This could be the year that a single advanced Android will take over the world–or at least take a bite out of Apple.
2010 has certainly been HTC’s year. In the United States, the Taiwanese maker of cutting-edge Android handsets has drawn fanatical reviews for its Incredible (at Verizon) and EVO (at Sprint). In Europe, its wildly popular Desire–similar to the Nexus, which was sold directly by Google and could be used on the AT&T network–remained a ideal for stateside consumers, who clung to every rumor that it was coming to America.
But while HTC wowed numerous markets with numerous separate models, it was never going to unseat the iPhone–of which Apple has made different varieties for different types of networks–as the universal must-have mobile.
That may change. According to British tech news site The Inquirer, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reviewing a dual-radio HTC phone, which would be compatible on both GSM and CDMA networks.
GSM is the standard in Europe and in China; in Japan the standard is an advanced version of CDMA; and in the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM while Sprint and Verizon use CDMA. Such a device would be able to operate anywhere around the world, and become a global commodity like the iPhone.
But considering that the HTC phone looks like it’s initially headed to Verizon, and that Verizon has been committed to offering the best Android phones in the country, and to doing so first (never forget the Motorola Droid) makes it likely that the new HTC mobile will run Android.
This could have repercussions on the mobile app market space. Since, as we reported earlier, 60 percent of Android apps are free versus 29 percent of iPhone apps, ads are a major way for Android app developers to earn revenue. If a single Android phone can now reach consumers across the globe, that means apps that are especially compatible to that model will command a premium for ad placement.
A single Android phone that draws a global audience? That could be a threat to Apple–in terms of both the iPhone and iAds.