Android phones are quite different from the iPhone by Apple. Anybody can use an Android operating system on his smartphone and anyone can modify it and develop applications sans any prior permission from the maker. These, however, aren’t possible with the iPhone. Moreover, Google has also seized the Android application market by holding developer contests and offering cash prices. So, by the time the first Android smartphone was introduced, there were several Android applications available for downloading.
In January, 2010, Google unveiled its own Android-based smartphone to compete against other smartphone manufacturers. Nexus One was the first official smartphone by Google. Though it was manufactured by HTC, it was vended by Google.
The humble mobile phones, that once used to be devices simply for making and receiving calls, are today mini computers that can receive and send emails, browse the internet and run several applications. And unlike the computer market, Windows doesn’t have a dominant market share in the smartphone segment. World over, Nokia dominates the smartphone market, armed with the Symbian operating system. However, Symbian is yet to find favor with the mainstream US customers.
Motorola could be held responsible for the popularity of the Android smartphone than any other manufacturer. In fact, the Motorola Droid smartphone was extensively advertised as a rival to the iPhone 4. Besides, it became the first proper Android smartphone to debut in the US market.
Android smartphones are usually available under various price schemes. One such scheme is where you pay the actual cost of the phone and then pay as per your usage. The other scheme is where you buy the phone under a yearly contract. The reason that a smartphone is much cheaper under a contract is because the service provider bills you more each month to compensate against the much lower price that he has got for the handset. In most cases, you pay a much less price when you buy a smartphone under a contract. However, that doesn’t mean that you are bound to the contract and can’t switch the carrier. You can upgrade your smartphone or cut back the minutes sans any penalty (such restrictions are generally imposed for the first six months of the contract).
Here’s a word of advice for those intending to buy an Android smartphone. As you will be using the network each time you use an Android phone for anything else besides talking, you must go for an unlimited access plan, if you can afford it. Several companies charge more for a smartphone data plan than for accessing data from a regular mobile phone. Make sure to check the small print ahead of committing yourself to a particular data plan. If you plan to use your smartphone as a handy wireless gadget, you must purchase a plan which specifically includes such a facility.
An Android smartphone, with subsidy, is usually priced very economically. The price of a contract Android phone, on the other hand, could start at as low as $0.01. Make a wise choice and you can have the best deal on your smartphone.