Android (continued)

Roughly six months ago, I put up a blog post suggesting Android was going to be the dominant mobile phone operating system and that developers interested in the largest user bases ought to start developing for it in preference to iOS.

As you might expect, I got a lot of heat from Apple fanboys for that post and one of the strongest points they made was that we had not yet seen the effect of the Verizon iPhone on market share numbers.

Well now we have. iPhone had a fantastic February on the back of a strong launch of the Verizon iPhone. comScore's February mobile numbers are out and here's where things stand in terms of OS market share in the US.

Mobile os market share US

It looks like the Verizon iPhone launch is helping iOS hold its own with 25% of the market. I expect (and hope) that iOS will remain a strong competitor to Android. But as I've been saying for several years now, I believe the mobile OS market will play out very similarly to Windows and Macintosh, with Android in the role of Windows. And so if you want to be in front of the largest number of users, you need to be on Android.

A few other points are worth making. The numbers above are for the US. I believe Android will be stronger in the developing world than it is in the developed world. And most of the growth in smartphones is going to come from the developing world in the next five to ten years.

Finally, the reason for all of this is that Google is not attempting to monetize its mobile OS. It has created a business model for Android that is very attractive for handset manufacturers and allows these OEMs to drive down their costs rapidly while continuing to deliver a top quality smartphone experience. Bill Gurley of Benchmark wrote a great post about Google's mobile strategy earlier this week called "The Freight Train That Is Android". If you want to understand why this is happening, go read it.

UPDATE: This comment thread (almost 600 comments) is probably the most active comment thread in the history of this blog. The comments keep coming in five days later. Because I read and consider replying to every comment on this blog, this thread is creating a fair bit of work for me. And I believe we've had a very good debate about the issues this post raised. So I am closing comments on this post.



#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. Julien

    I think that nobody can constest the analogy that you made where iOS === Mac OS and Android === WindowI would argue though that Android is “free” in a sense that nobody pays a license to Google to use it (unless I’m wrong?), while MS as always charged (a lot!) for windows, so eventually, the room taken by Android may even be greater than the one taken by Windows, and will probably no leave any breathing room for any 3rd party at all.

    1. fredwilson

      i think apple can hold on to a minority share because it has an integratedstrategy

      1. RichardF

        They also happen to make great products. (even though my next phone will probably be on Android)They’ve also jumped into the mainstream, particularly with women. I haven’t heard any women saying “ooh I want a Nexus S” but most of the girls I know who are thinking about changing their phone want an iPhone.

      2. Julien

        But that’s not the case for WinMo, or even WebOS 🙁

    2. rogerdodgerTM

      By saying Android is the new Windows it’s all but a compliment. This is bad.

  2. falicon

    Personally I’m still doing everything I can to hold out until ‘the browser is the platform’ holds true on mobile as well…though it sometimes feels like it’s going to be years before the mobile world decides to move to this (they are making too much money and getting too much attention right now to really change things).DISCLOSURE: As much as I try not to, I have already built iPhone, Android, and even BlackBerry apps already (and I continue to do a little consulting/advice around that development too — sometimes you gotta pay the bills too).

    1. fredwilson

      i am hoping for that and it is in google’s interest to move it in thatdirectionif you read Gurley’s post, what he is basically saying is Google is tryingto force the web business model on mobile

      1. falicon

        Agree 1,000%.The thing that hits me the most with Gurley’s post is: “Perhaps the resulting counter-force to this is that if someone can afford to build a near equivalent code base, than they can at their option price to marginal cost ($0.00), the very definition of perfect competition”This is at the VERY heart of why I don’t waste time on mobile apps for my own stuff yet…it takes a lot of time and resources to get a *good* app out there (and even more effort to get it consistently adopted by users)…and yet duplicating a successful app is much easier (in my opinion this already is forcing the app market into a commodities market).ROI with mobile has already dropped to near-zero for 99% of app developers…and I fear it’s only going to get worse with the ‘native app’ approach.Moving to ‘browser as the platform’ won’t change the fact that it’s hard to get adoption or competitive to make something good…but it *will* make it cheaper/easier to build/release across hardware platforms…and that means less time focusing on specific hardware plays and third-party rules/limits and more time focusing on your unique value-add…at least that’s my hope 😉

        1. falicon

          sorry – also meant to say that Gurly states that quote in the context of building/running a platform…but I think it also extends really nicely to the apps on top of those platforms as well.

        2. Mark Essel

          Thanks for the quotes Kevin, tight on luxury reading time today to get a well balanced picture of the mobile market.We’d converge on “write once run anywhere” (equally well) rapidly if all hardware and rendering tools were the same. Yet evolution prefers redundancy and the freedom of selection in stable ecosystems, else it suffers the backlash of single point of failure. TMTOWTDI, there’s more than one way to do it. The web has a plethora of interface layers, and browser specializations.

    2. Fred Destin

      It does not strike me as logical to assume “browser is the platform” when we have $600 devices in our hands. why not leverage all that awesome hardware instead of relying on the limitations of webGL / HMTL5 / whatever the browser paradigm ends up being ?

      1. falicon

        the browser native to the hardware should be able to leverage that stuff…and then it’s just something like javascript to interact between it and your web app…also devices won’t be $600 forever…

    3. JohnDoey

      You understand that native apps have been “obsolete” since 1995, right? Don’t hold your breath.Apple brought HTML5 to mobiles, offers the best implementation, and open sourced their HTML5 engine and everyone else other than Microsoft uses it. So it is certainly not Apple who is holding Web apps back.

  3. CliffElam

    I’m not saying you aren’t the ALL WISE AND POWERFUL FRED or anything, but only people who weren’t around for the first seven rounds of open vs. closed wouldn’t have figured that out. See also: PC bus vs MCA, Red Hat vs Sun, etc….I think one can also confidently assert that the next great mobile apps will all come from Android stores where undergraduate liberal arts majors (represent!) from second rate schools aren’t following an “approval” script written by some middle manager trying to channel his inner Steve.-XC

    1. fredwilson

      i did not write this post to say “I am right”i wrote it to continue the debate/discussion and ideally convince a few moredevelopers to start making android a priority

      1. neilroseman

        I agree that the numbers tell developers that Android should be in your plans. But, if the platfrom was really working well for devs, why would you need to convince them?

        1. fredwilson

          i talk to our portfolio companies all the time. they were/are not seeing itthis way. and once i laid it out, they were more or less convinced. so ifigured i ought to take my message to a larger audience

          1. Dennis Buizert

            Yet these numbers are on purchased phones right? It says nothing about the App Store use.I bet a lot of people just purchase an Android, for the sake of not going Apple. Yet half of them never open the Android Market.Once the numbers of the market usage are released then you can motivate them even more.

          2. brettz

            That’s the same as saying people who buy an iPhone never open the App Store..

          3. Dave W Baldwin

            You need to take all points into the end run formula. The second tier of buyers are not necessarily gung ho regarding everything in app store, so the latter buyers of iOS aren’t necessarily app store happy as the originals.No matter what, it is a matter of designing something more than one trick pony to appeal to more than one niche…

      2. zato

        “i did not write this post to say “I am right””i wrote it to continue the debate/discussion and ideally convince…”You wrote it because you’re an Apple-hating asshole.

  4. msitarzewski

    There’s no doubt that Android will dominate the market soon, but I’m not convinced that’s the metric that really matters. Do you have a chart of profit/market share among the handset makers?

    1. fredwilson

      where it matters is to developers. when you are building apps and/or mobileweb services, you want to be where the users are

      1. msitarzewski

        True, true. There are two sides to the market – the maker and the ecosystem. It’s going to be an interesting few years. Do you think the Windows Phone 7/Nokia deal will materially impact the market?

        1. fredwilson

          I hope so. I like a competitive market. But I’m not sold on win7 yet

      2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        ME CORRECT YOU: DEVS WANT TO BE WHERE THEM CAN MAKE MONEY FROM USERS.IT IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE.

      3. zato

        This just in my email:fredwilson wrote, in response to zato:This arrogant piece of shit has four words for you:Fuck you fan boyLink to comment: http://disq.us/1l11rlIs that the best you can do, creep. Delete my posts and email me a “Fuck you fan boy”. This is far from over.

        1. Dale Allyn

          zato wrote: “This is far from over.”What, are you in eighth grade, dude?

          1. zato

            You’re working pretty hard to make me wrong asshole. Right from the beginning. You seem to be a photographer so I said nothing when you claimed to be a Mac user, even though there were things in the post that no real Mac person would say. Mind your own business unless you want this to get a lot uglier.

          2. Dale Allyn

            Well, I’m a photographer, business owner, web developer, database programmer, entrepreneur, and yes, devout Mac user. If Mac OS was no more, I’d be on Ubuntu full-time.You’ve defeated yourself. Have fun…

          3. Timothy Meade

            Dale,Photographer on Ubuntu? How would that work. I use Ubuntu (prett much exclusively) but I’m not a photographer

          4. zato

            “Well, I’m a photographer, business owner, web developer, database programmer, entrepreneur, and yes, devout Mac user. You’ve defeated yourself. Have fun…”Competitive asshole.

          5. Dale Allyn

            @tmztmobile: My remark of using Ubuntu was in reference to general computing. Photography is a hobby (from which I do derive some income) and which is getting very little time these days.I was simply trying to emphasize that I love my Macs (I have five that I currently use), hate the obvious alternative, and like Ubuntu which I would use for all of my work stuff (instead of just for fun and diversion as now) if I couldn’t use Mac OS. Photography is not well served by Ubuntu, but that wasn’t what I was trying to say. I’m an Apple fanboy, but not a blind one, nor one who cares what others use to complete their work.Cheers.And @zato: I’m not competitive in the way that you imply. I was just clarifying so as not to be assumed to be a photographer and only a photographer as a Mac user. As mentioned above, photography is not my primary business (not even close).

        2. fredwilson

          i don’t delete comments at AVC unless they are spamyour words and my words will stay online forever

      4. Highlandchef

        You’re point is correct “you want to be where the users are” to an extent, however it makes the false assumption that all users act in a the same or similar fashion.Developers should not be looking for the full set of users but for the sub-set of users who are buyers. Just because a user exists does not mean they will buy. So far the numbers seem to show that Android has a larger number of users but of the sub-set iOS has the larger number of buyers.Just developing for a platform will not turn users into buyers.

        1. fredwilson

          If you have a paid app. We have almost 40 portfolio companies and I can’tthink of one that has a paid app.

  5. zato

    “As you might expect, I got a lot of heat from Apple fanboys for that post “Fuck you, Fred.

    1. fredwilson

      i enjoy getting FUs from apple fanboysit makes my day

      1. Dennis Buizert

        Even though I own a few Apple products myself, I’d much rather see Apple fall face first at this moment. They are getting so cocky and are even getting away with it.I just bought a Macbook Pro i7 2.2, could have been a nice vacation for a good 2 weeks and still have money to buy a new laptop and pc.The fanboy thing is getting out of hand and the sad part is, its growing. More kids are getting infected with this; Apple Only, Apple is God mentality.Time for Google to step up their game!

        1. raycote

          Fanboys to the left of meFanboys to the right of meOuch!I looked in the mirrorand what did I seea fanboy

      2. Robert Holtz

        Fred, I’ve come to respect you too much recently to give you an “FU” but I am curious about an apparent paradox from you.Not even a week ago you blogged about the advantages of curation and how everyone benefits from this model.A week later, we are comparing a curated platform vs. a quote-unquote open one. To use @kirklove’s excellent metaphor, you are preferring the warehouse over the gallery here. That’s a position that seems to contradict what you just finished saying about curation.I’m all in favor of consumer choice and I like the existence of two competing standards simply because it prevents either of them from falling into complacency. That being said, I think Apple has learned a LOT in the space and time between the launch of the Mac and the launch of iOS.Android’s emergence has been impressive, no doubt. But they are already running into issues that I predicted from the onset where open really isn’t feasible unless you’re just totally going open source and giving the tech and the platform away. Google is already starting to erode their own self-proclaimed openness and when Android becomes just as curated (as it will inevitably need to become just to keep out malicious apps, spyware, and just crappy software to filter it out of the user experience) what will be the key differentiator? I keep thinking about the gallery versus warehouse model and how in favor you were just last week of curation.Fred, if you would, bridge these apparently divergent views of yours… will you? I just know somehow in your mind’s eye you’ve worked out what comes across as a paradox. And thanks in advance for indulging the open discussion.

        1. Sloth

          If you want a curated market on Android, go to Amazon.Amazon also changes the game when it comes to monetizing Android apps, BTW. One major issue with the Android market has been that buying has been a very disjointed experience. Not so with Amazon.I do agree that Android has so far dropped the ball when it comes to tablets. I do not expect that to last for long, and I’d guess that the tablet numbers a year from now will about mirror what the phone numbers look like today, especially once the Nook Color gets its market and apps next month and Amazon comes out with an Android kindle (which they have not yet, but which seems inevitable.)

        2. fredwilson

          I prefer user curation to provider curation. Apple uses the latter model.And that’s one of my biggest issues with their mobile strategy

          1. Robert Holtz

            That’s an interesting angle. To me, all providers ARE curators.The idea behind the curation movement is empowering the so-called “non-experts” to be curators as well… to push the power of curation BEYOND the provider to finer and finer levels of targeted relevance on the one side or to aggregate between groups of providers that otherwise might not team up or integrate on the other side.So how does a provider decide which products to carry and support? Are they obligated to carry everything that comes their way and train to support any and all products indiscriminately in the name of openness?

          2. raycote

            Yes …. the reusable construct isONE LEVELS USERISTHE NEXT LEVELS PROVIDERall the way from sub-atonic particle on up through enumerable platform layerscutting off this continuum at the level of consumer software seem somewhat arbitrary

          3. Dave W Baldwin

            Glad to see we are on same page via curation.There is a logical way to truly make that happen combined with devs/providers communicating regarding the malicious stuff… and keeping it out.In group think, eliminating the bad/hurtful will be beneficial. And the group won’t worry about the 2 or 3 who bitch about censorship.

      3. zato

        And I enjoy giving them to an arrogant asshole like you Fred. You poison the world of Tech with your ugly egoistic Apple-hating bullshit.And who are these Apple “Fanboys”? I post all over the Tech internet daily, and rarely see a post from a “fan-boy”, if ever. There are a few who will defend Apple from assholes like you, but very few. Ninety percent of the comments on the entire tech web are from Apple-hating PC gamer/losers.So keep it up, asshole. Keep on feeding the hater egoists the “wins” they need so desperately.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Decaf dude, look into it. It makes you look less like a dick.

        2. Lucian Armasu

          Chill, fanboy is quite a common word nowadays in the tech blogosphere. Fred even admitted he’s an Android fanboy, too. You shouldn’t take it so seriously.

          1. zato

            Unless you’re another hater, you should wake up, mon ami.

        3. Dale Allyn

          zato: as a member of the “Mac Community” I feel you do your position a disservice with the name calling. I, too, get a bit weary of the Apple-haters vs. Apple Fanboy stuff, but articulate argument is likely to have a more meaningful impact on the views of others.And even though I’m all Mac (except for testing of web work) I’m boycotting the iPhone as I refuse to buy any phone which I must hack or break the T.O.S./warranty in order to use it for international travel. (Accommodating visitors using iOS for some web projects is a separate issue in my case.) Apple’s position has become exceedingly arrogant in my opinion. I only hope that they’ll adjust. I definitely see some advantages to a closed development environment, but Apple and their carriers have taken it too far in some areas.It’s pretty obvious that without Apple’s development of the iPhone and iPad (and iPod before them) that there would be little excitement in this space over the past few years. I expect Fred agrees (and believe I’ve read his words to this effect). Lots of good stuff comes from Cupertino, but there’s some stinky stuff too.Seems like a little respect for the host here would be in order though.

          1. zato

            “zato: as a member of the “Mac Community” I feel you do your position a disservice with the name calling. I, too, get a bit weary of the Apple-haters vs. Apple Fanboy stuff, but articulate argument is likely to have a more meaningful impact on the views of others.””articulate argument”?? Give me a break. Do you really think this post by asshole VC-Fred is about articulate argument? Wake up, pussy. What it’s about is doing as much damage to Apple as possible. Fred is a HATER. His game is to destroy Apple. Fred is a professional anti-Apple propagandist.

          2. fredwilson

            As if my words had that power

          3. Dale Allyn

            Hate is a pretty ugly emotion, whether it’s directed at a company like Apple or a VC or other person like Fred. (But there’s stuff I “hate” too. ;)I think you assume Fred has more influence than he does. He doesn’t sway me to like what’s being delivered in Android, nor to dislike aspects of iOS. You seem to give the rest of us little credit for being independent, critical thinkers. That’s a fail on your part.Maybe you could channel some of your anger towards solving an important problem. That’d be cool. You’re obviously very passionate. Use it for fixing something instead of berating a guy for expressing his opinion or preference. Just a suggestion.Have a nice Sunday.

        4. Dave W Baldwin

          Since I’ve found via the blogs over past half year my needing to explain what the true next level of AI is, I don’t want to get involved with iOS vs. Android…All I know is we had Apple rise to the top (imagine pic of the cave men battle via 2001/Space O) with Android beginning its rise. This is followed by iPad with talk of the coming Androids, followed by the WebTV.Basically you have an even split between Apple/Android due to thinking conservative looking 6/12/18 months out…the bigger question is Micro partnered with whomever being able to produce a strong third.If so, then true competition will truly happen increasing the odds of better arrangements for devs, users and forward progress.Otherwise, claiming all things Apple will leave you unhappy.

          1. zato

            What???

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            Sorry, was in rushed state over weekend. Just saying with the bigger picture of what all these allleged smarphones cannot do… don’t take offense at the fact it is an even match between iPhone/Google.If over the next couple years a third player can rise brings competition that brings three players who will definately want the bigger platform.

        5. raycote

          Keep on digging!you are making his case about Apple fanboys.

        6. zato

          “As if my words had that power”I never said they did.”i enjoy getting FUs from apple fanboys, it makes my day”Arrogant piece of shit.The next time you think about calling someone a “fanboy”, pause for a second, and imagine how hard it would be to say the word “fanboy” if you no longer had any front teeth.

          1. fredwilson

            This arrogant piece of shit has four words for you:Fuck you fan boy

    2. raycote

      Easy there!What is so nice about Fred’s blog is the low frequency of such nasty comments.On the other hand the word “fanboy” is a bit inflammatory. It should only be used as self deprecating humor.

      1. fredwilson

        every time i write about this, this kind of stuff ends up in the comment threadsthat’s why i used that phrase in the posti knew they were coming

    3. JohnDoey

      Yeah, the fanboy thing is tired.

  6. Harry DeMott

    Very hard to compete with free. Bill makes some excellent points in his post.I would however make one subtle argument regarding developing for where the users are, whis is:you want to develop for where the paying users are.If you develop an app that has no monetization strategy – then by all means develop for everybody and get it out there. But if you actually want to earn a living selling to people – then you have to develop first for the people with the greatest proclivity to pay – and that remains the iOS – at least for now.

    1. Charbax

      Angry Birds made much more money being free on Android that being for sale on iOS. Google will introduce more ways to monetize free apps very soon.

      1. PeterK

        OK. I’m surprised.And has this been announced by the AB developers or is this your assertion?

        1. Lucian Armasu

          At the launch of Rio they said they make about the same from Android and iOS, but I believe they’ll start making a bit more from Android soon.

      2. Veronica Trollsky

        haha and the lies continue. Angry birds absolutely did not make more money on android.Obvious troll is obvious

    2. andyidsinga

      really good point Harry – i woud add on to that ‘ seek out opportunities to take advantage of purchase intent’ ( see chris dixons stuff ). i think the coolest thing about app stores for sw devs is increased purchase intent ( or maybe purchase mentality ) by end users.web apps on app stores is gonna be big imho.

    3. Dave W Baldwin

      Really a matter of developing product truly useful to end run market and will still be in 3-5 yrs. It needs to more than one trick pony.Doing so can allow marketing in two forms, the free and paid deluxe. The free itself needs to be a big step in front of the competition that allows a big user base to show the deluxe.Then Apple/Android issue will not matter because you give the customer what they want.

    4. JohnDoey

      Android devices are not free. In many cases they are more expensive than iOS devices.

  7. bill

    There was an interesting counterpoint (well not exactly a counterpoint, but interesting nonetheless) posted yesterday at Asymco: http://www.asymco.com/2011/….More about what this will mean for Google over time and how things will play out in terms of fragmentation, but a view that things are not as evidently rosy as marketshare would suggest.

    1. fredwilson

      i think he’s looking at android in the traditional OS modelbut my feeling is android is an attempt by google to bring the web businessmodel (and ultimately the web technology stack) to the mobile world toprotect its web based business model (ie Gurley’s view)

      1. bill

        True. Distinct questions are being covered in different places by people inthis thread: 1. If you are Apple or Google, what is your future and do you “win” 2. If you are a startup building a service, should you focus on iOS orAndroid or both (and does that mix change over time).I’d argue that there are even two different variants of the second dependingon whether you are trying to monetize on the app itself or not. If yes, iOSshould be your target right now, but if not it is more even and the longterm trajectory probably favors Android.I think part of the heat in this thread is that most people are talkingabout #1, and you care about #2.

        1. fredwilson

          That has been the source of heat on this topic for a long time. A lot ofpeople have a lot of money in apple stock and get upset when I write theseposts

          1. Ted_T

            Seriously Fred, you think people are worried about their Apple stock because of your posts? Apple has a forward P/E of something like 12 now, while Amazon is somewhere up in the 60s or 70s. Trust me, Apple stock holders have nothing to worry about.Apple has exactly one problem rigth now — manufacturing enough iPhones and iPads to meet demand. Competition from Android isn’t even on the radar as compared to keeping up with demand.

          2. fredwilson

            no i don’t think they are worried about my postsbut the stock chat forums are full of this kind of talkthat’s the root of a lot of the trash talking

          3. zato

            Fred is an arrogant, delusional piece of shit.

      2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        GOOGLE NEED ADS ON FREE ANDROID APPS TO PAY FOR ANDROID INVESTMENT.CARRIERS WANT APPS SOLD IN OWN STORES WITH NO ADS TO PAY FOR PHONE INVESTMENT.GOOGLE SURRENDER ALL POWER TO CARRIERS. THEY DICTATE HOW APPS SOLD ON THEIR PHONES. GOOGLE’S FUTURE NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.ME THINK REAL FUTURE OF ANDROID IS ENDLESS BRANCHES, MARKET REVERT TO EACH CARRIER HAVE OWN INCOMPATIBLE PHONE, APP STORE.

  8. Tom Labus

    These wars have many battles and like the real deal supply lines, logistics will play a major role in the ultimate outcome. For these reasons and past bull headedness I can’t leave $MSFT out of the game.I think it was IDC who has them #2 after Android in 5 years.

    1. fredwilson

      i was impressed with Win7 but not sold

    2. Lucian Armasu

      There was another report from ABI a few days later that also put Android at 45% in 2016, but Windows Phone at 7%. I don’t know if that will happen, and I don’t think anyone really knows, but I wouldn’t be surprised if WP only had as much, although my guess is it will be a little more, like 10% or 15% at best. But what IDC did was basically a 100% conversion from Symbian to Windows Phone over the next 4 years. That’s crazy and it won’t happen. Windows Phone won’t even get half of Symbian users, and they won’t get that many from outside, because Android and iPhone will get most of those.

  9. Dennis Buizert

    The numbers are growing. Sadly the developers are failing at acknowledging it. And the interfaces created for Android are so ugly and badly made it saddens me for going Android in the first place.As I said on twitter to friends, if I had the option, i’d switch to iOS at this moment. Android developers are far behind.This is not the small time guys, I am talking about the big boys. I.e. Facebook.

  10. ErikSchwartz

    I’ve been saying Android inevitably wins (and taking the same arrows from the Apple fans) for a while now.But from a developer standpoint it doesn’t matter.Web apps are going to win on mobile. For the vast majority of applications native apps are entirely unnecessary (certain games need to be native). For most developers native apps are a bridge.

    1. jalexoid

      When and if WebGL takes off, then a lot of the games can be web-based also….

    2. David Shellabarger

      I used to think web apps would win long-medium term too. Now I’m not so sure.People love apps, because they are better.

    3. raycote

      We live inside our new digital nervous system, instantly interconnecting everyone and everything. Squeezing all this functionality into handheld devices creates an environment that by absolute necessity demands ever tighter compression, of ever more complexity, into ever more streamlined, easy to use, hardware/software/user-interface packages. This is especially true in the mobile space.Web Apps cannot compete on this tighter hardware/software/user-interface package compression. They are analogous to buying the all in one drill/saw/router home handyman tools.

      1. kidmercury

        yes, i totally agree about the importance of integrated technology systems. i think, though, that open vs closed is often used interchangeably with fragmented vs integrated — and i don’t htink that is the case. i think systems can have lots of elements of openness, such as data portability and using GPL code as a starting point, while also being very tightly integrated.

    4. JohnDoey

      GarageBand is selling iPad 2’s right now, and it is not going to be a Web app during this decade. The Web barely supports audio at all, even after 20 years. iMovie is not going to be a Web app this decade. Wireless MIDI apps that are used to control music studios will not be Web apps this decade. All the musical instruments and many other native apps are not going to be Web apps this decade.And even by the time today’s GarageBand or iMovie can be done on the Web, the native C versions will be doing even more.The Web has always competed with native apps and likely always will. One or the other is best for any particular development project.What’s amazing is iPod dominated thanks to iTunes, but all competitors refused to compete with iTunes. Now, they are refusing to compete with App Store and it is happening again. Native C is a key feature of App Store. The apps do MORE than the free Web apps users are used to, so they are willing to pay. The apps run faster and with lower battery drain than Web apps as well, which is part of why iPad is so amazingly fast and has such long battery life.Consider that there is a ton of native C code in the world. Look at DOOM getting ported from DOS to iPhone, with 90% of the code staying the same. Who is going to rewrite all that C code in HTML5 for the Web or Java for non-Apple phones? There isn’t enough time to do it within 10-20 years even if anybody really wanted to.

      1. Timothy Meade

        Looks at JSONLoops and reevaluate, also the massive musician sharing community being built. Modern javascript engines and audio APIs do exist, js can be JITed effectively and compete with native (look at nodejs.org powered by git HEAD v8) and soon this will be possible on mobile. The real advantage is newer instruments, trackers can be created and deployed in near realtime with lower barrier to entry (JS, native buffers and the audio APIs) than Apple can ever push out updates to GB. And they are collaborative, WebSockets is coming when the IETF process finishes and interim solutions (socket.io, FlashSocket, dnode, and nowjs) exist.

      2. Timothy Meade

        Missed somehing in your post. Android has had native code support for a few versions now and with 2.3 has fully native apps as an option. I ported X Window Server to Android (androix.org) didn’t have to rewrite it in Java. Also, it’s Javascript, not HTML5, Google has already ported Quake, from a Java version, into Javascript using GWT. Pbaukus has done awesome things with HTML5+innerHTML before Aves was acquired by Zynga, probably still doing awesome things there.

  11. leigh

    I asked the iPhone vs. Android question to my FB friends and hello shit storm! (giving up my blackberry finally after 14 yrs).I am a MAC girl BUT I’m sensing that Android will give me more freedom which is what the mobile market is all about. While the ecosystem is bigger right now for iPhone apps – ultimately, I think Apple will put so many restrictions and start to abuse their power over time in a way that will make many developers go to Android.For now, I’m leaning towards Android. Open over closed almost every time.ps. two articles one friend gave me to give what he called an Apple fangurl pause werehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/c…http://www.guardian.co.uk/c

    1. tylernol

      how is Android “open” anymore? “Open” is a myth on Android.

      1. leigh

        Well for one thing, it’s not limited to one hardware manufacturer 🙂

        1. tylernol

          true at the moment, but now Android handset manufacturers are having any freedom they once thought they had taken away, and will now have to look to Google for directives on where they can can do with their platform. So any variation in Android smartphone features will soon evaporate and you will have essentially the same phone made by several handset makers, which turn the smartphone business into a super-low margin business for Android makers. And the choice and quality will suffer.

        2. Martin Hill

          “Well for one thing, it’s not limited to one hardware manufacturer :)”That hasn’t helped Dell, HP, Microsoft, Sony, Creative, Toshiba, Archos, SanDisk, Samsung, etc etc competing against the iPod or the iPod touch.70-80-% market share worldwide for the last decade and still going strong (20 million iPods half of which were iPod touches sold last quarter). Now that is the worrying precedent for iPad competitors the world over.-Mart

          1. leigh

            I don’t think it’s a really fair comparison. Apple created the market for the ipod similarly as Sony had for the walkman.Had companies like MSFT taken the “open” approach when they had the chance, they would have been far more competitive IMO and Apple would have a much smaller market share. I think it would be foolish to count Android out so early.

          2. Martin Hill

            No, there were a number of MP3 players around up to 4 years before Apple released the iPod including the Rio PMP300 from Diamond Multimedia, the MPMan, the Compaq-developed PJB-100, the Creative NOMAD Jukebox and others.The Archos Jukebox Multimedia was the first portable media player and was introduced in 2002 many years before the iPod gained the ability to do photos or video.MS did already have an “open” architecture for these MP3 players to operate in using WMA – as well as protected wma at that to satisfy the Music cartel.No, as with tablets, Apple came into an unsuccessful market and showed everyone the right way to do it and the proceeded to own the market, even going for the first year or so only working on the Mac too.Apple’s “closed” vertically-integrated model killed the “open” architecture of the Plays For Sure ecosystem and that was that.-Mart

      2. ErikSchwartz

        I can get apps for my Android phone from Amazon.com.You could set up an app store.From an end user perspective, that’s as open as they want.

