Android v. iOS Part 5: Android Is A Two-Legged Stool


This week we’ve been looking at the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. In part 1, we looked at how Android was dominating market share. In part 2, we looked at how iOS was dominating profit share. In part 3, we tried to reconcile that seeming paradox. Turns out that, with regard to platform, developer share – not market share – is what gives the platform its value and developer share is what makes a platform strong. In part 4, we showed that iOS was, by far, the stronger of the two platforms. Today we look at why iOS has an inherent advantage in platform, why Android has an inherent disadvantage in platform, and what that means for the futures of these two great mobile operating systems.


A computing platform is made up of (at least) three parts: hardware, operating system and an application ecosystem. An application ecosystem is also make up of three parts: well-paid developers, a high volume of quality applications (apps) and lots of happy customers buying those apps.

Android boasts some of the finest hardware in the world. And their operating system is arguably second to none. The Google team is world class. Their operating system is chock full of features and it iterates at an incredible pace.

But when it comes to application ecosystem, iOS rules and it isn’t even close. While Apple’s iOS leads the world in profits, apps, well-paid developers, paying customers, customer satisfaction and retention, Android leads the world in:

— Malware (Source)
— Piracy (Source)
— Cloning (Source)
— Confusing buying options (Source)
— Belated operating system updates (Source)
— Hardware fragmentation (Source)
— Underpaid developers (Source) and dwindling developer interest; (Source) and
— Customers who won’t pay for Apps (Source)


As Tim Bajarin previously wrote for Tech.pinion in “How Apple is Cornering the Market in Mobile Devices“:

“While all of (Apple’s competitors) think that they can compete with Apple when it comes to hardware, and maybe even software, what they all pretty much know is that the secret to Apple success is that they have built their hardware and software around an integrated ecosystem based on a very powerful platform. And it is here where their confidence level lags and the “iPodding” fears raise its head. And to be honest, this should really concern them.”

“Apple is in a most unique position in which they own the hardware, software and services and have built all of these around their eco-system platform. That means that when Apple engineers start designing a product, the center of its design is the platform . For most of Apple competitors, it is the reverse; the center of their design is the device itself, and then they look for apps and services that work with their device in hopes that this combination will attract new customers. In the end, this is Apple major advantage over their competitors and they can ride this platform in all kinds of directions.”


Android is based on an “open” philosophy. In software and web-based architectures, an open platform:

“describes a software system which is based on open standards, such as published and fully documented external programming interfaces that allow using the software to function in other ways than the original programmer intended…” – Wikipedia

Open has many advantages – but it has many inherent disadvantages too. The very same open policies that make Android’s sales stronger are the very same open policies that make Android’s platform weaker.

An open policy towards carriers encourages rapid dissemination of devices but it also permits the carriers to take unwanted liberties with Android’s core services and allows them to shirk their responsibilities with regard to operating system updates. An open policy towards manufacturers allows for rapid hardware iteration but it also creates rapid hardware fragmentation. An open policy towards the sales of applications leads to a wide variety of apps but it also leads to a wide variety of piracy, cloning and malware too. An open policy towards the operating system allows for rapid feature iteration but it also allows competitors to split off a confusing variety of competing operating systems and App Stores too.

Open is not bad or good, it’s a tradeoff. But what open giveth Android in sales, it taketh away in application ecosystem. The very same things that makes Android sales strong are the very same things that makes Android’s platform weak. It’s inherent and intractable. The only way to make Android’s platform stronger is to make it less open. And the less open Android becomes, the fewer advantages in sales it has.


A stool needs at least three legs to support it. A platform needs at least three legs to support it too. The first leg is hardware. The second leg is operating system. The third leg is application ecosystem. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the Android hardware and the Android operating system are equivalent or superior to iOS.

Android’s third leg – its application ecosystem – is weak. Terribly weak. And just as two legs are insufficient to support a stool, the two legs of hardware and operating system – no matter how strong – are insufficient to support a computing platform.

The Android and iOS wars are not what they’ve been made out to be. The combination of great hardware, great operating system and an open architecture has made Android THE premiere smartphone of our times. The sales numbers prove it.

But the story doesn’t end there. The combination of great hardware, great operating system and a great application ecosystem makes iOS THE premier smartphone platform of our times. The profit numbers prove it.

Android aspires to be a great device. iOS aspires to be a great platform. Both have achieved their objectives – which will lead them down radically different paths with radically different futures.

Coming Next Week: Android v. iOS Part 6: The Future

Android v. iOS Part 1: Market Share
Android v. iOS Part 2: Profits
Android v. iOS Part 3: Network Effect
Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

138 thoughts on “Android v. iOS Part 5: Android Is A Two-Legged Stool”

  1. Next issue. This series is becoming a tease. It is obvious that Falkirk expects his readers to understand the dying institution of anticipation. In a time when Santa Clause is dead and kids demand there presents weeks before the big day, anticipation has become a thorn in the foot. I expect this three day weekend to drag.

    1. “This series is becoming a tease.”-mhikl

      Sorry, mhikl. The series will conclude on Tuesday. I didn’t mean to stretch the series out, but I felt that each section needed it’s own space. Hope you ultimately agree.

      1. I do agree. I thought the short and narrow approach dead on. The narrow focus of each part leads to better discussion around central, crucial points. As well, fewer lines of print mark succinct as the best approach in these hurried times. Sourcing sets a standard for the detail and critically or skeptically minded to gather more info before judging.

        I have copied each article part to VoodooPad and can highlight points and sketch outlines and details to the points for ingestion and understanding.

        I’m of an older world where anticipation is half the fun.

        1. OT:
          “I’m of an older world where anticipation is half the fun.”

          Then my daughter must have an old soul. I tried for the longest time to start a tradition of opening one Christmas present on Christmas Eve. She would have none of it!

          But then I also remember “punishing” her by restricting her TV time. Didn’t phase her in the least. Her mother and I, however, were driven nuts. I wanted to make her bed time earlier so we could watch TV!

          Ah, kids.

          Sorry about the diversion. Carry on!

    2. An opinionated editorial on a techsite is a tease? You really need to get out of the house and go get a girlfriend.

    1. Exactly. Based on pure opinion and no facts. Interesting how apple got hit with one of the largest malware attacks in the computer world, but the fan boys never seem to remember that. The Android apps are just as good if not better than iOS ones. Apple makes good products, but Android is just as good.

      1. “Based on pure opinion and no facts.”-John M Couch

        You’re entitled to your opinion regarding my articles, John, but saying that there were no facts is a bit much. I cited extensive sources both today and in yesterday’s article.

          1. I’m always willing to learn, leoingle. If you have knowledge of factual information regarding Android or iOS malware, piracy, cloning, operating system updates, hardware fragmentation, developer pay or consumer purchasing habits please consider contributing it to the discussion. Thanks.

