back to article Beastly Android will batter Apple's iOS beauty

Apple can still claim top spot in terms of US market share, according to recent data from Nielsen, but its lead is rapidly vanishing in Android's wake. This means that developers increasingly are going to need to choose the platform they should develop for first, and the answer seems increasingly to be Google's open web. If you …

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Anonymous Coward

So - RIM and "others" are losing at the expense of iOS and Android...

I'm not sure this really tells us that much about iPhone vs Android - from the figures shown:

RIM: 35.0% -> 19.2% (loss of 15.8%)

iOS: 20.9% -> 26.9% (gain of 7%)

Android: 27.5% -> 40.8% (gain of 13.3%)

Other: 16.6% -> 13.1% (loss of 3.5%)

It looks like RIM was the big loser and it's market share was split fairly evenly between iOS and Android. I assume the loss in "other" to primarily be Windows Mobile devices and as they were probably manufactured by a manufacturer that is now focussing on Android I would guess that would account for the remaining market share.

As Android consists of a number of different vendors, I would still say iOS looks very healthy.

It will be interesting to see HTC/Samsung/SonyEricsson/Motorola/LG revenue numbers to see how healthy the Andoid eco-system really is.

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Silver badge

Please can we distinguish ...

... between percentages and percentage points?

RIM: 35.0% -> 19.2% (loss of 15.8 percentage points or 45.1%)

iOS: 20.9% -> 26.9% (gain of 6 percentage points [not 7] or 28.7%)

Android: 27.5% -> 40.8% (gain of 13.3 percentage points or 48.4%)

Other: 16.6% -> 13.1% (loss of 3.5 percentage points or 21.1%)

Same for VAT please: it is a 2.5 percentage POINT increase - it has gone up by 14.3% and represents a 2.1% increase in the price of goods with standard rate VAT.

I'm pretty sure I'll have fallen foul of Muphry's law here somewhere, but I still think we should encourage the term percentage POINT

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Anonymous Coward

I'd like to develop for iPhones

But apparently I'd have to run OSX to do so, even something like Appcelerator to simultaneously develop iPhone and Android apps you... need iPhone SDK, which only runs on OSX.

It's a shame, in reality. I'd like to develop the app for all... I'll be doing the Android one first. To me it just washes like an excuse to make companies buy Macs to develop.

I've already got enough computers, I don't want another one just because Apple tells me I need it because they can't be arsed to write something properly.

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Re:So - RIM and "others" are losing at the expense of iOS and Android...

"It looks like RIM was the big loser and it's market share was split fairly evenly between iOS and Android"

Not really, when iOS ganed 7% and Android gained almost double that, not really "fairly evenly" - only if you liken it to me running a 100m against Usain Bolt and considering we'd be "fairly evenly matched"!

Although I was going to say something similar as it's not really iOS losing in favour of Android as the article suggests, but rather it looks like RIM are the big losers during that time period. I'd like to see that graph continued a little further back as the jump in iOS sales is probably along with the release of the iPhone 4 and/or iPad (which makes sense) so I'd be interested to see what happened prior to June.

I think the big factor in Android growth is simply the number of new devices from various manufacturers being released whereas of course only Apple make iPhones and iPads. So if you DON'T want an Apple device (but want a smartphone) then there are plenty of droid devices to choose from.

To the person near the beginning of the comments who suggested all Android devices are buggy, I haven't experienced this problem with my company phone - no more than with any other smartphone I've owned anyway. Maybe not quite as aesthetically polished as iOS but I enjoy using it as much as my iPhone now. When I next replace my own phone unless the situation changes I'll probably end up basing my decision on cost so may well end up going for a Droid-based device as I can get better hardware for the same money.

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Anonymous Coward

Developer

I've spent 2 years learning objective-c and developing 2 applications so I've got a bit of learning fatigue for a while.

For that reason, I just can't be bothered to learn yet another langauge to develop on Android too (I've no doubt Andriod is excellent)

I wonder whether many other iOS developers feel the same way?

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Pint

Competition is good

I really wish people would stop with all the ridiculous fanboi nonsense!

I've been using Android phones since the G1, and have a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I don't have an iPhone or an iPad, but I do have a Macbook Air, a Macbook, an iMac, and an iPod Touch, so I certainly don't hate or dislike Apple. I do however think that the iOS "sanitized" view of the world is not for me personally.

Does the iPhone offer a more coherent and standard experience than Android? Yes it does - it's one of the many benefits of Apples walled garden approach to iOS. However, there are many benefits to the more open Android approach too, and essentially you pays your money and you makes your choice.

One thing that you can be certain of is that a strong Android platform will make iOS better, and vice versa. Similarly, if MS WP7 can get some traction in the market, it will also improve both iOS and Android.

