I think the following statement in that article is wrong:
"Android is winning, partly because it represents what Windows used to represent: flexibility."
I don't think that has anything to do with it as far as flexibility from the user's point of view. The reasons I see Android being successful include:
- a lot of people just plain don't like Apple and go out of their way to avoid buying Apple products even to the point of lunacy where they pay more money for an inferior product
- Apple won't build a dirt cheap phone, Android device manufacturers will
- Android is available for use by multiple hardware manufacturers. If that's what the artice meant by flexibility then I agree with that.
Windows eventually dominated by being used by dozens of hardware manufacturers. Apple is just one manufacturer.
This is starting to look like the case with Android but the share ratio isn't 72:14, that's just the ratio of new devices. The overall share is in the region of 50:30. It may eventually reach the point where it is the Windows ratio of 85:10 or something like that but Apple's sales aren't slowing down. Having a userbase of over 400 million with 100 million+ units per year and rising is nothing like the old Apple under Microsoft's thumb.
The latest mobile software goes to iOS first, the best hardware peripherals go to iOS devices first, Apple makes more profit than everyone else. This is polar opposite to the Windows situation and was a coup of the highest order. The best part was, nobody saw it coming and even when it arrived, they were complacent and dismissive.
If Apple hits a manufacturing limit, that could affect their ultimate marketshare but how many devices can be owned by people? We know there are about 7b people in the world and half can't afford a phone. So that leaves a potential audience of about 3.5b. iOS and Android together will soon make up 1b devices already.
What happens when they hit the peak ownership? People just keep upgrading but that doesn't mean the ownership share changes. 400 million iOS device owners might only upgrade every 2-3 years but Android device owners every year because the lower end ones are junk and break. Unless current iOS device owners downgrade to Android devices, the marketshare won't change.
Say Apple sells 100 million a year and Android is on 300 million a year and both grow by 25% each year
2013: A=500m, G=800m
2014: A=625m, G=1175m
2015: A=780m, G=1640m
2016: A=975m, G=2225m
Some of the phones will break of course instead of being passed on but by 2016, there are few new customers to be had so the overall share becomes about 2:1 in favour of Android, which is not the Windows situation. Dumphones might never get wiped out entirely - can you even build a capacitive touch Android phone for under $20?
Google also doesn't treat Apple the way Microsoft treated Apple. There's a similar culture between Apple and Google and they will both do well in their own right and Microsoft, RIM, Nokia etc will become irrelevant.