          2. I will provide sources. For now, I will just advise you not to sit on two legged stools. You might fall on your iphone in your pocket and break it.

        1. You cited: BoyGeniusRport (Apple blog) on the “Malware”, the “Dead Trigger going free” article which was later clarified due to 80% piracy in Android- which then went free on iOS with 60% piracy. On “Cloning” and “Confusion” you cite Ewan Spence, whom editorial record on Forbes clearly shows who he’s rooting for; just look at the tone of this article: “Apple Set To Dominate As The Android Geeks Are Defeated”. On fragmentation you cite MG Seigler. Really, MG Seigler? On “Fragmentation” you cite TechCrunch, now even though they have an Apple bias, it’s not as pronounced as, say, BGR, but let’s get to the issue of “Fragmentation”. I’ve never heard Windows developers complaining about the hundreds of thousands of PC configurations are out there, and the many versions of Windows they run. iOS developers have simply become lazy thanks to Apple presenting an artificially narrowed ecosystem. People want to use a variety of devices, developers develop for them.By the way, I’m a software engineer myself. On the Monetization issue you cite MacDailyNews. If the name is not a giveaway, let’s make it clear that Apple users outspend *every* other user on every category, so much so that even the travel site Orbitz was presenting Mac and iOS users higher priced options at the top of search results. Apple users are simply (in average) wealthier than the rest of the population. The bulk of Android’s massive market share are lower cost devices compared to Apple’s, so no wonder those users spend less. This just means that developers must think of a variety of monetization avenues, ad-supported and the “freemium” models being the most successful so far.
          This opinion piece attempts to appear as a balanced, honest assessment of the Android and iOS platforms, but is nothing more than fanboy propaganda for Apple.

        2. You cited: BoyGeniusRport (Apple blog) on the “Malware”, the “Dead Trigger going free” article which was later clarified due to 80% piracy in Android- which then went free on iOS with 60% piracy. On “Cloning” and “Confusion” you cite Ewan Spence, whom editorial record on Forbes clearly shows who he’s rooting for; just look at the tone of this article: “Apple Set To Dominate As The Android Geeks Are Defeated”. On fragmentation you cite MG Seigler. Really, MG Seigler? On “Fragmentation” you cite TechCrunch, now even though they have an Apple bias, it’s not as pronounced as, say, BGR, but let’s get to the issue of “Fragmentation”. I’ve never heard Windows developers complaining about the hundreds of thousands of PC configurations are out there, and the many versions of Windows they run. iOS developers have simply become lazy thanks to Apple presenting an artificially narrowed ecosystem. People want to use a variety of devices, developers develop for them.By the way, I’m a software engineer myself. On the Monetization issue you cite MacDailyNews. If the name is not a giveaway, let’s make it clear that Apple users outspend *every* other user on every category, so much so that even the travel site Orbitz was presenting Mac and iOS users higher priced options at the top of search results. Apple users are simply (in average) wealthier than the rest of the population. The bulk of Android’s massive market share are lower cost devices compared to Apple’s, so no wonder those users spend less. This just means that developers must think of a variety of monetization avenues, ad-supported and the “freemium” models being the most successful so far.
          This opinion piece attempts to appear as a balanced, honest assessment of the Android and iOS platforms, but is nothing more than fanboy propaganda for Apple.

          1. Why do you care so much, Amaury Rodriguez? Why do those not interested in Apple and its products come to Apple sites to pick arguments. I have in the past checked out Android sites and found them full of pleas for help and a good group of people are there to graciously assist them. Kudos, but I just left. I could have made comments and suggested the easiest remedy to their plights but I didn’t. I honestly didn’t care enough to for it would have been mean.

            We make our own choices in this world and should we make mistakes, we can choose to learn from them. Some just choose to repeat their errors, but that is their choice and right to do so.

            Why are so many in the Android family so angry and resentful. It’s unbecoming.

          2. Our goal and the focus of our content is for the industry. We are not trying to be a news site catering to mass consumers like BGR or other tech blogs are. None of us here are journalists but are analysts, technical writers etc. Everyone writing here as experience and credibility established in the industry. We are trying to tackle industry issues. Our content is designed to look at the fundamentals of markets, industries, business etc. If you find that interesting then great we have a wealth of content analyzing many tech companies, products, solutions etc. If not then we are ok with that as well.

          3. Amaury Rodriguez, you need to read the articles cited and the information in the article not just the names of the sites. Usually they are just passing on information from elswhere. I chose the links I did either because I didn’t have access to the original sources or because the articles focused on the specific portion of the source that I was referring to in my article.

            Facts are facts no matter who reports them. If you question the facts or you have additional facts to share let me know. I’m always happy to learn – although I’ll admit that I’m not always happy to be taught.- paraphrased from Winston Churchill.

          4. Well said most Apple you don’t even realize they’re getting ripped off by sites like Orbitz because they are that clueless. I too will be avoiding the site in the future.

      2. Largest attacks in the computer world? And by “apple” do you means “Mac”? Because I’ll take a single large essentially harmless attack of note over 25 years of hundreds of thousands of attacks anyday. Never mind that the article is about the specifics of Apple vs Samsung, not a clarion call to post every half remembered anti-Apple trope you can think of.

    2. Why don’t you guys go where you belong, and why don’t the webmaster just clean up the comments and throw away these useless posts?

      1. I did just clean up the comments that failed to say anything insightful or intelligent. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Same here. I only saw it because of Google news. need to change the name from techopinions to applyfanboyopinions.

  3. “The combination of great hardware, great operating system and an open architecture has made Android THE premiere smartphone of our times. – John Kirk

    Perhaps the commentators should actually read the article before posting their comments.

    1. That comment is partly right, Android is becoming the new default phone platform. The problem for Android is that isn’t the future. The future is mobile computing platforms.

  4. I don’t disagree with the overall theme here. The idea that they’re headed down significantly different paths is spot on. Android fits me like a glove. Without android, I wouldn’t even consider iOS. There is nothing appealing in iOS to me. I have a very small number of apps on my phone. The OS, and google apps, provide me with almost everything I need from my phone. When I use an iOS device, I’m always stunned how reliant it is on apps. Just about anything you want to do beyond tell the time or make a phone call requires an app to do, and many of them feel like work around’s compared to the integration in my android device. I accept that some people are comfortable with that, but it isn’t for me. I think if you’re talking about the financial success of the platform for the company that makes it, iOS wins hands down. One might argue that the more the provider profits, the less the consumer gets for their money.

    1. “One might argue that the more the provider profits, the less the consumer gets for their money.”

      Thanks for contributing, therealciviczc, a great take. The above is the only part of your post that I disagree with. Let me address it at the end.

