I was hoping Nexus S be the strongest competitor to iPhone. Having spent an hour playing Nexus S, I am quite disappointed to Nexus S. There are a couple of major improvements required.
1) MMI requires a major overhaul. Minimizing number of clicks shall be the goal.
2) Touchscreen sensitivity. I have just become a firm believer that Apple has spent months of man hour in the touchscreen tuning. I have tuned proximity sensor before and I know it's not easy.
3) Locale support. Language supports is very important in 21st century. Without Chinese support and handwriting support is equivalent to no sales to half of the world.
Improvement could be made at the OS level. Or, manufacturers can bring in their own technology to improve Android. HTC did a better job than Samsung in this category.
Google is going to grab the market share from Apple in the coming years. Absolutely no question about that. But unlike in the original story of MS & Apple, Google doesn't directly make money by selling Android. They only grab user information & contact list and display relevant ads for each person in the mobile apps & webpages. The mobile advertising revenues itself is very small and I suspect it doesnt even cover for the development costs of Android. And since Android is an open platform the phone manufacturer can even replace Google search app with Bing or Yahoo search app in Android phone(checkout moto's android phones).
In comparison, Apple does make money out of their phone business. And even if the market share of Apple decreases, their total sales revenue is only going to expand because of the fast expanding market. @ the current rate Apple could even touch 100B in revenues by next year.
So tell me which is good, A small group of high paying customers OR A large group of non paying customers?
I think "free" Android phones with a 2 year contract is a watershed event. To date, smartphones have been somewhat pricey and far from free even with a contract.
This will further accelerate the growth rate of Android, and as much as I like Apple, I also am a firm believer that competition is a very good thing.
As for those analysts predicting 9-15 million iPhones from Verizon in 2011, I'd like to point out that 2011 starts in 2 weeks and there is no sign of a CDMA iPhone anywhere yet.
This Christmas marks our bi annual new cellphone acquisition. As it stands, my 4 kids want 3 Androids and a Blackberry. My wife is happy with her Motorola candy bar phone (although she may switch to BB). Me? I'm on the fence, but tempted to go with one of the new Windows phones, just to be different... Or perhaps one of the old Windows phones? Or Perhaps Android? Or Iphone? Don't know.
Running away with the market? I doubt it.We may end up with a situation similar to the PC-Apple wars. Some people will want a phone that simply works out of the box, not susceptible to virus attacks, and has an elegance that can't be beat. Other will want a phone that they can fuss with, spend a lot of time getting things to work together, and probably crashes a lot (bring back the blue screen.
Also note that analysts are now predicting that Verizon will sell between 9 to 15 million iPhones in 2011. Considering Mr. Jobs' profit margin it's take can some time before any Android can generate a similar case flow. Run as hard as they might it will take more than a few years to catch up.
Doing a little holiday e-shopping I see Target is promoting off its home page a deal for free Android phones with a 2-year contract. You get the choice of any of the four major U.S. carriers and phones from HTC, Motorola, Samsung or Sony Ericsson. Four years after Apple launched the iPhone, I am seeing shades of the next Microsoft running away with the market Steve Jobs defined. What do you see?