Reading the Tea Leaves

Featured Opinion Reading the Tea Leaves

I couldn’t be more excited about the Open Handset Alliance news today.  Seriously.  I think today’s announcement of 14 key players helped me to realize just how big of a geek I am becoming.

This year, I found myself becoming jealous of the LiMo Foundation a few times.  It seemed like they couldn’t stop adding members, while the OHA just seemed to sit there with their founding 34 players.  What was it that was so compelling about them and not Android and the OHA?

As I browse through the list of new members joining today, I feel like I am seeing things other people can’t.  Maybe it’s because I have immersed myself in Android and the OHA members, watching their moves and seeing things come together.  I tried to call and explain these new additional companies to a friend of mine who I thought might “get it” but he didn’t seem to.  I rattled off the bigger names that he would be familiar with like Sony Ericsson, Garmin, and Toshiba.  Still nothing.

I’ve been putting together a piece that I plan to publish here in the next few days about how stars are aligning with Android and slowly, but surely, the operating system will be everywhere.  Everywhere.  Skimming through the new 14 companies with a different perspective than casual tech fans, I get anxious.  Anxious because there’s a world of possibility for a thin, Android/cloud-based OS that stays constantly in sync.  I’ve been blowing the Android horn for a year now and today I want to redouble my effort.

The difference in the LiMo Foundation and the OHA is fundamental.  One is here for phones, one is for everything mobile.  Everything you take with you on a daily basis stands to benefit from Android.  Cell phones, laptops, netbooks, digital cameras, GPS, PDA’s, MID’s and gaming devices to start.

Imagine what happens when you have companies like the 48 member strong Open Handset Alliance working on mobility and connectivity. Each brings different perspective and history to the table.  Here’s a couple of quotes from companies joining today:

“AKM is very pleased to provide comprehensive navigational aid technology to Android…”
Larry Gaddy, AKM Semiconductor

“We are pleased to bring our connectivity and wireless systems design expertise to the Alliance, confident that Atheros’ contributions to Android will help advance the development of mobile innovations through connected experiences.”
Amir Faintuch, Atheros Communications

“Omron believes that Android will enable more users to receive the benefit of living in a connected society…”
— Hirofumi Fukumoto, Omron Software

If you look at those quotes like I do, you see where Android is going.  It’s not about cell phones.

I can’t get my friends to understand the long term stuff and that’s okay.  Once the new netbooks and GPS units are rolling out with Android and can talk to other Android devices, they’ll understand it.  I learned a long time ago to stop with the Android VS iPhone argument and I think today’s announcements might help others to see bigger pictures too.