Saturday, March 13, 2010

Android This Week: Android Passes Palm; Backflip Crippled; Sense to Nexus One

Android (s goog) adoption by consumers in the U.S. is growing at an astounding rate, according to numbers released this week by comScore. Not only did the Google platform’s market share surge 153 percent from October to January, but it surpassed that of Palm’s (s palm) webOS for the first time ever. Equally impressive is how Android market share is now almost half that of longtime competitor Windows Mobile (s msft).

AT&T (s t) become the final major carrier in the U.S. to carry at least one Android phone with the launch of the Motorola (s mot) Backflip, but early users of the device are reporting that it has been crippled compared to other Android phones. AT&T has removed Google search from the Backflip and replaced it with search from Yahoo (s yhoo), which is more than a little ironic considering Android is Google’s own platform. There are also a dozen special AT&T apps that perform many of the same functions as integrated Android apps, and these special apps are not removalble by the owner. Finally, AT&T has disabled the ability for Backflip owners to download apps from anywhere other than the Android Market.

Google promised the Nexus One would be going to the Verizon (s vz) network this year, and this week, some eagle-eyed folks uncovered proof that it is indeed getting close to release. The Verizon information indicates the Nexus One will only be sold online, similar to the T-Mobile version of the phone. Most interestingly, the new Verizon information clearly indicates that its version of the phone will run the HTC Sense interface. Sense is considered a good addition to the Android interface, and the original Nexus One shipped without it.


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