back to article Android, Steve Jobs, and Apple's '90%' tablet share

Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently took the stage to pound the drum for the company's dominance of the nascent tablet market. "We own 90 per cent of the tablet market!" he crowed during the launch event of the iPad 2. It's not surprising that Jobs chose to focus on the iPad's success. After all, despite a similar keynote with …

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  1. Ru
    Alert

    Are you really sure about that?

    "Apple's high-margin, premium-pricing business model demands that the company cede market share as it hordes the high end of a market"

    Given the bang for buck you get with an ipad, it looks an awful lot like Apple are competing very heavily on price here. Given their premium product reputation and generally quite reasonable standard of engineering, android devices that aren't half the price of the apple equivalent are going to look overpriced to joe public, no?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well er

      No.

      They still cost less and do more.

      1. Goat Jam
        FAIL

        Which one?

        Which one costs less and does more?

        Galaxy Tab? Nope, cost about the same (or sometimes more) than ipad.

        Ditto for xoom.

        El'cheapo chipads? Don't make me laugh.

    2. Matt Asay

      Bang for buck

      I think this is true...for now. But make no mistake: Apple set the iPad price at a rate that gives is a big profit margin. I'm watching the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and 8.9's. They start to drive price downward while delivering equal or better hardware than the iPad.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Too expensive for sensible people

      I think the real problem is that most people can't find any reasonable justification for spending that kind of money on a device with such limited functionality. But most Apple fans don't need reasonable justification, they just need Steve to tell them they want one.

    4. John Molloy
      FAIL

      Android? Really?

      "Apple is fantastic at fostering growth in new markets. It is terrible at maintaining market share."

      Apple still holds the mobile music player market share - and this is not a unique occurrence.

      The mobile phone market is very different from the tablet market. Cut throat competitiveness and high subsidies from the carriers are not going to be able to attract new customers with tablets if those customers are up to their necks attempting to recoup their phone subsidies.

      Yes, there will be lots of entrants to the tablet market - but how many will stick?

      At the moment Honeycomb isn't ready. Yes it is shipping on some devices but that doesn't make it actually ready. When it is ready then will it be "good enough"? Well we shall see but until Google implement some form of DRM then Netflix won't be on the boxes for example and that is a pretty large use of the tablet form thrown out the window.

      I think you are making some huge assumptions here to get page hits, Matt. And I think that you are wrong when it comes to the future of tablets.

      1. stewski

        What music player market?

        Apple still hold the music player market, what use is that when the advent of smartphones/converged devices is cannibalising it until it no longer exists ?

        There is some urban legend that subsidies from carriers are helping android prices/competitive position. Lets check that out by looking at approximately equivalent PAYG devices.

        ZTE Blade - £99 at argos

        iPhone 3Gs £428.00 at Apple

        There is a simple reason the Android devices are competitively priced, Android manufacturers actually compete!

        As is said in the article, all the detraction around the xoom/tab were made about the G1, Android generally gets better/runs faster with updates, H/W gets cheaper and the range is larger. Some will cry fragmentation, and call things cheap and nasty iDevice knock offs, but people will generally buy a device that is £328 cheaper than an Apple equivalent regardless!

        1. peter 45

          Other reasons

          Dont disagree with your point about price, but I think there is more to it than jut price. It can be summed up by " choice". Some want the latest phone, some want it pink, some want it waterproof. For some battery life is paramount. Some. want a keypad. My wife was happy as lon as it fitted imto the space in her handbag. Some dont like the idea of being wall up inside the apple wallled garden. Point is different people have different needs, wants and desires and a single device, no matter how good, can satisfy them all.

  2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    Market share

    I can't remember whether it was Bill or Dave who once commented "Any fool can buy market share". Why would Apple be worried about their market share? Apple have made a brilliant, profitable business by selling as a premium brand. This allows them to make a good margin and a good return on investment and hence a nice tidy profit. Apple are a business, profits are what they are interested in. That they are being outsold by products that in some cases cost between 10-20% of theirs is hardly surprising. The important question for them is who makes the most profit, Apple or the likes of ZTE.

    1. Matt Asay

      Totally agree

      But that's kind of my point: the media went wild ridiculing Xoom's paltry 100K opening, which shows a distinct lack of appreciation for history. Apple doesn't care about owning all of the market. It can't. Its high-margin approach almost demands that it give up the mass-market to instead win the mass-margin.

    2. Rex Alfie Lee
      Thumb Down

      Monkeys with money & no sense - iMonkeys...

      If you understood the whole Apple thing versus Android, you would at least think about Android rather than monkey see monkey do...

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Daniel B.

        Mostly correct

        Yup, Apple's hoarding strategy will usually come back to bite its ass; it happened with Macs, it's happening with the iGadgets. However:

        "Apple would be all but gone were it not for Microsoft releasing office for the Mac,"

        IIRC, Office was *born* in the Mac. A lot of people in the Windows world suddenly got their Word 2.0 upgraded to "Word 6" ... what happened to the other versions? Oh, that's because "Word 6" was MS standarizing the version numbering on all platforms; Mac was already on 5.1 while Windows had only "version 2".

        Hell, Word was the poor man's productivity app, we were all using Aldus PageMaker those days. A lot of "desktop software" was born in the Mac, and had Apple opened up in the late 80's-early 90's, we would all be using MacOS by now, and RISC-based PPC machines instead of the x86 garbage the PC industry got stuck with.

        Oh well ... lost opportunites. And that was without control-freak Jobs in the helm; these days it is *less* probable for Apple to open itself up.

  3. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I do not own a tablet.

    ...and never will. It is a solution for a problem that never existed...

    Tablets are the 21st Century version of the Hula Hoop. Useless, but all the "cool kids" have to have one cuz the others do.

    Blah.

    1. Gene

      I beg to differ

      I've had an iPad 2 for a couple of weeks and I couldn't disagree more strongly. I'm an old geek (my first computer was a TRS-80 Model III purchased in 1980). I have found quite a few uses for the iPad that simply would not work with another form factor. It's just a matter of imagination, and I've still got plenty of that - and lots of time to use it since I've been retired for years. It's always easy to criticize something you have no experience with...

      1. Stacy

        And they are???

        Having played with an iPad (and a Galaxy Tab), and watching the hordes of Apple fans in the offie play with the iPads during meetings I have still yet to find a use for one...

        I have an ultra portable machine (about the footprint of an iPad, with a much better screen, keyboard etc) that does everything they do, plus so much more, with much less effort on my part. The battery life and instant on-ness is even comparable... And it has all the ports I need for eveyday use and even a DVD built in.

        Where is the advantage and use of an iPad? I'll go with it's a much cheaper solution than an ultra portable, but then it's also a much lesser machine and has many more limitations.

        If you have to use your imaganation to make a use for it then it's kind of proving the point that it's a solution for a problem no one had... Doesn't stop me wondering just what your imaganation came up with though that you can't do with an ultra portable or smart phone...

        1. Wibble
          Happy

          Uses for an iPad or other tablet...

          Commuting - excellent for catching up with your email, diary, browsing the intarwebs, listening to music or podcast, reading a book, whilst sitting or standing on a train/bus/plane.

          Reading in bed. Excellent device that doesn't need the light on (thus not disturbing my partner). Also listening to the iPlayer, podcasts, etc. (much better sound quality from the built-in speaker than an iPhone). The screen's much bigger than a phone, so it's easier to read without my glasses.

          Lightweight browsing in front of the telly, in the kitchen, on the bog...

          Excellent mapping applications for use as a GPS substitute in a car.

          Excellent charting applications when sailing (a tenth of the price of normal charts).

          Playing the odd game - nothing like flinging a few birds at pigs.

