2Android vs. iPhone
Android has racked up 23.5 percent smartphone market share in the United States, approaching Apple’s own 24.6 percent, according to comScore. There’s no reason to believe these two companies won’t continue to eat away at RIM’s market lead while jostling to grab share from each other.
3Android Tablets vs. iPad
Apple’s iPad has a huge lead versus Android in tablets, commanding 90 percent of the market today, Piper Jaffray, estimates. That will change in 2011 as Android nibbles at iPad’s share by sheer volume en route to grabbing 39 percent of tablet market to iPad’s 44 percent by 2012. This is similar to what Android is doing to the iPhone now.
4Android Market vs. App Store
One area where Google isn’t catching up to Apple anytime soon is in its Android Market. In addition to being tough to navigate without stepping on porn and other junk, Android Market has far fewer application choices. Currently, there are 100,000-plus Android apps there compared to the more than 300,000 in Apple’s App Store.
5Near Field Communications
NFC stands for near field communications. Have you been on vacation for the last month and haven’t heard of it? It’s the short-range wireless technology Google has baked into its new Android 2.3 and Samsung Nexus S smartphone. The technology will one day enable mass mobile payments via smartphones swiped against contact terminals. Apple and RIM are doing this too. Think of it as another mobile battlefield for 2011.
6AdMob vs. iAds
Google bought AdMob in May for its in-app ad offerings. Apple launched iAds in July and, with the exception of some dropouts, the in-application program for the iOS-based iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has been well-received. While Apple and Google are practically tied in mobile display ads, Google easily holds the pole position in this space by dint of its mobile search ads from AdSense. Expect Google to extend its lead in 2011 by the sheer volume of Android handsets flooding the market.
This idea is speculative, but there has been some talk in 2010 that Apple would build a search engine to compete with Google. John Battelle and Piper Jaffray said it’s more likely Apple would build a mobile application search engine to help the millions of users sift through Apple’s massive App Store and keep Google out. We believe this is a great likelihood and it would apply pressure to Google to improve its Android Market with even great urgency.
8Google TV vs. Apple TV
The battle for Web TV should heighten in 2011, as both companies improve their offerings. While new Google TV machines are reportedly delayed, Apple just said it had sold more than 1 million Apple TV units in less than three months.
9Chrome vs. Safari
Google’s Chrome Web browser has nearly doubled up on Apple Safari in 2010, approaching 10 percent market share to Safari’s 5 percent. Sure there are more Windows machines for Chrome to live on than Macbooks. But the Chrome browser is also going to land on Chrome OS netbooks next year. That’s another avenue of competition.
10Chrome OS vs. Mac OS X
Next comes Chrome OS, which is due next year, ostensibly to take some Windows PC and Apple Mac users away. That’s assuming tablets don’t subsume the netbook/notebook market with their Web-friendly mobility. For now, all we have is this test-flight Cr-48 based on Chrome OS.
11iTunes vs. Google Music?
This is another unknown. Apple’s iTunes is the dominant online music shop and seems headed to the cloud. Google is allegedly building Google Music to do what no record company could versus Apple: win.