Android has recently come under fire lately from two different areas and its got the Android community up in arms. The first is from Nicholas Carlson from Business Insider. Carlson claims that Androids success is due to the fact that many Android “handsets are free and that carriers are just giving them away”. Lets look at this comment for a moment. Whenever Apple sells a new iPhone, the last years model is instantly discounted by $100. The same is true of almost all high end Android phones as well. Also, the two year old iPhone is usually free at this point. The iPhone is currently available on all major networks. If iOS was the “go to” choice for mobile users then it would be dominating in market share, which its currently far behind that of Android. Lets look at another number. Samsung is the most successful Android handset maker. They sold over 40 million Galaxy S 3s and 3 million Note 2s. Yeah, the Note 2, you remember, the pahblet that was just a gimmick. These phones are selling for the same 2 year contract price as that of the iPhone and its only one of many Android manufacturers. Look at the Nexus 4. That phone is only available online (T-Mobile is an exception) and it overloaded the Google Play Store with its popularity. Its also $150 more expensive than a subsidized iPhone.
Carlson also goes on to say that Android users aren’t “real smartphone users” because “ they didn’t use their phone to make purchases on blackfriday, browse the web or watch videos”. The funny thing is that he provides no real data to support this. He only goes by OOYALA’s own numbers. He doesn’t look at any other website, doesn’t check YouTube or Netflix (arguably the 2 biggest video content websites). As far as black Friday sales are concerned, who cares? I’ll concede that the iPad is the dominate tablet on the market by far and that maybe those iOS users are using that instead of an iPhone to make purchases. The iPad is not a phone and tablets should not be confused with smartphones in the first place.
What bothers me about Carlsons remarks is that he treats Android users like a sub-category of everyday consumers. If you’re poor and want a smartphone, buy Android. If you’re too dumb to shop online, buy Android. Its as if he believes iOS and its users are in a higher class of people. Let me assure you Mr. Carlson, you are wrong.
The second attack on Android came from Apples VP Phil Schiller. This one is shocking to say the least. To have such a high ranking member of the Apple hierarchy bashing Google, is really a testimate to what Google has been able to do. Schillers first comment falls in line with what Carlson says, that “Android Phones are just given away”. First off Mr. Schiller, what is your response to the fact that iPhone 4s sales went up after the iPhone 5 came out? Could it be that maybe offering an iPhone 4s for $100 was very attractive to the budget wary consumer, just like Android phones are when they get discounted. There are multiple Android manufacturers out there and they don’t follow the same release schedule for their products. This gives the consumer a huge choice in what Android device they can get at a wide range of prices. Are their low end Android phones? Sure. Some people don’t need all the bells and whistles and OEMs know this. That’s not a slight against Android, that’s positive marketing.
Schillers next comment just baffles me, he says “When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with” and “They don’t work seamlessly together.” What!? They don’t seamlessly work together!? Lets explain something to Mr. Schiller here, Android works with all applications. I am not regulated to work with what Apple deems appropriate. I can share what I want, with whatever application I want. I can set my photos to share instantly with my Google+ account, and they will be there forever if I so choose. Or I can back them up very easily through DropBox or any other cloud storage I use. I also can seamlessly drag and drop any file to my phone without having to sync it through iTunes. The only advantage that iOS has is a full system back up. Android backs up your contacts, photos, media and apps, but it doesn’t save absolutely everything that’s on your phone. For that you need an app like Titanium Back Up with root access.
This last quote is just plain sad. Schiller goes on to say that “Given the iPhone 5 is so thin and light, the reason that people are making their devices bigger is to get up to the battery life the iPhone 5 offers”. Really? That’s the reason? It has nothing to do with screen size? If that’s true, then why did the iPhone 5 come with a larger display? Was it to accommodate a larger battery or could it be that people like larger screens? The iPhone has great battery life don’t get me wrong, but the DROID RAZR MAXX HD has the best battery life of all smartphones and is remarkably thin for whats underneath.
So why all the Android hate all of a sudden? The answer is simple. When you can’t defend your product, you go after the competition. Despite what Schiller says, Android is trouncing them in market share. In Europe and Asia, iPhones aren’t nearly as popular as they are here in the US, not that it matters because Android is still more popular. One thing you have yet to see is Google act the same way. No one from Google ever bashes Apple in a public forum. Googles keynotes don’t even mention Apple. Remember the introduction of the iPad Mini and its comparison to the cheaper Nexus 7? That was a real low blow for Apple and it shows a very immature stance that they have with Android. The big problem for Apple is that they have run out of ideas. Google is outpacing them in innovation. Samsung is on a quest to be the new status symbol of the smartphone world. In the end, laziness and a lack forward thinking will be Apples downfall.