Android has been a runaway hit, dominating the mobile OS scene this year. And while the Android platform still fights for its share of the tablet market, it continues to mature, even beyond the confines of Google’s Apps and services. Samsung Galaxy S II smartphones, powered by Android, have done very well in global sales, reaching the 10 million milestone just months after launching in April. Having been available in the States for only a couple of weeks, it’s clear that Samsung’s worldwide reach has fared well for the handset manufacturer, which offers varied Galaxy S II devices for every carrier. Despite the slight variations, the features central to Samsung’s Galaxy S II truly took the market by storm, offering a dual-core 1.2 GHz Exynos CPU, Android 2.3, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and 16GB of storage.
Samsung’s ability to pack the most important features into a single device has enabled the manufacturer to become a leading figure in the Android family, helping the mobile OS to take a stand against Apple. But Samsung’s obligation to Android has landed the South Korean company in court, fighting Apple in infringement cases across the globe. The drawn-out legal woes could do some damage to Samsung, which has downplayed its partnership with Apple, and even seeks diversification beyond Android with its own Bada OS. And as Samsung device sales are being blocked in certain countries, the company could suffer a real loss--the timing couldn’t be worse as the holiday season approaches.
Samsung gains support in battle against Apple
As Android continues to boom, Samsung’s legal matters have a trickle-down affect to other participants in this market. Verizon has stepped in to help Samsung battle Apple, asking a California court not to ban Samsung’s 4G Android devices over the patent infringement case brought forward by Apple. According to Verizon, banning the smartphone and tablet “has the possibility of slowing the deployment of next-generation networks -- such as Verizon Wireless’s -- contrary to the stated goals of the US government.”
While 4G technology is relatively new, even Verizon recognizes the need for supporting Android devices to complete the equation around its LTE network. A great deal of resources from Verizon and other carriers have been poured into 4G LTE technology, and they gravely need the devices to go along with it. This is a critical time for Android, as its own OS and its supporting parties face court battles and market competition. These are the days that will determine the fate of the mobile economy and its legacy.