My father in law and sister in law were over last night.

I am getting more and more bullish on Android every day. I starting carrying an Android phone about a year ago. I made it my one and only phone over the summer. I absolutely love it.

My sister in law who is an iPhone user tried it out last night. She said "it lacks the fit and finish" of an iPhone. That is true.

Windows lacked the fit and finish of the Macintosh. But it didn't matter. Because there were hundreds of Windows machines whereas there was only a few variations of Macintosh, all controlled by the same company and priced at a premium.

My father in law told me he wants a tablet but $500 for an iPad seems high to him. I asked him if he'd pay $199 for an Android tablet. He said "where can I get one"? When he told me his primary uses of the tablet will be Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar, I told him he'll be better off with Android.

Six months ago Android apps were second citizens.  Either you couldn't get an Android app at all or the Android version sucked compared to the iPhone version. That is so less true today. My daughter's friend was claiming her love for her Yelp app on her iPhone. I loaded up my Yelp app on my Android and we compared them to each other. You couldn't tell the difference. And the most recent Android Foursquare build has finally delivered the awesome Foursquare iPhone experience to Android.

I am encouraging every company we work with to invest as heavily in Android as they invest in iPhone/iPad. I actually think they should invest more because Android is still wide open and the iPhone/iPad marketplaces are leaderboard driven and the leaders have been established and it's hard to crack into the top ten anywhere.

iPhone and iPad have been amazing products that have opened new markets. But I do not think they will own either market in a few years. Android will.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. SLJonesDigital

    Windows lacked the fit and finish of a Scully Macintosh … Jobs 2.0 has widened the gap considerably.

    1. fredwilson

      rightand windows still winseven though we all hate it

      1. Ben Drucker

        But does it really? Apple’s sales were strong over the past two years, whereas PC/Windows sales tanked. I’d tend to think Apple is quite happy with where it is now in terms of marketshare and brand loyalty.

        1. Nuno Maia

          What are you smoking man?Apple blogs?Windows 7 was most sucessful OS launch is MSFT history.And i belong in the minority club. All OSes past Amiga OS blows. Cancers of evolution. 2 decades lost on desktop OSes in stupid glossy/glass/aero/shiny obstrusive bloated crap.User experience and productivity are dominated by 2 companies who have no idea. No clue. Zilch.Do people even wonder why home creativity is down in last decades? Unless you count sending webcam videos to youtube as productive computer based creative work.

      2. kenberger

        To me personally (as a techie/hacker), Android wins for the same reason that Windows wins*: It’s open nature will continue to have an endless variety of hardware, perpetual refreshes and options, uses STANDARD PLUGS (micro-usb vs that stupid apple connector), all at a myriad of price points.And largely for these reasons, we will very soon have way more developers and software offerings on Android than iPhone.*(I don’t hate windows, and use both Win and Mac happily for diff purposes. Recommending a new machine for my mom is a different story (had her switch to Mac))

        1. PhilipSugar

          I’m with you on this….I think soon if you are not USB based I won’t buy you no matter how much better you are….its a travel issue for me.

      3. Mayson

        Windows wins: but it only wins for Microsoft, and maybe for some ISVs.Apple is making more profit per Mac sold than any PC seller.

        1. William Mougayar

          Apple is premium, and as long as many of us want premium products, they’ll continue to make them, and make profits along the way.

    2. Jevon

      I hate Windows,. but 7 isn’t so bad and the people who use it seem to actually like it. They use Explorer (with a lot of them switching to Chrome), MS Office and that is about it.

  2. Michael Yavonditte

    I love my Android too! It’s the first phone to get my to turn in my old flip phone! You also have to credit Verizon for having the “right” network for us NY folk.Only issue I’ve had thus far had to do with Froyo 2.2 update, which kind of fried my battery. An uninstall/re-install essentially fixed the problem.With Android I feel like I have a fully functional, high speed computing device in my pocket. If you are a heavy gmail person then Android makes sense for you.We’re working on an iPhone all right now for @hashable. But you can be assured that we will follow-up very quickly with an Android app for Hashable. I cannot wait!

    1. fredwilson

      i wonder when companies will start building android first and iphone secondhas to happen soon i think

      1. Chris McKillop

        Won’t happen until the tools for doing Android apps get as good as the tools for doing iOS apps. I smell opportunity.

      2. Jevon

        As more apps start to get built for the mainstream (think, grocery chains, gas stations and pharmacies) then the distribution of the Android will be more attractive than the iphone.Don’t forget though that Android is putting the control squarely in the hands of the carriers, and that may be part of the winning formula for now, but in the long term we could end up back where we were with Nokia, Siemens and whoever else: Locked down phones where the OS is seen as a channel to upsell you in to other carrier services.What is needed on Android is for a third party with a strong brand to provide a trusted app store that carriers have to include. Ie: The Google App Store instead of the Android App store.Android is actually directly mirroring Blackberry’s go-to market with the exception of hardware production.

      3. iPosit

        I’m not so sure, Fred. Isn’t there still a lot more VC money behind the iPhone app economy than the Android app economy?Also, I’m not sure of the revenues from Android apps and the Android marketplace, but I noticed that in Google’s earnings report there was no mention of the Android marketplace being another billion-dollar business for Google (yet). But, I bet Apple is raking in the funds from its share of revenues from app sales.Just a thought…I definitely will consider another tablet device (Samsung’s Tab or a Droid Tablet) to accompany my iPad when they start to come out.

        1. fredwilson

          we don’t invest that waywe don’t think of the iPhone ecosystem as an investment areawe don’t think of the Android ecosystem as an investment areawe don’t think of Facebook or Twitter ecosystem as an investment areawe invest in large networks of engaged users and you have to be in all of these ecosystems to get there

          1. iPosit

            I hear ya, Fred, but don’t some VCs invest that way?I’m thinking of Kleiner Perkins, for instance, as one example of a VC firm that has set up a $200M iFund for the Apple app ecosystem and Apple innovators:…It began in 2008 as a $100M iFund and then they doubled it earlier this year. That’s a pretty convicting and compelling argument, in my eyes, in favor of Apple as the leading platform for app developers. Follow the money….So, while I don’t agree with you that it has to happen soon for developers to develop for Android first & iPhone second, I would agree that it is certainly a possibility to happen at some point.

          2. fredwilson

            i think it is stupid to do thati think it was a marketing stunt

      4. Matt A. Myers

        I don’t think that ever needs to happen.In some instances where the revenue that Apple takes doesn’t make it the right choice it could, but otherwise it’s not the natural effect of the ecosystem – read my related in-depth reply to William Mougayar

      5. William Mougayar

        That would be a tipping point when it happens.

      6. Lucian Armasu

        I think there are a few companies that have done that, but very few. What I’ve noticed more and more though is that companies seem to release Android apps in the same time with iPhones ones. And they should do that, because Android users tend to become angry at the company if they don’t.I don’t think we’ll see the majority of startups making Android apps first until it’s common knowledge that you can make more money from Android than from iPhone. For that to happen, the Android Market needs to be in a lot more countries, give access to paid apps in a lot more countries as well, offer more monetization options like in-app purchasing, improve the quality of the Market. Some, if not all of these, should come with the integration of Paypal into Gingerbread. But even so, Android needs to first have a user base bigger than iPhone’s, perhaps much bigger.

      7. David Fishman

        NOT soon enough!

      8. Zee

        my company developed android first, and still not looking at iphone.we made this decision early last year, and now we are ahead.

        1. fredwilson

          awesomehow is it going?

  3. Eric Leebow

    Yes, Android is a very powerful system. I’m very pleased with the Foursquare Android app, they’ve done great work! It’s my belief that Android will be one of the most popular by the end of first quarter next year. Also, I’m waiting for the Android Tablet, there are a few really great ones coming out, such as the Notion Ink Adam.

    1. fredwilson

      oohi’ll check out the notion ink adamhadn’t heard of it

      1. Lucian Armasu

        Yeah, it was actually the most popular “noname” Android tablet before Galaxy Tab. They said it should come out by the end of the year and cost between $400-$500, different versions. Two versions have a PixelQi screen which means you can switch between the “LCD mode” and the “e-paper mode” (reflective). They have very good specs for the price.Their site is

    2. William Mougayar

      Beautiful design. The Vertu of tablets?

      1. Eric Leebow

        Yes, yet you don’t need to buy a Vertu. The Vertu is just a fancy mobile, whereas the Notion Ink will be functional! It even has a unique swivel camera, something that you won’t find on other tablets.

    3. David Fishman

      +1 on Android Tablet!

    4. Eric Leebow

      Yes, it’s well worth the wait, as most great things in life. Everyone who went out and bought (myself included) an iPad, will soon realize that the best tablet devices were not yet released, which gave Apple somewhat a temporary early adopter advantage. I’d put down the iPad for an Android tablet, or I’d find another tablet device that can outdo the previous tablet, knowing something else that is much neater will come out.From my personal experience, I realized with my work on the computer, a tablet device is more of a replacement of a book or an entertainment device. You can think of the tablet devices as the modern day portable CD player, MP3 player, portable DVD player, etc. It fills that gap, if you had a portable DVD player, now you can replace it with a portable tablet. The Notion Ink Adam is just one example, and there are plenty of others.I wish I were a college student today. Here’s why: College students today will have more interactive digital devices to choose from next year, such as there will be at least 2 brands of digital textbooks available, and everyone knows the Kindle, yet there will be another full color one coming out soon. The iPad is just a simple example of the future of touchscreen tablet devices. There will be at least 20 other devices available, and all the major computer manufacturers you know of already will be making them.

  4. howardlindzon

    I carry both and though I agree with the fit and finish. I love the light weight of the DROID HTC incredible and the car GPS features.Oh and Verizon.The iPhone though is a work of art and if I can get the right holster, I will always carry two into my 50’s.What the market showed yesterday was that all the talk about Facebook and Baidu the last 6 months left a small company with just 2 billion in quarterly income a lot of room to sneak around 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      is google a buy again now?

      1. howardlindzon

        hard to chase, but the hot hands say yes. you are playing the relativeprice game at this point though so not a fred wilson speacial opportunity. So, fred avoid, howie chase 🙂

        1. jarid

          Howard, what are your thoughts on $AAPL headed into earnings? Gotta like it long-term, but already up 50% YTD and up 20% since Sept. 1…

          1. howardlindzon

            i dont trade in front of earnings but have been long. the stock could drop50 but I dont see how they disappoint and the dips would likely be bought.

          2. Mao_Junior

            GOOG will most likely make an attack on the 700 area after basing in this area a bit…..i’d prefer to see it not give much back…that will give it the impetus to attack all-time highs…shorts are once again entering the name…i remember very well the launch into the happened rather quickly…this area will not offer much resistance if the market continues to rise or go sideways…i still see the anguish and anger over the rising market and not acceptance.

      2. Matt A. Myers

        I wouldn’t have stopped buying Google if I could have ever started; I still grumble that I wasn’t allowed to sell off any inheritance and put it all into Google’s IPO.

        1. Mao_Junior

          that’s smart investing…doesn’t make a difference if it went to 700…that’s horrible understanding of risk management

      3. Alan Warms

        I don’t think so on the buy. To me Android is all about defense for them. Unlike $MSFT they are not getting licensing fees — it’s all about preserving search share and gaining local/mobile search. $goog still has no growth engine after adwords so the question is will local search ad revenue be significantly MORE than the decline of desktop based search.Don’t get me wrong, I agree with everything you said on Android – why we relaunched and our own Appolicious Android App — and it is HUGE focus for us — but just not really seeing how this will drive massive cash flow growth for $GOOG in medium term. No doubt they had to do it.Compare to $aapl and the obvious places for them to drive cash flow growth as I’ve tweeted many times. Better Android stock bets may be to short Blackberry – I think they are the real loser here (that and iPhone going to Verizon).

    2. fredwilson

      google added ~$25bn in market cap in one daythere’s a lot of places they could spend that one day windfall!

      1. Shyam Subramanyan

        True and come Monday Apple might add something similar to their market cap as well.

      2. Matt A. Myers

        Oh me me me me!! Spend it on me! 🙂

    3. bijan

      i carry both as well.mostly so i can make sure i keep up to date with both platforms.but the iphone is my main squeeze

  5. LIAD

    if only we could directly short Windows Mobile 7.

    1. fredwilson

      poor microsoft and RIM

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup. Game is over, there. MS: too little, too late. RIM: too late, too little.

