According to a Nielson survey released on Tuesday, 31% of prospective smartphone buyers preferred Android, compared 30% for iPhone. Now, the difference is only 1%, but this is quite telling, perhaps a glimpse of the things to come. As many of us have already thought for a while, the war between Android and iPhone is about a war between a open-source platform and a notoriously “closed” platform. And it seems like the open-source is winning, at least for the moment.
The “exclusivity” of iPhone is both a blessing and a curse. Its software and hardware work perfectly together, a match made in Apple Heaven. On the other hand, Android is a manna from Google Heaven that a lot of mobile device companies use to cook up all sorts of smartphones, which can be a hit or a miss. And as expected, the open-source nature of Android has boosted its adoption rate far greater than iPhone, which is very similar to what happened to PC and Mac years ago. But of course, the close-source nature of iPhone makes it a better platform when it comes to viruses (I already have two antivirus apps installed on one of my Android phones! Who would have thought we’d see a day when we install antivirus software on our phones!).
But as PC showed Mac back in the 90s, when it comes to numbers, the masses win. Which means this trend of Android-preference is going to continue, unless there’s an “Armageddon of virus breakouts” on Android phones in the near future that would make us to think twice about the cute little green robot platform.
As much as the popularity of Mac has risen significantly in the recent years, thanks to some great designs, the fact is that there are heck of a lot more PCs than Macs in this world, still (I know Wizard Jobs declared a post-PC era, but I think it’s a bit premature.). Perhaps Apple isn’t looking for a “numerical win” against Google. Perhaps Apple is happy with its view from the top of the design prowess perch. But this Android attack is for real, and I wonder what the next move is from Apple, the company that “thinks different”!