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Android Could Signal Tipping Point In Smartphones

The mobile platform could lead to wider adoption of smartphones and push carriers toward standardization, according to ABI Research.
Google's upcoming Android mobile platform could spur consumers to widely adopt smartphones, according to new research from ABI Research.

The report, titled "Smartphone And OS Markets," said Google's platform could push smartphones toward standardization, which could eventually push smartphone adoption beyond the 14% market share it currently holds.

"If Android is to become the ubiquitous mobile phone platform that Google and the Open Handset Alliance hope it will be, it will be because operators and handset OEMs recognize the value to their own business models of using standard platforms, not because wireless subscribers clamor for feature-rich phones, much less an Android-based phone," said ABI Research director Kevin Burden in a statement.

One of the major challenges will be convincing wireless operators that having a slate of devices with a standard operating system is good for them, ABI said. Standardization could make it easier for technical manageability, as well as make marketing services easier, according to the report.

"The smartphone market has been moving in this direction for some time now," said Burden. "If Android is a success, it may be the tipping point that marks the start of a profound change in the smartphone market."

The search leader recently introduced the first Android-powered handset, and the G1 has seen a lot of interest. But it's too early to tell if Android phones will be widely adopted.

Additionally, complete standardization from the wireless carriers may be difficult to achieve as handsets from Apple, Research In Motion, Symbian, and others will continue to grab market share.

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