Apple shocked the world back in 2005 by announcing that OS X and the Mac had gone Intel, and the company was dropping PowerPC CPUs. Even more shocking was Boot Camp, Apple’s official way to run Windows on a Mac. What would happen if Apple allowed Android to run on iOS devices, just like Windows runs on Macs and OS X?
It. Could. Happen.
As noted, this isn’t really an Apple to apples comparison. iOS is not OS X. Windows runs on OS X on Macs and does so a number a ways; either dual boot, or even within OS X.
The fear that many Mac users had about Apple switching the Mac to Intel CPUs, and allowing Macs to run Windows diminished in the light of reality.
Suddenly, the Mac became the best of all worlds, a classy computer which ran Windows better than most PCs, and also ran Mac’s vaunted OS X, and could be setup to run Linux or most flavors of Unix.
All at the same time.
That was then and this is now and Google’s Android has a near Windows-like lock on mobile device operating system installs. Apple’s iOS share continues to shrivel.
If OS X and Macs with Intel CPUs can run Windows in multiple modes, why not iOS on the iPhone?
A Few Issues
Technical, logistical, and licensing issues not withstanding, one of Android’s advantages* would disappear instantly if a version of the OS could be allowed to run on iOS devices.
To be fair, Android’s lock on the smartphone and tablet industry’s total OS marketshare isn’t as extensive as it was and is for Microsoft Windows. Android has plenty of forked versions (Amazon is a big one) that do not participate in Google’s Play ecosystem.
Still, having an option to install a certified version of Android OS, as an app, onto an iPhone running iOS would be a compelling differentiator, somewhat akin to running Windows on a Mac.
Switchers to the Mac from Windows found OS X and Apple’s apps to be so inviting that many didn’t need to dual boot into Windows or even use Office apps.
How valuable would an iPhone become if it could also run every app that runs on an official Google Nexus device?
Yeah, this is something of a pipe dream, and challenges are many and differences abound. Microsoft sells standalone versions of Windows which install easily on Macs. Google doesn’t sell Android as a standalone OS package to end users.
Apple did the unthinkable with the Mac, so why not a little unthinkable for the iPhone?
*Unlike Microsoft’s Windows, Google gives away Android free to smartphone and tablet manufacturers. If Android is as open as Google says it is, would Google certify Android OS for iOS devices?