        1. tylernol

          that does not mean open, and I suspect Google will soon take steps to quash the Amazon App store.. Open, as Andy Rubin himself defined it last year is: “the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.or… ; repo sync ; make””http://twitter.com/#!/arubi…

          1. ErikSchwartz

            To the consumer end user open means they can install apps from anywhere. They don’t give a rat’s ass about hacking the OS.As for Google shutting down the Amazon App store, what makes you think that Google will try to squash it? I’ve talked with some pretty high up folks in the Android universe at Google and I don’t think Google will do any such thing.

          2. tylernol

            nice try, but you can’t just redefine “open” to suit your definition. Unless you are Google apparently…Google will quash the Amazon App store because Amazon is a competitor and letting the App Store continue will create a space where consumers can get all their apps,music, and video without Google getting to throw ads at them.

          3. ErikSchwartz

            Amazon makes money by selling stuff for more than they buy it for.Google makes money by selling advertising.If you talk to senior people on the Android team, they push you VERY hard to build your app as a web app. These same people are pissed at ATT for preventing some Android handsets on that carrier from being able to sideload.”Open” means different things to different audiences.

          4. jclardy

            “Open” in reference to Android is referencing its supposed open source nature, which is starting to get a bit fuzzy with Google not releasing the source to Honeycomb.Side loading is not what makes Android “open”. If Apple said tomorrow that they will allow users to side load apps without jailbreaking nobody would call the platform “open”.

          5. shareme

            Lets test that theory..I can buy amazon apps installed right browser..Sorry bad theory as it does not wash..Same for any other android app store that wants get buyers of apps without having user download their market app..right through browser installs.

          6. tylernol

            ..eh?

          7. Dan Schuh

            http://source.android.com/Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as Andy’s tweet because all phones have some proprietary driver software, and its availability is not assured. Still, compared to alternatives, well, there’s no comparison. What source does Apple release? Microsoft? RIM? First approximation is none, I’d say, at least in this context. First approximation for google would be approximately everything they have control of, again, at least in this context.

          8. tylernol

            So then was Andy Rubin misleading people last year with that tweet, or he did not understand what he was talking about..?as far as “Open” goes.. Apple nor Microsoft nor RIM never claimed to be open like Google did with Android. And although there are certainly proprietary drivers for smartphone chipsets, Google has locked down the highest-level Android UI code, which has nothing to do with the variety of ARM CPU+graphics processor+assorted function blocks implemented in each SOC.My issue is with Google’s bait-and-switch: 2 years ago:”hey it’s open! let’s all work together on it!”2 years later “sorry guys, I am the gatekeeper, let me know exactly what you are working on and if it fits into my plans, you can get the latest Android build”.

          9. Dan Schuh

            @tylernol re: message 2 back which I can’t reply to directly::You started out with ‘how is Android “open” anymore? “Open” is a myth on Android.’ What the heck, Google is at least making an effort, which is more than any competitors in this area can say. Yes, they have pulled back a little, but they get bashed on the fragmentation issue all the time too. Goals can conflict with each other, and sometimes you have to make compromises. Nobody’s perfect, and Google has its problems, but not meeting some Caesar’s wife standard of openness when the main competitor, Apple, is doing its best to make not only its platform but other web-based content as closed as possible is just ridiculous. Glass houses are one thing, but when competitors are doing the exact opposite, there’s not much to measure Google’s efforts against.And how, exactly,. has google locked down the highest level code? If you go to the git directory, it’s all there through honeycomb, near as I can tell. And the directions are still pretty much the same as Andy’s tweet. People can and do work off this source, there are alternate distributions available that people use on various phones. I have no idea what you’re measuring Google against here.As far as “let’s all work together”, any open source project still needs some control at the top. Nobody gets to go and rewrite key pieces and expect it to be plugged into the main distribution without some external review. How could that possibly work? Open source or not there needs to be a gatekeeper. Somebody’s got to be responsible for putting a distribution together.The most egregious example I know of with carriers modifying the Android base is Verizon tearing out Google search and hardwiring Bing search in certain phones. I have not read a single person who thinks this was a reasonable thing to do, although I’m sure there are verizon and microsoft flacks around who would be willing to say it was. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for Google to try and rein the carriers in when they pull crap like that.

    2. JohnDoey

      An iPhone gives you much more freedom. You have the freedom to play, record, and mix music. The freedom to edit HD video. The freedom to install and run powerful native C apps instead of baby Java apps like on other phones. The freedom to not worry about malware. The freedom to run open standard HTML5 apps. The freedom of not having to do I-T work. Freedom from carriers, who don’t lock your system updates in their walled gardens like on Android.> Open over closed every timeThat is a 100% meaningless thing to say. Everything is both open and closed. Android is open in some ways (can be used by any device maker,) closed in others (native C API is Google-only, many phones are closed CDMA.) iOS is open and closed in different ways. The most broadly-used mobile open source project is Apple WebKit, the HTML5 engine from OS X and thus of course from iOS. It is on every smartphone and tablet except for Microsoft’s. Android uses it. In other words, all Android devices run a part of iOS. iOS devices do not run parts of Android, because Android source comes with all kinds of conditions. So who is more open? Google reaches into OS X and takes out the HTML5 engine and uses it in Android and Chrome. Apple invites them in, “take it, use it.” WebKit is also used by HP, RIM, Nokia, Adobe, many others.And the latest WebKit source is always on the Web, available to anyone. Google plays keep-away with Android source. They essentially make their partners bid on who gets it first. So Google is doing a lot of taking, not a lot of giving.The best thing to do is to try both devices and see which one you like best. Buy a phone for its functionality and utility, not some nerd propaganda you read somewhere. If you have a Mac, though, likely you will be better off with iPhone. Generally speaking, Apple has spoiled you for other vendors. You won’t want to do all the maintenance an Android device requires.

  12. tomwatson

    Fred,I was a test market of one for your theory (which I think is correct). I stuck with Blackberry until I had a choice between the iPhone and a good Android phone on Verizon. I looked at all the features, etc – and went with the HTC Thunderbolt on (real) 4G. It was the right choice. Android melds all the Google Apps I use to run my business into the system (where, btw, HTC’s sense does a brilliant job knocking off the rougher corners of Android). The phone is insanely fast – faster than my home FIOS routed through wifi. And although iOS has a huge lead in the raw *number* of apps available, it’s lead in popular, heavily used apps is tiny – you can get all the important stuff for Android.And btw, the Amazon app store is important as well…never underestimate Amazon’s customer base and service ability. It doesn’t standardize the OS, but it does standardize the mainstream consumer market….

    1. Dan T

      I just made the same choice. My phone is for business, learning, communicating – not playing, so the Thunderbolt is awesome for me. I gave up not having access to a bunch of games, fart noises and social networking stuff I do not need when I did not go with iphone. I love how it works with my calendar, google contacts and mail, linkedin and kindle – but then again, my last phone was a storm. I know longer have iphone envy

      1. Perpetuitas

        Throwing straw men quickly kills your veracity.

      2. fredwilson

        The Google app suite is awesome on Android

        1. Greg Smith

          There isn’t one feature or app on my Android that I’d describe as “awesome.” My company is on Sprint. It’s great that I don’t have to pay for my phone, but, when I’m choosing a new phone, my shopping experience consists of getting the one that sucks the least that given year. I think there are a lot of Android users in that category… getting a particular phone because stuck with a carrier, not because it’s their first choice. I chose the LG Optimus S this year, and it’s tolerable at best. If the iPhone was available on ALL carriers, this would be a moot point.

    2. fredwilson

      Hi tom. I have thought for a while that multiple app stores vs a single oneis going to be a big advantage for android

    3. Yoshi

      Here is the fundamental problem with Android. No real security features. So you are putting your business and your customers at risk by using one. We recently allowed employees to use iOS devices for work and we manage them just like blackberries. Androids are specifically banned. I don’t see that changing in the next 6 to 12 months.

      1. Timothy Meade

        Define “security features.” Android has wipe and management support primarily through it’s Exchange client, which I was recently told is actually open so you can evaluate the source code. By the way, systems management is the one area that Microsoft actually gets, and they should probably find a way to tap into that market beyond Windows (Windows 8 being a successful follow on to Windows 7 is in doubt, in part because the ARM strategy is half there, in part because Apple has beat them again on consumer service integration. Also, ribbon in explorer? Why does explorer still exist as it did in ’95?).I do think the Android management story could be better or at least clearer to coporate buyers and it’s something Google should work on because it affects the brand perception cross vendor and cross device.

    4. JohnDoey

      It’s great if you can get all the apps you need on Android, but iOS has whole categories of apps you are missing. iOS doesn’t just have quantity of apps, it has much higher quality apps in a much broader range of categories. There are a lot of apps on iOS that were ported over from the Mac or PC or game consoles because iOS is also native C like them, not Java like non-Apple phones.

  13. Dan Cornish

    The platform does not matter. All that matters is the browser on the mobile platform supports html5 and above going forward. It is just crazy that a software company needs to support Android, IOS, Blackberry and Windows 7 SDKs. The browser was the key to opening up the computer industry and so it will be for the mobile industry. I dismiss all of the arguments about how native apps are better because I heard the same arguments back in 1995-2000 when most software developers were skeptical about the web saying “The browser will never replace native apps.” http://blog.cosential.com/?…

    1. fredwilson

      I’m waiting and hoping that day will come soon dan

    2. raycote

      Smaller mobile devices need tighter integration of hardware/software at least for the foreseeable future. Then again the foreseeable future is not very long.

      1. Dan Cornish

        I disagree. We are currently building html5 apps which are indistinguishable from native apps. It is not easy and yes we can not do all of the things of a native app, but because we do not need the camera, the gyro or the graphics needed for a game, the day is here for data driven apps. The really cool thing here is I feel the same about the mobile web as I did about the web 1.0 back in the 90’s.

  14. srikatnh

    It seems to me that the most important thing everybody focuses on is open vs closed. However what they miss is the “pricing”. Unlike the macbooks, Apple has been pricing all the mobile devices at par with other brand phones. In fact Apple led the price setting. This is why the android tablets are not gaining much in the market.

    1. Charbax

      Android Tablets are being sold starting $99, where is Apple “leading the price setting”?

      1. tylernol

        which “tablet” is that?

        1. Charbax

          Try the Archos 7 Home Tablet for $99 at Tiger Direct http://www.tigerdirect.com/…Sure enough, it’s a year-old model running an ARM9 processor, resistive screen and limited to Android 1.6.Consider technology is advancing so fast, tablet makers like Archos are just about able to make them with ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz, Honeycomb OS, capacitive screens and still aim for the same $99 price point. Well expect at least sub-$199 for 10″ and sub-$149 for 7″ or 8″ sizes.

          1. tylernol

            that 1.6 limitation is a big red stop sign to me.. Why the heck would I want a tablet that I cannot upgrade to the latest OS and be sure to get the latest bug fixes,features, and apps that take advantage of the improving API’s? And as a indie/startup developer, why would I bother developing on or targeting this device for compatibility?Take a look at the resale market for the iPad v1 : it is selling quite well, and I think part of that reason is that people are assured that the software on it will stay current for at least a few more years.

          2. Charbax

            Since Android 1.6 SDK, all apps scale fine for tablets, which means about 95% of the 250’000 Android apps work fine on tablets like this one.I told you that was a 1-year old Android tablet model, it came out even before the iPad1.And I also told you, companies like Archos are coming with their next generation cheap tablets, see my videos of the Archos Arnova brand, they’re coming with Honeycom-compatible tablet designs below $199 for 10″ and $150 for 8″, to be released this month: http://armdevices.net/2011/…This is just an example of what is coming up in the Android land. Check my site and you will find I filmed about 200 Android tablet designs these past 2 years. And the Honeycomb idea is that one firmware will automatically remain future proof forever, that is also part of why they have delayed open sourcing it a month or two.

          3. tylernol

            sorry, it is not a ” tablet” unless it can run the the tablet OS. Honeycomb will remain future-proof forever? That is quite an extraordinary claim.

          4. Veronica Trollsky

            OMG this guy is hilarious. he’s comparing a 99 dollar tablet that no one buys running android 1.6 to the ipad.Show me a 10 inch tablet that is cheaper than the ipad2?Nah didn’t think so.Failed again

          5. Charbax

            Archos 101 Internet Tablet $289 http://www.tigerdirect.com/…They are bringing a $199 capacitive ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz version this month, see my video http://armdevices.net/2011/…And check my site for about 100 other cheaper 10″ Android tablets that are at least as good as your ipad.Here’s an example of an Android tablet from a Taiwanese company, basically the same hardware, same screen as ipad1 but to be sold for $250 http://armdevices.net/2011/

      2. Veronica Trollsky

        please link to this 99 dollar android tablet?

    2. fredwilson

      I don’t think that’s right. iPhones are very expensive unless they aresubsidized by a carrier. I think the problem with android tablets is wehaven’t seen any really good ones yet

      1. Charbax

        Good for what? If you look for price/value tablets, then Archos has been doing the best Android tablets for over a year now. And if you want high-end, there is no reason to suggest what Samsung/Motorola/LG/Asus do with Honeycomb and Nvidia Tegra2 is any less good than iPad2.

        1. Veronica Trollsky

          No reason except absolutely no one buying them. Seriously if your argument consists of Archos tablets being great then even android lovers are going to laugh at you.

      2. andyidsinga

        hey Fred – do you think we havent seen a good andriod tablet because google didnt set the bar as they did with phones ( nexus one etc ) ? or do they have a tablet reference im forgetting about?

        1. Timothy Meade

          Well, Google didn’t set the bar with the Nexus One. It was an HTC device debuting a new CPU but otherwise extremely. Similar in form factor to the Hero, the Magic, the Touch/Vogue, and a few others that came before it. Google also spent at least a year on the QSD8k kernel, just judging from when the commits started showing up in git. They had surf qsd8k boards internally running Android compatible AMSS (firmware) probably longer than that. And Motorola and Verizon was really the one who took the superphone concept mainstream (other Palm Pre and Nokia N900 which both launched before it) with an OMAP3 chip. Android 2.1 though was amazing, updated the launcher, fixed the slowness with a faster Dalvik (but JIT came later) and better surfaceflinger that could take advantage of the more powerful 2d GPUs.

    3. JohnDoey

      Apple’s PC’s are also cheaper than other high-end PC’s. They just don’t make a low-end model. There are no 7 pound Celeron MacBooks with Mac OS X Starter for $499. Dell just retired their MacBook Air competitor because they couldn’t compete on price.I-T analysts like to say Apple has 10% of the PC market, but the truth is Apple has 90% of the high-end PC market, and 0% of the low-end PC market. That is why Apple is by far the most profitable PC maker. And now they are taking low-end $500 PC sales away from the other vendors with iPad.

  15. SD

    Here is a guess (quite likely wrong) about how the market plays out on this front:1 android will have handset volume2 apps environment will be better on iOS3 people with text/ video/photo content will focus on free/ browsers4 I expect this to erode pricing for “content” apps just as it did online w newspapers5 as HTML 5 gets more hooks into phone (camera, location, etc) browser will be the best way for disruptive, free players to enter market6 app environment will increasingly become more specialty based (eg photography, creative, games, etc)7 iOS will continue to have the largest share of apps purchases even as android proliferates but android will attract the larger share of browser based users8 if you have free products that depend on volume of usage (vs number of purchases) android is your best path forward.

    1. fredwilson

      Not a bad model to use right now

  16. tylernol

    I think Google’s move this past week to clamp down on the source code show’s two things: 1) that Google did a bit of a bait-and-switch to fool weaker smartphone makers into becoming dependent on the Android platform. Exhibit A being Motorola. When do they get Honeycomb?And what’s this I have heard about them setting up a group to implement a browser based UI over a Linux kernel as their own smartphone OS, sort-of their own version of Chrome OS? 2) that Google is aware that Android is becoming a freight train but one that they might lose control of , either by it fragmenting into various Android forks, or by someone like Amazon co-opting the platform for their benefit.

  17. Peter Kananen

    Android definitely has the edge in users. Many of them are riding on the coattails of free/cheap, and it’s not certain that translates well to ROI on developed applications across the board. Plus, Google is starting to realize that their Android strategy is being hijacked and they are reigning in control as a result. I’m not certain Android will continue this growth for long.

    1. andyidsinga

      oh – do tell more of this strategy hijacking 🙂 thx.

      1. raycote

        Search for”google andriod control”or a similar phase on Google search

        1. andyidsinga

          weeeeeeeelll . yes, but i was hoping for something much more specific.. thats part of the point of hanging out here – so i dont have to roll the google dice 😉

          1. Timothy Meade

            Essentially, the attack is on two major fronts:- high end but apathetic hardware partners that quickly abandon devices- low end by smaller manufactures using outdataed components and bad integrations of the wrong version of android (android 1.6 on a 7″ tablet looks terrible)Beyond that, carriers and competitors are eating into Google’s Android Market. Amazon, Verizon for instance.Google apparently sees tablets as a major battleground and is is working on enforcing new standards as well as limiting access to the Android 3.0 source core (Eric Raymond has great analysis on this recently) to prevent non partners from producing tablets that will never effectively run honeycomb, and to prevent us from putting it on phones and other non tablet devices.In the end though, I don’t think their strategy is being hijacked, I think their strategy is just lacking. Android 2.3 and 3.0 need to share code, need to share the same API, this apparent soft fork makes little sense and their aren’t giving a public roadmap to even explain their thinking.My strategy, truly bifurcate AOSP, contribute back the raw source code. They never had a strong trademark policy choosing to focus on Google Apps distribution and Market instead. From here build a single integrated system for their partners and place restrictions based on the minimum hardware requirements. (Cortex, 1Ghz+, ES 2.0 GPU with some minimal performance) capacitative touchscreen with 2 simulataneous points, sample rate of x hz, WVGA, microsusb port, etc.Then adopt cyanogenmod or it’s equivalent as the new AOSP, let go of that project giving it an early fork of each version but holding back the real new features until commercial launch. That project would accept outside contributions and fufil whatever open source goals they have. But it wouldn’t be the focus of R&D or partner collaboration.

          2. andyidsinga

            thanks timothy – juicy stuff – both replies 🙂

  18. Joseph Flaherty

    Fred, curious what you think about the iPod and iPad re: Android vs. iOS? While Android is growing like wildfire as a mobile phone OS it has almost no presence in the DAP category and is likely going to have similar trouble competing in the tablet market (the consumer side at least). When you factor in those two devices the market share numbers look a lot better for iOS.While phones are going to be one of, if not the key platform, of the future, Apple could very well own any screen people actually pay full freight for. If nothing else it should prevent a Mac/Windows style route?

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t think the digital audio player has long to live. I think file basedmusic is going away. Tablets are harder to predict. We have yet to see agreat android tablet

      1. arinewman

        file-based music going away? Maybe in 20 years when there is unlimited, free bandwidth everywhere including the subway and airplanes and radio waves are so strong they penetrate everything. Until then, no chance. Entire contents of future 1TB iPod synced to my dropbox account, Itunes and 3 other devices, yup, way more likely.

        1. fredwilson

          i rarely use my 1.5TB mp3 serveri stream about 95% of the time i’m listening to music now

          1. arinewman

            Fred you are right. “going away” is such a vacuous term I can’t argue here. My POV is that its not disappearing anytime soon, but the %-hours of listening file-based vs streaming is certainly changing quickly. Near-unlimited access to new music is changing listening behaviors, and thus the stats we look at don’t represent constants either. How does Pandora, Sirius, etc get their music? Digital files. How do I get the tracks I play as a DJ? Digital files (used to be vinyl) Etc, etc. As a consumer your listening patters are changing but reliable transport and access still has a long way to go.

  19. Anonymous

    Android may eventually end up winning out as the dominant OS(just as Microsoft is right now), but If they continue on the path of closing down their system (in order to stem fragmentation as recent reports on Honeycomb and Gingerbread suggest), the backlash from the community will be significant and may challenge Android’s dominant stance.

    1. Peter Kananen

      Yes. All is not well in camp Android. Google is getting hijacked, and they won’t let the free rides continue forever. Motorola is already looking to their own platform.

    2. Fernando Gutierrez

      Most users don’t care about OS code. For those users, open is more related with different handset manufacturers and many app stores without approvals. And even for developers not needing approvals can very more important (ask all the people that have seen their app pulled from the App Store!).

      1. raycote

        Moving forward security will be ever more important to both users and developers!

    3. fredwilson

      That is certainly something to watch closely

  20. Michael Emery

    This may come as a shock to some, but the “developed” world is actually quite a lot larger than the USA, and market shares look very different in other developed countries. It is also rather naive to think that a market share chart is sufficient cause (by itself) to select one OS over the other in terms of maximizing revenue for developers.When you can tell us the average revenue per user per annum by OS, then you will have my full attention. Good luck with that.

    1. fredwilson

      I’m focused on what will happen not what is happening right now

  21. ErikSchwartz

    Native apps are the modern equivalent of the AOL keyword

    1. Elie Seidman

      I hope you’re right. I think you are.

    2. Edwin Watkeys

      Do you seriously believe that?! Your own product seems to depend on native mobile apps. Do you expect Apple and Google to integrate your APIs directly into their operating systems and expose them through Javascript so developers can make use of them?How do you build GarageBand as mobile web app? How do you build iMovie as a mobile web app? How do you build Photoshop, which Adobe recently provided an iPad technology demo of, as a web app? How many years will it be before you can build anything that even remotely rivals these types of applications as a web app?AOL was from the beginning for technically unsophisticated people. I don’t know what point you’re trying to make with your analogy. That people in ten years time will look back and feel embarrassment for ever building, ever using a native app? If you were talking about Facebook, I could get on board, but you’re spewing utter nonsense with respect to this native mobile app thing.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        First of all Synchronize.TV’s API can synchronize web apps in the browser as well as native mobile apps. It is one of our major competitive advantages over Into Now and Nielsen Media Sync. No, I do not expect Apple and Google to integrate our APIs directly into their operating systems. Our solution does not require them to.How much time do people really spend using iMovie and Photoshop and Garageband on their phone? They make great demos but their usage compared to things like twitter and maps and messaging and sports scores scores and video and music are minimal.Got to run, it’s time to upgrade my mail client. The new version of Eudora is out.

        1. Edwin Watkeys

          You could have made the entirely reasonable—if obvious and boring—point that developers and publishers should consider the affordances of native app and web app platforms when deciding how to develop and distribute a given product, but you didn’t do that.It’s funny that you mention your mail client, because I just spent thirty seconds upgrading to the new version of Sparrow in the Mac App store after I was notified that it was available. You seem to be insinuating that native app supporters are simultaneously both old school fat client dead-enders and gullible rubes who are jumping the native mobile app bandwagon.Or maybe just one or the other. Or maybe you didn’t spend a lot of time thinking after you came up with your “modern equivalent of the AOL keyword” gem.Look me up in a couple of years; I’ll buy you an iPhone—maybe the white ones will be out by then!—if Foursquare is still around and they don’t get most of their check-ins from native apps.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            I’m not sure why you’re getting all offended here. Since you obviously don’t understand the simile I will spell it out.AOL keywords were walled garden applications that were created using proprietary tools and their usage was limited to the users of a particular way of accessing a larger open network, their distribution was limited to the gatekeeper of the network access provider.iOS apps are walled garden applications that are created using proprietary tools and their usage is limited to the users of a particular way of accessing a larger open network, their distribution is limited to the gatekeeper of the network access provider.Android apps are walled garden applications that are created using proprietary tools and their usage is limited to the users of a particular way of accessing a larger open network.The mobile web is the mobile web, anyone on any device with a compatible browser written to open standards can access them.

          2. Vc

            As a web developer myself, I think the idea of write once is easily a sham for all but the simplest of sites. We have to build special functionality for practically every different browser and in some cases browser and OS combination.Adding mobile devices built on modern rendering engines like webkit still require JS/CSS changes and supporting older browsers like those on Blackberry requires even more functionality changes.So while we can reuse some of the backend scripts across systems, our QA testing is extensive and our UI/JavaScript code have many tweaks depending in the system.On the other hand, we have 2 guys writing our iOS apps, and 1 writing our Android app.

      2. andyidsinga

        you build all of those things as native hybrid apps – native apps that embed the webkit browser engine ( aka xxxWebView objects) …the app is 90 % web app and bridges the gap with some native code to get at things not yet exposed by default browser.It seems to me that many many apps that are called ‘native’ are really mostly web apps with a native wrapper

    3. JohnDoey

      That is just a ridiculous statement. You obviously know absolutely nothing about software development. The billions of lines of native C code in the world are not going away any time soon. If we did an Apollo style project to rewrite it all in HTML5, even if HTML5 were currently up to the task, it would take 25 years or more.Also, we need the capabilities of native apps. In the first place, Web apps are created with native apps (BBEdit, Photoshop, Illustrator,) and served from native apps (Apache, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby.) Secondly, native apps and Web apps are a yin yang … they have complimentary strengths and weaknesses. You need both to support all of the world’s client apps.The Web is 20 years old and it still didn’t even kill off the native email client. How is it going to kill off native HD movie editors, or multichannel audio recorders? The Web still depends on a native app called Flash in far too many cases.The Web is only now starting to finally standardize. There is a pretty big task ahead just to standardize our existing Web apps, let alone replace native apps. We aren’t going to throw out all of the world’s C code and rewrite from scratch in HTML5 either.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        The commercial web is not 20 years old for another few years.The native email app is on life support.Mobile and desktop are two different things. Server apps are a different thing. Your rant about apache, photoshop and perl and python are moot in this discussion. This discussion is about software on phones.A large percentage of current mobile apps are web apps wrapped in app shell for marketing reasons.The vast majority of things people want to do with their phones (outside of games) are easily done in a browser.As for me, you’ve probably used software I’ve built or been responsible for.

        1. Timothy Meade

          I believe we will soon have a standardized platform for web app deployment on mobile, possibly node.js + webkit and a native rendering backend (important on Android), with a proper API abstraction for native services on the device. At that point most users won’t be able to tell the difference with WebGL, Canvas, Apple’s touch framework, localstorage and a backend-like ORM with sync, WebSockets, etc.

  22. Tim

    I will have to start calling you an Android Fan Boy. Your numbers don’t include the iPod touch or the iPad, and I have heard Apple has sold a bit of those too. Plus you don’t take into account all the iPhones that are jail broken and running on different carriers. There are a lot of those too. And you fail to take into account all the totally trashy toy like so cheap they won’t run aps in any sort of satisfying way devices that the your Android numbers include. And you fail to mention how painfully hard it is to get aps that actually run nicely in the zillions of different cinfigurations. Then you fail to mention the missrable Android Markeplace, which is only on SOME of these devices.So while I still hope Android grows. IOS is where the money is to be made for App developers for now.

    1. s1ck

      VCs don’t like the iOS app store because it is mainly for independent developers to fund ‘lifestyle businesses’ (VCs really, really hate lifestyle businesses).What VCs really like is the web model, where something goes viral, gets millions of users…so they can then flip to nearest sucker. That’s why VCs like Fred want to see Android succeed, because it attempts to replicate the web model on mobile devices.

    2. Charbax

      His numbers don’t include Worldwide sales, and don’t include March sales, iOS is going down!

      1. Veronica Trollsky

        you’ve been wrong every other time in this these comments why break tradition!

    3. jalexoid

      And you sound like an Apple fanboi. Because only “numbers don’t include the iPod touch or the iPad” is relevant, everything else is very much irrelevant.The other fact is that only Samsung sold over 9 million of their high end devices while Apple sold 16million of iPhones in the 4th quarter. Apple has high growth rates, Android’s growth rates are not high, they are explosive. Unsustainable? Sure, but explosive nonetheless.Samsung will be rivalling iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with their Galaxy line. Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tabs, Galaxy WiFi 5 media player and a whole plethora of other consumer electronics. Apple is still on top, but soon people will see that there is an alternative with a full consumer electronics spectrum with a very recognisable/household name…There are basically 3 players that will muscle out Apple – Sony, LG and Samsung. All three are in the Android game. Sony is exclusively in Android game.

      1. Ted_T

        I’m still waiting for Sony to muscle in on the iPod. And waiting, and waiting. As for LG they need to stop losing money by the bucketful before they get anywhere.People supporting Android need much better arguments than what has been offered here so far.

    4. fredwilson

      I think you can and should call me an android fanboy. It is the truth

      1. kidmercury

        there you go boss! never deny the truth, always embrace it.

      2. Gregory Magarshak

        Have you tried using the iPhone for a week?I like the openness of the Android operating system and marketplace (trust me, I run into the intentional limitations Apple APIs all the time), but I must say, even with all that, Apple apps are purely awesome. All the breakaway hits in the mobile app sphere (that I heard about) started on the iPhone. The difference is, it’s more exciting for developers to build there. Most marketing and media agencies target the iPhone before android, too. It’s all because Apple got people to spend money there.Google should integrate Chrome with Android much more. and get serious about building a unified operating system to compete with Apple. Developers make the Android shine. And Apple is busy integrating iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion, into one experience that runs on Macs, iPads, iPods, and iPhones.

        1. fredwilson

          i tried to use an iPhone three times, each for much longer than a weekit is not for me

        2. Timothy Meade

          I think common wisdom was “develop on iPhone first.” Numbers like Fred’s suggest that might be changing, but it’s really self-fufiling prophesy, the successful apps were on Apple first because knowledgable developers targeted that platform first.– posted from my T-Mobile G2 in a real web browser

      3. Robert Holtz

        Interesting. Thanks for your candor.Consider that at least at THIS inflection point right now, there is just a LOT more action in the community that surrounds iOS. Anything that is a break out hit on iOS will naturally branch out… not only onto Android but on other platforms that don’t even exist yet.Fred, if you want early-in on the really ground breaking stuff, the proving ground, at least to date and for now, is on iOS. Android is a WONDERFUL parallel of the web because there are still years of much more chaos and disarray before Android can match the reliability, consumer exposure, and deployment power that iOS is achieving in the short term through curation.For what its worth, I do agree that somewhere down the line, consumers will want to grow beyond the single gallery of iOS but I also don’t think that Android is anywhere near as open as most people think and as time progresses, I see them resembling each other more and more. Android will become more curated and Apple will ATTEMPT to at least appear more open. If I were a VC, I wouldn’t care about openness. These are all modern platforms and it just isn’t hard anymore to make an app for both platforms and others on the way. Both are clearly drawing enormous audiences which, with a hit, translates to enormous returns.

