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50+ Android Phones Expected In Near Future

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  • by the_crowbar (149535) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:08AM (#29807459)

    I have had a BB Storm for a few months I like a few features and loathe a few others.

    Likes:
    - Easy web page viewing most anywhere
    - BB Messenger is good and beats SMS/MMS anyday (plus its cost is included in my plan unlike SMS)

    Hates:
    - Speed of the device (it feels slower now than when I first got the device and can take a few seconds now to come from locked screen to usable mode)
    - Battery life ( I don't know how any of the Androids stack up here)

    I have briefly used a G1 and I thought it was a nice device. The touchscreen keyboard on the Storm is ok, but when typing quickly it lags several keys behind. I did not experience that on the G1, plus with a physical keyboard you can type without looking at the phone.

    Cheers,
    the_crowbar

  • Re:Just 50? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:11AM (#29807499) Homepage Journal

    With 50+ they almost reached the number of Mac users :-P

  • by TwistedGreen (80055) <twistedgreen&gmail,com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:16AM (#29807565)
    This is one of the biggest ways that Android and the iPhone differ. With the iPhone, you have one phone, and one OS. With Android, you have one OS but many different phones. While the iPhone already has a huge number of apps available for their one device, not everyone wants a big touchscreen for a phone. Appealing to a broader audience by letting people choose their phone with a broad range of prices and features could be the most effective way for Android to compete. Smartphones are still only used by a small percentage all mobile phone users--it's still a growing market. It seems that Google is using this opportunity to make smart phones more accessible and more affordable. I think this is a far more sustainable strategy than Apple's one phone philosophy.
  • Carriers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:24AM (#29807709) Homepage Journal

    Wired had a great article on this a year ago or so. Every carrier was afraid of touching Android. They said if they used a common OS between phones, they were afraid they would become dumb carriers, and it would remove the potential to advertise each network provider having unique phones.

    In reality, today providers PAY to put Blackberry OS, Web OS, the iPhone OS, and Windows Mobile on their phones. They can't customize the OS. So buying a Blackberry on Verizon is no different from buying a Blackberry on AT&T. Google offers up Android for free, and tells networks that they can even customize the software so AT&T's build of Android is unique, and they reject Android. It makes zero sense.

    I desperately wanted and Android phone. I contacted customer support for several providers telling them they could have my business if they put out an Android phone. (T-Mobile basically has no coverage in Omaha, so they weren't an option). I waited an year. No Android phones came out.

    So instead, I bought an iPhone. I'm not terribly happy that I have an iPhone as opposed to an Android phone. I'm not terribly happy I ended up with AT&T. But honestly, it seems like providers really didn't want my business. For all their supposed desire to find an iPhone-killer, they're ignoring the FREE iPhone-killer right infront of them.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:52AM (#29808131)

    You don't understand what is happening at all.

    Right now there are 100's of phones on the market, all running some sort of OS. Each of them appeal to different audiences, with different features, reliability, and carrier compatability.

    Essentially, some of those 100's of current models are being replaced with models running Android. Android is an operating system, it does not define the device it runs upon. Just like I can run Linux using just a tty interface over a serial link, or I can run it with a 3d desktop across multiple screens; Android can be similarly used for different phones.

    The advantages of Android over existing phone OS's are threefold:
    1. cost... there is no cost to the manufacturer of the phone or the carrier.
    2. compatibility... applications for Android will be compatable with other manufacturers Android handsets, so different manufacturers will compete on quality of their product rather than the amount of software available.
    3. features... Android was developed to be very feature rich, of course manufacturers can disable features but if they want them it is trivial to enable them. If the public begins to demand additional features as ideas change, then Android can be upgraded to include those features.

    Essentially, there were no phone OS's that manufacturers could even purchase that would result in a product so refined that it could compete with Apple and Blackberry, and neither of them were licensing their code. Android changes that.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:55AM (#29808171)

    I'm sorry, that slot is reserved for Maemo. Until the community has real influence on the path Android takes, it's not nearly as open.

    It's sad that the N900 doesn't get as much attention as all the Android based phones, what with it being considerably more open and based on existing open frameworks.

