Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
11/15/2012
08:56 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Why Android's Dominance Is Bad

Google's Android platform grabbed a commanding 72% share of the smartphone market during the third quarter. That needs to change.

Windows Phone 8: Star Features
Windows Phone 8: Star Features
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google owns the smartphone space. With Android on nearly three out of every four smartphones sold during the third quarter, it has all but destroyed its competitors. The closest rival is Apple's iOS platform, which has a paltry 13.9% in comparison. The rest of the field? Fighting for Google and Apple's scraps.

Gartner estimates that Google sold 122.5 million Android devices in the July - September period, doubling the 60.5 million it sold during the same period a year ago. That's massive growth, and it shows no signs of abating. Google says it is activating 1.3 million new Android handsets each and every day.

Apple posted growth, too, boosting sales from 17.3 million iPhones a year ago to 23.6 million this year. But Apple actually lost market share, dropping from 15% to 13.9%.

[ Is Windows Phone started to gain momentum in the market? Read Microsoft Phone Sales Jump 139% In Q3. ]

Sales of BlackBerrys dropped from 12.7 million to 8.9 million, and RIM's market share collapsed from 11% to 5.3%. Bada, Samsung's proprietary smartphone platform (which most people have probably never even heard of), shipped 5 million units, giving it 3% of the smartphone market. That's more than Symbian and Windows Phone. Symbian plummeted from 16.9% a year ago to a meager 2.6% this year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform improved from 1.7% a year ago to 2.4% this year, with sales of just 4 million units during the third quarter of this year.

Keep in mind, these are worldwide figures. In the U.S., the rankings are: Android, iOS, BlackBerry 7, and Windows Phone. But BlackBerry 7 and Windows Phone have such a small percentage of the market, they're almost not even in the game.

And that's the problem.

Google's Android platform has caught on like wildfire. Four years ago, it was a fledgling platform with one device -- a curiosity at best. Android and iOS together have destroyed the fortunes of Nokia and RIM. Nokia was the long-time top provider of smartphones, with RIM's BlackBerry behind it. Now, both companies are scrambling to survive. Android has successfully pushed the former market leaders face first into the dirt.

Competition is good, but Android and iOS together have formed a smartphone duopoly of sorts. Combined, they own about 85% of the industry. The market can't support more than three or four real platforms, but whichever platforms take those third and fourth spots need to do better than taking just 5% from Apple and Google.

Microsoft and RIM are both staging comebacks, but their potential for real success against these two juggernauts is uncertain. Windows Phone 8 is an excellent platform that deserves a spot on the pedestal with Android and iOS. We'll see just how competitive BlackBerry 10 is in a few months.

The ecosystem strategy is the best approach. Google and Apple have vast ecosystems supporting their platforms. Microsoft is in a better position than RIM in this regard, as its ecosystem is much larger and already present in many homes and businesses thanks to Windows and XBox. But is it enough? Can WP8 really take a significant (>10%) piece of Google's Android pie? Can RIM, with BB10?

I hope so.

Time to patch your security policy to address people bringing their own mobile devices to work. Also in the new Holes In BYOD issue of Dark Reading: Metasploit creator HD Moore has five practical security tips for business travelers. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
riceryder
50%
50%
riceryder,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:32:18 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Opensource baby! Windows OS is nice. iOS needs to die. BB10? What's that?
jford201
50%
50%
jford201,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 2:29:55 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Very confusing.. You raise the open source flag, then praise the win/os, then trash iOS(which has open source underneath). Get back on the meds.

