An Irrational Belief: Android Can be Completely Beaten by Apple

| Hidden Dimensions

“Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.”

—David Sarnoff

Apple, Inc. under the leadership of Steve Jobs, practices a specific philosophy. That philosophy has many elements that we’ve come to know and love. Unfortunately, it has some inherent weaknesses that prevent products from becoming populist, and so, to a certain extent, trying to win back the gains that Android has made and will make will be in vain.

There was a time when the Apple community thought: wow, Apple has done it. They’ve finally figured out how to win convincingly and totally instead of lose. Windows was a fluke. Surely, now, it’s been established that under great leadership and a level smartphone playing field, Apple will show its true winning colors in every aspect.

iPhone 4

Apple iPhone 4 (Credit: Apple)

It’s not happening.

I should explain. Apple is winning in every respect except market share: awards, public awareness, profitability, iOS popularity, the app store, and the financial health of the company. I am aware of all those things. The iPhone has been great for AT&T. AT&T has attracted many customers and made a lot of money. So has Apple. iOS still maintains a healthy market share and is enormously profitable for Apple. There are many people who are glad to see Apple prospering.

I’m not overlooking all the good things that have been driving Apple’s iPhone success. Instead, I’m looking at one subtle point. And that is, in the long run, Apple can’t win the smartphone market share battle. While many might dismiss that as an issue, it does have consequences.

In that realm alone, we’re back to the same old arguments we used in the Mac world. Market share doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to BMW. Profitability is king. Eventually, smartphone vendors and carriers who hang their hat on Android aren’t making decent money and will eventually go bankrupt. Our hopes and rationalizations are all over the Mac Web.

But there’s a fly in our ointment of rationalization.

Sure Packard Bell and Compaq got into tough times and were subsumed. The fact is that big, rich companies always figure out how to 1) gobble up little companies for what value they have 2) cut costs, 3) dupe their customers through advertising. And if you don’t think advertising plays a role, just watch the political ads on your local station and the product ads during an NFL game.

Apple’s Focus is Also Weakness

Apple is great at focusing on the customer. Apple is great at creating great products that we love. To keep doing that, Apple has to maintain control. That’s in conflict with the business forces that always apply. Products, like Android, that allow companies to jump in, rather than toil over their own innovation, will always be in demand. There will always be individuals who retain a bad taste in their mouths for Apple. There will always be industry forces that want Apple to fail, lest they look bad and get squeezed out of the game. There will always be Microsoft, wiling to pay a half billion dollars to bend people’s minds around Windows Phone 7. Will it work enough to boost WP7 market share? It probably will.

Back to Android. Android lets companies look cool, make products that look like the Apple iPhone, and lets everyone take a shot at a cut of the smartphone pie. It’s exactly what the industry craved, and it’s everything Apple isn’t. That’s the fundamental contradiction of our time.

The bad news is that, in time, it will become clear that millions of customers are willing to settle for something less than the iPhone and don’t care about what the iPhone has to offer in terms of security and compatibility. Think of that as psychological warfare against Apple. Apple will never achieve 100 percent dominance because, like Windows, there will always be millions of customers who are willing to settle for something that isn’t Apple.

It’s essential that Apple work a deal with Verizon to stem the tide, but that’s a thorny issue about which volumes have been written. In the long run, Apple’s belief (or maybe our own belief that we presume on Apple’s part) that its superb products and customer approach can outright win the market share war against Android remains irrational. Once that sinks in with investors, in 2011, there could be problems.

There are emerging signs that the rest of the industry is going to try the same strategy against the iPad. The iPad era started in April, and this is October. There’s still time for competition.

Bottom Line

Don’t take this wrong. Apple is hugely successful. And that success is all the more reason why the rest of the competitors will work doubly hard to cash in on Android, the advantages they have, the market forces they can invoke and their knowledge of customer behavior. That will slow Apple down a little and keep complete dominance of the smartphone market beyond Apple’s grasp.

That’s okay with me. Apple’s huge financial gains, fabulous publicity, halo effect, innovation and contributions to the smartphone state-of-the-art can’t be hurt by occasional moments of introspection and humility. By the company and by us.

Comments

vpndev

Looking at this as an “Android” issue is too narrow. Much of the driving force behing choice of phone relates to the carrier (availability, quality) rather than the phone itself. Apple’s close relationship with AT&T seems to have hurt it more than is justified by AT&T’s network problems, but it certainly has hurt a lot. The fact that you can get Android on Verizon may be a deciding factor for many who live in New York and San Francisco, and some other places.

And many phones are on family plans and, unless you’re already on AT&T, you’re probably not going to switch. That’s not an iPhone/Android issue, but what-phone-can-I-get-with-my-carrier

FlipFriddle

Like I’ve said before, never underestimate the power of “good enough.”

The Android long term strategy will be interesting to see. Like, will Google jettison Android development when they decide to concentrate on Chrome (saying they make direct money off of Android is smoke and mirrors)? Will Android phone makers survive as their profits shrink since the only difference they can market is price and carrier (BOGO deals are already going on with a NEW product). Apple is still making loads of dough on their products and looks to for a long while.

Seeing Verizon as a life-line is a mistake. Verizon long-term isn’t the answer. Their customer service and customer experience is almost the direct opposite of Apple. Verizon treats their customers like ATMs. I don’t think Apple would want to partner with a company like that. They should just make the iPhone available to all carriers.

plus, Windows phone just throw a new monkey-wrench into the equation. Windows users may like that “familiarity” over something new (Android).

Constable Odo

As a shareholder I certainly don’t care whether whether Apple dominates the mobile sector or not.  I don’t need for iOS to be in everyone’s pocket or on everyone’s desk, like those Android or Windows people do.  If Apple holds 30% to 40% of the mobile market, I’m perfectly satisfied.  Financial market share is much more meaningful to me.  It’s a rare thing that one company dominate an entire industry like Microsoft did.  I think they were just greedy to deliberately crush every company that offered an alternative product when they had 90% market share.  Even now Microsoft says it was targeting Apple to “take them down”.  What kind of warped vision is that?  A company that has 90% desktop dominance wants to take down a company that only has about 30% market share in the mobile sector.  That seems like such an odd goal of a company already so huge.

I want Apple to build high-quality products and give very good customer support even if it’s at the expense of market share.  I want Apple to continue striving to offer the best experience for Apple product users.  I want consumers to desire Apple products because they’re good, not because the products are low in cost.  Analysts keep spouting about Android this and Android that.  It’s a free OS and it is decent so the combination is helpful to drive adoption growth high.  That’s fine.  Google has different goals than Apple and consumers have a choice.  I still fail to see how that is THREAT to Apple’s goals.  As long as Apple continues to sell LOTS of products, Apple will still have plenty of growth ahead for those that want products that have an Apple logo on them.

geoduck

It boils down to this:
It doesn’t matter if you make the ‘best’ product. Many people are happy with the cheapest product.

Personally I think this is good. Choice is good. One size fits all usually doesn’t. There are people who want everything an iPhone has to offer. There are some that want what Android has to offer. There are many that want what some bottom end Nokia talk-and-nothing-else-not-even-a-camera phone has to offer. There are even those that only want what a land line through their cable company has to offer.

This was the bad part of the Microsoft monopoly. Everyone got into thinking that Windows was the best and nothing could compete. MS got complacent, users got used to putting up with crashes, blue screens, malware, bad interfaces, and all the rest because ‘that’s how computers are’, and the industry stagnated.

I wouldn’t want to see Apple ‘win’ and become just like MS. Keep them fighting, keep them competing, keep them hungry.

John Martellaro

I wouldn?t want to see Apple ?win? and become just like MS. Keep them fighting, keep them competing, keep them hungry.

geoduck: I agree!

vpndev

Heh. There’s good enough and there’s “good enough”.

I think that Apple is selling a lot more iPods than SanDisk, Zune and all the others combined. No carriers involved in these decisions though.  Apple’s iPods aren’t the cheap ones but still outsell the others.

Erick

It doesn?t matter if you make the ?best? product. Many people are happy with the cheapest product.

This was the bad part of the Microsoft monopoly. Everyone got into thinking that Windows was the best and nothing could compete. MS got complacent, users got used to putting up with crashes, blue screens, malware, bad interfaces, and all the rest because ?that?s how computers are?, and the industry stagnated.

I wouldn?t want to see Apple ?win? and become just like MS. Keep them fighting, keep them competing, keep them hungry.

Sorry, but no one has mentioned that Apple already ‘won’ with the iPod.  Cheaper, “good enough” products fell by the score beneath the iPod juggernaut.  But rather than rest on their laurels in MS fashion, Apple was busy working on the iPhone.  This is an important distinction between MS and Apple: when Microsoft wins, everyone loses; when Apple wins, they just keep fighting.

Synth

As far as smart-phones go, I think Apple will simply be one of the major players, with 20 - 30% of the market. But that’s okay for three reasons: 1. Apple makes gobs of money off of every phase of the iPhone universe—hardware, apps, media, peripherals, iAds, etc. Google only makes money on the search.
2. Apple will continue to own the iPod segment of the mobile space. With 40 million already sold, the iPod touch 4 will accelerate this trend, wreaking major havoc on mobile gaming, cheap HD video cameras, and creating cheap new ways for texting, VOIP and Facetime.
3. Apple will also own the slate market because it is very different from the cell market. No established players and no dependence on the artificial/technical/neanderthal limitations of the telcos. Note how the iPad is price competitive without a subsidy? Note how Apple has already expanded retail distribution to Target, Amazon, BB, Walmart AND China? Apple is going for the jugular in the slate market.
4. AppleTV is the new stealth iOS weapon in the Apple arsenal. At $99 it will sell gangbusters this Christmas and is only a couple small baby steps away from any app in the iOS universe. AirPlay is a killer feature. Any computer or iOS device in wifi range will be able to sling content to an HDTV.

Kevin

Some adults don’t appreciate being treated like children. Apple’s arrogant position on censoring app store content, and then making it very difficult to get apps any other way, is insulting to their customers. I’m not just referring to porn, either. Apple now has control of the operating system, the hardware, the software AND content distribution, and the add placement. We have 5 macs at home, as well as 3 iphones and a couple ipod touch. in the future, I plan on purchasing more macs, but I don’t see myself choosing Apple for my next phone or tablet. They have simply become way too Big Brother for my taste. Ironic that their famous 1984 add referenced Orwell’s totalitarian nightmare, and now Apple is trying to create their own North Korea on the iOS platform.

Blad_Rnr

John,
I thought businesses were in the market to make money. Apple makes money hand-over-fist. Literally. No one, and I mean NO ONE, can touch them. Wait until the revenue report comes out next week. It will blow your mind. I predict revenues will top MSFT’s. Record iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac sales.

Then next quarter, when the Christmas shopping season is over, Apple’s profits will exceed MSFT’s.

It’s all about profits, not how many widgets you sell. Ask Dell and HP.

mrmwebmax

+

I have an iPhone 4 and wouldn’t trade it for any other smart phone out there. Yet I only know one other person where I work who has an iPhone. Most other smartphones here are either company-distributed Blackberries, or—if a personal smartphone—Android. The latter can be explained in one simple word: Verizon.

Verizon has such a lock on this area (I live north of Pittsburgh) that it is simply amazing. There are Verizon stores everywhere. In the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, there are THREE Verizon stores. Three. In. The. Same. Mall.

And because most people began with Verizon phones here, they’re not about to go to AT&T while all their friends—whom they could call without using minutes—remain with Verizon.

Now, the real question regarding Android vs. iOS is…. Windows Phone 7.

Your typical, happy Apple Fam Bois (I am one and am proud) would never even think of using any product with “Windows” in the title. But how many Android users are also Windows users? In other words, while its highly doubtful that Windows Phone 7 could cannibalize iPhone sales, what about WP7 cannibalizing Android sales?

This is going to be an interesting market moving forward. And we, the consumers, win, because the intense competition will just keep pushing innovation.

John Martellaro

Blad_Rnr:  Of course it’s all about money.  The editorial was intended to cause some reflection amongst those who have been exhibiting an unwarranted glee that Apple can, unlike the battle with Windows, completely both win and dominate this new smartphone war.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Kevin: That’s a feature, not a bug. Heh.
@Constable Odo: Realistically, iPhone is headed for 10% - 15% of smartphone market. Right now, it’s hovering around 25% in the US, down from 35% at the beginning of the year.

@John: What it all boils down to is that iPhone is not a comparatively good value. There are lots of things that go into a decision to buy iPhone vs. Android. Price, design, features, company reputation, software policy, carrier availability, sole source, etc. Apple “loses” about 3 out of 5 times vs. Android right now.

For now, while things shake out and companies can launch entirely new platforms basically overnight, marketshare probably does not matter. Bryan tells a compelling story about proftshare. But that’s 1993 thinking, because the erosion in marketshare and the difficulty/expense of delivering new software to the iOS platform will just turn it into the mid-90’s Mac. The cool games, apps, and features will land on Android first, then maybe be ported to iPhone if there’s interest. I’m not saying this to “hate”, I’m saying it because I remember the tough times for the Mac platform and what fans were saying, and it’s like Groundhog Day all over again.

You might wonder who Microsoft is coming after with WP7. Clearly, they are leveraging the hardware variety that quickly emerged for Android. Witness the HTC line-up But they’re going “Apple-lite” with more stringent hardware specs, curated store, etc. Controlled, but not to the Apple extreme. I think if they gain traction to the tune of 15%, it will be at half from Apple and half from RIM. Bookmark this post and check back in a year.

wilf53

I am with geoduck, too. I don’t want Apple to “win” and become the sole king of the hill, like Microsoft did.

I have tried to think of any other segment of the market where you have such a situation like the dominance of Windows on personal computers. Many would probably think of national telephone companies - but they were just that, national. None of those dominated the world. Globally.

People are talking down Apple and call their system closed. Well, I use to say that you are not free even though the prison you’re in might cover the whole planet. That is the case with Windows. It is just as closed - nay, more - than anything Apple has come up with. People just don’t see it because the prison covers everything they can see.

Would anyone in their right mind like to see Apple be in that place? Not me, at least.

I hope Android will thrive and I hope Windows 7 is good and will sell well. I hope Nokia comes up with a good OS for their phones. And I hope Apple will take a big, juicy slice of the cake, too.

