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Old 09-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #31
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Meanwhile, the Android ecosystem is fragmented all to hell, which explains why developers don't bother with it,
I use a MacBook so no idea on Windows software.

But, Windows is the same as you mention above, do developers not write programmes for Windows anymore due to all the combinations of hardware
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #32
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Android handset makers are slowly committing suicide by exchanging profitability for market share in a pricing race to the bottom, not to mention the cash they pay out to Microsoft to licence patents.
As long as the makers aren't losing money on every phone sold then capturing market share while the market is still expanding so rapidly makes good business sense. You phrase this as though the big players didn't have high end expensive phones in their portfolio as well, which is nonsense of course.

It never ceases to amaze me how Apple's massive profit margins are held up to be a good thing for their customers.

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The only OEM that makes money from Android is Samsung and—surprise!—their phones and software are just copies of Apple products.
Do you really believe that is true?

Samsung have been rightly pulled up because some aspects of their phones and their Touchwiz interface have borrowed significantly from the iPhone. That does not make them copies. There are a huge number of elements that make up a phone. Even the original Galaxy S is not an iPhone 3G 'clone'.

In the US and Germany Samsung were adjudged to have crossed the line. In the UK, Japan and the Netherlands they were adjudged to be OK. The South Koreans penalised both sides, but in the penalties awarded sent a message that the infringements were minor in the grand scheme of things.

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Meanwhile, the Android ecosystem is fragmented all to hell, which explains why developers don't bother with it, which explain why 2/3rds of Android users don't pay for apps.
Really, the fragmentation argument? The vast majority of Android apps are backwards compatible to Android 2.1, so will run on 99% of Android devices.

Your link even espouses the benefits of what detractors like to call 'fragmentation':

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Fragmentation allows users to take their pick from thousands of devices. You can choose from phones with 3D screens, projectors, CDMA, GSM, or even CDMA & GSM. You may not care that Tag Heuer has made an Android phone but at least one person does (and they use OpenSignalMaps). It's a triumph for Android that as a single OS it can target so many markets.
And you're claiming that the wide selection of free apps is somehow bad for Android customers?

The free app to try out followed by paid app for something you like that does what you want is working well, and the Android paid market is growing all the time. What you're saying may well have been relevant a year or two ago, but now with Android having nearly three times the market share, your one third of users paying for apps is presumably a good match for the number of purchasers on iOS.

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Meanwhile, the popularity of iOS products netted Apple $11 billion last year.
This would be the profit based on a much smaller market share and a much higher profit margin? That's great for Apple and their shareholders.

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Winning.

If losing to the competition looks like that, I am not sure Tim Cook minds.
Oh, I think he does you know. I can see a lot of law suits going on, and the relative stagnation or decline of his market share in most countries outside the US must be ringing alarm bells.

Which is good, because hopefully it will prompt Apple to do what they do best: apply a huge helping of style to a niche product, identify the essentials and trim the concept down to its intuitive core, make us all want one with fanfares and slick marketing, and open up another product range for us all to enjoy.

Graham

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Old 09-05-2012, 10:58 AM   #33
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I use a MacBook so no idea on Windows software.

But, Windows is the same as you mention above, do developers not write programmes for Windows anymore due to all the combinations of hardware
The essential problem of developing for phones and tablet is graphics scalability. Because apps are full-screen, they need to be designed for specific pixel widths and heights.

On Windows PCs, programs can be windowed and resized without any issues. Moreover, there is a limited number of universal stock resolutions (1024x768, 1440x900, 1920x1080, etc.) which help programmers optimize their software for display on different screens.

The problem with developing for Android goes beyond what I wrote above, since until very recently hardly any Android users paid for apps. This creates a vicious cycle where devs are unwilling to commit to Android, or at least commit to it first, which in turn discourages users from making purchases. Fragmentation exacerbates the whole. Unlike iOS, Android has never created any major platform-specific social networks like Instagram or Path. iOS comes first because it's the easiest platform to develop for and the most profitable. Android gets the scraps a few months later, if ever. Paid apps are distributed as "free" ad-supported apps, c.f. Angry Birds.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:13 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
The essential problem of developing for phones and tablet is graphics scalability. Because apps are full-screen, they need to be designed for specific pixel widths and heights.

On Windows PCs, programs can be windowed and resized without any issues. Moreover, there is a limited number of universal stock resolutions (1024x768, 1440x900, 1920x1080, etc.) which help programmers optimize their software for display on different screens.

