Hoi Polloi

October 18, 2010

For a long time, BlackBerry dominated the mobile space - its secure network and business friendly utilities made it hugely popular. But recently, Google's Android has outpaced RIM's BlackBerry, forcing RIM and Apple to battle for second best.

Tech writer Jason Hiner offers five reasons for Android's success. At the heart of these reasons is the fact that Android, an open source platform, has been able to adapt to the market. Borrowing the best from both BlackBerry and Apple, Android appeals to the non-brand loyal smartphone crowd. Unlike Apple, which has limited itself to one service provider and a few devices, Android is accessible through a number of service providers and on a wide array of devices.

This high level of accessibility means that it is easier for Android to capitalize on emerging smartphone consumers - adoption to smartphones is reported to be growing at an exponential rate. However Mashable qualifies the trend, arguing that although smartphone adoption is growing, it may not be the revolution it is cracked up to be.

A comScore study from March examined smartphone adoption rates amongst American and European users and found that the adoption rates of less expensive plans dwarfed pricier counterparts. In Spain, for example, cheaper plans grew by 31% more than high tier plans.

"While smartphones are considered the Rolls-Royce of mobile, their growth seems to be spurred by accessibility and affordability." Many emerging consumers can't afford expensive mobile plans but still want access to smartphone technology. By diversifying service providers and manufacturers, Android is able to capitalize on these emerging consumers, the most rapidly growing chunk of the mobile market.

It's all about the price point. While BlackBerry users are zooming off to their business meetings and Apple users are geeking out over their cutting edge tech, Android users are discovering how smartphone technology can get them to class on time or figure out the subway schedule. Even down to its open-source programming, Android has become the everyman's OS.