The reality is Windows will come on stronger and then it will be android, iOS, and Windows. Sorry BBerry, unless this new OS is amazing your gone.
Benjamin Han
50%
50%
Benjamin Han,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:33:42 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
A pretty uninspired article... Btw, the title should be more like "Why a Duopoly Is Bad" as this article has almost nothing to do with Android specifically, but only the pretty elementary conclusion that having competition is good for consumers.
Lisandro O Oocks
50%
50%
Lisandro O Oocks,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:16:10 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
BURN
milrtime83
50%
50%
milrtime83,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:34:05 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
So Android's dominance is bad because it's dominant? That's about all I get from this article. I don't see where you actually state why that's a bad thing.
Bret P Hooyman
50%
50%
Bret P Hooyman,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:42:14 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Eric Zeman, I have to agree with milrtime83. I'd agree with you (in some regards) that having that much control of the market can be a bad thing. Your article is titled "Why Android's Dominance Is Bad", but you left out the WHY part of the equation... Care to explain in the comments??
Anthony Harrison
50%
50%
Anthony Harrison,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:01:18 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Back in 2009 we were complaining because Apple was controlling the market as RIM started to fall away with the failure of Blackberry. Now someone else has risen to Apples challenge and effectively put them in their place. If the iPhone were so good it would be dominating but obviously Googles OS is as good as some of us think because the numbers prove it.
Benjamin Han is right. Very uninspired. Almost seemed like he had to hit a deadline so he wrote an article up in 10min about whatever topic was in his head.
Apollos
50%
50%
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)
Esteban_Colberto
50%
50%
Esteban_Colberto,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:06:35 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Sheesh... It's funny that Apple fanboys didn't take much of an issue with being number one and crushing ALL competitors in smartphones, tablets and to some extent laptops, for a few years. Apple introduced folks to the smartphone and tablet, so they deserve credit for that. But failing to raise the bar, has allowed their Android competitors to open source their software and give it away for free to other manufacturers, and this had led to a surge in innovation. Apple wouldn't license iOS to other competitors, so now they are feeling the effect of the backlash. Their business model was very effective for a few years, but it doesn't match the crowd-sourcing innovations of Android. They still frown upon and patch "jailbreaking" methods, which only torqued off their smarter customers. They went Android right away. The rest of the folks are like senior citizens; afraid of change and unable to commit to other solutions. When they see that most of the services they love on iOS are better on Google's platform (Chrome, Google Voice, Maps, Gmail, etc.), they have even less of a problem jumping ship. This is a good thing, because it is humbling Apple to recognize that their business model has failed and they need to start pricing their tech like other electronics manufacturers that make 20-30% margins instead of a 100-200% that they were used to commanding at one point. Amazon was smart and they latched onto Android, creating a competitor for Google on a lot of levels. Good for them. Apple can keep riding out their model, realizing that they are not bringing anything special to market anymore. They're getting beat to the punch.
nando377
50%
50%
nando377,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 10:10:35 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Apple makes closer to 30-40% margins NOT the 100%-200% you quote. Where the hell do you get your information from?
jford201
50%
50%
jford201,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 2:31:33 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
LOL.. Your right. But one thing that the author doesn't mention is that Android is made up of many flavors of Android(HTC, Samsung, etc). Thats changing, but there is competition within the Android space.
milworker
50%
50%
milworker,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/20/2012 | 3:01:16 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Because the economists of the world all believe "bigness" is a relevant point of analysis. That Google is bad because it is big. I also liked how he implied that Apple and Google are in collusion, intending to dominate the market through illegal business practices. In reality, they are beating the crap out of each other and producing two products of such abundance of superiority that BB and Nokia are forced to jump to even greater heights to keep up.

Guess what folks, THAT'S THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE!

milrtime83, the "author" is a either a paid shill, ignorant, or just too immature to observe a market in perfect working order.
BarraCoupDuh
50%
50%
BarraCoupDuh,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:34:31 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Domination of any market is bad for consumers.
Jerry Mael
50%
50%
Jerry Mael,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:59:46 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
*can be bad for consumers. ^^
jford201
50%
50%
jford201,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2012 | 2:36:11 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Where there is domination there is opportunity for someone to come up and knock them off. MS looked great as they marched there way up to Domination. They get on top, and it takes Mac OS and Linux starting to nibble away market share before they start to innovate again. BBerry, the same, except they waited way to long. Heck the same can be said for iOS, the OS while solid and polished is getting a bit boring.
Ajedi32
50%
50%
Ajedi32,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:34:54 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
So the title of this article is "Why Android's Dominance is Bad", but you don't really explain that in the article?
TheWenger
50%
50%
TheWenger,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:37:34 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
You could make the same article: "Why Verizon's Dominance is Bad". Except Verizon offers nothing for free and rips off consumers every chance they get.
Wild_Jogger
50%
50%
Wild_Jogger,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:38:52 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
How DARE those evil Android people make such a great OS that everyone likes it and uses it.... all over the world!

We should all start using awful OSs instead!

That'll teach 'um!
turrboenvy
50%
50%
turrboenvy,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:40:19 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
So it's bad because the "old guard" has lost their market dominance? It's Nokia's fault alone that they threw in their lot with Microsoft, and Microsoft's fault that they were so slow to see and catch up with the user interface paradigm of iOS and Android that brought smart phones into the mainstream.

