Now that the Android platform has moved beyond T-Mobile in the U.S., it has started to win the confidence of developers and publishers, who were once primarily building applications for the iPhone.
So far, the evidence is only anecdotal, but the path seems logical as more U.S. carriers endorse the platform. The only one yet to announce an Android device is AT&T (NYSE: T), which has the iPhone exclusive. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), which is the most recent supporter, has already launched two devices and a $100 million marketing blitz with Motorola.
The interest in Android has visibly picked up only recently. Yesterday, CBS (NYSE: CBS) Mobile launched two Android applications, including TV.com and CBS Sports Mobile Football, and today Kyte is announcing that its mobile video application will be available on Android in early 2010. For further validation, DeviceAnywhere, which works closely with developers, said it has launched services for Android, which will allow developers to test their apps online before launch.
In a release, CBS Mobile General Manager Sam Parker, said: “With millions of Android handsets expected to ship in 2010 from a wide range of manufacturers, CBS Mobile is excited to take apps that have proven to be widely popular to users on other platforms and extend them to Android customers. Android provides a great platform to deliver dynamic mobile apps to an even wider audience.”
But so far, the gap between Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Google is not even close. While Apple said it has hit 100,000 apps in the iPhone App store, the most recent figures available on Android pegs listings at only 12,000. In addition, applications on the Android platform up until now haven’t exactly been brand name. In general, while mobile is commended for being equally accessible by large companies and hobbyists, Android so far has more of the later. In a report distributed yesterday by Distimo, a mobile analytics company based in The Netherlands, detailed the top paid and free apps on both the iPhone and Android. While the iPhone included apps from such companies as Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), Starbucks, CNN and PopCap and various startups, the Android platform seemed a bit more homegrown. Many of the apps were made by individuals and others were developed by companies vested in the platform, such as T-Mobile and Google (NSDQ: GOOG).
If developers are indeed increasing their emphasis on Android, now is the time for both Google and the supporting carriers to make the platform as successful as they can for not only themselves, but developers, too.