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Android Sales Surpass iPhone Sales 668

gollum123 writes with this excerpt from VentureBeat: "Smartphones based on Google's Android mobile operating system outsold Apple's iPhone in the US during the first quarter of 2010, according to a report by research firm The NPD Group. The data places Android, with 28 percent of the smartphone market [last quarter], in second place behind RIM's Blackberry smartphone market share of 36 percent. Apple now sits in third place with 21 percent. NPD points to a Verizon buy-one-get-one-free promotion for all of its smartphones as a major factor in the first-quarter numbers. Verizon saw strong sales for the Motorola Droid and Droid Eris Android phones, as well as the Blackberry Curve, thanks to its promotional offer. Verizon launched a $100 million marketing campaign for the Droid when it hit the market in November 2009, which likely contributed to strong sales in the first quarter as well." Preston Gralla notes that it's not all bad news for Apple; this report could help their case in upcoming antitrust discussions.
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Android Sales Surpass iPhone Sales

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  • surprising? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:01PM (#32160816)

    I, for one, am shocked, that many products from several sources on various carriers have collectively outsold a single product available on a single carrier that doesn't even have the most market share. Utterly amazing, isn't it? /sarcasm

  • by CyberBill ( 526285 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:03PM (#32160854)
    Apple is getting ready to release a new iPhone in the next few months. I'm sure this kind of regular product cycle makes consumers not want to upgrade for the quarter before a new release. I know I'm going to skip the 3GS and wait for the "4" or whatever the new one is called.
  • Re:surprising? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:04PM (#32160872)

    yeah, but I'm not switching to AT&T just to get an iPhone. No one I know but the two people with iPhones has AT&T, the coverage sucks most of the places I am most of the time, etc. Is the iPhone cool? Sure. Is it switch to AT&T cool? Hell no.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ogm ( 1233626 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:07PM (#32160918)
    When a company makes a business decision to be sole manufacturer of a product, and not to license it to anybody, it is not a surprise that a relatively open product out-sells it. Even when that single product happens to have at least 10 similar yet different versions.
  • Anti-trust (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:08PM (#32160928)

    this report could help their case in upcoming antitrust discussions.

    Or just as easily hurt it. As the report shows a big part of the sales was on Verizon network, which is a market Apple does not exist on. A large portion of those sales "might" have been for Apple's product had it be available on the Verizon network.

  • Re:I TOLD YOU SO! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:08PM (#32160936)

    > (Sits back and waits for the karma burn.)

    Yes, that karma burn is going to have nothing to do with your statement objectively actually being flamebait. It adds nothing at all to the discussion. Even people that agree with you that it was unavoidable that Android phones were going to surpass iPhones can at most ignore your post. There's nothing interesting, informative or insightful about it.

    Maybe just don't post shit next time.

  • by Chicken_Kickers ( 1062164 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:10PM (#32160958)
    but companies could face anti-trust action even if they don't own a monopoly over a product or service. (Confirm/Deny?) I am also smirking over the reaction of Apple supporters over this news. Previously, it was "we are the champions, no time for losers" now it is "hey, told you we're not evil because we are the underdogs, support the underdogs!" Not trolling by the way.
  • Re:surprising? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KharmaWidow ( 1504025 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:14PM (#32161012)

    Seriously. One phone on one carrier has 21% of the market while, while a dozen other phones on several different carriers have 28% of the market... Many, they had to give away for free!

    I think Apple still wins. And definitely AT&T wins since it sells Apple, Android, and BlackBerry.

  • Re:Anti-trust (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:19PM (#32161108)

    How is it Apple's fault when Verizon is deploying a network technology that virtually none of the rest of the world uses (CDMA)? GSM is in more places world wide and the two GSM carriers in the US are T-Mobile and AT&T. And between the two AT&T has better coverage.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:24PM (#32161178) Homepage Journal

    The problem, however, is that the vast majority of the population lives in urban centers. Also, the percentage of the population that can afford smartphones is larger in urban population centers than in rural areas. Which is a GREAT deal if you're of the tiny, tiny fraction of the population that both lives in remote rural areas, have good reception, and can afford an iPhone.
    My technophobe mother just bought a jailbroken iPhone off ebay to use with her tmobile account

  • Re:Apple (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:25PM (#32161188)

    How is it relevant ?
    The goodness of something doesn't rely on the amount of money you make out of it.

