Android continues to gobble up smartphone market share. It has now cleared over 40% in the U.S., according to both Gartner and IDC, and continues to siphon users away from other platforms worldwide, especially BlackBerry and Nokia. But, the Android ecosystem is also facing major challenges. During 2011, the codebase split between 2.3 (Gingerbread) for phones and 3.0 (Honeycomb) for tablets, Google announced its acquisition of Motorola which spooked other hardware partners, and some users have complained loudly about the inconsistent user experience and disappointing battery life. So, is Android on track to continue its momentum or could it falter and stagnate? That’s the topic of a debate that I’ll be moderating at 2:00PM Eastern on Tuesday, October 13.

This is part of the ZDNet series, The Great Debate, and here’s how it works. The moderator sets the topic. The two debaters make their opening statements. Then, we get together for a live one-hour discussion where I toss out questions and both of them have a few minutes to answer and respond to each other’s comments. At the end of the online chat, both of the debaters make a closing statement. Meanwhile, during the whole process, the audience gets an opportunity to vote for one side of the argument (and one debater) or the other, and can also join the discussion by leaving comments.

This week pits ZDNet mobile columnist James Kendrick against ZDNet editor in chief Larry Dignan and the question is “Android: Growth or Stagnation?” Some the questions we’ll explore include:

  • Has Google proven itself to be a good ecosystem leader?
  • How is Google’s purchase of Motorola going to affect the ecosystem?
  • How much loyalty does Android have?
  • Will Android continue to take market share from BlackBerry and Nokia?
  • Windows Phone 7 plays the same platform game as Android. Is it a threat?
  • Does the iPhone 4S open the door for more Android gains, or will it win over first generation Android users to Apple’s side?
  • Is it fair to call Android an open ecosystem and do consumers care?

On Thursday morning I will name a winner of the debate. So, you can check back on the same page on Thursday to see who the official winner is (it may not be the same as the people’s choice).