The problem with developing for Android goes beyond what I wrote above, since until very recently hardly any Android users paid for apps. This creates a vicious cycle where devs are unwilling to commit to Android, or at least commit to it first, which in turn discourages users from making purchases. Fragmentation exacerbates the whole. Unlike iOS, Android has never created any major platform-specific social networks like Instagram or Path. iOS comes first because it's the easiest platform to develop for and the most profitable. Android gets the scraps a few months later, if ever. Paid apps are distributed as "free" ad-supported apps, c.f. Angry Birds.
Not really sure why screen size/scalability should be an issue, if developers only go for iOS because it's easier, then to me this is a poor developer

If a developer makes more money with iOS than they do for Android then fair enough, it makes sense for them to do iOS apps

Last time I looked angry birds has free ad supported and paid add free, same as iOS

Instagram & Path are both on Android so not sure of your point
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:14 AM   #35
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The essential problem of developing for phones and tablet is graphics scalability. Because apps are full-screen, they need to be designed for specific pixel widths and heights.

On Windows PCs, programs can be windowed and resized without any issues. Moreover, there is a limited number of universal stock resolutions (1024x768, 1440x900, 1920x1080, etc.) which help programmers optimize their software for display on different screens.
You realise that that's the way it's done on Android as well don't you? Android apps build to a set of standard frames (small, medium, large, etc) and adapt to the device.

Yes, it's easier on iOS where there is a standard screen size. No, it's not insanely hard to work in an environment where your UI needs to adapt. What this does mean is that iOS apps can look slicker, but it's not the issue for Android that you're making it out to be.

It's also the reason why Android apps written for a phone cope reasonably well with display on a tablet, even without specific coding for the larger screen. The interface is drawn according to the relative screen size.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:15 AM   #36
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OK, I'll bite.
As long as the makers aren't losing money on every phone sold then capturing market share while the market is still expanding so rapidly makes good business sense. You phrase this as though the big players didn't have high end expensive phones in their portfolio as well, which is nonsense of course.

It never ceases to amaze me how Apple's massive profit margins are held up to be a good thing for their customers.
Apple's profit margins are good for Apple, which was the crux of the thread.

I don't believe Android OEMs can continue to operate successfully on such razor-thin margins. Their lack of profitability will prevent them from investing in the R&D needed to innovate and the pricing expectations they create in the minds of customers will not only impede them from raising prices later, but also devalue their brand as cheap, shoddy, budget, etc. Weak demand creates a lack of leverage in negotiations with carriers, who burden their phones with unremovable crapware and try to block rookits, hurting customers.
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Do you really believe that is true?

Samsung have been rightly pulled up because some aspects of their phones and their Touchwiz interface have borrowed significantly from the iPhone. That does not make them copies. There are a huge number of elements that make up a phone. Even the original Galaxy S is not an iPhone 3G 'clone'.

In the US and Germany Samsung were adjudged to have crossed the line. In the UK, Japan and the Netherlands they were adjudged to be OK. The South Koreans penalised both sides, but in the penalties awarded sent a message that the infringements were minor in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, there is really no question in my mind.

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Really, the fragmentation argument? The vast majority of Android apps are backwards compatible to Android 2.1, so will run on 99% of Android devices.

Your link even espouses the benefits of what detractors like to call 'fragmentation':
I don't deny choice is a benefit. The point I was making largely concerns developers, and thus has a trickle-down effect on consumers.
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And you're claiming that the wide selection of free apps is somehow bad for Android customers?

The free app to try out followed by paid app for something you like that does what you want is working well, and the Android paid market is growing all the time. What you're saying may well have been relevant a year or two ago, but now with Android having nearly three times the market share, your one third of users paying for apps is presumably a good match for the number of purchasers on iOS.
Personally, I prefer to have the option to pay for an app rather than be forced to use a spammy, ad-supported version.

We'll see if developer attitude shifts over time or not. So far, I have yet to see signs that Android has become or is becoming a platform of choice.

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This would be the popularity based on a much smaller market share and a much higher profit margin? That's great for Apple and their shareholders.
Customers seem to love it. The iPhone 4S is the most popular phone in the world. The second most popular is the iPhone 4. Those will be displaced next week by... another Apple product. Apple phones now account for a vast majority of all handsets sold by AT&T and Verizon (obviously, US-only).

Then there's tablets, something like 90% of which are iPads. Its main competitor, the Kindle Fire, is using a version of Android so forked that it doesn't even merit the name. There are no legitimate Android alternatives.

Then there's JD Power & Associates user satisfaction rankings, which Apple has topped every year for the last half decade.

