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Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
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Apollos
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Apollos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2012 | 3:44:12 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Completely agree. Different business models. Apple will never take the lion's share of the mobile space... but I don't think they want to be there, either. It's part of their mission statement.

There are a plethora of watches out there too. But high-end and high quality watches are closer to fine art or jewellry than a practical time piece for the masses.
Apollos
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Apollos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2012 | 3:41:07 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
The "right" thing is subjective. They're both different business models. I appreciate them both. They both have different clients in mind.
Apollos
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Apollos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2012 | 3:40:17 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Samsung makes more money off Android as the platform allows them to sell things on their own store. It offers Samsung a chance to have close to the vertically integrated experience that iOS holds dear.

That's why Samsung integrates its phones with the ability to talk to its TVs, etc.
Apollos
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Apollos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2012 | 3:37:24 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
The "90s Microsoft" sold OEM versions of software for pennies to Hardware manufacturers who sell PCs with their own software loaded on there (AOL anyone?). Anyone could write a program for Windows and sell it on their own store.

The 2000s Google sells OEM versions of Android for pennies to Hardware manufacturers who sell Phones with their own software loaded on there (Kindle Fire, Samsung App Store). Anyone can write a program for Android and sell it on their own store.

You were saying? Even a 3rd party observer such as myself can see the obvious truth and I don't own an iPhone or an Android device.
Apollos
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Apollos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2012 | 3:24:21 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
BetaMax was superior to VHS. The best product doesn't always win. In fact, the BEST products RARELY have the highest market share because the MAJORITY aren't willing to pay for quality.

The product that almost always rises to the top is the "Good Enough" product. It's good enough for your average Joe, and cheap enough for everyone.

Android has low licensing costs, is a very similar interface to iOS (compared to Windows Phone, which is an original interface) and is offered at high discounts with a plethora of choices. The manufacturers loved it because they can take the interface and market their own stores and solutions on it, thus potentially generating revenue for themselves without the cost of supporting a wider ecosystem.

It's similar to why Windows was popular. It was good enough, ran on a whole range of computers and the manufacturers had more marketing choices and low costs. (OEM versions of Windows are practically free)
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
11/17/2012 | 4:41:39 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Handset makers - like any manufacturer - relentlessly strive to minimize costs, since that maximizes profits. "A penny saved ..."

Getting Android for free also minimizes the investment needed to produce an OS for their phones, which further minimizes costs.

Android's "free" cost also allows the handset makers to sell their phones for less - or even give them away (often thanks to subsidies from the carriers, who are effectively paying for the phones).

Obviously, a free phone is a pretty big enticement. And most customers don't care enough about what phone they have; they do care about how much money they have to shell out, though. So millions choose a free/cheap Android phone over an expensive Apple iPhone. (Some - mostly techies - choose Android because they prefer it. That group is dedicated, but small, overall.)

But none of this is a bad thing, because obviously it helps make Android popular and gets lots of Android phones into people's hands.
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
11/17/2012 | 4:28:54 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
You're talking about completely different kinds of "free." Hardly analogous.
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
11/17/2012 | 4:25:12 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Fragmentation is actually a bigger problem than the risk of stagnation.
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
11/17/2012 | 4:16:16 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
I agree that open source software benefits from having a diverse group of developers contributing to the project. But it's growth can almost completely be traced to it being "free," which has obvious benefits for consumers. It's. great OS, to be sure, but most consumers don't care about its abilities. Many (if not most) folks with Android phones or tablets don't even know what Android is.
jasonscott
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jasonscott,
User Rank: Strategist
11/17/2012 | 4:00:51 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Despite my preference for Apple devices, I'm happy to agree that Macs aren't necessarily better than Windows PCs. Each has its pros & cons.

But Chuck is correct: more market share doesn't necessarily equate to something being "the best."

It's no secret that - just as in the desktop/laptop markets - the are numerous manufacturers of Android devices, whereas only Apple makes iOS devices (by its choice). Those multiple makers represent far more manufacturing capability than Apple has. The multiple vendors also compete not only against Apple, but against each other, which - again, just like in the PC market - has created a race to be the lowest-priced provider. A benefit of that - for Google - is that Android devices are less expensive than iOS devices, and that includes the newer, more state-of-the-art models, whereas Apple only gives away its 4-generations old iPhone 3GS and provides deep discounts on 2- and 3-generation old equipment (4S and 4, respectively). So, customers can get a "newer", more-current Android phone for less - free, even. And for the vast majority of consumers, price is the biggest decider, so they opt for the less expensive/free Android instead of the iPhone. To be sure, some folks - particularly techies - choose Android because they believe it's better, "it's more open" or just because it's not from Apple.

But most consumers simply don't care. They just want a smartphone so they can check email, post on Facebook and surf the web anywhere anytime. And Android offers that for less money.

Chuck's analogy to cars is dead-on, though: People buy more Ford Focuses than BMWs not because the Focus is a better car; they buy the focus because it's less expensive. Some don't care for the BMW's advantages. Some just can't afford them. Either way, Ford sells more Focuses than BMW sells of all of its models combined. But that doesn't make the Focus the better car.

I mentioned BMW specifically, because back in 1997, shortly after returning to Apple, Steve Jobs clearly explained that Apple doesn't define success as making the most popular devices, but by making the best devices possible. Then he compared Apple to BMW. Not everybody wants, needs or can afford a BMW, but for those who do, it's nice to have the choice. (Ftr, I don't care much for BMWs, I'd rather have a Caddy CTS-V ... Wagon. ;-)

Apple is successful enough with its strategy. It doesn't need to be the biggest in my market to be a successful business. Likewise, Android is successful. And I'd argue that we're all better off with both of them in the game ... and maybe Microsoft, too.
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