Majority of iFund startups now also developing for Android

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new report has found that 13 of the 16 companies funded by Kleiner Perkins' $200 million iFund have branched out into developing for Google's Android mobile OS in addition to Apple's iOS.



Venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers established the iFund in 2008, setting aside $100 million for promising new companies looking to develop for the then-fledgling iPhone OS. In 2010, the firm revealed that it was doubling the size of the fund to $200 million in preparation for the launch of the iPad.



According to a recent report by Dow Jones VentureWire, the rapid ascension of Google's Android has caused most of the companies backed by the iFund to begin developing for the platform as well.



Kleiner continued to affirm both its commitment to iOS as the favored platform and its deep relationship with Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs, while noting that the decision to develop for multiple platforms is left to the iFund companies themselves.



Matt Murphy, Kleiner partner and iFund manager, said the fund's emphasis on iOS hasn't changed. "We're still true to form in terms of our focus. It's just the overall smartphone ecosystem has gotten so much larger since we launched three years ago," Murphy said.



"You'll see most companies leading with iOS. Once they perfect the app, they'll do Android. A year ago they would for Blackberry and maybe Symbian. Now those two have dropped out of the conversation," continued Murphy, adding that "Android has done a really nice job of moving ahead of those other platforms."



Though all of the fund's 16 companies started by developing for Apple's iOS, 13 have since added Android to their business plans. Only Flipboard Inc., Callaway Digital Arts Inc. and iControl Networks Inc. have no immediate plans to build applications for Android.



iFund beneficiary Path Inc., which launched a photo-sharing app for the iPhone in November of last year and plans to release an Android version before summer, hopes to eventually split its resources between the two platforms



"Android is absolutely a top priority," said Matt Van Horn, vice president of business development for Path Inc.. "We're looking to have team parity between the two platforms."



According to one executive, the shift isn't just about market share. Scott Lahman, chief executive at iFund startup Gogii, noted that more and more developers have taken an interest in Android.



"Before it was iPhone, iPhone, iPhone," Lahman said. "Now more [job] candidates are saying they want to work on Android."



Interestingly enough, the iFund was launched with the help of Kleiner Perkins' John Doerr, a venture capitalist who was an early investor in Google and currently serves on the search giant's board of directors.



Executives at Apple and Google have traded heated words over the space they share in the mobile market. Jobs reportedly felt betrayed by Google's entrance into the smartphone race.



"We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business," Jobs allegedly said at a company meeting last year.



Google co-founder Larry Page responded by claiming that jobs was "rewriting history" by claiming that his company had copied Apple. "We had been working on Android a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are Internet enabled and have good browsers and all that, because that did not exist in the market place," Page reportedly said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,199member
    To not know that Apple has skunk works projects that incubate for up to ten years tells me for a Ph.D his bulb is not to brightly lit.



    There are several inner layers within Apple's core. There was when I was there and there always will be. Research is tightly controlled and tested for years before testing commences on campus, let alone off campus.



    To claim that Google was working on a mobile OS before Apple is too pathetic to be funny.



    Hint: The day Steve canceled Newton work had already commenced on embedded OS solutions.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    These investors putting their eggs in the Android basket have more money than common sense.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,132member
    It's rapidly becoming a two horse race with



    The iPhone being quite fleet of foot yet Andoid is

    pretty scrappy.



    I can see why developers want to develop for Android because

    the App Store is a competitive market while Android's Marketplace

    is still growing.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,816member
    @MDriftMeyer: To be fair Google never claimed to be working on a phone before Apple did. What they said was Android was already in development as a mobile OS before the iPhone was ever announced. There's no indications that Google ever planned to get into hardware production and sales as any significant part of their business. The focus was and is on Android itself, with the related ad and market revenue it brings as manufacturers adopt it as a platform.



    Other than a limited phone release for it's developer testing program and as a kick-start to show Android's potential, Google still doesn't sell phones, tablets or any other Android device. They'd probably do better with Android if they did IMO. Fragmentation wouldn't exist, hardware would be consistent, the AppMarket would be easier to develop for. Essentially they WOULD be doing just what Apple has done. But they're not. The whole falling out was caused by a hissy fit from Mr. Jobs IMHO. Google has never indicated they have any ill-will for Apple that I've seen. If fact they've never indicated that Apple is even considered competition. All the nasty insults and unkind words are coming from Apple, not Google.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    To be fair Google never claimed to be working on a phone before Apple did. What they said was Android was already in development as a mobile OS before the iPhone was ever announced. And Google never planned to get into hardware anyway did they? The focus was and is on Android itself, with the related ad and market revenue it brings as manufacturers adopt it as a platform. Other than a limited phone release for it's developer testing program, Google still doesn't sell phones, tablets or any other Android device. They'd probably do better with Android if they did IMO. Fragmentation wouldn't exist, hardware would be consistent, the AppMarket would be easier to develop for. Essentially they WOULD be doing just what Apple has done. But they're not. trhe whole falling out was caused by a hissy fit from Mr. Jobs IMHO. Google has never indicated they have any ill-will for Apple that I've seen. If fact they've never indicated that Apple is even considered competition. All the nasty insults and unkind words are coming from Apple, not Google.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DVt15KD3Xk
  • Reply 6 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theblackswan View Post


