Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Will UK Interest Rate Rises Crash House Prices? - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Full on Crash Alert for Major World Stock Markets... - Clive_Maund
3.Gold And Silver Market Bottoming? Big Rally Imminent? Reality Check Says NO - Michael_Noonan
4.The Coming Silver Price Rally Will Outperform All Previous Ones - Hubert_Moolman
5.The Trigger For The Upcoming Stock Crash - Harry_Dent
6.Imploding Department Store Results - James_Quinn
7.Dr. Copper is Speaking, are you Listening? ... - Rambus_Chartology
8.Pandemonium in the Stock Market, Dow falls 1,000 points in a week - EWI
9.Asia's Whirling Dervish of Devaluations Has Encircled China's Exports - Keith_Hilden
10.China Weakens the Yuan; Rattles Global Stock and Financial Markets - Gary_Dorsch
Last 5 days
Independant Scotland 1 Year on, UK Civil War If the SNP Fanatics Had Succeeded - 30th Aug 15
Gold’s 7 Point Broadening Top - 30th Aug 15
The Day the Stock Market Shook the Earth: Takeaways From the Dow’s 1,000-Point Drop - 30th Aug 15
Gold Price Rally Marked by Short Covering - 30th Aug 15
Aging Stocks Bull Market - 29th Aug 15
Economic Destabilization, Financial Meltdown and the Rigging of the Shanghai Stock Market? - 29th Aug 15
The Stocks You Should Be Buying After the Market Drop - 29th Aug 15
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Market Fluctuations - 28th Aug 15
China's Yuan Devaluation: Why It Was "Expected" - 28th Aug 15
Stocks Go Nuts But the Question Remains – Will the Rally Stick? - 28th Aug 15
Fed’s Stock Market Levitation is Failing - 28th Aug 15
The Eight Energy Systems Driving The Stock Market Rout - 28th Aug 15
Silver Sold, then Squeezed - 28th Aug 15
U.S. Economic Fundamentals 'Look Good' - Bullard of St. Louis Fed - 28th Aug 15
Stock Market Margin Calls Mount - 28th Aug 15
Einstein, Physics, Gold and The Formula To End Economic Decay - 28th Aug 15
The 10 Best Stocks for Options Trading Plays in This Market - 28th Aug 15
Economics of a Stock Market Crash - 28th Aug 15
Currency Wars Detonate; Gold Refuses to Budge - 28th Aug 15
UK Immigration Crisis Hits New Record, Trending Towards Becoming a Catastrophe - 28th Aug 15
The Ultimate Cash-Management Guide - 27th Aug 15
Why a Fed Rate Hike Could Be a Blessing for Gold Prices - 27th Aug 15
Why Devaluing the Yuan Won't Help China's Economy - 27th Aug 15
Stock Market Trend & Trade Signal Of the Decade - 27th Aug 15
Keep Your Eye On the Gold and Silver Bear - 27th Aug 15
Refugees Expose Europe’s Lack Of Decency - 27th Aug 15
How to Profit from China's Currency War - 27th Aug 15
How China's Currency Policies Will Change the World - 27th Aug 15
Chinese Medicine not Impressing Dr Copper - 27th Aug 15
Novel Biotech Novel Technology Platforms with Dramatic Growth Potential - 27th Aug 15
China Stocks Bear Market Crash, Are We Near the Bottom Yet? - 27th Aug 15
Stock Market Crash Black Wednesday Rally Crushes the Bears - 26th Aug 15
VIX Shorts Being Squeezed While SPX Prepares for Another Decline - 26th Aug 15
Why China's Economy is Deteriorating - 26th Aug 15
Citizenship as a Weapon: Travel Controls and What You Can Do About It - 26th Aug 15
Gold and Silver - How To Manipulate a Market - 26th Aug 15
How to Make a Quick 20% When the Stock Market Crashes - 26th Aug 15
Why We Can’t Handle A Stocks Bear Market - State Budgets Will Implode - 26th Aug 15
Stocks Bear Market, Is This 1929 All Over Again? - 26th Aug 15
The One Trading Strategy You Needed for Stock Market Crash - 26th Aug 15
Second Chance To Buy Cheap Gold Mining Stocks - 25th Aug 15
Gold Facts and Gold Speculations - 25th Aug 15
The Stock Market Crash Season is Here… - 25th Aug 15
Liftoff Setback Leads to U.S. Dollar Pullback - 25th Aug 15
The Stock Markets Are Extraordinarily Volatile, Here's What to Do - 25th Aug 15
Israel: The Case Against Attacking Iran - 25th Aug 15
Saudis Could Face An Open Revolt At Next OPEC Oil Meeting - 25th Aug 15
How to Calmly Weather This Stock Market Downturn - 25th Aug 15
Stock Market Sound the Alarm - 25th Aug 15
Stock Market Meltdown - Dow Monday 1000 Point Crash then Rebound, What's Next? - 25th Aug 15
El-Erian: Stock Market Sell off Is Not 1998 or 2008 - 25th Aug 15
Gold the Ultimate Financial Crisis Insurance - 25th Aug 15
Stock Market Black Monday Crash Fizzles Out, Next Black Tuesday? - 25th Aug 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Global Stocks Slide

Why Google Android Can't Compete With Apple's iPhone

Companies / Google Apr 04, 2012 - 07:42 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Companies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDavid Zeiler writes: There's an inherent flaw in Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android operating system.

