Android And Windows vs. iPhone And Mac: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

Apple caught the smart phone industry napping when it launched the iPhone in 2007. It didn’t take Google too long to counter the iPhone’s magic with a cheap copy for the masses in Android OS.

27 seconds later the technology pundits were pointing out how Android would overtake the iPhone and it would be déjà vu all over again, with Android taking the place of Windows and the iPhone and iOS merely 21st century representations of the Mac of yesteryear.

You know what? I agree. Android vs. iPhone (or, iOS on iPhone and iPad) is just like the Windows vs. Mac wars of the past.

Microsoft won the desktop and notebook operating system war, but Apple wasn’t destroyed, and apparently not even intimidated. Apple does what Apple does, and the company kept churning out newer and better Macs and improving OS X.

Apple’s penalty for losing to Microsoft appears to be fame and riches. While Windows customers often hate using Windows, and, indeed, in many cases Windows PCs are forced upon employees at work; the don’t have a choice, Mac customers deliberately and thoughtfully choose to buy and use a Mac.

How so? Study after study shows that Mac users buy more apps, feel more secure, have fewer problems with computing, and get a higher premium when selling an old model vs. Windows PC users.

From what I can see, Android OS vs. iOS is about the same thing. Android is the OS that’s tacked onto most of what the industry calls smart phones these days. In a recent quarter it was 75-percent Android, and iOS and iPhone were far down the list.

So, how is it that Apple commands about 75-percent of the smart phone industry’s profits and a higher slice of revenue than any smart phone maker? How is it that iPhone and iPad users use their devices for online purchasing, web browsing, and apps more, far, as much as 10 times more, than Android device users? Even most of Google’s mobile revenue comes from iOS devices, not their own Android OS devices (or, those made by others).

How is that possible? It’s implementation of philosophy.

Apple builds products to be used, and they’re so good at it that Mac and iPhone and iPad customers actually love to use their devices.

What about Android devices? They’re made to be sold, not made to be used. Customers buy them because they’re the least expensive devices, and then simply don’t use the device to anywhere near its capability.

Android is a smart phone which is used more like a dumb phone. The same holds true for Android or Frankendroid tablets. Customer usage is far less than Apple’s iPad.

Why? Apple builds products to be used. Customers recognize that ease-of-use immediately and, in turn, keep using the iPhone and iPad, and find new ways to use each by buying new apps.

Android OS has become the Windows of 21st century mobile computing. Apple has nothing to worry about.


  1. Right on target! Enjoyed the column.

    You’re also requiring solving an algebra problem to post– that’s great, too!

  2. Microsoft may have won the market share wars for operating system dominance, but that was then and this is now. Apple’s Macs are highly desired and very profitable. The real difference between then and now is that Microsoft has no real presence in mobile computing, while Apple is a non-monopoly juggernaut.