iOS vs. Android: Google’s got market share, Apple’s got the cash

For whatever reason, Apple and Google’s head-to-head combat has spilled down in to consumers and transformed in to some type of fanaticism normally only found in sports. Android fans throw out the “Android’s more popular, and iOS is going down” chant. Apple fanboys yell “but there’s only one iPhone and there are hundreds of Androids“. Seriously, why should they care?

Saying that, this latest tidbit is another to throw in to the mix. When it comes down to the bare business essentials – money – Apple has it covered, seriously well covered. In this past year Apple was declared the most valuable brand. The company has billions sat in the bank, in cold hard cash. (It does business old style.) And, it controls 50% of the profit that comes in to the mobile industry. That’s right. Even though Android has over 40% of the global smartphone market in terms of devices sold/shipped, and Apple only has about 15%, Jobs&Co’s profit is worth one half of the entire handset market.The thing is this: when you make the hardware and the software, you keep pretty much all of the money. There are no licensing fees to pay to use another company’s software.

A business exists to make money. Sorry to break it to you, but neither Apple nor Google cares what you prefer. Companies don’t just make products, or improvements to make the customer happy. If they did, they’d give them away. Making the customer happy means they have a good experience, which means they buy more of your products and give you free advertising by telling their friends. Their friends sign up “et voila”, you have more money. Simple.

So, although Android fanatics may think Apple is going down, or that Google’s operating system is more successful, when it comes down to cold hard cash (which is what it’s really about), Apple is dominating everyone.

Via: Apple Insider


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  • Obi-wan (Android) Won that fight…maybe use a different pic ;)

  • Gamertheory

    Well, that’s the way it’s going to end. Android FTW.

  • “The thing is this: when you make the hardware and the software, you keep pretty much all of the money.”

    I have read on this very site that Apple use a chip in their iPhones developed by Samsung. In fact this whole article reeks of Apple fanaticism. Is it not still a fact that Apple is a brand people are willing to pay for, that the logo is a sort of status symbol which renders consumers some part of an elite club? And is it not still a fact that, because of this, Apple still charge more for their products (with respect to percentage profit intake) than most or than any other smart phone manufacturer?

    I’m afraid that this entire article is based upon a flawed point. Talk about Apple being a more successful brand in the smartphone market, by all means, but leave comparisons of device sales well alone; their success doesn’t appear to be anything to do with the device. But I suppose that backs up your point; companies don’t exist to make people happy. I disagree when it comes to most companies, but I think you’ve got a point when it comes to Apple.

    • Lavon2k

      Do not forget the fact that Apple is not just a iOS company. I understand what he is stating in this article. Apple designs everything from head to toe and the architecture of the chip was a collaboration not just a purchase. A lot of people do not understand that but this is the reason why you will see tons of iPhone look a like products in other countries. The foundation of the phone is assembled elsewhere and it is not hard to grab a hold of blue prints outside the US.

  • Wouter

    do like the picture

  • MicroNix

    I think you forgot Google’s recurring revenue from advertising on Android phones that is in the billions.  While Apple has the money off the initial sale and does get money from the appstore/iTunes (as does Google with their appstore), Google’s source of income is what keeps coming in *after* the sale and for years to come.  We’ll also forgo the news here how Android has every phone manufacturer for it making record profits, doubling, even tripling year over year solely on Android.

    It is an interesting article.  Apple will have a good ride for some time to come because of the smart phone arena’s growth into new customers but will be facing stiff competition which they are clearly worried about.  The HTC devices of 2011, the Droid Bionic, the Samsung Galaxy S II are all devices that sort of make the iPhone (who’s screen appearance hasn’t really changed since 2007) look a little like a lower end, yesterday technology.  Many Apple fanatics sneer with terms like “fragmentation” or “looks like a mess” but in the Android phone manufacturer’s race to stand out from *other Android devices* they are not only making their interfaces different, giving a “fresh” look and feel to their devices, they are innovating to have something different (3D cameras and video anyone?)  Their race to be better than the other *Android* device is sort of leaving Apple in a post-iPhone bubble of the same thing over and over again (at least in screen appearance).  IF Apple can pull it off as something magical and fresh every time with their brilliant marketing blather, they can keep moving.  If they start to appear to be copying features (most of the iPhone 4, iOS 5’s major features were already available in Android) then their appeal is going to start fading.

