Certain things are all about timing. My situation with my smartphone is one of them. I have grown incredibly frustrated with AT&T’s service on the iPhone, to the point where I am close to a breaking point. 3-4 drops on a stationary 30 minute call with full bars? As much as I love the iPhone with all its applications, there are definitely a few things I would change about how it handles email support. I can’t help but think back to the simple but reliable days of my Verizon Blackberry (putting aside of course my VC requirement to have an iPhone). I am vulnerable, I am questioning, I am searching for how this gets better. Timing could not be better for some solution to this, as so far, the only answer has been to hope the iPhone continues to innovate and launches on Verizon in 18 months. As those doubts have come creeping in, I see the promising “iDon’t”, “Droid Does” ads from Verizon, causing me to pause and think. And I don’t think I’m the only one.
Android itself comes at an impeccable time. The entire industry is in pain, with the exception of Apple, who is now suffering from the woes of its partner’s network. The industry is crying out for a viable third party, open solution. Windows Mobile is currently getting terrible reviews, Linux on the mobile has had fleeting momentum, and Android is benefitting from the major halo surrounding Google. Motorola is staking the next generation of its franchise around the device. Verizon’s strong network and user reputation is using Droid as their play against the iPhone until Apple comes to the table with more reasonable terms. New specific function devices are proliferating, with the launch of e-readers, tablets, slim phones, smartphones, TV/movie devices, etc, all requiring a system to manage resources. And a whole community of developers is inspired to make Android successful – in and outside of cell phones.
My belief is that Android will become a lasting, successful platform in the mobile device space. I also believe the ecosystem around it – including an open store, applications, games – all will follow. Apple has the clear lead, but with no other player having the critical mass to build an alternative (other than Microsoft who seems to losing momentum), Android becomes a real galvanizing alternative. Whatever the outcome, I hope it leads to reliability and choice for consumers!