Smartphone Apps: Android or iPhone?
There was a time during the early days of the internet, when websites would have ‘best viewed in Netscape’ or ‘best viewed in Internet Explorer’ notices on them. This was the 1990’s, and the ‘Browser Wars’ were in full swing. You may not notice this problem now, but there was a time when you could only view a website properly using one browser or the other, depending on which browser the web developer chose as its platform.
Netscape began with about 80% market share, but Microsoft, which owned Internet Explorer, had a 90% share of the desktop operating system market. Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer with every copy of Windows and quickly dominated the market and Netscape was discontinued.
A similar battle is erupting today in the lucrative world of Smartphone Applications, with the two rivals being Apple and Google. When Apple came out with its iPhone, one of its great features was that you could buy and download Apps, from games, books, and others for special use, such as restaurant and wine menus, ecommerce services, etc. This proved lucrative for both Apple and the third party developers who built them using Apple’s software development kit and sold them through the App Store.
Then, on November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of several companies which include Broadcom Corporation, Google, HTC, Intel, LG, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Texas Instruments unveiled itself. The goal of the Open Handset Alliance was to develop open standards for mobile devices. On the same day, the Open Handset Alliance also unveiled their first product, Android.
Android, which was developed and is operated by Google, is an operating system that allowed other mobile devices to have features and services similar to the iPhone, but at a fraction of the price. What does this mean for those planning on developing an iPad App for business?
In terms of units sold, the iPhone still holds a commanding lead over other Smartphone brands, with a 20% market share. However, don’t be misled by that. Consider the fact that the Android is not a phone but an operating system for a phone, and this operating system is being used by over a dozen companies representing 40% of the market. From that point of view, Androids rule.