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Android Smartphones – Bigger, Better, Smarter than Apple

Psst, do you want to know a secret? Android
smartphones are better than Apple’s iOS devices. OK, this might come as a
surprise to many people reading this blog in the United States where Apple
still dominates the market with approximately 55% market share but the rest of
the world has known this little secret for some time now. Globally, Android
devices own the smartphone market with more than 76% market share.

Apple fanboys (and girls) will, of course,
automatically jump to the defense of their iPhones, citing all sorts of
evidence in favor of their cherished devices. They will tell you that Apple has
led smartphone innovation since they first appeared in our hands in 2007 and
that Android device manufacturers are simply riding on their coattails. They
may also tell you that Android devices are only more popular overseas because
globally the economic situation isn’t as strong as it is back home. Some of
this might be true (or more realistically might have been true) but it doesn’t
explain why Apple’s dominance in the US market is in decline in favor of
Android devices. I mean, typically, people don’t buy inferior products when
they are upgrading their devices to the latest model, do they? 

Further
Reading:
Apple
Brand Loyalty Declines in Favor of Android Devices
.

Innovation,
Innovation, Innovation, and Cost

Success in the smartphone business is all
about innovation and to be honest Apple products just aren’t that innovative
any more. Sure, you still get a top-quality product for your money (Apple
certainly aren’t backward about pushing the boundaries of price) but when you
compare the latest iOS devices against the latest Android devices from the
likes of Samsung or Huawei do they still come out on top? I don’t think so.

Further
Reading:
Will
Poor Trade-in Deals Kill The $2,000+ Smartphone?

In fact, if you are looking for innovation,
it would appear the likes of Samsung and Huawei are more willing to take risks
than those good old boys at Apple. Sure, this might not always pay off (the
foldable device – anyone?) but without taking risks the market will surely
stagnate.

This risk is paying off and we really
believe that the latest Android devices are as good as or even better than
their iPhone equivalent. Of course, at Digital Turbine, we are a little biased.
We live and breathe the Android eco-system. We love its open approach to doing
business as opposed to Apple’s “walled garden” strategy. You could argue (and
I’m playing the Devil’s Advocate here) that Apple’s business model is the
smartphone equivalent of AOL’s dial-up internet business in the 1990s.

Why
Are Android Devices Better than Apple iPhones?

We can ignore things like battery life,
screen size, and resolution, memory, etc. because Android devices have long
since caught up with Apple. Even today’s low-cost devices are exceeding what boundaries
Apple was pushing out two or three iterations ago.

The primary benefit of choosing Android
devices is choice. This pretty much encompasses every reason why you would want
to buy a smartphone, including the availability of apps, availability of hardware,
and cost.

If you want to see how Android’s open
approach benefits everyone, just look at the number of apps available across
the various app marketplaces.

  • Play Store (Android): 2.7 million
  • Apple App Store (iOS): 1.9 million

Then look at the breadth of hardware
available from the various Android manufacturers designed for the specific
needs of various individuals. Business users might want to look at the latest
Galaxy Note 10, while photographers may be amazed by Huawei’s advances with
multiple lens cameras. Adventurers can rely on the strength of a brand like
Land Rover to ensure their device doesn’t fall apart in the great outdoors and
Gamers will be spoiled for choice by the amazing devices and bespoke gaming
platforms offered by Razer.

Still want to buy an iPhone? That’s fine
but you’ll just have to accept a model that’s designed for more general use
rather than your individual needs. I don’t know if you could ever describe an
iPhone as vanilla – but that’s what you are getting.

Further
Reading:
Digital
Turbine and Razer – Getting Serious About Gaming
.

Cost is a huge challenge. Of course, just
like an Apple product you can pay upwards of $2,000 for an Android device but
try buying a recent edition iPhone for under $100. Cutting edge innovation is
fine if you can afford it. In many emerging economies, innovation often comes a
little cheaper — and you cannot underestimate the impact affordable Android
devices have made in bridging the digital divide.

Further
Reading:
Great
Apps Come In Small Packages.

Further Reading: BRICS:
A Smart Future Built on Affordable Devices
.

Go
Anywhere – Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) Design Principals

When it comes to design principals, the
Apple eco-system is as restrictive as the walled garden app store. When you buy
into it, you are essentially stuck with it.

Let’s hear it for simplicity.The universal USB charger is a Godsend
and you’ve probably got a drawer at home stuffed full of them. Run low on your
battery while at work, on holiday, or away on business somewhere, someone will
have an android charger. Good luck finding a handy Apple charger while on a
trip to Mexico where 83% of smartphone owners rock an Android device.

The same is true for the humble 3.5mm
headphone jack socket. Sure, those wireless buds look cool but when you
inevitably lose them while backpacking around Europe, you’ll be glad of being
able to replace them (temporally at least) with a $5 set of headphones.

Note: Not only are Apple’s unique and ever-changing design choices
annoying and potentially expensive, but they are also not very environmentally
friendly — an issue smartphone manufacturers need to tackle in this
resource-heavy industry.

Android
– The App Developers Choice

The restrictive walled garden of Apple’s
app store also impacts on the commercial opportunities available to app
developers. If you want to make your app available to iPhone users, the only
route to market is the app store. This means Apple not only has the final say
over which apps make it onto their devices but there is also no way of avoiding
their commercial terms – 30% of any revenue generated from paid downloads or
in-app purchases.

While these same fees are in place across app
marketplaces like Google Play, there are alternative routes to market where
these costs can be mitigated.   

Further
Reading:
App
Distribution: Alternative Routes to Market for Android Developers
.

Developing
an Android First Mobile Strategy

While it would be short-sighted to dismiss
Apple’s eco-system there is an increasing argument to develop an Android first
mobile strategy. To learn more about how Digital Turbine can help you make
Android a bigger, better and smarter (and more profitable) environment for your
business, speak to one of our Android experts today.  

Marissa Camilli

By Marissa Delisle

Marketing Specialist

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