Five ways Android could get into trouble

We should not get too excited about Android's early success. A 3.5% market share is still a gnat on Apple's elephant.

On the surface these are happy days in Android-land.

Going into the key Christmas selling season, Android is eating Windows for lunch. New (non-Google) development centers are continuing to open, new manufacturers are coming on stream.

What could possibly go wrong?

Knowing that rising markets need a wall of worry to keep going up, here are some possibilities:

  1. Momentum must be maintained. Once you start gobbling market share you have to keep doing it. Even a slowing of momentum can be read as failure.
  2. Developers must be kept happy. Some are complaining they're working full-time getting apps written for the Android operating system running on multiple phones.
  3. The Android app store has some catching-up to do, especially in the user experience area.
  4. When will Android get a "killer app" that the iPhone can't match, or one it hasn't already matched?
  5. Can Google ride herd on its complex ecosystem? Everyone knows who the boss is with the iPhone. Not so with Android. (UPDATE: Rich Sands writes to say this article from his site is more to the point.)

We shouldn't get too excited about Android's early success. A 3.5% market share is still a gnat on Apple's elephant. Early buzz does not make for victory -- as President Howard Dean will tell you. (Or President Huckabee, if you prefer.)

Google has set itself a more complex task than that which faced Apple when it introduced the iPhone a few years ago. Google is using an open source approach, which means there are more hands on the steering wheel. And Google is trying to overcome an established leader, leading to charges of me-tooism.

A good start is not the race.