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Cellphones

Why the Google Android Phone Isn't Taking Off 745

Hugh Pickens writes "Farhad Manjoo writes in Slate that while the iPhone commands nearly 14 percent of smartphone sales and BlackBerry about 21 percent, Android has only 3 percent. And even though Android is far friendlier to developers, it has failed to attract anywhere near the number of apps now clogging the iPhone. Manjoo writes that Google went wrong by giving handset manufacturers and carriers too much control over the design and marketing of Android phones so there is no idealized 'Google phone' — instead, Android devices get names like the T-Mobile G1 or the myTouch 3G, and each is marketed separately and comes with its own distinct capabilities and shortcomings. 'Outside handset manufacturers lack ambition — -none of them even seems to be trying to match the capabilities of the iPhone, let alone to knock us down with features that far surpass those of Apple's device,' writes Manjoo. 'A smart handset manufacturer could build a top-of-the-line Android device that outshines Apple's phone in at least a few areas — better battery life, a much better Web browser, a brighter or bigger screen, faster or more functional controls... something that might help Android inspire gadget lust. But so far, that's not happening.' John Gruber echoes this advice and adds this advice to Android manufacturers: 'If Apple is BMW, you can be Porsche.'"

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