Canalys has confirmed tht Android handsets would grow at twice the rate of the iPhone during 2011 and it does not matter who Jobs allows to flog the shiny toy.
Since the deal was announced, several members of the Tame Apple Press ® have claimed that it means that it is Good Night Vienna for Android. The argument is that the only reason that people did not buy Apple was because AT&T’s network was pants and with that obstacle removed the iPhone would be triumphant.
Canalys says that this argument is not worth a fettered dingo’s kidneys and even the bugbear of software fragmentation wouldn’t stop the Google-created operating system’s phenomenal growth.
During third quarter 2010, 20 million Android handsets shipped, for 25 percent share of the global smartphone market, according to Canalys. That means that during the first three quarters of 2010, Android shipments grew 1,000 percent year over year.
Chris Jones, Canalys principal analyst, said that the growth of Android has been phenomenal, even while the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform.
But Jones said that fragmentation affects all OS platforms, though it is particularly visible with Android due to the fast pace of upgrades that has characterised its growth.
While Apple will do better in the United States than elsewhere in the world, even there it will not be able to stop Android’s juggernaut.
Much still depends on Google’s ability to make substantial enhancements to the Android Market, including the ability to detect device platforms, highlighting the applications suitable for each, which would improve the user experience and increase the number of downloads.
But mostly what is driving Android’s growth is that users have total control of their phone and it is slightly cheaper. These are both factors that Apple simply will not match.