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Android wasn’t always around. And if not for Google, we may have not even crossed paths with this Operating System (OS). The ruling OS back in the day was Symbian. Remember the Nokia handsets of the 2000’s? We’ve come a long way since then. Symbian is nowhere in the picture now and the Android OS has captured a whopping 85% of the global smartphone market.
Back in 2005, Google’s mission statement was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” So to venture out and expand with this vision in mind, Google acquired Android to build a flexible and adaptable ecosystem. It went live in 2007 and it hasn’t looked back ever since.
Solving a common problem:
Android entered the market, when Symbian Phones, Blackberry and the iPhone ruled the market. Back then, users had to settle for either an outdated product or an expensive product. Until Android came into the picture with a perfect solution by creating not just an open source OS, but also a powerful one.
From Freedom 251 and Micromax to Samsung, many phones ranging from Rs. 251 - 900000 are available today due to Android's Open Source OS. Android has been successful in rising above its competitors and gaining a majority of the market share.
Android-running smartphones have reached the corners of the world by not limiting their OS to a hardware provided by them. Today, people in remote villages who may not even have access to a toilet most likely have access to a smartphone and the wealth of knowledge that comes with it. Smartphones have now reached even the most backward places in the world.
The million-dollar question:
To everyone skeptical about how Android was planning to monetize without manufacturing handsets, they had the perfect answer - Ads. It was the first truly ad-supported OS. The cost sunk into writing the software for the license was amortized through Google's mobile ads. While competitors such as Apple and Microsoft made money either through the sales of handsets or through an upfront license fee, Android with the ad revenue-model was able to revolutionize the world of IT with ’mini’ computers.
What’s more? Google's Play Store attracted millions of app developers who were able to create apps for a truly ‘global’ market. It gave them a chance to become millionaires (some even billionaires) by creating apps for millions of users. However, it’s not just the app developers who made millions, Android made (and continues to make) a killing as well by enabling this process and maintaining this platform.
It’s quite brilliant if you think about it. They made the platform popular by integrating it with ads. Google gets paid a share of its ads and apps every time someone uses the Android platform. It’s the perfect scenario,
- The marketers are happy as they’re allowed to specifically target their audience in large numbers on their smartphones. This in turn translates to them spending more money on ads
- The users get a smartphone, which fits their budget
- The users get access to millions of useful apps (most of which are free)
- Google gets paid in billions with a strategy that keeps both ends of the spectrum (users and the marketers) happy
Android is now a favourite among people all over the world. From its inception 9 years ago till date, it has made almost all the information in the world, just one click away!