The story of Android vs. iPhone reminds me a lot of the story of Microsoft Windows vs. Apple Macintosh. In this version the part of Microsoft will be played by Google.
The similarities are striking. Apple was first to market and wowed everyone. Google followed close behind with a competitive, less polished product. Now is where it get's interesting. In the original story Microsoft had success with the OS but it wasn't until Windows 3.1 when everything clicked. I believe Android could be at a similar tipping point. A large number of hardware OEM's are on board with Android and with a small number of adjustments the OS is primed to take off.
What needs to change?
- Apps are inconsistent, and hard to use. The design patterns and guidance that are available in iOS are missing and developers are left to come up with their own sets of best practices.
- Level of design and attention to detail is low. The OS works, but not well.
- App market is incredibly poor. No wonder dev's aren't making money. No excuse Google has to fix this. App Search is even worse, I expect more from Google on this topic.
Fix those three things and Android will take off faster like a rocket.