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Could Android be on a downward track?

Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 for tablets, is probably the best attempt Windows 8 has had in mobile. Pair it with iOS 6, and Android is facing its strongest competition yet. Can little green Andy handle it?
September 19, 2012
As many of our readers have no doubt noticed, there have been a slew of articles regarding the so-called death of Android. It is a perfectly logical thing to want to talk about. Android is better than it has ever been and the devices being released with Android are at the cutting edge of mobile technology. As the old saying goes, the bigger you are, the harder you fall, right?

There is a lot of new competition that will be facing Android in the coming year. Windows Phone 8, along with its matching tablet/PC OS, will be released. The so-called greatest iPhone ever will have been released along with a new iPad. iOS has always been a big competitor and likely will continue to be. Not because they’ve released anything new, but because their fans are delusional.

Perhaps Android’s greatest threat over the next year will be Windows 8. While the desktop version may not be anything to shake a stick at, the mobile version is a much better and more solid offering than Windows Phone 7 or 7.5. Additionally, OEMs are taking it more seriously. The Nokia Lumia 920 and the recently announced set of HTC Windows 8 devices might actually bring some real competition. If you pair that with the Microsoft Surface tablet, Windows 8 has a really solid product line up.

Does this spell the end for Android?

Absolutely not. It’s a popular opinion that the other operating systems are getting stronger. They happen to be right. Even if the iPhone 5 release was an undeniable failure, iOS 6 is moving forward. Windows 8 is moving forward. Both mobile operating systems are, arguably, the best they’ve ever been. For Android, this is great news.

If you’ll recall, when the humble HTC G1 was released, Android was a cool concept but worlds away from iOS. Through innovation and competition, Android grew to not only become mainstream, but to utterly dominate the mainstream. Now, iOS is the one playing catch up. With new competition, it simply gives Android new heights to strive toward.

Additionally, there’s some numbers out there that sound like Android is doing badly when it really isn’t. Leave it to Apple and Tim Cook to use these numbers. During the iPhone 5 announcement, Cook said that iPads held roughly 68% of the market share. He sounded pretty happy about that number and even took a moment to belittle Android tablets. Here’s the problem, during the launch of the iPad 2, Steve Jobs announced that Apple had 90% of the market share.

So the question is, why is Tim Cook announcing publicly that iPads have lost 22% of the market share? Or perhaps the better question, why is he poking fun at the company that’s taking his market share? Ironically, it’s the same stance Apple took when the iPhone controlled the market. It didn’t help them then and it isn’t going to help them now.

While the other blogs and news sites have some valid points about the competition, I simply don’t see how Android could be in trouble. Strong and healthy competition has, in the past, only encouraged Android to take bold steps forward to become even greater. There’s no reason to believe that this latest challenge will only encourage Android to do the same. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!