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Where are Maps going?

At the 2015 WWDC Apple stated that it receives 5 billion requests per week for its maps service. It also said that Apple maps is used 3.5 times more frequently than “the next leading maps app.”

These two data points are the total number of data points we have about the global maps market. Neither Google nor Nokia provide usage or share or performance data. Regardless, commentary on the usage, share and performance of Apple Maps has been abundant for the three years since its inception.

The data presented allows us to make a few estimates for the first time and we can hope that additional data can allow a picture to emerge of where maps are going.

With these first two data points we can finally make some estimates. But some assumptions are still needed: We need to assume that the “next leading maps app” is Google Maps. Although there are other maps apps on the iOS platform they are probably insignificant and it’s a two-horse race between Google and Apple on iOS.

This means that the 3.5:1 split in usage results in a 78% share for Apple Maps and a 22% share for Google. If we assume that there are about 400 million iOS users of maps[1], it leads to about 90 million Google Maps users on iOS and about 310 million Apple Maps users on iOS.  This includes iPad.[2]

Given that Google also reported 1 billion downloads in 2014[3] we can assume between 25% to 33% Apple Maps “market share” of usage.

At the minimum, 25% share is not insignificant and it’s easily sustainable. To understand why, we should note that there is one more data point. In December 2012 I posted an analysis on the the cost of maps. It showed that maintaining maps requires an investment of between $1 billion and $2 billion/yr. With the addition of new features such as 3-D mapping, transit maps and thousands of new cities, the cost is likely to have increased. $2 billion/yr is probably the norm today.

Apple then could be seen as spending about $6.5/user/yr on maps and Google could be spending about $2/user/yr. To be profitable Google would need to find ad revenues of $2/user/yr and Apple would need to find $6 of profit on each phone/yr. Clearly, each of these targets is achievable.

In contrast we can see why Nokia’s HERE Maps business is now worth a lot less than it was in 2007. The asset has been for sale for some time and the latest bid  has been for $3 billion, making the $5 billion lost in market value and $7 billion of investment since seem like a catastrophe. Without a business model the data is worthless–with only 30 million users the cost per user reaches $66/yr. A buyer needs to find an appropriate model for sustaining a $2 billion/yr burn rate.

So the question of where maps are going depends on the business model for maps. In a world where maps are sustained by device value, 300 million users makes it sustainable. In a world where maps are sustained by advertising, 1 billion users makes it sustainable. What else is there?

How about a world where maps are sustained by transportation services?

Uber’s and other auto makers’ interest in HERE shows a third business model. Accurate maps are a key to making vehicles autonomous. More so even than the value of the algorithms, precise imaging of roadways enables vehicle autonomy and the value of location gathering systems should grow to meet that future.

It’s highly likely that Google’s maps efforts are going to continue because they are fueled by a business model. That is also true for Apple’s maps efforts, though they are fueled by an entirely different business model. Each of these business models fuels the improvement of the maps product but also of the maps gathering process. As these processes are expensive and licensing options are few there is little incentive to share the data. As a result the processes remain integral to the businesses.

This integrated-while-fueled nature means that maps makers will find it compelling to pursue adjacent business models, i.e. transportation services. It’s not a matter of whether they will or won’t. It’s only a matter of when and where.

Notes:
  1. Note that not all iOS users are maps users. Maps are not used by all users []
  2. We are excluding OS X use of Maps. []
  3. though not necessarily all of these downloads lead to active use, obviously []
  • LTMP

    It should be noted that Apple doesn’t say that they are the leading map on iOS. It is conceivable, though unlikely, that they are in 2nd place to Google, and 3.5x ahead of third place.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      It’s not conceivable and it’s completely unlikely.

    • Ray

      Pre-installing an app boosts usage immediately, this is why companies fight
      and pay to get their apps pre-installed in smartphones of the leading OEMs (Samsung, Apple, Motorola, etc.).

      Integrating it into the OS boosts it even more since clicking in addresses in other apps automatically opens that app.

      What is interesting is that the words seem strangely chosen “used 3.5 times more frequently”…COOKed one would say 🙂

      Some writers translate that into “3.5 times more Apple users CHOOSE Apple Maps over Google Maps”, which is not the same statement, particularly taking into account the forced integration with iOS.
      http://fortune.com/2015/06/16/apple-google-maps-ios/

      • melci

        You’re the one whose argument is well beyond over-cooked I’m afraid as you continue to ignore the other rock solid data from ComScore that shows empirically that Google Maps has been decimated on the iOS platform with Apple Maps usage running 340% – 580% greater usage than Google.

      • Ray

        Sorry but you don’t seem to really grasp my argument, which is actually not incompatible with ComScore empirical data, so there is no point on going on and on.

      • melci

        You don’t seem to grasp the reality that your vaporous un-supported arguments are utterly destroyed by ComScore’s hard data which directly supports Tim Cook’s statements.

      • Ray

        Actually, they are not. Instead of using colorful expressions you could stay on topic. In this thread I wrote
        1) Tim said “used 3.5 times more frequently”
        2) Forbes blogger writes “3.5 times more Apple users CHOOSE Apple Maps over Google Maps”

        You cannot logically derive statement 2 from statement 1. Probably related to the business model of Fortune (advertisement, which encourages click bait techniques).

        Instead you start talking about ComsCore, which has nothing to do with the topic, and use expressions such as “vaporous unsupported” and “utterly destroyed”, that are not really supporting arguments but just a vague attempt to add strength to your argument.

      • melci

        Semantic nonsense Ray.

        ComScore has everything to do with the subject as you’ve been attacking Apple and Tim Cook’s statements mercilessly throughout this discussion and don’t have the courage to admit you’re wrong when it is demonstrated that Cook’s statement is in fact backed up with very empirical data from an un-biased third arty – ComScore.

      • Ray

        You are so obsessed with winning straw man arguments against imaginary anti-Apple readers, that you bring discussions from one thread to another.I wouldn’t have any problem to admit that I’m wrong if I was. The thing is that I’m not.

        For the sake of empiricism, I did a test with Yelp on my iPad and my Galaxy Note. When I click on get directions:
        – On the iPad, it takes me automatically to Apple Maps. No choice.
        – On the Note, when I click on get directions I get a menu that asks me to “Complete action using…” and it gives me several options (Google Maps, Waze, Internet browser, Chrome, etc.)

        According to usage data collected from carriers, in this situation you could conclude that “the frequency of Apple Maps usage (versus GMaps) is 100% on iOS”. In the extreme case that I love Google Maps so much that I make the effort to copy the address, open manually Google Maps, and paste the address, you would conclude that “the frequency of Apple Maps usage is 50% on iOS”. For a user who actually wants to use Google Maps, do you see how both figures misrepresent his intention?
        Do you see how this number is essentially meaningless as a measure of success of Apple Maps?

        So Tim Cook essentially forces iOS users to use Apple Maps in many situations (app redirection), and then brags in public that Apple Map usage is much higher than Google Maps. Do you see how this is completely misleading?

        Of course if you force iOS users to use Apple Maps, more users will Apple Maps. That is hardly a measure of success, but a measure of how much your are enforcing usage of your own app.

        The next step Apple can take is simply block Google Maps, so that the frequency 100% Apple Maps. And then brag in public about how 100% of iOS users “choose” Apple Maps.

        Straight out of a Marx Brothers movie.

        PS: As you can see, I’m both an iOS and Android user, so no anti-Apple bias. I dislike in general platform lock-in because it is just designed to benefit vendors and hurt consumers

      • melci

        Why are the ComScore figures irrelevant data “from another thread” Ray? It has a direct bearing on disproving your accusation that Tim Cook is bending the truth when he says that Apple Maps has 3.5x the usage of Google Maps.

        Whether Apple forces users to use Apple Maps (they do, to an extent by virtue of it’s default installation) or whether Google Maps is better than Apple Maps at finding public transport or businesses (it often is – and I use it for that myself sometimes), they are both irrelevant to this discussion.

        The fact that Apple Maps is also far more user friendly than Google Maps which has me fumbling around through advertising and suggested businesses when all I want to do is get directions is also irrelevant to this discussion.

        They do not alter the fact that Apple Maps has knocked Google Maps for a 6 with 340% – 580% greater usage as attested by ComScore supporting Tim Cook’s report that Apple Maps usage is 3.5x greater than Google Maps, the topic of this article.

      • Bart

        I would ask you to keep your own promise and STOP POSTING, but you’ve been lying all along, so no point of asking…

  • handleym

    Another direction of revenue might somehow be tied to internal mapping services. Apple has been talking about this for years (at least since the BT Beacon APIs were introduced) but it still hasn’t been released (I expected it in an 8.x release but no luck so far…)

    The first version of this obviously gives us floors (useful eg in finding your car) and large public spaces like malls. And both of those are not trivial to monetize, apart from things like “paying more to have your restaurant higher on food searches”.
    But longer term the kind of thing you’d want is: I walk into a store and just ask my phone “where’s the produce section” and get guided. This seems like the sort of thing that could be charged for one way or another — either as a turnkey service or by providing the software that allows it to happen.
    So why would a business pay? Well, I buy things on Amazon primarily because of search convenience, not price. I’ve no idea if they are cheaper on Amazon or not, but I can find them easily in a way that I cannot at a Kohls or an OSH or a physical book store…

    • Mark Jones

      Apple may be using internal mapping services in iOS9 Maps – see the bit in the keynote about guiding you through the underground 59 St/Columbus Circle subway station.

  • obarthelemy

    Probably not where they wanted to, and not by the shortest route ?
    I’ll show myself out… :-p

  • sandro1981

    The 3.5x figure seems dubious to me. The first thing I would ask is how Apple defines a user in this case. The deep integration of Apple Maps in iOS makes it so that every time I click on an address (from yelp, or an automatic link in a message, or an email, etc…) it opens that address in Apple Maps. I have no data about what everyone else does, but I immediately close apple maps and open the address in Google Maps or Waze. In these cases, do Apple and Google both count a user?

    • melci

      Google lost 23 million maps users in the USA with only 6 million using Google maps a year ago on the iPhone vs 35 million using Apple Maps according to ComScore.

      In the UK, total use of Google Maps dropped to 1.83m iPhone users vs 6.23m using Apple Maps.

      • sandro1981

        Where are you seeing those ComScore numbers?

        What I am finding from comScore is in their Mobile Metrix report from June 2014. It says that in the US, both Apple and Google Maps are in the 25 applications across both platforms. Google Maps at approx 64m unique users and Apple maps at 42m. This is interesting because Apple Maps only exists on iOS while Google Maps exists across Android and iOS.

        http://www.slideshare.net/LudovicP/comscore-us-mobile-app-report-june-2014-datatheusmobileappreport?ref=http://www.gpsbusinessnews.com/comScore-Google-Maps-App-64-5M-Users-Apple-Maps-42M-in-the-U-S_a5012.html

        So, in order to start believing the 3.5x multiplier we would have to accept at least one of the following:
        1. Apple Maps has made unprecedented gains in the last year
        2. The 64M Google Maps users are mostly on Android
        3. iOS users use mapping applications more than Android users

        In any case, the “3.5x” seems a misleading statistic because it is unclear how a “user” is counted. IT would be interesting to see usage broken down by:
        1. looking up an address in the app (user opened)
        2. looking up an address in the app (linked from another app like yelp)
        3. turn-by-turn carried out
        4. map usage within a different app (like Find My Friends or Messages)

      • melci

        The ComScore data is from 2013, a year after the debacle of Appe’s in-house Maps introduction.

        The Guardian 12 Nov 2013

        Apple’s maps have turned out to be a hit with iPhone and iPad users in the US – despite the roasting that they were given when they first appeared in September 2012.

        … But Google – which was kicked off the iPhone after it refused to give Apple access to its voice-driven turn-by-turn map navigation – has lost nearly 23m mobile users in the US as a result.

        … That is a huge fall against the 81m Google Maps mobile users it had there at its peak in September last year, according to ComScore…

        …The introduction of Apple’s own maps with its iOS 6 software in September 2012 caused a furore after it emerged that they were littered with errors.

        …But a year on, a total of 35m iPhone owners in the US used Apple’s maps during September 2013, according to ComScore, compared to a total of 58.7m Google Maps users across the iPhone and Android base.

        Of those, about 6m used Google Maps on the iPhone, according to calculations by the Guardian based on figures from ComScore. That includes 2m iPhone users who have not or cannot upgrade to iOS 6, according to data from MixPanel.

        The Guardian 26 Nov 2013

        The data for the latest figures was collected via the GSMA Mobile Metrics measurement product, so measures the app being used if someone queries map data while not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

        European numbers

        According to ComScore’s European data, in the UK in October 2012 Google Maps usage on iPhone was 6.07m users – against no measurable number for Apple’s Maps app.

        The data about app use is collected anonymously from mobile operators. Hesham Al-Jehani, Europe mobile product manager for ComScore, noted: “the Google Map figures are only based on those who use the app using an operator data network, so it doesn’t include those who use it only on a Wi-Fi connection.” But he thinks the latter “is probably not that many and shouldn’t affect the trend.”

        …In October 2012, ComScore’s separate data, collected from its statistically robust panel of owners, shows that there were 8.57m iPhone owners in the UK – which would mean that 70.8% of owners used the maps app, which would be Google’s, at some point.

        …But by September 2013, total use of Google Maps had dropped to 1.83m UK iPhone users even though the total ownership had grown to 10.35m. Apple Maps users, meanwhile, totalled 6.23m, or 60.2% of all users.

      • sandro1981

        Cool. thanks for the clarification. I can’t find confirmation, but it seems that usage in this case is counted by simply opening an app (maybe with a qualifier for how long it remains open). I don’t doubt the 3.5x if this is the case.

    • BMc

      We don’t know, but my guess to your last question would be “yes”. I only open another map app if Apple Maps doesn’t have the information. That has been slowly improving, so that most of my queries (or via links) are met by Apple Maps.

      So to me, the 3.5x seems quite reasonable.

    • neutrino23

      Apple and Google have good data. We don’t. I don’t have Google maps on any of my devices so I never use google maps. According to Apple a minority of people go out of their way to download google maps.

      • Snucko

        A minority that is still large enough to get into number seven on the top ten list of downloaded (free) apps:
        http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/apple-outs-most-downloaded-free-paid-and-grossing-ios-apps-of-2014-639658

      • melci

        But a minority nonetheless against the weight of Apple’s pre-installed Maps product.

      • Snucko

        Obviously there will always be fewer users that download an alternative to the preinstalled apps. I think the fact that so many go through the trouble of downloading Google Maps in spite of being able to set it as default tells a lot about Apple Maps.

      • Ray

        A minority that wonders why have they paid premium for a premium device, only to being forced to use suboptimal services and have to jump through hoops to be able to use premium services

      • Bart

        No Ray, that is your own personal delusion. First, that iPhones cost any more. They really don’t, the difference is trivial, but they are definitely worth more (unless they are stolen–everyone wants a stolen Android as they are easily reformatted being just trash to begin with.)

        So, you like being limited to only have Google maps? Or, or Waze? But not having all the options one would have on iPhone for essentially the same price. How does that make any sense?

    • mjw149

      They never claimed they were users – they were requests. So, apps checking in, people opening a link in email, maps served on demo units in their stores, where no google maps is available – all those were counted. Much like Android’s ‘activations’ it’s an inherently optimistic number, though not a ‘false’ one per se.

      They will always ‘win’ this metric, it’s like IE on the PC. It doesn’t reflect consumer choice or monetization, so it should be used more carefully than Asymco has.

      It should be noted, however, that only Google’s business model is sustainable. Apple doesn’t directly benefit from connecting users to analog businesses or navigation, it’s completely secondary to their main job of selling hardware. They will never really be good at it (which has been proven true by their branching out to public transit without ‘fixing’ what they already offer).

      So they’re more likely to drop maps as a feature, outsource it or undermine it, which is happening with music, a service integral to building their business, but tangential to what they actually do.

      • Mark Jones

        Horace’s conclusions in no way depend on whether the use of Apple Maps was a consumer choice or monetization, so he need not have used it any more carefully. As he clearly points out, Apple Maps is sustained by the value it brings to iOS devices, which people do choose and pay for.

        I don’t know what evidence you have to say Apple isn’t fixing what they already offer – Maps is much much better now than it was two years ago. (Google Maps is actually secondary in their business model as well since Google’s main job is selling ads. Search might actually be secondary, with everything else one notch below that.)

        Apple’s main job of selling hardware includes the value it gets from accompanying software and services. Though software and services may be “secondary” as you claim, Apple Pay is far better than anything Google offered on Android. And so here’s an example of a “secondary” service that Apple is really good at.

    • Mark Jones

      “do Apple and Google both count a user?” Probably yes, in which case 3.5x isn’t dubious at all. Regardless, what difference does this make?

      I generally do the reverse. Some apps automatically open Google Maps, so I close them and go back to Apple Maps, which I find easier to use on iOS. I’ve found Google Maps to be no more reliable in pinpointing the exact location of an address. On Mac, I use Google Maps, because I can drag and easily see alternative routes.

  • Luis Alejandro Masanti

    Good article, Horace.
    I have just a point:

    Apple makes money selling the device and ‘charge’ to its revenue the cost of using maps.
    Google makes money selling ads on your request for maps… making (maybe) a longing flux of money.

    Could you analyze how this can modify or not your analysis?

    • melci

      Citigroup estimates that 60% of Google’s 2014 mobile search revenue came from its default search deal with Apple despite the much larger number of Android users around the world.

      This huge loss of iOS Maps users has without doubt had a disproportionately large impact on Google’s Maps revenue worldwide. Google shot itself in the foot big time with this misadventure.

  • Ray

    ” used 3.5 times more frequently than the next leading maps app.” -> this does not equate to having a 3.5 times larger market share.
    I wonder how they define frequency of use. If it’s based on opening the app with a physical address from another app, then those are not necessarily real users, but just calls to the app due to being pre-installed and integrated with iOS.
    My annecdotal experience is that most iOS users use Google Maps, particularly out of the US where Google maps are more complete.

    • Charles Arthur

      My experience (living outside the US) is that most iOS users use Apple Maps, because it’s the default.
      In other words: the singular of “anecdote” most definitely is not “data”.

      • Ray

        That’s why I called it annecdotal experience.
        However, the fact that you cannot translate Apple’s statement about frequency into “usage market share” is valid regardless of my or your your experience

      • Bart

        Uh, the singular form of anecdote is anecdote. Data is however, not a singular form. LOL

    • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

      I don’t know a single iOS user that uses Google maps except in rare situations.

      • Ray

        Nice to meet you. I’m one of those users and I can introduce you to a few more millions in Asia

      • Bart

        He doesn’t have time to post all day long at a penny a post in order to make your millions, Ray…

      • sandro1981

        Hi! I am a happy GMaps user here in the USA

      • art hackett

        I sure don’t. Could they get more irritating? I can barely see the map when I occasionally look for a second opinion.

    • Walt French

      “…those are not necessarily real users, but just calls to the app due to being pre-installed and integrated with iOS.”

      REAL users install apps as part of rooting and flashing the ROM?

      Either you left something out or you have the weirdest sense of what it means to use an app…to use any consumer device. Tap on the icon; tap on a link that opens it; … those sure seem like REAL uses.

      • Ray

        Attacking a straw man?
        I’ve never talked about rooting or what not.

        Apple Maps is so embedded now in iOS that users end up opening the app via references from other apps even if they don’t intend to.

        The fact that the app is called 3.5x more frequently than Google Maps on iOS does not equate to market share being 3.5 times larger. Again, as you know vendors always choose the metrics and exact wording that makes them look better. Exact wording is not a coincidence. It’s called Marketing.

        Extrapolating those to other metrics such as user or market share leads typically to an overestimation.

      • melci

        Except that Tim’s figures agree with ComScore’s reports that Google Maps had plunged to 6 million iOS users in the USA compared to 35 million Apple Maps users only one year after the introduction of Apple’s app. Likewise in the UK, Google Maps had dropped to 1.83m UK iPhone users vs 6.23m Apple Maps users.

        For those who are counting that is 5.8x more in the USA and 3.4x more in the UK only 12 months after the introduction of Apple Maps.

        For the more mature Apple Maps product to now several years later, have 3.5x greater usage worldwide requires no stretch of the imagination.

      • Ray

        Comscore can definitely be trusted more than Tim’s stat.
        However, their data is typically based on online surveys, not on real usage as they don’t have access to that. Is this the case for this data?

        http://www.comscore.com/por/content/download/25803/1319819/version/1/file/Uses_and_Misuses_of_Online_Survey_Panels_in_Digital_Research.pdf

        Regardless of the specific number, we can agree that Tim’s statement does not logically lead to 3.5x market share. We don’t have real data for that.

      • melci

        Bong!

        The ComScore data was collected via the GSMA Mobile Metrics measurement product, so measures the app being used if someone queries map data while not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

        ComScore’s European numbers are collected anonymously from mobile operators. Hesham Al-Jehani, Europe mobile product manager for ComScore, noted: “the Google Map figures are only based on those who use the app using an operator data network, so it doesn’t include those who use it only on a Wi-Fi connection.” But he thinks the latter “is probably not that many and shouldn’t affect the trend.”

        Methinks you doth protest too much Ray.

      • Ray

        Ha ha. I’m just trying to understand what is reality versus whatever Tim Cook says in his marketing campaigns. So every call to the app is measured as usage. This would mean that re-directions from other apps count as that, right? Do they know if every time the user clicked on an address in a different app they actually chose Apple Maps, or was just Apple Maps opened by default? Because in each case that statistic would mean something very different.

      • melci

        ComScore’s real world data collected directly from the mobile operators themselves says you’re you’re flogging a dead horse Ray.

        I’m afraid you’re just going to have to admit that Apple has obliterated Google in Maps marketshare on iOS no matter how much you wiggle and squirm. The hard data (versus your dubious completely unsubstantiated conspiracy theories) says that no more than 12 months after Google Maps was kicked out of their privileged position on iOS, Apple had captured 580% greater Maps usage than Google in the USA and 340% more in the UK.

        This is really hurting Google since it is iOS users that are by far their most lucrative customers considering iOS generates a massive 60% of Google’s mobile search revenue despite the larger number of Android users out there.

      • Ray

        Here is what I said:

        What is quite logical is that given that Apple Maps is pre-loaded and integrated into iOS, that most calls to Google Maps are voluntary (since the user had to make the effort to download the app, install it, and click on its icon every time), whereas part of the calls to Apple Maps are desired and part are not. I don’t know what percentage is that, all I can say is that it is not 0. I have an iPad, and I’ve opened Apple Maps several times because of application re directions, even when I intended to use Google Maps. We can assume this happens to many users who have iOS devices but prefer Google Maps. Are those calls counted as usage in Tim Cook’s figure? I don’t know

        Does it make sense? Yes Is this a conspiracy theory? No

        Again, just applying critical thinking to the figures that the CEO of a company provides in a marketing event promoting his company.

