Android is the largest mobile operating system in the world. Moreover, as part of Google, Android was able to become one the world’s top innovative platforms. (1,2)
It’s hard to believe that mainstream smartphones we know today- an essential part of our lives- emerged only a decade ago with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone.  To catch up, Google had to respond quickly. Google’s Android did the unthinkable at the time and created a free open-source operating system that allowed developers to build and even choose the operating system for their apps. Before then, open source operating systems were thought of as ones with no ‘real’ platform owner, rather different companies who each contribute individually to increase user demand to a software product. By enabling manufacturers and developers to contribute and play an integral part of its success, Android changed the game for the service layer and therefore for the entire mobile industry. 
Android was built based on a number of design principles which allowed it to expand to numerous use-cases. Among these were: being customer centric both in B2B and B2C aspects, agile operating when making resource allocation decisions with short implementation & response times and lastly, empowering yet monitoring performance & cross functional collaborations. 
Since then, Android made several key decisions that enabled it to become the innovation platform we know today.
- Android as a digital distribution platform- Android is an open source operating system – free to everyone and anyone. Android captured and enabled further innovation in a wide range of products and use cases that are not limited to operating systems – rather they include software applications, internet access, audio & video capabilities, Qwerty and more.
- Android as a developer platform- Android’s created value to developers and to date, paid over seven billion dollars to developers and content providers who contributed to, now over million, Google Play apps.
- Android as an integration platform- Android recognized that a couple of their apps compete with those of other companies, therefore decided to include pre-installed apps on some of its mobile devices such as from Facebook, Microsoft and others. 
These days, Android stack can be considered a form of supply chain and Google, as its key system integrator.
- Different screen types and sizes- Android’s platform provides optimization to alternative dimensions and layouts.
- Multitasking support- Android’s platform provides unique handling of memory allocation (one can be on a call and play games at the same time).
- Storage- Android’s platform provides multiple storage options for users to chose from based on their specific requirements. These include: internal storage, external storage, shared preferences, SQL lite data base and a network connection. 
So.. how does Android make money?
Android monetizes by offering high standard smartphone software for cheap to various clients. Then, by gaining market share ( 80% to date) it integrates Google search and mobile applications like Gmail, Maps, and Drive. Android also earns money from apps purchased on Google Play. In addition, it prevents mobile phone makers to request a high revenue share from searches on their smartphone device. [11-12]
What’s in store for Android?
Android’s innovation did not come to an end. Looking into the future, Android seeks to continue being the market leader. Among Android’s investments are a virtual assistant, an A.I centric ecosystem, a creation more multi functional devices and more. 
With these trends on hand, it seams Android will remain the top innovation platform we know today also in the years to come.
- “Apple Now Has 1.3 Billion Active Devices Worldwide”. 2019. Macrumors.Com. https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/01/apple-now-has-1-3-billion-active-devices-worldwide/.
- “Google Announces Over 2 Billion Monthly Active Devices On Android”. 2019. The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/17/15654454/android-reaches-2-billion-monthly-active-users.
- “Most Innovative Companies 2018 – Chapter 1: Innovation In 2018”. 2019. Https://Www.Bcg.Com. https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2018/most-innovative-companies-2018-innovation.aspx.
- Pothitos, Adam. 2019. “The History Of The Smartphone – Mobile Industry Review”. Mobile Industry Review. http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2016/10/the-history-of-the-smartphone.html.
- “Android (Operating System)”. 2019. En.Wikipedia.Org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system).
- “Most Innovative Companies 2018 – Chapter 4: Organizing For Digital Innovation”. 2019. Https://Www.Bcg.Com. https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/most-innovative-companies-2018-organizing-digital.aspx.
- 2019. Blog. 7. https://blog.google/products/android/android-has-helped-create-more-choice/.
- 2019. Cdn.Questromworld.Bu.Edu. https://cdn.questromworld.bu.edu/platformstrategy/files/2018/07/Platform-vs-Non-Platform-Performance-Working-Paper-v2.pdf.
- astoria0128. 2019. “What’s So Special In Android Platform For Developers?”. Slideshare.Net. https://www.slideshare.net/astoria0128/whats-special-in-android-platform-26537003.
- “Platform Architecture | Android Developers”. 2019. Android Developers. https://developer.android.com/guide/platform/.
- 2019. https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-Google-pay-per-advertising-of-an-Android-app.
- “How Does Google Make Money From Android?”. 2019. Android Authority. https://www.androidauthority.com/how-does-google-make-money-from-android-669008/.
- Raphael, JR. 2019. “7 Android Trends To Watch In 2019”. Computerworld. https://www.computerworld.com/article/3331896/android/android-trends-2019.html.