Why Android Might Deliver Where iPhone Won’t

While the industry puzzles over when Android-supported phones will hit shelves, it is unclear what impact, if any, it will have against growing iPhone adoption.Google-led Android doesn’t quite get the hype that Apple’s iPhone does, but there are plenty of reasons to get excited for it. For one, Android’s OS looks to offer a lot more than iPhone can with its latest release.

Here are five reasons to buy your loved one an Android-operated phone rather than an iPhone:

1. It promises to run on most modern smart phones – More cell networks will support Android than iPhone does — the iPhone is bound to just AT&T. Mobile providers NTT DoCoMo, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and more have committed to the project. Also, more handsets will operate on it. You might even get more life out of your old phone if it supports it. Handset manufactures HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung have already signed on.

2. It’s open-source software – Any programmer can whip up some code to match popular features from any other phone. Under the Apache license, any programmer can take the code and port their own version of the OS.

3. It has support for Google products out of the box – The latest Android demonstration displayed the phone’s compass prominently in Google Maps. You can bet Google will have the latest and greatest features of their software running on Android before it hits other operators.

4. Third-party developers have more access – iPhone prohibits people from using its internet capabilities for things like VoIP or an alternative browser. Android’s API allows you to create an application for anything, even the dialing software. The evidence is in the 50 applications already developed for the Android Developer Challenge last May.5. Android allows for ‘unlocked’ phones – Most handsets in America, including the iPhone, are locked by software to a cell phone provider’s network. While there are various ways to jailbreak, it’s not easy and might break your terms of service. The availability of downloading and installing your own unlocked OS might just change the game in respect to shopping for mobile phone providers and signing contracts. If this method gets more popular, it is conceivable phone networks may drop the contracts in lieu of (better) European pre-pay pricing.

Apple proved when they launched the OS X powered iPhones, it isn’t just hardware that drives the killer mobile devices that change the industry. From what we can gather from Android, Google gets it too.