Google Is Raising an Android Army

Has Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) forgotten Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics? The Android smartphone technology looks like it's going to start hurting people soon, in direct defiance of law No. 1.

The first wave of robotic attackers is the somewhat unrefined but still impressive T-Mobile G1. That gadget alone will not unseat the reigning kings of the smartphone market, like Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone and Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) venerable BlackBerry line. But the incumbent rulers need to sleep with one eye open, because Big G is calling in reinforcements.

There's heavy speculation that Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) is working on an Android handset, and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that the company plans to sell and support the platform someday soon. Further signs of reinforcement come from Australia, where there are rumblings about an Android phone from maverick electronics retailer Kogan Technologies, which looks more like a BlackBerry than an iPhone and ships worldwide in January -- unlocked and ready to work on pretty much any mobile network.

And here comes the heavy cavalry. Fourteen more technology leaders have joined the Open Handset Alliance, which is the gang that keeps Android development organized. Among the heaviest of the new hitters, you'll find phone designers like Toshiba and Sony Ericsson, general mobile gadget expert Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN  ) , and multinational service providers Softbank and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD  ) . And that doesn't even cover the fresh semiconductor and software blood. Or is that fresh hydraulic oil?

The sudden rush of corporate interest in the Android platform probably stems from the early success of the T-Mobile G1. These guys were likely waiting in the wings all along, ready to climb aboard after seeing what the scout troops could do. This is not the end of the iPhone, nor of the BlackBerry. What we do have here is a fresh take on what cell phones can do, and how they should work. These companies will reach out to new niche markets and expand the total market for smartphones. But they'll also nibble at the incumbent leaders' heels in the process, enough to keep Steve Jobs on his toes.

Bad robot, no oil change!

Further Foolishness:

Stock news, financial commentary, and your daily dose of Foolishness: Get plugged into The Motley Fool on Twitter!

Garmin is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Garmin and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and a T-Mobile Dash, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 13, 2008, at 12:52 AM, beetlebug62 wrote:

    Anders, where's the update on those 1.5M pre-orders?

    The fact is, all of the also-rans in the market will be the first to jump on Android. T-Mobile, for obvious reasons, because it's the 4th and smallest of the national cell carriers. Sprint, because it's 3rd and hemorrhaging subscribers at a fast clip. It needs a silver bullet.

    Not until Verizon or AT&T announce they are going to offer an Android handset, will Android be a success.

    As Palm Treo Pro knows, unless a carrier sells your handset, no matter who makes it, it won't sell. So, the list of additional OHA members is interesting, but not compelling. It's the cell carriers who actually sell the device that is compelling.

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 793789, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 7/31/2014 5:34:44 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement