Apple is a large successful company - you've probably heard of it! I think it's safe to say that for the last year or more, Apple's iPhone has kicked the rest of the mobile phone market squarely in the gut, sending them searching for barf bags as customers abandon older, less useful systems. Before Apple, Research in Motion's Blackberry seemed to have a lead on the smartphone industry, and they still carry an enormous amount of the market. So who is going to be next, or will Apple's iPhone dominate for the foreseeable future?
My best guess is that there is one player out there who will give RIM and Apple a run for their collective money. GOOGLE! Quite uniquely, Google will compete with the Blackberry and iPhone, and to a lesser extent Palm, Nokia, Samsung and Sony products, by offering not a mobile phone, but an advanced mobile Operating System. The OS in question is called Android!
Android is Google's reply to Apple's introduction of the iPhone, but done in a very different way. While Apple controls the design of the hardware (iPhone) and it's applications , Google has an open source license for it's Android OS. This means that mobile device makers have free range to make a device with whatever range of features they choose to make. Also, the OS allows third party applications, leaving developers more creativity. The open source infrastructure allows users to easily use customizable online services. They can even change their home-screen setup.
Google has included some great applications for starters on it's Android OS, such as Google maps with panoramic street views, photo, video, music, and viewing capability of PDFs, and Microsoft's word and excel files. The homepage has a google search field, accessible from any app being used. Some clever iPhone apps have this feature also.
It might take a while for mobile device makers and developers to get close to catching up with the iPhone and Blackberry, but you can expect Google, with their money, experience and existing network, to place Android as a major player sooner than later. It looks like the Android OS is going to kick some serious butt!