In Google’s Q3 earnings call, they released that there are 190M Android Devices Worldwide. Google’s mobile revenue is now up to $2.5B over the past 12 months. They are adding over 575K users a day, an incredible rate of adoption. The Motorola purchase, which was seen as Google’s first foray into device manufacture, has been called a defense of the Android Operating System – a purchase of patents to protect against the onslaught of lawsuits. These suits do pose a danger to the Android ecosystem, and could end the OS’s viability.
But the real story here is that Android is free to OEMs, and Google is making money off of it. The ecosystem is still fractured as OEMs are not released updates to the latest version as promised, but people are still buying. Android devices are everywhere, from the super nerdy, to the technologically challenged. The crux of the Android issue is that OEMs are free to customize devices and skin the OS to provide users with either entry-level smartphones or powerful superphones for the most intensive users, there is an Android option for everyone.
Apple used to be the one driving innovation in the mobile market, but Google is clearly in the driver’s seat, and shall remain so until someone takes them out.