I hope none of them will “win”. I hope we will win:)

vpndev

As an interesting aside, it seems that Win Phone 7 removes a lot of the flexibility for carriers to “do their own thing” as Verizon does a lot.

The WP7 walled garden might not be the same as Apple’s but if you’ve got Windows, now you’ve got walls (sorry - couldn’t resist). I wonder if this may be part of what is causing Verizon to rethink its position (and I’m assuming here that it has)

John Martellaro

Bosco:  One of the editors at TMO thinks WP7 might also take a bite out of Android as some businesses elect to go the safe route with Microsoft. My personal opinion is that it’s too late for MS. They’ll up their market share a few percent with that $500M, then wonder what’s next.

tritium

I don’t think we’ll see any platform reach 90% dominance as MS did with PCs. In that market there was a strong disincentive against using anything else because of the shared work in offices. With smartphones it is a personal decision as to what you will use. I can see Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, WebOS and WP7 all surviving for many years to come.

Another thing to consider is that this is very much a product in transition. The iPhone only came out three years ago. Look how much it has changed since then. What will the world look like in another three to five years? Anyone of the vendors could come up with a new feature that will skew the market for a time.

Kevin

@Kevin: That?s a feature, not a bug. Heh

If you think having some jackass in a turtleneck deciding what content is or is not appropriate for you is a “feature”, I’d hate to see what you think is a “bug”.

Intruder

Apple?s arrogant position on censoring app store content, and then making it very difficult to get apps any other way, is insulting to their customers.

I think you’ll find that the vast majority of their customers really don’t care about this. They are perfectly happy with what the App Store has to offer, and are not concerned with trying to load apps in other ways.

The technorati make a lot of noise about this. The average user doesn’t.

Intruder

If you think having some jackass in a turtleneck deciding what content is or is not appropriate for you is a ?feature?, I?d hate to see what you think is a ?bug?.

Bosco is being facetious. He has long agreed with your position. And stated so. A lot. wink

Kevin

Bosco is being facetious. He has long agreed with your position. And stated so. A lot.

Oops! My apologies. I misinterpreted the “heh”. 

Intruder, I’m sure you are correct. Civil Liberties don’t seem to show up on the radar for most people. That does not stop me from personally choosing to send my dollars and attention to a more open platform. I am a Apple shareholder, and I really like their designs. I just can’t stand their overbearing policy regarding the app store. In that regard, it would be a big hit to not only free speech, but personal property rights (I bought the darn thing, I get to choose what goes on it).

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Kevin, it’s all good. I don’t think we’re terribly fringe in this. I think a lot of people in the Mac community have had to confront truckfulls of cognitive dissonance to justify and/or embrace the walled garden. The broader tech market (which includes inevitable government and judicial oversight and interference) will finish slapping them around in a year or so. And we just have to be classy enough to accept them back into the fold and quietly know that we told them so grin.

FalKirk

Here are four things I think this article overlooked:

1) Android is irrelevant. The iPhone is selling as fast as it can be made. The only thing holding down iPhone market share is Apple’s ability to make more iPhones. If Android didn’t exist, Apple would have the exact same market share that it has today. The only difference would be that RIM, Microsoft, (the now defunct) Palm and others would have back some of the market share they lost to Android.

2) Verizon is irrelevant. If Apple is selling phones as fast as they can make them, then adding a carrier would not, COULD NOT, increase iPhone sales. On the contrary, diverting resources from current production to the production of a CDMA phones might reduce, not increase, the supply of, and subsequently the sale of, iPhones.

3) The carriers change everything. It is in the carriers’ interest to reduce the importance of each individual phone. They will never allow one phone to dominate their offerings. For proof of this, look at AT&T. Clearly the iPhone is their biggest seller and moneymaker. But they continue to offer their customers a myriad of alternative phone models, including Android phones. If the carriers have their way, NO phone will become dominant. The only question is whether the carriers will have their way.

4) The halo effect. There is a rising suspicion that the iPad may be, not just a new product and not just a new category but, a true game changer. Some have declared that the iPad is the fastest selling gadget of all time. And it’s probable that Apple will sell more iPads than Macs this quarter even though the iPad is only six months old. Why is this important? Because far from cannibalizing the Apple products that surround it, the iPad has BOLSTERED the sales of iPod touches, iPhone and Macs. And why is that important? Because people who buy one iOS product are going to want to buy other iOS products so they can share Apps, FaceTime and Apple’s user experience. It’s not Android v. the iPhone, it’s Android vs. iOS. And that’s a battle that Apple can win.

This is not the battle most of you think it is. The iPhone and Android phones are beating up on the hapless dumb and feature phones, not on each other. The fact that both OS’s are selling at a phenomenal pace without affecting the sales of other proves that they are not taking market share from one another. They are taking it from everybody else.