    • Lavon2k

      It’s interesting that you really bring up features. Apparently you must think apple is just an iOS company and has no clue about operating systems. Every time I see a post by an Android os user i hear features this and that. Please please do not forget that Apple is not just a iOS company. Apple is just Touching a market such as the Nintendo Wii did. If you look at those two facts you will just say to yourself hey I understand now. Any feature on a phone like widgets multitasking full web browser has been done on an operating system that appeared before I want to buy every company in the world(Google) mobile os existed. I like your response but I just get irritated with this features thing. I would state that only a few companies are surviving using the android os but it would be no point. Motorola is hurting right now and the only two companies really prevailing are HTC and Samsung.

      • Relentlessappz

        I’m sorry but you say you get irritated when you hear android users fighting back against the ios. if we didn’t have to listen to them bullshit advertisements with apple making out they have created this amazing new technology and claim its all theres when its been around for years, ie facetime, been video calling for 11 years now and I don’t need wifi. any way what I’m getting at is I guarantee ill see an advert where they have created this amazing revolutionary notification system when I think what a load of crap you’ve stole from android and made it your own and try to make out its all your own idea. if the shoe was on the other foot I guarantee thee great apple would soon be taking you to court, apple can keep disappearing down the market share as it is currently and do one, apple is scum

  • Jonathan

    *sigh* lame analysis.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint. Google isn’t going anywhere, they’ve got significant money of their own. Do you think Apple is thinking to itself we make 50% of the mobile industry money so why worry? No. Apple and Microsoft, as capitalistic businesses, can see the accelerating popularity and marketshare of Android for what it is: a threat to their future. Dumb article.

  • TomRScott

    History repeats: c1982 – Apple Mac (Mac OS)  v. IBM PC (DOS).  The Mac/MacOS combination was a vertical monopoly and Apple kept it that way. Conversely, IBM licensed its OS from Microsoft. As Apple refused to license their OS, first IBM then everyone else gradually pulled away and first the arguably inferior DOS then the arguably inferior Windows vastly outpaced MacOS sales and became the dominant OS (both in their respective times, DOS then Windows as a true OS). One may even see similarities in Apple strategy regarding Mac applications and iOS applications. Side note: Microsoft can be charged with some of the same regarding a more successful attempt to maintain vertical dominance, with Windows from OS through applications with Office, etc. Obviously, there is more to this story, above are just the broad strokes, but Jobs is still Jobs and the business strategies of both a Jobs dominated Apple and the competition are pretty much the same this time around as it was with the MacOS v. DOS then Windows and iOS v. Android. I will grant that Jobs seems to have at least PARTIALLY learned from the previous war. But his core personality and thus his strategies and tactics are virtually unchanged regardless. One result of Jobs’s “education” from the first “war” was more freely allowing application competition. However, Apple still dictates that non-jail broken phones purchase through the “company store” with all that such a practice entails. Meanwhile, the Android “mess” has multiple truly competing outlets for apps.   – Tom

  • TomRScott

    BTW, ditto on Matt’s comment as well as noting it seems ironic that not only is the graphic seeming to “illustrate” the opposite view of the Apple-fan author but puts the Apple iOS in the role of the evil Galactic Empire’s equally evil General Grievous!

  • Relentlessappz

    but what you fail to realise is that apple are going down, take a moment to think about what you have written? apple have lost 8% in the last year alone in the UK and that’s happening everywhere, so yeah apple may make the most profit off every sale of a device, mainly because in my eyes over hyped and over priced and the consumer are just blind to its advertising. but things are changing and choosing android and if apple are losing its customer base its also going to be down on profit compared to previous years, so technically they are going down, no matter how you try to support them with your figures of profit per device, fact is fact they are losing it

  • Somu

    What does Apple do with that hard cash in bank? Earn interest ?? Having much money does not matter. What matters is how much you invest and do innvovations. New Android phones are being released every week, and it will not take much time to kill iOS. I have brough Samsung SII which is quite superior compared to iPhone.