Smartphones: Apple knows what it’s doing, Google doesn’t

“Google’s smartphone product strategy and sales are going from bad to worse, from one month to the next. As of this writing – December 20 – there is not a single Google smartphone available for purchase on Google’s own site for smartphone sales,” Anton Wahlman writes for Seeking Alpha. “You read that right. Not a single one. They are all listed as “out of stock” and have been so, in some cases, for over a month.”

“It became a critical problem already two months ago, but one would have thought that the problem would have been cured by now. For the dominant smartphone operating system, Android, with 80% worldwide market share, it’s highly curious to say the least, that Google can’t even make itself sell a single phone directly to the consumer anymore,” Wahlman writes. “This is Google’s own defined hardware, typically made in conjunction with a hardware maker such as Motorola, LG, Samsung or HTC in recent years.”

“The problem with the Nexus phone right now is that Google was offering the Nexus 5, built by LG, for $349 and up, but it is effectively discontinuing it in favor of the Nexus 6, made by Motorola, for $649 and up. The problem isn’t even the steep price increase – almost 100% – but that most people just don’t want to hold a 6-inch phone,” Wahlman writes. “It’s as if Google took the walking joke of a small portion of people actually liking these 6-inch “phablets” and thought that it was suddenly mainstream. It is not.”

“Just look at Apple, which knows what it’s doing,” Wahlman writes. “It was not foolish enough to place an exclusive bet on the 5.5-inch phone, let alone a 6.0-inch phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

19 Comments

  1. Google is a great example of a company that had incredible success at one thing, namely search, and therefore reasoned that it would be equally successful in every other endeavor it undertook. Wrong.

    1. I’m still waiting for Apple to truly go thermonuclear on Google, which will be when they unveil:

      http://search.apple.com

      Yes, iSearch, or whatever they want to call it. Even if it isn’t as good as Google’s (initially), they can still put a serious dent in Google’s profitability. Hit ’em in the moneymaker!! They’ve gone after yours (iPhone), by stealing the IP and design via Eric T. Mole, so time for payback!

      Making iSearch the default on all Apple products would be a nice start…

      1. They’re already putting a dent in them by just offering options and defaulting to Bing on parts of their search already. Just one more tweak to direct web search automatically to Bing or Yahoo and that’s a TON of revenue right out of their bottom line.

      1. Google bought Motorola in a panic move to counter all of the patents and IP Apple had produced and was acquiring. Once it realized the true depth of Motorola’s poor business strategy, plus Apple’s change away from litigation, Google bailed.

        I think Google knows that designing and building its own phone is a money-losing proposition, so it’s not trying too hard to do so. It can’t really innovate a phone and still compete with Apple in price.

  2. Google has achieved exactly what it set out to do and that is to have a mobile OS with the greatest market share. They’ve put Android smartphones into the hands of the poorest people in the world and that is somewhat of an achievement.

    However, I have no confidence at all in Android and as far as I’m concerned the poorest people in the world probably have no need for smartphones. Give them electricity, sanitation and health care instead. I feel that Google has lost control over the platform (if it ever intended to have any control over it I’m not really certain). There’s simply too many uncontrolled variables (makers, carriers, models, quality) that are going to bring that OS into ruins. Enforced controls always need to be set or uniformity turns into chaos.

    I highly question Wall Street’s fanaticism over Android OS saying that it’s such a praiseworthy platform. They’re just gushing because of it’s being capable of huge shipping/sales numbers and I consider that irresponsible due to a waste of materials going into making so many Android devices left unsold as newer models are introduced. As far as I’m concerned supply should never exceed demand of any product by more than a few percent otherwise it’s only going to end up as landfill. Electronic devices that can’t be updated quickly and easily is bad news for consumers. The more Android devices sold is only going to make matters worse for users with older devices.

    My personal opinion is that any high-end flagship smartphone, barring physical damage, should be good for two years (based on carrier contract). I consider even yearly smartphones cycles for the average consumer rather unnecessary. Android smartphones constantly flooding the market is simply a waste of materials and bad for the ecology. Too many Android manufacturers simply don’t know what they’re doing and Google refuses to set any standards. Bad news all around.

    1. All Google wants is everyone on the planet using a smartphone that searches using their apps and website.

      Google couldn’t care less about Android quality as long as it ships.

    2. Well, our iPhone 4 models we just replaced with new 6 and 6 Plus models are still running as good as new, although not having the ability to upgrade to the latest iOS version. We just wanted to switch from AT&T to Verizon.

      With that in mind I’d say a high end phone should last way past a two year contract. I agree with your comments, and also think it’s silly to upgrade just to have the latest and greatest. But to each their own.

    3. Wall Street is obsessed with numbers, and one of those unreasonable obsessions is market share. For some reason, Wall Street constantly equates market share with profitability, when quite often the opposite is true. But of course, Wall Street is only concerned about short term profits, not long term.

  3. Apple might continue making phablets, but will not be surprised if they start making a 3.5-4″ iphone sharing the same internal hardware going forward. IMO phablets are a fad and they will have their glory under the sun but it will not erase the market for smaller phones, Apple will be foolish to think that they need not make smaller phones ever, but stranger things have happened.

    1. There’s a big market for the 3.5 – 4″ phone. I’ve heard lot’s of people lament that there isn’t an iPhone6 with that screen size. I hope Apple does wake up and not leave this segment uncovered.

  4. Having had the iPhone since the 3Gs. And ipad since the start. Screen size has always been important. Since your effectively covering a part of the touch screen with your finger. The bigger the screen the better operational wise. But as I well know, carrying around a ipad 3 all day is kinda heavy. Ipads belong in the home/office. Mobile is where it’s at. But carrying 6″ phone is pushing really pushing it. If you value your purchase. And if you bought your iPhone outright you would. As any sane person, you’ll want to protect your investment. Ie a protective case. I’ve have friends one with a iPhone and another with iPhone 6+. My friend with the iPhone 6 has a slim fit silicon case. So it’s a good fit in his pocket. The other friend fits double glasing. So has his iPhone 6+ in a life proof case. Great he can drop his phone a not worry about it get marked or broken. He out of normal habit put his iPhone 6+ with case into his work trouser pocket. He had to take his trousers OFF to get his phone our. Ha ha. If you’ve got a android 6″ phone in a protective case your going to need very very big pockets or a man purse ha ha. I was so glad to see Apple release two sizes of the iPhone 6. That was the really smart move on Apples part. Personally I’d like to see the iPhone 7 come at 5″. But really I’m waiting for the iPhone with built in infared keyboard. With a projected 12″ screen 6″ above the device from an inbuilt screen projector chip. This tech is doable NOW. Come on Apple make it happen. Shift the smartphone paradigm again you know you want too. 😉

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