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Android Passes BlackBerry In US Market Share

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the king-for-a-day-but-that-damn-sword-above dept.

Android 250

An anonymous reader writes "69.5 million people in the US owned smartphones during the three months ending in February 2011, up 13 percent from the preceding three-month period. For the first time, more Americans are using phones running Google's Android operating system than Research In Motion's BlackBerry, according to comScore. Having passed the iPhone in the preceding three-month period, this now means that Android has been crowned king in the US."

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fuck yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35695936)

nuff said, well first post too

Re:fuck yeah (0, Redundant)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 2 years ago | (#35695998)

Who's up for a game of spot the fanboy? From either side of the fence.

Re:fuck yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696662)

Who's up for a game of spot the fanboy?

Oh, you go ahead and start without us. I'm sure you're used to playing with yourself anyway.

Re:fuck yeah (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696688)

I think everyone can get behind this. We have customers who have been bugging us to support Blackberry since we support iPhone and soon Android. A lot of ISVs are in the same boat. Nobody wants to deal with Blackberry, and now we can point at this downtrend and push back even harder.

Surprised? (5, Informative)

jhigh (657789) | more than 2 years ago | (#35695954)

Android is an operating system available on devices from numerous manufacturers. It was only a matter of time, given the level of control that both RIM and Apple maintain over the hardware that their operating system is available on.

I'm a Droid user and a huge fan, but it is almost an unfair comparison. You're comparing an (relatively) open operating system with proprietary devices running proprietary software.

Re:Surprised? (2)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#35695974)

True, and a model-to-model popularity study would have a very different lineup, but this is useful information on its own. I'd think particularly for anyone determining what platform to develop for. Though granted, it's not the only thing to consider.

Re:Surprised? (5, Interesting)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696126)

I think it might be better to consider that The Apple app market saw over 17x the sales of the Android Market last year.....
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20032012-37.html [cnet.com]

Sure, better for somebody... (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696194)

but not necessarily the consumer.

You're forgetting about market demographics. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35696212)

Keep in mind that the user demographics are likely very different between the Apple and Android markets.

I'd expect there to be a greater volume of sales within Apple's market. After all, it's a community that generally deems it acceptable to waste large amounts of money on inferior products. Thanks to living off of the trust funds set up by their parents, and/or not having to support children due to rampant homosexuality, they're far more likely to waste money on frivolous purchases.

The Android community, on the other hand, is made up of real, everyday people. There are far, far more of these people than there are those who fall into the Apple category. Unlike Apple's market, these people don't have money to waste on useless crap. If there's a free alternative available, they'll use it.

The larger size of the Android market, even considering it's not fully realized at this point, means that the impact of the Android Market will be much more significant than that of Apple's App Store, even if there may be more sales taking place within Apple's store. Looking at just sales figures ignores the much greater benefit that the many free Android applications bring to so many more people.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Evi1M4chine (2029370) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696414)

I'm sorry, but I have to pull you back to reality, from media distribution mafia world. (Can't let a fellow Slashdotter die in there. ;)

They both had not a single sale. Since all that software was actually licensed.
The reason is (I think you already know this, but just to clear the head...), that they can't sell you something that can't be owned, now can they? ;)
So they write a contract that you will not pass on their valuable secret.
But since physically and morally, nothing is stopping you from doing it anyway,
they make up this elaborate world about how you still "buy" it, but yet they "own" it anyway.

Anyway: I wouldn't give more value to app licensing numbers in a market than to lines of code in a program. Because honestly, most of those apps are so worthless that not only are they not a valuable secret, but you wouldn’t even value them high enough to pass them on at all. ;)
As a prime example, I raise the app that costs $1000, whose sole "function" it is, to display that you paid $1000 for the app, so you can brag about your money bags. ;))

Re:Surprised? (1)

xenn (148389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696654)

Explain how that affects the sale of services in your reality, please.

Re:Surprised? (4, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696416)

I saw it personally with a couple small apps I built and released for iPhone and Android. Despite more downloads of the free version on androids, over 85% of my sales were for iPhone. Given the time tweaking for the different versions of Android vs iOS, the apps I'm building this year are all for the iPhone.

Re:Surprised? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696548)

I saw it personally with a couple small apps I built and released for iPhone and Android. Despite more downloads of the free version on androids, over 85% of my sales were for iPhone. Given the time tweaking for the different versions of Android vs iOS, the apps I'm building this year are all for the iPhone.

The issue is, most developers follow that thought path. However, what I found is that the apps I want to pay for are better on iPhone. I don't want to pay the same price for fewer features, or pay more for the same features, just because I'm on Android. So, my options become paying them for an inferior product and reinforcing the practice.. or not buying the app.

Re:Surprised? (0)

codepunk (167897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696746)

You do know the reason the apps are inferior to the ones on the iphone are due to the android platform performance?