I would say their popularity among users is incontestable.

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Oh, I think he does you know. I can see a lot of law suits going on, and the relative stagnation or decline of his market share in most countries outside the US must be ringing alarm bells.

Which is good, because hopefully it will prompt Apple to do what they do best: apply a huge helping of style to a niche product, identify the essentials and trim the concept down to its intuitive core, make us all want one with fanfares and slick marketing, and open up another product range for us all to enjoy.

Graham
In a sense, you are surely right. Cook wants market share, which he made clear enough during the iPhone 4S reveal. That's why he's moving to release the iPad mini later this year. Perhaps he'll eventually drop the price of the iPhone in emerging markets.

On the other hand, it's not the only metric that counts. BMW wants market share, too, but it doesn't try to compete with Toyota or KIA in volume. That's not its business model.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:30 AM   #37
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Really, the fragmentation argument? The vast majority of Android apps are backwards compatible to Android 2.1, so will run on 99% of Android devices.
Yes. Fragmentation exists and it is ultimately a bad thing for Android. Fragmentation particularly in the UI and system services is a drag on developers coding to the latest and greatest. A developer must make the decision to "dumb down" their app to be supported on a wider variety of devices, or take advantage of features unique to the newer versions of Android (which in turn reduces the potential number of customers).


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And you're claiming that the wide selection of free apps is somehow bad for Android customers?
Commercial viability ultimately drives the development of quality applications. Generally speaking, if there is no financial benefit, then serious development houses won't invest the resources to create high quality applications. If there is a mindset that apps are free, then a developer who charges for a high quality app will find it difficult to gain traction.

There have been quite a few reports of developers who were able to sell the iOS version of their apps but unable to sell the Android version in spite of parity between the two versions.

Ultimately that is not good for Android. Nor for Android users.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #38
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Weak demand creates a lack of leverage in negotiations with carriers, who burden their phones with unremovable crapware and try to block rookits, hurting customers.
I'll agree with you there. However, the choice available does mean that discerning customers can shop around for outlets that don't do this. I bought my Galaxy outright so it's just got Samsung's poor software on it, and there are tablets that give a pure Android experience from Google and Asus.

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Personally, I prefer to have the option to pay for an app rather than be forced to use a spammy, ad-supported version.
You usually have that option under Android as well. The only app of mine that I can think of that doesn't offer a paid version is Words With Friends.

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Customers seem to love it.
Well, the whole point of this thread is that outside the US in general the share of customers is static or declining. Admittedly the market is still growing, but fewer new customers are choosing iOS.

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The iPhone 4S is the most popular phone in the world. The second most popular is the iPhone 4. Those will be displaced next week by... another Apple product.
In August the most popular phone in the US was the Samsung Galaxy S3, which has also been the most popular phone in the UK. Given that those are the number 1 and 3 largest markets, and that we know that Samsung has well over double the market share of Apple in China, I think the iPhone 4S is likely to have been knocked off the top spot.

The iPhone 5 may well reclaim the crown worldwide, but it's by no means a dead certainty.

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Then there's tablets, something like 90% of which are iPads.
I think your figures are out of date. Most sites have the iPad share at more like 65% to 70% nowadays. See:

http://www.bgr.com/2012/08/14/ipad-m...all-time-high/

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Its main competitor, the Kindle Fire, is using a version of Android so forked that it doesn't even merit the name. There are no legitimate Android alternatives.
Interestingly, Samsung's tablets are outselling the Kindle Fire.

What's more the latest figures aren't really showing the impact of the Galaxy Nexus 7 yet.

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Then there's JD Power & Associates user satisfaction rankings, which Apple has topped every year for the last half decade.
That's a slightly circular argument as previously Apple had the higher share of users. I'll concede that the simpler UI of Apple devices is more likely to lead to user satisfaction, but it will be interesting to see how those rankings change as a) the market share shift really starts to have an effect, and b) the latest versions of Android gain traction.

Graham

Last edited by Graham; 09-05-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:41 AM   #39
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Apple's profit margins are good for Apple, which was the crux of the thread.
It was not. As the OP, I created the thread to highlight the decline of apple's market share outside the US, at no point did I mention profit margins.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:43 AM   #40
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Yes, there is really no question in my mind.
You lost all credibility there.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:15 PM   #41
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I created the thread to highlight the decline of apple's market share outside the US, at no point did I mention profit margins.
Can't talk about one without the other. Lacks context.

Business plan is to cede one type of share for the other if necessary.
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