When Android smartphones hit the shelves there were lots of favorable conditions to help them gain market share. For starters, there was demand. The whole “Crackberry” craze of the early 2000s had whetted the market, a demand that was only amplified when Apple then rewrote the smartphone book with the iPhone. The iPhone, however, was only available on AT&T’s network, which left the door wide open for exploitation by handset makers using Google’s Linux based mobile OS.
With people lining up around the block to purchase iPhones and sign up for lucrative two year data deals with AT&T, other carriers were hungry for a piece of the action. So they grabbed-up every Android implementation they could find and proudly offered them to their subscribers. They pushed the Android brand with advertising, convincing potential customers that Android phones weren’t merely “me too” devices, but were at least as good as Apple’s product, with the advantage of being less expensive.
Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux