I’m Sick of Android vs. iPhone

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    Posted: 30 July 2010 03:10 PM

    This whole business of “what smart phone will win” in the never ending iPhone vs. Android crap is just that:  crap.

    Why does there always seem that there can only be one winner in the smartphone market?  All or nothing.  It’s not a binary competition (zero or one) where there can only be one winner.  Both Apple and Androids can coexist in the smartphone world.  Some like one, others like another.  Fine.  Apple can still grow its market share as can the Android manufacturers.  If Android phones eventually sell more overall units that the iPhone, so what?  Both phones can continue to grow and said manufacturers can make money.

    iPhones are wildly popular and will continue to gain smartphone market share.  Will it outsell Android?  Who cares!

    End of rant.  Just sick of the narrow-mindedness that seems to be emanating from analysts and bloggers on the whole “Apple vs. Android” issue.

    The smartphone market is growing at an astounding rate.  Apple will continue to sell a ton of phones.  That’s all I care about.  smile

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  • Posted: 30 July 2010 03:17 PM #1

    its kinda like Coke and Pepsi only nobody talks about them…..

         
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    Posted: 30 July 2010 04:46 PM #2

    As long as operators are in the distribution chain, there will be a variety of operating systems in the market. Operators are never going to source all their devices from a single orchestrator and will use one supplier against another.  The growth of Android is manifestation of this desire to have “alternatives”.  On the other hand, if operators are not in the value chain, it’s entirely possible that one OS will spread like wildfire.  Operators will have a role for at least a decade while data networks continue to improve (i.e. as long as mobile data is “not good enough”).

    [ Edited: 31 July 2010 05:43 AM by asymco ]

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    Posted: 30 July 2010 05:27 PM #3

    Android phones are sick.

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    Posted: 30 July 2010 11:58 PM #4

    Well said, incorrigible.

    Symbian OS is in grave danger of being marginalized by a better product.  It’s safe to say that both iOS and Android are better products.  It’s easy for Android to gain more market share than Apple’s laser-focus growth/rollout approach when every cel phone maker out there is more or less retooling their smartphone lines, which collectively outsold iPhone anyway, for Android.

    No rational, fair-minded person would call 60%-70% YOY growth and likely even better YOY profit growth “slow” or “inferior.”  Apple has proven it can play by its own rules and not have to utterly destroy any one segment of competition to succeed (though it is in different ways).  Android will be the new Symbian OS, Apple will continue to grow iPhone 4 and its smaller market share.  There’s no shortage of running room for either platform.  Both could easily do fantastically on their own for quite some time before it’s a cage match for units and profits.  And that’s just fine.

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    Posted: 31 July 2010 02:40 AM #5

    Absolutely agree!!!

    I’ve seen a number of Android handsets, and they look pretty nice. Certainly better than the crap that phone manufacturers were pushing out 5 years ago. Apple came in and changed the whole industry. So what?! It doesn’t mean they’ll be the only ones making the new phones. (Daimler and Ford were first to make cars, but how many car manufacturers did we have in 50 years?)

    In fact, for all my adoration of Apple’s design, engineering, and creativity - I wouldn’t welcome full dominance of the smartphone market by any single company, even Apple. Microsoft-type domination (as it happened with PC OS) is bad for consumers and businesses.

    Yet another way to think of it is, someone needs to provide additional form factors to the iPhone… Would you rather pick Microsoft with Windows, or Nokia with Symbian over Android? I thought not.

    Now if only Google actually learned to make some money off of it (and got rid of Eric Schmidt and Vic Gundotra in the process), I’d be much happier about my (small) position in GOOG.

         
  • Posted: 31 July 2010 03:43 PM #6

    asymco - 30 July 2010 07:46 PM

    As long as operators are in the distribution chain, there will be a variety of operating systems in the market. Operators are never going to source all their devices from a single orchestrator and will use one supplier against another.  The growth of Android is manifestation of this desire to have “alternatives”.  On the other hand, if operators are not in the value chain, it’s entirely possible that one OS will spread like wildfire.  Operators will have a role for at least a decade while data networks continue to improve (i.e. as long as mobile data is “not good enough”).