Android's open platform allows for a number of major players, like Motorola, Samsung, and HTC to make/sell their hardware. So, sure, it's the dominant OS, but with decent hardware and customization, anybody can plan that game.

As TheWenger said, the duopoly of Verizon and AT&T is much worse. Those new "shared data" plans that force you to pay for unlimited talk/text, and then through the nose for paltry bits of data are ridiculous. But they're the ones with coverage unless you live in a major city and never leave.
Ryan Knudson
50%
50%
Ryan Knudson,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:40:34 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Android got where it is by being the best. They were not simply handed this crown, it was earned. I could see it being bad if Apple and Android were switched on the charts (Apple having the 70%+ of the market)
However, since Android is a free and open environment as opposed to the authoritarian model provided by Apple there is no real ramifications. I do agree that Windows 8 is a great mobile OS and I think as time goes on it will grab more and more of the market. Especially if Apple keeps going after companies using Android. It will leave a void that will be filled in with WP8. The reason Windows and RIM are so far behind is they failed to keep getting better and as a result they fell way way way behind.
nando377
50%
50%
nando377,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 10:13:55 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Android did NOT get where they are by being the best (they are not). They got there by offering an option for Samsung, HTC, etc. to sell smartphones. Those companies efforts to develop a modern smartphone OS failed making Google the ONLY game in town for companies other than Apple and Microsoft.
Eric Z
50%
50%
Eric Z,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 10:17:31 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Samsung and HTC both sold Windows Mobile smartphones before they sold Android devices. They are still Microsoft licensees, and each sells WP8 devices. Android did in fact let both them and others swoop in with an alternative to iPhone and BlackBerry quickly.
Apollos
50%
50%
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.
Richard Morey
50%
50%
Richard Morey,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:41:05 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Android is dominant because Google did the right thing in maing it open source and available to hardware vendors and carriers to customize. As an Android developer my frustration is with the fragementation of Android versions across devices but I still much prefer Android as both a mobile platform and a development platform to the closed "Do as we say" iOS. I don't think WinMo or BB will make any real traction in the mobile space.
Apollos
50%
50%
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.
Sudhakar
50%
50%
Sudhakar,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:42:36 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Android is not killing Nokia. It is Microsoft and its dirty-virus Stephen Elop who are killing Nokia. If Nokia can produce just one Android phone, it can come back like Samsung.

The dirty Microsoft has played a very dirty game with Nokia by sending virus Stephen Elop to kill well-selling Symbian, avoid Nokia going with Android and make Nokia go entirely with Microsoft even if MS' mobile OS had hardly 2% market share.

It is very unfortunate that Finnish people and their Government are so dumb that they are not able to recognize this and correct faults.

Elop is publicly saying his enemies are Android and iOS, and not Samsung and HTC who also produce WP phones to beat Nokia. It is very, very clear that Elop just wants to boost WP ecosystem at Nokia's cost.

