Trends for 2011 Part 3: Android

This year will see the type of mobile phone people own fade in importance compared with what is actually on that phone, in the form of apps and other innovations. Operating system Android could have its time in the sun thanks to this trend.

A PR trend: Androids
A PR trend: Androids

'Android is going to be a big hit, as it enables innovation and allows people to do things with a speed and agility you can't achieve with a more proprietary system such as Apple or Microsoft,' argues Edelman's Jonathan Hargreaves.

Bell Pottinger's Read agrees, noting that new operating systems are helping to make technology more accessible to everyone: 'The great thing about Android is it is democratising the apps movement. It won't sit on Apple kit, but it can sit on lots of other pieces of kit. I believe Android is going to push us harder into an app-driven world, where barriers between work and home break down.'

This new openness may also put pressure on brands, such as Apple, that have historically not allowed other operating systems to sit on their devices. Hargreaves notes: 'The integration between Android and other platforms will be crucial. How open are other platforms to working with the whole ecosystem of apps? At the moment, Apple is pretty proprietary.'

Apple and Microsoft are, however, able to create new functionality and features, as they have huge investment behind them.

33 Digital's Benvie says apps are now what make people want a certain type of phone, as opposed to design such as in the early days of the iPhone: 'People want to know if specific apps are on the phone they are getting next - apps are becoming so innovative and use the technology on the phone to its full advantage. That's what people are talking about and becoming wedded to.'

Click here to see Cathy Bussey, features editor of PRWeek ask a panel of experts what they think are the key trends for 2011.

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