Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th Aug 2013 11:24 UTC, submitted by Sameer Singh
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Android tablets browsing share is still relatively low in Europe, but very strong in Asia. Despite the iPad's head start in the market, Android's tablet browsing share has nearly matched the iPad in Asia. More importantly, the overall trend is sharply in favor of Android tablets, which supports the strong shipment performance over the past few quarters.

Good analysis. Sameer Singh compares the growth trend of Android tablets to that of Android smartphones in the past, and it shows that Android tablet usage is actually growing faster than Android smartphone usage did in the past.

At this point, nothing seems to be able to stop Android's total and utter dominance. Not Apple, not Microsoft. Scary.

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Domination of what consequence?
by Tony Swash on Sun 11th Aug 2013 00:03 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:

At this point, nothing seems to be able to stop Android's total and utter dominance. Not Apple, not Microsoft.

Back in the PC days when Apple had 10% of the platform OS market and Microsoft had 90% that percentage difference mattered to a degree that was almost exactly proportional. It mattered in relation to money and it mattered in relation to end user experience.

In the PC days being on the 10% platform meant a narrower and more limited experience for the end user and being on the 90% platform meant a much richer experience. In some professional areas (graphic design, DTP, etc) the Mac software offerings were as a good as Windows, but only because in the professional markets the Mac market share was much bigger than the general market share. In the general software arena, an arena actually made up of lots of software niches such as programs for dentists, retailers, game players, genealogists, collectors, archivists, statisticians, etc etc, the offerings for Windows were much richer than for the Mac because the potential revenue earning for the software developers were proportional to platform market share. And of course this became a feedback loop, as more people and developers flocked to Windows it's strength grew and the Mac weakened. This was not just true for software it was true for all sorts of peripherals and add ons.

So in the PC days the actual user experience on a minority platform was tangibly less rich and more constrained than on the majority platform. Lots of software and peripherals were Windows only.

Is a similar dynamic visible in the mobile device markets? Android devices have outsold iOS devices for a while now, the share of Android devices is increasing, it's installed base is substantially bigger than iOS. But I cannot see how that translates into a disadvantage for any iOS user or an advantage for any Android user. If you are a majority platform Android user what is that you get as an advantage from being on the majority platform? Do Android users get better software, Android only killer apps, better peripherals, more digital content? No.

Given the enormous amount of software, peripherals and digital content available to iOS users, much of it in place because of very long term development strategies by Apple, it's very hard to see how in the foreseeable future the user experience of any average iOS user is going to be adversely effected by the Android market share or the position of the average Android user is going to be tangible and significantly improved above the iOS experience by the fact that Android has the majority market share.

It seems that for end users in the mobile device markets OS market share is irrelevant. It has no impact on end user experience, there is no bonus for being on a majority platform and no penalty for being on the minority platform.

That's interesting.

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