Every Man Is An Island: The Fragmentation of Android

Android as a working device has had some outstanding achievement over the previous few years. For some time, Android manufacturers took a lower back seat to Apple; Android changed into desirable, however, iOS turned into better, the critics said. Over a previous couple of years, Android’s achievement has critics seeing the Apple enemy in an entire new mild, with some suggesting that the destiny of the smartphone industry lies with Android producers and not with the Apple Corporation – an organization that many once thought turned into invincible and past failures.

Android’s fulfillment was purported to become an excellent aspect; it turned into purported to assist Android producers to see the achievement that they may obtain and propel them to heights of which they’d by no means dreamed. Android’s achievement changed into speculated to be the inducement and affect its producers needed to surpass Apple and iOS. I worry the worst, however: with Android’s rising achievement, its producers are starting to see their personal man or woman companies as “superstars,” dividing Android, as soon as a cohesive complete, into individual pieces or fragments. We are on the brink of the fragmentation of Android.

Before you positioned this text down and stroll away, permit me to give an explanation for. Earlier this week at the International CES, LG Electronics introduced that the Nexus 4 changed into simplest the primary of collaborative efforts with Google:

“Through our collaboration with Google, we released the LG Nexus 4 phone. This is the first of many gadgets to come back from our growing partnership with this very selective organization” (underline mine).

What this indicates is that we can look ahead to a Nexus 5 and six, probably a “Nexus nine” or “Nexus eleven” one in every of in recent times (relying on how the Nexus smartphones are named, in comparison to the Nexus pills). Sometime after LG made this announcement, but, the International Business Times claimed that “the Nexus four production ‘is said to have [been] halted,’ with LG interested in building its subsequent-gen devices” (Chris Smith, “Nexus 4 production reportedly halted, as LG is focusing on future smartphones, Nexus five covered?”). What is that this intended to mean? To be blunt, LG has determined to abandon the Nexus 4 in choose of its very own smartphones. Supposedly, the LG Optimus G has made the agency develop assured in shifting ahead to enhance its personal motive. As for its challenge with Google? Well, LG appears to paintings with them in the future, however, no specific time body become given in which the two corporations could come collectively. Consumers who wanted to get their hands on a Nexus 4 are now left looking ahead to the next Nexus project (which could be in a year or two).

In a piece of writing I wrote at the Google X Phone, I stated that it’d not be a wise flow for Google to push Samsung out of the way. I assumed that Samsung might want to live inside the Android production organization. While Samsung’s phones have made Android the OS to be envied, Samsung has additionally been working on an OS of its very own: Tizen. Reports have surfaced in the last weeks that Samsung will produce extra Tizen telephones this yr than ever earlier than. What this means is that Samsung, who has by no means long gone public approximately its “OS in the wings,” intends to sell its own OS in its personal hardware this year. Some say that this is in reaction to Google’s plans to create an X cellphone; thinking about that Google published its assertion first, I could now not be surprised if Samsung’s decision to press forward has something to do with Google’s desire to rule Android (and Samsung’s choice to rule Tizen).

Now, LG has stepped forward and made the equal pass as Google: identifying to position its very own paintings in advance of the partnership among itself and Google. LG’s pass could also be a political reaction to Google’s X phone declaration: on account that Google is transferring ahead with its personal smartphone, LG looks to do the identical. Unlike Google or Samsung, however, it does now not have the financial sources to continue generating one line of smartphones at the same time as running on a new line so it has determined to pull its sources collectively and start on any other telephone (beyond the LG Optimus G and Nexus 4). What this says to the purchaser is the following: “whilst LG and Google produced an excellent telephone together, not anything matters more than our very own cell phone line and organization name. If left to choose between our telephones and a partnership smartphone, the associate phone undertaking may be the primary to head.” This does no longer bode well for an organization that, until the Optimus G and Nexus 4, became not recognized for its smartphone collections.

With Google’s pass to create a one hundred% Google smartphone, Samsung’s pass to have its personal autonomous Tizen OS, and LG’s withdrawal from its Google mission to pursue its very own line, we’ve got the start of what’s referred to as “the fragmentation of Android.” This curious declaration refers to the breakdown of what became as soon as a unified OS, a collection of telephone and software program manufacturers who, once unified, decided to move their personal separate ways and create their own Android flavors that stand out from the relaxation. The fragmentation of Android refers back to the breakdown of a unified OS into character organizations and their tech achievements. In other phrases, agencies that when said, “it is about we” (multiple manufacturers) will now say “It’s approximately me” (our one employer)!

This mindset, unfortunately, will show unfavorable for Android as an entire. Android has grown to be a success thru not simplest its cohesion, but additionally its range. The variety of the Android atmosphere, working together with the settlement of its hardware producers, has saved the running system together – even via the times while it struggled to compete with Apple’s iOS. There is cohesion in range and diversity in harmony, and these standards have made Android what it’s far today. Unfortunately, Android producers are starting to consider that there may be no diversity in harmony (only in the department); this attitude will permit Apple to divide and overcome in its method to remain on the pinnacle in the cellphone international.

Apple has made its fulfillment take place with a dictatorial, distinct approach. The corporation produces its own OS and maintains stern manipulate over its providers and plans. It does the entirety for itself and most effective does what it desires to do. Samsung has already shown in 2012 while it beat Apple inside the ultimate quarter ($eight.3 billion vs. Apple’s $8.2 billion) that running with Google has been aa success mission, instead of going at the tech enterprise alone. Now that Samsung has verified that “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team'”, Android producers need to do what they can to maintain to push their monetary earnings above that of Apple. This yr, however, Android manufacturers are starting to suppose that they can accomplish more alone than they are able to in collaboration with others. This is a dangerous attitude that will most effective depart a direction of destruction behind. The reality is in the income: If customers are compelled to pick between corporations in place of operating structures, Google and Samsung will rack up sales at the same time as organizations consisting of HTC, LG, and other lesser-recognized names will lose inside the phone war.

Englishman John Donne as soon as wrote the announcement “No man is an island”; if this is genuine, Donne’s words couldn’t be truer than inside the cutting-edge Android occasions. Android’s achievement has come from its collaboration and innovation – a mixture instead of isolation. Take away one of the elements in the equation, and the Android “I-land” becomes not anything in any respect.

Originally posted 2018-09-15 12:49:20.

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