      2. Justin Kuepper

        There was recently an article in the WSJ about RIMM trying to attract Blackberry developers by launching new development tools and services. The new development software looks a lot more standardized than what they had, but their app store is still very inefficient at, for example, allowing users of a free app to upgrade to a premium app without reinstalling everything.

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          Also, the problem with Blackberry is that you can’t install apps in the memory card. You have to do it on the device memory and the space for that is quite limited… they’ve increased available memory for that in the Torch, but it’s still too little.

      3. Sebastian Wain

        We discussed this before… but… what if Microsoft developer tools are better than Apple (xcode) and Android (eclipse) ? what if any guy can develop some software in a few days while doing the same for Android and the Apple takes 2x o 3x? what if Silverlight experience is better than html5 or native UIs? And… what if connecting games between desktop, xbox and mobile works?Many “What IFs”, but for me the developing tools and silverlight are key. Also on the RIM side QNX is a very promising bet against Linux/iOS/Windows, the demo doesn’t feel real, but QNX is a strong OS.

      4. Ants Maran

        They’re not poor:- only flavors

    2. Eric Leebow

      Yes, I rarely meet anyone with a Windows Mobile. I don’t even think of developing on this, my mobile developer is starting with Android, then iPhone.

      1. Wesley Verhoeve

        I have never met anyone with a Windows Mobile, it’s that bad of a market situation.

  6. howardlindzon

    by the way. stpocktwits has a simple and easy stock app for the DROID as well. Just your watchlist and prices, charts and news, but for my phone, thats all i need and I have been doing this a while.

    1. Jevon

      It’s killer. I love it,. and I can tell it is just going to get better.

      1. howardlindzon

        droid or stocktwits 🙂

        1. Jevon

          The ‘twits

  7. Michael Kaye

    Wouldn’t it be a brilliant move by Apple to open up the iphone or have an open version of the iphone as well as the closed version? I have no expertise in this area and found this post by accident, but it seems to me that ipohone should do in relation to Android what Mac should have done on relation to Windows. I am sure it is more conplicated than that, but not as complicated as the people who are close to the situation think.

    1. Ben Drucker

      It would be just about as brilliant as it would be if Apple were to start selling Mac OS X for Dell computers. It totally violates Apple’s strategy and creates the same product fragmentation that the Android ecosystem is struggling with.

  8. Adam at Shopify

    I agree. However, Google needs to strong-arm OEMs into shipping a stock OS. “Customized” versions of Android leave end users without a consistent look and feel.The guys at TweetDeck posted some great statistics on Android hardware and OS fragmentation.…The developer implications are such that it’s not worth the battle to make your application run across all hardware and OS revisions. As a result, application coverage can be sparse.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      They can’t really strongarm them to do that, and I believe they won’t either. What they should do though is force them to use the stock version or very close to it indirectly.How indirectly? By promoting the Android OS big time through a series of ads. Gingerbread which should have a more polished UI and be more intuitive, would be the perfect opportunity for this.Android is not really a brand that most people know about. In US, most people would rather know about Droid than about Android, as far as brand names go. If people learn what Android actually is and see how Android should look like, they’ll start asking for those “Android phones” that look like in the commercials. Manufacturers should then sell more phones with stock Android than without because the stock one would be a lot more known.I really hope Google is working on a Gingerbread campaign. The ads seem to have helped Microsoft send their message across about what WP7 can do for you.

      1. Adam at Shopify

        Assuming this TC article is still relevant, that’s exactly what GOOG is trying to do with 3.0 (Gingerbread).

  9. Rick Bullotta

    Getting better, yes, but some fundamental capabilities are still lacking in the Android built-in applications. Notably, the lack of an ability to create/accept/handle meeting requests and calendar attachments in the Android mail applications severely limits its “out of the box” utility for business users.I must also add that my HTC Incredible, with very few add-on apps, reboots itself a couple times a week and is prone to aberrant behaviors that I’ve never seen with my iPhone (or Blackberry, when I still had one).There are a few minor tweaks that would make it a much better device for business/enterprise use and more competitive in that space than the Blackberry and iPXXX devices.

  10. William Mougayar

    3 thoughts: So, how do you make money off the Android ecosystem (as a VC or otherwise), given that the culture’s legacy is Linux and free free free. And when will we see Android apps that leapfrog iPhone apps or take Mobile apps to the next level? Android is still in catch-up mode, although doing it quickly, but Apple will not rest on their laurels (like RIM did). If anything, Android should bite off RIM’s eroding enterprise market share, but we’ll need more killer apps than iPhone pissing contests.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Apple will be fine, their ecosystem is pretty safe. You’ll only have people developing very high-quality simple apps and games first in an ecosystem where they more so guarantee they’ll get their investment back (or high-quality expensive-to-develop applications on hardware that looks and acts expensive; easy to use). I’d say Apple’s ecosystem has been a required benefit for the advancement of all platform’s successes because of this.In short, business profit incentives will drive innovation.The legacy of free platform will ride the wave of innovation as well — developers will learn off of what the innovative companies are doing, and do their best to implement the new practices that these innovative firms are discovering as best practices.Both platforms will evolve alongside (a bit parasitic too I guess) — and those who have more money will spend it on more expensive things — it’s a small part of human nature — the haves and have-nots.And some of those with ridiculous amounts of money will buy $8 million dollar diamond-covered iPhone 4s.Apple’s ability to understand the ecosystem is incredible, and kudos to them for doing such a good job — or kudos to whomever the few brains are that understood it. Steve Jobs probably has something to do with it considering he pushed for so long — he would have learned a lot and his understanding would have evolved substantial over the years from his perseverance to succeed.

    2. Sloth

      So, how to you make money off the Android ecosystem (as a VC or otherwise), given that the culture’s legacy is Linux and free free free. You don’t make money off your app, but then again – you won’t on iPhone either. You are going to make your money going subscription, selling ads, or using it as an adjunct to a web based service of some sort. The basic monetization hurdles will be the same on both platforms. Fart apps and the like won’t be big money makers on any platform.And when will we see Android apps that leapfrog iPhone apps or take Mobile apps to the next level? When Android becomes the primary platform, exactly what is being proposed here (and which is already happening in a lot of places.)

      1. William Mougayar

        Any examples of such Android Apps that leapfrog either iPhone apps or mobile apps in general?

    3. fredwilson

      google search is freethey make $2bn per quarter these days

      1. William Mougayar

        Ok, but my point is that Android looks more like a Linux ecosystem, where many players will split the market in smaller pieces, including the hardware devices where margins are smaller.Would you back a Linux-based startup?

        1. Lucian Armasu

          The Linux ecosystem is tiny compared to the Windows ecosystem. The Android ecosystem will most likely be the biggest mobile ecosystem within 2 years (when it should surpass Symbian, even though Symbian is much more fragmented than Android and I wouldn’t really call all the different versions an ecosytem).

          1. fredwilson

            i agree with Lucianwe are not talking about selling software herewe are talking about web services, which are largely monetized with advertisingGoogle and Apple bought the two leading mobile ad networks last year for $1bn togetherthat is telling

          2. John Frankel

            What percentage of search on Android devices do you expect Google to retain two years from now?

          3. fredwilson

            at least as much as they have on the web

          4. Mark Essel

            There’s still an argument to be made for selling vs ad plays. Freemium can work with web services.Sometimes ads just don’t work.

          5. John Frankel

            Is Symbian more fragmented because it has been around longer? What stops Android becoming fragmented?

    4. falicon

      Right now the people consistently making the most in apps are the developers making apps as client work…it’s the 90’s web dev craze all over again ( or the gold rush of ’49 all over again if you prefer ).I don’t know that this is going to change until the fundamental app distribution system changes ( we need the google of mobile apps to change how people find useful things…and by that I don’t just mean search, I mean we need someone to come along with a better way for people to discover new/interesting apps – for example, how cool would it be to be able to use bump to get an app your friend has installed onto your phone?)That or we just wait until it moves away from native apps all together and lower the barrier for mobile things to get built/ideas to be explored…

      1. Android Mart

        What you are referring to is Android Marketplace ranking mechanism. Like webpages, I think it is already built in and being tweaked by Google at this moment. Newness of app.. # of download, # of feedbacks..#number of returns… all factor in to rank an app. I publish apps in Android Market.. when an app does well, it will do… That is ranking algorithm at works.

      2. Mark Essel

        jQuery mobile just had a release. amen to web apps, they can be installed with a bump even between different types of smartphones.

  11. Jeroen van Duffelen

    Why invest in Android and/or iOS if you can invest in even more… Go web and build web based apps that look and feel like native apps. Nokia, Blackberry, HP they are all working on devices running a fast webkit web browser. Take a look at Sencha Touch and jQuery Mobile (launched today and not as polished as Sencha Touch yet) – they’re both frameworks to build web apps that look and feel like a native app.And… by going web you do not only target mobile devices but in one go take all desktop/laptop/netbook as well!

    1. William Mougayar

      Isn’t that what the iPad does? Great for web apps and amazing for HD apps. But there are apps that are perfect as mobile apps (eg most location-based apps), whereas the reverse is not always true for web apps where you need to re-tool them.

      1. Jeroen van Duffelen

        All apps, no matter if they are desktop, tablet or mobile can be web based (as long as they do not need any access to native features like the address book). The foursquare app for example could easily be build as a web based mobile app. Webkit browsers support location features, offline usage, advanced animations, build in databases etc.Currently I’m bootstrapping an educational startup focused at interactive e-books and e-learning. We are building everything based on web technologies. This enables us to run our apps on android tablets, iOS devices but also the upcoming Blackberry tablet or HP’s slate. And not to forget – because we build a web based platform every student can use our platform on a pc or laptop as well.

        1. Dirk

          I don’t think you can do that for all apps. What about PGP encryption? Even if Javascript is fast enough as a user I would never trust an downloaded on-the-fly version implementing openpgp.What about an app that sits in the background and gets notified when I am entering the vicinity of a predefined location and notifies me of things I want to do there?What about any background app?

          1. Jeroen van Duffelen

            Like I said, apps can be web based as long as they do not need any access to native features.

    2. Matt A. Myers


    3. kenberger

      not knocking you at all, Jeroen, but have you actually done such development? That all sounds great in theory, just as it did when Palm decided to go with WebOS. But the reality for now plays out a bit differently…HTML5 is great and getting better, but for instance I can’t imagine the current foursquare app being as robust as a web app as is the latest Android build.

      1. Jeroen van Duffelen

        Yes I have. At we are currently developing a 100% javascript/HTML5/CSS3 application. We havent done any performance tweaking yet, but so fare it runs perfectly on iPads and iPhones. Android is still a bit tricky, you’re right about that but with the upgrade of Android 2.1 to 2.2 Webkit’s performance got enormously better. Right now web apps for Android webkit need some extra performance tweaking especially on the visual aspects.

      2. PhilipSugar

        Right now I agree no different than when you needed AOL or Juno for a good experience……long term…not so much.

        1. Jeroen van Duffelen

          Don’t understand….

        2. Losiman3

          No one ever needed AOL or Juno for a good web experience. Seriously. Never. How old are you?

          1. PhilipSugar

            That statement shows a complete lack of knowledge of the market and self awareness. The mass market in fact did use AOL. The mass market is not you or I, its attitudes like the one you expressed that blindside people that are in the tech centers of NY and SF to the mass market. (For the record I never used AOL or Juno but that is irrelevant)

          2. David Robinson

            Ignorance is bliss they say. The Internet owes some companies – and in particular AOL – a debt of gratitude more than anyone would care to admit.

    4. Michael Hudak

      Jeroen, I am 100% behind you. Even if the tools don’t match up to your vision right now, you are so right that in the future all smartphones MUST support some form of write once/use anywhere development. Don’t stop fighting this fight. I can’t stand the App ecosystem. It’s good for corporations and its TERRIBLE for users and developers. There is no reason why we couldn’t be using the web for apps that don’t need access to native phone features.

  12. Druce

    mobile/cloud is to the PC ecosystem as PCs were to mainframes.Microsoft is the new IBM. Google is the new Microsoft.Apple is the new Apple – pioneering, iconoclastic, loved by early adopters but very possibly not the ultimate mass market solution because it’s expensive, closed, loathed by OEMS/phone companies.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Apple’s place in the overall ecosystem isn’t in being the mass market solution. Look for my response to William Mougayar’s comment for a more in-depth look.

      1. Druce

        you may be right, mobile may have room for multiple platforms. PC was more of a natural monopoly – corporations weren’t going to adopt more than 1 platform.but at some point mobile may be a mature market, and a free phone with Android may offer similar functionality to an expensive phone from Apple. Or better, since Android is more open.

