Android Beats iOS in Broad Mobile Market: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-09-27 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Google's Android mobile operating system has easily bested iOS in the broad smartphone market, and the chances of that changing anytime soon seem quite slim.

The mobile space is at one of its most interesting points in years. Currently, there are two major players-Apple and Google-that are leading the way against a gaggle of competitors that in one way or another, fail to understand the needs of today's consumers. And together, Apple's iOS and Google Android are giving consumers and even enterprise users effective options in features and performance.

However, when one compares iOS to Android, they will find that the battle for dominance isn't as close as some would like to believe. In fact, research firm Nielsen reported on Sept. 26 that twice as many people are opting for Android-based devices than iOS products right now. What's more, U.S. and worldwide market-share figures show quite convincingly that Android is easily beating iOS in adoption.

For tablet owners, that might come as a surprise since in that space Android is being dominated by iOS. But in the smartphone market, Apple's operating system doesn't even stand a chance.

The fact is, Android is easily dominating iOS in the mobile market, even when tablets are factored in. There are numerous reasons for that.

Read through the following items to find out what those reasons are:

1. The obvious: more devices

The biggest contributing factor to Android's dominance is the sheer number of products running the operating systems. From smartphones to tablets, a large number of products are running Google's mobile operating system. So when customers head to the store and look for a device not running iOS, they're most likely to find an Android-based device. That alone gives Google's OS an advantage against iOS, which is only running on the iPhone and iPad.

2. Attractive pricing

One of the central reasons for Android's success has been the pricing of devices running the OS. Aside from expensive products, like the Droid Bionic, there are several cheaper Android-based devices that allow those on a budget to get into the smartphone game. Sure, the iPhone is attractive, but its starts at $199. And for some folks, that's simply too expensive. But if they can get their hands on a cheaper, albeit less capable, Android device, they'll jump at that chance. Simply put, Android vendors have brought many more consumers into the smartphone market.

3. Carrier marketing

Over the last few years, carrier marketing of Android-based devices has been outstanding. The key reason for that has been the relative lack of availability of Apple's iPhone. For years, Apple's device was only on AT&T's network, which meant companies like Verizon and Sprint were forced to promote their best alternatives. Those alternatives happened to be Android-based smartphones. Now, T-Mobile and Sprint are promoting Android heavily. And in the process, consumers are willing to try out those products.

4. Broad carrier availability

Furthermore, the fact that the iPhone is only available on AT&T and Verizon's network makes it much easier for Android to appeal to customers. Android's availability on all major U.S. carriers gives it a market of over 200 million subscribers to sell to. Apple's iPhone, on the other hand, is available to just a portion of that group. Carrier availability means quite a bit in today's mobile space, and Android's success has made that abundantly clear.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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