Reality Check

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August 03, 2010

Android Vs. iPhone, Lessons From Windows Vs. Mac

By Robert Hashemian, Vice President of Web Development


Remember the days of Windows vs. Mac? Back in the 90's there were two distinct OS religions, Windows and Mac. We all know how that rivalry turned out. Windows won the battle and Mac and its diehard fans were pushed to the margins of computing not to be heard from again until Steve Jobs reclaimed the Apple (News - Alert) kingdom and made Macs cool again.

An almost similar battle is at hand with the smartphones today. RIM's Blackberry may be the market leader for now, but who cares about that. The guys we're interested in are Google's Android and Apple's iPhone (News - Alert). News came yesterday that in the first half of 2010 there were more Android units shipped than iPhones - 27% vs. 23% of total smartphone units shipped.

While in terms of overall market share iPhone saw a slight dip and Android (News - Alert) experienced a big rise, iPhone still has a commanding lead over Android, 28% vs. 13%. So why should Apple worry? Because this closely resembles the 90's Windows vs. Mac rivalry.

Back then Windows ran on various hardware from multiple vendors, but Mac only ran on Macs. The situation is still the same today, but let's stick with that time. That gave Microsoft (News - Alert) a huge business advantage and enviable profit margins. Apparently Google has decided that the Microsoft model is a viable one and that's why it terminated Nexus One and put all its effort into the Android platform. With multiple hardware vendors and carriers supporting Android, it may just be the winning strategy for Google (News - Alert), and ironically it'll have Microsoft to thank for that.


Robert Hashemian is VP of Web Development for TMCnet.com with a keen interest in financial markets. To read more of Robert’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also maintains his personal Web site at www.hashemian.com.
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