Market Share is only one factor in success. Mind Share is another. Here in Australia, where the iPhone has always been available on the 4 main carriers - Telstra, Optus, 3 and Vodafone - the iPhone 4 continues to be sold out and new buyers are being asked to wait 3 to 5 weeks for their units. All the carrier stores carry Android phones as well, and, anecdotally, staff tell me that they are selling quite well, but that is a lot different from 'a 5 week wait'.
Mind Share becomes important because I suspect only 50% of people who walk into a store wanting a Smartphone are even aware of 'AntennaGate'. You can guarantee 100% will have heard of the 'iPhone'. This is SO important, because most new customers start from the position of wanting an iPhone, and possibly switch to an Android when the store says, "it's a 5 week wait for an iPhone4 or you can have a Samsung Galaxy S right now." Staff will be reluctant to let you leave the store empty handed - and we are a bunch of instant-gratification shoppers these days.
As a "mini-iPhone" strategy, the iPod Touch seems to be working out pretty well.
Google is more open - with your privacy.
Sold to the highest bigger so they can try and flog you stuff.
Perhaps raw sales figures are keenly sought out by Android admiring tech press, because they seek validation. Yes, the average man in the street has worked out Apple make superior products overall, but hey, if the Android sales figures are up, Android must be cool - right?
A previous comment nailed it. As App Developers, we develop for 4 platforms - iOS, Android, Windows Phone and webOS, but when it comes to pricing a warranty for a client for an Android App, we have to consider - Dell Android? HTC Android? Samsung Android? 2.1? 2.2? Screen resolution? etc. etc.
We recommend 8 Apps to our clients so that they can interface with our development process on their iPads. 8 business class Apps we are confident we can recommend to our clients for revenue critical activities. Only half of these Apps are available on Android. Doesn't really matter who has the most apps. But the "biggest app store" figure is important for.....Mind Share. Just ask your Marketing Manager. It is, however, genuinely hard to get a scientific measure of the quality of the platforms and app stores, but I think it is fairly clear to see which users are attracted to which features of the various platforms.
So Apple's strategy of Mind Share, not just Market Share, is sensible and plays to their strengths. The iPod Touch and iPad operate as precision marketing on behalf of iPhone/iOS. And the fact that iOS is PURPOSE DESIGNED to be used across MULTI-TOUCH DEVICES and not just Smartphones, really is the deal maker. Witness the number of Apps that now get iPhones and iPads to inter-operate. (And soon AppleTV?).....
As a company that designs and build custom iOS-specific Chips, Batteries, Screens, Hardware and Software, Apple does create supply problems for itself. But not being able to build products fast enough to satisfy demand is a problem I'd like to have.
Post-Christmas, with iOS, Android and Win Phone offerings available, hopefully the consumer will win, with competitive pricing and hopefully developers like us will win as we can take advantage of competition driven innovation.
So let's see the figures for July - September (post iPhone4 launch). Let's compare single carrier iPhone markets (USA) with multi-carrier iPhone markets (UK and Australia) and let's see the figures post holiday period when stocks of all iOS devices are ready for the buying season.