Shashwat Pradhan Shashwat Pradhan

Android OEMs, the PC all over again?

‘The Android smartphone business can feel like it’s a rerun of the PC business, but compressed into 5 years instead of 20 or 30.’ – Benedict Evans

Apart from the big guys- Samsung, LG and Motorola, many Android OEMs are growing into niche markets. Some compare it to the PC growth era, which is true upto a certain extent. Android has also been compared to Unix many times, which is partly not correct since Google here still has a control over these OEMs. This gives the OEMs a small room to experiment, unless they want to sell devices without Google services. These Google services have kept the Android ecosystem in control upto a certain extent. In terms of hardware, things are more or less similar and standard.

Then comes in Cyanogen, building its own version of Android. Allowing users to customise their OS experience more than the stock version of Android allows. CyanogenMod  has been chosen over stock Android by users and OEMs like OnePlus and Micromax for their YU devices. Latest numbers showed 50 million active users, they even got $80M in their latest funding round.

Here are some trends showing popularity of the lesser known or niche Android OEMs. They either have a niche use case or a niche market. Many of them are very region specific. Google Trends has given us some good statistics on the overall interest in these Android OEMs with some predictive future numbers.

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