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697006)

That makes absolutely no sense for a lot of the apps that are that way. Facebook is a prime example. I refuse to believe that performance is going to hurt it nearly that bad on Android that they can't make it on par with Apple's. Beyond that, I've used several apps that run counter to that theory, where there's no noticeable difference in speed between the two (in fact, some game comes to mind that seemed to run faster on my Thunderbolt than my friend's iPhone 4 a few days ago; mind you, I am overclocking quite high in that comparison, just to make a point to my ignorant friend that wouldn't know better anyway).

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35696454)

Don't you need a Mac to develop iOS apps? Won't that result in more apps developed on Android in the future?

Comparison bias? (2)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696472)

The app store doesn't generate as much, because of the different set of mind. Google is all about advertising revenue, not direct sales to end-customers. How much did you pay for your 3 versions of Angry Birds on your iPhone? Yet Rovio are probably making way more off ads in the game on Android. Not a fact, just a guess. But since RIO is still free, I'm guessing the business model stands. (Think of it this way: on iPhone, new levels in any of the three = no extra income, but on Android, new levels = loads of ads displayed on user screens => revenue).

Re:Surprised? (3, Informative)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696478)

Better to consider .. what??? The story is pretty straight forward, more Android phones are being used than Apple phones. Which infers that more people are using them than are using Apple phones. Which infers that people prefer the Android phones (didn't say it was better, I said prefer) than Apple phones. I have all the apps I need on my Android, and no one has yet to show me an iPhone app that makes it worthwhile to switch. So the 'fact' the Apple app market sells more than the Android market doesn't mean anything to me. Except that iDrones have lots of excess cash to waste on apps that might even be free somewhere else.

Android means choice, Apple is still the control-freak run company it always has been. Apple products have always appealed to those who just have to have the newest tech no matter what. Which means Apple products probably appeal to people with cash which means those people are probably willing to drop lots of bucks in the Apple store.

It has always seemed like iDrones like having very little choice and doing what Apple says. I think doing any real thinking for themselves hurts too much.

Re:Surprised? (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696636)

Which infers that people prefer the Android phones (didn't say it was better, I said prefer) than Apple phones.

People don't necessarily buy the product they prefer. Price is a consideration. And the vast number of cheap Android phones from many manufacturers explains the market share.

So the 'fact' the Apple app market sells more than the Android market doesn't mean anything to me.

Well maybe not. But it means everything to the developers. Which means most develop first for the iPhone, and then possibly port to Android.

Android means choice

Not of Apps it doesn't. iPhone has more and better choice of apps than Android for the reason stated above.

It has always seemed like iDrones like having very little choice and doing what Apple says. I think doing any real thinking for themselves hurts too much.

Hey whatever it takes to make you happy that you bought a cheap copy.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697052)

If I were choosing to develop for a platform, why would I choose one with only 5% of the sales?

People don't necessarily "prefer" Android. They prefer to stay with their own carrier. On AT&T where people had a choice between Android and iPhone, they chose the iPhone 14 to 1.

Have you notice that Verizon completely dropped their Droid Does campaign as soon as they got the iPhone? Now if you go to Verizon's website, you see three categories of phones - iPhones, smart phones, and feature phones. They've relegate Android to the bargain bin.

Re:Surprised? (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696650)

Averaging the year as phone days, Apple had more. The growth rate is immense for Android, so the real install base didn't even show up until the middle of Q3. These numbers for 2011 will be very different.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696806)

Remind me again, was Android outselling Apple in the beginning of last year? Let's check the numbers in another year or two...

It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35696082)

This is all just a rehash of the PC industry during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Back then, Apple had their proprietary hardware and software stack, and it did achieve a relatively high level of popularity, at least initially. There were other smaller players, like Amiga, Commodore and Tandy back then, and RIM and Nokia today, who offered their own platforms.

Android is best compared to MS-DOS, oddly enough. It was about being a flexible OS that ran on a wide range of hardware from a wide range of vendors, and in many ways it maximized the freedom of developers and users alike. It did very little to dictate how programs could be implemented, who may use them, and how they may be distributed.

We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity. Most went completely out of business. Apple, by far the strongest of them, only barely managed to survive the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s.

I suspect that the same thing might be happening today. Although not the first, Apple took a commanding lead within the market. But facing competition from more open hardware and software, they don't have a hope in hell of surviving in the long run. It remains to be seen what will happen with Jobs in the near future, but if he departs from Apple for whatever reason, it's likely that they'll face yet another dark period like that between 1987 and 1999.