    There’s a good point here. Operators are at risk of losing preeminence in the relationship with the consumer or user in the smartphone era. In order to maintain economic leverage there must be multiple offerings. However (and this is in my view what has kept Apple with a single services provider in the US), smartphone makers such as Apple and RIM are changing the economic model. It’s among the reasons AT&T Verizon (legacy landline empires) are moving as much revenue activity to additional digital services as quickly as possible.

         
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    Posted: 31 July 2010 04:12 PM #7

    It will soon be “too late” for the operators.  With iPhone’s influence they’re all but doomed to be “dumb pipes.”  But is that really such a bad thing?  My cable connection is a “dumb pipe” but I haven’t forgotten who the provider is.  I want a decently fast and reliable connection where my operator doesn’t get in the way, and they get to keep my business in return.

    The first operator to realize that selling mobile TV or overpriced ringtones isn’t really getting anywhere, and puts more focus on quality of network/coverage and customer service, will gain long-term competitive advantage, I think.  All they have to deal with is improving the network, adding features here and there and keeping the customer happy - just like when cel phones first hit the scene.  That’s a big enough job as it is.

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  • Posted: 02 August 2010 10:58 AM #8

    Android may now be largest smartphone platform in US

         
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    Posted: 30 September 2010 11:39 AM #9

    Healthy markets are ones where there is choice, where there are competing platforms. As soon as one company ‘wins’, that is to say becomes overwhelmingly dominant then the industry stops innovating. You only have to look as far as Microsoft and Windows. Once they became an effective monopoly they went stagnant. IMO that slowed computer advancement by something like 10 years. Nobody was pushing MS, the manufacturers didn’t have to do too much innovation, the industry stagnated. While some talked about how great it was that MS standardized formats and platforms, it was that standardization that stifled innovation.  That was only broken when Apple introduced OS-X and people realized that daily crashing and a smorgasbord of malware was not necessary. Computers could do better than that.

    Similarly if iOS or Android or RIM were ever to ‘win’ then we could expect phones and tablets to stagnate. It took Apple to shake things up with the first iPhone before the manufactures realized the other things they could do with a phone and frankly before North American customers began to see the possibilities.

    I want the iPhone to be a strong player. I also want Android, RIM, HP, and Symbian to be strong. They will push each other. Each with 20% of the world market would be ideal IMO.

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  • Posted: 30 September 2010 12:11 PM #10

    @geoduck - interesting post which made me think:

    Given AAPL dominates the MP3 market (with c.90% of the market share in the US (please correct me if my figures are wrong)), do you think that they have stifled innovation in that market?

    I am sure there are arguments for and against on this and would be really interested to hear everyone’s views…!

         
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    Posted: 30 September 2010 12:30 PM #11

    I can’t stand people who never tried a phone giving it a bad review.  I see this on Facebook all the time… “Should I get an iPhone?” - queue a bunch of people who don’t have an iPhone to say “No!  Calls sucks because I heard it from an ad from Verizon!”

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    Posted: 30 September 2010 12:31 PM #12

    JonathanU - 30 September 2010 03:11 PM

    Given AAPL dominates the MP3 market (with c.90% of the market share in the US (please correct me if my figures are wrong)), do you think that they have stifled innovation in that market?

    Good question that I can’t answer.

    I don’t think it’s healthy. I see a good deal of push back from labels and even bands that aren’t comfortable with Apple having so much power. iTunes has grown from a simple music library manager into a monster. I’d like there to be a simpler, lighter way to manage music and something separate for video products. Also the iTunesStore is so big that if something’s not there I find myself just giving up, which is not good for bands that aren’t there yet.  Apple keeps innovating and it stays a step ahead of the others in design. How much of that is innate talent and how much is due to their dominance so nobody else can afford to try something revolutionary in this space is a good question.

    I really don’t know.

    [ Edited: 30 September 2010 12:34 PM by geoduck ]

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    Posted: 30 September 2010 06:25 PM #13

    geoduck - 30 September 2010 03:31 PM

    Also the iTunesStore is so big that if something’s not there I find myself just giving up,

    I usually look in both iTunes and Amazon and sometimes Traxsource.  But if something is not in any of those places, it likely is not for commercial sale in the US.  I’ve occasionally even tried Googling the band and song with little luck.
    (You can sometimes find stuff on bands MySpace pages, but that takes a lot more work.)

