Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Aug 2012 22:17 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless You wouldn't believe it, but something actually, truly interesting came out of the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit yesterday. Apple had conducted a survey to find out why, exactly, consumers opted to go with Android instead of the iPhone. The results are fascinating - not only do they seem to invalidate Apple's claims, they provide an unusual insight into consumer behaviour. The gist? People choose Android not because it's an iPhone copy - they choose it because of Android's unique characteristics.
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Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Tue 14th Aug 2012 23:40 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

What fascinates me most, however, is the stuff about wanting the latest technology and smartphone. I've long professed the belief that Apple would never be able to keep up with the fast pace of development in the Android world, and that this will eventually harm their business just like it did in the PC space. People do want the latest technology, and they know perfectly fine where to get it: not in Cupertino.


You mean like Retina displays?

This whole 'it's the 1990s all over again' meme is a shallow way to analyse the mobile revolution, not only is this not a repeat of the PC era (because so many fundamental things are different) but it's also based on some deeply embedded but false myths about what happened in the 1990s.

I know we are in many ways at an early stage of the mobile revolution but already there are phenomena which are very hard to explain if one views events through the 'it's the 1990s all over again' lens. Why does Apple make so much more money than all the Android devices makers added together, especially given that the use of the almost useless but traditional metric of market share means one should expect to see Apple in commercial decline by now and Android device makers financially ascendant? Why have Android tablets failed so spectacularly?

Why is the OS distribution and update mechanism in the Android ecosystem so obviously broken?

Why, given the relative market shares, is the developer and app space in iOS so much richer, healthier and fuller than in the Android space?

These are all tremendously interesting questions but I think constantly looking for signs that the pattern of events of the 1990s is happening again limits useful or deep analyses. Especially when people are looking for the the recurrence of a pattern of events which never actually happened in the first place.

Reply Score: -1

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by jeffb on Wed 15th Aug 2012 00:09 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
jeffb Member since:
2005-07-19

Apple makes most of the money in PCs. A few years back when Apple was 8% of the PC market they made 90% of the profits. Today they are at 12%.

Apple makes more money because Apple targets the profitable sector of the market. They have consistently chosen profits over market share but not so much that they've allowed their share to fall. Apple in the 1990s was even more greedy and allowed their share to fall.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Wed 15th Aug 2012 10:17 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Again you are trying to compare the PC market to the new mobile device market, they are very different.

Apple has made a fantastic job of staging a comeback in the PC world where Microsoft's hegemony was so vast. They focussed on gutting the PC OEMs profits, mostly because they were the weak link in the PC food chain where Microsoft took the bulk of the profits and left crumbs for the other feeders and so stepping around them was easy. But that fantastic comeback, even though it has delighted old fans like me and made many new converts to the OSX platform, is about yesterday's game.

The new big game in town is mobile devices and here Apple is by far the most successful player. In just five years Apple has built a business with essentially a single product, the iPhone, that on it's own is bigger than Microsoft. The software market and developer base of iOS is already bigger and far more dynamic than the Windows software/developer space. That's quite some achievement.

It seems that unlike in the PC world in the mobile device world the money (and hence the software, the developers and the peripheral makers) no longer simply follow the platform that sells the most units. This is not the PC market.

If the money, and all that is connected to money, no longer simply follows the platform with the most units shipped, then the device market needs to be looked at as a competition between device makers. For example stats like this are important: according to NPD, the top five smartphone brands, and their market shares, in Q2 were as follows:
Apple: 31 percent
Samsung: 24 percent
HTC: 15 percent
Motorola: 12 percent
LG: 6 percent

And on that list only Apple and Samsung are making much in the way of profits.

The indications are strong that in the new device markets the consumer world is far more important than the enterprise world, and in fact the former appears to be beginning to drive the latter (hence Microsoft's risky Surface initiative than is primarily intended to reassert it's enterprise hegemony). It also appears that fully integrated devices (software, hardware, sales channels, digital content) are more successful than fragmented devices (hence Google's recent downgrading of piracy related search results in order to move forward stalled content negotiations with the content owners in music and especially film and TV).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by kwan_e on Wed 15th Aug 2012 01:40 in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Why does Apple make so much more money than all the Android devices makers added together, especially given that the use of the almost useless but traditional metric of market share means one should expect to see Apple in commercial decline by now and Android device makers financially ascendant? Why have Android tablets failed so spectacularly?

Why is the OS distribution and update mechanism in the Android ecosystem so obviously broken?

Why, given the relative market shares, is the developer and app space in iOS so much richer, healthier and fuller than in the Android space?

These are all tremendously interesting questions


Why do you keep on asking loaded questions that presupposes the answers; the premises of which also beg the question? They are not tremendously interesting questions because the way you "ask" them don't even suggest they're intended as questions.

Seriously, you sound like a communist propaganda machine:

"Why is our Dear Leader so benevolent and wise?"

"Why are the capitalists failing so hard that they have to send tribute to our Dear Leader under the guise of 'foreign aid'?"

"How does our Dear Leader keep the people happy so that they don't want to run away?"

"Why are our enemies so jealous they want to stop our testing of nuclear delivery systems that are more advanced than theirs?"

These are similarly not interesting questions.

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Wed 15th Aug 2012 10:19 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

You don't like those questions because you don't like what the answers would reveal. The rear view mirror is a poor way to see what is coming on the road ahead.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by orfanum on Wed 15th Aug 2012 17:46 in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

What are you, some kind of right-wing Korean nationalist, the sort that would perversely rather appease Japan (as history has shown) than see your own country unified under any regime that would be even slightly left of centre? How ironic that you use this analogy on the day both Koreas celebrate their liberation from the Japanese yoke. Grrrr.

Reply Parent Score: 3