You know what they say about the obvious. ‘Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.’ So it is with the ongoing battles between Apple’s iOS devices and Google’s Android.
On the surface, at first view, and as promulgated ad nauseam by today’s short sighted tech pundits, Android is winning. How so? Market share. Elsewhere in the forest, almost out of sight, Apple is slowly destroying Android.
Losing While Winning
Where, exactly, is Android winning in the battle against Apple’s iOS devices, the popular iPhone and iPad? Two words: Market share. Not revenue, not profits, not customers who spend money in the forest of Apple’s ecosystem.
In fact, on every other front except one, Apple is demolishing Android, despite being outsold in unit market share.
How does Android fare against this laundry list of important measures?
Apple has managed to capture almost 80-percent of the entire cellphone industry’s profits, leaving the rest to desperate Samsung (which spends nearly 10 times Apple on advertising and promotions).
The rest of the Android nation is starving, including Google itself. Wait. Isn’t Google planning to make money with mobile advertising? That’s the company’s strong suit, right?
Nearly 70-percent of mobile ad revenue is generated by iOS devices. That’s a two-to-one lead over Android devices, despite Android having three times the market share. What’s going on?
It’s usage. It’s ecosystem. It’s quality vs. mediocrity.
It’s been pointed out that 90-percent of mobile e-commerce revenue comes from iPhone and iPad; not Android devices. That indicates that iOS users actually use their devices in a substantially different way than Android users.
Over 80-percent of mobile gaming revenue comes from iOS devices. Web usage by iOS devices is more than triple that of Android devices which triple iOS devices in total numbers. Almost 70-percent of mobile ad viewing is done on iOS devices, not on Android devices.
iOS developer revenue is estimated to be four times that of Android developers. The numbers are worse for Android in tablets, where iPad dominates with higher web usage, higher ecommerce usage, and higher tablet activations in business.
How can all of this be true while Android dominates in unit market share? Apple’s iOS devices and the Apple ecosystem dominate usage, one of the true measures of winning.
Wait. The headlines indicate otherwise, right? After all, the Wall Street Journal described a feverish hype for a non-Apple device, the Samsung Galaxy S4. The hype seems to be confined to the Wall Street Journal. A more in-depth analysis reveals that whatever hype there is about Samsung vs. Apple, Samsung’s Galaxy is being outsold by iPhone, according to Tiernan Ray.
The Double Standard
Here’s the reality. Apple is dominating Android in all the areas that matter; from usage to revenue to profit to developer revenue to ecommerce to advertising; iPhone and iPad.
What’s happening in the headlines today is no different than what Apple has experienced through the entirety of the 21st century. The Mac is dead. Windows Music Store will destroy the iPod and iTunes. Apple needs a netbook. The iPhone is a flash in the pan. The list of wrong assumptions and predictions is long, and expertly displayed by Yoni Heisler’s The Apple Double Standard in NetworkWorld.
The headlines which shout ‘Apple is doomed, Android is winning‘ are merely headlines designed to grab attention, increase page views, and pile on the successful industry leader. There’s something human about such an effort. We cheer for underdogs and tear down those that lead and rule. That model for humanity may not be sustainable, either.
The latest noise points out that Apple is doomed if it does not release a cheap iPhone. Yet, we never hear cries that Lexus or Mercedes Benz or Cadillac must have a cheap version to prosper in a competitive environment.
Let the numbers speak. According to some, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is charisma-challenged and it’s killing Apple. How so? Where are the numbers? Apple must develop an entry-level, ‘cheap’ iPhone? Must? What are the numbers to support the conjecture?
Outside of the number of Android devices being sold (or, distributed, hopefully to be sold later; notice that only Apple releases actual sales numbers), and the number of Android device models vs. iOS devices, where, exactly is Android winning? Numbers don’t lie.
The fact is this. In every other measure Apple’s iOS device is destroying the Android empire. Other than Samsung, which appears content to copy Apple devices at the atomic level, and spend 10 times what Apple spends on advertising and promotion to achieve lower revenue and profits, all other smart phone manufacturers and industry players are losing money by the billions.
The question that tech media and stock analysts should be asking is, ‘How long before Android and Google’s partners give up the chase?‘