September 23, 2014

Beyond the G1: What's Next for Android?

In a few days, all of the hype and speculation will come to a head.  Come next Wednesday, the world will have had its first official look at what Android will do for them in their daily lives.  We’ll see what it is that has had HTC, Google, and T-Mobile keeping late nights these last few months.  So what’s next?

Usually, the popular thing to do is to pick apart the current handset and find weaknesses and missing features.  We’re probably going to hear things about T-Mobile’s 3G network and how much of Android’s experience hinges upon it.  I’m sure we’ll also hear about the lack of applications available when contrasted to the App Store from Apple.  And among all the other stuff, we’ll be reading about the internally memory when compared to the iPhone.  Sure, an expansion card is nice, but what about 8GB,16GB ,or 32GB built in?  After all, if these things are going to replace our laptops and desktops some day, then why can’t we have hard drive space that we know exists on other devices?

One of the things that makes Android so appealing is that within a few months(or even weeks), we’ll have the next Android handset ready to roll out the door.  Smart money says to look at Sprint for this one.  It’s highly unlikely that T-Mobile has a second model ready to go so quickly.  Yes, we know that T-Mobile owns the domain name rights to what looks to be calling for the G2 through G5, but we don’t know anything beyond that.  It could be that a G2 ends up being a flip phone and a G3 is an all touch model.  Time will tell.

It’s hard to believe that a non-OHA member will end up with the second Android handset, so we could safely assume that Verizon and AT&T will be after Sprint, if at all.  If I had to guess, I’d say that either HTC or Samsung will be the first Sprint phones to run the operating system.  Motorola and LG are committed to the cause as well, so don’t be surprised if we have something from them by the end of Q1 ’09 either.

By this time next year, we could have 8-10 handsets with Android, possibly on all major carriers.  Who knows how easy it will be to unlock the G1 handset?  If it’s as easy as they make it for the iPhone, you’ll see the G1 on AT&T and in Europe by the end of October.  Let’s not forget that Android is only being released in its 1.0 version, too.  Perhaps the API’s for Bluetooth and Gtalk get hammered out in the next few months and 2.0 is found to be the perfect OS for all the world!

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