Fin Govt! When do you wake and recognize this ?
David Campbell
50%
50%
David Campbell,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:46:31 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Android is not a product, its an OS that is available to all hardware manufacturers. If Apple produced an iPhone with Jelly Bean on it, people would go nuts for it and you'd probably see more of a balance in the smartphone market... ; )~
James Lorimor
50%
50%
James Lorimor,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:47:32 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Wow.....Just wow. So is the Windows dominance of dekstops bad? Just because they're dominant doesn't mean it's a bad thing.
sam walton
50%
50%
sam walton,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:47:34 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Incredibly uninformed view. Dominance of android is bad because it is so good? Oh well, hey, I need a Symbian phone. How about a webOS device? Android with opensource revolutionize mobile phone industry. Google is reaping the benefits as it has invested billions of dollars in bring up Android from linux brothers. That is what is paying off big time. I am sure MS or BB should be in the same position had they decided to invest in updating their mobile OS.
John Kirsopp
50%
50%
John Kirsopp,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:47:38 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
If it were iOS (a single company) I'd be more concerned. Although, Android is an Open source OPERATING SYSTEM. Multiple carriers, multiple manufacturers, even multiple "app" outlets. The fear is that stagnation, not innovation will take hold. Android handset makers compete amongst themselves, each trying to be the next "hot" android phone. Innovation is Android. Even if Android does manage to marginalize other phone operating systems, Android phone makers will still be innovating and competing on price as well.
jasonscott
50%
50%
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.
GBannis
50%
50%
GBannis,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:48:53 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Android's dominance is almost entirely due to the fact that it's a free piece of software.
Mike Smar
50%
50%
Mike Smar,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:01:18 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Not so. It's that any one can make a phone that run's the OS at almost any price point and with a variety of features. Not so with Apple. Only Apple can make the phones. It's a repeat of the PC/Mac battle, and if Apple's not careful they can kiss the mobile market goodbye too. Which would really piss me off since I own their stock, although I hate their products.
Apollos
50%
50%
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.
Gary Lai
50%
50%
Gary Lai,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:10:50 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Huh? A Windows phone license costs the handset manufacturers $20-$30. A smartphone handset price before carrier subsidy costs anywhere from $200-$500 depending on the hardware. So the Windows phone license costs only like 5-10% of the handset cost. To say Android's dominance is "almost entirely due to the fact that it's free," is simply not true. If Windows phone was a better product than Android, people would buy it more.
unkilbeeg
50%
50%
unkilbeeg,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 8:56:17 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Free is not necessarily a question of cost. It's a question of what you can do with it. "You" being (for the most part) the manufacturer, but also in many cases the end user.
jasonscott
50%
50%
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.
BbbbbuttNoooooo
50%
50%
BbbbbuttNoooooo,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2012 | 6:33:13 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
...and America's success is in no small part due to it being a free country.
jasonscott
50%
50%
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.
Apollos
50%
50%
Apollos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2012 | 3:45:14 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
"free" != "freedom"
You're such a tool.
Anthony McGivney
50%
50%
Anthony McGivney,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:49:05 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Okay, so the problem is that WP8 and symbian are losing out? People have a choice in many operating system choices, with both advantages and flaws. When it comes to carriers, people have few choices and some are trying to hold onto their grandfathered contracts for data dataplans. Well, in my case I am.

So whats so bad about android gaining dominance? Is the market dominance of Toyota a bad thing? Is the market dominance of verizon, a bad thing? According to you, if you have <10% of market share, it is. Because you're not being competitive enough for people to like your product.

I think you just made a catchy title to a popular news piece. Everyone is reporting this. And you made a statement, and left it unfulfilled. Good job.
John Bailo
50%
50%
John Bailo,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:50:39 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
There are any number of mobile linuxes that can be used by device makers.
mathieulefrancois
50%
50%
mathieulefrancois,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:53:20 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
How is a world dominated by Apple so bad? Like it or not, the iPhone isn't a bad device and just because it's not as customizable doesn't make it bad. Some people just want a phone that works and with which they don't need to tinker with.
BD
50%
50%
BD,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:03:31 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
It's bad because Apple's closed ecosystem ties you in. It's an ecosystem directed by a single company and controlled by a single company. Apple makes the hardware and the software and they do everything they can to keep you inside that ecosystem including eliminating competition by disabling support (like with Flash). It's a potential monopoly; and the really bad kind. It's what the 90s Microsoft was and the 70s-80s IBM was. That has nothing to do with the quality of their parts.

Google doesn't run things like that as they are more like the parent of the OS and platform, they do not make their own handsets or deny access to Android to anyone and it is part of the OHA.
nando377
50%
50%
nando377,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 10:17:29 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Apple didn't disable support for Flash. Adobe was NEVER able to demonstrate Flash performing well on a mobile platform. Read http://www.apple.com/hotnews/t... and find out why Apple chose not to support Flash. Adobe themselves have now seen the light and no longer support Flash on mobile platforms.

Also, it's funny that no one complains about Microsoft's monopoly of the desktop.
Canamjay
50%
50%
Canamjay,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 11:41:32 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Pay attention folks, THIS clarifies what the article did not. Obviously, this is a thinking person here. Apple FanBoyz take note.. but I doubt you can understand this (correct) point of view.
Apollos
50%
50%
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.
J+r+me Besnard
50%
50%
J+r+me Besnard,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:03:34 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
It's not about the iphone. It's about Apple, its closed system and its arrogance.
Keith_M
50%
50%
Keith_M,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:53:33 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
So I'm still looking for the why it's bad? Nobody seemed to think Apple's dominance was bad at the time.
unkilbeeg
50%
50%
unkilbeeg,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 9:00:26 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Define "nobody." I kept my old Nokia candybar phone until 2009 because I wasn't willing to deal with Apple's walled-garden approach to phones.

