Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 24th Dec 2011 13:00 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Earlier today, Samsung revealed that it won't update the Galaxy S, its most successful smartphone to date, to the latest version of Android. You might shrug and dismiss that as just more evidence of Android's inherent fragmentation or the need for buyers to beware, but I take grave issue with it. This is a decision based not on technical constraints, as Samsung would have you believe, but on hubris." This. A gazillion million thousand times this. Also: "It's simple: make a large high-end device, a smaller value device, and a QWERTY device. Maybe one or two other specialty form factors, tops. That's it. Update them once a year, and keep the names the same." It would make updating a hell of a lot easier. We don't need the Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch Sensation.
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RE[3]: silly advice
by Tony Swash on Mon 26th Dec 2011 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: silly advice"
Tony Swash
Member since:

Go ahead and name these dozen major corporations that succeed by limiting choice.

Resort to name calling "you must be jealous because you can't afford Apple products"

Deny you are in a cult - all cult members do

Ignore the reality. Apple is considered by accounting experts to be an extremely risky investment due to potential litigation, overvalued assets etc,

ummm - the old 'Apple is doomed' meme

Very ironic it should still being circulated on the eve of what will probably be the most spectacular set of quarterly results Apple have ever produced and following a long string of spectacular quarterly results,

When people talk about Apple taking risks or facing obscurity in the near term they forget just how resilient Apple has been. It's been a leading player in information technology for nearly 40 years. That's a very long time. For almost the whole of that period it has been profitable and for a considerable amount of that time it has been very profitable. For a big chunk of those decades Apple operated and survived in a Microsoft/Windows dominated world. It was pretty much the only major OS platform that survived the onslaught of Windows.

Aaah - you say- but look how they nearly went bust and it was all because they did things the the way the are doing them now. Android versus iOS will be just like Mac versus Windows. Such a perspective, which is quite common amongst techies, confuses two events that happened at the same time, namely Apple nearly going bust and Apple only taking a small proportion of the market share, and think one caused the other. Correlation is not causation. In reality Apple nearly went bust because it was being spectacularly badly run and it's revival after the Next reverse take over showed it could relatively easily make profits on just the Mac business even in a Windows dominated world. And it's Mac business has only got stronger and stronger each year even though the Windows market domination continues.

What is 'winning' and how does it relate to market share in the new world of mobile devcies?

That's a serious and interesting question.

Does market share and winning have the same relationship now as it did in, say, 1995?

In the past, back in the days of the Wintel platform domination of the desktop PC market, having a large or majority platform market share was considered winning because:

a) A bigger platform market share meant bigger profits, a bigger business, lower costs. This was good because the point of making and selling things is to make a profit. As more and more revenue and profit was generated inside the platform with the largest market share more businesses could flourish, more products could be made, costs would go down in a virtuous circle.

b) A bigger market share meant a bigger developer mind share. The platform with the largest market share attracted the largest number of developers who wanted to maximise their sales income, which meant more software titles for that platform which meant another virtuous circle whereby more and more people would be attracted to that platform because it had more software.

c) A bigger market share meant that there were more peripherals for the platform. More peripherals were available and compatible for the platform with the biggest market share and this attracted customers to that platform which reinforced the majority market share in yet another another virtuous circle.

So back then getting and holding onto a majority market share was absolutely central to winning. Losing market share meant losing in general. Bigger market share meant more money, more developers and more peripherals. Which meant more customers. Which meant more market share. It all seemed so simple and obvious. Bigger market share must mean winning.

What's so interesting about the phone market is that none of the above seems to apply anymore. It seems as if winning and losing are a lot more complicated now and that there is now no connection between market share and wining or losing.


Apple make the most money in the mobile phone business but does not have, has never had, and will probably never have, a majority market share of smart phones. As Android handsets have grown rapidly and pulled past iOS in market share Apple's revenues and profits from iOS have increased in both extent and rate. Apple makes by far the most profit in the phone business, with a minority market share. Money and profits no longer follows market share.

iOS has the best app ecosystem. Not only are iOS apps generally of a higher quality but crucially, even though there are more Android users than iOS, developers make a lot more money from iOS than from Android. Several times as much. Developers love iOS. For users there is no app deficit penalty for having a device with a smaller market share anymore and no prospect in the foreseeable future that iOS users will experience any app penalty for using a phone whose OS is not the largest. Quite the reverse in fact, using the minority iOS means better apps. Developer support no longer follows market share.

Because Apple has such a small number of phone models, and because they all use the same form factor for peripheral connectivity, iOS has by the far the largest peripheral market of any mobile platform. Conversely the sheer and slightly bonkers numbers of different Android handsets means that Android has a relatively impoverished peripheral market compared to iOS which has more cases, add ons, plugins, more scientific and medical peripherals, more compatible music systems and cars adaptors, etc etc. [i]So peripheral support no longer follows marke

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