Is Android Google's First Step Towards Monopolizing the Mobile Market?

Google appears to dominate every market in which they step foot. For this reason, many believe that Android is the company's first step towards monopolizing the mobile market. And it might be. To really understand the importance of Android to Google, however, you need to determine what mobile market they wish to monopolize. Also, a quick look at the history of Google's moves into various open source projects will shed some light on whether Android is truly its first step towards monopolizing the mobile market.

Traditionally, Google has been a strong supporter of open standards and open source software. The company has used open source code as the base for a number of projects such as the Chrome browser. These projects are important to Google because their open nature ensures that users will be able to access the search giant's content and applications. Google's revenue is largely based on the ads in its various applications. Google depends on people using the search and Google applications to earn money. Android is a clever way for the company to ensure that users continue to use Google products as computing moves to mobile devices. Is this a first step to monopolizing the mobile market? It could be interpreted that way but it seems that Android is definitely Google's first step towards ensuring that it continues to be relevant and earn revenue as computing becomes mobile.

Google has a number of applications that are ad supported such as Gmail. Android is a good way for Google to ensure that their applications will work or be integrated into mobile devices. It would be natural for Google to be concerned that competing applications like Apple's MobileMe would be bundled into the mobile platforms from those companies. Android allows Google to bundle its applications with a mobile device which ensures greater uptake by end users. In this respect, it certainly appears as though Android is the first step to Google's monopolizing the mobile market. By providing an open platform that any hardware manufacturer or carrier can use, the company makes certain that theirs will be numerous devices with Google applications already built in.

Is Android a bid in monopolizing the mobile market for wireless service or is it really a ploy to enter the hardware market? It seems unlikely that Google has much interest in owning market share for wireless services or hardware. In the past, Google participated in wireless spectrum auctions. They got rules adopted that required openness if the bids reached a certain level. Google then bid them to that level and then stopped. That seems to indicate that Google had no real interest in becoming a wireless carrier themselves. In the hardware arena, Google recently introduced the Nexus One phone which is based on Android. However, most indicators are that Google's entry into the hardware arena was intended more to demonstrate to other hardware makers what was possible with Android. Again, the Nexus One is an open system which will allow users to select their carrier of choice. These moves suggest that Android is not Google's first step to monopolizing the mobile market for hardware or wireless.

Google has enjoyed a strong market share of content advertising and search marketing for a long time. However, changes in computing have threatened Google's supremacy. Android is Google's first step to maintaining their market share in the mobile market. Google's recent moves in hardware and in bidding for wireless spectrum strongly suggest that Android is not their first step into monopolizing the mobile market in hardware or wireless. However, Google's business model does require that they continue to gain strong adoption of their search engine and applications. In this regard, Android is definitely a first step of Google's monopolization of the mobile market for advertising and content.