The battle between iPhone and Android has always been a little one sided in my opinion, what with iPhone being the flagship in smartphones that hold a universal appeal for such a diverse cross-section of users; however, the amount of Android phones purchased last year have outsold iPhones for the first time in history.
As Gigaom states, “New smartphone subscribers choosing Google phones accounted for 27 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, the Nielsen Company will announce this morning, nudging past the 23 percent share held by Apple. But Android isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon: Canalys today estimates that Android handset sales grew 886 percent worldwide from the year ago quarter.”
This sudden influx may be due to lower handset prices and cheaper rental packages in relation to the current economic crisis, with people wanting to save money on luxurious items such as iPhones, yet still enjoy the trappings of a smartphone, such as apps, a touch screen etc. Or it could simply be to do with Android marketing themselves as a viable alternative to the costly iPhone, with a wide range of different apps to rival the App Store’s 350,000 and counting.
Either way, with the sudden rush of converts and new customers that Android is seeing, it begs the question as to whether Android will overtake apple in the apps department as well?
Writing for Technolog, Athima Chansanchai says, “The jolly green robot’s Android Market has sprouted up 127 percent since August, putting it at three times the growth of the Apple App Store (44 percent), according to the second report released by mobile security company Lookout and its App Genome Project, which has analyzed more than 500,000 Android and iOS applications since the project commenced last summer. If this rate of growth continues for both marketplaces, the report says Android Market will have more apps than the Apple App Store by mid-2012.”
Consumers seem more willing to empty their wallets to get Android apps over Apple’s, as figures show that, “The Market’s paid apps increased from 22 percent in August to 34 percent this month, while the App Store’s paid apps decreased slightly during the same time, from 71 percent to 66 percent.”
However, while the sheep may be bleating at Android’s door, the shepherds seem to be staying loyal to Apple, with almost 24,000 developers approaching Apple between August 2010 and February 2011, with a paltry 4,000 defecting to Android during the same time period. Perhaps Android developers are just more prolific?!
But will all of this really trouble Apple? With such an all encompassing empire, they have enough fingers in pies to sustain themselves while they continue to explore new and exciting avenues; what really matters is that they are the torchbearers of the digital generation and that every company’s new tablet, smartphone or otherwise is simply an imitation of their own, pale or otherwise. If the Android war becomes a case of the student overtaking the master, then Apple can rest on its laurels knowing that their rivals have only got so high by standing on the shoulders of giants.
What do you think? Will Android crush iPhone in the apps market or will Apple stand strong and slay all opponents?!