Greg's bite: why Android has peaked
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: why Android has peaked

By Greg Mills

When the Motorola/Apple cell phone came out in the summer of 2005, it was a great disappointment to both Apple and Apple fans. You might as well have taped an iPod to a standard cell phone. It sucked. Apple, by that point in time, already knew to do a cell phone right; they would have to start from scratch. The first thing they did was junk their cell phone engineering relationship with Motorola and scrap conventional notions of what a cell phone was.  

Then, the engineers and designers at Apple began to put the combination of novel software and touch screen hardware together that became the first iPhone. Since that time, Apple has taught Motorola a thing or two about smart cell phones. For that matter, every manufacturer of cell phones has been taken to the wood shed by Apple for a sound beating.  

The punishment continues as everyone in the cell phone industry has been made virtual  roadkill by the great Mac truck with an Apple logo on the hood. Share prices of all the competition continue to either stagnate or sharply decline as Apple grows its market share at their expense. 

The PC industry had more or less thrived over the years with the business relationship with Microsoft where the hardware companies made PC computers and Microsoft provided the operating system software that ran them. That relationship could well have continued with cell handset manufactures had Microsoft moved into the smartphone OS space in a timely fashion.  Google saw the opening and captured the opportunity.  

Since Microsoft's windows cell phone software was so uninspired, years later they are still trying to catch up.  Recent reports are that a number of handset manufacturers running Windows Mobile are quite disappointed with sales. The top echelon of creative people at Microsoft are reportedly going elsewhere in droves right now. There doesn't seem to be enough incentive offered to hold them down in a stifling creative environment under Ballmer. Support for the Windows phone OS has to be seen as the handset manufacturers hedging their bets against Android tanking for legal reasons. Keep in mind that all the Android OS handset makers have been sued by Apple over foundation aspects of the Android OS.

Google took the Apple iOS and created a similar look and feel using open source elements. They filled the OS vacuum the cell phone companies were seeking to fill since building the physical phone, that would do most of what an iPhone could do, was pretty well understood. The Apple DNA that has turned up in the form of proprietary chips is much harder to match as is the software. Apple was very careful to patent every aspect of the iOS early in the game. Patents filed before anyone outside Apple had ever seen an iPhone are just being issued and there is a ton of additional patents in process. Add the tendency for Apple to purchase patent rights whenever possible, and you have a potential nightmare brewing for the Android platform.

What has transpired during the exclusive marketing phase of the Apple/AT&T business relationship, is that the demand for iPhone in markets where it wasn't available, created an "iPhone vacuum." Nature abhors a vacuum and so do high tech markets. There is just too much money out there to not fulfill a major demand in the multibillion dollar cell phone industry.  

That is where Android came in. The competition for cell phone handset manufacturers was such that they were left high and dry, clamoring for some sort of off the shelf OS to make their phones "smart." RIM and Nokia have their own OS and, of course, Windows is now being offered.  Android is farther along in market share for smart phones, while the Nokia Sybian has a large installed base but doesn't seem to be gaining traction.  

The proof of what I am saying is apparent at Verizon. Android phones are on sale for $100 with a two-year contract since Verizon thinks the iPhone is going to suck the air out of the room when it goes on sale.  

You remember dumb phones? My last dumb phone was a Motorola flip phone that ran on the Nextel network. After Nextel was hijacked by Sprint, I counted the days until the iPhone came out and my contract with Sprint expired to allowed me to switch to AT&T. Despite all my complaints about dropped calls on AT&T, they did have a much better customer service system than Sprint did.  

The "dumb phones" still amount to roughly 80% of all cell phones out there. Smart phones are the 20% that includes iPhone, Android, RIM and a number of other minor players. Dumb phone users are well aware of the cool things smart phones do and are willing to switch when they are legally able to. They're often held back by contracts that normally are of a two-year duration.  They also are aware of the features the iPhone offers and want the real thing. When the cell companies can't deliver a real iPhone, the alternative is likely an Android phone. That is a just temporary market niche.  

It is the "real thing" vs the alternative offering that is the declining marketing reality Android phone makers now face. The PC press gleefully touts the numbers that show Android outselling the iPhone. The reason for that sales advantage is simply that the now expired exclusive marketing plan Apple used to launch and develop its entire smartphone infrastructure drove that market. That foundation is fully established and Apple is now tooled up to offer iPhones and iPad in both of the two main radio formats used by cell phone companies around the world. Even variations in the frequencies used are now easy to adapt in new iPhones.  

