In the last few weeks, Fasmicro (tekedia is a division of Fasmicro) has received emails from potential customers asking us if we could do developments on iOS and Blackberry platforms which are respectively Apple and Blackberry mobile operating systems. (We are yet to get calls on Windows Mobile. Of course Symbian is now history). We politely told them that we have built capacity in Android and we do not want to expand into these platforms. As the foremost Android trainer in Owerri and perhaps the whole of Eastern Nigeria, we have a regular base of customers to serve from universities, freelance and corporate institutions; we have started first and could define the roadmap. We understand that Blackberry is popular today in Nigeria, but Android will eclipse it within the next few months.
Now, you are a young graduate or a freelance who wants to get into the App business. You want to know what platform to build. We have a direction and suggestion. And these are some reasons why you should focus on Android development in Nigeria.
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It is already penetrating into the schools. For universities we have provided trainings and training right now like Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Federal University of Technology Owerri, we have made a mark that their preferred choice of mobility computing is Android. We made the decision and they are adapting their curricula into the platform. We are so confident that these students upon graduation will possibly decide to concentrate on Android platforms. So the people you will hire are already trained on Android. Why bother with another platform?
Another reason has to do with market. Apple and Blackberry are premium. Nigeria may not need them at the lower class of the market. Sure, the bank CEOs and corporate titans can afford them, but the regular Aba trader and Ibadan driver may prefer something cheaper. Android provides that platform for affordable mobile systems. Our studies before we made Ovim tablet (with our partner, Microscale) show that the future of smartphone and tablet in Nigeria lies in the mass market and not serving the 2% richest Nigerians as NITEL did for decades. Android gadgets are more affordable simply because you do not have to pay for any software – it is free by default. So the equipment manufactures and chipset makers are free from those contracts that, for example Windows Mobile, will tie your hands.
Android Market Share
In the next 6 months, the number of Android devices in Nigeria will eclipse all the Apple and Blackberry combined. Our studies show that customers MTN will make this possible with its advertising power and brand. Etisalat did not make much impact with Galaxy Tab because of the cost. Even myPad from Starcomms is built on Android. Of course, Fasmicro and Microscale new Ovim Plus and Ovim MiE are all Android devices. Encipher Inye and Inye 2 are also Android. They will compete against the high premium Blackberry and will surely win. The notion that iPad can do well in Nigeria is not supported by any data. It is expensive and that brand is not structured for the Nigerian market.
Globally, Apple has more users but Android ships more phones every day than any other OS, currently. We project that Android will take a very commanding lead in the mobile ecosystem after Dec 2011. In Nigeria, Android has a potential to get to 70% of the market with Glo selling Galaxy when MTN, Etisalat and Starcomms have aligned in that direction. If you want to make money developing, focus on Android – you will have more users and market globally and locally.
Android is not tied to any hardware maker or original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This makes it very great. Blackberry could lose appeal if its hardware fails to wow consumers. Same applies to Apple. But for Android, there are legions working on it. One fails, others will succeed and you are sure of users for your Apps.
Android Open Source
This platform is free from all those difficult clauses that stymie innovations and speed for OEM. All you need is buy a chipset, download the OS and you can get a tablet or phone out in two weeks. Mediatek has made things very easy (Fasmicro and Microscale use Mediatek for our tablets) – you just focus on manufacturing after configuring the chipset. The good aspect is that with good electricity in Nigeria, one can buy the chipsets and make phones and tablets in Nigeria easily. Fasmicro and Microscale are moving to ARM based chipsets to ensure we can support and upgrade easily later.
This kind of neutrality makes the future of Android promising. No player will like to kick others out and let the phone companies focus on ergonomics and design while the software is handled by the global legion. That is a place to be over being restricted to an OS that is developed maybe by few guys in one giant building in California or Canada. Innovation lives here and it can easily improve faster than other OS.
Android Apps Distribution
Got a good app, you can have it in the Android market within days for just a small fee. Apple will ask for 4x of that and you will still wait for weeks.
Why the world has to wait for few special days in the year for Apple to release new devices, Android does that every day in China and across the globe. This makes the evolution of Android fluidic and deeper than others.
Android is Java and Linux – two great platforms for developments. You might have known Java and going into Android is a piece of cake. Java is matured and the guy that built it is just going to Google now. There is no information you cannot find online for Java – the books are there, the tutorials, the demos, etc. And when it is time to say bye to Android, you take your Java skill to other areas. But for Apple, you are stuck with Objective C which Apple invented and you may not get much help.
If you are a young developer that wants to start developing Apps, now is the time to make a decision. Use Android as your platform. It is better and will surely succeed in Nigeria. Fasmicro is running a free training now on Android App development. Due to demand, we will do the same next week and we welcome you to attend. We were rated Excellent by all our trainees and we are confident you will find our training to be world class. We have a founder who is a first rate engineer and professor and has built a team and teaching structure that delight our customers.
Fasmicro Android Development & Training Center
Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria