The platform wars are raging on, and Android versus iPhone market share articles are being churned out by the dozen seemingly every week. However, one Fortune writer believes that these articles and the market share comparison itself are inconsequential. Why is that?
According to Andy M. Zaky at Fortune:
For example, suppose Research in Motion (RIMM) decided it wanted to offer the Android operating system on all of its phones starting on December 31, 2010.
Even if Blackberry sales declined in 2011 for the first time ever, Android growth would skyrocket because every single Blackberry device sold would carry the Android operating system. Suppose the reason for the drop in Blackberry sales is later attributed to the fact that customers disliked the Android operating system and decided to go elsewhere.
This is true. As new manufacturers begin adopting Android each year, the actual platform market share numbers go up even if device sales are stagnant or declining.
But what does this say about the iPhone? Are the increasing numbers of Android users giving Apple investors a reason to worry? Probably not:
Interestingly enough, iPhone sales continue to far outpace the growth in the global smartphone market. In the December quarter, for example, while the global smartphone market grew at a pace of 70% year-over-year, Apple’s iPhone grew by 87%. This point right here should end all discussion.
In an article published at Business Insider a few weeks ago, Henry Blodget said that Android is eating up everything and that Apple is dead in the water. Clearly, Blodget was working with a very limited data set, and one that only applied to U.S. figures, not worldwide numbers. But his trolling worked — the sensational headline and outlandish story has gotten nearly 300,000 views since, and he also published another article defending it, too.
Perhaps this is the most salient point in the Fortune article, the emphasis is mine:
Google will probably report about $6.5 billion in total revenue when it releases its first quarter results later this week. Apple’s iPhone alone will very likely eclipse $11 billion for the March quarter. For 2011, Google is expected to report about $27 billion on the top line compared to the iPhone’s expected $48.2 billion in revenue. The iPhone as a business is nearly twice the size of Google’s entire operation. This is a financial reality rarely illuminated in these so-called “platform market share” articles where Apple investors are supposed to be “deathly afraid” of the Android operating system that doesn’t even create a fraction of the revenue Apple generates from the iPhone.
Whether you’re an iPhone or Android fanboy doesn’t matter — you can’t argue figures like these. Anyone who tries is really in blind denial. That’s the honest opinion of a tech geek who owns both an iPhone and several Android handsets.