    5. stevenjklein

      “Your numbers don’t include the iPod touch or the iPad, and I have heard Apple has sold a bit of those too.”They sold MORE of those than of iPhones! Check their 10-Q for Q1 of FY 2011. They sold over 16 million iPhones, but over 17 million iPads and iPod touches!

  23. Gytis Labasauskas

    Do they calculate market shares including tablet versions, or not? In this case Apple might have a bigger market share 🙂

    1. Elia Freedman

      That data is iPhone specific. It does not include iPod touch nor iPad.

    2. ErikSchwartz

      Most iPhone apps suck on the iPad.Everyone I know with an iPad uses the Facebook web page rather than the tiny FB iPhone app.

      1. raycote

        relevance?

      2. ishcabittle

        There’s no iPad specific Facebook application because iPad’s MobileSafari renders the facebook.com just fine – why do you need a app in that case? What’s the downside of being able to view the full site?

  24. Rob Kain

    Is it safe to assume you are not worried about the intellectual property litigation that Android currently faces? If they start to lose some of these cases, is it safe to assume that the price for Android will no longer be effectively free? It also appears that some of the handset/tablet manufacturers realize this as they are paying licensing fees to Microsoft for their Android products. What if Google loses the case with Oracle? What does this do to the Android development environment? Just curious as to your thoughts on much risks this adds to the Android market.

    1. Druce

      It’s just a cash grab by Oracle, who has no interest in shutting Android down.Sun’s game was to make the mainstream Java environment cost-free and make money licensing customized extensions and tools for mobile phones, corporate environments.Didn’t work out too well. In making Java open enough to drive adoption, they opened the door for other people to make better tools, and people like Google to clone mobile versions of Java.Oracle is aiming to rectify that and get a few bucks for every phone shipment, worst case.

    2. fredwilson

      I worry about IP litigation all the time. It is the enemy of innovation intechnology

  25. Shahar Nechmad

    I completly agree with your prediction. That said, if you are still a small startup who need to choose where to begin its development efforts, there are a few more things to consider:1. Android has more users, but it is much harder to monetize your app there. Although also on iOS you need to have a blockbuster app to make real money, if you manage to get into one of the top paid apps list you can make serious money.Android users are buying a lot less applications. There are many reasons for that, but I think that one of the first ones is that the Android market experience still lags by far by that of iTunes. Additionally, people are used to pay for things on iTunes (and you got to tie a credit card to start using it) while Android Market is a new thing.2. Apple did much better job on its SDK. Even when you compare Objective C to Java it is still by far easier to develop a killer slick user experience for iOS than to Android.3. Developing for all the different devices, screen resolutions and OS versions on Android is a nightmare right now. Especially when you compare it to iOS almost one version of OS in the market.This along with my previews reason means you need much more expensive development resources to come out with a killer app on Android than on iOS. So every startup should definitely go after the Android market, but its still a good idea to maybe start with iOS first.

    1. Mark Williamson

      Shahar,I think all the points you raised are important considerations for a startup when thinking about their mobile strategy. Having said that, I believe that just about every start-up should start their development on Android first for the following reasons:1) The future of mobile is about different screen sizes / resolutions, so you might as well get skilled in dealing with those issues now. (note: we have a hit Android app and this issue is more manageable than most make it out to be)2) The distribution dynamics of the Apple App Store and the Android Market are so incredibly different that lessons learned in one market simply don’t apply to the other. Again, better to get started in developing Android Market distribution tactics now than later.3) While monetization on iOS is better than Android right now, if you believe the market is tipping to Android you better start to understand how to monetize on the platform headed to 70% than the one headed to 20%. Android is closing the gap on iOS in terms of monetization and learning the tricks of Android monetization can be a powerful competitive advantage.4) It is actually easier to find Android developers than iOS developers as you can simply find a GREAT java developer and get them ramped into Android quickly. We have a hit Android app and only have 2 dedicated Android developers.

      1. JohnDoey

        > 1) The future of mobile is about different screen sizes / resolutionsNo, it’s not.We have pocket screens (“phone class”) and we have full-size screens (“PC class”) and we have phone apps and PC apps and that is that. There has never been a successful phone that was bigger than a pocket. There has never been a successful graphical PC with smaller than 9-10 inch screen. The first Mac in 1984 had a 9 inch screen. It is hard enough to get all the Web and native apps to support these 2 sizes. The idea that developers will support a sliding scale is ridiculous. Design and layout are already really hard and really expensive even if you limit to pocket size and PC size. Yes, there will be a very few odd giant phones that scale pocket apps way up like Galaxy Tab and a very few mini PC’s that scale PC apps way down like UMPC, but these don’t sell well. Another way to look at the pocket size and PC size is 1-handed and 2-handed.Right now, almost all pocket mobile devices are 3-4 inches, and almost all full-size mobile devices are 9-10 inches. We’re talking about 500 million devices and no sign of this changing. The odd devices that don’t fit in either category account for just a few million devices at most.Resolution issues are already going away. Once you get above 300 dpi you can treat the screen as a print device. Soon we will be laying out mobile user interfaces in inches, like we layout print graphics. We’ll create a button that is 2 inches by 0.5 inches and it will actually show on the device at 2×0.5 inches. We don’t have jaggies or hinting or anti-aliasing at print resolutions, so the button will look great on 300 dpi or 400 dpi or 600 dpi, same as with print.> 2) Android MarketAndroid Market is already obsolete. Amazon has already done a better job and they’ve been at it a couple of weeks.> 3) Android is closing the gap on iOS in terms of monetizationNo, it’s not. Android is not even close to closing the gap on monetization. App Store had $1.7 billion in revenue in 2010, while Android Market has $100 million. Ads on iOS generate double the revenue per user, and there are not only more users using apps and viewing those ads, there are more users, period. iOS has about double the installed base of Android OS. No matter how many times someone says “smartphone market share” the fact remains, iOS also runs on iPads and iPods, it has a much larger installed base and sells way more devices every day than Android OS.> 4) It is actually easier to find Android developers than iOS developersYes, because the iOS developers are in much greater demand. They already have jobs, there is a lot more money in iOS development than Android development. The iOS developers are well-fed already.

  26. Michael Kimsal

    Android is probably more poised to be the Linux of mobile, rather than the Windows, and iOS more poised to be the Windows role.

    1. None

      On what basis can you make that claim when every sales chart shows the opposite?

      1. Michael Kimsal

        Fragmentation.There’s loads of “Linux” out there, but not a specific brand/experience that dominates – centos/fedora/ubuntu/gentoo/mandriva/etc.There’s loads of Androids and various OEM modifications, but not one that’s dominating (yet?).The ecosystem around iOS – software/hardware combination ensures add-ons and device support almost everywhere I go – reminds me a lot of Windows back in the day (and to some extent even now). Everywhere you went 10 years ago was windows windows windows – all major software, hardware vendors only releasing drivers for windows, etc.This all feels very similar to the iOS juggernaut right now in the mobile arena. It might technically be a minority in terms of numbers, but in terms of mindshare between developers, end users and the ecosystem suppliers, it’s still the largest cohesive minority.

        1. andyidsinga

          thanks for clarification Michael. ive heard a lot about of business prople chatter about Android fragmentation and i keep wondering if its anything like regular linux fragmntation *at the app level* …my suspician is it is not as bad on android due to the more focused java dev model.Michael / anyone- can you shed more light on app level fragmentation issues with andriod?thx.

          1. David Shellabarger

            There is some fragmentation in Android but its not a big deal if you are writing normal apps. That being said, I have an app that specifically fixes an annoyance on MotoBlur phones and it is doing quite well.However, if you know about the the slight differences, you can adjust your app accordingly without much fuss.Its isn’t nearly as big a deal as CSS browser inconsistenties.

    2. fredwilson

      That’s an interesting perspective. Is blackberry the macintosh?

    3. Lucian Armasu

      If that would be true, it would have only 1-2% of the market, like Linux. Android is open, but not that open as Linux, and Google is working to make it more standardized, kind of like Windows on PC’s. Plus, you can’t ignore that Android has the biggest share of the market right now, and it keeps growing faster than everyone else. Linux never had that kind of opportunity. If it did perhaps, Windows wouldn’t be as popular today either, but unfortunately for Linux, it appeared at a time when Windows had all the momentum in the market, and already won all the deals with manufacturers, and especially with IBM. When Linux appeared, it was more like WP7 from the perspective of market share and momentum in the market.

      1. JohnDoey

        Actually, Linux had like 90% of netbooks for the first couple of years until Microsoft came in with a low-cost Windows and took it all. The same thing could happen to Android if Apple releases a low-cost iPhone.You have to be careful of pretending there is such a thing as a single “PC market.” There is not. People don’t go shopping for a $300 netbook and come home with a $1200 MacBook Pro, or vice versa. When you lump the various PC markets together, you reach false conclusions. For example, people like to say Apple has only 10% of the “PC market,” so they are unimportant. But they seem to have much more influence than that. If you look at the actual high-end/low-end/netbook markets, you see the real story is that Apple has 90% of high-end PC’s and 0% of low-end PC’s and 0% of netbooks, and you see Apple is the most profitable PC maker. That is a very different story than “10% of the market” implies. Similarly, Apple is crushing everyone else in high-end smartphones. It is not even close. Android has done well in the low-end, but Apple has not even begun to compete in low-end smartphones yet. Some people won’t pay for a phone, so right now, they choose Android. If they are offered a choice of a free Android phone from a brand they do not recognize or free Apple phone a lot of those people will choose Apple. Especially if they are also carrying an iPod which the Apple phone replaces.

        1. Timothy Meade

          I would say Thunderbolt is high end, though the pricing may not be. An interesting chart recently broke down GPU performance on the smartphones, the latest Qualcomm/ATI crushed even the iPhone 4. Qualcommis also doing a better job on getting faster ARM cores into their chips, Apple is using a repackaged Samsung called the A4/A5.

  27. William Mougayar

    If we are to compare Android to iOS properly, then why not include the Tablets market analysis as well? It’s one continuum- smart phones to portable tablets.

  28. Rick

    iOS in tablet format pretty much remains without any real competition and it’s not clear that android will provide that competition – it’s been a horrendous flop so far. Maybe Google needs to introduce a Nexus tablet to get the ball rolling.I suppose Apple could increase it’s market share by going downmarket and making phones that are available for free, but going downmarket has been their business model with their desktops and laptops. They prefer remaining a brand that’s viewed as premium – but that’s ok. As more countries develop and as people become wealthier over time, they are going to want premium. That’s why companies like BMW, Louis Vuitton etc continue to do well – even people who cant afford the products still want them.

    1. Rick

      sorry – “has not” been their business model.

  29. Rafael Imas

    Isn’t what Google is doing with Android considered a form of dumping?

  30. Graham Siener

    I’d be interested in seeing those stats broken into OS versions. My biggest issue with Android is the fragmented versioning/support. Some great features like Swype are available on some android platforms but not other. The stock vanilla android is rather unpolished, yet the branded versions feel bloated with eye candy.I’m guessing 95% of the people in Apple’s 25.2% have a similar experience. What percentage can say that for Android?

    1. Charbax

      More than 95% of Android apps work on all Android versions, even on devices for some reason still running Android 1.6 Donut.

      1. Graham Siener

        Fair enough, but that still leaves the much larger issue of inconsistent UX across all android phones, imho a bigger challenge.

        1. Charbax

          I hate the Touchwiz, Sense, Rachael and blur as well. But those are just home replacements. It’s part of what makes Android cool that people can totally customize the UI as they want. But, for sure, I suggest Google make it easy one-click to disable those custom UI and go back to default vanilla Android, right now, users of these UI phones can install home replacements like LauncherPro that brings it back 95% to something like vanilla Android, but for sure, I think they just need to make sure it’s a one click process to disable custom UI, someone needs to tell them to simplify that.

  31. Rebuffer

    The report includes data until the end of Feb 2011. The iphone4 was released on Verizon on Feb 11. So the data would include, at most, two weeks of iPhone4 sales on Verizon even if Verizon managed to submit the data to the pollsters quick enough.

    1. Charbax

      The March data shows iphone4 sales going down and Android up further. Android would be further in front and iphone sales would be down once someone posts the March numbers.It’s common for Apple to sell most on release date and constantly go down from there. So they always try to include release dates just within their quarterly numbers, that’s how they purposefully time their release dates, to trick numbers as much as possible in their favor.

      1. fiftysixty

        I honestly don’t understand what you’re saying. No matter what launch date Apple would choose, it would be within their quarterly numbers. And as for the sales trends, iPhone 4 has been supply constrained at least up until the previous quarter so that doesn’t support your notion of sales going down. And neither do the iPad sales figures.

        1. Charbax

          OK, goes like this.1. Apple manufactures scarcity, although they know they will always sell most on first day of release, as they have legions of peoples queuing up. And they know from day 2 on, every day they will sell less and less of the device. Except in some cases when they manage to time the release in other countries, sometimes several countries at the same time, to make up for the slowing sales numbers.2. Apple always includes sell-outs and not the sell-ins in their quarterly numbers. That means, they ramp up manufacturing until the last day of the quarter, meaning they have manufactured enough devices to sell for 3 months or more after. And they count them all as part of their quarterly sales. They never tell you how many “activations” they’ve had, they don’t tell you how many actual users there are who actually bought the device in that specific quarter.3. Look at release date of iphone4 on Verizon, that was timed to inflate iphone4 sales of February. And then look at iPad2 sales, that release date was timed to counter balance their slowing iphone4 March numbers. But Apple can also spin it by not focusing too much on iphone4 US sales and instead hide their slowing sales through only talking about their worldwide sales for March.4. So basically, instead of talking about slowing iphone4 sales since iphone4 verizon came out, they are going to try to focus on talking about their ipad2 sales in March. That’s the story of how Apple does their earnings conference calls and quarterly sales reports, they always make sure to focus on the things that make it look like they are doing great. Fact remains, even if Apple sells many iPads, they make less than $300 profit per iPad while they still try to make $450 profit per iphone. So while the ipad is an attempt for Apple to make up for incoming loss of profit margins and market share on iphone, it’s still not going to be enough to make up for their lowering profits.5. Apple is not making little profits by any means. But what’s most important for Apple is to make the analysts like Asymco think that their $317 Billion stock market valuation is strong. Cause for Apple, there would be nothing worse than their unstable foundation being understood by investors and then suddenly trigger a massive devaluation of their stock price. So they are doing whatever they can to make it look like they are going strong and have no external threats. See, if Apple’s stock value tumbled down from $317 Billion to sub-$200 Billion, that would have a terrible downwards spiral effect on Apple, having to get rid of employees, downgrading or closing of apple stores, having to spend billions from its cash reserves, it could precipitate their market share down from 20% to less than 10%, and at the same time halve their profit margins, thus meaning profits and revenue could overnight be cut by more than half.

          1. fiftysixty

            Ok, for some reason my reply yesterday when to the wrong place. Here’s another try.1. Every sensible business builds up a launch stock, that’s not specific in any way to Apple. And it’s also not unique to Apple that a product sells the fastest in the first weekend/week, though it is definitely a very strong phenomenon for iPhone and iPad. I’m not so sure about Macs and iPods, my feeling is that they sell at a more constant level. Anyway, tell me how do you gauge the demand for a new product beforehand? Each year Apple has ramped up the production of new models very significantly, and in the case of selling out they ramp up production as best as they can. So how many months worth of production should Apple have in launch stock? And how would that impact their schedules, component sourcing etc?2. Do you have a source for that? My understanding is that Apple reports only sell through. They specifically mention the channel inventory in their quarterly earnings calls. And anyway, wouldn’t what you suggest only work for ONE SINGLE quarter? You can’t keep doing that every quarter, can you?3. First, Apple sells products worldwide. Focusing on the US sales in their reporting would be stupid. Second, the iPhone release cycle pretty much guarantees that the March quarter is slower, or doesn’t show much growth, from the previous holiday quarter, and with the next version coming in a few months time (if it’s on the same schedule as before.)4. You make it sound like Apple is only making it look like they’re doing great. They don’t have to, they ARE doing great. And loss of market share for iPhone does not necessarily mean loss of profit or unit sales, the smartphone market is growing at an astounding rate so even maintaining their market share would mean greatly increasing sales and profits for Apple.5. You seem to have trouble understanding how companies are analyzed, and what their stock value represents. In markets that are growing at astronomical speed, such as smartphones and tablets, marketshare is not a good indicator of absolute sales and profits. The smartphone market is poised to more or less double this year, so even if Apple only maintains their market share (which is very likely given the Nokia/MS deal which leaves a lot of potential customers up for grabs), their absolute sales and profits will double. The tablet market is probably going to grow even more since it is just emerging. So if we assume a total of 50 million tablets sold this year, even if iPad market share would be only 50%, they’d still sell more than last year.And, on another note, Apple has managed to outgrow the PC market for 19 consecutive quarters now, gaining marketshare for Macs. That’s despite the competition from every single PC manufacturer, Microsoft, Linux etc. If they can hold their own against giants like HP, Dell, Lenovo, all offering also considerably cheaper products. What makes you think they won’t be able to do just fine in the tablet market also?

  32. Jeremy Tregunna

    I’m not going to dispute your claim that Android will be the dominant (by the numbers) platform. Eventually, it’s UX will also improve enough to actually compete with iOS, as will the quality of apps in its market. The future looks good for Android.What has me, as a mobile developer less enthused about Android compared to iOS, is the amount of piracy, and how Google reacts to piracy. The quality of apps, how many apps have been released to the market as trojans, or otherwise, rooting your phone and doing lord knows what to it without you knowing. There’s very little quality control from my vantage point on the Android Market, that needs to improve. Also, from all numbers I’ve seen, more iOS users buy apps than Android users do, as such, financially, iOS is still my top priority (I just make more money from iOS than I could even hope to from Android right now).There’s also the issue of the whole patent lawsuit from Oracle, which has me staying away for fear of finding myself brought into that whole mess, or sinking a ton of time into it only to have things change substantially because of the lawsuit.All this said, am I ignoring Android? No, definitely not. I am not however, dedicating much time to it because my customers don’t currently express more than a fleeting interest in Android, probably because of my second last point. Customers don’t start demanding it, I cannot justify taking the time to seriously invest in the Android platform.Until then, I’ll subcontract the work out to competent Android developers, for the few times a year I have interest expressed to me in developing an Android app.

    1. Timothy Meade

      “Rooting” the phone without your knowledge? I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding here. Google has allowed apps that require root, they have also have allowed apps that use exploits to gain root, and have not fixed some of those exploits. Apple is better on both issues, but jailbreaking is used on iOS devices as well. In both case, this allows copying copy protected apps. Jailbreaking an iOS device is also easier because you can use a fully desktop based application to complete the process, and it takes place through an exploit in the iBoot loader or the firmware update process. Also, neither process is tied to copying copy protected apps, some may just want to unlike their devices full potential but may still install paid and free apps without disabling ads.On Android, root is required to fully backup the device because of the restrictive security model that prevents a non-root application from reading data created by another application. It’s also required (and flashing firmware is required) to allow a recovery procedure without erasing the whole device.

  33. Martin Hill

    As usual, Android fans like you Fred talk in terms of platform – Android vs iOS – but only count smartphone quarterly unit sales as that is the only figure where Android is ahead of iOS. However, developers are interested in the total size of the platform, both installed base as well as current unit sales of all devices in each platform as well as actual developer income share, app download market share, web browser share etc.You conveniently ignore the iPod touch and the iPad which together double Apple’s iOS total platform size and show just how far less compelling the Android story is for developers.*Installed base*- “There will be an installed base of 140 million Android portable devices, including smartphones and tablets, by the end of 2011” according to IMS Research.- iOS installed base will be at least 250 million by the end of 2011 if current iOS sales rates stay the same.However, iOS sales rates have been doubling every year so this figure is enormously conservative. (The iOS installed base as at Dec 2010 = 160 million with the vast majority of those added in the last 2 years) *Unit Sales Q4 2010* (source: Canalys)- 32.7 million Android smartphones and tablets (tablets like the Galaxy tab and Dell streak were counted in these numbers because they all have cell phone hardware).- 33 million iOS devices (16 million iPhones, 10 million iPod touches, 7 million iPads) Note that Android numbers are inflated by inclusion of the Tapas and OMS forks of Android (which aren’t compatible with Android or running Google apps or services) running on millions of Chinese smartphones.However, even if Android does eventually surpass iOS in installed base sometime several years in the future, it still won’t matter for developers because they make FAR more from iOS than they do from Android:*App Store Revenue 2009 – 2010* (source: IHS):- iOS App Store grew from $769 million to $1.782 billion = $1.013 billion increase- Android Marketplace grew from $11 million to $102 million = $91 million increaseSo annual Android developer income is a meagre 6% of iOS with an annual rate of increase only 9% as large as iOS. The gap between the two is 1,000% and getting far larger every year.*Advertising income per user* (source: Mobclix)Mobclix’s Jan 2011 stats demonstrate that in the Advertising game, iPhone users are far more valuable than Android users. In the Games category, the average iPhone user brought in more than double the advertising revenue per month compared to the average Android user, a third more income in the entertainment category and 30% more in the utilities category.Even on Google’s home turf – advertising – iOS beats Android.But guess what, downloads of free Android apps as well as paid is a small fraction of iOS downloads. ABI Research reports that of the 7.9 billion mobile App downloads that took place in 2010, 5.6 billion of these (71%) went to Apple iOS devices. The current iOS app download rate is well over 30 million app downloads every day and still accelerating according to Asymco.Even the web apps and web advertising story is bad for Android. Net Applications just released their March 2011 figures for operating system web market share and as usual iOS came in with a share over three times as large as Android, third only to Mac OS X at 5.25% and Windows on 89.58%. iOS = 1.87% Android = 0.56% (source: Net Applications)With developers making far more money on iOS than Android, with far less piracy, freedom from malware and spamware and a vast 200 million credit-card toting iTunes user base and ecosystem, iOS maintains a enormous market advantage over Android that developers ignore at their peril.-Mart

    1. Mark Essel

      I was thinking about your features while reading Fred’s discussion of sales. We care about market size, Fred’s more concerned with market trends/acceleration. Spot on with much of your analysis and metrics.Don’t you expect Android Tablets to make a serious growth spurt as well on a similar lagging curve?

      1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        TABLETS VERY HARD TO GET RIGHT FOR MASS MARKET, ME SEE NO SIGNS ANDROID HAVE IT RIGHT YET.

    2. Charbax

      Android Tablets are about to completely destroy iPad sales, in the coming months, not years from now, It’s happening today. Android Tablets will dominate tablet sales faster than Android smartphones dominated Smartphone sales since Nexus One was released. Honeycomb is the first real Tablet oriented OS.

      1. Rick

        Where is there evidence of this happening? The Galaxy tablet has been a mediocre success at best. The Xoom is pretty much dead in the water. People buy smartphones because at the end of the day they really need a phone. But they don’t buy the iPad because they really need a tablet – they buy it because it is the iPad and because of how Apple has marketed it to them.If anything, I feel HP-Palm have a better shot at the tablet market than Android does, because of their ability to integrate hardware with software and a solid user interface.

        1. Charbax

          Have you heard about Archos? They are a small 150-employee French Android Tablet maker, in several European countries, for the November-December 2010 months, they took 25% of the tablet market share, just them. In fact, if Archos just had more cash to produce more tablets to have enough stock of them in all the retail stores that want to sell them, they’d likely be number 1 even in front of Apple iPad.The only reason Apple is selling more iPads, is a manufacturing and sales channel issue. It’s only a cash issue. As soon as more money is spent in Android manufacturing and distribution, then Android market share in tablet will OVERTAKE iPad. Big time. And this is happening faster than most Apple fanboys can even comprehend.

          1. Martin Hill

            As I say above Archos only captured 22% of the 7″ tablet and above market and only in France their home market.They also only captured a piddly 7.8% of the smaller media tablet market against the iPod touch again in their home market of France.-Mart

          2. Veronica Trollsky

            wow charbax is really a simpleton. Archos products are junk. I owned one of their mp3 players way back when. One of the worst consumer products I’ve owned. horrible interface poor design engineering wise.No they aren’t taking over anything. Their marketshare is meaningless and you are misquoting. But hey keep lying bro we’ll keep laughing at you.

          3. CPD_1

            Yeah, Archos tablets are going to kill the iPad. Just like their media players killed the iPod.

          4. Charbax

            They were early with tablets. Archos started making embedded Linux 3.5″ tablets with 30GB storage, USB host, TV input/output, all video codecs support (back then based on Qtopia Linux) in 2004. Just a bit too early if what you want them to do is to dominate a market. Had Google started doing Android a few years earlier, then Archos could have been in front of Apple now already.It doesn’t mean Archos will be alone on top. Every person on the planet will be using pocketable touch screen devices. It’s just that it is ridiculous to think that Apple can both keep their market share and keep their profit margins both at the same time.

          5. dwightk

            wait so Archos is selling a tablet for 1/5th the price of the least expensive iPad and they are having a cash issue? Perhaps because their margins aren’t high enough 😀

      2. PeterK

        Let us know when that happens. About July, I guess?

        1. Charbax

          It took Android about 9 months after Eclair on Nexus One to completely dominate the smartphone market far in front of Apple, and even in front of RIM and Symbian. For tablets, after Honeycomb on Xoom, I think it will take them less than 6 months to completely dominate in the tablet market.

          1. Martin Hill

            And yet the iPod touch has been around for 4 years and yet no competitor (Android or otherwise) has been able to touch it. Sales of that device have now hit 10 million per quarter. With no carriers or contracts to hide behind, the tablet market is far more similar to the market that the iPod touch absolutely dominates.-Mart

          2. raycote

            Apple lives or dies by it’s continuous innovative-disruption market strategy.You seem to assume that Apple has reached the end of it’s history on this front?If this is the case you may have a point. But why would Apple choose now to suddenly abandon it’s key profit margin strategy?Looking at Apple’s patent stream it looks like there may be many more shoes to fall.

          3. Charbax

            What I think Apple has been good at is to identify market opportunities and execute on tapping that opportunity, and in the process, make people think Apple somehow invented it.You can decide to believe that somehow Apple will find another opportunity for saving themselves, keeping same rate of revenues and profits in the case of their touch screen stuff and laptops stuff becoming rapidly out-competed by lower price.Usually though, for iPod, iPhone and iPad, it was quite obvious years before Apple started that there was a massive untapped opportunity right there. And Apple came with their cash and hired designers and took care of tapping that opportunity.You may think the Kinect waving your arms in the air stuff is the next UI opportunity, I don’t think it is. I think we have pretty good UI in a laptop, and a touch screen pocketable device (includes both Smartphone/Tablets in the same category). I think the next steps in UI innovation will be just improving those, significantly lowering price on those. And most will come once the web apps learn to take advantage of the sensors that are in these devices to give a real personalized experience.

          4. Veronica Trollsky

            cool story bro. Accept android isn’t dominating anything meaningful. Still more IOS installed hardware by alot and more apps and money to be made for developers. what exactly is android dominating?

      3. perfy

        I was in Office Depot the other day with my wife getting some DVDs and took a look at the Android tablets. They had 2 highlighted on an end-cap display. One of them (not sure what brand, 9″ display) wouldn’t power on. The other one was an Archos (7″ display I think) didn’t have an internet connection so I couldn’t do anything meaningful with it.If this is the experience that everyday people are going to be introduced to Android tablets, then your prediction will never come true. Compare that to walking into an Apple store and seeing people holding, using, and becoming attached to an iPad.

        1. Charbax

          The Archos 7 Home Tablet you are talking about is $94 at TigerDirect stores: http://www.tigerdirect.com/…That is 5x cheaper than the iPad.And another thing. OS don’t matter, hardware matters less, price matters most. Consumers, given a choice between $100 and $500 tablets will nearly always choose the $100 tablet.What’s a tablet OS. Basically, it’s a bunch of icons, you click, stuff happens. Same thing happens on Android and iOS. In terms of true true software features, Android has by far the upper hand with Honeycomb, being 10x better than iOS 4.3 for tablets.”then your prediction will never come true”- It’s already come true. Archos for example, in several of the major European countries, did bring plenty stock to the stores and has 25% of the tablet market share. That is for one small 150-employee French tablet maker, to have 25% market share vs 67% for Apple. Imagine what happens once 25 other tablet makers join the Android tablet party with full sales power.

          1. perfy

            I’ve read all of your comments attached to this article. I think you are nothing short of delusional with all of the statements that you have made.

          2. Charbax

            Put the Archos Android tablet for $250 next to every $500 iPad/2 in every store, you’ll see, 90% of consumers will choose the Archos Android tablet instead.Especially when by comparing features they find out Archos Android tablets have better features such as real HDMI output, real USB host, webcam (vs ipad1), real kick-stand built-in, 30% less weight (weight is important!), MicroSD card slot expansion, true DivX/MKV video codecs support (lots people enjoy using BitTorrent!), easy Bluetooth tethering for 3G access, no need to jailbreak Android to have full fun and be able to easily pirate .apk apps, the 7″ (“dead on arrival”) option is perfect to carry around in 99% of jacket pockets everywhere you go and is half the weight of ipad2, it’s liberating never again to have to use iTunes to synchronize files, and I could go on.