I wasn't alone.
ANON1234301472779
50%
50%
ANON1234301472779,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:54:10 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Eric, you hedline with "Why Android's Dominance Is Bad," but you never give a reason to support your headline. Is this article merely clickbait, or did someone pay you to spread FUD? Either way, you've proven once again that Information Week is not a source of reliable information.
Mack Knife
50%
50%
Mack Knife,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:55:48 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Never heard that Apple's dominance of smartphones (when it existed) was bad. Never heard that the iPad dominance of the tablet market is bad.

Suddenly Android's dominance is bad. Well then, why doesn't Apple or Microsoft do something about it and put out better products? The solution is simple really.
Doug Coulter
50%
50%
Doug Coulter,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:57:39 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Let's not forget Google doesn't pay this joint to write pro-google puff articles, while MS? Well...you can see the spin on most things here, which is why I'm rarely here myself.
TedD151
50%
50%
TedD151,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:58:37 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
The % of Market Share argument is irrelevant because millions of smart phones and tablets are being purchased, up from nothing a few short years ago. There was nothing to "take" because it's a new market.
my view
50%
50%
my view,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:59:29 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Did a 6th grader write this? The body of the article doesn't address the thesis of the headline. A waste of time visiting this site or reading this article.
Jjmfe
50%
50%
Jjmfe,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 4:59:43 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
In other words. Android grew as a response or a need for manufacturers to respond quickly to Apple's dominance irregardless of whether it was a decent platform at all? (a free turnkey OS for desperate manufacturers?) Is that what the writer is saying. At first glance that sounds like a good theory, (i.e. inferior technology mass produced) but the Android OS has grown beyond whatever limitations it had in the beginning. It's now a pretty decent full-featured platform. Many of my friends talk about it's crashes, and it's bugs, and they envy the synergy of my Apple ecosystem, where TV, music, tablets, phones and everything streams, saves to the cloud, accessible everywhere, etc. But let's do some true confession here, as Apple iOS has grown more complex, my 2 year-old iPhone 4 has it's share of problems too, there is trouble in the rest of my Apple ecosystem too. Network connectivity is a problem, bandwidth for all my stuff is a problem, not so old hardware locking up when running the newest updates, is a problem. I'm not always happy with Apple OS either mobile, or desktop. And I'd like to have seen RIM improve, I'd also like to see Win 8 for mobile take it's chunk of the market. It is not good when any platform to own the product universe. It breeds safe decisions, and de-incentivises creative problem solving. Yes, the author is right, the whole product ecosystem is what sells me on a product line. That's why I currently have all Apple stuff, but if Apple begins to have too many glitches, too many stumbles, I will begin moving my technology dollars to whatever ecosystem provides me the easiest, and most complete suite of "bells and whistles." Right now, Apple fulfills the role for me. Later, perhaps not so much.
Frank Famos
50%
50%
Frank Famos,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:00:10 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Sounds more like sour Apples (no pun intended) from an Apple fan. Lots of Apple fans are jealous of Galaxy III owners. The smart ones (not the Louis Voutapple buyers) are planning on buying the next great Samsung phone over the IPhone 5.
Daen de Leon
50%
50%
Daen de Leon,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:00:10 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Good grief, what a terrible article. I completely agree with everyone here; Symbian (and by extension Nokia) had what basically amounted to an open road ahead of them, as did Blackberry, and, for a while, Microsoft too (remember Juha Christensen jumped ship from Symbian to Microsoft to get their mobile division working back in the late 90s). They lost the game. Android provides the only viable open source platform for mobile devices and -- guess what! -- that seems to be an excellent business strategy. Windows will likely not damage that market dominance. At least, I hope not.
TedD151
50%
50%
TedD151,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:01:04 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
So a company develops a great product, offers it openly to manufacturers who sell it to millions of satisfied users and therefore takes a commanding market lead. How is that bad?
TedD151
50%
50%
TedD151,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:03:04 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Thank goodness this thinking wasn't around 100 years ago or Ford could never have sold "Model T"s with gasoline engines (because gasoline engines were taking "too much market share"from steam, horses, etc.).
Dave Swami
50%
50%
Dave Swami,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:02:14 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
This article needs to be titled "Why misleading headlines will still get you lots of hits but destroy your reputation"
printing724
50%
50%
printing724,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:04:11 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