I'd hate to see Android take the world by storm and crush all opposition it it's wake because that would just lead to a stagnating platform much like we saw with Symbian and WinMo, and waiting years for something bright, shiny, and new to come along to take it's place (i.e. iOS and Android).

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Android devices are cheaper

and that's why they have bigger market share because more people afford to get them, that doesn't mean that Android users are willing to pay more...

if you ask me as developer (despite Apple's "closed" approach) I would prefer developing applications for iPhone rather than Android (at least for the next couple of years) for better user experience, better development environment and more mature app store. unless android provide more polished experience.

I found this interesting market comparison which reflect developers satisfactions:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/38328618/Market-Comparison-Nokia-Ovi-Store-Google-Android-Marketplace-Apple-App-Store

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Possibly not just that

These figures are for the US market only, where iPhone is exclusive to one carrier and not even the biggest one, which does rather limit it's potential market share somewhat.

What will the author say if the predictions about a Verizon iPhone come true this year and the numbers switch around again?

I haven't noticed developers abandoning the Xbox 360 and the PS3 for the Wii just because it has a 50% market share, the real world doesn't work like that. If it did it would be impossible to bring any new device to market because with 0% market share would also mean 0 developers.

But as you say, RIM and "others" are the real losers here.

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Apps now are like sites during the .com bubble

All this paranoia about apps in smart phones is just silly.

Does anyone choose their phone based on the number of fart apps? Or on the number or quality of RSS readers, weather apps, note taking, recipes, etc, etc?

The killer apps for smart phones are GPS, games, mail and web access. News and home banking/personal finance probably follows.

And, like it should be obvious, all the known brands for this, the TomToms andAngrybirds, are the first ones to be interested in supporting the largest number of plattforms.

The fight for the smart phone market will be about the handsets, the carriers, prices, prices, prices, and even fashion, but certainly not about developers.

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"not nearly as professionalized"

Surely "professional"? The English language getting a bit butcherized there...

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Go

apple v android

well its nice to see android picking up shares and doing well buy the sounds of it lets hope they dominate better than apple

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Pint

Paid for doesn't mean better

"Say what you like but I know through personal experience of a number of people who have decided against developing versions of their applications for Android because horror of horrors they want to be able to make return on their investment."

Not going to be quite so easy when Android handsets out number the iPhone.

If you are any good at writing apps you can sell on Market Place just as well as on the App Store.

Some developers might be put off but no-one cares. There are plenty of good developers who will be developing for Android. I haven't bought any Android apps because the free ones are so good. Clearly that isn't the case for iPhone because iPhone developers appear to be raking it in.

The handset adoption rates speak for themselves.

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Alert

Whoosh

"If you are any good at writing apps you can sell on Market Place just as well as on the App Store."

What if you aren't an App developer?

What if as I described you are a non-developer who wants to make his content available but would prefer that having created all the content he might actually get some money back for his efforts? As a prime example a friend spent money to pay for IPhone development and has made his money back. He investigated Android as he is keen to sell his content to as many people as possible.

Upon investigation it became apparent that he would likely in fact end up paying for the right to have his content on there as he would have the developer overhead with next to no chance of getting the cash back from the store. Once again check out what people with successful apps on Android say about "Paid content". That's what he used as the basis of making his decision

I fully expect Android handsets to outnumber Apple handsets given they are cheaper to buy. The ability of developers to make money from any eco-system is about the perceived value of the Apps they sell.

As you say you haven't bought any Apps. If I decided to become a developer of mobile apps as a full time job I would certainly consider the willingness of people to pay on that platform.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Matt Hawkins

"Not going to be quite so easy when Android handsets out number the iPhone."

That makes no sense whatever. You appear to be suggesting that when Android handsets outnumber iPhones, iPhone users will stop buying apps.

"I haven't bought any Android apps because the free ones are so good. Clearly that isn't the case for iPhone because iPhone developers appear to be raking it in."

And that kills your argument doesn't it?

As it happens the free apps on iOS are every bit as good as the paid-for apps - and in some cases they are better.

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FAIL

Not sure what you're smoking...

Realize that this is a USA perspective.

From a consumer standpoint, Android phones are just as locked down as iPhones - depending on the carrier. People keep touting open and free, and give examples such as tethering available on Android. But Sprint has locked down tethering on my phone; I can't use it without paying more. I can't PAY for Angry Birds on my Android phone - no, I have to use the stupid free but Ad supported version.

Unfortunately, none of these phones are any better than their carrier. And while I like my Android phone, I can't wait for the day I can use an iPhone. It's just a much better user experience.