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DVt15KD3Xk



    Wow, so that was it? The extent of Google's nasty comments, two years after Steve Jobs started trash-talking Google? Gosh, no wonder Mr. Jobs is so upset and overly-concerned with Android.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Why not? Android is a buzzword that sounds good on paper to investors... so bring on the cash
  • Reply 8 of 30
    The article does not mention that even the companies which are developing for Android are not giving their full offerings. And the main reason for that is not Apple affinity, but a chunk of their offerings are primarily tablet based. Same reason for the two out of three other companies which have no Android plans- they primarily offer tablet stuff. Also Callaway and Flipboard require standardized screen sizes more than others, it's hard for me to see such stuff coming on Android.



    It looks like a two horse race for phone apps, not so much for tablet apps. The reason for that is not just market share but fragmentation which prevents consistent experience. And a lot of cool stuff and money is coming from the tablets lately.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Wow, so that was it? The extent of Google's nasty comments, two years after Steve Jobs started trash-talking Google? Gosh, no wonder Mr. Jobs is so upset and overly-concerned with Android.



    Dude, Steve Jobs primarily started to trash talk Google in late 2009. And this is mid 2010. It's ok if you think Google is a saint, but.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Wow, so that was it? The extent of Google's nasty comments, two years after Steve Jobs started trash-talking Google? Gosh, no wonder Mr. Jobs is so upset and overly-concerned with Android.



    You're moving the goal posts. You said Google never said anything ill of Apple and the next poster responded with a video refuting your claim. Try not to trivialize the response. You were incorrect and it's better to just accept it and move on than throw back a hollow rebuttal.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    @MDriftMeyer: To be fair Google never claimed to be working on a phone before Apple did. What they said was Android was already in development as a mobile OS before the iPhone was ever announced. There's no indications that Google ever planned to get into hardware production and sales as any significant part of their business. The focus was and is on Android itself, with the related ad and market revenue it brings as manufacturers adopt it as a platform.



    Other than a limited phone release for it's developer testing program and as a kick-start to show Android's potential, Google still doesn't sell phones, tablets or any other Android device. They'd probably do better with Android if they did IMO. Fragmentation wouldn't exist, hardware would be consistent, the AppMarket would be easier to develop for. Essentially they WOULD be doing just what Apple has done. But they're not. The whole falling out was caused by a hissy fit from Mr. Jobs IMHO. Google has never indicated they have any ill-will for Apple that I've seen. If fact they've never indicated that Apple is even considered competition. All the nasty insults and unkind words are coming from Apple, not Google.



    Google bought Android before the iPhone was announced. But Android was a Blackberry clone. After the iPhone was announced they quickly worked to make it touch-based. The first Android phones still required a Blackberry-style trackball and didn't have multitouch. They gradually added features to reach feature parity with the iPhone: dropping reliance on the trackball, adding multitouch like pinch to zoom, improving the onscreen keyboard, etc. They didn't get touch-based copy and paste until 2.2 (IIRC), for example. Apparently copy and paste is still inconsistent across the UI, some parts using one method, some parts using another (I haven't used the most recent version). The whole system still relies heavily on menus, showing its roots as a pre-iPhone-era smart phone OS.



    For what it's worth, I think if Google had done there own hardware the whole thing would have been an abysmal failure. Android is successful because it was adopted by companies that have far greater market penetration than Apple. Samsung can ship to every carrier in every territory. Google got lucky because these companies needed an OS to put on their devices to counteract the iPhone, which was perceived as a very strong threat in the industry (just as the iPad is shaking up the laptop industry right now). It probably wouldn't have been nearly as successful even if they'd charged the normal licenses fees.



    There's been plenty of nasty rhetoric coming from Google about Apple. They've called them "draconian" and any number of things in public. They play the ridiculous "open vs. closed" card all the time. In comparison, the only evidence we have that Jobs felt "betrayed" were rumours of a meeting at Apple, and they've never said anything publicly. There's absolutely nothing on record to substantiate any ill-will by Apple towards Google. When Jobs was pushed on the issue at the D8 conference he said they still had a good relationship.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    To not know that Apple has skunk works projects that incubate for up to ten years tells me for a Ph.D his bulb is not to brightly lit.



