Someone asked me the other day what I thought about Android, Google’s mobile operating system that happens to be open and free, and the first thing that came to mind was that Research in Motion should build a handset that runs Android.
I really would like to hear what you guys think here in the comments, but, here a a few reasons why I think this could be a huge hit for RIM.
- Reliability –The BlackBerry has the reputation of being one of the most reliable pieces of hardware in the industry. I know that a much of the hardware stability comes from the fact that RIM creates the software that runs on BlackBerrys, but, the devices themselves are sturdy and RIM can bank on this when compared to other manufactures.
- Android Is Free — Google isn’t charging anything for Android. This will allow any manufacture, RIM included, to create smartphones at a very low price point. I believe that keyboards on cellphones of tomorrow will be a ubiquitous as cameras on cell phones of today. This will enable RIM to create a very inexpensive Smartphone that could probably be 100% subsidized by the carriers who offer it.
- Android Is Open — Just think of how much better a web browser Firefox is over Internet Explorer. The fact that you have a global developer community working on Android as compared to just a small group of them that all work for Google will allow Android to always be on the cutting edge. Open software efforts is one area where the mob is usually smarter than the small group and the reliability factor we talk about in our first point would even be further enhanced.
- Google Is Behind Android — This point really needs no further explanation. Google is the most impressive tech company we’ve since Microsoft. Google getting into the mobile game will be the biggest thing to hit the industry since the iPhone came out last year and in the grand scheme of things, may turn out to be even bigger globally.
- Younger Demographics — RIM would have a huge opportunity to get their devices into the hands of very young, internet addicted consumers, who live on MySpace and YouTube. Android smartphones will start of cheap and parents will get them for their kids if they cost them nothing more than the plan they were already going to get. Kids who use BlackBerrys turn into adults who use BlackBerrys.
I can probably think of just as many reasons why RIM shouldn’t create a device that runs Android but, I will leave that for you guys to discuss in the comments.