I have great respect for SJVN, and I am also a big fan of his for writing sensational headlines. The latest being "Five reasons Android can fail".
When I read his article I got an (the) impression that going by those 5 points basically every other industry, including automobiles, TV, Food and Beverages, Hospitality, Airlines...other than Apple have failed. He inspired me to write what I have been planning to write for ages -- diversity of Android.
Lawsuit will drain Google
SJVN made a point about Android being sued by Oracle would mean a loss for Google as the company will spend quite a lot in (on) the legal battle. This, unfortunately, is not unique to Google. Every mobile company is engaged in legal battle. Apple is the most legally entangled company, (in the world) so its not just Google who is losing money to lawyers -- EVERY mobile company is. Once we are aware of this reality, we can understand that the Oracle lawsuit is not going to break Google.
On a secondary note, they the way the court case is progressing, it seems Google is winning.
Android will become expensive!
His conclusion, "The end-result of all this, besides lining the pockets of lawyers, is that we’re all going to have pay more for our tablets and smartphones."
I don't quite agree. Apple has paid heavy penalties and fee fees to patent owners.Did iPad/iPhone become more expensive? No, they get got cheaper, and they will continue to get cheaper, despite a hefty fee to Nokia and multiple court cases.
Now, lets let's see his 5 points
Too many developer versions
He says that Android is fragmented. Interestingly this fragmentation has helped the spread of Android. Any company can pick a version and built a device. But, I agree its a problem and Google admitted it ages ago.
That's what Google is doing with Android Ice Cream Sandwich -- to run one OS on all Google devices -- TV, Smartphones and Tablets. By 2011, the fragmentation will be a talk of past. (will be a thing of the past.
Whatever fragmentation is there has more to do with the open nature of Linux than Google. Companies pick the code and start building. Since Google is working on fixing the problem the cream (or competent) Android devices will be all on the same platform.
So, this can't be a reason of for Android's failure.
Too many OEM versions
I suggest you to look outside the Windows/Apple world. Look at the automobile industry. They use the same engine for different models. Volvo uses the same engine which Mercedes or Volkswagen uses, yet they all offer their own unique experience and design. Do we call automobile industry fragmented? Has it failed? No.
This diversity is the soul of the success of modern automobile industry. This diversity is the soul of the modern automobile industry's success. This is a sign of a mature industry where you are capable of developing products for different users.
IT industry is too immature and thus it was dominated by one product of one company Microsoft. We need diversity and Android offers just that. My dad prefers a different car, food, drink, cloths and TV than I do -- similarly he prefers a different Android phone than I do. If he likes what I like, no one stops him from going and buying the Nexus S.
So, SJVN's remark on too many OEM's is against the very notion of a mature industry. According to SJVN's logic, all other industries should have already failed and we should all be driving the black Model-T.
Still not open enough
Arrgh. Irony. At one point SJVN is criticizing Google for fragmentation. The very reason of this fragmentation is the open source nature of Android. Those who are aware of the GNU/Linux industry know that anyone can pick the code and start creating something of their own -- look at the thousands of Linux distros.
Now, when Google is working on solving the problem by holding the code unless it offers same OS for all devices, we have problem with it. The only people who need the source are the vendors and they have access to the code. FYI, Samsung and other such companies have released the code of Honeycomb for their developers.
So, a tentative holding of code can't be cited as spelling the doom of Android. If code be the case, iOS would have died back in 2005.
It's a FUD spread by insecurity companies also known as anti-virus companies. It quite clear that as long as you are using the Stock ROM and apps from the Android market you are safe. But, if you want to run a custom ROM and install apps from a Chinese store, its you who is making your devices insecure and not Google.
Android is extremely secure, but even if SJVN thinks holes, which pops once in a while, which pop up once in a while can kill Android, Windows should have failed ages ago.
Android has an edge over Apple. Look at the Toshiba Thrive, it is one of the best tablets yet cheaper than the awesome Galaxy Tab. Go to Amazon and you will find every price range, depending on what you want. According to reports, Amazon is working on cheaper tablets, NookColor is a cheap tablet. But, then you will complain of multiple OEMs. You already have Android tablets from $169 (Superpad)- $600!
Update: Another ZDnet blogger has oracled Android's failure, just because Xoom's SD slot doesn't work. Is James Kendrik saying that Windows as a platform will fail if XYZ vendor (one out of other dozen vendors) can't get its CD drive to work? The entire Windows as platform will collapse just because of XYZ's CD player? iPhone 4 had antenna issues, did it fail? No. Then how can someone spell the doom of Android just because a tiny hardware doesn't work?
And why do you have to tell everytime that you have couple of Android devices? SJVN started his blog with the same rhetotic "I use Android every day both on my Droid II smartphone and my Barnes & Noble Nook Color e-reader/tablet."
So did James, "I like Android. I own both a tablet and a smartphone running Android, and I find them both to be great mobile devices. "
The tablet, smartphone market is far different from the PC market dominated by Microsoft's anti-competitive business practices. We can't apply the same logic here.
There are more serious players behind Android, than ever before. With a line-up of giants like Samsung, Motorola, Toshiba, HTC, Sony, Panasonic, etc. Android is heading only in one direction -- carpeting the world!