Last month, we learned from Gartner that Android will probably be the number-two worldwide mobile OS this year, and may lead the pack by 2014. With Android’s growing use as the OS embedded in phones, netbooks, tablets, set-top boxes, and LCD HDTVs, we can’t help wondering: will the Linux-based OS soon dominate the entire non-PC consumer device OS market?
To gain some perspective on Android’s rapid rise to prominence, here’s a short summary of its key milestones:
- August 2005 — Google acquires Android Inc., a Silicon Valley startup
- November 2007 — Google unveils Android OS and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)
- September 2008 — Google and T-Mobile reveal the first Android phone
- October 2008 — Google and OHA announce availability of Android Open Source
- January 2010 — Google launches online, multi-vendor Android phone store
- May 2010 — specs surface for the first Android tablet
- September 2010 — Android forecast to be top North American mobile phone OS this year, with possible world-wide dominance by 2014
- October 2010 — Android-based tablets forecast to be more popular than Apple’s iPad
- October 2010 — first Android-based TV products ready to ship, including Logitech’s set-top box and Sony’s LCD HDTVs
“Brace for the future”
As Dan Morrill, Google’s Open Source & Compatibility Program Manager, wrote in a recent blog post aimed at Android’s vast army of app developers, “Android started on phones, but we’re growing to fit new kinds of devices. Now your Android app can run on almost anything, and the potential size of your audience is growing fast.”
Obviously, if Google has its way, we’ll soon be surrounded by swarms of Android gadgets of all shapes and sizes. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, on the other hand, begs to differ.