    2. fredwilson

      sooo true

    3. Scott Krause

      Good article by Rich Skrenta a few years back where he makes the same analogy:

  13. Shyam Subramanyan

    A good reason to love Android is the choice of all the hardware like you mention and the ability to go with carrier of your choice.The best thing Apple can do to compete is to go without being tied to a carrier. What if I can walk into an Apple Store and get a dual GSM/CDMA iPhone and signup with any carrier? I would pay $499 to buy an iPhone that I can use with any carrier.

    1. William Mougayar

      You can do that in Canada. Apple stores sell unlocked iPhones.

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        Also in Spain. They cost 600 euros (around $840). I don’t think they are selling many because here three different carriers offer the iPhone at very attractive prices.

    2. Lucian Armasu

      iPhone 4 costs more like $800 than 500.

  14. ian_peterscampbell

    I think the difference between what Windows was in the 90s and what Android is now is that while Microsoft controlled the OS themselves, Android is customized by each OEM. Over time that’s going to lead Androind down a path of fragmentation very similar to what happened with J2ME. I suspect that over the next couple years Android will fragment enough that development shops will consist of a couple guys doing original development and a big team doing porting work. When that happens it will get very expensive to get universal coverage with an app, not to mention that a job “writing” Android apps will get much less interesting. I don’t think the bright young developers will stick around to write for the platform.

    1. Sloth

      Android is customized by each OEM. Over time that’s going to lead Androind down a path of fragmentation very similar to what happened with J2ME. A valid worry that does not currently exist, and probably won’t.Android fragmentation is greatly overstated – the base API’s are vastly, overwhelmingly the same. Their are shells and widgets that have been customized (Motoblur/HTC sense) but apps neither know nor need to know about them.They do need to know about screen size – but I need to know about that on iPhone as well, and the task is the same.I have a multi-hundred thousand download app in the Android market. It was tested on two phones. Actual bug reports that amount to fragmentation issues amount to three…all of which tracked back to people who had installed an unfinished, leaked version of Froyo.

  15. Wesley Verhoeve

    After holding out for a Verizon iPhone for years I finally decided to get an Android phone about 6 months ago (HTC Incredible) and I cannot imagine being without it anymore, and no longer feel the need to own an iPhone when it does finally come to Verizon next year. I’ve actually become a evangelizing fan boy, the way I can be about the Apple products I do use. When comparing it to my friend’s iPhones, which I still think are really great, the Android is simply faster and better. The camera is tons better (8 megapixels, flash), the reception and speed of use is faster, and the apps market still lacks sometimes (Angry Birds!) but is catching up. And because of this personal revolution I am now also waiting for the Android tablet. I couldn’t have imagined this a year ago. I’m still a big time Apple fan and user, but on the mobile end I don’t see myself switching to Apple.The openness of the app market is great though. Free tethering has saved my butt on a few occasions already.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      Angry Birds is on Android right now. Full version and free.

      1. Wesley Verhoeve

        Nice! Thanks for letting me know Lucian. I had the free version already fora bit but had not seen the full yet.

  16. bojanbabic

    Also agree on “fit and finish” for android . Google has been working really hard to make up the gap it has behind Apple. On the other hand, It became nightmare supporting all version for android app. Just take a look at market share of android versions: And 3.0 is on the way. At this point Android is nightmare for developers …

  17. Rick

    I’m not a fan of Android despite the fact that I think the fit and finish aren’t all that bad. The Samsung Galaxy S phones have beautifuled AMOLED screens – and because of their size I find it more eye popping than the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. But in the end, it comes down to ease of use. The interface is a little confusing and varies greatly from one Android device to the other. It gets altered so much that it may as well not even be called Android at that point. Navigating the phone is confusing. It’s a device best left to technophiles.Nevertheless, they have been succesful – and it’s for only one reason. AT&T. Once the iPhone is available for Verizon (and eventually Tmobile, maybe Sprint), Android’s gain in market share will slow down considerably.Competition, however, is a good thing, and I hope to see an iPhone with a little bigger screen in the future.

  18. Jevon

    I think the most compelling opportunity for Android is that it might become the platform of choice for future niches like POS systems, line-of-duty handhelds (waitresses, engineers, taxis, etc), home control/automation, in-car computing, etc.This is how a lot of platforms in other industries have “won”. Apple will not be able to get distribution in those channels because it will be difficult to keep up with unique hardware/software combination requirements.Variety of hardware platforms will drive niche-focused developers to Android because they will know that they can create much more tightly integrated experiences for their customers rather than being held to someone else’s hardware specification.

    1. paulhart

      Apple has the hardware specialization opportunity – they have the connector on the bottom of the device. However, the anecdata suggest that Apple is tough to work with if you want to play in the hardware arena.I’d be interested to know if the commodity discount of buying an iPod Touch as the “core” of a vertical solution would be enough to offset the niche costs associated with developing a solution for a size-constrained market.

      1. Jevon

        The problem I see is that the developer has no control of the OS when using iOS in a specialized situation. No ability to lock down the device in order to insure reliability for business critical tools..All for better and for worse of course, but I do see it being a factor for many.

        1. EricE

          “no ability to lock…”You might want to look into the Enterprise deployment tools Apple offers that let you do just that. And if you don’t like what Apple offers, there are third party tools like Good that go even further. Just like there are for Windows Mobile and Blackberry.As for verticals, funny how Apple had no problem using an accessory for the iPod Touch and replaced all their Symbol Windows Mobile devices?Apple will have no problems with verticals. Indeed, their much more stable and consistent hardware will make vertical integration that much easier!

          1. Jevon

            I am familiar with the enterprise deployment options, but those don’t address specific vendor needs. I am not saying that Apple will never get there, I am just saying it is a weakness in the short payments– yup,. that is one they have done well with.

  19. Sam

    But surely the fragmentation will destroy the appeal for developers? Yes windows had fragmentation, but every few years, not twice a year—and hardware makers for windows machine weren’t allowed their own mutations of the OS. This will be sever OS fragmentation unless the Android team steps in, surely?

  20. tylernol

    Apple is not in it to own the market. They have *really* nice margins. And they are content to stay there. They are not looking for 90% of the market, they are looking for that premium market. What Android handset manufacturer is even making a profit off their handsets?And as for the app developers..Relatively simple apps like Foursquare can and should be ported to all platforms possible, it is not that hard, they are not dependent on 3d graphics capabilities or processor performance. But it is far more complicated to develop a more immersive app, such as a game, and port it across all the myriad Android platforms, Android is becoming so balkanized that it is a compatibility and SQA testing nightmare.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Margins is why I remain dubious of the “Verizon iPhone”.I think you’ll see a VZW CDMA iPad. Ipad margins are not based on subsidy payments.I think you’ll see a CDMA iPhone for China Telecom. iPhones sell for full retail in China.I don’t think Apple will cannibalize US iPhone margins by ending their exclusive deal with ATT. The iPhone still sells for the same price as it did when it was released (~$600), but now ATT pays $400 of those dollars. Will ATT be willing to pay that much with no exclusivity? Will VZW?

      1. Rick

        No they may not, and Verizon may not either – but with they are willing to pay, combined with the increase in market share Apple will receive, may make it worth their while.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Apple has never cannibalized margin for market share.How would the iPhone sell if it cost $450? Because that will be the price in the US if the subsidy is lowered.

          1. Rick

            They have no choice. They are willing to canabilize their own product lines (the traditional iPods; possibly even their MacBooks with the iPad), they’ll be willing to do the same with their hardware.That increased market share will allow them to collect more revenues in the future from Apps and iAds.

          2. Lucian Armasu

            It was either them or someone else a few years later to cannibalize the iPods with all the new phones coming with increased storage and music capabilities. Besides, they didn’t really cannibalize it. The iPod will live on through iPod Touch.

          3. tylernol

            The smartphone is gobbling up other portable consumer electronics left and right..Apple knew the iphone would consume the ipod, why bother carrying around an iphone and an ipod,especially with the carrier subsidies driving the price to the consumer down, hence the iphone is essentially gone — the ipod touch is the iphone lite, and the ipod nano is just about it, just at a very low price point. Next things to go are small cameras and Flip-type video cameras, Who is thinking about buying a Flip HD when the iphone 4 and the latest HTC/Moto Android phones have such decent video recording capabilities?

          4. ErikSchwartz

            iAds, according to my friends in the agency business is not going well.I would bet Apple’s profit from apps is de minimis. Most apps are quite inexpensive, Apple’s margin is small, many apps are free. Every one of them, free or not, accepted or not, needs to be manually reviewed. A huge number of apps sell tiny numbers (they cost as much for Apple to manage as the ones that sell well). Apps are a lock in to the platform. Not a major profit center. if you pro rata the share of the iPhone marketing budget talking about apps to the app store P&L, I would think the app store runs at break even.Apple a a high margin hardware company.

          5. EricE

            They can’t make the iPhone fast enough (they are still rolling it out to new markets globally) and “they have no choice”?You have a funny perspective on choice!Besides, as you point out they have already cannibalized their own product lint – the iPad is seeing an even steeper adoption curve than the iPhone! Funny how without Schmidt spying from his position on the board of directors how confused and uncoordinated Googles response to the iPad has and continues to be. Thinking stuff up on your own is sure harder than just copying it!

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Right — so decide based on if you’re after 90% marketshare or a premium market for your apps.

      1. tylernol

        but what if getting onto that 90% marketshare(and I would guess it ends up more at 30-40% since WM7 and blackberry will not go away and Apple will have far more than 10%) involves ensuring your app runs properly on and it is supported on 500 devices?

        1. Matt A. Myers

          You develop for the 80% or those who will be in the 80% sooner than later.

          1. tylernol

            if you are a small software startup, I’d think you target the _device_ with the most or at least a large market share and users who actually frequently use apps other than the basic mail/messaging functionality.

    3. fredwilson

      that’s the way a hardware company thinksbut not a web company

      1. tylernol

        if you are a web company why not just do everything in HTML5 ?

        1. fredwilson

          i’d love to see our companies do thatcan’t get the functionality yethopefully soon

  21. tylernol

    Apple is not in it to own the market. They have *really* nice margins. And they are content to stay there. They are not looking for 90% of the market, they are looking for that premium market. What Android handset manufacturer is even making a profit off their handsets?And as for the app developers..Relatively simple apps like Foursquare can and should be ported to all platforms possible, it is not that hard, they are not dependent on 3d graphics capabilities or processor performance. But it is far more complicated to develop a more immersive app, such as a game, and port it across all the myriad Android platforms, Android is becoming so balkanized that it is a compatibility and SQA testing nightmare.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      All Android phones are profitable. Just look at HTC how much it has grown and how it’s reporting huge profits because of Android. Are other companies that are using Android not as profitable? Sure, but that’s only because 90-95% of their business is still abount non-Android phones where they are losing money. Android has done nothing but improve the manufacturers’ profits.

  22. Julien Theys

    Fred, have you tried the low cost Android devices that are flooding the low end of the market these days? I think your points are very valid from an HTC/Nexus One point of view. The problem is barriers to entry are so low anyone can come and ruin the Android experience. I tried a £120 Alcatel Android phone and it was bad beyond belief. There is significant risk ‘Android’ as a brand will be destroyed by those low cost phones (not to mention tablets). That’s why, although I understand why there will be huge volumes, I think the consumer experience will vary a lot and ultimately hurt the platform. What’s your take on the lower end?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Perhaps you touched on a branding opportunity (or requirement) to differentiate “Android Done Right” and “Android Done Shitty” — signifying that there is a difference.

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        I think that the price and brand of the device differenciate a lot. HTC, Samsung and Motorola are known for doing great Android devices, but it also depends on the price you are willing to pay. Others will have to get their reputation.Regarding the cheap Androids, you have to consider that their target customers won’t compare it with and iPhone. Probably it’s their first smartphone, so they are not so sensitive.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          It all would really depend on how they’re marketed to though. If they’re told they’re getting a high-quality phone (maybe high-quality for the pricepoint) and have a bad experience they may associate Android as a crappy product, and not disassociate it. But eventually they could be won over to like Android if they have a good experience on one. You can’t make everyone happy though. Quality mobile device prices will come down either way, so more people will eventually have them.

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            I’m not so sure the prices will come down. The same phone will be cheaper, but there will be new ones more powerful in the same price point. Just as with PCs or laptops.

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            You are right Fernando…those that buy the cheap phone do so because it is cheap and they probably look at purchasing upward within 1.5-2 yrs. What is great about this is the smarter consumer will swing development. Some hold themselves to be so smart and the rest of the world stupid. It isn’t a matter of the ‘cheap’ customer doesn’t know what an iPhone is, they just want to know what fits their lifestyle.

