Why Apple Should Be Afraid of Android

February 2, 2011
54
86
70 15 1

Claiming a 25% market share globally already, there are no signs that the growth of Android is coming to an end anytime soon, market researchers from Canalys said.

Around the World

In the rest of the world, where Nokia is dominant and Apple is available more widely, Android’s 16% market share is only slightly bigger than Apple’s 14%.

Looking at the longer term, it’s easy to see that Android will overtake Apple in almost every respect. Consumers want competitively priced handsets, and access to an open app ecosystem. Android Phones offer substantially more for less. Just like you can get more bang for your buck with a PC, you can also get more phone for your money with Android. Further supporting the growth of Android around the world is the fact that there are numerous top tier manufacturers that have publicly stated their commitment to producing quality touchscreen low priced Android Phones.

As Android continues to explode worldwide, developers will have even greater incentive to introduce high quality apps for the benefit of every Android phone user.

The Research Shows

Over the past quarter, year over year, Android enjoyed a very healthy 615.1% growth. Apple only had 85.9%. This shows that the adoption of Android is accelerating worldwide over sixfold that of Apple’s best offerings. Just one of the many reasons why Apple is not seated as comfortably as it once was.

A new report created by leading research firm Canalys shows that Android OS will achieve double the growth of competitors like Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Symbian over the year 2011. Despite what many are saying about the release of iPhone on Verizon, leading analysts are saying this will do nothing to hamper Android’s immense and staggering ascent to the top spot.

Other issues such as fragmentation (different versions of the operating system) have always been a heated topic from a development standpoint, but will do little to slow down the worldwide adoption of Android. Most recently, Android surpassed iOS in terms of overall Ad Impressions in the United States. This observation serves to further compliment the idea that Android is going to be the biggest mobile smartphone O/S in the very near future.

Canalys Principal Analyst Chris Jones had this to say about Android’s growth

The growth of Android has been phenomenal, as well the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications. This has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform, though we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows.

Android will grow more than twice the rate of major competitors in 2011

Android will continue to grow at more than twice the rate of its major smart phone competitors in 2011, despite concern over fragmentation and the arrival of the iPhone 4 on Verizon in the US. According to Canalys Q3 2010 estimates, the Google-backed platform already claims a 25% share of the worldwide smart phone market, with over 20 million shipments of Android-based worldwide.

The growth of Android has been phenomenal, and the number of Android devices launched with different hardware has been equally stunning.

Fragmentation will not limit Android growth

Since the launch of the original Android platform in September 2008, many versions have followed. Gingerbread (Android 2.3) will be the eighth update, with its forthcoming Honeycomb (Android 3.0) tablet-focused release set to appear in the coming months. Android’s rapid evolution has, however, required increased resources from both device vendors and application developers to support the operating system.

‘The need to differentiate has pushed Android Phone Manufacturers to become even more competitive in their hardware offerings, as evidenced by the recent announcement of crazy Dual-Core phones like the Motorola Atrix, Motorola Droid Bionic, and the LG Optimus 2X.

Apps Apps Apps!

Vendors working on Android have leveraged the open source platform to push prices down and bring smart phones to the mass market. As a result, Android shipments grew more than 1,000% through the first three quarters of 2010 over the same period in 2009.

‘With Android’s momentum expected to stay strong, the installed base of Android-based smart phones and pads will rapidly increase – good news for developers,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst, Daryl Chiam.

Hendrik Koekkoek, a data analyst at Distimo, posted on the company blog: “The Apple App Store for iPhone doubled its total [number of apps] during the past year to almost 300,000…while the total number of applications available for Google Android Market today, almost 130,000, is six times the number available one year ago.”

The report said that more developers were opting to submit apps that rely on a repeat subscription or ad-funded model rather than paid-for downloads. This means Android will continue to offer more free Apps than the Apple App Store, which is even more great news for Android Phone users worldwide.

And of Course, Apple…

Apple investors’ biggest concern right now is whether Steve Jobs will remain deeply involved with the company. Whatever happens, though, Apple still faces a long-term strategic question: Will it be content with overcharging its customers to the benefit of its stockholders? Many Iphone/Ipad lovers are quick to point out that the simplicity and ease of use that Apple products offer is worth the price premium, but will the world accept this? We highly doubt it, especially in parts of the world where the Iphone has been a dismal failure, like India and China. Both of these countries are ripe for mass smartphone adoption, and it looks like Apple is going to be in trouble there.

Other Important Things to Consider

Verizon will be selling the iPhone soon. Oh wow! Does anyone really care? Really? Smartphones with Android accounted for 34% of North American smartphone sales last year, compared with Apple’s 23%, Strategy Analytics estimates.

In the rest of the world, where Nokia is somehow still dominant, Android’s 16% market share was still slightly bigger than Apple’s 14%.

Android’s share of the smartphone market will continue to expand. Canalys projected that Android would expand at “more than twice the rate of its major” rivals this year. Of course, the allure of the iPhone brand will ensure it remains a vital part of carriers’ array of phones. That is arguably truer in Apple’s home territory of the U.S. than Europe. But there is reason to think Apple’s edge over other brands has narrowed somewhat.

A consumer survey last November found that 71% of Motorola smartphone customers were very satisfied, only six percentage points fewer than the 77% of iPhone customers, according to ChangeWave Research. HTC, an Android pioneer, had 63% satisfaction.

With Nokia BlackBerry and Symbian all struggling, Android is poised to become the world’s biggest and best smartphone platform. While Apple’s iOS is also on the iPad and iPod Touch, falling far behind Android could undercut Apple’s edge with developers of mobile applications. It has been Apple’s lead with apps—its App Store has more than 300,000 versus 140,000 for Android—that has fueled the iPhone’s popularity. If Android takes the lead in apps, its market-share advantage would only increase.

Conclusion

The world wants an open, competitive app ecosystem, with awesome hardware to run it on. Android offers the diversity of choice, quality hardware, and the research backs up the fact that Android is going to be the number one mobile operating system in the future. Apple is most certainly scared, but for now remains content with overcharging its blinded customers who opt for expensive convenience. The rest of the world outside of the USA is certainly savvy and price conscious enough to know that Apple’s offerings don’t add up. While we do have to hand it Apple in some respects, the time is now for Android. Let’s not forget that Android has also just surpassed every other mobile operating system out there.

More on this and other great developments involving Android to come!

Via: The Android Phone

Comments