The Un-unified Theory of the Android Universe

I’m not a physicist, nor do I play one on TV. I do know and speak to a few at the office, however. Does that count? I hope so because here comes my:

Un-unified Theory of the Android Universe

My primary voice phone is a Nexus One running Android OS 2.2. I also have a Droid that I rarely use that was recently upgraded to OS 2.2 too. Most phones launched this summer came with OS 2.1 despite the fact that 2.2 was available. Dell somehow managed to launch their new Streak with the ancient OS 1.6. Android tablets launched in past few months have an even more horrific OS platform fragmentation story with releases as old as 1.5 be used in production releases.

Then, there’s the Android Market place that seems more like the punchline for a joke rather than app store for what looks like the hottest mobile platform available today. Even if you ignore the useless desktop web browser view of the Android Market and brush aside the discovery-hostile version on Android phones, you have to wonder of policies that do not allow developers have short term free app sales.

Android Market: Paid App to Free App Change is Ok. The Reverse is Not. Developers Beware

Speaking of the Android Market and “un-unified”, what is the deal with Android tablets and their inability to work with the Android Market. It seems like every Android tablet manufacturer has to field their own Bizarro World (reference: Superman) Android Market. Note, for example, well-known media gadget firm Archos’ solution for the soon to be released (and very interesting looking) “70 Internet Tablet”:

AppsLib: Just tap the Appslib icon on the home screen of the ARCHOS 70 internet tablet to immediately discover a large choice of Android apps to download for the widest variety of needs you might have. It’s so easy and quick.

Google’s Android is a hot ticket right now. But, its un-unified state of platform versions, app market discontinuities, and inability to generated a paid-app winner (think millions of dollars net profit, not thousands) may lead it down the same path we’ve seen Microsoft Windows Mobile, Palm OS & webOS, and Symbian go down in recent years.