News Analysis: Android is besting iOS in overall sales. But on a device-by-device basis, Apple's iPhone still reigns supreme. Find out what Google and Android smartphone makers need to do to have a chance to overcome iPhone's technical and market advantages.
Apple's iPhone has been an
unbridled success since its launch in 2007. Apple announced earlier this year
that it has sold over 100 million iPhones since that launch. Now that the
device is available to Verizon customers and the long-awaited white iPhone is
finally on store shelves, Apple's star only continues to soar.
Android-based devices, on
the other hand, aren't necessarily as successful in relation to the iPhone as
the sales figures would suggest. As a whole, Android-based smartphones are
easily outselling the iPhone.
However, that's mainly due
to the fact that there are so many Android-based devices in the market. On a
phone-by-phone basis, it's hard to find a single device that can even come
close to matching iPhone sales.
a recent report
from Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley claimed
iPhone 4 sales are outselling Android devices on AT&T and Verizon's network
"by far," according to AppleInsider. Even the iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 are
outselling new Android devices in some cases, he claims.
That's quite troublesome for
Android vendors. It seems that as Google's platform continues to gain
the smartphone makers aren't reaping the benefits to the same degree
But they can change that.
With the right strategies and some tweaks here and there, Android smartphone
makers can go a long way in improving their chances of besting iPhone sales.
Read on to find out how:
1. Work with Google on Android.
Android is a fine operating
system that has come a long way over the last couple years. But it still has
much further to go to catch up to Apple's iOS. For one, the virtual keyboard on
Android just isn't as nice as Apple's iOS option. Moreover, the software
suffers from some odd design quirks that cause it to be a frustrating to use at
times. If Android smartphone makers want to catch up to Apple, they will need
to work with Google to continue to improve Android. The operating system is
almost there. But with a few tweaks, it might finally be able to match iOS.
2. Make the update process smoother.
of the biggest issues in the Android ecosystem is the update process
who have older versions of the operating system are offered over-the-air
updates to the latest version. However, those updates take an inordinately long
time to reach devices. Apple's iPhone, on the other hand, is easily updated
from the user's computer. It might seem like a small issue to those running the
latest version of Android. But for those who have been stuck with Android 2.1
for far too long now, it's a pain. Simply put, Android smartphones are being
held back by the poor update process.
3. Deliver solid marketing.
One of the key reasons Apple
has been so successful in the mobile market is its marketing. The company knows
how to effectively convey a message to consumers around the world. Android
handset makers, on the other hand, haven't been so effective. Motorola came
closest to matching Apple with its slate of commercials, but they weren't
enough. If Android smartphone makers want to beat the iPhone, they will need to
double down on marketing and make those efforts as appealing to customers as
4. Promote the 4G Advantage.
So far, Apple hasn't jumped
on the 4G bandwagon. Speculation abounds that the company won't even do so
until next year when 4G networks are more readily available and it can plan for
the design tweaks that might go along with the change. Many Android devices,
however, allow users to connect to those ultra-high-speed networks. Considering
the importance of high-speed connectivity and the fact that Apple hasn't joined
the fray just yet, Android smartphone makers should be doing everything they
can to make consumers aware of the benefits of 4G. At this point, it's arguably
Android's biggest advantage over the iPhone.