The unsung, intrinsic Apple advantage over Android

“Much has been said about how Apple’s ecosystem still allows it an intrinsic advantage over competitors such as Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows Phone,” Paulo Santos explains via Seeking Alpha. “What I will add in this article, however, is my belief that an architecture decision by Apple has also given it an intrinsic and durable advantage over Google’s Android OS.”

“This intrinsic advantage allows Apple to run Apps in its devices faster than those same Apps would run on Android devices with comparable hardware specs; or alternatively, to consume less power when running at the same speed,” Santos writes. “This is non-trivial for Apple, for both performance and power consumption come at a premium in battery-reliant mobile devices. It’s also non-trivial because an architecture decision is something which stays rather immutable over long periods of time, so any advantage gained is hard to overcome.”

Santos writes, “To make an App for iOS, programmers usually use Objective C (C and C++ can also be used). These programs are then compiled into native code that runs directly on iOS devices. As for Android, the programmers will usually use Java, which will get compiled into Dalvik-compatible bytecode. Then, at runtime, these programs will rely on the Dalvik JVM (Java Virtual Machine) to translate the bytecode to native code on the fly. The JVM can also use JIT (Just In Time) compiling to produce native code for instances where such can render faster code execution.”

“The problem here is that translating code at runtime, or compiling at runtime, can have a serious impact on performance versus just running native code directly. Theoretically the JIT compiler could target the specific hardware the program is running on and produce faster code, but since Apple’s compiler also targets a very limited set of hardware, such advantage is nullified. What isn’t nullified, though, are the disadvantages introduced by the need to translate or compile at runtime,” Santos writes. “This, in turn, produces the unsung Apple advantage. Apple gets, for the same hardware specs, an intrinsic performance advantage.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those who settle for knockoffs deserve their fate:

• Rampant, debilitating fragmentation
• Insecurity that will only get worse (both on their devices and in their minds)
• Second-rate and worse apps, a smaller app library
• Developers second-thought effort or no effort at all
• An increasingly expensive (royalties for patent infringement) platform which makes device assemblers cut even more corners and/or focus on alternatives
• Envy of iOS devices and their vibrant, thriving ecosystem
• Shoddy plastic devices from unfocused companies that manufacture everything from refrigerators to backhoes
• The conscious or subconscious knowledge of using a knockoff of an Apple device (if you’re American, or call yourself one, a foreign – Korean or Chinese, most likely – knockoff of a U.S company’s device)
• A markedly weaker choice of accessories
• Poor or non-existent vehicle integration
• Etc.

Your irrational hatred of Apple is only hurting yourselves, Fragmandroid sufferers.


By SteveJack

I don’t know which is worse: Samsung’s slavish copying or that there are tens of millions of dullards and/or morally-crippled consumers who would buy such obvious knockoffs. What kind of person rewards thieves, especially such obvious ones? What kind of person hands over their money to make sure that crime pays? What’s wrong with you people, exactly?

It makes me sad that there are outfits like Samsung Electronics on the planet, as I was with Microsoft before them. People who work for Samsung Electronics should be ashamed. It makes me even sadder to see people supporting blatant criminals, whether it be blindly or, worse, knowingly. To those people I say: Get some morals, will you, or how about at least acquiring a modicum of taste?

What you’re doing is supporting criminal activity. It’s like you’re buying knockoff Coach handbags, but you’re paying pretty much the Coach price! Not too smart, eh? Oh, sure, you might have “saved” a bit upfront on your fake iPhone (maybe you got one of those Buy One Get One or More Free deals), but you’re paying the same data rates – after a couple years, you’ve pretty much paid the same anyway! So, in the end, you’re saving little or nothing while:

a) depriving the company who basically inspired your inferior, fragmented product;
b) depriving yourself of the real deal and the real experience, and;
c) rewarding the criminal, encouraging them to steal even more.

Not a lot of sense being made in any aspect of your toting around that Android phone, is there? Oh, right it’s “open.” Smirk. And, yes, every one of us with the real thing knows that you’re carrying around a half-assed fake, you tasteless wonder.

Didn’t you people have parents? If so, what did they teach you, if anything? Sheesh.

SteveJack’s Take originally published on August 6, 2012. SteveJack is a pen name used by a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a contributor to both MacDailyNews Takes and the Opinion section.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]

35 Comments

      1. Unholy use of YOUR. I think you are looking for the word YOU’RE. What you mean to say is “You are a genius” and are contracting the two words into YOU’RE – not YOUR.

        In conclusion, bluejay must be a ‘genius’ in comparison.

      1. What’s your point? We don’t have GE smartphones.

        The point is that Apple focuses on devices for people. They aren’t trying to manufacture washing machines, too. That focus results in the best products for people. That’s why the washing machine makers copy Apple when they want to dabble in smartphones, tablets, and computers in between building backhoes.

        1. Samsung is a company of companies. The mobile phone company does not know what the ship building company is doing.

          But don’t let that get in the way of a good Samsung Hate-fest.

        2. You seriously didn’t see the parallel between my example and bluejay’s? He asks if a refrigerator maker would make a better phone than a computer maker and I point out that a light bulb maker also makes jet engines — and you don’t see the point of the comparison? Samsung is a huge and diverse manufacturer in the same way GE is; the argument being proffered (that such diversity means lack of focus and inferior products in all categories) fails by example.