  • by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:25PM (#32161200)

    It exceeded iPhone sales, not iPhone OS, as iPhone OS includes the iPod Touch and iPad. The sales of the iPod Touch are far from insubstantial.

    Meanwhile, iPhone sales are down because new ones are due in June, as they have been the last three years. People know this (and if they don't, they ask a geek friend who does), and sales drop. Just watch, they'll skyrocket in June/July, just as they have the last couple years.

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:26PM (#32161220)

    Yeah, the iPhone was certainly a blip that faded into obscurity after a few months on the market....

    Seriously, 21% market share years after launch is hardly defined as "quickly fall down and die".

    Not saying the iPad will fare as well. The iPhone was a game changer when it was released. It filled a desperate need in the market (a smartphone that wasn't a freakin pain to use).

    The iPad however is trying to _create_ a market. That's a lot more difficult. Everybody immediately recognized the usability of the iPhone; hardly anybody has a clue what need in their life (beyond "oooh shiny!") the iPad might sate.

    Also, when the iPhone came out, it took a while for Android do show up and match it. Android's here now, and tablets running it are already starting to appear. Though I'm guessing it'll be another 6 months before any really good ones start appearing.

    Unless people have decided there's no market for these devices by then (in which case they'll all quietly vanish), I still suspect the iPad will do fine. It was first to the table, plugs into Apple's eco system, and has the app store.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:30PM (#32161276)
    Why would any customer care if it is profitable or not? The key question for the customer is if it is SUSTAINABLE and I think with Android it definitely is.
  • by masdog ( 794316 ) <> on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:31PM (#32161300)
    Or that the iPhone is an inferior product in the Enterprise market. Or that people don't like dealing with the AT&T network. There could be a million different reasons for this.
  • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:40PM (#32161416) Homepage

    It's important to note that the iPhone is in one of the low-sales points of its product cycle for these figures. Everybody who's paying attention *KNOWS* that Apple is going to introduce a new model of the iPhone next month, with greater capabilities and probably at the same price as the current model. Anyone who can wait until summer solstice to buy their first iPhone is waiting, and the oodles of people who bought an iPhone 3G in the second half of 2008 are waiting to become eligible for a subsidized upgrade 2 years later. Kind of like unemployment figures, iPhone sales figures need to be "seasonally adjusted" to be meaningful.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:40PM (#32161422) Homepage

    "I dislike a product that is ripping me off less", got it.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordVader717 ( 888547 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:49PM (#32161552)

    Apple is also the market leader in PC sales by that standard. And Sony's beat the crap out of VHS manufacturers, after all they were the only ones who made Betamax recorders.

  • Re:Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by w3woody ( 44457 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:52PM (#32161610) Homepage
    BTW, Never underestimate the power of "oooh shiny!"
  • Re:Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:56PM (#32161662)

    I'm not sure if you are serious or being rhetorical, but since it's a good point either way, let's just state it:

    Google's Android revenue: 0.
    Apple's iPhone revenue: over $5B per quarter and growing.

    Summary: Apple could not care less about market share, as long as their total sales and revenue keeps growing at the insane rate they have been.

    And since the iPad is really just a giant iPhone/Touch (ie uses the same OS)... 1M units in 30 days is probably about $600M revenue for their latest product - in a month. Yikes.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by w3woody ( 44457 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:56PM (#32161664) Homepage

    Y'all know a jailbroken iPhone on T-Mobile will only run EDGE, not 3G, right? So debates about how bad AT&T's 3G service is, so I'm going to use my iPhone on T-Mobile are a bit silly, right?