    2. fredwilson

      there will be bad phones and good phonesi suspect the phone brand, not the software brand will take the hitthat’s what happened with windows

      1. EricE

        “i suspect the phone brand, not the software brand will take the hit”LOL! Talk about having your cake and eating it too! So let me get this straight – any positive thing like sales, benefits Android as a whole. But anything negative affects only that one phone or manufacturer?I just want to be sure that’s what you are claiming here… With presumably a straight face?

        1. fredwilson

          i’m just telling you how i see ityou can disagree

  23. Mark Evans

    I have held off buying an iPad because it has been difficult to justify spending $500 to $800 on a device for consuming content – even one that is very cool. That said, the idea of buying an expensive Android tablet ($200 to $300) makes buying a tablet more palatable.Mark

    1. Rick

      I had an iPad and I returned it because I just really didn’t have any use for it. An ultraportable laptop is more useful than the iPad for work, even for recreational purposes. The iPad is basically a nice gaming device IMO. Same with the Android tablet, even though it may be cheaper (which isn’t definite because if you pay $200-$300 and have to purchase a 3G data plan with contract, that kind of sucks).

    2. Matt A. Myers

      I knew when the first iPhone came out it would increase my productivity indefinitely – and it has.The iPad, I don’t need it as much. Soon I can see a use for it, but it’s not something I’m dying to use to help with organization — not yet, not dying enough for the current price it’s at.

      1. Adrian Bye

        i love my ipad as my travel entertainment device. its replaced almost 1000 books among other things

  24. Jeff Judge

    I’m with you 100%. The simple act of taking a photo and posting it to Twitter shows you the power of Android. With the iPhone you take the photo, click on the home button, open a Twitter app and post it. With Android, you take the photo and long press on it to select Share, then Twitter.The fit and finish will come in time, just look how fast the OS is moving:…Long on Android, long on the mobile web.

    1. Shyam Subramanyan

      Yes and no…Most people on the iPhone (at least the ones that use twitter) use another photo app that allows posting to Facebook and Twitter in the same workflow. The other 90% (like my wife) just cares about emailing the photo to her friends/family. She does not care to see a “Twitter” option in her photo app.

      1. Jeff Judge

        Sure – my point is that things are much more tightly integrated withinAndroid, there is no need to install an app like that. I’ve used bothheavily over the last few years, and my preference is Android for thatreason alone. Still love Apple, but I just thunk more people wouldlike Android if they used it for a few days. Even my wife who left herBlackBerry for an iPhone enjoys using my NexusOne.

    2. fredwilson

      because they built twitter connectivity into the OS

      1. iPosit

        Oooh, nice. I didn’t know that.

  25. Todd Hamilton


  26. Jevon

    There are less of them on Android, but I have noticed that games are much smoother on my android and the overall experience is better. Angry Birds is a good example.

  27. Matt A. Myers

    I think Google is going to continue to change the world – for the better, and with most people not even being aware of their impact until much further down.I would be thrilled to be bought by them and get to work with them someday. I would love to be apart of their macro vision.Wouldn’t that be so exciting being apart of a company that every day is working towards a huge positive global impact? Gooooooooggllleeee I <3 you.

  28. jayasimhan

    When I opened this article I expected to see some thoughts on Windows Phone 7, which seems to have some meat in it and could give both iOS and Android some run for their money. Here are some things that are good about the WP 7.1. The UI is pretty interesting. While Android and iOS follow similar structure, WP 7 is organized in a way different apps fit with one another, rather than sitting alone on its own. I would say its done pretty well.2. The SDK is based on c# which has a big developer base. There will be apps for WP7 in no time.3. Microsoft’s marketing team and longtime partnerships.Given all this, I think Android needs to watch out. iOS has a huge fan following and their own hardware will complement the OS. Android might be in a danger of becoming the Linux of OSs. It does everything, its free, but doesn’t feel good enough for a new smartphone customer.Thoughts?

    1. fredwilson

      i am not seeing a single company that pitches us doing windows phone apps

      1. Jeroen van Duffelen

        I’m wondering if there are any companies pitching web (not native) based phone / tablet apps?

      2. CJ

        It’s probably a bit early still, I’d expect an uptick in the next 9-12 months since the phone hasn’t yet hit stores.

    2. Lucian Armasu

      Unlike Linux which tried to catch up to Windows when it dominated 90% of the market, Android already has huge market share and it’s up to WP7 to catch up to Android. Also, it’s far easier for Android to spread on all sorts of smartphones than it is for WP7. Plus, Android will be on a lot of other different devices as well, which will increase its overall popularity and give it continous and big news coverage.

      1. Ryan

        Phones are consumer devices, and people are fickle. If WP7 is seen by consumers as more interesting, it will capture market share as people’s contracts come up for renewal. Its going to be interesting to see whether a player without Apple’s baggage (Microsoft) can go up against Android and its somewhat benevolent guardian.

  29. Drew Jennings

    Absolutely agree with your analysis. I pre-ordered the iPhone 4, but sent it back when it didn’t meet my expectations. I was not willing to continue to live with such poor integration with Google services for the sake of having an Apple product. I purchased the Samsung Galaxy S and am absolutely loving it. I continue to have issues with AT&T, but the device does everything the iPhone can’t do. In fact, it was so easy to put media on it, I sold my iPad and just use my phone for in-flight entertainment. Now bring on the tablets!

    1. fredwilson

      integration with google services is the killer feature for android and why i love it so much

      1. Rodrigo Mazzilli

        Sorry Fred, but uncle Sam and aunt Jenny do not use Google Calendar and Google Apps. The mainstream population of non-geek users of technology products also do not use Google Apps everyday.Integration with iTunes is the killer feature in iOS ecosystem and that uncle Sam and aunt Jenny get. Android still years away from it. But I agree Android will win, mainly due to distribution and cost advantages, not because of Google services integration.

        1. fredwilson

          my father in law uses google’s appsso do my kidsand not because of mei didn’t suggest them to any of themthey used them before i did

      2. Adrian Bye

        i love my ipad but as i’ve tried different things out on it there’s only a few apps i really care about- books (goodreader, kindle)- video (airvideo, maybe soon VLC)- music (pandora, itunes)- photos (any photo viewing app)the rest doesn’t really seem to matter to me. so bring on a cheaper tablet if it does these things well.

  30. sirsean

    This argument really only works if Android phones are cheaper than iPhones, or if Android tablets are cheaper than iPads.Your father-in-law is exactly right about that $199 Android tablet: “Where can I get one?”I’m rooting for Android, but if it’s not as good an iPhone and costs the same amount, where exactly does it win?

  31. Andy Jacobson

    Let’s remember, it’s just a phone. That said, the iPhone feels familiar whereas my former samsung galaxy (android) phone felt like I was using a friend’s phone. That probably has more to do with brand allegiance than product value–which is why, IMHO, apple needs to become less “exclusive”.Maybe we’ll start to see more apple/ Verizon, SAMs club, walmart relationships?

    1. fredwilson

      that’s how my sister in law feelsbut not how i feeli would not use an iPhone. it’s a political statement against everything Apple stands for.

      1. thrill

        you are not alone, fred

      2. William Mougayar

        But you have bought Macs for your home, so you’re not so allergic to Apple, right?

        1. fredwilson

          i can run anything i want on macsi can connect them to whatever network i wanti dont’ have to “jailbraak” them

          1. William Mougayar

            Got it. Apple would win so many points if they opened the iPhone platform, now.

      3. Dave Pinsen

        Fred,Did you try downloading the new Portfolio Armor iPhone app with your sister-in-law’s phone? I remember you said you were going to borrow someone else’s iPhone to do that.Definitely true about the challenge of getting any exposure with an iPhone app, given the huge surfeit of them already.

        1. fredwilson

          i was planning on borrowing my son or daughter’s phonei will do that this weekend

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Cool, thanks.

      4. pxlated

        Ahhhh – Nothing to do with solid business, all to do with that old “open” religion and politics?

        1. fredwilson

          my political position has been influenced by my business experience

  32. Sebastian Wain

    Also Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, so he saw Apple business behaviour first hand.

  33. Matt Williamson

    Windows machines became widespread because hobbyists could cobble together whatever scraps they had to make an IBM clone with the 8088 CPU. Android is doing the same by being on tons of phones. Unfortunately they are going the same way as some of these Windows computers that come with all kinds of crapware, like when the carriers create their own garbage themes.

    1. pxlated

      If you’re photo is at all accurate, you might not have been born when the PC became dominate. It had nothing to do with hobbyists. All to do with IBM and business. IBM at the time was “business computing”. Clones came later and just drove the business market further and produced cheaper alternatives.

  34. kenberger

    “I am encouraging every company we work with to invest as heavily in Android as they invest in iPhone/iPad”…And it may be that they literally need to invest heavily– there’s serious flip sides to being as open and multi-device/use as Android is, besides how nascent it still is. It’s often relatively expensive right now to get a professional, robust Android or iOS app working right. And yet while my group is proud of the mobile work we’re diving deeper into, web work is more profitable.

  35. PhilipSugar

    Does anybody else think this parallels the development of the web??At first when the web didn’t have a great interface client side applications AOL and Juno were really popular…..remember all those AOL CD’s?Then as the browser got better those became Millstones on those companies necks.I’m not saying great devices won’t beat out crappy devices….I’m typing this on a MacBook Pro….But I am saying I don’t know if proprietary apps for network type applications will eventually prevail.For things you want to do on the actual device…for instance word processing…yes, but for others…I think no.

    1. EricE

      You can’t get much more proprietary than windows, yet it kicks Linux’s a$$ year after year.Hears the bottom line – non geeks couldn’t care less about “open”. They don’t use things like computers and ipads because they are cool technology, they use them to get things done.Apple will prevail since mobile devices bypass the whole Mac/PC arguments right off the bat. So the next question is “does this device do what I want with minimal fuss?”. And the latter half of that question is why all the Android handsets in the world will actually contribute to less relevancy for Android, not more. Read @Mike’s post above-perfect example of the elephant in the room the pro-Android crowd wants to dismiss or rationalize away.The only manufacturer I can see with a chance to make serious money and challenge Apple is HP with web os. They rightly decided licensing an OS is a loosing proposition, from having little control to basically being left with little to differentiate yourself from everyone else with.Time will tell – it will be interesting to see if HP does get it and can respond in time. I think people seriously underestimate just how much of a lead Apple has on everyone else at this point…

      1. Lucian Armasu

        What do you mean by Apple will prevail? The market share for iPhone’s is trending downwards already as Android is surging. Now with WP7, it will be even harder for iPhone.No single-company OS will prevail. It just can’t. The battle will be between Android and WP7, and perhaps Meego (if Nokia convinces other phone manufacturers to use it)

      2. Mark Essel

        Looking at web development Linux kicks windows ass in usability. That’s coming from a reformed windows guy for 10 years.

  36. Ryan

    I am an Android user, but I recognize that Microsoft WP7 is a legitimate emerging contender, despite being very late to the party. Setting aside the Appstore argument for a moment, WP7 provides a polished user experience competitive (and less tired?) with the iPhone, but the device and carrier variety found in the Android ecosystem. Android has enjoyed being the anti-Iphone for a while now, and essentially being the only game in town for Verizon customers, but with WP7 coming to the party, this will change.Consider the normal consumer going into a AT&T or Verizon store looking to purchase a “smartphone”. Placed side-by-side in the retail store, WP7 will win its fair share over Android. It feels more intuitive and polished, and easier for a typical consumer to digest. Media support is also significantly better on WP7. As a frequent podcast listener, I am constantly frustrated with my Android phone.Add to this the significant marketing muscle that Microsoft is bringing to bear to the problem, and the 2 year churn of your average mobile phone consumer, and WP7 will capture significant market share.

  37. Guillermo Ramos

    There is no mention in the discussion about carriers´ power to decide the winning OS.The main difference between OS in the mobile industry and the “desktop industry” is that carriers play an key role in the value chain in mobile while no one in “desktops”.Apple has understood the play very well and they can get some good ARPU from carriers. The winner in the mass OS market will be the one playing better with the carriers.

    1. PhilipSugar

      No I think no matter how hard the networks try they will be reduced to “dumb pipes”. That is not a knock…I think if they just embraced that fact they could kick ass….and I think somebody will try and really knock off a bunch of others……

      1. Guillermo Ramos

        There is a huge diffrence between apple products-heavy-users and mass market Phil. The dynamics in mobile handset mass market is totally controlled by the carrier through subsidies. Extrapolating behaviours from heavy users to mass market is not right in this business.

