Ars Technica makes a good point, however: Google can’t slack off now. Just because it was tops in Q4, or that it has lots of big partnerships on the way, doesn’t mean the war is won.

In fact, it’s just beginning.

Apple’s showing at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas this month highlights how even unfounded rumor about the company can hijack almost anything — even as Android was the star of the show, an empty mock-up iPad 2 shell, which couldn’t even be verified, dominated headlines.

The iPad 2 is expected to be announced very soon, and the reality is going to be as big as the hype, if recent history is any indication.

And the iPhone on Verizon will suddenly open the floodgates for more customers to get on the phone than ever before.

So while Android is in good shape, Google, phone makers and app developers need to keep the innovations flowing if they want to maintain the momentum. It’s completely possible — with each passing day, Android becomes a stronger platform with more to offer than iOS — but it’s going to take dedication on the parts of the people making the products to keep customers engaged and excited about Android’s possibilities.