The carriers don’t give a damn about the handsets they sell. They want the focus to be on the services that they sell via the handsets. Apple wants to sell directly to the customer with the carrier being incidental. THIS is the real battle for the future of mobile phones. If the carriers win, then they will carry many phones and never allow one to become dominant. But if the iPhone’s popularity breaks the carrier’s ability to control the handset, then we’re talking a whole new ball game. A ball game where Apple could, just as they did with the iPod, win both the profit share AND market share.

wab95

John:

Thoughtful piece. I agree with the gist of the analysis, even though it reads a bit like Salieri vs Mozart (no prizes for guessing which company is Mozart here).

One of the editors at TMO thinks WP7 might also take a bite out of Android as some businesses elect to go the safe route with Microsoft.

I think one has to take a global view. I concur with your other editor about MS taking a bite out of, or at least staunching the flow, of Android in the global market. In low and middle income countries, of which there are plenty throughout Asia and Africa with very large populations, MS is the only known or available IT solution. In many of these locations, smart phones still mean Windows mobile (I conduct research at a facility that uses an antiquated Win Mobile system for field-based data collection; and believe it is state-of-the-art, which in that environment, it is). 

These are resource constrained markets where the path of least resistance is to go with an integrated solution around Windows. MS could lose ground in the US and Europe, but so long as they hold market share in Asia and Africa, and even expand it in the mobile space, the company will remain profitable.

As for Apple, its focus has to remain on profit share over market share, with market share being relevant only insofar as it fuels the company’s profit advantage over its competitors. It’s like the old joke about the two guys on the savannah and the lion; the challenge isn’t outrunning the lion, but each other. Apple does not need to garner the majority of the profits, it just needs to be more profitable than its competition. In that way, it can continue to innovate, drive the direction of products to both its and consumers’ advantage, reinvest those profits in R&D and maintain its innovative product lead. So long as it does this, it will dominate mind share and continue to be the company to watch and to beat.

Tiger

With 250,000+ apps for the iPhone, (hey, that’s more apps than Windows viruses!), Apple’s walled garden is pretty big.

And there is plenty enough room on this planet for other gardens. It’s not about “one dominant”. We’ve all seen what a disaster that has been.

My company is STILL hanging onto Exchange 2003, in spite of two releases of exchange to come out since. It was definitely a case of once-bitten, twice-shy when dealing with major releases of Microsoft products. They refused to roll out Windows Vista and for those few machines that did get it, recommended retrograding to WinXP until Windows 7 came out.

And as a “Blackberry Shop” that has expanded out to include iPhones, it’s highly unlikely they will add Windows 7 phones to the mix. There is no incentive to have to deal with yet another mobile OS.

Marcos El Malo

This whole article is based on the incorrect assumption that Apple is trying to beat Google’s Android OS in the market share competition. There is no evidence that this is a high priority for Apple. Whether it should be an Apple goal is a matter of opinion.

Apple is winning in the metrics that matters most, profitability and profit share. In terms of market share, my guess is that Apple is only concerned with maintaining enough of it to maintain the iOS ecosystem and their high profits.

The other thing to consider is where the market is going, or as hockey player Wayne Gretsky put it, skating to where the puck will be, rather than to where it is. I think that the market segment of early adopters and phone geeks is already pretty well saturated. Let’s say that this is 10% of the total market of phone users. That leaves 90% of the market that is only beginning to be tapped. Apple clearly sees this, and so does Microsoft.

MS has a lot of catching up to do, but they have clearly shown their strategy for WP7 with the first two TV ads of their $500 million marketing campaign. They’re targeting that 90% (or whatever number it actually is) where we are going to see the most growth. As long as WP7 and WP7 phones aren’t total shite, they will become one of the major players. To its credit, MS is going after this market in a fairly original way.

wab95

There is no incentive to have to deal with yet another mobile OS.

If I were MS, I would heed these words, and make it the focus of my strategy to get their phone OS off the ground. This is their primary challenge; to demonstrate what need this OS fills, and then connect that need to people.

Microsoft cannot afford to think, in this market, that if they simply build it, people will come.

BurmaYank

As a ?Blackberry Shop? that has expanded out to include iPhones, it?s highly unlikely (my company) will add Windows 7 phones to the mix. There is no incentive to have to deal with yet another mobile OS.

IMHO, M$‘s only hope of not perishing in the land of mobile devices is to somehow take over the Blackberry platform (while M$ still has the cash reserves to manage a hostile takeover, if necessary).

John Martellaro

BurmaYank: An acquisition of RIM may be necessary.  Sad to see, however. MS buys an older, dying technology while Apple invents the future. Maybe sticking with WP7 is better?

jfbiii

I think a lot of people in the Mac community have had to confront truckfulls of cognitive dissonance to justify and/or embrace the walled garden. The broader tech market (which includes inevitable government and judicial oversight and interference) will finish slapping them around in a year or so. And we just have to be classy enough to accept them back into the fold and quietly know that we told them so .

