The latest story making the rounds is that Google has declared victory over Apple in the mobile device wars.
It’s Microsoft vs. Mac all over again. Recent numbers show that Android’s market share among smart phones is 72-percent, vs. only 14-percent for Apple’s iOS.
None other than Google Chairman and former mole on Apple’s board of directors, Eric Schmidt. He says Google is activating more than 1.3-million Android devices a day, far more than Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.
Is this just another case of Google hubris designed to force Apple’s millions of faithful customers to recognize the inevitable, and to bow before Schmidt as the new Godfather of tech?
Or, is this just another case of lies, damned lies, and statistics?
Let’s go with the latter. Schmidt didn’t say what devices were being activated, and Android is embedded into plenty of cheap technology which can run up the numbers.
Schmidt didn’t say how much revenue Google makes from Android, and the company doesn’t say how much money they’re losing on their Android project.
But, Android is winning.
To give you an idea of how Schmidt looks at the world, he describes Google’s + social network as a viable competitor to Facebook, which has over 10 times the number of members.
Facebook is winning.
After all, Android OS devices do not have 10 times the number of activations as iOS devices. So, by that standard, iOS must be a viable competitor to Android OS, right?
Apple lost the desktop wars to Microsoft back in the 1980s and managed to grow and prosper and become the world’s largest maker of computing devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad).
Like Microsoft’s Windows, Google’s Android isn’t a device. It’s an operating system that is given away for free, and pretty much a copy of Apple’s iOS. Why shouldn’t Android be winning? It’s free for manufacturers to put on almost any device. I expect to see an Android OS toaster at Best Buy soon.
Winning, of course, just doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Winners implies losers. Apple’s Mac doesn’t look much like a loser, does it? iOS devices bring in about 80-percent of the smart phone and tablet profits, and a larger share of revenue, and a giant share of mobile device usage.
Instead of accepting Schmidt’s view that Android is winning, maybe tech pundits should ask how much longer Google will continue to lose money on Android.