Strategy Analytics predicts 4 per cent market share for Android
That's 400,000 handsets, out of a predicted 10.5 million overall smartphone sales. HTC is set to take the lion's share of the forecast Android figure, since it's launching first with T-Mobile USA.
"Google has the brand power in the USA to make a big impact at launch," says executive director Chris Ambrose. "The main issue will be operator subsidies. As seen with the iPhone and smart devices in general, retail prices need to be well below $200 to be competitive."
However, Ambrose says in the long-term, the key to Android becoming more popular will be the availability of handsets with "wow factor and an intuitive user interface".
Mobile game developers are pretty excited about Android, although thus far, much of the talk has been around ultra-ambitious (i.e. commercially risky) location-based games using Google's mapping services.