There were four Android demos onsite in Barcelona this week. The three I saw at Marvell, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm booths weren’t enough to convince me that the industry is on the verge of a disruptive paradigm shift a la Android, but rather that single-chip promises powering Android will indeed introduce disruptive motions; of course though, what I saw of Android itself wasn’t much beyond what Google shared back in November.
Marvell, Qualcomm, and TI were all demonstrating identical Android capabilities, apparently at Google’s request for non-differentiation - according to Sy Choudhury, a sharp PM from Qualcomm. These capabilities included Browsing, OpenGL, etc. And all demos combined single-chip features such as GPS, broadband connectivity, graphics acceleration, and multimedia capabilities to showcase Google applications. For me, the wow-factor was not a spinning globe care of the OpenGL demo that looked like Google Earth, but rather the packaging of the computing & communications resources and integration porting of the Android Linux stack to them. The implications suggest anyone can build an Android phone or device by simply dropping the packaged silicon solution into a casing which any one of 1800+ ODMs in Asia can do these days. …Layer on a full stack open source operating system plus APIs and extensions, and the possibilities then become quite clear. It’s difficult to see how this approach (not necessarily Andriod itself) won’t change everything and turn the mobile world upside down for those selling mobile OS platforms or designing mobile devices… I hope Google can handle the porting demand though. They could get very busy, very soon.