PC world or video game console world? (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696196)

We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed

This is true among home computers. But whether the smartphone market shapes up to be like the home computer market (where open won) or the set-top video gaming market (where closed won) hasn't entirely been decided. Android is in the lead now, but I'm not sure how much of that comes from people avoiding the iPhone to avoid AT&T. This can change as more Verizon Wireless contracts hit their 24th month, and it can also change come iPhone 5 and Sony NGP. But on the other hand, Apple doesn't have a low-end phone for use with prepaid service, unlike Sprint's Virgin Mobile USA which has a few Android phones now, and Apple has historically chosen not to compete in the extreme low-end.

Re:PC world or video game console world? (4, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696298)

My bet is sadly on the closed one winning. Most people view phones* as appliances and as such they should just work.

*I keep thinking of mine as a mini-laptop, but that still makes me a bit grumpy as i'd like to be able to script it, and tinker with it even more than CyanogenMOD will let me.

Re:PC world or video game console world? (2, Insightful)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696612)

My bet is sadly on the closed one winning. Most people view phones* as appliances and as such they should just work.

I think that's a very accurate assessment (though I don't even have a smart phone). I'm all for toys and openness; I cut my teeth on Slackware (using Debian currently), don't take my car to the mechanic for trivial stuff, fix my audio gear myself (picked up a Dyna ST-70 for free a while back...score!) etc. But I can see a day when I'll want a system -- be it an entertainment system, a car or a smartphone -- that "just works." And sadly, this is more easily achieved when a single manufacturer controls the hardware.

I'll probably get modded into oblivion because I'm pointing out the good side of a controlling company, but that's just my opinion. (And for the record, I think Apple's being ridiculous in the limiting-what-you-can-run department. I think it would make the most sense to have "Apple Approved" apps, and a free-for-all. If you want something that Just Works (and, if Apple did their job reviewing it, isn't malware), then stick to the official app store. Else, well, eat your heart out.)

Re:PC world or video game console world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696624)

As much as I am a geek, and all for open-source software, I would lump myself in the category your talking about. To me, my phone is not my laptop, and shouldn't be compared to one. I need to be able to make calls/text from it, and it needs to be able to do that perfectly without hiccups. I have seen far more issues with that with android than with blackberry (I have no experience with iphones) If I want to be able to do anything more, I will just whip my laptop out. Have there been situations where I wish I could have done something more with my phone, or where I wasn't able to just whip my laptop out? Yes. How often though, maybe twice a year.

Re:PC world or video game console world? (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696784)

Well the PC world profits on hardware sales, so it makes sense to allow any software to run. The console world loses money on hardware sales initially, and makes it all up with software sales. Also, since open source video games barely exist, 99% of the content needs DRM protection and cost money, it makes sense to be closed. Since a large part of the market was aimed at kids, parents prefer purchasing closed systems.

So since the iPhone isn't marketed at kids, and doesn't give you a cheap price on the hardware, it can't win. If the iPhone was sold for a big loss, it may have a better chance, and could find a place to stay in certain demographics.

Re:PC world or video game console world? (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696896)

But whether the smartphone market shapes up to be like the home computer market (where open won) or the set-top video gaming market (where closed won) hasn't entirely been decided

'hasnt been decided' ?

man. it is the way human social dynamics work - the easiest, most accommodating, most open gets adopted eventually. EVERYthing after this mobile thing will unfold in the exact same way.

Re:PC world or video game console world? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696924)

the easiest, most accommodating, most open gets adopted eventually.

Then why hasn't this happened in set-top video gaming? More specifically, what distinguishes phones from game consoles and from dedicated gaming handhelds in this respect? Or are we still waiting for "eventually"?

Re:PC world or video game console world? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696962)

but it did ? the pc gaming market, is the market that everything revolves around -> from wow to crysis.

yes, there is a closed ecosystem of consoles, but, these had been pretty much built over the ancient gaming consoles of late 70s. the companies so far kept quite a hold on their own turf -> but that's because no 'open initiative' like google did with android came forward : there was no need to - anyone needing open, customizable or more powerful, went pc gaming already.

that aside, if you count in piracy and modding into console thing, the 'openness' would come out much more clearly.

Re:PC world or video game console world? (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696946)

In Europe there is no carrier lock, you can get the iPhone from several companies, in some countries this has been the case for several years. And yet, Android is exploding in popularity. Biggest losers in Europe are Apple and Nokia, where Nokia is more or less equivalent to RIM in the US in terms of previous market share and demography of its users.

http://www.greatereader.org/?p=19211 [greatereader.org]

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35696270)

We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity.

That sounds a bit revisionist. Wouldn't saying the cheapest of the platforms prevailed be more accurate?

How were DOS's competitors less open?

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696512)

The Amiga was considerably cheaper, and superior to DOS based machines of the day.

Software competitors weren't less open than DOS, but they weren't more open either... On the other hand the hardware required to run DOS was considerably more open than the hardware that ran other systems, and software was considered a triviality alongside the price of hardware.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696272)

Android is best compared to MS-DOS, oddly enough. It was about being a flexible OS that ran on a wide range of hardware from a wide range of vendors, and in many ways it maximized the freedom of developers and users alike. It did very little to dictate how programs could be implemented, who may use them, and how they may be distributed.

