Android at 10: the world’s most dominant technology

Android is 10 years old now, give or take. It was revealed on September 23rd, 2008, but the HTC G1 wasn’t released to the public until October 20th. Whichever date you pick, the most relevant part of that date is the year: 2008.

That’s one year after the iPhone changed smartphones forever and the same year that Apple first introduced its App Store. So it’s only natural to think about Android in the context of Google’s answer to the iPhone — and it is.

But as I wrote last year at the death of Windows Phone, that wasn’t Android’s original purpose. Android was made to fend off the possibility that Microsoft could repeat with phones what it had achieved with desktops: a virtual monopoly.

Here was Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt at the Oracle v. Google trial, responding to questions about Android’s origins:

Q. And once Android came aboard and Mr. Rubin came aboard, was there a business strategy formed about what Android would be and how it worked?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you tell the jurors about that? What was it?

A. My recollection was that the strategy that evolved over the first year, which would be roughly 2000 and — 2006, was to build a platform — which, again, we previously discussed — that would be free and clear of some of the other licensing restrictions that were slowing down the industry, and that would, in fact, create a viable alternative to the then key players at the time. As you’ve earlier seen in the documents.

So our idea was that if we made something that was generally available, it would provide a lot of customer value; it could be a very large platform; and it would grow very quickly. All of which has, indeed, occurred.

Q: When you say open or alternative to what was out there, tell our jurors what you mean by that.

A. Well, at the time, we were quite concerned about Microsoft’s products. It’s hard to relate to that now, but at the time we were very concerned that Microsoft’s mobile strategy would be successful.

It’s also true at the time that the primary player in the industry was Nokia, who had an operating system called Symbian, which we were also concerned about.

This was before the iPhone was announced and before the whole iPhone revolution occurred.

In an effort to ensure that another company wouldn’t gain dominant control over the mobile market, Google and Android have wildly, unequivocally succeeded in doing just that.

Android has taken the place in smartphones that Windows once held with desktops: dominant market share. Worldwide, IDC pegs Android’s share at about 85 percent. We can argue about regions and whether enough of those customers are willing to spend money on apps and many other things, but that number is almost too big for nuance.

Android is the dominant computing platform on the planet. Not only has Android prevented some version of Windows from taking over mobile, but it has actually eclipsed Windows as the most popular operating system, period. Here are the latest numbers from Statcounter:


It’s easy to miss this dominance if you live in the United States. Numbers vary a little depending on which research firm you look at, but the basic story is the same: more people use Android, but Apple sells the most phones if you count by manufacturer — to the tune of somewhere between 40 and 55 percent of the American smartphone market. But because Android is fragmented among so many manufacturers (to say nothing of OS versions), Apple is the winner when it comes to hardware sales. Google’s Pixel is a blip compared to Samsung. But step back, and even the US market is essentially 50 percent iOS, 50 percent Android.


Photo by Felicia Shivakumar / The Verge

My point is that I don’t think enough people have fully contended with how powerful and important Android has become. Mobile phones are the primary computing platform for a huge swath of humanity, and the vast majority of them are using Android.

I also don’t think people have really done a great job contending with the parallels between Android today and Windows in the late ‘90s. No comparison is perfect, and I will gladly admit that the situation is vastly different now, in large part because Android is an open-source project that can’t be fairly compared to what Microsoft was doing back then.

Still, there are parallels, and they’re beginning to give policymakers cause for concern. Android’s worldwide dominance has led it into hot water with the European Union, and that fight is still ongoing.

I think that fair-minded people can find merit in the EU’s contention that Google is abusing its market dominance to buttress Chrome and the Play Store. I can also see that it doesn’t make sense to impose a system where Google can’t exert some quality and security standards on the massive platform it has created. Given the way Android updates have played out over the last decade, Chrome and the Play Store might be the company’s only real hope for holding back the flood of fragmentation and malware that would otherwise threaten the entire ecosystem.

If I’m being honest, I don’t really know which side of that debate I land on yet because fully comprehending just how dominant Android is and how integral it might be to the future of the web and computing is damnably hard.


Photo by Felicia Shivakumar / The Verge

I believe that the changes that Google is making to how its own search product works on mobile are a big deal, one that is easy to miss since those changes can seem so snoozy. But consider this: Google is putting a news feed on the default homepage of many Android phones, which is now bigger than Windows (with the caveat that many OEMs choose their own default homepage). For all the well-justified concerns about Facebook’s algorithms, there’s been precious little talk about Google’s responsibilities for presenting news at that scale.

I can’t get to the bottom of any of these issues in this small space. What I can do is try to remind you of Android’s dominance and remind you that it was not a fluke. Android’s inception was almost geopolitical in nature. Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin saw that there was a real risk to Google if Microsoft found a way to make Windows Mobile work. So years before Apple released the iPhone, Google decided to buy Android, put real resources behind it, and gave the thing away for free. And after the iPhone came out, Andy Rubin and Google quickly pivoted the entire thing to become a real competitor to Apple’s platform.

It’s easy to laugh now at the idea that Windows Mobile had a shot at winning the smartphone battle. But the particulars of how that mobile OS worked weren’t the issue; it was the business model. We were always going to have a lot of companies jumping into the smartphone game, and they were always going to need a software platform. The winning platform was Android because Google was competent where Microsoft (and Palm and Symbian and BlackBerry) were not. It could have gone another way.

I get it: horse races and boxing matches are fun. It’s easy to see the world through the lens of “Mac vs. PC” and “Android vs. iPhone.” Those are useful lenses to compare products and make purchase decisions, and I won’t apologize for using them myself. But when it comes to Android, we shouldn’t forget how its history informs its present. It started as a hedge against Microsoft, and that strategy led it to become used by more people than Windows.

But no one interested in technology should forget that more people experience computers and the internet via Android than anything else. That’s not just a huge accomplishment after 10 years; it’s also a huge change in how we should be thinking about computing and the internet. A decade later, and we still seem to keep forgetting about that.

Please follow and like us:
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Policy

OnAppShop.com is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

1.Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

2.Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

3.Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

4.Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

5.How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

6.Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Our business partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Connected third parties:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

7.How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

8.Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

Micro Entreprise
20 B Rue Jéan Jaurès
59227 SAULZOIR, France

Reg.Nr; R.C.S Douai FR Siret : 539 961 276

email: [email protected]

Read More About Us

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the OnappShop Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the OnAppShop Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018

Please follow and like us: