Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 17:35 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Ian G. Clifton: "Early on, iOS did a lot to push mobile devices forward and helped set bars in a lot of areas for other platforms to meet. Unfortunately, iOS has not changed much lately and in some ways hurts Android when used as the 'golden standard' due to its limitations. A lot of the harm isn't realized by consumers, but Android developers encounter it constantly when something has to be done 'the iOS way' or an Android feature is not even considered because iOS cannot do the same."
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RE[2]: There's a reason
by Tony Swash on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE: There's a reason"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Fortunately for Android users, I think the iOS train has just about run its course. When Jesus Jobs was still alive, all I heard from the tech media and elsewhere is how wonderful iOS was and how there was no competition. But now that the reality distortion field is wearing off, people are starting to see iOS for the turd that it is, and so we're now hearing things like 'iOS is getting boring'. If Apple doesn't do something to radically re-define iOS soon, it's probably gonna end up a distant second, just like Macs on the desktop.

And with Jobs out of the picture, I don't think they've got anyone with the kind of vision its going to take to put iOS back on top. If nothing else, Jobs was a master snake oil salesman - putting features in the OS that the competition had for years, convincing people that it was 'Magical', and having them lined up around the block when the new model went on sale. And it's kind of hard for anyone to replace him in that regard.


I think that is a widely held, and no doubt reassuring, set of beliefs amongst keen techie Android fans and those who are not smitten by Apple. However I do think it is mistaken, primarily because it is founded on a misunderstanding of what happened in the PC platform wars. The key misunderstanding I think is the confusion of market share, which is a proxy indicator of platform strength, with the actual thing of interest which is platform strength itself. Back in the PC days market share was quite a good proxy measure for platform strength but in the mobile device era it seems a much weaker indicator of platform strength. Using a wide range of obvious metrics for platform performance measured by a very high number of independent surveyors it is clear that iOS out performs Android as platform on a per capita basis by a big margin. What that means is that in order to just achieve parity with iOS platform performance Android would probably have to establish an installed base of several times the iOS installed base, and bear in mind that the iOS installed base is around 500 million now and will probably creep towards a billion over the next couple of years.

What this means is that it is almost certain that the larger market share of Android will never result in platform disincentives to mobile device customers, no potential buyer is going to be put off buying an iOS device in the foreseeable future because of an inferior platform offering resulting from a minority market share and no Android buyer is likely to see a superior platform offering resulting from a greater market share.

A secondary reason why the the Android space is not like the PC space is that Google does not manage it as Microsoft managed the PC space. Microsoft was a very heavy handed policer of the Windows PC ecosystem in terms of ensuring hardware and software compatibilities in a way that Google does not do in relation to Android. So we have a situation where a large number of 'dumb' Android smart phones and tablets are sold in places like China but which in terms of ecosystems hardly connects with say the US or European Android ecosystem. This too reduces the per capita platform effect of Android.

Personally I think both Android and iOS will thrive in the coming decade. The interesting issue is how Google plans to reset the Android project (if that is indeed what it is planning) in the post Rubins era.

I would like to write more on this fascinating topic but it's late and I am tired.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: There's a reason
by WorknMan on Tue 2nd Apr 2013 23:18 in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I think that is a widely held, and no doubt reassuring, set of beliefs amongst keen techie Android fans and those who are not smitten by Apple.


Nope, Android fans have been saying iOS was an ass burger from the very beginning ;) Now I'm starting to see articles from admitted Apple lovers making the switch. Even MG Siegler (one of the most rabid iOS fanboys I've seen in the tech media) has come far enough along to admit that Android is now a real contender:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/08/nexus-4-review-finally

What that means is that in order to just achieve parity with iOS platform performance Android would probably have to establish an installed base of several times the iOS installed base


Probably so, but unless Apple pulls a rabit out of its hat, I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen. iOS has gotten stale, and people are noticing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: There's a reason
by Nelson on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 01:14 in reply to "RE[3]: There's a reason"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I don't think Apple is exactly sitting still either. I also don't think it'd be that difficult of a feat for them to refresh iOS enough to keep people interested.

I think the very same people who say that others fell into Steve Job's RDF are the ones who attribute this weird company-saving attribute exclusively to him.

Steve set Apple on a prosperity trip that will last into the next decade, but it doesn't mean he's the only one who can do so. By all accounts, Tim Cook, who ran the show a lot of the time, is doing a fine job.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: There's a reason
by Janvl on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 08:41 in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
Janvl Member since:
2007-02-20

Dear mr. Swash. Why write more? Using even more words does not hide that you are an apple fanboy.
Remember why IBM allowed PC-clones and what happened.

Edited 2013-04-03 08:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: There's a reason
by phoudoin on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:20 in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

So we have a situation where a large number of 'dumb' Android smart phones and tablets are sold in places like China but which in terms of ecosystems hardly connects with say the US or European Android ecosystem.


Hum? How comes a 'dumb' Android device sold in Asia can't run an android app available worldwide, even if this app's target in mind is more US/EU ecosystem?

Please, don't underestimate the non-US/EU android apps market. There is a lot more than one occidental would think. And all them contribute to the Android platform market share. Ask Apple about iOS app market share in China, South Korean, India or even African countries.

Being cheap and dumb is what helped PC/Windows couple to gain #1 market share. Being expensive and smart is fine, but it reduce your worlwide per capita simply because not all worldwide people can afford it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: There's a reason
by twitterfire on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 09:38 in reply to "RE[2]: There's a reason"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


Using a wide range of obvious metrics for platform performance measured by a very high number of independent surveyors it is clear that iOS out performs Android as platform on a per capita basis by a big margin.

What do you mean by platform performance? Revenue? I'm sure Apple and IBM had a better profit margin per device sold back in the '80s. That doesn't mean they didn't lost.


Microsoft was a very heavy handed policer of the Windows PC ecosystem in terms of ensuring hardware and software compatibilities in a way that Google does not do in relation to Android.

I've developed some small Android apps just to get accustomed with Android development. I can assure you that as long as the CPU uses the same instruction set, the app is pretty much compatible. Vast majority of CPUs in Android devices are ARM using ARMv7 instruction set. Even if you want to target ARMv6 or x86, recompiling is easy.


So we have a situation where a large number of 'dumb' Android smart phones and tablets are sold in places like China but which in terms of ecosystems hardly connects with say the US or European Android ecosystem.

I didn't know there's an US Android ecosystem, an EU Android ecosystem, a chinese Android ecosystem and a kenyan Android ecosystem. That's so bad Android doesn't have a global ecosystem like iOS has...

Edited 2013-04-03 09:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3