Sort of, but MS-DOS was proprietary and ran on relatively open hardware, while Android is the other way around.

The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity....I suspect that the same thing might be happening today.

Not likely. Unfortunately, devices without locked bootloaders are the exception, not the rule. Most Android devices are not really any more open than the Blackberry in practice.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

Evi1M4chine (2029370) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696462)

Correct. What we need for mobile phones, is the same modular flexibility as for desktop PCs. So everyone can get into it, offering parts. But hopefully without the ugly generic gray cases. ;)

Otherwise I can just think of cars as an example. Luckily, there you can still "mod" your cars, no matter what the vendor expects. You'll only lose your guarantee. But modders offer you a new one. So other companies can make spare parts.
With phones that is obviously also true, no matter how much Apple would like to to think it's not.

If someone would create such a open modular phone, and get the Chinese/Taiwanese/Japanese/... on board, they'd flood the market with parts until the coolness of what phone you could get that way would crush the lock-in companies. (At least so I hope.)

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696638)

Keep dreaming!

What most people need, is a phone that they can buy, and they can do stuff with. Most people want to tinker with and mod their phones as much as they want to tinker with and mod their cars, which is to say they don't want to tinker.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696864)

I love the idea, but doubt it will happen. The N900 is pretty close to my dream phone, but I'm stuck with Verizon due to business and location. If one could order the mainboard, radio, screen, keyboard, enclosure, etc and assemble the thing then install some distro and register it on Verizon's network that would be really exciting. But other people who feel that way are uncommon, I guess... And of course it would buck the trend of your carrier effectively owning all devices and data on it's network. Now that they've gotten a taste of the mass market accepting that and even paying a premium for it, we're all screwed.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (4, Funny)

Angostura (703910) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696384)

We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and...

.... that's why this is the year of Linux on the desktop.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35697048)

You do realize that Android is based on the Linux kernel, right? You do also realize that there are far more mobile devices out there than there are PCs, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and servers combined, right? And you do realize that this article is about how Android's share of this market is becoming absolutely huge, and is growing at a very rapid pace, right?

This is a much greater win than domination of just the server or desktop markets ever could be. The mobile device sphere is much more significant. At this point, it's shaping up to be, at the very least, the decade of Linux on the mobile device.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (2)

Evi1M4chine (2029370) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696430)

May I add that the same thing happened in the hardware sector too. IBM-compatible PCs prevailed, because everybody could do with it whatever he wanted.
Interestingly, fragmentation was prevented, because if your hardware wasn't really 100% compatible, nobody liked it, for that exact reason. :)

I just hope there will be no incompatible fragmentation in Android after the initial “I’m the dominating standard” struggle.
Oh well... as long as MS doesn't get into it... ;)

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696602)

That came to bite some people when the computer advertised as IBM Compatible wasn't 100% compatible. Anybody that's tried to install a SoundBlaster into a Leading Edge knows exactly what I mean.

Also, I'd like to apologize for bringing up the bad memories from that hunk of crap maker.

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696504)

Does that mean that Nokia has turned into 1980s IBM and opted for the Bill Gates solution that's going to rule the world in 20 years time?

Re:It's just a rehash of the PC world of the 1980s (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696542)

We all know what happened. The most open of the platforms prevailed, and the rest were basically crushed into obscurity. Most went completely out of business. Apple, by far the strongest of them, only barely managed to survive the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s.

I suspect that the same thing might be happening today. Although not the first, Apple took a commanding lead within the market. But facing competition from more open hardware and software, they don't have a hope in hell of surviving in the long run. It remains to be seen what will happen with Jobs in the near future, but if he departs from Apple for whatever reason, it's likely that they'll face yet another dark period like that between 1987 and 1999.

i don't think anyone's going out of business, for several reasons. but the most important is what's the so-called "killer app". see, the "killer app" back at those days were what i call "the holy trinity" lotus 1-2-3, d-base and wordstar. later it wordperfect took the crown as editor, later it became all MS office. other plataforms had a snowball chanve in hell of being adopted by business without office applications that were interoperable with PC. and in those days, real money was in the office market. home market was considered a "toy market" or "hobyst market". apple found a comfortable niche in grpahics and publishing that kept them afloat until the home market became as big as the business market.

then in mid 80's things changed in the home market, the 'killer app" at home moved from games ang hobby to being able to bring work home, that's when the PC crushed all the other platforms at this market too.

the other change, in late 90's was that the "killer app" at the home market became being able to access the internet and playing MP3/video. that's what allowed the mac to make a come back, and this is where it still is on the computer market.

now, smartphones ? the "killer app" untill now was: contacts, phoning and messaging. now it's all this, plus e-mail, web browsing and small apps.

all of this is available in ALL plataforms. contact's, mail, phone, messaging and web, those are all standardized or licensed (information on how to interface with MS exchange is available to any manufacturer for a fee. so it's available for android, iOS, RIM, webOS and symbian).

so, the last "killer app" for mobiles: applications.

well, developing cross-plataform code is a lot easier today than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago, so the same angry birds you play on android, you can play on iOS or even on windows.

the end result, don't expect apple, RIM or even MS to leave the market any time soon. even webOS may still have a future ahead of it, now that they have HPs deep pockets behind it.