The article headlines with a conclusion but then never supports it. I would agree that a more robust competition would be better. but looking back to before the iPhone, MS, RIM, Palm, and Nokia pretty much had the market sewed up in a fairly balanced competition. That didn't result in benefits to them or consumers.
If there's going to be a dominant platform, I'd rather it be controlled by a company who benefits because people use the OS rather than a company that benefits because people buy the OS. That may be the difference here.
byloslhi
50%
50%
byloslhi,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:05:02 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Um, Google didn't sell 122 million Android devices in Q3. Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, et al., sold them through their deals with the mobile phone carriers. Google gave them the license to put the Android OS on the phones. And maybe the headline should have ended with a question mark.
Pheasant_Plucker
50%
50%
Pheasant_Plucker,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:15:03 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
What the article fails to mention is this is great news for Microsoft and Apple because they make so much in Licensing from the phone manufacturers who run Android. I read that MSFT make more licensing an Android phone than they do on one of their own windows mobile devices. It really pays to be a patent Troll!!
Burrit
50%
50%
Burrit,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:15:15 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Near as I can tell its "bad" because it crushed the competition? If Apple was at 75% would this matter? I'm sorry, but if BB had not borked their supposed great release what, last year? Android and Apple would not be owning the market place. There are still options, BB and Windows Phone are out there, not like they are extinct. Maybe if those companies came out with a kickass and worthy product they would gain a bit of marketshare back. Besides, aren't there the "why android is dead" articles out every month or so, especially around the new release of an iphone?
Gary Lai
50%
50%
Gary Lai,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:19:30 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Consumers have tons of choices for smartphones. They are picking Android 3 out of every 4 times now. Is Google exercising anti-competitive monopoly power to make this happen? No. If anything, Apple is the one acting anti-competitively with all the patent lawsuits trying to protect things like rounded corners. So why is it bad? Android is dominant but it is sort of an anti-monopoly because it is open source. The only pure Google-produced Android line of phones running the pure-Vanilla Android are the Nexus phones which have pretty small overall market share. The success of Android is shared by many different manufacturers and software developers.
John Lundin, PhD
50%
50%
John Lundin, PhD,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:20:48 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Hi Eric, ...you never really told us why this is "bad"...that was your title.
FrillArtist
50%
50%
FrillArtist,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:33:02 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Apple fanboy alert! Apple fanboy alert!! Apple fanboy alert!!!
Sven Enterlein
50%
50%
Sven Enterlein,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:46:04 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Follow-up article's title should be "Why articles like this are bad journalism"
gacl
50%
50%
gacl,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 5:54:39 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Usually, the article makes some good points and the comments section is filled with junk. Here it is reversed.
daboochmeister
50%
50%
daboochmeister,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 8:34:03 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
If the author plugged in "PCs" for "mobile devices", and "Microsoft Windows" for "Android", i wonder if he would still publish the article. The IT industry has spent 20 years being held back by the monopolistic practices of Microsoft, sucking the resources out by charging highway-robbery prices for what should be a commodity (an operating system), and his big worry is that an Android ecosystem, that benefits many dozens of companies, is winning because users prefer it? Sheesh.
Eric Z
50%
50%
Eric Z,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2012 | 9:38:29 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
I am not saying it is bad that Android is popular. It is a good platform. It deserves its success. I am saying its not good for any one company to dominate any given industry. Symbian reached nearly 80% share of the smartphone market before Apple and Google took it down. The same might eventually happen to Google.
John doe
50%
50%
John doe,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2012 | 6:07:00 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
If something better comes along to beat out Android more power too them, but currently Android has been the Superior platform and the numbers tell that story. RIM lost out to Android because it was better, and RIM remained stagnant and unchanged. Speaking of stagnant and unchanged I am reminded of iOS. Look out Apple, your troubles may have just started.
JDawgnoonan
50%
50%
JDawgnoonan,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2012 | 4:28:36 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
I used to be an Apple fanboy. Why? Their product quality, design, and support was (and still is) amazing. Their OS on their computers and mobile phones was amazing, and in the days of XP and Vista, dramatically ahead of the times with better performance and stability. Windows 7 evened that up for the most part and surpassed it in some ways.

