If you want to know why android is important, read this article. Android is the OS of the developing world, and of the countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and more) that are tapped to be the juggernauts of coming decades, post US and EU economic implosion.
When someone cracks emergent problems in these markets, they’re going to be cracked in android first, and possibly only. This is the OS that will have generations leapfrog the desktop, and it’s the OS that will bring many people online for the first time.
I might be writing this on an iPad, and I might be a hardcore iOS / OSX user personally and professionally, but it’s nearly guaranteed that iOS will be a minority player in the future. It may continue to own the market in terms of profit, but I think, eventually, the global market will be using mostly forked android variants, likely unplugged from the core google service / tracking structure.
Open source advocates will argue that android will win because it’s open. It won’t. Android will win because it’s free, and that allows the kind of devices described above to exist. They aren’t trying to compete with western consumer smartphones. They don’t have to. They just need to create something at the right price point to bring a new generation, a larger generation, into the mobile Internet.
And then we all win.