  • by il1019 (1068892) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:57AM (#29808201)
    Not necessarily. I don't think your analogy to Linux works quite the same. It would be more like someone walking up and finding 50 different versions of Ubuntu (for example). They all can run the same code, same programs. They might have buttons placed in a different place, different colors or wallpaper, maybe even a slightly different desktop experience (different/more widgets) but they are all running the same basic codebase. From what we've seen with HTC's Sense and Motorola's MOTOBLUR, there will be differentiation, but all apps will still run the same. Especially at the moment since they all have the same processor. HTC has their own on-screen keyboard, for example, but there are no compatibility problems (yet) with Android across multiple phones. Realistically, the changes between the phones are relatively small (qwerty vs t9 vs no keyboard, capacitive vs resistive touchscreen, camera autofocus and megapixels, etc). These changes don't really affect how the platform runs, just specific aspects of it. The goal of Android was to create a strong, common base where many apps can run, and I think they have done that so far. When phones start differentiating on CPU and RAM, we may see some apps which don't perform similarly across all Android phones, but Apple is already having to deal with something similar between it's own versions of iPhone models, so it basically is not inevitable. Phones will get faster and have more RAM as time goes on. I think Android really is going in the right direction, and the more models that are available, the better. A 'universal' app store under Android in my mind is much better than an app store for every phone.
  • by Webcommando (755831) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:09AM (#29808395) Homepage Journal
    It would be nice if some of the items made sense. Now, I'm speaking from the consumer perspective here and not someone who reads technology sites daily:

    For example, what does ability to run "widgets" really mean? I think most people get "applications" and know that Apple iPhone has a ton of them...so what is this?

    What exactly is open development to the average user? Again, I can get lots of applications from Apple so what is this specifically saying to me the consumer?

    I think most people will get what's the point of 5 Meg Pixel camera (for most bigger is better, right). keyboard and replaceable battery are probably dead on for a segment of the audience. Personally, I like soft keyboards and never have changed my battery. However, I think it makes a key differentiating feature highly visible.

    I have an iPhone and it is a nice device and I don't get the seething hate of Apple products. However, something better comes along, I'll consider it.

    Now as an aside...I really don't like the generate "hype" ads that don't really say anything about the product before release. I remember the G commercials for Gatorade last year. Is it a new sport clothing line, shoe, what...then turns out to be just a sports drink. Seen these for cars, perfume, etc. and I think they are counter productive for most viewers (bigger hype, bigger disappointment).
  • by iamhigh (1252742) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:10AM (#29808403)
    So throw out the winner, then number two looks great! Not to mention Dell, HP, etc. don't write the software, they only sell it with their hardware (sorta). You can't compare the profitability of Apple, with the iPhone, iPod, computer hardware, and the whole software stack as their own to make money off of to a hardware/resale company like dell (might as well compare to cdw). You could compare it to Dell+MS. Apple "lost" the "PC war", but they have found many other ways to make money. So has TI, Xerox, IBM, and all the other players from back in the day (well, not ALL).
  • Re:Too expensive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordVader717 (888547) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:19AM (#29808573)

    When I see any of these, I say to myself $1000/yr. Thats what these things cost, a vacation to Mexico!

    Why? An unlocked HTC dream will set you back about $300, and even the latest and greates phones rarely are mre than $600. If you pay for an expensive data plan, then that's what you're paying for.
    It's the same with the iPhone.
    If you want to use it as a mobile computer, you can do just that.

  • Re:Top Spot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:29AM (#29808763)

    No, Android will never have #1, because it free.

    I know what your trying to say, but I have to disagree. I fully expect to see an Android phone take #1 in the future. Why? Because once these 50+ phones are out, and the 100's that follow, there will be far more users of Android phones than phones running the Mac or RIM OS.

    At some point, the public will consider Android phones to be equal to the iPhone in features and capability, but they will have choice (Querty keyboard, carrier, camera, form factor, size, screen, cost, etc.). To many people that freedom, coupled with the features and usability they want, is more than enough to keep them away from iPhone.

    For Android to compete with RIM, it needs to get serious about business. The good news is, that because Android is open source, and most contributors have real jobs, its capabilities in business will quickly surpass the Blackberry. Honestly, I have been with several companies that standardized on Blackberry, and other than mail and policy managment, the phone is a waste. If Android 2.0 gets the mail part right, RIM should be worried. If they introduce a policy management server... then RIM is in trouble.

  • by schon (31600) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:34AM (#29808873)

    how do you develop applications that will run on ALL of these phones when the screen real-estate can be so varied?

    The same way you develop PC software that has to run on ALL computers when the screen real-estate is so varied.

    Anyone that has done a lot of HTML design knows about the headaches this can cause.

    Actually, anyone that doesn't understand HTML believes the headaches it can cause. If you understand HTML, it's not an issue.

  • Re:Top Spot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:35AM (#29808893)

    Android, as a platform may quickly rise in dominance, but the competition, just amongst Android phones, will prevent an individual phone from taking a dominant position

    Yep. Android phones will eventually outsell iPhones as the iPhone hardware is shown as stagnant. Why do/did IBM PC clones outsell Apple PCs? Diversity and openness.

  • Re:Top Spot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordVader717 (888547) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:46AM (#29809095)

    So what? The best selling PC model is surely a Mac, and probably was ever since the likes the commodore. Did that save them from near-extinction, neglect and abandonment in the 90s?

  • by Zebedeu (739988) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:51AM (#29809195)

    For example, what does ability to run "widgets" really mean? I think most people get "applications" and know that Apple iPhone has a ton of them...so what is this?

    What exactly is open development to the average user? Again, I can get lots of applications from Apple so what is this specifically saying to me the consumer?

    Maybe they're not targeting only the "average user"? One big feature of the Android platform is exactly open development, so maybe they expect to attract new devs to the platform, while perhaps taking a jab at Apple's app approval process.

    Now as an aside...I really don't like the generate "hype" ads that don't really say anything about the product before release. I remember the G commercials for Gatorade last year. Is it a new sport clothing line, shoe, what...then turns out to be just a sports drink. Seen these for cars, perfume, etc. and I think they are counter productive for most viewers (bigger hype, bigger disappointment).

    100% agreed. I have an Android phone and I believe that they have the right vision, but I hate these kinds of attack ads. You want to sell your product? Make it better than the competition, and people will notice.

    A smear campaign makes it look like you don't have confidence in the product itself and need to resort to low blows.

  • by Hatta (162192) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @11:57AM (#29809325) Journal

    Sounds like security theater to me. Cameras are small. Unless they're doing strip searches, it would be relatively easy for an attacker to smuggle a camera in.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:14PM (#29809653)

    The best camera is the one you have with you.

    There are many, many photographs out there that don't rely on specialized optics or super-nice sensor specs for their artistic value. Often, the value in a photograph is just managing to capture a moment in a way that communicates the meaning of the experience. There's nothing about this that precludes using a cell-phone camera to take the picture.

    Look at it this way: our expectations for good photographs haven't changed much in the past 20 years. Sure, new things have become possible that we hadn't seen back then, but ultimately the human eye sees the same as it always has, and Ansel Adams or Cartier-Bresson are still legends for the work they did even though they didn't have a tenth of the technical sophistication we now enjoy. So, even though standards have stayed more or less the same, the capabilities of even our worst cameras have increased by orders of magnitude. At some point, even a cell-phone camera is good enough to do what needs to be done, and any more technical improvement is just for dick-waving and specialized cases.

  • by dr.newton (648217) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:05PM (#29815471) Homepage

    I believe the salient point here is that as the number of apps increases, the average value provided by each new app decreases.

    1000 apps is MUCH better than 1 app.

    10000 apps is somewhat better than 1000 apps.

    100000 apps is pretty much equivalent to 10000 apps.

    The Android Market has around 25000 apps, I believe, so I certainly don't feel left out in the cold as an Android user.

    Granted, there will always be the occasional app that provides much more value than Twitter App #73, and is only available on one platform, so some people will always find their needs better covered on one platform than another. E.g. Google Voice available on Android but not on the iPhone, and I'm sure there are examples that go the other way.

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