        Regardless of what the real number actually is, of course the fact that Google has lost users for its Maps app hurts Google, no doubt about it. And it also hurts Apple users, who might get less upgrades for their Google Maps iOS app and essentially less functionality from the leading map service now and for the foreseeable future. Not my opinion but even pro-Apple journalists’:
        “Not that the Apple Maps app is as good as Google Maps. Apple’s mapping service still doesn’t offer mass transit directions (they’re coming this fall, but only in selected cities). And only this month did Apple minivans start driving the streets that Google cars have been photo-mapping for years.”. “It’s not clear that Apple’s maps will ever be as good as Google’s, given Google’s head start and its natural advantages in the cloud services that drive its business model.”
        http://fortune.com/2015/06/16/apple-google-maps-ios/

      • melci

        And yet you continue to ignore ComScore’s empirical measurements that show your arguments to be baseless unsubstantiated wishful thinking of someone whose worldview evidently can’t bear the thought that Apple Maps might be far more used than Google Maps on iOS.

      • Ray

        It seems you haven’t read or understood what I wrote, which is not in conflict at all with ComScore empirical measurements.

        I don’t personally care what apps iOS use, the point I made is:
        ” used 3.5 times more frequently than the next leading maps app.” -> this does not equate to having a 3.5 times larger market share

        Both statements are different, one does not equate the other. This holds true.

      • melci

        You’re re-arranging the deck chairs on your Titanic Ray.

        Both Apple and ComScore agree and have publicised empirical data that Apple Maps usage is 350% greater than Google Maps on iOS devices. Whichever way you look at it, this is a huge blow to Google and their advertising revenue, so I have no idea why you’re quibbling about semantics.

      • Ray

        Of course this is a blow to Google, have I or anyone said the opposite? Straw man again

      • melci

        So what’s your argument Ray? Just making up things to argue about for the sake of it?
        I’m afraid you’re just going to have to face it. Apple Maps has blown away Google Maps on iOS no matter how much you seem to desire that is not the case.

      • Ray

        You know my argument, because you can reread it above, no need to repeat it again. And it has nothing to do with what you seem to think. You’re debating with some imaginary anti-Apple reader, not me. So I’ll let you guys discuss.

      • melci

        And yet you refuse to admit that Tim Cook’s figures are in fact supported by the reputable analytical firm ComScore.

        You persist in playing semantic games to try and make Tim Cook and Apple out to be the baddie. If that’s not anti-Apple I don’t know what is.

      • Ray

        It seems in your world-view Gartner, Fortune and many other independent sources are anti-Apple because they cast a shadow on numbers that the CEO of Apple provides in a marketing event to promote Apple.
        It that’s not lunacy, I don’t know what that is.

      • melci

        Gartner, Fortune and others have nothing to say about the current discussion re your persistent attempts to deny the hard data from ComScore and Apple Ray.

      • Ray

        Those persistent attempts are in your imagination. The hard data is not in contradiction with my argument. Straw man again.

      • melci

        Still can’t admit that ComScore disproves your theory can you Ray?

      • Ray

        It actually doesn’t. And worse, you don’t understand why.

      • melci

        Heh, this is worse than being back in primary school. Have a great day Ray!

      • art hackett

        No, you’re wrong. No, you are. Why are you hitting yourself?

      • art hackett

        Independant? Who do you think props them up?

      • Bart

        LOL, you said you were going to stop. After chastising us for not reading all your vitriol. We get it, Ray.

      • art hackett

        Love it, the SS Android. As the iceberg of unsustainable losses rips through it, will the women and children survive, or will the rats float into the sunset.

      • Mark Jones

        Who said Apple Maps “market share” was 3.5x larger? It’s obviously a 3.5 times larger usage share. In the post, Horace used the words “market share of usage”, and that’s what it is. Ultimately, are any of his conclusions in error because of this?

      • Mark Jones

        Ironically, Apple Maps caused iOS users to get far more value from Google, as Google had refused to provide some of its newest and best capabilities to iOS users, but changed course after Apple Maps arrived.

        Apple Maps doesn’t ever have to be as good as Google Maps since Apple Maps is the iOS default, and Google Maps will likely always be an iOS option (as Google’s business model leads to offering it). Since Apple Maps is or will be a foundation for many other current or future Apple services, I’ve no doubt Apple will keep improving it.

        Finally, I don’t understand why it matters to any of you whether the ratio is 3.5x or 2x or 1x. How does this have any practical relevance to any action you will or will not take? I thought Tim Cook’s “3.5x” statement had little value; even if Comscore data isn’t perfect, it’s obvious that most iOS users use Apple Maps, many use Google Maps, and some use both.

      • Bart

        Yes! I loved the way Google came CRAWLING back to the app store, after having basically tried to extort billions from Apple for clicks that Google actually needed. (Let alone Google actually posing as partners while actively stealing information about the iPhone from Apple).

        You say marketshare matters, but only when it looks good for Samsung or Google…

      • art hackett

        What I found novel was the implication that Tim lies or misrepresents what can easily be construed as financial information (stock/share related). From any other exec, I would be instantly sceptical (i.e; assume lying), but not from TC.

      • Walt French

        Well, Mr. Anti-Marketing, perhaps you have a measureable definition of what it means to “use” an app, if tapping on a link doesn’t really qualify, and tapping on a home-page icon doesn’t qualify. You apparently wish to give extra credit for being a third-party app that the user explicitly downloaded/installed prior to tapping on it, but I’ve never seen any such notion in usage stats from anywhere.

        Trying to parse the statement carefully, it seems it’s the APP that is used 3.5X as much. That appears to say that when a user opens the Yelp app & it shows a restaurant’s location, that Apple isn’t counting it. Nor the detail map (still inside Yelp), but only if the user hits “Open Maps App,” which sure, COULD be done accidentally, but then again, the user could accidentally tap on the GMaps icon.

        Let’s have some facts, or, since Horace is probably correct in saying there ARE no other public facts, some reasoned logic as to why iOS users aren’t really using Apple Maps as much as Apple claims.

        (PS: there are a LOT of tricky statistics floating around, but I’ve yet to find an instance where Apple intentionally misrepresented its data. A couple of times there were quick clarifications. So the claim of misleading is also a claim that Apple is changing its marketing practices. Not sure what the evidence for THAT is, either.)

      • sandro1981

        Not really any reason to get heated. I don’t think Apple is mis-representing data, but I do think it is unclear what “usage” refers to *to them*. Sure, we can count simply opening an app (either cold, or linked) as usage because it is a directed action from the user. What I would find interesting – and we all know this data does not exist – is how often the users *completes their intended action successfully* in Apple Maps vs GMaps.

      • Walt French

        So, Apple Map users aren’t “real users” because of an empty assertion that many users don’t mean to click on the product.

        Taking “3.5X” at face value, 71% of usage would have to be accidental to reverse the rankings. The claim that Apple doesn’t have “real users” or that perhaps people don’t complete their intended action in Apple Maps at similarly huge rate, while *ALL* GMaps actions are both intended and successful, is a monstrously ridiculous troll.

        Apple Maps are significantly more used than Google’s on the iOS platform. This is what Apple meant, it’s what they said, and counter-claims without a shred of backup violate Sagan’s Rule, common sense, and our host’s request that arguments be based on data, not religious preferences.

      • sandro1981

        I’m sorry if I misrepresented myself. I am simply trying to better understand the 3.5x figure. I am not claiming anyone is lying or saying the users aren’t “real”.

        I am a very happy iOS user and an indifferent GMaps user – no religious fanaticism here. I simply want to better understand the precious few data points we have.

      • Ray

        Who said that “Apple doesn’t have real users”? No one here. What is quite logical is that given that Apple Maps is pre-loaded and integrated into iOS, that most calls to Google Maps are voluntary (since the user had to make the effort to download the app, install it, and click on its icon every time), whereas part of the calls to Apple Maps are desired and part are not. I don’t know what percentage is that, all I can say is that it is not 0. I have an iPad, and I’ve opened Apple Maps several times because of application re directions, even when I intended to use Google Maps. We can assume this happens to many users who have iOS devices but prefer Google Maps. Are those calls counted as usage in Tim Cook’s figure? I don’t know

        Tim Cook follows the great tradition of Jobs’ talking trash about competitors, misrepresenting facts and trying to manipulate consumers. Therefore, there is no reason for anyone to blindly believe what Mr. Cook says when talking about competitors. Here just a recent example:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/technology/what-apples-tim-cook-overlooked-in-his-defense-of-privacy.html

        “But it is also worth noting that Google and Facebook do not actually sell people’s data to advertisers, as Mr. Cook suggested they did in his EPIC speech. (As with Apple’s ad system, they allow marketers to target you based on your profile.) In many areas of security and transparency, Google has been ahead of Apple. For instance, Google offered two-factor authentication of cloud-bound data before Apple did.”

      • Bart

        You’d never say that outright Ray, only imply it. Isn’t that in the astroturfed manual? Check right after they tell you to start by saying you own ‘lots’ of Apple gear…

      • Ray

        If the default mapping app in iOS is Apple Maps, every time a user is using an app that references a map, he will click on that, open Apple Maps, then have to close it and go to Google Maps. If Apple just counts the calls to the app, that usage counts as 1 for Apple Maps, 1 for Google Maps, even if the user just wanted to use Google Maps. So counting that as 50% market share for Apple Maps and 50% market share for Google Maps is definitely misleading, because this user only actually used Google Maps. Integrating a default app into the OS boosts its “usage” artificially.

        Besides that, of course, many “non-power” users won’t even care so they will use whatever app is pre-installed, regardless of the relative merits of each app.

        And it’d be better not to call people names just because they express a different opinion based in logic.

      • Space Gorilla

        “Besides that, of course, many “non-power” users won’t even care so they will use whatever app is pre-installed, regardless of the relative merits of each app.”

        Non-power users are pretty much everyone Ray. The programmers I work with that have Masters degrees and PhDs in Comp Sci, those are power users. I think when you say ‘power user’ you really mean hobbyist.

      • Walt French

        “…every time a user is using an app that references a map, he will click on that, open Apple Maps, then have to close it and go to Google Maps.”

        I think you’re saying that iOS users are idiots, that they will repeatedly fumble around with maps.

        If they want to use GMaps they just need to switch to it (it’ll be in their frequently-used list) and type in the restaurant name or whatever. Is it as easy as the default AMaps? Of course not. But neither is it, for those types of uses, notably, or even any better.

        I *LIKE* some features of GMaps, such as how it features bicycle-safer routes around my city, and those aren’t on AMaps. But no, I don’t accidentally hit Apple Maps when I want Google’s, nor is it credible that anybody else does, in more than small numbers.

      • Ray

        “I think you’re saying that iOS users are idiots, that they will repeatedly fumble around with maps.”

        No, I never said or suggested that. I’m myself an iOS user btw. And also an Android and Windows user. I don’t like platform lock-in, as it is designed by vendors to reduce product/service choice to their limited menu, and it hurts consumers like you and me by limiting us to sub-optimal choices.

        In iOS, apps that are linked to mapping (like Yelp, contacts, etc.) are by default now redirecting to Apple Maps. So every time an iOS user clicks on the address to get directions.

        CNET: “If you tap an address in, say, your address book or on a website, you’ll land in Apple Maps, like it or not.”
        http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-force-ios-8-to-use-a-third-party-map-app/

        It seems this can’t be changed. I checked for a minute in the settings and could not find an easy way. A quick Google search takes you to many websites that have unofficial tricks on how to do it. This indicates that there is a lot of interest from many iOS users to use Google Maps instead of Apple Maps as default. However, it seems many readers have tried these unofficial tricks and they don’t even work for many of them.

        http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-force-ios-8-to-use-a-third-party-map-app/

        http://ioshacker.com/how-to/make-ios-8-use-google-maps-default-simple-trick

        The utility of an iOS device has been diminished by this, not just to me but to many iOS users as you can see in the comments section of those websites. This will make me reconsider twice getting an iPad again when I renew my tablet. Apple seems to be going down the same path as Microsoft in the 1990s, when they started integrating their mediocre Internet Explorer browser and forcing users to use it versus better alternatives. Consumers like you and me lose when platform owners do this.

        Essentially Apple has integrated its Maps application into iOS forcing users to call the app even when they don’t want to, and then it boasts publicly that it is much more frequently used.

        Saturday Night Live material.

      • Walt French

        The author of this blog wrote,

        These two data points are the total number of data points we have about the global maps market…The data presented allows us to make a few estimates for the first time and we can hope that additional data can allow a picture to emerge of where maps are going.

        Sir, it is you who keeps claiming that the discussion should be about users’ intent, about lock-in, why calling up Apple Maps was different than calling up Google Maps, etc. That discussion may be interesting to you in proclaiming your beliefs about what should be, but at best, it’s a red herring to the stated intent of understanding what will be.

        Your last rejoinder actually provides some information to back up your assertion that some people prefer Google Maps, a point that has been officially acknowledged by Apple and is really uncontested; ergo, it’s also not relevant to understanding “where maps are going.”

      • Ray

        If the topic was not interesting or relevant then you were free to ignore this thread. Instead you actually engaged and continued the conversation about usage, so it seems you found it relevant enough.

        In fact you claimed “those sure seem like REAL uses”. I just showed you that they ARE NOT REAL uses in some cases. Because Apple might be counting redirections to the app that do not end up in real engaged use of the app. Some users close Apple Maps and open Google Maps, a 1 and 1 call that leads to a false “50% usage for each”. In reality, that should count as 100% usage for Google Maps, as the call to Apple Maps was just automatically forced by iOS and did not lead to real usage.

        This is relevant because depending on what the percentage of those automatic redirections end up on not real Apple Maps usage, the estimation that Apple Maps has “25-33% market share of usage” might be significantly off. Maybe it’s below 20%. And that has implications in the economics. If that’s the case, Apple is spending more than $6.5 per use, and Google is spending less than $2 per user.

        So the data provided by Apple might be very misleading given that they are forcing iOS users to make unwanted calls to Apple Maps. With this very misleading data, the conclusions about the economics of the service are in a very shaky ground. The analysis Horace does is pretty good, but the data provided by Apple could have introduced bias that invalidates the output.

        In any case, it is interesting that the data from Apple is accepted at face value. If Microsoft provided similar data about how frequently Internet Explorer was used when they tightly integrated it to Windows (versus competing browsers), a similar analysis could have been done leading to misleading conclusions as well.

      • Bart

        You truly are insane, aren’t you Ray? It’s nothing like that, and Google is far more unreliable at least in my neck of the woods.

  • jbelkin

    Well, since nothing auto defaults to Google maps on IOS anymore (other than Google apps) and of course, google is split between it and waze, it’s not surprisingly – as for revenue, presumably yelp is paying apple – of course, this whole debacle proves why google is dumb. Apple was paying Google $1 BILLION dollars a year for maps but of course, google decides they’d rather piss off apple and turn down away $1B and boost apple maps – so their mapping share has dropped from nearly 100% on IOS to splitting 25% with waze and others …

  • Walt French

    This is SO MUCH better thought-out than the blather about how Google just has cloud services in its DNA and so will do better.

    There’s another interesting feature in the comparisons to HERE: directions for business travelers unfamiliar with say, Memphis are fine with just good maps data. But most usage is in congested cities, and up-to-the-minute travel estimates are crucial to people who know the area but don’t know a traffic jam on the San Mateo means going out of your way to the Bay Bridge is the better bet. Unless Uber can get HERE into active use by many drivers, it’ll be MUCH less useful than unfettered access to GMaps. (Not that they can be assured that, however, as Apple’s case reminds us.)

    This note inspired by reading Apple’s privacy ToS regarding location info. A perfect example of how you can have at least ONE fine cloud service without any compromise to privacy.

  • Ray

    Google does not rely only on advertisement, they also have another business model for Google Maps: selling it through an API.

    Both for independent developers:
    https://developers.google.com/maps/faq

    And for corporations (Allianz, DHL, etc.):
    https://www.google.com/work/mapsearth/products/mapsapi.html

    I don’t know how much revenue they generate, probably not ~$B per year, but given that there are very few players left and Google/Waze has the best and most up-to-date data available, it seems safe to assume that revenues are increasing.

    • Walt French

      Many companies will be like Apple and not want to worry that Google will set unreasonable terms some time in the future, especially if it would put their business in jeopardy.

      That seems the likeliest reason Uber is looking at HERE.

      There’s no telling what business Google DOESN’T want to get into, so this is hardly paranoia. Especially businesses around maps, like rentacars, it’d be a challenge to have Google knowing exactly what data you’re using, and trying to compete against them. All the more so if their prices tilt against you.

      • Ray

        There’s no telling what business Apple DOESN’T want to get into

        Maps, Music, Ping, Photos, iTunes, TV, watches, Healthkit, Homekit, cars?

        You see? Same can be said about Apple and any other tech giant.

        They are all for-profit companies trying to maximize their profits.

      • Space Gorilla

        I think you missed the point. Google is all about reach and gathering data, so it is natural for them to look at expanding into many areas, with the goal of reach and data.

        Apple does get into ‘other businesses’ but if you look closely you’ll see it all revolves around computing devices.

      • Ray

        Agree, and? They have different motivations but the outcome is the same: every customer / partner that does business with them has the risk of being competed with and ultimately killed.

        Apple does it to improve and differentiate its devices, , Google does it to improve and differentiate its cloud services. But both do it.

        Case in point: Spotify and Pandora. Apple has a lot of data on who downloads their apps from the Apple store, when do downloads happen, etc. Now Apple has launched a copy.that might kill both (even on Android!) and can use that data to help killing them.

        Same with music downloads, thanks to iTunes Apple has a better database than music labels on which songs are more popular, when, where, etc.

      • melci

        Your last example is poor as the Music labels had tried music download stores like PressPlay and PlaysForSure before iTunes existed and made a complete bollocks of it with draconian use conditions, high prices and terribly unreliable DRM. Apple usually succeeds because they come in and do it right.

        It is true though that Apple and their vertically integrated ecosystem is now so big that it is easy for small competitors to become collateral damage when Apple expands the feature-set of existing products or moves into a new area.

        At the same time though, it is possible for 3rd parties to profit massively courtesy of that same ecosystem – witness the 30 Billion dollars paid out to developers and counting.

      • Ray

        The music industry had to choose the lesser of 2 evils: piracy or Apple. They chose Apple ultimately, but they hate it.
        http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/25/technology/itunes-music-decline/

        Apple enforced cheap 99c single downloads which decimated industry revenues. Even Jimmy Iovine called them the “barbarians from the north” in Apple’s developer conference.

        Apple is integrating vertically and horizontally (music, news, payments, TV, healthcare, home, cars, etc.). Essentially their vision is to extend the reach of their platform so that any digital transaction has to go thru them, and they can impose their platform rules and take a cut.

        To do that, they are using any method they can, legal or even illegal.
        http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33151325

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/technology/2-states-look-for-collusion-between-apple-music-and-major-labels.html?_r=0

        Make no mistake, the music, media, retail or mobile industries hate Apple as it is essentially using its market power and over-sized profits to intermediate themselves into every consumer transaction to take a cut and manage the relationship while differentiating their devices.

        The single data point of $30B paid to developers doesn’t mean much, it’s just feel-good PR for such an event. How much have all developers spent on aggregate to build their apps? They could have even made a loss in aggregate. As you probably know, most mobile app developers barely cover costs or just lose money. The successful apps are very few (it seems to be a hit-driven industry like the movie industry), some famous games (among thousands of games that don’t make money). Most monetization does not come from downloads but from digital good sales (in-game) and subscription to Internet services (where the app is just a delivery method). They could monetize equally if their services where offered via a web browser instead of an app. The main reason Apple created their app store is to get developers to add value to their iPhones, while even taking a cut from their revenues and making additional money directly.

      • melci

        It’s hilarious how you can dismiss 10 Billion dollars in revenue raked in by 3rd party iOS developers just last year alone as “feel-good PR” Ray. You’re a classic. 🙂

      • Ray

        I’m not dismissing, or a “classic”, whatever that means.
        I’m saying 2 things:

        1) It IS obviously feel-good marketing messaging addressed to the community of developers. Just developer marketing 101. You suggest developers that there is a lot of money to be made by developing apps for iOS, so that more developers invest in developing apps that add value to your platform (iOS and ultimately iPhone which is how Apple makes money). Developer platforms are built to capture the value that developers bring. The fact that most developers might make some money is a nice side-effect… if it ever happens

        2) In reality, the fact that App Store developers earned a cumulative $30 billion from the sale of apps does not actually tell you whether developing apps for iOS will make you money or not. The number could be $3M or $300B, and I would still not be able to appreciate whether this is positive or negative for developers. Why? Because you are missing one key data point, which is:

        How much have developers cumulatively spent on developing, testing, publishing, supporting, maintaining and upgrading those apps?

        If the cumulative cost is over $30B, then the fact that app sales revenues is $30B is not an attractive number for developers.

        Just doing a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation, there are ~1.4M apps in the store, if on average each one costs $50K to develop (which is a very conservative estimate for successful apps that need to be periodically upgraded), that means developers on aggregate have spent ~$70B… much more than the $30B they got on sales revenues. Either they lost money, or hopefully they made money with other business models (advertisement, etc.)…

        You see? It is feel-good marketing, because it doesn’t tell you whether developing for Apple is actually a profit opportunity or a money-losing opportunity.

        In fact, most mobile app developers (in any platform) are not generating profits:
        “Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney: “Our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits”
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2014/01/13/mobile-apps-may-not-pave-the-way-to-developer-riches-sales-average-less-than-1250-a-day/

        “Fifty percent of iOS developers and 64 percent of Android developers earn below the app “poverty line” of $500 per month, and 24 percent of developers who are interested in making money earn nothing at all”
        http://www.infoworld.com/article/2608489/application-development/where-are-the-mobile-dev-payouts–in-enterprise-apps.html

        Tim Cook and the developer marketing team at Apple know this very well of course, so they decided in preparation of the event to throw a big revenue number and showcase a few successful apps. Feel-good marketing indeed.

        Don’t take this as anti-Apple; other companies like Google or Microsoft do the same. I’m just applying basic critical thinking to the numbers that the CEO of a for-profit company throws around at a marketing event to promote his company to potential partners.

      • melci

        I’m sorry, but saying an industry generating $10 Billion a year revenue and growing is irrelevant is lunacy. How many iOS developers do you think there are? And to say that every app cost at least $50K to make is beyond ludicrous considering the vast numbers of simple apps in the store that took devs a few days or weeks of their spare time to knock together.

        The fact that 50% of iOS devs (of whom a huge number are hobbyist and progammer-on-the-side developers with virtually no overheads) make greater than $500 a month ($6,000 dollars per year) going all the way right up into the millions of dollars annually is an excellent statistic for the iOS App economy.