    (Not saying that Hadlock is saying this; just making the observation.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:56PM (#32161676)

    As far as I can tell, there are about 5 flavours of Android (1.5, 1.6, 2.1 etc), and your ability to switch between them depends entirely on your network operator. I'm not even sure whether apps are compatible across all the flavours?

    I suspect that Android will end up with a similar rep to Windows - too many hardware platforms and compatibility issues.

  • by jipn4 ( 1367823 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @04:58PM (#32161706)

    The leaked iPhone 4G looks like Apple is just trying to catch up with the Nexus One, and not even succeeding at that. People who already have iPhones will go for it, for others, it won't make a big difference.

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:02PM (#32161748)

    Well, it's relevant in that if it turns out nobody is making any money off Android devices, a lot of companies will simply stop making Android devices, and switch to something they can make money from.

    The manufacturers are probably making just as much money from sales of Android devices as they would from Windows Mobile or Symbian devices. A hardware sale is a hardware sale, regardless of what OS the hardware runs. The interesting question is if Google is turning a profit from all the resources they've invested.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:04PM (#32161782)

    Or just as easily hurt it. As the report shows a big part of the sales was on Verizon network, which is a market Apple does not exist on.

    So to summarize what you are saying, is that because Apple is only only a single network instead of several, that makes it MORE LIKLEY they will be found to be violating antitrust because they are LESS ubiquitous than they might be?

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by L3370 ( 1421413 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:05PM (#32161810)
    Customers may not care, but I'm sure Google itself cares. Google is a money making business, so sooner or later Android has to make money for them or they will need to drop it. If Google can't prove its a profitable platform, then cell phone manufacturers will have less desire to build products for Android, as they too are in the business of making money.

    Customers may love Android (and they do) but it has to be a proven moneymaker for it to continue.
  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:10PM (#32161858) Homepage

    ...except an iphone is locked down.

    Sure, I can jailbreak it but that's something that is scary to a lot of people. It's probably even scarier to geeks that actually understand the implications if something goes wrong.

    So no. Not every smartphone starts out the same way.

    With Android you can install stuff from where ever and with Apple you either lump it or leave it.

  • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:19PM (#32161972) Homepage

    The main thing of concern for Google is probably whether or not the ecosystem is open to their way of making a profit. Maybe they saw a problem looming, with the walled garden approach of Apple.
    Google wasn't really involved in activelly contributing to healthy mobile landscape when Blackberry was dominating in the US (still is actually) and Nokia globally (still is)

  • by MistrBlank ( 1183469 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:25PM (#32162048)

    He didn't say they should or would do that, just that if it happened, there would be devices with it everywhere. And he's right.

    What he also doesn't say is that the device quality control would KILL the OS as people ran from it in droves when it was shoved down on sub par hardware and the apps that were designed for it made the device look sub standard.

    I've held enough Android phones to realize it's mediocre, not because of the OS, because everyone is trying to capitalize on it instead of make it good.

  • Re:Apple (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:25PM (#32162054) Homepage

    If you suddenly added 1 million people to the MacOS user base, no one would notice.

    It's like movies. Sure they come on strong. Then they quickly fade away.

    It's the long term sales and market share numbers that are ultimately relevant.

    Some of the web hit stats are also interesting too. Although the entire market there is still inconsequential.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by babyrat ( 314371 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:26PM (#32162062)

    OTOH, since Verizon is giving smart phones away in an effort to inflate the non-Apple smart phone numbers,

    Verizon is giving away phones to get more 2 year, $70/month contracts

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:27PM (#32162092)

    Google also wants to protect itself from an iphone only world. Sometimes products need not make money directly.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:34PM (#32162186)

    You are totally wrong.
    Many apps work on the whole range of phones. Yes, you do need to be able to deal with both keyboard and not, yes you do need to deal with variable screen size, these are all solvable problems, easy ones at that.

    This would be like saying you program for the iphone vs the iphone 3Gs.