          In short it's an excellent consumer of information that's an excellent form factor - no keyboard, instant on, portrait format screen, etc.

          It's not as good as the normal laptop/desktop when using it for serious browsing, development, writing, drawing.... All the sorts of things you'd use your ultra-portable for (but not in portrait format).

          I'm absolutely delighted with my iPad and use it daily ever since I got it last May.

        2. John Molloy
          Stop

          Here are some suggestions...

          You don't have to try too hard to use your imagination to find out uses for it.

          Your argument Stacy is "I don't want one, therefore there aren't any uses I can see".

          Here's the thing - I am getting old - and having a large screen which I can prop up against a pillow in bed to watch an episode or two of a TV series or a movie before going to sleep is a perfect use. No dumb keyboard banging against your chin or fans kicking in to make it impossible to hear what is being said... And that is just one use...

          Giant GPS device when in the car.

          Giant phone with Skype for emergencies if you don't have a mobile - there are some of us you know.

          Classic Games machine - have you seen the Atari collection? - pretty awesome for those of us of a certain age.

          Use iSwifter to watch streaming Flash sites such as Hulu, there really is no end of possibilities.

          But it's far easier to say that there are "no advantages" when you have invested in another product though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You missed "IMHO"

      Reminds me of "I think there is a world market for about five computers." attributed to a certain IBM chairman.

  4. Mathelli
    Jobs Horns

    Agreed

    I 100% agree with you Matt. I am an engineer, and in 2009 I was in my last semester of college taking a class on Android and my teacher gave the same speech you did. Android will dominate the market just because there are going to be soooo many innovative devices running it, how can it not. Everyone laughed at me when I spouted the same thing after learning about it (look at Android now betches). It's not 100% as polished as the iOS at the moment, but it is better in some other software areas and also with so many more powerful devices then the iPhone 4 and probably even 5 already out, paired with so many options (and some even free with a new two year), it tells everyone this OS is for all, and not just the elite. I see the Apple tablet market taking a few hits this year alone with so many awesome (and some even better options then the iPad 2). Patience my Apple loving mindless cows, your precious iPad will fall to excogitation just like your iPhone did last year. :)

    1. ThomH

      No innovation required

      Android dominates the phone market not by being on any innovative devices — in truth nobody has innovated for years — just by being on a lot of different handsets, relatively cheaply. It ticks all the boxes that a large proportion of the market care about, which is enough.

    2. Wpgwill

      title

      Your making the implicit assumption that it can only be an iOS vs Android game, that likely won't be the case long term.

      If your a developer wanting to make money now, I would bet on an iOS app vs an Android one.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: title

        I think there is only room in the operating system for two operating systems long term.

        In desktops there is Windows (mass market), OSX (premium niche)

        In servers there is Linux (mass market), Windows (premium niche) + maybe Solaris for storage

        For phones it looks like there will be Android (mass market), iOS (premium niche) and Blackberry will survive for a while in the same way that OS/2 did.

        For tablets, Android's position as the mass market leader is not guaranteed. If something else comes out in the next six months or so that can perform better than Android, it will have a chance. After that, it will be too late. It won't be WebOS or Blackberry as they are tied to single vendors, and I don't think Windows 8 will be out in time, or will be good enough, so it is very likely that Android will be the winner.

        1. wayward4now
          Linux

          WHAT??

          "In desktops there is Windows (mass market), OSX (premium niche)

          In servers there is Linux (mass market), Windows (premium niche) + maybe Solaris for storage."

          Since when is Widows a premium niche server? If that were true, then Red Hat wouldn't have shattered the billion a year in sales mark with an OS that is basically free. Wall Street could hardly be called "mass market, nor NASA, the JPL, and a score of mission-critical huge premium niche servers. Let's face it, Windows has gone around it's thumb, to get to its elbow, to come up with a server that is not UNIX. Which has led to their downfall and ever dwindling market share. Once taxpayers and government bodies take a peek at what the Windows Tax costs, in term of licenses that allow them to run and maintain their own hardware on a network, the pitchforks and burning torches will surely follow. That WOULD make a great article in the near future. I double-dog dare the author to research and write that one.

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re: What

            Windows Server is strong in the Small Business Server, Exchange Server and Sharepoint markets. Linux runs in everything from the world's fastest supercomputer to el cheapo Linksys routers. Linux is mass market because it runs on all the things you mention + many more; and most people are running linux machines without even realising it.

          2. Tom 13

            I'd have to agree with jonathanb

            These days when I hear a network team discuss deploying a new server, the first question asked is whether or not it deploys to Linux. That makes Linux the mass market server OS. Remember the other catch here is that Premium =/= Quality, it means the piece you pay more for. The premium you pay may be for a piece of crap, but its still a premium.

            Maybe Linux will displace Windows in the desktop mass market but it hasn't done so yet.

            1. c3
              WTF?

              Shouldn't Unix be considered premium ?

              When you say premium, you imply costs + quality. That's UNIX.

              Windows, on the other hand, is just expensive shit.

        2. Goat Jam
          WTF?

          Windows Server?

          Premium?

          What colour is the sky on your planet?

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re; Windows Server

            The sky is grey on my planet most of the time. It was blue for a few days last week.

            You have to pay lots of money for Windows Server, whereas you can generally download a copy of linux for free. That in marketing terms makes Windows Server a premium product. You may think the free one works better, I do, but from a marketing perspective that doesn't change anything.

        3. Daniel B.
          Boffin

          @jonathanb

          hehe ... you sparked a flame! Probably people took offense on Windows being "premium" ;)

          Well, you're kinda right, except Windows isn't quite "premium" even though it's expensive. Commercial UNIX, Mainframe stuff is the one that still owns the "premium" market:

          Linux (mass market)

          Windows Server (SMBs, expensive OS but shit performance, used at orgs where CEO/CTOs have been misguided)

          Commercial UNIX like Solaris, HP/UX, AIX (premium market)

          AS/400 (premium market)

          Mainframe z/OS, Tandem NonStop et al (VERY premium market!)

          Of course, a good bunch of Commercial UNIX installs are usually legacy platforms, and are being substituted by Linux boxes. But the exotic stuff like OS/400 and Mainframe isn't going to move that easily....

      2. Tom 13

        Three words:

        Betamax vs VHS

  5. mafoo
    Jobs Horns

    Erm..

    One point that the author has missed here:

    Phones are subsided, and cheaper phones = lower monthly contract fee, so android phones are very popular.

    Most people who have tablets buy them without data plans - and apple is currently pretty low on the price:feature scale compared to their competitors.

    So I don't see their dominance in the tablet market being eroded anywhere nearly as quickly as it was in the phone market.

    I have a feeling that HP and RIM might be giving apple more of a challenge than any of the android competitors.

    1. Matt Asay

      Good point, but...

      I think you're right to point out the different economics driving tablets. Also, it's a much higher price point, regardless of subsidies from the carriers, so the turnover on devices will be slower. So, I think it will take longer for the iPad to fall behind. But I still hold that the iPad necessarily will give way to "lesser" rivals.

  6. alwarming
    Stop

    Ah! it's the PC vs Mac all over again.

    Duh.

  7. mrh2

    Hate to be the guy who says it but...

    ...Android is often GIVEN AWAY and that matters in this discussions.

    A customer with a dumb phones goes into the store for their upgrade, sees less dumb phones then when they took out/renewed their contract 2 years ago and leaves with a cheap or free Android.

    Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. But a lot of people 'just get' a phone which happens to run Android, they're not all making a conscious decision to purchase one.

    In contrast, if you stump up £200 to O2 for your iPhone 4 you're more likely to be spending money on apps and content then if you got given a free Android phone when you popped into Carphone Warehouse.

    Of course in a pure numbers game that doesn't matter but if we're looking at the profitability or desirability of a platform - which are the only basis on which market share really matter - it does need to be factored into.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Exactly!

      I went in to buy a cheap phone, my old one was dying and was told if I came back under contract I could keep the same tarrif and choose any phone in the shop except an iPhone. As I have no problem with the carrier I said thank you very much and got an HTC Desire. It is nice and I don't doubt the iPhone is nice but it cost me exactly nothing. No brainer that one

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Err...

      So you're saying that the only real way to tell which platform is best is to artificially float the prices so they are equal in cost?

      You have a point if the discussion is limited to functionality (though I don't necessarily agree the iPhone would win even then), but such is not the case.

      History has shown that the market leader is not chosen merely on the strength of its features otherwise we'd never have had to suffer VHS domination of the video market when the self evidently superior signal reproduction of the Betamax was there for the buying, and I'd be typing this on a Mac.

      Market share is decided on many factors, chief of them being how much do I need to pay and what features can I live without in order to be able to afford the thing?

      The iPad is a nice toy. In an earlier life I would have bought one as soon as I could, just because of the coolness of the idea. But should I ever acquire the *need* for a tablet device, you can bet that I'll be factoring TCO into the equation and if accepting an extra 1/8 inch thickness means I can shave $50 off that cost, I'll take that deal, and I don't think I'm in any way unique in my buying habits.

      P.S. Just because I see no need for an iPad does not translate into "I think you're | a dolt | brainwashed | Hitler | for buying one". Enjoy your tablet with my completely unnecessary blessing and some wistful jealousy.

    3. Jilly

      Many form factors of Android

      Let's not forget android comes in many form factors unlike the iphone.

      I prefer a large screen, integrated Google services, and live widgets.

    4. Barnie
      Stop

      swap "Windows" for "Android" rinse & repeat

      ...."Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. But a lot of people 'just get' a Computer which happens to run Windows, they're not all making a conscious decision to purchase one"....

      See how that works?

      Barnie

    5. Matt Asay

      Don't forget what is driving Google here....

      ...Advertising. Google can afford to subsidize the cost of Android because it makes its money elsewhere, in advertising. That's what makes it such a difficult competitor for Apple (just as Linux is a tough competitor to Microsoft Windows and Unix systems: IBM can afford to dump a lot of innovation into Linux, knowing that it's going to make it back on services and hardware sales). It's what makes the tech market so interesting these days: different businesses are competing on very different value propositions.

  8. parv

    factors

    you mention that apple's domination of the music players is an aberration. Instead apple is a premium player only. Definitely true for computers e.g macs but is that true for ipads? Can apple produce cheaper ipads? Well, they could definitely reduce the screen size to 7inc. Can they produce an equivalent ipod nano for the iphone or ipad? Do they want to? I think they do.

    Issue is whether they can succeed as they did in the ipod market.

  9. Justin Clements

    Android only wins...

    ...because they give it away for free.

    It's like the Nokia numbers in the market place, people just buy the latest shiny thing on the shelf. They will buy anything as long as it sparkles and costs next to nothing. They don't buy into Android, they just buy into a phone.

    The problem with the tablet market is that price and quality are heavily linked. So someone may buy an Android tablet, but will they actually use it? If they don't, then the sale was worthless.

    And you can already see this in the existing Android slabs out there. The cheap ones get bought, but largely discarded because they don't work very well. The expensive ones work well, but lose the price war because they are the same price.

    So what does a punter buy into when it is their cash buying the tablet and price isn't an issue? The unknown slab or the developed iPad?

    The final problem with Android slabs is - where are all the customers? We've been told for so long that techies will buy a slab if it has Flash, SD card reader, bigger memory, more proc, but - where are all these people? They haven't bought into it.

    I'm sure Android will catch up sooner than later, but wake me when it does because it won't be for some time.

    1. peter 45

      For free?

      My nephew was of exactly the same opinion as you. "free means free cos thats wha it says on the label." I tried explaining that he still paid for it over a 18 month contract, but the concept of paying for it did not involve the concept of future. But then he is 10 and his father is paying the bills.

  10. Jilly

    Are you kidding me!

    "And yet they sell. They sell because they're everywhere, they're cheaper, and they're good enough. Just like Windows on the desktop, back in its day."

    Good enough? How about the choice of Apples products aren't good enough? I can get a wide range of choices with android and PC.

    Henry Ford once said "You can have any color you want, as long as it's black".

    Steve Jobs should place this quote on his headstone

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Jilly

      "Henry Ford once said "You can have any color you want, as long as it's black"."

      Only he didn't. Oh yeah and he was a real nasty piece of work too. As much as you obviously hate jobs, he's nowhere near the same league.

    2. Frank Bough
      FAIL

      Apple products available in several colours

      newsflash for the terminally prejudiced.

      1. peter 45

        Several colours! Wow

        That just blown all the android competition out thr water

  11. John Loy
    FAIL

    Interestinf

    I find it interesting that it has become popular to hate on Apple products in the media. It would not surprise me if there is a concerted effort by other manufactures to have articles written trashing Apple.

    First off, most people that could care less about a smart phone and have no idea what they are doing, they buy an Android because it is cheap and that is the only reason. If you did a graph of market share of phones in the $199+ range then Apple would be supreme. Apple already takes in 52% of all smart phone profits, think about that. And most of those people wish they had spent the extra money on the iphone.

    IPad is a whole different group of people. No one has to have a tablet like they do a phone. So people have to decide they really want one and then which one. iPads will dominate this market and everyone else will just become woot offs over time.

    Finally, if Apple has to lose to Android and still be the second largest Market Cap company then I guess that is a cross they will have to bare.

  12. GregJosh
    WTF?

    All fair points - just one small thing

    Tell me the one competitor that offers a better price/feature ratio than Apple in this case?

    I know of tons of cheaper (and much worse) competitors, just as I know of some (better?) but more expensive products.

    I believe that aside from the huge advantage of Apple's App universe the price is exactly the reason these guys see to be winning this game right now. Both Xoom and the Galaxy are way more expensive.

    However, if the competition manages to get subsidized ("free") tablets into the channels, then you may have a point...

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Just one?

      Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Just launched. Not subsidized, just cheaper than the iPad at same spec and just one of many devices in the next few months that run Android 3.0. By year end there will likely be many Android 3.0 tablets retailing from £200 up.

      Of course if you don't care for Android 3.0, there are numerous tablets in the sub £300 market already. Some like the Archos 101 are perfectly fine tablets.

      I also expect that Amazon will be turning up with a tablet soon enough though I would not be surprised if the Android 3.0 open source / not open source shenanigans are specifically related to that happening.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @drxym

        "By year end there will likely be many Android 3.0 tablets retailing from £200 up."

        This is what most of the market seems to want (me included).

        "Of course if you don't care for Android 3.0, there are numerous tablets in the sub £300 market already. Some like the Archos 101 are perfectly fine tablets."

        Yes - and mostly they are shit. The occasional one can be made a little better by a nerd, but not the average user.

        The average user will buy an android tablet - just like the early days of android phones - and find their 200 quid purchase is a piece of crap, and be turned-away from the platform.

        Nowadays it's quite hard to find an android phone that isn't actually quite good/really good. Hopefully the tablet market will go the same way.

        Better competition for apple/android/ms/whoever will be good for us all.

      2. ThomH

        @DrXym

        The Asus Eee Pad Transformer doesn't have the same specs as the iPad. It has a slower CPU and GPU (see, e.g. http://www.glbenchmark.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=glpro20&showhide=true&certified_only=1&D1=Apple%20iPad%202&D2=Motorola%20Xoom&D3=Apple%20iPad&D4=Samsung%20GT-P1000%20Galaxy%20Tab), being based on an older chip, which it counterbalances with a better camera and slightly larger, slightly higher resolution screen. And it's just £20 cheaper, so all it really evidences is that other manufacturers are able to hit much the same price points for much the same technology.

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    Antdroid

    Want to know how Android will win? A Bug's Life demonstrates the concept perfectly:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTL7P3c3_Ag&feature=related

    1. Frank Bough
      WTF?

      Is it...

      ...communism?

  14. Hi Wreck
    FAIL

    iPhone, yes, iPod, no.

    If a tablet is a phone, then Anderoid may dominate. If the tablet is a pod, then it's Apple's all the way. There have been lots of cheap, and not-so-cheap attempts at de-throning the iPod, but none to date have been successful.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Agreed...

    "Just like windows ..."

    This article is spot on - an operating system that runs on a multiple of similar devices, manufactured by different companies... *just* like windows does.

    It's a sure fire hit in terms of numbers over an operating system which runs on, effectively, a single device - or at least, a family of devices under the control of single company.

    There's a bit of a difference however, Android goes one step further than windows - the operating system, at present, can be licensed and modified (correct me if I'm wrong here?)

    This *is* leading to a massively fractured market for Android, which is why Apple will continue to be the high end offering, despite shrinking market share.

    Maybe...

  16. clanger9
    Flame

    I am starting to hate my Android phone

    Let me count the ways:

    - I can't upgrade the OS. HTC have lost interest in my phone and custom ROMs don't support the hardware in it.

    - I have lost functionality. Once upon a time I had voice search and dialling. Now Google have "removed" this feature for older Android releases and there appears to be no way to add it back in.

    - I can't customise the phone easily. Google seem to insist on me having the (useless) Google Talk, for example. I can't remove it and I can't disable it.

    - I had to root the bloody thing just to get rid of the idiotic HTC boot jingle!

    - No CalDAV support for enterprise calendar sharing (even in the latest Android releases). If you want calendar and contact syncing, you have to do it via Google.

    - Google seem to be able to arbitrarily upgrade and install anything they like on my phone (e.g. the Market client changes without you being asked). I have no idea what else they install on or snarf from my phone. There appears to be no documentation at all on what data is transmitted to Google. My guess is "everything". :-/

    Open source is all very nice and all, and I love the flexibility that comes from 3rd party apps. And (probably foolishly) I trust Google "not to be evil". But sometimes I feel like I have less control over this damn thing than an iPhone.

    1. Stacy
      Thumb Down

      Really?

      If a jingle at boot is in your list of biggest problems then I would say you don't really have an issue. BTW Mute your phone before booting and the jingle does not play... No rooting required :)

      As for calendar support - what exactly is the problem? Using either HTC Sync or by setting up an exchange account within the OS I can sync the calendar with my work calendar... Where is the problem?

      Having done far more with my Desire than I could ever do with my iPhone I think I have way more control over what I do with it.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Is Nuance's FlexT9 speech/handwriting input app an option for you?

      Could fix one of your issues.

      I wasn't convinced by the built-in speech control option, as it was described to me.

      1. clanger9

        Re: Really?

        "Mute before boot" only works if you remember. It's useless if the thing decides to do a spontaneous reboot (and doubly annoying if it reboots during the night ; the HTC jingle is *loud*).

        As for calendar/contact sync, there appear to be two options on Android: MS Exchange or Google Calendar. So if you have either of those, it works fine out of the box. If you don't, it seems you're SOL. CalDAV support would fix this, but Google aren't interested.

        Maybe iPhones are even worse - I dunno, I have never owned one. All I know is that the Android "experience" isn't anywhere near as open or as flexible as I'd expected...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Try the iPhone.

      See how that works for you.

      See you back again in 24 months, when that contract renews. ;)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like you and Jobs

      were made for each other.

  17. Alan Denman

    Dumb enough to own a tablet?

    Android is going to need to be innovative here because no one knows if the market exists..

    Apple can sell a lump of dog turd with their its all sweet chocolate' marketing skills.

  18. Anakin
    Stop

    Drag'n drop from WLAN

    With an Android you don't need any Itunes or any conversions.

    Just copy'paste your DivX into the device from any WLAN and look at it.

    With an Android you have the freedom to do what you wan't and not what Big Apple Brother tell you can do.

    Imo opinion Apples devices is just a abnormality that will wanish in time as Android getting more and more polished.

    What we see is the fight between the big corp media that invested a lot i iDevices vs ordinary users looking thru the hype and the media attention iDevices got and buying there freedom.

    If a user compare what he can do with a iDevice or an Android, The Android always win.

    But media always compare what an iDevice can do and never talk about all the things you can do with an Android that you can't do with an iDevice

    The iDevices got a sleeker look but puttin make up on a pig doesn't make the pig a good wife.

    The pig can't bring home a pint from the store, cook or clean

    If you want a device that can do a lot of things. Buy an Android

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re Drag'n drop from WLAN

      "If you want a device that can do a lot of things. Buy an Android"

      But if you want a device that does those things well, is easily upgradeable when the next OS release comes out and has excellent tech support direct from the manufacturer without getting fobbed off.... get an iOS device.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Hehe

        Just hold it differently, not that big a deal!

        Just don't use your alarm clock when the clocks change...

        You used it when it was cold, that voids your warrenty, but you can buy a new one cheap!

        You used it when it was raining, that voids your warrenty, but you can buy a new one cheap!

        Excelent support!

    2. Keith Crooks
      Thumb Down

      Hey!

      I'd be thankful if you left my pig of a wife out of this thank you very much!

    3. Michael C

      and thats why it will fail

      Simply because you can do that, without software, means there's no encryption. no encryption = no business/government use. No government market = game over.

      iOS is VERY close to surpassing RIM on the DOD STIG checklist, its the most secure mobile platform on it;s own, RIM only beats it when combined with an expensive BES server (which iOS does not need to meet the same STIG compliance goals). Its already acceptable to use in many other less secure environments because it has full disk encryption and remote wipe abilities native to a simlpe exchange server. Its being adopted heavily.

      Android meets virtually none of the audit security requirements. to do that means disk encryption, central management, blocking side-loading apps, centrally controlled user access, Full Exchange support, and requiring apps to use and enxrypt removable media.

      the very things Fandroids toubt as their platform advantages are the things keeping them out of busineeses and government, and will eventually lead to poor adoption later.

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Welcome

    The need for successful differentiation

    applies just as much to Apple as it does to Android Army. Unlike the PC days when companies really did make nearly all of their own machines, all the devices now are being made the various sweatshops in China. But being able to negotiate the most preferable contracts with Foxconn, et al is only part of the equation. Apple built its reputation around the "user experience" and back in the 80s it was pretty easy to convince people how much nicer it was to use an Apple than a PC - usability in Windows was a joke partly because of the kludge introduced by MS (symbols in program manager were not the programs themselves) worried about Apple's "look and feel" legislation. Things are different nowadays with Google and even the manufacturers no slouches at user experience either, which is why Android has caught up iOS so quickly on the phones. At a casual glance it is difficult to tell them apart - yes, I know they are both distinctive in their own ways but they are also extremely similar in the way they do most things. And Google has services like mail and maps that people want to use.

    But as long as the market is expanding there is no need for Apple to worry. It still has first mover advantage which adds caché to brand and the volumes give a good hand when it comes to contract negotiations. The excitement around the Xoom and the Samsung 8.9 are indicative of more challenges to come. Yes, Google is still sorting out the code base and whether it really wants a truly open platform (vertical of hardware, software and services must be so appealing) or something you pay to play with but it has some very neat things in Honeycomb, indeed you might call some of them compelling. If the makers can make hardware advances and maintain price competivity with Apple then things will hot up as the market matures. RIM, WebOS and evern MS will also find their niches, initially at least.