        The fact that only 36% of Android developers make over $500 per month and in total only managed $1.3 Billion across the entire Android platform is a sad indictment of Google’s failure in this area. And with the iOS platform generating 1,790% greater Advertising ROI than the Android platform, advertising revenue isn’t saving them either.

        I’m afraid your “critical thinking” is nothing but thinly disguised anti-Apple rhetoric.

      • Ray

        I don’t think you understood what I wrote. Attacking a straw man again?

        I never said that $10B in sales is irrelevant, just reread my statements.

        I said “the fact that App Store developers earned a cumulative $30 billion from the sale of apps does not actually tell you whether developing apps for iOS will make you money or not.”

        Which is true, according to all independent industry analysts, most mobile app developers are not profitable. In fact, this has nothing to do about being pro-Apple or anti-Apple, because it happens to all mobile developers regardless of the platform. This is actually a very well known fact in the industry. There are a few hits, but most mobile apps are not successfully because there are just way too many and discovery and customer acquisition is a huge issue and very costly for developers.

        ” Less than 0.01 percent. That’s how many consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their creators at the end of 2018, according to new research from Gartner Inc.”
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2014/01/13/mobile-apps-may-not-pave-the-way-to-developer-riches-sales-average-less-than-1250-a-day/

        “Profitability is elusive for the vast majority of developers. Unless you are part of the anointed few that Apple selects to push heavily in the App Store, revenue is hard to come by,” Jason Seldon of Eye Interactive and P4RC points out.
        http://www.businessinsider.com/why-999-of-all-mobile-games-are-not-profitable-the-6-things-mobile-game-developers-must-do-to-survive-2012-2

        According to your logic, it must be that all mobile app industry analysts are anti-Apple, right?

      • melci

        Your whole arguments are straw men Ray. The odd thing is that developers continue to make apps for iOS because they make money on that platform and far more than on any other platform.

        Oh and even if that Gartner forecast 3 years into the future comes true, that’s still tens of thousands of apps that WILL be “financial successes” sharing in tens of Billions of dollars of annual revenue. Sounds pretty good to me.

      • Ray

        Mobile app development is distributed in a long tail: a few developers make good money (Rovio, Zynga, etc.), but most don’t. This is actually a well known fact in the mobile app industry so the fact that you put it into question is, well, questionable.

        Most developers are barely profitable. In fact, most of the revenue for mobile app developers comes from e-commerce, not mobile app sales. Almost 10 times more revenue in fact ($300B+). The mobile app developers that are profitable make money mostly from sale of either virtual (digital goods in games for instance) or real products and services inside their apps (~Uber for…).

        You still haven’t understood that a revenue data point, without cost information, does not mean anything. A company that makes $1B in revenue, but spends $3B to make that revenue is losing money. So the fact that revenue is $1B is per se not good news for this company. Only revenue over $3B would be good news.

        This is why Apple talks about revenue in their developer conferences, but never about profitability. Because they know that most developers barely make it. There is a small percentage that does well, and of course those are the ones invited in their developer conferences. Just like VCs only tell you about their successful startups, not about the 80%+ that cratered.

        It’s called marketing, you show the metrics that make you look attractive, and hide the ones that don’t.

        Developers continue to make apps because some do make money. People still go to casinos because some people do make money, even if on average people lose money and the house wins (which is the business model of casinos).

        These are facts from independent third parties. I have already provided you the sources, but you still don’t accept it, I think for the silly reason that you think that is anti-Apple, even though it applies to all mobile developer platforms. If you don’t trust me, just Google “mobile app developer profitability” and keep reading to convince yourself…

      • melci

        “most of the revenue for mobile app developers comes from e-commerce, not mobile app sales. Almost 10 times more revenue in fact ($300B+).”

        That’s correct, and wouldn’t you know it – it is iOS that generates 500% more of that e-commerce than the Android platform according to IBM and Adobe, yet another example of how third parties are benefitting from Apple’s ecosystem.

        Likewise Advertisers benefit far more from the iOS platform to the tune of 1,790% greater ROI and even worse – Android users cost more in advertising than they generate to according to Nanigans.

        Even Google benefits more from the iOS platform than Android with 75% of Google’s mobile search revenue comes from the iOS platform according to Citi. 75% !! that’s 3 times that generated by all Android devices world-wide.

      • Ray

        Yes, iOS users are more profitable, that’s a well known fact too. Which is not in contradiction with the fact that the “$30B paid for downloads to developers” is feel-good marketing for the developers conference.

        Also, to the point of where Maps are going, and my initial post about Google monetizing maps, Google has other sources of revenues beyond advertising, they make money too by selling their maps via APIs.

      • melci

        90.3% of Google’s 2014 revenue was from Advertising. revenue from APIs is a tiny irrelevant portion of “Other Revenue”.

      • art hackett

        Like all the other gartner forecasts bearing any relation to outcomes?

      • Mark Jones

        Apple can take its cut because its platform and stores provides value to consumers. So, of course, the music, media, retail or mobile industries hate Apple. Apple, with a very big assist from the Internet, has forced those industries to change, usually resulting in them receiving a smaller percentage of the industry revenue from consumers. Each case is different but generally Apple offered more value to consumers (because the dominant players in those industries failed to) and took the revenue for that value.

        In music, Apple offered iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, and iPhone which made it easier and cheaper for consumers to (buy and) listen to music anytime anywhere. The status quo of labels and music/retail stores was disrupted. The labels would very much like to take the share of the revenue that went to music/retail stores and convince everyone that Apple created no value in the product and in the sales/distribution channel.

        In mobile, Apple offered iPhone, App Store, and iTunes Store, which made it easier and cheaper for consumers to have multi-functional computers (instead of just phones) in their pockets. The operators/carriers had the opportunity to define and sell phones with more capability, and to sell content and capabilities via their portal, but failed to make their solutions desirable for consumers. They too would like everyone to believe Apple created no value in the product and in the sales & distribution channel, even though they previously spent millions creating their own undesirable solutions.

        If in-app purchases provided little value to consumers, then Android apps should’ve used the web to sell those same items more cheaply, and been much more successful than iOS apps.

        In sum, Apple created platforms and stores that are valuable to consumers, and it is taking a share of that value. If it were not valuable, then iOS devices should be losing out to the many alternatives.

      • Ray

        Yes, iTunes created value for consumers. Essentially it was in the short term:
        – Very good for Apple
        – Good for consumers
        – Bad for musicians and music labels

        That’s why the music industry dislikes Apple. Consumers are fine, since essentially iTunes lowered the price of music, transferring money from the music industry into consumer’s and especially Apple’s pockets. In the long term is not that clear, as the bar of popularity required to be able to make a living consistently as a professional musician is much higher.

        In any case, Apple’s does not care either way, as long as it is very good for them. Its mission is to maximize profits as a for-profit corporation, so when markets are mature it expands to other markets horizontally and vertically in search for more growth and profits.

        They have intermediated themselves in the music industry, and they are now trying to intermediate themselves in the TV industry, in the news industry, in the banking industry, in the healthcare industry, in the automotive industry and any other industry (education, public transportation, hospitality?) where a digital platform can take a cut of whatever financial transactions happen.

      • Space Gorilla

        “Bad for musicians and music labels”

        This is a very odd statement. I don’t think you know the first thing about the music industry. The music labels are what is bad for musicians. The record industry takes almost all revenue generated by artists. Most artists are in debt to their labels. When bands break up it is often because they are simply bankrupt, they owe more to their label than they can possibly pay. I have some experience in the industry. Long term what Apple is doing will benefit artists. The music industry is largely corrupt and artists are treated like indentured servants.

      • Ray

        It was bad for both because it cut ~50% of their revenues. So there was much less money to distribute.
        “When adjusted for inflation, revenue has been more than halved since Apple launched the iTunes Music Store.”

        I believe you, that t might be the case that some labels take advantage of artists. In any case, when revenues are cut in half, there is simply less revenue for everyone, so it is bad for both.

      • Space Gorilla

        Ray, you are obviously not well informed re: the record industry. Might be the case that some labels take advantage of artists? That is so far off the mark I don’t know where to begin.

        Apple is clearly moving toward a future where artists could actually receive 70 percent of the revenue they generate, instead of virtually nothing.

        Hmm, this article seems like a decent summary: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100712/23482610186.shtml

      • Ray

        What is off the mark? I essentially said that I don’t have data regarding the contracts and relationships between labels and artists, so I believe you.

        Do artists receive 70 percent because of iTunes?

      • Space Gorilla

        Here’s what is off the mark, your statement “I believe you, that t might be the case that some labels take advantage of artists”

        *Might* be the case that *some* labels take advantage. No, taking advantage of artists is *standard practice*. There’s no *might* and no *some*.

        Artists don’t automatically receive 70 percent because of iTunes. But the future is clear, connecting artists directly with consumers. This will inevitably lead to more money in the pockets of artists. Some have already been taking this approach.

      • DesDizzy

        You, and other commentators of your ilk, seem to forget, with this evil Apple taking 30% mime, that the retailer has traditionally taken 50! And Apple reduced this to 30% giving the labels/artist 20% more to play with.

      • Ray

        Not sure what you mean by my ilk. Independent thinkers who don’t take for-profit companies as a sports team to root for , who are able to find positive and negative things about every company’s strategy and outlook, who as consumers actually own and use most platforms available (iOS, Android, Windows, Tizen, etc) and who are more interested in understanding where the industry is going?

        I don’t think Apple is evil, is just a for-profit company like any other trying to maximize its profits by expanding horizontally and vertically and charging as much as possible for its products.

      • melci

        “Not sure what you mean by my ilk. Independent thinkers who don’t take for-profit companies as a sports team to root for”

        It’s interesting that you regurgitate all the same erroneous arguments that Android fans promulgate from a vast repository of shallow mis-applied links. Methinks your protestations of being an “independent thinker” ring all too hollow I’m sorry to say Ray.

        I do however appreciate that unlike some Android fans, you keep the discussion thoughtful and mostly free of invective and ad hominem attacks, so thanks for that!

      • Ray

        I’m really not invested in the success of Apple, Google or Microsoft or any other major IT player, neither financially nor emotionally. They’re all for-profit companies trying to maximize their profits. Personally I’d prefer that Windows would do better as a smartphone OS, so that us consumers have more choice and there is more innovation in the space.

        You talk about erroneous arguments but you fail to prove they are erroneous, or even show at least some kind of balance on your assessment of the market, which tells me that you are somehow invested (emotionally or financially) in Apple’s success, and not really interested in having an objective understanding on where the industry is going. Also you tend to use offensive or strong language (regurgitate, nasty, utterly, massive, etc.) , probably thinking that it gives strength to your arguments while it just reveals your emotional attachment to the Apple cause.

      • melci

        With all due respect Ray, may I gently point out that you yourself have used the descriptive word “massive” on two separate occasions in this discussion and I am not sure what problem you have with describing sub-$100 phones as “cheap and nasty” as that is exactly what they are.

        I apologise if you found my once-off uses of the word “utterly” and the phrase “regurgitate all the same erroneous arguments” to be offensive.

        In terms of proof, I am surprised you would accuse me of that considering all of the statistical data and links I have provided from sources such as the WSJ, Kantar, ComScore, Nanigans, IBM, Adobe, App Annie, CounterPoint Research, etc etc.

      • Ray

        It’s not so much about the sources, but about the interpretation you do.

        For instance, the WSJ article is telling you that the long-term trend was that Google Play store was catching up with iOS’, and that the last few quarters iOS is increasing the gap again because of China ( where Google is not present), and you say that this is proof that the long-term trend is that iOS is increasing the gap eith Google Play.

        Essentially you read what you want to read, which is the definition of bias.

      • Bart

        Independent thinkers? LOL, Fandroids aren’t even using independent devices let alone thought. All of Android has been completely dependent on iOS for nearly everything.

      • Mark Jones

        Piracy might’ve been much worse for musicians and music labels. So I can’t say that iTunes was “bad for musicians and music labels.” iTunes and digital music stores might not have been the best solution for musicians, but it did enable them to continue earn profits, though smaller, for several more years.

        Also, if albums had not been unbundled, it’s arguable that digital music stores would also have failed against piracy.

      • DesDizzy

        You seem to be conflating Apps with Games. Perhaps you are thinking of the Android system and confusing this with Apple App sales.

      • Space Gorilla

        Spotify and Pandora will do fine, if their services are good. Apple wins by doing it better, paying attention to the details. And they don’t always get it right. When a market is consumer-facing, those who meet the consumer’s needs will win. This is a key point in understanding Apple’s current success. Technology is now truly consumer-facing, the end user is now the buyer. The basis of competition has changed.

        But you must also understand that consumers markets normally trend toward many solutions, there isn’t one winner. This is natural because consumer needs/wants are so varied. There seems to be a mindset among the tech crowd that there will be one winner. That isn’t the case.

      • Ray

        In iOS platforms, Spotify and Pandora most probably won’t do fine. Apple Music will integrate with iOS in ways that they can’t replicate, since Apple owns the OS. Apple has done the same with Maps, even though their maps service is still not as good as Google Maps, most users are using Apple Maps because it is pre-installed and integrated tightly into the OS.

        Flipboard, Spotify, Soundcloud, etc. They are all definitely in danger of being crushed, at least on Apple platform. Investors pay attention to this. Essentially last Apple’s developer conference was mostly an announcement of startups that Apple is copying and trying to kill:
        https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/apples-wwdc-startup-losers/

        This “abuse of power” of platforms owners is so common that has even been academically studied as a “platform envelopment attack”:
        http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5723.html

        Microsoft did this in the 90s to many startups like Netscape or Real Networks. Most users are passive and lazy so they will use whatever comes pre-installed and integrated, regardless of whether is better or not. It only has to be good enough.

        Not only platform owners abuse their power via technical methods, but also with illegal business maneuvers negotiating and blocking competitors. Apple is currently being investigated for potential antitrust violation hurting Spotify and others:
        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/technology/2-states-look-for-collusion-between-apple-music-and-major-labels.html?_r=0

        Apple’s current success still relies on the iPhone and its app store.

        Many markets have winner-takes-all characteristics due to network effects, economies of scale, etc. So there is only space for 1 or 2 platforms. We will see in music streaming…

      • Space Gorilla

        I’m not talking about “many markets”, I’m talking about a consumer-facing market where the end user is also the buyer. You’re applying the wrong basis of competition.

      • Ray

        Not sure I understand what you mean with “technology is now truly consumer-facing”. In the 1990s, personal computers were also consumer-facing but there were winner-takes-all dynamics and platform envelopments. Just like now. If Apple envelops music streaming service into its platform, it will be very hard for any music streaming service to win, at least on Apple platform. That has already happened with Maps, it is very difficult for any other map service, to win in Apple’s platform.
        Could you expand?

      • Space Gorilla

        Technology in the 1990s was not consumer-facing, not at all. Buying decisions and the basis of competition were driven by business. Only recently has technology truly become consumer-facing, where the end user (the consumer) is the person making the purchase decision based on jobs-to-be-done. In a consumer market you have to satisfy the needs of the end user. This naturally works against a winner-takes-all scenario. Indeed, it is obvious that both Apple and Android have already won, and will continue ‘winning’. Microsoft may even still have a good shot at carving out some of the consumer market. That depends on whether they can build something good. In the 1990s Microsoft was able to succeed with mediocre products, but that won’t fly today.

      • Ray

        I see what you mean. That’s true, however there were also a few technology markets in the last century that were consumer-facing (consumer PCs for instance like Commodore).

        Even if the market is consumer-facing, the power of network effects in multi-sided platforms still applies. Platform owners use lots of tricks to lock-in people as well. Like reputation systems, investment in apps and media purchased, etc.

        In reality winner-takes-all markets end up typically with ~2 competing platforms, one major and one or two minor that leverage the unsatisfied needs that the major one does not tackle efficiently. The name is a bit misleading, as it doesn’t mean 100% monopoly.

        The owners of the leading platforms tend to copy and envelop functionality from platforms that initially are complementary (killing them in the process), as long as it confers a benefit to the leading platform. Microsoft did this with several startups, and Apple is now doing the same. They have plenty of money so they can copy any functionality they want as long as it’s not protected IP (and even in that case there are always workarounds).

      • Space Gorilla

        “there were also a few technology markets in the last century that were consumer-facing (consumer PCs for instance like Commodore).”

        No, the Commodore was not consumer-facing. The basis of competition re: tech has only very recently changed.

      • Ray

        Microsoft’s main secret was partnerships, they had a great partnership with Intel that moved the whole industry around them, plus they pioneered the first large software developer platform (while Intel managed the hardware platform with lots of companies building on their architecture). No surprise that Microsoft and Intel captured most of the profits of the PC industry.

        Steve Jobs acknowledged that this ability to partner was one of the key reasons for the Macintosh to fail in the PC wars. However Apple has learned from Microsoft and has become much better at partnerships and promoting and managing the developer platform.

      • Space Gorilla

        Microsoft’s success was driven by a different competitive landscape. The same approach simply will not work today. When the end user is also the buyer you have to build something good. It is both simple and very hard, build something good, sell it for a profit (although there are many variations of this model). Of course Microsoft could largely abandon the consumer market, that is a possibility.

      • art hackett

        As Google has demonstrated, they are willing to bite any hand. Once bitten, etc. Also the short attention span doesn’t inspire confidence.

    • Charles Arthur

      “given that there are very few players left and Google/Waze has the best and most up-to-date data available”

      What’s your basis for this claim? TomTom has real-time traffic systems at roadside, for example. HERE can claim to have more data points than Google, I understand. Where’s your evidence for saying that Google/Waze definitively has the best and/or most?

      • Ray

        Google Maps has the best data ready for consumer consumption, including images of most addresses in the world, public transportation info, etc.
        Waze has the most up-to-date information about traffic, road conditions, etc.
        Regarding raw data for professional consumption probably no one knows as Google does not disclose that, but given that they have a billion data-mining devices out there, it could be the case…

      • Bart

        Oh, please! That old tired meme? How long are you fandroids going to insist Google is ‘better’ when it’s clearly NOT?

        How long are you going to pretend that Apple maps is still at version 1.0?

        How long are you going to pretend that ‘street view’ (a virtual walk-about) is as good as Apple’s Fly Over mode?

        Flyover is many times better than street view (unless you are looking for embarrassing images of people taken without their knowledge or consent).

        Google lets you walk around. Apple enables you to fly from any angle.

        Of course, I understand transit is really important to Google. I think most of their users are riding the bus…

  • David W.

    Why isn’t Apple interested in buying HERE from Nokia?

    If Apple is willing to spend two billion each year to keep mapping data current, spending three billion just for that initial mapping data would seem like a bargain. It would take Apple years to replicate the global amount of data that HERE has (including global transit directions), so HERE is worth it just for the current data. Apple would also be acquiring the expertise and hardware needed to maintain these maps.

    Yet, Apple doesn’t seem interested. Is there something I’m missing?

    • Walt French

      I tapped on the little “Legal” in the lower left corner of a Yelp map on my iPhone & noted that TomTom was the first-named source of the data. Apple—undoubtedly, Google & HERE, too—buys the raw data that it assembles into the finished product.

      Buying HERE might not get it anything it doesn’t already pretty-much already have.

      • mjw149

        Right, and I think changing vendors on such a complicated and important product can be ruled out. They’re too cautious for that, there’s too much at stake.

    • Luis Alejandro Masanti

      To some extent it could be comparable with production.
      Apple owns lots of machines (read all Horace’s analysis) but DOES NOT own the company (Foxcon, by example).
      With HERE it uses its data but it does not (want to) own the company.

  • Sam

    I agree somewhat, but if Google and Nokia don’t release any numbers…..?

    Why would you assume that Apple is being dubious?

    • Nicolai Imset

      We got to assume that this is only for the smartphone platform that has sub 20% marketshare worldwide.

      • melci

        Apple sold their 1 Billionth iOS device back in Nov 2014 and has sold 517 million iOS devices in the last 2 years alone and has closing on 1 Billion active iTunes/App Store users. iOS also generates 60% of Google’s Mobile Search revenues.

        Your point is?

      • Nicolai Imset

        http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-os-market-share.jsp

        “Vendors shipped a total of 334.4 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), up 16.0% from the 288.3 million units in 1Q14 but down by 11.4% from the 377.6 million units shipped in 4Q14. Android dominated the market with a 78.0% share in 1Q15”

      • melci

        Yes and Apple sold 370 million iPhones, 131 million iPads and 18 million iPod Touches over the last two years for a grand total of over a half Billion (518 million) iOS devices.

        The iOS platform also generates 1,790% greater Advertising ROI than Android, 500% greater e-commerce revenue for e-tailers, 60% of Google’s Mobile Search revenue and 10 Billion dollars in revenue for developers in 2014 compared to only 1.3 Billion for Android.

        This massive dominance by Apple in all the metrics that actually matter show how shallow and blinkered analysis based only on marketshare truly is.

        Your point I ask again is?

      • mjw149

        Careful. Metrics are chosen for their usefuless. What matters to you or to your argument can be completely different than someone else. ios is doing very well for a single vendor locked down platform, but it isn’t everything and the metrics you chose are actually trending the other way. Not that they’re in danger of losing their crown – Google’s and Samsung’s stumbles guarantee very good results for Apple’s shareholders – but yours is a knee jerk argument, not a thoughtful one.

      • Ray

        This graph is actually quite interesting:
        http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-os-market-share.jsp

        It looks like there is a clear pattern. Every Q4 Apple share grows (when they launch a new phone), but they lose that growth over the year to Android. It happened again in 2015Q1, albeit with less intensity, probably due to pent-up demand for larger iPhone and Chinese buyers. However, even with the monster quarter they had in 2014Q4 they haven’t recovered yet the market share they had three years ago.

        Market share seems stabilized around 80% for Android and 15% for Apple, with only seasonal fluctuations. Profits are probably the opposite. That’s more of a problem for the Android OEMs rather than Google.

      • Kizedek

        In all your comments on this article, you seem to be quite a stickler for taking Tim Cook and others to task for obfuscating the true picture when presenting “facts”.

        Therefore, carefully consider the picture presented here:

        “However, even with the monster quarter they had in 2014Q4 they haven’t recovered yet the market share they had three years ago.”

        If you are familiar with any of the material on this site, then you will no doubt realize the misleading statement you have made.

        The link to the chart you provide is clearly labeled “smartphone”. There is no defined smartphone market/category/product. It is in constant flux.

        It is inevitable that all mobile phones will soon be “smart”, whatever that means.

        Therefore, Apple has never lost share. It is has gone from 0% in 2007 to whatever % it has today of all mobile phones — always growing in share.

        “Smart” is simply an arbitrary, shifting subset of Mobile, that is growing to subsume its parent set.

