Android update: 2009 will be a big year after all

A while back I made a prediction that 2009 would be a breakout year for Google’s Android project. With the mid-year mark approaching and no new devices shipped that bet was looking a little shaky, but today’s announcements from the Google I/O conference put a little more weight behind my bullish view (phew).

There’s been a ton of blog coverage, but this piece from the New York Times does a nice job of explaining both the handset picture and Google’s rules / incentives for making their core services (mail, docs, etc.) the on-deck defaults. The bottom line:

  • 18 new Android phones in market by year-end
  • 5 or 6 of those will offer the full “Google experience”
  • 12 to 14 will include some level of Google app integration

The next hurdle is to see how many of these phones ship – not just in the U.S., but particularly in some of the more exciting global markets (e.g., China, India).