Friday, July 9, 2010

Will Android outmanoeuvre iPhone?

With complaints flooding in about the new iPhone 4G, from dropped calls on the AT&T network to the unavailability of apps, it seems a good time to question the future of the platform. Especially now that its main competitor Android is building up momentum.
Without question one of the most appealing factors about smartphones is the applications which can be added to them, whether they are for playful or practical purposes.
In the past the Android OS has not attracted the same number of app developers, largely because it has not been as profitable to make them as for the iPhone, but now there are unmistakable signs that Google could be ready to outmanoeuvre Apple.
Firstly the controlling nature of Apple does not sit well with all developers and consumers. Yes Apple says that it can guarantee a higher quality of app because of its stricter policing of the markets. But many customers will not care about the quality and will be happy to have apps that do a good enough job at a lower price. Google holds all the cards in this respect as it can give away the Android OS for nothing, such is the size and heft of the company.
In June 2010 alone, 60,000 more android devices in the UK were activated than in May, when 100,000 people had tapped into the Android OS system. An even more significant figure shows that for the first time there are now more Android app developers than there are iPhone app developers.
This will be particularly relevant over the next decade as emerging markets come into play. In places such as India and China where the iPhone may be unaffordable, Google is looking to offer customers the full smartphone experience at a lower price.
By next year the Android may be outselling the iPhone. Apple may say that it aims to do what it has always done - offer a higher quality experience in niche markets. But it is clear that their latest problems will have the company sweating.

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