      These flame wars help to hide reality rather than reveal it. There is no right phone for everybody. If you said that you liked vanilla and I said that I liked chocolate would that make one of us wrong? Of course not. It’s a matter of personal preference.

      Each operating system has different strengths and weaknesses. Those differences need to be explored without fear that the “wrong” answer will get us burned at a metaphorical stake for being a heretic.

      In regard to profits, higher value commands higher margins and higher profits. No one is forcing anyone to buy higher priced products. They do so freely, willingly and sometimes even joyfully because they believe they’re getting great value for their money. The more perceived value a product or service provides, the more people will be willing to pay for it. High price based on high value is not bad for consumers. It gives the consumer what they want, rewards the company for providing it and encourages others to do the same.

    2. An honest account, therealciviczc; it adds some good points to the discussion. I have no resentments when others choose what I would not and I don’t appreciate those who abide by a different rule. Each has his/er right to trod our own paths. Knowledge is what it is really about and such is what these articles are about and are written for the Apple curious.

      Some buy Apple for the quality of build, the ecosystem, for some status points amongst other motivations. There are just as many plausible reasons why others make a different choice. All is good. Anger and resentment does not need to be part of any discussion, as your good entry has shown.

      I do suspect we all make our purchases on some value that others cannot fully understand and each must live with his/er choice. How we value anything in life is a personal decision and responsibility, so ‘choosing wisely’ depends upon knowledge which is what quality information sites like this have to offer.

    3. Really great comment and thanks for the personal anecdote. I agree that many, mine included, I don’t use that many apps on my smart phone and I actually find jumping back between my iPhone and my Galaxy Nexus pretty seamless. That is saying a lot of me as an analyst because I was super critical of Android up to the point of Jelly Bean.

      Where the paraody still exists largely is with tablets and particular 10″. I have found all 10″ Android tablets sorely lacking. One may argue that it will catch up but I have my concerns given some fundamental differences in the market as well as sales channel. But it will be interesting to watch.

  5. What app do you have on iOS that I can’t get on my Android, other than a few dozen paid baby naming apps, perhaps a paid horoscope app or 2, a dozen more paid options for leveling apps, and other stupid stupid apps that I wouldn’t take for free?

    I have, however, quite a few apps that my mother wishes she could get on her iPhone (such as Google Navigation and Drive, which are NOT part of the Android OS — ie. not included in AOSP but instead in Gapps closed source). I’m not seeing any sense being made in this arguement that iOS has more developers who make better stuff.

    Name just 1 that I would care about that I can’t get (baby naming and browse puppy picture apps don’t count).

    1. Agreed. More isn’t better and paid isn’t better. Better is better. iOS has nothing of value that anyone should envy in app selection, in fact from my experience sharing apps of meaning with friends it is the other way around.

    2. I agree on the smart phone front. In fact I find the plethora of apps in both apps stores much to overwhelming to find anyway. I love the idea of a large developer community but sometimes I feel its hard to find what I want or what is quality in both app stores.

      I also am finding in our research that many consumers don’t use more than a handful of apps on their smart phones anyway. Having a number of products on both platforms I agree at large that the experiential quality is close. Where I disagree for the time being with your comment is around tablets. I find a wealth of quality tablet apps for my iPad, and I use my iPad for work and productivity not just consumption, that help me effectively get things done. I can not say the same about Android tabs and I have nearly all of them.

      That may change but honestly only if a 10″ gains traction. I think 7″ Android tabs have a shot but those are very different use cases than 10″.

      This battle between Android and Microsoft for platform and hardware wins will de-focus them both from the overall challenge of competing with Apple IMO.

      1. Name 1. I have a Nexus 7 and same point, no apps I’ve seen on iPad that seem to bring any value to the table and I wish I could get.

        1. Byword, Paper, How to Cook Everything, Snapseed, Photo toaster, tons of magazines and recipe databases, uPAd, iPhoto, Tweetbot. I could go on.

          1. I see nothing without equivalents that serve the exact same purpose. Plus, half of that could be replaced with a simple Google search. Why waste your time and money (and memory) with silly apps in place of a Google search?

          2. Equivalent does not mean equal. I genuinely find poor substitutes on Android many of the apps I know and love on iOS. I have found that a number of cooking applications I use are far superior to there sister experience on the web if one existed. I cook quite a lot as a hobby and many of the recipe and cooking apps that include nicely laid out instructions, videos, timers, lessons, etc have no substitute on the web. The same is true with many exercise applications I use as well like the Lolo series, Nike + Fuel Band app, etc.

            As I said this is a subjective discussion. What works for me may not work for you and that is perfectly ok. What matters is that I choose the products and the processes that most efficiently work for me to get the jobs or tasks done as easily and perhaps more importantly conveniently as possible.

          3. John said “Name 1.”

            Your question was answered in full yet you do not have the honour to be polite about it.

            I was hoping against the obvious that my suspicions would be proven wrong. Sadly not.

      2. More like Android and MS will eat into Apple’s share. Not much different than Apple losing the smartphone market.

        1. It’s been two and half years, dada, and the trend is towards iOS tablets, not against it. Of course we’ll have to wait and see what happens when Microsoft introduces their tablets in the Fall.

          1. What trend are you referring to? Ipad’s market share is decreasing quarter after quarter just like the iPhone.

      1. Tweetbot is one for me. The other huge one is email. I have been using Jelly Bean on my Gal Nexus for three month’s now and the corporate email exchange solutions are horrible and fail in comparison to Apple’s Mail app.

        I rely heavily on email for my job and I miss the mail application all the time. So for me it is tweetbot because I hate every twitter client on Android and the corporate mail application.

        Let’s also remember that all of this is subjective.

          1. I found that link the day I got this phone from Google at Google IO as I tried to load all the apps I loved on my iPhone to the Galaxy Nexus. I have several problems with it.

            First of all it requires me to root my phone, something I am absolutely not interested in doing. Second, someone stole some of the great work tab bots did and is stealing all the time, energy, and money they put into creating what is one of the best Twitter clients for iOS. Is that the benefit of an OPEN SOURCE ecosystem?

            Beyond that my point about email is the strongest one. I find it simply stunning the poor experience corporate exchange is on Android.

          2. On a side note, working for a DoD contractor I have had no issued integrating email with native client, and I can’t imagine your security to be more intense than ours.

            I have had absolutely no issues or complaints, what exactly is the problem you are seeing?

          3. At least two times a day it fails to open a connection, so keeping timely email at bay because of it. Generally will fix after about 15 minutes. We are having issues with nested folders. But primarily it is the interface that I find really terrible compared to Apple’s Mail. No support for threaded emails also feels like a waste of time. Server search is also terrible. The interface is simply cluttered and frustrating all around. When you depend on email as much as I do you require efficiency and for work and productivity I consistently find iOS better for my mobile workflow. I’m sure others feel different but it is what works for me.

