Google +1 hits the Android Market as competitors plot their revenge

by Kristen Nicole

Google +1 has gotten a little more interesting, as the Digg-like recommendation button gets prime placement beyond search results. Yesterday Google announced the roll-out for Google +1 to websites, listing a series of destinations, including YouTube, Blogger and the Android Market. A mix between the Facebook “Like” button and Twitter’s “retweet” button, Google +1 is a great promotional tool for Android app developers. It’s another way in which Google (GOOG) is not only hoping to improve recommendations and discovery within the Android Market, but also encourage social sharing, as its own search endeavors still lack community appeal.

Nokia blames Android for its demise

While Google continues to update the Android Market for usability and exploration, the Android OS continues to dominate the mobile scene. Nokia (NOK) blamed Android’s success for its own demise, noting Android’s explosive growth in Europe. Of course, Android isn’t the only reason Nokia suffered in sales and full market capitalization, but Android’s widespread appeal and open source standards certainly drove the OS’s uptake on a global scale. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nokia’s shares continue to decline, falling nearly 20 percent in the past two days. Nokia’s team up with Microsoft (MSFT) is an extreme move to save its mobile OS, though things have not quite turned around for the European mobile company.

Working class iPhone could compete with Android’s array of devices

Apple (AAPL), too, is seeking ways to circumvent Android’s dominance, possibly with a low-cost iPhone. The working class phone, most likely the 3GS, would compete with Android’s array of tiered devices, which have made Android the most accessible mobile OS in the world. Apple’s been content to keep iOS in the confines of its own devices, but tiering some of those devices even further would also widen Apple’s profits, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek concludes.

“We believe Apple could enter the smartphone mid-market with a $300 iPhone with margins around the current corporate average,” Miskek says in a ZDNet article. “Our checks increasingly point to a launch within the next 6-18 months. We believe that this will increase Apple’s total addressable market by an additional 500 million phones per year.”