“Google’s IO developer conference kicked off May 28, with a keynote by Sundar Pichai, head of Android, Chrome and app development,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “He led off the conference with what I consider to be an earth shaking announcement, yet early media reports appear to have missed its import. He announced that the number of Android users was over 1 billion. Why is this important? Because the number is essentially unchanged from last year… How much over a billion? Pichai was quoting user numbers in tenths of a billion, so I think it’s safe to say that it was less than 1.1 billion.”

Apple’s iPhone 6 “posted phenomenal sales numbers for the December quarter… [and] went on to break records for the March quarter as well. I’m sure it didn’t help Android’s cause that much of the iPhone’s sales strength came from China, which has been a bastion of Android growth,” Hibben writes. “To me, it feels like Google has lost the initiative. Android Pay is a reaction and attempt to catch up to Apple Pay. The announcement that Android would soon offer HBO Now came months after the announcement of the Apple version. And there was nothing like what is widely expected to be unveiled at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference: a new Apple TV with games, apps, and cable-like channel bundles.”

“So this will be the year of catch up and patch up for Android. Will that be enough to spur growth in the user base? I suspect not,” Hibben writes. “In contrast, I believe that the iOS user population has grown robustly since the introduction of iPhone 6. How much is difficult to say. According to my iOS population model, the number of iOS users, including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was over 800 million by the end of 2014… The problem for Google is that it appears to be losing users to Apple in more developed markets such as China as fast as they are gained in less developed markets. This isn’t a particularly good business model.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With Google, you’re the product. You surrender your personal data in exchange for “free.” Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

With its me-too Apple Pay, er… “Android Pay” and its Photos, er… “Photos” knockoff, Google has, as with Android itself, once again proven to be a derivative, uninspired Apple imitator – and not a particularly good one at that.

SEE ALSO:


How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Google demos Apple Pay wannabe, ‘Android Pay’ – May 28, 2015
Google Photos offers unlimited photo storage for iOS, Android and Web users – May 28, 2015