Despite the billowing success of the iPhone, recent studies show that Android is the number one mobile platform in the world. For companies that depend on it, the Google-powered Android operating system for mobile phones and tablets is free, and given Google's increasingly large war chest of intellectual property, it also serves a shield against stray bullets in the software patent wars. For some reason, the top officers in the Android army are showing signs of defecting. HTC chair Cher Wang told a Chinese newspaper that the Taiwanese company is thinking about buying an operating system, one that would presumably replace the Android software that currently powers its devices. Meanwhile, Samsung is releasing a new line of non-Android phones, and Microsoft is moving in with their long-awaited "Mango" phones. Is this the beginning of the end of the Android empire?

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