        1. PhilipSugar

          You might be right.However, I would say I have history on my side. I think history does repeat itself. There was a comment about my age up top, and I would say I was old enough to remember when you had to have AT&T, no not the current no signal AT&T, the one that had the telephone monopoly to put a device on their network.Most people actually rented phones from AT&T…doesn’t that seem quaint?? Now the idea of charging for long distance seems quaint.The same will happen in the wireless space.

          1. Guillermo Ramos

            I think the “dumb pipes” owners are not as dumb as there networks. In Europe, the main carriers are meeting to develop a new OS (which will not be succesful). Whoever wants to lead this game: go and talk to carriers about revenue sharing. The rest is a nice bed of roses.

  38. dave

    I carry both. I use the iPhone 4 primarily as a camera.

  39. falicon

    I just finished writing the same mobile app for the iPhone, blackberry, and android…of the three android was the least painful from a tech standpoint (though the best thing for the iPhone is that you are building for one screen size and resolution)…in the end though I think it’s still too painful to build this stuff (you have to write three completely different sets of code just to have the same app available across mobile – even when the majority of the app is just a GUI to a web service)…I think it’s only a short time till the platforms figure out that a web browser with with simple JavaScript hooks into the platform OS and HTML5 is what we all really want/need…and then REAL innovation and interesting apps can start to emerge…and to me Android is more likely to lead this charge than anyone else (though RIM could come from behind I guess)

  40. Mike

    I develop mobile apps, for both Android and Apple. But I’m dropping my Android support shortly. It was OK when there were a dozen or so Android devices with similar specs. But now, handset manufacturers have completely fractured the Android marketplace. There are too many disparate Android devices running too many versions of the OS with too many hardware variations. It’s impossible to test your apps on all the devices, and the tools that Google gives you to manage all the various screen sizes, resolutions, hardware futures, etc aren’t enough.I wish Android was going to be as successful as you say it will be, but the handset manufacturers and carriers are sabotaging themselves. Unlike Windows, where Microsoft remained in control of the OS, here we have dozens of manufacturers and carriers tweaking the platform to death. The big thing now is to run your own App storre. So in the near future I’m going to have to list my app on multiple stores for multiple devices for multiple operating systems… Ugh.

    1. Android Mart

      But the difference would be like the difference between Ubuntu and Debian and SUSE and RedHat. The underlying cores are all the same. The difference is superficial and once things settle, there will be a few survive. The rest will fade away. Just like Linux distros. The fragmentation problem is quite manageable IMHOThere will be distribution specialist, which is what my company is doing at this moment.

  41. William Mougayar

    Here’s the summary of the situation:Android is for the massesApple is for the top brassesMicrosoft is slow like molassesWill RIM rise from the ashes? The rest? We’ll take passes

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Clever.I didn’t read it until after midnight, but Christopher Caldwell’s column in this weekend’s FT is apposite here: “Government by search engine”. Here’s the first paragraph:Google’s ambitions have recently been even more vaulting than usual. Android, the company’s open-source smartphone platform, is its biggest coup. In August, Google was reportedly activating 200,000 Android units a day. The potential market is measured in billions of users. Next to that, the bizarre stories about Google that broke this week may sound like small potatoes. Google has bought a stake in a wind-farm project. It is working on a driverless car. It has a “Google price index” that measures inflation. But these are not publicity stunts or pet projects engaged in by “playful” employees in their spare time. They are at the core of this innovative and troubling company’s mission. It is no longer possible to think of Google the way we used to – as a competitor of the Yellow Pages or to the operators who answer directory inquiries. Google is coming to compete, along an ever broader front, with government itself.

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        Yes, it is best to look from outside the box. Was amazed at the response from the experts in California regarding the Google Driverless Car. Google is looking at what is logical in 3-5 and/or 5-7.2010 is the year where the voices of ‘Everything i-Something’ is changing over to the product that fits the needs of the customer at a price he/she can accept. Not to bash Apple, because they are smart enough to know this also and if they bank on letting Android do the tablet thing 4th qtr. and snuff it with whichever product offer pre/post trade show 1st qtr., they have only themselves to blame.Those that base their app only on iPhone/iPad are in the present/past…you should do it iPhone/iPad/Android/Android Tab to show you are present/future.

      2. William Mougayar

        Thank you. Google definitely has some of the best minds working for them.

  42. AndrejAndrejev

    Making device locked OS is very risky strategy for Apple, cause realy great device could loose advantages having not good enought software. So Android user base will grow mutch more faster than iOS. After all, smartphones and software for smartphones are different markets.

  43. jakegr

    Eh, for all your complaining about one company controlling everything, where as android is more open, it’s ironic that the fantastic android phone you’re crowing over had a map given to it by the iphone. And it’s the same thing with the tablet computer. Apple showed the way, and here comes android, which will change this or that, but will basically be a copy of the ipad.I might pay a little more for apple products rather than android (though you’re paying in giving up your privacy), but I prefer, as long as the products are top notch, and they are, to support a company that breaks ground, that leads the way.You’re supporting a company that’s bringing up the rear, playing follow the leader. Nothing wrong with that, but the praise for android products becomes comical in that light.

    1. fredwilson

      microsoft copied the mac with windows and went mainstream

      1. Strike_Freedom_Meister

        Fred,I disagree with the notion that Microsoft “copied” the Mac. In Windows 1.0 & 2.0 manager Tandy Trower said in Technologizer, “To me the allegation clearly had no merit as I had never intended to copy the Macintosh interface, was never given any directive to do that, and never directed my team to do that.””The similarities between the products were largely due to the fact that both Windows and Macintosh has common ancestors, that being many of the earlier windowing systems such as those like Alto and Star (the latter shown at left) that were created at Xerox PARC. History shows that Jobs in fact visited PARC and hired people from there to join Apple. But Apple’s first graphical-interface computer, the Lisa, failed, and there was a time even in the first year of its launch that it was unclear whether the Macintosh would make it. From my perspective, Microsoft’s support of the Macintosh helped it survive through its most critical time and continues to be a platform the company continues to support. To me, the allegation was almost insulting. If I wanted to copy the Macintosh, I could have done a much better job.”Everyone knows both Microsoft & Apple visited PARC to get info on the GUI. The look and feel of Mac OS & Windows 1.0 & 2.0 are very different. I used them both & to say they were the same isn’t really true. That’s also why the courts ruled in Microsoft’s favor in the lawsuit. So can we please quit passing the FUD about original Mac and original Window “copying” each other when really both are pale copies of the Alto/Xerox Star?

        1. pxlated

          True, Windows 1 & 2 were nothing like the Mac – They were total pieces of crap. Windows 3 is where they really became similar.As far as the lawsuit (as I recall), the contracts (for Microsoft application dev on the Mac) were written very badly/broadly and the court ruled Microsoft had the right to copy. Apple lawyers screwed up and gave away too much.

      2. pxlated

        Yes Fred they did copy the Mac but sorry Fred, that didn’t take them mainstream, they already were the established corporate platform.

  44. John Frankel

    A couple of observations here:(1) This is fantastic news for iPad and iPhone customers – nothing will improve product more than a competent competitor – especially one that is not make money from the product (but from search when they can be default search on the OS, which is not guaranteed);(2) Android is splitting into many flavors – so apps that run on one will not run on another – you should be able to sync your data but the move from one device to another is not hassle free and the experience will vary – so some Android devices will be sleek and elegant and fit your needs and others will not. All Android phones are not equal. (3) The majority of PC’s are bought by companies and not individuals, and the dominance that Microsoft had here generated “monopoly” profits for them. Android, by comparison, is playing defense here and will not generate “monopoly” profits for Google. It also is enabling the telcos to fill their phones with proprietary software and hamper them. Not sure how this plays our but it certainly distinguishes the iPhone from and Android phone.

  45. Hemang Gadhia

    As an application developer, I can tell you that my company FAR prefers developing for Android over iPhone. That said, market share talks, so we have to develop for iPhone so long as it has significant eyeballs. But nowadays, we start by developing the Android app first before doing the iPhone version. So I 100% agree Fred — Android will rule the day if iPhone continues down this path of wanting to maniacally control both hardware and software (hello, did we learn nothing from the Mac era?).And here’s one fearless prediction that would probably get me 10,000-1 odds in Vegas right about now… WinMo7 will be the one that competes most closely w/ Android, with both of ’em leaving iPhone behind. $MSFT has a distinct edge in mobile gaming that they can and will leverage to the hilt. Now that they’ve finally built a product that doesn’t suck, with their marketing dollars, seamless sync w/ office apps, and big lead in gaming, they could make it a horse race w/ $GOOG.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      I agree. The iPhone will become less and less relevant as more news about new Android and WP7 phones flood the Internet, and overwhelm the iPhone ones. Android has a much bigger advantage here than WP7, too, because Android will be on all sorts of devices, not just phones.WP7 is a better competitor to Android because of the way they spread in the market, but Meego would’ve been an almost perfect competitor (in theory) because it’s almost the same as Android in the way it works. It’s open source, free and can also be put on all sorts of devices. Unfortunately, I don’t think Nokia will promote Meego to its competitors the same way Microsoft promoted WP7, and it won’t become a very popular platform if it’s just used by Nokia.

  46. Prokofy

    I have an Android and I’m *just as cool as Fred Wilson*.

  47. Christine Tsai

    I’m resigned to the fact that there are a good number of startups whose products I cannot try out b/c they’re iPhone only. Nearly every time I ask a startup if they’re running on Android, 99% of the time the answer is “no, but it’s coming soon.”Understand that startups have limited resources and many of them put all their energy on the iPhone platform b/c “that’s where [their] target audience is.” But I hope they will start to realize that Android cannot play second fiddle.As for native apps vs. HTML5, obviously the latter is the ideal. But I don’t see the mobile web beating native apps. There are too many problems w/ mobile browsers, including major fragmentation.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s why i wrote this post Christine

  48. Eric Friedman

    I tell people Android is definitely the second best phone on the market. The experience of a working “app store” that you can find on Android and iOS is superior to anything you can find elsewhere (including Blackberry) and this is ultimately a net win for consumers as it will push platforms to have similar models.

  49. Charlie Wood


  50. Charlie Wood

    Fred-Since your father-in-law is using Google Calendar, Contacts, and Docs, make sure he’s backing that stuff up. Otherwise it’s susceptible to all sorts of accidents (see for a few hundred anecdotes). Regards,Charlie

  51. Sasha Baksht

    Could not agree more. And I do think we will see more and more Android devices with physical keyboard until a completely new way of data input appears on the scene.

  52. EricE

    I hope you father has infinite patience since thats about how long he will have to wait for a $200 Android tablet :pThe myth of the “Apple tax” is all but dead with the iPod, dying with the iPhone as heavy Android subsidies and endless two for one specials eat into carrier and manufacturer profits… And the first Android tablet – that still isn’t shipping – is twice the iPad’s cost unsubsidized. And over four times the cost if you add up the contract related costs.Yup, I hope your father in law is a patient man indeed…

    1. fredwilson

      try googling $199 android tablet

  53. RichardF

    I don’t think Microsoft can afford to let Android win the tablet war. There is pent up demand for a cheap tablet. If mainstream users get to like Android as an operating system then that opens the market for Android on all devices (PC’s and laptops, which are not going away for a while yet)The iPad is way overpriced for the masses for it’s principal use, media consumption, so hardware manufacturers are going to look to fill that gap, Microsoft should be helping them to do that.The mobile phone market is completely different to the tablet, pc market and laptop markets. Most people upgrade their phone every few years at the latest. The mobile phone is a status symbol for many people, it’s always with us, which is principally why the iPhone will remain popular even if Android becomes the mainstream operating system.The mainstream user doesn’t care about open or closed.

  54. Ben Israel

    I think we all agree that Android will dominate the mobile phone market as the most used mobile OS. But the ultimate test will be (1) how much money Google makes out of this, and (2) how much developers can make out of the Android ecosystem. If Google only cares about making money from mobile ads, then the Android market will remain a warehouse sale – and that will not attract spenders.We know the iTunes appstore makes developers money (yes, I’m generalizing), but we haven’t seen it happen for Android. Angry Birds might provide an early indication.

    1. Aaron

      Eric Schmidt responded to this recently. I think he said he expects mobile search to bring in $10B in revenue and Android users search twice as much as everyone else.Here’s a link.

  55. Chris Fralic

    I agree that developers should focus on Android immediately after iPhone. But I’m more skeptical on if/when the total monthly downloads and usage of Android apps will catch up to iPhone apps. Any guesses here in the comments?