Cognitive dissonance? It was Apple who was able to BREAK OUT of the walled garden built by the telcos. The remaining walls in the Apple garden are tiny (from the perspective of consumers) in comparison. Android is just being used to shovel people back into those smaller gardens.

As for being slapped around, yes, Apple is definitely seeing governments misapply anti-trust laws at the behest of other interests. There’s a really weird sense of entitlement that a lot of folks seem to have about Apple. They created a product, they created an ecosystem, and somehow, they’re the only entity without the right to determine what is allowed in that ecosystem. I can’t pretend to get it. I don’t see many people making the same arguments about other companies that make similarly situated products.

I understand the “why” behind it: money. Everyone feels they are entitled to a slice of this pie that they didn’t conceive, design, or help bake. I just don’t understand where the entitlement emanates from. It’s the same entitlement that manifests with content pirates. Except since these pirates can’t just steal what they want they instead (mis)use governments and spread outright lies in the media in an attempt to destroy something.

The market share conversation is pretty pointless. While Apple wouldn’t mind owning 100% of the smartphone market, it’s smart enough to know that 100% of the most profitable slice of that market is more valuable than 100% of the remainder.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Your contention that Android is being used to shovel people back into walled gardens is funny jfbiii…

Watch Flash evangelist Lee Brimelow create a Flash app from scratch and make it available in the Android Marketplace in 6 minutes and 23 seconds.

Do you still think Android is a walled garden?

FalKirk

Your contention that Android is being used to shovel people back into walled gardens is funny jfbiii?”-Bosco

You’ve totally missed jfbiii’s point. Android is open, so it allows the carriers to do with it what they will. And they are already stripping out the the parts they don’t like and replacing them with proprietary and for pay services. Android is allowing the carriers return to the days before the iPhone when the carriers controlled the a phones features. Remember, that the term “walled garden” was used to describe Verizon long before it was applied to the iPhone.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Like what FalKirk? Please name carriers, phones, and features. Bonus points if you can then figure out the marketshare (as percentage of Android) for these phones.

FalKirk

Please name carriers, phones, and features.

Well, I was thinking of the Samsung Fascinate. Verizon made Bing the only choice for search and replaced Google Maps Navigation with their subscription based Verizon Navigator software. The AT&T captivate eliminated the ability to side load apps and added a significant amount of bloatware which cannot be removed.

Matthew Miller of ZDnet reports: “US carriers have gone mad customizing perfectly fine devices and I wish every manufacturer had the pull of Apple to leave these smartphones the way they were designed to be used. The Galaxy S is a great product, but two of the four major US carriers have done what they can to cripple the experience to increase their revenues.”

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/cell-phones/have-us-wireless-carriers-gone-mad-samsung-fascinate-crippled-by-verizon/4617

I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize that this was controversial. If you Google the term “Android Crippled” you get 161,000 results, most of them describing how the manufacturers or carriers have removed or altered portions of the Android OS.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And you can easily get back Google Navigation by, get this, downloading it from Android Marketplace.

Fascinate still runs 2.1, which leaves a few holes to fill. There is choice on all the carriers, with the maximum out of pocket on a 2 year contract at about $200.

The article you cite also mentions side-loading disables on some AT&T phones. Not even an option on iPhone. And easily circumvented on the Android devices anyway.

I think what you really don’t like is the messiness of things. There is no dictated order to things. True. This picture of Android diversity, n?e fragmentation, is the most beautiful depiction. What it says is that the Android community, which includes Google, handset makers, users, software developers, etc… we’re willing to experiment, a lot. We’re willing to try dumb ideas and learn, or stumble on great ideas and share. That’s how, in January, I knew that Android would blow pass the iPhone and keep running. It’s funny that many in the tech press want Android to be just like the iPhone. Well, get an iPhone then with everything well defined and prearranged. It’s funny that as of now, 3/5 of people who pick an iPhone or Android go with the latter. It will be 4/5 by February.

nealg

4) The halo effect. There is a rising suspicion that the iPad may be, not just a new product and not just a new category but, a true game changer. Some have declared that the iPad is the fastest selling gadget of all time. And it?s probable that Apple will sell more iPads than Macs this quarter even though the iPad is only six months old. Why is this important? Because far from cannibalizing the Apple products that surround it, the iPad has BOLSTERED the sales of iPod touches, iPhone and Macs. And why is that important? Because people who buy one iOS product are going to want to buy other iOS products so they can share Apps, FaceTime and Apple?s user experience. It?s not Android v. the iPhone, it?s Android vs. iOS. And that?s a battle that Apple can win.

