Apple reaffirms its superpower over Google’s ‘Fragmandroid’

“Apple’s latest figures show that sixty-six percent of devices compatible with iOS 9 are running the latest major version of the software,” Ewan Spence reports for Forbes. “Once more, Apple has shown its superpower in the ability to keep the mobile platform fresh, while Google’s Android OS continues to be hampered by strategic decisions made many years ago. Independent analysis from Mixpanel shows that iOS 9 adoption is closer to seventy-five percent.”

“No matter where you take the numbers, the broad consensus is a simple one. The speed of adoption of iOS 9 is huge,” Spence reports. “Stacked up against the slow update of Lollipop (just twenty-three and a half percent nearly a year after its release), Android’s inability to offer timely updates to the firmware or patch newly visible security issues is becoming more visible to the public.”

Spence reports, “Android has won the market share battle, but with record sales of iOS handsets, ninety-two percent of smartphone profits flowing to Apple and Android flagship sales dropping, it seems that the pursuit of market share is a hollow victory.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google’s model for Android was destined for failure in all aspects beyond amassing profitless market share and spreading rampant insecurity into mobile.

SEE ALSO:
Struggling Samsung to see first-ever year-over-year drop in smartphone shipments in 2015 – October 15, 2015
Apple iPhone owns over 90% of smartphone profits, so why do others even bother fighting over Apple’s scraps? – October 8, 2015
Wired reviews Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus: ‘absurdly fast; crazy fast; this one feels different’ – October 5, 2015
The iPhone 6s Plus is the best computer I’ve used – and a reason to upgrade every year – September 29, 2015
The Verge reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘You should buy an iPhone 6S Plus’ – September 22, 2015
Financial Times reviews Apple’s iPhone 6s/Plus: The ‘s’ stands for speed – October 1, 2015
Ars Technica reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: 3D Touch and the A9 chip are the stars of the show – September 28, 2015
John Gruber reviews Apple’s iPhone 6s/Plus: Everything is new – September 23, 2015
Insanely Great: iPhone 6s benchmarks as powerful as the Retina MacBook – September 22, 2015
TechCrunch reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘The camera alone is worth the price of admission’ – September 22, 2015
Mossberg reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘The best smartphone, period.’ – September 22, 2015
The Verge reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘You should buy an iPhone 6S Plus’ – September 22, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: 3D Touch, great camera add up to tempting upgrade – September 22, 2015
Apple’s iPhone owns 92% of smartphone industry’s profits – July 13, 2015

18 Comments

  1. Odd, Google’s business model of not making any money from products beyond selling out their supposed customers for comparatively small advertising revenues is showing signs of being a poor one for all involved. Who’d have thunk it? Us.

    1. But, the market loves the indefinite revenue stream into the future, whether it be with subscriptions Microsoft), ads (selling customer information as per Google), or retail (Amazon). Apple’s model of reinventing itself every five years or so with new market disrupting products is too risky for them. Apple is addressing this with its attempts to build a subscriptions based locked in customer, but while large revenues are forthcoming with this effort, they pale next to Apple’s hardware business.

  2. Once again, I’m convinced that there is something seriously flawed with the supposed Android market dominance. How can you sell a billion devices per year yet reap less than 10% of the profit in mobile.

    No one has ever dominated marketshare with virtually no profits–it completely destroys previous business models. This has NEVER happened before, which is why all the marketshare-prophets-of-doom have no argument.

    1. “How can you sell a billion devices per year yet reap less than 10% of the profit in mobile. No one has ever dominated marketshare with virtually no profits–it completely destroys previous business models..”

      So well said, haven’t ever seen this laid out so succinctly and so eloquently before.

    2. Sadly, I think you’re completely mistaken on this point. History is littered with companies that had the technically superior product but in the end were driven out of business by the junk company that gobbled up market share first, then cranked up its prices when the superior company eventually lost critical market share.

      Apple may not be at risk of losing market share battle with affluent consumers, but iOS adoption by businesses is not a foregone conclusion. Many custom hardware and interface needs out there that Apple refuses to offer. And like it or not, eventually commoditization leads not only CIOs but also home users to consider the less expensive products that are “good enough”. At Apple’s current rate of innovation, it’ll be hard to maintain premium pricing for too much longer. Then we’ll see if iOS profits remain dominant, or if in the long run, like practically all other duopoly industries in the world. the profit share settles out to 50/50 in the long run.

      1. “History is littered with companies that had the technically superior product but …” You didn’t name even one.

        “… hardware and interface needs out there that Apple refuses to offer.” You didn’t name even one.

        Without specifics your arguments are specious.

          1. “Betamax”
            Bzzt. Betamax lost for technical inferiority in what turned out to be the most important area: recording length (i.e. usefulness and suitability for purpose). Turns out people didn’t want to have to switch the tape halfway through a movie.
            From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videotape_format_war):
            “While VHS machines’ lower retail price was a major factor, the principal battleground proved to be recording time.”

            1. You do realize that the wikipedia entry you linked requires a citation and that recording length is simply a function of tape length.. The same wikipedia entry goes on to say “Sony believed that having better quality recordings was the key to success”.. I think having better quality recordings is more indicative of Technological superiority vs tape recording time.

  3. “Apple’s latest figures show that sixty-six percent of devices compatible with iOS 9”

    Wrong!