          3. Martin Hill

            @Charbax,Um, no they will go for the $499 iPad or the $229 iPod touch as last quarter’s French tablet stats indicate (see my post just above).-Mart

          4. Martin Hill

            Get your statistics right Charbax.Archos had 22% of only the *French* tablet market (7″ and above) during the last quarter (not 25% of all of Europe). So, even in their home market – France, Archos was still thrashed by the iPad.In addition, Apple’s 3.5″ iPod touch absolutely obliterated Archos’s smaller 2.7″, 3.2″ and 4.3″ tablets. Archos only captured 7.8% of this market again in France – their home market and they were far worse elsewhere.No, Archos is definitely not an iPad-killer.-Mart

          5. Charbax

            Archos is doing best in France for sure, but that is only because they decided to ship a larger concentration of devices there thanks to their strong connections in the French retail industry, out of what they have been able to afford to manufacture.You don’t think Apple is scared to their pants that a 150-employee little French Android Tablet maker valued at $243 Million can take 25% market share away from the iPad, which is made by a $317 Billion company with 49 thousand employees?What do you think happens when the rest of the industry joins Archos in this Android tablet game? Can’t you see that Android is obviously going to dominate 90% of the tablet market within 6 months from now?

          6. Martin Hill

            @Charbax,Stop saying 25% Charbax. Archos themselves state it was 22% and only in France in their Q4 statement.You can’t extrapolate Archos’s home market to the rest of the world. Archos is certainly too embarrassed to mention their share of the wider market.And no I can’t see Android dominating 90% of the market. All I see is Moto unable to get the Xoom competitively priced, Samsung too embarrassed to admit what Galaxy tab sales to customers were and Dell being a complete failure with their 5″ Streak.What you fail to see is how Apple has contiunued to dominate the media player market for the past decade and and the 3.5″ tablet market for the past 4 years, and yet you refuse to admit that is a possible direction the larger form factor tablet market might take being blinded by what’s happening in the far less similar smart phone market.-Mart

          7. cms

            You are pretty laughable. You offer misleading facts and make grand proclamations that a rushed-out, barely on a single device OS is better than a mature OS with many thousands more applications. Not to mention contradicting yourself – If no one cares about the OS, or the hardware, why do you offer those as reasons why Android will do better?Any comparable tablet to the iPad – with the same screen size as a proxy for ‘comparable’ – is as expensive, if not more, than the iPad. The rest of the industry is trying to get in; after more than a year there have been flailing attempts by Samsung, Motorola, etc to produce tablets, none of them stealing much market share (or, more importantly, profit share) from Apple.Calling people Apple fanboys because you can’t come to terms with the fact that Apple innovates, takes all the profits, offers a more enjoyable user experience to average users, and then has Android mimic them in the low-margin, unimportant part of the market does not make you right. Even if they overtake the iPad (they probably will) I will enjoy my iPad sans malicious apps, task managers, piss-poor battery life or jerky Flash experience for years to come.

          8. Charbax

            I’m laughable? You’re the one believing Apple owns some kind of magical technology that gives them better battery runtime then everyone else. You believe Apple makes a right choice to not support Flash or about a thousand other apps that it does not allow in the Apple App Store. You believe nobody else can make cheaper 10″ tablets? Android has sub-$200 10″ capacitive tablets already.You believe Apple innovates? They always steal other companies ideas and the only thing Apple innovates in is how to make a lot of money on these ideas.Let’s assume that it may be true that a $500-$800 iPad might be better than a $100 Android tablet. Let’s just for the sake of playing assume you would be right on that. (I don’t think you would be right cause I care about HDMI/USB/video-codecs/memory-expansion/openness-of-Android/openness-in-design/kick-stands/7″-pocketable-form-factors and so on). But let’s assume $500-$800 iPad2 is better than the $100 Android tablet.You can at least agree that the iPad2 is not worth 5x more than a $100 Android tablet. You have to understand the $100 Android tablet can be multi-touch, it can have a 1.2Ghz processor, it can do all these things that I think are important in tablets and that iPads don’t do. You can at least agree that if it is true Android tablets can get to be as cheap as $100 that it would be wrong to say the iPad is 5x better.

          9. Veronica Trollsky

            He’s right you are laughable Charbax. Bottom line on your barrage of lies. Lets see your source on this 100 dollar tablet that compares to the ipad2? yah didn’t think so fandroid.Also, lets say you’re right and apple doesn’t innovate. How could any thinking person see thishttp://www.engadget.com/200…and not acknowledge the complete change of direction and copying by google2007=release date of iphoneyah bro you keep telling yourself that Apple doesn’t innovate and google doesn’t copy.Still not convinced here’s an actual hardware prototype from google. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/… It didn’t look anything like an iPhone, nor like anything Apple would ever be interested in making. It looked like a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone — hardware keyboards and non-touch screens.clearly you aren’t a thinking person

          10. ishcabittle

            We’re all having fun laughing at Charbax, aren’t we? He says Android tablets are superior because:”true DivX/MKV video codecs support (lots people enjoy using BitTorrent!)… …no need to jailbreak Android to have full fun and be able to easily pirate .apk apps”Keep in mind the post we are commenting on, from the intrepid Mr. Wilson, is largely about how developers should focus on developing for Android first and iOS second. It seems like the Android evangelists out there have invalidated Mr. Wilson’s argument for him – Android users don’t have to pay for content, they bittorrent their media and pirate their applications.Buy Android! Have full fun and save money!

          11. raycote

            @Charbax – you said:”And another thing. OS don’t matter, hardware matters less, price matters most”WOW! That is a customer base a company should want to capture. Low commodity profits with after sale opportunities to tap into the bargain bin crowd.Today’s ubiquitous speed, data density and social-graph complexity require a much tighter, more organic, integration of the hardware, software, service and social friction point eco-system in order to create a truly competitive, easy to use, network effect, platform strategy.SO NO… price is not the pivotal market strategy you seem to imply!This industry has promises to keepAnd miles to go before it sleepsAnd miles to go before it sleeps(Sleep here = commoditization – name that poet?)

          12. Charbax

            I’m not saying the awesome software/hardware don’t matter. What I am saying is that they can all reach software and hardware perfection. In an open free marketplace, you don’t get people with monopolistic exclusivities, you get several suppliers for each of the next levels of technology.So imagine this, imagine Android is at least as good as iOS (I think Honeycomb is far better than iOS 4.3, doesn’t matter though), with the distinction that Android can get implemented by 1000 companies, 1000 suppliers. iOS is just one company, one strategy. So basically, Android can be at least as good as iOS (again, I think Android is much better), but as Android has got 1000 manufacturers/suppliers/distributors, then obviously Android will be the one providing the best value/price for feature.Hey, I’m not saying software/hardware innovation is finished, I am just saying Android being open source and free means Android has already won, why don’t you agree.

          13. fiftysixty

            The problem with having 1000 companies and 1000 suppliers is that they are also competing against each other. Even though Android manufacturers don’t have to do much software development (as Google bears the burden of taking Android forward) they still have to do their own R&D to get the hardware right. And when there are that many competitors, the market is split up and unit sales for each individual company are lower. The R&D costs have to be amortized, though, so the R&D cost per unit will be higher. Same goes for marketing, too. There are economies of scale even if you disregard the prepaid component orders, or Apple buying the whole capacity of a single key supplier.Of course, as you realize, there are also strengths to having a lot of manufacturers. But it’s not all rosy. Even though the barrier to entry is considerably lower now with Android available, it’s still hard for a new startup to get recognized. You also have to remember that the sales channel matters a great deal, and there also the bigger players have an advantage.So, for these reasons and others, I don’t believe that Android has already won. It very well could win, but it’s still way too early to say. For example, what will happen in the smartphone side in the next couple of years? The market is fundamentally different from the PC market and it’s nearly impossible for any single OS to gain as much dominance as Windows. Samsung will shift more to using Bada, HP will push WebOS, Microsoft will do their utmost to push W7, as will Nokia. There are too many uncertainties to predict how it will all pan out. Android will continue to make gains this year, that’s 100% certain though.

          14. Charbax

            Android brings consolidation and development of common software and hardware. It means R&D costs to make awesome devices are getting lower and lower, even though the power and complexity of the hardware and software is also increasing exponentially.Does absolutely not mean the R&D departments of all Android companies have nothing to do. Quite on the contrary, those guys are busier than all other engineering groups. So what they spend their whole days on is to further advance on innovation, further attempt to differentiate, adding more awesomeness as icing on the cake, optimizing and optimizing the experiences. Which kind of explains how I think many of the Android experiences are much better than Apple/Windows/RIM/HP/Symbian can do to each his own.Basically what happens, all the complicated common stuff around building Android devices is developed by open source companies like Google, Linaro and the open handset alliance. More and more of the complicated hardware stuff is developed by the hardware providers themselves, mainly the SoC ARM processor providers.Sure enough that can rapidly lower the prices, especially if you don’t mind having just basic devices with no need for gravy on top. But why would you mind as a consumer that prices are going down fast? This is only something that share holders have to worry about. Especially Apple share holders.

          15. Veronica Trollsky

            “Android has by far the upper hand with Honeycomb, being 10x better than iOS 4.3 for tablets.”In what way?In usability nopein software and ecosystem? Nopein Market share? Nope IOS is on more devices combined.in popular mindshare nope. My grandmother knows what and ipad is she has no clue what “android” isin productivity. nopein business nope I haven’t seen one doctor using an android tablet.in revenue generation for developers nope. This isn’t even a contest.IOS is atleast 7 times better based on the above.

          16. dwightk

            ” Consumers, given a choice between $100 and $500 tablets will nearly always choose the $100 tablet.”I hope apple’s competitors keep thinking like you. That should make my apple stock continue to go up.

          17. Leopold Harbinger

            “Consumers, given a choice between $100 and $500 tablets will nearly always choose the $100 tablet.”Charbax is right, you know. I recently had to have brain surgery. I could’ve paid $100,000 to have it done, but I found a guy out back behind the hospital who said he’d do it for $50. I saved so much money, and I can’t even tell the differennancaeaciefuaprrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrninudf;aawarr

      4. raycote

        How about giving us a little more rationalization that a simple assertion?

      5. Veronica Trollsky

        hahahahah man it’s fun to see posts like this. Have you actually used a xoom or tab? THey are junk compared to ipad2

      6. JanneO

        “Android Tablets are about to completely destroy iPad sales, in the coming months, not years from now, It’s happening today. “Android on phones grew so fast thanks to availability. That is, when you walked in to a carrier-store, there were bunch of Android-phones there. And in many cases (like Verizon-stores), there were no iPhones. Most people simpky buy what their operator has to offer.With tablets, things are different. Sure, they are sold in carrier-stores as well. But most of their sales take place in other retailers. And Android has no upper hand there, quote the contrary. Where Android-tablets are being sold, so are iPads. If consumer does a side-by-side comparisin between an iPad and something else, which is he going to choose? Yep, the iPad.And iPads are sold in Apple Stores as well, while Android-tablets are not. And, as it happens, iPad is still generating hiuge lines, Xoom etc. are not.And what I find funny is that few months ago we were being told that Galaxy Tab is going to kill the iPad. Nope, didn’t happen. Then everyone started telling how Xoom is going to kill the iPad. Wrong again. What is the next iPad-killer down the line? Playbook? Yet another Android tablet?This reminds me of the iPod, where we got news about an “iPod-killer” jost about every month. And each and every one of those crashed and burned.

        1. Charbax

          I have proven to you in my links that the Android tablets from Archos already are proven themselves to perform like iPad-killers. You put a $250 Archos in a store next to the $500 iPad, 90% of consumers will choose the Archos, which is why, if Archos could afford to manufacture enough to be in every store (cause every store wants to sell it), then Archos, a company you might never have heard of, would already be number 1 in tablet market share in front of Apple.

          1. Doodpants

            And if Archos made a $250 tablet that could walk your dog, wash your car, make coffee, and give you winning lottery numbers, it would already be number 1 in tablet market share in front of Apple.Whee, hypotheticals are fun!

    3. David Shellabarger

      Here is 2 graphs from last year from Nielsen.http://blog.nielsen.com/nie…I don’t know how you can look at the that link and not think that it looks exactly like Windows and Macintosh previously.Adding in iPod Touches might be fair for some comparisons but adding in the iPad is not.For one Google doesn’t have a competing product in any of these stats. The Xoom is too new and only 1 device (there will be lots later this year) and you have to develop specifically for the iPad for an app to make any sense on it.Also I wouldn’t quote Canalys for anything. I think they are crap.

      1. perfy

        Are you kidding? Which graph you linked shows one OS with 95% market share and the other with 5%? I keep looking at them, but still don’t see it. Maybe you can explain.And what’s that pesky little 3rd line? Is that supposed to relate to linux on the desktop? Stop trying to force this windows vs. mac analogy it simply isn’t valid.Windows PCs were cheaper and had more software available for them.iPhones start at $99 and have more software available for them.Rimm still has more marketshare than the Mac ever had and yet it’s not even part of the argument.And shame on Fred for eluding to the fact that 1 month of availability for the Verizon iPhone would have a meaningful effect on market share.Let’s see where things are a year from now. Android may still have a higher market share, but until I see 95% Android and 5% iPhone, stop with the mac vs pc already

        1. Lucian Armasu

          Are you kidding? iPhones start at $99? Sure, if you don’t count the $2000 you’re also paying over the course of the next 2 years. If you do the same comparison, there are free Android phones, too.But the truth is anywhere else in the world the iPhone will cost $700+ and there will be Android phones starting at $200 – all unlocked. This is exactly like Windows vs Mac, it’s just that Apple is in a stronger position this time with 15% global market share instead of 5%, and also more apps, but if Android will really dominate as everyone realizing this believes, it will eventually have the most apps. There used to be a moment only about 1.5 years ago when Android had like 10x less apps than iOS, now it has only about 2x fewer. It’s catching up fast.

          1. perfy

            Every cell phone has a monthly bill. If you’d like to make the free phone vs. $99 phone I will agree that is valid. Do you think that $99 is a barrier to entry? Maybe to some, but not the barrier that existed in the Mac vs. PC war. That barrier was hundreds of dollars, possibly over a thousand in some cases and adjusted for inflation. But let’s not go down the road of including monthly bills. They exist regardless of the phone you choose.

          2. Charbax

            Android is $99 and NO need to pay for a contract. You can just pre-pay. Virgin Mobile does a $25/month UNLIMITED pre-paid plan. Ergo, Android is about 20x cheaper than iPhone.

          3. raycote

            Yes… cheap Android phone are good for pre-paid customers. I got my wife one for Christmas.But when she moves up from pre-paid to become a data using mobile customer she wants an iphone.Why? Because she really likes her new iPad.

          4. Charbax

            3 months ago, Android passed the 200’000 apps already. I think by now they may have actually catched up with Apple App Store already. While considering 90% of apps on both platforms are completely useless, Android app number growth is happening much faster than on Apple.

          5. Martin Hill

            As I write above, Apple was selling around 400,000 iOS devices per day compared to 300,000 Android devices during Nov-Dec 2010.-Mart

          6. Martin Hill

            Oh, I realise you are talking about app numbers. That 200,000 app figure for Android from Androidlib included ringtones, wallpapers, soundscapes as well as apps that are not available in the Marketplace anymore.The number of actual apps is only around 130,000.Then you need to subtract the 45% of apps in the Android Marketplace that are spamware (because Google lets anyone upload any old spam, malware, “hello world” app, or non-functioning code test and other crap).So you end up with an actual figure of closer to 60,000 apps.Then you have to realise that most of the big mobile games companies, media companies and other developers ignore Android and you realise things are very sparse in the Android app world.Meanwhile, you have Apple with headings towards 400,000 real, vetted, apps and a proven app-hungry, credit-card wielding audience.-Mart

          7. cms

            How can you contradict yourself so well and not realize it? Set aside the fact that a $200 device can hardly be compared to the iPhone (most equivalent phones are equivalently priced), but over the course of a smartphone’s contract you always end up paying $2000+. Whether you pay $2700 for an iPhone (overall) versus $2400 for some random Android device is hardly comparable to PC versus Mac – if you calculate the “Apple tax” on the iPhone it is way less than the same on a Mac.

        2. ErikSchwartz

          Are they still making $99 iPhones or are they just clearing old stock out of the channel and selling refurbs?

          1. perfy

            Nothing is guaranteed in the future, but the past 2 years Apple has taken the previous year’s model and dropped it’s price to $99. For example, when the iPhone 3GS came out, the iPhone 3G became $99. Now with the iPhone 4 out, you can get an iPhone 3GS for $99. Actually now that I think of it, AT&T dropped the price to $49 when the Verizon phone came out.These are new phones still being manufactured, and not refurbished.

          2. ErikSchwartz

            They’re new phones, but I also bet they’re leftovers in the channel. I’d be really surprised if they’re still manufacturing them.The thing you need to understand is that basically all the margin in a handset comes from the subsidy. In the US the iPhone 4 sells for $200, it has a bill of materials of $188, there’s a ton of marketing money spent, and the carrier pays Apple $450.The iPhone still costs the same $600 it did when it was launched.Edit to clarify: The iPhone costs ~$600-650, the carrier loans you $450.

          3. Ted_T

            @ErikSchwartz. You know why they are new? The $49 iPhones have 8GB flash memory. While the iPhone 3GS was at $199/$299 only 16//32GB models existed. So every single one of the $99 now $49 iPhone 3GS is newly manufactured.

          4. perfy

            Yes they are still being manufactured. You can tell by the serial number. Doubt it all you want, but Apple can’t sell a phone for an entire year from leftovers.”The thing you need to understand is that basically all the margin in a handset comes from the subsidy. In the US the iPhone 4 sells for $200, it has a bill of materials of $188, there’s a ton of marketing money spent, and the carrier pays Apple $450.”I understand this incredibly well. But this entire article is about market share and not profit. There for the price the customer pays is what is important.If carriers are still willing to pay that subsidy, that says something.

          5. markslater

            i got mine for $49 ! clearing out stock if u ask me.

          6. CPD_1

            Well, more likely that AT&T was willing to eat an extra $50 so that they could hold onto more subscribers when Verizon got the iPhone 4.

      2. Quasimog

        Please compare an Apple Device (iPhone) to an Android Device (Samsung Galaxy S) OR compare iOS to Andriod.I find comparing Andriod to iPhone disengenious, at best.

    4. jalexoid

      “Tapas and OMS forks of Android (which aren’t compatible with Android or running Google apps or services)”Android developer talking here. OMS fork run stock Android apps very well, thank you. I have Dell 3 with OPhone and run my apps on it without any problems. OMS doesn’t have Google’s APIs and that means that you can’t use Google Maps API, every other API in Android is stock.

      1. Martin Hill

        I meant to write “fully” compatible. The point is that they don’t have access to the Android Marketplace, they don’t have all of Google’s apps and quite a number of important APIs and they don’t use Google search. This is a big problem for Google and why Google is now clamping down on Honeycomb and closing the code.-Mart

        1. jalexoid

          “quite a number of important APIs”Again. I’m a developer for Android and the only thing that is specificallymissing from OPhone is Google Maps API. Google Maps API the one’s that comeas a separate package to Android SDK and not open sourced.

          1. raycote

            Moving forward there will be much less symmetry between Android and open source, that much seem clear!Google is punking the marketplace. Google has sent in an “OPEN” trojan horse. This is simply their effort to utilize their internet advertising-network monopoly to capture a monopoly over the mobile OS market.The question is how long will it take for Android hardware vendors to realize they have been sucked. They get to do all the heavy hardware brand lifting with low profits and shot, demanding, refresh cycles. And now suddenly the “OPEN” trojan horse starts to OPEN up and handicap their ability to differentiate.The only way this is a repeat of the Microsoft vs Apple epic relates to Googles role as the new MONOPOLY DEATH STAR. Like Microsoft, Google has an appetite for eating it’s partners, just ask Apple.

          2. jalexoid

            Nothing is clear about Android’s future release opensourse status. The onlything clear is that ODMs have pushed Google into this by their old releaseand abandon methodics(something that they regularly did with WinMo). Thereis literally no reason why HTC Desire ,that is an almost absolute copy ofNexus One, can’t have Gingerbread, same thing with Galaxy S – Nexus S. TheMIPS blog has a post titled “Separating Fact From Fiction : The Impact ofAndroid Anti-fragmentation pn the Processor Landscape” that has an insiderCPU ISA centric view on the issue.

        2. Lucian Armasu

          I think Google is making a lot more from apps using Admob ads (the vast majority) than from Google Search on Android.

        3. Charbax

          Anyone with $3 can automatically have their rss feed posted as an app in the apple app store, other generators put your sound files in a sound app, or ads your logo in a bogus game. These “apps” get auto approved in the apple app store. On the other hand more than 10’000 useful and original apps have been rejected by Apple app store because apple staff deemed them inapropriate or “duplicating” of apple functionality. You tell us which app store is more developer friendly. After months of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested, you can easily get your app rejected by Apple, when the guy in charge of the apple app store is the guy who so “brilliantly” invented the ifart, ibeer and light sword apps, which are still the top paid apps in apple app store history.

          1. markslater

            love it!

          2. alan

            Do you make stuff up just for fun or do you have some kind of motive?

          3. Charbax

            There are tons of ways you can even turn your RSS, Twitter, your bunch of sound files or your company logo into an app on apple: http://www.businessinsider….http://www.createfreeiphone…All these bogus apps are being proudly counted by Apple.

          4. Jesse

            Aside from the fact that what you state has no relevance to the comment in which you’re replying, citing sources would be wonderful here. I have no idea where the number “10,000 reject apps” comes from, let alone where you determine that “ifart, ibeer and light sword” are the “top paid apps in apple app store history.”To illustrate my point above: “There have been 1,000’s of apps removed from the Android Market for having violated user privacy/proliferating malware.”

    5. David Shellabarger

      Also I don’t know who IMS is but apparently they except Android sales to not only slow but to start shrinking…Google says they are activating 350,000 handsets a day. That’s 127,750,000 a year (assuming it doesn’t increase) I can’t find a number on how many Android phones were sold in 2010, but I know it was more than 13 million.Look like IMS has trouble with simple math.*updated*

      1. Lucian Armasu

        You’re talking about sales market share, this was about total installed based *so far*, in percentages, in USA only.

        1. David Shellabarger

          oops I was referring to the IMS figure not IHS.I was trying to reference:”There will be an installed base of 140 million Android portable devices, including smartphones and tablets, by the end of 2011″ according to IMS Research.This is obviously a bad estimate.

          1. Lucian Armasu

            So you’re saying IMS should’ve said 127 million, not 140 million? But that’s assume Android’s sales market share will remain constant, and I don’t think it will. It will probably grow to 400k per day or more this year, and I think that’s what IMS is assuming, too.

          2. David Shellabarger

            No, “installed base” is not yearly its total market share.Even if Android sales remains constant, 140 million is way too low.Just adding last years and this years sales number will be more than 140 million without any growth this year.

          3. Martin Hill

            What you neglect to mention is that the estimate for iOS sales assumes no increase in the rate of sales but as I point out in my post, iOS sales have been doubling every year so the iOS installed base estimate would be far higher as well.Also, Apple was selling 400,000 iOS devices per day in Nov and Dec vs 300,000 Android devices per day in that time frame. (Apple was doing 270,000 per day in Oct when Android was doing 200,000).As such, Apple’s iOS platform has been surging just as much as Android (if not more) in the lead-up to Christmas.-Mart

    6. Lucian Armasu

      Actually, the numbers Fred showed here are for the installed base in USA, not for quarterly market share. Android does much better in that, with 53% vs ~25-28% (iPhone) in USA, and ~%30 vs ~15% globally.

      1. Martin Hill

        As I mention above, Commscore’s numbers include tablets like the Dell Streak and Galaxy tab because they incorporate cell phone hardware since Android manufacturers have tried to hide the true cost of tablets behind 2 year contracts since they can’t match the iPad on outright price.With even just the iPod touch added to iOS numbers, Apple surges ahead of Commscore’s Android numbers.-Mart

        1. Charbax

          All the tablets cost less than $200 to manufacture. You’re dreaming if you think 25 Android tablet makers can’t match iPad on price. In fact, Android tablet makers are already selling Android tablets below $100 in your local supermarket.Do you realize that Android smartphones combined are selling more than 5x faster than iphone4 in the USA in Q1 of this year?Google is only opening up for full force iPad/iPod Touch competition with Honeycomb, just wait, it’ll take less than 6 months for Android tablets to completely dominate over all of iOS.

          1. cms

            Words marked. The iPod Touch has been out for years and no one has even come close to capturing that incredibly valuable market.Only thing not being asked here: who cares about market share? Just like in the desktop world, Apple has the high end of the market where they make the vast majority of the profits – Android can take the $100 tablets because they generate nothing but unhappy end users.

          2. markslater

            and were bankrupt if not for Gates $50M. do you not remember that?

          3. Tim

            @markslater belowUrban myth.MS bought $100M Apple shares and pledged to produce Office for Mac for at least 5 more years all as part of a settlement of patent litigation. It was a mutually beneficial deal. At the time the deal occurred Apple had $4B in the bank. They weren’t looking all shiny as they are now but bankruptcy was nowhere in sight.The idea that MS saved Apple has a lot of traction but it isn’t true. They certainly helped improve its position though. That’s why Apple did the deal after all.

          4. Martin Hill

            Yes there are cheap and nasty Android tablets out there for less than the iPad, but they all either have non-multi-touch resistive screens, they have half the sizer screens and all sorts of other lacks.Sales figures for these demonstrate that the public knows they are crap and don’t buy them.Gartner’s figures for actual sales to end users puts the iPad at close to 100% market share for all of 2010 with tablet spending at $9.6 billion last year while the iPad generated $9.566 billion in revenue.Ovum puts the iPad at 90% share in Q4 2010.Android has a long way to go yet and is far from a sure bet.-Mart

          5. Charbax

            Yeah sure, which is why every store that has both Archos and Apple sell out the Archos tablets instantly far sooner than the iPad.You can find Capacitive Android tablets below $200 now. Even for as low as $110 are the cheapest capacitive multi-touch Android tablets.Apple always tries to negotiate exclusivity on new screen technology. It is after all their only hope to try to keep market share. The thing is, every screen manufacturer now is able to make any sized capacitive screens, so the multi-touch is not an Apple exclusive anymore.

          6. Martin Hill

            And yet Archos’s own quarterly report demonstrates you are telling lies. Charbox.Let me remind you:Archos had 22% of only the *French* tablet market (7″ and above) during the last quarter (not 25% of all of Europe). So, even in their home market – France, Archos was still thrashed by the iPad.In addition, Apple’s 3.5″ iPod touch absolutely obliterated Archos’s smaller 2.7″, 3.2″ and 4.3″ tablets. Archos only captured 7.8% of this market again in France – their home market and they were far worse elsewhere.No, Archos is definitely not an iPad-killer.-Mart

          7. Leopold Harbinger

            What it sounds like you don’t understand is the markup required to satisfy the middleman retailers for Android tablets (i.e. Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, etc.).If you made yogurt (or better yet, Froyo, haha), and sold it out of your house, you’d make all the profit. If you sold it in a grocery store, the grocery store takes a cut, so you either your profit margin takes a hit, or you markup to maintain it. The same thing applies here. If the Xoom was sold in the “Motorola Store,” they could probably be a lot cheaper and contract-less.

          8. Charbax

            Retail stores take a 20% margin, not 300%.

          9. tasker123

            If they’re all so cheap to manufacture, then why is nobody selling them there? Wouldn’t they be able to pick up more market share if they dropped below the price of an iPad?Dell’s Streak, for example, is today still over $400 for just the hardware, for a 5-inch tablet with a 3-year-old single-core CPU. Supposing it cost under $200 to manufacture, what would be the reasoning behind a 100%+ markup on each one, at the cost of tiny market share?What exactly do you think Honeycomb is doing in terms of “iPod Touch competition”, given that it’s exactly the same size as a phone? And why has not a single company made or even announced an iPod Touch competitor yet, after 4 years?Is it meaningful to compare “Android smartphones” against the iPhone, given that there’s limited compatibility between Android devices, and they’re built and sold by completely different companies? What relevance does such a platform have, if it doesn’t tell users anything about UI consistency or app compatibility or branding or support? Is it any more meaningful than claiming that 100% of current game consoles use PowerPC processors?

  34. FAKE GRIMLOCK

    PRACTICAL REALITY OF IOS, ANDROID, VERY DIFFERENT. THIS NOT A “EVERYONE USE X” SITUATION.

  35. Horace Dediu

    If you want to be in front of the largest number of users, you need to be on Symbian. Over 386 million sold and on its way to well over 500 million.

    1. Charbax

      Are you trying to tell a joke? Symbian has been dead for 3-4 years.

      1. PeterK

        I guess the joke’s on you.Check out his blog at asymco.com

        1. Charbax

          Yeah, I know his site. He is quite the Apple fanboy. His blog is about somehow defending Apple’s absurdly over-valued stock price. No smartphone maker can be reasonably valued at $317 Billion. Especially in such a volatile rapidly moving market as this. Especially not when Apple’s core profit margins and revenues comes from one single product, the iphone4, which is proven not to work in the left hand, and with competing Android phones being sold unlocked or on prepaid for below $150 at all the retail stores of the world.Just cause the Smartphone market is growing rapidly does absolutely not mean Apple can just continue to keep their market share and at the same time keep making disgustingly unreasonable amounts of profits per phone. Did you know Apple pays Chinese slaves less than $150 to make an iphone4 and that they sell it at about $600 to the carriers? How can someone suggest that somehow Apple will continue forever to have such a gigantic profit margin in a rapidly increasing competition brought to by increasing amount of smartphone makers?Basically, what asymco is suggesting is that Apple can somehow keep their market share, keep their profit margins, all the while Android competition strengthens, more and more Android makers are joining in competition. So basically Asymco suggests Android makers will somehow stop their growth in market share, somehow leave Apple alone with their market share, and somehow competitive pressure will never force apple to lower their profit margins?

          1. tylernol

            how can you claim Apple is overvalued ? By what financial method?Then using that method, compare Apple to someone else competing with them. Google? Motorola? Take your pick.