Falkirk,

For me, this part of your post carries a lot of weight. In my son’s age group, everybody has an iPod touch. And all the kids have a bunch of games on them. There are also some that have an iPhone but most of them it is a touch and a cheaper version of a phone that runs on the family plan of whatever carrier their parents have. Even if these kids get different smart phones, they will be familiar enough with the iOs way of doing things and have an incentive to get to an iPhone at a later point in time. I don’t see many other portable gaming systems being carried anymore. And I am also seeing a lot of iPads as well, not only for adults anymore.

Neal

FalKirk

@Bosco:

1) jbiiii said that Android was being used to shovel people back into walled gardens.

2) You linked to a site that showed how to make Android apps from scratch.

3) I pointed out that you missed jfbiii?s point: that Android was open, so it allowed the carriers to do with it what they will.

4) You asked me to ?name carriers, phones, and features.?

5) I did.

6) You went off on some rant that had nothing to do with what we were talking about. This seems to be a tendency of yours.

I think this conversation is done.

FalKirk

Falkirk…For me, this part of your post carries a lot of weight.

Thank you Neal. I was discussing this same thing in another part of TMO. There seems to be a building consensus that Apple is trying to build an “iOS-world” where all iOS devices - including your iOS enabled TV - will use iTunes, the App Store, FaceTime, Game Center and AirPlay to share all of your content between all of your iOS devices. Apple’s obvious advantage is that all iOS devices share the same interface. But their stealth advantage may be that soon, very soon, all your iOS content - including personal documents, pictures, videos and video chats, professionally made music, TV and movies; Apps, games and portions of the internet - all of that content may soon be seamlessly shared with your other iOS devices, at will.

And what that means is that if you buy one iOS device - like your kid’s iPod Touch or my iPhone or your friends iPad - that you’re going to want to stick with iOS if you decide to buy another mobile device.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@FalKirk: If iPhone is so freaking glorious and Android is such utter crap, how is iPhone up 35 to 2 a year ago and now behind 34 to 25? John’s article is suggesting that you just accept it, and it’s great advice, because it is only going to get worse. As a long time Apple customer and fan, I think the community needs to understand why. This is 1994 all over again. Fortunately, competing products are really good!

Marketshare is relevance. That 25% iPhone has now may be very profitable, but customers are going to demand that Apple profit less as its iPhone becomes less relevant.

FalKirk

@FalKirk: If iPhone is so freaking glorious and Android is such utter crap…

I never said or implied any such thing and, as usual, you have strayed far from the original subject. You are clearly not a rational person whom I could hope to have a rational or even a coherent conversation with and I will not bandy words with you either now or in the future.

Farewell.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@FalKirk: Maybe you missed the original subject? It’s deep in the thread, that’s understandable. The original subject and title of this article is An Irrational Belief: Android Can be Completely Beaten by Apple. This is all about relative market share between iPhone and Android phones, because that is the only measurement by which anyone here could fantasize about “beating Android”.

You’re in the “denial” phase of the K?bler-Ross model of grief. You’re trying to rationalize why Android went from zero to kicking the iPhone’s marketshare derriere (I’m a poet) in less than one year. John tried, with this article, to start moving you quickly past anger, bargaining, and depression and on to acceptance. But it doesn’t look like you’ll get past anger without some time. I understand.

wilf53

@ Falkirk: I have put Bosco on ignore a while ago since he is a very annoying person and his arguments always follow the same line; anything negative about Apple. He claims that he is originally an Apple-fan but who knows? His fandom must have grown sour a long time ago:)

Anyway, as posts here are forwarded to my e-mail-address, his comments became visible to me.

This will be a tad off-topic but I hope I am excused but if not, then any moderator is free to remove my comment with my consent. It is just that I was involved in a similar “discussion” yesterday on another forum. My opponent clearly spread some of the normal myths regarding Macs and I tried to put things in place but at the same time to be open for valid arguments to the contrary. Anyway, it soon enough turned out that my opponent was only interested in a: to show that Mac is a piece of rubbish and b: that anyone who says anything positive about a Mac must therefore be an idiot.

With such an attitude, it is impossible to discuss reasonably, of course. You may come up with valid arguments, but the other will use anything to smash them to pieces - except logic, perhaps. You may have a civilized attitude and even acknowledge some of his points, but that will not make him return your gestures. He will, like Bosco here, not shy away from negative personal characteristica to ram his “points” through. 

It seems like such persons have become fixated upon an idea - the Mac is bad. People who use Macs are idiots. Apple is bad. And so on. Maybe they are to be pitied because they do not seem to be capable of a civilized and rational exchange of ideas any longer.

Well, enough said. Perhaps the ignore-function could be extended to the e-mail notifications as well?

Sorry for the digression.

geoduck

Anyway, as posts here are forwarded to my e-mail-address, his comments became visible to me.