        You can hardly buy any “feature” phones any more. Let’s say this year, there are 4.5B “smartphones” in people’s hands around the world; and next year there are 7.5. Let’s say there were 1B iPhones out there this year, and 1.5B next year. Apparently, Apple “loses” share as it goes from 22% to 21%, while increasing its userbase by 500M. But that is misleading.

        Why is it meaningless to say that Apple “lost” and Android “won” or “gained” in this context? Because Android is the default OS. That is the status quo — there is really no other viable choice for any OEM in the world to put on their phone to make it “smart”. This is now table stakes. What else is an OEM gonna put on it, what ever the capabilities of the phone.

        Furthermore, by some measures, use of Android makes a phone “smart” by definition. So, let’s just call it like it is: Android is the de facto goto OS for Mobile phones — it overnight replaced OS’ from RIMM, Palm, MS and Nokia; it might as well be 100% share for all practical purposes… And any share that Apple has, it takes from “Android” (the loose term for a whole bunch of stuff increasingly out of Google’s control) as a gain.

      • Ray

        Market share is market share. You’re mixing market share (%) with market size. Of course in a growing market a company can lose market share while increase its units sold. That’s the case with Apple, they command a smaller share now than in 2012. This is not misleading, it’s the definition of market share, which is independent of market size.

        Apple’s market share in 2012Q1 was 22.9% and it has since then been lower and never recovered, even in 2014Q4 with the introduction of a larger iPhone and access to China market.
        If you make a regression and plot a best-fit line, you will see that the long-term trend is a very slowly decreasing market share. That could change in the future of course, but that has been the trend in 2012-2015.

        Android is indeed the de facto standard for smartphones OS. But that is not a coincidence, or just happened. It could actually have been Microsoft’s, or Nokia’s, or Blackberry’s OS if those companies had made the right decisions at the right moment. It took good timing and a lot of effort, billions in investment in software development, and hundreds of business development deals with OEMs, chipset companies and other partners. Google hasn’t made money on it, not yet at least.

      • Mark Jones

        You completely misunderstood Kizedek’s comment. He’s NOT mixing market share with market size.

        The question to answer is market share of what? Market share of phones? Market share of smartphones? Market share of mobile computers? Market share of computers? So market share is NOT market share.

        The “Smartphone” category is arbitrary. It continues to grow in size, as smartphones category becomes a larger share of the phones category. For example, some considered the Asha line to be included in smartphones, while others didn’t. Some phones are categorized as smartphones simply because they run Android, though their users don’t ever use them any differently from a non-smartphone.

        What is absolutely true is that Apple’s market share of phones (a stable category, unlike smartphones) has grown every quarter since CY2Q07 when it was first introduced.

      • Ray

        Of course Apple’s M/S over phones has grown. Because the larger trend is that smarphones are replacing feature phones. All smartphone makers are riding a wave. The question is which OS is capturing more of that smartphone growth. Android is. Whether its good for the industry or you like it or not is a different question.

        Looking for metrics that somehow might seem more favorable to your taste/convictions/theories does not pass the rigor test.

      • Mark Jones

        “The question is which OS is capturing more of that trend.” Why does that question matter if the OS brings no benefits to the owner of the OS, or even the hardware makers that use the OS?

        Selling another billion “smartphones” to people who use them just like featurephones has captured absolutely nothing.

      • Ray

        Of course Android brings benefits to both Google and Android OEMs. Otherwise, as companies led by rational executives, they would stop developing products. Your statement is illogical.

        Google cares about reach, both in the low-end, the middle and the premium segments. Android phones are selling in all segments.
        http://www.cio.in/news/samsung-overtakes-apple-in-india%E2%80%99s-super-premium-smartphone-market-

      • melci

        Considering only Samsung has been consistently making any profit (though dwindling in recent times), the multi-Billion dollar losses that Motorola has been haemorrhaging and the hundreds of millions of dollars of losses of every other Android OEM over the last few years sure doesn’t sound very beneficial. It’s not surprising that many manufacturers (Android and other platforms) are indeed exiting the market or reassessing their positions.

      • Ray

        And there are plenty of OEMs entering the market too (particularly from China and India), definitely more than leaving it. The smartphone market is the largest consumer electronics market in history, and growing, so there is plenty of space for OEMs. Yes, most of them will have low margins, but will survive.

        In the Android space, there is a strong price competition as there are so many OEMs, so OEMs end up charging very low margins on top of their costs, so us consumers get a lot of value for our money.

        For users locked-in in iOS ecosystem, Apple has no need to lower prices as they have no competition. That’s the advantage for them and why they get away charging such high margins. Good for them (most profitable OEM in the industry), not so good for us consumers.

      • melci

        Android users may get low purchase prices initially, but they pay in the long run with little love from their vendor who has no money left to support old devices. No firmware updates, no OS updates, no security patches are the sad reality for all too many Android users worldwide. And because there are so many different form factors each with far lower numbers of units than the iPhone, Android users have far poorer choices in peripherals and accessories that are tailored for a perfect fit with their devices.

        Apple’s great profitability and huge unit sales of each form factor in contrast gives users by far the best support in the industry, the most choice in cases, docks, and other accessories and peripherals.

        Very good for consumers – that’s why they flock to Apple devices (1.2 Billion sold and growing) despite the higher entry price – they see the benefits.

      • Ray

        Not exactly flocking, in fact iOS market share has never recovered since 2012. Facts are facts, even if they get on the way of your personal taste or conviction:
        http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-os-market-share.jsp

        Sure Apple has sold many devices; Android has sold even
        more (1B only in 2014). That’s why iOS smartphone market share is lower than in 2012.

        “they pay in the long run” How much do they pay?
        I guess there are 2B+ people in the world who don’t know what’s better for them and fits better their needs. There are all kind of Android handsets, bad, mediocre and great. Because there is choice and competition in the Android ecosystem, the good products thrive, while the bad ones disappear. And because of the price competition, they have to be priced right to survive. This is the basis of capitalism and competition. There is no price competition in the iOS ecosystem. Only 1 provider sells devices there, so they can charge quasi-monopolistic prices. Monopolies are good for companies, bad for consumers.

        Regarding quality and choice, the phone with the highest satisfaction raking in 2015 is… an Android. Who knew. Again, why let data get in the way of your personal taste or conviction?

        “According to a new survey conducted by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) on 70,000 US customers, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the most satisfying smartphone currently available in the US market.

        On a scale from 0 to 100, US customers gave the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 an average score of 86 points in terms of overall satisfaction. The 5.7-inch handset is followed by the Galaxy Note 3, the Apple iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and theSamsung Galaxy S5, all tied for the second place with 82 points.”

        http://www.phonearena.com/news/iPhone-6-and-6-Plus-rank-below-the-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-4-in-US-customer-satisfaction-survey_id70005

      • melci

        Apple has sold 1.2 Billion iOS devices and growing every year with half a Billion of those (517 million) sold in the last 8 quarters. Apple’s share of total mobile phone sales has grown each and every year and shows no sign of stopping. Of those in Apple’s target demographic, that counts as flocking in anyone’s book except yours Ray. Facts are facts even if they get on the way of your personal taste or conviction.

        “How much do they pay?” You’re not reading Ray, they pay in orphaned handsets, no support, no firmware updates, no system updates, no security updates far less choice in cases, docks, accessories, peripherals, services, etc etc.

        “Monopolies are good for companies, bad for consumers.” Except that Apple is not a monopoly as users can switch to Android any time. Oddly enough far more switch to iOS from Android instead with two thirds of new iPad owners and half of new iPhone owners being new to Apple. Looks like they actually believe you get what you pay for.

        “the phone with the highest satisfaction ranking in 2015 is… an Android”

        Ah, yes. That ranking that contradicts the vast majority of satisfaction surveys around the world. Well guess what:

        “It came from this report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which was published in May 2014, over seven months before the media caught wind of it.”

        An ACSI representative confirmed to Business Insider that the latest data it had was from May.”

        That’s about a month after the launch of Samsung’s current flagship phone, the Galaxy S5. But it’s also about four months before the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8, Apple Pay, and other iPhone-related products and services launched.”

        It also doesn’t reflect the first full quarter of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales, which are expected to be off the charts when Apple reports earnings in a few weeks. Samsung’s phone sales are flat to down versus last year, and the company’s profits fell as much as 60%.”

        Oops! 🙂

      • Ray

        – “Apple’s share of total mobile phone sales has grown each and every year” And what kind of grand conclusion do you get from this? This is logical, smartphones overall are replacing feature phones, this is just riding the wave, most consumers want smartphones, not feature phones.

        – “They pay in orphaned handsets…” Tired arguments from Appleinsider? I have a 4-year old Android smartphone that keeps getting software upgrades…

        – Of course is not a perfect monopoly, but because switching costs are relatively high, it does have some characteristics of a monopoly, which essentially provide power to the supplier, and take power away from the consumer. I switch constantly from iOS to Android and it’s not smooth. If you have invested money buying iOS apps or accessories, you’re more likely to stay in the iOS ecosystem. So once you are locked-in, it is a hardware monopoly. Only one company produces iOS compatible phones, once a year.

        – Ranking: You’re talking about a different survey from last year!
        This one was published this month, June 2015. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has the highest customer satisfaction ranking:
        http://www.theacsi.org/customer-satisfaction-benchmarks/benchmarks-by-brand/benchmarks-for-smartphones

        In fact the Galaxy Note 3, which is a 1.5 year old phone, has the same customer satisfaction ranking as the iPhone 6 Plus, which was released one year later.

        I know, the data must be wrong because it doesn’t favor Apple. Just like IDC’s market share in the high-end. You seem unable to have an objective view of the industry, and would rather question data that doesn’t conform to your world view.

      • Space Gorilla

        “Good for them (most profitable OEM in the industry), not so good for us consumers, which is where their massive profits come from.”

        What a strange outlook. I like paying for value, I don’t find Apple gear expensive at all, not when I get so much value from it, so much great support, such a great experience. You get what you pay for Ray. And surely you must understand that profits allow a company to serve you better. Thin margins mean cutting corners on everything after the initial consumer purchase (and probably shortcuts and cost cutting on the product itself), because the company you bought from can’t afford to do anything more for you.

      • Ray

        Except that Apple is not using those profits to improve vastly their product line, but stashes them as an ever-growing cash pile (almost $200B!) off-shore to avoid contributing to the US economy by paying their due taxes, or to pay exorbitant packages to their executives ($70M+ to their new SVP retail). Android OEMs pay much more modest salaries to their executives.

        An iPhone costs ~$190 to produce, and is sold for ~$700 (even though it doesn’t have leading-edge hardware components in most areas). Are you really happy to pay $500 for 2 years of great support? Apple sells you memory that costs ~$5 for $100 bump in price.

        No company or organization is thrilled that their supplier charges them exorbitant margins and is the most profitable company, to the contrary. Only some consumers who take their suppliers as if they were a sports team to root for, or their favorite band (?). I understand consumers who are also investors and own Apple stock have reasons to be happy, but consumers who don’t…

        I like paying for value too. Xiaomi sells smartphones almost at cost. Today they are low and mid-range, but expect high-end phones in the next few years for about half the price of an iPhone of Galaxy S. I can’t wait for that, so that I can spend those $500 in healthcare or the education of my kids.

      • Space Gorilla

        That’ll be a neat trick from Xiaomi since they seem to also be ceding the premium segment to Apple.

      • Ray

        Xiaomi has not been ceding the premium segment, again, where is your data? They don’t even play in that segment, their handsets are low and mid-range. They don’t have any high-end handset yet, but they will probably have one in the next 2-3 years.

      • melci

        App;e’s premium devices are actually beating Xiaomi’s low end on their home turf: http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-hits-new-high-in-china-as-xiaomi-balks-at-phones-for-the-west/

        “One in every four smartphones sold in urban China in the last quarter was an iPhone, new research has found.

        Apple is the smartphone maker to beat in China, where the best-selling phone for the three months to January was the iPhone 6, according to new sales figures from analysts Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.”

        And http://www.canalys.com/newsroom/media-alert-apple-takes-top-spot-china-first-time-smart-phones

        “The incredible popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China in Q4 2014 has led Apple to take first place in the Chinese smart phone market for the first time by units shipped. This is an amazing result, given that the average selling price of Apple’s handsets is nearly double those of its nearest competitors.”

      • Bart

        You sure use a LOT of weasel words, Ray. How much do you get for each post?

      • melci

        “Apple is not using those profits to improve vastly their product line… doesn’t have leading-edge hardware components in most areas”

        On the contrary, Apple has consistently led in high-end components in their devices that actually benefit users.

        Apple devices boast industry-leading performance with their fully 64bit mobile hardware and the fastest GPUs in the industry. Apple has led with the TouchID fingerprint reader (that actually worked unlike the earlier old swipe readers of a couple of competitors), developed the M Motion chip, implemented hardware encryption, fingerprint-authenticated ApplePay, True-Tone Flash, aluminium unibody construction etc etc.

        The iPhone has always consistently delivered faster frame rates and performance in graphics-laden games and a smoother UI as well as faster web browsing and has consistently topped the battery life benchmarks.

      • Bart

        So you think Apple isn’t improving their products? And lemme guess, you think Shamstung is? Are you using Shamstung pay? You know it’s an insecure hack, right?

      • Mark Jones

        Sure, Google got a defensive benefit from Android – protecting it from being locked out of mobile, due to Windows Mobile, and later iOS. Beyond that, Google’s reach enables it to sell more ads. Selling ads to poorer people (the next billion reached) leads to lower pricing per mobile ad, which is what Google has been reporting over the last year. Many of the rapidly growing Asian vendors have chosen to use the open-source Android with no Google services (reach, you say?) instead of Android One.

        Sony and HTC, Android OEMs, are moving quickly down the path toward stopping development of smartphone products. I think it’s only a matter of time. Samsung has shifted focus to mid-tier and low-tier phones and Tizen to stabilize revenues and regain profitability. Nothing illogical about it.

      • Ray

        Android is capturing users everywhere, low-end and high-end. Sure most are low-end and provide less monetization opportunities. But that’s better than not having them at all (low revenue better than no revenue). Essentially for Android scale makes up for lower profitability per capita.

        Also, there are other monetization opportunities besides advertisement coming from the Android platform and associated Google Play store.

        Analysts estimate that Google Play generated $4B last year and will make ~$6B this year.
        http://variety.com/2015/digita
        That’s a lot of money that could cover the cost of Android development and distribution.

        There are other profits to be made besides ads and content also; sales of cloud services (storage, cloud computing), enterprise services (apps for work), etc. The “other” businesses from Google have been growing over the last few years and already account for over 10% of their revenues. Android’s enormous distribution reinforces these other potential business models. This is overlooked too often by analysts who focus too much on Google’s advertisement business model.

        Samsung has not shifted focus. They are actually increasing their investment in the high-end. They have just completely redesigned their flagship, utilizing premium materials and launched 2 different Galaxy S models, instead of one. One of the models with curved display has required the creation of a new manufacturing process and factory. Not only that, but they are moving ultra-premium, their top of the line costs over $1,000

        http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-SM-G925F-128GB-Emerald/dp/B00TX5QGEW/ref=sr_1_1?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1434744540&sr=1-1&keywords=samsung+Galaxy+S6+Edge+SM-G925F+128GB+green

        Expect another ultra-premium Galaxy Note Edge this fall.

        Sony and HTC are not making much money. Sony might leave indeed since they have other profitable businesses to focus on, but I doubt HTC will.

      • melci

        No, the important question is, “which platform is capturing the most smartphone-like USAGE” and the answer is Apple. That is the question that actually has an impact on developers, advertisers, content providers, service providers, e-commerce providers and so on.

        From a manufacturer’s point of view, the most important question is which manufacturer has the most profit-share and the answer to that is also Apple with 83% share of all the profits in the entire mobile phone industry with most Android manufactures haemorrhaging cash like there’s no tomorrow. That helps to show you just how unhealthy the Android market is from a hardware point of view.

        Most Android devices although classed as “smartphones” are in fact glorified dumbphones in terms of how they are used as all of the metrics that I’ve presented have demonstrated unequivocally.

      • Ray

        Google cares mostly about reach, that’s why they give Android for free to spread it as fast as possible. I don’t have a lot of time, so I will let Ben explain:
        http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/11/20/time-for-new-questions-in-mobile

        Obviously Android’s growth is just due to glorified dumbphones. You bet.
        http://www.cio.in/news/samsung-overtakes-apple-in-india%E2%80%99s-super-premium-smartphone-market-

        Here are some more truths like that:
        http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/05/30/google-io-2015-sets-up-a-low-bar-for-apples-wwdc-to-leap

      • melci

        You’ve got some funny links there Ray – that AppleInsider article showing how Google is losing control of the Android platform to Chinese forks and Samsung is pushing their smartwatches to Tizen and abandoning Android sure supports your contention that Google is benefiting. Not.

        Highlighting India as a bastion of premium Samsung smartphones (only just squeaking past Apple in the last quarter no less) is hilarious considering that 60% of Android phones sold worldwide are sub-$200 and only 20% are $400 or over while iPhones continue to surge with an ASP climbing to $687.

      • Ray

        India is the fastest-growing large smartphone market in the world (and will be soon one of the largest, as 1 out of every 5 human beings in the world live in India). So it is the market to be for a smartphone platform to capture smartphone growth.
        https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prIN25276014

        Not only that, but mobile is going to be the dominant platform for e-commerce (not PCs as in more mature countries):
        http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/10/15/mobile-shopping-set-to-dominate-indias-e-commerce-market/

        In that country, Android smartphones are dominating, not only the low and mid-end, but ALSO the premium segment. This totally contradicts the obsolete view that Android is only capturing growth in the low-end.

        Instead of understanding this, you just dismiss India and talk about some off-topic worldwide data that is fairly logical. Of course more lower-priced phones are sold than higher-priced ones. This is economics 101, it happens in all markets. Cheaper goods sell in higher numbers than more expensive ones. Volkswagen Group sells ~10Mu Volkswagen brand cars per year, ~100Ku Porsche and ~10Ku Bentley or Lamborghini.

        It’s hilarious, because I actually posted the AppleInsider article as a joke, but it seems the irony got lost in some Internet router on the way and you took it seriously. I haven’t read in a while such an amusing article. I’m marveled at how the “journalist” managed to write at least one negative thing about Google in every single paragraph of this long rant. Some highlights:

        Google I/O 2015 sets a low bar
        With Apple’s vast gulf over Google
        While Google’s desktop PC ad empire crumbles
        Google has done nothing
        Android has become a slow follower
        confusing, flaw-riddled app permissions
        While it struggles to remain relevant
        failed implementation of Google Wallet
        Google is fighting to stay on iOS
        Google is completely locked out
        Even worse for Google…
        Google has merely
        There were also quality control issues and problems
        Google’s tentacles in iOS are getting cut off
        Even if Google’s catch-up efforts

        It’s better than The Onion.

      • melci

        You’re not reading your own links Ray. Your CIO link to Samsung only just squeaking past Apple in the premium segment in India last quarter says in the first line that Apple has held the top position in India for the last 7 quarters (that’s almost 2 years!). So much for Android “dominating” the premium market in that country.

        In other news Apple has captured an enormous 25% market share over the ENTIRE Chinese smartphone market, the largest market in the world.

        I’m afraid your argument is very weak as usual.

        Android – the largest market share of the unprofitable segment of the market.

      • Ray

        “Android “dominating” the premium market in that country.”
        Straw man again. I’ve never said that, just that Android is not only low-end but also competes in the high-end, being especially successful out of the US. As Apple is the only US smartphone manufacturer, it is logical they have the highest share in their home country.

        “Android – the largest market share of the unprofitable segment of the market.”

        Profits in handset sales are not very relevant for Google, they make money via advertisement, app and content purchase, cross-selling of other services (work apps, cloud storage, etc.), etc.
        Windows PC manufacturers never had high margins, and that did not stop Windows from becoming the standard OS for PCs in the 90s.

      • melci

        “I’ve never said that”.

        Let me quote you Ray:

        “In that country, “Android smartphones are dominating, not only the low and mid-end, but ALSO the premium segment.”
        Looks like you did.

        “Profits in handset sales are not very relevant for Google”
        They sure are for the actual manufacturers though – hence why heads have been rolling at Samsung since their profits started falling off a cliff.

        “they make money via advertisement, app and content purchase, cross-selling of other services (work apps, cloud storage, etc.), etc.”
        Actually, 90.3% of the revenue last year was advertising. Full stop. It’s a shame then isn’t it that iOS generates 75% of their mobile search revenue and that iOS generates 1,790% greater ROI than Android with Android users actually costing more than they bring in from advertising?

      • Ray

        “IN THAT COUNTRY”.Somehow you omitted that important qualifier…

        So you admit implicitly that profits in handset sales are not very relevant for Google. Now you understand better Google’s strategy, which has nothing to do with maximizing smartphone sales’ profits, but maximizing the volume and market share of Android devices. In fact, Google would prefer that Android OEMs sell their devices at cost, because lower-priced Android devices would maximize the number of Android devices sold and its market share.

        Google Play made around 4B in revenue last year and is estimated to make $6B+ this year. That’s a very healthy 50% CAGR. If you have followed the trend, you’d knew that Google used to make ~99% of its revenues from advertisement just a few years ago. And last year about 90%. You see where the trend is going…

      • melci

        “”IN THAT COUNTRY”.Somehow you omitted that important qualifier”

        …Actually, I included it – that is why I was criticising your comment about India.

        Tell me Ray. Why does Google want to maximise Android’s market share? Now tell me how well that is going in light of the fact that iOS provides such a huge percentage of their mobile revenue?

        In 2010, 96% of Google’s revenue came from Advertising – it’s taken them 4 years to get that needle down to 90.3%. That’s pretty a slow trend Ray, not helped by the fact that FaceBook Video and others are now encroaching so seriously on Youtube and other properties.

      • Ray

        Google wants to maximize Android’s market share because it provides many benefits:

        1) Android platform is a multi-sided platform where significant network effects are in play, both same-side and cross-side. Meaning that the more users they have, the more developers they will attract, and the more advertisers they will attract. Market share in markets where there are significant network effects and/or economies of scale is ACTUALLY VERY IMPORTANT. Apple knows that too, but they assume that they have a stronghold in the premium market that will last forever. However that depends on many variables totally out of their control: how well Google evolves Android, how well the 100+ OEMs building Android handsets innovate, etc. In the long run 100+ OEMs innovate more than 1 OEM (at least for sustaining innovation in a relatively mature market like smartphones). It already happened with the premium phablet market segment that was discovered by Android OEMs, and it will likely happen again with other innovations that will be dismissed as non-sensical or just plain crazy until millions of consumers vote with their wallets again. So their continued success in the premium market is TBD.

        2) It blocks other competitors like Microsoft, who has Bing, the leading competing search engine. Every new smartphone user that gets an Android smartphone, doesn’t get a Windows one.

        3) It is a fantastic distribution channel. No company in history has had a content distribution channel with 2B users. Yes, there is fragmentation, and Chinese Android, but still the ones that are Google’s Android are a huge user base.

