The iPhone, which has done a lot for Internet radio by popularizing mobile streaming apps for Pandora, Flycast and other services, will be in for some stiff competition in the coming years. Leading tech research firm Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2012, Google’s Android operating system, which currently runs on less than 2% of smartphones, will surge to 14% and overtake iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows as the most widely used mobile operating system here in the US (second globally to Nokia’s Symbian, which is very popular overseas.)
According to Computerworld, Android’s popularity will grow at record pace thanks to Google’s support, including lots of new apps and cloud computing functions. One advantage that Google has in this adoption game is the ability to work with several manufacturers. Reportedly, more than 20 devices will be available as soon as 2010 with Android.
Last week, Verizon Wireless and Google announced a strategic partnership to accelerate delivery of leading-edge innovation that will put unique applications in the hands of consumers quickly. “The Android platform allows Verizon Wireless customers to experience faster and easier access to the web from any location,” said Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer for Google. “Through this partnership, we hope to deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the U.S.”
Of course, a battle between Verizon and AT&T, Google and Apple, is all good for Internet radio. Streaming music apps have been enormously popular on iPhone, and sites like Pandora have seen explosive growth from iPhone listeners. But understanding that it’s not streaming Pandora specifically on iPhone that listeners love, it’s streaming it from wherever they want it, Pandora offers easy ways to listen on Android, Blackberry, Palm Pre, right from the homepage. Getting music to the listeners any way they want it is the name of the game.