iPhone vs. Android a tight race but iPad puts iOS 'way ahead' in mobile OS war

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited January 2014


Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined his thoughts on the company's iOS device performance during Q1 2012 and sees iPhone sales momentum closing the gap with rival handsets running Google's Android platform, while iPad and iPod touch are in a league of their own.



During Apple's Q1 2012 earnings conference call on Tuesday, Cook made it clear that he believes iOS is a key component to the company's future, saying that the success of the iPhone 4S and iPad is indicative of a slow move away from the desktop PC.



When asked if iOS versus Android was becoming a two-horse race similar to the Mac and Windows rivalry, Cook explained that the mobile device market is much more nuanced and is a very important facet to Apple's sustainability.



"The Mac has outgrown the market for over 20 quarters in a row, but still has a single digit percentage of the worldwide market," Cook said. "iOS, you look at phones, tablets, the iPod touch, we've sold over 350 million iOS devices. Over 62 million of those were done in the last quarter alone."



In looking at recent data from analytics firms, the iPhone has been showing steady growth when compared to Android handsets. Despite a shortage of supply, Apple managed to move 37 million iPhones last quarter.



For the Oct./Nov. period in the U.S., which accounts for only a portion of iPhone 4S sales, NPD saw Apple's smartphone holding a 43% market share while Android had 47%. A following report from Nielsen, which adds in month of Decemberm shows iPhone market share slowly increasing to 45% while Android holds steady at 47%.



"It seems like all of the data that I've seen in the U.S. would say that it's a very close race in iPhone [and Android]," Cook notes. "I wouldn't say it's a two-horse race, there's a horse in Redmond that always suits up and always runs and will keep running, and there's other players that we can never count out."



Cook said that Apple will somewhat ignore how many "horses" there are in the crowded mobile marketplace and focus on innovating to "make sure [it's] the lead one."





Apple CEO Tim Cook at the iPhone 4S launch event in October | Source: Reuters







In looking to the future of iOS products, Cook commented that tablets like the iPad will one day surpass the PC market, and sees Apple's offering as being peerless among a litany of models running on Android, Windows and other platforms.



Citing recent IDC data that shows desktop sales in the U.S. were trumped by tablet sales during the last quarter of 2011, Cook claims that there are different indicators for significant momentum in the space.



"We're really happy with the 15.4 million iPads that we were able to sell," Cook said. "This is consistent with our long-term belief that we've had since before we introduced the product that this is a huge opportunity for Apple over time."



The Apple chief doesn't see other tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire or similar Android models as threats to the iPad's crown. Cook notes that consumers want to use their tablets in a variety of ways and the "limited function" tablets and e-readers simply don't have Apple's robust ecosystem of over 170,000 iPad-optimized apps.



"I think on the iPad side, although I don't have specific numbers to share from third parties, I think that all of us inherently believe that iPad is way ahead there," Cook said, adding that "there's really no comparable product to iPod touch out there, so iOS is doing extremely well. What we focus on is innovating and making the world's best product."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    We're almost 2 years in and the iPad still has no real competition. I don't see that changing in 2012.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    I'm going to quote myself...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    It's fantastic how quick and easy it is to recategorized devices depending on the statistic one is trying to peddle. The iPad is like the chameleon of consumer devices! This is how conversations go down on AI...











    These PC OS platform statistics look terrible!
    Well duh! OS platforms aren't important. Individual vendors are!
    Ah, that's a lot better! But these "largest PC vendor" stats don't look right. Apple isn't quite at the top!
    You want to beef up those "largest PC vendor" stats, just include the iPad. Simple!
    Hang on... if the iPad is counted as a "PC" then what are we going to do with the "media tablet" stats?
    No worries, just include the iPad there as well!
    Oh no! I've just realized iOS isn't the highest selling smart phone OS
    Well duh! Individual vendors aren't important. OS platforms are!
    That makes heaps of sense! If only we didn't include the iPad as a PC and a media tablet we could create a new "mobile OS" category that iOS can win!
    Well that's where you would be wrong! The iPad fits right in that statistic as well! It's quite obviously a media PC tablet mobile OS device computer
    Cool. So is Android's growth much higher than iOS at the moment?
    Market share doesn't matter. It's all about how many apps your platform has
    Doesn't Android have a lot of apps as well?
    Didn't I just tell you? It's all about the quality of apps your platform has
    Oh. Well that makes sense. Isn't Android getting a lot of quality apps now as well?
    Who cares about that? Don't you even understand how much of the mobile industries profit ends up at Apple? It's more than every other company combined. 70% of the iPhone price is pure profit!!!!!!
    Doesn't that mean Apple over-charged me for my iPhone?
    You don't understand the difference between cost and value.
    Well now I'm confused.
    Fandroid.