            I am making it work but as I said I strongly believe Apple Mail on iOS to be a far superior email client to the all on Android that have to connect to exchange. Gmail app is ok but I don’t use a gmail email as any of my primary.

          4. I don’t know who your employer is or what sort of Exchange policies they enforce, but Exchange ActiveSync on Android is a mess. The support you get for Echange policies depends on what phone (or tablet) you have and what version of Android. In some cases, third-party software is required. This Microsoft Technet page is nearly a year old, but I don;t think the situation has changed much: Sometimes a third-party client such as TouchDown is needed. Good Technology provides BlackBerry Enterprise Server-like support to Android (and other OSes), but the enterprise has to be running a Good server.

            By contrast, iOS has solid ActiveSync support baked into the OS and has since version 2 or 3.

            Oddly enough, ActiveSync support is also a mess on Windows Phone 7, one reason for close to zero enterprise uptake. I think they will fix it on 8.

          5. I’m surprised by your Exchange email issues, I’ve enjoyed seamless Exchange email integration since Android 2.2 on a variety of devices. A quick search surfaces the official version changelog:
            I’ve enjoyed easy account adding, calendar integration, addess lookup (just start typing the person’s name and it is auto-completed from the corporate address list, no need to have any corporate address in my personal address book), and my employer enjoys policy enforcement (I have to agree to allow phone management when adding the Exchange account), remote wipe capability. All this comes in AOSP. I’m sure iOS supports all these features too.

          6. Open Source has nothing to do with someone decompiling and iOS app and making it public. A benefit of an Open Source ecosystem could be, for example, if we assume someone made a great Twitter client and open sourced the code. Then someone else comes and extends it to make it even better, then they must open source the code, and the original developer gets to take that code and improve his app even more.

    3. “What app do you have on iOS that I can’t get on my Android…”-john

      There are two types of Apps that appear in iOS that do not first appear in Android. The first are big name apps like Flipboard and Instagram that may take a year or more to migrate to Android.

      More importantly, in my opinion, are the company, institution and organization specific Apps. This is where the true lock-in occurs. If a company decides to create a company specific app, unless they are very large, it is unlikely that they’ll create more than one version. And right now, iOS appears to be the platform of choice when one is settling on a company/organization wide mobile platform.

      Here’s a single example. I’ve have a small collection of anecdotal evidence like this:

      “Regis College of Weston said today it will become an all-iPad institution this fall by offering iPads with specific apps tailored to the campus community to all incoming full-time students, and all full-time and half-time faculty members.”

      Note the words “with specific apps tailored to the campus community”. These type of “tailored” apps are being built for businesses, government, entities and other organizations all around the globe.

      1. Both Flipboard and Instagram have been available on Android phones for a while now. Did you do any research before you wrote this response?

        1. Jozo, I was providing examples of two well-known Apps that took a year or more to migrate from iOS to Android. The fact that:

          – There are seven iOS apps for every three Android apps; and
          – There are over 43 thousand Apple iOS developers and 10 thousand Android developers…

          … that this trend will continue. If you’d like to read more and see the sources for these facts, please see my article from yesterday entitled: Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers.

          1. Haha. Bullshit. You very well spoke in the future tense and didn’t know Flipboard and Instagram were on Android now you are trying to cover your tracks.

            “The first are big name apps like Flipboard and Instagram that may take a year or more to migrate to Android.”
            Yeah, that quote sounds like you “knew”. You not only publish untruths but you also lie about “facts” too. smh.

          2. Does your mother know you’re out and about FrillArtist? On general tech sites I call out Apple Fellows who talk like you. Rude is rude from what ever camp it rises.

          3. I think you are reading FalKirk incorrectly. He means apps such these examples that will possibly take a long time to port, speaking in general terms. That’s how I read the statement.

          4. Are you serious? 7 iOS apps for every 3 Android apps? Not following the thread anymore. You need to update your statistics and stop writing to get more hits for your page, you are spreading lies to everyone. I even told you the following statistic before:

            Android is closing in on 600,000 apps which is the SAME (if not more) as iOS.


  6. There are plenty of apps in Google Play and no Android users have complained about a lack of apps.

    Maybe developing on Android isn’t as lucrative as iOS, but sorry developers all the users are on Android. Learn to make a living where all the users are. I really doubt its the other way around.

    1. Bada, developers make a living on user’s dollars, not on users. A buyer who doesn’t buy or generate advertising revenue is a no sale and of no use to a developer.

      1. Then why are there no shortage of apps on Android? If Android users are useless to developers then I’m sure there would be no development there.

        Users love Android because of its freedom, better prices, and advanced features. How much money a developer makes is USELESS to phone buyers. It is the developer who better adjust and find ways to make money where all the users are.

        1. I kind of agree with this. And the way I agree is a developer who is following a sound business plan should have a decent understanding of where their customers are (iOS or Android or both and to what degree), and by customers I mean people who will help them make money either directly or through advertising (never mind an understanding of whether their software is bringing value that people will want).

          That being said, I think both Falkirk and Ben have done a great job of showing for the strategic developer it is becoming evident that there is less money being made on Android. But should a developer find that their customers ARE on Android, it would be irresponsible not to develop there.

          Someone mentioned Rovio earlier. They, especially, are one developer who has been vocal about the difficulties of making Angry Birds a sustainable endeavor on Android and the lopsided cost of doing business there vs iOS. As has been John Carmack and ID Software.

          It’s all well and good if a customer loves Android, there is room for everyone. But don’t make believe there aren’t issues for developers who are trying to make money on the platform. Just as Mac devotees have to be honest that not all software solutions are on the Mac OS that are on Windows.


      2. Mr. Kirk,

        I have responded to your previous argument and still you have not responded properly to all my arguments. Your data you use for developers earning less on average is a year old. At that time Apple’s paid apps had a ratio of 3-1.

        Now it is nearly 1-1. 26 percent of iOS users buy 20+ apps, while 19 percent of Android users buy 20+ apps. The amount of people who don’t buy apps on either platform is around 6-7 percent.

        Considering Android has double the population base, why are you pressing this matter so closely? It clearly seems that Android has the advantage for a developers.

  7. Wow this is pretty much an anti-Android propaganda piece. The sources from the article are mostly from bias pro-Apple sites.

    1. Feel free to submit your own sources from ones you believe are valid that back up any point you feel needs to made to contribute to the conversation. We appreciate healthy debate but feel it should be backed up.

      1. “The bottom line is that Android as a business for Google is to suck profits from hardware and put them into Google’s services. Hardware makers do not like this and have huge strains of relationship already because of it.”

        Which hardware makers? Could you back it up?

