Is Android Winning the War With iPhone?

In an interview at Bloomberg headquarters, Google chairman Eric Schmidt claimed that Google is clearly winning the war with Apple right now in terms of platforms.

Android market share has been steadily rising, accounting for 72 percent of the smartphone industry in the third quarter. iOS accounted for just 14 percent market share during the same three month period.

“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago — Microsoft versus Apple,” he said. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”

The primary difference between Android and iOS as mobile operating systems is that the former is open, while the latter is closed. Google licenses Android to numerous manufacturing partners, including Samsung, HTC and its subsidiary Motorola.

Apple, on the other hand, restricts its iOS software to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The Apple TV and iPod nano also run similar versions of iOS, but the fact remains that the software is only used on Apple products. No third-party products ship with iOS, nor is it likely that any ever will. 

By getting the Android platform in the hands of so many consumers due to such a wide variety of devices running on the software, Schmidt noted that Google eventually recuperates revenues through its ads and other Internet-related services.

“The core strategy is to make a bigger pie,” he said. “We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”

Despite not having the most market share, there is no doubt that Apple’s closed business model has been working well for the corporation. Apple is the world’s most valuable company, backed by millions of iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac sales each year.

That said, both Apple and Google have found ways to be successful companies in the ultra-competitive consumer electronics industry and broader technological landscape. But, in terms of mobile platforms, do you agree that Android is winning the war with iPhone?

[Bloomberg]

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  1. Apple employed this same strategy in the 1980s and 90s against Microsoft. Microsoft ended up with 90%+ of the market. If it hadn’t been for the iPod, Apple would be a niche company now.

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