The mobile phone industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds as it has in the past few decades. With the growth of Smart Phones that not only provide the basic functions expected in a mobile phone but also with the options of sharing and playing multimedia, browsing the internet and so much more, brand new players have entered to capture this market including Apple with the successful iPhone and Research Machines with the equally successful Blackberry and in 2008, Google with the open-source Android operating system for manufacturers. First android phone to appear WAS the G1 from T-Mobile.
Because Android is open source the number of applications available has grown exponentially and sites like The Android Library who provide a library of the latest free and commercial applications now contains a huge database of applications. More and more people are opting for smartphones in this beehive of opportunities, as these powerful machines are providing better features at lesser prices with each passing month. The competition is immense at all levels, be it pricing, looks or specifications. Brands are finding new ways to woo consumers and, therefore, looking to create smartphones that are more powerful and technologically advanced. Android phones also come with a set of attractive features. All the freedom of Android benefits users who value the ability to tinker with the technology they use. Android software has evolved quickly over time, with new features added in each version. Most importantly, a wide range of devices run Android software, including phones from companies like HTC, Samsung and Sony, empowering the users with a variety of choice.
As reported in October 2012, approximately 700,000 apps available for Android, and 25 billion applications were downloaded from Android's primary app store, Google Play. A survey found that Android is used by 71% of the mobile developer population, making it the most popular app-developer platform. A total of 900 million Android devices have been activated and 48 billion apps have been installed from the Google Play store till May 2013 and the growth has been an exponential one. Android's share of the global smartphone market, led by Samsung products, was 64% in March 2013. The best-selling smartphone in history, Samsung Galaxy S4, has android 4.2 Jelly bean as its operating system. In July 2013 a total of 11,868 different Android devices and eight OS versions simultaneously were in use. Android's success has made it a target for patent litigation as part of the "smartphone wars" between technology companies like Samsung and Apple.