Google’s Android has become one of the best selling mobile operating systems. One of the reasons why so many hardware manufacturers use Android is because it is an open source project. Open source projects allows users, including hardware makers, to use the software for free.
Having a free operating system for mobile devices is great for the hardware makers, but it does not earn Google any money. Building and updating Android is not free and Google needs to earn money to keep improving and developing it. So how does Google make money with Android?
The latest cell phone market share figures should have tablet makers quaking in fear of what Apple may do to them once iPad 3 arrives. Currently, Apple is sucking all the profits out of the market. Moreover, many of Apple's competitors have taken their best stab at iPad by flooding the channel, but with weak sell-though results (just ask Samsung, HP or RIM how tablets are working out).
The latest figures peg Apple's global tablet market share at 61.3%. Like with iPhone vs Android phones, we saw Android quickly race out ahead in deployment numbers, which are flattening out or starting to work back in Apple's favor. New numbers for the iPhone comes from BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, predicting up to 30 million iPhones could be sold in the September quarter. If iPhone sales are poised for this absolute explosion, what will halo effect be for iPads vs the rest of the pack?
It wasn't all that long ago when iOS was pretty much the standard mobile app development environment. But then along came Android, which took off like wildfire, as handset manufacturers were desperate for a challenger to iPhone. Android stormed the mobile castle, while RIM and Nokia have all but lowered the drawbridge in a series of missteps. As a result, iOS and Android have pretty much locked up the mobile development community, but there are more players in the offing.
The latest numbers by Charlie Wolf of Needham & Associates indicates that Android's market share is flattening out, and/or perhaps poised to fall over the coming quarters, due to increased competition from the likes of Apple and other forthcoming competition. Wolf's assertions also fall in line with NPD's latest market share reports, adding further fuel to the fire that Android is getting the squeeze.
Today, Google's Andy Rubin Tweeted that Android is seeing an average of 500,000 activations per day. First of all, what exactly does Google consider an activation? Is an Android activation an LG refrigerator with Android built-in for touch-screen control? Is an Android activation millions of China Mobile smart phones that have a core Android OS in them, but everything else Google stripped out of them?
iOS vs Android: The Market Share War That Is
Analysts and tech media alike have one central theme correctly identified. Apple and Google are in a heated market–share war, but declaring any victor in today's battle would be pure folly. Yet Henry Blodget advances his position that Android is now the victor and iOS is dead. Blodget flashes around Nielsen's latest purchasing intent survey as proof positive. I also recall a survey claiming nearly 54% of all Verizon customers would turn in their Blackberry's and Android's for iPhone 4 on day one of it's launch.
Henry Blogdet's recently ran an article for Business Insider titled, IT'S OFFICIAL: Android Clobbering Everyone, iPhone Dead In The Water. To get a better idea of what he is talking about feel free to check out his column here. Am I going to rip into Henry's column from the get-go? Absolutely. I found his entire piece seriously troubling, as I had thought that only a Dvorak-like mind could come up with such antiquated material – I was wrong.
I'm not here to personally tear apart Henry, that's not my goal, as I enjoyed his latest column on the economy as it was quite refreshing. But whether Henry's mobile OS mindset comes from a financial or viable business perspective it makes no difference, his positions are completely indefensible. It actually took some time to decipher whether or not he was actually serious. Was this just another Paul Thurott link bait article, or did Henry really think he'd struck gold with this one? Sadly, I think it's the latter, which means I'm putting in the midnight oil to give Henry – and hopefully tens of thousands more – pause to reflect as to why this isn't the PC war of decades past, rather, it is the new war of post PC devices, and how the twixt of these twain couldn't be further apart.
Tomorrow I'll be delivering one of a two-part series in which I will attempt to dissect Henry Blodget's analysis of Android vs iOS, and how he couldn't be more off base. Not to be cruel, but Henry thinks he's sliding into home plate with this one, when he's not even playing on the field. Really.
Henry's position on this topic, whether from a financial or viable business position are so indefensible, it took a while to decipher whether he was actually serious. Was this just another Paul Thurott link bait article, or did Henry really think he'd struck gold with this one? Sadly, I think it's the latter, which means I'm putting in the midnight oil to give Henry – and hopefully tens of thousands more – pause to reflect and think about how this isn't the PC war of decades past, rather, it's the new world of post PC devices, and how the twixt of these twain couldn't be further apart.
Lack of Security within mobile OSes isn't anything new. Developers have seen the gaping holes for quite some time an the public is just starting to become aware. Back on April 5th the WSJ did some pretty impressive research on Pandora's invasive practices within the Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems, and both seem to be unable in stop applications from taking what they want out of the phone (at least for now).
With the latest iOS is tracking you story making national headlines, the general consumer seems to be catching on that their devices are peeking in on what they are doing, or at least they think they are (and their apps are likely doing even more privacy damage). The whole buzz around this privacy issue is eerily similar to that of "antenna-gate" and it's best Apple get in front of this as they did with the iPhone 4's attenuation story. It is critical Apple blows holes in mis-information and rumor before it becomes an assumed fact the Apple is stealing your every move from iOS devices.
In business there are times when opportunity knocks and you had better be ready to answer the door. Is your hair combed, your shirt tucked in, does your breath smell good? Because on the other side is royalty, and it's called "opportunity".
Google had such a knock on their door in 2009 when Apple decided to enter into a third year of exclusively with AT&T. On the other hand, Google was working with several handset makers across the other three major US carriers delivering the Android OS. While Android wasn't yet mature and its feature set somewhat lacking, Mr. Opportunity knocking at Google's door. But did Google answer?