Android eyeing 50% global market share; hungry for more patents
Another day, another report on mobile statistics; or at least that's what it feels like. The most recent one comes from Canalys which counts Android selling two and a half times more devices than Apple sold iPhones with a 379 percent year-to-year growth rate.
The Canalys study looked at 56 countries, with Android topping 35, and found that Google now holds almost 50 percent of the market. It brings Android closer to Windows territory, though in this modern battle, Apple is no small player. They are the number two phone OS and the number one in revenue. Apple and Google, while competing on many levels, are not really competing for the same customers, necessarily.
It's no longer surprising to see these types of staggering numbers so, instead of gloating, Google is already looking to the problems of the future. Their much discussed patent weaknesses have been given a little more strength with the purchase of 1,000 patents, but Unwired View has a novel suggestion to solve the problem. Google should buy Motorola.
Android's future relies heavily on the continued open nature of its operating system, so it can spread beyond mobile phones to tablets, TVs and all sorts of other hardware. Google likes to think of Android as one OS for all devices and this patent war is becoming a bigger obstacle every day.
That's why Google recently pulled the trigger on a very small set of patents from IBM which are probably not worth too much against their well-stocked rivals, Apple and Microsoft. Now, by targeting a mobile phone manufacturer,Google would be able to build up its patent portfolio and mount a defense. Motorola has 17,000 patents and another 7,000 waiting to be granted. That’s a war chest that Google would definitely want.
Of course buying a manufacturer could put Google at odds with its partners, though nothing would stop them from holding on to the patents and re-selling the hardware division and brand to a third party. It's a complicated idea, but an interesting read nonetheless.