          2. Charbax

            My method is common sense.You don’t need to apply all sorts of complicated financial mathematics to realize that a $317 Billion valuated company, making more than 60% of its revenues and profits from one product, the iphone4, and that that specific product is in competition with an avalanche of Android devices, all arguably better in terms of features and and in more and more cases better in terms of price.That’s all you need to know.And if you want to compare with Google, fine. Google’s business model is to generate more sales and lower the cost for all the businesses in the world while giving away free services to all the web users in the world. I find it much harder to try to argue that Google should be running on thin ice in terms of long term revenue/profits in any ways slowing down. I’m not telling you I would have any certainty about Google’s future revenues and profits, I’m just saying, for Google, it obviously is much more complicated than with Apple.

          3. tylernol

            how much of Google’s profit is derived from AdSense?

          4. Veronica Trollsky

            don’t feed the charbax troll. He’s full of it. No other knowledgable financial analylst shares his opinion.

          5. raycote

            (Asymco) Horace’s point is that disruptive-innovation helps Apple keep it’s margins.But you vehemently asset Apple is all marketing and that Apple’s efforts do not have a disruptive-innovation component.The counterpoint to your assertion in a single word is iPad.iPad disrupted no one’s plans ???So why did Google rush out it’s self proclaimed gingerbread shortcut tablet OS to compete with the iPad?So you would argue that Google’s secret plan all along was to produce two discontinuous OSs. One for mobile phones and a separate OS for tablets?Get real, this was simply a stop gap response to the disruptive-innovation of Apple’s iPad.

          6. Charbax

            Apple doesn’t disrupt, they are the giant incumbent corporation that looks for profit opportunities and somehow lands on $100 Billion profit cows such as iPod then especially iPhone.What Apple does is to identify where the money is and then they claim their share by imposing themselves at the spot already occupied by much smaller innovators. Apple does never innovate. They just steal the good ideas from smaller companies and turn those into big profits for themselves.But there only are that many cash cows out there. Apple is desperate to find a new cash cow, which is why they came with the ipad. But it won’t last as ipad is being disrupted faster than iphone.

          7. Timothy Meade

            Apple’s market cap is not about the success or failure of a single product, it’s about a company with a proven track record in consistently delivering successively better products. You cite one failure, a bad design error, corrected in the CDMA iPhone 4 by virtue of RF layout. You also ignore what a few others have pointed out, namely, the wifi only iPod Touch and iPad, the still successful Mac line. Apple has small number of products at one time and executes well on them.I might prefer my HTC but I can recognize the attraction of Apple products and admire the company, Jobs and Cook greatly.

          8. Charbax

            What I am saying is that Apple’s revenues and profits comes mostly from one single product. That should not reflect much confidence in the insane market cap. And they did not fix the antenna issue in the Verizon iphone.

          9. Timothy Meade

            Please tell me where you are getting this information that CDMA iPhone 4does not fix the issue. There may be other issues but I find it very hard tobelieve they reused the design on different frequencies with differentinternal components.

          10. Timothy Meade

            So the only facts seem to be at the end, that it still has an externalantenna. I believe the signal issues on the CDMA are caused by softwarethough and are endemic to all qualcomm chipsets, and not related toconductivity or ground plane issues. I don’t know what process ConsumerReports used> Charbax wrote, in response to tmztmobile:

        2. Lucian Armasu

          His usual analysis is a joke and very misleading. I actually thought John Gruber was a bigger Apple fanboy until now, but I recently read an article of Asymco and realized he’s even worse. At least Gruber chooses to focus on the bright side of everything related to Apple, and on the negative side on everything related to Android, but at least he tends to use accurate facts. The asymco guy just makes stuff up to prove his case – and yes, I know he makes it all sound oh so very believable.

          1. raycote

            You are attacking someone who makes every effort to support his point of view with data and facts. You should be willing to put the same effort into providing some countervailing data and facts if you expect to be take seriously.

    2. splamco

      As an Apple “analyst”, I would want to to ignore trends too.

    3. Lucian Armasu

      And by Symbian do you mean S40, S60 and S^3, all very different OS’s with no app compatibility between them? Heck, last I remember about S60, even the different variations of it didn’t have compatible apps. Also, S40 and S60 can barely even be called smartphones, so they won’t have the same type of app usage as Android and iOS. S^3 maybe a bit, but still far behind them.

  36. Michael D.

    “Google is not attempting to monetize its mobile OS.” Where is the ROI? How long can GOOG continue being the R&D department for the mobile industry? If Google was a private company they could continue doing this in perpetuity, but it is not. As a public company, the shareholders will demand a return. Larry Page is now on the hot seat to clearly demonstrate how Andriod is hitting the bottom line.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Go read Bill Gurley’s post.

      1. Michael D.

        I read that article. “Android, as well as Chrome and Chrome OS for that matter, are not “products” in the classic business sense. They have no plan to become their own “economic castles.” ” In other words Google is going to remain a one-trick pony living off of Adwords. If that is the path that they want to take that’s fine, but the stock will suffer and is suffering.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Apple is a one trick pony living off of high margin hardware sales.ITMS breaks even. The App store breaks even. If you allocate a pro rata percentage of Apple’s huge hardware marketing budget to the iStores P&L’s I’ll bet they run at a loss. They are moats for Apple’s hardware business. Right now Apple is making buckets of money because the carriers are willing to subsidize expensive handsets. What percentage of domestic iOS revenues are paid by AT&T? My guess is about half.

        2. Lucian Armasu

          Google is already making 1 billion from apps that use their ads on Android (Admob, not Adwords).

          1. inktastic

            no they aren’t. Their mobile ad revenue hit $1 billion, not their android ad revenue. Most of that revenue is mobile search, and most of that is from iOS devices where Google is the default search engine. And even AdMob revenue also comes form iOS.But you’re right about one thing, Google developed Android to specifically target mobile ad revenue. Which is also why they keep closing the OS.

    2. ShanaC

      baby display ads

  37. Tedd Fox

    My hope (as a successful iOS developer) is that Android continues to get better. I think tablet should be the focus as much as phone. Close competition makes for more innovation and happier end users.If Android can close the gap in UI, Tools (they are VERY lacking there), and hardware design, then it makes for a healthy competition.Things that MUST happen for Android to be AWESOME:1. Google MUST come out with it’s own, integrated IDE. Sure Eclipse is awesome for general dev, but to match the great developer experience if iOS, Google should make it’s own IDE so developers can have a pleasant experience whilst developing. Plug-in’s can only take you so far. 1/2 of the resin why iOS developers enjoy the experience is that Apple has made the act of developing better for them.2. Google must disallow those stupid custom UI’s IMHO, the main reason people move away from Android is that the custom UI (Blur, HTC Sense, etc) makes for SLOW updates trickling down to the end user. Google releases a new OS, and the end user MAY see it in a year if they are lucky. Look at Samsung’s Galaxy series…still on old OS’s and no real map on when some of them will ever get Gingerbread. Keep it Google Experience, and people will love it more and stay.3. Hardware manufacturers need to actually USE the product. I like the Xoom, but not LOVE it. The sleep button is o the back (lame). you have a cable for sync and an separate cable for power (double lame) If they really want to get a jump, give the device prototypes to a design firm that is obsessed with organic use and design. Jonny Ive & Steve Jobs are , and they are not the only ones in the world.4. Be more proactive and create a real Android developer eco-system. One of the things I always loved about iOS development, is that the eco-system is AWESOME. Developers really get along, collaborate, and share the experience. I have yet to see the type of interaction in Android developers. WWDC is all about the eco-system as much as the content. Apple evangelists for Tools, etc are out there interacting as much as possible. Look at @jury on twitter. He is interacting professionally and personally with the developers. I cannot even start to tell you about a Googler evangelist for Android because they do not get out there and interact with “regular folks”. You see some YouTube videos on a rare occasion, but no dialogue happening.These are a few thoughts I have and they are my own. Just my 2 cents.Fire away.

    1. Fred Destin

      The attraction of Android to Mobile Operators and Manufacturers is precisely the ability to customize the real estate and the deck apps whereas with Apple they can do none of this. As a feature phone entrant on multiple hardware platforms it is logical that Google lets a thousand flowers bloom.

      1. raycote

        I don’t even think Google believes this any more?

    2. Phil Swenson

      I find anyone claiming the developer experience on iOS is “great” absurd. The certificate/provisioning stuff is a buggy, error prone, manual nightmare. XCode is way behind Eclipse as an editor and for pure coding/refactoring features. Version 1 of Eclipse 10 years ago far surpassed what XCode offers now. And I say that as someone who hates Eclipse (I prefer IntelliJ IDEA for java coding).The Interface builder in XCode was easily surpassed by Delphi or VB’s UI builder 15 years ago.Not to mention the outdated Objective C language. I thought I had edited my last header file 10 years ago.All this doesn’t matter that much though in what to choose…. Right now the money is in iOS. The first comment in this giant thread had the best point: “*App Store Revenue 2009 – 2010* (source: IHS):- iOS App Store grew from $769 million to $1.782 billion = $1.013 billion increase- Android Marketplace grew from $11 million to $102 million = $91 million increase”

    3. Timothy Meade

      I talk to a few on a regular basis on #android on freenode. Though there aren’t too many kernel developers in there like in the G1 days, which is unfortunate. On the developer side there is #android-dev which regularly has UI/API people, even some that don’t work for Google.

  38. Roberto Medri

    The market share numbers tell only one part of the story:- Revenue is quantity *times price*. At the profit level (which is what matters) the price factor is magnified.- In terms of platform, reach is number of users on the platform *times awareness times propensity* (to try out new products etc).In both price and awareness/propensity, there’s an easy case to be made for IOS to be so ahead of Android that it more the compensates the difference in quantity, so that the profit pie for the platform and the third parties is much bigger (iOS users pay for the sw/premium hw and for apps). The Gini coefficient of a graph of users vs. producer surplus is high, so there can be little correlation between number of users and money made (extreme example: Symbian).I am not aware of any applications that has more Android installs than iOS ones, let alone making more money (for paid apps).That being said:- The strategy of GOOG is spot on (commoditize the complement/layer as explained by Christiensen and cdixon), and Android their best acquisition in 13 years, yet I don’t see how manufacturers will make any significant money.- Surely being present on Android (especially where network effects are in play) will be mandatory for networks of engaged users, particularly when monetization is other than simply charging for the service (which also means a smaller subset of winners).Two forces work for AAPL:- Cost advantage from economies of experience (way more cumulated units produced vs. any single Android manufacturer)- Better monetization path for developers means more innovation on iOS (break even comes much faster when you can charge, only established startups can develop for Android: Rovio would not have happened on Android): same story as with premium Mac indie developers vs. Windows shareware crap.There’s no doubt Android tablets and HTML5 will reduce the gap in terms of experience/cost curves and such *at some point*, the question is:How much money will have already been made by then in the market? How much money still to be made?Apple has shown that a clear path to development and monetization, even with huge contraints (30% cut, app store approval pain etc.) is much faster in getting to excellence than the loose, no-constraints, open-sourcey mode of projects like HTML5 with their abysmal development speed.

    1. Charbax

      Angry Birds made more money being free on Android than being paid app on iOS.

      1. Roberto Medri

        This is a myopic top-down consideration (but I’d be interested in the source). The real question is:Would Angry Birds ever have been developed for Android first? Would it have been ported to Android if not for the sensational success and profit that it got from the initial release on iOS?I doubt it. Android development is a fixed cost business where only a handful of winners will make a lot of money (not from charging users). iOS development is compensated more directly, margins are lower but break even comes faster, allowing for a richer ecosystem (you never know from what garage the big winner will come).

        1. Charbax

          There’s not only paid apps, there are other ways to monetize. Ads for one, and Android monetizes ads much better than iOS. But also, what if Google started a global app subscription plan tomorrow, something like $5/month for unlimited access to all paid apps (unless developer ops-out), that could monetize all app developers free or paid much better. Someone should tell Google to start the app subscription model now.

          1. Martin Hill

            “Android monetizes ads much better than iOS”Nope:Advertising income per user(source: Mobclix)Mobclix’s recent stats demonstrate that in the Advertising game, iPhone users are far more valuable than Android users. In the Games category, the average iPhone user brought in more than double the advertising revenue per month compared to the average Android user, a third more income in the entertainment category and 30% more in the utilities category.Even on Google’s home turf – advertising – iOS beats Android.-Mart

          2. Charbax

            Mobclix are an Apple company. If you ask Admob you get completely different numbers.

          3. Martin Hill

            True, Mobclix does specialise on iOS but also do Android ads, so it may not be the best comaprison.So, let’s look at Millennium. In their case, Android ad impressions have only just overtaken iPhone ad impressions 46% to 32% last quarter, but once you add in iPod touch and iPad ad impressions, iOS comes out well on top.Feel free to post Admob figures but I’ve found it difficult to get a good comparison since Google bought them.Also, ad income per user figures seem to be particularly difficult to find now.-Mart

      2. jclardy

        Like Roberto said, Angry BIrds had existed for at least 6 months before being ported to Android. By that time pretty much every iPhone user had heard of the game and was telling their friends about it. Not to mention all the media coverage the game received. So essentially they already had created an established brand identity before bringing it over.And this doesn’t take into consideration the fact that they could have used the free model on iOS in the first place. With top 10 free apps getting over 100,000 downloads per day I think it would have far surpassed their $1,000,000 a month in ad revenue on Android.But since they started out paid, they aren’t going to gip their users by giving them advertising in a paid application.

        1. Martin Hill

          Charbax, Angry Birds has brought in far more for iOS than Android:Rovio has sold 12 million copies of Angry Birds on iOS at a buck a pop making that $12 million dollars so far so that is not a good example of Android income being greater than iOS. Peter Vesterbacka, an executive at Rovio Mobile, the developer of “Angry Birds,” in December 2010 said that Apple will be the number one platform for developers for a long time, calling the Android ecosystem fragmented.Chillingo who distributed Angry Birds also has another game that you might have heard of – Cut the Rope – which has sold (that’s sold not viewed for free) $6 million worth of copies on iOS in 3 months.-Mart

      3. Veronica Trollsky

        nope more lies sorry noobbax

    2. Charbax

      Why is Apple making large profits any good thing for developers. Fact is, Apple always makes sure they are the only ones to profit in anything that they do. A bit like Intel and Microsoft, they do not foster healthier competition and open free market, instead all they do is focus their strategy on maintaining their own monopoly.

      1. Martin Hill

        So the $1.7 billion Apple paid out to app developers last year doesn’t count?Sure sounds like Apple is sharing the profit pretty well to me.-Mart

        1. Charbax

          Again, you’re trying to spin Apple’s numbers to Apples advantage.What matters now is the money being generated now, not last year when the Nexus One was barely out.If you take money made by developers each day today, that number is likely larger on Android, app sales and app/web-app advertising revenue combined and revenue per developer. You need the number today, and compare it with yesterday and tomorrow to have an idea of where things are going.Apple numbers always try to obfuscate the truth in tricking combinations of sell-outs always accelerate just prior to each of their earnings reports.

          1. Martin Hill

            How am I spinning numbers. I’m the only one giving hard data.What’s the Nexus One got to do with it? It was a sales failure. The Droids began their march in October 2009.As usual, Android boosters keep saying “but it’ll be far better tomorrow”. Give me some hard numbers or you’re just blowing smoke.Fact: iOS devs made $1.782 billion by the end of 2010.Fact: Android devs made $102 million in that same time frame.-Mart

          2. Charbax

            Nexus One was the most successful development kit in the history of the world. The work done with Nexus One is the reason the whole industry adopted Android and the rate of innovation has exploded since then.You simply cannot claim it to not be misleading to compare numbers that include on the one side Android that has had 1000% growth during 2010 with iOS that has had NO growth at all in terms of market share. Do you understand what growth means? Do you understand what 1000% growth in one year means?Basically, iOS is that the same place it was a year ago, so obviously they made a lot of app store profits every day during the whole year. Android had 10x smaller market share on January 1st than it had on December 31st. So the numbers are simply not comparable.The numbers you need to be comparing is the developer income on April 2nd 2011 on Android versus iOS. Today is today, it’s not 15 months ago.

          3. Martin Hill

            Yes Android’s growth has been impressive, but it has only been taking share from WinMo, Palm, Symbian, RIM and others. Just by itself, the iPhone has kept around the same share of a growing market, doubling sales numbers year over year.However, again you are comparing Android smartphones and tablets to only the iPhone.Add in the iPod touch and the iPad and iOS has been growing market share enormously. As I’ve previously pointed out, unit sales of all iOS devices were the same as all Android devices in Q4 2010.iOS is definitely NOT in the same place it was a year ago.-Mart

          4. Martin Hill

            Charbax, my other point is that even though Android sales increased by 60 million in 2010, iOS unit sales increased by around 64 million both compared to 2009 sales.However, Android developer income only increased by $91 million while iOS developer income increased by $1.013 billion in that same time frame again compared to 2009.That is the proportion that HAS to worry Android developers.-Mart

          5. Veronica Trollsky

            Nexus One was the most successful development kit in the history of the world.why do you keep lying?

          6. Veronica Trollsky

            Fact: iOS devs made $1.782 billion by the end of 2010.Fact: Android devs made $102 million in that same time frame.facts how do they work?Charbax I’ve never seen one troll in a thread get so completely owned. Just give up man

      2. raycote

        Is Google all about make money for others? Is Google a selfless corporate do-gooder?Apple and Google are both self serving corporate profit machines!Stop drinking the Google or the Apple kool-aid. All flavors of corporate kool-aid have too much sugar that often makes consumers ill!

  39. Mwiya_101

    Not so complex, doesn’t matter which platform is larger only that they all have large user bases. RIM, iOS and Android and with their deal with Nokia even Microsoft should be taken seriously. Its not a zero sum game 🙂

  40. Greg Sterling

    The more Android succeeds and comes to dominant the global smartphone OS market (see IDC’s numbers 2011-2015) the more it (paradoxically) becomes a problem for Google from an antitrust perspective. From that standpoint Google better hope that iOS remains a strong competitor.The argument that Android is “open source” won’t fly in this case. See also: http://bit.ly/eZH9aw

    1. Lucian Armasu

      I believe Apple will remain strong enough to compete with Android, even if they have 3x smaller share. Look in the PC market where they have been completely dominated, and they still remained very influencial with only 5% of the market. With 20% of the market they are a lot stronger and they will continue to influence the market and whatever decision Google makes with Android. Things will be much better in the mobile market compared to the PC one.

  41. Mark Williamson

    Here is a long comment on how Apple can save iOS:While we have bet our company on Android (made that be about 1 year ago today and it has paid off incredibly well), I am constantly looking for signs that Apple will change strategy in mobile as I believe this year is Apple’s last chance to get momentum back before the network effects around Android become too strong.So how might Apple get the momentum back? My thinking on this is influenced by the MP3 player market, which Apple was able to successfully dominate with an “integrated” approach. Many people thought that the smartphone market would play out just like the MP3 player market, and I believe it could have, if only Apple understood why they were so successful in MP3 players.See Apple’s approach with the iPod was to create a hit integrated product and then QUICKLY create a line of products that covered all the needs of the market. They created MP3 to meet the needs / tastes of all consumers though the mini line and the shuffle line and then extending “up market” with the original iPod photo (remember that one?). They went so far as to create iPods in dozens of colors to meet the tastes of people. They also were *incredibly* agressive around distribution for the iPod line. This resulted in an entire ecosystem of accessories and products around the iPod line that helped solidify them as 70%+ player in the market.Now Apple’s strategy with the iPhone was almost the exact opposite of the iPod strategy. The iPhone took a “one size fits all” approach as there is only one iPhone. Want a smaller phone, buy something else. Want one with a keyboard, buy something else. Want a flip phone, buy something else. Want a phone that isn’t black, buy something else. Additionally, Apple took a limited distribution strategy (especially here in the US) by doing exclusive deals with carriers, thus limiting their ability to sell to all consumers.These two massive strategic mistakes created the opening for Android to get traction and it was that opening that allowed Android to become what it has become today.I believe that Apple can get momentum back if and only if they dramatically change their phone strategy. They need to create an entire line of iPhones to meet various consumer tastes. This line also needs to hit every major price point in the mobile world, including FREE! Apple also needs to take a strategy where they provide this line to every carrier who wants one. They need every person in the world who wants an iPhone to have be able to buy an iPhone.I think what is at stake here is actually more than just the mobile phone OS platform, but the next great computing platform as it is hard to imagine a world where Android dominates in phones and doesn’t dominate in tablets. The two markets are too linked to expect one market to have Android dominate and the other to have iOS to dominate.So if Apple launches an entire line of iPhones and broadly distributes that product line then I think they have a chance… otherwise are going to be living in an Android world. Again, I am betting that they won’t make these changes and so we continue to focus on Android.

    1. Charbax

      Apple’s only chance to keep market share is to use Android in iphone6 and ipad4 and to start building a whole range of cheap phones and tablets. But in any case, Apple’s revenues and profits are going down.

      1. Martin Hill

        Apple already has a cheap tablet – the iPod touch and it has been killing the opposition for the past 4 years.More recently, Apple had the iPad 1 going for $399 and the iPad 2 is cheaper than its comparable competitors.-Mart

      2. JohnDoey

        You’re not getting it. Apple doesn’t care to keep market share. They are not selling grain or something, where 10% market share equates to 10% profits. Apple has only 5% of the mobile phone marker, but has over 50% of the profits. Imagine 2 apple pies that represent all of the profits in the entire mobile phone industry. Apple eats one whole pie, plus a piece of the other, and then what’s left goes to everyone else combined. Nokia and RIM eat most of the second pie, and the Android handset makers split one little tiny piece. Why on earth would Apple ever want to be a part of that?It just leaked that Motorola is building its own operating system. Even Motorola wants to be Apple, not Android.And Apple’s products are already cheaper than Android. They haven’t done a low-end smartphone yet, but iPod touch is pretty close.

    2. JohnDoey

      The idea that iOS needs saving is like check your meds crazy. It has double the installed base of Android, over 10 times the profits, over 3 times the apps, almost 20 times the app revenue, and the design, usability, and technology lead.> Now Apple’s strategy with the iPhone was almost the exact> opposite of the iPod strategy.No, it was not. You also missed the other iPhone devices that correspond to iPod shuffle and nano and so on.iPod:• classic• nano• shuffleiOS:• high-end smartphone• low-end Wi-Fi smartphone (iPod touch)• tabletAndroid:• low-end smartphoneSo it is Android that needs to diversify.All Apple has to do next is put 3G into iPod touch and with a $25/month data plan it is a feature phone replacement. It already had FaceTime and Skype and other VoIP services. Same deal as iPad 3G today.Android does not even dominate phones (less than 5% of profits) and there has yet to be an Android tablet that is good enough to criticize, so you are really getting ahead of yourself.

  42. Kevin Stecko

    I run an ecommerce site and if you count all the iOS devices (iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone) it’s not even close in terms of sales. iOS wins in a landslide. Fred may be right, as he is looking to the future. But the numbers I see now indicate that an iPhone user is much more likely to spend money on the web. That could be the demographics of people who buy an iPhone. Is someone who spends $200 on an iPhone a better potential customer than someone who gets a BOGO free Android phone. My guess is iOS customers are worth twice as much as Android.

    1. Charbax

      Sure enough, Apple users tend to be suckers who spend their money carelessly. Still, Android is growing much faster, and both newbies and the really sophisticated users use Android mainly.

      1. Martin Hill

        That’s the way, try and insult the users who put vastly more money into the hands of developers. I’m sure those devs will thank you.Let me remind you of these stats again:*App Store Revenue 2009 – 2010* (source: IHS):- iOS App Store grew from $769 million to $1.782 billion = $1.013 billion increase- Android Marketplace grew from $11 million to $102 million = $91 million increaseSo annual Android developer income is a meagre 6% of iOS with an annual rate of increase only 9% as large as iOS. The gap between the two is 1,000% and getting far larger every year.-Mart

        1. Charbax

          You forget the more than $1 Billion revenues a year in mobile advertising that Google has officially announced. Who do you think is getting most of that? That’s right, developers!The number is likely much higher for 2010, Google is not letting everyone know just yet how successful things like Mobile and YouTube are, since they know themselves that it’s the absolute 2nd and 3rd biggest sources of revenues for the future.

          1. Martin Hill

            That is $1 billion spread across iOS app developers as well as Android devs and also spread across mobile web advertising. (remember that Google’s Admob does iOS as well as Android apps)Guess what, Android has only 30% the mobile web share of iOS according to Net Applications latest March figures.iOS also has 71% of total app downloads in 2010 according to ABI Research.So the bulk of Google’s $1 billion mobile ad revenue is actually probably going to iOS developers in addition to the $1.7 billion in iOS app sales.QED-Mart

          2. raycote

            That is great for Google for their partners not so much!

          3. Charbax

            I’m pretty sure Google gives out the majority of their advertising revenues to app developers, web-app developers and site owners, unless the ads are seen on Google searches or other Google apps.

  43. pbreit

    There is still a strong advantage to be in iOS both for tablets and if you want *quality* of audience. I would agree that this will play out somewhat similarly to Windows/Mac however I think Apple will retain a dramatically higher share (25% or more) and wil continue to garner and even higher percentage of mindshare (probably more than 50%). So continued emphasis on iOS makes sense.I see Android filling the gap for large installments such as at corporations or for apps like POS devices that might need to customization and/or hardware integration that is difficult or impossible on iOS.

  44. Alexander Muse

    Our app, ShopSavvy, is a 4 to 1 favorite on Android versus iOS. We originally launched on Android and launched a year later on iOS, but even our new downloads (around 250,000 per week) favor Android by wide margins. There are a number of reasons this might be the case, but the undeniable fact is that Android is growing VERY fast. Our most recent engagement numbers show that Android users are actually more engaged than iOS users.

    1. Martin Hill

      And yet Android users download far less apps than iOS users:ABI Research reports that of the 7.9 billion mobile App downloads that took place in 2010, 5.6 billion of these (71%) went to Apple iOS devices. The current iOS app download rate is well over 30 million app downloads every day and still accelerating according to Asymco.And buy far less apps than iOS users:*App Store Revenue 2009 – 2010* (source: IHS):- iOS App Store grew from $769 million to $1.782 billion = $1.013 billion increase- Android Marketplace grew from $11 million to $102 million = $91 million increaseSo annual Android developer income is a meagre 6% of iOS with an annual rate of increase only 9% as large as iOS. The gap between the two is 1,000% and getting far larger every year.And bring in less ad revenue than iOS users:*Advertising income per user* (source: Mobclix)Mobclix’s Jan 2011 stats demonstrate that in the Advertising game, iPhone users are far more valuable than Android users. In the Games category, the average iPhone user brought in more than double the advertising revenue per month compared to the average Android user, a third more income in the entertainment category and 30% more in the utilities category.Even on Google’s home turf – advertising – iOS beats Android.-Mart

  45. CarmenDelessio

    iPhone and iPad fit the Steve Jobs model of making a product that amazes and is presented in perfect form. We appreciate an elegant product that works incredibly well and is truly beautiful.Android is messier. It had adoption by tech’s who were interested in what it could do. It has become a real choice for actual consumers. Froyo might be the equivalent of Windows 3.0 – the first Window’s system that actually worked.Android – as open as it is – has a better future to play on a range of devices and price points. It is better poised for a post-PC world. Fragmentation is a short-term issue – and always has been. A developer can pick a target OS and know they have 75% of the Android market. That may not be OK for Angry Birds, but it is OK for many. The problem gets smaller everyday.The curation of the iOS path will limit it from being a platform for a full range of devices – and will keep it from ever being considered as a platform for a specific industry or specialized use.Developer support is currently a critical resource. But as everything we do becomes mobile and connected, services will develop to move our daily needs to a mobile/tablet platform. It makes sense for Android to be the target platform for those services.

    1. Lucian Armasu

      Very well said. I also think that Google’s latest move to make that platform a bit more standardized is also the right move for the platform. They actually want it to be more like Windows was for PC’s, rather than being more similar to a series of Linux distros. So their latest moves prove even further that Android will become the “Windows” of mobile computing.

      1. CarmenDelessio

        Good point. I’ll take “Windows” of computing in the best sense of the phrase – the dominant OS that is shipped on a huge majority of computing devices. The price range and style of PCs that ship with Windows is huge, but no one talks about Windows fragmentation … now. I wonder if they did in 1983 when Windows 3.0 was coming out. Of course they did, should I developer for DOS or CP/M or TRS/80?? Might be an infographic in there. If iPhone is the Apple 2, Android might be Windows 3, I guess Symbian is ???

  46. Farhan Lalji

    1 – iPod touch usage can’t be underestimated – we’ve seen a bunch of kids with iPod touch devices, and a lot of BB users, like my wife and I have iPod touch devices to go along with our BBs. If the iPod touch sales are around 30% of the number of iPhone sales that’s pretty big.2 – you have to look at apps/device and income/device not just total users. If you’ve got ten user’s on an Android who each use 5-6 apps (Google apps, Kindle and maybe angry birds), compared to iOS users who are using 10-11 apps on average which device would you build for?

  47. David Shellabarger

    It amazes me how many people still think iOS will have largest market share in the near future.Its just impossible. Apple is only one company and they only make 1 form factor. Yes, they have done incredibly well, but they can’t compete will everyone else combined. Everyone else uses Android (Nokia being the only notable exception, but they still compete with Apple).I think the “bubble” in silicon valley is a “group think bubble” not a financial bubble.

    1. Martin Hill

      “It amazes me how many people still think iOS will have largest market share in the near future. Its just impossible.”And yet that’s exactly what Apple has done in the Media Player market with 80% market share for the past decade.That’s also what they’ve done in the online music market with 70% share for the past decade.That’s also what they’ve done for the past 4 years in the small tablet market (iPod touch) with 80% share.Apple is good at doing the impossible isn’t it?-Mart

      1. David Shellabarger

        Apple has indeed done very well in the *accessory* market in the past.This is not the same game.