        4) It allows Google to get data and learn a lot about consumer habits, advertising segments, population trends, etc. Google is not shy about its mission to organize the world’s information, and that requires having data, a lot of it.
        In fact Google has a much better set of data set about the smartphone market trends that Apple has, because they play and have phones deployed in all segments, not just the high-end segment. Just like Intel has the best data regarding data center market trends (even better than market research companies like Gartner), because they have a ~90% market share in that market.

        5) It has a great potential for cross-selling Google services, both to consumers and businesses. Google can sell gmail for businesses, cloud file storage, premium photo storage, cloud computing resources (IaaS, PaaS) that work well with Android, content services (Google already makes $4B+ on Google Play, growing at a ~50% CAGR!), etc.

        6) It is a great base to extend Google to other computing markets like cars (Android for Auto), homes (Nest), IoT (Android for wearables, Brillo), etc.

        7) It could be a direct source of revenues in the future if needed. There is nothing preventing Google to decide start charging a license to OEMs in the future, once the smartphone market has finished the high-growth adoption phase and it’s in a more mature phase. Right now they don’t do it because it’s in their interest to grab land as fast as possible (and price = 0 maximizes that speed), but in the future since Apple doesn’t seem to be willing to license iOS, Google could provide the only mature smartphone OS that OEMs can use, and charge as much as they wanted (within limits of course to prevent OEMs to develop their own OS). If Google had charge $10 for each Android license last year, they’d already have a $10B business right there.

        These are just some benefits, as there are more and the benefits and possibilities a company has when controlling a platform covering 80% of the world’s population that can afford a smartphone (and growing long-term) are endless.

      • melci

        1) “the more users they have, the more developers they will attract, and the more advertisers they will attract”

        And yet iOS continues to have 70% more developer revenue (up from 60% last year) and far more advertising ROI (1,790%).

        “economies of scale is ACTUALLY VERY IMPORTANT”

        After a certain point which iOS passed years ago, the demographic of a user base is far more important when it continues to be the case that the entire Android platform generates far less revenue, profits and Network effects than the smaller iOS platform.

        “(Apple) assume that they have a stronghold in the premium market that will last forever.”

        No, that is why they are continually working to improve their features, services and sat rates. Android helps to stop them getting complacent.

        2) “It blocks other competitors like Microsoft, who has Bing, the leading competing search engine.”

        If Apple decides to switch to Bing as their default search engine, in one fell swoop, Google could could lose up to 75% of the mobile search revenue that is currently generated by their mobile Safari deal with Apple. The growing use of Siri also directly impacts this space as Apple already uses Bing for that. iOS continues to be significantly more important to Google than Android on this count.

        3) “No company in history has had a content distribution channel with 2B users.”

        Actually, less than 12 months ago, Google announced they only had 1 Billion active users after 6+ years of Android’s existence.
        In contrast, no company in history has had a *paying* distribution channel nearing 1 Billion active users, with the majority having credit cards attached as Apple does with its iTunes/App Store user base.

        Amazon only boasts 243 million credit cards, Paypal 152M, Pandora 76M, Neflix 50M.

        4) “It allows Google to get data and learn a lot about consumer habits, advertising segments, population trends”

        This is true.

        5) “It has a fantastic potential for cross-selling Google services, both to consumers and businesses.”

        Google has some great services, but their reach into Business is in spite of Android not because of it, considering Apple’s 77% Mobile Business market share and 92% Business tablet market share.

        6) “It is a great base to extend Google to other computing markets like cars (Android for Auto), homes (Nest), IoT (Android for wearables, Brillo), etc.”

        True to an extent, but it hasn’t helped them in the wearables market with Apple selling more smartwatches in the first day than Android Wear managed in 12 months. It also didn’t help them in Mobile Payments where Apple walked in and grabbed two thirds of the market in only the first couple of months with Apple Pay.

        7) “It could be a direct source of revenues in the future if needed” Samsung has already switched to Tizen in their smartwatches and Amazon with their forked Android. As soon as Google starts to try and directly make money off OEM licensees, I think we’ll see a very large exodus of manufacturers heading over to AOSP and bye bye to Google services income.

        As you can see, Android has not been delivering on the promises that its large market share supposedly guaranteed.

      • Ray

        1) Looking at current spot results is a lagging indicator of future performance. To estimate future performance, you need to look at the trend (movement of the results). iOS has a lead on number of apps, total dollars, and dollars per user. However, in all dimensions that lead is getting smaller. In fact there are already more apps in Android than iOS store. The Android platform has increased OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS in all indicators.

        2) So how that does prove that more market share is not good for Google in this aspect?

        3) Again, what is not good for Google is good for Apple, right? You are trapped in your binary thinking, can’t escape!

        5) Illogical statement. The higher Android market share, the more cloud services sold. Clear correlation.

        6) Samsung has not switched to Tizen for their smartphones because they have no ecosystem, the ecosystem belongs to Google. Amazon’s smartphone is a failure.

        The benefits hold, and the larger Android market share gets, the more intense these benefits are.

      • melci

        1) Android has 1.5 M un-curated apps compared to iOS on 1.4 M curated apps. Android’s slight lead is completely misleading and irrelevant. iOS dev revenue is 70% greater than Android’s up from 60% last year. The iOS lead is getting bigger now that Apple’s Carrier base is closer to Android’s in size.

        2) It proves the value of each user is more important than the number of users – particularly when Android users cost more than they return. In advertising (90% of Google’s revenue), Android users are liabilities according to Nanigans.

        3) You’re not reading my comment Ray. Apple has by far the largest PAYING user base (nearing 1 Billion active users) on the planet with Amazon second on 243 M. Google is nowhere to be found on this ranking.

        5) Illogical rebuttal. The higher Android market share has had zero correlation on Business Mobile or tablet share.

        6) And yet Samsung has sold more Tizen smartwatches than all of Android Wear devices and of course Apple’s Watch has completely obliterated all of them including Android offerings. As I said (and you ignored), Android’s large market share has been absolutely of no use whatsoever in the wearables market or in mobile payments

      • Ray

        1) Of course relevant. Then you take a result from a few last quarters and project it forever, ignoring the previous underlying trend and all logic.
        2) Having more users is bad for Google. Brilliant. I think they should replace their Android phones with Windows or iOS. That’d be a gain, right?
        3) Unrelated fact. Good for Apple, but unrelated. Again, binary thinking.
        5) Good technologies says that Android tablet m/s in enterprise is increasing and Apple’s is decreasing. For the nth time, it’s the TREND that’s important.
        6) There is no significant ecosystem yet in wearables. Very few apps. That’s why Samsung can push Tizen there, while it’s a dead-end in smartphones. This is proof of the power of the scale of an ecosystem. Again, you end up your argument with a data point that shows that Apple is great, even if it had nothing to do with the discussion. You just can’t control your fanboy instincts.

      • melci

        1) Your looking at old data Ray. It’s the current TREND that is important and that is up from 60% to 70% ahead of Android.

        2) Sure is bad for advertising clients who lose money on every Android user but make money on every iOS user. Google doesn’t lose money as their clients pay them the same for every click-thru, but heaven forbid they lose their default mobile search position on iOS.

        3) Shows that Android’s large unit market share hasn’t translated into paying users. Bad for Google and bad for your argument that market share trumps all.

        5) BONG! Wrong again Ray – you’re ignoring the TREND again. Good Technology reports that:

        – Q4 2014 iOS INCREASED from 69 percent to 73 percent of all Business Mobile activations during the quarter
        – Q1 2015 iOS increased again to 81% Business mobile share.

        6) Not for want of trying. Google has failed at taking advantage of its large market share and Apple has walked in again and shown them all how its done.
        So much for, let me quote you: “It is a great base to extend Google to other computing markets … IoT (Android for wearables)”

      • Ray

        1) No.
        Current TREND sounds “oxymoronic”. This seems like a bad answer to a GMAT question, trying to project what company X will do in the future based on the last 3 quarters, and ignoring the last 5 years, or the minor data point supplied in the question that Google Play does not play in China. If you make this assertion in front of any company executive, you show lack of logic and will lose credibility immediately.

        2) Then advertisers should go elsewhere. They are losing money, they must be stupid.

        3) Not all iOS accounts are paying users, in fact you know that a minority are. iTunes is shrinking. Many cancelled or expired credit cards.

        5) You haven’t even read what I wrote. I’ll copy the full assessment from Good Technologies:
        “Specific to tablets, iOS maintained its lead with 81 percent of all activations in the quarter. After checking in with 92 percent during the same quarter last year, iOS SURRENDERED MARKET SHARE to Android and Windows, which GREW to 15 percent and 4 percent of the total tablet market share, respectively, in Q1 2015. This demonstrates a *CONTINUING TREND* of increasing diversity in the tablet marketplace.”
        See the trend? They even called it out.

        Also, this data is from a company based in the Bay Area, whose results are obviously skewed towards iOS as most of their customers are in the Bay Area and US, the country that has only 1 major OEM called Apple and where iOS has the largest market share. So obviously the actual % is lower globally. Frost & Sullivan has other surveys where actually Android has a much higher %.

        6) Binary thinking of a fanboy. You obviously don’t understand Google’s position, business model or strategy. You spend so much time reading Apple vs. Google articles (where Apple always wins of course) that can’t understand the industry or any other company that is not Apple.
        Also, you failed to understand that the IoT market essentially does not exist yet. It’s in a very early stage with mostly few customers, few apps and unproven products and business models. Even the Apple Watch has sold very few units despite the global launch and massive marketing campaign. That product category is still a technology push looking for a clear value proposition for the consumer.

      • melci

        1) 5 year trends eh Ray? I think you’d fit right in with the company executives of Nokia, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm who were all fixated on the past 5 years and couldn’t see the locomotive bearing down on them. Android is not in danger of collapse, but it certainly is in danger of a plateau due to a significantly more competitive Apple.

        You highlight that Google Play does not operate in China, yet ignore the data point that previous iPhone sales were depressed because of unavailability to the 815 M China Mobile customers.

        2) Heh, now there’s a business plan for an advertiser – only market to iOS users. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. 🙂

        3) Wrong. Apple’s iTunes/App Store accounts are ACTIVE and growing and most have credit cards attached. Here’s where Apple’s user accounts were at back in April 2014:

        http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/23/itunes-now-has-nearly-800-million-accounts-most-with-credit-cards-attached/
        “In June of last year, Apple announced that over 575 million accounts had been created for iTunes. Just 10 months later, they’ve grown that number by nearly forty percent.
        On the Apple earnings call today, Tim Cook announced that they were just about to surpass their 800 millionth iTunes account. If my quick calculations are correct, that’s a growth rate of something like 710,000 accounts per day. Continuing at this rate, iTunes could easily find its billionth user in less than a year.”

        “The crazy part? The vast majority of those accounts have credit cards attached to them. That’s nearly 800 million accounts with one-click purchase access on things like the App Store.”

        Since that time, Apple has sold another 300+ million iOS devices with between half and two thirds being to new users. I’ll let you add that up.

        4) My error, I mixed up iPad sales with iPhones. Considering overall iPads sales have been falling, it is not surprising that Apple’s Business tablet share has also decreased a bit (4%) though 81% share is hardly catastrophic. It will be interesting to see how the Apple/IBM Mobile-First Alliance affects this figure going forward.

        In terms of Mobile Business share, the iPhone grew from 69% in Q3 2015 to 73% in Q4 while Android dropped from 29% to 25%. The iPhone did dip 1% to 72% in Q1 2015 while Android ticked up 1% to 26%.

        So the iPhone grew 4% then dropped 1% over the last 3 quarters and still has 2.7x greater share than Android. Hardly a ringing endorsement of Android’s larger unit market share.

        Good Technology is not alone in reporting iOS dominance in Business and in fact the other sources are all trending UP not down.

        Citrix’s Enterprise Mobility Cloud Report shows that iOS has GROWN from 58% of all smartphone and tablet enterprise mobility management deployments (62% in the USA) in 2012 to 64% worldwide in the first half of 2015. Android has plunged from 35% of all deployments in 2012 to 26% in 2015.
        https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/products-solutions/citrix-mobile-analytics-report-february-2015.pdf

        Intermedia’s Mobile Trends Report shows that Apple’s share of Small to Medium Business has increased from 65% in 2011 to 68% in 2014. Android languishes on 26%. Notice the long term trends? 🙂
        http://www.intermedia.net/report/mobile-trends2015

        Egnyte reported in 2013 that Apple’s iOS mobile business market share increased from 69% to 78% while Android declined from 30% the previous year to only 22% (I can’t find later data for Egnyte but you don’t like recent data do you? 🙂

        6) Actually, Apple has sold more Watches at launch than either the iPhone or the iPad with Morgan Stanley on May 20 reporting increasing interest with a projected 36 M to be sold in the first year, far surpassing both first year iPhone sales (5.4 M) and the iPad (19M). In contrast, Android Wear managed a dreadfully low 720,000 smartwatch sales in its first 12 months. Your problem Ray is thinking a market doesn’t exist because Google has failed miserably at creating it.

        Binary thinking of a fanboy indeed.

      • Ray

        With all due respect, there is no point on further discussion because you obviously have no interest in understanding objectively where the industry is going. You obviously like Apple, a lot, so much that you choose to spend time part of your time reading websites like Appleinsider. Static data does not tell you anything about where the industry is going, it is a lagging indicator that tells you how the industry performed in the past until now. It seems you can’t understand that looking at the data THAT MATTERS TO TRY TO FORECAST the future, there are several stats that are positive for the Android platform. Market share, unit growth, etc. are extremely important in platform businesses. Google knows that very well and keeps the friction for Android adoption to the minimum (Android license price = 0, low-margin devices, quick app store submission and approval, signing up as many OEMs as possible, etc.). This has help them block Microsoft/Bing almost completely (which was their main goal) and is now helping them close the gap with Apple.

        You took my analogy from the 90s PC industry to illustrate that it is not a product build quality that wins in a
        platform business model, but the rate of growth of the platform complements, and twisted it to talk about how Mac in 2015 has many apps and accessories. This might or might not be true, but it’s completely unrelated to the analogy. Whatever argument is made, you will end up in some unrelated data point that proves your belief main that, well, Apple is the best.

        What is a clear sign that you are completely biased? The fact that you cannot admit a single positive stat, when that stat is attached to the word Android. That’s exactly how blogs like Appleinsider work: publish and discuss extensively every single positive stat that favors Apple, and find ways to undermine and twist every single positive stat that favors Android to turn it into another positive data point for Apple. Of course, for the believer, everything points at the obvious fact that, well, Apple is the best and will always be. And if you think that besides the bias Appleinsider has good data points to understand the industry, then you should spend equal time on sites like Android Central or Phandroid, because they have also good data points (that of course typically favor Android). E.g: the most engaging app store in the world is not Apple’s iOS, or Google Play, it is another Android app store: Baidu, which now has the most downloads of any other app store in the world. This is not download $, but definitely can be turned into a great profitable machine for developers with other business models (in-app sales, advertisement, freemium, etc.). Google might not benefit directly from this, but it does benefit indirectly as it attracts more developers to develop for Android instead of iOS. Those developers who are somewhat successful will definitely publish their apps too in Google Play to expand internationally. Interesting data point, isn’t it? You won’t find that on appleinsider, or will find it only to illustrate how “Google has lost control of Android and they are both doomed”.

        And if you want to evaluate is whether iOS or Android is better as a product (not a platform) for you, then you should at least own and use frequently high-end iOS and Android devices. I do. Have you owned any high-end Android device in the last couple of years? If not, then you just don’t have data points to provide an objective assessment. Based on rants from Appleinsider or Tim Cook’s car salesmen arguments about how Android is infested with malware, fragmentation, viruses and bad omen from ancient civilizations are not data points for an objective personal assessment. Get a high-end Android handset, use it extensively for a few months, and then you’ll be able to understand the things that you cannot do on iOS that you can do on Android, and viceversa.

        I completely agree that many of the data points you provided about Apple are positive for Apple. It is well known that iOS has monetized better for advertisers and developers than Android. It is well known that five years ago Android was an inferior smartphone and tablet OS. It is well known that Apple focuses on the high-end, and logically, do well on that segment as it is the segment they play and focus on, otherwise they would not have been the successful company they have been so far.

        I’ve also said that iPad sales are down mainly because the tablet product category has a much longer replacement cycle that smartphones and is being partially cannibalized by smartphones. I took news that are potentially negative regarding Apple performance, and explained them in the context of the overall trend in the industry, turning it actually a problem with the category, not with Apple’s product or performance. You see? I’m more interested in understanding the industry than on cheering on my favorite team. There is no intellectual value on that. In fact, my “favorite team” in this case is not Android, personally I would prefer that Windows would have a larger share of the smartphone market, not because I love Windows or Microsoft, but because as consumers would benefit by having three mature platforms to chose from, instead of two. However, the long-term trends that are happening to the Android platform, their higher relative speed in many stats that MATTER TO FORECAST THE FUTURE (which have to be the evolution of data points over time, not data points frozen in time like the ones you provide) point to a world where Android becomes the dominant platform in all smartphone segments (it is already in the low-end and mid-range).

        I have no problem admitting there are many positive stats about Apple’s performance and position in the market. That’s because I don’t have an emotional attachment to Google or Android or Apple or Microsoft or any other IT company. If you want to be able to do valuable industry analysis, you need to dettach yourself from your personal preferences or convictions from the analysis, otherwise you end up with the wrong biased conclusions. I understand it’s difficult, because even a very intelligent and data-based analyst like Horace Dediu struggles with that. He’s been forecasting the demise of Android since 2010, and counting. And Android just keeps reducing the gap (or surpassing) iOS in most metrics.

        For instance, Horace Dediu tweets things like this “on Apple Maps (but applies broadly to products): don’t measure what it is; measure how fast it’s getting better”. What he is acknowledging is that it is the speed of improvement that matters. Applying the same logic to the platforms: yes iOS platform is superior in monetization to Android platform, but Android is getting better much faster. You need to be consistent with logic, otherwise you are biased.

        The point I made is that Android is improving FASTER than iOS in most of the metrics that matter. This is actually not so much due to the fact that Google has done a much better job than Apple at improving the product, but to the fact that Google is just constantly benefitting from powerful network effects due to the sheer scale that act like gravity for Android planet: relatively increasing number of developers, increasing interest from developers, increasing number of OEMs, increasing models of high-end Android phones, increasing $ on downloads the Google Play store, increasing number of apps submitted, increasing number of apps downloaded, increasing advertising $, etc. All these relative increases are essentially fueled by the huge and growing volume of Android device sales.

        As Horace Dediu said, to understand where we are going, don’t measure what it is, measure how fast it’s getting better. This is particularly true in platform businesses whose value increases exponentially due to network effects.

      • melci

        You’ve turned into a broken record haven’t you Ray re-posting exactly the same long comment verbatim without addressing my reasoned responses to it. That’s not very mature.

      • melci

        WSJ: “Apple’s App Store increased its revenue lead by 10 percentage points over Google’s Play Store in the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest numbers from App Annie obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The App Store’s revenue was also almost 70% higher than the Play Store”

        Yep, I see where that trend is going. 🙂

      • Ray

        It seems you don’t even understand what a trend is. Movements of sales or market share in a quarter or two do not provide any information about trends. It’s the movement over many quarters or years that can tell you where things are going.

        “The Google Play store does not operate officially in mainland China.” As you probably know, Google pulled out of China due to ethical reasons as it didn’t want to collaborate with a dictatorship that censors media and oppresses its own citizens.

        So Apple increases app revenues due to smartphone market share growth in the only large country in the world where Google does not operate (thanks to a deal with China Mobile that happens, you know, only once), and you take that as evidence of a long-term trend of iOS app store gaining revenue over Google Play.

        You forget to read that: “Google Play had more app downloads and its lead was growing. The Google Play store also was catching up to Apple’s App Store in revenue generated.”

        So the long-term trend, as everyone knows, is that Google Play was catching up. Once you satisfy the pent-up demand for iPhones in China, that LONG-TERM trend might likely continue.

      • melci

        Ray, It has been 6 years since Android came out and 5 years since Android passed Apple in unit sales market share and yet iOS still generates 70% greater developer revenue than Android and trending up now.

        You seem to be under the very strange idea that this is solely due to China Mobile’s 800 million users who will mysteriously suddenly stop buying iPhones despite them having been buying grey market iPhones for years and despite the continuing stream of new middle class Chinese entering the market.

        Let me enlighten you that iPhone sales have also surged around the world.

        http://www.counterpointresearch.com/applepulsenov2014

        “Apple’s iPhone market share soared and reached record levels in Japan and Korea markets.”
        “No foreign brand has gone beyond the 20% market share mark in the history of Korea’s smartphone industry. … If there was a better supply of iPhone 6 & 6 Plus 64GB & 128GB models (popular SKUs*) during the month then Apple’s share could have climbed to the 40% level.” The iPhone hit 33% market share in Korea up from 3% YoY.

        And the iPhone surge hasn’t abated now over 6 months after the iPhone 6 release, as of April 2015, according to Kantar, Apple’s iPhone sales continue at record levels:
        – UK (36% market share up from 29% YoY)
        – Australia (37% up from 28%)
        – Germany (17% up from 12%)
        – Italy (16% up from 12%)

        I could go on.

      • Ray

        Yes, Apple finally launched a phablet and now they are addressing a market segment that they were ignoring before.

        It is well covered by most analysts that the main drivers for the surge in iPhone sales over the last two quarters are:
        – Deal with China Mobile
        – Launch of a phablet

        Asians love phablets, and finally Apple decided to launch one.

      • melci

        Indeed, and as I demonstrate above you are now looking at a new higher market share normal for the iPhone thanks to Apple filling the phablet hole in their line-up and gaining access to a much larger Carrier user base with no top-off in sight.

      • Ray

        Agree. But M/S still lower than 2012, which I actually did not expect until I saw the data. Too many OEMs to compete with, when Samsung does not do great, others pick up the tab I guess.

      • melci

        Irrelevant as all the average iPhone market share figure is doing is yo-yo-ing between around 18% to 15% and back to 18%. More importantly iPhone sales have increased by 54% in that time.

      • Ray

        Android smartphone sales have increased more than 54% in that time, and way more in absolute number of units. iOS market share in 2012 was over 21%, and it has never recovered.

        It’s relative growth what matters in multi-sided platforms fueled by network effects. iOS growth is lower than Android’s in that period.

      • melci

        Not when Android growth is in markets that do not benefit the Android ecosystem.

        With iOS users generating 1,790% greater Advertising ROI than Android users, it would require that Android market share to be hundreds of times larger than iOS to make up the difference. Though the fact that Android users cost more than they generate means that Android would never catch up.

        In terms of e-commerce revenue, Android would need to be 5x larger than it is to beat iOS but with Android growth flat trending down and iOS share constant trading up that is not going to happen either.

