The mobile market is a rapidly developing and highly volatile market. Just look at the way Google’s Android OS has grown – in less than three years it has literally changed the mobile industry and Google is not planning to take its foot off the gas pedal.
There are lots of doubts that are being cast on the future of Android with all the patent suits and Android manufacturers signing deals with Microsoft just to stay out of court, Google doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. In fact, Eric Schmidt speaking at Google’s mobile event in Tokyo seemed quite bullish about the future of mobile and said he was convinced that “all of the newest ideas will land on the mobile platform.”
Google’s interest in the mobile market in India is quite justified, looking at the figures at which the mobile industry in India is growing. According to Eric Schmidt “ Every month, China and India are adding 10 million mobile subscribers.” The size of the Indian mobile market is approximately 800million subscribers. That still means that looking at population size, there is still scope for growth in the mobile industry and makes the largely untapped Indian market highly lucrative for Google. Eric Schmidt also said that he expected around 3billion mobile phones activated in Asia.
A special comment for India was in store as he confirmed that Google visual search app for Android phones called Google Goggles will be getting support for four Indian languages. He even said that Google was in talks with a few telecom providers to offer more localized content.
Eric Schmidt also commented on the recent patent troubles saying “Competitors don’t respond with innovation, they respond with lawsuits. The bigger news is the explosion of Android handsets.” When quizzed about the latest HTC vs Apple suite he said he was confident that HTC would be able to overturn the ruling even reassured saying that Google will make sure that HTC does not lose the case.
This case could well be a landmark judgement in changing the way manufacturers look at Android, and frankly Google’s laid back attitude in providing Android handset manufacturers any protection from patent related suites does not help. News is that Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE are already looking at Windows Phone 7 based devices to escape the heat than Microsoft has turned on several Android device manufacturers. HTC already pays Microsoft $5 for every Android handset that it ships.
While nobody can doubt the success of Android, such patents might be the ultimate weapon against the Android army.
What we want to know is whether opposition is simply going to outgun Android with patents or will Google get its act together to save Android from the inevitable patent war in future. What’s your take?