Is the public finally growing tired of Android?

  • Posted: 07 August 2011 09:16 PM

    In my recent experiences over the last month, I have noticed a definite growing trend of consumer sentiment shifting away from Android. I am very curious to hear from other users to see if this is just a coincidence in my life or a growing trend among consumers.

    Among ‘the public’

    In the past few weeks I have interacted with a number of friends/colleagues/acquaintances that are Android users. When they first got their phones, all I heard was “it’s amazing”; “this is going to kill every other phone”, “I love it!”. However, now after they have all had their phones for 3 to 18 months, I am hearing “I cant believe how much it crashes and freezes” “battery life is awful” “glitchy” “unusable” “I want an iPhone, when does the new one come out?”. I have been an Android user for more than a year(stuck with Sprint), and cringed everytime I heard the joy about how much these people loved their Android phones because I had first hand experienced how poor the Android experience is. Am I just noticing this because I told these people to wait and they will hate their phones? With few alternatives to people who no longer like their Androids (Windows? RIMM? lol) it should be a boom for Apple.

    I think the initial overreaction was caused by many people upgrading to Android from dumb phones or blackberrys. In comparison to those two, yes the amount of stuff Android can do is amazing, but in comparison to the iPhone we know that it clearly lags. The phone market is a interesting one, because most consumers take at least 2 years on a phone. It could take them 6 years to try out 3 different phones and figure out that the iPhone is the best phone.

    In the media

    I have noticed a couple of recent pieces confirming my thesis: 1) the survey by Gene re: iPhone loyalty much much stronger than Android loyalty and 2) the article “Why My Mom Bought & Returned an Android” which seems to sum up a lot of the issues (http://www.betabeat.com/2011/07/29/why-my-mom-bought-an-android-returned-it-and-got-an-iphone/)

    Why it is important

    Android’s impressive rise to near 50% market share has come almost entirely in the past two years, meaning few Android users have updated to a new phone. Over the next year, I believe the dual impact of the iPhone 5 and a wave of early Android adopters being eligible for upgrades will drive astonishing iPhone growth.


    Cliffnotes:
    Specifically within the last month or two, I have noticed Androids honeymoon wearing off. At first users were loving their phone, now I have seen a growing trend towards Android users who cant stand their phones. Has anyone else noticed?

         
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    Posted: 07 August 2011 09:48 PM #1

    Yes and no.

    Yes, I think there will be many people who bought Android (especially the cheaper versions) phones, who are ready to switch to iPhone 5 or the $99 (subsidized) iPhone 4.

    There are still many first-time smartphone buyers entering the market and many will go for the cheaper (free when subsidized) alternative. In this case, no, they’re not tired of Android yet because they’ve not even started the honeymoon. They’ll be ready to divorce Android in another year or two.

         
  • Posted: 07 August 2011 11:23 PM #2

    WillyPitt - 08 August 2011 12:16 AM

    I think the initial overreaction was caused by many people upgrading to Android from dumb phones or blackberrys. In comparison to those two, yes the amount of stuff Android can do is amazing, but in comparison to the iPhone we know that it clearly lags. The phone market is a interesting one, because most consumers take at least 2 years on a phone. It could take them 6 years to try out 3 different phones and figure out that the iPhone is the best phone.

    Verizon invested heavily in marketing and selling the Droid as an iPhone alternative beginning in the fall of 2009. The iPhone 5 will test the loyalty of Android owners as the first wave of 2-year contracts come up for renewal and the iPhone is available on the network.

    But Android is not uniform make or model and the market is segmented by price.

         
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    Posted: 08 August 2011 01:15 AM #3

    In my personal experience I have seen the same feelings as well. When android was released I saw two camps, there was the Apple averse and the ATT disgruntled consumer.

    I have run across people that adamantly refuse to purchase or try Apple products. Although, over the last couple years anti-Apple folks have been shrinking. And from what I have seen their first foray to the Apple world is the iPhone.

    The other group that wanted iPhones ,but opted for Android, are the “I hate ATT” group. I have heard many people lament about their bad experiences with ATT prior to iPhone’s release and later their disappointment that ATT had exclusive rights. If iphone 5 is released to more carriers at launch this will make it easier when contracts expire and the choice is available. I know a small amount of people that have broken contract ,negating their subsidy discount, to move to Verizon.

    What I see for 2012 is unless Google can solve the fragmented Android OS issue I see a good amount of market share being lost to iPhone.

         
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    Posted: 08 August 2011 02:25 AM #4

    I think the the huge amount of Malware available on Android is a timebomb waiting to explode. Googles decision not to curate its app marketplace, and not have a walled garden for app installation, will eventually be right up there with its android patent infringement as a suckerpunch to their plan for mobile OS/search dominance.

    For all its short history as a plucky innovator, every day it appears to be coming closer to resembling Microsoft - a company willing to do anything (including IP theft & creating buggy/insecure software) to counter any threats to its massive core revenue stream (google: Search advertising / microsoft: Windows).