        1. Martin Hill

          The iPod touch (50% of iPod sales) is not an accessory. It is a dual-camera, mini tablet powerhouse running the vast majority of the 350,000 apps in the iOS App store and is thrashing the DS, the PSP, Archos etc in the process.The iPod touch sold 10 million units last quarter – as third as many as all Android smartphones and tablets combined.It is the same game.-Mart

    2. JohnDoey

      Apple is bigger than all the Android handset makers combined. You’re making the mistake of thinking of each company as being equal, like they are 6 or 7 people running a race. They aren’t equal at all.iPod has 75% market share in media players, and everyone else has 25%. iPad has 90% market share in tablets, and everyone else has 10%. The Mac has 90% market share in high-end PC’s and everyone else has 10%. Apple has over 50% market share in UNIX operating systems, pro video editing software, consumer video editing software, music downloads, app downloads, and more. So your theory that it is impossible for one company to dominate a market is disproven by Apple themselves. But it is actually common for one company to dominate a market.A really key metric is that Apple takes over 50% of the profits in the mobile phone market. Not just smartphones, but the entire market. All Android vendors combined take less than 5%. So it is a challenge for Android handset makers to grow, to secure components, to innovate new hardware, to find any money at all for software integration and development. Some are unprofitable and will leave the industry soon.People in Silicon Valley know that Apple is the biggest tech company in the world.

      1. David Shellabarger

        I don’t think you appreciate the scale I’m talking about here.I’m not talking about Microsoft, Creative and Sanyo competing against Apple.I’m talking about Samsung, LG, Sony, Asus, Dell, Vizio, HTC, Motorola, Acer and 100 other manufacturers.These guys are not small players. They’re not battling over the accessory market. This is the next OS market.Apple is NOT bigger than all the Android handset makers combined.I don’t know why people keep bring up the profit margin of Apple on hardware. As a developer I don’t care how much Apple makes on each sale. I care about how many devices are in the market right now and how many there will be in the near future.

        1. Martin Hill

          Um, you don’t seem to realise most of those big players battled Apple for years against the iPod including Samsung, LG, Sony, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, SanDisk, Compaq and 100 other manufacturers and all lost dismally.They were all battling over the future of the media market which is not a small market and guess what – Apple won with over 60% of the Music market (including brick and mortar stores), 70-80% of the online music market and 70-80% of the media player market. Don’t try and fob it off as some “accessory market”.As a developer, you may not worry about the financial health of the manufacturers of devices that run your software, but consumers do. They don’t want another orphaned Palm or Sidekick or Kin.However, as a developer, you jolly well better be concerned with your own income prospects and with iOS developers making $1.7 billion dollars last year compared to $102 million to Android devs, you’d better be worried.-Mart

          1. David Shellabarger

            I, of course, care if the platform will be around in the future and customers do too, but nobody except stock holders and competitors care about profit margins.Palm, Sidekick and Kin all had their own proprietary OS, so they aren’t very good examples. Its not that 100 manufacturers are bringing they’re own tiny ecosystem that Apple can easily crush. All these manufactures have the same ecosystem.As far as I can tell, Android the fastest growing ecosystem ever and will soon be the largest.I’m not saying that Apple won’t have a large enough install base to target as a developer. There is money to be made on iOS for quite some time to come. But if I want to be a mobile company, I would start on Android first now, then move to iOS.I think mobile apps will have to be on both platforms for a while, but you will start to see the coolest apps comes out on Android first instead of iPhone.

  48. Datt

    This is very exciting to have a healthy competition among I Phone OS developer so that the best technology reach the customer…….

  49. ghunda

    After using Windows for over 20 years, I’m always confused when folks compare the rise of Android to Windows like it’s a good thing. While widely used, Windows continues to be the butt of many jokes with the phrase “f**king Windows” being one of the most frequently said things in any office. Should Google come to dominate the mobile ecosystem, I’m very afraid of how I’ll end up being screwed as a customer. While Apple continued to update it’s iPod line in an uncontested market, Google couldn’t be bothered much to change it’s search engine until Bing came along.

    1. Charbax

      Nobody uses Bing on purpose. The only market share Bing has comes from clueless users using the default IE and Bing on their new computer and not knowing how to change their defaults.Consider Android, Chrome OS, and Google TV are a bit like Windows 95 would have been if it was free and open source. Basically Android’s growth and domination is going to be 100x faster, stronger and better than Windows.

      1. raycote

        You do realize Google is a corporation not a religion? Just like Apple it is all about profits. We customers are just an ends to a means.I welcome Google to the competition. That competition serves us all. Why be so attached to Google crushing the marketplace any more than being attached to Apple or Microsoft crushing the marketplace. We customers are the monkeys in the middle. Our interests are served best by a balanced competitive market landscape.Which appliance, TV network or car company are you cheering to crush their respective markets?

      2. Veronica Trollsky

        “Consider Android, Chrome OS, and Google TV”haha the trifecta of terrible User interfaces. You really like some crap don’t you!

  50. e.w.parris

    The very definition of “more money than sense.”

  51. hypermark

    I think that the biggest factor that people don’t grok when it comes to the tablet market is that it is a segment that looks more like the iPod touch (i.e., Media Device) than the iPhone (i.e., Smartphone).This is to say that it is a device not sold with a subsidy, and not bundled with a primary service (voice/data) where the service provider (read: carrier) constrains and instructs consumer choice.As such, it is largely dependent on intelligent channels to articulate the value proposition; and some type of “it” functionality that drives primary usage (even more so with tablet, as it’s the consummate ‘tweener device).The fact that in the almost three years since iOS launched, and 2.5 years since Android began to penetrate the market we haven’t seen ANY real traction of Android based media devices, suggests that the path to success for Android in tablet is hardly a straight line.As to the native v. web debate, I guess that I would put that in the bucket of it sounds great in concept, just as write-once, run anywhere did, but when you have that much intelligence in the palm of your hand, is dumb client what you want? Alot depends on the app and the user.iOS users love their apps, but then again, everything about the end-to-end is conducive to a positive user experience. Android users tend not to like apps as much, but then again, everything about the end-to-end is conducive to a middling user experience.I totally get why VCs don’t like the Apple model, though.

    1. Charbax

      “2.5 years since Android began to penetrate the market we haven’t seen ANY real traction of Android based media devices”- Look at Archos Android tablet sales. They took 25% of the Tablet market for the November-December 2010 sales months in France, and close to that also in Germany, and UK. Archos is a small 150-employee company, you can’t expect them to afford manufacturing enough tablets to satisfy all their demand, in fact, they took 25% of the Tablet market share while their tablets are nearly always out of stock in every retail store that got them.

      1. hypermark

        Color me dubious that those numbers are accurate, inasmuch as Archos hasn’t anchored that with any unit counts, but more to the point, a one month sample in one country is hardly indicative of a global trend.

        1. Charbax

          GfK is a respected international market analyst, they are the ones providing European Tablet sales numbers. And Archos is a publicly traded company, anyone can see their revenue numbers and deduct the number of tablet sales that they have been able to make out of that. Archos sales are also very strong in the USA, and growing fast.But in any ways, it’s hard to extrapolate as Archos is a small company, they can’t afford to replenish the retail stores with enough of these cheaper better tablets to satisfy all the demand.You could make surveys in the stores, ask consumers which one they would rather buy. With a $250 Archos Android, that in some cases arguably does more features than the $500 iPad2, you will see significant amounts of those consumers respond that they would rather pay less even having never heard of the company before. All stores have a 2-week money back return policy if not satisfied anyways.

          1. JesseDegenerate

            Man you don’t get why the ipad is such a success. Have you used any of these tablets? (form someone who has 3 tablets in his house)most places you buy a tablet will at the least give you a 15% restock fee btw.

          2. Charbax

            Restocking fees are illegal in Europe, all stores are required to allow for 2-week free return and full money back if not satisfied.If I have used some of these tablets? Yeah, I’ve tested about 200 Android tablets during these past 2 years, you can find my 1113 tablet videos over at my http://armdevices.net/categ…I can tell you with certainty that Froyo is just as good as iOS 4.3 for tablets, that Android has many more apps that work fine on tablets than iOS has, and that Honeycomb is completely dominating in terms of quality tablet optimized OS, the first time ever that an OS is optimized for large touch screen use.

          3. JesseDegenerate

            first, I’ve lived in the UK, and while they have much much more restrictive laws on things like restocking fee’s, they absolutely 100% do exist.tested how many android tablets in how many years? Good sir, they only started shipping last year. (2010) Do I buy that you scour the internet for them, or your (website is) big enough to get sample models? no. So I’ll take the last part of your post as the rest of it; made up.Widgets on a desktop ~ don’t make an optimized OS. While they are nice, it’s what’s under the hood that counts. (if you think that iOS for ipad and iphone are the same code base, your also mistaken:D)btw; I own a xoom, and an incredible. (I own iOS devices too)

          4. JesseDegenerate

            nice FUD piece on the smart cover anyway.Hey, if I leave my xoom in the mud, do you think it will get dirty?”tech news” sigh

          5. Charbax

            Android tablets started shipping in 2009, for example I have the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android since September 2009, and there has been some others available since then. But anyways, I tested the 200 Android tablets at all the consumer electronics shows that I attend all over the world. You can just see it in my videos.Archos may not have had 25% market share for November-December 2010 in the UK, but they sure had over 15% and far more sales than Samsung for example, just goes to show consumers don’t care much about paying a lot. Android dominates the world because it’s far less expensive.

          6. JesseDegenerate

            Oh you tested 200 in one show; thanks for the tip, I won’t ever take any arm advice from you, ever. Android dominates the world because it’s free for OEM’s.I love Archos’s ideas (who wouldn’t want a 500gb drive on a android touch screen with hdmi out?) However, your never_ever getting into honeycomb. That’s what’s annoying about them. that sata drive comes at a cost. Also, Archos typically get’s slammed by reviewers for typically terrible battery life and terrible screens (small viewing angles is the top complaint) It figures, as hard drives are generally one of the biggest battery draws in laptops, and an SSD wouldn’t give it that archos price.If you read the infinite number of solemn user reviews there are for the archos’s, you will see that like me a ton of people wanted them to be super bad ass; I assure you.

          7. Charbax

            Honeycomb is more than just tablet optimized widgets. It’s awesome multi-tasking UI, optimized on-screen shortcuts (no more physical buttons needed), re-designed app-specific settings and customization system, much improved large screen web browser with unlimited fast tabs switching support, basically it integrates Chrome Browser in Android, the Honeycomb SDK is insanely awesome in terms of taking advantage of the huge high resolution screens, use of native code, dual core processors and 3D acceleration is ground breaking. Finally, the holographic UI is just amazing to play with, much better than previous point and click type of UI, it’s now actually using the graphics accelerator to animate the whole UI and make it more suitable for large screen touch screen use.

          8. JesseDegenerate

            By awesome you mean; the frameworks for the larger devices have been put into place. that should have been done ages ago; so the OEMs would have a real chance against apple in 2010, but it didn’t. Nice spin. It has a menu bar with 3 arrows, just like the physical buttons in android now. The multi tasking is faster than iOS, 4.2.1, (unless jailbroken) But the browser is nothing to write home about.accelerated UI? should have had it since 1.0; like Microsoft and Apple did. Then you wouldn’t have the massive_performance gap that we currently have between the mobile OS’s.I’ve read some fanboy posts in my day, but that’s nuts.

          9. Charbax

            I tested about 200 Android tablets and Android laptops in about 12 trade shows since around middle 2009 when they first appeared. The hard drives in Archos only require power when they are in use. And Archos has always had the absolute best screens for price of device at the time they release devices. If you think normal consumers think it makes sense to pay double for slightly wider viewing angles, think again. Also Archos battery runtime is just as good as any other companys products, and the Archos devices with hard drives generally have larger batteries as well, so battery runtime is even longer, all the while they still stay lighter and thinner than competing devices from Apple.

          10. JesseDegenerate

            I’m to damn lazy to get the mh ratings on all the batteries, but most OEMs are freaking terrible at this. Now it’s the middle of 2009?Only power when there in use; when in a tablet, which are media consumption devices are you not going to be utilizing this? Only when your not putting all your extra power into the raidios is when. I think if the archos was half the tablet you claim it is then why did the free will of the market go to the ipad? Let me guess, your the hidden genius; here to enlighten us?I’m sure your 10 min with each tablet is a much better indication of usage than the thousands of terrible user reviews written; and the 600mhz system based on a non accelerated version of android performs beautifully; just because you say it does.

          11. Charbax

            The ipad2 smart cover actually makes marks all over the ipad screen, I am making FUD?The truth about Apple devices is that their screens brake, their backs and screens get scratched easily, their smart covers are all that smart. All they play on is the first impression, that’s where they do their sales. And their legion of 3-4 million wankers going around doing free pitches with these first 3-minute impressions, all the while rambling about how perfect apple is. But when you look around, there are actually few apple devices out there that work. It’s part of their calculation, just after the 2-weeks free return policy, they start breaking together requiring you to buy a new.

          12. JesseDegenerate

            I have one, it doesn’t.it will act as a carrier of filth, when you expose it to filthy things, like any physical object.I wash my hands of this. Anyone who thinks you can seriously review a box of cereal needs there head checked. See you on youtube.

          13. Charbax

            The free will of the market obviously chooses Archos over Apple about 90% of the time!Just put an Archos in the store next to an iPad, and you will see, 90% of consumers choose Archos over iPad.The only reason Archos didn’t yet sell more than Apple is manufacturing capacity. Apple has the biggest manufacturer in the world Foxconn cranking out their supply and they have about $40 Billion in the bank which they can use to expand manufacturing capacity whenever they want, while Archos has about 3000 times less money in their bank to finance each of their manufacturing rounds.Not changing anything to the design, features or quality, if someone had invested $2 Billion in Archos manufacturing back around July 2010, they would have cranked out enough tablets to have more than 50% market share of sales worldwide in November-December 2010.So, it’s only a question of cash. But if you put the products on the shelf, people choose cheaper and better all the time.

          14. JesseDegenerate

            Your delusional, but I’m sure it’s just me that’s an idiot, and your a un noticed genius.who wouldn’t want a tablet with a 10 degree viewing angle software that’s out of date when shipped that will never be upgraded. Again, I wash my hands of this. You honestly crazier than anyone I’ve responded to before, but at least your not frothing and screaming like a spoilt kid.

          15. Charbax

            Archos tablets get many more firmware updates than Apple. With new improvements to core features such as Samba, video codecs, USB hard drive support, stuff that Apple doesn’t even bother with at all by removing these features by proud design.The Archos screen viewing angles are just fine, depends which model you are talking about. The only reason iPad-wankers need wider viewing angles is when they want to “show off” with their Apple device in social gatherings. That’s it right there, the main usage of Apple products is to show how big a wanker you are with other people. While most Android users bought an Android because they mostly care about getting the best deal with the best features for themselves and actually want to use the product.

          16. JesseDegenerate

            and it comes out. Thanks for proving/outing yourself as a fanboy. Let me know when you get honeycomb, like I have on my xoom.

        2. Martin Hill

          You are correct hypermark. Charbax keeps spreading lies:Archos had 22% of only the *French* tablet market (7″ and above) during the last quarter (not 25% of all of Europe). So, even in their home market – France, Archos was still thrashed by the iPad.In addition, Apple’s 3.5″ iPod touch absolutely obliterated Archos’s smaller 2.7″, 3.2″ and 4.3″ tablets. Archos only captured 7.8% of this market again in France – their home market and they were far worse elsewhere.No, Archos is definitely not an iPad-killer.-Mart

      2. JohnDoey

        The comparison was to iPod touch, which sells more in a month than Archos has sold in its entire history.

        1. Charbax

          For a 150-employee company, Archos is doing pretty fine. I doubt Apple is selling 10 million iPod Touch per month.

    2. CarmenDelessio

      Media device, really? Count the number of iPads at the next meeting you’re in. More iPads than Blackberry’s – usually. Professional level Android tablets will serve this purpose as well or better. Data at your fingertips and note-taking will be part of the post-pc world. How about collaborating on a document – or making a highlight & comment from your tablet that gets immediately incorporated into a presentation?But you’re right … iOS will be the media device and many will use it to play games while others are actually working on their Android devices 🙂

      1. hypermark

        I think that you miss my point. Namely, that the iPad has built-in leverage that drives buyers IN ADDITION to its ability to scale to more serious business applications.Android does not have the iTunes equivalent anchor, which is ONE of the primary leverage points that tablet buyers will look at when buying a device.This, in fact, is another variable that works to Apple’s advantage. Post the Internet bubble, innovation and embrace of new technology has been driven at the consumer level, flowing back to the enterprise, whereas prior to the crash, innovation was driven by the enterprise and flowed down to the consumer.

        1. Lucian Armasu

          People don’t buy iPads for iTunes Music if that’s what you meant. Google will announce Google Music soon, and Amazon music already works on Android. iPad market share looks good right now, but it won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like in the iPod market. Most Android users, which are already more than iPhone users, will “upgrade” to an Android tablet not an iPad. And if you’re talking about the apps, they will come, just like they came on Android phones. If the unit sales are there, the apps will come, too.

          1. JesseDegenerate

            got tired of being slammed into the ground for stating consistant; and wrong facts about apple? (over @ engadget)what did they do to you anyway? Did steve personally kill your dog? Did the walled garden take away your family?If everyone’s upgrading to a xoom, why does the world skip a beat when the ipad 2 is released and xoom’s go by without a sneeze?i own a xoom, don’t get me wrong, i love the device. But you want to see apple fail so bad, it’s just weird watching you.

      2. JohnDoey

        Why will Android tablets serve that purpose the same or better? Tablets are 100% about running full-size PC class apps, yet Android only has Java apps, not PC class native C like iPad. So how are apps like Keynote going to get ported from PC’s when they have to be rewritten in Java? How many years will that take? How are business people going to train themselves on Android? At an office I was consulting at, I-T could not get users to do Windows 7 training or adopt Windows 7, and those same users bought their own iPads and taught themselves how to use them. There is so little to learn they were productive right away. Who will audit the apps for malware before installation?You can modify a presentation on the fly in Keynote for iPad, and it has a virtual laser pointer. There are plenty of collaboration apps.Even though iPad has all the games, it also has all the pro apps. So I think your joke falls flat.

    3. raycote

      It seem so much easier to just store most Apps and data directly on mobile devices and save the bandwidth for updates and syncing especially as memory and CPU power gets cheaper and cheaper and cheaperIt is the old DNA approach. Keep a copy locally in every cell. This mass parallel storage approach turns out to be the most economical and effective solution available to any complex distributed system.Trillions of trial and error evolutionary biological system experiments have probably nailed this dynamic down permanently.Nature’s cheat sheet is probably applicable to digitally networked data. Distributed redundancy is a fundamental underpinnings of all organically complex systems. This surely includes the internet and our emerging new social-network-based political structures and processes.

  52. ShanaC

    Some thoughts:1) The freeness of android will over time cause the ad market associated with its apps to become a lot more liquid, and therefore for large apps, increase thier revenue over time. It is also going to be really a pain in the butt to deal with if you are a small developer. Law of content and ad revenue still rules.2) I suspect there will be more and more easily monitizable apps for android as the platform develops. (even with issues with splintering/nonsplintering, there is a ton of money to be made on say taking an android phone and reconfiguring it with specialized hospital software or something)3)I really dislike the anti-fragment move by android is not going to go well.4) I’m really worried long term about the cheap cell phone market in the US. There are already issues with data capping would prevent huge growth in this category

    1. raycote

      is there a dedicated and integrated product/advertisement/pricing search engine out there ?it strikes me that Google’s income stream can be disrupted.

      1. ShanaC

        email me at shana dot carp at gmail if you really want to get into that discussion

  53. Pete Griffiths

    Strongly agree.

  54. fiftysixty

    1. Every sensible business builds up a launch stock, that’s not specific in any way to Apple. And it’s also not unique to Apple that a product sells the fastest in the first weekend/week, though it is definitely a very strong phenomenon for iPhone and iPad. I’m not so sure about Macs and iPods, my feeling is that they sell at a more constant level. Anyway, tell me how do you gauge the demand for a new product beforehand? Each year Apple has ramped up the production of new models very significantly, and in the case of selling out they ramp up production as best as they can. So how many months worth of production should Apple have in launch stock? And how would that impact their schedules, component sourcing etc?2. Do you have a source for that? My understanding is that Apple reports only sell through. They specifically mention the channel inventory in their quarterly earnings calls. And anyway, wouldn’t what you suggest only work for ONE SINGLE quarter? You can’t keep doing that every quarter, can you?3. First, Apple sells products worldwide. Focusing on the US sales in their reporting would be stupid. Second, the iPhone release cycle pretty much guarantees that the March quarter is slower, or doesn’t show much growth, from the previous holiday quarter, and with the next version coming in a few months time (if it’s on the same schedule as before.)4. You make it sound like Apple is only making it look like they’re doing great. They don’t have to, they ARE doing great. And loss of market share for iPhone does not necessarily mean loss of profit or unit sales, the smartphone market is growing at an astounding rate so even maintaining their market share would mean greatly increasing sales and profits for Apple.

  55. Michael Emery

    “Web apps are going to win” … as adorable as this stance is, it would be great to actually hear some substantiated logic behind that statement.”taking arrows from apple fans” … how brave of you. Could give some details of your honorific crusade against the evil Apple people, those sherrifs of Knottingham?

  56. Jasjb

    Lol what a smug, triumphant fanboy post.One thing, however. Android does not have an as higher level of app store participation. Android phones are not always bought by people wanting a smart phone.

  57. paramendra

    Yep, Android has a huge advantage. Android is a big reason Google does not need Facebook envy.

  58. Harry Marks

    As soon as you pull out the “Microsoft vs. Apple” comparison, all credibility goes down the toilet. This is NOT the same fight – at all.

    1. JohnDoey

      And you have to wonder why someone would ignore the iPod when looking back through history for a smartphone analog. A smartphone and iPod are both $200-$400 devices that are purchased by a consumer user, fit into the pocket, run on batteries, have a touch interface, small LCD screen, ARM architecture, flash storage, headphones, integrated operating system, and downloadable content. A smartphone and a PC have much less in common. Especially an early 1990’s Windows 3.1 PC which is bought for $2000 by companies like office furniture.

      1. Harry Marks

        There’s that and the notion that there has to be one dominant platform at all. The PC industry in the ’90s was an anomaly. In the cell phone world, you’ll have 2-3 big players (iOS, Android – maybe Windows Phone 7 eventually), and then everybody else.I also wish people would stop advocating for OS Highlanderism. IOS doesn’t have to die for Android to succeed – there’s enough room for both camps to exist.

        1. fredwilson

          Totally agree

  59. Greg Cox

    Posting only the OS share numbers is misleading. Your implicit assumption is that OS share is a good proxy for app platform share.But it isn’t. To judge the adoption of the app platforms you need to look at… apps. Where are users more likely to use apps? Where is more interesting development happening? Where do app developers release first? Where do app developers make more money? Anyone here who develops for both platforms has an answer to these questions and that answer is not Android.The proliferation of Android OEMs and handset models will only make this worse. Which is why Google is stepping in with restrictions.Going back to the Comscore data, there is a reason why, of the top 5 mobile handset OEMs, only Apple is growing significantly faster than the market. Or why the Verizon iPhone was the top selling phone in February.This is the post PC world. People don’t buy an OS. They buy handsets and apps. Who makes the best handsets? Where are the best apps? Surely these are important questions to answer alongside the raw OS share numbers.I liked Bill’s post and I know that sometimes strategy and moat building wins out over customer value, but that doesn’t happen often and there isn’t a single Android OEM who’s success suggests that it will happen here.(My point of view in more detail here, which was posted in response to Blodget’s post on the same topic)

  60. Darnell Clayton

    As an iOS fan boy (see, I’ll admit it) I already know that Android will dominate the mobile verse within half a decade, if not much sooner as OEM’s do not need to pay Google to use the OS (although they do have to promise not to manipulate it though…so is it even open source anymore?!).Anyways, I think Android/iOS/Windows Phone 7 (I’m being generous with Microsoft here) will play out like this in the future:Apple and Android will BOTH enter the prepaid market, with Apple carving out a nice slice (say 30%) out of the western world (North America, Europe, parts of South America, Oceania, etc.) with Android receiving 60% of the global market, with penetration in Africa, Asia and Antarctica (because science geeks love Android) approaching 90%.Microsoft and HP will simply fight over the scraps. And no, I don’t think Windows Phone 7 is going to revive Nokia anytime soon.Extra thought: Apple will continue to dominate the premium app market, although Android will eventually offer quality premium apps if Google can convince many developers that their apps won’t get pirated (something that is a concern with those I’ve talked to on iOS who fear embracing Android).

  61. Darwin

    The level of reasoning and discourse in this article is infantile.

    1. fredwilson

      it is a blog post, not an articleit is my opinion not fact or anything else

    2. raycote

      it is not that bad!

  62. kidmercury

    fredland is starting to get too popular. at 267 comments at the time of this writing, this gets unwieldy. or maybe it’s just me and my personal preferences, i always prefer a small dinner party to a massive party at a hall.the term “developing world” is really unfortunate. usage of “developing” implies there is a time lag between the “developed” world and the poor ass fools in the “developing” world. this ignores the robbing of the “developing” world that is done by the world bank and IMF. it would be fairer and more appropriate to call it the robbed world. perhaps more awakening as well.right, this is very similar to windows vs mac. although there is room for a new player. one of the telltale signs of the new player is that they will operate outside the carrier paradigm. another telltale sign will be that they rely on federation as a key concept.

    1. RichardF

      Maybe we should put a request in to our resident hacker for an addition to his chrome plug-in ;)My requests would be: Ability to filter out the comments made by anonymous/unconfirmed accountsAbility to view only liked comments of people that I followRestrict the displayed comment length, with a click to expand comment.All of the above should be features of Disqus.

    2. falicon

      I’ve felt this way about the comment board for a long while as well…on one hand it’s awesome to get so many points of view and meet so many great people…on the other hand it’s a TON of work to try and keep up with (I already only read the comments on the posts that *really* interest me – otherwise I just skip it so I don’t get sucked into stuff that I would probably be interested in, but just don’t have time to be distracted with right now)…I have *no idea* how Fred actually keeps up with all this stuff on top of all the e-mail and everything else he already gets…So yeah – I’ve thought about a lot of different tools I could/should build to fix this problem even if it’s just for myself…but no, easily-implemented, ideas have struck me as of yet…many of the things I actually want to do with Disqus aren’t really allowed/available via the API yet as it’s still very focused on the publishers and not really designed for us consumers at all yet — but I *think* they will get there eventually, and when they do, knowabout.it & I will be there to fix the problem 😉

      1. fredwilson

        i’d like a summary window at the top with a general sentiment of the thread and five or ten of the top comments with varying sentiments

      2. kidmercury

        i think it needs to morph into a social network….i.e. you have your friends in fredland, you are following them and their activity, forums with badge restrictions, etc. we’re living in the digital stone ages here, just blog and comments, no badges, no money supply….it’s basically anarchy in fredland

    3. raycote

      hope so!

    4. JohnDoey

      > windows vs. macNo, it’s iPod vs. Other. iPhone actually is an iPod. iPhone could easily have been called “iPod 2.”When you combine iPod/iPhone/iPad numbers into one “Apple mobiles,” you see a graph going steadily up for the entire of the past 10 years. And it is well over 2x bigger than Android right now. What is going to stop it? You tell me.I don’t see how Windows 3.1 has anything to do with it.

      1. kidmercury

        i will tell you exactly what is going to stop it:1. android will end up having far greater reach because of the advantages oftheir distribution model (open vs closed, to oversimplify it). akin to howwikipedia ranks for everything under the sun, android will be everywhere.just like how windows beat apple.2. price. android will go down in price and will do it faster. by a widemargin. apple doesn’t want to play the price game, which is fine, butthey’ll lose market share as well as a result. just like how windows couldunderprice apple.the more meaningful question is what is going to beat android. for that, wecan start thinking about data portability, wifi calling, open sourcefederations, and other stuff that doesn’t get talked about much.

        1. inktastic

          where do you get Apple doesn’t want to compete on price$499 iPad when it was projected to cost over $1000$49 iPods$49 iPhones$99 AppleTVWhat Apple won’t do is sell products at a loss.

          1. kidmercury

            The price issue has been discussed in detail elsewhere in this thread,you’ll see the android fanboys making the case there. But in due time itwill be apparent that android phones can be made so cheaply that they canfunction as outstanding loss leaders. Free phones are not that far off IMHO.

  63. gorbachev

    The comments on this thread are depressing.Fanboys in full effect./facepalm

    1. fredwilson

      gruber did us no favors with his poststrange that he has no comment on daring fireball

      1. Martin Hill

        He did.As many of us have pointed out, Gruber asked why in comparing app platforms you continue to ignore the iPod touch and the iPad which together double the size of the iOS platform.How else are developers going to judge which is the best platform to develop for if they don’t know the total user base for each platform?-Mart

    2. JohnDoey

      Thanks for contributing nothing, though.

      1. gorbachev

        Pot, meet kettle.And you’re welcome.