Re:Surprised? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696174)

As we are seeing, the openness has an upside and downside. The ability customize locally means ha i will run on various hardware, which means a phone can be made to meet a price point.OTOH,as google is discovering, this leads to products that the platform look low end.

The success will have to be looked at long term. Will OEM stick with Android if they are not allowed to equally compete. WIll they tolerate Google choosing one favorite a season. WIll they risk getting sued by Google for misbehaving. The history, with MS and the PC, indicates they will. And they will sell lots of phone. But it will not be profitable to the OEM, and they phones will continue to not be designed for the end user.

Re:Surprised? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696226)

Really, the fragmentation argument? The phones have been insanely profitable to OEM, have you looked at samsung [talkandroid.com] and other companies profits reported? HTC is laughing all the way to the bank.. [bbc.co.uk]

OEM's are already competing, and have been competing. Openness has only upsides in the long term, and the only threat is a supposed patent threat which has not been proven in a single court case including the android vs oracle case.

Re:Surprised? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696680)

$20 profit/phone. Maybe for small values of insane.

Re:Surprised? (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696742)

A large number of the phones sold are for under $100.

A 20% profit margin, on average, is pretty sizeable.

Re:Surprised? (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696210)

Your comment makes no sense at all, and is a sidetrack to the issue.

If we add up all the iphones and all the android phones, the answer is simple and straightforward: android is selling more, and the market has spoken. It doesn't matter if iphone creates 7 models or 100. It's still a "who sells the most of the major brand", and that has been answered. It's not MS, it's not apple, it's google.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696220)

I like how we've gone from "well sure, proprietary products have an advantage in market share because there's so much money behind them" to "well sure, open products have an advantage because they're portable."

Oh, those poor widdle proprietary products. Is the big nasty-wasty Slashdot editor being mean to you again, making unfair comparisons?

Re:Surprised? (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696702)

Isnt Droid a heavily tweaked version of Android specifically for the HTC models commissioned by VZW?

No it isnt. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696884)

Back during the days of PC vs others, situation was the same. there were those who had tight control, there were those who were more relaxed. and today, 'computer' is basically 'pc', and even everyone forgot that it was 'pc'. it passes as 'desktop computer' universally.

rim and apple lost, because of precisely why competitors to ibm pc lost.

Look at that! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35695956)

Hard work, honesty, and open source, all paying off.

#google #rape #winning.

Re:Look at that! (3, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696120)

While I love open source it's because there's a zillion phones that run android. I suspect if you compare any one Android model against RIM or Apple's offerings then it won't look so good. Combine that with the fact Android owners seem less keen on paying for apps and I think you end up with the iphone or even blackberry being more attractive to a developer despite android's growth.

Re:Look at that! (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696260)

Android owners seem less keen on paying for apps and I think you end up with the iphone or even blackberry being more attractive to a developer despite android's growth.

It appears that BlackBerry developers earn more per app than iPhone and Android developers according to IHS Screen Digest, Feb 2011 [bacononthego.com]

You're completely correct. Right now, BlackBerry is a difficult platform for developers to ignore.

Re:Look at that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696530)

Remove free Apps from that average and it will tilt in the other direction.

Re:Look at that! (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696660)

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Yawn. (1, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#35695958)

Wake me up in six months, when the implications of Google's recent policy changes have been realized.

Re:Yawn. (3, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696028)

I'm wondering if this will only help actually.
Where else are the phone makers going to get an OS/that many apps quick enough to compete with Apple?
And if they don't like to be told the interface, they going to go to Microsoft that's even more restrictive?

Don't know. Still too early to tell, but I don't think it'll be as doom and gloom as some are saying.

Re:Yawn. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696264)

Phone makers have been happy to sell ancient versions of Android and never delivering on upgrades. The /. crowd might care which version they're running, but most people don't seem to. Maybe they'll just stick with 2.3 (or 2.2 or even 2.1) + extra crap.

Re:Yawn. (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696078)

Wake me up in six months...

So you're sleeping or hibernating? Anyway, it's just a joke. Here's what I wanted to say.
Remember that the majority of Android phone buyers do not care what OS it runs. All they want is a phone of great value or from a particular OEM.

I personally, will avoid Motorola no matter what phone they develop, and will seek out HTC or Samsung whenever I can. What OS will come with the phone I choose will be a question I ask just before I pay.

