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
There's heavy speculation that Motorola
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
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!
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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.