The five factors powering the Android revolution

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Google Android has been riding a wave of staggering growth in 2010, going from barely a blip on the market share radar to the fastest growing mobile platform on the planet, challenging BlackBerry for top honors in the U.S. and setting its sights on Nokia for supremacy worldwide.

How is it that Android has pulled off such a massive coup so quickly? Here are the top five factors that are fueling the Android revolution:

5. Anti-Apple sentiment

It’s easy to argue that Android is an iPhone knock-off. After all, when Google was originally working on a mobile platform, it was much more similar to BlackBerry or Windows Mobile with a smaller screen and a hardware keyboard. But then, Apple changed the smartphone game in January 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone.

We should credit Google for recognizing the fact that the iPhone was a game-changer. After all, RIM and Microsoft both missed it. They wrote off the iPhone as a toy — which it was at first — and continued with their existing strategies. That was a critical mistake that both companies are still trying to recover from.

Meanwhile, Google morphed its plans. In November 2007, it announced the Android OS and the Open Handset Alliance. By the time the first Android phone arrived in 2008, Android no longer resembled BlackBerry or Windows Mobile. Instead, it featured a full touchscreen like the iPhone, but with the option for a slide-down hardware keyboard like the one featured in the early T-Mobile G1.

Of course, Apple has continued to innovate and evolve the iPhone. And while Android may not be quite as polished and finished as iOS in some aspects, it comes much closer than any of its other smartphone competitors. So, for those who are attracted to the features of the iPhone but do not want to deal with the restrictive Apple ecosystem or the exclusive AT&T arrangement (in the U.S.) or simply do not care for the Apple brand and everything it represents, Android devices have become today’s natural alternative.

Full story: The five factors powering the Android revolution | ZDNet