  64. Gregory Magarshak

    There is another, very important metric. How attractive the platform is for developers.Apple had been providing: a sales platform, analytics, in-app purchases, iAds, and crash reports. And don’t forget the cross-pollination between iPhone, iPod, iPad, and now iOS app ecosystems.Android apps were selling for much less. But now, this is finally changing:http://www.wired.com/gadgethttp://android-developers.b…In my opinion, this will be the biggest factor to make android grow in terms of apps, and thus users will like to use it better.To be honest, I used my friend’s Android the other day and I wasn’t really impressed. I’m an iPhone owner, and I found a bunch of stuff missing. For example, I could not find a “forward” button on the web browser! I asked my friend, and he didn’t know either. Seriously, I can only use the back button, but not go back and forth? After using an iPhone, the whole experience seems clunkier, the colors more garish, the interface less polished. And on most of the devices, the scrolling really felt much worse than the gorgeous smooth scrolling on the iPhone — the point under my finger didn’t even stay the same. At least, until now. I don’t know if it’s a CPU issue, or what.I think Android vs iPhone is more like Linux vs Mac OS than Windows vs Mac OS. As the apps and user interface on Linux improves, more developers produce stuff for it, and eventually open source will win. But not yet. Apple will continue to have its day as THE company which is able to take 30% of all songs, movies, iOS apps, Mac apps, what have you, and the only company that builds “the whole widget” and ecosystem. Steve Jobs is a real badass who was able to get the record industry to work with iTunes, and set Apple on this path upwards. Its market cap is not done going up yet, imho. At the end of the day, content is huge.

  65. Martin Hill

    C’mon Fred,I still haven’t seen a response from you about points I and others have raised further down this page. These issues include:- Android’s dreadful 2010 developer income figures ($102 million vs $1.782 billion for iOS)- Android’s tiny app download numbers (71% of apps downloaded in 2010 were to iOS devices)- Android’s small browser market share (Android 70% less than iOS)I also still haven’t seen you post a reason why you keep leaving out the iPod touch and iPad when comparing total app platform size. This is afterall the real figure developers are interested in (that is after revenue share anyway). Is it because the total iOS installed base dwarfs Android?-Mart

    1. fredwilson

      i was on a plane most of yesterday and then went out to a concert last night so i am just now getting to this comment thread.this has nothing to do with any of my investments. i cannot think of one that is relying on android to succeedi believe that android is going to be the leading mobile OS, certainly on phones, and maybe on tablets (too early to tell)looking back is not the way to see forward. what happened in 2010 is not particularly relevant to what will happen in 2011 and 2012 when the market is moving as fast as mobile is right nowlet’s see where all these numbers are at the end of 2011

      1. Tim

        “I believe the mobile OS market will play out very similarly to Windows and Macintosh””looking back is not the way to see forward.”

        1. Martin Hill

          Hehehe.Very astutely noticed Tim.-Mart

        2. fredwilson

          that’s a good point

  66. Daniel Eran Dilger

    When Windows appeared around the early 90s, Apple did not have dominant market share in PCs with the Macintosh. It was difficult and new/strange to develop for. Everything used/required DOS, and while Apple made half-hearted efforts to support DOS emulation, Windows warmly welcomed all sorts of apps that were just DOS running within a window.That’s not even vaguely similar to today’s smartphone market.Apple came onto the smartphone scene at a time when there were apps for WiMi, PalmOs, Symbian and JavaME, but there a) was no viable market for apps, b) no critical need/clear value for phone apps, and c) apps were overpriced and unimpressive. Apple’s App Store in early 2008 changed all that dramatically, creating a market and a development environment for the iPhone that was immediately familiar to many thousands of Mac developers and quite easy to learn.Android is filling the space of a “Windows” among smartphone makers, but there’s no compelling reason for users to pick Android devices. They aren’t really cheaper (and subsidies blow away any slight difference between the lowest of the low end–free–and the most expensive phones available–about $200. Compare that to the $900-1500 complete PCs of the 90s vs Apple’s $1500-5000 Macs).The only people “picking” Android are doing it because its an easy option if the iPhone isn’t available. It’s the only option for Sprint, TMobile and until recently, Verizon.Apple never had 25% of the PC market with its Macs. It also never had 95% of the paid software market for its Mac platform. With iOS, Apple not only has the only platform that is actually selling apps, but it also has, in addition to smartphones, the iPod touch and iPad, something Android makers haven’t been able to copy.If you’re a VC and you look at the smartphone landscape and see that “Android” has had a larger installed base for about a year now, but that apps haven’t been selling, that Android users have rejected buying apps, that Android’s platform vendor has pushed ad-supported apps instead of paid apps, and that the result is that while being “larger,” the reality remains that Android as a platform a) isn’t selling apps anywhere near its proportionate market share, b) isn’t selling enough to be sustainable for anyone apart from the top few titles that can support themselves by giving away apps for free, c) handsets from a year ago are still running an OS from a year ago, deeply fracturing the installed base with API-incompatible versions that developers can’t reliably target, and you make the suggestion that the best path to investing in smartphone apps is to back Android, well… a fool and their money will soon be parted.

    1. CarmenDelessio

      Smartphone turnover is 18months or less. I agree with your points a & b, but find c misleading. 70-80% of Android devices are running OS 2.1. It is the Windows 3.0.I also agree that the paid app market for iOS is strong. But this does not decrease the opportunities presented for Android – as a platform. Services built to take advantage of the platform can be winners.

    2. Timothy Meade

      Daniel,The API issue isn’t that bad, APIs in Android are versioned with a number, like android-8 or android-4 not 2.1 or 1.6. The problem is Android manufactures have no incentive to upgrade the firmware on those devices and introduce software that makes it really difficult for a third party to do the upgrade (try ‘porting’ Sense to a newer device). The other problem is Android’s firmware core and kernel source fragmentation is very broken, even on devices with a Qualcomm CPU. Google could innovate so much faster on the OS if they would enforce an ABI-compatible base OS and libraries, but, they have focused on AOSP and pleasing every manufacture that comes along, OHA or not. I *think* they see now that there are core hardware and carrier partners and this goes beyond which ones are paying you for design or R&D services (early Google Experience devices and a few recent like the Nexus One and Nexus S).Of course, Apple has none of these problems because they are the sole source provider for iOS devices. Anyway, your writings have inspired my thinking and forced a depth and sense of history to my analysis of this industry for years. Thanks.

  67. Daniel R. Odio

    Fred, (also posted a similar comment on Bill’s blog)I recently highlighted Android as one of 7 major trends I believe will shape the future of mobile in the next 5 years (and why it’s way bigger than most people think). The other things include APIs, data mashups and social, among others. You can see the screencast at http://go.DanielOdio.com/wa… . I’d love your comments.DROdio

  68. rogerdodgerTM

    FRED WILSON, do you really think that we can see the real effect of the VZ iPhone with only 2 days of sales (10,11feb) by 90 days which the comScore’s data is referring to? Really?Are you serious?63% of all smartphone sold on AT&T are iPhones. comScore data of the last november —> http://bit.ly/fx5dIX (I can’t find the update about this). And AT&T sells android’s smartphone too.So, on AT&T, people clearly choose iPhone over android.Verizon just started to sell it. And all this data are based only on 2 days of sales of the VZ iPhone. Wait at least 6-9 months and you’ll *begin* to see the real impact of the VZ thing. Now is just too soon. Also because you have to wait for the more contracts to end.FRED WILSON you call apple’s costumers “fanboys” but the reality ii that you don’t inform your reader correctly: you would have said those things I reported.Fail.

  69. Haraharadokidoki

    As someone who’s developed for both iOS and Android, I just don’t see my Android app outperforming my iOS app – something you’d clearly expect based on marketshare – more marketshare would mean that there are more people out there looking for apps, and you’d get more exposure on Android.I just don’t see this, though, as my iOS downloads outperform Android, especially in the paid apps. Based on what I see, those on iOS are much more likely to pay then Android.On the surface, just looking at these smartphone marketshare numbers, it does seem that Android would be the dominant platform – but I think you’re only seeing part of the picture.As others pointed out, there are iPod Touches and iPad users, and then there’s the market segment who most likely download and buy apps in the Apple App Store.It’s just as likely that Android is becoming like the next Symbian – a “dominant” platform where not many are aware that they have an Android device, and they probably aren’t even aware they can download apps – they just wanted a phone with internet – and it just so happened to be an Android device.The real test of Android is whether it can go up against the iPad with its Honeycomb devices – a purely consumer product that needs to be paid for for the merits of the platform itself. If it does take off, the Android is indeed going to be dominant – but with the iPad having so much momentum – I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.

  70. shareme

    Fred, most in mobile do not trust things like this hen a firm such as comScore does a press release and uses table that ‘dramatically leads’to only one conclusion. It is somewhat suspect due to non inclusion of HTC and several other OEMs who had large gains that period of time such as Sonyericsson, which I believe was so dramatically changed that they produced a quarter profit for the first time ins some time.It would be better served if we had raw data that allow us to create actual tables that reflects the realties of smartphone sales vs feature phones, for example I know that Nokia has approximately 25% of the feature device market in the US with their S40 series. It would be nice to see would losses OEMs faced on their feature device lines compared to smartphones as that is part of the story

  71. perpetuity

    Well, Apple is still making boatloads of money and recall the iPod, there were hundreds of other devices available. Folk are comparing this to the PC era, I believe the mobile music device era is more apt. Especially since in this area we are not looking at a small in numbers, slow, hamstrung platform with a difficult development environment. Instead we see a giant platform in all of iOS. So giant I can’t believe you used the word “fanboy” … It’s not becoming of the respect you have.For Google to win Apple does not lose, and For Apple to continue winning they continue increasing revenue.

    1. JohnDoey

      It seems like a lot of people don’t know or have forgotten that iPhone is an iPod with a phone in it. It’s not “like an iPod,” it actually *is* an iPod. You have “iPod nano” and “iPod shuffle” … this is “iPod phone.” Further, iPad is an iPod with a computer in it. It’s “iPod computer.” The iPod success story is still going on right now.Check these market shares out:• iPod shuffle 75%• iPod nano 75%• iPod classic 75%• iPod touch 75%• iPod computer 90%• iPod phone ??%… the default answer here would have to be 75%. You would have to defend some other answer. What is different? Why does iPod nano get 75% and iPod phone won’t? Why 90% for iPod computer, but not iPod phone?People who try to explain why iPhone won’t get 75% keep saying the exact same things that were said in 2002 about iPod classic: one vendor versus many vendors, closed versus open, integrated versus kit-based, one device versus choice of devices, Mac versus PC, consumers versus nerds, iTunes versus no iTunes, no wireless sync … lame, etc.And the constant banging on that Android’s world domination is assured because it is on more devices is just so perfectly PlaysForSure it is actually spooky.> fanboyYeah, it implies that people aren’t choosing Apple devices because they are better, when they clearly are. It’s like you still hear old fogies saying Steve Jobs is a cult leader. Most Apple users today don’t know who Steve Jobs is.

  72. Dan

    I love Disqus’s sorting feature (although I think there is room for improvement) since I really want to listen to the discussion here, but can no way sort through over 300 comments! Whew!

  73. gubatron

    Funny how something a lot of developers realized and have been talking about since late 2009 can still make news just because Fred said so too. Android will be the Windows of the mobile space (in terms of market share), and this is happening at a faster rate than many expected.Must be cool to have the power of posting whatever late realization and getting so much attention.I wonder If Fred also thinks that we’re on a path of technological de-evolution, by dismissing the amazing hardware the industry has achieved to create (Multicore CPUs, Massive Storage, Super fast 3D graphic processors, Out of this world optimizations in compiler technology) to re-create everything all over again in the form of web apps, by relying on lacking (and almost embarassing) technologies like JavaScript.Do you foresee a wake up by Browser makers to enable developers with real programming languages so that we can actually unleash all that power we have? It seems the media and the marketing hype of HTML5 is taking us to a path on which we’re just wasting so much time.As an Android developer I’d like to ask Fred what his thoughts are on Android being a perfectly capable OS for the desktop a few years from now (think out of the box, yes Android was created for mobile, but it doesn’t mean it’s not evolving into something else, look at Android 3.0 how different it’s becoming, just add multiple windows and enough apps and you have a full blown desktop operating system)The question or the realization shouldn’t be what we already knew last year, a more interesting subject should be Android taking over the desktop, or if Google is truly getting the Google Chrome OS ready for prime time, and if I as a developer should be getting ready for technologies that let me program with both hands (not hand tied with the current HTML5/Javascript status quo), I’m talking about initiatives like Google Native Client.Do you think the industry is walking in circles? Doesn’t the “Cloud” look a lot like the old Mainframe+Thin Client approach of 30 years ago which we moved away from by having powerful personal computers and a robust industry that has taken us to 32nm transistors and amazing multicore processors that have the capacity of a super computer from 1985, all in your desk… it all seems like such a waste of technology.

    1. fredwilson

      history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes

      1. Martin Hill

        yes, I’m sure that’s what Hitler was saying to himself as he marched into Russia.

    2. JohnDoey

      It’s weird that you are against HTML5 but for Android’s Java/Dalvik, which is only marginally more powerful, but much less universal. Your argument makes more sense if you were championing native C applications like on Mac, Windows, Linux, Unix, PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, DOS, and … iOS. HTML5 and C are complimentary. If you need to run everywhere, you do HTML5, and you put up with the lack of power. If you need power, you do C, and you put up with porting to each platform.Most of the world’s non-Web client code is in C. You’re arguing against rewriting in HTML5, but you think we should rewrite in Java?> Android taking over the desktopHas their ever been a successful PC with no native apps? With Java instead of C?

      1. gubatron

        I’d just like to be able to code on more than JavaScript for the browser.Whoever created the SCRIPT tag envisioned a world where you could write software on more than Javascript (I remember back in the old days Microsoft was trying to push VBScript)I’m not saying let’s rewrite everything in Java. I’m just saying that technologies like Java, C, C++ and many others have so much time to mature and optimize, it seems like a big waste having to deal with such a limited language to build the services that most people use and have to deal with every day. Why not have better quality tools to provide better quality products? There should be more than Javascript as an option, or JavaScript should be evolving at a faster pace, give me threads, give me real classes (every browser should be able to interpret a version of JavaScript that looks more like ActionScript 3). It seems like everyone out there wants all of these things and then you end up with a million different Javascript frameworks and API that are re-inventing the wheel over and over.As for your last question, every desktop that’s been successful runs lots of native apps. In the case of Android I don’t see why this should be any different, coding in Java and compiling the apks with Dalvik is just one of many options. Android is Linux. You can make native software, hell, you can in theory run the Oracle JDK in it if it were compiled for ARM.I think you took the conversation very much against java, not sure why.My whole point is, give me better options to build the next web. I wish browser makers were thinking a little more of that, instead of having to deal with all the inherent issues of a language that probably wasn’t meant in the first place to do as much as its doing right now. Give me Python on the browser, Give me Ruby on the browser, I bet a lot of developers out there would be so happy to have all the power of those interpreters in there.

    3. inktastic

      you said “Android will be the Windows of the mobile space (in terms of market share), and this is happening at a faster rate than many expected.”Only it’s not. Android was released barely a year after the iPhone. The only way to argue it’s made up any ground at all during all of that time is to ignore about half of the devices running iOS.

  74. PC

    I develop mobile applications for professionals. My apps are free as I’m more interested in users than actually monetizing the app itself. Currently I have an iPhone app but will release an android app in at the near future. So, with that said, I don’t consider myself totally biased.I read Gurleys post and his reasoning basically comes down to economics. His post reminds me of the browser war back in ’96 when Netscape had dominant market share so Microsft simply made IE free.With expect to economics and the global market, I think Android can grab the largest market share. However, I wonder how the market would look when segmented by demographics and those who actually pay for apps. I have a feeling iOS will dominate the market where people pay for apps and Android would dominate the market where people don’t pay for apps. Or, to put it another way, Apple will dominate the high end and Android will dominate the low end.This differentiation means different things compared to the market one aims for as a developer. My service is aimed at a very sophisticated user and probably falls into the market that demands a high quality experience therefore I believe iOS will be the dominant platform for me.Also the adoption of IOS development by developers and apps by users cements IOS’s place in the market. If Android can’t achieve those same results than it can be replaced by any other low cost platform.

  75. markslater

    With all the respect in the world to the smart folks debating this above (martin, David, Lucian, charbax etc) – is it not as simple as OPEN VS CLOSED?i just dont see a closed platform winning in the long run – no matter how well “designed” the devices and OS are.Another day at Fred.edu – keep at it gents – its great to learn from some expert opinions!

    1. Martin Hill

      “i just dont see a closed platform winning in the long run”Mark, All you have to do is look at the iPod’s decade-long dominance versus the open platform of the Plays For Sure consortium and everyone else to realise that “closed” can easily trump “open” if the former is compelling enough.There are many other examples including Linux on the desktop, Palm’s open OS (licensed to Sony etc), the failure of Windows Mobile’s open platform versus the incumbents back in the day.You can also see the success of platforms that are even more “closed” than iOS including Nintendo, Sony Playstation and Xbox.No, being “open” does not by any means confer magical powers of success – not by a long shot.-Mart

      1. markslater

        Ok Martin fair enough.So what i am hearing is that the open VS closed argument is not black and white.I’m a huge Apple fan so i’m not coming at this from a particular bias, but why can they not make for instance the APP store open? the answer is not to “protect me” – i dont need protecting.Why close such an amazing ecosystem when its crying to be open?Apple have built wonderful products and fantastic platforms. Now get out of the way and let people do what they want with them. Its unnecessary over reach.And no one replied to the convenient truth that the last over reach on a great products and platforms from apple resulted in bill gates lending steve jobs 50M to stay alive.To be sure – this is not the second coming of that situation – but the approach by apple to all of this has signals that will lead people to conclude such.

        1. Martin Hill

          The thing is that the world isn’t a safe place and neither is Android with over 100 malware apps actually available from the Android Marketplace itself over the last few years including 50 mobile banking apps each targeted at a specific institution which were actually phishing apps. With the latest batch of 50 odd malware apps, it took a quarter of a million Android users downloading them before someone discovered they were nasty trojans.These are not isolated incidents.Then there is the 45% of the apps in the Android Marketplace that are spamware apps etc etc.Now you and I geeks who might be happy to chance things to get access to the very small minority of apps that Apple rejects can always jailbreak our iPhones and then install whatever we want – After all, that is exactly what many Android users have to do with their phone (although they call it rooting) in order to bypass the anti side-loading restrictions that many carriers impose on their supposedly “open” phones.But the general public DOES want to be protected from all that crap – to be able to download an app and know that it isn’t going to empty their bank account, to know they don’t have a 45% chance of being spammed, to know that someone at least has done a review of that app and rejected most of the junk.That is why the iOS App store works the way it does.-Mart

        2. inktastic

          why are you bringing up bill gates in an open vs closed argument? Since when is Windows “open”?

          1. markslater

            really?last i checked – no amount of “great product” beat the fact that windows could go on any machine. Jobs wanted to own it all – he ended up begging.there are similarities with the iphone – that is what everyone is talking about. he wants to own everything from device to apps. at some point – the theory goes – there will be a weakness that someone will exploit – android is going after what windows did – by putting software on all devices

          2. inktastic

            Android has been trying since 2008, yet Apple’s OS lead is expanding, not shrinking. Incomplete numbers keep getting used to spin things differently.

    2. JohnDoey

      Android is open in some ways, closed in others. iOS is open in some ways, closed in others.If iOS is closed, how does Google use the iOS Web browser engine in Android? Apple WebKit is actually the most broadly-used mobile open source project, much bigger than Android. If iOS is closed, why does it not only run open standard W3C apps, but actually runs them better than anyone else? If it is closed, why does it have more apps than other mobiles?If Android is open, how come users can’t get a software update for their phone? Why isn’t the Android v3 source available? Why are there so many devices with crapware you can’t uninstall?> “designed”Those are unnecessary quotes.

  76. William Mougayar

    In Part I, you or someone made a comment that the day when apps are available on Android prior to iPhone would be a turning point. It’s been 6 months, and despite Android’s impressive ascent, we’re not seeing that, widely.That said, I just noticed that Disqus is only available on Android, and not iOS (coming next).

  77. Alexander Horré

    Fred, do you know what profit pools are? Essentially, Apple at 25% makes more profits, thus a ‘deeper segment of the total market’ than Android. Those profits are tandem with app purchases; if iPhone owners purchase more apps than Android users, the affect of profit pool suggest Android users a purchasing on price than capabilities (e.g. free phone), and that more bodies do not purchase apps by default.Developers go where more people are purchasing apps.

    1. fredwilson

      on the web, that’s not the casei think that mobile will end up being pretty close to the web in terms of economics and business model in a few years

      1. Timothy Meade

        Fred, how do you see Amazon App Store playing out? I think the store, even with worse integration with intents, is already better than Market. One of the reasons may be the Amazon MP3 store that was there from day one. And of course, Angry Birds RIO.It seems those monopoly rents may not be there for ever, this could also explain the ‘closing’ of Android. Amazon can play because of open APK installation and the Intents API. All they need is download complete notification or possible integration with the download service, which is broken and responsible for a huge percentage of complaints about Market. (First hand knowledge from #android IRC channel)I think you could be right about the similarity to web business models, think a post on that is in order?

  78. Mike Wilkie

    Sheer number of users doesn’t really mean much when most of those users don’t care to pay for apps. The fact that iOS app sales continue to dominate Android app sales is evidence that for whatever reason, Android users are not as likely to pay for apps.I suspect that most Android users aren’t really smartphone type people at all, but rather just wanted a cool phone that was cheap if not free. In fact, I’ll bet a nice chunk of Android users don’t even know they’re using Android.

  79. Ben

    So first you ignore iPad and iPod owners. Then you ignore iPhone users outside the US. Believe or not, there are many countries where the iPhone has a massive lead, such as the UK, much of Europe, and Australia, where the device has traditionally been available on 4-5 different carriers. And then you ignore factors such as App Store vs. Android Marketplace revenues.Writing for iOS first doesn’t just get you a sizable chunk of the smartphone market, it gives you practically all of the tablet market and a large percentage of the (shrinking, but still sizable) portable media player market. And based on a lot of the stats out there, a market that’s more willing to buy apps.Android is definitely a market to target, but I’m not so sure it should be the first priority.

    1. Timothy Meade

      And the only desktop, laptop, ultraportable market still buying (consumer) software. Apple has always had a better paid app story, whether niceh shareware finder addons, text editors, or whatever.

  80. stevenjklein

    “here’s where things stand in terms of OS market share in the US.”He says that’s OS market share, but the ComScore results cover just smartphones, not operating systems.iOS developers certainly can and do sell their apps to iPad and iPod touch users. In Apple’s 1st Quarter for FY2011, iPads and iPod touches OUTSOLD the iPhone. So the actual number of iOS devices is more than double the number of iPhones.If you’re a developer, look at the numbers and draw the appropriate conclusions.Source: Apple’s quarterly results & conference call with analysts. See here: http://www.tipb.com/2011/01

  81. JohnDoey

    You’re excluding iPad and iPod touch, which also run the same apps as iPhone. From a developer perspective, I don’t care which of those devices a user has when they buy my app. iOS has a larger installed base than Android. If you are developing for the largest installed base, iOS is bigger than Android and always has been.Also, iPhone is the single most popular phone, iPad is the single most popular tablet, iPod touch is the single most popular media player. If you develop for just those 3 devices, you cover the most users in all of those 3 product categories. Any 3 Android devices don’t even give you as many users as iPod touch alone.Also, even if the user bases were the same size, many other things are not equal:• monetization is easier on iOS because App Store is better, and iOS users are more likely to pay for apps• iOS development is faster, easier, cheaper, than Android, because the tools and framework are more advanced, and there are fewer screen sizes, fewer OS versions• on iOS, the apps you make are more powerful because the code is native C/C++/Objective-C, not Java in a virtual machine, which also means you can port an app from a PC or console to iOS while reusing 90% of your code, whereas on Android you have to do a total rewrite• support costs on Android are exponentially higherThe thing is, you don’t have to believe me, you can see that there are more apps on iOS, that they are in a broader range of categories, and that App Store has about 20 times the revenue of Android Market.The fact is, iOS is minimum 2-3 years ahead of Android from a developer perspective. You can see that in the tablets, where XOOM just shipped and has not caught up to last year’s iPad yet. Android may catch up one day, or it may not. Without a native C API, I don’t see how it can. But if it does, you won’t have to recommend to developers that they prioritize it. They will go where the users and money are.> [Google] has created a business model for Android that is very attractive> for handset manufacturers and allows these OEMs to drive down their costs> rapidly while continuing to deliver a top quality smartphone experienceNo, that is 180 degrees wrong. Android initially looked attractive to handset makers because they would save the cost of a Windows Mobile license fee. However, since then they have found that there is no money for handset makers in Android, because all the Android “partners” are competing against each other. There is always one handset maker selling below cost. It was LG most recently, and before that, Motorola made Verizon Droid 100% for charity. It’s hard to differentiate. Users won’t buy accessories and extras. The profits are just not there. Apple: 52% of mobile handset profits. All Android handset makers together: less than 5%. And they are getting hassled now about crapware, which is the only money some of them are making. And no, they are not delivering a top quality smartphone experience, these are low-end generic carrier phones with baby Java apps and extremely poor usability. And finally, these handset makers are PAYING MICROSOFT license fees anyway.Samsung has Bada, and Motorola is doing their own WebOS. These guys want out. They want some Apple money, the kind that comes from having a unique product that you don’t have to undercut another similar phone all the time.The thing is, GNU Linux and Apple WebKit are already free and open source without Google. Why wouldn’t Motorola do its own Linux (possibly the most successful open source project of all time) and WebKit (the most successful mobile open source project of all time) and make a phone where Motorola keeps all the ad revenue? Google is a middleman, why not cut them out?

    1. Alexander Blom

      Hey bro. Most of what you said is just false and made up.What does more advanced mean?Why would support costs be higher?Android has a native “C API” and has had it for a long time.

      1. Thombo

        It’s not mostly false and made up, it’s just false and made up in parts.In this context, advanced tends to mean fully reflective (ala Objective-C) versus partially (ala Java). It’s a pattern across the entire history of computer science that people tend to end up thinking that the level of abstraction they’re working at is exactly the right one; so while I don’t agree I also think this comment may have been genuine rather than merely argumentative.I believe support costs can be higher because you have many more varieties of device to support. The iPhone is one new model a year, usually with the previous model remaining on sale. The iPod Touch is virtually indistinguishable.Conversely, not only does Android have a native C API but it has a pretty good bridge between the C and Java worlds, so you can port the C stuff you want to use everywhere (ummm, other than Windows Phone 7, of course — only managed code there) and tie it to the native user interface.Otherwise, I think he’s right to point out that the true measure of iOS share should be iPhones + suitable iPods + iPads, not iPhones in isolation, and that profit is reduced by support costs (whether you agree there’s a difference in them or not). It’s generally accepted that Apple are making profits disproportionate to their market share, but his numbers sound a little hyperbolic.

        1. tasker123

          “It’s a pattern across the entire history of computer science that people tend to end up thinking that the level of abstraction they’re working at is exactly the right one”Is that just a backwards way of saying “people tend to end up working at the right level of abstraction”?

    2. timdorr

      Might be helpful if you included some sources, rather than make ridiculous claims.Android has a native C API called the NDK: http://developer.android.co… It lets you code natively. However, the Dalvik VM got a JIT-er in 2.2, which *compiles your code down to native code automatically*. That’s why there was a 2-5x speed increase on most phones that upgraded to it (which is now nearly 2/3rds of them: http://developer.android.co… )You can reuse code when moving between platforms just as easily with Android as you can with the rest. Look at the Unreal Engine, which powers Dungeon Defenders: http://www.engadget.com/201… It’s the same engine running on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Xbox, and PS3. If you’re writing your code in a platform-dependant way, then it doesn’t matter how easy porting is; you’re going to have to rewrite a lot either way.Also, Android has an emphasis on more free apps because advertising is Google’s bread and butter. Angry Birds was pulling in $1m per month last we heard: http://www.intomobile.com/2… On iOS, they have to keep bringing in new customers to keep revenue up, but they’re going to hit a brick wall eventually. Free apps bring in more customers, so the ad revenue is boosted even further. $.99 is great up front, but $0.05 per month for a year with 5x the number of customers is better.

      1. bslayerw

        have you actually tried to use the NDK? prior to 2.3 it’s an absolute joke. You have to go back through the JVM to play audio files, load resources, pretty much everything needs to go back through the JVM except OpenGL ES.There’s also severe memory restrictions, you only get 16mb of heap space, try and fit any reasonable game into that (texture are included in this restriction too).Using Angry Bird as an example of success on the Android platform is silly. Angry Bird has a free version on iOS too, so that negates your argument about hitting a brick wall. Additionally, Rovio has been having an extremely hard time pleasing the freeloaders on Android because they have to test their relatively simple game on a schmorgesborg of devices and inevitably run into all sorts of devices that their game just fails to run on.

    3. Okli

      ALERT !!!THIS IS A MASIVE AAPL MANIPULATIONTHIS IS THE MOST MASIVE HEDGEFOND MANIPULATION since 2000because they did put theyr’s worst dogs on it.!!!If that comment is going to be deleted againi will post it again and again….While Android’s year over year “percentage growth” in app sales was up an impressive 861.5 percent compared to Apple’s 131.9 percent growth, Android’s software revenues actually grew by $91 million over last year, while Apple’s App Store grew by a whopping $1,013 million, more than 11 times as much real growth in terms of revenue dollars. Handset sales by all Android licensees combined were higher than Apple’s in 2010, but that did not result in greater app sales nor even in greater web use by Android users.I recommend to everybody to read this:http://www.appleinsider.com

    4. Dave Pinsen

      Good points. Got an e-mail from someone who downloaded my Portfolio Armor iOS hedging app last week and said he was using it on an iPad. I use it on an iPod Touch and just gave a promo code to an options brokerage exec who uses an iPod Touch too.

  82. Wesley Verhoeve

    I am helping you hope Fred! Missing out on apps, or getting them at a delay, is getting to be rough.I am a happy Android user (HTC Incredible), and originally all that kept me from being an iPhone user was my refusal to leave Verizon for AT&T. Now that Verizon has the iPhone as well, I am actually not convinced I will make the switch when I need a new phone, with the main reason being the way each phone deals with push notifications. It seems like that would be easy for Apple to see the light on though. I would assume most users would prefer the way Android would handle push, if they knew the alternative and how it’s more important than it might seem in theory.