  • by NicknamesAreStupid ( 1040118 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:41PM (#32162304)
    . . not in the article, press release, or NPD's site. At one time, it was the leader. Can anyone recall seeing anything else of Microsoft going from such a top position to nowhere (Bob doesn't count)?
  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:44PM (#32162380)
    I'm not entirely sure that Apple wants ubiquity in the marketplace. They sell a premium product. Could Porsche lower their prices so that more people could afford them? Of course they could, but they sell style along with a premium automobile. It's the same with Apple. Personally I choose functionality over style every time which is why I own a G1 and will upgrade to another Android phone soon.
  • by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:50PM (#32162466) Journal

    They also fail to mention that most of those Android phones were distributed by Verizon for free as an attempt to wrest away some of AT&T's iPhone advantage. If Apple ever starts allowing other U.S. carriers to offer the iPhone, I'll bet Android sales number will make a big u-turn in a hurry.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by svtdragon ( 917476 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:51PM (#32162476)
    I believe so, as the alternative, "asshare," is read by my internal monologue as "ass-hare" which, while it sounds like "ass hair," is spelled like a cousin of "ass rabbit" and that just seems to me like a couple steps up from a gerbil, and neither of those is something I want to contemplate in the context of smartphones.

    Am I the only one imagining 3G gerbils now?
  • Actually, if Google goes ahead with implementing Flash in their browser, that's actually pretty likely...

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:54PM (#32162508)
    I'm sure you'll get modded down for your comment, but you are dead on. The fact of the matter is many people choose style over substance without ever knowing that they're buying a very restricted device.
  • by masdog ( 794316 ) <> on Monday May 10, 2010 @05:55PM (#32162524)
    The leak was last month. Sales have fallen off since Q4 2009...well before the leak started. Face it, the iPhone has fallen behind it's competitors.
  • Re:surprising? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:03PM (#32162656)
    Funny joke, but I think you mean picketing. To boycott is to personally avoid patronizing the store. To picket is to stand outside the store demonstrating, especially to ask others to boycott the store.
  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:10PM (#32162750) Homepage

    And never underestimate the ability of people who bought into hype to rationalize their decisions.


  • by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:13PM (#32162784)

    The difference is that a smart phone is basically an application platform like the PC. The iPOD is not, it's basically a souped up media player. And don't forget that although these kind of markets are highly volatile, it may take a long time before a relatively good product like the iPOD is taken over by its competitors.

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @06:33PM (#32163056)

    This isn't an OS war. Microsoft got/gets paid for each and every computer that gets shipped out. I'm not sure Google is in such a position to demand/get such a royalty. OTOH, Apple gets $$$ for ever iPhone shipped.

    Also, desktop is upgradeable (generally) and you want to want multiple parts from multiple companies in multiple variations playing with each other nicely, perhaps with a driver install.

    A phone, otoh, is an appliance. No added ram, nothing. It gets upgraded every 2 years by most people. The experience of the hardware/software will be pinned on the maker. Apple offering the iPhone OS to other makers will give away Apple's edge for little added benefit and lots of aggravation ensuring backwards compatibility and that apps work on a slew of phones.

    This is not the PC war. The best things Apple can do is wholly outside of licensing out iPhone OS and that is offering the phone unlocked and on multiple carriers. This other shit is irrelevant.

  • by manekineko2 ( 1052430 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:03PM (#32163352)

    Maemo/MeeGo seems awesome, but I think it's just a sad case of too little, too late.

    There's only one phone that runs Maemo, the Nokia N900, and none that run its successor MeeGo. Nokia's recently announced new flagship phones are all running Symbian.

    I really like the concept of a truly open OS on a smartphone, but I haven't even ever seen one in person.

    At this point I'd rather take and lend my support to something that is 80% as good (Android arguably) that actually has a shot at success in the marketplace rather than hold out for something perfect that is way too late to the party.

