Android and iOS Are Both Winning

Virtual Pants:

People often forget that Google and Apple are playing the same game with different goals in mind. Apple strives to maximize profitability in hardware sales. Google, on the other hand, is striving for maximum market share, providing the most users for its services. This is a rare, if not unique, war where both Apple and Google can win, and that seems to be very confusing to people.

This is in reference to yesterday’s “Android’s Market Share Is Literally a Joke” by John Kirk. Judging by my email, Kirk’s piece touched a nerve among many of the true believers in the Church of Market Share. Virtual Pants is right about one thing: the fact that Apple is winning with iOS does not mean Google is losing with Android. They might both be getting exactly what they want.

But Kirk didn’t argue about Google’s interest in Android. It’s the market share zealots who seem to believe there can be one and only one successful platform. And as for Virtual Pants, I don’t think there’s anything rare or unique about this situation. Again I say: just look at the mature, stable PC market. Windows has held a decades-long monopoly on PC operating systems, exactly what Microsoft wants. The Mac reaps an enormous chunk of the industry’s hardware profits, exactly what Apple wants.

My belief, though, is that what Google is winning with Android is a booby prize — overwhelming majority share of the unprofitable segment of the market.

Friday, 24 May 2013