  20. A. Nervosa

    *sigh*

    "After all, despite a similar keynote with nearly identical slideware trumpeting the iPhone's dominance just a year earlier, the iPhone no longer dominates. Android does."

    This is like comparing a VW Golf's dominance to "hatchbacks". But let's ignore this for the moment.

    Apple stated very specifically when they announced the iPhone that it was 5 years ahead of anything else on the market. That was in 2007 and it's now 2011, the tipping point that Android's giveaway saturation is only now starting to make in impact. In every respect Apple were exactly right, and whether you love them or loathe them, that's an astonishing achievement that has pushed the whole industry forward for us all in ways very few are capable of.

    Looking at comments like NoneSuch and Mathelli above, it does repeatedly amaze me just how much vitriol and bile is aimed at the iPhone when it's more or less singlehandedly responsibly for driving an industry that's taken 5 years to get its shit together and come up with something remotely comparable.

    1. Morningstar

      Re: *sigh*

      Apple may have said the iPhone was 5 years ahead, but it wasn't, plenty of phones had more functionality. All the iPhone had was a nice UI and design. It took Apple 3 years to catch up properly, even now plenty of phones have more functionality.

      To be honest I think Nokia did more to drive the smartphone market than anyone else with the N series, their problem was that they wanted a different device for everyone. Instead of concentrating on one or two devices that could cover the business side and the personal user, they used a shotgun approach that ultimately failed. Their treatment of the N900 and its buyers was diabolical.

      I don't want to pay £500 for a tablet, I don't want to pay £400 either, Give me a £250-300 device with a reasonable 7" capacative screen, expandable memory, and wifi, with the option for blue tooth tethering and I'll be happy, so I suspect, will be many other people.

    2. Steve Evans
      Troll

      Re: *sigh*

      Sorry? Are you saying the iphone1 was 5 years ahead of its time?

      Oh go on then, I'll feed ya!

      This would be the iphone1 that didn't do 3G, multitasking (of any style), couldn't do MMS messages, couldn't do group SMS and had a tiny camera with no flash?!

      It could barely be called a phone given it's poor support for the standards. It would have been better to call it an iPod chat.

      All it had was a pretty UI and a touch screen... It was a retarded beauty queen... All very pretty to look at, but don't expect it to be able to do much more.

      In 2007 I had a Nokia N95, sure, no touch screen, but real multitasking, hot-swappable MicroSD storage, built in RDS radio, 3G, video calling with front and rear cameras (5meg with flash on the back) and it supported all the mobile messaging standard correctly etc etc etc.

      1. A. Nervosa

        Well

        Arguably you're both possibly missing the point, summarised quite simply with the expression "jack of all trades, master of none".

        Apple never claimed the iPhone could do absolutely everything there was to do on a mobile device, and just a cursory glance at their keynote speeches, not to mention their sales figures, shows that Apple have been quite open in saying that their intention was to get a smaller numbers things right the first time around rather than packing in all the functionality they could just for the sake of it.

        5 years ahead of its time applies to more than just a bleedin' SD slot. It was 5 years ahead of its competitors in producing a device that wasn't a royal pain in the balls to use for anyone other than pedantic, chin-stroking techies who value specification sheets over ease of use.

        I'm not saying it's for everyone. What I am saying is that if you disagree that you're indirectly benefiting from the iPhone's success then you've got your head buried in the ground.

      2. ThomH

        @revisionists both ways

        What the iPhone had was a multitouch, direct manipulation API. So, in the browser you didn't use a little joystick to step down the page one notch at a time and you didn't go to a little submenu somewhere to decide whether you wanted 50%, 75% or 100% zoom. And it shipped with industry standard fonts like Times and Helvetica, using Apple's preferred typographically-accurate rendering, on a screen with a then high pixel density. It was also the first phone to ship with and with an OS built around the presumption of a GPU.

        When you bought an iPhone you also got an unlimited data plan — at the time almost unheard of — and no carrier interference.

        Most competitor's phones then rarely shipped without being crippled by the carrier, required a BSc to operate fully and were proud to include only exactly one font. I was at an a Nokia presentation just shortly before the Microsoft announcement and one of the invited speakers opined that it was a big joke that anyone should care how text on screen looks, as long as it's there.

        So, limited innovations if you're going to boil them down to numbers. But if you're the sort of person that genuinely thinks the correct way to compare devices is a simple present-or-absent feature check list and that direct manipulation and physical navigation metaphors count only as "a pretty UI".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Jobs Horns

          @Nervosa

          Unfortunately we are all benefiting from Nokia's failure to get rid of symbian and be innovative.

          Apple have never done anything original..... they have copied and vastly improved upon ideas and products from others, individuals, companies and even product segments.

          I do not buy apple because I do not care for their business practices/models and I resolutely refuse to be the biatch of Steve Jobs. All the control apple have over devices produced by them makes them never really yours, even though you have paid good money for them.

          I like android and will more than likely be buying an Android based fondle slab this summer or autumn.

        2. stewski

          And yet it wasnt the first!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Prada_%28KE850%29

          I'm not saying the LG prada was a better phone, I've not used either, but the revision of "innovation" around many Apple products is continually amusing...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @stewski

            That is true, but the interaction model is what separated the iPhone. All LG's interface did was make the buttons slightly bigger so you could use a finger instead of a stylus. Arguably, the Palm and WinMo phones (as argued at the time) had "touch" interfaces. Like I said Apple's *innovaton* was the interaction, not simply making a touch screen. The iPhone was considerably better made and more responsive than LG's effort too.

            1. stewski

              I've heard this before

              You used them both?

              As I say I haven't, the prada did win the IF product design awards the same year as the iPhones launch, but many random internet people have said the same as you, that it was awful and the iPhone was "the" innovation.

              Obviously, touch screens were not innovative, neither were touch only converged mobile devices, those claiming iPhone innovation (the introduction not just bringing to market of something truly new or novel e.g. the definition of innovation) are always left talking about the synergy of the features available. To me this isn't innovation, innovation was made at xerox parc and Doug Englebart, not MS or Apple, or by Sam Hurst of Elographics/IBM for pioneering touch interfaces and University of Toronto's Input research group and later Bill Buxton for multi touch. But maybe you are right some bold rounded buttons and a very popular product are the epitome of innovation in the modern world!

              Either way touch interfaces for mobile devices have got better (they were expensive and awful in early products) my friends iphone pinch/zoom and on screen keyboard seemed a step forward, but still awkward and expensive, the haptic feedback on my Android seems to take it a touch further for text input, and it is on an £80 device, if its all about making a product when I'm paying this is what I'd rather call innovation.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                LG Prada

                Yes, my fashionista sister had the Prada and I can honestly say it was woeful. Many claim that iDevices are nothing but shiney-shiney, but this along with Vertu phones take the biscuit. Apple's real innovation was the interaction model and processes. I find it a bit churlish to say that MS and Apple haven't innovated at all and to be honest it's entirely moot. "Haptic" feedback is a matter personal taste. I hate it. It didn't work with RIM's Storm and it's flexible screen, and I find the constant vibrations on smaller Android devices an irritation, obviously YMMV. Thankfully it can be switched off. Is vibration as haptic feedback innovative? Certainly not. That idea has been around for an awfully long time. Put it this way, were it not for the iPhone, your Android handset would have looked more like a BlackBerry and touch would probably still need a stylus.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Steve Evans

        And where are Nokia's profits vs. Apple's now? Why did Google switch Android's focus from a BlackBerry style UI to a (then) iPhone style UI? Where are the N9x series phones now? What has happened to Symbian since then? Your list of why the N95 was better has been proven *by the market* to be a strawman as you were no doubt told when the iPhone was launched while you rattled out the same old boilerplate rubbish. Features are one thing, how well they are implemented is another, something that Android has only caught up with in the last 9-6 months and I've yet to see Google do anything really innovative in this space--at least Microsoft have tried to do something different. Apple's implementation has been proven, both by the market and by the myriad me-too devices, to have been ahead of the curve. Whether or not it was 1 or 5 years ahead, Apple have defined *what* a modern smartphone is, much like they defined how a modern desktop computer looked and worked.*

        Just because someone has differing views to you it doesn't make them a troll. The tables could easily be turned. I mean, banging on about the N95 what, *5* years after it was released! It looked like a bulldog chewing a wasp too...