  • Re:Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zuperduperman ( 1206922 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:30PM (#32163582)

    I had the same experience. I walked into Best Buy on launch day (this was in Boston) and they had a big display with 5 iPads. No lines, 3 of them were not even being used, so I wandered up and played with one for 10 minutes and only at the end did someone else come up behind me to try one out. I listened with amusement to the guy trying to avoid telling the elderly people who asked him how much RAM it had (he had a long explanation about how how a small amount of memory in an Apple device was like ten times as much in a windows computer, but couldn't bring himself to say the actual number).

    Perhaps it was just incredibly uncool for any Apple devotee to ever cross the threshold of Best Buy, but I couldn't observe *any* kind of shortage either on launch day or in the weeks thereafter.

  • Re:Cool, but .. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:36PM (#32163634)

    Because S60 sells. Nokia has something like 40% of the global phone market. That's huge. Apple can't even dream of having a tenth of that.

    Fast processors and lots of RAM in a phone (eg, N900) are always going to be niche. Most people, world wide, just don't have that sort of money.

    Symbian just got open sourced too.

  • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zuperduperman ( 1206922 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:37PM (#32163640)

    It's nice during the short period when you're in transit, but it presents a dilemma once you get there because it is so deprived of basic capabilities that people do tend to want.

    For example I go on holiday, I want to take pictures. I need something easy to plug my camera into to download and quickly crop and edit pictures. The iPad is just horrendously horrible for this due to Steve's obsession with locking it down and removing all the standard ports from it. So you are confronted with the dilemma of bringing both the iPad AND the laptop and doubling up on a lot of capabilities or doing without a lot of the basic things most people *do* want to do when they are travelling.

  • Re:surprising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:43PM (#32163688) Journal

    The "product" in this case isn't Android, it's the phone. A complete hardware+software solution.

    Similarly, the "product" in case of Windows isn't Windows - it's a PC. Again, a complete hardware+software solution.

    Historically, the main reason why Microsoft has dominated Apple early on was that Apple computers were only assembled by Apple, while "IBM PC compatibles" were assembled by everyone, and MS would sell OEM DOS/Windows license to them all.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @07:58PM (#32163820) Journal

    If you target e.g. 1.5, and don't do any hacks, your app will work on any newer version.

  • by simpz ( 978228 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @08:00PM (#32163838)

    I own a work BB Curve and a personal Android phone. I'm also a BES admin. The only thing I can see that Blackberry's have going for them is decent admin control on the BES (remote wipe etc) and good reliable email push, most of which you can get on other devices pretty well with a few apps. By any other measure the Android phone and iPhones totally outclass them. Android has many more apps, BB apps tend to be more expensive and very dully business orientated (financial tickers etc).

    The newer BB next gen devices aren't very exciting and the Storm 2 is especially poor. I'd say the BB is a (very) good business email device and that's about it. They were very late to the 3G show, they still sell curves etc without 3G which to me looks very penny pinching and crappy now.

    So who's making RIM number one, it surely can't be all just business sales. I wouldn't thank you for one as a personal device, but you do see it. Do people just like the full keyboards for social networking or something?

    Or will this RIM advantage disappear as the market for smartphone grows overall and dwarfs the business sales that have put RIM where they are?

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JohnBailey ( 1092697 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @08:32PM (#32164124)

    Supplies were low? Hardly!

    What I don't get about this is every time I went by the local best buy they had hundreds of the things stacked up behind the counter in the computer area. Even on launch day - around noon I was able to just walk in and I could have bought one if I wanted - I even have photo proof of this.

    Something doesn't ad up if you ask me.

    No.. they were all sold units.

    Try looking at it in a slightly different way.. The inconvenient not believing PR releases way.

    Apple said 1 million units sold. And I'm sure they were telling the truth. As far as it goes.

    They didn't really emphasise very strongly that they were "sold" to retailers and Apple stores. And the iFanboys took it from there. Just like the "Apple biggest phone maker in US" story a few days ago, or "iPad killing netbooks" story yesterday.

