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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RE[6]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Wed 15th Aug 2012 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

It's because this is not a vendor vs. vendor war, but a platform vs. platform war.


That implies that a platform war is a platform war and they are all basically the same. I am not convinced. The logic of a platform war is simple, the platform that prevails using the metric of units sold and market share wins overall. It wins because because market share is self reinforcing because it brings more platform support, more money for the players in that platform's ecosystem (OEMs, peripheral makers and developers) and that all translates into more benefits for buyers (lower prices, better specs, greater compatibility with software and peripherals etc) and a feedback loop is created.

The problem i have with that perspective is that if that is really the ineluctable path that will be followed why isn't it happening now? Android's market share, installed base and units shipped are all significantly greater than iOS and yet overall profits in the Android ecosystem for OEMs (other than Samsung), for developers or for content sellers are anaemic compared to iOS. Similarly one could pose a similar question about software, content and peripherals and ask why isn't Android already better than iOS? Where is a price advantage for Android when like is compared to like, and could there be a price advantage for Android while Apple remains the player with by far the biggest and most powerful supply chain footprint.

You say we just have to wait a few years but why isn't it happening now? One can always project current trends a few years into the future and come up with seemingly startling predictions but that's a very risky thing to do. I could take Apple's commercial growth rates for the last five years and project it ten years down the line and say that by then Apple will represent over 50% of the global economy - but we know that is very unlikely.

Maybe you are right and Apple will retreat to a position it had in the old PC market but I remain unconvinced. It just seems so much like a wish fulfilment dream for those unhappy and disorientated by the shockingly fast rise of Apple in the last decade and those who hanker after the old PC culture of complicated devices one can tinker with, where the customer has to be the system integrator. Meanwhile in the real world there is no actual evidence that the 'platform war' is leading to the same consequences it did once before and decades ago.

This feels like a new and novel world to me.

I will ignore the bollocks about Apple is in the courts because it cannot compete or keep up. Watch Apple destroy the Nexus 7 this autumn and release what will become, easily, the world's top selling handset.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by Tony Swash
by moondevil on Thu 16th Aug 2012 07:29 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Tony Swash"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Watch Apple destroy the Nexus 7 this autumn and release what will become, easily, the world's top selling handset.


Only if your definition of World means US.

Because in Europe, there are many countries where you seldom see normal people with iPhones.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[8]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Thu 16th Aug 2012 11:07 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Watch Apple destroy the Nexus 7 this autumn and release what will become, easily, the world's top selling handset.


Only if your definition of World means US.

Because in Europe, there are many countries where you seldom see normal people with iPhones.
"

I travel on the London tube often and as long as there are more than about ten people in the carriage I can guarantee that I will see someone using an iPhone and almost as often someone on a iPad. Such anecdotes are interesting but not very scientific.

Measuring handset model sales, or even sales by vendor is hard because many big players, not least Samsung, do not release actual data on product sales. Apple do. It was noteworthy in the ongoing trial that when Samsung were forced to release actual data on sales their real figures were much less than than the estimates that had been made.

Horace Dediu at Asymco does sterling work trying to tease out and analyse real world data about the mobile device market. Two recent articles worth a look are here

http://www.asymco.com/2012/08/13/how-many-smartphones-did-samsung-s...

http://www.asymco.com/2012/08/15/american-exceptionalism/

I would have thought it highly unlikely if at a global level and measured over a reasonable span (say a year, certainly at least as long as six months, in order to avoid one off post launch peaks or tail offs before product refreshes) that any handset has outsold the iPhone 4s in the last 12 months. In the period from October 2012 to October 2013 I would think it very unlikely that any handset will outsell the iPhone 5 (or whatever it is caused).

The numerical success of Apple's handsets is partially a result of Apple's ultra simplification of it's SKU's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock-keeping_unit) which in turn is a key part of it's product strategy. Ultra minimal SKUs ensures an easy and enormous target for developers thus keeping the iOS developer space very healthy (and healthier than the Android space) and allow for massive savings in the supply chain.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Soulbender on Thu 16th Aug 2012 07:32 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Tony Swash"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Watch Apple destroy the Nexus 7 this autumn and release what will become, easily, the world's top selling handset.


Talk about wish fulfillment mirage.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[8]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Thu 16th Aug 2012 10:46 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Watch Apple destroy the Nexus 7 this autumn and release what will become, easily, the world's top selling handset.


Talk about wish fulfillment mirage.
"

I certainly wish it. I think it will happen. We will know for sure in a few months.

The mini-iPad FUD (which I assume is being partially orchestrated by Apple) is playing out very effectively.

Reply Parent Score: 2