    What do you think Ph.D stands for?...



    Why 'Post Hole Digger', of course!

    /

    /

    /
  • Reply 13 of 30
    kenlileskenliles Posts: 28member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    Android is successful because it was adopted by companies that have far greater market penetration than Apple.



    Android is not successful measured in any way other than 'adopted by companies'. By that measure, it's success is achieved because it's free-

    costs covered by 1) other people's initial work (patent suits pending) and

    2) currently an oligopoly, subsidized via massive advertising budgets sourced from PC search revenue. It's deployment is largely a defensive move to stop the mobile ad bleeding away from Google.



    In my view, it can be judged successful when monetized through ad revenue from it's own use. Getting there, but a long way to go...



    ken
  • Reply 14 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theblackswan View Post


    Dude, Steve Jobs primarily started to trash talk Google in late 2009. And this is mid 2010. It's ok if you think Google is a saint, but.



    Sorry, but where in your video link did anyone wish ill of Apple? Agreed it's time to move on.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DougMcNerd View Post


    These investors putting their eggs in the Android basket have more money than common sense.



    Absolutely.



    The fact that developers are willing to use venture money to fund their efforts suggests that they're not confident of a return. If they were confident of a return (like the majority of iPhone developers, apparently), they would self-fund rather than giving up the massive rights that are typical for venture funding.



    The facts support this. iOS apps sell at many times the rate of Android apps. So if you want to go where the money is, you'd be in the iOS space. Android is nothing but pure speculation at this point.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Google has never indicated they have any ill-will for Apple that I've seen. If fact they've never indicated that Apple is even considered competition. All the nasty insults and unkind words are coming from Apple, not Google.



    Read my sig.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Wow, so that was it? The extent of Google's nasty comments, two years after Steve Jobs started trash-talking Google?



    You don't find the thief trash-talk anyone much either.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Google may very well been working on a phone before Apple though I think it is unlikely given how long products are in development.



    What I can tell you is that Google's idea of a phone changed drastically. What they originally had envisioned was a phone that was very much like a Black Berry.



    In fact, for those of us who saw early mock ups and prototypes they did in fact use a Black Berry type button/scroll wheel, no touch screen, no apps touch interface whatsoever.



    The above said, I am not suggesting that copying is a bad thing. Fact is, copying and improving on prior ideas is what gets us to the next stage. But one thing is sure, Google's vision of the phone not what they ended up with and they did copy Apple's iPhone.



    If anyone is attempting to rewrite history it is Google.



    Here's one of the prototypes I played with back in the day.



    http://buy-google-phone.com/wp-conte...ne-android.jpg
  • Reply 19 of 30
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Absolutely.



    The fact that developers are willing to use venture money to fund their efforts suggests that they're not confident of a return. If they were confident of a return (like the majority of iPhone developers, apparently), they would self-fund rather than giving up the massive rights that are typical for venture funding.



    The facts support this. iOS apps sell at many times the rate of Android apps. So if you want to go where the money is, you'd be in the iOS space. Android is nothing but pure speculation at this point.



    You mean how those developers used Venture Funding to get a start in iOS initially, right? (that's what this entire article is about).



    It's not uncommon to raise venture capitol, in fact, it's the rule rather than the exception. Very few companies can self fund new ventures, especially if they are small development companies who might not have a significant operating budget to begin with.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    Read my sig.



    Yes, Google Changed Android to compete more with iOS. This is called competition. Apple did the SAME thing with iOS.



    The original idon't campaign listed a few key features:

    http://youtu.be/NuiRilpBwfc



    -I don't have a real keyboard: iOS 4.0 adds support for Bluetooth Keyboards.

    -I don't run simultaneous apps: iOS 4.0 adds multitasking.

    -I don't take 5 Megapixel pictures: iPhone 4 bumps camera resolution up to 5MP

    -I don't customize: iOS 4 allows users to change their wallpaper, add folders

    -I don't run widgets: Apple hasn't tackled this one, yet anyway.

    -I Don't allow open development: Apple's opened up their development a lot in the past year. The Approval process has become more transparent, Cross compilers were banned, and then allowed. They've started approving apps like browsers NOT built off of Safari.

    -I don't take pictures in the dark: iPhone4 added a flash

    -I don't have interchangeable batteries: Still true, but Apple spent a ton of time getting an amazing battery into the iPhone4.





    -Iphone4 also bumped up the resolution of the screen, which was looking blurry next to the 800x480 screens other devices had.



    I'm NOT implying that Apple built the iphone4 just to combat this commercial, in fact, I'm almost positive they didn't. But it's obvious that they adjusted their product to the changing market, as any decent company would. Did Android "Copy" iOS? Yes. But Apple's done their fair share of copying too. EVERY tech company has. That's how technology develops.
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