of Android devices on the market have some business benefit to Google and of course that is not true. My gut tells me that if Google did release the numbers of the global install base of Android devices tied to their services, thus qualifying as a Google Android device, the picture would not be as rosy as many make it out to be. No where is that more the case than in China."

interesting read, i`ve always found it interesting that Google only touts Android activations and nothing much else. I hear that millions and millions of activations are occurring daily yet by my own admittedly limited observations i don`t really see an overwhelming amount of these devices in the wild. where are these coming from? Is Google (and it sounds like they are) counting these Android forks as legitimate activations even though they can`t (or don`t) official use Google services and the Android marketplace?

more here

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