Market Update: Ricoh Works with Vidyo on Videoconferencing

Patrick Avery

With the Android-powered Motorola Droid headed for a Nov. 6 release date, numerous analysts have begun to ask the big question, "Is this an iPhone Killer?" The verdict: Many of these mobile pundits say it's not likely to overtake the iPhone, but it might knock it down a notch or two.

 

A primary reasons are the features the Droid brings to the table. According to a Motorola press release the Droid device features:

 

  • The world's thinnest slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
  • 3G Web and full HTML browser.
  • Cinematic 3.7-inch high-resolution display with more than 400,000 pixels.
  • Powerful and fast Google voice-activated search.
  • It can run up to six apps simultaneously and customize the homescreen with thousands of apps and hundreds of widgets from the Android Market.
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash, DVD-quality video capture and 16GB memory card included.
  • Integrated work and personal e-mail pushed right to you.
  • Google Maps Navigation (Beta) with free turn-by-turn directions.

 

To see how that stacks up to the iPhone, take a look at Technologizer's feature-by-feature comparison of the two devices. The features that clearly overtake the iPhone include the higher display resolution, the slide-out keyboard and the turn-by-turn GPS included in the device from the start.

 

Yet, PCWorld.com's Michael Scalisi says these features alone won't come close to robbing Apple of iPhone customers:

While the Android 2.0 OS is closing the usability gap, the iPhone has reached critical mass. It's managed to garner a loyal following, and habit and familiarity are powerful things. Every year Apple refreshes the iPhone platform making it more capable and powerful. Apple knows when its competition is gaining an edge and heads them off at the next revision. Apple customers know this and would rather wait to get a better version of what they already know than hassle with a new platform.

Another roadblock for the Droid is the lead Apple has taken in the number of apps available to customers. Apple is quickly approaching 100,000 apps, while Android has just passed 10,000. And while 10,000 apps seems like it gives users plenty of choices, blogger Robert Scoble says Android will have to at least duplicate the apps the iPhone has before getting people to switch their loyalty.


 

So potential Android app developers better get a move on. The Knowledge Network has an Android Applications Support Checklist to help IT professionals get some perspective on how to get started and learn what they'll need to support Android development.



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