During Google’s third quarter earnings call, executives repeatedly touted increases in mobile searches as a new market opportunity for the company. And with 12 Android phones coming to 32 carriers in 26 countries, that market is about to explode.
Google saw mobile searches increase 30 percent on the service in the third quarter alone. While there isn’t a huge mobile search ad market yet, Google is already working to corner it.
That’s the end game of Google’s Android mobile operating system that’s only now becoming obvious in the marketplace. Google made waves by giving away a robust open source mobile OS in order to get people using Google Search on their devices.
Obviously the strategy is already starting to pay off, but Google CEO Schmidt believes this is just the beginning. Schmidt says, “Android adoption is about to explode.”
He cites the massive number of devices set for release and partners working on new Android phones around the world. The fact that many of these phones have just been announced means that in many ways, Google’s mobile growth is just getting started.
Android is also a huge benefit for handset manufacturers looking to get new products out into the market. By offering a pre-made operating system, Google is allowing the manufacturers to focus on building compelling devices.
This shift also allows the manufacturers to get hardware out the door much more quickly. And the entire industry can offer lower-cost handsets by moving away from paid licenses for other solutions such as Windows Mobile.
However there are still a few hurdles to Google’s goal of dominating the mobile search market. Most notably those are smartphone adoption and the cost of unlimited data plans in the U.S.
Until Android units come free with contract and are simple enough that everyone wants one, the mobile search market cannot reach its full potential. Luckily a free mobile OS helps push the industry toward that goal.