        *No, Xerox didn't "invent" the GUI - Engelbart did in the 1960's at SRI.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Steve

        I too had a N95 and sold it to get a second-hand iphone (2).

        It was because the N95 was much better on paper (you're correct it had all those things) but it was absolutely fucking horrible to use.

        Constantly crashing.

        Never sure whether the gps was going to work - or whether I would have to wait 5 minutes to be able to get on my journey.

        Music taking ages to sort out whether anything new had been added.

        multitasking not working - apps crashing - and not telling you, so that it was basically not trustworthy for anything.

        I could go on... but I won't bore you with many more problems with my nokia. This was my last nokia - and I probably won't get another.

        Yes - the iphone didn't have multitasking - but it wasn't really a problem except for gps use.

        The camera was crap - but still better than nothing - and much better than missing a shot because the damn nokia had crashed again. Flash would also have been nice, but meh.

        MMS? who cares?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Grenade

          and then the N97

          My girlfriend bought the N97 on contract and i got an iphone, she slated me at the time. However after 4 months of crashing, death of 3 phones, and an appalling interface she decided to go and get the iphone.

          Android is getting there, and my next phone is going to be a toss up, and will depend on what I can see as usable in the market place.

    3. turnip handler

      Music

      The only thing that was really useful and great for the average user was that the iPhone could sync with iTunes and so you no longer needed to carry your iPod and phone. No body cared about cut and paste, 'apps' , data plans etc.

      Without the music player - iTunes dominance the iPhone would be able to pull as many casual users in as it does. The iPod is amazing, the music player that has fuelled the transistion of users to the Apple universe.

      I know there are iTunes to Android solutions out there but I don't think they are for the casual user.

      1. Steve Evans

        @Everyone!

        @A. Nervosa

        I make no apology for being a chin stroking techie, but the iphone1 was lacking more than just a "bleedin'" SD card slot.

        It was little more than an ipod touch with a phone slapped on, and it was a phone design they based on the US market only, which is why they didn't notice the rest of the world was already moving onto 3G, cameras and used SMS extensively.

        @AnotherNetNarcissist

        Please at least pretend to read the original post my reply was addressed to. Why did I dig out a "5" year phone for comparison? Because the OP said (or repeated a quote) that the iPhone1 (please note, iPhone ONE) was five years ahead of its time. So a logical comparison would be against a competitor at the time.

        Maybe you would prefer I compare the iphone1 against something from five years after its release which will be something next year...?

        So anyone claiming the iphone1 was five years ahead of anything at the time is at best a troll, at worst mentally deluded.

        @A/C 1

        The N95's biggest issue was that carriers were allowed to customise and often prevent firmware updates. Best thing I ever did to mine was to change it to a generic Euro model. They nailed a lot of the bug within a few months, something which they never managed with the N97

        @A/C 2

        N97, oh god yes, what a pile of poo. Had one of them. Nokia made a royal mess of trying to put touch onto Symbian. Only phone I have replaced outside of a contract just to get away from it. The old N95 remains my "just works" backup phone. The N97 is in a draw.

        @turnip handler

        Very true, dominating the digital "walkman" market, and then grafting a phone onto it was a smart sideways move. It avoided trying to go head to head with the big phone manufacturers right from the word go. Build up your customer base in the mp3 player market, then offer them an ipod with a built in phone.

        In summary, I wasn't saying the N95 was better or worse than the iphone1. I was just comparing two phones of the same era to counter the claim that the iphone1 was 5 years ahead of its time. If the iphone1 was truly 5 years ahead there should be a gaping chasm between them. There isn't.

        Technically the N95 was ahead with a better camera, real 3G video calling, true multitasking, copy/paste, 3G support, full support for the GPRS messaging specification, battery life etc etc.

        The iphone wins on the user interface which it brought from it's father the ipod touch, but as a phone it was lacking some pretty basic features, and lets not forget, it was supposed to be a phone!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Way to win a debate!

          Petty name calling! You are wrong , by the way...

          The original iPhone, and there is no need to shout, bettered the N95 in the market place; even though it didn't have the (dis)functionality of the N95. Did you not notice where I alluded that implementation of a feature is an important issue, one where Nokia have consistently missed the mark--hence the slow and painful death of Symbian. The big gaping chasm *is* the method of interaction. There had not been proper *touch* interfaces where the model of interaction had been carefully considered before the iPhone's release! *That* is what changed the game. *That* is what put it so far ahead. It was also the first *consumer* device to feature the full internet to boot. No more of that WAP nonsense. *Those* two things alone are what separated it from the field--and by some distance! It is also a contributing factor to why the N95 wasn't the stellar success that everyone predicted it would be even with all that bloat, sorry, those features!

          The iPod touch was released 3 months *after* the iPhone; iPhone was released in June 2007, iPod Touch was released in September 2007. Revisionism isn't clever and doesn't prove your point.

          Those "missing" features were, as I said, shown to be utter strawmen, carrying on about it changes nothing. MMS? Email is essentially free and far more useful, in fact email is *still* cheaper and less limited that MMS! The 'true' multitasking has always been bollocks and still is IMHO. The rest is moot. Like I said, whether you like it or not, the iPhone changed the game for the better and for everyone. It was ahead of the curve by quite some way, arguing over the time scales is also moot. It was an innovation and defined the look and feel of most 'smart'phones.

          1. Steve Evans

            Re: Way to win a debate!

            My point was purely that the iphone1 cannot be described as being five years ahead of its time in 2007. Although it's very possible Nokia won't have anything to beat it in 2012!

            So you are going to have to forgive me for arguing over the time scale, because that was my point!

            SMS is far more widely used for phone to phone communication outside of America than email, the reason mobile email got a hold in the USA is because the US networks couldn't sort out their interconnects to deliver messages between networks. So not being able to send a group text message was quite a source of amusement to us non-Americans when the iphone1 appeared.

            I'll freely admit that the iphone did give the other manufacturer a good kick up the arse, the user interface is nice. Unfortunately Nokia were still sitting in the meeting when the kick arrived and it just made them fall off the chair, banging their head on the edge of the table on the way down.

            So thank you Apple for causing the Android smartphone sitting on my desk to come into existence.

            Feel better now?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Well argued @AnotherNetNarcissist (!)

            "There had not been proper *touch* interfaces where the model of interaction had been carefully considered before the iPhone's release! "

            Yeah - those other touchscreen devices didn't put any thought into the interaction so they don't count. I wouldn't want MMS either, if my friend doesn't have email access on their phone then I'm not interested.

            Many people have said that the issue is that people don't buy 'features' they buy shiney and well marketed. A phone is something most people have and so is an obvious status symbol. It is only after they have a device they might realise that it isn't as amazing as they thought...or maybe 18months later when there iPhone is marketed as being out of date and they are a loser for having an old model.

