“All right, we all know the score: Google’s Android mobile platform is dominant worldwide,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Apple is in second place, but the critics say this is just a replay of the old Mac versus Windows wars. As more and more commodity handsets powered by Android are sold, Apple will be consigned to their traditional niche status. End of story.”
“In the real world, however, the situation is far more nuanced. As of the December quarter of 2012, Apple earned more than two thirds of the smartphone industry profits. This is the same quarterly result that caused Wall Street and many tech and financial pundits to go sour on Apple, so go figure,” Steinberg writes. “At the same time, even though the number of Android apps being downloaded these days has begun to surpass iOS, more free apps are included in those numbers. Apple still gets the lion’s share of the profits.”
“The marketing plan for Android is very, very different when compared to Apple. Google gives the OS away to handset makers. They are free to alter it to their needs, which results in a very different experience from company to company, or even from handset to handset. It’s sometimes hard to know that Android is even around, and the Amazon Kindle tablets are prime examples. Amazon has buried Android real deep, so its presence is almost impossible to detect by regular people. In turn, Google earns revenue from targeted ads, the more the better, plus a share of app sales. Thus, they earn nothing from Amazon’s Android tablets,” Steinberg writes. “But would it surprise you to know that Microsoft also earns money from Android licensees?”
Read more in the full article here.