        1. Google is not like Microsoft where they are trying to insert value back into the platform specifically for their hardware partners. Google is better than MSFT in the regard of allowing differentiation but Google for Android is an advertising strategy, nothing else.

          The vendors we speak to are all very concerned about the long term business opportunities of Android. How long did it take for the Galaxy S3 and the Nexus to get below $99 or go to buy one get one free. Android hardware is a race to the bottom. Now if you were a hardware maker like HTC, Samsung, etc. do you want to be in a race to the bottom?

          As we have researched and explored the business fundamentals, which was the point of John’s series BTW, it is then that you see some issues with the platform.

          The question remains after looking at the distribution of profits in this mobile industry as to who Android is working for. It is clearly working out decent for Google even though they don’t make much money from it yet in their overall revenue split. It is also working for the carriers to a degree even though they have all been honest that the iPhone has delivered more network and data value than any other platform. But others are having a hard go out of it. If MSFT mobile offering begin to gain traction you will see more of the core Android hardware vendors start going more toward MSFT. WHich means you will see less Android hardware on the market as each vendor splits the half dozen or so devices they many each year currently between two platforms.

          In my opinion for Android to remain sustainable in the eyes of the OEMs someone will need to make and sustain a premium Android based smart phone for a length of time. Not release one then drop its price significantly after three months.

          1. I tried to “like” this about 5+ times, but I can only get 1 to show up. With HTC and Samsung the only Android device makers making a profit and Samsung the only one in an upward trend, I really can’t see how Android is built on anything but a house of cards. Consumers can clamor for Android devices all they want, but in the end the handset maker has to make money.

            Good luck to them all, though.


          2. “The vendors we speak to are all very concerned about the long term business opportunities of Android. How long did it take for the Galaxy S3 and the Nexus to get below $99 or go to buy one get one free. Android hardware is a race to the bottom.”

            I’m not sure though if you really have spoken with vendors. But how’s WP8 will be any different?

            “If MSFT mobile offering begin to gain traction you will see more of the core Android hardware vendors start going more toward MSFT. WHich means you will see less Android hardware on the market as each vendor splits the half dozen or so devices they many each year currently between two platforms.”

            IF it gains traction. I don’t think I will see less Android hardware even if WP8 comes out. Sony, ASUS, and ACER are releasing more Android phone and only 1 WP8 phones. Like ACER they announced that they are releasing 5 Android phones and 1 WP8. Samsung is winning because they are more focused on marketing than any other company the unequal distribution of profit is not about Android. It could happen the same with WP8.

            OEM will gravitate towards Android because it’s free (except for patent bullying from msft), and it’s highly customized. With WP8 you are stuck with flat tiles.

      1. but is it the truth? facts can be skewed you know. Don’t forget Android is improving and developer are just starting to recognize Android market share since ICS. The problem with Android was the pre-ICS which is the majority of the Android today, most developer like myself didn’t want to develop in pre-ICS Android because we felt that it is not ready yet. But that changed when the ICS and now Jelly Beans got release. We feel Android is ready for making money for developers. Actually many developers are now converting their iOS app to Android, (i.e. Flipboard, Instagram, etc).

        That’s why saying “Android application ecosystem – is weak. Terribly weak.” Tell me what application in iOS that you need doesn’t exist in Android?

        1. “The problem with Android was the pre-ICS which is the majority of the Android today…”- totnuckers

          Google reports that .08% of Android users are running Jelly Bean, 15.8% are running Ice Cream Sandwich leaving over 83% running a pre- ICS version of Android.

          “Tell me what application in iOS that you need doesn’t exist in Android?”

          I just wrote an entire, sourced, article explaining why iOS is more advantageous to developers than Android. It’s called: “Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers”

  8. What happened to the guys comment about this sounding like an anti-android propaganda piece? It vanished (but not before I saw it).

    I wouldn’t expect a site with “pinions” in the name to be so highly censored!

    1. It did not abide by our posting guidelines. Which needs to be replaced at the top of the thread but can be found at the bottom. We encourage opinions but when they are disrepectful or result to name calling we delete. That is not a form of intelligent conversation and that is the bar we hold our commenters to.

      1. Our columnists are expressing their opinions. Please respect their opinion and the opinions of other commenters. 2. No selling of products or services. We desire to keep this an ad-free zone. If you use the name of a product or firm as your screenname, your comment may be considered spam and removed.
      3.No ad hominem attacks. These are conversations in which we debate ideas. Criticize ideas, not the people behind them. Please by respectful.

    2. techpinions is just that exactly. Opinions. No facts. No objectivity. Nothing except blabbing at the mouth. They only want “opinions” when it supports their apple fanaticism agenda. I’m not coming back either, I just wish there was a way to block this site from my Google News so I don’t have to see any nonsense they write.

        1. Hey Ben I have been following your columns, especially this one. Although I agree with a lot of things I disagree with a lot of comments too.

          I do feel, however, that much of the arguments here have been Apple-centric. I posted in an earlier thread, and most of my comments were unanswered. The portion that was however was supported with old data.

          It is also sort of bias to pull information from macdaily news as a source. There is a source on here that is outdated as well (paris lemon). I can also find a source that says android interest is high:

          Also malware, cloning, piracy are all reasons why the PC dominated the Mac, It could also mean that Android has the more popular “network effect” since these are issues that arise with a high user base. Clearly these stats are being used to be anti-android.

          A better reason why iOS has the better platform would be the integration of services, and the ecosystem they are currently building in the enterprise. A better reason why Android is lacking in the department is because Android is altered by every OEM, making the standard for security to vary between devices and software to be incompatible.

          I’m just saying it’s high time to use better arguments.

          1. My recommendation to FrillArtist was to read a larger body of work especially to make a claim of nonsense based on one article and his opinion of it.

            Many of the arguments I am putting is based on my 12 years of studying the market for consumer electronics. I have written columns that are Apple centric, ones that are Google and Android centric, Amazon centric, Apple centric, innovation centric, etc. I am pro technology and pro industry.

            What is getting missed in John’s columns is that he is presenting the industry centric issues around Android. I use an Android phone and I know the many reasons why people love it. There are many things I really like about my Gal Nexus running Jelly Bean but there are also things my iPhone did better and some of those things it did better are very important to me. Which is why after my platform analysis of Jelly Bean is done I will be going back to iOS.

            In no way shape or form is Android going away any time soon and personally I feel Jelly Bean has significantly advanced the platform. However we are at least a year away before Jelly Bean gets over 20% of the global handset installed base based on current upgrade timing trends.

            However from our research and analysis and discussion with many of the larger players in the industry there is certainly concern on the business side of Android.

            Windows phone will continue to help complicate things and if Windows 8 is successful I strongly believe that it will effect Android in the long run. Those who make Android phones will also make Windows phones. When that happens they certainly can not make as many Android devices per year as they do right now. Therefore their will be less Android devices on the market to sell as the major OEMs split resources to support and develop both platforms.

