Is the Success of Google's Android a Threat to Free Software?
Dec 21, 2009, 16:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)
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"When Google first announced its Linux-based Android mobile
phone platform just over two years ago, many were sceptical. After
all, the reasoning went, the world of mobile phones is very
different from that of computers. Similar doubts greeted the first
Android phone, the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1), when
it appeared last year. But something strange has happened in the
last twelve months, with a growing chorus of approval for the
Android platform and its phones.
"For example, numbers are emerging that suggest that Android has
established a real beachhead in the mobile market:
"Google's open-source Android operating system accounted for
more than one in four of the smartphone ads served in November by
AdMob, the mobile ad network that Google agreed to buy for $750
million six weeks ago. That's up from 20 percent in October.
"That means Apple's iPhone, which seemed untouchable only a few
months ago, has a fast-rising competitor. Apple's share of ad
requests is twice as big — 55% — but Android traffic is
eating into iPhone growth, rather than being pushed aside by the
iPhone as happened to Nokia."