    1. fredwilson

      within 6-9 months

    2. kenberger

      no “if”– *when*: this coming Spring.

  56. James

    There are still major problems with Android that I feel will hinder it’s growth. Firstly for app publishers it is a nightmare to try and generate any real revenue from – your products can be ripped off and sold for free by any one who would like to: this can severely damage discover-ability and the brands and IP; couple this with the try and buy system which offers low conversion rates and you have a serious problem.Secondly for the hardware manufacturers you have no identity with using an android. I hear it time and again – people wanting a new Android phone and not a Samsung when they are the same things.

  57. William Mougayar

    Here’s a data point on Android:…”This has got to be a record for the Android Market. Not only that but I think this may serve as a pivotal point in the Android timeline where developers and companies start to acknowledge the explosive power of Android.”And Gizmodo mocking BlackBerry…

  58. pistolpete

    hopefully someone from facebook reads this post cause their android app is rubbish and in desperate need of improvement to match the iPhone.

  59. pistolpete

    i hope someone from facebook reads this post cause their android app is rubbish and in desperate needs of improvement to match the iphone.

  60. josh guttman

    Hi Fred – I’m also a huge believer in the droid platform. Its openness, ease of integration with Google Apps and general flexibility will lead to overtake the iPhone over the next 12 months. It’s already the best selling smart phone over the past three. Some friends and I called this in June or so and have enjoyed watching the press pile on in the past month. We believe Android is the Windows of 1986 and Apple is in the exact same position they were back then. History will repeat itself. The trends already tell the story. (1) 200,000+ activations per day (2) global reach (3) multiple hardware manufacturers competing for a slice (4) no carrier restrictions. Apps will catch up in no time and actually, there will eventually be more options on Android because there will be far more distribution channels, ie: AppStores, and eventually more devices.If you’re looking for a sleek form factor and finish, try the Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile. It’s 30% thinner and 50% lighter than the N1 with a faster processor. People mistake it for an iPhone 4 all the time. Though better droids will be out in December.

    1. fredwilson

      JoshDo you know if the Samsung Vibrant supports UMA?I need that badly

  61. paramendra

    Which particular Android phone do you carry? Which would you recommend?

    1. fredwilson

      Nexus OneBut starting to look for my next one

  62. Lee Graham

    Android is Open. People have a choice on what hardware they want it on. They choose the price point. Being OPEN is the game changer. Watch out for the Notion Ink ADAM (Android Tablet):

  63. Marko

    agree that open will win.but (big but) ….having been involved with smartphone platforms since their infant days… i think google has no clue what kind of swamp they are creating regarding FRAGMENTATION. it is the biggest threat to Android. they have to manage it better… and I’m not sure they even understand that.

  64. baconcat

    HTC will be the big winner in all this. From the Hero, to the incredible to the EVO, they get it. Retina displays, clean apps, no dpad.Motorola is a victim of their own stupid GUI.

    1. rattyuk

      hmmm big winner. Yes their profits have increased 90% from 185 million a year earlier to a profit of 360 million in q3 2010.For reference Apple just recorded iphone revenue of 8.8 BILLION with an estimated profit of about 2.5 billion.See the difference?Yes it is lovely that HTC have such a ‘big win’ in this quarter. But they aren’t actually in the same ballpark as Apple. But thank you for playing.

      1. Mross

        “thank you for playing” – I love that tired meme – it was so cute when my 8 year old used it a couple of years ago.

  65. perfy

    Am I missing something, but I don’t know of any android tablet on the market for $199. The prices of Android tablets that I have seen were actually more expensive than the iPad.As far as phones go, how much of a price advantage do Android phones have to the end customer? An iPhone can be bought for $99. I’m sure there are Android phones for less or free, but that is not the same price discrepancy that existed in the Mac vs. PC wars of the 80s and 90s

  66. Tony

    There are handbags and there is the Luis Vuitton!There are laptops and there is the MacBook Pro.There are smartphones and there is the iPhone!Not everybody can afford the expensive stuff.What can I say!

  67. rt

    without an Apple lead Google would have nobody to copy.

  68. trashbat

    The problem with cross-platform is that either you have the expense of creating something that feels ‘right’ on each platform – which means understanding the conventions, abilities and limitations of both – or you develop to a lowest common denominator.There is no way (yet) to write software that is fully compatible with both operating systems, while also using them to their full advantage.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      It depends what you develop and whom you develop with.

    2. rattyuk

      “There is no way (yet) to write software that is fully compatible with both operating systems, while also using them to their full advantage.”What is the point? Your implied suggestion is to base development on lowest common denominator. Great for everyone save that everything is bland and boring… Really not worth the effort.

      1. trashbat

        My point is that there is no easy solution; I’ve just been party to too many conversations from people who seem to think ‘Apps’ are portable / that there’s no difference between SDKs.

        1. rattyuk

          And your point is?There is a considerable difference between apps for iPhone and apps for iphone. If you are stuck in conversations with “people who seem to think ‘Apps’ are portable / that there’s no difference between SDKs.” then you are obviously barking up the wrong tree..

  69. sbmiller5

    Which Android phone are you using and which one would you recommend?

    1. fredwilson

      I use a nexus one but am looking around for my next android

      1. Rhetoric Assassin

        @ fred..the nexxus one? that was a total flop of a phone. are they BOGO-ing those also like the rest of the android phones…

      2. Rhetoric Assassin

        but do not worry i am sure the next time you are ready to get a new android phone, i am sure it will BOGO, so you will get two wannabe iphones for the price of one…cause no one wants…can you imagine the insults the tech community would sling IF apple had to give away one of their phones for free…lol!but google, motorola, HTC and the rest do not get it…I can’t see how having to ACTUALLY GIVE OUT your equipment is a good thing….clearly the market spoke and they care not for most of the android still can not make their phones fast enough…while android phones still sit in inventory waiting for their next freeby give away

        1. sbmiller5

          You’ve got issues man, try to be a little less of ass – I don’t always agree with Fred and when I disagree and have something useful to say he seems to be pretty respectful.I’ve owned an iPhone for over a year and will not be buying an iPhone for at least 3 years (I like to avoid the word “never”) – it’s a cool device, but it’s a terrible phone.

  70. rattyuk

    The point is that people who buy iOS devices have evidence of spending money. Most of the Android stuff is expected for free. Look at Angry Birds – it was 10 bucks on the iPhone and they have to give it away to get noticed on the Android platform.And Android Tablet? Please even Google are saying that that isn’t going to happen.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Hmmmm….sorry if I come off wrong, for I’m funding a project that will take 12 months to launch on those phones and tablets. Do yourself a favor and use some logic. There are countless links to Android Tablets and the main concern (at present) is Google pulling off the Android App Store crossing from the tabs to the phones…simple.Insofar as apps and price points….there are just as many legitimate apps that cost more than their counterpart on iPhone.My viewpoint is from the info provided, getting past the jumping up and down from the management of the companies, so I can update my Baseline Rev as legitimate numbers come in. Even with that, you still have to use common sense logic. ;D

      1. rattyuk

        Yes David.There are going to be a ton of Android tablets. But Google are betting on Chrome tablets and not Android tablets.When the manufacturer of the OS doesn’t have faith in it why are you investing time and money into a project that could be pulled by the OS developer? Do you have a fallback plan in place?It has nothing to do with the price point. But an App that sold for 9 bucks on the iPhone has been decided to be given away on Android just to grab attention then I think that should ring some bells David.Don’t get me wrong I have a mate that has a middling app on the iPhone and he’s earning 9k a day on his free app so there is money to be made.There are countless “links” to Android tablets – but where are the tablets? The Tab has a price of something approaching 850 dollars based on today’s UK price mentioned elsewhere on the web? How are these tablets from Apple’s competitors going to hit the iPad’s price point without carrier subsidy?I hope your stuff works out well but I think you are betting on the mediocre horse.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Thanks for the advice RattyUK. The evolution of our product began with Smart Phone, evolving into something bigger as the shortcomings of what some were pushing as a Virtual Assistant became known. It is the addition of graphics that positions our product in the tab war.The Baseline Revenue does not factor in Android Tablets. I cannot talk to someone about using their money based on something that isn’t there. In fact, it wasn’t until recently I was finally able to revise the spreadsheet factoring in iPad.The assumption in my BR are based on a free version with option of subscriber and the price point is set at $6 to handicap as much as possible. In fact, instead of the ol’ 1% moving to 3%, I stayed flatlined at 1% with loss of users/customers each year.Insofar as OS goes, we are at the point you cannot base everything on “Apple is everything” over the next 5… and investors need to have that in the back of their head also, to be ready in short term.

      2. fredwilson

        my view is that Google will not replicate the Apple app storei believe there will be dozens of app stores on Android

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          You and I see the same thing. As I replied to JLM a couple of weeks back, I’ve been careful not to overly offend anyone.If you are to produce the product that serves several niches, age/occupation brackets and so on, it is best to have the aggressive business strategy…and that would be hitting more than one store.Ben Goertzel and the team are something.

        2. Nate

          Dozens? How would that be good for developers, consumers, carriers, or Google?

          1. fredwilson

            just like the real worlda store for gamesa store for utilitiesa store for social appseach one will build great expertise in their domain

          2. Nate

            Real world stores have geographic and warehouse space limitations. The internet doesn’t.People want universal, not topical, search engines. I’m pretty sure nobody wants to search multiple stores for the app they want.

          3. fredwilson

            inded for jobskayak for traveltrulia for real estate

  71. sbmiller5

    I agree that’s what happened with Windows until maybe 2007 – Window was lagging behind Apple and consumers knew this, then Vista came out and now there it a lot of vitriol towards Windows.

  72. Seth Varty

    Where can you get a decent $199 Android tablet? Many analysts are saying the tablet prices are going to stay pretty close to the price point of Apple’s iPad. Sure, prices may come down over time, but they’ll likely come down across the board. I don’t think we’ll see a massive price discount for non-Apple mobile devices, a big reason why Apple is still well positioned to compete against the influx of all the random Android and Windows Phone 7 devices.

  73. Sancho Pansa

    Android is an OS. The iPhone and iPad are devices. If we are talking about the OS why not include the iPod Touch? What do the numbers look like with you include all the iOS devices vs all android devices?

  74. Aphtk

    Get your father-in-law the android tablet he desires from Borders …. (Velocity Cruz in the name)…

  75. Anu Nigam

    Hi Fred,We did that at BuzzBox. We did Android First. It’s been good to get users, they give great feedback and the market is still young. We just applied for iPhone and got rejected for some reason. I can see the frustrations with Apple.The issue with Android for us has been the eCPM. Once Quattro left, it’s been hard to replace them. More advertisers seem to want to go to iPhone then Android. We hope it changes.I do see issues in the fragmented marketplace and that people can game the rankings. Google or someone needs to fix that because developers and users will get frustrated.Anu

  76. Guest124

    That’s funny, I was going to agree but then my Android framework crashed, removing all push contact labels and GPS thought I was six blocks from where I was. But overall I’m excited to continue using it and continue to watch it advance.

  77. Brian S Hall

    This is actually a dumb ass post. Guy says Android will be the WINDOWS and iPhone will be the MAC. Which, we’ve all heard a hundred times and all are equally wrong. But, so what. Maybe he’s 100% right. Now what? His advice: “invest heavily in Android.”Um, Android is an open source OS. So what exactly is he saying? Invest in Google? Invest in companies like Motorola that make Android phones? Invest in Android developers? All? Some? One?How is this in any way helpful?

    1. fredwilson

      I hate to return the favor but this was a dumb ass comment

      1. Brian S Hall

        Nice. You earned a free smack. Back to the main point, still no actual investing advice. Android is an open source OS controlled, for lack of a better word, by Google. So? Buy $GOOG? $MOT? Get in on the ground floor of the dev team that came up with Angry Birds? Anything?

        1. fredwilson

          invest in companies that benefit from a world that apple and androidare competing fiercely and driving down costs and driving up the userexperinece

  78. reasonator

    “I develop mobile apps, for both Android and Apple. But I’m dropping my Android support shortly.”Folks, that’s game, set and match in this debate.Google can dump as many $29.95 featureless phones in people’s hands but it’s not the same as the iPhone numbers because the latter is a single platform and the former is almost the same as having no platform at all. Consumers know this. App developers know this.From the standpoint of historical precedent, Apple : Smart Phones 2010 :: Microsoft : Desktops 1990. Apple owns the Apps and whoever owns the apps, owns the market. Android is going to have as much success with consumers as Linux has.