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Anonymous Coward

Surprised by how poor Android is

I've written a few iPhone apps and just about make a living from them now. I'm far from an Apple fan, though - my desktop computer runs Linux - and I despise the locked-down nature of the iPhone.

So I decided to port one of my apps to Android to test the water. To do that, I spent about £1200 on hardware (you need one of each OpenGL implementation to test anything that runs 3D) and spent a few weeks porting the code. The result is currently an app that sells less than 10X fewer than the iPhone version, with exactly the same marketing and the same price. That's going to take a couple of years just to recoup the hardware costs.

My conclusion is that perhaps, despite their impressive market share, Android phones are being bought by people who just want a phone, and people who want to do all the internet and app stuff are buying more iPhones.

I have also been surprised by quite how poor much of the Android software experience has been. All they needed to do was to copy the good bits from the iPhone and improve on the bad bits, but somehow they've failed to do that and the result is really quite embarrassing in a lot of places. Most disappointing was the Motorola Defy, which I bought in the hope that I could actually use it as a personal phone; I ruined an iPhone by taking it out in the rain a couple of years ago, so this water-resistant phone was appealing. The Defy's hardware is nice, yet the software is really terrible, not least because of all the extra un-erasable junk they want to pile on it.

Still, I have hope that with time they will produce something better.

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Silver badge

Beware the false consensus, and mind that elephant behind the sofa...

The reason you see so many Android handsets around you is that you work in technology, with lots of technology-minded people. It's very easy to project this onto the whole population, but it is an incorrect assumption. When Android breaks out of this market, the people using it won't know or care what OS it is, only about whose name is on the case.

This is where Apple take the upper hand: they have an amazing brand – there's really only one other company that comes close in brand value in this sector, but in another example of false consensus, they weren't mentioned once in this article, probably because their products aren't carried on subsidy by US carriers, and our author mightn't look very far beyond his own circle for research.

Windows Phone is mentioned once, but from recent anaylsis it would seem that Microsoft are not doing well: just one of our unknown company's recent smartphone models has comfortably outsold ALL Windows Phone models combined last quarter (4.0M versus <3.0 M). The current plethora of buy-one-get-one-free and penny-up-front deals on WInPhone7 handsets bears witness to the platform's success, or lack thereof.

This mystery company also has the most friction-free way of buying applications I've ever seen. No need for a PC, no need to give your credit card details, and it works in 90% of the world's countries.

Oh well...

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FAIL

The N company

The mistery company which name starts with an N, besides having one of the worst app stores I've ever seen, also has a history of abandoning the users of their top of range phones. After the N95, they came with the N96, which after a firmware upgrade is no longer able to use GPS without rebooting spontaneously. It is impossible to roll back that "upgrade", and no further upgrades were done. Then they had the N97 and N97 mini debacles. Among all the problems with those two, suddenly they decided to remove a working facebook client, which had been part of the initial advertised software. They had a open source OS for a couple of their phones. The buyers of those are also abandoned now, as those of N96 ,N97 and all S^3 and previous phones, as the new open source offering isn't compatible with the old one, and N doesn't want to support anything but S^5 and MeeGo.

Most people I know, tech and non-tech alike, thought that N had the best phones until the N96. Since then, they have abandoned Nokia. Some went to buy Apple, most have Android phones are are very happy with them. Your "mistery" company seems more like a iceberg kissed Titanic.

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Anonymous Coward

Surely there is another big factor

In that most people buying iPhones would have done so outside the "last 6 months" whereas Android, being the up and coming new fad will have attracted many more people, including those who want an iPhone but hate Apple as well as those who specifically wanted a decent Android phone and so waited for some good ones to be released?

Bearing in mind that an iPhone typically comes with a 2-year contract and, IIRC the iPhone 3GS was released in summer 2009, 12 months before the study.

The 4 was released during or just before the timeline in the study and would be included, but it seems feasible that a disproportionate number of iPhone buyers would have already bought a 3GS and be in a contract. At present it is not possible to establish what percentage of these will buy another iPhone when their contract lapses (as opposed to carrying on with their current phone or buying something different).

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Go

Huh?

Mobile phones do more than make and receive calls? Oh that's right ... the kiddie stuff.

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Stop

Consumer Quality vs Market Share

Disclaimer: I am not a mobile apps developer nor do I own a smartphone. That might diminish the value of my opinion, on the otherhand maybe that makes me truly impartial?

Lots of talk here about Android winning market share due to price. But I am wondering what this means to app developers.

If I was an apps developer would I:

a) develop for the smaller market with wealthier consumers

b) the larger market with lots of cheapskate consumers

After all if Android is winning mainly on price, are these cost conscious consumers willing pay again to download a useful app? This is not something they will previously have been used to.

