Okay, it's not really a secret weapon, per se -- China Mobile's
smack at the top of the Open Handset Alliance's member list, after all -- but In-Stat's predicting that Android has a chance of absolutely dominating the iPhone's sales figures next year if it can get a big ol' helping of love from China's hundreds of millions of wireless subscribers. Diving into the numbers, the analysis firm predicts that Apple will push some 9.5 million iPhones globally next year, compared to 17.1 million Android-equipped pieces, based largely on the assumption that China will end up throwing its weight behind the more open (read: cheaper) Linux-based platform. That being said, China Mobile is also still in discussions
(as far as we can tell, anyway) to bring the iPhone to its network, so the battle could ultimately be about pricing and marketing. Google has done a solid job of building name recognition over there lately, and there's little doubt that manufacturers crafting Android sets will be able to undercut the iPhone, so In-Stat's little spat of fortune telling seems downright plausible.