  • Reply 3 of 54
    I am delighted with my iPad, and my grandson can hardly wait for the iPad 3, because I promised him the one I have as a hand-me-down.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    Let's do some math. Google does 700,000 activations a day now of new devices. That's 63,000,000 a quarter. Being that the iPad "has no real competition" and iPod touches have no real competition, that leaves most of those 700,000 activations a day as smart phones. Apple sold 62 million iOS devices last quarter with 37million of them being iPhones. How is the iPhone closing the gap? I think I'm missing some math here because it would seem a blow out on the smart phones in Android's favor. Or its just a real good spin by Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    We're almost 2 years in and the iPad still has no real competition. I don't see that changing in 2012.



    I do, later this year. Android tablets will come and go and cannibalize each other. Tim alluded to it, the sleeping giant in the room is Microsoft. While I'm beyond positive the reception here is one of point and laugh, but Windows 8 tablets will get attention in the larger market. Will they be an iPad killer? no, probably not. Will it be a legitimate competitor? Absolutely.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    We're almost 2 years in and the iPad still has no real competition. I don't see that changing in 2012.



    Well said, Poke! My ipad2 is a fantastic piece of gear!
  • Reply 7 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    I do, later this year. Android tablets will come and go and cannibalize each other. Tim alluded to it, the sleeping giant in the room is Microsoft. While I'm beyond positive the reception here is one of point and laugh, but Windows 8 tablets will get attention in the larger market. Will they be an iPad killer? no, probably not. Will it be a legitimate competitor? Absolutely.



    It's not in their (MS') DNA....they dont get the "eco-system!" 10 years after iLife and MS doesnt have a comparable SW suite?



    second place in tech is almost a death sentence! Unless, of course, u have a steve jobs at the helm!
  • Reply 8 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    Let's do some math. Google does 700,000 activations a day now of new devices. That's 63,000,000 a quarter. Being that the iPad "has no real competition" and iPod touches have no real competition, that leaves most of those 700,000 activations a day as smart phones. Apple sold 62 million iOS devices last quarter with 37million of them being iPhones. How is the iPhone closing the gap? I think I'm missing some math here because it would seem a blow out on the smart phones in Android's favor. Or its just a real good spin by Apple.



    Yeah, it couldn't possibly be because no one but Google knows what "activations" means to them.



    No, it has to be Apple fudging the numbers.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    Let's do some math. Google does 700,000 activations a day now of new devices. That's 63,000,000 a quarter. Being that the iPad "has no real competition" and iPod touches have no real competition, that leaves most of those 700,000 activations a day as smart phones. Apple sold 62 million iOS devices last quarter with 37million of them being iPhones. How is the iPhone closing the gap? I think I'm missing some math here because it would seem a blow out on the smart phones in Android's favor. Or its just a real good spin by Apple.



    Or it's a matter of Google not telling you what an activation is.



    One phone sale could lead to multiple activations in a number of ways:

    - Jail breaking

    - Phone freezes and must be restored and reactivated

    - Customer changes carriers



    The number of phones sold is undoubtedly much lower than the claimed number of activations. No one but Google knows how much less - and they're not telling.



    Sales figures as reported by various market research firms are undoubtedly more meaningful - and they show iPhone to be approaching Android phone sales.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yeah, it couldn't possibly be because no one but Google knows what "activations" means to them.



    No, it has to be Apple fudging the numbers.



    I doubt you could find anyone at Google that could explains what it means and how they are measured.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    Let's do some math. Google does 700,000 activations a day now of new devices. That's 63,000,000 a quarter. Being that the iPad "has no real competition" and iPod touches have no real competition, that leaves most of those 700,000 activations a day as smart phones. Apple sold 62 million iOS devices last quarter with 37million of them being iPhones. How is the iPhone closing the gap? I think I'm missing some math here because it would seem a blow out on the smart phones in Android's favor. Or its just a real good spin by Apple.



    a very large chunk of Android "activations" are now for off-brand very cheap smartphones and tablets in China and the developing world. those are big numbers but hollow - with little or no value to the Google ecosystem - since many/most of those buyers don't use Google search or other Google services, let alone ads, at all once activated, preferring local alternatives like Baidu instead.



    talking about "Android" as if it is a cohesive OS ignores this inevitable market fragmentation - even without its further disassembly by "forking" like Amazon is doing. it's really more comparable to Java. of course, Android IS in fact a flavor of Java running on top of a modified Linux kernel. so why don't we all just say its true OS is Linux?
  • Reply 12 of 54
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    I do, later this year. Android tablets will come and go and cannibalize each other. Tim alluded to it, the sleeping giant in the room is Microsoft. While I'm beyond positive the reception here is one of point and laugh, but Windows 8 tablets will get attention in the larger market. Will they be an iPad killer? no, probably not. Will it be a legitimate competitor? Absolutely.



    Windows Metro tablets might indeed become competition - for Android tablets. since the same OEM's will be trying to manufacture and sell both at the same time. except Motorola and Nokia.



    but this big hype of running Windows 8 apps on both desktops and tablets is just never going to work. a app UI designed for touch tablets will always be second rate on a desktop, and an application UI designed for desktop will always suck on a tablet. all this extra operability will accomplish is make the Windows tablets too complicated, and hence unpopular. >90% of consumers want their tablets to be as simple as possible.



