Eric Schmidt is talking smack about Apple again. This time it’s to say that Android has won the platform war against Apple. Oddly, he likens the battle to Microsoft versus Apple, which I don’t know if we ever got a clear winner in that one. However, I think while Android certainly has the install base numbers, they certainly don’t have the numbers where it counts—who is using the OS the most to go online or buy stuff.
In the Bloomberg article giving us a taste of a longer interview (I still think that Tim Cook has done the best job thus far on the interview circuit), the big salvo is fired right off the bat:
“This is a huge platform change; this is of the scale of 20 years ago – Microsoft versus Apple,” he said. “We’re winning that war pretty clearly now.”
Schmidt’s remarks reflect Google’s growing confidence in its ability to attract users and advertisers as more customers rely on handheld devices and shun traditional computers. By giving away Android, Google cedes revenue to hardware partners, such as Samsung Electronics Co. Schmidt is willing to make that sacrifice because it drives demand for ads and other Internet- based services that benefit Google over time.
“The core strategy is to make a bigger pie,” he said. “We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”
However, okay, but as AppAdvice points out:
An August survey by comScore concluded that Android’s share of the smartphone market was 52.6 percent versus 34.3 percent for iOS. More recently, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech saw that Apple’s iOS now has a 48.1 percent of U.S. smartphone sales. This compared to 46.7 percent for Android.
And that’s just sales numbers, that doesn’t factor in what I think really matters—people using the devices and having them be so completely part of their lives that not using them seems alien. Sorry, but the fact is that I see far more people carrying around iPads (not to mention iPhones, Canada has lots of iPhones) than any other tablet. I see people using them alone, I see them using them in concert with a laptop. I see people carry them around because that’s where they get stuff done.
I don’t see that with Android. So, sure, Android might be winning a pure numbers game, but as far as far-reaching effect on the world at large. It’s Apple and iOS all they way.
I wonder if we’re going to look back at the 20th and early 21st centuries and view the platform wars (Apple vs Microsoft, Apple vs Android, ? vs ?) like the religious wars of the 17th and 18th centuries. Just a thought, because sometimes I think they have a lot more in common than we really want to admit.