The flaw isn't a technical glitch.

In fact, most agree that Google's Android is a first-rate mobile operating system that has gotten better with each update. Some even prefer it to Apple's iOS.


It's not adoption either.

According to recent data from Nielsen, Android's U.S. market share among smartphones has reached 48%, compared to 32.1% for Apple's iPhone. And Google says it has activated more than 300 million Android devices.

The problem is partly the result of Google Android's overall success.

The biggest flaw is fragmentation and it will be what prevents Google from defeating Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone in the mobile computing wars.

There are simply too many versions of Android running on too many (over 1,400) different pieces of hardware. And the issue gets worse with each new version of Android, as older devices are rarely updated.

That's a huge problem for Android developers, who need to write apps that will work on a bewildering array of possible configurations. And it's starting to have an impact.

According to Appcelerator's most recent quarterly survey of developers, interest in writing apps for Android phones fell 4.7 percentage points to 78.6%, and interest in writing apps for Android tablets fell 2.2 percentage points to 65.9%.

By comparison, 89% of developers were interested in writing apps for Apple's iOS, a number that has remained steady.

"Massive platform fragmentation is a big reason that we're seeing this decline in interest," Mike King, Appcelerator's principal mobile strategist, told Network World. "If you look at all the other numbers such as Android smartphone market share it's on the upswing, but for app developers it's a real challenge."

It's a headache iOS developers don't share. Most Apple customers stay current with the latest version of iOS.

And because Apple makes all the hardware, limited to just a handful of models, it's much easier to write an app that runs on nearly all of the millions of iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads in use.

Google Android Users Not Big Spenders
Making matters worse for developers is that Android users tend to spend less money on apps than owners of Apple devices.

According to a report last year by Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, the Google Android Market (recently renamed Google Play) generated just 7% of the revenue of Apple's iTunes App Store.

Munster estimated that in terms of dollars spent on mobile computing apps, Apple has an 85%-90% share. He expects Apple's dominance of app revenue to remain over 70% for the next three to four years.

Some defenders of the Android market claim Munster's methodology is flawed. They point out that Android apps, unlike iOS apps, are sold in multiple online stores.

But that, too, creates issues for developers, who need to make sure they cover all their distribution bases with each release.

Put it all together and it means Android developers need to put in more effort while making less money than iOS developers. And it's driven at least one developer to throw in the towel.

"Our Android apps aren't making money," wrote Mika Mobile, creator of such games as Zombieville USA and Battleheart, in a March 9 blog post. "Android sales amounted to around 5% of our revenue for the year, and continues to shrink. Needless to say, this ratio is unsustainable."

Much of the money Mika Mobile's Android sales did generate got swallowed up by extra development costs - time spent tweaking apps to work properly on the proliferating combinations of new hardware and versions of Android.

One more thing: The lower Android app sales have pushed prices in the Android Market higher. A recent survey by Canalys showed the average cost per app for the top 100 offerings in the Android Market was $3.74, but just $1.47 for the top 100 in the iTunes App Store.

The higher prices tend to further discourage buying, which in turn helps keep the prices high.

Hitting Google Android in the Apps
Despite is successes, Google needs to do something about Android's fragmentation to keep its developers from jumping ship. Google needs to make sure the developers can make money.

Disenchantment on the part of many Android developers could result in a falling number of quality apps and increasing compatibility issues as older apps are no longer updated.

"Developers go where the money is. End users go where the apps are. Developers create apps where users are," writes veteran tech pundit Joe Wilcox in an article called "iPhone is Unstoppable."

Wilcox theorizes that Apple's ecosystem will be difficult to disrupt. Google will need to fix its fragmentation issues quickly to avoid the fate that Apple's Mac platform suffered in an earlier OS War.

"In the 1990s, Microsoft sought to achieve a "standard' platform for developers and succeeded with Windows. Apple is quickly doing the same around iOS, iPhone and iPad," Wilcox said.

The Windows Wild Card
Speaking of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), its plans for Windows 8 gives Google something else to worry about in the mobile computing space.

Microsoft, until now left on the mobile computing sidelines, will aggressively market Windows 8. And it will likely do a better job of preventing the sort of fragmentation that's stinging Android.

A wave of Windows 8 tablets and smartphones arriving in the fall no doubt will end up competing for the same cost-conscious customers that have been buying Android-powered devices.

With only about 70,000 apps, the Windows Phone Marketplace is far behind the leaders, (which have over 500,000 apps each) but Microsoft plans to woo developers in an effort to catch up.

Microsoft and hardware partner Nokia Corporation (NYSE ADR: NOK) announced just last week they'd jointly invest in a $23.9 million mobile app development program over the next three years.

Should Windows 8 get traction in the mobile computing market - and history shows that Microsoft is nothing if not persistent - it could further undermine Android.

Still, Android isn't going anywhere. It's certainly not in danger of disappearing. But neither is it going to race to dominance, as some predicted last year.

Ultimately, Android's status in the mobile computing market largely depends on how seriously Google and its hardware partners take the fragmentation problem.

"Android is not facing an imminent crisis amongst developers," writes Jeff Duncan for Digital Trends.com. "But, looking out over the next two years, Android (and Google) are clearly going to have to move application development and revenue generation to the same priority level as [hardware] adoption and device activations, or face a stagnating software and content ecosystem."

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/04/04/why-google-android-cant-compete-with-apples-iphone/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2015 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History