That's me and I an not a lone.

Apps dictate the OS choice (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696208)

Remember that the majority of Android phone buyers do not care what OS it runs.

They care what applications it runs, and if their favorite apps are exclusive to one operating system, they'll choose that OS. For example, if HTC makes a Windows phone and an Android phone, but your favorite apps are for Android, you'll probably choose the Android phone.

Re:Yawn. (3, Informative)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696090)

I assume you are referring to the continued feet dragging with the Honeycomb source.

I would like to start by saying that many of the people complaining about this are people with little knowledge of the Android development cycle. For starters, the newest version of Android is always released closed source so that Open Handset Alliance partners get premium access. Eventually the versions are all released under the Apache license. The only difference between Honeycomb and previous versions is that Google is slowing down the release a bit. They have not reversed their commitment to open source it, they just delayed it.

One of the most common complaints about Android is the fragmentation. This is one way that Google can slowly rein this in. If they are completely closed the source and locked the platform they will be much more like Apple. If they are completely open it will be more like Linux (Android distributions anybody?). It is in the middle ground where they can be both a little open, yet still control the platform and keep quality and homogeneity high.

Re:Yawn. (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696340)

Also hasn't google been saying that Honeycomb will be a tablet only(officially) version? If I am remembering that correctly, i'm not sure how the 3.0 stuff has much to do with with this discussion.

We already have a community distribution of android, CyanogenMOD. As for fragmentation it's more that there hasn't really been much in the way of a "screen shall be X by Y resolution, and the CPU shall be xxx speed ARM or equivalent." Thats about all they are doing now, is setting the hardware minimum higher than they have in the past. I haven't seen anything to the effect of "Handset will be made on nothing less than 24k gold, and the belly button lint of Steve jobs"

Re:Yawn. (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696550)

Sorry, but you can't be completely open and completely without fragmentation. Look at Linux. There's fragmentation, or if you want to look at it another way, diversity and choice. Some people want to use Gentoo; others, Ubuntu. You can't have it both ways. Open is accepting that some people won't agree with your decisions and letting them take what you've done and build their own solution.

If Google wants to be open they need to actually be open. Otherwise they'll end up being supplanted by something like MeeGo, which is actually open. Alternatively, anyone can fork existing versions of Android and make a more open version that's not dependent on one entity. I wouldn't classify Android as closed, but it's certainly not open. Exactly what shade of gray it is, I'm not sure.

Re:Yawn. (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696112)

Which changes that Google has made are going to make people more reluctant to buy Android handsets? The policy changes that say that manufacturers have to supply updates in a timely manner? That you have to allow people to remove the garbage that carriers/manufacturers preinstall and make unremovable without rooting?

Yeah, the changes are bad for end users.

Re:Yawn. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35696166)

People can only buy products that make it to market. If the restrictions reduce the number of handsets, or increase the costs, Apple and RIM's offerings could be more appealing.

Re:Yawn. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696620)

True, but there's way too much money in the Android market for the products to dry up that much. I'd be surprised if it ever drops below 10 or so handsets without Google deliberately burning down the OS or hiring a soft drink exec to run the project.

Africa (1)

WML MUNSON (895262) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696000)

IIRC, the same thing recently happened in Africa.

bouncing around (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696004)

The fact that people so quickly bounce from Blackberry to iPhone to Android in business suggests to me that they use their 'phones for very little real work. I wonder if one day we'll return to, say, 15 years ago, when people had a much better chance to get hard work done (and rest outside hours) without a million devices to interrupt them.

Re:bouncing around (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696040)

....Or it could be that the vast majority of applications and features that people use to get work done are cross platform. You can get e-mail on Blackberry, iPhone and Android. You can make calls on Blackberry, iPhone and Android. You can access webpages on Blackberry, iPhone and Android. And really, those three things is all most people need to get work done. So of course people are going to have different preferences and change phone models.

Re:bouncing around (1)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696048)

You underestimate the amount of momentum in the smartphone market. As with MS software in the 90's and early 00's, you have platform lock-in due to third party apps. With i(phone/pad)OS and Android, you have the same in the AppStore/Market. This is significant and users will be unwilling to change platforms if most of their software investment is in a particular platform.

Re:bouncing around (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696350)

I thought all of the major platforms had angry birds now....

Re:bouncing around (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696060)

It doesn't look as if people are bouncing from iPhone to Android but rather from Palm and Microsoft and Blackberry to Android. Apple's numbers flattened out a lot but they still had a slight climb whereas Android seems to be killing RIM, MS and Palm.

Re:bouncing around (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696172)

This is anecdotal, but it seems to me that what happened is that the iPhone kicked the door open for non-Blackberry devices by getting the devices into enough people high enough into the company that they had to start supporting them. Then, once you're supporting iPhones, the jump to supporting androids is much smaller.

