Give It Up, Apple. Google’s Android Has Already Won (Says who? Google)

The latest story making the rounds is that Google has declared victory over Apple in the mobile device wars.

How so?

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.

Says who?

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.


  1. The main reason MS Windows dominated the personal computer market was that businesses standardized on Microsoft –even before most people owned their own PC. The corporate decision makers wanted a choice of hardware and an extensible system that coincidently required lots of support and training personnel. That meant the Mac was never really given serious consideration.

    When employees eventually decided to buy their own computers, they naturally chose a Wintel PC that they had already learned to use (on their employer’s dime) and could do work at home (using apps often provided by or illicitly copied from their employer).

    In the case of mobile devices, the cat is already out of the bag. There is no single mobile platform that all businesses standardize on. (RIM blew their lead.) Now competition is fierce. Apple has an early foothold, and the resources to maintain a significant enterprise presence. As long as Apple continues to innovate and improve its platform (which they show every intent of doing), they will remain a viable choice, and hold substantial market share.

    The best thing that could happen for the industry would be for an even split of least three different mobile platforms to thrive so as to avoid the horrible technological stagnation that occurred when Microsoft ruled the desktop.

    • John Dingler, artist says:

      By implication, your last paragraph likens the stagnation that MS ushered in with your prediction that Apple’s would stagnate if it had no competition. It had no competition when Jobs founded Apple and it innovated the heck out of the meager hints it got from Xerox-PARC, so it did not stagnate, so you may be misreading the near-death due to MS’s theft of the windowing OS via the courts and Apple’s lazy, and perhaps trustful or naive, patent policy of its intellectual property. Apple was always about innovation, so your conclusion that Apple would stagnate like MS is now seems to be unfounded.

  2. I’m not sure I understand why both Microsoft and Google think they need to control every aspect of technology. Microsoft made billions with Windows and Office, and lost billions on everything else. Google is repeating the same effort. They made billions in online advertising, and they’re losing billions trying be more like Apple.

    As for Apple, they seem to ignore competition, ignore tech pundits, and put out products that customers love to use. Others, such as Samsung, may have some success simply by copying Apple, but the future belongs to those who change the present.

    It’s not Microsoft or Google.