According to a report from Canalys released Monday, Android-based smartphones saw shipments increase 886 percent in the second quarter of 2010 versus the second quarter of 2009. The study said that Android had "impressive momentum" giving it the top spot when it comes to smartphone OS market share in the U.S. Canalys noted that in the U.S. specifically, Google Android shipments jumped 851 percent and represented 34 percent of overall smartphone shipments in the second quarter.
At the same time, a report from The Nielsen Co. found that more mobile phone buyers are grabbing for Google Android as opposed to the Apple iPhone. The Nielsen study revealed that 27 percent of people who bought a smartphone over the six months that ended in June picked android while 23 percent went with the iPhone. Of course, that number was tabulated before the Apple iPhone 4 gained steam, but it was enough of a push to put Google Android smartphones in second place behind blackberry, which took 33 percent.
So why is Android so hot? Here's why:
1. Smartphone makers have taken notice
The world's top device makers are joining the Google Android charge and releasing devices based on the Android operating system. While HTC is the leader when it comes to hot Android-based releases, from the first Android phone with the T-Mobile G1 to the white hot HTC EVO 4G, others like Motorola (Droid X), Samsung (Galaxy), Dell (Streak) and HP-Palm have waved the Android flag for its newest smartphone and tablet offerings. The more devices and manufacturers that get behind Android, the larger the potential market. And users also like being able to have a choice in hardware and not be forced to accept one device solely because it’s the only one that runs the operating system they desire.
2. Wireless carriers all now have Android devices
The nation's most dominant wireless carriers all now offer some flavor of Google Android. T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have all added Android-based smartphones to their rosters. Being aligned with all of the major carriers helps fuel sales.
3. Android continues to innovate
Google Android doesn't rest on its laurels. Later this summer, Android 2.2 will hit devices adding a host of new and cool capabilities. Android has created an innovation storm, updating the OS every few months. What's more, Google Android 2.2, dubbed Froyo, packs in support for Adobe Flash -- a feature noticeably absent from the Apple iPhone. Froyo will also add a bunch of other tasty features Android-lovers long for, such as speeds up to five times over previous Android versions and support tethering and hotspot..
4. The Android Market is making strides
When it first launched, the Google Android Market was seen as little more than the unwanted relative at the app store picnic. But since then it's blossomed into an invited guest, boasting tens of thousands, 65,000 by some estimates, mobile applications ranging from games and entertainment applications to business productivity tools. While Apple's App Store is a tough one to beat, the Android Market is the best suited to do it, with new apps being created and launched every day. Yes, Apple has more, but Android is consumer-driven and Android Market doesn't censor applications or force developers to go through as rigorous an application and submission processes.
5. Android is usually cheaper
Since Android is being used by various manufacturers on various wireless networks, users can typically find a cheaper alternative to the Apple iPhone and BlackBerry.