    66% of ALL iOS devices that access the App Store. Not just those compatible with iOS 9.

    1. Following the Forbes article link to the Apple site page does appear to prove you correct. The data point is from Nov. 2 so is recent. The problem with comparing the percentages between OSes however is misleading when you have such a huge difference in the numbers of units in active use. It could well be that just 10% of Android devices having the latest version equates in active units to 60% of iOS devices.

  4. Where are all the wise “pundits” who predicted several years ago that the mobile war will be an exact repeat of the PC war and that Google will do to Apple what Microsoft did in the 80’s and 90’s? Didn’t quite turn out that way, did it?

    1. Do we know for certain that Google will be around in 10 years? 20 years? They have exactly one single product that makes up over 90% of their revenues, but how certain is the future of that revenue? How much comes through their web-search portal? How certain can anyone be that portal will continue to be relevant in the future? PCs are falling off and handsets do not get used the same way. Search on an iPhone vs a computer Mac or PC is not the same at all.

    2. To be fair, the game is far from over. Apple now seems to be using a “fast follow” model, allowing other companies to innovate, then Apple rapidly adopts what the marketplace is buying (5.5″ phones, for example). The number of true first-to-market innovations from Apple has slowed to a trickle. Even the look and feel of Apple GUIs is often a me-too copy of what others did — look how Safari now looks just like the Chrome browser. And the 2015 Apple TV is obsolete out of the box. Keep on this path, and Apple will lose its panache and pricing power as it gets too slow. Maybe Apple thinks that’s the way to save money, but I think Apple’s going to slowly become Microsloth — late to the party, never the cutting edge.

      Fragmentation — sure, it’s easy to point at Android and make that claim. But let’s be honest — another term for fragmentation can be “user configurations”. It is noble of Apple to push a new free major iOS version every year. But is that what people want? Firefox gets a new major version number every month or less, does that make it automatically better? How about the size of those updates — is iOS getting more bloated with each version or less? Some would say that Apple is hitting diminishing returns. Especially as it selectively adds hardware options like “Force Touch” … ahem, “3D Touch” … that carries OS bloat older users with memory-limited devices DO NOT WANT.

      In many businesses, they want unique hardware and hate to be forced into constant updating. As for consumers, Apple’s product mix is increasingly bizarre. Pixel density, screen ratios, and resolutions are all over the map — except they’re not as good as some competitiors anymore. Memory pricing is obscene as ever. Macs used to offer users ~5-8+ years of solid service plus offer great user upgrade options, iOS devices are intentionally designed to cut off software support in ~3 years, depending on the product. Then we get to the messy slow transitions to the lightning connector and to 64-bit software. iOS still carries all kind of bloat because of its pretending to offer 32-bit device support (which is a joke, “upgrading” any 32-bit iOS device beyond iOS6 has proven to be a bad move). But Apple refuses to let 32-bit iOS customers revert back. Many users would WELCOME the “fragmentation” stigma of being able to use older OS releases that actually worked smoothly.

      Then we get to the iTunes mess. Apple can’t figure out how to offer users the option of EITHER using their home Mac as their master files, or using iCloud as the ultimate repository for all their iOS stuff. So Apple forces users to have an OS that does both. And Apple can’t decide whether it wants to continue offering people ala carte media purchases or force them into AM subscriptions, so it forces everyone into carrying the bloat of an all-of-the-above app that people can’t effectively manage thanks to Apple’s lack of documentation. Apple’s native apps are poor enough that there are 3rd party music apps and stores selling better media options at better prices. So on the music/video scene, Apple’s users are a fragmented mess and getting worse.

      So sure, MDN, go ahead and keep repeating ad nauseum that Apple has less fragmentation. It doesn’t mean anything. An Apple user who is tricked into auto-updates and is barred from returning back isn’t a happy user. An iTunes user who has a wonderful personal library of files on his home Mac is not delighted at having rentals shoved into his face at every turn. Nor is he happy that Apple pushes un-deletable junk and bloat at users while holding back on memory sizing. Is there any sane reason that people who don’t have an Apple Watch need to be forced to devote memory to the app on their iPhones??? Would it be too much to ask for Apple to let users with older hardware not install these non-essential apps and OS components that they can’t use?

      You won’t see user dissatisfaction affect Apple’s bottom line for several years to come — the cash piles from skimming app store sales cover up all Apple sins — but slow leadership at Apple, as well as lack of focus on user experience, especially if it embraces money pits like cars, will doom Apple to become the Microsoft that everyone here despises.

      There is already room in the industry for a new, hungry underdog company to provide better hardware and software options that Apple has abandoned or refuses to serve. Apple’s products now are less user friendly and intuitive than ever before, and in many areas, Apple’s product isn’t even close to being competitive at any price. Factor in the Apple luxury pricing, and it’s downright embarrassing. iPads, Displays, Airport, RAM pricing, discontinued programs — it’s not a good trend.

      I would much rather that Apple fine a way to improve user experience with simple, intuitive, user options — with more “fragmentation” — than Apple to become a company that no longer listens to users.

  5. I am aware that Google is no longer “just about search”. But the search or better FIND capabilities of Google have not improved as much as I had thought it would. I am not the best at searching, but not a total nono either. Yet relevant results are rare…..

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