Think the world is Apple's oyster? The big news in tech circles last week was the revelation that Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android passed Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone to become the No. 2 smartphone on the market, behind Research In Motion's BlackBerry.
With growth of the iPhone somewhat stymied in the U.S. as a result of Apple's exclusive carrier deal with AT&T, Google has done royalty-free deals with all the major carriers to ensure that its upstart Android gets pushed on consumers at the retail level.
Motley Fool analyst Eric Bleeker thinks this is a sly-fox strategy. Google may give up near-term, direct revenues from product sales, but the company is getting loads of what it wants over the long haul: data. By getting Androids into consumer hands, Google lays yet another trap for the data that fuels its powerful search engine (and fills its coffers). Hey, Apple investors -- does this make you nervous? Don't fret. There's a new iPhone due out this summer, and Apple's AT&T-free international growth has been nothing short of stupendous. You hear that, RIM?
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