Android is winning… Is it?

  • Posted: 19 February 2011 05:04 PM #31

    Yes but Burma, your argument centers around competition to establish a technological standard - VHS vs Betamax, Blu-ray vs. HD etc.  The smartphone market isn’t the same thing.  One brand/OS will not dominate the phone market. 

    Horace has argued time and time again that in the phone market, the carriers are very influential when it comes to what phones they sell, market and push towards consumers and they won’t allow one brand to gain overall control as it puts them at a huge competitive disadvantage.  Hence a fragmented phone market is likely to always exist, so long as the carriers can exert control over what they allow on their networks…

         
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    Posted: 19 February 2011 06:21 PM #32

    paikinho - 19 February 2011 08:29 PM

    “... we are talking about a dynamic and ever shifting market. Trends can be observed. 2 types of phone seem to be out-competing the rest for the moment. Consumers are reaping the rewards of this intense competition…”

    I don’t expect to see Blackberry very significantly lose or gain market share, over the next few years. 

    I do also think it is very possible that HP’s (Palm) WebOS will prove to be an equally excellent smartphone platform that would not only gain market share from Symbian/Windows 7 Mobile but also would successfully capitalize on Android OS’s user-unfriendly consequences of its fragmentation to gain market share from it (and perhaps also from iOS as well, if it actually proves to be as excellent a smartphone as I think it may well be.).

    I also expect Windows 7 Mobile to hang onto its current market share (thanks to M$‘s political pull with the enterprise +/- thanks to it being intrinsically not all that bad a platform, perhaps), or even grow slightly for years (as Symbian users and Nokia’s other smartphones suddenly all go extinct.)

    So, I expect to see a conspicuous sloping-off of Android OS’s rapid increase in market share in the industrialized nations by the time the iPhone 5 has been out for a quarter, if not sooner, and then a flattening out to a steady 40-60%, especially if Nokia/Windows 7 Mobile phones prove to be decent & cheap enough by then, and/or a HP WebOS system is excellent & cheap fairly soon (i.e.- before Android OS has been able to achieve any significant de-fragmentation - which would not be before next year, if ever).

    [ Edited: 19 February 2011 07:45 PM by BurmaYank ]

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    Posted: 19 February 2011 06:24 PM #33

    The other problem with much of the analysis, is they treat the whole world as one congruent market when most of us realize that the develop world leads in adoption of advanced technology while the developing market is trying to close the gap.  If we look specifically at the BRIC nations, Apple has singled out China as their focus, “Rome was not conquered in a day”.  So if I was trying to handicap the race, Android will win the low stake race, and Apple will win the high stake race and the real battle is the middle ground.  Apple’s mind share vs Android in China matters, because they are trying to compete.  The rest of the BRIC, Apple is currently not competitive for numerous issues like import tax and distribution,  network capability, computer adoption, so a local hardware manufacture using Android can cut price and control the distribution, and deliver remarkable market share numbers for Android.  Does this mean when those folks can afford better they buy Android, ZTE or Moto or Samsung or whatever white box is available or do they go for affordable luxury of Apple.  I don’t know the answer yet, but too many think Android has already locked in the user which I currently doubt.  The second issue is what is a smart-phone or PMP or Tablet because the definition is not static across the period.  If we believe Moore’s Law is alive and well then we know that the current iPhone 4 capability at $600 could be available for about $200 in 2014, the same for the iPad.  So the real question in my mind is how is Apple doing with their mobile products where they choose to compete, because the rest is made up.  As an Apple investor I don’t care that Symbian or Android have 100% of market in The Gambia, because Apple is not out to dominate the world and become the dictator of all things Geek.  Folks love stats and a great story, but I seriously doubt Android will have anything close to 70% in direct competition with the iPhone and the recent European numbers bear that fact.

         
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    Posted: 19 February 2011 06:29 PM #34

    BurmaYank - 19 February 2011 10:21 PM

    I do also think it is very possible that HP’s (Palm) WebOS will prove to be an equally excellent smartphone platform that would gain market share…

    I own a Verizon version of the Palm Pre Plus. WebOS is good. The hardware stinks. They have very few apps. HP has a tough job ahead of them.

         
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    Posted: 19 February 2011 11:26 PM #35

    Chitika reports:

    http://insights.chitika.com/2011/iphone-users-twice-as-likely-to-own-a-mac/

    Android phone users are more likely to own an iPhone than iPhone users to own an Android.

    and

    Normally, the Chitika network sees about 11% of its impressions as Mac, but in this sample?s iPhone households, 22% of other devices register as running Mac OSX.