Way more users now. (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696290)

All the folks I knew that had Blackberries for work still have them. But I know a ton more people who bought Android/iPhone for personal use who never had a Blackberry/Palm/Windows phone in the past. That is why the market share is slipping; RIMs gross numbers are still increasing quarter after quarter, but not as quickly as the other phones.

How can this be? (-1, Redundant)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696010)

B-b-b-but Android has fragments, and open sores, and isn't shiny, and doesn't require chin-beards, nor turtlenecks, nor doves.

And Android has something to do with Google.

And where is the wall to this garden? How can we protect ourselves from ourselves? Who will look after our best interests, if not for the wonderful folks at Apple?

Look, up in the sky...it's a bird!...it's a plane!....no, wait, it's, it's Windows Phone 7!!!! The choice of everyone who will never buy or use a smartphone!

Yay! Microsoft comes to the rescue, once again.....thanks cloud.

cheers,

ps. MS, instead of money, please send me a tablet even though you think they're a fad.

This is a no-brainer. (1, Interesting)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696012)

Google knew what they were doing when they developed the android platform and even more so when they made it as open as they did. I am a broken record when it comes to Google and Android and make no apology for being so. I have never failed to get timely responses from Google support and excellent answers as far as I am concerned. RIM has lost sight of the game when it comes to smart phones and will fade fast if they do not get their head out of their rear. Google is Skynet and I am an Andriod Borg. Microslop and the Rotten Apple should be afraid, very afraid.

Re:This is a no-brainer. (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696094)

The reason why Blackberry is losing marketshare is because Android is taking over Blackberry's non-key markets. A lot of people used to have Blackberries because they were the cheapest smartphone you could get. If you were with Sprint or Verizon and didn't want to get a Windows Mobile smartphone, BlackBerry was your only option until Android really took over. And even on T-Mobile and AT&T, a Blackberry cost a lot less than a G1 or iPhone.

Really, RIM made Blackberries for people who use their enterprise system, and for corporate people who check their e-mail every 5 seconds, and not as the general purpose smartphones that Android and iOS devices are. So when Android started gaining marketshare, it made sense for the people who simply got a Blackberry because it was cheap and had a Facebook app and a browser to migrate to Android.

Re:This is a no-brainer. (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696158)

This is a salient point. Android is eating RIM's non-enterprise market; where the phone of choice used to be a WM or nonpremium BlackBerry, now it's a year-old and/or bottom-grade Android phone.

Android, out of the box, has nothing even close to Exchange's mobile policy, let alone what BES can offer. Even iPhones implement some of it. Android requires bolt-on software, at a premium, in order to supply a very poor equivalent. This isn't saying that it won't, some day, but Google et al aren't showing interest; it also doesn't mean that Android won't get in "through the backdoor" through the demands of VIPs, but that's unlikely given that the iPhone is still the fashionable choice and the top-end BlackBerry is no longer lame.

Re:This is a no-brainer. (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696372)

hmm? i hooked my android phone up to my work e-mail without any more work than it took to set up outlook. I seem to have most/all of the same features outlook has as well. Granted I use very few of the advanced exchange features, heck he hardly use the calendar for meetings at work.

Re:This is a no-brainer. (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696382)

A lot of people used to have Blackberries because they were the cheapest smartphone you could get.

Not really. Until recently, Blackberry was a status symbol, not the low-end option. (BB was cool, Treo was not.) It was also virtually the only player in the smartphone market. (Much like the iPad was late last year in the tablet market.)

After Apple made it "okay" for the rest of the world to carry smartphones, the whole market changed. While it's true that RIM offers lower-end smartphones for the masses now (Curve, Style), that wasn't really the case just a few years ago as your post seems to imply.

not yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35696032)

techcrunch: iOS of my beloved apple is not yet king

mg siegler

Android and the common human (4, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696138)

What people miss is that most of those 30ish % are from low end devices. Those devices are mostly crap and give out a bad impression about the OS.

I'm not too confident that android growth will be as big in the following years. Google should set up some minimum specs for Android phones!

(I'm the proud owner of an HTC Desire, so I'm not bashing. Just stating something that has been on my mind lately..)

Re:Android and the common human (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696204)

(I'm the proud owner of an HTC Desire, so I'm not bashing. Just stating something that has been on my mind lately..)

Have you had chance to compare that phone to another Android phone? What are your impressions?

Re:Android and the common human (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696286)

I compared it to more than one phone actually.

If flows better than the Samsung galaxy S phone, but has a worse screen (not by much)

I compared it to a multitude of low end phones (very common in Portugal), the HTC Magic, the Wildfire, one Acer, one low-end Samsung.

Every one of them seemed slugish and missed some important features. The problem is, I read how "Android sucks" all the time, and most people change their mine after using my phone.

