What is the future for Android developers? Will Android become mainstream and a worldwide household name or will it remain a niche product? I'd wager that Google has given some thought to this issue.
If Google wants to become an icon, they're going to have to make sure that their Android is something that every other phone manufacturer can join in on. Otherwise Android will remain a niche product.
With the recent decision by the FTC to crack down on all of the misleading marketing that is being done for the Android platform, consumers are becoming a lot savvier. More people are realizing that they can get away with advertising on the internet without having to actually put up any money in order to do so. Google and other platform companies are very aware of this fact.
Why not have a competition to market the platform? If all of the top platform vendors put their top products up against each other, consumers would then be able to decide which was the best phone and which one to purchase. This would be a truly free market type of scenario. Of course, if all the devices on the market are truly equal, there is no such thing as a "free" cell phone.
However, I think that Google does have a vested interest in the end result of this project. If Google can get the quality of their products to match the quality of the others, then it is going to be great for the Android platform. It also gives them the opportunity to prove that they can build a successful business around a popular open-source product.
Another way that Google could benefit from the Android platform is in the display advertising market. Google AdSense already allows you to display ads in the different parts of the screen in order to target particular pages or sections of the user's experience.
The problem with this is that most users are going to want to get as far away from the display advertising as possible. If you want to be competitive in this market, you're going to have to sell through the search engines in order to get your ads on the top of the list. If Google can figure out a way to get more people to use their products, then that opens up the opportunities for them to bring advertisers through the doors as well.
The future for Android developers may be in advertising. This is one of the key points that the FTC is trying to achieve. Google's product, the Android platform, may just be the reason why