  79. Harold

    Android vs iphone/ipad is not the same as the mac vs the pc for several reasons. 1-There is not a price difference in the mobile market place the way there was in the pc era. Also Apple because of its scale of operation and its money in the bank will always be cost competitive. 2-A big problem for apple in the pc wars was that much more software was available for windows than for the mac. The reverse is true in the mobile marketplace. 3-Another huge problem for apple in the pc era was that windows was pervasive in the business world. If anything Apple has had greater penetrance than android into businesses.I don’t think that your argument makes sense!

  80. Pholu

    For those who cant find music and soft for iPhone And iPad, here is interesting programme for searching , can find almost anything

  81. Observer

    kind of like the ipod right Fred? I am still waiting for serious competition. Just because your bias affords you the choice between second best and also ran does not mean most people will opt for either of those choices. There is no cost delta between android phones and iphones. In other countries when the iphone went to multiple carriers the android market died. What makes you think right now android phone manufacturers are not quacking in their boots now that the word on the street is saying early 2011 iphone for Verizon. The iPad moving to Verizon is a sign! And we will all save this biased garbage article so we can get a good laugh a couple years down the road.

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      I live in one of those countries where the iPhone is in several carriers (Spain) and I can tell you that the Android market keeps growing a lot. iPhone is growing also because smartphones keep gaining market share, but the new carriers haven’t had a significant effect in the market.

    2. fredwilson

      lets do thati’m basing my investing and advice to our companies on thiswe’ll see how that works out in a few years

    3. Jason Lotito

      I’m an iPhone user myself, but here in Canada, the Android market is fine. As is Blackberry and others.

  82. KYA

    I will bet your ass that you are wrong in a year.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not sure how we take my ass off my body but if we could, i’d take that bet

      1. Tereza


    2. Fredwich

      That’s so cheap! At least put *your own* ass on the table.

  83. S.

    Some friend you are…I wouldn’t recommend Android garbage to anyone that I liked…You’re obviously easily impressed and used to sub-standard crap…

    1. fredwilson

      for sure

    2. Joshr

      Looks like the trolls are a trolling…

  84. perfy

    Fred, I had a similar comment as Eric. The google results to your suggestion came up with a bunch of small screens (3-7″ (I don’t know how such a small screen is even a tablet)) and slower processors (less than 1 ghz).I just don’t see how many companies could match the economies of scale that Apple has right now with its component purchasing power with all it’s doing with iPods, iPhones and iPads.I’m all for competition, but I don’t think the products you are suggesting are really on the market right now.

    1. Rhetoric Assassin

      what you are speaking too much common sense for Fred Wilson. You know they hedge all their bets on vapourware.iCal this next year, and we will see the prophesied THE tIDAL WAVE of android tablets amount even more than a ripple.But the time the first android tablet will be ready for shipping, apple will be ready to ship their 2nd version. And then it will be back to copy machines for google. Google is still trying to come up with answer for the iphone, the Ipad answer will never happen either…

  85. Colin

    So where can I get a $199 Android tablet besides the crappy Kmart one with a resistive touch screen?Also, do tell how the $199 entry point for the iPhone is a premium, since that’s where most Android phones seem to start…

  86. Rhetoric Assassin

    to prevail in the business world = profit. you can keep making razor-thin profits and give them away POGO… that is not a sound business owns the profit, they make more in profits than their top three competitors COMBINED…..while the rest battle for scraps. all the android people are freepers who wont buy apps at rate or price of apple’s. Android users want everything for nothing, their sense of entitlement is outstanding, and coming from that generation, it’s embarrassing. I can not imagine what the older generations view as, perhaps that is why they are so sees your 2 billion in profit a quarter and raises you another 2.3 billion…

    1. Ned

      This ongoing rant about BOGOs and “Freepers” reveals such an astounding ignorance about how most handset makers and carriers do business, forecast profit around product lifecycle, and make money. It also reveals a glaring absence of actual demographic data around handsets, carriers and plans- data that factually undercuts most of the blathering rhetoric in these fanboy posts. Finally, all of Rhetoric Assassin’s posts seem to underscore the author’s frustration with life and society and most of the links provided in these posts don’t actually lend any credence the the posts themselves. On the other hand, while most people don’t think the way Rhetoric Assassin does, he/she’s clearly intent on supporting the economy by spending his/her own money and avoiding freemium offerings, to which I say “thank you.” As an industry, we need more consumers who define themselves by rejecting trial and going straight to purchase.

  87. Joeldm

    The comparison, as has been pointed out, has one major flaw, the pricing. The $199 Android tablet is only if supported with a wireless plan, otherwise the cheapest comparable (as in size) is closer to $1000. So far no one has a device at this price point with this display but Apple. Someone else mentioned the Archos 7. Sure, but the Archos 9 is $430 isn’t out yet and lacks the apps and the fit and finish of the iPad and lacks multitouch. No contest.What non-Apple people miss is the value Apple brings to its products. They don’t understand the decades of OS development and human interaction expertise that Apple can bring along with an unlimited R&D checkbook and customer support better by far than any other existing company.Some hate the control Apple exerts but you rarely hear that about other products. Can you imagine someone complaining that the BMW was “too tightly” controlled by Bavarian Motor Works safety dept? Apple people get that iPhone control means stability, it means that everything works as it should, that the viruses that are starting to crop up in Android now are because Google lacks that control.Many of you are still operating as if it’s 1990 and only geeks bought them and geeks want to tinker. The average smartphone user does NOT want to tinker, he/she wants the phone to work out of the box as advertised. That’s Apple that’s the iPhone and iPad. Really, it’s a SCREEN folks. Who cares if the case doesn’t come in 40 colors, thicknesses and designs. It’s what’s IN the screen that I care about. I only want the device to work reliably, have a wide array of apps and be stable and easy to keep updated and sync with my other devices. Only Apple does that.JoeLAtlanta

    1. Kh

      Yes, just like some people like to build cars from junkyard parts and Ace hardware bolt bins. Yes,you could call that “open source” and “choice.”I’ll take my Macbook and a BMW any day. Well, cant afford the BMW, but………..I work on Windows every day in my job. When I get home to my Macbook, the predictability and stability help me actually get work done, as opposed to the half dozen application restarts I have to do during the day.

      1. Jason Lotito

        > Yes, just like some people like to build cars from junkyard parts and Ace hardware bolt bins. Yes,you could call that “open source” and “choice.”I’m not sure what you mean by this. If your implying open source and choice are junk, you really have no idea what open source, choice, and OSs are all about. Even Apple has built itself on top of open source and choice. In fact, Apple’s greatest triumphs have been because of open source and open standards and choice. You remove these elements from Apple’s ecosystem, and so much of what they’ve done this past decade will have fall apart.

  88. 程肯

    You said, “Because there were hundreds of Windows machines whereas there was only a few variations of Macintosh, all controlled by the same company and priced at a premium.”Every smartphone is unique in the apps it contains. The customer choice isn’t in the hardware, it’s in the software. And, the iPhone isn’t priced “at a premium” to other smartphones, due to carrier subsidization, so I’m not sure how your example applies to the current situation. I mean it sounds nice, and unoriginal seeing as it’s been floated thousands of times before, but it’s still not a correct comparison.Then you said, “My father in law told me he wants a tablet but $500 for an iPad seems high to him. I asked him if he’d pay $199 for an Android tablet. He said “where can I get one”?”Your father-in-law asked the right question, “where can I get one?”, because you can’t, unless you’re talking about a carrier-subsidized tablet.You wrote, “I am encouraging every company we work with to invest as heavily in Android as they invest in iPhone/iPad. I actually think they should invest more because Android is still wide open and the iPhone/iPad marketplaces are leaderboard driven and the leaders have been established and it’s hard to crack into the top ten anywhere.”Hmmm… sounds wonderful, you’ve thrown your hat in with Android and so you now want developers to support your choice. Can you at least give them a better reason than Fred wants you to? I mean, how is monetization going on Android, that’s what developers want to know, not whether Fred wishes something.Lastly you wrote, “iPhone and iPad have been amazing products that have opened new markets. But I do not think they will own either market in a few years. Android will.”Please define “own”. Apple has a fraction of the share of Dell in PCs, and yet, their profit share is huge in comparison. Who “own”s whom? Right.

  89. Jack

    Your argument is that because Microsoft beat Apple, so will Google?Google is obviously a great search engine but has still not proven that can take on a technology leader in any space over the long run.If you had to bet based on history – the Microsoft Phone will beat then both.Microsoft had laid to waste and massive list of technology leaders that at one of other had the best technology and the best market share – apple, sybase, oracle, netscape, borland, digital, ibm, wordperfect, lotus 1-2-3, … on and on…Just saying

    1. fredwilson

      just sayin they make a kickass mobile OSand they make a kickass email serviceand they make a kickass cloud based document servicejust sayin

      1. Rhetoric Assassin

        just saying:yea a Mobile OS that looked more like a Blackberry’s until the Iphone (that means stolen IP) and now that apple has been granted many patents to protect their ideas, how long before android has to modify their mobile OS AGAIN…using a free mail service as a pro? really? seriously? that sole purpose is only to collect data and search habits… right…and their cloud services have yet to be proven reliable..and once again touted beta services as a PRO…i understand you android guys are freepers and want everything for nothing..just saying….

        1. Jason Lotito

          > that means stolen IPYou mean like where Apple was ordered To Pay $625 Million in Cover Flow Patent suit recently? Let’s also ignore all the people suing each other in the mobile space. It’s not like Apple is getting sued there.

          1. Rhetoric Assassin

            yea that’s great,but i was referring to their mobile OS, where did i mention coverflow. Trying to tout a mobile OS that was completely changed while Eric S sat on apple’s board of directors does amount to stolen IP, and could be proved to be as corporate espionage as well.but we talking about Mobile OS (legitimate and Stolen IP) if you have something to contribute to that is awesome….but it appears you don’t

  90. Rhetoric Assassin

    and of course he has no response to that.

  91. Rhetoric Assassin

    you do realize that the iphone 4 camera is hands the winner with a 5 megapixel, compared to even the 8 mp camera.And i am personally as a photographer insulted to think that more megapixels = better RESOLUTION. what good is a larger megapixel image rendered by terrible optic translation software (most likely stolen IP and heavily modified) on the lowest quality optical glass/lens combination, rendered on the cheapest available chip. You spec boys are misguided. Noone buys a Digital Hasselblad thinking its price is too expense. There are higher MP digital backs you can put on almost anything for less, doesnt mean its worth the money.The megapixel race to the top deemed as reason to buy is for laymen who do not understand a thing about nothing and only know the buzz marketing words and it is only regurgitated by the uneducated and ill-informed masses.

    1. Wesley Verhoeve

      I’m actually a photographer, and the son of a photographer, so I know thatyes the megapixels aren’t the only determining factor. You are correct! Iwasn’t trying to imply that only because of the higher MP value the Androidcamera was better. I’m reporting from experience comparing the two. Theandroid cam, at least on the HTC Incredible, is far superior to the iPhone 4camera, in my humble opinion. Clarity, great rendering, speed, beautifulcontrast, etc.Just one example of a picture I tumblr-ed from my phone:http://thefamilyrecords.tum

        1. Wesley Verhoeve

          Thanks for sharing those. None of them mention the HTC Incredible, the phoneI use and think has a better camera, and I don’t have any experience withother Android phones, but they were interesting reads. My preference for oneconsumer good over another isn’t really one I feel strong enough about toturn into a continued debate, so we can just agree to disagree. I love myAndroid, I love iPhones too. They’re both beautiful products and I’m glad weboth enjoy the ones we use. Everybody’s happy. 🙂

          1. Rhetoric Assassin

            well he is a comparison from pictures taken from iphone 4 and the HTC incredible..more like 8mp incredidud…

          2. Rhetoric Assassin

            well the link would help…htc droid incredible vs. iphone 4…

  92. Sjay

    I think we should not only look at the mobile market as that is only a tiny area. I think Apple good at using their brand and marketing so, they can sell more and more of the same basic product in different improvements. It is good for making money but not good for long term. Microsoft targeted only PCs and when new optioned came up they are loosing the ground. But Google is following totally different path. They build the user base first and then market the products that suite their users. Android is not the Googles main product. Don’t fort that you use Google even you use a PC, MAC, UNIX machine or anything. Google is heading for a centralized system where you can store and retrieve information in a centralized place. All these projects are heading this single target.