    Google: Do No Evil (unless nessecary to protect our business)

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  • Posted: 08 August 2011 11:19 AM #5

    from here

         
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    Posted: 08 August 2011 11:40 AM #6

    If you bounce that graphic against the 3G coverage map of ATT &  Verizon, you’ll notice android strength is where ATT’s network is weak so as additional subs on Verizon move out of their contracts will the map change?

         
  • Posted: 08 August 2011 01:52 PM #7

    DawnTreader - 08 August 2011 02:23 AM

    The iPhone 5 will test the loyalty of Android owners as the first wave of 2-year contracts come up for renewal and the iPhone is available on the network.

    This will definitely be interesting to see. Personally speaking (yes, just anecdotes) most people I know with Android or Blackberry phones have expressed that they actually want an iPhone but hated AT&T. On the flip side I only know one person who has switched from iPhone to Android.

         
  • Posted: 08 August 2011 02:24 PM #8

    WillyPitt - 08 August 2011 12:16 AM

    Has anyone else noticed?

    It isn’t so much that I’ve noticed Android people wanting to upgrade to iPhone, it’s that I don’t hear people saying they are going to get an Android, while I am hearing people saying that they are going to get an iPhone.

    On a similar note, the owner of the firm that built my custom kitchen cabinets just bought an iPad.  He was using an HP laptop to show slides of his past work.  He is now using the iPad for the same thing.  This past weekend he told me his next computer will be a MacBook Air.

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    Posted: 23 April 2012 12:15 AM #9

    Good article on the troubles of Android.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/android-is-suddenly-in-a-lot-of-trouble-2012-4

         
  • Posted: 23 April 2012 02:56 AM #10

    Infohunter - 23 April 2012 03:15 AM

    Good article on the troubles of Android.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/android-is-suddenly-in-a-lot-of-trouble-2012-4

    Makes you wonder what to AAPL when the market researchers announce that iPhone has surpassed Android in share…two quarters in a row.

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    Posted: 23 April 2012 03:29 AM #11

    Most smartphone users are still using their first smartphone. After the market saturates (which will happen in the US over the next two years) the platform that wins is the one with the highest loyalty. Loyalty is primarily determined by value sitting “on top” of the platform, i.e. the ecosystem and secondarily by the overall experience. In both cases Apple is managing their platform better than Google is managing theirs.

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    Posted: 23 April 2012 03:37 AM #12

    Always enjoy your insights when you find time to drop in at AFB, Horace.

    Your iPhone number in particular is of great reassurance to me, by the way.  I fully understand and see the perils in estimating as high as I have (38.17M iPhones per my humble home game model), but I cannot see things in an anything-less-than-bullish way when I parse the data and clues and decide “which side to take”.  It’s always nice to have esteemed company in the same general sphere of thought.

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  • Posted: 23 April 2012 08:59 AM #13

    Gasp, I’m actually an Android user. I know, I know. I bought the Evo 4g the week it came out. You actually couldn’t find the phone in stores it was so popular. Six months later I hated it. Insufficient memory, horrific battery life, constantly freezes, restarts on its own, etc.

    I was going to make an early upgrade to the 4S in October, but decided against it because of cost (in reality, I could have easily afforded it, don’t ask me why I just didn’t go ahead and buy it). My two year plan expires this summer, so I’ll be switching to the new iPhone on day 1 of release.

    My point is that in the next year to year and a half, I think we’ll see a lot of disgruntled Android customers who are currently tied to their contract making the switch to the iPhone. Especially with FREE iPhones now available with two year contracts. Who cares if it’s two generations old? It functions better than some of the “best” Android phones that currently exist.

         
  • Posted: 23 April 2012 10:37 AM #14

    Infohunter - 23 April 2012 03:15 AM

    Good article on the troubles of Android.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/android-is-suddenly-in-a-lot-of-trouble-2012-4

    A powerful article. Thank you for the link.

         
  • Posted: 23 April 2012 10:47 AM #15

    asymco - 23 April 2012 06:29 AM

    Most smartphone users are still using their first smartphone. After the market saturates (which will happen in the US over the next two years) the platform that wins is the one with the highest loyalty. Loyalty is primarily determined by value sitting “on top” of the platform, i.e. the ecosystem and secondarily by the overall experience. In both cases Apple is managing their platform better than Google is managing theirs.

    This has been my contention all along (although you say it so much more eloquently than I every did).

    1) Android and iOS are stealing from dumb phones and feature phones, not each other. Market share actually hides, rather than reveals, what is going on under such circumstances.

    2) When the market becomes saturated Android and iOS will have to steal share from one another in order to sustain growth.

    3) iOS has the better customer satisfaction ratings, the better customer service ratings and the better retention ratings.

    Conclusion: In a race, Android wins. In a head-to-head fight, iOS wins. We’re about the leave the race stage and enter the head-to-head fight stage.

    Android is like a jungle and iOS is like a farm. The jungle spreads much more rapidly than the farm. But when the farm expands, the jungle gives way and it gives way forever.