The battle between Android and Apple is been intense as both brands are known as the top 2 smartphone makers in the world. Both brands have a loyal fanbase and pose strong sales figures every time a new version of their flagship is released. The rivalry between these two top tech giants started back in 2007.
The Start of a Revolutionary Battle
In June 2007, Apple launched its first iPhone which redefined the smartphone industry. The first iPhone gave the public a glimpse into what a smartphone was at the time. However, 15 months later, Google made its entry into the smartphone world as well in the form of the G1 smartphone in September 2008. Unlike the smartphones that we see today (the G1 had a bulky frame and slide-out keyboard), the device started the fiercest tech rivalry known today.
Fast forward to 2011 and Android has become the most popular smartphone platform in the United States. In fact, according to statistics released by CNN, 86% of smartphones sold worldwide run on Android operating system – proof that Android is dominating the market today. Android’s success today is credited to its strategy of collaborating with numerous carriers and marketing its devices at lower prices.
Will Android’s Market Dominance be Affected by the iPhone 8 & iPhone X?
Both these companies have managed to achieve respective milestones. Google, which owns Android since 2005, recently recorded two billion monthly active devices. This has indirectly enabled Google’s main money-generating products such as Gmail and Google Search to dominate the smartphone market just as they have on computers. Apple, on the other hand, continues to rake in a big percentage of the smartphone industry’s profits. This is because Apple continues to eat the lion’s share of the high-end market share.
Apple recorded $36 billion sales in the March quarter for iPhones and iPads – an impressive figure as this is before the release of the new iPhone. In comparison, Alphabet – Google’s parent company – recorded sales of nearly 3.1 billion for the same quarter for its hardware products and apps available on Google Play Store. This means that Apple is garnering higher earnings on the iOS than Google does for Android.
As the iPhone 8 & iPhone X due to be released in the coming months across the world, will the newest flagship from Apple be able to threaten Android’s market dominance? The Samsung Note 8, a device that runs on Android OS, has only been released in August 2017 and is deemed as the best smartphone available to date in terms of specs and user experience.
Based on current statistics, it seems that the iPhone 8 & iPhone X will heavily impact Android’s sales performance. Although Android may still lead in terms of platform market share but in terms of a device by device basis, Apple is continuously growing in popularity. Although the iPhone 8 is the main highlight but do not forget that Apple is also releasing the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S+ which might give the Samsung’s Galaxy S8 a run for its money as well.
What Can Android Do
Android needs to buck up if it wants to curb the iPhone’s growing popularity. 9To5Mac reports that Apple is attracting more Android switchers from the April to June quarter than at any time in the past 12 months. Hence, Android needs to work on certain aspects to ensure that it does not lose traction to Apple.
First of all, Android should improve on the consistency of its updates. Unlike Apple which shows consistent iOS updates across the latest devices, not all Android users – even those that own the latest Android devices – receive updates at the same time. Moreover, these updates are usually only applicable for the newer versions of smartphones that run on Android operating system. However, users who own two- to three-year-old iPhones are still able to receive the latest iOS updates. That means users who want to experience the latest Android updates will need to purchase the newest phones in the market. This is a flaw that Android needs to improve.
Besides that, Android should also make full use of a rising trend in the smartphone industry – virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The Galaxy Note 8 by Samsung has a dual-camera setup that looks equipped to support AR-based apps in the future. Google’s very own Pixel 2 is also expected to come with Tango support. Apple's presentation on their new device has also somewhat 'under-sold' their device's augmented reality according to experts as well. Hence, being an open platform that it is, Google and Android should collaborate with their partners and developers to embrace augmented and virtual reality before Apple does to get an upper hand over the latter.
TL;DR Android should improve on the consistency of its updates as well as utilize the full potential of AR and VR if it wishes to contest with Apple in terms of device sales.
The battle between Apple and Android does not seem to end anytime soon; it will grow even more intense as the smartphone industry continues to advance.