Apple’s iPhone is sitting pretty. It can afford to but only for a short while.

Apple can afford to sit pretty, but only for a short while. (Hat tip to David Kainer at Viva La Mobile)

I read today that Apple will now do for newspapers what it has already done for music. It’ll revitalise the industry’s slumping sales. (see mediahunter ) That’s impressive. But, for iPhone, that’s a red herring.

What’s more, the iPhone is going from strength to strength. 30 million pockets across the globe relish an iPhone. In a couple of years, it may be 50 million. That’s impressive. But, for market share, that’s a red herring.

A red herring only because the ‘droids are coming.

First, the ‘droids won’t leave any space for under-performing phone brands: Blackberry and Nokia and friends better do something big and cool… and very functional. Second, the ‘droids will make iPhone run hard.

Blade Runner: Nexus Six

For those of you not engrossed by Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, here’s a quick overview of its relevance. In the 1982 screen adaptation of Philip K Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (1968), the replicants (the androids) came back, rebellious, having learned how to learn. They were the Nexus version six. In short, Nexus Six. Well, Google just launched its first phone, the Nexus One, using the Android operating system.

It’s only a matter of time before Nexus Six is here.

Google Android: Nexus One

What this means is:
A) In the long run, Android will end up being the software in every non-iPhone phone because
B) Phones that use neither iPhone software (ie the iPhone) nor Android software (apparently almost 20 handsets already) will be dead in the water. What’s more,
C) Google aren’t tied to HTC to always produce Nexus phones (as they did the Nexus One), so they can play manufacturers against each other – and God knows the competition amongst manufacturers is already fierce.

Finally, an industry expert who wants to remain unnamed tells me he reckons that in the month of June 2010 there will be more sales, globally, of Android handsets than iPhone handsets.

How long will it be before Android will surpass iPhone in terms of total sales? Is iPhone taking heed? Time will tell. Unless you know something that I don’t?

Update: More on where Android is coming from and going to here: