Tue, May 24, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Android becoming pervasive: report

Staff Writer, with CNA

Google Inc’s Android operating system will become more integrated into people’s lives, based on a well-developed ecosystem, according to a Taipei-based research firm.

Luke Lin (林俊吉), an analyst and project manager with Digitimes Research, said in a statement last week that the next version of the Android system, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), would be designed as a universal platform for mobile phones, tablet computers and smart TVs.

The ICS, slated to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, will improve the interoperability of these devices, allowing application developers to achieve greater synergy, Lin said.

It will be a one-size-fits-all operating system for users of Android-based devices, he indicated.

“The new version of Android software shows that Google wants to expand the scale of the Android ecosystem from simply on-device applications or digital content to a variety of equipment and appliances,” Lin said.

Digitimes Research has forecast that Android-based devices will reach between 180 million and 200 million units this year, with more than 400,000 similar devices activated daily.

Since the launch of the first Android smartphone — the T-Mobile G1 in 2009 — over 310 Android-based devices have been unveiled by 36 manufacturers and sold in 112 countries through 215 telecom operators.

Android remained the biggest mobile operating system in the first quarter of this year, with a market share of 36 percent, up from only 9.6 percent in the same period of last year, according to Gartner Inc.

It was followed by Nokia Oyj’s Symbian (27.4 percent), Apple Inc’s iOS (16.8 percent), Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Corp’s operating system (12.9 percent) and Microsoft Corp’s Windows (3.6 percent).

Gartner said smartphones continue to outpace the rest of the mobile phone market, and predicted that the competitive mid-tier smartphone market would drive the mass adoption of smartphones by consumers.

Manufacturers, including Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電), Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd, Alcatel SA and ZTE Corp (中興), are expected to introduce mid-level devices, mainly running on the Android system, in the second quarter of this year, the research firm said.

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