  21. jbelkin

    Android "successful" at $.01

    Android is "successful" if you measure market share solely - profits or revenue, not very much. People are willing to accept an Android at $.01 (after 3 weeks, all Android phones are cheap or free) because they need a phone and you have to have at least a smartphone but when people have to shell out more than $.01? They choose Apple. look at the ipod - after 10 YEARS, the ipod holds 80% market share. You can buy a walgreen's brand mp3 player for $20 - or do people pay for a $100 nano or a $200 ipod touch? Why? When they have to shell out their own money, they are willing to pay for what works - why Android tablets are dead above $299. Android buyers are bargain hunters who can buy a cheap WIN PC netbook at $349, they believe price is the only measurement tool - they look at specs and at price and believe that is the only measuing stick. They clearly have never used an Apple product but whatever ... No Android tablet above the price of $299 will ever sell more than a few hundred thousand. PERIOD. just like no mp3 player above the price of $49 will sell more than a few thousand units other than Apple. Zoom is the new Zune. Galaxy is Rio and RIM is Creative. Low end of the market - all yours. Like Acer makes $12 per $299 netbook sold, that is Moto, RIm & Samsung if they can get to $299 or $199 ... meanwhile, Apple will clear $200-$250 per ipad sold and then use that to invent the next device ...

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Way to go

      Actually Android phones are successful because consumers get to choose a phone that matches their budget, lifestyle, featureset, provider, favoured manufacturer, pay plan.

      Want one with a keyboard? Want one with a large screen? Want a ruggedized phone? Want a pretty pink smart phone with spangly stars? Want a cheap PAYG model? Want a phone that has a controller and plays games? Chances are there is a smart phone powered by Android that provides all of these.

      One size does not fit all. That, in a nutshell is why Android is winning. It's also why it's likely that it will take marketshare and eventually dominate the tablet space too.

      Just as with phones we're already seeing tablets strive to differentiate themselves from other tablets including the iPad. Some devices specialize as ereaders, others as media devices, others have built in keyboards, others 3G and so forth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Grenade

        All great arguments but you are pretty much wrong

        Most people don't really care about those features, teccies care about features, most consumers care about benefits. Most consumers want a device that is "like an iPhone", touchscreen, can access the internet, has a facebook/twitter app on, allows them to play angry birds or whatever game they currently hear about, and preferably is on a cheap or free contract.

        If you think most people even think about anything else than you are deluding yourself, this is not to slag them off, but it is just clear that most people go into carphone warehouse/mobile phone shop and look at the devices on offer. Please spend a day in one and listen to what they are looking for. I guarantee for 90% of consumers it boils down to:

        Touchscreen

        Internet

        Facebook

        Games

        Does it feel good in the hand, is the screen good

        Contract price

        I have heard it numerous times, and my brother who works in one says that's why android hits the spot.

  22. kiran_mk2

    Win for Apple and Google - fail for everyone else

    Of course Android will gain more market share over iOS - as has been said, it's a free OS that is the easy option for manufacturers and carriers looking for a customisable OS. Also as was pointed out above, a lot of people will get Android phones "by default" as they'll be offered one for free (or very cheap) and like the look of the large touch screen and use it without even thinking about using it as a smartphone.

    But the bottom line (as always) is money. Apple earns money from 100% of the iOS devices it sells, where as all the other manufacturers (HTC, SonyEricsson, Samsung, LG etc) are competing with each other - it's very unlikely any one company will have a bigger market share than Apple.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Finally some sense

      Both you and bulldog below make the most important point.

      iOS vs Android is irrelevant. It essentially means nothing. Its just counting coup for geeks and the IT press.

      The only way to keep score (and lets face it thats all we are doing) is via the profits made by the companies involved in the devices.

      Show me anyone coming near the money Apple and Google are making out of Smartphone/Tablets and other similar hardware and only then this point becomes relevant. Wake me up when that happens. I cant see it being anything but a 2 horse race for years. And the funny thing is the business models are so different that mostly they can happpily co-exist.

  23. muddybulldog

    Platform vs. Device (again)

    Once again, pitting a platform (Android) vs a device (iPhone4). All these market share numbers are based on the last 3 months of sales. Android outsells iPhone4 by a few percentage points. I'm sure Apple can live with that seeing as the Android sales are based on all devices made by all manufacturers. Apple's share is based on one device by one manufacturer.

    Who gets revenue for the sales of Android hardware? That's split between Motorola, HTC, LG and a host of others. Who gets revenue from the sale of iPhone4? Apple.

    Who gets revenue from the sale of Android applications? Could be Google, could be Amazon, could be someone else next week. Who gets revenue from the sale of iPhone4 applications? Apple.

    How about developers? Android market share is superior, probably need to code for Android to make the most money, right? Well, seeing as market share ignores the installed base of millions of iPhone4 that were purchased prior to the past three months as well as the millions of iPhone 3G and 3GS devices still in circulation makes that conclusion not so clear. Consider that iPhone applications can also run on the other relevant device on the iOS platform, the iPad and it's completely clear. Android development is an asterisk at this point. iOS is where the money is.

    Android share would inevitably crawl above iPhone share, nobody ever denied that, but Android share isn't even remotely close to iOS share and it won't be for a LONG time after that that it reaches a superior installed base.

    Even should Android get there on tablets, it's still not that particularly relevant as long as the Android pie is being split up five, six or ten ways.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Platform vs. Device (again)

      "Android share would inevitably crawl above iPhone share, nobody ever denied that"

      Why do I get the feeling you probably did?

      "Even should Android get there on tablets, it's still not that particularly relevant as long as the Android pie is being split up five, six or ten ways."

      You'll have to work harder than that. When the IBM-compatible PC vendors were busy carving up the microcomputer market, was the dominant platform not relevant because Apple was still managing to sell as many Macs as one or two of those other vendors?

  24. Robert E A Harvey

    Price

    People prepared to pay apple prices are buying apple.

    Android has to take market share fromm $299 netbooks. Its no good leaving off the keyboard, Ethernet & usb & then wanting $800

  25. Phormic

    Er yes. Apart from that...

    Apple is fantastic at fostering growth in new markets. It is terrible at maintaining market share. Why? Because Apple is not a market-share leader, with very few exceptions (e.g., the digital music market).

    Ah yes. The digital music player market Apple have sold 150 million units of and have consistently seen off all competitors over the course of a decade but we'll just put that inconvenient little minor market to one side for this argument shall we?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Article summary = You have tried the best!

    Now try the rest!

    Please?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At last...

    An article by Matt Asay expressing an opinion I can agree with!

    Naturally, in response we see all the usual "but Android is for the common people!" nonsense as well as "those Far East cloners can't innovate - they can only copy!" drivel, both of which will be exposed by the market in due course. Of course, although one cannot yet prance around in the media with anything less than an iPad, the bulk of the goodies in the iPad come to its purchaser courtesy of the likes of Samsung and pals, so the market - including both the gadget-happy and the Nathan Barley segments - will only be catching up with established fact.

  28. Rex Alfie Lee
    Thumb Down

    Galaxy Tab does do more...

    I'm typing this note on a Galaxy Tab. Not the big one, the 7" tab & whilst I could send it via wireless I don't have to, because this is also a phone. Yes it does do more & I would rather this than an iPad any day...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Rex

      Good for you.

      And I could be typing this on an ipad/nokia/whatever.

      Your point?

      Oh yeah - there wasn't one.

  29. hexx
    Heart

    apple rocks

    whatever you say you fandroids :D

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    iPad sells cos normal people can understand how to use it.

