Could 2009 be the year that Androids take over planet earth? If you were attending the Google I/O Developer Conference today then you might think that. The company announced that we should expect between 18 and 20 new Android based smartphones from about 9 different manufacturers by year end. This is a huge uptick from a year where we’ve limped by in the USA with only one rather bleak Android G1 device on T-Mobile. Expect the handsets to be shipped in one of three flavors:
Obligation Free – Android OS but no pre-load of Google applications.
Small Strings – Distribution agreement that Android will be shipped with Google Applications. Expect 12 – 14 phones to fall into this category.
Bigger Strings – “The Google Experience” – distinguished by a Google logo on the phone and include a range of Google applications which carriers and manufacturers agree not to remove. Expect 5 or 6 phones to fall into this category.