Initially, Google's biggest triumph was providing an open source system that attracted the attention of a number of manufacturers, and allowed Big G to leverage its applications and services as a condition for using Android. With the expansion of the system, the level of branching exceeded all possible barriers, generating a direct competition to the system caused by Android itself.
Custom ROMs, like CyanogenMod, are growing to the point of challenging the domain of Android. Companies like Amazon can ship proprietary stores that run within Android, and offer even more attractive promotions and discounts than the Play Store. Open source was originally a great idea, but branching now poses a threat to the Google system.
By granting manufacturers the right to modify Android anyway, Google exposes the problem of system fragmentation worldwide. Billions of Android devices run with different versions, reaching the point that only 10% of current models have the latest version of the system.
In addition, proprietary interfaces have become the means of business agreements and partnerships between manufacturers and software developers. The result of these agreements is felt by system users through pre-embedded applications, also known as bloatware, and a number of dubious features that "differentiate" Android devices from the market. These modifications have a direct impact on the software update process.
This means that the vast majority of Android users do not have the latest software, packages or essential security features that can only be obtained on newer devices. Even top-of-the-range models from various manufacturers do not receive timely updates.
Google also has to face competition from rivals such as iOS and Windows Phone platforms. BlackBerry has shrunk significantly, while Windows is still not a viable path, but Apple's operating system remains the biggest threat to Android.
Although Android is the most popular mobile system in the world, much of this merit a huge diversity of devices. In recent times, Apple has claimed that most Android device users are migrating significantly to its platform. The competition generated between the two major platforms, however, Apple can compete with Google with only 5 devices across its line of smartphones.
Another determining factor for Android's success is the investment in low cost devices. The average value of an iPhone is up to three times the price of an intermediate Android device. While this investment contributes to the platform's success, Android's profitable fund has not had the same success.
Despite continued market growth, in 2014 Android saw a 44% drop in profits from the platform (while iOS rose 31%). Even higher-value Android devices like the Galaxy S6 Edge deliver relatively lower profit margins. In addition, Google gets 75% of its revenue from ads through mobile searches performed on iOS, not Android. The Play Store may be becoming more profitable, but the Android system is still not very good for monetization.
China is the fastest growing country in the world in terms of smartphones. Android's problem for this market is the government ban in the country for Google services. The success achieved in China is momentarily reserved for regional manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo, who are not entirely dependent on Google applications and services.
Against this backdrop, branching versions of Android are in high demand, around 40% of Android devices shipped in 2014 were shipped with branching versions of the system. Branched versions, as we mentioned above, do not depend on Google services and applications, and their popularity is increasing strongly.
The "anti-Google" movement is one that sees the search giant as a monopolizer on the current mobile landscape. The European Union Commission is investigating Google for antitrust violations, Cyanogen Inc has raised more than $ 100 million in partnership with Microsoft to produce non-Google-dependent versions, branched Chinese Android is increasingly popular, and Apple is raising Android users.
Whatever the reason for this anti-Google movement, its simple existence leverages millions of users for branching versions of Android or Apple's iOS. How Android resist over time is still an unknown. But just as Android has grown and become popular, the number of threats facing the system has grown in proportion.
In your opinion what is the biggest threat to Android? How do you see the future of Google's operating system? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.
Article made in partnership with Kris Carlon of AndrodiPIT.
(tagsToTranslate) google (t) threats (t) branches (t) fragmentation (t) distribution (t) software (t) manufacturers (t) iOS (t) android (t) apple (t) xiaomi (t) huawei ( t) lenovo (t) microsoft (t) samsung (t) galaxy s6