A Battle of the Ages: Android vs Apple

Some open sourced enthusiasts predict that in the not too distant future closed sources of information and software will diminish and will not be able to compete with open sources. In the mobile world, many android enthusiasts voice their dislike towards the closed and rigid structure of closed systems such as the Apple iPhone with its iOS.  They foresee the downfall and demise of the Apple iPhone. However, even to this day the iPhone is still one of the best selling smartphones that have been made and sold.

Research shows that Android devices currently make up 79% of the mobile market share. This is up around 10% from last year and this figure is still estimated to grow. This coincides with a 3% fall in the market share for the iOS for the same year.  However, it is clearly evident there is still a real demand for the iPhone. Apple sold 6.1 million units of the first generation iPhone. From then Apple’s sales has continually grown and in 2012 the iPhone 5 became the highest selling handset with 27.4 million handsets sold which is 13% of all smartphones sold worldwide. This success has also continued with the launch of the new iPhone 5s and 5c models breaking records in sales for the opening weekend with 9 million handsets sold worldwide.


How,  do you ask has Apple been able to maintain its popularity and fanatic customer base who continue to purchase its products when many Android and open sourced enthusiast predict the demise of closed systems such as the iPhone?

The popularity of the iPhone has largely been due to its exclusivity and the image it projects. Who wants a phone that everyone else has. There is no doubt that the Android operating system will continue to grow as many handset companies continue to use this free, open source operating system to provide customers products with lower cost and greater customizability. However, there will always be a part of the market who purchase due to exclusivity of a certain product. The iOS unlike the Android operating system is exclusive to only Apple products. However, this does not mean that if Apple hypothetically started to release horrible quality operating systems that could not compete with other operating systems such as Android, that customers still will buy the product. People pay higher prices for exclusivity and image and that is what Apple has already established. Hence, they will still be able to attract customers to buy their products due to their distinct difference from other market competitors. This is the largest selling power that Apple products have.  I have ended this post with the video below which is one of the many video parodies of the new Apple iPhone that is up on YouTube. It gives you a perspective on what Android enthusiasts might think of the iPhone and also a laugh as well. Enjoy!

Cover Image: http://bit.ly/Hc3PgU


14 thoughts on “A Battle of the Ages: Android vs Apple

  1. Haha I love that video! I definitely agree that Apple have managed to assert themselves as an exclusive and hip brand through extremely clever advertising. I, and almost all of my friends are iPhone users, so I got quite a shock at the fact that 79% of people use Android?! I believe that the collaborative development method of Google will eventually conquer Apple’s ultra-secretive style, and that it will better allow for developers to cater to consumer needs. Whether Android will completely monopolise the market is a big question. I for one am a die-hard Apple consumer purely for the user-friendly nature of it. As a not-so tech-savvy human being, I think that once Android matches Apple’s simple design and user-friendly interface, then it will be all over. How far off in the future this is, is another question.

  2. I was also so surprised that 79% of the mobile market share is Android. This month I made the brave decision to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S4.. my first Android after having been an iPhone user and devoted Apple consumer for over 5 years. I was so nervous leaving an operating system I was so familiar with, especially having previously scoffed at anyone who dared to make the swap from iPhone to Android. The first couple of weeks were a real learning curve but I really can’t deny how great it is using a phone with opensource software, the options are just so much greater! I admit I miss the clean cut lines and ease of iOS but at this stage I can’t see myself going back.

  3. Fabulous video, probably should have worn head phones before listening to it with a young child in the room… haha. I understand the desire of an open-sourced software and I have nothing against Android or Android users, however in my opinion I don’t think that will be what will see the end of Apple. Open-sourced software is great, but some people just don’t care (or they just don’t have the brain capacity to understand it). I have had a non-smartphone mobile, an Android mobile, a Blackberry mobile, and now my next one will most likely be an iPhone. Why? Not because the iPhone is apparently a bit of a status symbol (even a broken one is: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/smashed-smartphone-screens-become-status-symbol-20130520-2jwan.html#ixzz2TqrO3aww ), but because I love the ease of iOS and after giving a lot of other platforms a go, I think it is time for me to go pro-Apple. I already have an iPod Touch, and I’m waiting on my Macbook Pro to be delivered (my poor 4.5yo Dell is a bit tired), so why not complete the collection?

  4. See i am an Andriod user, i have no problems with my phone. It does everything i need, internet access, apps, messaging etc- its a pretty basic smart phone but the sole reason i would switch to an Apple is not for open or closed sources (i dont really understand what that is) but basically because all my friends have one and you can get pretty cases with them. I feel like we can analyse how many people by what phone and what sort of technology they each offer but from my experience we will always by the one our friends have and one that we can make look pretty. Superficial? Oh hell yes but that’s our generation.

  5. Everyone says that apple is taking over the world – what I find interesting is that android actually sells better. I read about it in this blog: http://blog.laptopmag.com/android-smartphone-sales and I have found this information from a number of other sources also. Im curious to know if people are aware of the open and closed systems or if there was another reason for their purchase decisions. I just hate this concept of the world around us is closing in – the more technology we engage in the more opportunity we give for companies to control and censor us. Thoughts?

    • Thanks for the feedback. I think that most people don’t understand open source and close source systems. I have just recently upon taking this course come to an understanding of what it means. I think for most people it’s the usability of the device that concerns them most. There are people who look for simple interfaces and others who want to tweak and customise every part of the platform. So I think it all falls down to need.

