There's a storm brewing, a battle for your money, for your loyalty, and of course for your time. Google, and Apple are waging a bloody battle in the smartphone wars, and as smartphone penetration continues to move at a rapid pace, it seems as if Apple and Google are leaving the competition behind particularly Nokia, RIM to name a few. The iOS4(iPhone), and Google's Android army are in my opinion the two giants in the smartphone wars, despite the fact that Nokia is the market leader, and RIM's iconic BlackBerry rules the smartphone market in the United States. While I am an iPhone user, I've spent my time on several of Google's Android handsets, mostly the Motorola Droid, and the Droid Incredible. While I haven't spent extensive time, I'd like to share my thoughts on this on-going battle between the two tech giants.
ANDROID will win this war. For better, or worse.
Google's Android platform has been rapidly growing ever since it decided to enter the market. But if you ask me the first true killer phone Google delivered on it's Android platform had to be Motorola's Droid phone. I spent sometime with the Droid, and it truly was the first iPhone competitor. Not only that but there's so many phones that are running Android OS, it's just a matter of time before Google plays catch-up.
This is good, and bad. This will bring up intense competition between the companies for your money. They will come out with better features, faster processors, more memory, new upgrades to the OS, which in the end, the customer truly wins in this regard. This is also bad because, there are discrepancies between the Android devices. And this is evident because there are some smartphones that won't be running Android 2.2(Froyo). So in a sense, all Android devices will have different experiences.
With Apple and it's iPhone, you'll get a similar experience. Apple is pretty good with making sure it's older models are able to somewhat take advantage of the latest upgrades, as evident with the iPhone 3G being able to take advantage of iOS4 in some ways, and the iPhone 3GS being able to take advantage of all the new features except the new features of the iPhone 4 such as FaceTime, iMovie App, Retina Display etc. With Apple you'll get good support for your device, and to me this is a plus.
iOS 4, and Android penetration
There's no doubt that the two companies shaking up the smartphone wars is without a doubt Apple, and Google. RIM is in serious hurt, and hopefully BlackBerry OS6 will be able to keep it competitive, and Windows Phone 7 coming out this year, it seems as if consumers are going to have more choices, which is a good thing. But the market penetration I think will belong to Apple, and Google. Microsoft maybe too late, and it's Windows Phone 7 needs to amaze if it wants to stand a chance.
I say this because, Apple not only has the iPhone, but it also has the iPod Touch, and iPad to further make it's App Store a cashcow. With sales of over 50+ million iPhones, 32 million iPod Touches, and 3+ million iPads(Apple says there's over 100 million iOS4 devices active, so I imagine iPod Touch sales are higher than the 32 million I found on the internet), this is going to be a big factor in growth for the platform. I think the iPad will popularize the slate computer market, and will be a big factor for Apple growing it's mobile platform. I see this as a problem as well though-- depending on your opinions, it's also a good thing. Apple doesn't license it's iOS mobile platform and stays on Apple's devices. This is good because you are going to always have quality products, both hardware, and software. I see this ending up like the Apple, and Microsoft war when the Mac and PC we're fighting over marketshare in the computer industry. To many PC manufacturers using Windows on their PC's, it overtook the Mac. But as I said, as with any Apple product you'll definitely get a great experience both hardware, and software wise.
With Google, as aforementioned earlier it's Android OS is seeing itself land on so many platforms, that in matter of years, will over take Apple. While Google will have it's Android running on smartphones, and as well as tablet computers. I see the same effect happening-- Google will flood the tablet computer market with it's Android platform, and eventually overtake the iPad in total sales. It's just common knowledge in my opinion, but there are rumors as well of a BlackBerry tablet, and I haven't read to much on Windows 7 tablet, so I can't really comment much on that.
It will definitely be an interesting few years. I think Apple can definitely help itself out especially in the United State's, by offering the iPhone on Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. If it can take it's iPhone to multiple carriers in the U.S, I see it gaining more customers, but will not ultimately put it in a position to win the mobile OS war with Google. There's just to many Android devices.
CHINA an untapped market
China looks to be a market, where there is little presence between Apple, and Google. Apple seems to be looking into China for new growth-- and rightfully so, because this is a market that can literally make Google, and Apple more money, and flood it's devices into the world's largest consumer market with over 1 billion people. Apple plans on opening more stores in China, where Apple products such as the Mac, iPhone, and iPad are in high demand. Google will enter this market as well, as HTC plans on releasing smartphones into the market under it's HTC brand.
This could be very important for both Google, and Apple because China has the largest wireless customer base in the world, and is home to the largest Chinese wireless operator-- China Mobile. There's no doubt there's a vast number of customers in China waiting to get their hands on those iPhones, and Android phones. This will also open up sales to other customers such as Mac computers, iPods, and iPad. I think the market in China will do more good for Apple than for Google, do to that "iPhone effect", in terms of sales of other Apple products. Although I think Google will ultimately reign supreme in China, Apple will definitely have a huge influence in the Chinese market.
I definitely think there's definitely a lot of room for growth for Apple, and Google's mobile OS platform(s). People are putting an increase need on their smartphones that Microsoft is literally playing catchup in the mobile OS war. Microsoft has depended to much on it's Windows platform, that it's losing to Apple and Google. Even with the introduction of Windows Phone 7, it could be all to late for Microsoft to gain significant marketshare, especially when Apple and Google are growing at a rapid pace. Microsoft envisioned tablet computers, and now it's behind Apple. When Apple released it's iPhone, it set off a revolution on what a cellphone can do-- it's touch-screen interface, it's App store, pretty much making it's iPhone the go to device for anything, Google jumped on the bandwagon quick enough to be able to counter Apple in the market.
But perhaps that's why Microsoft fell behind Apple. They grew comfortable with their cashcows in Windows, Microsoft Office products, and it's Xbox division. I am putting a lot of emphasize on Microsoft to the end of my editorial because it's literally losing to Apple, and Google. Windows Phone 7 will come out this year, but it's gonna have to be amazing, absolutely flawless. Microsoft isn't practically in the "cool" crowd, or has the brand recognition that Apple has.
This is a bloody battle between Apple, and Google who we're once the perfect match made in Heaven. Now these two companies are on a full-frontal assault for your money, for your loyalty, and your time. Either path you choose, you'll undoubtedly get a great product, with increasing capabilities as these two tech giants, try to out due each other. But it will be ultimately Google that will have the last laugh.