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  • Posted: 01 October 2010 12:29 AM #14

    geoduck - 30 September 2010 02:39 PM

    Healthy markets are ones where there is choice, where there are competing platforms. As soon as one company ‘wins’, that is to say becomes overwhelmingly dominant then the industry stops innovating. You only have to look as far as Microsoft and Windows. Once they became an effective monopoly they went stagnant. IMO that slowed computer advancement by something like 10 years. Nobody was pushing MS, the manufacturers didn’t have to do too much innovation, the industry stagnated. While some talked about how great it was that MS standardized formats and platforms, it was that standardization that stifled innovation.  That was only broken when Apple introduced OS-X and people realized that daily crashing and a smorgasbord of malware was not necessary. Computers could do better than that.

    Similarly if iOS or Android or RIM were ever to ‘win’ then we could expect phones and tablets to stagnate. It took Apple to shake things up with the first iPhone before the manufactures realized the other things they could do with a phone and frankly before North American customers began to see the possibilities.

    I want the iPhone to be a strong player. I also want Android, RIM, HP, and Symbian to be strong. They will push each other. Each with 20% of the world market would be ideal IMO.

    I’m not sure whether this is true.  I’m not sure it isn’t true.  I would say that Microsoft didn’t quit innovating because they had a monopoly.  I strongly believe they quit innovating because they didn’t know where to go.  We’ve all heard the saying that “some people are never satisfied”.  That’s Steve and many others.  They don’t push the world forward because their position is threatened.  They’re just not happy with it even if it’s of their own making because somehow that work just wasn’t good enough.  It’s also why great artist steal.  They don’t particularly care if the concept was theirs.  They just know it’s better and as soon as they adopt it, it becomes theirs anyway.  My nickels worth.

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    Posted: 05 October 2010 07:17 PM #15

    Oracle & the Java suit against Android.

    Could this possibly halt Android?  Maybe eventually.  But then Larry Ellison could make it happen quickly if he wanted.

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/05/google-responds-to-oracles-android-patent-lawsuit-we-break-it/

    ?Google uses a subset of the Apache Harmony Java implementation in Android.
    ?Sun open-sourced Java Standard Edition under the GPL in 2006 and 2007, but didn’t include a patent or copyright license with the code. In order to get that license, developers have to demonstrate compatibility with the Java specification.
    ?The only way to demonstrate compatibility with the Java specification is to use Sun’s Technology Compatibility Kit, or TCK, and Sun / Oracle and Apache have been bickering about the license for the Java TCK, or JCK, for years. (That’s putting it lightly, actually. It’s been more like a war.)
    ?The only license Sun ever offered Apache for the JCK included significant “field of use” restrictions, including a restriction on mobile phones.
    ?Because of these restrictions, Apache’s never taken a JCK license to test Harmony.
    ?Oracle used to be on Apache’s side in demanding Sun loosen up the JCK licensing restrictions, but that changed as soon as it bought Sun out.
    ?Google thinks this is very bad, and that Oracle and Sun are just big bullies who don’t want Java to be open, even though being open is super amazing.
    That’s where Google stops, right at the part where unchecked corporate greed threatens to destroy a open-source project and your heart swells with sympathy. It’s a good place to stop! But the logical and unstated endpoint to this narrative isn’t quite as good:
    ?Because Apache doesn’t have a license to test Harmony with the JCK, it doesn’t have a license for Sun’s Java patents and copyrights either.
    ?Part of the reason Apache wants a JCK license is to assure its users they have the necessary IP rights.
    ?Google knew all this and used parts of Harmony in Android anyway.

    Now, none of this matters if the court agrees with Google that Android doesn’t infringe any of the seven patents in the suit or that they’re invalid. But Google has to win all seven claims for that strategy to work—losing even one of the claims opens the door to huge willful infringement damages since the Apache / Sun dispute has been so public. We’d also say this basically means Oracle will never grant Apache the JCK license it wants, since Google’s put it at the center of the the dispute.