I suppose it all depends whether you intend to profit though mobile apps as a service (eg Red Hat) or a commodity (eg Windows).

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Thumb Down

RE: Minehandle

I have a top of the range Android phone and have never paid for an app solely because the free ones can offer everything i need and generally have better user ratings.

If your app is expensive compared to the competition and will crash, be buggy, or not have all the features i need, then why should i pay for it?

Do we need to pay for Microsot Office with open office offering similar functionality?

Antivirus when generally free models are better than Mcafee and Norton who charge?

You need to realise that cost doesn't equal quality.

It means someone trying to get their money back from customers, whether they did a good job or not

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Pint

Apple musings

Whilst one has to give credit to Apple for effectively defining a new market (the finger operated smartphone) with a device which was good enough on day one to justify a lot of the hype that surrounded the iphone's release, enough time has passed now that the competition is up to speed and in many respects offers advantages in areas other than just price.

If you've used HTC's sense UI, then the iphone 4 seems a little backward... stuck largely in the 'was once the best but now a little lacking' camp. You get more nice stuff for free with Android (e.g. Google Navigator), the market works just fine (and updates couldn't be easier) and, best of all, you don't have to use Itunes!

The other thing which is odd, and which I presume will change in time, is that Apple only make one size of phone. Android is available on all sorts of handset sizes, and that alone must account for some of the market share difference. The iphone 4 is a little hard edged and slab-like for my pocket - a step backwards from its predecessor.

As a developer, I've not started developing smart phone apps yet, but if I were going to start, I don't feel happy at the prospect of having to prove to Apple's censors that my app is worthy of their market.

I was horrified by the tale of the guy who developed an app with in interesting new UI which apple then tried to patent, kicking his app off the store.

And as a smartphone user, I don't like the idea of a company deciding what I should and should not see in the market.

That said, I think Apple will continue to do well. Leaving their vast music business aside, even if their market share for smart phone sales flattens, the market size will continue to grow. The reality of the sometimes-great-sometimes-clunky apple experience will continue to be offset by huge publicity campaigns about 'betterness', and people who buy into the cult will continue to pay more for the same thing. And in the UK at least, Apple can rely on the state broadcaster (with its commanding control of the news agenda) to give vast gobs of prime-time advertising masquerading as 'news' if Steve Jobs utters so much as a fart on stage.

I can live with that. And I'm glad Apple exists, because otherwise I'd still probably be having to use a phone with a stylus, or a desktop machine with oblong pixels. They're undoubtedly good for the quality of devices on offer, regardless of whether you buy their stuff.

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AJO
Alert

Remember the iPod Touch

The article appears to completely forget about the iPod Touch. Yes, it's not a smartphone, but it's an iPhone in every respect other than the phone bit, and it sells shitloads. It really doesn't make a lot of sense to think about iOS while only considering 1/3rd of its products (and, probably, about 1/3rd of its sales). For developers, the presence of the Touch means a massive (and heavily app-buying) additional market, which Android has no competitor to – and for which the additional development cost and hassle is essentially nil.

Android can consider itself winning when most of the best new apps and games appear there, and do so first. But that's still a very long way from happening at the moment for a number of reasons.

In any case, given the size of the market is growing incredibly quickly, there's plenty of room for two platforms to co-exist, at least for now.

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Silver badge
Linux

At last a balanced article in the opinion of this Apple AND Android fanboy

I think this article is actually pretty balanced and avoids the usual fanboy pitfall of arguing the detail. Ignoring fanboyism, the truth of the matter, that iOS offers a superior user experience versus Android which offers an open and therefore more feature rich and affordable platform, is pretty damned obvious to most in the industry but IMHO totally "unprovable" by logic and argument alone. One comment I have though is I do think many fail to acknowledge why Apple like to stick with what they know best. They probably simply don't want to compete by targeting greater installed base. That's what makes me an Apple fan. Outifts like Nielson often fail to understand that one of the motivations for Apple (much stated by Apple employees and top brass) is they look to create what they love first and only ask if it will sell second. Is it possible this is seen as a goal in it's own right rather than the ability to tick the box saying "biggest installed base in the world"? I'm not sure Apple have ever had or ever want to have mass market status. The analysts and accountants are hard wired to see this as Apple versus Android and see this as a failing and yet Apple have done pretty well sticking with it as a strategy. The wise understand the very desire to dominate can be a weakness and lead to an early demise. It's nearly always when companies lose touch with the intangible principles they were founded and grew with, and adopt the accountants view, that they turn the corner and become mundane uninspired behemoths that have lost touch with the customer. I also do Open Source development and my experience has always been very positive. The UI has always been the weakness of Open Source projects though. Google are doing a good job as UI dictator in charge (which invariably is needed to overcome "design by committee"). That they don't have quite the same polish as Apple is unsurprising. But then Open Source ensures an unparalleled wealth of capability is available to the developer, which is fast outstripping iOS and there is always somewhere to turn for help. There's a lot to love with that model also. So, not so big news, there's ample room for both!

