Fandroids can rejoice in these sort of numbers for a short while, but these numbers mean nothing, for the following reasons.
- Apple marketshare is probably about 2/3rd of Android marketshare, but in terms of quality, Apple easily dominates the top end of the market - the people with cash to spend, and willingness to spend it.
- These numbers refer to installed base - and after the launch of iPhone 5, the momentum has decisively shifted in favor of Apple.
- Even though Android has higher installed base, large portion of this installed base is running older versions of Android - 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and sometimes, even 1.6. Over 50% of devices are running older versions of Android, with absolutely no hope of being upgraded. Even today, devices are being sold with older versions, exacerbating the problem. So the installed base is not a homogenous, targetable set of devices - it is extremely fragmented. iOS on the other hand has a very homogenous installed base, and over 90% of devices run the latest version of the OS. Other than a handful of Apple's own apps, all devices from the 3GS, 4, 4S, and 5 can run almost all the apps in the App Store.
- Installed base is only relevant for developers - and for the above fragmentation reason, even from developer perspective, the large installed base is meaningless. From perspective of monetization, willingness to buy, protection from piracy, difficulty in testing against hundreds of devices straddling low end to high end, and in every relevant metric, iOS is far superior to Android.
- Even from the manufacturers perspective, the most important metric is profit. And here no one even comes close to Apple's profit figures. Samsung is probably the only Android vendor that is even making a profit - all the others are struggling.
- Today, Apple is selling every phone it can make, so there is absolutely no reason to drop prices, or introduce a cheaper phone, etc. People invariably buy the more expensive phones, increasing the profit margin. At some point, if Apple finds that they can make more phones, or demand is not as much as they can supply, there is absolutely nothing that stops Apple from dropping prices, or introducing cheaper models. So Android's current edge is not really a sustainable edge.
- It actually works in Apple's favor to not have a dominating market share position, because with a smaller marketshare, they can command larger share of profits, as well as get away with business tactics that might be frowned upon by regulators, if Apple had a majority market share.