Google Android Is Best Choice for Custom Apps

Wayne Rash

I've been writing a lot about the iPhone 4 recently, and if there's one persistent theme to the comments I get, it's that the iPhone fanatics believe that their primary competition is the Android platform, and that the iPhone is killing it. Unfortunately for them, they are at best delusional. At worst, they are making things up to make themselves feel better for dumping a ton of money on a smartphone that was flawed in its design, and has now begun to cost Apple millions of dollars to slap on a temporary fix.

The fact is, according to a number of sources, including Forbes and CNN, Android device sales have already passed sales of all iOS devices, combined. The Android platform, while everyone was focusing on the iPhone antenna issue, quietly passed the iPhone in activations. Author Seth Weintraub points out in his article that the Verizon Wireless Droid X and the Samsung Galaxy are each selling in excess of a million units in their first three weeks of sales. And of course, there are a large number of other Android devices that are also hot sellers, or would be if they weren't already sold out, such as the Verizon Droid Incredible.

Some analysts point out that the high sales are due to the fact that Android devices typically cost less, thus inflating sales, but in reality that is the point. Apple has succeeded in selling an overpriced device to a group of true believers. Everyone else is buying something that is priced according to market forces. These hot sales have drawn the attention of developers, too, as Mike Vizard points out in this slideshow based on a survey of developers of applications for mobile devices.

While I wasn't able to convince Verizon Wireless to tell me how many of its various Droid devices it's sold, my back-of-the-envelope calculations tell me that Weintraub is probably right. The Droid X and the Droid Incredible are perpetually sold out. Sprint's Evo is selling out. The Samsung Galaxy is still appearing in stores, but is selling well in all four of its incarnations.

And that's the key to Android sales. Instead of restricting customers to one platform and one carrier, as Apple does in the U.S., the Android devices are available in countless versions from every carrier in the U.S., including AT&T, home of the iPhone.

Part of the reason is choice. People can choose their carrier, and their price point, and still have an Android phone. Part of the reason is also that Google doesn't rule the Android environment with an iron hand as Apple does. You can, for example, build your own custom applications for your own company, and install them on your company's devices without Google's permission. With the iPhone, you have to convince Apple that you should be allowed to do this. Again, more choices.

So it should be no surprise that developer interest in the Android market is overtaking interest in the iPhone. As Vizard points out, developers like creating device apps without the carrier or the operating system maker looking over their shoulders. But more and more, they will also like the fact that the Android market is simply getting larger.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 23, 2010 5:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Android is better because of its openness, but it is too bad that the carriers add some junk to the phones (junk apps, pesky UI overlays) and that there's no way to get rid of these things. Android would be even better without this nonsense; unfortunately not everyone has $500+ for a nexus one. Reply
Jul 23, 2010 6:07 PM JG JG  says:
I agree with 'Anonymous (Exclusivity)' when it comes to '(junk apps, pesky UI overlays)'. Since Android is an open system, technical know how makes it possible for end user to circumvent this problem. It is not going to be easy though. I disagree with him/her when it comes to: 'unfortunately not everyone has $500+ for a nexus one'. I recently purchased TWO new Samsung Galaxy S "Vibrant" worth $1,000. T-Mobile sell these 2 phones for only $200. Regardless on how much one spends now, they will ended up paying more than the $1,000 after their contract expires in 2 years. That is the reason why carrier are subsidizing the phones. They get the money and they will locked you in. People might not have $500 but they WILL spend more than that eventually. It is only a matter when they spend it. I rather save my money and invest it and buy my car cash instead of making payment and ended up having the car costing me much more (in interest) when I pay it later. Google was trying to experiment with breaking that subsidy cycle by selling the Nexus One. I guess it did not worked out because U.S. consumer are not used to that and are willing to pay much more for their phone through expensive contract plan (subsidy). In other countries, one pays a lot for their Smartphones but saves quite a bit through service plan competition. In Belgium it is illegal for carrier to subsidize any phones and lock customers exclusively to just one company. Reply
Jul 23, 2010 8:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Lov evo 4g Reply
Jul 23, 2010 11:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Your figure on Droid X sales is wrong. You misread Weintraub's article. The 1 million worldwide sales figure is only for the Samsung Galaxy S. The most optimistic figure for the Droid X from the analyst community is 300,000. Reply
Jul 24, 2010 6:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
If you are going cite an article, you should read it carefully first. Heres the exact verbage from the link you included: That activation rate is already significantly higher than that of iPhone and nearing that of all of Apple's iOS devices combined. Apple (AAPL) just had yet another blow-out quarter, largely on the back of its iPad numbers, but their iPhone sales have been flat for the past three quarters. It is nearing all IOS, so what you say is a fact is, in fact, a false statement. I agree the Iphone has its flaws and so does the droid. Apple created this market and it is good for everyone in the end. Competition is good for business and consumers. I like the Droid but I bought an Iphone4 and I love it. Another question for the author "why is the bumper fix temporary?" It is not, the bumper completely solved the problem so I see it as a permanent fix. The way Apple handled is was shitty, I totally agree but why embellish the situation? Bottom line: We all over a choice. Hopefully other carriers will soon have the Iphone. I predict that it will be huge for Apple when it happens. For the many things Apple does wrong, they do a on right and every consumer of electronics benefits from their innovation, whether you choose to admit it or not. Reply
Jul 24, 2010 6:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
If you are going cite an article, you should read it carefully first. Heres the exact verbage from the link you included: That activation rate is already significantly higher than that of iPhone and nearing that of all of Apple's iOS devices combined. Apple (AAPL) just had yet another blow-out quarter, largely on the back of its iPad numbers, but their iPhone sales have been flat for the past three quarters. It is nearing all IOS, so what you say is a fact is, in fact, a false statement. I agree the Iphone has its flaws and so does the droid. Apple created this market and it is good for everyone in the end. Competition is good for business and consumers. I like the Droid but I bought an Iphone4 and I love it. Another question for the author "why is the bumper fix temporary?" It is not, the bumper completely solved the problem so I see it as a permanent fix. The way Apple handled is was shitty, I totally agree but why embellish the situation? Bottom line: We all over a choice. Hopefully other carriers will soon have the Iphone. I predict that it will be huge for Apple when it happens. For the many things Apple does wrong, they do a on right and every consumer of electronics benefits from their innovation, whether you choose to admit it or not. Reply
Nov 2, 2010 6:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
I think IPhone4 is the most incredible phone on earth, the biggest flaw is its carrier...that's my only reason to choose a droid... Reply
Jan 30, 2012 5:01 AM Pierre Davis Pierre Davis  says:
Android apps is the best in the market because you have many choices, it is an open source, You can, for example, build your own custom applications for your own company, and install them on your company�s devices without Google�s permission.Inflatable Movie Screen Setup Reply

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