        In terms of Business Marketshare, iOS’s continual share of around 77% in mobile and 90+% in tablets means Android would gain need to be vastly larger than it is but that ain’t going to happen.

      • Ray

        No it doesn’t. Network effects work exponentially, not linearly. There is a tipping point, also well studied in platform theory, check out the papers of the current Stanford GSB Dean, after which the growth of one platform accelerates exponentially due to network effects.

        So Android doesn’t need to be a hundred times larger, far from that.

        Again, what counts in platforms is relative growth. This is why Facebook paid a ton of money for Whatsapp, because it was the fastest growing platform in history, even if, all the numbers that matter, other platforms could at that time be generating more revenue.

      • melci

        Apple’s iOS has of course been growing and has been sitting at an average of 15%market share for the last two years and has been doing great and is now trending upwards. In fact, sitting at 15% it has continued to obliterate Android in Ad ROI, e-commerce revenue, App revenue etc.

        Apple doesn’t need to “recover” to 20% market share as it has proven to be more than large enough to beat Android in the metrics that matter even though Android unit shipments are that much larger. You need to cease your binary thinking – Apple doesn’t have to lose for Google to win. 🙂

        ie. Apple has been growing at the same rate as Android as it has maintained that 15% share for the past 2 years and now is growing even larger thanks to increased Carrier reach with China Mobile’s 800 million subscribers and options in the popular phablet segment.

        The iOS ecosystem with half a Billion devices sold in the last 8 quarters and close to 1 Billion active iTunes/App Store users of the richest demographic in the world is not going anywhere.

        Apple demonstrates it is not how many nodes you have in your Network that is important, it is how many VALUABLE nodes you have in your Network.

      • Ray

        Even Android sales in China benefit the overall Android platform (Google + OEMs)

        Ecosystem is not just Google Play store.

        Ecosystem includes all the developers that know how to code Android apps, tools that are created to make that faster and easier, physical accessories produced for those phones, wearables that work with Android phones, apps produced by developers in China for AOSP that then end up uploaded in Google Play internationally too, etc.

        You’re oversimplifying when saying that some Android growth does not benefit Android ecosystem. It benefits in all markets, of course more in Google Play markets.

      • melci

        Again, your Vision Mobile report indicates that despite Android’s much greater unit sales market share, in terms of number of developers, Apple is neck and neck with 37% vs 40%.

        “At the premium end of the market, Apple is growing their share of device sales. One of the strongest markets for local Android content, China, is Apple’s second largest market. Samsung is the main contender in premium Android but Apple finally made the jump to larger screens and removed the Korean giant’s largest differentiator. ”

        “The iOS ecosystem appears to have a lock on the high end that will be hard to break”

        I’m afraid your own favourite sources are contradicting your argument Ray.

      • Bart

        Google has no overall platform, just a fractured mess of mostly un-updateable phones for people who don’t care much about phones to begin with. It’s enough for them to say it’s ‘like an iPhone’. Oh, goody!

        Also, ecosystem? For Google? That’s a figment of your imagination–there isn’t one. As long as they are getting your data, they could care less what device you are using (and they aren’t selling enough hardware to be relevant in the first place).

      • Bart

        I think it was offset by the memory stick market, and you have exceedingly bogus data on which to base your fantastic assumptions.

      • Ray

        All analysts point out that the surge on demand for iPhones has had two main drivers:
        1) Launch of a phablet (there was pent-up demand for this, and even some iPhone users had switched to Android, some of them now switching back)
        2) Deal with China Mobile

        This is not my opinion, but equity analysts who cover Apple for years and have access to all kind of sales numbers they can cross-reference.

        No one will suddenly stop buying iPhones, but those consumers who are now buying their first iPhone in China, or their first iPhone phablet elsewhere, will not buy another one next quarter. It will take 2-3 years until they buy another one on average. Which means that the sales level go down into a device replacement mode. This is exactly what happens seasonally on Q2/ Q3 every year as you can see on IDC’s data:
        http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-os-market-share.jsp

        It already started happening in 2015Q1 as you can see, albeit in a lower magnitude because the pent-up demand was very high and as you know present-buying season in China is different.

        The long-term trend of Google Play growing faster than iOS store has been happening for the last five years, and there is nothing to indicate that this trend will permanently reverse, regardless of iPhone 6 sales, given that market share of iOS is still lower than in 2012, even in the monster quarter that Apple had in 2014Q4.

        Again, you are looking at a short-term surge, and somehow projecting it into the future with no rationale for that. Market share of Android is still higher than in 2012, so nothing indicates that the app store trend will suddenly reverse.

      • melci

        Ray, Already those very analysts you are referring to are predicting ongoing bumper iPhone sales continuing all the way into 2016. Here’s what Pacific Crest has to say:

        “iPhone demand appears to have remained solid in recent months, which, along with checks at suppliers, suggests the potential for Apple to sell 50 million to 52 million iPhones in FQ3 versus our estimate of 46.8 million.”
        That means iPhone sales look like surging a massive 63% YoY in Q2. you’d better not complain that word isn’t justified considering that magnitude. So much for your supposed fall in iPhone sales back to previous levels.

        Android’s exponential market share growth rate has plateaued in the last year and dropped from a high of 84% in 2014 Q2 to 78% in Q1 2014 as your IDC figures demonstrate. You don’t seem to realise that your argument actually works more strongly the other way.

        iPhone sales were indeed artificially flattened in the years before the launch of the iPhone 6 exactly because of the lack of a phablet size and the lack of availability amongst the nearly 1 Billion subscribers of the largest carrier in the world. What this means is that current iPhone sales are now setting the new normal level as the continuing demand for the iPhone 6 shown by Kantar’s April figures demonstrate.

        If you thought that all pent-up demand for the iPhone would be sated in just 2 quarters, you evidently don’t understand that not everyone is finishing their previous phone contracts at the same time or comprehending the magnitude and speed of growth of the Chinese middle classes.

        Google Play revenue growth is in no way assured in this new world where the iPhone is competing on a more even play field (phablet and carrier availability) as the latest figures from ABI and the WSJ of a widening gap up to 70% indicates.

      • Ray

        Sales already went down in 2015Q1 versus 2014Q4. Again, not as much as previous years as discussed, but they went down. Which means that market share won’t surpass 2012 market share. Sure there are more users getting a phablet in the next few quarters, so the surge will take a few quarters to come down.

        Nothing is assured, except network effects. The strength will mainly depend on Apple’s market share (and other factors), which is still lower than in 2012. I was actually surprised to find that out, I thought Apple’s massive Q4 had changed that, but it hasn’t.

      • melci

        Of course iPhones sales went slightly down in the post-Christmas quarter. That’s what seasonality is all about. However, you again ignore the fact that this slight decrease was still up a huge 36% YoY and you ignore the analysts who are indicating this increase is continuing into 2016.

        Your silly meme about iPhone market share being down from around 18% in 2012 to around 15% and now back up to 18% is completely irrelevant since in that time iPhone sales have grown from 136 million in 2012 to 210 million in the last 4 quarters.

        More importantly though, the iOS platform overall has grown to over half a Billion iOS devices sold in the last 8 quarters and with closing on 1 Billion active iTunes/App Store users represents a platform that irrefutably stands on its own two feet and continues to dominate Android in all the metrics that matter. Market share is completely irrelevant at this scale when Apple’s demographic is so much more lucrative than Androids.

      • Ray

        At 78% market share, that means Android has sold~900 MILLION handsets in the last four quarters.

        Again, given Apple’s relatively small market share, any numbers they post have to be compared with Android’s numbers which are over 4 times larger.

        Relative growth is what matters when trying to predict the future position of platforms.

      • melci

        Irrelevant as they have contributed far less to the Android platform in metrics that matter than the 277 million iOS devices sold in the last 4 quarters.

      • Ray

        Relative growth is what matters. Long-term trend is that Google Play is growing faster than iOS in both nunber of apps AND Dollars. Those metrics matter a lot.

        You can’t try to forecast the future of an industry by looking at static picture, or the last two quarters when Apple launches its flagships. You nees to look at the movement over a few years, and that movement is clear.

        No need to repeat any data point that is just a picture in time and more importantly a lagging indicator of future performance.

      • melci

        The number of Apps in the Google Play store is irrelevant as 30% of them are spamware and poor quality ports of iOS apps. Because Android developers don’t need to pay anything and are not vetted, they can and do upload any old junk. In contrast Apple has by far the most quality Educational titles, the most Business apps, the most top tier games and developers continue to target iOS first and then Android gets a port if you’re lucky.

        After 6 years, Google Play is still 70% behind Apple in 3rd party developer revenue and with the latest surge in iOS revenue that will only continue for the foreseeable future.

      • Ray

        Even if 30% is spamware (source?), the number of apps is never irrelevant.

        Again, you’re talking about what Apple has (a picture in time), not about the growth speed, which is what is relevant when comparing platform businesses.

        To forecast the future, you need to look at speeds of growths, not static gaps with are a lagging indicator and provide no information on where things are going.

        Nokia had millions of users in 2007, and a massive lead over Apple. If I had judged the situation just taking a picture, I’d say Nokia would continue dominating. But even though Apple was way behind, it was growing at a faster speed, both in volume of buyers and in ecosystem. Where is Nokia now?

      • melci

        Nokia never had similar dominance in manufacturer profit share, number of developers, number of apps, dev revenue, web browser share, e-commerce revenue, Ad revenue and profit, peripherals, accessories etc. They simply had massive numbers of cheap glorified featurephones.

        Nokia’s devastating fall is a sober lesson in the importance of the metrics that actually matter for Android.

        In terms of rate of growth, you’re looking at old data. Get with the program. Apart from the WSJ data showing iOS gaining 10% in dev revenue share to 70% in 2015, here’s what your favourite Vision Mobile Dev Report has to say:

        “Slow but steady, iOS developer mindshare declines
        over recent years have reversed; they’re now back up to 54%”.

      • Ray

        Every non-Apple product is a glorified something to you.

        We have discussed already the WSJ, you repeat the short-term trend that favors Apple and ignore the long-term trend that favors Android. Selective reading skills.

      • Bart

        LOL, Android is losing share to Apple. That’s a bad trend for Google either way.

      • Bart

        Google Play is a lemonade stand, compared to the App store.

      • Ray

        The have contributed more in network effects. Hundreds of millions more eyeballs, attracting thousands of developers and advertisers.

        Last year there were already many more Android apps.
        This year total Android ad revenue is surpassing iOS’.
        http://operamediaworks.com/innovation-and-insights/state-of-mobile-advertising

        Android’s ecosystem speed is higher.

      • melci

        1) Incorrect. As of May 2015, there were 1.5 Million Android apps vs 1.4 million iOS apps, but 30% of Android apps are spamware according to AppBrain. http://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/

        2) Incorrect (that’s only on Opera). a study of 200 billion ads on Facebook by Nanigans, one of the biggest buyers of Facebook ads found that mobile ads on iPhone generate 1,790 percent more return on investment than ads on Android. Even worse, advertising on Android actually costs more than it returns.
        “Retailers are realizing significantly greater return from audiences on iOS than audiences on Android,” the report says. “For the first three quarters of 2013, RPC [revenue per click] on iOS averaged 6.1 times higher than Android and ROI [return on investment] on iOS averaged 17.9 times higher than Android.”

        3) Here’s what your favourite Vision Mobile Developer report has to say.

        “It turns out that Android is not even the second best platform for revenues. [after iOS] … Android developers look poor in comparison with 55% earning less than $500 per month from the platform and just 19% earning more than $5,000 per month. In fact, the revenue distribution for Android-first developers doesn’t look much better than that for those targeting BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone either. Since the user base for Android is more than an order of magnitude bigger, this is astonishing.”

        “Speculation that Android’s overwhelming market share would eventually tempt top iOS developers to switch their priorities seem to have been unfounded. If anything, the reverse is likely to happen as the app economy continues to mature.”

        Ray says: “Android’s ecosystem speed is higher.” Whatever that means!

        WSJ: “Apple’s App Store increased its revenue lead by 10 percentage points over Google’s Play Store in the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest numbers from App Annie obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The App Store’s revenue was also almost 70% higher than the Play Store”

      • Ray

        There are so many logical gaps in that that I don’t even know where to start

        Let’s say that you ignore concepts like cost of opportunity, looking at just at averages in statistics instead of buckets or cohorts, the difference between short-term and long-term trends, buying future options to play, correlation versus causation, etc.

        The day you are able to put yourself in the shoes of the CEO of Google or Samsung, and understand what are their business models, what are the threats and challenges they have, what are the opportunities and growth engines… then you will be able to understand their strategies and how they are succeeding or failing or doing ok. Until then, you will continue parsing studies and fanboy articles to look for data that confirms your viewpoint and the greatness of your favorite team.

      • Bart

        You ignore the spyware pretty easily, and so does Google. Hey, so long as they get their data, and more adverts on the Malwareplace. Who is going to complain when they are selling to people like you?

      • Bart

        Oh, so sales are down after the holiday quarter? LOL, alert the media…

      • melci

        “Windows PC manufacturers never had high margins, and that did not stop Windows from becoming the standard OS for PCs in the 90s.”

        And yet because iOS brings in the largest revenue for developers and accessories manufacturers from the closing on Billion-strong most lucrative user base in the world, it is iOS that is the standard OS for software development and peripheral manufacturers in the 00s.

        iOS continues to be the standard in Business (77% Mobile Business and 91% tablet market share) and Education (92% market share).

      • Ray

        You are in this binary mindset where Apple wins / Google loses. And you decide to spend your time reading fanboy sites that support your view, which only reinforces your belief in that.

        As explained, Google cares more about market share and installed base, rather than profits of handet of accessory manufacturers, because it serves their strategic goals better.

        No need to reply, because I know you will just write a few other positive stats about Apple from your repertoire instead of staying on topic and making the minimum effort to understand Google’s strategy.

      • melci

        No, Google is doing fine and it’s great that there is such vibrant competition in the mobile market. I wouldn’t want Apple to achieve majority unit market share worldwide as they need the on-going kick in pants that competitors provide to ensure they don’t get too arrogant or untouchable.

        Google now realises (unlike you it seems) that most of its mobile profit comes from iOS users hence why it continues to provide apps and services to Apple’s users even after it has been booted out of the privileged position on Apple’s default app screen. Sure it is hedging its bets covering as wide a territory as possible with Android as they should.

        But make no mistake, your continued attempts at minimising the importance of the Apple ecosystem’s massive reach and benefit for 3rd parties does you a severe disservice.

        Oh, and beware your glasshouse comments criticising others for not “being on-topic” considering your multiple branches into criticising Apple’s Music push, bringing in Windows PCs, etc.

        However, your main problem is your tunnel vision thinking that unit sales market share is the be all and end all. You can’t seem to handle the fact that it is only a means to an end, not the end in itself.

      • Bart

        Samsung doesn’t pay him to read the links, only to post them.

      • Bart

        I think 99% of MSFT tech support is in India, too. So, now you say they prefer hideous rip offs when it comes to phones, too? Shocker…

      • art hackett

        Google cares… Interesting word combination.

      • Bart

        Keep posting links that no one is ever going to click. Google cares about collecting your data, and selling it to anyone who will pay for it.

      • Bart

        Who’s wave do you think Android is riding? LOL!

      • art hackett

        He didn’t “misunderstand” the comment. He’s just like the phone sales guy telling potential customers the non iPhone is an equivalent (or more likely, “better”), just cheaper.

      • Ray

        … says an objective reader with an Apple logo as an avatar

      • art hackett

        So, not sure if you have a point, or are you noticing I’m an objective reader (with an Apple based avatar). What if it was a bad robot avatar? Would that help or confuse? Maybe I should change it, so I don’t appear to be the generic terrorist with a terrible beard problem that DHS appears to target. Do you work for the DHS?

      • art hackett

        So, not sure if you have a point, or are you noticing I’m an objective reader (with an Apple based avatar)? What if it was a bad robot avatar? Would that help or confuse? Maybe I should change it, so I don’t appear to be the generic terrorist with a terrible beard problem that DHS appears to target. Do you work for the DHS?

      • Space Gorilla

        Total market share is the dumbest way to look at this. What you need to look at is segmentation. Does a $59 Android smartphone actually compete with an iPhone? Does a $79 Android tablet actually compete with an iPad? Of course not. That’s as dumb as believing a specific car buyer is deciding between a BMW 5 Sedan and a Nissan Micra. Both are within the total car market, but they are not in the same segment.

      • art hackett

        Dont you mean a Trabant? The Micra is more like a Nano and it’s insulting to Nissan.

      • Space Gorilla

        The Micra is the cheapest car I’m aware of, that’s all. I actually think the Micra is cool. I’m considering a Nissan Pathfinder, looks very nice.

      • art hackett

        A work colleague buys the pathfinders for towing his historic engines to shows and obviously finds them more than suitable. Getting the diesel?

      • Space Gorilla

        There’s a diesel Pathfinder? I had no idea. We have some diesel trucks and such on the farm, never been a fan of how much maintenance they require and how much more diesel fuel costs. There’s pros and cons of course.

      • Ray

        There is nothing dumb in looking at market share. You can look at market share in the total smartphone market. Or at market share in a specific segment. Or at market share in a specific country. They are all relevant metrics, none of them is dumb. From each one you can derive relevant insights that will help you understand the industry. That’s why industry analysis firms like IDC or Gartner publish all those and companies pay for that information. If it wasn’t relevant, companies would not pay for it.

        The facts are:
        – Android competes in the low-end, mid and high-end segments. All segments.
        – iOS competes mainly in the high-end smartphone segment

        In the overall smartphone market, Android has ~80% market share. Data from 2014 indicates that Android is the leading platform in all three segments, including the high-end:
        – In the low-end, Android had ~98% market share
        – In the mid-end, Android had ~90% market share
        – In the high-end, Android had ~60% market share

        http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kre-DNvM8K8/U_GUq2Ax_II/AAAAAAAAeUM/De3llgI8H28/s1600/Smartphone%2BSegmentation%2Bby%2BPrice.png

        Some Android smartphones do not compete directly with Apple’s (Xiaomi, ZTE, etc.), and some do (Samsung Galaxy, HTC, LG, etc.)

        In fact, the MOST EXPENSIVE smartphones in the market today ARE ANDROID.
        – Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge sells for $1,000+
        http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-SM-G925F-128GB-Emerald/dp/B00TX5QGEW/ref=pd_sim_sbs_107_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=1KBS19B8RHP1K442KVH2

        – Vertu sells luxury Android phones for $10,000+
        http://www.vertu.com/

        Yet, there is an illogical assumption being made often:
        Most volumes of Android devices sold are mid and low-end -> ALL Android devices are mid and low-end

        Following the automotive analogy that many like to use (even though it has limitations): if Apple is BMW (a company that focuses on mass premium segment), then Android is Volkswagen Group, covering ALL the segments from low-end to luxury:

        – Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti (Luxury)
        http://www.vertu.com/

        – Audi, Porsche (Mass Premium)
        http://www.samsung.com/us/expl

        – Volkswagen (Mass)
        http://www.gsmarena.com/motoro

        – Skoda (Low-end)
        http://consumer.huawei.com/en/

        There are millions of consumers (and businesses) who do have money and prefer a Bentley, a Porsche or an Audi to a BMW.

      • Space Gorilla

        I question your evidence of Android’s 60 percent share of the high end. I’ve seen much more data that says iOS is in the 70 to 80 percent share of the premium segment.

      • Ray
      • Space Gorilla

        Ben Bajarin does a lot of analysis along these lines, with multiple sources, including his own firm. He summed it up with a tweet “Apple has effectively “iPoded” the premium segment of the smartphone market. Others competing for minority share.”

        You can of course carve up segments according to different prices to get different results, meaning you can pretty much come up with the figures you want to. But Ben does some pretty good analysis of this. From what I’ve seen there really isn’t any debate that Apple is dominating the premium segment.

      • Ray

        There is definitely debate, especially globally, I just showed you data from IDC that shows that ~60% of high-end smartphones are Android.

        My point is that some readers keep dismissing Android smartphones as just low-end, which is far from truth. In fact there are more high-end Android phones sold than iPhones globally. Android covers all segments, from low-end to luxury (where iPhone is not even present)

        Apple dominates the profits, as they are able to charge very high margins since they have a monopoly in the iOS ecosystem, whereas Android OEMs compete fiercely with each other in specs and prices, which keeps their margins low. But Apple does not dominate market share, even in the high end.

        There is an easy way to “increase” the market size of Apple in the premium segment, which is defining that segment as containing only EXACTLY the price band where Apple iPhones fall, so that you can maximize the number of high-end Android smartphones that fall out of that band. With that trick you might be able to get 70% for iPhone, but it is obviously a misleading methodology designed to bump up that figure.

        Also, there is a clear confusion and certain bias since in its home country, the US, Apple has a higher market share (logically) than in the rest of the world, particularly Asia, which is the largest and fastest growing smartphone market. So global market size for Apple is always significantly lower than US market size.

      • Space Gorilla

        One of Ben’s sources is IDC. I trust his analysis of the data. He also has a lot more insider info than you and I could ever get.

        Keep an eye on China, Apple is doing incredibly well there in the premium segment.

      • Ray

        That’s all fine. Regardless of the specific percentage, the point I’m making is that Android is not limited to low-end or mid-range. It actually does quite well in the high-end as well.

        Currently there are at least several Android flagships that compete with Apple in the high-end (Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, HTC Mx, LG Gx, Sony Experia, Lenovo/Motorola…)

        Chinese vendors keep improving their hardware and moving up, so expect also high-end Android phones from Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi and other vendors in the next few years. The competition in the high-end is going to increase.

        Apple is doing well in China in the last quarters because they signed a deal with the largest mobile operator in the world last year (China Mobile with 600M+ subscribers) so now they have access to those subscribers. Once that pent-up demand is fulfilled, expect sales to go down to a typical 2-year phone replacement level. The same happened with Samsung around 2012 when they got massive distribution in China.

      • Space Gorilla

        “Regardless of the specific percentage, the point I’m making is that Android is not limited to low-end or mid-range. It actually does quite well in the high-end as well.”

        A lot of evidence says the opposite is true, that Android is ceding the premium segment to Apple. You’re simply choosing to ignore the evidence, which you’re free to do of course.

      • Ray

        Instead of saying “a lot of evidence”, you could point to the evidence via specific data.
        An uptick on sales because Apple released a larger phone addressing a market segment that they were ignoring before is not evidence of a long-term trend.

      • Space Gorilla

        I’m not playing the link game. It wouldn’t do any good. People generally have to discover things on their own. Start by reading some of Ben Bajarin’s analysis. Ben seems to be tracking this fairly closely.

