A few days ago, Harvard Business Review writer James Allworth posted on the HBR blog and argued that Google has effectively shot itself in the foot by making Android such an open system. To boil the 800 word post down, Mr. Allworth's argument is that the openness of the system has led to competitors taking the Google out of Android - namely, Baidu in China and Bing on Verizon. The issue is that Google's revenue comes from the ads on their services; consequently, a de-Googled Android would result in no income for Google.
HTC issued a press release today announcing four HTC-branded phones (HTC phones were previously branded Dopod in China) are to be released in China in a deal with China Mobile and electronics retailer GOME Electrical Appliances (the largest electronics reseller in China). Three of those phones run Android. One, the Tianxi, looks to be a rebranded HD2 running Windows Mobile, which as we all know, can run Android.
Unfortunately, it appears removal of Google branding from Android devices (including the Market) in China will continue with these new phones.
Ars Technica, via TechCrunch, published an article yesterday on the state of Android in China. The good news: Android is set to explode in China – just check out these facts (direct quote from TechCrunch):
- Number of Mobile Internet Users in China (start of 2010): 233 million
- Number of Mobile Internet Users in China (projected for 2014): 957 million
- Population of USA + EU (2010): roughly 800 million
The number of mobile internet users in China today is roughly 80% of the population of the US, and according to TechCrunch, Android is gaining market share fast.