Android vs iOS, the latest figures + My Thoughts
Andy Rubin has revealed today that there are now 850,000 Android devices being “Activated” daily. Google measures activations as they don’t get actual sales figures from each OEM. This also means they don’t count anything that doesn’t have the Android Market either. Rubin also stated that there are 12m Android tablets to date, again only counting devices with the Android Market available on them.
People will automatically look for a comparison to iOS so here are the figures from that side of things. The latest data we have is from the 24th of January so it’s not as current as the Android figures above but here they are anyway. Apple measures actual sales to customers and that currently stands at an average of 535,102 per day. That figure comprises only the 3 iPhone models and the iPad, Apple reports iPod Touch sales in with the rest of the iPod line so I cannot separate them. Total iOS tablet sales since April 2010 stands at 55m.
What these figures mean is that even though Apple only has 4 devices on the market it still manages to sell 62% of total Android devices, particularly impressive when you consider just how many Android devices are available. In fact, most of the big Android manufacturers have more models of phones and tablets than Apple. I’m sure any of the Android OEM’s would love to equal those types of sales from just 4 devices and 1 OEM. When you break it down like that, no individual manufacturer in this “war” comes even close to matching Apple.
Apple has sold more iPads in the last quarter alone than Android has managed since the first tablet went on sale in November 2010. It would be interesting to see if the Kindle Fire is hurting sales of other Android tablets, we know that it isn’t hurting iPads sales.
I believe that Android tablets are so far behind the iPad because of Apps. Whilst there are some good Apps and Games for Android the number is considerably smaller than on the iPad (less than 2% by volume I believe) I think Google needs to start helping developers out more and even could start to make some apps itself. Apple makes excellent apps such as Garageband, iMovie, iWork, iBooks. Android/Google doesn’t have any “halo” apps that looks as good or perform as well that can be used to sell devices. The fact that the latest version of Android is still only on 1% of devices is making life difficult for 3rd party developers. Hopefully the new products being announced at MWC will get the % up but even then, a few devices are still launching with 2.3 despite 4.0 being available to everyone since November.
Google isn’t ever going to fix this though. They do not benefit from ensuring customers get fast updates, they don’t benefit from spending the time coding halo apps. Thats why they abandoned the Update Alliance and thats why they don’t reign in OEM’s that are causing fragmentation. What Google does care about is making a product that is free and that will be pushed on as many people as possible so that they can sell ads. I’m guessing that Google was actually pretty excited by iPad and iPhone sales until recently because even though they weren’t using their operating system, Google was still tracking customers on those device even if when they turned it off!
I don’t even think Google will be the one to bother Apple, that will be Microsoft, its OEM’s and Windows 8. Most of the Android tablets are made by OEM’s that make Windows Laptops too, as soon as they see how well windows 8 will do as a fully fledged operating system, they’ll dial back support for Android.