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Why is Android outselling iOS?

There's been a lot of debate on the thread about why Android's doing so well, but no-one seems willing to point out what might just be the reason, so let me be the one:

Android is, quite simply, better than iOS.

The one caveat? If you have a Google account. But who doesn't? If you use Gmail, Google Maps, Google Reader, Talk, Contacts, Calendar, Search, YouTube - any of the stuff developed/supported by Google, an Android phone pisses all over the iPhone. It's much, much better. Android overtook the iPhone about a year ago and Apple's rather pathetic response has been 'more pixels'. Sadly,even the Retina Display isn't as nice as the AMOLED screens Samsung's using.

Apple's hardware's nice, but the design is bland and uniform. The software's slick, but offers so much less. Android is just better.

Oh, and to those predicting armaggedon for Android when the iPhone's on Verizon - wasn't that meant to have happened when the iPhone 4 was released?

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RE: Why is Android outselling iOS?

Quote:

"There's been a lot of debate on the thread about why Android's doing so well, but no-one seems willing to point out what might just be the reason, so let me be the one:

Android is, quite simply, better than iOS."

Do you really believe that enough people think this for it to make a difference? I have another reason. One that's a bit more compelling. Android phones are cheaper. Not all of them, but you can buy a SIM free Android phone to use on a pay as you go type deal for less than half the price of an iPhone on anything but an extortionate contract.

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AJO
Stop

Is it?

Is Android outselling iOS??? Overall?

The only figures in the article are for smartphones. But iOS includes the iPod Touch and iPad too, both of which are sectors in which Apple is totally dominant (basically without competitor in the case of the massive-selling Touch). So it's not clear who's total sales for the platform are actually higher.

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Gah!

AJO, you even say yourself - the article is about smartphone sales. More specifically, about US smartphone sales and how Android is selling faster than iOS. In this context, iPods and iPads are irrelevant.

The internet: where nothing goes without saying...

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Boffin

The fundamental difference

Thought the article was a bit misguided as are some of the comments. In the long run there is no doubt that Android will win over the iPhone if you define winning as pure market share. The fundamental difference between Android/iPhone though is to look at the car market with mass market approach (think Volkswagen/Toyota) vs a more targeted approach (think Lotus/BMW). Google's business model is different from Apple, where they are monetising the search or use of the devices so they give the software away to manufacturers who make low margin mass market devices with tons of distribution channels, contrasting with Apple's approach of highly integrated software/hardware with high margins and relatively few distribution channels (varying widely by country).

I do think Apple has learned the lesson from the 80s/90s in terms of what happened with Microsoft and are playing a vastly different game where:

1. They have been masterful are balancing price/features/technology with the iPhone

2. Have a broader iOS strategy with the iPods that are attacking the PSP/DS market and stealing market share

3. Have been able to shake up/create the tablet market by pricing the initial entry aggressively (I know that a $600 entry point does not seem aggressive but, witness how long it has taken the other manufacturers to start to *ship* real competitors). Everyone knew the tablet was coming but I remember people expecting something in the $800-$1000 range.

4. They have created a seamless interface across the 3 product families, not to mention the ability to share applications purchased across 5 iOS devices. I have multiple iOS devices and I love the ability to control the installation of applications across my kids devices so I can dole them out as rewards for reading/chores/etc plus I only have to buy it *once*

5. They are now looking to integrate the TV and Mac into this family

Now I may be accused of being a fanboy but, the reality of this is that everything just works. I don't have to think about the basics - I can concentrate on other things like other XBox hacking tricks and straitening out my Linux based NAS etc.

To go back on point though, Apple is not engaging in a race to the bottom, they clearly have learned their lessons and are executing like no one else. Android will "win" but don't look for Apple to become "beleaguered" again, they know who their customers are/will be and I believe they will continue to make compelling products that people will buy - making them even more profitable. They will screw up - all companies do, but I think the mobile race at the top end is really a 2 horse race for the foreseeable future as Microsoft has too little too late and RIM is past their prime unless they can really figure how to market their ace in the hole - BBM.

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I hope...

that Apple carves out a nice niche market to keep them in, and Android becomes Wintel of phones, then all the viruses/scammers will be on Android and none or next to none for Apple's platform :)

Reason, because I would never ever ever buy anything related to Google!

