Among the many tricks that fandroids (Android fanboys) use to argue against users of iOS devices is market share – Android is just installed on more devices than iOS. Of course, ignoring the fact that they’re comparing thousands of phones and tablets to just a few, they are technically (meaninglessly) right.
Current research on mobile device trends is now finding that daily iOS activations have finally been eclipsed by Android activations, meaning that iOS, and the 10 devices (4 iPod Touches, 2 iPads, and 4 versions of the iPhone) that run it, are seeing fewer day-to-day activations than devices running Android.
Again, though, this is a bit flawed, in that it’s comparing thousands of mobile devices to just a small handful. Also worth noting is that Android, in addition to running on smart phones and tablets, also runs on a fair few “dumb” phones, and even a good number shoddy and under-powered notebooks.
Today, one of Google’s illustrious leaders even confirmed the news – Google’s VP of Engineering, Andy Rubin, confirmed these stats, and made it clear that Android is now officially eclipsing iOS devices. According to Rubin, Android is growing considerably faster than iOS, which, in my opinion, remains to be seen – the hold of a platform isn’t just in how many people use it, but how their using it, whether or not it’s truly fitting into their lives.
Another factor to consider is that many people are putting off purchasing iOS devices at the moment. iPad 2 aside, consumers are looking forward to September – a month when Apple traditionally releases iPod updates (possibility of a new iPod Touch), and a month in which Apple may very well release the iPhone 5 this year.
So, considering that Android is, by raw activation numbers, spanking iOS, should Apple be worried? No, they shouldn’t. Despite the raw numbers, Apple is still more successful than ever with sales of iOS devices, making records every time they release a new product, and making an increasingly large profit from iOS devices year to year.
The sole reason behind Android’s success is the fact that they have thousands of devices from all manufacturers to choose from, versus the total past-to-present lineup of a whopping total of 10 iOS devices. Also in their favor is the fact that most people would rather pay $300 for a low-quality piece of junk than fork out $500 for a much more premium product.
If the tables were turned, and Google only had one set of devices to market Android with, do you really think Andy Rubin would be so cheerful? I think not. Without the ability to install Android on a gazillion cheap no-brand crap-tastic asian cellphones, smart phones, and tablets, Android would currently be a forgotten term living alone on the Island of Misfit Toys.
In the end, I would argue that Apple is still coming out the winner in all this – it’s already been shown time and time again that iOS users download more apps (and have so many more to choose from), are more likely to actually use their device’s web browser, and are, on the whole, seemingly much more satisfied with their devices (based on actual usage patterns). Isn’t that where the real victory lies? I’d like to think so.
Your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!