    =========

    In a few months, we can revisit.

         
  • Posted: 20 February 2011 08:33 AM #36

    Tetrachloride - 20 February 2011 03:26 AM

    Chitika reports:

    http://insights.chitika.com/2011/iphone-users-twice-as-likely-to-own-a-mac/

    Android phone users are more likely to own an iPhone than iPhone users to own an Android.

    In a few months, we can revisit.

    I assume that this means are thinking about switching to the device. Otherwise the argument is all semantics. ie the group of Android phone users with iPhones should be identical to the iPhone users with Android.

    raspberry

    EDIT: Followed link. Well that makes no sense. Does it?

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    Posted: 20 February 2011 11:04 AM #37

    Lots and lots of companies make the android devices.  Any company can get the OS and use it in their device.  This flood of Androids results in razor thin margins, which is OK with the companies because they can sell them cheaper and therefore sell lots of them.  But when you divide smaller margins by more companies, the result is that no other single company can approach what Apple is doing, which is making a killing off an ever smaller relative slice of a huge market with plenty of growth potential for everyone.  Which is great!  Equating profitability with the number Apple vs. Android (did I omit any of the OSs?  smile) of devices therefore is a false analysis.  So when the NYT quashes the iPhone nano rumor, and people jump to the false conclusion that Apple’s ability to be profitable is in jeopardy, and those people dump their shares, people entirely miss the point.  Profitability and growth potential are hardly in jeopardy in such a huge market, where there is still huge demand for a superior products AND Android.  The only thing in jeopardy is investor perception in the face of media misdirection of what is most important, profit not numbers!

         
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    Posted: 20 February 2011 11:21 AM #38

    paikinho - 19 February 2011 08:14 AM

    I agree with you that Android dominating the market in the way I describe is irrelevant to Apple. They will stick to their business model which has been so successful. They will stick with where the money is. And they will not stay stagnant. They will innovate, because that is what they do and they have the money to assemble the latest greatest tech in an appealing way. In another 10 years we won’t even be talking about this paradigm because Apple will be onto some other product that makes all of the current ones irrelevant. All 2-3 billion of these devices will become obsolete. Heck 4 years from now all of the devices we are talking about will be obsolete. Competition is grand.

    I think you made my point better than I did!

         
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    Posted: 20 February 2011 02:44 PM #39

    rattyuk - 20 February 2011 12:33 PM
    Tetrachloride - 20 February 2011 03:26 AM

    Chitika reports:

    http://insights.chitika.com/2011/iphone-users-twice-as-likely-to-own-a-mac/

    Android phone users are more likely to own an iPhone than iPhone users to own an Android.

    I assume that this means are thinking about switching to the device. Otherwise the argument is all semantics. ie the group of Android phone users with iPhones should be identical to the iPhone users with Android.

    raspberry

    EDIT: Followed link. Well that makes no sense. Does it?

    They’re talking about households, not individual users. The data presented is ok as far as it goes, but the written analysis is confusing.

         
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    Posted: 20 February 2011 06:34 PM #40

    rattyuk - 20 February 2011 12:33 PM
    Tetrachloride - 20 February 2011 03:26 AM

    Chitika reports:

    http://insights.chitika.com/2011/iphone-users-twice-as-likely-to-own-a-mac/

    Android phone users are more likely to own an iPhone than iPhone users to own an Android.

    In a few months, we can revisit.

    I assume that this means are thinking about switching to the device. Otherwise the argument is all semantics. ie the group of Android phone users with iPhones should be identical to the iPhone users with Android.

    raspberry

    EDIT: Followed link. Well that makes no sense. Does it?

    Makes sense to me.

    You can also visualize it as a venn diagram. The group that have both Android phones and iPhones are the overlap between the Android and iPhone circles. But the iPhone circle is larger than the Android circle, so the overlap is a smaller percentage of the iPhone circle and a larger percentage of the Android circle.

