Google's Android is eating Apple's lunch

Nov 18, 2012 by Glenn Chapman
A store employee holds the Apple iPhone 4s (L) and a Samsung Galaxy S3 (R) in Seoul. Mobile gadgets powered by Google's Android software are devouring the market, eating into Apple's turf by feeding appetites for innovation and low prices, analysts say.

Smartphones and tablets powered by Google's Android software are devouring the mobile gadget market, eating into Apple's turf by feeding appetites for innovation and low prices, analysts say.

The operating system powered nearly three out of four smartphones shipped worldwide in the recently ended quarter as the dominated the market, according to industry trackers at IDC.

"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," said IDC's mobile phones research manager Ramon Llamas.

"In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition."

In tablets, Apple's market share has fallen to just over 50 percent from 65 percent in the second quarter as Android devices gain ground, according to IDC figures.

"Having a lot of people building a lot of things covering a lot of price points with multiple brands in multiple places makes a big difference," said NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker.

"Variety is strength when it comes to moving units."

Android smartphones shipments surged to 136 million, topping those in the same three-month period last year by slightly more than 90 percent, IDC reported.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 overtook Apple's 4S in the third quarter to give the South Korean firm the world's best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

"The pace of innovation in Android is faster than Apple," said Gartner vice president of mobile computing Ken Dulaney. "They are just trying harder; Apple is way behind in that area."

A customer compares an iPad mini (L) to an iPad at an Apple store in Rome. In tablets, Apple's market share has fallen to just over 50 percent from 65 percent in the second quarter as Android devices gain ground, according to IDC figures.

Android is benefiting from being an "open-source" platform that use free of charge and improve as they deem fit, providing Google with insights along the way.

Apple tightly controls its products from the software to the hardware and even the online shop for music, books, games or other content.

"What you get with Android is this incredible feedback loop with developers, equipment makers, customers, and designers," Dulaney said.

"At Apple, as long as they have a great vision internally it is fine but they don't have the feedback Android does."

Having thousands of different Android devices vying for consumers' cash is a strength when it comes to market share but puts hardware makers into a fiercely competitive arena, Baker noted.

"Other than Samsung, I don't know if other Android guys are making money," the analyst said.

Google gives Android away free, but the platform is crafted to make it easy for people to use the California Internet titan's money-making services such as search and maps, and get content at its online Google Play shop.

Forrester analyst Charles Golvin said that forces powering Android momentum include changing demographics of buyers.

Early adopters of smartphones focused more on new technology than on price, but the devices have gone mainstream with cost increasingly important to shoppers, according to Golvin.

"People are more inclined toward the Android platform because there is more choice and most of that choice is low price," Golvin said.

In the red-hot tablet market effectively created by the iPad, strong growth is being seen by Android rivals including Amazon's popular Kindle Fire, pictured, and Nook devices from Barnes & Noble, which run custom versions of the software.

The open nature of Android and the myriad models offered by gadget makers serve as a "double-edged sword," warned the analyst.

Apple pushes annual updates of iOS mobile operating system out to its devices, while new versions of Android hit more often but must get through hardware makers and telecom services to get onto people's handsets.

"You have this lengthy chain of intermediaries who are delaying the delivery of that new software and its innovations to existing devices in the market," Golvin said.

He backed his point by noting that many Android devices in use still run on generations-old versions of the operating system.

Android gadget variety can also make it tough to design accessories or even "apps" that can be used across the array of devices.

For its part, Google has done an excellent job of improving the "ecosystem" of music, films, apps, books and more available for Android-powered devices, according to analysts.

In the red-hot tablet market effectively created by the iPad, strong growth is being seen by Android rivals including Amazon's popular Kindle Fire and Nook devices from Barnes & Noble, which run custom versions of the software.

Analysts believe that the -backed operating system is likely to spread to typically "dumb" gizmos like appliances.

"These platforms are becoming the molecule elements for building all kinds of hybrid devices," Dulaney said.

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User comments : 18

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Roj
2 / 5 (6) Nov 18, 2012
In typical fashion, these stories always omit the security issues that plague vulnerable Android devices, and fail to mention the wisdom of those sticking with Apples more secure & stable iOS platform.

With malware & viruses that turn Android devices into infected zombots, and force banks and cell-phone carriers to lock them out entirely from their services, Android devices are shunned by anyone cognizant of security & privacy issues.