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BS unclarified statistics

WTF, comparing market-share in units sold for two DIFFERENT SIZED MARKETS? Statisticians are a bottom feeding breed to begin with, but are you trolls actually buying this BS?

iOS is sold on one carrier here, out of 5 majors. Less than 40% of the populous can buy one, yet still it's more than half the sales Android claims. AT&T activated more new iPhones in new subscriber hands than VZW activated TOTAL android handsets (new and re-buys) and also in total new customers (with any handset) in the second half of 2010. AT&T carries both iOS and Android and Android sales are but a fraction on AT&T compared to iOS. Look at ANY carrier worldwide that sells both systems and iOS outsells android. The only reason android is selling more is LACK of choice. Pre died and WP7 was late, leaving pretty much Android or Rim as the only options, and few pick RIM who want multimedia. Android is sold in near double the amount of carriers worldwide, the bulk of which only offer Android and Symbian, with a smattering of RIM. Of course it;s the #1 seller in those places.

head to head, android is loosing, only in worldwide numbers, boosted heavily by the US and other places Android does not compete directly with a viable contender on the same carrier, do the numbers switch in Android favor. If switching carriers meant no hassles, and no fees, many more people would have left VZW for AT&T. As it stands, VZW only grabbed 900,000 new customers total in Q3, to AT&Ts more than 2.6 million. 1.6% of Verizon's existing customers left them in Q3. only 1.3% of AT&T customers left in the same time. AT&T activated 5.6m new iPhones in Q3 alone, double the total number of total smartphones sold on VZW in the same period.

As soon as VZW and T-mobile have iOS devices, Android sales will plummet. Combine that with WP7 being heavily pushed by Microsoft and carriers alike, and with some major improvements coming to that platform, it will eat into Android just as well, and only a smidge into iOS. Most android devices are sold in BOGO and other heavily discounted offers (including FREE phones outright), and iOS has no such discounts and is still outselling handsets where both are offered on the same carrier. Guess what, WP7 is soon going to be getting all those BoGo offers, carriers love it, and M$ is heavily subsidizing it, and doing most of the advertising. WP7 uses less bandwidth, the carriers don't have to edit the OS (and deal with disappointed left behind customers), and the phones can't be hacked to bypass tethering and other up-charges as Android can easily do. the carriers will be abandoning Android very soon...

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Hmmmmm. Unscientific, but...

....from a user perspective. Of all those at work and in the family who are waving around their smartphones they got for Xmas, the count is a follows:

Android: 9

Apple: 1

WP7: 0

you can read as much as you like into 'discounted', 'single vs multiple', 'US vs World' and other factors distorting stastics comparing market share, but my small world current sales statistics says a lot.

Of those Android owners asked, 6 said they would have liked an Apple, but cost was a serious putoff. When you can buy an Android Smartphone from £100, buying three iphones for the family adds up to a serious wad.

Until Apple give you the same choices of cost, carrier, cost, size, cost, form factor and cost , Android will take the majority of the market, and i cannot see that changing in the near future.

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Why Android?

Of all the people who own an android, I have asked what motivated their purchase choice. Their answers:

1. Price. (Fully functioning Smartphone for £100)

2. Keyboard (lots of texting)

3. Size (small x10 fits in handbag)

4. Pink! (10 years old and a girl)

So it is very simple. Why do people choose Android phones? Choice, Choice, Choice. Everyone has their own needs, wants and desires, and a single apple product is not the answer to them all.

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FAIL

A fight?

Is it really a fight? Why do these idiot reporters think that any product on the market is a fight?

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like on the desktop?

From the article "it's just a matter of time before Google's "open and free" approach to handset manufacturers and carriers wins out."

Like Linux has won out on the desktop?

(Gates and Jobs both have angel and demon versions. Tux needs a happy version and a sad version)

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Pirate

Game developer perspective

There are reasons why Angry Birds is ad-based on Android and Epic or id Software are ignoring Android altogether.

I developed a cross platform C++ game for iOS first and had someone port it to Android recently, and the short story is that iOS sales far far surpassed those on Android.

Android Market is too generic and doesn't seem to categorize and promote worthy apps like App Store does.

Piracy is horrible, too. It's bad on iOS as well, but at least popularity in the pirate circles reflects popularity in the App Store.

With Android, piracy seems to be the rule. It's on Android forums, on Twitter, and even on Google's own Blogger platform (forget about reporting it, Google doesn't even bother to reply).

But, I also can't blame people for not wanting to give out their personal data to every seller (that's Google Checkout for you).

Development was also far from pleasant. With the NDK (Native Dev Kit) we had to go through all sort of hoops to get proper access to audio playback and data files from C++.. and without being able to use a debugger !