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    Posted: 21 February 2011 06:54 PM #41

    From the graphs at Pocket-lint, it’s difficult to draw statistically meaningful conclusions for the future of iOS and Android other than “they’ll both probably survive”.  From the past data, it does appear:
    1) Android’s initial growth spurt from June started slowing significantly just 1 month later, and although at this scale it’s difficult to tell, it looks like Android’s growth rate slowed down every month until December where it seems to have picked up a bit again. From this graph it appears Adroid’s market share is headed to flatten out in the 20% to 25% range.  Only time will tell if Android can break through 25%.
    2) iOS appears to have recaptured most of it’s decline during the September - November time frame.  What’s unclear is whether this carries over to both the iPhone & iPad, or if it’s just due to the iPad.
    3) The growth of Android (and iOS’s recent growth) appears to be at “Other’s”, Symbian’s and most recently “BB’s” expense.  Certainly Symbian, Bada and Other need to be very worried about their futures.  Without some big “game changer” move from these (market share) losers, it appears Europe is headed rapidly to a “2, maybe 3 horse” race (iOS & Android and possibly BB).
    4) The charts look bleak for BB, but they don’t tell the whole tale.  What does it mean when you’re only a major player in one country…and still command 18% of the market?!?  It means that that one country represents a disproportionally large portion of the market as a whole.  BB probably already knows this and is focusing most of it’s attention there.  BB is probably hoping iOS and Android knock each other silly trying to cover all of Europe while it takes a more focused approach.  This may or not be a good strategy, only time will tell.
    5) By the logic of 4), this also means the United Kingdom represents just under 1/2 of Apple’s total European market share.  I’ll bet the importance of the United Kingdom isn’t lost on Apple either.
    6) If you give 43% of a market to one company, that company prospers.  If you give 18% of a market to one company it probably prospers.  If you split 18% of a market across half a dozen companies (Google & it’s licensees) can they all prosper?  Only if they take over the whole market, otherwise, expect a massive winnowing of licensees.

    I’m sure people will continue to squint hard at these charts looking for signs how the iOS vs Android competition will shake out, but in reality there isn’t enough data here to say one way or another.  That race will be decided by successes/failures of future moves by Apple & Google.  It does appear that Europe is more Apple’s race to lose than Google’s race to win.

    Just remember the stock market mantra: “Past performance is no guarantee of future trends”. Placing bets using past performance as a guide is not a smart way to gamble.

         
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    Posted: 06 April 2011 11:47 PM #42

    Don’t you just hate it when mathematical model fitting of “current” data predicts the future?  It’s now April, and the data from StatCounter (where Pocket-Lint got their data for the original article) for Feb & March shows the month to month increase in Android’s share of mobile OS in Europe is continuing to slow down significantly (just as the earlier data predicted):

    http://gs.statcounter.com/#mobile_os-eu-monthly-201006-201103

    Based on this data, unless the Android camp can do something to reinvigorate their growth (or Apple manages to really misplay their hand), it still appears Android is headed to “top out” at about 20% market share in Europe.

    Apple is still far and away in 1st place and stable at ~45%.
    Blackberry has managed to stop their slide (for now) at about 17%

    All other “players” continue to either be insignificant or lose market share to “the big 3”.

    Does this mean the Android camp won’t do everything they can think of to reinvigorate their growth?  No.
    Does this mean Apple is resting on their laurels?  No.
    Does this mean Blackberry is throwing in the towel?  No.

    Does this mean the predictions (based on the 1st couple of months of Android sales) that Android would take over the market “overnight” were overly optimistic?  Yes.  Exponential growth is easy to obtain when starting from nothing, but it’s very difficult to sustain for long.  This fact doesn’t stop business, advocate and “news” types from leaping on initial growth spurts to “prove” market dominance is within reach.

    As for North America/the US, StatCounter shows North America is fast becoming a 2 horse race with iOS and Android both gaining market share at about the same rate since November (at the expense of Blackberry who is losing market share at a rapid rate).

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  • Posted: 07 April 2011 01:42 AM #43

    What exctly does that gs.statscounter grph show?  The axis’ are not labeled.  iOS is 50% of what?  Device sales, installed base, web traffic?

         
  • Posted: 07 April 2011 01:54 AM #44

    I don’t see how any “platform growth” statistics can be particularly meaningful until iPhone production catches up and starts to exceed demand for at least a two year period.  Android is filling not just a niche in the market but an actual void.  The two year reference reflects the contract that many sign to subsidize their phone purchase.

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  • Posted: 07 April 2011 08:24 AM #45

    Not sure I believe StatCounter if their assumptions are that of market share.  It says iOS has nearly 40% market share in the US - if that’s the case, then what about the data coming from comScore?

    I am very wary of these sites which track market share from page views on websites - clearly how people use their devices to surf the internet (or apps) will skew the data too much to be of any use.  Just compare the ease of using an iPhone to surf the web compared to that of a Blackberry.  They are miles apart and I would imagine people will therefore use iPhones a lot more heavily than Blackberries for surfing the net.  This will therefore skew the stats immeasurably.