At first glance, Google Android is set to take over the world -- with one research firm predicting a 900 percent growth rate for the mobile operating system, far higher than growth rates for Apple's iPhone. That's amazing. Or is it?

Give Google credit: Android appears poised to push beyond smart phones, landing on netbooks and other types of sub-notebook computers. Research firm Strategy Analytics predicts Android sales will grow a stunning 900 percent in 2009 vs. 2008. Poor Apple; the iPhone will only grow at 79 percent, predicts Strategy Analytics.

Still, The VAR Guy is begging the media for a reality check. Let's apply the Strategy Analytics data to another hypothetical example. Which business is more successful:
  • A regional restaurant chain where sales grow from $10 million in 2008 to $100,000 million 2009.
  • An established global restaurant chain where sales grow from $1 billion in 2008 to $1.79 billion in 2009.
Do you see where The VAR Guy is going with this? Sure, the small start-up restaurant is growing faster in terms of pure percentages. But the big, entrenched global restaurant chain is growing faster in terms of pure dollars. A LOT faster.

The Real Score: Apple 40, Google 2

So don't let the percentages fool you. Android's anticipated 900 percent growth rate is impressive. And The VAR Guy truly believes Android represents an application opportunity for VARs and managed service providers. But Google Android's installed base is scant compared to the iPhone. As Newsfactor notes:
Of course, Android is starting from a relatively low base of one million to two million sold to this point, compared to nearly 40 million iPhones.
And don't forget: The iPhone continues to gain momentum among managed service providers like Azaleos.

So Google, take a bow: Android has growing momentum. But let's dial down the media celebration a bit. The Apple iPhone's numbers remain staggering.

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