      • Ray

        It’s not a game, it’s providing supporting data for your thesis, which is essential to have a useful discussion. Otherwise any random opinion goes and there is no value or learning on debating anything.
        I read many blogs covering the industry and one thing I do notice is that they tend to use data from the US market, which is actually the exception, not the rule, regarding platform adoption (as Apple is the only major US smartphone provider) and form their opinions based on that. The US is a relatively small market nowadays compared to Asia which is where most mobile gadgets are sold, and they have very different dynamics. For instance, Vision Mobile found that most app developers prioritize iOS in the US, but in Asia they prioritize Android.

      • Space Gorilla

        Then you should read some of Ben’s analysis, it is very global.

      • melci

        Actually, the USA is the second largest smartphone market in the world with China being the largest. In both markets Apple is the number 1 manufacturer and growing. (43% in the USA and 25% in China and growing).

        China Mobile’s 815 million subscribers (not 600) are not just suddenly going to stop buying iPhones (what a silly idea) – as they continue to surge into the Chinese middle classes, more and more are able to afford Apple’s aspirational products.

      • Bart

        Do your own research Ray. In your case, that would be reading Android websites and trolling the Apple ones, apparently.

      • melci

        There are not more premium Android devices sold than Apple, as attested by the fact that last year Apple captured 86% of the profits of the entire mobile industry up from 72% the year before.

        In the case of the leading Android manufacturer, Samsung, their actual number of premium phone sales out of their 74 million phones plummeted 51% last quarter leading to a massive 61% plunge in profit.

        60% of Android phones were sub-$200 glorified featurephones that contribute nothing to the Android ecosystem.
        http://www.businessinsider.com/android-iphone-market-share-by-price-2014-8

        Two thirds of Samsung phones were cheap and nasty glorified featurephones like the sub-$100 Galaxy Y with its 320×240 2.7” screen:
        http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/06/only-one-third-of-samsungs-smartphone-sales-are-in-the-class-of-apples-iphone-aapl

        Premium Samsung phone and tablet sales plunged 50% in 2014:
        http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/10/30/how-apple-inc-went-thermonuclear-on-samsung-erasing-androids-primary-profit-center-

      • Ray

        Your thesis is not attested by that fact, as that fact does not necessarily imply your thesis. Profits and market share are relatively independent.

        You keep throwing stats that are positive for Apple but have nothing to do with Android market share. You also switch Android for Samsung whenever is convenient to make a negative remark, even though as you know they are not the same. Samsung could disappear tomorrow and Android could keep growing, or viceversa.

        You also use words like nasty that have nothing to do with serious and relevant industry analysis, but are subjective opinions of a fanboy.

        The fact that you cite a fanboy website like appleinsider as your source for news and data is telling of your lack of willingness to have an objective and balanced understanding of the industry.

      • melci

        Now Ray, you continue to demonstrate your membership of the Church of Market Share by not understanding *why* Market share is usually important and why Android continues to fail to deliver the benefits that usually come from majority raw unit market share. That is very hollow analysis.

        With Samsung being the only Android manufacturer to deliver reliable (though sinking) profits for the last half a decade and being the largest individual Android manufacturer, it is absolutely relevant to compare them where appropriate.

        Anyone who doesn’t think the bottom of the range Android phones like the Galaxy Y are cheap and nasty obviously hasn’t tried one. I used a $79 Huawei X1 Android smartphone for 9 months and it was a prime example of this. It may have had 512MB of RAM like an iPhone 4, but it was far too resource-constrained to run any OS version later than Froyo and lacking a GPU it was so slow that everything took forever, web browsing was like molasses and apps ran like a dog and with a 320×240 resolution 2.8 inch screen it was impossible to read web pages or even email anyway.

        No wonder such a large number of Android devices are only used as glorified featurephones. Even Samsung’s premium phones still only license ARM’s low-end MALI graphics acceleration standards so even “premium” Android phones continue to trail Apple’s offerings in the majority of GPU benchmarks.

        Yes, AppleInsider is partisan, but Dilger’s articles contain some of the most deeply researched and substantiated analysis of the competitive landscape in the industry which you ignore at your peril.

      • Ray

        “Anyone who doesn’t think the bottom of the range Android phones like the Galaxy Y are cheap and nasty”
        1) You keep going off-topic. What’s your point? How does this have anything to do with Android’s position in the high-end segment?
        2) I wouldn’t call those smartphones nasty. In fact, it’s low-end Android smartphones that are providing to millions of people a life-changing event such as access to the Internet for the first time in their lives. I’ve witnessed myself in Kenya how $50 Nokia phones are revolutionizing the life of millions of poor farmers. Have no doubt that it’s these kind of low-end phones that are revolutionizing humankind. I don’t find anything nasty about it.

        AppleInsider cannot for the glory of G*d say a single positive thing about Google or Samsung. The writer who tries to do that or makes that mistake would be fired immediately 🙂 Every single data in the article is used to somehow portray how terrible Google, or Samsung, or both are. If you really want to have a real understanding of the industry you need to stop reading those fanboy blogs.

        The Business Insider article that you cited before (which is essentially a blog living off click-bait headlines) is actually an example of the illogical assumption that Android is just relevant in the low-end, while actually providing the data that demonstrates that about half of high-end smartphones are Android.
        “Still Don’t Believe Android Is For The Poor? This Chart Proves It”
        http://www.businessinsider.com/android-iphone-market-share-by-price-2014-8

        BI knows that Apple fanboys will click because it will confirm their biases and Android fanboys will click because they will feel insulted. The reality, is that the headline is
        totally misleading. If you make a quick calculation with IDC’s data, it turns out that in the high-end segment, more Android phones were sold than iOS’, Which is in line with the previous IDC data I provided, that lead to estimate that about Android takes about 60% of high-end smartphones.

        Android : ~255 million devices
        iOS : ~35 million

        High-end:
        Android 20% of 255M = 51M
        iOS : 85% of 35M = 30M

        So Android is for all smartphone users, the poor AND the rich. In fact, Android sold more high-end phones than Apple, so it’s more of a rich smartphone than iOS’.

        The article you posted proves again my point.

      • melci

        I’m afraid Ray that you’ve got your sums wrong. Last quarter (March 2015) Apple sold 60.2 million iPhones not 35 M vs Android on 265 M according to Gartner.

        20% of 265 M = 53 M “Premium” Android devices. (according to IDC’s definition anyway)

        This is less than the 60 M premium iPhones that Apple sold (and that wasn’t even Apple’s blow-out Christmas quarter where they sold over 74 million iPhones).

        The data again proves my point.

      • Ray

        The article from BI and data provided is from Aug 2014, your are mixing those percentages with sales from 2015. So obviously the conclusion you get to is irrelevant. Garbage in, garbage out.

      • melci

        ABI and the WSJ report that the average price (ASP) of Android devices dropped from $300-$350 in Q1 2014 to $254 in Q4 2014 and yet Android sales only increased by 4% (10 million) between the BI figures in Aug and Gartner’s CQ1 2015 figures. This indicates that the total number of premium Android devices decreased in that time frame so the number of Apple iPhones would now be even greater than “premium” Android devices.

      • Ray

        Sure it could be that Apple’s market share of high-end phones is now higher than in 2014Q2. It actually makes a lot of sense, given that Apple did not have a phablet then, and it does now. I’m sure the iPhone 6 Plus has cannibalized some potential sales of other high-end Android Phablets (Note 4, LG G3, etc.) as it is a good product with a great brand.

        Again, the point I was making was not that Apple is not doing well in the high-end segment, is just that Android commands a very sizable share of that segment (that is around 50% plus or minus, depending on methodology), and therefore cannot be dismissed as a low-end OS. Of course any average on Android is skewed by the fact that more low-end phones are sold than high-end phones (very logical), but that average doesn’t tell you whether high-end Android phones sell well or not.

      • melci

        The problem for the Android ecosystem and platform is the lack of *Premium Users*. The point you fail to understand is that while there are Android buyers who will purchase a $400 device, but they don’t follow through and benefit Android developers, advertisers, content providers or e-commerce vendors.

        Now that Android market share growth has plateaued, Apple’s dominance of all the metrics that matter is reinforced, not weakened.

      • Ray

        What makes you think that Android market share has plateaued forever? Very counter intuitive.

        Android OEMs have been better at finding unsatisfied market segments (phablets is an example) than Apple. This will likely continue being the case, given that there are dozens of them that know much better their local markets than Apple. So expect more market segments that Android OEMs will start serving that Apple will take time to serve. It’s already happened, and likely to happen again.

      • melci

        What makes you think that Android market share has *not* plateaued? Very counter intuitive.

        The Android market share curve has followed the normal flattening seen with the Law of Large Numbers and now that the iPhone has close to the same Carrier subscriber base, Android share looks to have subsided down to around the 80% market share mark with the iPhone sitting around the 15-20% mark in that IDC graph you are so fond of.

        Those analysts that you mentioned certainly think the iPhone surge will continue for the indefinite future as I demonstrated with that quote from Pacific Crest.

        China has illustrated that as these developing markets grow their middle class, their uptake of Apple’s premium aspirational products also grows.

        The important thing that you continue to ignore is that Apple’s share of the total mobile phone market has continued to increase each and every year since 2007, but most importantly, Apple’s majority share of the metrics and markets that matter continues unabated.

        Your continual beating of the simplistic unit marketshare drum is getting very monotonous.

      • Ray

        It hasn’t probably plateaud because as all mobile industry analysts point the fastest growing segment is the low-end, where Android commands 98% market share. Most new smartphone users in the world are on Android. Which means that Android market share will probably continue increasing, of course much more slowly as you mention due to the law of large numbers.

        Church of Market Share? All academic studies done note that there is no clear correlation between market share and profits… EXCEPT in markets with network effects and/or economies of scale. In those markets Market Share is VERY important.

        As the WSJ pointed out, the long-term trend is that Google is growing at a faster rate than iOS, even though it already has more apps! There is a temporary change due to China, but Google is not restricted in next markets (India and all other countries), so expect that higher growth of Google Play to continue. This is not because suddenly Android is much better at developer management, but because the sheer scale of a platform that sells over 1B new devices every year creates network effects stronger than any other platform with a much smaller scale.

      • melci

        And guess what, those low-end users eventually move up the tree and start buying Apple’s aspirational devices. That is one reason why Apple has maintained their 15% share of the market these last two years. The market keeps growing and so does the market that is able to buy Apple’s products.

        Now that Apple’s Carrier footprint is closer to Android’s by 800 M Apple-hungry China Mobile users, That 15% share is increasing to an even larger share.

        Google Android is NOT selling 1 Billion devices annually – Android devices that use Google’s “Full” Android and services only makes up around 54% market share with AOSP “Forked” Android around 22%.

        That is one reason why Google can only boast of having 1 Billion active Android users (that’s phones AND tablets) worldwide. Because 60% of Android devices are cheap sub-$200 plastic phones that are used as glorified featurephones, most are thrown away at the end of contract.

        In contrast, the significant majority of Apple’s 1.2 Billion iOS devices sold so far are still in use as being made of far more durable materials and having higher specs and purchase price they are passed on to family or resold and keep on keeping on. Just look at the resale values of Apple devices versus Android on the re-sale sites and this is beyond obvious.

        Likewise, Apple’s 280 million+ iPads have demonstrably far greater longevity than the cheap phones that make up the majority of Android sales.

        As a result, Apple’s actual iOS installed base is far higher than that 15% phone market share figure would suggest and also helps to explain why iOS generates so much more revenue than Android in all the metrics that matter. There are far more iOS users than people think out there. Just look to Apple’s closing on 1 Billion active iTunes/App Store users for clues to this real size.

        Apple’s Network effects are HUGE and growing.

      • Ray

        You have a tendency to avoid the data I provide and go back to your favorite positive data about Apple that has nothing to do. Longevity of iPads, resale value and what not. Clone Windows PC had actually lower quality on average than Apple’s Mac, yet they eventually ended up dominating the PC market. It was the speed of ecosystem growth, not the product quality that determined this.

        “Apple’s 1.2 Billion iOS sold so far”. Most of them are in a drawer right now. I have one of them, an iPhone 3GS that doesn’t even charge or start. A brick, resale value = 0 for those. So you count all iOS devices ever sold in history, even if they are not used today? What’s the point?
        Completely irrelevant number to evaluate a platform’s network effects.

        “Apple’s Network effects are HUGE and growing.”
        Again, you don’t understand that it’s all about RELATIVE growth. If what you said is true, Android’s network effects are GIGANTIC and growing EVEN FASTER.

        Again, you just seem to go around the fact that Android simply has many more users by trying to downplay it. But this… but that… That’s ok. I provide a survey saying that consumers in 2015 are most satisfied with the Galaxy Note 4 and you bring up a different survey from a year earlier, and continue talking about your favorite cheap and nasty low-end Android smartphones. It’s a tired theme, that is not supported by data that indicates the trend is that the ecosystem is slowly moving towards Android. I already provided data showing that Android actually had in 2014 Q2 a higher market share EVEN in the high end, and that the speed of growth of Android ecosystem (both in # and $) is higher.

        http://recode.net/2015/05/07/android-starting-to-pull-past-ios-in-generating-revenue-for-app-developers/
        “While Apple deserves enormous credit for some recent market share resurgence (in the U.S. in particular), the longer-term trend hasn’t changed. Developers ultimately have to go where the eyeballs are, and for global mobile eyeballs, Android is way out in front.”
        “Wong said that the trend is starting to show up in where developers go first with their apps. “Just three years ago, most mobile devs would definitely prototype on iOS first, now I would say its a tossup, and outside the First World markets, Android often wins the tossup.”

        Vision Mobile also found in their survey that developers in Asia already prioritize consistently Android over iOS.

        Market share in platform businesses is like gravity. You can’t beat it in the long term.

      • melci

        You have a tendency to avoid the data I provide and go back to your favourite tired old meme that eyeballs is all that matters. If that was the case, the value of the Android system would have surpassed the iOS platform years ago.

        However Nanigan’s data for example demonstrates that Android’s growth is actually a negative for Advertisers because they cost more than the revenue they generate for Advertisers with iOS users generating 1,790% greater Ad ROI than iOS users. That doesn’t bode well for Google does it?

        In your tired old Windows PC parallel, the Mac never had the by far the most 3rd party developer revenue and rising, the most accessories and peripherals, 77-90% Business market share, 90% Education market share, 500% greater e-commerce revenue share, almost 1,790% greater Advertising ROI etc etc. iOS does and that has made all the difference.

        You continue to ignore the VALUE of the nodes in a Network at your peril.

        People also turn over phones far quicker than PCs thanks to 2 year Carrier subsidies making new phones “seem” so cheap and de-valuing even more that old sub$200 plastic Android featurephone.

        Apple only sold 17 million iPhones in the first 2 years on the market. In the last 2 years Apple sold 517 million iOS devices. iOS web browser share is only 13% behind Android worldwide illustrating that the installed base of iOS is far larger in comparison than your 15% of unit sales figure would lead one to believe. The majority of iOS devices are not in a drawer Ray. Google only had 1 Billion active Android users after 6 years, Apple has nearing 1 Billion active iTunes/App Store users.

        You continue to ignore ACTIVE USER BASE at your peril.

        Let’s have a look at that Vision Mobile Developer report that you keep referring to shall we?

        http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2015/02/app-developer-trends-q1-2015/

        “Of those that prioritise iOS, only 37% are below the app poverty line, making less than $500 per month on iOS. On the opposite end of the revenue scale, 39% make more than $5,000 per month on the iOS platform”

        “Rather surprisingly, the revenue distribution for Android-first developers is not much different than for those targeting BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone.”
        57% are below the $500 App poverty line while only 19% of Android devs make over $5,000 per month.
        Ouch!! 🙂

        “The iOS ecosystem appears to have a lock on the high end that will be hard to break. Slow but steady, iOS developer mindshare declines over recent years have reversed; they’re now back up to 54%.”

        “Android handset makers are increasingly unable to compete effectively for the premium customers. Those are the customers that are most interesting to well-funded developers, as well as advertisers, retailers and various service providers.”

        So much for your earlier allegations that developers don’t make any money – you were obviously getting confused with Android developers!

      • Ray

        With all due respect, there is no point on further discussion because you obviously have no interest in understanding objectively where the industry is going. You obviously like Apple, a lot, so much that you choose to spend time part of your time reading websites like Appleinsider. Static data does not tell you anything about where the industry is going, it is a lagging indicator that tells you how the industry performed in the past until now. It seems you can’t understand that looking at the data THAT MATTERS TO TRY TO FORECAST the future, there are several stats that are positive for the Android platform. Market share, unit growth, etc. are extremely important in platform businesses. Google knows that very well and keeps the friction for Android adoption to the minimum (Android license price = 0, low-margin devices, quick app store submission and approval, signing up as many OEMs as possible, etc.). This has help them block Microsoft/Bing almost completely (which was their main goal) and is now helping them close the gap with Apple.

        You took my analogy from the 90s PC industry to illustrate that it is not a product build quality that wins in a
        platform business model, but the rate of growth of the platform complements, and twisted it to talk about how Mac in 2015 has many apps and accessories. This might or might not be true, but it’s completely unrelated to the analogy. Whatever argument is made, you will end up in some unrelated data point that proves your belief main that, well, Apple is the best.

        What is a clear sign that you are completely biased? The fact that you cannot admit a single positive stat, when that stat is attached to the word Android. That’s exactly how blogs like Appleinsider work: publish and discuss extensively every single positive stat that favors Apple, and find ways to undermine and twist every single positive stat that favors Android to turn it into another positive data point for Apple. Of course, for the believer, everything points at the obvious fact that, well, Apple is the best and will always be. And if you think that besides the bias Appleinsider has good data points to understand the industry, then you should spend equal time on sites like Android Central or Phandroid, because they have also good data points (that of course typically favor Android). E.g: the most engaging app store in the world is not Apple’s iOS, or Google Play, it is another Android app store: Baidu, which now has the most downloads of any other app store in the world. This is not download $, but definitely can be turned into a great profitable machine for developers with other business models (in-app sales, advertisement, freemium, etc.). Google might not benefit directly from this, but it does benefit indirectly as it attracts more developers to develop for Android instead of iOS. Those developers who are somewhat successful will definitely publish their apps too in Google Play to expand internationally. Interesting data point, isn’t it? You won’t find that on appleinsider, or will find it only to illustrate how “Google has lost control of Android and they are both doomed”.

        And if you want to evaluate is whether iOS or Android is better as a product (not a platform) for you, then you should at least own and use frequently high-end iOS and Android devices. I do. Have you owned any high-end Android device in the last couple of years? If not, then you just don’t have data points to provide an objective assessment. Based on rants from Appleinsider or Tim Cook’s car salesmen arguments about how Android is infested with malware, fragmentation, viruses and bad omen from ancient civilizations are not data points for an objective personal assessment. Get a high-end Android handset, use it extensively for a few months, and then you’ll be able to understand the things that you cannot do on iOS that you can do on Android, and viceversa.

        I completely agree that many of the data points you provided about Apple are positive for Apple. It is well known that iOS has monetized better for advertisers and developers than Android. It is well known that five years ago Android was an inferior smartphone and tablet OS. It is well known that Apple focuses on the high-end, and logically, do well on that segment as it is the segment they play and focus on, otherwise they would not have been the successful company they have been so far.

        I’ve also said that iPad sales are down mainly because the tablet product category has a much longer replacement cycle that smartphones and is being partially cannibalized by smartphones. I took news that are potentially negative regarding Apple performance, and explained them in the context of the overall trend in the industry, turning it actually a problem with the category, not with Apple’s product or performance. You see? I’m more interested in understanding the industry than on cheering on my favorite team. There is no intellectual value on that. In fact, my “favorite team” in this case is not Android, personally I would prefer that Windows would have a larger share of the smartphone market, not because I love Windows or Microsoft, but because as consumers would benefit by having three mature platforms to chose from, instead of two. However, the long-term trends that are happening to the Android platform, their higher relative speed in many stats that MATTER TO FORECAST THE FUTURE (which have to be the evolution of data points over time, not data points frozen in time like the ones you provide) point to a world where Android becomes the dominant platform in all smartphone segments (it is already in the low-end and mid-range).

        I have no problem admitting there are many positive stats about Apple’s performance and position in the market. That’s because I don’t have an emotional attachment to Google or Android or Apple or Microsoft or any other IT company. If you want to be able to do valuable industry analysis, you need to dettach yourself from your personal preferences or convictions from the analysis, otherwise you end up with the wrong biased conclusions. I understand it’s difficult, because even a very intelligent and data-based analyst like Horace Dediu struggles with that. He’s been forecasting the demise of Android for since 2010, and counting. And Android just keeps reducing the gap (or surpassing) iOS in most metrics.

        For instance, Horace Dediu tweets things like this “on Apple Maps (but applies broadly to products): don’t measure what it is; measure how fast it’s getting better”. What he is acknowledging is that it is the speed of improvement that matters. Applying the same logic to the platforms: yes iOS platform is superior in monetization to Android platform, but Android is getting better much faster. You need to be consistent with logic, otherwise you are biased.

        The point I made is that Android is improving FASTER than iOS in most of the metrics that matter. This is actually not so much due to the fact that Google has done a much better job than Apple at improving the product, but to the fact that Google is just constantly benefitting from powerful network effects due to the sheer scale that act like gravity for Android planet: relatively increasing number of developers, increasing interest from developers, increasing number of OEMs, increasing models of high-end Android phones, increasing $ on downloads the Google Play store, increasing number of apps submitted, increasing number of apps downloaded, increasing advertising $, etc.

        As Horace Dediu said, to understand where we are going, don’t measure what it is, measure how fast it’s getting better. This is particularly true in platform businesses whose value increases exponentially due to network effects.

      • melci

        This discussion is getting very repetitive isn’t it Ray.

        What is a clear sign that you are completely biased? The fact that you cannot admit that simplistic raw market share numbers are meaningless without the VALUE generation of each of those users being taken into account. As this is critically important for the Network effect to actually deliver results, we are at an impasse.

        You continue to be stuck in the past unable to admit the new reality that Android has plateaued thanks to the Law of Large Numbers and Apple’s ecosystem is now undergoing a significant sustained boost over the last 9 months to a new baseline share in both unit sales and dev revenue helped by the doubling of their addressable market in China, the World’s largest and fastest growing market and presence in the fastest growing mobile form factor – phablets. Apple is now achieving 20-25% marketshare in that nation up from 14% last year.

        You speak of the worth of analysts then completely ignore the June 16 2015 report from Pacific Crest that iPhone demand remains strong and will be sustained all the way through to 2016 which completely contradicts your assertion that the current iPhone surge is merely a blip.

        My point in reference to the 90s PC/Mac market is that Windows “won” by having the most software, the most dev revenue, the most peripherals and accessories, the most top tier games, the most Business share etc. Today, it is iOS that claims dominance in all of those metrics so your PC analogy actually supports Apple, not Android.