          1. I don’t exactly agree with that. GE has a lot more focus than Samsung does. It makes a lot more sense that a company that makes cars, makes trains, home appliance and jet engines. It doesn’t make as much sense that the company that makes home appliances,also makes makes container ships and makes cellphone and computers. I also want to point out that even though the computer says Samsung on the outside most of the chips and insides aren’t Samsung chips.

  1. It sure must be an unsung advantage. Wall Street is usually saying that iOS will lose out to both Android and Windows within a couple of years which is supposedly one of the many reasons why Apple’s P/E continues to be compressed and future growth considered as hampered.

    Wall Street loves market share above all else and Apple doesn’t have enough. Apple’s products are continually seen to be “too expensive” and Wall Street likes cheap. Android is as cheap as it gets. I’ve never cared much cheap or inferior quality products, but that’s just me.

    And there is still the theory of “open” always wins the race of large numbers, so iOS has a few things going against it for being successful in terms of market share. Everything points out to Wall Street denigrating iOS to third place in the mobile industry.

  2. Native code vs. Byte code is one of those things geeks argue about and something that has zero impact on the consumers buying decision.

    There are pros and cons to both approaches from a development standpoint.

    1. This article made some sense and it does matter to the consumer.

      If a device can accomplish it’s task in a short period of time, it will spend the remaining time, ie waiting for a key press or a tap, in a low power idle state. Hence, battery life is extended. If you have layers of interpreters (ie Java) that take more time to crunch code to get the task done, the bigger the battery needs to be. Hence, heavier, thicker, Android device. Hence, the Apple long term advantage.

      This is not zero impact. This is big impact on a buying decision.

      1. You seem to have missed ‘Really’s’ point. Consumers only look at specs and the bigger number wins. They don’t understand or care that processor speed doesn’t translate into app speed. They still want to buy guitar amps that have volume knobs that go up to 11.

        1. Then it’s time for these consumers to become better “educated consumers” to avoid the inevitable “buyers remorse” that will come from buying the inferior designed and made Android-based products before their long 2-year contract expires, instead of letting the spiff-driven salesperson dufus convince them that Android is “better, cheaper, more ‘open’, blah, blah, blah”.

      2. I favor native code personally. I just don’t see it as an advertising point to the average consumer.

        I would feel the same way if someone wrote an article claiming that android had an advantage because they could run apps on any device with a davlik JIT and android API without a recompile of the app.

        Neither one strike me as big selling points and in practice you can’t really tell what is native code vs byte code. Well unless its .net, that thing is a pig

  3. Really, NotReally, the result of these geeky decisions are slow rendering and jerky apps that becomes noticeable to even the most naive consumer. When you race car stalls even momentarily all continuity is lost.

      1. Reminds me of a college president I knew in the early 90s who thought two Intel 286 computers were equivalent to one 486 computer (Don’t get me started with Macs with that tech clueless giy.)

  4. The real issue here is, that Android gives people a choice. A choice to not HAVE to choose Apple and Apple’s ecosystem. Some (a lot actually) people see this as a limitation, corporate infringement or heavy hand telling the what and how they’ll use their purchased product.

    Now, no one can help them, but themselves to become educated about a product or class of products. That’s up to them. So, naturally people will gravitate to the product that is “open” (e.g. without the heavy hand) because the alternative no matter how good seems a little overbearing and an encroachment on their personal freedom somehow.

    So, Samsung, HTC and others offer them that choice. But as S. Jobs told Eric Schmidt, “It’s a stolen product…,” which it appears to blatantly be. Now, we have to let the courts decide what if any of that has a basis in legal juris prudence. Good luck with the last one!

    1. I think that gives too much credit to the investigative work of the average consumer. When you enter a carrier store they guide you to what they want you to buy, and they structure the pricing such to get you to buy that way. Buy One Get One Free works and has no messaging about “openness” Samsung’s marketing is about “the future is here now” with their products. It’s about capability, not openness. Microsoft’s marketing is a jumble of cool factor and available apps, and not about being open or forcing anything on you.

    2. Ridiculous. Choosing Apple doesn’t stop you from choosing anything else in addition if you like. Lots of people have an iPad and and an Android phone and a Windows desktop. Others prefer the integration advantages of a single platform.

      The only limitations are in your mind and perhaps your wallet.

  5. About time somebody put forth the succinct reason Apple’s technology is better.

    However, it’s time to check the hubris. The better technology seldom wins in the long run. The buying public has been brainwashed into buying cheap inferior disposable plastic crap for so long that … well, look at CrapRoid sales for yourself. The unseen enemy to all quality manufacturing companies, including Apple, is Wal-mart.

    1. You commented:
      “However, it’s time to check the hubris. … well, look at CrapRoid sales for yourself”…

      I reply:
      Hubris unchecked. Hubris is like undiagnosed cancer–once you have it WILL eventually lead to your demise.

  6. Yeah let’s only look at the positive side of an eco-system. Let’s not consider the possibility of one aspect’s negative affect on the life of the whole system.

    Hey, aren’t we close to the anniversary of the Jim Jones-town tragedy.

    Here’s a cool recipe for tragedy…
    add equal parts Hubris, narcissism and blind worship to your eco-system. And for an added touch, mix in a little cyanide for that extra punch.

    Ha! Punch get it…It’s like Kool-Ai..awww fudge it.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.