Trouble in Androidland?

“There’s an intriguing published report this week, from reporter and commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, in AppleInsider, strongly suggesting that Google is unhappy with Android and is moving to ‘distance itself’ from the platform,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Among the key reasons Daniel mentions are the ongoing patent disputes over Android… Worse, Android, although it’s intended to be an OS that handset makers can get free, is decidedly not free,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Many Android licensees reportedly pay a fee for every unit sold to Microsoft, who claims ownership of certain patents that apply to Android. That Microsoft’s claims aren’t being disputed appears to indicate they are valid. In addition, Apple’s settlement with HTC last year over intellectual property issues reportedly means the latter is paying the former, thus making HTC’s already low profits even lower.”

Steinberg writes, “Google launched the platform in the hope of getting tens of millions of eyeballs to see targeted ads, the company’s main source of income. But it appears that Android is not bringing in the big bucks… In the end, with intellectual property disputes and a lack of profit hanging over Android, what is Google to do? Well, one possible solution would simply be to spin off the division and make it open source. That way, developers could continue to enhance the platform, if that’s what they want, but Google can wash its hands of the ongoing problems. Mobile handset makers could move to other Linux-based platforms, as Samsung may be doing with a new open source OS project known as Tizen. They might try to build their own proprietary platforms, though that hasn’t gone so well, or perhaps call up Microsoft and hook up with Windows Phone. After all, if these companies are already paying Microsoft licensing fees, might as well get something for the money.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote years ago on October 27, 2011:

Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).

The not-iPhone world will begin to dump Android and move to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering because it will eventually cost less, work better, and come with far fewer legal issues. In the iPhone wannabe market, it’s already happening (Nokia, for example). We expect the same to happen in the iPad wannabe market, too. Google and Microsoft will long battle each other for the non-Apple markets and that’s a much better scenario for everyone than having a single ripoff artist flood the market with fragmented, insecure, beta-esque, mediocre-at-best products. Google’s attempt to be the next Microsoft is doomed.

This, of course, will also impact Google’s search business. Apple’s Siri will increasingly deliver info to users sans Google and Microsoft will, naturally, use Bing for their search. As we’ve said many times in the past: Google will rue the day they got greedy by deciding to try to work against Apple instead of with them.

The bottom line: We’d rather see a company trying unique ideas, even if – shockingly – it’s Microsoft, than the wholesale theft of Apple innovations that we’ve been seeing for over four [six] years now. Don’t steal IP. Even worse, don’t steal IP and “claim to be innovators.” We have no problem with any companies that attempt to compete with Apple using their own unique ideas and strategies.

Related articles:
Apple’s iOS smartphone market share growing faster than Android in US, UK and France – July 29, 2013
Google ready to ditch Android over its intellectual property issues? – July 29, 2013
Apple iPhone increases its dominant U.S. smartphone market share lead – June 4, 2013
Yankee Group: iPhone ownership in the U.S. will top Android by 2015 – April 26, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple continues to eat Samsung’s lunch; customer loyalty will drive iPhone ownership past Android’s peak – April 26, 2013
Apple’s iPhone user gains again out-pace Android in the U.S. – April 5, 2013
Why Apple’s new iPhone can’t lose; as with all iPhones, next-gen likely to become best-selling smartphone of all time – April 4, 2013
Apple increases lead over Samsung, gains on Google’s Android in U.S. smartphone market share – April 4, 2013
Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 got over 5X times as many tweets as Samsung’s lackluster Galaxy S4 – March 27, 2013
Yankee Group: Apple to gain additional U.S. smartphone share over Samsung in 2013 – March 20, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
Apple rules the skies with 84% in-flight share vs. Android’s 16% – March 7, 2013
Apple iPad continues domination with over 80% usage share in U.S. and Canada – March 7, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
World’s best-selling smartphone: Apple iPhone 5; iPhone 4S #2, third place Samsung Galaxy 3 brings up rear – February 20, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012

J.D. Power: Apple ranks highest in smartphone customer satisfaction for 9th consecutive time – March 21, 2013
J.D. Power: Apple iPad ranks highest in tablet customer satisfaction – September 13, 2012


  1. Agree! I would like Blackberry or Microsoft to fill these second-place shoes. Preferably Blackberry even though they are clowns and love plastic buttons. But RIM never really spied then stole directly from Apple.
    and Microsoft’s sheer level of suck is shooting them in the feet (again).

    1. Google like to screw everyone else by cloning what other people doing, and give it all out for free to cheat people’s privacy information for their ads business.

      Google’s business model only benefit to itself, but kill all other industry. Programmer / Designer will worth NOTHING, because Google giving all out for free, people why bother paying any penny?

      Look at the Google play store, are there indie developer making any good money there? NO!

      Google is the true evil.

  2. “Windows Phone will be popular. Over time, it’ll eat the lunch of the increasingly fragmented, increasingly insecure, and increasingly costly Android (losing patent infringement lawsuits and dropping features/paying royalties to multiple IP owners will do that to you).”

    I generally agree with MDN’s takes. However, this is not one of them. MS is doomed in mobile. It has set its self as a competitor (think Nokia) to other phone manufacturers and has no traction. You can’t take the loser manufacturers and a loser like MS has shown to be and create a winner. 🙂

      1. Yes, Google Chrome. It has the potential to actually be a decent mobile OS…and make Google some decent money if they do their homework and handle it properly. I don’t think it will ever hold a candle to iOS or OS X, but it’s certain to do better than the Android debacle.

        1. Firefox gets my vote. I even actually started looking at HTML5 programming a couple weeks ago with the Firefox announcement, and I haven’t programmed anything beyond a basic HTML web page in over 15 years.

    1. Any royalties that anyone pays to Microsoft or Apple pale in comparison to what Microsoft charges for Windows Phone licenses. Plus, no one is buying Windows Phones, so switching from Android to Windows Phone simply guarantees you won’t sell any handsets.

  3. Windows Mobile isn’t going to overtake Android anytime soon. The fees mentioned here are only impacting the low end players like HTC. Samsung isn’t affected by the “patents” it appears as they have the lawyers to fight back. Despite being guilty they haven’t paid a cent. By the time they do pay time will have moved on to different technology rendering most of the complaints pointless. I don’t like it but its how the big boys play. Android is destroying Windows Phone because the Phonemakers not Microsoft get to decide what to present on their phones. Android is going no where.

  4. Google Chrome is Google’s fall-back OS IMHO. They aren’t making money with Android by giving away the farm. Development has slowed to a crawl, fragmentation is horrendous…not to mention a total lack of security.

    If Google produces a Chrome OS cell phone (and tablet?) and licenses Chrome to third-party vendors they have a real chance of making a decent profit as well as viable OS.

    That said, they’ll still have to pry my iPhone from my cold, dead hands. 😉

  5. For all its Android efforts, Google has also earned a lifetime of scorn and wrath from Apple and Apple devotees. Apple shares would have been between $1000 and $1500 by now if not for Google’s treachery. Don’t expect any of us to forget easily. And oh, ya, one more thing: Have a nice day, Google!

  6. Just like there has been numerous claims of Apple’s downfall, Google’s Android will receive its fair share of prophets of doom. It’s a mark of being successful when people want you to fail.

  7. In a weird way, companies & products don’t fail.

    Consumers just vote with their feet and wallets.

    Once you’ve had a TurkeyPhone, you tend to buy quality the next time around.

  8. Firstly, I thought Google already more or less washes its hands of liability of downstream handset makers. Secondly, Google only just bought Motorola, and has barely done anything with it yet. Hard to believe they will give up the Android thing already after all that.

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