When Android actually gets moving, there'll be a never-ending supply of different phone manufacturers and devices sporting the OS, unlike only one from Apple. This could be key to mass-market appeal, especially if the prices are right and the data plans supporting the OS are a bit more cost-friendly than that of those supporting the iPhone. Understandably, larger chunks of data and, therefore, higher prices are needed to support the new features and services making their way onto mobile devices these days, but whichever platform, and carrier for that matter, that offers the most bang for the buck will garner the most appeal among cost-savvy consumers.
It's been widely noted that the iPhone is not a cheap device. The new 3G price drop did help a little, but users still have to plop down at least $70 a month for a supporting data plan. If Android or LiMo or Symbian, for that matter, can offer cheaper devices on a variety of carriers that also offer the choice of cheaper data plans to support the devices, we'll finally see a mass-market adoption.
In the interview with Gramlich, he expressed his views on the situation saying, "There will be a great variety of Android devices all over the world, where there will always be just the iPhone." He also dismissed the threat of Nokia and its recently acquired open source mobile OS, Symbian. "I think Android will win over Symbian," said Gramlich, "as there are so many companies behind the Open Handset Alliance." Maybe he's right, or maybe he's just jaded being the founder of AndDev.org.
Gramlich went on to say that he and other Android developers are betting on the onslaught of location-aware and social networking applications through Android to fuel its surge, but as new reports are coming out, a lot fewer people than originally thought are taking to mobile social networking. Maybe it's just because it's still in its infancy, but a recent study shows that 93% of mobile users fail to access their social networking sites from their mobile phones.