            IF Windows phone allows OEMS to make more money even if they sell less, they will slowly move away from Android. The vendors care about money not market share no matter what anyone tells you.

            The bottom line and every who makes Android devices knows this, Google’s ideal world is that these devices are given away for free so everyone has them. Problem is no one makes money. Android is an advertising strategy for Google pure and simple.

            That strategy will ultimately bring with it many challenges for OEMs. When you look at what is about to happen in 7″ Android tablets you see that only a handful can make money and over time I am convinced that market dynamic translates to Smart phones. Take HTC for example. JUst an abysmal year financially and they still sold a decent amount of phones made made no money.

  9. Are Android developers really being underpaid, or is it that there is a plethora of free apps that are competing with the few paid ones? If Android was such a money loser, how is it that Glu, Rovio, EA, and Atari are making apps for Android. Wouldn’t they have stopped developing for the platform long ago, if it were such a money loser?

    1. It’s not a money loser, Franc012, it just makes much less money (6 to 1) for developers than does iOS. Plus, iOS doesn’t suffer the same degree of malware, piracy, cloning, etc. described in this article. For more, please see yesterday’s article entitled: “Android v. iOS Part 4: Developers

  10. Android or iOS for most it does not really matter. It is likely buying a ‘brand’ name sun glasses – you pay extra for the brand.
    The Typical user just want stuff to work and they use the tablet to check email/facebook/etc., visit web sites while sitting on the couch, watch a movie, listen to music and play angery birds. Android and iOS do this this. After that is people free will to choose and iOS has the power of being the kewl thing and a following that is more than willing to pay extra just for the brand.
    Yes I use both and find they both equally do 90% of what I do. It is that last 10% that I lean back and forth over.

    1. I agree they are both real cool. I think with Apple people pay for more privacy and security too, at least some do. Most might not care about it as much.
      Everyone knows google is after as much info as possible, that’s their real money maker so android is free and device prices are lowered to cost. Fantastic products still, if you don’t mind the tradeoff of privacy. At least they’re not directly selling the info though.

  11. John Kirk, I admire the sagacity and insights you have bring forth to the arguments on your 5-fold (becoming six) parts discourse on Android Vs. Apple.

    You have bring forth a lot of quantitative data on how on the business perspective Apple is be obviously winning in the profit share, developer share and network effect. However, as an apple user myself, I strongly believe

    1. Thats not really a good analogy at all. Bugatti and Ferraris have the horsepower and stats to back up their price. But Apple does not offer more features or top of the line technology that Android offers customers at a better price. Apple simply charges customer more for older technology and less features.

      1. I do think cars to a degree have elements of the proper analogy so long as one understands that value may be measured differently by different people. As I stated in an article I wrote Friday not all consumers are created equal.

        You may be looking at the specs or fundamental technologies where others may be looking for other things. For example why do people pay hundreds of dollars for jeans or other clothing items when you can get cheaper ones that all do the same things.

        So as I stated the key to the understandings on of a market is to understand how certain segments measure value. Because it is very different with many different consumers and consumer markets.

        This is why I would pay more money for a Mac over a PC any day of the week. Due to the clear and present and quantitive value Macs deliver to my work flow that Windows could never match. Which is why I switched. I personally measured value differently than simply price.

        1. Just curious what was the reason for your switch to Mac? I had a mac for a couple years and switched back to my PC.

          I use a lot of business applications and manage databases so you can see how a Mac was difficult for me to get adjusted to.

          My PC’s for the last 4 years have been better specced, similar build quality, same if not better battery life, and i get exactly what i want. machine with a discrete graphics card with a bigger 1080p display or a matte 13.3 inch ultrabook to take with me on a daily basis.

          My macbooks on the other hand (i owned a pro and the air) kept getting outdated every 8-12 months, or whenever Apple would release the new models.

          1. With Windows I have had to fight with the technology first and foremost. I started my career with a short stint in IT and I could support Windows with the best of them. I know the ins and outs of that beast as good as anyone. Then I started using a Mac and all of a sudden stuff just worked and I wasn’t dealing with DLL and registry issues. My mac booted faster and came out of sleep mode the second you open the lid.

            I prefer the UI, I use the MacBook air and its portability, battery life, etc. Ultrabooks are just starting to implement technology and design Apple has had for years.

            I consistently recommend to friends and family to switch the Mac as many are just fed up with Windows. Many continually to thank me regularly and can not believe how much they love their computer. The Mac has brought a joy to computing back to many we have spoken with during our industry research as well. Pretty fascinating stuff.

            Specs are also not for everyone. There is a matter of experience and “just works” that I believe is often time more valuable than simply the latest and greatest hard core specs.

            The way one consumer perceives value is different for each consumer or market segment.

            Plus your out dated point is valid in both Windows and Mac camps but also extremely valid in the Android smartphone world where devices are obsolete almost every three months.

          2. Actually there have been models that were thinner than the air, or very portable for quite some time now. Apple just made it popular. That being said, my PC I purchased 3 years ago was under an inch thick, had 8 hours of battery life, aluminum chasis, a newer processor, and better graphics card. It came out to be 800. Never had any DLL registry issues, in fact Windows 7 has made everything pretty easy, Vista was a headache, and XP was just old. Once I got this laptop, I rarely ever touched my mac.

            Specs are definitely in effect for productivity. I used to develop games and applications/photoshop/and do video conversions. The macbook I had had a 2.4 core2duo processor, 2gb ram, so these activities were significantly slower or even not possible on that hardware.

            I definitely understand that specs aren’t for everyone and could see how for an average computer user mac is a no headache type use. Just the satisfaction rate for W7 is 79 vs Apple’s 86. The disparity isn’t that close anymore.

            I bought an alienware i7 from 3 years ago (this is where I do all my major work). It definitely is not outdated, still has the top rated GPU card, and my 4 core cpu with HT is still top notch. I get a windows performance rating of 6.4/7.9 (and this is because of the hard drive, if I put in a SSD it will get a perfect score).

            The only mac I would recommend is the macbook air. There is no ultrabook that can meet it 1:1 that is cheaper. However for the same price you can get a higher res ultrabook w/ slightly better specs. As for regular PCs/laptops you can find one that competes with the pro/all in ones for way less.

    2. Its not perception. It is FACT that Android phones offers more at a better value. Not everyone owns an iphone/ipad/etc because they can read the specs and make a smart purchasing decision.

      In your analogy, the Enzo Ferrari and Bugatti Veyrons are more like the Galaxy S3 and HTC One Xs in the market today. I’m not sure if iphones are Hyundais but its certainly not at the same level.

      1. Yup, opinions are a dime a dozen and that about sums up Android land and . You can dress a pig up and slap on the lipstick but it’s still a pig. But an iPhone, value holds long after you walk out the door. Now that philosophy hold true in the real world of automobiles, too. No opinions in this running set of articles, just the facts.

        1. eh it’s debatable luxury cars are the fastest depreciating cars on the market. if i walk off with a new bmw it’ll depreciate 10-12k within the first year. iPhone is more like a high end Honda, it’ll last, it’s stable, and less depcreciation.

          the gs3/one x is more like the merced/bmw and then when they become used they drop incredibly fast and only the new models are worth a lot. i never stick with the same android phone i always have to upgrade to stay up with it.

          that being said the 4s could reasonably be bought for 300. galaxy s3 sells used for 450 plus.

  12. It seems that one of the fundamental assumptions a lot of people are making here is that one platform or the other will lose and cease to exist. The smart-phone market is huge and there is plenty of space for multiple platforms to exist. And, for the next 5 years, there will be iOS, Android, MSFT, and other Android forks coexisting. As, right now, smart-phones are expanding primarily into non-smart-phone territory.

    Market share numbers really only matter when smart-phone penetration hits near 100% and changes in market share numbers equate to one platform gaining users at the expense of others. Until that time, the other metrics presented in these articles at least as important to the companies behind the platforms.

  13. The heart to the matter is who is delivering the more advanced technology? You can’t continue to be “cool” when your product is no longer leading edge that Android is today. Did you notice this series never tackled on how many features iPhones lack? Android has widened the lead in both market share in units sold, OS, and hardware features. The point of view of these articles are all from a developers perspective. Well, guess what? Developers don’t dictate the platform they will follow where the user base is. Such an arrogant perspective. You keep flaunting how much developers make or Apples make ripping off their customers while Android’s business model has obliterated Apple in market share.

    Bottom line, SHOPPERS dictate the market, NOT DEVELOPERS. Don’t confuse the audience please. It would help if something was written about a technical comparison between iPhones and Android phones. Or a comparison between Jelly Bean and iOS6. That will show phone buyers how many features iPhones lack. 68% Android units sold to less than 20% Apple last quarter. People are not that dumb, they don’t get ripped off forever.

    1. I think Android actually demonstrates that features don’t matter. Android did not offer even close the feature set of iPhone when it first hit the market. And it didn’t matter. I think “feature” count really matters very little to the average consumer. What is most important is the features they want and not everything on a feature “list” is important. That was a solid principle in the PC days and a “feature” of Windows makers who, such as Dell, offered to build what the _consumer_ wanted, not “one size fits all”.

      Of course one of the “features” most important to some consumers is that the darn thing just work. And that is what Apple expressly offers. A faster processor is useless if the device has apps that constantly crash. A larger screen is pointless if the resolution of the images works better at smaller sizes.

      Yes, shoppers dictate the market, not developers (sort of). But for developers “user base” does not equal “shoppers”. “Shoppers” spend money and that is what developers need. If a user base, no matter how much larger, is not proportional to the number of people who spend money, there is no reason for the developer to spend time on that platform.

      That was one of the beauties of the Windows platform. Their user base was proportional to their “shopper base”. More users meant more people spending money. That is demonstrably not the case for Android, thus the abysmal developer community on Android.


      1. 4G, free tethering, full features of essential Google services, HD screens, quad CPU, ease of transfer to my PC, on and on and on….

        Sorry “it just works” doesn’t cut it for me when I’m spending that much money on a top of the line smartphone. Features are what makes a product. Less features should cost less. You can’t charge the same money with less features. I’m sorry but that is exactly why Android phones are better values and rule the smartphone market.

        1. Please read the short article I posted yesterday to add some perspective to this debate. It is very important to remember that personal preference is just that personal preference. Many consumers are choosing iPhones and apple’s holistic ecosystem and total experience works for them. There is nothing wrong with that. Android works for you and there is nothing wrong with that.

          We don’t quibble over consumers choosing to go to Chevron and pay a premium over the cheapest gas out there. We don’t quibble over people choosing a mercedes benz over a Kia and we don’t quibble because someone prefers Pepsi over Coke.

          I have fully evaluated both iOS and Android devices. There are great things they both do and I appreciate many features on both sides. Android does some thing better and iOS / iPHone does some things better.

          It really comes down to consumer choice and choice is ok. Features are more than just specs, and I find it very hard to discount all the other reasons people may be choosing iPhones.

          Here is what I wrote yesterday.

        2. Free tethering is on a carrier to carrier basis. If ATT finds you are tethering without paying for it, regardless of OS, they will at least start charging you for it if cancel your service. This gets back to what I said elsewhere, you cannot ignore the carrier effect.

          4g only matters where the carrier offers 4g, which still isn’t as ubiquitous as it should be. And even when you look at carriers who offer 4g, such as Verizon and ATT, the iPhone still out performs most if not all handsets in sales offered by the carrier.

          So “it just works” doesn’t cut it _for you_. As I said there is no one size fits all. It just works is very important _to me_ (and apparently to many others based on sales). Google services are irrelevant to me. I don’t watch HD on any of my mobile devices, and even if I did HD at that size is laughably irrelevant. And if high resolution is that important to you, you absolutely should be using Apple with their Retina displays which outdoes 1080pHD almost 2:1. But I suspect you aren’t looking for the best resolution, you are just looking for anything not Apple. Which is cool. You should. And you should be able to. I love true choice.

          1. You know…” I don’t need this, or I don’t need that, or why would I use that for” is always the same predictable response from Apple users. It really is a response to hide frustration and jealous. Either that or denial to admit the shortcomings on iphones.

            But once Apple finally incorporates features Android users has been enjoying a long time in the next iphone, then you won’t be able to live without these features.

          2. Although I am sure there are iPhone features I am not interested in. I was never interested in an iPad except as an anniversary gift for my wife. She seemed excited. Me, not so much. I guess it is frustrating to you that not everyone is as enthralled with Android as you are. Not sure why, but OK. Interestingly I heard iPhone users say the same thing to Android users in Android’s early days.

            I also find it interesting that the whole software debate is often expressed the same way but exactly for opposite reasons when it was Mac OS v Windows. Mac users used to say “What can you find for Windows that I can’t find, exactly or comparable, for the Mac?”.

            Go figure.

            I love competition,

          3. Also understand. I do a lot of international traveling. A lot of the features you cite just have no meaning in many places.


          4. I actually live outside of the US for a few years now, after living in US for 30 years. When I mentioned tethering I wasn’t referring to carrier restrictions. When my friends visit me I can always allow them to tether their Apple devices to my Android phone, but when I go visit them their Apple devices would not allow non-Apple devices to tether to them. This really gave me a look at taste of Apple devices restrictions. Another example is bluetooth where Apple devices only allow headsets where I can enjoy any bluetooth device.