Watch the Verizon phone sell like hotcakes and within a short period of time Apple to also begin to sell iPhones to the other US cell companies. At that point, the real thing is available to everyone, and the alternative touch screen smart phones are toast. This is going to amount to a marketing holocaust for Android within a year's time. Look for the numbers of fresh Android phones sold to drop off precipitously and handset makers to become even more competitive as the Android market shrinks. 

Then there is the issue of the patent infringement suits waiting in the wings. All the Android phone companies have an Apple Federal Lawsuit sitting on their attorneys' desks claiming their touch screen phones are violating Apple patents. This promises to be blood bath #2 for the Android industry. First Apple sells the iPhone everywhere capturing much more of the market ,and then the legal assault begins to completely take them out.  

In addition to the market and legal issues are inherent weakness in Android due to open source issues and the enormous fragmentation in Android App stores and rampant piracy. Developers in the Android platform face as much as a 90% piracy rate  I have never heard much about piracy in the iOS app market except for "jail broken" iPhones, which are numerically insignificant.  

For all the above reasons, Android is set to fall off.  

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at . He can be emailed at gregmills.mac.)


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The best remote desktop apps for iOS
We've been sifting through the App Store to find the best ways to do computer tasks on a tablet. That gave us a thought - what if we could just do computer tasks from our tablets? Here's a list of the best remote desktop apps to help you use your... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »
The best cooking apps (just in time for...
It’s that time of year again, where you’ll be gathering around the dinner table with your family and a huge feast in front of you. [Read more] | Read more »
Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »
Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
One Button Travel (Games)
One Button Travel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: “To cut a long story short, If you like interactive fiction, just go buy this one.” - “Oozes the polish that... | Read more »
Light Apprentice Volume 1 (Games)
Light Apprentice Volume 1 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Light Apprentice Volume 1 includes Chapters 1 to 4, all gathered in a new exclusive game. When life in the world of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

iMobie Releases its Ace iOS Cleaner PhoneClea...
iMobie Inc. has announced the new update of PhoneClean 4, its iOS cleaner designed to reclaim wasted space on iPhone/iPad for use and keep the device fast. Alongside, iMobie hosts a 3-day giveaway of... Read more
U.S. Cellular Offering iPad Pro
U.S. Cellular today announced that it is offering the new iPad Pro with Wi-Fi + Cellular, featuring a 12.9-inch Retina display with 5.6 million pixels — the most ever in an iOS device. U.S. Cellular... Read more
Newegg Canada Unveils Black Friday Deals for...
Newegg Canada is offering more than 1,000 deep discounts to Canadian customers this Black Friday, available now through Cyber Monday, with new deals posted throughout the week. “Black Friday is... Read more
Black Friday: Macs on sale for up to $500 off...
BLACK FRIDAY B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $500 off MSRP as part of their early Black Friday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
Black Friday: Up to $125 off iPad Air 2s at B...
BLACK FRIDAY Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $399, save $... Read more
Black Friday: iPad mini 4s on sale for $100 o...
BLACK FRIDAY Best Buy has iPad mini 4s on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for Black Friday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad mini 4 WiFi: $299.... Read more
Black Friday: Apple Watch for up to $100 off...
BLACK FRIDAY Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers:... Read more
Black Friday: Target offers 6th Generation iP...
BLACK FRIDAY Save $40 to $60 on a 6th generation iPod touch at Target with free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: -... Read more
Black Friday: Walmart and Target offer iPod n...
BLACK FRIDAY Walmart has the 16GB iPod nano (various colors) on sale for $119.20 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $30 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Black Friday deals on the Apple Watch and App...
Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday weekend. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers: Apple... Read more

Jobs Board

Storefront Operations Coordinator, *Apple* -...
# Storefront Operations Coordinator, Apple -Latin America Job Number: 43587750 Miami, Florida, United States Posted: Oct. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Read more
*Apple* Enterprise / Government Professional...
# Apple Enterprise / Gove ment Professional Services Engineer Job Number: 42292976 Reston, Virginia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
iOS Wallet & *Apple* Pay Engineer - App...
# iOS Wallet & Apple Pay Engineer Job Number: 40586801 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The iOS Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Clock Fa...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch - Clock Face Team Job Number: 44368761 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 14, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Administrative Assistant, *Apple* Online St...
# Administrative Assistant, Apple Online Store Job Number: 43992352 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 9, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.