Just to be clear from the beginning: I am definitely a big fan of Android Devices.
I have played a lot with the first G1 device, went through the HTC Magic and I am now playing with a Samsung Galaxy device.
Anyway I think that all of the vendors out there are missing a huge opportunity.
We all understand, hopefully, the mobile phones market dynamics. When the G1 hit the market I was thinking that HTC was putting a milestone. We have been the very first company to deliver a commercial Android device to the market. I am fine with that and I understand why it has to be done.
Was the G1 a good device? It was because it was the first device with Android. It wasn’t because of materials that looked cheap compared to other HTC devices on the market at the same time (e.g. HTC Diadmond, jut to name one).
Since then I have seen every single mobile phone manufacturer on the planet planning Android devices to be launched, sooner or later.
Did they introduce something new on those devices?
This is the sad part of the story: the answer is no.
They basically took a vanilla version of Android and started building their device around that. They have great support from chipsets manufacturers, they have the OS and that’s all they need to bring and Android device to the market.
The main point I want to make is: you have an open operating system that you may customize as much as you want and you deliver the standard implementation to the market?
HTC hit the milestone to bring the fist Android device to the market and it should be time to bring something different.
Android devices are not going to be cheap, at least in the next six month. They need quite a lot of processing power and this is going to cost money. If handset manufacturer will not focus on innovating around Android we will see the usual fight for low prices with no innovation.
At this point in time I think we can say that Android is still a big missed opportunity.
On the bright side I think there are plenty of opportunities for third parties company to deliver innovative Android User Interfaces and applications.