Since T-Mobile launched the first Google Android based phone a few weeks ago I’ve read a few good pieces about the both the phone itself and the overall platform. I find it interesting that pretty much all the articles and blogs compare Android directly with the iPhone. From what I’ve seen it’s more an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.
I’m sure some of this is due to the current iPhone and Apple buzz, but I don’t think the WM comparison is something we can ignore. For one thing Android is a platform rather than a ‘product’. Where as the iPhone is a complete product – hardware, OS, applications and services, Android is very similar to Windows Mobile in that its a platform you can adopt for your hardware or apps.
It strikes me that Android is a lot like Chome in that I imagine its seen as a vehicle for the delivery of Googles cloud services. Although I don’t think Google have really chased the Enterprise market in the past they seem to be building up this side of their business, putting in place the building blocks they will need to move in and squash MS. There’s a lot of money to be made in the enterprise email and office apps market and Google seem to be chasing that cash with a bit more vigor these days.
Googles enterprise email offerings are very competitive. On price alone they are hard to ignore. You loose some of the functionality you get with something like Exchange and Outlook, but especially in todays market, it does put you in a place where you start wondering about whether the functionality is worth the extra cost.
One gap in the email offering seems to be mobile services. Services like Blackberry and WM push mail are ubiquitous in business today and will be important for business adoption. Sure there’s a mobile GoogleMail site, and a client for Blackberry but having their own platform out there that can do push mail, run the core Google apps and provide a platform for third party apps is a very attractive piece of the overall solution.
The fact that few articles are comparing Andoid to WM really surprises me. And if I was a WM product manager I’d be both happy and worried about that. Happy because the market seems to be pitching Android against Apple. Worried because no one is talking about my product.