    Which means all the iPads you saw on display, and the many more in the warehouse were all counted by Apple, as sold. Even though anybody could go in and buy them from Best Buy.

    So more accurately... 1 million units shipped to retail outlets.

    Not 1 million purchased by members of the public. Six months from now, the same units in that million could still be sitting on a shelf in some store.

    Running out of stock from Apple's end is easily done. Ship any surplus units to some low performing out of the way Apple store, delay the worldwide launch, or announce it too early, and not have a a hope of meeting it. And get more PR. Easy. Zero sales lost due to underestimating demand. Plenty of stock to go around shipped from Apple stores to the various outlets.. Job done.

    Microsoft quotes shipped figures as sold to retail licenses too, when it includes every copy in every shop, every bulk buy from OEMs. Every free upgrades from Vista, every shipped by default copy that gets erased and replaced with the company image. And naturally.. All the copies that get sent to volume license customers that are still using XP, and will for a year or two more.

    It's an old trick that keeps getting swallowed by the fanboys, and regurgitated over and over.

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @08:49PM (#32164234)

    > To access an android phone you have to link it to a Google account... you download apps from the google app store...
    > This is this different than linking to an iTunes account and downloading from the apple apps store how?

    Android owners *can* download apps from Android Market... or we can download them from anywhere else, and install whatever we feel like installing without having to play "Mother, may I?" and get anybody's official blessing, first.

    iPhone owners officially have no choice. They *MUST* download apps from Apple's AppStore, and *only* from Apple's AppStore.

    Android owners bitch because we haven't quite achieved the ideal of end users being able to build our phone's OS from scratch independently of the handset makers, carriers, and Google. We throw public fits, blame HTC for violating the GPL, and eventually get a cookie thrown to us that brings us a step closer to our goal once we combine that cookie with the next rom image ripped from a related newer phone.

    Put another way, if Steve Jobs says the iPhone 4 (or an older iPhone) will not do something, it WILL NOT do it. Ever.

    If HTC or Sprint says the Hero won't do something, it's only a real limit until someone rips the rom from the next HTC phone, metaphorically bakes it into a new ROM, and everyone gets to have it anyway.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @09:01PM (#32164316)

    I suspect that Android will end up with a similar rep to Windows - too many hardware platforms and compatibility issues.

    And no-one develops software for Windows because it's too hard and 90% of the world runs Apple because it's simple.

    Awaken from your dreamy state, the fragmentation in Windows isn't an issue and neither is it in Android. As with Windows you can expect a lot of third party development tools that will deal with the testing issues. In fact, you don't even need a phone in order to test a simple application, you can do that with the Virtual Machines provided in the Android SDK, which is free and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.

    A quick Google has turned up that Motorola has already released a toolkit [] to help Android developers with Motorola handsets.

  • Re:Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Draek ( 916851 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @09:49PM (#32164608)

    In a world where over 90% of people are illiterate, yeah, that'd be a valid hypothesis.

    Face it, pretending a significant percentage of iPhone buyers did so out of appreciation for its design is as senseless as pretending that a significant percentage of Android buyers did so out of a desire to download its source-code and hack it. The overwhelming majority of the world's population can't program worth shit, and similarly the overwhelming majority of the world's population does not have a degree in industrial design.

    Admit it, both platforms are succeeding because of marketing. You know, the field whose entire purpose is to sway people to purchase a specific product? yeah. Not enlightenment or whatever.

  • by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @10:14PM (#32164786) Homepage Journal

    The big question is when "multitasking" is no longer the major difference between platforms

    Well, that won't happen any time soon.

    You do realize that the upcoming iPhone OS update doesn't add multitasking, right? What it adds is a limited set of background services that apps can ask the OS to perform. It will take some wind out of Android proponents' sails, because those background services are tailored to a handful of popular applications for multitasking -- playing internet radio, finishing downloads, etc. -- but while Android developers will be able to keep developing new uses for background code, iPhone developers will be stuck with the limited set of background operations that Apple has pre-approved.

    what will be the next Android marketing slogan?