  93. Cocktail Dresses

    The profit argument simply points out that the people who are producing Android phones have the lowest profit/handset in the industry and having a “sell more regardless of the low profit levels” strategy such as what Nokia used for the past decade is a recipe for disaster.

  94. rfr1

    Fred,Hope no one is paying you for your opinion. You sound like a Android fanboy. $499 – is a premium price? What the competion is will be offering is less for more. Your premium argument is getting old besides not accurate when the total experience is concerned. PS. What version of Android are you talking about? Or isn’t that important to you.

    1. fredwilson

      i give my advice for freeevery day

      1. RichardF

        Looks like someone is trying to rip off my Disqus profile name. Maybe I should be flattered. You pissed someone off for sure looking at the number of guest posts that have suddenly appeared.

        1. fredwilson

          See the post I wrote this morning

  95. mbrosen

    Jobs had some thoughts on the subject today:Steve Jobs: I don’t see RIM catching us; Android is a fragmented mess; 7-inch tablets will be DOA…Note:”Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same. Twitter client, TwitterDeck, recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than a hundred different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations presents developers with a daunting challenge. Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets running selected Android versions. And this is for handsets that have been shipped less than 12 months ago. Compare this with iPhone, where there are two versions of the software, the current and the most recent predecessor to test against.”More:10 reasons why Verizon iPhones and iPads are very bad news for Google and Android…

  96. Jack

    I don’t think it matters, even if iphone and ipad is down to 25% we will have develop for that market since that is still a lot of customers, beside the pass have shown that people are more willing to pay for Apple apps and less likely use pirated copies so that is where the money is. Also the open platform of Android is still considered to dangerous for most companies to adopt it. Looks like what ever the market share is going to be Apple is still going to make most of the profit in the telecom place, Android will make some through ads and the Android hardware makers will the lease.

  97. tylernol

    that was true ~3 years ago. Now I would argue:IBM1950-1980Microsoft1984-1998Google2001-2009Facebook 2010-????I do like many things about Android, but I wonder what benefit Google really gains by spending resources on it and if this is mostly a distraction for them, while Facebook is focused and poised to take a huge chunk of their core ad business.

    1. Sandeep

      facebook core ad business is far far behind google’s. With many many more smartphones than ever there was PCs, google search is going to be used even more and more. I am sorry your predictions are wrong. A phone is required by everybody on the planet and with the availability of 100 dollars or lesser smartphones, I dont see how Google is not going to prosper. And you have to factor in one more thing. Facebook is totally absent from China the world’s largest internet market and growing spectacularly fast.

      1. tylernol

        I believe facebook recently surpassed google as the site with the most visitors and their advertising model can offer specific demographics and even direct marketing, rather than just demographics inferred by search intent. I have no idea of their current ad revenue, they are privately held and I believe they keep this hidden, but I would suspect it is growing at a furious pace.and I can and do use all my Google services on my iphone, so what advantage does Google have by offering the Android OS? They have not lost me as a customer for their services.I am sure Google will continue to prosper, but not at the margins they have become accustomed to.

  98. Dave Pinsen

    True, but that’s not what Caldwell was getting at. Worth reading his column in full, but here are the punchline paragraphs:The line between Google and government is destined to blur. You can say that such lines have been blurring, through privatisation, for a long time. But there is a difference between the privatisation of tasks that started in the 1980s and the privatisation of analysis that Google portends. Google is going to have a special role in shaping the ends of government. Google strengthens a key argument in favour of privatisation: why should a sclerotic and bureaucratic government deny itself the tools so plentifully available in the private sector? But Google weakens a key argument in favour of freedom: that a modern economy is too complex for a single entity to make sense of. Privatisation used to mean decentralisation. It no longer necessarily does.History would lead us to expect one of two resolutions over the long term. Either Washington will turn Google into a utility (railroads are the model) or Google will take up a privileged position as a private company with public prerogatives (for example, the old Bank of England or the Dutch and English overseas trading companies). One way or another, the result will be a closer union between power and specialised knowledge. If the Tea Party movement is enraged at being bossed around by experts, wait till they see what technology has prepared for them next.

  99. atimoshenko

    Why is it necessary for the market to be “owned” by any one platform? In other words, why would the smartphone/tablet market follow the path of the PC market rather than the path of the game console market? Indeed, for the consumer, there is no greater openness than the ability to freely choose between 2-3 viable, powerful, and distinct platforms.

  100. Rhetoric Assassin

    and all the FREEPERS rejoice!

    1. Ned

      FREEPERS= extremely naive terminology.

  101. Maybe

    Last time I checked sales of Microsoft Office for Mac meant that Microsoft was making more profit per Mac than Apple was. Apple produces a solid lump of aluminium and packs it with state of the art components, but that all costs money. Microsoft just duplicates some not very well put together bits and rakes in the cash due to network effects on document formats.This rather undermines the “makes the most money” yardstick for quality.

  102. Rhetoric Assassin

    lol, well of course you give the FREEPERS what they want, they will certainly rush for all the freebies they can…how is this a shock that a bunch of freepers scrambled to get FREE$$es…how this country even stays economically afloat with a bunch non-workin, blog writin’, sycophantic entitled freepers is the only real surprise to me…

  103. David Radcliffe

    You’re right. The integration with Google services is amazing. iPhone or blackberry users have no idea just how slick it is. Everything you need is on the phone and the web – all the time.

  104. Mross

    If it’s a nightmare, then don’t develop for Android. There are plenty of us that will be happy to take the $.

  105. Rhetoric Assassin

    open their platform up, so malicious app writers can background your personal information to whoever they want?that’s a great IDEA!! /sarcasm……wow, SMS trojans, malware, stolen personal data… OH I see how Google plans to make money, they are going to sell Mobile Anti-Virus, Mobile Spyware, and Mobile Trojan…

    1. William Mougayar

      I hear you, but isn’t there a happier middle ground?

  106. Jason Lotito

    As an owner of an a nice 27″ iMac, I’m confused by this. Have you actually used Win7 objectively, and compared it to SL? Apple has a lot riding on tomorrows report on Macs.Let me put it this way. The next version of OSX needs to be a big upgrade, the degree of XP => Win7. Otherwise, it will be playing catch up. Now, I’m pretty sure they are going to do that, but far too many people make the assumption that OSX is perfect now. It’s not. It has so many problems, so many inconsistencies, so many headaches. Right now, it’s coasting on the brand.

    1. Rhetoric Assassin

      funny how your selective memory forgets Vista…. and as a user of all windows systems since 3.1 and an apple used since the apple IIE. I have seen apple’s innovation constantly copied from Microsoft poorly I might add for many, many years. Windows 7 is the most blatant copy of apple’s OS ever…windows wont come out with a new version of a OS unless Apple does it first… history in the personal computing world seems to repeat itself quite often.

  107. nathanvanfleet

    I think it’s very interesting that people will agree that there is top knotch fit and finish on an iPhone but argue about the price. Is it not understood yet that Apple is actually very agressive about the price of the iPhone and iPad that it’s really not a question of that?

  108. Lee Graham

    Nexus One rocks! I’m looking for my next Android phone as well. It definitely is going to have a forward facing camera.

  109. Ned

    It depends on the nature of the app, the technical requirements, and the competitive context. Many developers are starting with Android because they see a shot at competing in a category that is saturated on iOS. Another consideration is distribution/discoverability. There will be several Android app stores, and while this may add more confusion for consumers, it will also offer more opportunities for developers to promote apps. And, regardless of the confusion, Amazon, Getjar, Vodaphone and Verizon will invest in promoting these app stores, so they’ll have some audience.

    1. tylernol

      but if a category is already saturated on iOS, then surely it wont be very long before it is saturated on Android and the land grab on Android will be short-lived in benefit? An Amazon Android app store would be very interesting(is that officially coming?) I doubt any carrier app store will get very far.

  110. Ants Maran

    We are developing our indoor positioning developer toolkit on Android first, open API backend after that and Then iOS… so if you want to reach developer communities as a channel to grow; Android.

  111. Ants Maran

    I bought two directly from manufacturer in China for that price including transportation:-

  112. leigh

    I feel like Blackberry has abandoned me. I hate change. 🙁

  113. Rhetoric Assassin

    lol, serious? why?even google says android isnt for tablets…Google tells cheap no-name brand tablets that Froyo is not meant for tablets and to wait later this year…additionaly by the time ANY tablets with a mobile OS will be ready, Apple will have own the market as they the PMP. They already own 100% of the mobile OS tablet market…all the tablets are 7″ wide, most are 45% of the Ipad, and NONE announced are even the Ipad’s price range. Your best hope is HP, and they have wisely decided against Android.

  114. tylernol

    Linux is everywhere in embedded systems already. The question is does it make sense to bring the Android framework sitting on top of their forked version of Linux into the project? Maybe, if you want a touch-screen UI, but otherwise does it make sense to bring over the hacked kernel driver model as well? It might depend on what you are doing with your embedded system. I’d like the Android UI framework sitting on top of an official mainline Linux branch, not off that fork.

  115. Rhetoric Assassin

    yea how many billions has android made in their app store, or the Vcast app store, yogurt, froyo, cupcake, snacky cake…funny how their codes names of android are not deemed healthy in the nutritional world… me thinks a bit of irony…

    1. fredwilson

      look forward not back to find opportunity

  116. Rhetoric Assassin

    and the 7-in galaxy tab will sell for over a 1000 dollars…you know what’s called… DOA…

  117. Rhetoric Assassin

    what are you smoking… BOGOs do not equal profit…could you imagine apple being the phone game if they had to give one away for people to buy one…LOL..

  118. Rhetoric Assassin

    keep waiting for that 200-300 android tablet…running what OS, the one google does not recommend using even their latest.. the future OS they say its coming out? don’t hold your breath.if you think an ipad is an consumption only device, you have not used one or know anything about it.

  119. Antonio_carrero

    Mr. Wilson, it seems to me that your opinion on the future of Iphone and Ipad is based on a very limited data. I would recommend next time to provide a more solid data, with trends growth rates, etc. It will certainly be much more interesting and insightful.

    1. William Mougayar

      I beg to differ. Plenty of data and data points were provided by Fred and various commentators- on both sides of the equation I might add.Data points point to the past.Opinions lead to the future.These 2 products and directions are different – so what. Does everybody wear the same clothes and colors?The markets will decide. Both products are innovative in their own way. Both are winners.If there is one group that should be angry, it’s the BlackBerry fans.

    2. fredwilson

      this is a blog, not a research reportit is my opinions and that is it

  120. paramendra

    Not happening.

  121. Frank Fernandez

    There is a fundamental difference between the Android vs iPhone battle compared to the PC and Mac battle; emotions. You can argue all the reasons why one is better than the other but you have to hand it to Jobs, he has created such an emotional tie to his iPod, iPhone and iPad that everyone feels like they have to have one. People are willing to leave good cell carriers, like verizon, just to get one. Just reading through some of these posts will tell you how emotional people will get.On the other hand, the PC won the previous battle not because it went mainstream, it went “business stream” and was able to capitalize on the needs of small and big business. I think Android may have their chance there. RIM isn’t evolving fast enough and the more I look around the less I see businessmen using Blackberry’s and opting for android phones. There is less emotion in business, or at least there should be.

  122. Dirk

    For me it would be enough if they allowed me to install unsigned (or self signed for that matter) apps. I would do iOS Development and even buy an iPad.If Android keeps getting stronger Apple might actually do this.

  123. chartsandcoffee

    I’ve written a series of posts about why Apple is really a very very fragile company (http://www.chartsandcoffee….. I’m somewhat surprised that nobody else really sees it.Fred hits on one of my points right here. The iPad and iPhone are going to be commoditized just like all electronic devices have been historically. Android is doing this and EVEN IF Android is an inferior device its price point will cause margin issues at Apple. We are in the early innings of smartphone mobile devices. Just because Apple won round 1 does not mean that they have a monopoly forever.

  124. ErikSchwartz

    There are a lot of people who want VZW to carry the iPhone. Wanting won’t make it happen.Apple doesn’t care. Apple wants to maximize profit. If carrier exclusivity maximizes profit then Apple will sell through one carrier.Apple would rather have 10% market share at 66% gross margins than 50% market share at 3% gross margins.

  125. CJ

    Wow – This has to be one of the most arrogant full of sh*t comments I’ve ever read.”In general: Anyone who doesn’t really care and just wants to have ‘a cheap computer’ will buy Windows. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t have too high expectations, which is alright because people who don’t care usually don’t.People who do care will either buy from Apple or prefer to roll-their-own with any open source unix. E.g .I care and I have both: Apple and some PC’s with Linux/BSDs.”