Is Google losing its hold over the Android operating system?


Android by Google is fundamentally an open source operating system. This means people can make changes on their own and create their own versions and packages of Android. Being a commercial, for-profit company, why has Google released an open source operating system when it could have made lots of money, just like Microsoft Windows? It could have, but then, by offering it free of cost it has also created a massive ecosystem of billions of smartphones using Android and through Android, selling apps, games, music, videos and video games via Google Play. 85% smartphones and tablets in the world use Android. It’s not that all these 85% devices are being used to purchase apps and games and other stuff, but a big portion, significant portion, does.

Actually it’s a good strategy. Since the operating system is freely available every big and small smartphone manufacturer can save the money on it and then spend that money on offering better phone features to its customers. This gives further boost to the market hooked onto Android.

Compared to the iPhone and the iPad, using different applications on Android devices is a lot easier. Once you have installed Google Play you simply have to search for the application you want, tap on it, and it is automatically downloaded and installed. You can even remotely install apps by going to the Google Play store from your PC’s browser and selecting to install the app from there.

But according to this Time article, Google might be on its way to losing its hold over Android. Amazon’s Kindle Fire phone, for example, uses an operating system, totally built off the Android. Still, no Google app is available on The Kindle Fire Phone. It is among the first phones after the Microsoft phones that are completely devoid of anything Google. Xiaomi has replaced Google Play with its own app store.

In the long run, yes, Google needs to worry, but not in the short run. There are millions of people using Google Play and if other phones don’t allow them to download their favourite apps, videogames, etc. (some of these apps have been purchased) from Google Play they’re not going to buy these phones. For instance, I was planning on purchasing a Xiaomi phones for my wife but now that since I know that you cannot download Google Apps I won’t be purchasing it. I’m sure thousands of customers making new records purchasing 20,000, 40,000 Xiaomi phones in mere five seconds are not aware that they cannot use Google Play on their Android-based smartphone. Bummer.

About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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