I created a rule in Mail.app that looks for messages with a blocked users name in the body of the message (xxxx wrote:). If it finds one the message is automatically rerouted to Trash. Problem solved.

wilf53

I created a rule in Mail.app that looks for messages with a blocked users name in the body of the message (xxxx wrote:). If it finds one the message is automatically rerouted to Trash. Problem solved

Ah, but of course! Thanks for the tip:

FalKirk

@ Falkirk: I have put Bosco on ignore a while ago…

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I don’t want to turn this into and “anti-Bosco” post, but I wanted to acknowledge your response and reply to some of your points.

I was involved in a discussion with Bosco a month or so ago in another TMO forum. The discussion followed a similar pattern. He would make a statement, I would respond, he would make another statement unrelated to my response, and so on and so on. I put him on ignore; the only person I have on ignore.

I was, therefore, a little surprised to see his comments appear here. No matter, I thought. I will respond to him on just one small aspect of the discussion. The same pattern appeared. He made a statement. I attempted to reply. He responded with something off topic. I referred to the original discussion. He replied with something even more off topic.

I put him on ignore. I’m fine with it. I don’t mind people who have different opinions than my own, in fact, I relish it. I don’t come here to lecture. I come here to contribute and grow. I would be happy to “fence” with Bosco and, in doing so, hone my own thoughts. But debating with Bosco is like debating a Magic 8 ball. The responses are random, insubstantial, and always the same.

Thanks for sharing your thought on this with me. Much appreciated.

wilf53

But debating with Bosco is like debating a Magic 8 ball. The responses are random, insubstantial, and always the same.

That was well put:) Exactly how it is. I also enjoy an open dialogue where different points of view are being put forth, but that requires a willingness to listen and reading carefully and to be ready to accept some of the viewpoints of the other. If one is fanatically stuck with one fixed idea, it is hopeless. Even Bosco may have some points but it is that Magic 8-ball behaviour which ruins it all:))

Anyway, back to the topic:) To which I haven’t much to say, right now, actually:)

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Typical. Still don’t want to acknowledge that Android has gone from 0 to beating iPhone 3 out of 5 times in the marketplace in a couple weeks less than one year.

Hear no evil!

And FalKirk… I don’t come here to “fence” with any of you. The truth may eventually set you free though. See my second sentence.

Voice

@Bosco

The points Falkirk is discussing has nothing to do with the market share differences.  That’s why he’s given up trying to talk to you.  He answered your questions, so you jumped the topic to a completely different thread.

As for your question?  Well, when the iPhone came out on the market there was nothing else like it.  It started an entirely new ‘generation’ of smart phones and was very popular.  Since then, more people are buying smart phones than before.  As a result, a bunch of new smart phone designs have been released.  (Android, Blackberry, etc.)

the iPhone is currently available on one carrier.  Various Android designs are available on each carrier.  That right there contributes to the rapid market-share growth of Android in comparison to the iPhone.  It has nothing to do with the your mini-rant which included, “...iPhone is so freaking glorious and Android is such utter crap…”.  He never made any such claim, so why should he answer your assertion that he had?

Market share influences relevance, but leading or trailing in market share by a small amount doesn’t make you the only relevant platform or utterly irrelevant.  The iPhone doesn’t have to lose for Android to win, and Android doesn’t have to lose for the iPhone to win.

jfbiii

What it says is that the Android community, which includes Google, handset makers, users, software developers, etc? we?re willing to experiment, a lot. We?re willing to try dumb ideas and learn, or stumble on great ideas and share.

What the Android community isn’t doing is coming up with its own great ideas. This is because the Android community is built on derivation rather than invention. And I don’t mean feature ideas for existing products, I mean ideas for whole new products.

The reason market share is irrelevant is that Apple isn’t playing a game in which market share is on the scorecard. They don’t do it in desktops, they don’t do it in laptops, they don’t do it in phones, and now they don’t do it in tablets. The only relevance of market share to Apple’s game is that there is a point beyond which it costs more than 60?-70? of a dollar to capture one more percentage point of a given market. When Apple hits that wall, they don’t bother to scale it (anymore). Apple is interested in making products that are valuable enough to earn them roughly 30-35% profit. You can see this practically across the board: iPods, Macs, iPhones, iTunes, and even the App Store and iBooks and iAds. The cost to play in their garden is about 30% almost universally. If part of their garden or some particular product isn’t providing that much value, they refine it until they decide it either can’t be done or they come up with something better.

In very large part, The people choosing Android either don’t have a choice because they can’t/won’t go with AT&T or they are part of the market segment that Apple is unwilling to build a product to suit. Because a product that allows side-loaded code and lets apps download action script code from the internet is not a product that people will value enough so that anyone making one is able to derive a 30% profit for doing so. A product with crap battery life that crashes because of a plug-in from a manufacturer who hasn’t been able to deliver a desktop version of that plug-in that ran well 8 years into an operating system life cycle can’t command a 30% profit margin. However, a product that ignores such a plugin and and is more stable and runs longer because of it can command that kind of profit margin.

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