I don’t think the market would be hurt by a third big vendor (well, except for those of us who would like to develop for all mobile phones), and from all the accounts I’ve heard, Windows Phone (and Windows 8) seems like a pretty strong system. What have you got against them?
Granted, it will be tough for them to overcome the dominant two, but Android (and IOS) both have weaknesses, and Microsoft still possesses a unique market position that could allow them to exploit those.
The early projections I’ve seen suggest that Android took over 40% of the tablet market in Q4 2011 (not sure I believe it, but we’ll see the numbers soon, I expect). If that is not success, I don’t know what is. To put the actual growth of Android in perspective, consider that in April 2011, Gartner was predicting Android to have around 50% market share in smartphones by year end 2012. According to some analysts, they hit that mark in August/September last year.
Things are moving incredibly fast. We live in interesting times, as they say… has the world ever experienced such a dramatic shift in domestic technology in such a short time as what is occurring with our “smart” devices?
No. I mean that historically, they have blown Apple out of the water for marketshare, and that this quarter is an exception to that, but the question is whether it's just a blip or represents anything for the future.
This is absolutely valid going forward.
What will decide the ultimate fate of the mobile world is not how much money Apple can make. Certainly, as a holder of Apple stock, that profitability is awesome.
But in terms of which platform will dominate the next decade, marketshare is going to be the driving force. And, ultimately, that's going to lead to long term profitability. I'm skeptical that Apple is going to be able to maintain their profitability without Jobs' leadership. I get the feeling that they will continue to lose marketshare to Android, and become less important overall in the mobile market as time goes on.
What will be really interesting is how they leverage those bajillion of dollars in cash that they are supposedly sitting on. They've already stated that they won't be paying it out to shareholders, so the question is whether it results in new "world-changing" technologies (surely their R&D departments have some ideas for what comes after the iPad)... or just lining the pockets of patent litigation lawyers.
Apple should be reviled for how they act- outsourcing labor to third world sweatshops, hoarding cash while doing very little for charity, acting like anti-competitive patent trolls, etc. But they make cute little gadgets that people love to play with while they drive- so it's ok.
Making boatloads of cash, theoretically, should allow Apple to invest more than any other company in R&D, which should help them stay on top. However, Apple is notoriously cheap wrt. R&D (and wall street loves that, ugh). Also, the ROI on tech R&D is pretty random.
Not until Android == A specific hardware capability is that true. The thing about APPLE is that in general at any given time, their current hardware model is backward compatible for any reasonable lifespan with previous models. The same unfortunately can't be said for Android, which fragments the market (which in turn is a pretty important detriment to Android world domination). What you're saying is akin to dictating that every PC out there is a gaming PC, so clearly PC gaming dominates the XBox 360. It doesn't. The same walled garden that annoys folks about iOS results in tremendous paybacks for the app developers which, in turn, leads to the actual application dominance that iOS currently has (and will likely continue to have, regardless of relative marketshare of actual OS of the phones out there).
It's why I bought an iPhone when I finally upgraded from a featurephone to a smartphone: Ultimately the annoyance of APPLE owning everything is less than the annoyance of seeing something cool on the iTunes app store, and not seeing it for Android, would be.
Exactly. Having a mountain of money surely doesn't hurt Apple's chances of making cool new stuff... but it certainly does not guarantee it.
I am skeptical that any amount of money is going to be able to replace Jobs, who pushed things forward by sheer force of will. It wasn't a question of being able to pay to make things better, but rather it was a question of when do you think you've achieved your goal? Jobs always saw that goal as being farther down the road than was perceived by virtually everyone else, and that is what led to their success.
A better comparison to the PC isn't the 360... It's the Mac. And the PC did dominate the Mac. Completely, and totally.
That's what's kind of nuts about this.. We've seen this play out before. And one of the players was the SAME, which makes missing the parallel all the more ridiculous.
But not really. The Android development community has grown far more dramatically than the iOS development community, and as a result we've seen the number of apps for Android grow at a rate that far outpaces that of iOS. Sometime this year, there should be more Android apps than iOS apps, despite iOS having a large head start, if the recent trends continue.
It doesn't really happen much any more. A month or so ago, someone made a similar claim (I think about Adobe support for Android, if I recall). But the reality is, currently Adobe puts out all their software on both platforms.
Ultimately, as a developer, I'm gonna make stuff for the platform with the largest user base. So, if you gain marketshare, then you're likely gonna gain developers.. and that will reinforce the marketshare further.
Android already made it past the hard part.. which should have been gaining initial marketshare in a market where Apple already had a huge head start. But now that they're the dominant platform, they're in good shape unless they really screw something up somehow.
Microsoft R&D has been around for more than a decade, had billions dumped into it, and what has it produced for Microsoft. Especially in terms on ROI?
For a fraction of what Microsoft spent on R&D in a year, and with about 40 people, Apple invented the iPhone and pretty much doubled its revenue. And the iPhone begat the iPad, which pretty much doubled it again.
I'm making money in iOS development and losing money in Android development. I'm actually backing off of further Android development because it's too much work for too little return and the bar on Android is so low there are too many companies that would prefer to just pay bargain basement rates for somebody to in Pakistan or India to slap together an app for peanuts and crap it out onto the Market. Right now I'm working through a list of device specific bugs on an Android project wishing I had a gun in my mouth.
Not only is the shit to gold ratio still worse, even after Google's halfhearted Market tweaks, it's still hard for the gold to shine.
And that's just for phones. For tablets, well. Two years ago if you had suggested Apple was going to sell something on the order of sixty million iPads in the first two years even ardent Apple fanboys would have looked at you like you had taken leave of your senses. Yet here we are. And I wouldn't be surprised if in 2012, Apple sells more iPads in China alone than the combined unit sales of every Android tablet maker for the entire world put together.
A better (and more recent) comparison than PC vs. Mac is to look at the history of the iPod. The iPod trounced all competitors, many of the same competitors that are now using Android to compete against the iPhone.
The takeaways I see from Apple's quarterly results are:
1) Android's "dominance" in Q2 and Q3 last year was a result of people sitting on the sidelines waiting for the iPhone refresh 2) Demand for iPhone exceeded analysts' highest expectations and the 4S hasn't even launched in a key market like China 3) Kindle Fire launch didn't put a dent in iPad sales
I don't see any metric (yet) that indicates Android is going to eventually dominate the market like Windows/PC duopoly did.