        You’ve got quite a bee in your bonnet about AppleInsider haven’t you? I’ve mentioned them once. Well done for ignoring my hard data references from the WSJ, Kantar, Vision Mobile, IDC, Gartner, IBM, Adobe, CounterPoint Research, Pacific Crest etc.

        “As Horace Dediu said, to understand where we are going, don’t measure what it is, measure how fast it’s getting better.”

        Well Ray, ignoring the last 9 months of data showing Apple’s increasing market share, developer revenue share, China market share, active user share etc is not following Horace’s advice.

      • Ray

        Wasn’t market share or scale irrelevant?
        The contortions you make to portray the same things in a positive light when they apply to Apple and in an “irrelevant” or even negative light when they apply to Android are comical.

        For instance, you ignore that Google Play is locked out of China (by a moral decision from Google execs), which is not the case for any other country. So projecting any app revenue results in China to the rest of the world is essentially an illogical fanboy wishful-thinking exercise.

        Last 3 quarters are not a 5-year long-term trend. So your projections are just again wishful-thinking.

        Comparing iOS with Windows is silly.
        Windows platform was Microsoft and 100+ OEMs that covered every single PC segment that you could imagine (from “nasty” cheap to pricey power-gamer PCs and even servers).
        iOS platform is iOS and 1 OEM, which has 1 smartphone model in 2 sizes. An extremely limited product offer of high-margin devices that leaves naturally the door open to a competing OS platform to capture the vast majority of the market. In this case it was Android, but it could have been any other. Essentially Apple strategy maximizes profits today, in sacrifice of platform power tomorrow.

        No need to continue, I know you are unable to conceive any risks or challenges that Apple’s strategy might have, while Android’s future is full of landmines like more OEMs, more developers, more users.

      • melci

        Market share and scale of course are absolutely relevant when they are also combined with the far greater VALUE of those users. Hello, is anyone there?

        We have demonstrated sustained growth in unit sales (IDC), dev revenue (WSJ, App Annie and Vision Mobile), Business market share (Good Technology), the largest and fastest growing market China (Kantar) over the last 9 months to demonstrate that your old trend argument favours Apple NOT Android.

        You’re the one who compared iOS to the 90s PC market. Android may have the same plethora of manufacturers and models but it sure as heck doesn’t have the same dominance in software, revenue, games, developers, Business, revenue, e-commerce, advertising etc etc. THAT is what defined Windows’ success..

        You don’t seem to understand that I am not predicting Google or Android’s demise. They will do fine and the market needs that excellent competition and developing nations are very well served with a cheap mobile option.

        What I am trying to point out is the wrong-headedness of your off-the-cuff dismissal of Apple as ONLY having 15% unit market share as if that somehow meant they were doomed in a future to irrelevance.

      • Ray

        Your post shows that you still haven’t understood what is a long-term trend.

      • melci

        Your post shows that you don’t even know the long term trends let alone the short term ones.

      • Ray

        With all due respect, there is no point on further discussion because you obviously have no interest in understanding objectively where the industry is going. You obviously like Apple, a lot, so much that you choose to spend time part of your time reading websites like Appleinsider. Static data does not tell you anything about where the industry is going, it is a lagging indicator that tells you how the industry performed in the past until now. It seems you can’t understand that looking at the data THAT MATTERS TO TRY TO FORECAST the future, there are several stats that are positive for the Android platform. Market share, unit growth, etc. are extremely important in platform businesses. Google knows that very well and keeps the friction for Android adoption to the minimum (Android license price = 0, low-margin devices, quick app store submission and approval, signing up as many OEMs as possible, etc.). This has help them block Microsoft/Bing almost completely (which was their main goal) and is now helping them close the gap with Apple.

        You took my analogy from the 90s PC industry to illustrate that it is not a product build quality that wins in a
        platform business model, but the rate of growth of the platform complements, and twisted it to talk about how Mac in 2015 has many apps and accessories. This might or might not be true, but it’s completely unrelated to the analogy. Whatever argument is made, you will end up in some unrelated data point that proves your belief main that, well, Apple is the best.

        What is a clear sign that you are completely biased? The fact that you cannot admit a single positive stat, when that stat is attached to the word Android. That’s exactly how blogs like Appleinsider work: publish and discuss extensively every single positive stat that favors Apple, and find ways to undermine and twist every single positive stat that favors Android to turn it into another positive data point for Apple. Of course, for the believer, everything points at the obvious fact that, well, Apple is the best and will always be. And if you think that besides the bias Appleinsider has good data points to understand the industry, then you should spend equal time on sites like Android Central or Phandroid, because they have also good data points (that of course typically favor Android). E.g: the most engaging app store in the world is not Apple’s iOS, or Google Play, it is another Android app store: Baidu, which now has the most downloads of any other app store in the world. This is not download $, but definitely can be turned into a great profitable machine for developers with other business models (in-app sales, advertisement, freemium, etc.). Google might not benefit directly from this, but it does benefit indirectly as it attracts more developers to develop for Android instead of iOS. Those developers who are somewhat successful will definitely publish their apps too in Google Play to expand internationally. Interesting data point, isn’t it? You won’t find that on appleinsider, or will find it only to illustrate how “Google has lost control of Android and they are both doomed”.

        And if you want to evaluate is whether iOS or Android is better as a product (not a platform) for you, then you should at least own and use frequently high-end iOS and Android devices. I do. Have you owned any high-end Android device in the last couple of years? If not, then you just don’t have data points to provide an objective assessment. Based on rants from Appleinsider or Tim Cook’s car salesmen arguments about how Android is infested with malware, fragmentation, viruses and bad omen from ancient civilizations are not data points for an objective personal assessment. Get a high-end Android handset, use it extensively for a few months, and then you’ll be able to understand the things that you cannot do on iOS that you can do on Android, and viceversa.

        I completely agree that many of the data points you provided about Apple are positive for Apple. It is well known that iOS has monetized better for advertisers and developers than Android. It is well known that five years ago Android was an inferior smartphone and tablet OS. It is well known that Apple focuses on the high-end, and logically, do well on that segment as it is the segment they play and focus on, otherwise they would not have been the successful company they have been so far.

        I’ve also said that iPad sales are down mainly because the tablet product category has a much longer replacement cycle that smartphones and is being partially cannibalized by smartphones. I took news that are potentially negative regarding Apple performance, and explained them in the context of the overall trend in the industry, turning it actually a problem with the category, not with Apple’s product or performance. You see? I’m more interested in understanding the industry than on cheering on my favorite team. There is no intellectual value on that. In fact, my “favorite team” in this case is not Android, personally I would prefer that Windows would have a larger share of the smartphone market, not because I love Windows or Microsoft, but because as consumers would benefit by having three mature platforms to chose from, instead of two. However, the long-term trends that are happening to the Android platform, their higher relative speed in many stats that MATTER TO FORECAST THE FUTURE (which have to be the evolution of data points over time, not data points frozen in time like the ones you provide) point to a world where Android becomes the dominant platform in all smartphone segments (it is already in the low-end and mid-range).

        I have no problem admitting there are many positive stats about Apple’s performance and position in the market. That’s because I don’t have an emotional attachment to Google or Android or Apple or Microsoft or any other IT company. If you want to be able to do valuable industry analysis, you need to dettach yourself from your personal preferences or convictions from the analysis, otherwise you end up with the wrong biased conclusions. I understand it’s difficult, because even a very intelligent and data-based analyst like Horace Dediu struggles with that. He’s been forecasting the demise of Android since 2010, and counting. And Android just keeps reducing the gap (or surpassing) iOS in most metrics.

        For instance, Horace Dediu tweets things like this “on Apple Maps (but applies broadly to products): don’t measure what it is; measure how fast it’s getting better”. What he is acknowledging is that it is the speed of improvement that matters. Applying the same logic to the platforms: yes iOS platform is superior in monetization to Android platform, but Android is getting better much faster. You need to be consistent with logic, otherwise you are biased.

        The point I made is that Android is improving FASTER than iOS in most of the metrics that matter. This is actually not so much due to the fact that Google has done a much better job than Apple at improving the product, but to the fact that Google is just constantly benefitting from powerful network effects due to the sheer scale that act like gravity for Android planet: relatively increasing number of developers, increasing interest from developers, increasing number of OEMs, increasing models of high-end Android phones, increasing $ on downloads the Google Play store, increasing number of apps submitted, increasing number of apps downloaded, increasing advertising $, etc. All these relative increases are essentially fueled by the huge and growing volume of Android device sales.

        As Horace Dediu said, to understand where we are going, don’t measure what it is, measure how fast it’s getting better. This is particularly true in platform businesses whose value increases exponentially due to network effects.

      • melci

        Now you’re just copying and pasting a previous comment without addressing my critique of your points Ray? Has the weight of evidence finally gotten too much?

        Is Citrix, Egnyte and Intermedia both showing Apple growing its Mobile Business worldwide share from 2012 to 2015 too much of an uncomfortable long term trend for you?

        Is the Apple Watch’s demolition of Android Wear (beating first year iPhone and iPad sales) too frightening a demonstration that Android market share is not guaranteed of positive NetWork effects into other markets?

        Is the huge growth rate of active credit-card enabled iTunes/App Store users hitting a 1 Billion installed base grating too much against you favourite memes?

        Look I’m more than happy to agree that this isn’t Highlander. There can be more than One. Google and Android are doing fine and so is Apple. Two titans both with very large and growing ecosystems.

      • Bart

        Wah, wha, waaaah, please stop posting non-sense and then maybe people will stop calling you out on it.

      • Bart

        Yes, the difference between Mac vs PC and iPhone vs Android is that the PC actually had more software while Mac only had fewer but better software.

        Android has neither advantage. Apple survived for decades by having the best PC on the market. Everyone else succumbed to (cheap is good enough for me) MSFT.

        Android punters are switching to iOS in DROVES. The price difference between a real iPhone and a rip off is TRIVIAL.

        Add blocking that is coming in the next Apple OSes are really going to accelerate the already obvious deficiencies in Windows and Android–they can’t even compete with it.

      • Bart

        Geez, Android did nothing but copy. They were positively DESPERATE to make it look like they did SOMETHING. SO they were quick to put in a huge screen (to hide the huge battery they needed to mask the very inefficient workings of their generic processors).

        So you think that was innovation? Putting in a larger screen? How? What was even the slightest bit innovative about that?

        Do you fandroids somehow think that, once Apple showed everyone what a real ‘smartphone’ should be like, that Apple then somehow bizarrely is not allowed to ever change it?

        I think Apple strategically delayed the large screen iPhone for a reason. Just let out a little slack to completely embarrass and effectively hang the entire copycat, Android ‘platform’. (It’s actually not even a coherent platform, but then, you think “marketshare is marketshare”–LOL)

      • Bart

        You are being redundant by quoting Bidness Insideher and mentioning GIGO in the same sentence.

      • jameskatt

        Why would a wealthy person NOT buy an iPhone? Buying anything else would be like buying Cubic Zirconia instead of a real diamond.

      • Bart

        Why would anyone settle for an obvious rip off, no capable of running any first class apps, and offering the user no control over their own data? To save $100? LOL, that’s pocket change.

      • DesDizzy

        These IDC figures don’t make any sense. If Apple and Samsung sold roughly the same number of smartphones in recent quarters and Samsung has said in Q4 last year that only approx. 1/3 of it’s phones compete with Apple at the high end and the other competitors do not have significant market share. Then they, plus Samsung cannot have a 60% market share of the high end. Do the math.

      • Ray

        Samsung sold more smartphones in all the last 10+ quarters except one (2014Q4). Other competitors do not make significant profits but do have a non-negligible market share in the high-end segment in aggregate.

        I guess IDC is anti-Apple too…

      • melci

        IDC sets a low bar of $400+ as their definition of premium and yet inexplicably says that 20% of iPhone sales are not premium devices despite the $400-450 minimum price of iPhones. (how to re-define premium indeed).

        Samsung has admitted that only a third of their Android device sales are premium devices. As the profit and loss statements of other Android manufacturers show, they have negligible market share in the premium end of the market hence the Android platform ASP of $254 compared to Apple’s ASP of $687.

        The fact that Apple’s iPhone users bring in vastly more e-commerce revenue, Ad ROI, developer revenue, content sales, and dominates the Business and Education markets etc all demonstrates that Apple well and truly does have a lock on the premium segment of the market.

      • Ray

        Those iPhones that fall in the mid-range segment are probably older generations that Apple keeps selling.

        As I suggested before, if you change the definition of what high-end is, and start the segment at exactly the price where the latest iPhone starts, then you will get a higher high-end market share for Apple. But that’s just a trick to boost your favorite team’s results. IDC decided that high-end are smartphones over $400, and in that high-end segment there are more Android phones than iOS phones sold. Which proves the point that Android phones cannot be dismissed as low-end as some commentators tend to do here, just because in number of units they obviously sell more low-end units than high-end units (microeconomics 101). Also note that the most expensive smartphones being sold nowadays are not iOS, but Android’s. So Android is covering all segments, from low-end, to luxury. It is definitely more successful in the low-end, where it commands an staggering 98% market share.

        A $590 Android phone definitely competes with a $650 iPhone. Just like an $800 iPhone competes with a $1,000 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

        Of course instead of acknowledging that Android is also doing OK in the high-end, it is better to attack an independent market research firm like IDC.

        So it seems Google is getting what they wanted, which is a platform deployed in most mobile devices around the world, while blocking the threat from Microsoft deploying Bing in mobile. In fact, Google execs have confessed that actually Android has been more successful than they had planned, as their forecasts where actually lower than the actual current market share.

        Apple is maximizing profits, Google is maximizing market share. It seems they are both winning at their strategic goals currently. We will see in 5-10 years when scale and network effects do their work like gravity, because the trend seems to be Android is relatively increasing its ecosystem.

      • melci

        “Apple is maximizing profits, Google is maximizing market share.”

        Actually, with Apple dominating Business and Education market share, premium user market share, Music market share, mobile payments market share, premium PC sales market share etc etc, Apple is also “maximising” share in plenty of important markets as well. With nearing 1 Billion active users, even their overall credit-card enabled user base is continuing to “maximise”. 🙂

        All of the metrics that actually matter demonstrate that whatever your definition of premium device is, it does not translate to a premium user in terms of OEM or 3rd party revenue and profit share unless that device is from Apple.

      • DesDizzy

        I envy you your alt.universe. The largest maker of high end phones, and only profitable incumbent, has stated that there sales in the high end have suffered and will be lower. You seem to know better.

      • Ray

        There are plenty of Android OEMs doing high-end phones: Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, etc.

      • Bart

        LOL, go buy one.

      • Bart

        So rich to hear you talk about supporting your favorite team. You certainly go out of your way on that! That $400 level is very creative for fandroids. How many times did you have to test that bar before you could make it look like Android was a thing (other than a rip off, incapable of running any actual software)?

        Here is a hint for you: iPhones typically cost $600 or more. At least to AT&T or Verizon. But not to the consumer.

      • Bart

        I guess you believe anything so long as it’s coming from Samsung. Not a single samsung copy of an iPhone has ever come even remotely close to matching any iPhone sales. Ever. And the difference is accelerating as literally everyone is in process of dumping Android (specifically Samsung) for iPhone.

        Samsung is a dumbphone manufacturer, primarily. They only ‘compete’ with Apple by selling weak copies to people who think they know what they are doing (sadly, it’s not the case). But, most people are smart enough to realize this after one or two Androids…

      • Bart

        Not if you are a fandroid. We get that.

      • Bart

        Apple isn’t dependent on Marketshare. They aren’t mining you for data, you are not the product on iOS, you are on Android though. Apple is focused on devices. Google is focused on getting your data and reselling that to anyone who will pay for it. And, also charging all businesses to put them on Google Maps (while Apple has the commanding market lead and let’s any business put themselves on Apple maps for nothing).

      • Bart

        Again, totally useless fandroid generated excuses are not actual sales data. And you are comparing Apples to oranges (no pun intended).

      • melci

        On the contrary, that is why I asked Nicolai what his point was in focusing only on raw unit sales market share. That is a very shallow metric.

        The other metrics I mentioned demonstrate that Apple’s share of only “20% market share” is irrelevant when Android’s majority share doesn’t deliver in the metrics that actually matter.

        What would you class as a useful metric and why?

      • Bart

        You should follow your own advice. What is so ‘locked down’ about the iPhone? How is that a bad idea as you insinuate? You prefer a total absence of security? Side-loading ‘apps’? That’s typical on Android now. That’s just stupid and Android is no more ‘open’ than iOS. In fact, Android is nearly completely unsupported. You can typically not even UPDATE the software on them. Talk about a knee jerk attitude.

      • Nicolai Imset

        Did you read the article? And check your numbers, they are off 🙂

        Salesnumbers might be right, seems like roughly 20% of the market.

      • melci

        Did you read my comment?
        My numbers are correct. They are the total for the last 8 quarters ending March 2015, not the last FY or CY. 🙂

      • Bart

        In denial much, Nicky?

      • Nicolai Imset

        answered below.

        And no, but I don’t think you see the complete picture 🙂

      • Bart

        Again, using all manner of loaded assumptions in lieu of any actual data. Not the least of which is lumping together all manner of phones and comparing that only to the one phone that all the semi-usable Roids strive to be someday.

        Dominated the market for all burner phones? Sure, just not the market for actual smartphones. You may have noticed that Samsung is desperately trying to unload it’s copycat phones now? It was fun while Apple let them think they had something. I think Samsung actually started to believe their own marketing for awhile. LOL

      • Nicolai Imset

        bit of an apple fanboy there I presume.

        As far as I know there is only one fridge using android and I doubt it sold in the billions.

        Feel free to share what other products with Android sold in the billions that is not a smartphone.

      • Bart

        I already told you, you dimwitted Fandroid. You can’t admit it, due to your ignorance, as you mentioned. Few Androids are even smartphones–and any/all data go unreported.

        No one knows, we just know that none sell anywhere near Apple’s iPhone. So, you lump them all together, as if they were one, even though they specialize in the low end, to compare with the leader in the high end.

        But you’re not a fanboy. LOL.

      • Nicolai Imset

        So samsung alone sells more smartphones then apple do.

        http://venturebeat.com/2015/04/28/samsung-takes-back-global-smartphone-sales-crown-from-apple-in-q1-2015/

        Where you get your numbers from and why you say that “few androids” are smartphones remain a mystery. Feel free to share your definition of what a smartphone is and is not. FYI Dictionary.com has the following definition
        “a device that combines a cell phone with a hand-held computer,typically offering Internet access, data storage, email capability, etc.”
        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/smartphone

        “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.”
        http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-devices/iphone-vs-android-apples-success-only-goes-so-far/a/d-id/1321437

      • Bart

        Roids are 90% toss away garbage. Market share is a pointless stat when profit is nonexistent, apps are weak, hobbled ports from iOS, devs make almost no money in comparison to iOS, and the entire “platform” is a fragmented hodgepodge, most of which don’t even allow updates.

        Now, any Roid can be completely hijacked by anyone with your phone number. LOL.

        Cockroaches have great marketshare, too. Go eat one, you’ll love it.

      • Bart

        You are counting all devices that tell YOU they are ‘Android’. This includes refrigerators, and about 90% of the flash memory sticks used to pirate hollywood movies outside of the US.

        You are basing your assumptions on Android ‘activations’ that are not even sales data, and are completely unverifiable.

        You are including all manner of dumb phones (that also dutifully report as ‘Android’). After all, they are tracking their users and recording each users search history, map history, ad history at Google… They just are not ‘smartphones’ by any stretch of the imagination.

        You are mixing the ‘smartphone’ and dumbphone markets hugely whenever to take Google’s PR statements as fact. It’s anything but.

        Apple still reports iPhone SALES. Not activations, and not clouded with all manner of other devices. If Apple reported iPods and Apple watches as if they were iPhones, it would not go nearly as far to obfuscate reality as what you fandroids gleefully accept from Google.

      • Nicolai Imset

        As far as I know there is only one fridge using android and I doubt it sold in the billions.

        Feel free to share what other products with Android sold in the billions that is not a smartphone.

  • Juan Pardo

    I totally agree. I do exactly the same

  • http://codesorcery.net incanus

    What else is there?

    Maps as a product themselves, plus lowering overheads by not costing X billion dollars / year.

    http://fortune.com/2015/06/18/mapbox-smarter-maps/

  • Vik

    Whats going to happen to Bing maps? Sub scale in mobile…..tens of millions, maybe more on desktop. But monetization is questionable.

    • rational2

      It doesn’t appear Microsoft cares about monetization. Bing and related services have been money losers forever, yet they are sustained possibly as a strategic investment.

      • Bart

        MSFT has no monetization left except their yearly licensing efforts to businesses willing to pay for commodity word processing and spreadsheet software. Apple has them giving away Windows now…

        That doesn’t seem to have dawned on Wall Street yet though. All they know is Excel, seems they forgot all about Lotus 1-2-3 by now. LOL.

  • Panos

    I think there is a confusion between maps and the infrastructure (spatial data, algorithms, rules, services etc.) that supports the maps (let’s call it Spatial Data infrastructure – SDI). A map is just one of the many byproducts (interfaces) of a Spatial Data infrastructure. (The voice that guides you to your destination is another; the vibration in your watch could be also).

    So let’s talk about SDI.

    If we consider the Uber’s transportation market not good enough, then there could be need for integration that demands a specialized SDI (optimized for transportation). The current SDIs (Google’s, Apple’s, MSN’s etc) cannot be used for multiple reasons (different business models, different priorities, lack of control, generalized nature etc).

    So the segmentation and integration of SDIs seems like a possible future. Uber could surely use a transportation SDI, LinkedIn a business SDI, Samsung a IoT SDI. Currently however, the costs for new “good enough” SDIs are too high.

    So what could be done?

  • Salah Izii

    always check out this website before buying any Apple products http://www.macpowermanager.com

  • abbot

    Sounds a bit simplistic for me, I have been using Apple Maps and Navigon (both Apps on my iPhone) across Europe for 4 Years now. Although Apple maps have improved there is no choice. It simply doesnt even come close to providing the services that Navigon does. I rcently invest €1300 to do an aftermarket installation of a Pioneer based system to get Apple Carplay into my car. What a disaster!!! The system is great. The Pioneer based navigation (Navigon sourced) is great. Carplay is a bag of HURT! Siri in the car is even worse! Maps on carplay is like a toy compared to Navigon. I am sure that it may work better in the US, but in Europe (tested in 4 Countries) it really isn’t worth it. I now only use Pioneers system exclusively. Never thought II would stop using an Apple product because it was so inferior.

  • pbreit

    There’s no way maintaining maps costs that much after the bulk of it is in place. Google’s are expensive because of street view. Apple’s are expensive because they are still building from scratch. But ongoing costs are way less than even $1b.

    • Atlas

      Initial development can’t cost a lot compared to the data gathering work. So building or keeping up to date probably cost approximately the same.