Smartphone Mojo

Kevin Drum:

Until now, one of Apple’s big advantages in the market has been the depth and quality of its app ecosystem. But as its market share keeps decreasing, that will go away. Developers will write apps for Android first, and then port their code over to iOS later. All the newest and coolest stuff will be available on Android phones first, and as that happens the all-important teen demo will slip away.

Drum is wrong here in all sorts of ways, but I think he’s neatly summarized the bear perspective on the iPhone’s future. The fundamental error in this line of thinking is the assumption that all smartphone users are created equal. They’re not. iPhone users are significantly different demographically. Android vs. iOS isn’t like Playstation vs. Xbox.

iOS can continue to thrive with significantly fewer users than Android if it can continue to attract significantly better users than Android.

If I’m wrong and Drum is correct, why hasn’t it happened yet? iOS has never been the smartphone market share leader; it was behind Symbian and BlackBerry in its early years, and Android surpassed all of them years ago.

Monday, 12 August 2013