    Apple has this right - users want seamless sharing of their files, photos, etc. on any device, portable or desktop they own. but they want the simplest software that is designed to be optimal for the particular type of hardware they happen to be using with any such file at that moment.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


    I doubt you could find anyone at Google that could explains what it means and how they are measured.



    LOL. Knowing Google, they probably count anyone who signs up for a Google+ or YouTube account as an "activation."
  • Reply 14 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    Let's do some math. Google does 700,000 activations a day now of new devices. That's 63,000,000 a quarter. Being that the iPad "has no real competition" and iPod touches have no real competition, that leaves most of those 700,000 activations a day as smart phones. Apple sold 62 million iOS devices last quarter with 37million of them being iPhones. How is the iPhone closing the gap? I think I'm missing some math here because it would seem a blow out on the smart phones in Android's favor. Or its just a real good spin by Apple.



    If you define "the gap" as comparing iPhone (HW) sales to Android (OS) that is given away then of course Apple won't be competing with that. If you count ecosystem, profits, market saturation you get a different and much more realistic picture. Why exclude the iPod Touch from the ecosystem when very few apps are designed to only work on the iPhone only? Why exclude older iDevices when they are still being used? Surely you realize that Apple devices hold a high after-market value because yet are still desired for use. Why is profit important here? Because it shows what consumers and carriers are willing to do to have Apple products. You refer to all Android-based devices as smartphones yet among phones many are better defined as feature phones. They aren't dumb phones but they limited in HW and SW often coming with a lot of crapware put on their by carriers. These are the new feature phones!
  • Reply 15 of 54
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    Let's do some math. Google does 700,000 activations a day now of new devices. That's 63,000,000 a quarter. Being that the iPad "has no real competition" and iPod touches have no real competition, that leaves most of those 700,000 activations a day as smart phones. Apple sold 62 million iOS devices last quarter with 37million of them being iPhones. How is the iPhone closing the gap? I think I'm missing some math here because it would seem a blow out on the smart phones in Android's favor. Or its just a real good spin by Apple.





    for all you know they hit 700,000 on a good day and downhill from there
  • Reply 16 of 54
    kpomkpom Posts: 617member
    Nice quarter, Apple. I can't wait to see what this quarter brings. My credit card is ready to buy an iPad 3.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    for all you know they hit 700,000 on a good day and downhill from there



    I thought that might be the case so I ran the numbers in December and found them to be averages, not spikes.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Or it's a matter of Google not telling you what an activation is.



    One phone sale could lead to multiple activations in a number of ways:

    - Jail breaking

    - Phone freezes and must be restored and reactivated

    - Customer changes carriers



    The number of phones sold is undoubtedly much lower than the claimed number of activations. No one but Google knows how much less - and they're not telling.



    Sales figures as reported by various market research firms are undoubtedly more meaningful - and they show iPhone to be approaching Android phone sales.



    Wow you really must be in left field somewhere as this has been explained 1000x. One phone can only be activated once, it's done by IMEI number registration of phones running Google apps. Why is that so hard to understand? You can restore your phone 6500 times it's only registered once. Either you are in denial or fail very hard at reading comprehension.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    Wow you really must be in left field somewhere as this has been explained 1000x. One phone can only be activated once, it's done by IMEI number registration of phones running Google apps. Why is that so hard to understand? You can restore your phone 6500 times it's only registered once. Either you are in denial or fail very hard at reading comprehension.



    Or you're making things up because Google has paid you to shill for them.



    Can you provide a legitimate reference that specifically states that a phone can only be activated once?



    I didn't think so.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post


    Windows Metro tablets might indeed become competition - for Android tablets. since the same OEM's will be trying to manufacture and sell both at the same time. except Motorola and Nokia.



    but this big hype of running Windows 8 apps on both desktops and tablets is just never going to work. a app UI designed for touch tablets will always be second rate on a desktop, and an application UI designed for desktop will always suck on a tablet. all this extra operability will accomplish is make the Windows tablets too complicated, and hence unpopular. >90% of consumers want their tablets to be as simple as possible.



    Apple has this right - users want seamless sharing of their files, photos, etc. on any device, portable or desktop they own. but they want the simplest software that is designed to be optimal for the particular type of hardware they happen to be using with any such file at that moment.



    You're stating a lot of your own useless opinion as fact and in someways sound like the inverse of those who dismissed the iPad as a giant iPod touch. Since Windows 8 nor its tablets are finalized you're making statements based on an early dev preview and can't yet prove what the final experience will be. You're forcing a iPad based model/experience on an ecosystem that works very differently. Judging by what I saw at CES it's obvious Windows 8 is being thought of very differently from the iPad / basic touch tablet approach. Nothing is more seamless than having one device running all your familiar apps that adapts to how you're interfacing with it during the course of a day. If I had a dollar for the amount of times I've been asked, when will I be able to do x on a tablet? Or when I can run z type app on any tablet? I'd have bought another iPad by now.
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