Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An Apple a day...

     Here is the latest in my Apple ravings.

     Recently, the numbers have shown that Android beat out Apple in market penetration.  This is great news, because it shows that Android is starting to take control of the mobile market.  When you look at Google's business plan, it may seem strange that Android is profiting so much.
     Android is merely the software that runs on our smartphones.  Google makes the *software*, not the phones.  And they give it out for free.  That's right, anyone in the world can go to Google's website and download the Android software for free.  And those people can sell it to whomever they want, for as much money as they want, even though they got it for free.  So when Samsung decides to make a new Galaxy, they're most likely going to choose Android for the software, because it's dominant in the market, and more importantly it's FREE.  How does Google make money then?  Mostly on ads.  By channeling users to Google products like Search and Gmail, Google can display ads and thus profit.  They make a surprising amount of money from giving out their product for free.
     Apple, on the other hand, follows a strongly opposite philosophy.  Buying an iPhone puts you in an "elite group" of users.  They are the only company that manufactures the iPhone, and only they use iOS.  In addition, Apple is a proprietary monster, meaning that only Apple products work with other Apple products.  Want a new USB cable for your iPod?  Pay $20 for it.  Want to connect you iPhone or iPad to your TV?  Go ahead, shell out forty bucks.  Android phones use standard hardware, so you probably already have a USB cable lying around your house, and connecting your smartphone to your TV is a $5 cable away.
     With so much of technology shifting to mobile devices, the competition for "King of the Smartphone" is a vital one.  Fortunately, I think Android will emerge victorious, and here's why:

  1. More devices will use Android compared to iOS.  Because Android is free, and new hardware devices will most likely use it.  Cameras, refrigerators, and even cars are starting to use Android, so it will become a global standard.  It's free, and everyone wants to use it because it's becoming hugely popular.
  2. Android development is easier than iOS development.  Making an iOS app means paying $2000 for a Mac and then shelling out ~100 bucks for a developer liscense.  This means that iOS apps are produced by large companies like Zynga (Words with Friends) and Facebook.  Doing Android development is completely free, so new developers are more likely to start there.
  3. Apple spends less time innovating and more time "perfecting".  Android focuses on putting in new features every time around.  Apple, on the other hand, prefers to perfect the features they have already created.  They just recently added turn-by-turn navigation into iOS, something Android has had for years.
Finally, I think Android will prevail because Apple is just unwilling to play with others.  Because of disputes with Adobe, they refuse to offer Flash support on some devices, which eliminates the majority of web animations.  Wanna view a PDF?  Forget it!  They even stopped using Google's infamous Maps system and replaced it with their own, crappier, Apple Maps. 
      Hopefully in the near future people will be smart enough to avoid Apple's money trap.  That's all my ranting for today.  Go out and buy Android, people.