This is the first of two blog posts discussing Android and Apple’s product development strategy and what that means for mobile software marketers. This post will focus on why Google built the Android platform.
Google earns a great deal of money owning and operating the largest ad network in the world, both mobile and traditional. Their advertising network is so expansive that if people begin spending more time online, they see more Google ads.
But Google faces a lot of competition. Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of companies Google has never even heard of are competing to target and display ads online. They make Google fight for its users and Android is Google’s answer. By building a smartphone’s operating system Google controls the default suite of applications (search engine, email service, maps) which grows and protects their market share for those products. The more people using Android, the better. So in order to get Android in as many users hands as possible, Google gives it away to hardware manufacturers for free.
What does this mean for marketers looking to build mobile applications? The implications are found in Google’s incentives. Google wants as many Android phones in use as possible, and to achieve that allows the operating system to run on hundreds of different hardware sets, with hundreds of different versions of software. Google has also allowed independent application stores to open, which sell Android applications completely independently from Google. This all adds up to a platform that offers marketers massive reach and great flexibility as software developers and hardware manufacturers innovate with the platform.
In my next post, I’ll discuss why iOS is a better platform for marketers who strive to provide a truly first class experience.