The second thing Google needs to do is get the new 4.0 software update to all Android devices as soon as possible.
The key for Google with new operating system releases is to accelerate the time it takes for all Android consumers to get the new software, preferably at the same time. Google has historically had a fragmentation problem where Android phones currently on the market lag in getting the latest software.
Time will tell how long it’ll take Android consumers to get 4.0 on devices other than the Galaxy Nexus, but it would behoove Google to make this happen as quickly as possible.
The longer these updates take to get to all supported Android devices, the harder it is to keep consumers excited amidst all the noise from the competition. Android is still the clear mobile operating system platform market share winner at 43% but the question I think about frequently is, whether their market share has peaked.
I do not believe that the mobile operating system market share battle will be one-sided like it was for much of the early PC years. There was a time Microsoft Windows owned upwards of 97% of the PC market.
The mobile landscape will not be primarily dominated by one platform. If I was to guess right now, I would bet that Android and Apple will compete for the largest market share and Microsoft will come in at a distant third.
The third and final thing Google needs to do if they want to keep momentum up is to stop playing favorites with hardware companies.
I fully understand why they launch “hero” devices under the Nexus brand to create a reference design to help provide vision. However, if they truly want to have an open platform, they need to treat all hardware manufacturers equally. The absolute best thing Google can do to drive demand for Android is to work with every one of their hardware partners to release devices with the newest operating system at the same time.
This way they can create excitement around the software by having multiple devices on multiple carriers available to consumers at the same time. This would be a radical shift from how Google usually launches a new operating system but it’s one that they would be smart to employ immediately as it would do wonders for demand and excitement around Android.
Ben Bajarin is the Director of Consumer Technology Analysis and Research at Creative Strategies, Inc, a technology industry analysis and market intelligence firm located in Silicon Valley.