Best Argument: Android Growth
Snowball rolling down a steep hill
James Kendrick: Google doesn't always do the expected with the Android platform, and while at times it seems the development is a bit disorganized, it is going to remain a major player in mobile for some time. The platform has taken the smartphone space by brute force, and is so big it would be difficult for Google to screw it up enough to knock it down.
The latest figures have a mind-boggling 550,000 Android activations happening daily. These are not shipments of phones hoping to be sold; these are activations. Over half a million actual users are setting up a new Android phone or tablet each day.
Android is like a snowball rolling down a steep hill. It's already huge so it rolls over all comers that get in its way. It is already so big in the smartphone space it will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future, even if Google starts screwing things up.
Widely successful - but vulnerable
Lawrence Dignan: It's hard to argue that Android has been widely successful. Android has come from nowhere to owning 41.8 percent of the phone market in the U.S., according to comScore. Gartner puts global Android market share at 43.4 percent as of the second quarter. On the tablet front, Android has 17 percent of the market, according to IDC.
How can I argue that Android is vulnerable? For starters, there are other operating systems that will take some share going forward. Microsoft Windows Phone 7 will grab share simply based on Nokia distribution. RIM has smartphones just good enough to retain customers. And on the tablet front, Android has been a disappointment. The tablet-specific apps are missing and good luck trying to get integration similar to what Apple has.
And finally, Android is clunky. As an Android customer, I feel like I'm using the mobile version of Windows 3.1. Android is OK, but if something better comes I could bolt.