Only few could have predicted that the small start-up company that developed the new operating system for mobile phones could become one of the game changers in the mobile phone operating system segment. That is what precisely as happened with the Android operating system. Android was developed by a small start-up company that was later bought by Google in 2005. Google launched the Android operating system for mobile phones shortly afterwards. It has had a major impact in the smart phone segment, with Android becoming one of the leading operating systems to be used on mobile phones at present. The Android phones offer a compelling blend of features, performance and design. As of now, Android enjoys nearly 50% of the market share of the operating system in high-end smart phones. With operating systems like Symbian and so on being slowly viewed as primitive, Android is gaining a strong foothold in the market. What are the reasons for the incredible growth of the Android operating system? Well, for one, Android is open source. This means that anybody who has a sufficient coding knowledge can go to the heart of the operating system and make changes. While this compromises security to some extent, the benefits of this are huge and the amounts of improvements in future versions mean that there is literally no competition in sight for the Android operating system. Also, being an open source operating system you do get the advantage of nearly 100,000 applications over on the Web. This is not a list that is stagnant and it is continuing to grow in number every day. That is Google’s very own Android Market, which has nearly all of the applications that would not just provide entertainment, but will also enhance the already present incredible features. All these advantages have meant that this operating system is now the most favoured operating system for a number of big companies like Samsung, HTC and LG. This in turn has led to the explosion of Google’s market share in the mobile phone operating system. Currently, Android is the second most used operating system in the world. Apart from being used on mobile phones, Android is also now finding its way into tablet PC’s and other hand held devices. The Android operating system is the good mixture of the Linux based kernel and Java programs. This has helped Android to bring the best of both worlds together. Also, being an open source and free operating system that has had its effects too. The Android operating system is currently the 2.2 version. The version 2.3, which will be called Gingerbread, will be launched shortly and it will be followed by the launch of the version 3.0, which will be known as Honeycomb. Visiting compare phone operating systems can help you to make appropriate selection for you.