Friday, April 24, 2009

Android progress

T-Mobile USA has sold 1 million G1 by HTC phones since its introduction last October. That’s small compared to the iPhone (which has sold 8 million in 80+ countries during that period). It’s also not as fast as Nokia, which thanks to its strong global distribution, was able to achieve the same milestone for their 5800 phone in half the time.

Still, it’s slightly better than the Storm and overall a strong start for a brand-new platform and a phone that was rushed to market with serious performance compromises.

The key to more share for the Android platform is more handsets and the handsets are being held up until performance is acceptable. That suggests that when they do come, there should be a flood of adoption. HTC’s second phone (Magic) is long-rumored to be due Real Soon Now in Europe, and the latest prediction is that Vodafone will ship it next week.

It also looks as though that Android (via Leonovo) will beat the iPhone to the Chinese market, and the low licensing cost will fit well with the Chinese market. (No word as to how China Mobile feels about the Android Market, given it plans its own app store.)

China Mobile, like Vodafone, is a dominant carrier that likes commodity handsets. I wonder who’s next — DoCoMo? Its rival Softbank carries the iPhone, but DoCoMo already has both Symbian and Linux smartphones under its own brand.

Now Phandroid (a great Android rumor site) claims the HTC Hero will debut on Sprint in October (which would make it 5 months after the Palm Pre). Given AT&T’s strong ties to the iPhone, I speculated that either Verizon or Sprint would be next in the US to ship an Android phone.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has admitted Sprint is working with Google on an Android phone. It’s still possible that Verizon will beat Sprint to market, but no rumors yet.

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