In other news, Microsoft's surface tablet is doing well with business users, may also be more secure than Android, and could eventually dominate it's market sector, much like other Microsoft products have done in the past.
abledoc
5 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2012
@Roi
Security is not really an issue for people who can take responsibility. If you want to go to a place of ill repute, you better have a condom. Apple is like wearing a chastity belt, and you need to pay apple tax even to visit your girlfriend. Apple is for kids and android is for adults. Virus affects only those who behave irresponsibly by installing crap applications. Microsoft tablet has just seen the light of the day and it is already "doing well with business users". My friends and colleagues who have bought apple products (in India) are regretting their choice big time. My entire region is a big empty space on apple maps. They had a rude shock after upgrading to iOS6. So much for quality
DroidDoesnt
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2012
Apple took in 71% of the profits in the smartphone industry last quarter....who's eating whose lunch???
_hrism_oney
1 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2012
Who cares how many shitty phones android sells on. The high majority of mobile web traffic is ios. The high majority of youtube videos played on mobile is ios. Sounds like Apple is eating googles lunch, since google owns youtube.
ryggesogn2
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 18, 2012
Now I am beginning to understand why some like Apple. It is a very socialist company in as it is a top down,command and control business model and hardware system.
PCs and Android demonstrate how the free market innovates at a more rapid pace to meet the needs of customers.
Jo01
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2012
It's very convenient to forget that Apple has 80 percent of profits of 25% of the smartphone market.
So who is eating who's lunch! The title of this 'article' is very misleading.
Another point is that Apples iOS devices are good for 75% or more of all web page views of all mobile devices.
This means that iOS users actually do something with the devices and that they are by far the most interesting group for advertisers and all others that sell via the web.
Another point is that the sales of the iPhone 4S is compared to that of the latest other devices. Apple sales always show a slight dip before a major new release and the sales of the iPhone 5 indicate that Apple will make a big jump again in its iPhone sales volume. So compare the sales of the iPhone 5 against the best selling whatever phone of another company.
And @Roi, your comment sounds juvenile and it looks like your parroting not well thought off arguments of others. Good luck with that.

J.
Jo01
2 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2012
@ryggesogn2: ... PCs and Android demonstrate how the free market steals innovation at a more rapid pace to meet the needs of customers.


Fixed that for you.

J.
Jo01
1 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2012
@Roi, sorry I meant of course @abledoc.
And your completely right about security.
MS (win95/98/me/xp) is a very good example of the problems you get when you ignore security.

J.

J.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2012
The Apple model must eventually succumb as it is a top down, command and control. A small number of individuals make the decisions and if they are wrong will have significant consequence.
With an emergent system, with large number of individuals making decisions, incorrect decisions will have limited consequence.
Jo01
1 / 5 (1) Nov 18, 2012
Your right @ryggesogn2, that's why Linux has 99,99% of the desktop market...
Or is it actually 0,001%?

J.
chromosome2
3 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2012
Your right @ryggesogn2, that's why Linux has 99,99% of the desktop market...
Or is it actually 0,001%?


Ubuntu NE LoCo TC here, (but I'm always here)-- Let's just say your estimate is off a little bit, and that things are in a state of rapid flux. http://www.omgubu...launches

My Nexus 10 gets here monday :D
zz6549
not rated yet Nov 18, 2012
In typical fashion, these stories always omit the security issues that plague vulnerable Android devices


Just like "security issues" that plague windows. The most popular platform is the most valuable target. Apple has always been able to rely on security through obscurity.

... and fail to mention the wisdom of those sticking with Apples more secure & stable iOS platform.


"secure and stable" is really just another way of saying "obscure and stagnant". Wisdom, indeed.
CapitalismPrevails
1 / 5 (1) Nov 18, 2012
"Google's Android is eating Apple's lunch" GOOD.
I'm getting fed up with Apple's frivolous lawsuits over petty matters.
Jayman
1 / 5 (1) Nov 18, 2012
Apple still gouges its fanbois. They literally pick the pockets of its customers. No wonder they take home the bulk of the profits. Its not something the company should feel proud about.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2012
Your right @ryggesogn2, that's why Linux has 99,99% of the desktop market...
Or is it actually 0,001%?

J.
Apple is running BSD under the hood. Winblows is a bastardized edition of UNIX. Much of the networking code for XP was copied from FreeBSD which is why M$ was able to finally release a semi-stable OS. Go to the command line instead of your candy-ass GUI and you're back in *NIX world.

Then Apple is running BSD and Android linux. Without UNIX PCs and smartphones would just be hardware.
migbasher
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2012
It tickles me when I read biased articles like this one, truth is apple deserves this plus a whole lot more.
migbasher
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2012
Who cares how many shitty phones android sells on. The high majority of mobile traffic is ios. The high majority of youtube videos played on mobile is ios. Sounds like Apple is eating googles lunch, since google owns youtube.

Funny thing is, you don't have the YouTube app on your new shiny Iphone5 out the box. Do you know why?
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Nov 19, 2012
"Google's Android is eating Apple's lunch" GOOD.
I'm getting fed up with Apple's frivolous lawsuits over petty matters.
Apparently the ghost user 'lite' appreciates Apple's frivolous lawsuits LOL