Why Silicon Valley doesn’t care about Android

“Based on my experience meeting hundreds of startup founders and VCs in both San Francisco and New York, few professionals in America’s tech hubs have owned an Android phone or believe in the opportunity of the platform,” Sandi MacPherson writes for Quartz.

“Android is not the preferred platform for new startups to build on,” MacPherson writes. “When you ask startups why they prefer to build for iOS first, the typical responses revolve around a few main points: Building for Android is more expensive and time intensive, mostly because of massive fragmentation in hardware and software; iOS users are much more valuable and monetize more than Android users; iOS is more popular in the US, and that’s the market most US-based companies know best. While Android is just under 85% worldwide, it’s only about 50% in the US.”

With any development team, you will always have a more familiar platform. This platform is your team’s bread and butter. You can make magic happen. No design or interaction is too hard. You feel infinite. You eke out morsels of performance by diving into system libraries and rewriting components. And then there’s the other platform. This mystery platform monetizes poorly and is used by poor people. None of your friends use it. None of the tech press, the people who you want covering you, use it. It feels like it’ll take another thousand hours that went into designing and executing the original iOS application. — Jong Moon Kim, Founder at YC Startup

Right now each revision of hardware and OS introduces huge new capabilities. Apple’s ability to tightly couple the hardware, the OS, and the APIs for developers to take advantage of that hardware is unprecedented. Just look at Bluetooth Low Energy—it’s been available on iOS since the iPhone 4S, and Android penetration is pathetic even today. Things like Metal, TouchID, and perhaps 3rd party access to NFC are examples of things that Apple can enable much more easily and broadly than Android. For developers that are pushing the limits of the technologies being introduced today, iOS is a much more attractive platform, while Android continues to play catch up. — Sutha Kamal, Founder & Former CEO at Massive Health

MuchRead more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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8 Comments

  1. Hey, but Android rules the world … for the uninformed.

    First cost is not the price you pay.

    If a person is serious about work and play, they don’t settle for less, when less is just a couple hundred bucks and the carriers are the ones that take the supermajority of telecom costs anyway.

  2. To say that Android users are poor is a misnomer.

    I know several and they are just cheap (people). You can’t reason with them that there is a value add to upgrading to an iOS device.

    Some of them were sold on staying out of the “walled garden” even when they have no idea what they would do outside of the garden.

    My in-laws and thier siblings all switched to iPhones and macs in the last two years from Androids and Dells and I rarely do tech support for any of em anymore.

    That was the value add to me.

    1. I totally agree. My in-laws switched to iPhones once Verizon got them, and they fell in love with the Apple universe. Two families are now Mac users as well. I no longer hear from my mother-in-law about problems with her computers, and in fact, she upgraded to Yosemite before I did and told me how great it is!

  3. Tech analysts and writers seem to find new answers every day to the same android market share questions. But why? People, this is not a test.
    They only need to realize the great potential for iOS to grow when countries like China, India, Brazil, etc. move more people into higher economic classes.
    After many of them having spent years studying at our great universities, they have failed to comprehend a very simple fact of supply and demand (and I make this up)…That there is a huge, big difference between understanding the “getting a phone, getting a tablet, an mp3 player, etc.” than “buying an iPhone, an iPad, iPod, etc.”.
    One is the result of economic forces applied to the purse of the many, the other the true desire to get what one wants, desire, and know to be the best, to the more limited few that can afford it today.
    In the so called third and second world people get those android things. Its all most of them can afford. For Petes sake you can get a phone in many parts of the world for $10 bucks!
    But when you ask them, you know, the poor masses being counted today by analysts sitting back in NYC as the android juggernaut of market share, they say…if I could…I want an iPhone.
    So Apple has almost an unlimited potential for growth as those people move up the economic ladder.
    Only in a few countries do you have the philosophical divide that we see in the US regarding meaningless things like “walled garden”. In other countries, more rational people call it, security.

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