Then there is all the previous gen Android phones: no multitouch, fake multitouch, or even a bug that takes up to 90% of the CPU time, when the user simply _touches_ the screen (we had to put a "no touch" play mode for that bug specifically).

You may not care about this right now, if you are a user or a curious developer with a day job, but as an independent game developer, Android brought no joy.. and I thin that I'm not alone.

We're not giving up on Android just yet, but I have to say that for the time being, it doesn't look like Android and its market are presenting a sustainable alternative to iOS and App Store.

Enjoy your phones whatever they may me 8)

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Symbian beat them both

"This means that developers increasingly are going to need to choose the platform they should develop for first, and the answer seems increasingly to be Google's open web."

No, it means no such thing - or shouldn't. Worldwide, Symbian are still number one by far (and although it's conceivable that Android may eventually catch up, due to running on phones from many manufacturers, Apple are in no sign of beating Nokia).

But even in the US, it was only very recently that RIM was number one. Did this mean that US developers focused on BlackBerry? No - we still got apps just for Apple (which was then number 4 worldwide!), and maybe for Android. So the idea that mobile developers care about market share is a complete sham. Instead, companies, like the media, seem more interested in hyping Apple and giving them free advertising, than actually following market demand (it would be as if companies and the media only released apps and reported on OS X, with Windows the market leader getting ignored...)

Also consider that installed user base will lag behind market share (these figures only show the latest sales, and most people don't buy a new phone every quarter). So I would still expect there to be more BlackBerry users in the US (due to being number one in the US for so long), and far more Symbian users (which has consistently been number one worldwide for years).

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Grenade

I for one...

Won't trust Android with any form or personal/financial data (etc) untill they have the same level of App validation and developer traceability as Apple has.

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Over and over and over again

My first reaction to this... "BetaMax vs VHS"? Where JVC learned from Phillips how to get a small chunk of a huge market or all of a tiny market...

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Symbian uses Qt for development, as well as other choices

"Android development has none of the advantages of open source development! You can't just code in QT ... All platforms are unfamiliar to developers used to Symbian ... At least the APIs and programming style of Windows Phone 7 and iOS are based upon desktop software"

Actually, Symbian development uses Qt. So it too is based on desktop APIs. And, unlike Windows Phone and IOS, it isn't simply "based on" - it *is* using the same Qt. The same code can compile for Symbian, Maemo/Meego, Windows, Linux, OS X and more. As a developer, I think Qt is one of the best application toolkits I've come across.

It's a true that every phone has its own language which is a bit of a shame (why can't I use, say, C++ and Qt for Android or Iphone?) However, Symbian does offer C++/Qt, Java and Python, so it also offers far more breadth of choice than other platforms. Most programmers will be familiar with at least one of C++ (Qt itself is easy to pick up), Java or Python. On Android it's just Java; on Iphone it's just Objective C.

But the bigger problem with IOS development is that you can only do it on an Apple PC, and you have to pay Apple to release software.

(To be honest though, it's a shame that companies ignore J2ME these days. Back in 2005, you could have apps which ran on 99% of phones out there. Not just smartphones, but almost _all_ phones. Whilst J2ME may have some limitations, if it's good enough for Google Maps and Opera Mini, it can do most things that apps do. But now in 2010 onwards, it's just an app for the less than 5% of Iphone owners. Thanks to Apple, and the way companies idolise them, we've gone backwards, and I'm left struggling to find apps even though I have the market leading smartphone platform.)

"I don't see as this is a big issue, you pay your money and make your choice. Similar thing to the PC verses MAC debate."

Based on market share, it's more like Mac and Linux users debating, whilst most people actually get on and run Windows...

"I'd hate to see Android take the world by storm and crush all opposition it it's wake because that would just lead to a stagnating platform much like we saw with Symbian and WinMo, and waiting years for something bright, shiny, and new to come along to take it's place (i.e. iOS and Android)."

Er, my "stagnating" Symbian has had features like multitasking and copy/paste for years, and it's Iphone users that had to wait years to catch up. And my Nokia phone is perfectly bright and shiny.

AnonymousDareDevil: "All this paranoia about apps in smart phones is just silly. Does anyone choose their phone based on the number of fart apps?"

Indeed, I entirely agree with your comment. This is why Nokia still dominate, despite having fewer fart apps. Most apps are simply wrappers to websites, anyway (it seems every other tab on my browser has an obligtary ad for an "Iphone app" to read the website that I'm already reading).

Well my Nokia phone has a killer app: it's just like those apps that let you read a website, but it works with _any_ website. And, get this - it even works if the website hasn't released an app specifically for my phone!

