June 23, 2008 |
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Android is delayed until sometime in the fourth quarter, and some cell phone manufacturers aren't even going to be able to get an Android phone out until 2009. The original Android announcement from last November suggested that phones would be out by the second half of this year. I suppose November 2008 is technically the second half, but a late T-Mobile launch is allegedly pushing back a Sprint-Nextel launch until 2009. China Mobile had also planned to launch in the third quarter, but is also delayed, and their product won't hit markets until late this year or early next year as well.
While the open-source Android is supposed to make it easier for developers, the reality is that with every day that passes, Google will lose more ground to the already-established iPhone. The two platforms couldn't be more different, and it's clear that Jobs' experience in marketing the daylights out of products may win the day.
With the iPhone, Apple tied the OS to its proprietary hardware, just as they have with their PCs. By announcing it when it was ready for release, customers were able to run out and physically buy into the hype. They waited nearly a year to release an SDK for developers to build apps for their platform, ensuring stability of the platform as well as giving them a cushion for making changes and bug fixes.
Android has done the opposite, and that may be why there aren't a lot of big companies on board for development. With Google still making changes to its software, development has to adjust for each change. That's a frustrating experience for any developer. Add in Google's unwillingness to even discuss any partners, and potential customers who may be trying to decide between waiting for an Android phone or choosing a phone now may go with what they know versus what may be planned.