Mostly, they love the Sense UI that is missing on their phones.

But keep in mind that if you buy them carrier free a top-of-the line Android phone will still cost around 70-80% of an iPhone, so they are good value.

Growth (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696240)

All growth curves eventually slow.

Already 30% of cellphone users carry smartphones, so total smartphone growth will slow eventually.

But Android has been out for awhile now, and is a known quantity. And yet, in the 3 months measured by the comscore report, the growth in Android users was 3.25 times the growth in iPhone users.

Android growth could slow down a lot. Doesn't matter. They'll still be on top for a long time.

Re:Growth (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696332)

Symbian still is the worldwide market share holder and Nokia is dying (MS was just a small reprise)

You need quality to accompany you growth. And while an HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy or motorola Droid run Angry Birds in high settings with no problems, most low end phones struggle.

On the other hand, if you have an iPhone, you can play it.

I'm curious about the % of high end Android phones sold actually, because those are the ones that should be compared to an iPhone, not EVERY phone.

What low end? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696314)

Quarter after quarter, the only Android phones I see being introduced have faster processors, bigger displays, worse battery life and higher price. Which phones do you consider to be low end?

Re:What low end? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696410)

Every phone with less than a 800Mzh processor;
Every phone with less than 512Mb of RAM
Every phone with less than 3.5" Display

A good example are the HTC Wildfire, the Samsung Galaxy Mini, the Acer Liquid Mini, (etc. - Almost every low end Android phone from every manufacturer).

They usually don't make the news.

Re:What low end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696868)

The low end phones are not as heavily advertised. They are out there, you just aren't going to know about them unless you are shopping for a new phone.

Market share != user share... (3, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#35696428)

The summary makes the mistake of confusing market share (sales) with installed base ("user share"). Android has had leading market share for some time, which is why their share of the installed base is increasing. CRT televisions still have a very large installed base, but a very low market share - the vast majority of new TVs are LCD/plasma. Windows 2000 still has a significant installed base, but almost zero market share.

Re:Market share != user share... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35696934)

OSes and TVs last a long time. People don't keep cell phones for very long before upgrading because they want to, upgrading because they have to (like switching carriers), or upgrading because their phone is broken or something. Basically, the faster the turnover, the more market share approximates user share. Cells phones last two years if you are lucky. Mine are usually broken within a year or so. If you don't have an extended warranty, then might as well get a better phone, even if its a used one.

Re:Market share != user share... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696948)

This is a very good point. I wonder how market share will be when Apple updates again. If market share isn't amortized annually then it's not really relevant. Most of Apple's market is waiting to buy or bought a 6-9 months ago when the iPhone 4 was released. So sure you've got a giant surge of Android "market share" between the total eclipse that happens the weeks following iPhone releases.

Installed base is a better number anyways.

Re:Market share != user share... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35697056)

"Installed base is a better number anyways."

Exactly how do you conclude that?

Are you thinking Apple makes money from app sales, not hardware sales? Google makes money from use. Consider the other examples I gave. How much money is MS making from W2K (which still has a considerable installed base)? How many people are developing for W2K?

Installed base looks to the past, market share is an indicator of the future.

It's an OS, not a vertical product. (1)

solios (53048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696700)

Seriously. All the tech-press yammering about Android's exploding market share makes my brain itch. It's overtaken vertical solutions (RIM, Apple) by running on a broad variety of hardware - it's gaining market share the same way Windows did back in the day, by running on COTS hardware instead of the more tightly-bound offerings from Commodore or Apple (or others). It would be more accurate to compare Android against, say... MeeGo, Symbian, etceteras. Marketshare comparisons are only really valid if the phone owner has a choice of operating systems - you're not going to be running iOS on a Nokia phone, for example.

I'm sure RIM and Apple aren't losing market share - these rapid gains are coming by handset vendors dropping an OEM OS for Android, or shipping the same handset with an Android option.

Re:It's an OS, not a vertical product. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696986)

Does it make you feel better to say "Android passes RIM OS" versus Blackberry?

One thing I'd be interested in seeing is iOS versus Android, WP7, and RIM OS market share numbers. That would be an interesting piece of information for developers considering investing in another platform.

Re:It's an OS, not a vertical product. (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696998)

I'm sure RIM and Apple aren't losing market share - these rapid gains are coming by handset vendors dropping an OEM OS for Android, or shipping the same handset with an Android option.

Yes, they both are losing market share, since that metric takes the respective percentages of all sales. Apple may be selling more devices in absolute terms, but in proportion to Android, it is selling less. This is because the market itself is growing very rapidly.

HTC Thunderbolt (1)

thebra (707939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35696836)

I switched from ATT to Verizon and purchased an HTC Thunderbolt. I love the phone and am really enjoying building apps for it. As a web developer it has been a fun and challenging experience learning bits of Java and the Android SDK.
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