    @M.Asay: > I have an iPad, and mostly use it to entertain my kids. But I can see myself carrying the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and using it in my work.

    And I can see the 90% of the market who are non-techies understanding how to do loads of stuff with an iPad, but not with the far less intuitive AndroidSlabs.

    (Matt - what you'd personally use the devices for is, alas, irrelevant. This kind of "extrapolation from techie self to marketplace" is why the tech biz ships such tidal waves of what to normal people is unintelligible dross.)

    @Stacy: > Doesn't stop me wondering just what your imaganation came up with though that you can't do with an ultra portable or smart phone...

    How about "understand how to use it"? Normal people, I mean. Not techies. The marketplace, I mean. Not techies.

    If you want a product to sell and work, for normal people, you have to dirty yourselves by finding out just how clueless and incapable, technologically, the market really is. (Google recently found that less than 1 in 12 people know what the word "browser" means - that's the level your product has to work at.) A product may look useful to techies, it may look really easy to use by techies' standards, but it'll still be way way too hard for the mass market.

    Apple understand this - they have their user-centered designers in charge of the projects, and products ship when *they* say they're ready and will work for normal people. No other tech firm seems to get this (yet).

    PS I proudly carry both an iPhone and an HTC, and they're both fab for me, but only one is fab for my sister.

    1. Keith Crooks
      Jobs Halo

      iPad - it's easier than walking!

      I have an iPad in work which I sneaked home last week. My button-pressing-loving 15 month old daughter managed to get her grubby little paws on it and within minutes she worked out that if she pressed the nice round button on the front and then swiped the glowing bit on the screen with her finger, it would unlock the device. A few minutes after that she was searching for 'gfdshfd' on google in safari. Not bad for somebody who can't walk or talk yet!

      1. Daniel Palmer
        Flame

        Why the hell does that even matter..

        >My button-pressing-loving 15 month old daughter managed to...

        Every time there is even the smell of Android vs iOS some chimp has to make this statement.

        Is it one of those things "you'll understand when you have children" that overly proud parents like to make out exist to excuse the selfish things they do?

        Ok, I have a sausage here.. If I drop it just right on my Pantech I06 that it slides the unlock open, rolls over to the google search widget and manages to hit the voice search button and thus records me saying "I wish these sausages weren't so slippery" and thus googles that.. Does that mean A: "Android" is so easy that even inanimate objects that can be sensed by a capacitive touch screen can use it or B: I should be immensely proud of the sausage for so clever and take a million pictures of the sausage and upload them to facebook because I'm under the false impression that people aren't already sick to death about hearing about the magic clever sausage?

        >> Not bad for somebody who can't walk or talk yet!

        Ok, we get it, you can reproduce. Well done! I was wondering want human reproductive organs were for but apparently only a small elite has the ability to use them.

        1. Keith Crooks
          FAIL

          Sand in your vagina?

          I think you missed the point slightly. Maybe it was all that red mist clouding your view.

          It was simply an example of how stupidly easy the iPad is to use that even my baby can work it out.

          But yes I am also proud that she is clever enough to unlock it at will (not by accident) as it shows she is developing well.

          I'd like to say I'm sorry if that offends you - but I'm not.

      2. stewski

        So is Android

        My Daughter did much the same on my Android phone, she was around 2 at the time.

        Funny thing is, she did all this without partitioning the SDcard as ext4 and SSHing in to use busybox, but I guess that just proves that, just because a device can do something, it doesn't mean all users HAVE to understand or do that.

        Also when I last asked she was unconcerned with the Androids platforms fragmentation :-)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me to...

    The reason Apple cannot remain market share leaders is that the minute they do something everyone else says "ME TO!!!" and jumps on the bandwagon.

    iPhone comes out with touch screen, slick UI, App store etc... bang.. everyone else is rushing out phones which are almost identical.

    Same with the iPad, one minute everyones saying theres no need for Tablets, next thing every bugger is releasing one.

  32. Jeff 11
    Thumb Up

    More market share nonsense

    "I can't remember whether it was Bill or Dave who once commented "Any fool can buy market share"."

    How very true. There's also an implicit brand value in Apple's market share declining once said market takes off: the iPhone/iPad makes a huge per-unit profit incomparable to any competitor in that market space, because they continue to be seen as premium goods, not common-or-garden tech. Markets for premium goods yield much, much more per-unit profit than the much bigger lower-end markets.

    If Apple was to produce lower-end, more affordable versions then these would be competing on the middle ground AND devaluing the brand, so why bother? Apple completely dominate the space they're targeting.

  33. Mondo the Magnificent
    Flame

    So why was this article rated so badly?

    Because the author believes that Apple users/buyers/fans are mindless people who spend their lives awaiting the Binary Messiah Steve Jobs to tell them what to buy, then buying it at all costs.

    You have this so wrong... the world is about choices...

  34. tryfan

    Strategy?

    The analysis is OK, except for one thing. It's not about the strategy of Apple's competition, it's about Apple's own strategy.

    Apple is the only company with a userbase so loyal that they basically will buy their every new product. Thus, it's the only company that's assured not to lose.

    As long as they can deliver new products, they will make tons of money. But they will have to deliver faster and faster...

  35. Mike Richards

    There's a lot of room at the bottom

    But is there any money to be made in flogging ultra-cheap tablets? Or are most of the Android developers going to be competing with one another for the lowest cost, lowest margin part of the market - a place where there is precious little scope for innovation or to distinguish your product against those of your competitors.

    Apple will be delighted to see the Android market spending its energy competing against itself. And I expect Google will one day follow Apple and Microsoft in having 'favoured' partners who are willing to develop a more premium product in order to offer something different and exciting.

  36. Michael C

    Utter analysis fail

    Andouid is shipping more units, but ONLY because it is in TWICE the market space serving more than twice the population. In markets it directly competes with iOS, Andoroid is the 2:1 second place. Android had 615% market growth, but they added 700% more market, and the market space itself more than doubled, which means for each new person CAPABLE of buying an Android phone (one who chose to buy any smartphone in that time period, they only gained about a quarter of them, and most of that in places iOS was not sold at all. As appel continues their relentless expansion into more nations, Android is the only one standing there to lose market stare.

    As for tablets, Appel has massive cost efficiency from 1st party control of the OS, a symbiotic line, and 200m units shipped high volume manufacturing. They have made direct investment in facilities enabling them to corner parts markets and buy at UNDER wholesale, sometimes even having back-end profits when facilities sell parts to their own competition. they;re clearing near $200 in profit on each iPad, and they have lower R&D than any single competitor in the space. With the competition aving 1-2m part model runs, splitting high R7D costs across it, and having a back seat in the OS development process (reactive not proactive development costs a LOT more), they simlpy can not produce a comperable platform at a lower price, and if they could, Apple can easily come down.

    ...and Apple has the back-en profits too. Samsung never sees a cent after shipping a Tab, in fact, ongoing support drains what profit they make. GOOGLE makes all the real money here. until that shifts, until costs come down, until several players simply leave the market allowing fewer to share the consumer base, the can not directly compete, and they know it.

    yea, Android's going to take some market share. it however is essentially banned from business, and that's a BIG deal too. Banks, Hostitals, government contractors, local governments, their security audits, STIG, HIPAA, SOX, etc make it clear android can not be allowed in. Without business, they lose. 80% of the fortune 1,000 are in process of testing and/or deploying iPads. Schools are adopting them at the district level. Andoid and iOS have mostly, until very recently, only competed in retail, but Apple owns the business market, and that's a bigger and high profit market. They learned that lesson from Microsoft. Google missed that day in school.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      um?

      Did you forget, and take your medicine this morning? Or did someone hack your account?

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