          5. This is simply not correct. I have regularly used non-Apple and non-Apple-certified Bluetooth devices with Apple products. Wi-Fi “tethering” works with any compatible Wi-Fi device. The only thing that I don’t think works is USB tethering of non-Macs to iPhones, but that is a driver issue. But since Wi-Fi is an available option, this isn;t giving up anything.

          6. Tethering seems tied directly to carrier restrictions, at least these days. I’ve never tethered, never needed to. My brother has some old cell phone that he has tethered with for years. Now all of a sudden his carrier cut that off. Not sure how carriers know, but they do. And if tethering is not offered for that device via the carrier it doesn’t matter what the OS or device.

            Since tethering is not an issue for me, I’ll leave what devices can tether with what devices as something others can address. I’ve never looked into it.

            I don’t use bluetooth devices, either. So, ok. Although, I am sure bluetooth is the key to wireless electricity.

            I visit a lot of places in the US and abroad, that don’t even have 3g.


          7. Lets say your phone is connected to a carrier over 3G/4G. Then you don’t need to buy a tablet that has 3G/4G built-in, saving you a few bucks. You can then tether the tablet to your phone which is connected to the network and both devices can be online. All you really need is one device connected to a carrier.

          8. And even then it depends on what the carrier means by 4g. ATT says the iPhone 4s _is_ 4g, with hspa+. Of course, I’m not sure even Apple agrees, but there you are.


        3. What I am genuinely curious about is what are you doing with Android that a quad core processor is necessary? Tablets get derided for being only for “consumption” not creation. Even less so for a smartphones, I’m sure. I can’t think of anything I do that should be processor intensive. Although I am sure Apple will eventually unveil a quad core processor for iOS, I still can’t for the life of me figure why it is even needed regardless of OS.


          1. There is a difference in performance between my dual core and quad core phone. Android has ‘true multitasking’ which needs more cpu cycles. Its capable of something closer to PC-like multitasking, where apps do whatever they want in the background, whereas iOS forces all apps that aren’t currently being used into suspension unless they use one of the specific background functions that Apple allows.

    2. Bada, the purpose of these articles is to look at Apple and its iOS and their potential health or growth and the reasons for such. It would be encouraging to have an Android interest site to do the same with regards to its favourite OS(s) for those with such interest. I would have little interest in visiting such a site, though out of curiosity I might. Were I to learn something there, more the better. If I found the material as remote from my own understanding, I would do the honourable thing and leave for picking fights is unhealthy to a community and to oneself. I would assume that the participants of a group are made up of many temperaments and the more clear and honest thinkers would be able to challenge the miscues of those with shared interests at the site.

      Name calling is one of the lowest forms of attack and often used out of frustration. Over time I have come to notice that those who call others arrogant are often at the top of such a list.

      1. I hear you, but Bada has not really done any name slinging as far as I can tell. And if you can weed out the emotionalism and slog through the overly broad generalizations, Bada has brought up real issues that are relevant to Bada—hopefully as a legitimate consumer. And I’m ok conversing about real issues.


      2. I went through my post and didn’t notice any name calling as you accused. Isn’t accusing me and slandering someone even worse?

  14. Here is the thing for me that makes most analysis difficult. The “Android” business model does not correlate to the “iOS” business model. One reasons is because there really is no Android business model. Or certainly no _single_ business model. It is even difficult to compare Windows to Android. Microsoft has very strict control over the Windows OS and, either directly or indirectly, over how it is used and appears in hardware. And Microsoft makes money directly from Windows. Google does not.

    For Google, Android is a feature, not a product. For the device makers each Android implementation is different, and not just between the device makers, but often within their own product offerings. So again, Android is a feature, not a product. Because there is another factor that neither Windows nor iOS will cater to, the carrier effect. To the carrier, the handsets are not the product, either. Handsets are their “features”. Their contracts and monthly service are their products. So handset makers will design the products using Android to what the _carriers_ want. One would hope that this translates to what the customer wants, but if you look at which handset makers are actually making a profit from Android devices, it is very hard to make this argument.

    Just to complete this thought, for Apple iOS is not just a feature, it is part of the body of their product. Apple has always been software+hardware, not one or the other. Even when Apple sells software (such as Final Cut or iWork) it is as a feature to the hardware. The only hardware independent software they have is iTunes and Quicktime. But it is easily argued that both of those are about creating functionality to their other offerings.

    I can compare Apple to Samsung, Apple to Microsoft, Apple to HTC, Apple to Lenovo, even Apple to IBM (try to remember back when Apple believed their arch enemy was IBM) but ultimately iOS to Android is nye on impossible, at least functionally. Because it really is Apple v Android. But you’ve done the best, most thorough job to date of any writer, save for Horace Deidu at asymco, although he usually focuses on very specific areas and not usually a broad picture.


  15. One other factor weakens Android – the open system approach empowers the carriers (Verizon, AT&T, etc.). Apple’s clout prevents the carriers from dumping both their junk and their restrictions (to some degree) – everything from carrier labeling to carrier crapware that can’t be removed and so on. Sometimes having a big stick (iPhone and iPad here) gives the consumer some leverage against which carriers are left in a weak position. And, thank Apple, not Google, for that.

    1. Google’s court case with skyhook showed behind the scenes they have very strong control over android distribution. The android project leaves out significant functionality and APIs that is only completed by the google apps layer, which they control tightly as well, and have a final compatibility review and sole discretion sign-off before the devices can make market. Google has all the power, it just doesn’t seem like it sometimes for some reason. They could distribute an android-incompatable device forked from it but would lose support, early release, and the right to complete the APIs with the google apps layer, but then you have a kindle or e-reader.

  16. Android is the best because I’ve never paid a single cent for my Apps. It’s free and I can get what I want. save monny

  17. You really cannot compare apples and oranges… the bussiness model greatly varies :
    * for apple, this is pare of the core business. they want end-to-end control and make whatever they can to keep you hooked (and do a good enough job at it)
    * for google, they only care about market share. Profit share is irrelevant since their core business is, was and probably will be advertising. And for a powerful ad network, you need reach, which translates to market.

    In addition a point not mentioned is severe fragmentation in Android, which is a pain for both the developer (more hardware combinations to cater and debug for) and the user (a lot of apps are not compatible between his devices).

    Not to mention that a large percentage of the Android market share is driven by sub-100$ devices that don’t have the specs to run anything descent, and are usually paired with a pay-as-you-go no-internet connection, putting harm in the ad revenue developers hope for.

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  23. saygılı bir ortamın korunmasını sağlamak için çaba sarf ederler. Bu durum, kullanıcıların güvenli bir şekilde hayal dünyalarını paylaşmalarını ve keyifli bir deneyim yaşamalarını sağlar.

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