- Successful launch of T-Mobile G1 - Despite what most reviewers describe as pretty clunky hardware, T-Mobile shipped an estimated 1MM G1's (the first-ever Android-powered mobile handset) in 4Q08. Hardware aside, software reviews of the first-rev Android operating system were positive to glowing.
- First "indie" Android phone appears - Just weeks after T-Mobile started accepting orders for the G1, Kogan (an Australian company) announced the first "unlocked" Android phone, the Agora. To me this was early evidence that Android (the only free, open source smartphone operating system) will spur device innovation of a quality sufficient to challenge Apple and RIM.
- Mobile heavyweights sign on to Open Handset Alliance - Not long after the Kogan announcement, 14 new members (including Toshiba, Sony Ericsson and Vodafone) piled into this Android working group, signaling a shift toward market acceptance of the platform by the wireless establishment.
- VentureBeat ports Android to a netbook (in about 4 hours) - Google talks about Android as a smartphone OS, but this non-commercial demo shows how readily the OS can be adapted to the fastest-growing segment of the PC market. And as ZDNet points out in a related story, Google plans to retain 30% of all revenues from Android Market app sales, a revenue line that could get big fast if Android takes off.
Consumers around the world love the smartphone experience, but only the very top slice of the market can afford Apple's version of that dream. In the great depression of 2009-10, Google's free, open and device-agnostic (i.e., Netbook-friendly) offering looks like a very smart bet indeed.