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Anonymous Coward

Hey,

"And, get this - it even works if the website hasn't released an app specifically for my phone!"

Surprisingly like my Android.. even if it has flash.

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Why always with this 'winner' nonsense?

Why do people always get so worked up about which platform is going to be the 'winner'? There's no need for that, you know. It's perfectly possible for multiple platforms to coexist quite happily.

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Anonymous Coward

Gawddarnnit El Reg! Replies should not require a title.

The 'winner' is often crucial to companies that develop software; since it is resources and money spend that they need to justify.

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It's Not Either-Or, There's Room for Both

hanks for the pickup of my piece on PBS MediaShift, in which I argue that this year will see the battle of Open vs. Closed heat up. I am a bit surprised by the vitriol in the comments directed at what you wrote. I see, as you seem to indicate, that there's a market for both worlds. For developers, as for users, it's a choice of the arena in which to operate.

Apple's world is more controlled, easy to understand, and leaves less to the individual, whether on the user or the developer side. Less choice, fewer options, but a streamlined and beautiful system in place. Android lets the developer have more control, but that also means the developer has to figure out more for him/herself where and how to make a quid (or a buck). Nicely written and argued, I'd say. I'll pick it up a couple places, such as @dbenk on Twitter and MediaFlect.com.

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Apple hate Flash and I hate Apple

Good. I'm tired of Apple's fascist ways. They abjure Flash, a huge standard that I spent time learning, so they can CONTROL ALL THINGS.

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Jobs Horns

Wow handset war declared

I came here for sheer amusement, to take in the statistic salvos and generally see what has to be said. I must say I am a developer and own quite a few handsets through the work I do.

If you feel committed enough to claim one handset manufacturer is better than the other you in my opinion miss the point.

Android will never be a serious contender until they improve the interface so much that network providers and phone sellers don't feel compelled to customise the experience.

That's where Apple excel. In that advert for the iPad the line "You already know how to use it" was the strongest statement they could ever make. With an android phone it's all a bit random and the icons are all a bit flat and boring.

I admit Android is a nice environment to develop in not that much better than XCode but nice none the less but will say, Apple's code is very well put together.

The bottom line for me is the manufacturer who can continue to create o/s's that are technical enough for a techy to enjoy and simple enough for a light user to navigate. Add in form and aesthetics and Apple are streets ahead.

The very fact that pretty much every other high end smartphone looks like an iPhone is some way is testament that they all would like to be an iPhone. The Android owners who delight in telling why their handset is technically superior to your iPhone 4 reinforce my belief that they cannot comprehend that yours is better than theirs in so many other ways.

Owning an iPhone is like owning a Bugatti Veyron that has been speed restricted to 70 miles an hour.

Owning an Android o/s phone is like owning a Mitsubishi EVO very powerful and great to own, but not as regal or as classy.

Which one is better? That is subjective to what your actual requirements are.

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I Love and Hate my iPhone

I just my first Apple Device over the holidays and totally like the iPhone 4... specially since I can finally SSH into my servers (couldnt really do that with my BB bold),. however, my major frustrations are the following:

1) inability to send multiple attachments with the built-in email client

2) inability to use the iphone 4 as a 'usb' device (it's easy with my BB)

3) when receiving a text message from a new contact, there seems to be no way of using the sender's number to create a new contact (I has to resort to memorizing or copying the number somewhere and manually entering).

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Funnily enough ...

Last night I was at a friends house and his wife came home, complaining about the 'cheap iPhone copy' her mobile provider had given her, which was an HTC Wildfire. I explained to her that it was just as good as the iPhone and you could get comparable apps on both, and that she could actually have Angry Birds on her phone.

That was it, she wanted Angry Birds, so I downloaded it for her, it installed, and then ... it didn't work!

I searched the internet only to find that Angry Birds does not work on the Wildfire and they are trying to develop an angry birds lite to work on the slower Android devices, and therein lies the problem, she still wants an iPhone.

The figures will of course show a huge majority of phones being Android because every phone manufacturer can use it 'for free' on their devices, they can become hardware designers instead of investing so much in their operating system, but that doesn't mean it will win the battle.

The fact that more and more applications will only work on certain Android devices and not others with no way for the user to know what will and will not defeats what Apple started with the iPhone, the easy app store - click here and this app will install and work on your device, but not any more.

I could not convince the wife that she should try another Android phone, she wants an iPhone, because her friends can run whatever they want from the app store.

Market share can be make or break, especially when market share starts making people think your product does not actually work!

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All replies must have titles. It's the law.

Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") has just been released. It is very good. Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") is due in the spring, and from the demos it appears to be completely awesome. If I were Apple, I'd be worried. There is a serious risk that they will be left playing catch-up.

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