iPhone Vs. Android: Apple's Success Only Goes So Far - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
7/23/2015
02:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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iPhone Vs. Android: Apple's Success Only Goes So Far

Apple's iPhone is a beast, but it will never fully conquer the smartphone market, where Android still holds some sway.

iPhone 6s And 7 Other Smartphones To Watch In 2015
iPhone 6s And 7 Other Smartphones To Watch In 2015
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

There's no denying the Apple iPhone is king of smartphones. It may be a big seller the world over, but it doesn't make sense for everyone. There will always be room in the market for competition, especially in the entry-level segment.

Apple owns more than 90% of all profits in the smartphone business. No other company makes money selling smartphones the way Apple does. It's astounding, really, that Apple is able to gobble up so much of the profit. It's even more astounding that other companies even bother trying to compete. But they do, and they will.

Apple reported sales of about 47.5 million iPhones during its third fiscal quarter. That follows sales of 61.2 million and 74.5 million during its first and second quarters, respectively. The iPhone has been selling like mad since Apple debuted the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last fall.

(Image: Ellica_S/iStockphoto)

(Image: Ellica_S/iStockphoto)

To put the numbers into a little perspective, Samsung outdid Apple in its most recent quarter, with shipments of between 71 million and 76 million.

Globally, Android slays the iPhone in terms of volume. IDC predicts Android shipments will top 1.15 billion, giving it 79.4% of the entire smartphone market this year. iPhone shipments are predicted to reach 237 million for 2015, which puts the iPhone at 16.4% of the market. Android is outselling the iPhone nearly five to one.

The iPhone has some room to grow.

"There's no question that a large chunk of Apple's installed base is still using older models (pre-iPhone 6/6+), which leaves continued growth opportunity in the second half of 2015 and beyond," Ryan Reith, program director with IDC, noted in a report. "In addition, IDC believes a sizable portion of the Android installed base were those who migrated over to the platform from iOS with the desire for a larger screen smartphone. This is an opportunity Apple is no question focusing on."

For too long, Apple kept the iPhone's screen at 4.0 inches or less while the screens of Android devices ratcheted up to 5.0 inches or more. The bigger screens appealed to consumers, and sales of such Android phones skyrocketed. As soon as Apple began making big phones, some Android users began to return to the iPhone.

[Read more about Apple's latest financial quarter.]

Apple competes well at the top of the market. With prices ranging from $649 to $949, the iPhone is among the most expensive handsets in the world.

This is why Apple will never own the entire market.

"The price difference between Android and iOS devices in many markets will remain a significant hurdle for Apple," said IDC's Reith. That will eventually block Apple's growth.

The market for low-cost handsets is significant, as prepaid carriers in the US serve to demonstrate. They count tens of millions of customers, and most of their handsets cost less than $200. The same scenario applies to emerging markets, where cost is king.

Bottom line: The iPhone is a winner and likely always will be, but Apple can't (and won't) compete in the low end of the market, leaving plenty of opportunity for others.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2015 | 12:10:28 AM
Re: Outpricing in the market
@gigi3: they wouldn't buy it but if money isn't the barrier then why not go for the best of the best.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2015 | 12:09:05 AM
Re: Outpricing in the market
My policy is: if you buy an iPhone, don't be a showoff and don't complain. Simple.
PedroGonzales
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50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2015 | 7:53:24 PM
Re: Apple vs Android
I agree. I think in terms of features pretty much android and apple offer the same thing. Off course, there will always be people that love anything that comes from Apple.  I think smartphone manufactures in the developing market will have more variety and are able to compete better against Apple. In the end, consumers will device who wins this rivalry but whoever it is their reign won't last long.  May be we will see them change position all the time.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2015 | 9:29:37 AM
Re: Apple vs Android
"There is no doubt that Apple products are superior in terms of quality and features."

I doubt it.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2015 | 3:41:08 AM
Google gets what it wanted
Whats noteworthy here is that while Apple is beating Android phone Manufacturers like Huawei, LG, HTC; Google is out there smiling because it has gotten all it wanted: More phone customers using Google maps, Google Search, GMAIL, INBOX, Google PlayStore, Adverising than any other platform.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2015 | 3:15:39 AM
Re: Outpricing in the market
@ yalaland:

> Thank God prices aren't slashed for the iPhone and if that happened Android can bid
> goodbye because everyone knows what an apple stands for.

Since Apple is already making 90% of industry's profits and is venturing into new profitale categories like Watches and Cars, I dont see why would they make a low-cost (& thus a low-profit) iphone.

Apple never launched something like Windows. It would never launch something like Android.
DaveD234
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DaveD234,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/24/2015 | 1:08:38 PM
Completely Confused...
I am in a position to own any phone I want and to upgrade as often as I want.  In other words, the cost of the phone/service is of no consequence.

Yet I opt for the OnePlus One with a Nexus 5 as backup.

I use Cricket as my provider.

So my phone(s) cost less than half of what an iPhone costs and the service is at least 33% less than service from ATT, Verizon, etc.

To date, I have found nothing an iPhone can do that I can't do equally well with my phone.  "Ok Google" seems to work better than Siri.  Swype is mysterious to most iPhone users, and Google maps has never instructed me to drive on an active aircraft taxiway.

I charge all of my devices with a standard micro USB cable available from Amazon for under $5 as oppossd to the Lightning cable which charges some versions of the iPhone, but not all, and costs twice as much at Amazon and four times as much from Apple.

Nevertheless, there seems to be some cult need to own an iPhone. I don't, and I never will, but then I also don't own a Rolex when a Casio does all a watch should do.

As far as I'm concerned, the iPhone isn't about function, its about being mesmerized by trend.

Pardon me while I put on my Kirkland jeans and head to Costco. Guess I'll never be trendy.

 

 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2015 | 4:48:46 AM
Re: Outpricing in the market
"I have an iPhone 5s as well but I love the interface, the work centric culture and the safety. However I would like to add that app market and follow up services are so high priced that it just doesn't make any sense."

Yalanad, Apple is premium brand, so cost also matches with that brand.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2015 | 4:45:29 AM
Re: Outpricing in the market
"I was an Android users for several years. I switched to an iPhone, but for a very short time. I am back with my Android, and I am pleased with my decision. I like Apple products,  but I am not blown away by the iPhone. Androids can do a lot of the same stuff for a cheaper cost."

Angelfuego, why you shifted from Apple to Android, any particular reason? In my experience Apple is superior in terms of quality and features but high cost. At the same time Android smartphones at entry levels are affordable even at $50.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2015 | 4:39:48 AM
Apple vs Android
"There's no denying the Apple iPhone is king of smartphones. It may be a big seller the world over, but it doesn't make sense for everyone. There will always be room in the market for competition, especially in the entry-level segment."

Eric, the only problem with Apple products are its affordability, where Android can be affordable to everyone by spending $50 for entry level smartphones. There is no doubt that Apple products are superior in terms of quality and features.
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