News Analysis: Android and iOS are battling it out for mobile market share. That's a good thing as long as neither one can win an overwhelming advantage in the market.
is the cornerstone of business. If just a single company was dominating every
respective market, the innovation consumers and enterprise users around the
world enjoy today wouldn't be nearly as advanced as it is. In fact, it's quite
possible that the very things many folks take for granted wouldn't even be
in the mobile operating system space, there are multiple legal battles being
waged that Google claims stifle competition. Currently, Google's Android
operating system is being targeted by a host of companies, including Apple,
Microsoft and Oracle, over charges that the platform violates patents held by
those companies. Microsoft has been so effective in targeting Android, in fact,
that it now has entered into licensing agreements with vendors producing over
50 percent of all the Android-based devices hitting store shelves.
gets worse. Apple supporters say that Android copies iOS and has become
successful by including their favorite company's ideas. Android partisans,
however, claim that Apple's OS copies Android, pointing to features such as iOS
Notification Center. There is no easy way to solve the debate.
should we? The fact is,
Android and iOS are strong competitors that are trying to gain an upper hand
with each new software release. That's good for all stakeholders-including
Apple and Google. Read on to find out why:
1. It makes Apple see its faults
easy for Apple to become overconfident
. Nearly everywhere the company turns
it hears praise and adulation from its many admirers for delivering outstanding
products to the market. However, Android's continued innovation is making Apple
realize its own faults. Consider, for example, the addition of Notification
Center to iOS 5. Android has long had a similar feature. The iPhone maker saw
the error of its ways and addressed it. Without Android, who knows if that
would have happened?
2. More Android versions
year, Google releases several different versions of Android that in one way or
another improve upon their predecessors. This year, for example, Google has
offered up Android 3.0 Honeycomb and improvements to Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
It will soon bring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the market. If it weren't
for the competition it faces from iOS, who knows if Google would feel so
compelled to release new and improved versions of its mobile platform so often?
3. It helps vendors sell more devices
mentioned, competition in the mobile OS space is good for everyone. In fact, it
helps vendors. Right now, several handset makers, including Samsung, LG and
rely on Google's Android platform to operate their companies
. If Android
was a loser, they wouldn't be able to sell too many products. But thanks to the
competition Google faces from Apple, it keeps releasing new and improved
versions, which allows vendors to release new devices based on those versions.
4. Market domination is the death knell
clear that if one company's technology held an overwhelming advantage over the
mobile OS market, innovation would suffer to the detriment of all mobile phone
buyers. But that's nothing new. Domination in any market creates stagnation and
makes the leading company lazy, complacent and more inclined to rake in as much
profit without rapidly improving its technology to the benefit of customers and
we don't have that in the mobile OS space
because of strong competition.
And we're benefiting from it.