  83. jameskatt

    The biggest problem for Android is that POOR people and CHEAPSKATE people buy Android.These people don’t buy apps. They only want free apps.After all, OPEN = FREE. That is the expectation these Android buyers have.And if it isn’t free, they will STEAL the app rather than pay for it.This is why most Android software is forced to be ad supported. Even Angry Birds had to be ad supported on Android.When it comes to having customers that are READY and WILLING TO SPEND money on apps, iOS is the OS of choice for development.This is why the total revenue for developers is:iOS = 2,000,000,000 dollarsAndroid = 100,000,000 dollars.Developers make over 20 TIMES the profit from iOS apps than Android apps.If you want to program for a hobby, Android can be up your alley.If you have to make a living, then iOS is where the money is.

    1. fredwilson

      just like the webthat’s where mobile is headedthe days of people paying for apps on mobile that they would not pay for on the web is ending

      1. Martin Hill

        And yet the continued exponential increase in App downloads and sales income for iOS completely disproves your thesis Fred.

        1. fredwilson

          i don’t think it proves anythingwe are trying to look at the future here, not the present

          1. Martin Hill

            And yet the future is defined by the trajectories of the present.On the one hand you are arguing that Android will be pre-eminent in unit market share because of past and present sales trajectories.Yet you refuse to acknowledge the unbelievable exponential curves of iOS app downloads and income points to continuing future dominance?That is very two-faced Fred.-Mart

          2. fredwilson

            come on. two faced? really? we are just debating what is going to happen.why do so many people make this so personal?

          3. Spacegorilla

            If you’re going to compare iOS and Android and blather on about mobile then you must include all iOS devices, it’s that simple. Until you do that I can’t take you seriously.

  84. Andre Richards

    User base is only one part of the overall picture. One of the problems Android faces as it grows that does not affect iOS is fragmentation which presents a massive cost to developers in both time and money. From a perspective of return on investment in a platform, Android doesn’t make sense to me as its growth only complicates development and makes deployment and support a lot more expensive that I care for it to be.And that’s not even to mention the everything-should-be-free ethos that seems to pervade Android’s user base. If Android customers aren’t interested in paying me (and from my experience with it, they aren’t) what does it matter if there are more of them?

  85. monkeyrun

    You know why iTunes music store could take off, while other music service are just kinda existing?Being easier to use is part of the reason. The real reason is Apple users actually give a crap about their products. What’s the difference between getting a song illegally for free and paying 1.29 on iTMS? Not really that much, but Apple users believe there is value in things.Running BOGO promo all year long really doesn’t attract that kind of customer.

  86. Ryan

    Surely if Apple observed their strategy working against them, they could change it up. Just give away that ios and the dynamics of the market upset considerably, especially as it concerns the android free strategy.

  87. studentrightsx

    Fred your numbers are all wrong. If your developing for a moblie OS you need to count more than smart-phones, you need to count the iPod Touch (media players) and iPad (tablets). If you include these devices iOS is easily double the size of Android.Let not forget Apple sells nearly as many iPod Touches as it does iPhones and more expensive Android tablets have yet to dent the iPad.iOS has the largest market-share over all.

  88. Eddie Ever

    Windows vs Mac :: Android vs iOS is wrongheaded. And I’m being polite. Windows was enterprise. And people bought it for the home because they thought they had to. Today iOS is enterprise. And people buy it because they want to.Anyone arguing based on that absurd comparison loses.

    1. Andre Richards

      Exactly. What’s more is that this comparison presupposes that the Mac had a significant market share that Windows stole away which never actually happened. Windows was entrenched from the start thanks in part to its DOS heritage. The Mac never had a big market share, nothing even remotely comparable to what the iPhone has with smart phones or what iOS has overall in mobile computing devices. Android may very well crush iOS in the end, but it’s not because of any similarities between those situations.

  89. Skier219

    Fred, you need to get down in the trenches as a developer and then see what you think. My developer shop has intimate experience with both Android and iOS, and my advice to anyone who asks is to target iOS first. It is by far the meatiest part of the market in terms of making money, and you should not let the size of Android (now or future) deceive you into thinking otherwise.We are not the only developers that know this. One need only look at the quality of developers on iOS versus Android to see where the thoughtful attention is going. Those of us who are in business don’t think like fanboys, we think about bringing in revenue. If that makes me an Apple fanboy, so be it.I really don’t know how you formulate your opinions, but it’s clear to me that you’re out of touch with the developer’s perspective.

    1. fredwilson

      the companies i invest in are developersand what i write is based on my observation of them and the markets theyoperate ini am sharing my observations and opinions with anyone who cares to read themi understand that if you are a one person developer, the situation may bedifferentbut that’s not my game and people know that

  90. cdelrosso

    Agree with most of what you write, however, I have a comment on the OEMs. As you says, Android lowers the costs of entry for OEMs, this is good for consumers, but not that good for OEMs that are trying to differentiate while Android has made them look all the same.And since reducing the platform fragmentation is a key priority for Google, life is going to be harder for them, see the latest article on BusinessWeek: http://www.businessweek.com…Motorola is developing a new OS and Samsung is pushing for Bada.

  91. Harpsichord

    iOS still accounts for the VAST majority of sales where I work. Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, Symbian and WebOS COMBINED still don’t equal iOS sales.Android may have a bigger smartphone market share but it’s not where the money is.

  92. john

    Fred. I’m a big believer in pattern matching and trying to add my reality into reviews/analyst results.I constantly travel, go to conferences, hang out with geeks, hang out with young sales/biz guys. What I see causes me to have an issue with the numbers. When I get on a plane, walk through the airport, go to the conference, sit down at the business meeting, hang out at the bar with the sales team. I don’t see Android…rarely if ever. No zooms, streaks, htc’s, moto’s, etc.. I do however see iPhone/Pad, RIM (less now) and Windows7 (sometimes).So one of a few things could be happening here. Either the #’s are getting cooked (doubtful), a high percentage of the people using Android are 13 – 18 (could be though my daughter and her friends don’t) or the market is primarily being absorbed by people who are consuming inexpensive phones and/or making a decision that is heavily influenced by price (more than likely).Keep that in mind while your pushing your portfolio companies to spend their valuable time bringing in another platform. At the end of the day I agree that Android will be the largest market. Question will continue to be, is it the market you want to be in today.

  93. Billy Delaney

    I’ve read posts like this for over a year. I’m not anything but a user. I want an experience that is easy, enjoyable, fun and without complication. I don’t care much about share this or that.People buy for their reasons, not any other.Eventually their will be a first, second, third and the rest.Wherever the product I use ends up, if it meets my needs, who cares?Apple make a product/s that I buy because they do what they say they do.That’s good enough for me.

  94. Crispo

    Not including the iPad and iPod Touch stats is a nice slight of hand to make your analysis look like it makes sense. This is a big deal – if your argument is that developers should focus on the platform where the most users are – you are doing a great disservice to these developers you are advising by not including the *other* large base of users they have access to when they develop for the iOS.Being an Android fan is not an excuse to try and rationalize something that clearly isn’t true – you’re no better than the Apple fanboys you bait with your article. There is zero evidence that Android is capable of repeating the Windows monopoly, unless you think that the hundreds of hardware manufacturers tasked to trying differentiate themselves on a common platform are going to be willing to lean over and make millions for Google trying to be the next Acer or E-Machines.Hardware specifications isn’t the point anymore. Maybe in the 90’s when the majority of computer purchases were made by or recommended by technically proficient people. The market isn’t there anymore – it’s dictated by customers who know nothing about what’s under the hood, and like it or not, put as much priority in how their technology looks along with how it functions. Apple gets this while everyone else is in denial. This is the world we live in now – those who want to carry the flag of technical enlightenment – all power to you – but the market has moved on and that’s where you need to be to make money.

  95. Steko

    People complaining that iPod Touch and iPad numbers aren’t included are missing the point.First Fred also isn’t including the RIM Playbook numbers for Android. Remember guys: RIM’s already on their third generation of the playbook and Apple’s only just launched the second iPad. So tablets are at worst a wash, at best a point in Android’s favor.Now the iPod Touch is big sure, but you know what’s bigger? The zillions of HP PCs running WebOS (which will emulate Android apps too). If there’s anything I’ve learned in the 11 exclusive interviews Ruby has given to what’s left of Engadget in the last month it’s that HP ships a large number of PCs every year and no he can’t comment on anything else you know lawyers and shit.

    1. Crispo

      Ummm … the RIM Playbook is coming out April 19th. The first one.

      1. Timothy Meade

        PlayBook does not run Android, it runs a user interface built on the QNX real-time operating system. Whether it emulates Android apps or not is unclear, if it did it would probably have major compatibility issues as native libraries either wouldn’t be supported or be running under a Linux syscall/ELF emulation environment, which would hurt things like GL performance. Playbook on it’s own looks interesting, but seems to be positioned the same as Foleo (which should have been the first netbook but Palm screwed it up), as a device requiring another device to provide the connection.Cius looked interesting as a desk bound tablet/videophone, but I haven’t heard hardly anything out of Cisco and corporate iPad adoption has continued apace.Android also seems to be a terrible platform to develop such a thing on because either the APIs stagnate and the OS becomes frozen in the name of compatibility, or the development outpaces application development. Not sure yet if Honeycomb/Bumptop will improve things, Xoom looks good (software and cpu/gpu wise) but too soon to tell.

    2. Martin Hill

      Are you serious? The Playbook still hasn’t even shipped. Crazy.

      1. Steko

        “Are you serious?”No, I thought that was obvious. Time to recalibrate my snarkometer I guess. Or yours…In general I find that troll blog posts should be greeted with troll comments. Trying to be serious with someone who’s so obviously as full of shit as Fred is here is a waste of time.

        1. Martin Hill

          Sorry Steko, my sarcasm-o-meter obviously needs recalibrating as well! 🙂

    3. James

      RIM’s first iteration of the playbook hasn’t even been launched yet.

  96. Zipmob

    There’s a problem to this argument. Android unit salesis not the only thing to consider. What needs to be considered is how likely is an iOS user versus Android user would make purchases and download apps on their devices. From what I gather, it is more likely to happen on an iOS device.

  97. Greg Maletic

    As an iPhone owner, what awesome Android app am I missing out on because of iOS’s closed system? What game-changing, awe-inspiring app is Android-only? (Or even came out on Android first?)I’m ready to hear otherwise, but right now, I’m not aware of anything. And that’s the problem that Android is facing. Most devs (I’m an iOS dev) don’t believe Android is a moneymaker for them, at least, not compared to iOS.

    1. James

      Feedly, Doubletwist, Vignette, Todo.txt, Adobe Flash

      1. Greg Maletic

        Of these, DoubleTwist seems the most compelling. I didn’t have the time to look over it thoroughly, but certainly there is some hay to be made by making iTunes libraries more accessible over 3G. (You also didn’t mention Amazon’s new Cloud Player, which is the first time I’d heard of an Android app that I truly wished I had.)If Android devs can exploit Android-only opportunities in clever ways, they have a chance at drawing the kinds of customers that are most important for platform success (read: customers that are willing to pay for apps.) I think there’s a way to go to make that happen, but it would be nice if they did.

        1. ishcabittle

          Download iCab or Atomic Web Browser for iOS, they play the Amazon Cloud Player fine – just change your user agent to Safari Desktop.

  98. atimoshenko

    Why would the app-powered mobile devices market evolve along the path of the computer market rather than evolving along the path of the games console market?Why would it be winner-takes-all, as opposed to 3-4 big players, each with a roughly equal share of the market, which would fluctuate somewhat from generation to generation of OS releases?On a separate point, a comparison with the computer industry can be interesting. Namely, aside from games developers, Microsoft, and maybe Adobe, who are the huge, and highly profitable, consumer-oriented software developers who successfully pursue a ‘Windows-first’ development strategy? Moreover, with OSX having comparatively negligible market share, what is the software that is missing or inferior on OSX? In the computer market, at least, the dominance of the platform does not seem to have a significant impact on the profitability and success of the companies developing for it.

  99. FrugalTech

    Let’s hope that Android doesn’t capture more than 25 to 40 percent of the market because if it turns into Windows, then we will see a lot of companies being pushed out of the phone os market, out of the browser market, out of the advertising space, out of the market period. Symbian already rolled over. Google is already being investigated by the EU for its practices. Microsoft has launched complaints against Google. A better marketplace is one that rewards multiple phone makers and OS makers. It creates choice.

  100. Haraharadokidoki

    About the Windows-Mac comparison, games for Windows was huge during it’s peak.It was a pretty good platform driver at the time – games premiered on Windows and Mac users waited for ports.Now iOS gets the premier cutting edge games first (Infinity Blade, Rage, Dead Space,NBA Jam to name a few) while the Android users wait and beg for ports (and then sideload them for free).iOS is a much better games platform than android simply because the target hardware is so focused.Games are a huge platform driver and showcase for a killer app. It’s not easy to write that platform advantage off.

  101. Uesty

    “I believe the mobile OS market will play out very similarly to Windows and Macintosh, with Android in the role of Windows.”Can you explain this? The hardware situation is different, the software situation is different, and it seems pretty convenient to say that iOS will be Mac OS simply because both came from the same company (though separated by 25 years, different management, different engineering, and so on).Since Android is Linux-based and open-source, wouldn’t it be much more accurate to say that Android in mobile will be like Linux on the desktop? Why wouldn’t some other proprietary licensable OS be the mobile analogy to Windows on the desktop: webOS or Windows Mobile? Why not some other ‘proprietary OS tied to proprietary hardware’ for the new Mac OS, like RIM?If you’re claiming iOS = “not open” Android = “open” answers everything, then you need to explain how this model explains all of the other open/not-open mobile OSs that violate this rule.

  102. tjb1013

    I agree with your analysis, and worry about it. I believe Apple’s advantage is the user experience, which is tough to explain and market (although the new iPad 2 TV ads are trying). You only really understand it after using the device for a while (more than a casual run-through in the store, since on the surface, Android and iOS are similar).I was a Windows developer many years ago, but switched to focus on UI after observing my first usability tests, which hit me like a hammer. (Actually, a business magazine reviewed a Web app I had developed and pointed out its ease of use, which was solely because the core libraries I was using required me to design the UI the way I did. It was a happy accident.) The problem with technology is the user interface. I agree with the claims Apple is making in its marketing: the UI needs to “disappear”. Technologists mock Apple as for kids and grandparents, but the reality is that nearly everyone (except the people who usually build gadgets) does not want to try and figure out how to do something. They want to do something! That is what Apple’s iOS accomplished.I am recovering from an illness that destroyed my peripheral nervous system and have returned to work with the aid of a touchscreen Windows machine and speech-to-text software. The touchscreen is miserable, but Windows gets a pass on that — it was designed for point and click with a mouse, not a touch interface. But the rest of the experience is also miserable. Windows 7 apps have done away with the application menu bar so I am trying to figure out how to exit a program (and not merely close the application window) program by program. The speech-to-text software runs like those old terminate and stay resident DOS programs, as does the touchscreen keyboard, and some combination of the two of them is in conflict with the OS, causing disruptions (apps will refuse to go full screen, system crashes, etc.) In short, it’s an unholy mess that has me tinkering with device drivers and living with the Task Manager’s process killer.I used to be disappointed when things like network routers and scanners worked right out of the box, because it meant there was nothing to figure out. A few years with Apple (the original iPod caused me to start the transition, even though I bought the Windows version back then) has moved me to where I’m just like normal people: I really don’t want to have to debug everything. I want to use it.I welcome competition in the mobile arena, but I worry that the network effect of a free OS could end up crushing Apple again. It’s hard to sell based on a superior user experience, so the “invisible hand” of the free market may end up rewarding something less.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      My thoughts/prayers are with you. Though your strength is of a magnitude others cannot appreciate, you must get tired now and then.There is a way to do the above, but it is a matter of a new concept matched with faith. Many want to stay on the order of too many programmers doing the mundane when we can do far more with the Artificial General Intelligence doing so much mundane allowing everyone to do forward quests at a faster rate.Give my side a chance as we show the majority here it is just common sense for the machine to understand rather than word for word translate knowing not what it means.

  103. honjk

    one would have to be an idiot to not include all iOS devices when considering which to develop for… and a very very poor idiot…. iOS developers continually make 10 times what an exclusive Android developer makes… and that trend has proven disastrous for your Advice last year for people to spend time developing for Android….because about 2/3’s of Android devices are being given away for free or close enough that people who do not want to spend any real money on “development” type of projects get these devices… far outweighing true Market numbers…there is a reason there are 60% free Android apps out of the pitiful 88,000 android apps out there…and why the ipad alone has more than 65,000 apps… and all those apps were created in less than a year, yet nearly has surpassed ALL Android apps… Android malware included….and yes someone did finally count android apps, see the app Genome project…while you see big growth percentages, these Android fan boys forget to tell you the real numbers, CASH and PROFIT numbers…. the kind of “market” that counts…. where sales mean “SALES”….http://www.appleinsider.com

  104. honjk

    ———–“I believe the mobile OS market will play out very similarly to Windows and Macintosh, with Android in the role of Windows.”—————you mean where, if you invested in Apple in the last 12 years, either the Stock, or development of apps, you’ve made about 2000% compared to Microsoft? where Microsoft continues to flounder as a stock and a platform? both losing market share and capital worth (witness the zune as an example and MSFT stock for the last 12 years)i guess you are right, it will turn out that way again, where you make lots of money investing in Apple over Android… where Android manufactures keep getting crushed by other Android Manufactures, and Developers get the short end of the stick because one device that you just built your app for, has just been obsoleted by another device with a completely different hardware spec, that your app has no chance of running on, because of the 200 different hardware specs out there….where you spend 100% of your time trying to get your app to work on yet another device, when 3 more devices pop up the next month that completely obsoletes your device you have been working on for a month… witness the tab, and soon the Xoom…. both obsolete before you could even write an app for them… 16 whole apps designed for the Xoom, in the same time, iPad developers released 5000 more apps…. HELLO????? why are they doing this? because iPad developers make money, Android developers get tiny amounts of money…. why? because they are developing for a half baked platform that people expect for free…. and do get for free…. people who spend money buy iPads, (and why no one is buying a XOOM) it is failing before your eyes, because they priced it like an Apple product… no one buys Android products, they get them for free or close to free… the Droid X is on sale for $50… THE DROiD X… why? because no one is buying Android devices, when 12 newer and cheaper ones come out the next month…you literally have to be an idiot to develop for Android, and make 1/10 that of an iOS developer… that is why there were 5000 apps created for the iPad in the time that 16 apps came out for the Xoom.watch and witness history unfold again….

  105. Chris Halligan

    An interesting layer put on this by the MLB.com’s CEO, Bob Bowman, who says:“The Android user typically is less likely to buy,” said Bowman, “and therefore the ROI on developing for Android is different than it is for Apple… The iPhone and iPad user is interested in buying content–that’s one of the reasons they bought the device. The Android buyer is different.”It could be that Android has a bigger share of units but is a small dollarized market for those who would sell content.

  106. Okli

    While Android’s year over year “percentage growth” in app sales was up an impressive 861.5 percent compared to Apple’s 131.9 percent growth, Android’s software revenues actually grew by $91 million over last year, while Apple’s App Store grew by a whopping $1,013 million, more than 11 times as much real growth in terms of revenue dollars. Handset sales by all Android licensees combined were higher than Apple’s in 2010, but that did not result in greater app sales nor even in greater web use by Android users.I recommend for everyone to read this:http://www.appleinsider.com

  107. sojacques

    Disclaimer: I’m a developer in an agency where we develop both Android and iPhone apps, for developed and developing countries.As much as I can only agree with the facts posted, I think your post is misleading, here’s why.The main things that we, developers, must think about are:- How many people will have access to the app- How many people may pay for it (for pay ones)- How much will it cost to develop and maintain the appThe answer to those questions should be what developers look for before working on an app.This post suggest that we only think about one part of this, which is “how many people will be able to install my app”. Well, actually not exactly, because it doesn’t really matter that everyone and his dog has an Android device, if not every customer has a direct (I mean with an experience that is integrated to the device) access to a common marketplace. More Android users doesn’t necessarily mean more customers, mostly because of a difference of exposure. Of course, some niche apps will find their ways through the usual communication channels the niche uses, but in the case of mainstream apps, an integrated channel such as the android marketplace or the app store is important.We should also note that most handset manufacturers don’t allow system updates, which would obviously slow their sales. Therefore, if you build an app that requires recent functions of the system you’re developing for, you must understand that most Android users won’t be able to run it.Now, for the second question, Android users are not as willing to pay as iPhone users are [1]. Moreover, better check where you want to sell your apps. In some markets, like China or Indonesia, you can’t sell apps on the Android market [2].The answer for the third question is quite obvious, developing and maintaining is cheaper on iOS platforms, because you have less devices to think about. The fact that Java can be simple and Objective-C different from anything you may know will not change the answer.For all those reasons, I think that your suggestion lacks the real points that developers should focus on. Of course, I don’t suggest not to develop for Android, which would be ignoring a market. Instead, I suggest every developer to think about the target and budget of his apps, and not follow his inner Android or iPhone fanboy.[1]: http://www.mediapost.com/pu…[2]: http://www.google.com/suppo

  108. honjk

    and here are the people you would be developing for if developing for Android…http://www.itproportal.com/…there is a reason why iOS developers make about 10 times what the same app makes on Android…..yes there is a Chinese company making knock offs of Android phones for less than $50 and selling tons of them… (more accurately giving them away with contracts) but the people who actually use phones and other devices to buy apps are iOS users, by a factor of between 5 to 10…again, your recommendation last year that people develop for Android was flawed, anyone who forsake iOS to just Do Android has cost them dearly in time and money…. lots and lots of time, and lots and lots of money….another link…http://tech.fortune.cnn.com

    1. fredwilson

      i think you are talking about people who build apps and sell themthat’s not what i’m talking abouti’m talking about companies that are developing web scale applications formobile and web

  109. rpaulsingh

    Good article as always. We have been collecting data from the web and have created this website which analyzes this data on smartphone using our Natural language processing combined with sentiment analysis. I would very much like to get your feedback on this. As you will see some of it is proven that Android is gaining share with 5 of its phones showing ahead of iPhone 4 with some of the reasons. Please check http://www.socialnuggets.net and provide us your feedback.Thanks

  110. Jay Liew

    I’m a fan of Starcraft, a strategy game – and in this game’s parlance*, you could win the “micro” (well executed little battles here at there) but if you lose the “macro” (big picture), you still lose.iPhone is great at the “micro” – it will win when compared 1:1 with almost any other single phone. But Android is winning the “macro”.In Starcraft, winning the “macro” can be thought of as a “boiling the ocean” strategy-except without its negative connotations. It worked because the sheer number of phones –> sheer number of apps –> sheer number of users, and the feedback cycle continues.I’m probably not adding any new information here, but just thought I’d throw in the Starcraft strategy reference 🙂

    1. inktastic

      Android isn’t winning either way. It only wins when you exclude nearly half of iOS sales while including all AndroidOS sales.http://gs.statcounter.com/#

  111. inktastic

    android developers need to stop looking at fake market numbers and look at the real numbershttp://gs.statcounter.com/#…exactly how do they keep claiming Android has more US market share? THe answer, they exclude almost half of iOS devices sold because they can’t compete with them,

  112. inktastic

    someone (fred?) please look at this chart and explain again how Android is beating Apple?http://insights.chitika.com…Mobile browser market shareiPhone: 38%Android: 29%iPad: 22%According to the chart, iOS has 2x the market share of Android (60 to 29). I ask again, how is Android winning?

    1. lin2log

      You CAN’T be THAT stupid, right? You just so WANT it to be true that your brain (or lack thereof) forces you to read right past the word “BROWSER”, right??Let me type it reeeeeeeeaaaaal sloooooooow for you…Mobile…. *BROWSER*… market…. share….Are your ears bleeding yet?FULL MORON FAIL

  113. Luis

    “Speaking of Android, you’re probably wondering why there’s no showstopper like Infinity Blade for the platform. Well, wonder no more. Says Sweeney, “When a consumer gets the phone and they wanna play a game that uses our technology, it’s got to be a consistent experience, and we can’t guarantee that [on Android]. That’s what held us off of Android.” The problem with Android is consistency. “If you took the underlying NGP hardware and shipped Android on it, you’d find far far less performance on Android. Let’s say you took an NGP phone and made four versions of it. Each one would give you a different amount of memory and performance based on the crap [the carriers] put on their phone.” Bottom line, for Epic to do the kinds of things they do on iOS, “Google needs to be a little more evil. They need to be far more controlling.” Even so, the main reason Epic has focused on iOS? “It’s really the best place to make money.””http://www.gizmodo.com.br/#…BLAM, you’ve been pwned.

  114. nv

    “Fanboys?”

  115. honjk

    it’s is a good thing Epic wasn’t stupid enough to fall for This blogger’s advise, Epic is actually making money, following Wilson’s advise would have cost them their business…http://gizmodo.com/#!578909

  116. fredwilson

    or android tablets could capture that market

  117. Vamsee Kanakala

    Fred is right on the money. While I kept predicting this for an year and a half now, even I was surprised how quickly Android gained popularity in India (world’s largest mobile market). Yes, we’re all aware of iPhone 4, but given that it costs $800 (we have no concept of carrier-discounted units) and an Android phone (HTC Wildfire etc) starts at $300, it’s almost a no-brainer decision to make, given how highly price/value conscious average Indian consumer is.For my most of my friends, it’s their first smartphone (even for me), and it’s highly unlikely we’ll shift to an iPhone unless Apple does what it’s doing with the iPad2 – price a phone right around the $500 USD (comparable phones – performance wise – like HTC Desire retail around this price). Then Apple really has a chance. Even then, it won’t make serious headway until starts competing at the $300 level. Whether Apple can/wants to do it is another story.

  118. JohnDoey

    Apple hasn’t released their low-end phone yet. It’s going to be a lot easier for them to do a low-end phone than for Android to do a high-end one. Users in the developing world who may not have a PC will also appreciate the PC class operating system and PC class native C apps in Apple’s devices. A miniature Mac is a better single device than a souped-up phone with Java apps.

  119. Fernando Gutierrez

    Or tablets won’t supplant PCs. I agree they are nice, but most people can’t do all the things they do in a PC in a tablet.

  120. Charbax

    India (and the rest of the world) is getting sub-$100 Android phones, no contracts needed. Apple cannot compete with that, Apple does not want to compete with that.

  121. Charbax

    Funny how most of the people I know who have iphones have their screens cracked. As if Apple designs their screens with special attention at making sure it can crack consistently to force people buy new devices, as cracked screens are never covered by a warranty.Otherwise, I agree. Microsoft needs to open source Windows 8 for ARM, give it away for free and focus on making better bing/azure cloud services if they want to have a chance to compete.Maybe M$/NOK might just as well take the latest open source Androids and turn those into Bingdroid OS, it gives them access to the same 250’000 apps, no need to make stuff that’s incompatible with the rest of the industry. In fact, I see no reason M$/NOK with their $15 Billion/year combined R&D budget and 100’000 idle engineers most certainly haven’t already poured tons of secret investment into making that Bingkiadroid OS and they might have it ready, just in case they care enough about themselves not to want to go completely in the market share toilet before the end of the year.

  122. Yoshi

    The problem with your argument is that Android isn’t an open platform. Google has made that clear by their actions in the last couple of months.

  123. JohnDoey

    Apple is inaccessible to the masses? Really? Have you seen an Apple Store? If that is the case, how do you explain that iOS has double the user base of Android OS? Were those masses guided in somehow?I would argue it is Android that is inaccessible. The reason so few users are surfing the Web or downloading apps on Android compared to iOS is they simply don’t know how. They get an Android phone and they end up using it mostly as a phone.And Android as Windows and Symbian? And you think that is a good thing? People use Windows because they were forced to by an illegally-obtained monopoly. People HATE Windows. Microsoft’s hardware partners almost all went out of business. HP is de-Microsofting right now. And even Nokia doesn’t want to be Symbian.> 30% shakedownBefore Apple got into books, Amazon used to set the price of your eBook, then they would keep 70%. Now they switched to the Apple way.If you can operate credit card payments and download servers in 150 countries for less money than Apple charges, then you are welcome to sell your own HTML5 apps to iOS users. You’ll also have to buy your own dev tools, protect yourself against piracy, and so on. The fact that not a lot of people are doing this says Apple is charging a fair price. And they are a public company, we can see from their financials that 29/30 of that money goes directly to overhead. Apple only keeps a 1/30th profit. That is hardly milking developers.

  124. Lucian Armasu

    Right now, Atrix on AT&T, Thunderbolt on Verizon, Evo 3D on Sprint (very soon), T-mobile – Nexus S, or LG Optimus 3D within a month. If you can wait 2-3 more months, you could also get a dual-core phone with LTE on Verizon, like Motorola Bionic or HTC Pyramid.

  125. JohnDoey

    Whatever phone you get, get a big rubber case and some chalk for your hands.

  126. tylernol

    yes.

  127. fredwilson

    every time i post about android vs iOS, this happens

  128. raycote

    most people don’t need to do those things

  129. JohnDoey

    Apple will replace a cracked screen at the Apple Store for a low price. They have a machine in the back that does it. There are also many 3rd parties who do it, like people have been doing for watches for hundreds of years.Gravity doesn’t care if you drop an Apple, Motorola, or HTC phone, it will crack the glass on all of them.

  130. Martin Hill

    I wonder why. *rolls eyes*

  131. Alfredo Quiles

    You should not use your disability to trap people into saying nasty things to you. If you have an atrophy and tend to drop expensive phones, I guarantee you that you will also suffer from cracked screens in Android devices. Hence the recommendation for a good rubber case.

  132. Greg Maletic

    You want an iPhone that’s cheaper than $49? (The price that At&t charges for refurbished, fully-warranteed iPhones.)

  133. Dave W Baldwin

    Good point from Greg… at ATT, you have the $49 iPhone and Android side by side.