  6. I feel as although the Android phone market accounts for 79% of the smart phones used worldwide, there will always be a place for the iPhone. It is no secret that the iPod saved apple (http://www.maclife.com/article/columns/lifer_how_ipod_saved_apple). By combining the style and creative genius of the iPod and the connectivity of a mobile device, the result was always going to be a success.
    As mentioned above, many Apple users consider themselves and the products they purchase to be exclusive and hip. I believe that for Apple to regain their dominance of the smart phone market they need to better position themselves within the market by offering a lower cost alternative to the inflated prices of the 4, 4s and now 5c and 5s series iPhones. Will they do that? Probably not. Why would they when you are making 35 billion in revenue 🙂 – http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/23/apple-q3-2013/

  7. I think that open source system such as Android is better than a closed system. With open system, multiple companies can invent and improve things while closed system only have one companies doing all the work. I agree with Tim Wu when he said that ‘pen should generally do better than closed, unless the closed company is run by a genius.’ because open vs closed is like one person vs. many person. If one person want to win, he or she will have to be better than many person combine. A few years ago closed system seem to be better than open when Mac was at long last gaining ground on Windows and when closed system phone such as BlackBerry and iPhone were demolishing the open Windows Mobile.

    Tim Wu theory, http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/02/idea-of-the-week-open-vs-closed.html

    Open vs. closed, http://techpinions.com/open-vs-closed-systems-what-the-future-holds/12754

  8. I disagree with how you have phased your argument about the Iphone selling the most handsets ever. I do not dispute this fact but I believe this is worded incorrectly. With the debate between iOS and Android this evidence I do not believe can be used. As Android is used on many handset’s while iOS is on a singular mobile phone, thus, if you want an iOS device that is the handset you must purchase. As you said earlier 79% of handsets used are Android so if you looked at sales based on operating systems Android would still be in-front. And I propose that if iOS was on other handsets the Iphone might not have sold that spectacular amount.
    Also you are right with the point that Apple is an exclusive product hence its popularity but I recently read a blog stating that Apple puts its interface quality over everything else and will never lose quality due to their business implementing a closed device structure. (http://lifehacker.com/ios-vs-android-your-best-arguments-1334921103)

  9. I definitely agree that Androids are becoming increasingly popular for the preferred smartphone handset, but I believe that the reason it has not yet overtaken the iPhone as the highest selling handset is due to the image that is portrayed by the Apple company. Even in high school, having something that displayed the Apple logo was the highest point of ‘cool’ that you could possibly be. Even before the iPhone existed, the huge, bulky first-generation iPods were by a margin more stylish than a lesser-brand mp3 player. That being said, I still think there is a risk for Apple in terms of the iPhone’s popularity due to the multitude of which the Android software can be applied (i.e. the amount of different handsets that have employed it), whereas Apple only has the one certain smartphone.

  10. Hahah! The video! Yes! A thousand million times yes “If I stole your identity I would kill myself”. Holy hell. Okay but down to the actual point. Whilst I can definitely acknowledge that Apple’s marketing budget in Australia alone could probably end world hunger, and I like to think that I’m not swayed by the British accents and technological talk, I still use apple for a conveniences sake. I can recognise that perhaps I am having somewhat of a limited experience in relation to my device, but as somebody who isn’t that great with things with screens and buttons, I’m okay with that. I just want something that is easy and simple to use. do understand that this is a gilded cage, but it all comes down to need and personal preferences. I like clean aesthetics and a simple interface. Apple does deliver that, and for somebody that also uses a Macbook, it’s a pretty seamless experience between the two. I

  11. Haha that video is the best! But I do think it actually has some valid points, particularly about buying the same thing over and over again. The latest update of the iPhone was highly anticipated with crowds lining up in front of stores, desperate to get their hands on the latest addition, yet it really wasn’t that much different from the last few additions. What Apple has over the Android market is impressive marketing and advertising techniques. Apple knows how to generate hype and excitement over it’s latest offerings. For me personally, I choose Apple out of convenience and familiarity.

  12. You have to admit that Apple knows how to market its products. When it comes to promoting a product and showing selling points so customers but it – Apple knows what’s up. Shown in this post http://blog.kissmetrics.com/7-strategies-apple-marketing/ Apple focuses on perfecting what it produces; the aesthetic appeal of its products and unmatched technology – specific to Apple, is an ideal selling point for customers to buy Apple products. When it comes to the comparison of Apple and Android – Apple is seen as untouchable when it comes to range of products that can be seamlessly integrated with each other ( http://www.itproportal.com/2013/09/07/the-iphone-5s-and-the-future-what-apple-must-do-to-catch-up-with-android/ ) Though all of these products and aesthetic appeal does not mean higher share prices, or a higher market share – shown in the statistics you posted.

  13. I loved the video! Thanks for including it. I think part of the reason Apple products are so popular is because of how easy they are to use. The layout is logical and whatever devices you have, you can sync them all together easily. That being said, there are so many restrictions on the product so I can completely understand why so many people opt for Android products. I think image is another part of what makes people choose Apple. Just their website alone is beautiful. They work very hard at their launches of products and any advertising of them. I agree with you when you say that prestige is definitely an element that can cause a lot of people to continue to “buy the same shit over and over again” as the video so clearly tells us.

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