But, everything else about the company sucks. Their software services are all about lock in. You cannot use your Apple services with any other mobile platform. Itunes, no. iCloud, no. Facetime, no. iMessage, no. So, once you are in the Apple world, you are stuck with club Apple. And if you want to video call anyone who is not a member of club Apple, then you have to have more software on your device to enable you to do that. Or if you want no cost messaging, same story.

Next, their cloud services: Their idea is to make cloud services a complete no brainer to use. This is good on the surface. But if you need any more capability than all of your devices magically being in sync, you are screwed. It is easy, and it is absolutely inflexible (and will trap you with Apple devices forever). Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Amazon: They all offer cloud services that you can use anywhere...even if you choose to use an iPhone for a year or two. Apple: Welcome to club Apple.

So, I really like Apple, their hardware, and their software, but I do not like their services because I hate lock in.
BbbbbuttNoooooo
50%
50%
BbbbbuttNoooooo,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2012 | 6:48:29 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
lol you're one of those guys who actually believes that somehow, even though after 20 years Windows still dominates Mac by a massive majority, Macs are actually "the best" and the entire world is just confused somehow (for 20 freaking years).

So now you think a vast majority of people are choosing Android due to some similar state of confusion, and not because they find it to be the best. Because... most people prefer *not* to have the best option? How exactly does one rationalize that?

we're not talking about automobiles pushing into 6 figures here.. you can get an iphone for free with contract for christ sake, and you'll find plenty of kids with ipads crawling around on the floor at your local walmart.
jasonscott
50%
50%
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.
ntime60
50%
50%
ntime60,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2012 | 5:33:08 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
This isn't conventional competition like you want everyone to believe.

This is about consumer choice and on a world wide stage, we consumers are sending the loudest message we can. Android is on top because everyone has realized opensource is the way to go because it preserves our right to choose what WE want and not what some closed minded individuals would tell us we want. If you're not part of android then prepare to be assimilated.
jasonscott
50%
50%
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.
MSURESH441
50%
50%
MSURESH441,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2012 | 6:37:06 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Do you intend to explain why it's bad for Android to have 72% of the market share in some future article? Are you arguing that Android has such a large share for reasons unrelated to quality, price or performance? Do you believe that Android devices will always dominate the market? Do you believe that it has become impossible for any other vendor to win market share, regardless of quality?

I have read articles that were bigger wastes of my time than this piece, but not in a very long time.
cbabcock
50%
50%
cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
11/20/2012 | 1:02:40 AM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
Steve Ballmer in his appearance at the Santa Clara Churchill Club Nov. 14 suggested Android would stumble and fall due to the lack of compatibility among its versions. Windows has central control and compatibility, so I guess the Windows Phone is about to take over the market. Still, Ballmer's criticism is valid. More discipline needs to be exercised over Android so applications run under any Android system. Charlie Babcock, editor at large, InformationWeek
DavidT
50%
50%
DavidT,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/5/2012 | 8:55:57 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
The duopoly is a natural phenomenon, called the Red Queen effect where two competitors are locked in battle with each other and are constantly improving, pulling them both ahead of the competition. We saw this with Microsoft and Apple in the computer domain, and see it now with Google and Apple in the mobile world. This is a natural process.

Of course, had Microsoft not mis-stepped with their first mobile offering, things might be different. Windows 8 is (according to my testers) awful. My guess is that Microsoft and Nokia have signed a mutual suicide pact. Of course, Microsoft is too big to die, but it is quickly being relegated to the back of the pack.

On the Apple front, my guess is that the pressure from Google will result in Apple opening their platform to allow people to build and post apps without running under the App Store toll bridge. This will do a lot to help (although their hubris is such they don't think they need it.) And, of course, once HTML5 becomes ready for prime time, developers won't care about platform at all!
AustinIT
50%
50%
AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2012 | 8:22:30 PM
re: Why Android's Dominance Is Bad
The real reasons Android is running away with the market is that it is cheap and it runs on a bazillion different hardware platforms. Fragmentation is not a concern as most users will just pitch their old devices for a cheap new one.

Apple has historically been expensive and thus self limiting in the overall market.

The other guys (WP and BB) are trying to create a product that is both profitable and useful in both the consumer and business markets without giving in to device/OS fragmentation. I happen to think it is the right approach but one that will take time to play out.

WP8 and BB10 have to stay in the game long enough to build that momentum.
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.