    The ongoing circus that is the App Store approval process should provide plenty of slogans to come. How about "Android: the phone that doesn't block Pulitzer-winning cartoonists"? (OK, it needs a little polishing...)

  • the mobile OS space anymore. They don't really have a dog in the fight right now. I've used WM6.5, and it is awful. I think it is actually worse for them having tried to ape some iPhone features.

    They are already basically relegated to the sliver of the mobile OS marketshare pie chart labeled "Other." By the time they get WM7 into devices and on store shelves, Apple will have iPhone OS 4 out and be working on improving it, and Google isn't standing still with Android, either. Microsoft is going to be playing an endless game of catch-up, and they can't use their old tactics anymore to chase their competitors out of the market. Windows Mobile now has to compete on merit alone.

    They laughed at the iPhone and basically ignored Android, let their own product languish, and now they're paying the price.


  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Monday May 10, 2010 @11:35PM (#32165254)

    once we combine that cookie with the next rom image ripped from a related newer phone.

    You should come up with a catchy name for this process, like "jailbreaking". :)

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @02:59AM (#32166228)

    Why have outlandish features like USB when you can make people pay extra for completely sensible non rip-off extras like the "Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit"?

  • by GORby_ ( 101822 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:26AM (#32166844) Homepage
    I don't understand all the people that want one platform to be the other one's 'killer'. I dont want one platform to kill the other, no matter what the platform is... The market is probably large enough to support 3 or 4 (maybe even 5) large platforms.
    My (non-expert) opinion is that:
    - there's still some headroom for Apple (after the 5 year exclusive)
    - there's some headroom for Android.
    - HP's (supposed) commitment to WebOS can also make for some very interesting devices
    - Symbian will probably become less important, unless Nokia changes it considerably
    - I don't know what to think of Windows Phone 7, but it might be too little too late
    - Maemo and Co will remain a niche platform for some time, either to wither away or grow to 5 - 10%

    I would really like Apple, Android and WebOS to continue competing for market share in the coming years, since that will get us more features (or better implementations of current features), and more choice, which is rarely a bad thing...
  • by jipn4 ( 1367823 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @05:42AM (#32166918)

    Wishful thinking? Or do you have a 4G now?

    You don't have to guess at all; Apple has told us what the 4G has: []

    And the hardware specs on the 4G are pretty clear from Apple's device. It's premium hardware, but likely at a premium price.

    What matters is Android approaching the performance levels of Apple iPhone OS on similar hardware.

    The reason iPhone OS is fast is because it is limited and old technology: C-based programming language, 20 year old kernel, little application integration, little componentization, limited multitasking. Android is a better, more powerful software architecture with many more features, and that naturally requires a more powerful CPU. Android is never going to be as efficient as iPhone OS because you need to make a tradeoff between features and efficiency. But the iPhone speed advantage is diminishing over time. Android today is about the same speed as a first and second generation iPhone. One more generation of hardware, and it's going to be so fast that it doesn't make a difference anymore even to picky users.

    I have an Android phone, and I can't wait for Google to catch up with Apple

    Apple needs to catch up with Google, not the other way around. Apple focused on efficiency and simplicity early on, but that matters less and less as hardware is getting more powerful. But software architecture and ease of development are going to matter more and more.

    It's the same thing that happened with the original Mac: Apple squeezed every drop of efficiency out of the original hardware in their rush to bring an affordable GUI-based machine to market, they made it look good, but they botched the software architecture in the process. It's what Jobs does.

    Believe it or not, some people don't buy a smartphone to compensate for some shortcomings

    Seems to me that's exactly what iPhone buyers do.

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:31AM (#32169028)

    Thing is, a superb programming environment is interesting to maybe 5% of the population, while a superb design is interesting to many, many more people. You don't have to be able to design, or even intelligently criticize design, to appreciate it.

    Of course, you can't quantify great design, which is why it tends to be discounted in places like this, but it does exist.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev