Android remains the most popular operating system on smartphones, ahead of iOS, Symbian, Windows 8 mobile, Blackberry OS and others. It is freely available to both phone manufacturers and consumers, and comes with various options for tweaking. Android OS receives frequent updates to take advantage of the new capabilities that come with new devices. At the same time, every subsequent update corrects user problems experienced in previous versions, but this is not to say that previous versions are faulty. The updates come as the result of ongoing innovation attempts by the entire Android software community that includes paid research and voluntary contribution. Phone manufacturing companies work on their customization of the stock Android OS, while Google works on improving the stock Android OS.
The android platform has the highest number of phone manufacturer's support. Large companies like Motorola, Samsung and HTC have high-end smartphones that run on the platform. At the same time, smaller companies like Huawei and Alcatel also have low-end, high-end and medium range smartphones that run on the same platform. Since Android is now available in various releases that can make use of various phone capacities, it has become easier for manufacturers to introduce different kinds of devices to cater for different markets. This has made the competition on android phones to take a new form.
Manufacturers no longer compete on the device functional capabilities only; instead, they also strive to make the best design, and to include the most intuitive overlaying user interface on their phones. HTC as an example offers the 'sense' user interface that lies on top of the stock Android OS. Huawei, Motorola and Samsung also have their versions. The Sony Xperia Z is a top range Android phone that runs on the latest version 4.1.2 also known as 'Jelly Bean'. This phone has a huge battery, a 5-inch display with a HD resolution as well as a quad core 1.5 GHz processor. Its competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One all have similar features that consumers love. The android phone competition remains stiff on all mobile phone market segments.
For the consumer, the first thing to look at when opting for an Android phone is always the price against the functional features of a phone. Many consumers are now familiar with Android. Even if they have not experienced the latest version of the OS, they have at least interacted with Android 2.3 code named 'Gingerbread', which is the most popular version, followed by Android 4.0 code named 'Ice Cream Sandwich or ICS for short. Higher android versions are able to take advantage of high quality display resolutions, powerful processors, large internal memories, and GPU capabilities that are found in the top range phones.
Android remains the most popular operating system in the mobile phone market because it is available freely and has a large developer community to support its growth. Manufactures that have phones running android compete based on the hardware features of their phones, as well as the user interface tweaks that they place over the stock Android OS. Today, you can find an Android smart phone that suits your budget, both on the low-end segment and at the high-end segment.