Google's mobile ambitions


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That said, no one is expecting Android to be a major success overnight. The mobile market is becoming very crowded, with Microsoft, Nokia and others also fighting for smart phone market share. Market research firm J Gold Associates estimates Google/Android market share will reach about 5% in three years. Research firm Gartner is slightly more optimistic, predicting a 10% share in the same time frame. Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster said he doesn't expect Android to overtake the iPhone anytime soon, noting Google's strategy of selling multiple Android devices via various mobile operators. Munster put it this way: “When Apple comes out with a [new] product, they try to hit home runs; but Google's Android strategy is swinging for base hits.” Those numbers might shift quickly, however, if Google plays its cards right. Consumers (and professional users demanding fancier phones from their IT departments) could find the Google brand appealing, despite its $179 price tag with a standard voice and data package. Also, there's speculation that Google could subsidize phone and service costs when its mobile ad strategy matures. Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system and current senior director of mobile platforms for Google, confirmed that Android represents the launching pad for a broad mobile strategy aiming to bring its advertising dominance on the Web to mobile. At the G-1 launch, Rubin said, “With Android, we're bringing some of those advances and strategies [from the Web] to the mobile phone.” M
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