Consider the arrival of the first HTC Google Handset, the T-Mobile G1 to be merely a scouting mission for the larger Android invasion. By year’s end, there could be as many as 18 mobile handsets using the new mobile OS launched throughout the world.
Currently, there are only two mobile handsets that use Google’s Android: the G1 and the “Magic” in Europe. But that will likely change, and mean even more competition in the mobile phone space.
What does all this mean for developers? Some of this was addressed last week by Andy Rubin, Google’s senior director for mobile platforms, who spoke with The New York Times about Google’s place in the market. Actually, Rubin suggests that there won’t even be a single Android, but rather three versions.
The first would be a “no obligation” version, which would allow device manufacturers to download a free version of the operating system, and provide access to apps for the phone. What the makers cannot do is then preload the phones onto the device, and this would include Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. But nothing was mentioned about whether users could later install these apps.
The second version would basically have some strings attached according to The New York Times. This would allow the preloading of Google apps, but the developers would need to sign a distribution agreement. About a dozen or so of the upcoming handsets will feature this version of Google Android.
The third and final version would be the full “Google Experience,” and these would feature the Google branding on the device. These devices would include all the Google apps, and would not allow the handset maker to remove anything. Of the upcoming models about half a dozen fall into this category.
Smartphones Deliver Ad Impressions
Thanks to the aforementioned Android OS, and the iPhone, as well as all those new BlackBerry handsets, 2009 is shaping up to be the year of the smartphone. And even though the marketshare is still just about at 12 percent they accounted for 35 percent of mobile ad impressions. AdMob’s latest mobile metrics report suggests that more than one third of all ad impressions are on the smartphones, even if the devices market penetration has a ways to go.
Interestingly, the iPhone also only accounted for a total of eight percent of the smartphone market – and to clarify that is only eight percent of the 12 percent – yet it generated 43 percent of the mobile ad impressions during the month of April. As we previously mentioned this is good news for advertisers because iPhone users tend to get the most of ads.
And to put this in greater perspective, consider that Symbian devices, which now stand at about 52 percent of handset sales, only generated a total of 36 percent of mobile ad impressions during the quarter. The AdMob report also found that the iPhone’s impact on the mobile Web shouldn’t be understated – nor should the still new and shiny Google Android.